Discussion:
Exp level in later stages of game - strategy
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r***@gmail.com
2018-09-02 10:21:41 UTC
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Hi all,

Apologies if this has been asked before, but I've never seen it mentioned in any strategy guide and couldn't find anything in a search.

Once you've completed the castle & quest and are preparing for the second half of the game, as it were...

Are you better off staying at a lower experience level in the 14-16 range, and just increasing your AC, HP etc? As in general, the lower your experience the less likely you are to encounter really nasty monsters at random?

Or do you get as high as you can, towards 25-30 for the extra weapon skills, greater damage in some cases? Or is it somewhere in between the two?

I'm asking as I've been trying a rather difficult conduct, where I can consistently get the amulet but then die somewhere on the way back up... Only got to the Planes once. Just wondering which is the better option.
Janis Papanagnou
2018-09-02 11:15:56 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
Apologies if this has been asked before, but I've never seen it mentioned
in any strategy guide and couldn't find anything in a search.
(Yes, there had been discussions, but I also have no link, sorry.)
Post by r***@gmail.com
Once you've completed the castle & quest and are preparing for the second
half of the game, as it were...
Are you better off staying at a lower experience level in the 14-16 range,
and just increasing your AC, HP etc? As in general, the lower your
experience the less likely you are to encounter really nasty monsters at
random?
In my experience it doesn't matter that much at that stage of the game
(i.e. post-Castle).
Post by r***@gmail.com
Or do you get as high as you can, towards 25-30 for the extra weapon
skills, greater damage in some cases? Or is it somewhere in between the
two?
It's (in my book) indeed a matter of the actual game and role played;
whether I need skill slots (I rarely needed so many), whether I wanted
to rely on, say, magic missile spell as ranged combat option and want
at least not a too low XL, or whether I want to cast a specific group
of important (level 3) spells and proceed to XL:21, if possible.

To give you some statistical data from my own NAO-games to see in how
many of my ascended games I had which XL, you can see some bias:

XL: 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
N: 9 45 53 80 59 45 61 56 37 25 28 11 14 13 7 40
Post by r***@gmail.com
I'm asking as I've been trying a rather difficult conduct, where I can
consistently get the amulet but then die somewhere on the way back up...
Only got to the Planes once. Just wondering which is the better option.
You could provide some more information about your specific conduct and
about the ways you die, so that we have a better chance to provide you
with concrete suggestions.

Janis
r***@gmail.com
2018-09-02 11:37:35 UTC
Permalink
It was more a general question, but the current conduct I've been trying is a true AC 10, naked ascension

Remove all starting armour within first 10 turns, never wear any other. No rings of protection or spell of protection. No donating to priests.

Self poly - never intentionally, although I have accepted that as MR is difficult to come by, an accidental poly trap will not rule the game void, although preferably I would find a quiet corner and wait it out.

I have had several characters gain the amulet, but most of them have died on the way back up due to Rodney and his nasties. They were all exp level 15-16ish, hence my question whether they'd have been better off getting higher? Nearly all Knights
Janis Papanagnou
2018-09-02 22:01:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
It was more a general question, but the current conduct I've been trying is
a true AC 10, naked ascension
Remove all starting armour within first 10 turns, never wear any other. No
rings of protection or spell of protection. No donating to priests.
Ah, okay, this is indeed a very tough conduct, so that I am surprised that
you regularly reach so far. But note that once you reach that deep down and
got the Amulet the own XL might not be that big a factor any more since the
maximum reached dungeon level depth (IIUC) will have a larger impact. With
no protection you probably need a couple other options; high level pets for
summoned monsters, many wands of death for the Wizard, lots of scrolls of
teleport to evade monsters and speed up the home-run, wands of teleport to
relocate monsters on no-teleport levels, jumping and conflict, specifically
on Astral.

Janis
Pat Rankin
2018-09-03 03:48:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
It was more a general question, but the current conduct I've been trying
is a true AC 10, naked ascension
Remove all starting armour within first 10 turns, never wear any other. No
rings of protection or spell of protection. No donating to priests.
3.6.x has a run-time option to start without armor. Its conduct
tracking of 'nudist' doesn't disallow those other forms of gaining
armor class though. Putting on armor is allowed but breaks that
conduct. (If you're used to 3.4.3, be aware that in 3.6.x, P allows
you to put on armor and W allows you to wear accessories.
Those two commands are now similar but haven't become
identical: if you ask for a list of likely candidates, W shows
armor only and P shows accessories only (rings, amulets,
blindfold or lenses). There have been two or three minor bugs
with one or the other which are now fixed.)

It also has a separate option for your character to be blind.
Unlike re-rolling until you start with a blindfold and then playing
at risk of having that be stolen, initial blindness is permanent.
(Wearing the Eyes of the Overworld overrides that and breaks
'blind' conduct, but also has a known bug such that doing so
unintentionally cures permanent blindness. There has been a
fix for that since before the release of 3.6.0, but it is waiting
until compatibility with 3.6.x save and bones files ends....)
Jorgen Grahn
2018-09-07 10:26:57 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 2018-09-03, Pat Rankin wrote:
...
Post by Pat Rankin
'blind' conduct, but also has a known bug such that doing so
unintentionally cures permanent blindness. There has been a
fix for that since before the release of 3.6.0, but it is waiting
until compatibility with 3.6.x save and bones files ends....)
What's the policy for that compatibility -- that all 3.6.x versions
are compatible with each other? (Apologies for not having done my
homework and searched for a documented policy myself.)

/Jorgen
--
// Jorgen Grahn <grahn@ Oo o. . .
\X/ snipabacken.se> O o .
Pat Rankin
2018-09-07 23:42:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jorgen Grahn
...
Post by Pat Rankin
'blind' conduct, but also has a known bug such that doing so
[putting on the Eyes of the Overworld]
unintentionally cures permanent blindness. There has been a
fix for that since before the release of 3.6.0, but it is waiting
until compatibility with 3.6.x save and bones files ends....)
What's the policy for that compatibility -- that all 3.6.x versions
are compatible with each other? (Apologies for not having done my
homework and searched for a documented policy myself.)
There isn't any formal policy, at least that I'm aware of. The intent
is to stay compatible for as long as feasible. If some significant
fix was really needed and the data couldn't be kept compatible,
I suspect that the middle component of the version number would
be bumped even if no significant changes to game play were added.

In the case mentioned here, the fix isn't very important: if you have
access to the Eyes and have already lost permanently-blind conduct,
it doesn't much matter whether permanent blindness is or isn't
enforced any more. The code for the fix reorganizes blindness
tracking which potentially impacts a lot of the program, so it was
held back to avoid delaying or destabilizing the 3.6.0 release. By
now it undoubtedly suffers from bit rot due to subsequent changes,
so I haven't dug it back up and probably won't until 3.6 is considered
finished.

Jumping back to the first paragraph: the web site has a 3.6.2-beta
prebuilt binary for Windows and for OSX. The OSX beta and the
most recent release binary were built by different people and
might unintentionally be incompatible due to different build-time
configurations. I'm not sure about that but have heard of at least
one complaint that the beta was rejecting and deleting 3.6.1 save
files. Deleting incompatible data is intentional but distributing an
incompatible binary is not. (The beta for Windows maintains
compatibility and can use 3.6.1 and also 3.6.0 save games.)

jim in austin
2018-09-02 12:37:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
Once you've completed the castle & quest and are preparing for the
second half of the game, as it were...
Are you better off staying at a lower experience level in the 14-16 range,
and just increasing your AC, HP etc? As in general, the lower your
experience the less likely you are to encounter really nasty monsters at
random?
Or do you get as high as you can, towards 25-30 for the extra weapon
skills, greater damage in some cases? Or is it somewhere in between the
two?
It is my understanding that part of the difficulty of monsters spawned
is the XL of the player*. Normally all role granted intrinsics are in place
no later than XL 20. Pushing beyond that would require a weapon that
scaled in damage to offset monster difficulty. The only weapon I'm aware
of like that in vanilla is the spell of magic missile. Or, more precisely,
magic missile cast by a wizard with the energy resources to use the spell
as their primary weapon.

Myself, I rarely push past the middle or upper teens. But then again, I
don't play wizards. Once a weapon is at maximum skill and enchantment and
you have 25 strength, it will never get any better. So why make it easier
for the game to kill you by pointlessly continuing to increase your XL?


*The wiki says an average of experience level and dungeon level determines
the maximum difficulty of a monster that can be randomly generated:

https://nethackwiki.com/wiki/Monsters_(by_difficulty)
Jorgen Grahn
2018-09-02 18:47:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by jim in austin
Post by r***@gmail.com
Once you've completed the castle & quest and are preparing for the
second half of the game, as it were...
Are you better off staying at a lower experience level in the 14-16 range,
and just increasing your AC, HP etc? As in general, the lower your
experience the less likely you are to encounter really nasty monsters at
random?
Or do you get as high as you can, towards 25-30 for the extra weapon
skills, greater damage in some cases? Or is it somewhere in between the
two?
It is my understanding that part of the difficulty of monsters spawned
is the XL of the player*.
Isn't that algorith changed once you're in Hell, or have the Amulet,
though? Although I'm too lazy to check.

/Jorgen
Post by jim in austin
https://nethackwiki.com/wiki/Monsters_(by_difficulty)
--
// Jorgen Grahn <grahn@ Oo o. . .
\X/ snipabacken.se> O o .
G-Mon
2018-09-03 05:19:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jorgen Grahn
Isn't that algorith changed once you're in Hell, or have the Amulet,
though? Although I'm too lazy to check.
Double-checking the wiki page given by jim, it changes twice:

* Once you have the Amulet, your dungeon level is considered to be that of
Moloch's Sanctum (DL 45-53).
* Once you reach the Planes, add half of your experience level to the
Sanctum's level for monster difficulty purposes.
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