Discussion:
Ascension and Reflection
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m***@yahoo.com
2018-06-29 16:53:44 UTC
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Just ascended a priest in 3.4.3 and had some thoughts to consider.

First I had a priest who made it all the way to astral and died. Low resources. Sucks.

Then I had priest ascend who had near unlimited resources (extra wand of wishing in the valley of the dead! As well as a wizard bones file).

Here are my thoughts.

Fighting the wizard in melee isn't as bad as I thought now that I understand him. It makes sense to use wand of death to initially get the book. But it doesn't make sense to use wand of death every time. If you're even somewhat close to the upstairs (half a screen or less) the elbereth on the upstairs and smash him to death plan works just fine and saves you zaps. I should have done this in my first game, would have survived.

Magic Marker, especially in games with low resources is a key wish. In my low resource game I wished for bag of holding and identify. Instead I should have wished for a magic marker and helm of opposite alignment. Magic marker would have given me the ability to write more scrolls of charging, which would have given me a recharged wand of polymorph and that could have gotten me MORE scrolls of charging or wands of death or wands of teleport (as well as scrolls of enchant armor). Even if polypiling produced little, more scrolls of charging would mean more zaps from wand of death, which would have saved me from the riders in the endgame.

Helm of opposite alignment is just incredibly awesome, especially for a neutral player. For a neutral, that means you only have to visit one altar. You just uncurse the helm and take it off and put it on again until your alignment matches. This is really #1 awesome way to win. Even for a non-neutral, you have a 2/3 chance of hitting the right altar with helm of opposite alignment. Meaning you likely go to one altar and at most two.

Boots of Speed is really a preffered item in the endgame, it lets you attack and take actions more often, it's just a must have.

One other thing I could have done was to not wish for magic resistance. As a neutral, you are guaranteed to get magicbane EVENTUALLY. While magicbane isn't great for clearing out monsters, it would have saved me another wish.

Upon reflection the low resource game could have been won with

1. Wish for magic marker and more polypiling/scroll of charging for wand of death.

2. Not wand of death the wizard and instead fight him on the upstairs.

3. Wish for speed boots and get magic resistance from magicbane through sacrificing instead of wishing for it.

4. Wish for helm of opposite alignment and you only have to go to one altar.
Zork Ringmasters
2018-07-04 04:10:27 UTC
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I don&t understand what you are saying about one altar here. Is this a senior altar in the endgame?

Neutrally,
~ZR~
m***@yahoo.com
2018-07-05 20:02:01 UTC
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Post by Zork Ringmasters
I don&t understand what you are saying about one altar here. Is this a senior altar in the endgame?
Neutrally,
~ZR~
So, when you get to the last level, the astral plane, there are three altars, lawful, neutral and chaotic. You have to take the Amulet of Yendor to the altar corresponding to your alignment and sacrifice it.

HOWEVER, if you alter your alignment via the item "helm of opposite alignment" and your new alignment matches the altar you're standing at, you can now sacrifice the amulet and ascend.

SO.

If you have a helm of opposite alignment, and you're chaotic or lawful, the maximum amount of altars you have to face is 2.

If you're neutral, and you have helm of opposite alignment, you only have to go to ONE altar.

When you put the helm on, if you're chaotic, your alignment will switch to lawful, and if lawful you'll switch to chaotic.

Let's say you're Lawful. You approach an altar. You examine it with the : command. Let's say it's Lawful. Great! You ascend. Let's say you're Lawful and you get to the first altar and you examine it. It's chaotic. You put on the helm, now YOU are chaotic. You sacrifice the amulet and ascend. Let's say you're Lawful. You approach an altar and it's Neutral. Darn it. You need to go to a 2nd altar now. So you go to a different altar, the 2nd altar, but now that 2nd altar CANNOT be the neutral altar (because you've already visited that one). It MUST be either the chaotic or lawful altar. So if it is the Lawful one, you simply ascend. If it's the chaotic one, you put on the helm and ascend.

Reverse all this if you're chaotic and it's the same thing. Note that you have a 2/3'ds chance of the first altar being one you can ascend at if you have helm of opposite alignment. So a helm of opposite alignment means that you will likely be able to ascend at the first altar, and positively at the second altar. You may have to fight only one rider once. If you have at least 3 zaps of wand of death, you're set, choose either famine or pestillence and you can easily ascend.

But for neutrals, helm of opposite alignment GUARANTEES that you only need visit one altar. When a neutral puts on helm of opposite alignment they have a 50% chance of becoming either lawful or chaotic. You get to an altar. If it's neutral, you win, ascend. If it's chaotic or lawful, you put on the helm. You have a 50% chance of it matching your alignment now. If it doesn't match, uncurse the helm with holy water or spell/scroll of remove curse and put it on again. Repeat until your alignment matches.

The astral plane is to me the hardest part of the game, I've died on astral lots of times. Visiting 2 altars is bad but doable.

Having to visit 3 altars is really, really bad. The monster generation is ferocious. If you have to visit all three altars to sacrifice the amulet, then you'll have to fight riders at least 5 times and maybe more.
m***@yahoo.com
2018-07-05 20:19:55 UTC
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Note that switching alignment is very, very bad.

If you do it before the quest, you can't enter the quest and your game is unascendable.

Anytime you do it you will "lose protection" the AC points you can buy from a priest by donating 400x your level.

It will make your god angry with you. Everyone will be angry.

I think you get aggravate monster too?

Anyway... there is very little reason to use helm of opposite alignment. One of the only other things you can do is after you've gotten approval from your quest guide, and he opens the way to the quest, you can then put on the helm of opposite alignment and sacrifice to get different artifacts. Most chaotic artifacts suck, so you can use this trick and sacrifice to get awesome lawful artifacts. Neutrals and lawfuls get good artifacts so they wouldn't want to do this. Also you can't use many artifacts if you're cross aligned.

My friend Al got his chaotic orcish Rogue to the castle and wished up helm of opposite alignment, put it on to be lawful, and wished for Eyes of the Overworld and Greyswandir. Rogues can get skilled in Greyswandir. Now he's two weaponing Greswandir and another Silver Sabre. He's also got magic resistance (saving a slot for something else) and xray vision from the eyes (as well as invoke for enlightenment.

Not bad, and he hadn't bought protection yet.

He kept it that way until he got to the endgame and landed on a chaotic altar as his first and took it off and ascended.
Janis Papanagnou
2018-07-05 20:49:36 UTC
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[ helm of opposite alignment at Astral ]
Want to mention just a few caveats in the described process...
[...] If you have at
least 3 zaps of wand of death, you're set, choose either famine or
pestillence and you can easily ascend.
Zaps may miss many times, there's no such thing as a guarantee that 3 zaps
suffice. You may have to empty two wands, or a single zap may be sufficient.
Making use of a reflecting wall (and or reflection) will multiply the chance,
but be prepared to switch to alternative options.
But for neutrals, helm of opposite alignment GUARANTEES that you only need
visit one altar. When a neutral puts on helm of opposite alignment they
have a 50% chance of becoming either lawful or chaotic. You get to an
altar. If it's neutral, you win, ascend. If it's chaotic or lawful, you put
on the helm. You have a 50% chance of it matching your alignment now. If it
doesn't match, uncurse the helm with holy water or spell/scroll of remove
curse and put it on again. Repeat until your alignment matches.
You must carry enough items to uncurse the helm. I've played games where I
needed lots of tries. Not an issue for me, because I am a packrat and have
the stuff, but it might be a point to consider if you travel ligthweight as
most players seem to prefer. Since, as already mentioned elsethread, you will
lose divine protection (and usually additional AC points from not being able
to use your primary helm), you will be much more vulnerable if you face the
fact that, despite having the helm of opposite alignment, you do have to
travel to another altar.
Having to visit 3 altars is really, really bad. The monster generation is
ferocious. If you have to visit all three altars to sacrifice the amulet,
then you'll have to fight riders at least 5 times and maybe more.
Well, that depends on the options you have. You can visit all altars and
ascend even without fighting any one of the rides. Been there, done that a
couple times. (Keywords: conflict, jumping, teleport others, etc.)

That all said; if I have an HoOA, even in case when I'm playing a killer
machine, I might nonetheless choose to use the HoOA to not risk success of
an ascension. It depends a bit on the monsters there, and equipment status.

Janis
m***@yahoo.com
2018-07-06 23:30:11 UTC
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Post by Janis Papanagnou
[ helm of opposite alignment at Astral ]
Want to mention just a few caveats in the described process...
[...] If you have at
least 3 zaps of wand of death, you're set, choose either famine or
pestillence and you can easily ascend.
Zaps may miss many times, there's no such thing as a guarantee that 3 zaps
suffice. You may have to empty two wands, or a single zap may be sufficient.
Making use of a reflecting wall (and or reflection) will multiply the chance,
but be prepared to switch to alternative options.
But for neutrals, helm of opposite alignment GUARANTEES that you only need
visit one altar. When a neutral puts on helm of opposite alignment they
have a 50% chance of becoming either lawful or chaotic. You get to an
altar. If it's neutral, you win, ascend. If it's chaotic or lawful, you put
on the helm. You have a 50% chance of it matching your alignment now. If it
doesn't match, uncurse the helm with holy water or spell/scroll of remove
curse and put it on again. Repeat until your alignment matches.
You must carry enough items to uncurse the helm. I've played games where I
needed lots of tries. Not an issue for me, because I am a packrat and have
the stuff, but it might be a point to consider if you travel ligthweight as
most players seem to prefer. Since, as already mentioned elsethread, you will
lose divine protection (and usually additional AC points from not being able
to use your primary helm), you will be much more vulnerable if you face the
fact that, despite having the helm of opposite alignment, you do have to
travel to another altar.
Having to visit 3 altars is really, really bad. The monster generation is
ferocious. If you have to visit all three altars to sacrifice the amulet,
then you'll have to fight riders at least 5 times and maybe more.
Well, that depends on the options you have. You can visit all altars and
ascend even without fighting any one of the rides. Been there, done that a
couple times. (Keywords: conflict, jumping, teleport others, etc.)
That all said; if I have an HoOA, even in case when I'm playing a killer
machine, I might nonetheless choose to use the HoOA to not risk success of
an ascension. It depends a bit on the monsters there, and equipment status.
Janis
I agree with everything you said.

I meant "face" the riders. Not fight them. In other words, not melee them but just have to get past them in some way.

You can dodge them with diagonal movement, clear paths around them with wands of teleport, zap them with magic missile a lot, zap them with wand of death, jump past (not over) them, out run them, wish for a boulder in the doorway to block them, level drain them etc.
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