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ARGH!! How in the world do you ever ascend?

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Anonymous
July 2, 2005 4:49:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

OK, I know the first responses to my topic. How do you ascend?? Well,
practice, patience, and read the spoilers...


Well...I have done that...I read these threads...I know how to ID,
avoid enemies, choose the right battles, etc, etc, etc...


The problem is I ALWAYS get killed by something I had no way of
forseeing when I get a good character going.

For example, my last game...I had reached mine town, was level 10 or
11, had an artifact weapon, and mowing creatures down left and right,
when a SINGLE gnomish mage reads a scroll, surrounding me with what
looked like 10-20 high level enemies. WTF?!?! I realize there is
patience and cautiousness...but come on....sometimes it just seems like
the game is being malicious...How could I reasonably have prepared for
that?? Be higher level and better equipped?? Well, can't really do that
without fighting easy monster, which presumably these mages are.

The game before that...I am playing a lawful valkyrie..no good weps by
the time I reached Mine Town, so I do the typical thing and dip my long
sword until I get Excalibur (yes, I know the bonues, and drawbacks).
Hand reaches up out of the fountain, blesses the sword....and the watch
captain blows his whistle and attacks??? WTF?!?! Maybe this has a more
definite reason, but I have never been attacked for diluting a potion
or quaffing from a minetown fountain before?? What gives??



My point....it seems you have to be exceptionally lucky to get anywhere
in this game..yet there is post after post of YAFAP on here.

I have read the spoilers, practiced, learned the monsters and how to
ID...I have played for years...Short of isolating every enemy I
encounter for maximum safety, and searching every single square I cross
for traps, am I missing something?? I am not dying from stupid cursed
items, or throwing myself at tough enemies. It's always the sudden
spawn of 20 killer bees around me, or a gnome with a convienient scroll
or wand of death/cold/whatever intrinsic I lack. ARGH!!!!!

I really like the depth of this game, but I don't want to be reduced to
over-zealous cautiousness simply to get anywhere. How in the world do
you guys ascend 8 and more times??

Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?

More about : argh world ascend

Anonymous
July 2, 2005 5:44:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Brigand wrote:
> Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?

There are very few situations that are COMPLETELY unpreventable. A long
string of bad luck should be about the only thing that does you in and
the better you get, the longer the string will have to be before it
kills you. Every time you die think HARD about what could have saved you
and why it didn't.

Almost all deaths to monsters can be avoided with the E-word, a wand of
digging, and other common equipment. Don't kill monsters when you can
avoid them. When you go down a level, it's prudent to engrave on the
upstairs before anything else, then just wait several turns to see if
any dangers approach.

Equipment is a priority. Don't do anything you can't handle until you've
got some decent equipment. Dipping for Excalibur, for example, can be
dangerous, so be prepared for ANY of the consequences. Pet-test all the
armor you find and try it on; you have pretty good odds of finding a +3
in there.

Until you can handle all traps, step on as few squares as possible,
especially in the mines. When you can, tread where a pet or monster has
already been.
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 2:05:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Brigand wrote:

> The game before that...I am playing a lawful valkyrie..no good weps
> by the time I reached Mine Town, so I do the typical thing and dip
> my long sword until I get Excalibur (yes, I know the bonues, and
> drawbacks). Hand reaches up out of the fountain, blesses the
> sword....and the watch captain blows his whistle and attacks???
> WTF?!?! Maybe this has a more definite reason, but I have never been
> attacked for diluting a potion or quaffing from a minetown fountain
> before?? What gives??

The guards object to damaging the town (kicking doors, destroying
fountains, pick-axing walls, etc). Simply diluting a potion will most
of the time not dry up a fountain, but getting Excalibur will always
do so. So don't dip for Excalibur in MineTown. There are 4 nice
fountains on the Oracle level if you haven't found any others earlier
in the main dungeon, and the Oracle doesn't care about her founts.

>
> Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?

Yes, in my case at least - and even so I die more often than not... :/ 
Usually due to overconfidence or tiredness.

Sidsel
Related resources
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 3:50:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On Sat, 2 Jul 2005, Brigand wrote:

> For example, my last game...I had reached mine town, was level 10 or
> 11, had an artifact weapon, and mowing creatures down left and right,
> when a SINGLE gnomish mage reads a scroll, surrounding me with what
> looked like 10-20 high level enemies. WTF?!?! I realize there is
> patience and cautiousness...but come on....sometimes it just seems like
> the game is being malicious...How could I reasonably have prepared for
> that?? Be higher level and better equipped?? Well, can't really do that
> without fighting easy monster, which presumably these mages are.

cursed scroll of create monsters...
Engrave Elbereth when this happen.
And don' traise your level if your equipement is not good enough to deal
with the monsters that can be generated. A XL8, AC 5 PC just ask for
ants/bee to swarm.

> The game before that...I am playing a lawful valkyrie..no good weps by
> the time I reached Mine Town, so I do the typical thing and dip my long
> sword until I get Excalibur (yes, I know the bonues, and drawbacks).
> Hand reaches up out of the fountain, blesses the sword....and the watch
> captain blows his whistle and attacks??? WTF?!?! Maybe this has a more
> definite reason, but I have never been attacked for diluting a potion
> or quaffing from a minetown fountain before?? What gives??

Maybe because they don't see you... To be sure, don't do anything to
minetown's fountains before the guard is dispatched (a maced strating pet
should be able to do so).

> My point....it seems you have to be exceptionally lucky to get anywhere
> in this game..yet there is post after post of YAFAP on here.

exceptionnaly, not. Well, the more you play, the less you need to be lucky
to ascend :-) My first (and only) ascension was indeed lucky (two early
bones, among other things). But since it I've kept playing and I'm now
convince I could ascend anything with a bit of patience (and several
tries). My deaths become more and more carelessnes and I often can find
what I should have done, but a bit too late. Keep playing, ask questions
when you're in a tough situation (rather than trying your usual solution
that had already proven wrong) or when something you don't understand
happen, and with the time you should learn how to deal with that game.

> I have read the spoilers, practiced, learned the monsters and how to
> ID...I have played for years...Short of isolating every enemy I
> encounter for maximum safety, and searching every single square I cross
> for traps, am I missing something?? I am not dying from stupid cursed
> items, or throwing myself at tough enemies. It's always the sudden
> spawn of 20 killer bees around me, or a gnome with a convienient scroll
> or wand of death/cold/whatever intrinsic I lack. ARGH!!!!!

Bees/ants are best fight in corridors, when only one (or two) can attack
you each turn. Fighting bees in an open room is suicide (especially for
early PC, when ascencion-ready, a swarm of bees should not be harmful).
Learn when to run (backward) or not run (forward) and let the ennemies
come to you (if they spend their move coming, you'll be first to attack).
Choose your fight and, more important, choose the your position. Retreat
until you're in a position where you can fight at your advantage. Usually
a turn in a corridor where both you and your pet can attack the same
monster while only one monster can attack you. Don't be afraid to hide
behind your pet and let it do the job.

> I really like the depth of this game, but I don't want to be reduced to
> over-zealous cautiousness simply to get anywhere. How in the world do
> you guys ascend 8 and more times??

I'm usually not as careful as other people advice to be. I do not
trap-check every square n times before stepping and walk more or less
anywhere. I manage to almost always reach Minestown/Sokoban and rather
often go past Sokoban. With combat wombat, this should no be to much a
problem.

> Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?

You'll need luck for your first ascension, this is rather obvious. But the
amount of luck you'll need is not that important. And even with luck,
you'll also need a lot of personnal skill.


Alternate period where you play random classes (to keep a touch of
different aspects of the game) and periods where you concentrate in one
class (to become specialised with that).

Monks, even if hard to ascend, have a fairly easy early game in my opinion
(nice starting equipement, including food, intrinsics, intrinsics,
intrinsics, don't bother with weapon/armor identification, often a really
good starting spell, can kill a gnome with one blow even at XL1 (so mines
are a valuable option)).

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 5:48:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Brigand wrote:

> [Minetown] Hand reaches up out of the fountain, blesses the
> sword....and the watch captain blows his whistle and attacks???
> WTF?!?! Maybe this has a more definite reason, but I have never been
> attacked for diluting a potion or quaffing from a minetown fountain
> before?? What gives??

What gives is that you have been especially lucky so far. The watch
never condones messing with the fountains. You get a warning first (you
may have missed that one), but if you do it again, the watch will attack
you.

What could have been the case, earlier, is that there was no watchman
present to see you do it. I often hide in a narrow corridor, next to a
door I want to open, and only use my lock pick when there's no watchman
watching.

> My point....it seems you have to be exceptionally lucky to get
> anywhere in this game..yet there is post after post of YAFAP on here.

I am pretty sure that the number of ascensions is not even one
thousandsth of all games played. Of course, you rarely see people
bragging about those.

> I have read the spoilers, practiced, learned the monsters and how to
> ID...I have played for years...Short of isolating every enemy I
> encounter for maximum safety, and searching every single square I
> cross for traps, am I missing something?? I am not dying from stupid
> cursed items, or throwing myself at tough enemies. It's always the
> sudden spawn of 20 killer bees around me, or a gnome with a
> convienient scroll or wand of death/cold/whatever intrinsic I lack.
> ARGH!!!!!

Well, I have played for at least twelve years now (probably more, but I
don't really remember). Still, I have only ascended once (and people
here had to remind me: I didn't remember that game).

I do have about twenty characters "waiting in the fridge", as we Dutch
call it: I guess I could easily ascend those.

By the way, the "roundrobin" game on nethack.alt.org has been played by
me for a long time, since no-one else would take over. He now has an
enormous stash of useful items on level 12, has the Candelabrum and the
Bell of Opening; the Mines and Quest have been finished; I have checked
whether there is a Fort Ludios (there isn't); and, finally, I have
completely mapped out Gehennom and made shortcuts on every level from
upstairs to downstairs.

Lastly, I have found and marked the Vibrating Square, and cleaned out
the Wizard's Tower, except for the last remaining occupant and his
entourage.

I left the character at the stash; his inventory and bag of holding have
almost anything he might need. The chest just above the altar contains
hundreds of other nice items from polypiling sessions: take whatever
you think you may need.

All that still needs to be done is to vanquish the Wizard, take the Book
of the Dead, open the Vibrating Square, get the Amulet of Yendor, and
run up.

Volunteers may log onto the nethack.alt.org site as "RoundRobin",
password "robin", and continue the game for about 1000 moves each. If
you're moving the character up or down the dungeon or Gehennom, without
having woken the Wizard, I would say these moves don't count towards
your 1000 moves.

> I really like the depth of this game, but I don't want to be reduced
> to over-zealous cautiousness simply to get anywhere. How in the world
> do you guys ascend 8 and more times??

Only a few do.

As I said, I've played for over twelve years and only ascended once. I
didn't just *read* all spoilers; I *wrote* or edited part of them.
No-one ever said it was easy. That's the charm of NetHack: even those
who wrote the *game* don't finish it very ofteh.

> Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?

I hade to disappoint you, but there are records of people (well,
Marvin...) ascending twelve characters in a row on a public server
during the yearly tournament. Therefore, it could be concluded that
skill alone should be enough to ascend almost every game, given enough
skill, patience, and concentration.

I like to fool myself into thinking that luck has also to do with it.

:-(

--
Boudewijn.

"Would those who believe in telekinesis please raise my hand?"
- Maarten Pieters, in NRC Handelsblad.
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 5:48:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

The Prophet Boudewijn Waijers known to the wise as kroisos@REMOVETHISWORD.home.nl, opened the Book of Words, and read unto the people:
>What gives is that you have been especially lucky so far. The watch
>never condones messing with the fountains. You get a warning first (you
>may have missed that one), but if you do it again, the watch will attack
>you.

You don't actually get a warning when dipping for Excalibur,
necessarily. The Minetown fountains are special-cased so that the
first thing you do to them which could randomly dry them up
(e.g. dipping, quaffing) will never dry them, and you get a
warning. However, obtaining Excalibur _always_ dries up the fountain
used, so that overrides the warning process.

--
D. Jacob (Jake) Wildstrom, Math monkey and freelance thinker

"A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."
-Alfred Renyi

The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily endorsed by the
University of California or math department thereof.
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 9:49:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On 2 Jul 2005 12:49:02 -0700, "Brigand"
<markashall@hotmail.com> wrote:

>OK, I know the first responses to my topic. How do you ascend?? Well,
>practice, patience, and read the spoilers...
>
>
>Well...I have done that...I read these threads...I know how to ID,
>avoid enemies, choose the right battles, etc, etc, etc...
>
>
>The problem is I ALWAYS get killed by something I had no way of
>forseeing when I get a good character going.
>
>For example, my last game...I had reached mine town, was level 10 or
>11, had an artifact weapon, and mowing creatures down left and right,
>when a SINGLE gnomish mage reads a scroll, surrounding me with what
>looked like 10-20 high level enemies. WTF?!?! I realize there is
>patience and cautiousness...but come on....sometimes it just seems like
>the game is being malicious...How could I reasonably have prepared for
>that?? Be higher level and better equipped?? Well, can't really do that
>without fighting easy monster, which presumably these mages are.

This will happen a lot on an ascension run. You need to
know how to handle it.

- Engrave Elbereth (fingers, athame, disposable blades,
wands of digging, fire, or lightning)
- Drop a scroll of scare monster
- cast cause fear
- read a scroll of scare monster (dropping is much better)
- cast charm monster
- zap a wand of digging down
- break a wand of teleport
- teleport yourself away (wand, ring, scroll)
- Ctrl-T while wearing a ring of teleport will teleport
you.
- zap a wand of teleport in the direction you want to go
- Once you have a way clear by one of the above methods,
- #jump (spell, boots, knight) away!
- Make yourself invisible (wand, potion, cape, ring)
or displaced & "Run away, run away!"


>
>The game before that...I am playing a lawful valkyrie..no good weps by
>the time I reached Mine Town, so I do the typical thing and dip my long
>sword until I get Excalibur (yes, I know the bonues, and drawbacks).
>Hand reaches up out of the fountain, blesses the sword....and the watch
>captain blows his whistle and attacks??? WTF?!?! Maybe this has a more
>definite reason, but I have never been attacked for diluting a potion
>or quaffing from a minetown fountain before?? What gives??

Why didn't you run away? or use an escape spell, wand,
potion or scroll? Did you try bribing him? Was the temple
co-aligned & offering sanctuary?

There's also all the possibilities mentioned for the
previous situation.

Valkyries may be labeled "thinking-optional", but don't
have to be played that way.


No wonder you couldn't handle being surrounded, you can't
handle one slow opponent. (The secret of handling a mob of
monsters is taking them on one at a time. Well, so only one
of them can hit *you* at a time. Hitting a bunch of *them*
at once is the ideal situation.)

You're complaining that you couldn't kill this one
monster before it killed you. If you've actually been
reading ascension posts you've seen people ascend without
killing *anything* personally. Find out how.


This was completely avoidable. As others have
pointed out, getting Excalibur in this situation was
guaranteed to get the watch mad at you.

The watch is easy to handle unless they happen
to have offensive wands. They're slow & tend to come
at you one at a time. Just what you want:

- stand back and hit them from a distance:
rocks, gems, glass, knives, daggers, spears,
darts, arrows, crossbow bolts, etc., not to
mention wands.

- Zap'em with a wand of slow monster & do the old
hit-move, hit-move, etc.

If you really want help when you're in a bad situation
post here for help with the situation, you're inventory,
spells known, etc.

Sit & stare at your inventory for a while first.
>
>
>
>My point....it seems you have to be exceptionally lucky to get anywhere
>in this game..yet there is post after post of YAFAP on here.

Marvin has a greater than %50 ascension ratio.
I feel like any Wiz-Hum-Mal-Cha I play should ascend.


>
>I have read the spoilers, practiced, learned the monsters and how to
>ID...I have played for years...Short of isolating every enemy I
>encounter for maximum safety, and searching every single square I cross
>for traps, am I missing something?? I am not dying from stupid cursed
>items, or throwing myself at tough enemies. It's always the sudden
>spawn of 20 killer bees around me, or a gnome with a convienient scroll
>or wand of death/cold/whatever intrinsic I lack. ARGH!!!!!
>
>I really like the depth of this game, but I don't want to be reduced to
>over-zealous cautiousness simply to get anywhere. How in the world do
>you guys ascend 8 and more times??
>

NetHack isn't really that deep compared to its width. (A
mile wide & a foot deep.)

>Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?


1. DON'T DIE. This is a bad sign even if you use an
amulet of life saving. Whatever kills you once can do it
again. Posts from users of amulets of life saving report
they either use them all, or don't use any.

2. This isn't Quake, so stop and think.

3. Marvin says (& I agree):
"Always have an escape route in mind." (generally
to the upstairs.)

4. Know when to *use* the escape route. ;^)

5. Keep an escape item handy:
- Scroll of teleportation (preferably either cursed
or read while confused with teleport control.)
- Wand of teleport (you or them)
- Teleportitis (activate with CTRL-T?)
- Ring of teleportation (activate with CTRL-T?)
- Means of engraving Elbereth
- Finger
- athame
- disposable blade (;^)
- wand of digging
- wand of fire or lightning
- Ring, potion, spell or boots of levitation to
float above finger engraved Elbereth to avoid
scuffing it while fighting or resting or
spellcasting or quaffing or whatever.)
- scroll of scare monster (pref blessed)
- spell of cause fear
- spell of charm monster
- scroll of tame monster (preferably uncursed & read
while confused.)
- blessed magic lamp
- wand of wishing
- cursed potion of gain level - nearest thing to
guaranteed.
- blessed potion(s) of full healing
- Orb of Fate (level teleport) - not recently invoked
- Eye of Aethiopia (mine branch teleport) - not
recently invoked
- #pray (not recently prayed)
- magic whistle and monster pet

The only 100% guaranteed method of escape is a cursed
scroll of teleportation with teleport control.
Even that needs to be protected from fire.


6. Learn to identify items so you'll know when you have
an escape item and can use it in time. There are posts
from people who get a wish from a previously
un-identified wand just *before* they DYWYPI.


7. Know when to *use* the escape item. The earlier you
use the item when you're in over your head, the better.
(Except for the blessed potion of full healing. Be sure
it's not smoky or milky, too.)

Get good enough at identifying dangerous situations &
you'll be like Marvin, escaping without needing to use
up an escape item.

I think this is the main difference between ascending
and not. Note this requires knowing your current stats,
weapons, skill levels, armor, resistances and inventory
as well as the attacks, armor class, hit points, attack
points, resistances and special attacks of monsters.


One last thing you need to learn is how to hit monsters
and not get hit back. Ranged attacks are a favorite.


Jove
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 5:27:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Quoting Brigand <markashall@hotmail.com>:
>For example, my last game...I had reached mine town, was level 10 or
>11, had an artifact weapon, and mowing creatures down left and right,
>when a SINGLE gnomish mage reads a scroll, surrounding me with what
>looked like 10-20 high level enemies. WTF?!?! I realize there is
>patience and cautiousness...but come on....sometimes it just seems like
>the game is being malicious...How could I reasonably have prepared for
>that??

Well, you could easily have been carrying a wand or scroll of
teleportation to escape with, a wand of digging to dig down through the
floor with, etc. Also, you should always make sentient humanoid monsters
a priority, precisely because they can use items.

>The game before that...I am playing a lawful valkyrie..no good weps by
>the time I reached Mine Town, so I do the typical thing and dip my long
>sword until I get Excalibur (yes, I know the bonues, and drawbacks).
>Hand reaches up out of the fountain, blesses the sword....and the watch
>captain blows his whistle and attacks??? WTF?!?!

As they always do when you use up a fountain (and see the remarks above
about escaping sets of monsters you can't fight). If you as a matter of
general procedure locked the watch away, you wouldn't have had trouble.

>Any advice?? Or does luck need to be with me as well as skill?

No, the game is almost entirely one of skill; Marvin ascended 12 out of 13
consecutive games in the Tournament. Of course most players do not possess
quite that level of skill. :-)
--
David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is Second Monday, Presuary.
!