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Survival tips! (8 Posts)
Started By:
March 06, 2010 08:01PM

Survival tips!
fauzii - March 06, 2010 08:01PM
I have yet to survive BOTH Sokoban AND Mine's End. I have never made it to the quest and I am a long way from EVER Ascending. One look at the top ten on tells me that there are a LOT of far more experienced players on here. I could use some advice. I am thoroughly spoiled, but I still seem to consistently have bad ideas and behave recklessly. The result is always YASD.

So I would like to solicit some Survival Tips from other players.

I have a few of my own:

1) Always kill kittens, ponies, and dogs unless you happen to have some food to throw at them to either tame them or calm them down. Throwing tripe at a horse won't tame it, but it will calm it.

2) Don't tame too many pets unless you don't mind starving to death.

3) When in trouble pray. It may not save you, but it can give you a chance.

4) If you play a low intelligence class or are lousy at spell casting/learning, then always carry a spellbook that you have not read. Usually, the first effect of reading a spellbook is to spontaneously teleport.

5) Don't drink from fountains unless you are certain you can handle a water demon or three.

6) Don't kick sinks unless you are certain you can handle a Black Pudding or ten.

7) DO NOT screw up Sokoban. Be patient, take your time and reap the benefits.

8) Clear out a room full of anything (ie: hill orcs) by standing in the hallway and throwing or shooting at them until you can kill them in close combat one at a time.

9) NEVER walk around burdened unless you can easily drop an item to be unburdened.

10) When unsure about the outcome of a fight: RUN AWAY!!!!

To many of you these are probably early game noob tactics, but I hope to learn some more good advice from the massive amount of experience floating around on this forum.

Oh, yeah! Don't attack a jelly unless you have the appropriate resistance or from a distance. And wear gloves if you handle cockatrice.

Re: Survival tips!
valkyre - March 15, 2010 04:06AM
Here are a few more of my "Best Practices"

- Always have the cheats open in other Tabs (Windows IE feature) and consult them regularly. Armor, Scrolls, Monsters, Wands,
- Never read scrolls or drink potions until you have made it to the Mines Store level and can identify things, and handle stuff
- Sacrifice, Sacrifice, Sacrifice.
- Choose an easy class. Weild a good weapon for your class.
- carry a ranged weapon for softening up targets before the get close.
- Never f*ck around in stores; buy (steal) and leave.Only step where your pet steps (ie mimics)

Re: Survival tips!
ajbRad - March 18, 2010 12:59AM
Some of my tips that aren't really mine:

1. Engrave Elbereth when you are about to die.

2. Don't piss off the Minetown Watch.

3. Try to find a better body armor later ASAP! (Curse test it though)

4. Don't fight a swarm of enemies in an open room- lure them into a hallway and pick them off one by one.

5. Remember the last time you prayed.

Re: Survival tips!
Tormuse - August 28, 2010 09:09AM
Try dropping unidentified items in a shop and then say "no" to selling them. The price the shopkeeper offers gives you a clue about how valuable the item is. Can be useful for figuring out what are the most valuable scrolls or potions, what armour/weapons are positively enchanted, whether or not a lamp is magic, etc. (The list goes on) I like to use this technique to figure out what level spellbooks are so I know which ones are safer to read. Even if you're not a spellcasting character class, being able to cast a spell or two can give you an extra edge.

Speaking of spellbooks, personally, I would recommend against your number 4, since reading difficult spellbooks sometimes paralyzes you (making you vulnerable) and sometimes destroys the spellbook. (which could be bad in the long run if it was a spellbook of identify or similarly useful spellbook)

As for number 5, I suggest you don't bother with fountains until you get yourself extra luck (ie. "you glimpse a four-leaf clover at your feet" ) since you get more benefit that way.

As for number 6, black puddings can actually be a good source of experience for early game, since they move slowly, making it relatively easy to pick them off. If you're really daring, you can wield a crude dagger that you don't care about and whack 'em a few times to split them up. This is obviously really dangerous, but also potentially really rewarding, especially since eating black puddings can confer posion, cold, and shock resistance, which is useful to have early on.

Lastly, a general caution: Proceed carefully. A lot of games are lost by blundering into dangerous situations because you got too impatient. Slow and steady wins this race. :-)

Re: Survival tips!
BenKleman - February 24, 2011 11:46PM
How do you sacrifice things?

Re: Survival tips!
codehappy - March 09, 2011 10:57AM
1. Learning to identify stuff early is one of the most important Nethack skills you can acquire. If you don't know how to price-identify, learn it. There are easy ways to identify scrolls of teleportation/scare monster/earth early in your game, and those can save your skin.

2. Unless you're playing a super combat class, improving your AC is probably your top priority at the beginning of the game, even if that means foregoing spellcasting early on.

3. Know when monsters can be first randomly generated. For example: floating eyes and cave spiders will never be randomly generated until your XP level plus the dungeon level are at least 6. Soldier ants, unicorns and elves first appear when the sum is 12, nymphs at 10, and so on. Remember that out-of-depth monsters can still appear in bones levels.

4. If you follow #1-3 religiously -- but only then -- letting your pet do the fighting while you explore the first few dungeon levels is often a good idea... you can generate the first few dlvls with easy monsters, and once your pet is leveled up you can peek into the Mines for even better armor.

5. If in doubt, spam Elbereth. You might even want to create choke points in halls/narrow passageways by dropping a gold coin (or other expendable object) on an Elbereth square -- monsters respect Elbereth as long as there's an object on top of it.

6. Acquiring resistances, especially versus poison, early is important. Invisibility, see invisible, speed and stealth are terribly nice to have ASAP as well. Remember that you can get poison resistance by alchemy smock or amulet as well as by eating corpses. Tinning kits and unicorn horns are your friends.

7. Everything you do should be geared to surviving the early game, until you actually have. If you get all the basic resistances and MC/magic resistance/reflection, you have won 90% of the game.

8. Know your role's strengths and play to them when you can (i.e., when it doesn't compromise early game survivability).

9. Defense is a lot, lot better than offense. Magicbane doesn't have the offensive clout of Grayswandir or Excalibur, but I'd still say it's the best weapon in the game.

10. Have escape items handy in open inventory -- also, if you have the ability to jump, remember that's an "escape item" too; use it to avoid tough spots.

11. Don't walk around burdened. You mentioned it in your post, but it's important enough to bear repeating. If you reach that point, make stashes, simply drop stuff by the stairs if you have to. Walking around burdened is one of the things that can easily kill you even in the late game.

12. Don't move quickly, especially in the early game. If you see a potentially dangerous situation, stop. Look at your inventory, consult spoilers, ask advice, whatever. Moving without stopping to think things out first will probably get you in an even worse position, until you get all your possessions identified for free.

Re: Survival tips!
Doran - March 22, 2012 10:56PM
Don't eat kobolds or eggs. Just about everything is fair game.

Don't engage floating eyes in melee. Use ranged attacks.

Elbereth will keep monsters off your back. Prayer is for lycanthropy and hunger.

Unidentified potions are useless. Turn them into holy water. Never use your last holy water except to make more holy water.

Bless that bag of holding. Bless that luckstone too.

Bless those extra/full healing potions, then drink them right away.

Bless those scrolls of enchant weapon/armor, then read them right away.

Use the altars to determine BUC status.

It's ok to try out an unidentified uncursed ring, but take it off right away if putting it on doesn't ID it.

Re: Survival tips!
Doran - March 22, 2012 11:00PM
Knights should always dip for Excalibur.

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