Level Drain

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Chris Bowers

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Jul 17, 2022, 9:51:40 PM7/17/22
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People talk about level drain resistance, and level draining all the time.

I don't understand this.

I've never been level drained in nethack, as far as I know. Maybe it happened once or twice and then I ate a wraith corpse. Maybe it's a bigger deal in Slash 'em?

Anyway, level drain has never, ever been a threat to me in thousands of games and dozens of ascensions.

What gives?

Janis Papanagnou

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Jul 17, 2022, 11:36:34 PM7/17/22
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On 18.07.2022 03:51, Chris Bowers wrote:
> People talk about level drain resistance, and level draining all the
> time. I don't understand this.

That's probably me; since years the Nethack discussion almost vanished
(compared to the high traffic before) and I still regularly post about
the variant Slashem, at least, that I solely play nowadays. That's why
it might seem to be talked about here "all the time".

> I've never been level drained in nethack, as far as I know. Maybe it
> happened once or twice and then I ate a wraith corpse. Maybe it's a
> bigger deal in Slash 'em?

I don't recall ever been level-drained in Nethack from eating wraith
corpses; is that possible? In Nethack I got level drained from attacks
of such monsters and also from other monsters (like vampires), IIRC.
Typically not that an issue, certainly not a critical one.

In Slashem it's indeed a bigger deal, a much bigger deal! - It's not
only that eating wraiths might drain levels (or HPs and Pw), it's
mainly that there are new attack wands that drain levels. And certain
monsters are equipped with attack wands that are listed in the 'item
used by monster' category. Moreover there's special levels that have
a huge density of such monsters (Guild of the Disgruntled Adventurers)
that makes it necessary to have some means of counter-action. - Mind
that a single level-drain attack wand may in practice kill a player. -
As counter action I typically try to find a c'trice corpse and avoid
line of sight with the Disgruntled Adventurers, so that any level lost
will immediately be restored by the monster's death. Other options in
Slashem are a protective amulet (but preventing the use of an amulet of
reflection that would also be helpful in the Disgruntled Adventurers'
context). But also a single monster with a random wand of level drain
is typically a very dangerous situation since (as opposed to an attack
of a draining W or V monster) it's a ranged attack. The Excalibur is
thus a weapon that is of much more use (and often a preferred choice)
in Slashem. Without such a resistance it's not uncommon that (in the
heat of the fight and messages) you miss level drains and end up as a
wimpy thing.

The increased difficulty in Slashem (monsters, attack types, ...) and
more decisions you have to make to increase survival chances (amulets,
armor, weapons, ...) contributes to what makes that variant very
interesting.

>
> Anyway, level drain has never, ever been a threat to me in thousands
> of games and dozens of ascensions.
>
> What gives?

In Nethack I wouldn't consider level drain an issue. I suppose your
statistical numbers (games/ascensions) concern Nethack (not Slashem)?

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Jul 18, 2022, 5:46:50 AM7/18/22
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On 18.07.2022 10:28, Jukka Lahtinen wrote:
> Janis Papanagnou <janis_pa...@hotmail.com> writes:
>> On 18.07.2022 03:51, Chris Bowers wrote:
>
>>> I've never been level drained in nethack, as far as I know. Maybe it
>>> happened once or twice and then I ate a wraith corpse. Maybe it's a
>
>> I don't recall ever been level-drained in Nethack from eating wraith
>> corpses; is that possible? In Nethack I got level drained from attacks
>
> He got level drained, then ate a wraith corpse to recover the lost level.

Ah, now I see that I misread. - Thanks.

In this case I'd like to note that level drains can happen also
from vampire attacks and that wraith corpses are not guaranteed
to get created in the first place.

But a single drained level can always be immediately restored by
killing the wraith or any other monster. If a wraith corpse gets
generated that means you may even get another level.

Level drains in Nethack is a "problem" especially in graveyards
where you can suffer from many levels drained that cannot all be
recovered. In addition in graveyards the wraith corpse generation
is severely reduced, so you cannot rely on that. Quaffing blessed
full healing helps at least to some degree.

With all that said; it's still rarely an issue in Nethack.

Janis

Yosemite Sam

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Jul 18, 2022, 1:26:55 PM7/18/22
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There are guaranteed two vampire lords at the bottom of mine's end. This is the monster that gives me trouble. Say I'm making progress towards the next level and they get me, then all that progress is lost. It's best not to go to mine's end if nearing the next level. That could be thousands of experience points lost.

Pat Rankin

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Jul 18, 2022, 4:56:32 PM7/18/22
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On Monday, July 18, 2022 at 10:26:55 AM UTC-7, Yosemite Sam wrote:
> There are guaranteed two vampire lords at the bottom of mine's end. [...]

One of the three variations of Mines' End has two V class monsters.
That's a far cry from "two guaranteed vampire lords at Mines' End".

>>[ commenting about the initial post rather than this reply ]

Slash'EM has "wand of draining" and item using monsters are
happy to zap you with one. One of slash'em's most aggravating
features in my opinion, particularly since such wands start with
8-12 charges. The behavior of blessed potions of full healing was
undoubtedly added because of that type of wand. When nethack
added those potions the blessed effect was toned down because
it isn't as crucial there.

As far as nethack goes, level drain is more of a risk in 3.6.x and
to-be-3.7 than it was in 3.4.3 because MC 3 only provides 90%
protection to special touch attacks rather than the 98% that it used
to provide. Also MC 3 is harder to obtain; no role starts with it.

There's also vampire-shapeshifting. If you kill a wimpy vampire bat,
fog cloud, or wolf, instead of dying it could revert to a full-health
vampire or vampire lord. A nasty--or at least annoying--surprise if
you just killed the wimpier form via melee and end up face to face
with something much more dangerous. (Regular vampire bats,
fog clouds, and wolves can't do that, only vampires who have
changed their shape.)

Janis Papanagnou

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Jul 18, 2022, 5:38:50 PM7/18/22
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On 18.07.2022 22:56, Pat Rankin wrote:
>
> As far as nethack goes, level drain is more of a risk in 3.6.x and
> to-be-3.7 than it was in 3.4.3 because MC 3 only provides 90%
> protection to special touch attacks rather than the 98% that it used
> to provide. Also MC 3 is harder to obtain; no role starts with it.

Here my question would be whether genocide had also been nerved
in NH36x+?

I ask this because just genociding class V solves all vampire
related issue in NH343 and Slashem. In Slashem it's even more
crucial since there's also some more dangerous species, fire
vampires, vampire mages, and star vampires, that I don't want
to encounter if avoidable.

Even if class-genocide would not be possible any more in NH36x+
it's still just two species you'd have to get rid of, I suppose.

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jul 23, 2022, 7:39:56 PM7/23/22
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Okay. I get it. I thought perhaps there was something unique about my play style that made it that I never get level drained (or if I do it's not an issue). It seems I never do mine's end until after sokoban.

My progression usually goes: gnometown --->sokoban---> up to end of dungeon before medusa---> Mine's end--->Bulk identify at stash--->Castle---> Return to stash and power up with wishes--->Valley of the Dead--->Quest --->Vlad's tower-->Orcus--->endgame

That progression seems to eliminate problems with level drain. I loathe mines end because of polytraps and usually only do it if I have some means of protection against it, or extra good cloaks/armor and I have an artifact weapon by then. Then I don't do valley of the dead or the quest until after the quest (quest nemesis is usually harder than the castle and requires wishes to gain protective qualities).


Yosemite Sam

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Sep 4, 2022, 1:02:40 PM9/4/22
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On Monday, July 18, 2022 at 3:56:32 PM UTC-5, Pat Rankin wrote:
> On Monday, July 18, 2022 at 10:26:55 AM UTC-7, Yosemite Sam wrote:
> > There are guaranteed two vampire lords at the bottom of mine's end. [...]
>
> One of the three variations of Mines' End has two V class monsters.
> That's a far cry from "two guaranteed vampire lords at Mines' End".

It doesn't mean it's not a factor. Do the three variations each arise with
1/3 probability? Also, they are always vampire bats that turn into vampire
lords.

Yosemite Sam

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Sep 4, 2022, 7:57:05 PM9/4/22
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He informed me by mail that it is .30 .30 .40. Likelihood of getting mimic
mine's end =.

Yosemite Sam

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Sep 10, 2022, 5:31:45 PM9/10/22
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Okay I got one of the bats to turn into a vampire. You were mostly right.
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