WhichDevTeam-enabled actions seem like cheating to you?

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mainiacjoe

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Mar 18, 2014, 12:58:02 PM3/18/14
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I feel like a cad whenever I reverse-genocide dragons in an Elbereth cage for scales. I don't think I'll do that anymore.

I'm curious what other people's voluntary mini-conducts are to avoid what they see as abuses.

- Joe

Oregonian Haruspex

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Mar 18, 2014, 5:29:24 PM3/18/14
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I must admit to re-generating a new character repeatedly until I get
good stats. It really sucks to get a monk with low dexterity and
strength, and for some reason I seem to be stuck on playing the monk.

Sometimes I crash-dive down to the mall and quit if there isn't a
co-aligned altar too.

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 18, 2014, 8:44:16 PM3/18/14
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On 18.03.2014 17:58, mainiacjoe wrote:
> I feel like a cad whenever I reverse-genocide dragons in an Elbereth cage for scales. I don't think I'll do that anymore.
>
> I'm curious what other people's voluntary mini-conducts are to avoid what they see as abuses.

The drawbridge guillotine - as it is, registered as a bug - I do it.
Wraith luring from morgue levels to non-morgue levels - I confess.
Levitating through the Plane of Water - looks wrong to me - I abstain.
Pudding farming - probably an oversight of the consequences - I abstain.
Let demons get the amulet for me - I recently took delight in that.
Let a purple worm pet clear a whole crowded level (Valley, Ludios) - I
do that occasionally.

A couple of different types of things that I find to have the taste of
cheating. Some I do just for convenience to avoid boredom, some I do
shameless, from some I abstain.

Janis

Jorgen Grahn

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Mar 19, 2014, 4:01:21 AM3/19/14
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I note that it's more interesting to hear about what people /do/ but
feel a bit bad about, than things people /don't/ do ...

A short list of mine:
- start scumming (like another poster wrote)
- alchemy (supported, but feels wrong somehow)
- polystacking
- keeping notes about the dungeon on a piece of paper
(where the altars and stashes are)
- Using the wiki for guidance.

/Jorgen

--
// Jorgen Grahn <grahn@ Oo o. . .
\X/ snipabacken.se> O o .

David Damerell

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Mar 20, 2014, 1:45:55 PM3/20/14
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I've never used Elbereth. I think I've softened on conflict, though.
--
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Distortion Field!
Today is Gorgonzoladay, March - a weekend.
Tomorrow will be Second Gloucesterday, March.

David Damerell

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Mar 20, 2014, 1:47:04 PM3/20/14
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Quoting Jorgen Grahn <grahn...@snipabacken.se>:
>- start scumming (like another poster wrote)

I play to win the current game, not any game, so to me startscumming is
ineffective, not abusive.

Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner

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Mar 20, 2014, 4:50:58 PM3/20/14
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Janis Papanagnou <janis_pa...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> The drawbridge guillotine - as it is, registered as a bug - I do it.


Sorry, which bug is that? C343-318, or something else? I certainly
kill things with the drawbridge, but I had no idea it was considered a
bug.

The only thing I don't really do is farming, which is about 50% because
it feels game-y and 50% because I don't have the patience for it. I've
never levitated through the Plane of Water, mostly because I don't think
I was aware that was a valid strategy, but it would feel wrong to do it.

-JD

Jorgen Grahn

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Mar 20, 2014, 5:50:10 PM3/20/14
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On Thu, 2014-03-20, David Damerell wrote:
> Quoting Jorgen Grahn <grahn...@snipabacken.se>:
>>- start scumming (like another poster wrote)
>
> I play to win the current game, not any game, so to me startscumming is
> ineffective, not abusive.

Now that I think of it that is my objection to it, too. A number of
games end before they've really started.

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 20, 2014, 11:39:09 PM3/20/14
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On 20.03.2014 21:50, Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner wrote:
> Janis Papanagnou <janis_pa...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> The drawbridge guillotine - as it is, registered as a bug - I do it.
>
>
> Sorry, which bug is that? C343-318, or something else? I certainly
> kill things with the drawbridge, but I had no idea it was considered a
> bug.

Originally I also didn't think of that as a bug, but as powerful as it
turnd out to be in practise, I can't help, I have a bad feeling using
that method. Yes, I meant C343-318. The description is not very precise
but the only explanation for the description that I have was that you
can too reliably kill too many creatures per time instance.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 20, 2014, 11:42:34 PM3/20/14
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On 20.03.2014 18:45, David Damerell wrote:
> Quoting mainiacjoe <maini...@gmail.com>:
>> I'm curious what other people's voluntary mini-conducts are to avoid
>> what they see as abuses.
>
> I've never used Elbereth.

That must significantly influence your survival rate, I suppose?

Janis

jim in austin

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Mar 21, 2014, 6:20:28 AM3/21/14
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I assume if it's in the game then it's there to use and/or
abuse. It's external manipulations like copying save files
and start-scumming that strike me as verging on cheating...

mainiacjoe

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Mar 21, 2014, 12:13:07 PM3/21/14
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> > I've never used Elbereth.
> That must significantly influence your survival rate, I suppose?

I currently trying illiterate Tourists. I thought this would be the best role to do this with, because of the camera and the PYEC. I've had three deaths and now a character that is promising, up to XL 8 and -10 AC from randomly enchanted armors. The lack of Elbereth isn't as bad as I thought it would be thus far, and the camera isn't that effective in corridors anyway. What has been a problem is lack of MC. Two of these deaths are directly attributable to lycanthropy. Not much you can do was a wererat.

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 21, 2014, 1:04:15 PM3/21/14
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I don't think I understand you here. Are your last sentences related to
the question concerning Elbereth?

What prevents you from getting a cloak with MC:2, or to pray to get rid
of the lycanthropy? (In lycanthrope form you will first revert back to
your original form, and get another chance to not die.)

With Elbereth there's a better chance; while werefoos in '@' form don't
respect the magic word they also don't confer lycanthropy, while in
creature form they can confer lycanthropy but also do respect the magic
word. Of course it won't save you reliably, if only because of all the
summoned friends, but survival is at least not that bad if you allow
your character to try the inscription.

Janis

mainiacjoe

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Mar 21, 2014, 1:20:34 PM3/21/14
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Well I've never ever had a problem with lycanthropy before. And in these games, I prayed to get rid of it, and then got it again and couldn't pray. I hadn't found a cloak yet, so I'm chalking it up to MC. And I'll be honest, there may have been some giving up going on.

John Smith

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Mar 25, 2014, 6:33:14 PM3/25/14
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mainiacjoe <maini...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:8931761c-8068-4543...@googlegroups.com:
Same-race self polymorph not violating polyselfless conduct.

tbh I don't consider any of the 11 conduct ascensions on nao valid

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Mar 26, 2014, 8:06:39 AM3/26/14
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On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:44:16 PM UTC-4, Janis wrote:
> The drawbridge guillotine - as it is, registered as a bug - I do it.

I usually prefer not to do this one, but my reason is pragmatic:
I want the loot all those monsters are carrying, and any death
drops, and I don't want to have to fuss around with filling in
the water and digging pits in order to get it.

I do sometimes use the method, if my character is not really
adequately prepared to handle the Castle properly yet and I'm
impatient to get the wand; but I don't consider this to be
good strategy, just impatience on my part.

As far as the bug, the buggy thing is the fact that it takes
no time; I would therefore only consider using the drawbridge
to be an exploit if you're using it at least partly for the
purpose of saving game turns. Since there are few practical
reasons to bother saving game turns once you reach mid-game
(in particular, the food clock in NetHack is all kinds of
broken), I don't consider this bug to be exploitable for any
meaningful benefit in practice, or at least not in the
majority of games.

The fact that the drawbridge kills things is clearly intended
behavior, so just using the drawbridge to kill things is not
in itself a bug exploit. The exploit would be in using the
bridge to avoid using up game turns.

In fact, if it's even possible to exploit the bug at all,
I'm not sure how that would work; in practice, when using
the drawbridge to kill things, I find that I generally have
to follow each round with at least one wait command (.) to
give the next monsters a chance to step into the danger zone.
It seems to me that this negates any practical import that
the bug may otherwise have had.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Mar 26, 2014, 8:19:08 AM3/26/14
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On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:58:02 PM UTC-4, mainiacjoe wrote:
> I feel like a cad whenever I reverse-genocide dragons in
> an Elbereth cage for scales. I don't think I'll do that anymore.

My objection to that one is that it's needlessly tedious.
To date, I've never bothered. This may be influenced by
the fact that I usually acquire dragon scales before I
have the resources necessary to do reverse genocide.
Sometimes I don't have a marker; sometimes I haven't
identified the relevant scroll; and sometimes I haven't
acquired unholy water or a supply of cursed blank scrolls
yet. Usually by the time I can surmount all of those
obstacles, I've found dragon scales.

However, I feel cheap when...

When I use a pet to steal from a shop. I feel like I'm
exploiting the limitations of incomplete shopkeeper AI
that ignores non-player monsters simply because nobody
has yet bothered to write any code for how it should
handle them. (Ideally, non-player monsters *should* be
handled by the same code that handles interaction with
the player monster, but NetHack is universally not
designed that way. At minimum, the shopkeeper should
block the door if anything in the shop is carrying
stuff that he owns, and he should NOT pay out money
when reclaiming items he owns that have been taken
out of the shop and brought back in.)

When I deliberately abandon a pet or allow it to die
in combat without my assistance. I feel like there
should be some in-game penalty for this, beyond just
losing the pet.

I also feel like an ingrate if I reject perfectly good
artifact weapons I have already received and continue
to sacrifice for even better ones.

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 26, 2014, 9:12:53 AM3/26/14
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On 26.03.2014 13:06, Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
> On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:44:16 PM UTC-4, Janis wrote:
>> The drawbridge guillotine - as it is, registered as a bug - I do it.
>
> I usually prefer not to do this one, but my reason is pragmatic:
> I want the loot all those monsters are carrying, and any death
> drops, and I don't want to have to fuss around with filling in
> the water and digging pits in order to get it.

(I don't think that the loot will be in the water, I think the
portcullis will just destroy it.)

Myself I don't consider the predominant loot from the soldiers
worthwhile. At Croesus' level (where you have no drawbridge, but
soldiers as well) there's tons of completely unnecessary junk.
Why bother; to replace your +0 piece armor by an occasional +1
one? Where you would replace the ordinary armor anyway by some
magical one (if you not already have it at that point). The
only items I *do* consider worthwhile are their wands. That's
the reason why I never handle barracks without reflection;
though the Castle is safe to do, exactly due to the drawbridge
guillotine exploit. You don't get the wands but you are also
not harmed by them.

>
> I do sometimes use the method, if my character is not really
> adequately prepared to handle the Castle properly yet and I'm
> impatient to get the wand; but I don't consider this to be
> good strategy, just impatience on my part.
>
> As far as the bug, the buggy thing is the fact that it takes
> no time; I would therefore only consider using the drawbridge
> to be an exploit if you're using it at least partly for the
> purpose of saving game turns. Since there are few practical
> reasons to bother saving game turns once you reach mid-game
> (in particular, the food clock in NetHack is all kinds of
> broken), I don't consider this bug to be exploitable for any
> meaningful benefit in practice, or at least not in the
> majority of games.

Oh, I didn't interpret it as being a problem for turn-conducts
of turn-exploits. - How could that be exploited anyway?

I interpreted the bug as practically no monster will actually
be able to reach you. If the process of closing would require
some turns that wouldn't be safe. Currently you are safe and I
can't help feeling [a bit :-)] bad about exploiting it.

(But without information from the devteam about the intention
of that bug I guess it's speculation.)

>
> The fact that the drawbridge kills things is clearly intended
> behavior, so just using the drawbridge to kill things is not
> in itself a bug exploit. The exploit would be in using the
> bridge to avoid using up game turns.

Of course the intent is to kill monsters. But I disagree with
you that the problem is an abstract saving turns issue; this
makes no sense to me. It does make sense, though, if that
feature would be intended to not make it _completely safe_ to
kill quite all monsters that way.

>
> In fact, if it's even possible to exploit the bug at all,
> I'm not sure how that would work; in practice, when using
> the drawbridge to kill things, I find that I generally have
> to follow each round with at least one wait command (.) to
> give the next monsters a chance to step into the danger zone.
> It seems to me that this negates any practical import that
> the bug may otherwise have had.

Yes. And now think about letting the closing process require
4 turns and things would look more interesting and less cheap.
;-)

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 26, 2014, 9:29:52 AM3/26/14
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On 26.03.2014 13:19, Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
>
> When I use a pet to steal from a shop. I feel like I'm
> exploiting the limitations of incomplete shopkeeper AI
> that ignores non-player monsters simply because nobody
> has yet bothered to write any code for how it should
> handle them.

Why do you think that it's incomplete; have you found any
indications in the code or guidebook (or from elsewhere)?

There's some evidence that it's implemented as intended:

"Strange dreams of prospecting, stealing, crusading, and
combat have haunted you in your sleep for many months [...]"

"If you're worried about it or want to train it, you can
feed it, too, by throwing it food. A properly trained pet
can be very useful under certain circumstances."

[Quotes from the Nethack Guidebook]

Besides not dying, what specific usefulness could be meant
if not stealing?

Certainly a Real Life modelling would suggest some other
implementation, like the one you suggested upthread, but I
can't see that it wouldn't be as designed.

Janis

rpresser

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Mar 26, 2014, 12:37:49 PM3/26/14
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On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:12:53 AM UTC-4, Janis wrote:

> Why bother; to replace your +0 piece armor by an occasional +1
> one? Where you would replace the ordinary armor anyway by some
> magical one (if you not already have it at that point). The

As a wizard, I often don't have magical gloves, and I like to use
a small shield after I'm high enough level that it doesn't affect
my important spells. So if I have the identify spell, I will
collect all small shields and leather gloves when I'm done killing
castle monsters, and identify them. Very often there is a +5 of
each one. I also have several times picked up +3 or +4 speed boots,
and even once a +2 helm of brilliance in this way when I did not
already have them. Doing this lets me save scrolls of enchant
armor (or magic marker charges) for other purposes.

mainiacjoe

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Mar 26, 2014, 12:55:01 PM3/26/14
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I am trying illiterate characters and so I'm stuck with finds or wishes if I want enchanted armor. I am amazed at how much enchanted armor and weapons there actually are! Armor auto-IDs its enchantment, and shopkeepers can price ID weapon enchantment for you.

Jorgen Grahn

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Mar 26, 2014, 4:37:53 PM3/26/14
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On Wed, 2014-03-26, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> On 26.03.2014 13:19, Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
>>
>> When I use a pet to steal from a shop. I feel like I'm
>> exploiting the limitations of incomplete shopkeeper AI
>> that ignores non-player monsters simply because nobody
>> has yet bothered to write any code for how it should
>> handle them.
>
> Why do you think that it's incomplete; have you found any
> indications in the code or guidebook (or from elsewhere)?

The thread as I understand it is about how we /feel/, no
matter why. And like you say:

> Certainly a Real Life modelling would suggest some other
> implementation, like the one you suggested upthread, [...]

(For what it's worth, I don't feel like he does at all.
Big shops + surviving pet + magic whistle is an opportunity
I happily exploit.

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 26, 2014, 7:22:50 PM3/26/14
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On 21.03.2014 18:20, mainiacjoe wrote:
> Well I've never ever had a problem with lycanthropy before. And in these
> games, I prayed to get rid of it, and then got it again and couldn't pray.

Ah, right, standard fault. Been there. :-)

> I hadn't found a cloak yet, so I'm chalking it up to MC.

Without MC you should try to prevent being bitten in the first place. It's
helpful to know that werefoos in @ form won't confern lycanthropy, while in
animal form they do confern lycanthropy but respect the E-word. In practise
you need to hit the @, but engrave as soon as they transmute to animal form.
Engraving is not guaranteed to be successful, but IME on average it helped
me avoiding the disease in most cases. Save the prayer you have for a final
purification (if necessary) once the werefoo is dead.

Janis

rpresser

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Mar 27, 2014, 10:47:39 AM3/27/14
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Wearing unidentified random armor is an excellent way to get stuck
with a cursed item.

David Damerell

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Mar 27, 2014, 1:44:09 PM3/27/14
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It's hard to say. There isn't a control me who's equally good or bad at
the game, but uses Elbereth.
--
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is First Potmos, April.
Tomorrow will be First Teleute, April.

mainiacjoe

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Mar 27, 2014, 1:53:55 PM3/27/14
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> Wearing unidentified random armor is an excellent way to get stuck
>
> with a cursed item.

Even illiterate characters can pet- or altar-BUC.

David Damerell

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Mar 27, 2014, 2:02:29 PM3/27/14
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Quoting David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>:
>Quoting Janis Papanagnou <janis_pa...@hotmail.com>:
>>On 20.03.2014 18:45, David Damerell wrote:
>>>Quoting mainiacjoe <maini...@gmail.com>:
>>>>I'm curious what other people's voluntary mini-conducts are to avoid
>>>>what they see as abuses.
>>>I've never used Elbereth.
>>That must significantly influence your survival rate, I suppose?
>It's hard to say. There isn't a control me who's equally good or bad at
>the game, but uses Elbereth.

Following up to self, but; also, because I've never used it, I don't find
myself thinking "I died because I couldn't use the E-word", because I
don't recognise circumstances in which I might use the E-word.

Jorgen Grahn

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Mar 27, 2014, 3:17:31 PM3/27/14
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On Thu, 2014-03-27, David Damerell wrote:
> Quoting David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>:
>>Quoting Janis Papanagnou <janis_pa...@hotmail.com>:
>>>On 20.03.2014 18:45, David Damerell wrote:
>>>>Quoting mainiacjoe <maini...@gmail.com>:
>>>>>I'm curious what other people's voluntary mini-conducts are to avoid
>>>>>what they see as abuses.
>>>>I've never used Elbereth.
>>>That must significantly influence your survival rate, I suppose?
>>It's hard to say. There isn't a control me who's equally good or bad at
>>the game, but uses Elbereth.
>
> Following up to self, but; also, because I've never used it, I don't find
> myself thinking "I died because I couldn't use the E-word", because I
> don't recognise circumstances in which I might use the E-word.

I am in the exact same situation. Yes, I do think I die more often,
based on what others write.

mainiacjoe

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Mar 27, 2014, 6:16:03 PM3/27/14
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My recent illiterate Tourist died when a pet master lich hit a level teleporter*
and I didn't find find before he went feral--on my stash level, no less. I died
in the middle of a summon swarm. Elbereth sure would have been nice, but in the
post-mortem I recognized several things I could have done even with the equipment
I had at the time that could have gotten me out alive and still illiterate: I
could have dug a hole, come back up the upstairs (which was far from the swarm
and near my stash) and then dug another hole on my stash to carry it down with me.
I think that would have worked. In any case, the lack of the E-word has been a
nuisance at times but not nearly as crippling as I had expected it would be.

* at least I think that's what happened; there was a level teleporter already
found on the level, and then one time I noticed he wasn't t-porting back to me
and magic whistle confirmed he was gone. But I thought pets avoided known
traps. Were there two level teleporters on the level? Did it pick up and read
cursed ?Tport?

jim in austin

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Mar 27, 2014, 9:18:30 PM3/27/14
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On Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:02:29 PM UTC-5, David Damerell wrote:
> Following up to self, but; also, because I've never used it, I don't find
> myself thinking "I died because I couldn't use the E-word", because I
> don't recognise circumstances in which I might use the E-word.

I'm just the obverse. One of my favorite games is burning my first wish
on a blessed fixed +2 Magicbane, even for roles that have no dagger skills.
I will supplement this with levitation, conflict and slow digestion (it's
a very slow and deliberate game). I leave Elbereth engraved all over the
dungeons and it has proved to be quite successful...

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 28, 2014, 8:00:33 AM3/28/14
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On 27.03.2014 19:02, David Damerell wrote:
> Quoting David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>:
>> Quoting Janis Papanagnou <janis_pa...@hotmail.com>:
>>> On 20.03.2014 18:45, David Damerell wrote:
>>>> Quoting mainiacjoe <maini...@gmail.com>:
>>>>> I'm curious what other people's voluntary mini-conducts are to avoid
>>>>> what they see as abuses.
>>>> I've never used Elbereth.
>>> That must significantly influence your survival rate, I suppose?
>> It's hard to say. There isn't a control me who's equally good or bad at
>> the game, but uses Elbereth.
>
> Following up to self, but; also, because I've never used it, I don't find
> myself thinking "I died because I couldn't use the E-word", because I
> don't recognise circumstances in which I might use the E-word.

That's interesting. I am a regular Elbereth engraving player and my
thoughts go along the line to estimate risk whether a dust engraving
might or might not succeed, whether fleeing is more appropriate, and
the like. If I have fire or lightning available it's a consideration
of whether one of the few available charges is worth to be spent. In
case of having an athame I spread E-words all around if it helps or
is just convenient. (Athames are powerful tools for E-word users!)

I wonder what the ascension ratio of an experienced but non-Elbereth
using player typically is.

Janis

Jorgen Grahn

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Mar 28, 2014, 8:28:05 AM3/28/14
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Nice overview. What you describe is something you need to learn how
to use well -- you can't just say "from now on I use Elbereth".

> I wonder what the ascension ratio of an experienced but non-Elbereth
> using player typically is.

My guess is it depends /more/ on other factors, such as your overall
sloppiness, how impatient you are and so on.

Michael Deutschmann

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Mar 28, 2014, 10:13:47 AM3/28/14
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On Wed, 26 Mar 2014, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> There's some evidence that [pet shoplifting is] implemented as intended:

The strongest such evidence is the fact that "training" is implemented in
the code at all. There's no other case in which an increased rate of
"apporting" would be worth anything to the player.

Although it's always struck me as odd that this is left open while the
shopkeepers have such a defense in depth against other means of separating
them from their stock. For example, a comment in shk.c reveals that the
DevTeam considers it unrealistic yet necessary for "balance" that
polymorphing a shopkeeper into a limbness form doesn't prevent him from
grabbing most of your inventory if you jump through a hole in the floor.

At least polymorph and dig down would show some lateral thinking. Pet
shoplifting is easy to learn, by seeing it happen unintentionally.

I think the best Watsonian explanation is that shopkeepers aren't quite
right in the head. They know that most players intend to rob them blind,
but don't understand how the successful ones are doing it. So they keep
their eyes locked on you at all times hoping to catch your trick -- thus
always missing the actual trick your pet is doing.

And the best Doylist explanation is that pet shoplifting is a slow job,
especially if you don't have treats. It can get you killed by starvation.
Thus it's a genuine strategic choice. (Of course, I and probably a lot of
other players take a third option -- startscum wizards for a =oSD...)

Note that pet shoplifting would be even slower if it wasn't for credit
cloning. Perhaps Nethack 3.5 will have shopkeepers ignore coins on the
floor, or have pets not pick up entire stacks of them. Patches for both
rule changes already exist.

---- Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>

rpresser

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Mar 28, 2014, 11:38:48 PM3/28/14
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On Friday, March 28, 2014 10:13:47 AM UTC-4, Michael Deutschmann
wrote:
> I think the best Watsonian explanation is that shopkeepers aren't
> quite right in the head. They know that most players intend to
> rob them blind, but don't understand how the successful ones are
> doing it. So they keep their eyes locked on you at all times
> hoping to catch your trick -- thus always missing the actual trick
> your pet is doing.

Life underground, never going home, never eating or drinking,
sitting around waiting for the one player who may actually pay them,
ignoring dwarves who dig through their shop and steal lots of stuff,
casually waving hi to the rust monster and mumak which never attack
them ... yeah, "not right in the head" sums it up well.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Mar 31, 2014, 7:36:49 AM3/31/14
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On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:12:53 AM UTC-4, Janis wrote:
> On 26.03.2014 13:06, Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
>
> > On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:44:16 PM UTC-4, Janis wrote:
> >> The drawbridge guillotine - as it is, registered as a bug - I do it.
>
> > I usually prefer not to do this one, but my reason is pragmatic:
> > I want the loot all those monsters are carrying, and any death
> > drops, and I don't want to have to fuss around with filling in
> > the water and digging pits in order to get it.
>
> (I don't think that the loot will be in the water, I think the
> portcullis will just destroy it.)

Even more reason not to do it, then.

> Myself I don't consider the predominant loot from the soldiers
> worthwhile. At Croesus' level (where you have no drawbridge, but
> soldiers as well) there's tons of completely unnecessary junk.

It's not the junk armor and weapons I'm after. (I leave
that stuff on the ground, usually, or occasionally I put it
in the chest.) The monsters at the castle typically provide
a number of wands, potions, and scrolls.

But anyway, yeah, I prefer not to use the drawbridge to kill
everything. I've done it on occasion, but it is not my usual
modus operandi.

David Damerell

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Apr 1, 2014, 2:43:15 PM4/1/14
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Quoting Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>:
>Although it's always struck me as odd that this is left open while the
>shopkeepers have such a defense in depth against other means of separating
>them from their stock. For example, a comment in shk.c reveals that the
>DevTeam considers it unrealistic yet necessary for "balance" that
>polymorphing a shopkeeper into a limbness form doesn't prevent him from
>grabbing most of your inventory if you jump through a hole in the floor.

I think the point there is that "the DevTeam", who consider that to be
true, is actually the DevTeam over a great many years plus at least one
Hack author not all of whom were consulting each other, including
themselves ten years later. It's not a coherent design.
--
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Oil is for sissies
Today is First Epithumia, April - a weekend.
Tomorrow will be First Olethros, April - a weekend.

Jorgen Grahn

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Apr 1, 2014, 3:17:29 PM4/1/14
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On Tue, 2014-04-01, David Damerell wrote:
> Quoting Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>:
>>Although it's always struck me as odd that this is left open while the
>>shopkeepers have such a defense in depth against other means of separating
>>them from their stock. For example, a comment in shk.c reveals that the
>>DevTeam considers it unrealistic yet necessary for "balance" that
>>polymorphing a shopkeeper into a limbness form doesn't prevent him from
>>grabbing most of your inventory if you jump through a hole in the floor.
>
> I think the point there is that "the DevTeam", who consider that to be
> true, is actually the DevTeam over a great many years plus at least one
> Hack author not all of whom were consulting each other, including
> themselves ten years later. It's not a coherent design.

Maybe not, but it's IMHO surprisingly /close to/ coherent ...

Michael Deutschmann

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Apr 2, 2014, 3:56:31 AM4/2/14
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On 1 Apr 2014, David Damerell wrote:
> I think the point there is that "the DevTeam", who consider that to be
> true, is actually the DevTeam over a great many years plus at least one
> Hack author not all of whom were consulting each other, including
> themselves ten years later. It's not a coherent design.

Still, I'd expect the person who left the comment to be *aware* that the
pet-shoplifting barn door is wide open.

It might make sense if trainable pets were added after that code. But that's
not so by a huge margin. Pets with apport stats were present in Hack 1.0,
but this comment first appeared in Nethack 3.4.0.

---- Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>

Michael Deutschmann

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Apr 4, 2014, 8:11:47 PM4/4/14
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On 1 Apr 2014, Jorgen Grahn wrote:
> > I think the point there is that "the DevTeam", who consider that to be
> > true, is actually the DevTeam over a great many years plus at least one
> > Hack author not all of whom were consulting each other, including
> > themselves ten years later. It's not a coherent design.
>
> Maybe not, but it's IMHO surprisingly /close to/ coherent ...

Thinking about it, there's one aspect that might be caused by DevTeam
incoherence -- the way divine protection works.

One area in which I think the DevTeam is too cruel, is the fact that helms of
opposite alignment destroy your protection. This makes that helm excessively
dangerous to distinguish from helms of telepathy without identify spells.
It'd be even worse if there wasn't a trick to safely identify helms of
brilliance.

The rationale seems to be that divine protection comes from your god
*specifically*, and the ]HoOA makes you switch gods.

Yet at the same time, you can buy protection from a temple priest of any
alignment. This seems to be a balance decision to allow all characters to
buy protection at Minetown.

So we have a game-balance side that wants protection to be independent of
specific gods, and another side that insists protection is tied to specific
gods.

On a related note, the friendly side of the DevTeam missed an important case
here. It seems on nethack servers people are always breaking the Minetown
temple and then dying there leaving bones. Since they neglected to provide a
means for an innocent character to pacify a priest the bones-leaver has
angered, in fact access to early protection can still be arbitrarily denied.

---- Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>

Janis Papanagnou

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Apr 4, 2014, 9:31:22 PM4/4/14
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On 05.04.2014 02:11, Michael Deutschmann wrote:
>
> One area in which I think the DevTeam is too cruel, is the fact that helms of
> opposite alignment destroy your protection. This makes that helm excessively
> dangerous to distinguish from helms of telepathy without identify spells.

But isn't that the basic principle with many of Nethack's object classes?
You can't read unidentified scrolls, because it might be destroy armor, or
amnesia, or punishment, or fire. You shouldn't quaff (or dip) unidentified
potions because of polymorph, or acid. Identifying objects is crucial, so
I wouldn't consider the HoOA different in that respect. There's more than
one auto-curse armour types that you shouldn't try unidentified. And gray
stones in boxes or in corners of undiggable walls; in many object classes
there's a few items that make a straight "just use it" approach unsuitable.

> It'd be even worse if there wasn't a trick to safely identify helms of
> brilliance.

Personally I consider that an exploit. Nethack is imperfect here; unique
named items use the same attribute that will be used for explicit naming.
The "trick" is just a bad side effect of that design flaw to not make it
possible in the general case to create artifacts by naming.

>
> The rationale seems to be that divine protection comes from your god
> *specifically*, and the ]HoOA makes you switch gods.

I'm not sure about the intended existence of a Real Life rationale. I took
the behaviour to just prevent switching forth and back alignment, thereby
gaining access to other artifacts, altars, temples, without drawback. The
two effects, auto-curse and protection-reset, balance the power of that
helm.

Janis

Michael Deutschmann

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Apr 5, 2014, 1:23:09 AM4/5/14
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On Sat, 5 Apr 2014, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> On 05.04.2014 02:11, Michael Deutschmann wrote:
> > One area in which I think the DevTeam is too cruel, is the fact that
> > helms of opposite alignment destroy your protection. This makes that
> > helm excessively dangerous to distinguish from helms of telepathy
> > without identify spells.
>
> But isn't that the basic principle with many of Nethack's object classes?

Not really. While you can burn yourself badly if you don't know what you
are doing, if you are spoiled rotten you can rule things out and know what
protections you need to attempt any use-ID. The only case that I find as bad
as ]HoOA vs ]HoT is scroll of amnesia vs. scroll of taming.

Price-ID can take you a long way. So can the wand of enlightenment in
dealing with rings and amulets.

> You can't read unidentified scrolls, because it might be destroy armor, or
> amnesia, or punishment, or fire.

Destroy Armor is in a different price class than Enchant Armor, so you
can just not wear your good armor when testing $100 scrolls. You can
also avoid carrying the items Fire destroys in open inventory. You
can wait until you have a means to remove curse before playing with $300
scrolls.

Amnesia is the other problem case. You can't use-ID $200 scrolls unless you
have exceptional real-life memory. However, you can identify Earth from by
example in Sokoban, and Create Monster by seeing enemies use it.

> You shouldn't quaff (or dip) unidentified potions because of polymorph, or
> acid.

Acid is easily identified. If it's worth $250 then drop the potion as
wells as anything applyable. Press 'a' and make sure you get "you have
nothing to use or apply". Then pick up the potion and if you get a "[*]"
prompt it's oil. Otherwise it's acid.

Polymorph is not in the same price class as things that react specially to
amethysts or unicorn horn. Although if you have a spare unihorn you may not
care, since they are good polyfodder anyway.

> I wouldn't consider the HoOA different in that respect. There's more than
> one auto-curse armour types that you shouldn't try unidentified.

There's only one other, and it has a dramatic price difference with its
helpful (for a specific class) cousin.

> And gray stones in boxes or in corners of undiggable walls;

You can wait until you have spare curse removal resources -- or have
encountered the same one in kickable circumstances and named it. Note
that in this case scrolls and spells of identify aren't helpful either.

> I'm not sure about the intended existence of a Real Life rationale. I took
> the behaviour to just prevent switching forth and back alignment, thereby
> gaining access to other artifacts, altars, temples, without drawback. The
> two effects, auto-curse and protection-reset, balance the power of that
> helm.

That doesn't explain zapping protection if you identify it by attempting to
wear it on the first level of the quest branch.

---- Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>

Janis Papanagnou

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Apr 5, 2014, 5:57:26 AM4/5/14
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On 05.04.2014 07:23, Michael Deutschmann wrote:
> On Sat, 5 Apr 2014, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
>> On 05.04.2014 02:11, Michael Deutschmann wrote:
>>> One area in which I think the DevTeam is too cruel, is the fact that
>>> helms of opposite alignment destroy your protection. This makes that
>>> helm excessively dangerous to distinguish from helms of telepathy
>>> without identify spells.
>>
>> But isn't that the basic principle with many of Nethack's object classes?
>
> Not really. While you can burn yourself badly if you don't know what you
> are doing, if you are spoiled rotten you can rule things out and know what
> protections you need to attempt any use-ID. The only case that I find as bad
> as ]HoOA vs ]HoT is scroll of amnesia vs. scroll of taming.

I think there's a lot more than that. You have a lot price clashes in
the larger price groups; fire and destroy armor in the "100"s, amnesia
in the "200"s, and punishment in the "300"s group. (I am sure this has
been intentionally done so. As we will see, some objects need explicit
identify, some can be determined if you have additional supporting
items, some are trivially identifyable.)

>
> Price-ID can take you a long way. So can the wand of enlightenment in
> dealing with rings and amulets.

Yes. The more you have, the more options you have to determine the items.

In addition of the above mentioned scrolls, before you get a unicorn you
shouldn't quaff potions of price 100 (because of hallucination), neither
150 (because of blindness), 200 (polymorph), 300 (paralysis). Some are
worse than others, of course.

>
>> You can't read unidentified scrolls, because it might be destroy armor, or
>> amnesia, or punishment, or fire.
>
> Destroy Armor is in a different price class than Enchant Armor, so you
> can just not wear your good armor when testing $100 scrolls.

(Oh, I thought that fire damage would also reduce your maxHP if you're
not resistant, but I notice that this is true for fire traps but not for
the scrolls, so you're right.)

> You can
> also avoid carrying the items Fire destroys in open inventory. You
> can wait until you have a means to remove curse before playing with $300
> scrolls. [...]

Yes, waiting for more means to determine the objects is what one should do.

(But along that line, why not wait for scrolls of identify then? At least
they are three times as common as remove curse, and scrolls of identify
can even be determined by price without ambiguity.)

>
>> You shouldn't quaff (or dip) unidentified potions because of polymorph, or
>> acid.
>
> Acid is easily identified. If it's worth $250 then drop the potion as
> wells as anything applyable. Press 'a' and make sure you get "you have
> nothing to use or apply". Then pick up the potion and if you get a "[*]"
> prompt it's oil. Otherwise it's acid.

Right. I always forget about lighting the oil. So we can exempt acid/oil
from the list.

> [...]
>> And gray stones in boxes or in corners of undiggable walls;
>
> You can wait until you have spare curse removal resources -- or have

Waiting for more supporting items, as said, is always helpful. The point
was that there are items deliberately implemented in the price class of
dangerous items. You need some other means to determine those objects.

> encountered the same one in kickable circumstances and named it. Note
> that in this case scrolls and spells of identify aren't helpful either.

Yes. In the case of the helm the scroll (or spell) is helpful. So there
are even specific objects that are yet worse identifyable than helmets.

>
>> I'm not sure about the intended existence of a Real Life rationale. I took
>> the behaviour to just prevent switching forth and back alignment, thereby
>> gaining access to other artifacts, altars, temples, without drawback. The
>> two effects, auto-curse and protection-reset, balance the power of that
>> helm.
>
> That doesn't explain zapping protection if you identify it by attempting to
> wear it on the first level of the quest branch.

(Just browsed the Wiki... - I didn't knew about not being able to put it
on in the quest. I suppose that's another hack to avoid being thrown out?
Anyway.) There is a special message in that case, but the effect WRT your
divine protection seems to be the same; what's wrong with the explanation
that the protection lost is implemented to balance the HoOA?

To sum up; given the various "same price as a dangerous object" samples,
and given the alignment change balance issue, I don't see any problem
with the implementation of the HoOA w.r.t. losing divine protection, or
with its justification.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Apr 5, 2014, 6:12:42 AM4/5/14
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On 05.04.2014 11:57, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> On 05.04.2014 07:23, Michael Deutschmann wrote:
>> On Sat, 5 Apr 2014, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
>>> On 05.04.2014 02:11, Michael Deutschmann wrote:
>>>> One area in which I think the DevTeam is too cruel, is the fact that
>>>> helms of opposite alignment destroy your protection. This makes that
>>>> helm excessively dangerous to distinguish from helms of telepathy
>>>> without identify spells.
>>>
>>> But isn't that the basic principle with many of Nethack's object classes?
>>
>> Not really. While you can burn yourself badly if you don't know what you
>> are doing, if you are spoiled rotten you can rule things out and know what
>> protections you need to attempt any use-ID. [...]

One important point that I forgot; even if you are not harmed immediately
when reading scrolls of price 100, you need precaucions and can spoil your
game. Say you want read such a scroll, you may need to drop your gear and
loot at a save place because of fire, but then you identify teleportation
(maybe even cursed), and get separated from your armor and stash. So to
read-identify scrolls you need additional precautions; e.g. do it only on
non-teleport levels (Sokoban is an early game choice), etc. This further
restricts your options. Therefore, with the well known exceptions, I don't
identify scrolls by reading, or only in specific or exceptional cases. The
'50'-helmets can certainly wait for a commonly available scroll of identify.

Janis

Michael Deutschmann

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Apr 5, 2014, 4:50:58 PM4/5/14
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On Sat, 5 Apr 2014, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> (Just browsed the Wiki... - I didn't knew about not being able to put it
> on in the quest. I suppose that's another hack to avoid being thrown out?
> Anyway.)

It's directed at players who attempt to *evade* being thrown out after an
early conversion by using OA to match their shallow alignment to their
original alignment. Note that it's superfluous since quest leaders see
through OA.

> what's wrong with the explanation that the protection lost is implemented
> to balance the HoOA?

Because this special case doesn't actually change your alignment, and thus
does not allow access to other artifacts. All it lets you do is identify
the helm without being stuck to it.

---- Michael Deutschmann <mic...@talosis.ca>

ais523

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Apr 6, 2014, 8:41:11 AM4/6/14
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Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
> In fact, if it's even possible to exploit the bug at all,
> I'm not sure how that would work; in practice, when using
> the drawbridge to kill things, I find that I generally have
> to follow each round with at least one wait command (.) to
> give the next monsters a chance to step into the danger zone.
> It seems to me that this negates any practical import that
> the bug may otherwise have had.

Assuming it works, I guess the main actual exploit of the bug (as
opposed to it just looking very buggy) is to play the Mastermind
puzzle in zero time and use it as a method to escape combat. At least,
eels getting in your way during the puzzle would be very annoying, so if
they can't, that would be a noticeable effect.

(I haven't entered the Castle like that in ages; "unique Castle entries"
has become something of a habit of mine, mostly just by coincidence.
Last time I struck down the drawbridge, dived into the moat, and
crawled out the other side.)

--
ais523

Janis Papanagnou

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Apr 6, 2014, 10:02:33 AM4/6/14
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On 06.04.2014 14:41, ais523 wrote:
>
> Assuming it works, I guess the main actual exploit of the bug (as
> opposed to it just looking very buggy) is to play the Mastermind
> puzzle in zero time and use it as a method to escape combat. At least,
> eels getting in your way during the puzzle would be very annoying, so if
> they can't, that would be a noticeable effect.

Engrave an E-word to keep the eels at distance. The Bad Thing (design-wise)
is that even non-permanent engravings will last very long since playing the
music instrument (unlike combat) will not make you move. A dust scribbling
will work fairly good, and a wand of digging is (in this case!) practically
as good as a permanent engraving.

Janis

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