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Old August 19, 2012, 07:08   #1
Quendus
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Thuringwethil hits you. You are *WHAT*?!

So I was taking a stroll through the dungeon, killing Sauron, killing uniques, thinking about what to wear if I go to have tea with Morgoth, when I tried an equipment set that lacked protection from confusion. "No problem," I thought, "I'm a great and wise priest with a certain saving throw!"

So I left town and went hunting for uniques that I wouldn't want to meet at Morgoth's tea party, like Ancalagon who killed three of my kobold relatives last year. Found Thuringwethil! I wouldn't be too happy if she summoned all her antisocial reaver friends! So I made my anti-summoning corridor (I did an ASCless mage once, it was interesting and I think it might have been one of my winners, but it sure took a lot of fiddling with door creation spells), and politely invited her in.

I hit her a few times, she hit me back, I lost some experience points, she lost a star of health... and then it started to get interesting. I wasn't aware/had forgotten that melee confusion doesn't get a saving throw. Thuringwethil confused me.

I realised I was going to die approximately the same second I saw the orange word on the screen, because all my escapes were conditional on not being confused. Being a priest I didn't take any healing potions for HP. Being used to diving with pconf and pblind, and assuming that 100% was enough to continue like that, I didn't take any CCW or curing. None of my artefacts activated for anything that could cure confusion or help me escape from Thuringwethil, so I was in pretty much the same situation as a low-level character who runs into an umber hulk and runs out of CCW (except that it was due to my own stupidity).

Still, I didn't much fancy giving up. I zapped one of the rods of speed to make sure I would get as many turns as possible that she didn't hit me, I retreated to the end of the ASC (making a lot of use of the fact that 25% of the time you go in the intended direction when you're confused). The few turns of respite gained from that manoeuvre weren't enough to clear the confusion counter, so I turned round and started aiming my confused melee at Thuringwethil. Being a deep unique she did pretty good melee damage, but unlike a lot of them she didn't have any hugely damaging spells like breaths, mana bolts, mana storms or darkness storms. Her worst one was nether balls (217), which Soukeeper resisted for me. So, I could go for a long time before I was in danger of being one-shotted.

Elessar and Soulkeeper activate for 500HP and 1000HP respectively, so I fought her down to 6 stars (Eonwe does great damage against undead) before she took me under maxhp-500 and I was forced to use Elessar. She occasionally gained a star from raining my mana, which was very concerning. After that I fought her down to 3 or 4 stars (with something like 63% of my attacks hitting the wall because of the confusion) before she took me down to around 280HP and I started to worry about being killed in one shot. Soulkeeper took me back up to maximum HP, and I fought her until she was down to one star and running. After a few moments of indecision and bravery she died.

I killed Thuringwethil with confused melee. I was lucky that she only summoned two vampire lords and a master vampire, which both died pretty quickly without summoning anything. The floor drops were a few bits of squelchable equipment and scrolls, nothing useable to a confused character. I did the normal thing to get rid of confusion without relevant items - I used the rest command.

"You are getting hungry."
Huh, was I fighting on such an empty stomach?
"You are getting faint from hunger!"

It was about here that I realised I was really going to die. I hadn't brought any food because I could just use the spell, and none of the items dropped by the vampires were edible. My only potions (restore mana) had zero nutritional value. Exploring 4900 feet while confused would be suicide. I removed Narya, since its regeneration+slow digestion apparently consumed food faster than having neither. Although it was a bit late for that. The next time I rested I got "You faint from the lack of food. You are paralysed!", and after a little while tapping 5 I started losing HP ten at a time. This happened about once every 3 or 4 turns depending on whether the rod of speed was still in effect. I used Elessar and Soulkeeper again to prevent the hunger from killing me... And I was still confused. I don't know how many thousand turns that confusion counter had lasted, but it wasn't going to stop any time soon and I had run out of ways to put off death.

Somewhere around this point I realised I was absolutely definitely going to die. Since I was going to die anyway, I suicidally ran out of the corridor and up the nearby stairs (using this 25% chance to go where I want to - a random walk with drift towards a target is certain to reach that target, even if it takes longer than a straight walk). The plan was to stairscum until I found an item, or a monster that dropped an item - any item - that could fix my confusion or my hunger. But being a skilled/optimistic procrastinator, I was doing this with somewhere between 200 and 400 HP and all sources of healing exhausted. At some point I chugged two thirds of my mana potions on the off-chance I had been lied to about the nutritional value.

First episode: small room with a frost giant. didn't drop so much as a slime mould.

Second episode: staff of holiness three steps to the northeast! Witch-King one step to the north. With Umbar's aggravation and 180 HP there was no way I would make it there alive (and then there's http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/1670 , which I wasn't aware of at the time).

Third episode: 120 HP, purple potion three steps to the southeast! Turns out to be !healing. Spectator one step to the northeast, looks like it doesn't have any abilities that can make things difficult for me. The first step I take towards the potion turns into a killing blow for the spectator anyway. Then, while losing 10 HP every 3 or 4 turns, it takes me maybe 15 turns to wander southwest, east, and finally approach the potion from the southwest.

Quaff.

Satisfy hunger.

Heal.

Recall.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=13281

It was at this point I realised I was not going to rely on 100% saving throw again for *anything*, *ever*.
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:15   #2
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Epic story. (@everyone: read it, it's not "tl;").

So in which version did 100% saving throw stop protecting from bad status effects?
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Old August 19, 2012, 09:49   #3
Quendus
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Originally Posted by fph View Post
Epic story. (@everyone: read it, it's not "tl;").

So in which version did 100% saving throw stop protecting from bad status effects?
I think the problem is that it protects from spells, rather than melee attacks (I remember having a similar problem with a bronze dragon's breath in a previous version)
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Old August 19, 2012, 11:33   #4
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Great story!
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Old August 19, 2012, 14:19   #5
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quendus View Post
I think the problem is that it protects from spells, rather than melee attacks (I remember having a similar problem with a bronze dragon's breath in a previous version)
Yes - melee attacks have never granted a saving throw.

That's a truly fantastic story - very well written up too.

There is just one niggle though, which is that I think something must have gone wrong with the confusion counter. Confusion shouldn't take you from Hungry to Weak, let alone to starving - it's too dangerous. I guess it's possible that she hit you so many times during the fight that you'd racked up thousands of turns, but I certainly wouldn't rule out a bug.

Well done for surviving, anyway.
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Old August 19, 2012, 14:42   #6
Quendus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Yes - melee attacks have never granted a saving throw.

That's a truly fantastic story - very well written up too.

There is just one niggle though, which is that I think something must have gone wrong with the confusion counter. Confusion shouldn't take you from Hungry to Weak, let alone to starving - it's too dangerous. I guess it's possible that she hit you so many times during the fight that you'd racked up thousands of turns, but I certainly wouldn't rule out a bug.

Well done for surviving, anyway.
Thanks.

Thuringwethil has thousands of hitpoints, was hitting me hard and frequently (she did around 2.5 times my HP in damage), and I was only attacking her rather than the walls something like 37.5% of the time, so it's not surprising that the confusion counter got so high. My starvation was also accelerated by Narya. It wouldn't be too hard to replicate the situation in wizard mode from the character dump and make a savefile (all my equipment pieces except the cloak and boots were artefacts), though since I haven't memorised the IDs of artefacts and uniques I haven't done that.

Last edited by Quendus; August 19, 2012 at 22:16.
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Old August 19, 2012, 15:25   #7
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I've made a wizmode savefile reproducing almost exactly the circumstances just before I got confused, just after Thuringwethil's death (with approximately the same number of attacks from her - something like 500 standard turns), and after I'd cheated a rod of healing and killed her minions (a blue V got much luckier than her and nearly killed me). It's at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6433222/confused.zip .

Turns out the confusion counter was about 1900, decreasing by 1 every 10 ticks, and the food counter probably somewhere around 13000, decreasing by 92 (2*speed+20 from regen/sdig) every 100 ticks. With no speed changes, this meant about 4000 ticks with 0 food. A quick experiment shows that (in the test case at least, who had a fuller stomach than the original) removing all speed gear and Narya was sufficient for the confusion to wear off before even becoming hungry.

Thanks, Noz.

Last edited by Quendus; August 19, 2012 at 17:28.
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Old August 19, 2012, 22:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quendus View Post
Found Thuringwethil! I wouldn't be too happy if she summoned all her antisocial reaver friends! So I made my anti-summoning corridor (I did an ASCless mage once, it was interesting and I think it might have been one of my winners, but it sure took a lot of fiddling with door creation spells), and politely invited her in.

I hit her a few times, she hit me back, I lost some experience points, she lost a star of health... and then it started to get interesting. I wasn't aware/had forgotten that melee confusion doesn't get a saving throw. Thuringwethil confused me.

I realised I was going to die approximately the same second I saw the orange word on the screen, because all my escapes were conditional on not being confused. Being a priest I didn't take any healing potions for HP. Being used to diving with pconf and pblind, and assuming that 100% was enough to continue like that, I didn't take any CCW or curing. None of my artefacts activated for anything that could cure confusion or help me escape from Thuringwethil, so I was in pretty much the same situation as a low-level character who runs into an umber hulk and runs out of CCW (except that it was due to my own stupidity).

Still, I didn't much fancy giving up. I zapped one of the rods of speed to make sure I would get as many turns as possible that she didn't hit me, I retreated to the end of the ASC (making a lot of use of the fact that 25% of the time you go in the intended direction when you're confused). The few turns of respite gained from that manoeuvre weren't enough to clear the confusion counter, so I turned round and started aiming my confused melee at Thuringwethil. Being a deep unique she did pretty good melee damage, but unlike a lot of them she didn't have any hugely damaging spells like breaths, mana bolts, mana storms or darkness storms. Her worst one was nether balls (217), which Soukeeper resisted for me. So, I could go for a long time before I was in danger of being one-shotted.

Elessar and Soulkeeper activate for 500HP and 1000HP respectively, so I fought her down to 6 stars (Eonwe does great damage against undead) before she took me under maxhp-500 and I was forced to use Elessar. She occasionally gained a star from raining my mana, which was very concerning. After that I fought her down to 3 or 4 stars (with something like 63% of my attacks hitting the wall because of the confusion) before she took me down to around 280HP and I started to worry about being killed in one shot. Soulkeeper took me back up to maximum HP, and I fought her until she was down to one star and running. After a few moments of indecision and bravery she died.

I killed Thuringwethil with confused melee. I was lucky that she only summoned two vampire lords and a master vampire, which both died pretty quickly without summoning anything. The floor drops were a few bits of squelchable equipment and scrolls, nothing useable to a confused character. I did the normal thing to get rid of confusion without relevant items - I used the rest command.

"You are getting hungry."
Huh, was I fighting on such an empty stomach?
"You are getting faint from hunger!"

It was about here that I realised I was really going to die. I hadn't brought any food because I could just use the spell, and none of the items dropped by the vampires were edible. My only potions (restore mana) had zero nutritional value. Exploring 4900 feet while confused would be suicide. I removed Narya, since its regeneration+slow digestion apparently consumed food faster than having neither. Although it was a bit late for that. The next time I rested I got "You faint from the lack of food. You are paralysed!", and after a little while tapping 5 I started losing HP ten at a time. This happened about once every 3 or 4 turns depending on whether the rod of speed was still in effect. I used Elessar and Soulkeeper again to prevent the hunger from killing me... And I was still confused. I don't know how many thousand turns that confusion counter had lasted, but it wasn't going to stop any time soon and I had run out of ways to put off death.

Somewhere around this point I realised I was absolutely definitely going to die. Since I was going to die anyway, I suicidally ran out of the corridor and up the nearby stairs (using this 25% chance to go where I want to - a random walk with drift towards a target is certain to reach that target, even if it takes longer than a straight walk). The plan was to stairscum until I found an item, or a monster that dropped an item - any item - that could fix my confusion or my hunger. But being a skilled/optimistic procrastinator, I was doing this with somewhere between 200 and 400 HP and all sources of healing exhausted. At some point I chugged two thirds of my mana potions on the off-chance I had been lied to about the nutritional value.

First episode: small room with a frost giant. didn't drop so much as a slime mould.

Second episode: staff of holiness three steps to the northeast! Witch-King one step to the north. With Umbar's aggravation and 180 HP there was no way I would make it there alive (and then there's http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/1670 , which I wasn't aware of at the time).

Third episode: 120 HP, purple potion three steps to the southeast! Turns out to be !healing. Spectator one step to the northeast, looks like it doesn't have any abilities that can make things difficult for me. The first step I take towards the potion turns into a killing blow for the spectator anyway. Then, while losing 10 HP every 3 or 4 turns, it takes me maybe 15 turns to wander southwest, east, and finally approach the potion from the southwest.

Quaff.

Satisfy hunger.

Heal.

Recall.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=13281

It was at this point I realised I was not going to rely on 100% saving throw again for *anything*, *ever*.
Great Story. may it be a a winner for you.

John
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Old August 20, 2012, 10:49   #9
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Yes - melee attacks have never granted a saving throw.
Neither do elemental damage side-effects for most of the effects (dark still causes blindness even with 100% saving without dark resist or blindness protection and water bolt causes confusion etc.). ...I think nexus teleport level and stat scrambling are only exceptions to that rule. Any other?

I think also consumables bypass saving throw.
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Old August 20, 2012, 19:02   #10
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Yes - melee attacks have never granted a saving throw.
I know this has always been this way. But does it make sense and is it good gameplay?
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