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Old September 14, 2016, 12:53   #1
simon_a_robinson
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Winner after >20 years

I have finally beaten Vanilla Angband, and it feels great! I started playing in the early to mid 1990s with MattB (also of this parish) and have played off and on since then. I have been very close to winning once previously, with a Dwarf priest IIRC, but I was too scared to dying to carry on and eventually lost the character in a computer upgrade. I have taken quite long breaks from Angband over the years, including a flirtation with Nethack for several years in the early 2000s during which I ascended every class in reverse alphabetical order; and a brief spell of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup during which I completed it with some flavour of mage. But in the end I had to come back to settle some unfinished business with Morgoth!

On MattB's advice I plumped for a Half-Troll Warrior and found it relatively straightforward, taking 10 attempts. Most of the deaths were due to avoidable errors including overconfidence, lack of patience, etc. One death was due to lack of knowledge (crushed by rock for 300hp when fighting Quaker).

I played with forced descent and randarts, neither of which I had tried before. I liked forced descent because it acts like a timer. When there are 5 levels to go then a potion of *Healing* or Life can be a priceless treasure. I got to the bottom with fairly significant equipment gaps but had to press on regardless. If I had been able to scum level 98 for longer then I would probably still be playing in order to find the perfect equipment. With retropect this would have been overly conservative, so the fact that I was forced to descend made the game (a) shorter and (b) more exciting.

I also liked randarts. When I used to play with standarts I found that I started to recognise many of the artefacts so would sometimes not even bother ID'ing them. It also encouraged scumming for particular artefacts. With randarts, every artefact is a potentially exciting discovery that may fill significant holes in your equipment.

I am hugely encouraged that both Angband and Nethack are still being actively maintained. Nick's selfless efforts provide all of us with a huge amount of enjoyment. I hope that the recent restructuring of the Nethack Devteam leads to a similarly active development pipeline.

This has been a long and somewhat rambling email, but I do have a question for the wider community before I sign off. Which race / class combination should I play next? I'm looking for something quite different in style, but perhaps not a pure spellcaster. All suggestions are welcome!
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Old September 14, 2016, 13:18   #2
Nick
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Old September 14, 2016, 13:28   #3
debo
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High-elf rogue or kobold rogue sound like they might be a good match for what you're looking for. Instead of waking everything up, you'll wake almost nothing up; and you still get to cast support spells and wack things with weapons. Rogues are good at pretty much everything.
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Old September 14, 2016, 13:28   #4
MattB
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Well done, Si. Top work, that man!
I can pretty much promise that the second win doesn't take 25 years!

As for other combos, I've found the easiest (after HT warrior) to be Hobbit Rogue and High-Elf Ranger, but your mileage may vary. Equally, I've won with Half-Troll ranger, rogue and Paladin, but then I do love a half-troll!
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Old September 14, 2016, 15:33   #5
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I think that a high elf ranger sounds fun. It will give me an excuse to try out Rune ID and the other new changes.
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Old September 20, 2016, 04:27   #6
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Strongly recommend debo's advice first. Ranger is annoyingly weak early and ridiculously strong late. Rogue kobold is a much slicker dive. (17/16/16 for STR/DEX/CON to avoid temptation of early spellcasting)
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