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Old January 28, 2008, 03:08   #51
z118
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This is a fascinating thread.

I remember playing a game that my dad called "Hack" way back in the day. I'm guessing I was seven or so. I remember the game did not allow you to save in such a way that you could restore after death, although I also remember my dad showing me how to back up my savefile in DOS. At any rate, I remember one time getting quite far in the game; farther than myself or my dad had ever gotten, and then dying quite instantly and unexpectedly. My progress had been so amazing and so rapid before dying that I had never backed up the file. I remember coming damn near close to crying. This was a long time ago and it stands out as a clear memory from a time I don't have many clear memories of.

I played Moria after that and always backed up my save files; even then I never got close to winning.

In college I rediscovered Moria and won the game finally with save file back ups. Then I discovered Angband and did the same thing.

Since then I have played Angband every winter. I have always backed up my save files. It never occured to me that people would do otherwise. The idea of putting so much into a character only to have it possibly blown away in an instant was just insane to me. But then I discovered this website and learned that some people do play this way. I had a hard time believing it, and sort of just wrote it off. Really all that mattered to me was that I was having a great time playing a game that I really, really loved.

At any rate, this winter I started playing again (dwarf priest as always), and I also started visiting this site more and reading the forum. This made me more mindful of how often I did or did not die. I was quite excited to see my dwarf priest make it to well past dungeon level 30 or so with no death! I started thinking that maybe it was a realistic goal to win without dying. Then I died. Although I did restore my save file, I do have to admit something was lost. I played that character down to level 99 and then sort of lost interest...

Now I've been playing clean for a while... no backups. I've lost a dozen or so characters, although right now I'm at exp level 22 and dungeon level 15. I'm not sure how long I will keep this up. There is no doubt in my mind that the game is winnable without save file cheating, but there is also no doubt in my mind that no matter how smart or cautious you play doing so still requires a bit of luck. I'm not sure right now how much fun it is to let so much work ride on that bit of luck. While I bet it would be thrilling to win clean, I'm not sure that thrill would offset all the times I might almost chuck my computer out the window because of a stupid death.

Fun to think about anyway... but at the end of the day all that really matters is that I'm having fun playing this great game!
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Old January 28, 2008, 16:02   #52
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There is no doubt in my mind that the game is winnable without save file cheating, but there is also no doubt in my mind that no matter how smart or cautious you play doing so still requires a bit of luck.
Luck just makes the game go quicker. There are not that many occassions when a death is not a YASD. Greed or trying to conserve resources are the usual killers in this game... one more round and then I'll heal etc.
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Old January 28, 2008, 18:42   #53
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Well, I just had an epiphany on this subject. My dwarf priest read WOR from the town level and then found himself in a dungeon room with a dozen or so novice palladins who all got the first move. This was not a big deal for my level 23 priest, but if they have been hounds of the wrong sort I surely would have been dead. No realistic amount of careful playing would prevent this. With this in mind I'm gouing to back up my save file. Maybe I'll need it, maybe I won't, but the possibility of losing all that playing time to something completely outside my control would quite frankly make the game not that much fun anymore.
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Old January 28, 2008, 18:57   #54
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That does seem unfair. The @ should get the first move upon recalling into the dungeon.
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Old January 28, 2008, 19:50   #55
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All hounds with breath weapons are explicitly created asleep upon entering a level -- and waking up takes a move.

Furthermore, no spells (including breath weapons) are allowed until the player gets a single move.

This does mean telepathy is overpowered, as Detection takes a player turn to cast.
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Old January 28, 2008, 21:20   #56
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With this in mind I'm gouing to back up my save file. Maybe I'll need it, maybe I won't, but the possibility of losing all that playing time to something completely outside my control would quite frankly make the game not that much fun anymore.
Choosing the more fun way for you is definitely the right option. I'd also like to say, though, that IMHO the win is not everything. For example, I played Dwarf Warriors for a while until I got a win - at the 17th attempt. My 5th attempt reached about DL90 and then got killed by The Tarrasque, and I think was actually the more memorable game.

On the other hand, maybe this is just me trying not to be bitter at never having won my own variant.
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Old January 29, 2008, 09:02   #57
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That does seem unfair. The @ should get the first move upon recalling into the dungeon.
I remember a friend of mine casting Detection just after recalling... and getting annihilated by a horde of Raal's Tomes living in a pit with no outer walls, thanks to a river that was flowing through it (it was ZAngbandTk).
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