Forum:Let's talk start scumming

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So save-scumming is evil: I'd never say otherwise. The whole point of Nethack is one character=one try. Trying to manipulate the game so that you have more than one chance with a given character is the very definition of poor sportsmanship. I have never save-scummed in my life, as far as I can remember.

But start-scumming: to me this is a grey area. I know a lot of players, possibly even a majority, lump it with save-scumming as abusive of the game. I see why to some extent: it makes sense to want players to play the character they "rolled."

That being said, Nethack is an absurdly difficult game, with a very precise game balance: Nethack is not only unfair, it's unfair to a very specific degree. Nethack doesn't commonly throw the player anything that an expert couldn't handle. That is to say, it's tough, but it's not cruel (no matter what we might say after having YASD).

So why is it so bad to want to start with a decent inventory, if you're playing a wizard? If all the odds are against the player, shouldn't there be that one concession?

I agree that a player who sits for hours trying to roll the perfect wizard is probably a very poor sport. I'd even say that scumming specifically for a powerful starting spell is probably cheating as well. But is discarding two or three wizard rolls before finding a good one that unethical?

I want to hear your opinions. I'm not going to get upset if you disagree (and you probably do, I think.) So post what you think of start-scumming below: Ms. J. Marie Stanton, Professional Valkyrie (talk) 14:06, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

I've not done that in a loooong time. It's true that you might get some cool starting equipment out of it, but it's also true that you might find a magic marker or a wand of death on the floor, or a really neat shop a few levels down. So I kind of don't see the point and prefer to let the RNG do its thing. Making the best of the cards you're dealt is part of the fun. :) --TNT (talk) 22:39, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
I've start-scummed occasional characters, particularly for minetown magic lamps. I play dnh mostly, and my current run is a clockwork bard that relentlessly fountain quaffed for a figurine of a tulani eladrin. I don't generally reroll spells or equipment, though I occasionally reroll to get a droven priest that doesn't have the light spell. --EasterlyIrk (talk) 16:30, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
I used to start-scum to a minor degree, such as hoping for magic lamps or good starting equiptment. However, I've found that RNG will screw you or the opposite no matter what your starting circumstances are. I've even gotten that lucky 1/100 wish from a magic fountain once, and then my character got killed by something else. So to me, it's less about it being unethical and more that it won't matter. --π“’π‘œπ“…π’½π’Ύπ’Ά π“œπ’Άπ“€π‘œπ“‰π‘œ (talk) 09:54, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't startscum. If the RNG gives me a hard character build, I'll either beat the odds and win it, or die in the attempt. Perspectives might differ based on whether or not you have ascended before, as well. And I agree with the others that I find it a more fun use of my time to adapt to the things the game throws at me instead of spending it rerolling characters for gear that's a little bit better.
Would be interested to hear what you think of these ideas and this proposal, both of which attempt to address startscumming. --Phol ende wodan (talk) 16:07, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I guess it's a commentary on how weird my ideals are: I'll occasionally start-scum, but I'm really a 3.4.3 purist. I feel like Nethack really peaked with that version, and I've never really found any Nethack variant that I like as much as Vanilla. So I'm probably a bad person to ask about mods, sorry! - Ms. J. Marie Stanton, Professional Valkyrie (talk) 03:29, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree with TNT and π“’π‘œπ“…π’½π’Ύπ’Ά π“œπ’Άπ“€π‘œπ“‰π‘œ on this one, IMHO the perceived edge start scumming might give is in fact negligible compared to what the RNG may or may not do throughout a 50 level dungeon. An armor shop on level 3 alone can make up 3x for weak start equipment (10x if selling speed boots). Not to mention bones! So if people like to retry when they're unsatisfied with what they got, no problem, that's fine with me. The only thing my Wizards care about: rolling Str 8 makes the game tiresome. I don't reroll, but I do admit when I'm constantly forced to walk back to my stashes I tend to become annoyed and play more sloppy, and the character might succumb to a blunder avoidable with more care. But finding a BoH in Minetown changes everything again. Luna (talk) 16:43, 10 December 2017 (UTC)