Forum:Resolve to ascend 2018

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I’ve decided that this year is the year I ascend a character. I’m going to focus on learning not to make the same mistakes (charging into combat against one monster too many is my biggest one) and on learning the more obscure techniques for surviving the middle game.

Who else has resolved to make their first ascension this year? We could start a group for beginning and intermediate players, which is something this forum has been sorely in need of.

——Ms. J. Marie Stanton, Professional Valkyrie (talk) 15:07, 1 January 2018 (UTC)


I have been playing since I found a disc at a computer show named 'Hack' in 1985. I have yet to ascend. I'd like to consider myself an advanced player, and yet I make a lot of stupid mistakes. I have made a sincere effort to play carefully and treat NetHack as the chess match it is. Having accomplished this, I now have several characters which are completely ascend-able —— about 4 in NetHack and 8 in SLASH'EM (either local or server) —— and cannot pull the trigger. I get so far with a character and just stop. I must resolve to get past this fear of making the stupid mistake and ascend someone! Honestly, I think my first ascension could be a pacifist, of all things!

And, yes, learning how to use corridors and walls to fight harder enemies one at a time is essential to mid-game survival.

--User (talk) 04:59, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

    • Well, I'm not even that far along. I made it to within two levels of the quest once. My biggest problem is that at a certain point, I think I can charge a group of low-level monsters without taking precautions. One way or another, my characters tend to die in combat during or after the mines. I know the corridor thing, I just don't use it when it really counts. Ms. J. Marie Stanton, Professional Valkyrie (talk) 20:18, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
My humble advice: Do understand that levelling up is a detriment, not an advancement. It creates harder monsters, which is not at all compensated by the gained HP. You must see levelling up as something you can afford only when improved AC, resistances, weapons allow it. These three things must be your priorities!
Leave most kills to your pet ==> pet gets stonger instead of the monsters. Dance around pet to keep it between yourself and the monster. Let it kill dwarfs (even as lawful) to get mithril + dwarvish helm + iron shoes and plain(!) watchmen for gloves + shield + jackboots. (Keep large cat/dog away from Minetown captain, warhorse away from shopkeeps or you'll lose it.) After curse-test try on several, you might find one with +1. Get AC as low as possible, far below 0. Consider donating to priests. Even as wizard prefer AC over spellcasting until after the quest. Exception: speed boots are worth more than AC.
Eat corpses for intrinsics (poison, sleep, telepathy, cold, fire, shock, invisibility, see invisible, speed), make notes which you still lack. In particular do hunt and eat these to get poison resistant, until then every dart trap or uruk-hai may spell YAAD. Once you got all intrinsics + MR + reflection + free action and keep a distance from water and cockatrices you're fairly safe from deadly surprises.
Do everything to keep improving your equipment. As Wizard XP>=3 sacrifice for Magicbane, as lawful XP>=5 dip for Excelibur. Don't forget to #enhance dagger or long sword skill. Curse-test things you find with your pet, then try on armor, amulets, rings. Use shop prices to recognize scrolls of ID, enchant weapon, armor, remove curse. Engrave-test all wands immediately.
And of course never walk around burdened. Remember to pray before fainting or dying. With 30% HP check inventory if anything may help you escape. Try to avoid "99s", it means 99 lost turns during which monsters spawn. --Luna (talk) 19:40, 5 January 2018 (UTC)