Forum:Post-mines strategy for intermediate player?
So I've been playing Nethack for ~6 years. I've only made it to the first quest level once, and I've only run Sokoban a few times. But I'm getting better.
Here's the situation I end up with in nine out of ten games:
My Lawful Human Valkyrie (or sometimes Samurai, Knight, or whatever) has just finished the mines. Usually, I've got Mithril and a cloak and iron shoes, plus the starting +3 shield, for an AC around -3 or -4. I'll have my starting sword, a pick-axe, and usually an offensive wand or two; whatever the loot from Mine's End was; and a whole mess of unidentified gems. I'll leave most of my potions, scrolls, and whatever else I've found that's too heavy to carry in a stash in Minetown, protected by a locked door and the E-word. (Yeah, by the way, I usually play 3.4.3, so Elbereth still works in this context.)
At this point, I'll usually have leveled up to 7 or 8.
From here, I've got the whole main dungeon before me. So my strategy up to this point has been to attack it headlong. I do really well for about six or seven levels, and then I run into a lot of difficult monsters and get swamped. Usually I either panic and make a dumb mistake, or I find myself in a very tight spot and get killed.
My question is: What early-to-mid-game goals should I prioritize after the mines? Getting a good artifact weapon and better armor? Finishing Sokoban for the scrolls? What's my next step towards getting ready for the quest?
I want to write something more in-depth, but, Gnomish Mines or Sokoban (depending on class) are early priorities. The bag of holding or amulet of reflection in Sokoban can change a game's outcome greatly. If you need help solving the puzzles in Sokoban, do not be afraid to use the wiki to avoid the luck penalty. Early wishes are usually determined by what is present in Sokoban (GDSM vs. SDSM, or a wish for a BoH). Also, the luckstone at Mine's End helps a player considerably, some more than others (ranged weapons are greatly protected from destruction by luck).
If you enjoy playing Valkyries, make sure to have a stack of daggers and train them up as quickly as possible. Killing things at a distance, especially tougher monsters, is key to survival in NetHack. I usually try to collect as many Elven daggers as possible, they do nice damage and will not rust, corrode or be eaten my metallivores.
Also, once level 5, a lawful Valkyrie should almost always go after Excalibur. Which is "easily" obtained by dipping in a fountain. It can be risky as a water demon can be dangerous as well as being surrounded by poisonous water moccasins.
Finally, get as much protection as you can ---- price identify items at general store and get Protection from a priest (look up Protection Racket on the wiki). Gold is nearly useless in NetHack with a well-trained pet ;-).
Thanks for the response. I'd known some of this, but the dagger thing is news to me. I generally haven't bothered much with ranged combat, but I'll definitely stock up on daggers ASAP in my current game. Isn't Mjollnir more useful than Exalibur? I've gotten it a couple of times...
Mjollnir is basically a damage stick - it does that, and little else. Excalibur is also comparable in terms of damage, but also gives you drain resistance and automatic searching when wielded. Excalibur is also probably less effort to get for a lawful character. Either one, fully enchanted, will see you through the entire game. Wolfechu (talk) 20:32, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
"get as much protection as you can ---- price identify items at general store" How does price ID help to get protection? Do you just mean from enchanting armour? Tartley (talk) 19:07, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
After finding B/U/C status of your armor (altar or pet), sell/drop at a weapon or general store. A regular dwarvish helm will sell for around 10z (depending on Charisma), and enchanted one will sell for 13z or more depending on its enchantment. Select 'n' so that you do not _actually_ sell the enchanted item!
This is *really* useful when yo have a stack of 100 pieces of armor from the Gnomish Mines. Takes so much more time to try on each piece of armor.