Talk:Lessons learned the hard way

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Should we retain the info of who submitted what? - GreyKnight


This page should be cleaned up some, so that it doesn't look like a 14 year old girl's blog post. Remove the contributors. Generalize the lessons so that they're applicable to a wider audience (ie, instead of "don't throw food at non-tame dragons", it should be "don't throw food at non-tame pets").

Some of these are just plain stupid, and they exist only to relate "famous" stories on/about NAO. Is this the NAO wiki or the NetHack wiki? Remove them, if they're not applicable to a wide audience.

I have a feeling that any changes I make will just get reverted, so I'll wait for some more discussion. --- 69.11.189.85 18:40, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I am of the opinion that not every page has to be hard-and-fast encyclopedic information. The title of this page suggests that it is going to be entertaining first and informative second. I agree that it could stand a bit of cleanup "so that it doesn't look like a 14-year-old girl's blog post," but I don't think there's any problem with keeping some of them around just for our entertainment. After all, Nethack doesn't always take itself seriously; why should the wiki?
But this is a larger debate than just this page; I would appreciate an admin's input on this as well. --Mogri 19:56, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

"Ice box isn't good place to keep your potions in." - huh? I've searched the sources rather thoroughly, and I'm not seeing the reason behind this one. Perhaps in a variant, potions shatter if kept in an ice box (similar to being hit with a wand of cold), but I'm almost certain vanilla NetHack doesn't do this. --66.195.137.2 19:04, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I feel stupid.

"You aren't invincible, when poly'd into an arch-lich. Chickatrice."

I'm sad now. >: That was my best game so far, too.

Digging down on fountains

I don't know if "dig down on the fountain" is advice that should be here. Doesn't it presuppose that you have water walking? Your character may be strong enough to handle any adverse effects from dipping well before you find and ID water walking boots, so long as you don't dip something you don't mean to. (And getting a cursed blank scroll or unholy water can be a good thing.) -- Slandor 17:48, June 14, 2010 (UTC)

It should. It is safe to jump in pools. Just put all rustables away and make sure you are not surrounded by monsters. Tjr 12:58, June 15, 2010 (UTC)
Ah, good point. (My WIS goes down by 1.) Though, if you're worried about accidentally dipping the wrong thing, as per the article, this seems even easier to mess up (not so much by accidentally rusting something as by forgetting you took off your Gauntlets of Power before you pick up that rubber chicken). --Slandor 18:24, June 15, 2010 (UTC)
True. However, double-checking what you are carrying is still a lot safer than fighting water moccasins at XP6. Tjr 14:10, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

On editting entries ...

This page is subjective, so there are plenty of entries like:

"Don't try to polymorph at experience level 1 or 2, unless you like being killed by unsuccessful polymorphs."

And here's a recent change to it:

"Don't try to polymorph at experience level 1 or 2, unless you like being killed by unsuccessful polymorphs or know what you're doing."

Now that's true, polyself is an exception ... but this isn't supposed to be a perfectly accurate page. Unless it's wrong, I think the original entry should be preserved. Would like some feedback on what you guys think.

(Plenty of other changes in that set are for the best probably, like making words into links, changing "guard" to "watchman" for an entry pertaining to Minetown, otoh there is "Don't try to feed a dragon unless it is currently tame. If it is peaceful, thrown food will anger it." which was transformed into "Don't try to feed a (baby) dragon unless it is currently tame. If it is peaceful, thrown food will anger it.", where the new version actually became misleading, where the old one wasn't.)

Blackcustard 13:13, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I tend to agree - things that are out-and-out wrong, like the watchman/guard thing, should be changed, but I think the rest should be left alone. This is a place for people to be a little bit hyperbolic, after suffering a somewhat humorous death. It's not the place for perfect accuracy or perfect strategy advice. I say go ahead and change it back where it was better before. -Ion frigate 16:45, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Awaiting more feedback. This would be a big thing: want more than two people to comment here (ahem, people watching the recent changes list). Especially since one of those two people is me, and I might be completely off-base here. Anonymous opinions also welcomed btw, I sorta excepted the guy who's change I quoted to drop by this page :p.

The modifications could be moved into a commentary section that follows each "lesson", call it "The Oracle's Take" or something. We could retain lessons in their original form, minus real factual inaccuracies, but still keep all the good work that's gone into improving the entries. I would hate to completely throw away all the good work that has gone into changing some of them. Especially since no one seems to have defined exactly how this page was supposed to be used in the first place.

Blackcustard 17:01, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Your suggestions seem very sensible. In the past, I too have been torn between leaving it entertaining, and explaining what was most likely going on and how the "dangerous" behavior can actually be safe with proper precautions. --Tjr, not logged in 141.35.40.137 18:22, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Alright, now we're getting somewhere. With a little Python I've collected all of the lessons on this page, as well as all of the various versions of them that have appeared throughout the page's lifetime (across all 195 revisions, so no need to worry about being unfair to the most recent editors) (some lessons have been modified as many as 5 times since they were originally added!). I've prepared a rough draft of the new lessons section on my talk page. What's left to do is: boil down the changes to commentary for all remaining lessons.

I'll do it in the next couple days, but if anyone else wants to do some that would be nice :).

Il'd also really like comments on page format and whether or not we want original submitter name recorded. I have records for every lesson of both the original submitter and everyone who has edited the lesson since it was added, so we could do "(by foo, edited by bar, qux, and quux)" if we wanted. Similarly I have the timestamps for when every lesson was added and the timestamps for every time they were modified. (Note that this was originally a learndb entry, so many of the lessons are currently being falsely attributed to Eidolos who made the transition from learndb to wiki page.)

Given that I've already got code parsing this page successfully and then rebuilding it in a new form, if we want to majorly change page layout (like say, into a pretty table or something), now would be a convenient time to do it.

Blackcustard 18:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Eidolos shouldn't be falsely credited, and I'm not so vain that every one of my changes needs to be mentioned. Let's make this page easy to read: I wouldn't like time stamps. -Tjr 21:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
On the commentary bit: I was looking at one of my own edits (I can be somewhat vain, yes), and I noticed that the commentary looked exactly the same as the original. On closer examination, it was that I had simply made a typo in the original, and it recorded my correcting edit as commentary. Honestly, I think it might not be a bad idea to do all the commentary by hand - subsequent edits were always intended to replace the lesson, not comment on it, so even in cases other than obvious typos it still might come off as strange or disjointed. I'd be perfectly willing to contribute; I don't think every entry needs commentary by any means.
And I do agree with tjr that there's no need to credit people with their lessons. It makes things harder to read, and it also gives a weird image of the nethack community, with only a few users and many anonymous contributions. -Ion frigate 09:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, should have made that clearer. Yes, all the commentary needs to be done by hand, I just stuck the revised version there for easy access while it was being done. New draft, commentary done (I got around to it :) ).
Need some help with "* If you find Minetown bones, before you go #chatting up the priest, make SURE both the priest and the altar are of the same alignment. Also ensure that the temple isn't haunted." Can an inhabitated unconverted temple be haunted? Kill -> UT -> tame? Trap -> convert -> convert back -> tame? Blackcustard 14:47, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I put that in there because I think the haunted message is the most reliable warning for newbies. Assume the priest was originally trapped with boulders to convert the altar. The finder might think he can convert the altar back, sleep and pacify the priest, and then buy protection. Instead, this will anger the priest.
In fact, I believe the only case you can ever un-haunt a temple is if the priest was originally teleported away and then walks back to his unaltered temple. However, I don't know how to teleport him. -Tjr 20:50, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Conflict or polyself with a quantum mechanic will work, but you will almost certainly have to relieve the priest of his cloak/robe first, since it'll always be MC 3. And it appears that priests do not path back to their temples, unlike shopkeepers - this priest seemed perfectly content to just wander about aimlessly. In order to get him back I had to attack him, and let him follow me. Pacifying him did indeed restore the temple. -Ion frigate 21:41, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

I can history merge the draft and all of its edits back into the article. Of course, that means Blackcustard's talk page heading will show up in intermediate versions of the article. Do we want that? (I'm in favor.) --Tjr 22:23, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Done --Tjr 16:30, 18 July 2011 (UTC)