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How to Unstack/Split/Drop Partial Stack?

The entry speaks of dropping "all but one," but I don't see how that's accomplished. Perhaps some text to describe how to do this (or split stacks) in the ASCII and graphical versions? (Please?) -- 03:23, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


I think your question is answered under the "Splitting stacks" section better than I could do it here. If you hit "D" you can click on a stack to drop, and then strike a numerical key on your keyboard to select a number to drop.

Serratus 12:58, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Excellent! Thanks, Killian and Serratus! 04:01, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

When to dilute potions for alchemy?

The article states:

It can be advantageous to dilute (by dipping once) every potion a player finds at the first opportunity

Is this really a good tradeoff?


From the entry:

  • It won't affect the qualities of the potion
It does if the fountain happens to curse the dipped potion!
Some qualities do differ. This probably won't make a difference in a regular game, but could be important if you're attempting a food conduct for example. Potions that act differently when diluted are:
  • it is generally easier to do as one traverses the dungeon
If you dip as you find, you'll end up doing a lot more dipping, as dipping a big stack of potions of object detection is a lot more efficient than dipping them one-by-one as you find them.
  • the fountains near your stash won't last forever
You can often make it last forever. Sometimes pools are created when dipping or quaffing. If it's really important to you, you can dig down on the fountain, which usually produces pools of water.
Other things you can do to reduce any perceived inconvenience:
  • acquire teleport control and levelport to a fountain to do your dilution for alchemy
  • establish your stash near a pool or moat as a permanent source of water. Typically serious alchemy occurs after visiting Vlad's Tower, with its guaranteed boots of water walking. Or you can always go skinny-dipping with your potions.


That I can think of:

  • Perhaps the author never makes a mistake, but for those of us who have a nonzero chance of making one, diluting useful potions unnecessarily simply makes it more likely that we will lose them in a water-related accident. Advice on NetHackWiki should be relevant to such players.
  • Dipping in fountains early on is a really bad idea for the following reasons:
    • You're less able to deal with hostile water demons or water moccasins
    • You'll have a harder time recovering your important items from a water nymph
    • Drowning your pet early on can be inconvenient
    • You may not have a unicorn horn to remove any wisdom loss due to abuse
    • Personally I like to wait until I have at least 4 luck then quaff fountains for the stat increase - I never seem to find enough potions of gain ability, even though I hoard them and bless them before quaffing. This generally means waiting until you have found a (noncursed) luckstone and either a full moon or a coaligned altar or unicorn.
  • Fountains are best kept for creating holy water and scrolls of blank paper if you have a magic marker. Generally it's more inconvenient to have no fountains and a cursed magic lamp in the early game than to have lots of undiluted potions to alchemize and a long trek to Medusa in the mid/late game.
  • Diluted potions don't stack with undiluted potions. This could cause inventory management issues if you haven't found a bag yet.

I'll leave this for responses for a while then change the page appropriately unless there are strong objections. Don't worry I won't put all this up.

--Rogerb-on-NAO 23:25, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Rogerb! Feel free to change this as you see fit. I only created a quick stackable article because there was none, and you are absolutely right that my advice to dilute every potion could be misinterpreted and failed to mention things, for example, digging out a fountain to make a pool. I had been planning to make a big section on alchemy strategy (that I never got around to), and I didn't want to go in full-depth here - I thought I'd mention the basic concept of stackables, and some vague general strategy on the subject, leaving the in-depth stuff for specific articles (like alchemy).
In fact, your discussion points here are well laid-out and could make an excellent article too on diluting, or added in dipping or somewhere in alchemy, minus hopefully the stuff directed at the author here ;) Heh, I don't mean to be over-sensitive but I thought for example the whole "Perhaps the author never makes a mistake" line was a maybe a 'lil harsh - but it was clever and I could understand if we were in a deep debate about the subject. But this was just a first draft to get the ball rolling, people should feel free to improve it.
Anyway, I'll take a stab at cleaning that part up while still mentioning how it can sometimes be advantageous, and if you come back and want to fix it up more feel free. Floatingeye 01:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Your edit looks good. You're right, I did argue too forcefully in places; I think I was anticipating rather more resistance and marshalled some of my arguments somewhat in advance of their being required. Sorry about that.
I'd be interested to see an article on alchemy strategy (or a strategy section in the alchemy article). Currently what I do is very basic.
I've done a very light edit, as I needed to remove the issue from the todo. I'm leaving in the todo regarding style, as that's still outstanding, although not exactly urgent.
--Rogerb-on-NAO 02:40, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Excellent, thanks! It's cool to have someone double check the work - wouldn't want my unfiltered advice going straight to a newer player. I remember how I took every article as dogma when I broke down and started peeking, so to think of someone dipping every potion right off the get-go - probably not good. Glad someone pointed that out. Agreed on the style todo, too. I can let whomever wants take care of that, or I might check back in a while and try to fix it up, I don't know if there is enough content yet for a great strategy section, or if that would be better off in separate articles (alchemy, enchant weapon, holy water, etc.).
Floatingeye 03:44, 23 May 2008 (UTC)