Friday, December 13, 2019

Camelot: That's How Conditions Are

I thought it was time for an update on Camelot even though I don't have much to report. It remains a hard game, made only slightly easier by very favorable resurrection odds when you die. I haven't lost a character permanently in ages, although I have lost attributes and my score hovers at the game minimum, which is -99,999. I keep expecting to "get over the hump," but now my thinking is that the metaphor is wrong and I'm not facing a "hump" so much as a long, slow, technical mountain climb that only gets harder.
            
The resurrection paragraph. I always breathe a sigh of relief when it doesn't include language to suggest I've lost an attribute.
           
I've gotten to Level 16, which feels pretty powerful, but there's never a time that you don't have to be careful. Even when you can destroy them with barely a pause, green slimes can still eat through your weapon and destroy it, messing up your odds against more difficult creatures. Items that you find post-combat can still be cursed, replacing good items in your inventory that you were counting on. I lost my shield and a Wand of Frost to careless item grabs.

Even though my second account allows me to see my position on an auto-map, I've continued to make my own maps, mostly because the auto-map doesn't annotate secret doors, traps, chutes, or teleporters. These are becoming more common as I descend. Level 3 had a teleporter that took me to Level 7, which will be handy later on when I'm actually ready to visit Level 7.

My primary problem is large parties of monsters. A worst-case scenario might be stumbling into a room with a party of 6 demons and having them surprise me. Each gets a whack at me and each does 20% damage. I have no way to escape while they're attacking, and I die. An only slightly-better scenario is stumbling into the same room and not having them surprise me, but I don't realize how dangerous they are, I make an attack, and then they kill me during their turn.
           
Fortunately, these demons are friendly; otherwise, their "surprise" would have killed me in the first round.
           
Usually, when facing a difficult party, I hope to kill one of them, then flee the room to heal before taking on the rest. A third problem is when I encounter those 6 demons, attack, get my health reduced to 20% on the follow-up, and then accidentally hit another attack key (or any other key) instead of fleeing the room, and the monsters kill me in the next round.

Monster difficulty seems to practically double between levels. I might do 73% damage, with a 60% chance to hit, for the average monster that I meet on Level 3, but that drops to 23% damage with a 25% chance to hit on Level 4. To advance to the next level, I need to kill a theurgist, but every time I consult a palantir, it tells me that the nearest theurgist is on Level 4 or below, and every time I head down that far, I die.
          
The palantir tells me the level of my next quest.
           
The reset of the dungeon every hour, on the hour, creates some unique challenges. I try to keep the shortest paths between levels clear, but there are certain monsters that I loathe to fight, such as slimes and thieves, because of what they can do to your equipment and wealth, so some hours I have to decide whether to risk it or just wait for the next hour. There's a special treasure room (with much harder enemies) on each level that's worth a visit when it resets, although my character is still regularly killed by the denizens of that room on Level 1. In general, you have to keep your eye on the time because you don't want to get caught in the middle of a level, thinking you've already cleared it, when the clock turns.

The other day, I complained a bit to creator Joshua Tabin. He looked at my character and suggested a few things, although most of them are more complex than he suggested. For instance, among his suggestions were:

1. My elf is supposed to be more of a spellcaster than a fighter, and I seem to be relying on melee combat. This is true, but you can only equip one spell item at a time, it runs out of charges quite fast, and it costs a lot of money to get it recharged. Plus, it's vulnerable to being replaced by a cursed item. (When you pick up a cursed item, it automatically equips, replacing what was in the slot before it.) I had a Wand of Frost for a while that was massacring large groups--but it cost almost 20,000 gold pieces to recharge every half dozen uses.

2. I should make more use of Scrolls of Identification. You can use these any time. If you're in an empty room, they tell you something about the room. If you're in combat, they tell you about the monsters. If you're about to pick up an item, they tell you what it is (and whether it's cursed). Enormously handy, yes, but they don't grow on trees. I use them when I have them but I don't have them a lot of the time.

3. My equipment isn't good enough. I agree, but it's not like I can will new stuff into existence. The prices at the shop deter me from purchases since I need most of my money for level-ups. Because of the lack of Scrolls of Identification, I take a chance on unknown items sometimes to my woe. I lost a second suit of mithril mail this way and a good pair of boots.

4. I should have a companion. No argument there. I have had one for most of the last 8-10 hours (although I didn't when Joshua made the suggestion).  I had a pseudo-dragon for several hours. When it died, I cycled through a series of them before getting a white dragon, which remained with me for about three hours before it "got bored" and left. I just had a bulette die in combat against some great orcs, and I soon replaced him with an "iron cobra," who so far has been awesome. Companions are converted to your side with Scrolls of Taming, Orbs of Entrapment, and Charming Scrolls, and I forget a lot what item works on what type of creature.
           
My white dragon helps me against a group of dragons.
           
5. I'm not negotiating enough. Every level has some rooms with monsters guarding treasure chests. In many cases, the monsters will depart for a negotiated fee, and the chest is yours for the taking, and very often the price to get the monsters to leave is a lot less than the chest is worth. I've been largely operating via a classic RPG mentality of "clearing" every room even if the monsters are initially friendly.

Despite my "counters" to each of Joshua's suggestions, a common theme emerges from them, which is the need to explore the dungeon strategically instead of methodically. The typical RPG encourages you to clear out every room on every level, and by the time you get to the end of the level, your character has improved enough to go on to the next one. That type of exploration is counter-productive in Camelot. What you want to do instead is to identify the special rooms on each level that have higher-level treasure and otherwise scout levels for the best treasures (distinguishable by icon) rather than insisting on hitting every square. Fight when necessary, not because you feel like you must. This is a difficult way for me to play. I'm not a so-called "completionist" who insists on hitting every corner of every level, but the idea of leaving enemies in my backpath is still anathema to the normal way I play.

I'll keep Camelot on the active board for a while longer and hope my luck turns. If nothing else, it's a good game to have going while your wife insists on watching The Muppet Christmas Carol for the 25th time.

Time so far: 28 hours

53 comments:

  1. Don't dis the Muppet's Christmas Carol Chester! My wife will be over beating you up with yours!

    These old PLATO games are fascinating... planning to log into Cyber1 after the New Years and tinker with them a bit.

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    1. Muppets Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas movie, to the point that my old VHS tape was worn out in several spots. It's as much a part of Christmas for me as turkey and cranberry sauce.

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    2. I don't deny that it's a great film. I know it well enough to know that the VHS version has "The Love is Gone" while the streaming and DVD versions don't. But I have an upper limit on the number of times that I can watch a film and do nothing but watch the film, and we passed it a long time ago with that one.

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  2. "I've been largely operating via a classic RPG mentality of "clearing" every room even if the monsters are initially friendly."

    Negotiating with monsters whenever you possibly can is very old school D&D. When you have an average of 4 hp at level 1, you only fight the fights you absolutely have to, and when people actually use the reaction roll mechanic this is more common than you'd think. So I'm actually not surprised at all that this is an expectation, even if it goes against the normal instincts of PC RPGs.

    "What you want to do instead is to identify the special rooms on each level that have higher-level treasure and otherwise scout levels for the best treasures (distinguishable by icon) rather than insisting on hitting every square"

    Yeah. This is exactly how old school D&D worked at first. Because all you want is treasure, you go for the greatest treasure hordes, preferably the least defended hordes with the highest treasure. A common meme in old school circles is "combat is a fail-state", because it means your more reliable plots have failed and all that is left is to entrust your fates to the unreliable dice.

    This game sounds *very* D&D.

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    1. That's an important perspective. Tobin was a major D&D fan, so it makes sense. Most of his monsters are cribbed from there.

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    2. Doesn't sound all that like the D&D I played in the late 70s/early 80s. Maybe that's not old school but we were more interested in the stories than the treasure.

      I see your point on negotiating, though, and one thing I love about more modern systems is the freedom to do things just like that.

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    3. I played a lot of AD&D 1 and 2E, a LOT of it, and we didn't play that way at all. Why would monsters just leave treasure behind? Maybe you might try bribing goblins that are working for an evil NPC of some kind, though we never did, but if the chests were actually theirs, why on earth wouldn't they take them when they left, even assuming that they could talk with you to begin with?

      We never, ever used that tactic. Our approach to low-level weakness was to roll up characters in large batches, throw them into the meat grinder, and see who lived. Once someone was third level or so, then we'd start making up a backstory. Until then, we just treated starting characters in a campaign like cannon fodder.

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    4. Okay, we can all agree that different people played D&D different ways. The point is that what Pkdragon outlines is one way to play it, and Tobin was clearly a fan of leaving those options in.

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    5. Thanks, Chet. Appreciate that. I suppose there's a decision that developers always make around how hard to make the early-game: Some choose to make the early-game easy, and give players a lot of early wins to capture their attention, but if the whole game stays that easy, then the satisfaction of winning is diminished. On the other hand, if the early game is more difficult (or so our thinking was at the time), then the hope is that there is more satisfaction early-on in the process, more sense of accomplishment, and also more rarity or exclusivity that the player will feel upon breaking-through into the mid-game and finally in winning/completion. Well, that was my intent, anyway. Balance is always a hard thing, as my play-testers back in the day compared Camelot to brutally difficult games of the day such as Oubliette and early versions of Hack (running on PDP/11's, believe it or not)... and so the player's mindset was probably just different back then.

      One last point: I still have full edit-access to all the code and data for the live version of Camelot on Cyber1, so if anyone has any constructive advice or suggestions to improve the game and/or balance (in early-game, mid-game, or late-game), I'm more than willing to implement those improvements! -Josh

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    6. Sorry I spelled your name "Tobin" twice.

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    7. I wonder how much Camelot was developed since 1982. I have the feeling that the Addicts intend to play to games as they were back in the times didn't work that nice with the Plato games.

      I read that the minimap of Orthanc was recently added. And Oubliette is having an add for the Ipod/Iphone on the title screen.

      So that leaves the question how much that games covers today the orginal experience of playing it at the dates the Addict listed them. He can't play an old version like he did with Nethack.

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    8. You don't have to wonder... I will tell you! ;)
      The basic structure is untouched (as is the code -- ugh, 40-year old code sux!), but bugs have been fixed and algorithms have been tweaked to improve balance. Also, as Cyber1 has tweaked timing, I've also had to make changes to visual elements so that they remain visible (remember, we were running at 300 baud back then)..

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. BTW... speaking of bug fixes... just tonight Chet found one with levitation, and luckily I was online and came to his rescue! Yeah, my bug testing skills were not up to par when I wrote this 40 years ago... but jeez, gimme a break -- I was only TWELVE years old when I wrote it!!

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    11. If you're still able to fix bugs after 40 years, the code can't be that bad.

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    12. Yes, this.

      This actually came up in the discussion of the Gold Box games. In 1ed AD&D, you gained one XP for each gold piece value of treasure taken. This meant that 1) you were expected to get the bulk of your XP from treasure and 2) if there was a way to get treasure while avoiding combat, you took it, because combat could really easily kill you.

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    13. Sorry I didn't respond, that comment was the last thing I said before going on a quick winter vacation, haha.

      I probably spoke more authoritatively than I ought to have, I play in OSR circles which tend to recreate old school play, instead of actually playing during that era. I cannot comment on how play was actually like back then- I do know it was baked into the rules that treasure was worth a ton more than killing monsters, and there were no established XP guidelines for quests, so treasure was the default way to play, and the modules of the era reflect that. It sounds like Camelot at least adhered to this philosophy.

      Even back then, I know countless people deviated from those rules and may have had different experiences, and that's great because D&D is all about making it your own! I do know the "combat as a fail state" meme in particular is an OSR thing. And the another way to deal with it is definitely the meatgrinder method.

      Monsters leaving their treasure behind is definitely odd on the surface, but what usually happens after a successful negotiation, in my experience in OSR games, is that the players either steal or con the loot from the now friendly monsters, get it from them as a reward for doing a favor for them (usually involving fighting some OTHER monsters in the dungeon, but not always), or just use the increased safety of the dungeon to pick more aggressive fights elsewhere and get the loot from that. Given that Camelot does not have the infinite possibilities a GM has, monsters leaving behind their loot seems like a decent enough way to simulate that the party will get the treasure eventually >.>

      I hope that clarified where I was coming from. Sorry if I was long winded.

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    14. I can definitely confirm the Gold=XP dilemma. It's the first thing we houseruled when playing in the 80s, because we just couldn't see how that would work in practice (We were too young to come up with clever solutions like yours, Pkdragon). In our games, you only got XP from quests and defeating monsters, never from treasure.

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    15. Well, if you truly stock the dungeons according to Appendix A from the DMG, you'll often find vast hoards of unguarded or underguarded treasures. Not to say always--sometimes the best stuff will be under vigorous lock and key--but that's what you're looking for if you're playing GP=XP.

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    16. Yeah, I think Gygax had a room ratio that ended up being something like 5-10% of the rooms containing a treasure horde that is completely unguarded.

      Of course, sometimes those rooms were hidden behind secret doors, but that's why you took Elves with you into the dungeon, lol.

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  3. This seems like a terrible, terrible game.

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    1. I'm not describing it well, then. It's not a great game for me right now because I'm stuck in the mud in general, but it has some of the challenge, complexity, and depth of an early roguelike or perhaps Wizardry. If I had more time in general these months and wasn't in a rut with several other games, I'd appreciate the challenge that it offered.

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    2. It just seems to me like an unbearably repetitive Hell where absolutely everything works against you and your enjoyment, and where progress is meaningless, with not even a plot to string you along, just bland room after bland room, and death after death.

      It seems like 100% challenge and 0% reward. Like climbing a Mount Everest that never ends.

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    3. Chet has made a lot of recent progress... up to level-30 now... I'd say he's over the hump.

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  4. I get the sense Chet that you like the old text based games and indeed they have a sense of more purity and allowing for more imagination from the player. It´s like comparing a modern film to its book origins. Most people agree the book is always better than the movie. So Camelot is a tough old one eh? Do you find when the game is very unforgiving you´re almost itching to hex hack or cheat some other way?
    Have a good gaming day and merry christmas wishes.

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    1. If you read his prior post about unpopular opinions, he's pretty much dead-set against that kind of thing. He thinks you should play a game the way the author intended, not modify anything. He'd probably be a little horrified at the thought.

      Also, he doesn't explicitly say it here, but I think this is a PLATO game, which was an early timesharing system running on very expensive computers at universities. He probably doesn't have enough access to the system to do any hex editing, even if he were so inclined.

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    2. You have me all wrong, bro. I´m talking in generality and just being conversational. IN general games are a good challenge but some can go a bit too far with the difficulty. We all know that. I know Chet is against cheating, but he isn´t against reloading...and ahum, that kinda is soft cheating. With enough skill, it doesn´t matter what system by the way, because if you´re determined enough, and yeah with the right access or third party tools, it is possible to hack, hex edit or whatever you want, or, play an alternate rebuild of the game. I think you´ll find he plays games from plato on an EMULATOR. I´m poking fun here and making a general comment and it´s a bit sad you´ve taken it all so seriously. Nonetheless, thanks for your opinions here, your own perspective. Differences are welcomed. I welcome speech that is unstoppably free.

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    3. It might be interesting to note that because this was always built as a multi-user game (we didn't have the acronym MORPG back then), that there was always an "operator lesson" -- meaning another program that allows an operator or super-user of the game to see and edit data, including the dungeon maps, items, monsters, treasure-drops, and yes, even the character data. When you go to the "map lesson" in Camelot you're actually viewing a limited version of this as it shows the player character running top-down in a 2D version of the map and allows you to monitor things happening to the player in real-time. I will give Chet some screenshots of this... perhaps he will post them. -Josh

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    4. There's a difference between an emulator and a TERMINAL emulator, the latter of which you use for PLATO. None of the files are on my own computer and hence not vulnerable to any hacking or hex-editing. I'd have to have access to such programs and with such administrative rights on the Cyber1 system, and I wouldn't do it anyway. This isn't a single player experience. When I win this game, my name will appear on a leaderboard with a few dozen other people who worked their butts off to win it over the last couple of decades, and that's not the kind of thing you want to do dishonestly.

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  5. One other comment to malor, it´s better to attack the concepts rather than the person. You didn´t have to reply to my comment and thus make it about me. I don´t think you checked all your facts anyway...emulators let you do things the original systems never did, cheating, pausing, reload, whatever. I´ve read Chet´s posts for years by the way. Be careful to judge someone based on a tiny post when you don´t know everything else they know or believe. Just like in courts and parliaments, better to attack the concepts with proofs, rather than just hit on the person. Have a good think and a great day. Welcoming your next game post Chet.
    bye

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    1. Cheating and hex editing sucks. The only person you cheat is yourself.

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    2. I'd highly recommend doing some hex editing if you want to study computer science or work in the IT business in general. Besides teaching you about low level data representation (2K, string termination and such), it also helps building analysis and testing skills.

      It can also be pretty fun. I remember playing Carmageddon with friends during a LAN party (decades ago), and we started editing the data files of the cars and racing them against each other...

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    3. Harland, sometimes you just can't play the game as intended, despite liking the story and wanting to see the end. Or maybe the intended way, which they didn't tell you when you bought the game, was to spend days grinding in the starting zone and then repeating it in each area you reach. Or maybe it's a part you just can't beat, despite spending days trying. Or maybe the game switched genre for a moment, and that RPG is now a shmup, which you can't play. Or there could be an unfixed bug, or something is way harder than intended. Or maybe you just want to experiment.

      There are multiple reasons to cheat.

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    4. One of the most sensible reasons to cheat is to bypass bits of really bad design. One particular game has an enemy drop item that has no use other than to allow progress. This item drops at a 1/256 rate, forcing you to grind for a long time against weak monsters to get it legit - not only wasting a great deal of the player's time, but potentially boosting character levels above what was intended for the next area, robbing them of part of the intended experience. When I played that game, I stopped after half an hour and used a program to edit the drop chance to 1/1 so I could get on with the game.

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    5. This makes a lot of sense; I hate grinding, and believe it or not, avoiding grind was one of my primary design principles when I created Camelot, so my hope was that no one who plays it will feel so stuck that they're looking for a way to cheat. ;)

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    6. One particular game has an enemy drop item that has no use other than to allow progress. This item drops at a 1/256 rate, forcing you to grind for a long time against weak monsters to get it legit - not only wasting a great deal of the player's time, but potentially boosting character levels above what was intended for the next area, robbing them of part of the intended experience.

      What game, out of curiosity? A 1/256 drop rate for an item required for progress is nuts.

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    7. It was FFIV PC, but I must be remembering details incorrectly. I distinctly remember changing an extremely low drop rate after grinding for something I needed, but I can't find that exact setup - the ultra-rare item is for a sidequest I didn't bother with. It may be that I mixed up two items and only thought I needed the ultra rare one.

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    8. I don't recall ever needing a monster drop for the main story in FFIV.

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    9. It's the Namingway quest, a very long side plot that runs parallel to the main story, where at one point you must find a rainbow pudding to advance. Namingway won't move on to his next location until you do. It's not required to progress in the main story, but it's still a dick move to completionists.

      I didn't cheat - I played it on DS and didn't know how - but I wish I did.

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    10. Ahab,

      That quest is ONLY in the DS version and not in the original SNES release, the PlayStation port, or the Game Boy Advance version.

      There are monster drops in the original, but it's completely optional and allows you to get, I believe, the strongest armor in the game. Totally unnecessary, but there for completionists.

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    11. Gnoman cited FFIV PC, which is based on the DS remake. AFAIK, the Namingway quest is there too.

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    12. Ha, that's funny -- when I first posted, I was going to say that Gnoman's description sounds like something straight out of Final Fantasy IV, if it weren't for the part about it being required.

      Specifically: I played that game on the SNES in the early-to-mid 1990s, and I'm pretty sure in that version there's a non-required item -- the raw material used to make the game's best sword, IIRC? -- that depends on a 1/256 drop in a very specific room to get the item you give someone to make the weapon.

      I was interested in getting the item, but then I remember being completely grossed out when I looked it up in a strategy guide and found out about the mechanic involved, because it seemed like an appalling, intrinsic, and frankly depressing waste of the player's time.

      Come to think of it, that whole mechanic put me off the Final Fantasy franchise, and I haven't really played another game in the series since (including Final Fantasy VI/III).

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    13. I just played 10 and 12 in the last few years and really enjoyed them both. They feature some things like the above, though. I am FAR from a completionist, so it doesn't bother me since they're not at all required for anything but achievement hunting.

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    14. Sorry, I didn't see this message before, and this reply is belated. We were having this discussion higher up, and I wasn't reading carefully down here.

      >You didn´t have to reply to my comment and thus make it about me

      That's normally how threaded discussion works. Someone brings up a specific subject or idea, and other people reply to that comment. It's not making it about you, it's making it about what you posted. It's generally considered to be more polite to do it this way, because it lets everyone focus on discussions they care about, and skip ones they don't like. As of now, people will have to skip over two high-level comments instead of one if they don't want to read our blather.

      I probably could have used more diplomatic phrasing than "if you read the prior topic", but fer chrissake, Addict just spent a bunch of time talking about hating the idea of cheating by hex editing, even in single player games, and then you pop in suggesting that he cheat by hex editing in a multiplayer game. Nudging you to (re?) read his just-prior post seems entirely on-topic and fair.

      >emulators let you do things the original systems never did, cheating, pausing, reload, whatever

      Sure, absolutely they do. I run them all the time and sometimes do exactly that. But Chet isn't running the emulator. That's being hosted on another computer, Cyber1, which is a replica of a 1970s university mainframe. On that remote server, he has very limited access, and no ability to hex edit anything. As far as I know, about all he can do is run games.

      Also, as he tried to explain upthread, this is a multiplayer machine, one shared with many clients, with high scores being posted in a global table. He's against hex editing even for a single player game, and would never, ever do anything of the sort in a multiplayer environment. He says that the other people on that high score list earned their way there, and thinks it would be reprehensible to invalidate the effort they put in by cheating.

      He does run a local program to access the server, but that will just be a terminal emulator of some kind. All that does is send keystrokes to the server, and then renders the graphics and text the server sends back. If you're at all familiar with Unix, this is similar to running a Tektronix terminal emulator to connect to a remote Unix or Linux machine. Tek terminals use a different graphic system, but the overall idea is roughly comparable; the server sends special graphic codes, and the terminal draws them. Addict could run a hex editor on his local machine, but all he can change is the state of the terminal; he has no special access to the program driving it. That's probably thousands of miles away.

      Short of hacking his way into this ancient system, which isn't a skill set he's talked about having, he'll have to play it like any other player would. He's just a user on Cyber1, and can't hex edit programs running under other people's accounts.

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    15. @PK Thunder: You're thinking of the Pink Tail, which is a totally secret item (as in nobody mentions it in the game, ever) that allows you to get the Adamant Armor, a completely ridiculous and game-breaking item. It's a 1/64 drop from a 1/64 encounter, although in the Japanese version you could use the Siren item to guarantee an encounter. It's really more of an easter egg, like the Gutsy Bat from EarthBound (1/128 drop from a rare encounter).

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    16. @stepped pyramids: Ah, thanks -- that all sounds right. It's easier to imagine myself getting completely disgusted by a 1/4096 chance than a 1/256 chance; at least you have a probability of about 63%, or 1-(1/e), of getting the latter item after 256 attempts.

      I think the other thing that soured me is the impression of an excessively cozy relationship between the game and the inevitable strategy guide. I don't remember if the game hints at the Adamant Armor, or the strategy guide made it sound like a must-have, but it just seemed to me that there shouldn't be anything in a game -- especially an RPG -- that requires that kind of external assistance to figure out. But seeing it as an Easter egg changes things, I guess.

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    17. An example of what Gnoman was talking about that doesn't depend on side quests is the so-called "Heathkit DND," which I wrote about here:

      http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2016/04/game-219-dungeons-and-dragons-1981-aka.html

      To find and open the Heathkit vault, you have to first find the three-digit combination. Each digit is on a separate piece of paper. Pieces of paper appear randomly as "refuse" in 1 of 20 encounters. Sometimes they're trapped; sometimes they have nothing on them; sometimes they have gibberish. It takes hundreds of encounters to find all three digits. Then you have to find a magic word and not lose it when fighting undead. Then, if you find the vault, there's only a 1/10 chance that it contains the boss. The other 9/10 of the time, it has something else, and you have to go back to finding pieces of refuse again. Oh, and even if it has the boss, there's a 50% chance he's "on vacation," and the vault is empty. Unwilling to spend dozens of hours until the probabilities went my way, I cheated (in ways I outlined in the entry) just to be able to document the ending screen.

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    18. @Ahab,

      Got ya. Makes sense.

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  6. Carefully choosing which encounters to fight or flee and carefully choosing exactly the right strategy, whether dipping-in-n-out of the encounter, or parrying, or reasoning/negotiating, or going for the critical hit, or just plain going berserk, or throwing a spell, or maybe just rip the box and steal it out from under the encounter, or just RUN LIKE HELL -- all these options is what I understood made the experience more rewarding (rather than just blindly banging on the -f- key), and when you start to really get that right more often than not, THAT'S when the veil finally lifts and you really get into your groove.

    I also know what you mean by more modern games that expect you to clear every room... so YES, you are correct -- I never expected anyone to do that! Well, that was our perspective back in the day... yeah, nearly FORTY years ago!! ;-)

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    1. I agree with you 95%. The other 5% is reserved for those times when you wander into a room with a stack of enemies capable of killing you in one round, and they surprise you and get the first set of hits. There's no way to anticipate, counter, or escape this situation, and as such I find it a bit unfair.

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  7. Hint: Blogger does not eat the comments on the previous post. You just have to scroll all the way down and click "Load More" for them to appear.

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  8. http://www.mogelpower.de/cheats/loesung.php?id=6605

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I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) This also includes user names that link to advertising.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters.

3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

Also, Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

As of January 2019, I will be deleting any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.