Be aware there are lots of beginner-intermediate spoilers on this page, designed to help you push deeper into the dungeon and explore what potential WazHack offers.
Try not to read them all at once, they are called spoilers for a reason :-)
This page is a work in progress.
Although the tactics below are a good guide for any class, they were written with Barbarian or Knight in mind, and so do not cover much about spell books or spell use, or other types of pets (contributions welcome!)
Who is this page for? Edit
Perhaps you've played Wazhack a fair few times, but still just end up dying very early on, or cannot consistently get very far. If so this article might introduce you to a few tactics which can help.
Bear in mind that even experienced players will have games where they die very early on, but as you become more familiar with WazHack, you will eventually learn ways to get yourself out of most problems, and you will get good runs more frequently.
The tips below are broken down into loose sections, although are in no particular order
Some of these tips are more suited to playing as the Barbarian class, especially if you love to be a pack mule and carry around insane amounts of loot. If you have a weaker character, you can still use these tactics although you may need to make more trips to the shopkeeper or be more selective about what you pick up
Basic movement Edit
Wazhack lets you hold down the mouse (or finger!) to constantly run. Try to avoid doing this, especially in unexplored areas, as you will often end up nose to nose with an ogre, with no time to prepare. Instead get used to moving with a series of taps, waiting to see if its safe to proceed.
Likewise in the heat of a battle, its tempting to try to do things quickly, which more than often results in a bad decision. If you're facing a tough opponent and things are starting to go pear shaped, take a breather and open your inventory. There's no hurry, no enemy is going to hit you until you next move.
Study each item slowly to see whether it can help you, maybe you've a teleport scroll, or a healing potion you forgot about. Perhaps a wand of polymorph can suddenly get you out of this mess.
Its not uncommon to die, and then see an already identified item in your inventory which could have saved you, but you didn't think to use it. These deaths are a harsh lesson because they could have been avoided.
If all else fails, you can risk drinking a random potion or reading a scroll, but be prepared for it to backfire horribly. Once in a while you will get really lucky though :-)
What to aim for with each game Edit
Wazhack is a game of discovery. Whilst the spoilers on this page should help newbies progress deeper and more consistently, there is a LOT more to learn before winning the game.
Its fine to try and progress as far as you can on each game, but if you are constantly trying to win the game as a newbie, in all likelihood it's just not going to happen.
Instead, focus on learning one or two new things on each run. Learn how to use items properly, and react to the hundreds of different scenarios WazHack will throw at you.
This may mean lots of games where you die prematurely, but thats ok so long as you learnt something for next time. Maybe you've learnt the effects of a cursed scroll (in some cases they can be useful), or what potions can do when thrown. Maybe eating specific corpses can provide benefits (or detriments!). Wands too, have a lot of effects and ways to use them creatively, aswell as specific monsters you encounter and how to defeat them effectively.
Just use each game to explore, scrape away another tiny layer of the mystery, and have fun :-)
General Tips, and the first 400 feet Edit
The first few hundred feet should be spent collecting as much loot as you can (including all weapons and armor), without any attempt to use any of it. The exception is if you are really caught off guard and need to risk quaffing an unidentified potion, but this can usually be avoided early on.
Since all loot starts as unidentified, its crucial to start identifying things before progressing much further. Taking risks on unidentified potions or scrolls will backfire often, and this is where most new players can get frustrated.
So by the time you get to around 400 feet, you should have accumulated a decent selection of random loot (but still all unidentified). Ignore any fountains and shopkeepers during your initial descent, we will come back to them later.
You most likely have several dupes of scrolls and potions. Its a good idea to start by reading the scroll you have the most of, since more often than not its an identify scroll (but not always, be prepared and fully healed first incase its a scroll of create monster, or teleport).
If it does turn out to be an identify scroll, then go ahead and read the others, and identifying your scrolls and potions one by one.
If you're very lucky, one of them will be blessed, and it will identify your entire inventory in one go. Its always a nice feeling when you get this lucky, and can often set you up for a pretty good run.
Likewise since there are different types of healing potions, the one you have the most of will often be a standard healing potion.
If you are lucky enough to find a chapel, the monk will identify the Cursed/Uncursed/Blessed nature of all your loot in one go. Again this is useful early on, as you can avoid gambling on a bad potion or scroll if you have to.
So at this point, you've identified a good few bits of loot, and can go back to any shopkeeper you found, and start offloading things you don't need. I tend to sell potions of confusion, hallucination, scrolls of light, destroy armor, plus any cursed rings or amulets which I've identified and are useless.
Buy any scrolls of identify he has for sale, and use them to identify more of your loot, selling back any trash at a loss if needs be. If you've already identified most your loot, consider buying any really cheap potions or scrolls from him, and identify those too (they will most likely be bad ones, but at least you've identified them, and you can then sell them back, or use bad potions to throw at enemies - throwing a sleep or polymorph potion at a strong enemy, can often get you out of a pickle)
If you did find a chapel, first go back and bless any identify scrolls you bought or found, before reading them. Likewise its worth blessing any lamps you found, in the hope of summoning a genie. You can of course bless other things, but at this stage you might not have enough money to do too much.
You should always keep a couple of spare weapons which you know are not cursed. A dagger is useful as it can be thrown long distances (particularly useful for gas spores), along with any other weapon which you can use to force open doors or chests without risking breaking your preferred weapon. A tin whistle can be used for this too, if you find one.
Ideally after you encounter your first shopkeeper (or quite often the second one), you have amassed a decent amount of gold (say 500-800). Its a good time now to go back to any fountains you found, and dip the gold in the hope of a wish.
Your pet can become quite powerful over time, and make the difference between life or death. But they are weak to begin with and often die very early on.
For the first few hundred feet, start commanding your pet to attack as many suitable enemies as you can. Goblins, rats, little spiders etc are all good targets, aswell as anything which is sat asleep. Follow your pet so you can finish the job incase it doesn't in the first one or two strikes.
The doors which open to contain kobolds (likewise sewer rats) are a great way to level up your pet.
Just keep luring them out one at a time, and command your pet to attack each time. Kill them yourself if two have appeared at once, or a kobold is holding a wand, to keeps things manageable.
After your pet gains experience he will grow, and it stands him in better stead to survive the next few hundred feet.
If you descend a ladder which spans more than one level, your pet will often jump straight down to the bottom if he sees an enemy. Follow him down so you can ensure he doesn't get mobbed, and then you can come back up and explore the level you missed.
If your pet does die, all is not lost. Interact with its corpse and feed it a health potion, and he will come back to life. Its worth keeping a health or two in reserve just for this purpose. Be warned that you only get a short time to do this before the pet can no longer be restored (also carrying his actual corpse meat does not do anything, you need to resurrect him from the site of its bones).
On later levels you might encounter a werewolf, who may leave a corpse behind. This is useful as you can feed the werewolf corpse to your pet, and it will immediately polymorph into a werewolf.
A pet which has been turned into a werewolf can become very powerful, as they can summon even more werewolfs to fight on your behalf (very occasionally summoning 6 or 7 new pets in one go). This can lead to a very fun game where you feel invincible, but bear in mind the more pets you have, the more food you need to keep them all fed.
If a pet is howling for food, be sure to feed him using the interact button, otherwise they will eventually go wild again and attack.
Pets have specific abilities which can be very useful also.
Dogs, cats and wolves are able to identify any cursed items they encounter on the floor. Often they will have already identified it by the time you pick it up, but if not, you can drop all your unidentified loot and run back and forth over it with the pet in tow (or ask your pet to 'fetch'). Likewise you can give items to your dog/cat/wolf and they will drop it if the item is cursed.
Monkeys have the steal ability, which allows them to steal the weapon of an enemy. This can be very useful for tough opponents early on, such as dwarves and ogres. Monkeys can eventually equip weapons, as they level up further.
Wishing is a vital part of Wazhack, and with so much different possible loot, its often the only way to get the items your character truly needs.
If you are very fortunate you might find a wand of wishing, although I find it to be exceptionally rare to just stumble across one, AND identify it, AND its got charges.
More common is finding a lamp which is blessed, or you pay the chapel to bless it (assuming you haven't attempted to already use it). Then rub it and if you're lucky a genie will pop out and grant a wish. Be warned that if you've lit the lamp already, you cant get a genie, even if it you later bless it.
Note that if you are lucky enough to summon a Genie, asking for a wand of wishing will just give you a wand with 0 charges, which explodes if you try to charge it.
The most reliable way to get wishes is by dipping gold into fountains. You choose an amount, and assuming a nymph doesn't appear, you should get to make a wish. View the Wish wiki article for how much you need to dip for each item, but be aware that WazHack v1.3 has increased the cost of many items significantly.
You will accumulate lots of gems as you plunder the dungeon, but its difficult to identify precious gemstones from worthless glass. Don't sell any gems to a shop until you've identified them, as something like a ruby can bring in 150 gold, but if its not identified he will only pay peanuts.
Its a good idea to drop orange or blue (portal), red (firestone), violet (power) and green (gas) gems as soon as you find them. If you do find a portal gem of any color, it can be useful to drop it in a good spot (near a shop, blacksmith or chapel) so you can easily hop back later if you then find a portal gem of the opposite color.
Firestones in particular can be very deadly, since they explode once you are within proximity (even if you are just trying to pick it up).
Try to avoid fighting at the very top of a ladder if you can help it. If your enemy happens to drop a firestone and it falls down, your pet will often jump down to the bottom and then end up getting blown up by it.
Carrying Capacity Edit
If you're a barbarian or vandal, you can carry large amounts of loot at a time.
For other classes, especially weaker ones, you are more limited in what you can carry before becoming encumbered (and slowing your entire attack and movement).
There are two magical bags which can really help in these cases.
A Bag of Midas will transform anything you put into it, into gold coins. Be careful as this can wipe out some great loot in an instant. These are easy to identify, just drop a useless item into any bag you find, and try to retrieve it.
A Bag of Holding will allow you to carry much more. You can identify these by picking up so much loot you are encumbered. Then 'use' the bag, which will dump all your inventory into it. If your encumbrance disappears then you know its a bag of holding, although it wont be labelled as such in the game unless you formally 'identify' it.
Note that you can encounter 'bags' and 'sacks'. Sacks are always generic and don't offer any magical properties, but they can still be a quick and useful way to dump all your loot on the floor in one go, incase you need to fight an enemy, or manipulate which item is stolen or affected by a scroll (destroy armor, remove curse etc).
An easy way to alleviate tour carrying capacity is to give your items to your pets because they can hold a lot too. The only downside to this is that if you need an item they have and they are out of reach there's not much you can do, so try to give them the items that you wouldn't need in an emergency such as extra armor, weapons, food or spellbooks you have already memorized. Just a tip - If you give them food to hold and they are hungry they will eat it so make sure you are fed first.
Common Problems for New Players Edit
Blindness can be an irritant, and is quite common to go blind from a fountain, drinking an unidentified potion, or even having a blindness potion explode near you. You can often find some carrots you can eat which can cure blindness, but failing that the best thing to do is just sleep it off.
Quite often you may equip an unusual looking (but unidentified) weapon, only to find out its cursed and you cant unwield it. Even worse it might be a weapon which is -3 meaning you now its harder to hit anything. You can also get stuck with an unwanted weapon if you were just trying to throw it, use it to break open a lock, or in the case of a wand, were trying to zap it.
Theres a few ways to fix this, the most obvious one being a scroll of remove curse. Drop everything you are carrying so if the scroll is uncursed it will always target whats left. If you know its blessed then go ahead and read it, it will remove all curses.
If you don't have a scroll of remove curse, then go visit a fountain, and drink in the hope of summoning a nymph. Remove any rings and amulets you're wearing first, since she prefers to steal those first, and with any luck she will appear and steal your cursed weapon, allowing you to wield your preferred one again.
If you cant find a fountain or you've already drunk them dry, go hunting for any locked doors or chests. Try to use your weapon to force the lock, and hopefully it will fail and destroy the weapon.
You can also use the nymph to steal any cursed armor you're stuck with. In this case unequip everything you're wearing (including weapon), and she will steal the armor. Then command your pet to attack, wield your weapon and finish her off.
Scrolls of destroy armor can be useful to alleviate yourself of cursed armor too. Naturally it gets destroyed in the process, so its worth fully identifying first.
Always be careful around shopkeepers because if you accidentally attack them you will most likely die so always pay them 100 gold instead of running away.