Numberchasing, the art of getting as much experience as possible mostly through combat, but also by any other means available.
Numberchasing on the Discworld MUD is the practice of trying to gain as many experience points as possible in a given amount of time. This usually involves killing and burying a lot of npcs but can also include using commands to generate experience, the one time reward of quests or achievements or teaching.
The amount of experience gathered over time is usually expressed as experience points per hour (xp/h), colloquially referred to as the rate.
For new characters, the most powerful way to gain experience quickly is probably via Quests. Some quests are very generous both in experience and in cash rewards, but they only provide them once. Achievements also provide one time rewards of experience but they tend to be more time consuming and give less experience for the effort involved.
Most players associate numberchasing with killing npcs, often in groups, since that method can be used constantly and with good rates.
When gathering only command experience, it is called idlechasing, which is often said to oppose numberchasing despite having the same basic goal. When combining idlechasing with numberchasing it becomes idlehunting.
Maximizing the rate is often said to be a constant preoccupation in numberchasing, but like everything else that's up to each individual.
There are many ways to try to improve your rate:
- Killing things faster.
- This usually means killing only npcs you can kill fast.
- Being in a group allows you to kill stronger npcs faster.
- Spending gp on commands that give higher experience return.
- Always finding new npcs to kill.
- The high-level npcs in a zone can be dispatched so quickly that it will take time for them to respawn. Thus moving between hotspots is a way to keep killing npcs.
- The terrains can provide a lot of npcs since the rooms are quite numerous, but after a while in the same zone the npcs can stop showing up, requiring a relocation to terrains or other rooms elsewhere.
- Hunting in dangerous zones can yield a lot since the dangerous npcs are worth a lot of experience. However the risk of dying is higher, which would not only make you lose a percentage of unspent experience when resurrected but also cause a delay in numberchasing efforts. Furthermore, recovering your corpse or stolen equipment can also be time consuming.
Hotspots are locations, often single rooms or a few rooms close together, where npcs that give the experience concentration is unusually high. Sometimes all the npcs are strong, or there might be one named NPC and many strong ordinary ones.
To hunt those hotspots wizards are valued, but not so much for area spells like Pragi's Fiery Gaze, which is useful mostly when hunting alone since melee can be faster in a group, but rather for their ability to swiftly portal the entire group between hotspots.
Finding the highly valued npcs after they respawn but before they are killed can be seen as a race between numberchasing groups trying to keep their rate as high as possible. It is possible to predict when npcs in a room will reappear based on when you killed them, or you can seek them in various ways. To just test existence, you can use a Libby Twickle's jewellery made of type "crystal" to sense the temperature in the environmental of the npc if it is somewhere or have it fail if it is not anywhere.
There are a number of Achievements related to numberchasing.