Boring but Practical/Video Games/Roguelike

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  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red/Blue, Sticks/Iron Thorns/Silver Spikes/etc. were a bit overpowered. They're ranged. They're common. You can carry 99 of them in one toolbox slot. At level 100, one of them can deal hundreds of hit points in damage. If you didn't care about the experience bonus you got for using actual moves, throwing weapons was the way to go. The sequels gave them a much-needed nerfing.
    • Heck, your basic attack was highly useful if you didn't need EXP, it had no maximum uses, and did decent consistent damage; And IQ skills would make it even better, such as never miss (Good for pokemon who spam double team, etc.) and double attack, where you would hit twice (Allowing it more damage than most basic moves).
    • Meanwhile, if you did need EXP, it's usually best to use weaker moves like Water Gun, Confusion, or even Tackle, since they usually do sufficient damage to knock out enemies in one hit and had plenty of PP to use, meaning you wouldn't have to go to your Max Elixirs too quickly.
    • If you enter a dungeon that forces you to be at level 1, you need to level fairly quickly in order to keep up with the enemies, since they scale rather quickly. Your PP is limited (especially is you also can't bring items in) and you don't start out with your optimal moves, but you can get some good mileage out of a stat-reduction move like Growl, which does no damage but still triggers the extra experience, so you can finish out with normal attacks. Growl itself is perhaps more useful than many other alternatives because it hits an entire room in one use, meaning if you play your cards right you can get bonus experience from several Pokemon without spending too much PP.
  • Nethack is made of this trope. Being a Roguelike, where death is unrecoverable, defense is a much higher priority than offense. One of the most coveted items for early-game Wizards, who start with no food, is a ring that stops you from getting hungry. A wand of fire is more useful for burning "Elbereth" into the ground than zapping at monsters. Out of the six attack spells available to the player, "magic missile" is the only one that scales to your level, and it's the second-cheapest to cast—an important consideration considering how slowly Mana regenerates for most characters.
    • Elbereth deserves special mention here. E tiles will prevent most (an important distinction) enemies from crossing any floorspace with an item on it, and will actually cause enemies to flee rather than attack physically if they suspect the player is standing on a square with "Elbereth" carved into it. Experienced players get their fingers dustier than a thousand libraries of congress just writing "Elbereth Elbereth" into the dirt. Wizard characters pursue a certain easily acquired artifact dagger simply because it can rapidly scritch the E-word in a semi-permanent manner (it also absorbs 95% of curses thrown at the wielder, but that's just a bonus). No amount of fancy resistances, unicorn horns, and dragon scale armor can provide as much protection as a hurridly scrawled eight letter word.
    • Everything can be made useful in a Nethack game. Yes, even worthless peices of glass ( near unlimited ranged ammo) and a wand of nothing ( melee with disenchanters).