Nethack 3.6.0 released
December 7, 2015 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Twelve years after its last update (3.4.3), Nethack 3.6.0 has been released. [previously] [previously]
posted by Pope Guilty (690 comments total) 75 users marked this as a favorite
 
omg omg omg *running around* omg omg omg
posted by nom de poop at 7:56 PM on December 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


I wonder what cortex is going to talk about on the next podcast
posted by DigDoug at 7:56 PM on December 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


Wow. A new Star Wars and a new Nethack in the same month?
posted by octothorpe at 8:01 PM on December 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


things i absolutely am not allowed to know for another two weeks

Anybody seen a mind flayer?
posted by nat at 8:03 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Best Android port? I've had terrible luck finding anything playabe on a phablet for someone new to the game.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:03 PM on December 7, 2015


Our tribute to Terry Pratchett:

As some may know, Terry Pratchett was a fan of NetHack, dating back to the time that we introduced the Tourist class which was openly based on the Discworld novels he penned.

At the time of his passing this year, the DevTeam decided that it would be a fitting tribute to take a number of our favourite quotes from the various Discworld novels and incorporate them into the game. Being the way we are, we did a little more than that. There are now a huge number of quotes from many of the Discworld novels in the tribute file, but this doesn't mean that we wouldn't accept new submissions from other Pratchett fans.

The complete list can be found in dat/tribute and special thanks to Michael Allison who took the lead on this one.

Here, by the way, is a quote from "Guards! Guards!" which has meanings on more than one level - I think that Sir Terry would have appreciated its use in this context:
"Never build a dungeon you wouldn't be happy to spend the night in yourself. The world would be a happier place if more people remembered that."
posted by XMLicious at 8:07 PM on December 7, 2015 [39 favorites]


Is it fully 3D immersive, massively online with haptic other sensory interactions yet? Harrumph, never mind.
posted by sammyo at 8:07 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


what is this i can't even
posted by radiosilents at 8:09 PM on December 7, 2015


I wonder what cortex is going to talk about on the next podcast

I'm canceling the podcast and will just be forcing Jessamyn and random mefites to try to ascend Tourists every month.
posted by cortex at 8:10 PM on December 7, 2015 [63 favorites]


@
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:13 PM on December 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


The team, tooling, and infrastructure notes are big indications that this isn't just a new nethack release, it's a new lease on the future.
posted by namespan at 8:16 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it still, like, actually hosted on SourceForge? Cos, yeeeesh.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:17 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


hiwhatisthisplease
posted by latkes at 8:19 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I guess it's kind of rude of me to just drop this and not explain- I guess it didn't occur to me that some folks wouldn't know, and I'm sorry for that. The Wikipedia article about NetHack is good, and the previously links in the post go to some good stuff.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:21 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I haven't been this excited for a software release in... a long time. Yay! Thanks for the news!
posted by talking leaf at 8:21 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


latkes an unprecedented and entirely unexpected update of the greatest video game of literally all time
posted by radiosilents at 8:21 PM on December 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Come on Dev Team, how is this supposed to have a meaningful impact on GPA if you release it just before the winter break?
posted by Mitheral at 8:22 PM on December 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


hiwhatisthisplease

No. No, no. Leave the thread while you can.
posted by procrastination at 8:22 PM on December 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


Come on Dev Team, how is this supposed to have a meaningful impact on GPA if you release it just before the winter break?

Final exam time?
posted by procrastination at 8:25 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


E Elbereth
posted by klangklangston at 8:27 PM on December 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW

Some of the fixed bugs:
  • eating tainted Medusa corpse caused food poisoning instead of petrification
  • when a monster grew into a higher form which had previously been genocided, the message explaining its fate was only given if it was sensed via ESP
  • it was possible to generate an object of 0 gold pieces by dropping 2**32 gold
  • candles should not be fireproof
  • fix spelling of Dr Dolittle
  • jellyfish do not technically have a head
  • add "Boing!" message when hero zaps resistant monster with striking/force bolt
  • vomiting countdown actually triggered the final vomit code twice
  • rats aren't capable of vomiting
  • plural of "Nazgul" is "Nazgul" not "Nazguls"
Selection of updated and added features:
  • added new hallucinatory-only gods
  • dipping prompt is more precise
  • multiple squeaks for squeaky boards
  • tame ghouls can eat old eggs
  • intelligent pets will use keys to unlock doors
  • fainting while wielding a cockatrice corpse will be fatal
  • wet towels deal more damage
  • gnomes will occasionally have a candle
posted by umrain at 8:28 PM on December 7, 2015 [48 favorites]


A water nymph stole my shield and then I walked into a bear trap. An auspicious start
posted by theodolite at 8:29 PM on December 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


So excited that there's an OSX version. I think 10.6 was the last supported Nethack 3.4.
posted by klangklangston at 8:31 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was just on the Nethack Wiki for research purposes and I didn't see a notice. This must have happened in the last hour or so.
posted by JHarris at 8:32 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Everyone who died waiting for this should be Izchak-ed. Sir Terry should be a hallucinatory-only god but if the player performs enough worship-like actions toward him he becomes real. (Whenever that sort of thing happens in fiction I call it a Pratchett Mechanism.)
posted by BiggerJ at 8:33 PM on December 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


JHarris a little over two hours ago
posted by radiosilents at 8:33 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Update: She stole my sword and now I'm chasing her around the level trying to punch her to death. No luck so far but I am honing my fists on gnomes
posted by theodolite at 8:34 PM on December 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


"Never build a dungeon you wouldn't be happy to spend the night in yourself. The world would be a happier place if more people remembered that."

Dungeons that fill with acid on the second night, got it.
posted by Rangi at 8:34 PM on December 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


hiwhatisthisplease

Nethack is the game a guy taught me about when we were both working a shitty tech support call center gig, as something that was easier to get away with playing while on shift than Diablo. Later on, that guy apparently faked his death on alt.religion.kibology and understandably pissed off a whole bunch of people. We had a supervisor who did a hamfisted job of trying to convince us to try really hard by breaking down in tears over the fact that he couldn't tie his shoes, though actually he could tie his shoes just fine and was just acting. The call center was in a large warehouse in an industrial area, converted poorly to cubicles; it was a hot summer and the air conditioning often failed, which made for terrible sweltering work conditions. One day, on the way to work, I saw a car get into a horrid accident, wrapped like a metal banana around a utility pole with two dazed, bleeding people inside, and the horn was stuck blasting, and as I approached to see what the situation was a train barreled down the nearby tracts and its horn blasting was the loudest thing in the goddam world.

It's a pretty good game.
posted by cortex at 8:35 PM on December 7, 2015 [72 favorites]


After the Creation, the cruel god Moloch rebelled
against the authority of Marduk the Creator.
Moloch stole from Marduk the most powerful of all
the artifacts of the gods, the Amulet of Yendor,
and he hid it in the dark cavities of Gehennom, the
Under World, where he now lurks, and bides his time.

Cool!
posted by ashbury at 8:36 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


perl 6 is going to get an official 1.0 release on Christmas, too. It's a weird time. maybe valve will release half life 3 to sell steamboxes.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:39 PM on December 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is there a way to, you know, use the arrow keys to move, yet? *ducks*
posted by Jimbob at 8:40 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nymph stole everything else I had, and after a while a jackal chewed me to death while I was simultaneously fainting of hunger and getting repeatedly petrified by a floating eye, on dungeon level 3

I've missed this so much
posted by theodolite at 8:40 PM on December 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


perl 6 is going to get an official 1.0 release on Christmas, too. It's a weird time. maybe valve will release half life 3 to sell steamboxes.

welllllll
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:42 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


You were fervently aligned.
You were warded.
You were fast.
You are dead.

Huh, I like this. I wonder what I was so preoccupied with when it first came out, I would have loved it.
posted by ashbury at 8:47 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


jellyfish do not technically have a head

Welllllll ... even though they just completely nerfed the Vorpal Blade I guess I'll give it a try.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:50 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess it's time to say goodbye. And buy a lot of coffee.
posted by adept256 at 8:51 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is it still, like, actually hosted on SourceForge? Cos, yeeeesh.

From the release notes:
This summer we had a bit of a reality check due to the outage at SourceForge which has driven some internal discussion about future direction concerning hosting and has unfortunately delayed the release - more to come on this.
posted by zamboni at 8:52 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some of the fixed bugs:

See, I don't even know if this is real, or some sort of inside joke.

I was under the impression that this game was about being a drug dealer? I am thinking of a different game...
posted by alex_skazat at 8:52 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's real all right. You can take my word for it.
posted by JHarris at 8:54 PM on December 7, 2015


You have the wrong end of the crysknife there. The game is about being an addict. Or maybe a text parser.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:55 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


New loot prompts are nice. Menus in general seem to be much more verbose and self explanatory. Too bad that didn't extend to the .nh file

Jimbob: "Is there a way to, you know, use the arrow keys to move, yet? *ducks*"

You've been able to do this for a couple decades; at least on windows.
posted by Mitheral at 8:55 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh man. I'm currently rockin' a 16XP Valkyrie dwarf that is ridiculously buffed thanks to four (!!!) throne rooms, three of which granted wishes and one genocide (fare the well, mind flayers), running the Protection Racket three times, and taking a hilarious raid on The Castle that got me a wand of wishing. I have -30AC and almost 200HP. And since Valkyrie Quest is a walk in the park if you've got a ring of levitation, an amulet of reflection and a wand of death, the Orb of Fate has certainly helped.

I am currently reading up on the Valley of the Dead, and have been watching my ttyrecs in Jettyplay. For real, this is the farthest I've ever gotten in this game.

If any of you all are new to this, I cannot stress enough the importance of leaving the wiki open (this page is also a tremendously helpful resource). Read up on a place when you enter it, read up on a monster when you encounter it. Don't worry - you can pause seconds or hours between turns. Taking the time to think about and plan your next move will extend your life significantly. With greater game knowledge, you'll be able to figure out new combinations of actions to improve your strategy.

It is incredibly immersive, and you will die many, many times in many, many stupid ways, but it is a masterpiece of gaming. And if playing telnet in console intimidates you, they have a browser version, too.

New moon 20 hours from now!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:57 PM on December 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


>I was under the impression that this game was about being a drug dealer?

Yendor is a popular drug among deities. It is usually in short supply, but sometimes a dealer comes by the astral plane with a whole amulet full, smuggled up from Gehennom. A considerate dealer will also bring an icebox full of booze.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


You're probably thinking of Drug Wars and associated descendants, which are games about selling drugs. Easy mistake to make- Nethack is a game that is a drug.
posted by zamboni at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2015


And you can have multiple characters on the go at a time without hacking the save files.
posted by Mitheral at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2015


New Moons pretty much just means cockatrices are a little more dangerous. Full Moons give you an extra point of intrinsic luck.
posted by JHarris at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2015


Huh. It starts me as a pre-named Elf and only gives me an option of playing three classes. Is that right? (Running the binary from the command line on OSX.)
posted by echocollate at 9:01 PM on December 7, 2015


I'm on a Mac (Yosemite). Never played before but curious to try. Any tips for getting started? I'm seeing some stuff about graphical interfaces that you can apparently add on to NetHack. Any recommendations?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:02 PM on December 7, 2015


Yeah, if anything, Full Moons are more dangerous (for me), as I start struttin' around all confident with my Luck bonus and die horribly. New Moons make me much more cautious.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't drink from fountains.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2015


Huh, a room with iron bars in a doorway on Dlvl 1. That's new.
posted by nom de poop at 9:04 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


So this is like some kind of dwarf fortress clone?
posted by benzenedream at 9:06 PM on December 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Any recommendations?

You can start with the aforementioned browser version, or open your Mac's Terminal and type telnet nethack.alt.org. You'll be prompted for a user name, email (which doesn't even have to be real and won't require verification) and a password. If you're just starting out, leave this page and this page open (hovering the colored letters will link you to that monster's page). Valkyrie dwarves are good for beginners, though some swear by Monks or Barbarians. Then just explore, take your time, check the wiki, and have fun.

There are plenty of keyboard commands, but you'll be learning them quick with use. Try different classes, see what works best for you. Expect to die early and often. And then play some more, and some more, until you look at the time and holy crap I have to be at work in 2 hours.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:10 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I want to make a level patch where master liches get stocked into little rooms just so I can write the comment /* NICHES GET LICHES */
posted by nom de poop at 9:12 PM on December 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


Time to YASD: 15 minutes. Pretty good for me!
posted by asperity at 9:15 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Argh. Doesn't run on OS X 10.6.8. Am I going to have to compile this myself? I seem to recall that compiling Nethack is a bear.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:16 PM on December 7, 2015


Don't drink from fountains.

Do dip your longsword in fountains if you have one and are lawful.
posted by vogon_poet at 9:17 PM on December 7, 2015


You feel that eating the kitten was a bad idea.
posted by theodolite at 9:18 PM on December 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


My favourite Nethack moment is still freezing a pond, luring a pile of orcs out onto the frozen pond, then using a fireball to melt the ice and drown them all. That was years ago. I still remember it, and I still know I must never every play this game again.

Also relevant: The game is different but the sentiment is the same.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:18 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Kick the living shit out of sinks.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:18 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


> it was possible to generate an object of 0 gold pieces by dropping 2**32 gold

Ha. Reminds me of "no tea."
posted by smcameron at 9:19 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


New mine town available, seems to be inpenetrable fortress.
posted by Mitheral at 9:22 PM on December 7, 2015


theodolite: "You feel that eating the kitten was a bad idea."

Awww :(
posted by Mitheral at 9:23 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some folks play offline, of course, but then you never experience the joy of a sudden mail demon rushing up to you with a scroll of mail that you read to find "ayyyy lmao" from some rando somewhere in the world watching you play.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:24 PM on December 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I am nominating myself as "most likely to be eaten by a grue" -- proportional to the amount I'd like to try NetHack, but inversely proportional to the amount I will understand it.

xyzzy
posted by not_on_display at 9:24 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am making myself wait until my 3.4 Elf Priestess either has YASD or ascends. I've made it to the Valley, then back up to the Quest. My pet purple worm kept swallowing Wraiths on the quest, so is now level 41 with over 300 hit points. In contrast, my @ is only level 17 with 104 hit points.
posted by fings at 9:25 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


How's the frame rate? I bet with that kind of update they're pushing a lot of polygons! I'm hoping for 4K support, but I'd be happy at 1080P as long as they're not skimping on the textures.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:26 PM on December 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Do dip your longsword in fountains if you have one and are lawful.
And over 5th level.
posted by fings at 9:26 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't drink from fountains.

Back in the day, I added fountain effects to NetHack. They're an homage to an enchanted fountain I encountered when playing (pre-publication) D&D with someone from the Gygax/Arneson home group, DMing from a Xeroxed copy of a Blackmoor dungeon.

Now you know.
posted by srt19170 at 9:27 PM on December 7, 2015 [81 favorites]


I tried playing this right now without any previous knowledge and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. But intrigued.

Judging by the comments here I now have two options:
a) browse through the wiki and help pages, get immersed and lose the rest of 2015 to this game, or
b) close the tab and never return

A tough decision.
posted by bigendian at 9:28 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Back in the day, I added fountain effects to NetHack. They're an homage to an enchanted fountain I encountered when playing (pre-publication) D&D with someone from the Gygax/Arneson home group, DMing from a Xeroxed copy of a Blackmoor dungeon.

Will you sign my config file?
posted by theodolite at 9:29 PM on December 7, 2015 [30 favorites]


New version tonight. (more)

You feel lucky!

a) browse through the wiki and help pages, get immersed and lose the rest of 2015 to this game

If you lost, what, 23 days to Netback, you'd be one of the lucky ones.
posted by eriko at 9:31 PM on December 7, 2015 [20 favorites]


YASD ambushed by dozens of orcs. And now I have to go to bed because I've got professional development tomorrow that I can't be all red eye'd for dammit.

blue_beetle: "How's the frame rate? I bet with that kind of update they're pushing a lot of polygons! I'm hoping for 4K support, but I'd be happy at 1080P as long as they're not skimping on the textures."

No flicker at all at 1080P for me. The graphic engine is pretty efficient.

bigendian: "lose the rest of 20152016 to this game" FTFY.

Seriously though I'd recommend just playing rather than compulsively checking the wiki. One of the good things about Nethack is pretty much anything you might think of trying is supported. Expect to die early and often for a while and have fun exploring the system.
posted by Mitheral at 9:33 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Kick the living shit out of sinks.

Do not do this unless you really REALLY know what you are doing. So many ways it can kill you. Do you know what a black pudding is?
posted by JHarris at 9:36 PM on December 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


P
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:38 PM on December 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


Start as an archaeologist, tin the crap out of everything. Tinned goblin! Tinned rat! Tinned green slime! TIN FOR THE TIN GOD.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:41 PM on December 7, 2015 [31 favorites]


Tourist is also a super fun class. Fun fact: snapping IRL locals with flash photography provides the exact same reaction it does in monsters.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:44 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do not do this unless you really REALLY know what you are doing. So many ways it can kill you.

But finding more stupid ways to die is most of the fun! Because there is no patch I can install to give me better roguelike impulse control, so I work with what I've got.
posted by asperity at 9:45 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh no oh no oh no

I've somehow managed to escape Nethack for all of these years, and I do not need this risk in my life

I'll have to content myself with the Roguelikelikes like Spelunky and Downwell for now
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:49 PM on December 7, 2015


New mine town available, seems to be inpenetrable fortress.

So there is. Or rather it replaced the first minetown. Izchak is dead in it :-/
posted by nom de poop at 9:50 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, do not actually kick sinks. That is terrible advice.

Try to convert the altar in Minetown, though, that's good times.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:51 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've only really played DCSS. I'm guessing this is similar in a few fundamental ways and then completely, supremely different in a lot of others.
posted by ODiV at 9:52 PM on December 7, 2015


So are there any significant changes from 3.4.3? Or is it just that a handful of edge cases behave a bit better?
posted by aubilenon at 9:59 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


running the Protection Racket three times

I was never able to do this well, because in order not to die getting the requisite $, I had to be a high enough level that I needed lots more $$.
posted by kenko at 10:03 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's almost nothing new in terms of pure gameplay.
posted by nom de poop at 10:03 PM on December 7, 2015


DCSS from a standing start (that is, no preparation) is much a more tactical and balanced experience than Nethack. Success in Nethack can conceivably be found through trial and error, but it's more often a question of what spoilers you feel comfortable with hunting down and arming yourself with.

It's a totally viable design approach, but the deck is significantly stacked against you if you go it alone.
posted by lumensimus at 10:03 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Play without spoilers for as long as you can!

My favorite noob moment was choking to death on my own kitten while hallucinating.

My favorite ascension was my dual wielding (Excalibur and a lance both +7 iirc) knight who rode a silver dragon. So badass.

Sad that bones files aren't compatible :(
posted by Joe Chip at 10:07 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Personally, I think patching in sortloot is fairly significant, but that all depends on your take on "significant".

I was never able to do this well, because in order not to die getting the requisite $, I had to be a high enough level that I needed lots more $$.

Wand of digging + scroll of gold detection = $$$, especially if you find a vault (better have some form of teleportation, though, on account of the guard). Also, picking up random crap from minor monsters and selling them in shops will also help a lot. I was at 10XP when I did it the third time, and got -1 to my AC, having got -4 the first time and -1 the second. Didn't try pushing my luck or wealth after that.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:08 PM on December 7, 2015


My favorite noob moment was choking to death on my own kitten while hallucinating.

Dying to grid bugs while frozen by a floating eye. Man I wish I still had that dumplog.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:10 PM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not sure what counts as significant but there are hundreds of fixes and changes. (Spoilers obviously)
posted by umrain at 10:15 PM on December 7, 2015


From the fixes file:

> when probing from inside an engulfer, "not carrying anything" overlooked hero
posted by kenko at 10:15 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm also on a Mac (Yosemite), and haven't played in years. I used to play in Terminal with DECgraphics enabled, but now that I've downloaded 3.6, that option (and IBMgraphics) isn't in the options menu. Anybody know if that's a change to the Mac build for 3.6? Or is there a setting in Terminal that I can tweak to enable it? A website I found suggested that changing the encoding might allow it, but I wasn't able to get that working.

I miss having the full-screen console in linux/BSD. That was the best way to Nethack, in my opinion. Even when I had Terminal on OSX mostly working, it still had some quirks with colors and characters that I never bothered to solve.
posted by Lirp at 10:43 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder what I was so preoccupied with when it first came out, I would have loved it.

What were your interests in *looks* 1987?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:50 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not sure what counts as significant but there are hundreds of fixes and changes. (Spoilers obviously)

Well let's just have a look here I'm-

objects that fall thru trapdoors, et al, can break on impact

DAMMIT
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:04 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm doing Timbers and Stone right now, and have no time for NetHack, but I am touched about the Pratchett bit...
posted by markkraft at 11:18 PM on December 7, 2015


Anybody know if that's a change to the Mac build for 3.6? Or is there a setting in Terminal that I can tweak to enable it? A website I found suggested that changing the encoding might allow it, but I wasn't able to get that working.

I think the Mac binary will always be windowed. However, you can build NetHack yourself and play it from a terminal prompt with DECgraphics and so forth, which sounds like what you want. Download the source, unpack it, and start reading at the README and especially sys/unix/Install.unx. Also, you'll need to install Xcode or some shit.

Here are some quick and dirty commands that Work For Me just to get it built and play.
posted by nom de poop at 12:04 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


E Elbereth

I have a Valk that is definitely standing on a dust-engraved Elbereth square (verified by examination, haven't disturbed the dust), and it is being attacked by a jackal and a giant ant.

Is anyone else seeing any changes to Elbereth behavior?
posted by namespan at 12:28 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man. Back in 2006 I was anticipating the next release, so I drafted a MeFi post and filed it, ready to pull out on release day. 2007 came. 2008 went. I got married. I had kids. Life moved on. And now it has finally happened I can't find my draft post - but never mind, I would have been too late anyway!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 12:28 AM on December 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


My biggest concern is that, aside from the patches that they've incorporated, this undoubtedly breaks all of my OTHER favorite patches, like the one that colorizes the walls depending upon what branch you're in, or the one that lets you write your own epitaph(!!).
posted by destructive cactus at 12:31 AM on December 8, 2015


lumensimus, I like Crawl, but I find that its design decisions are not always good ones? It's like, they seem to think that they can make a game not need spoilers by spoiling itself if you just ask? But Nethack's approach is that it's a dangerous world you don't know much about, and learning about the world itself is an interesting part of the game. And yes, that makes it more vulnerable to spoilers, but then just knowing things doesn't always mean being able to effectively utilize them. And Crawl has spoilers too, in fact you end up needing them quite a bit, just for things like not ruining your character's build instead of ways to stop turning to stone.
posted by JHarris at 12:40 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hrmm. Looks a bit like Ali Baba, which I used to play on the Atari 800. I really liked that game.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:51 AM on December 8, 2015


"You hear some noises in the distance."

'Oh dear, I hope my kitten hasn't killed anyone before I've had the chance to eat them.'
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:00 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Skimming this thread, it sounds like they've picked up some details from UnNetHack, like iron bars and the orc fortress version of Mine Town. Do they have unlocked doors that open when you move into them, as opposed to always having to stop and open them?
posted by dywypi at 3:48 AM on December 8, 2015


!!!!! SPOILERS !!!!!!!

getting repeatedly petrified by a floating eye

"doctor, it hurts when I do this"

I just ascended on Sunday, second time ever. A tourist. It was a super fast ascension and I was carrying a wand of wishing with a wish I never used, three unused wands of death and 3(!) unused blessed magic lamps. For weapons just a +0 magic bane from a wizard bones pile and a +6 silver saber, dual wielded.

My official breakthrough for this game was the haste spell plus jumping boots plus magic lamp, and liberal use of wands of teleportation (zapping monsters, not me) - amazing combo, total game changer, saved my ass hundreds of times. Also I totally lucked out in the VoD and Yeenoghu got summoned when I first entered the level and stole the amulet from the high priest, then came and attacked me next to the stairs. Thanks! Yoink!.
posted by idiopath at 4:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, there's a new Nethack version, a new Dwarf Fortress version, and Kerbal Space Program 1.1 is imminent. Am I going to see my family at all at Christmas?
posted by BigCalm at 4:34 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


So after playing this stupid game on-and-off since about 1992, I've still never ascended. I've come really close but never gone all the way. I feel like such a failure in life.
posted by octothorpe at 5:11 AM on December 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


I never completed Angband either octothorpe. We should form a support group.
posted by pharm at 5:13 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


So after playing this stupid game on-and-off since about 1992, I've still never ascended.

Haven't played in ages (but once ported some version between platforms, so have vague memories of once knowing way too much about the internals), and never looked at any spoilers back when I did play, so not even sure I knew you were supposed to do that. But I do remember that the only time I did a serious attempt to get deep into the dungeon, I ended up killing myself by accidentally eating an orange.
posted by effbot at 5:20 AM on December 8, 2015


The biggest thing that took me from a "get to the mines end if I'm lucky" player to an occasional ascending player was realizing the actual goal of the game.

The game isn't about fighting and winning - it's about taking an item from one end to the other by any means necessary. This means: you need to move fast, killing monsters is a strategic choice that enables moving fast - it's a means to that end. That means that the only reason to kill a monster is if it will slow you down later. Sometimes this means it makes more sense to just keep running. So if you need their equipment in order to continue moving swiftly, strike them down and take it. If they are potentially strong enough to impede you if they get the jump on you, kill them before they get you. If they are simply a nuisance and you move faster than they do, just keep going.
posted by idiopath at 5:21 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Wondering when/if this will be incorporated into NAO. Keeping an eye on rgrn...
posted by jim in austin at 5:22 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


lumensimus, I like Crawl, but I find that its design decisions are not always good ones?

I'm actually just about as good at Nethack as I am at DCSS; that is to say, pretty bad indeed. I do like the info-forward philosophy on principle, though.

And ADOM is arguably just as stingy with its secrets, if not more so due to its closed source, and I'm having a blast dying over and over in the Puppy Cave, vainly trying to remember spoilers from ten years ago.

I guess I'm not always what you'd call ludologically consistent.

(PS: play Caves of Qud if you haven't! And Cataclysm: DDA, though I think I'm worst at that of all.)
posted by lumensimus at 5:45 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My go-to procrastination tool. Not that I've ever ascended.

Right now, I've got a Level 11 Wizard tooling around at DL 23, followed by her array of pets (two trolls, a Master Lich, a Silver Dragon, and an Ogre Lord). Ah, the charm monster spell.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


God I remember playing 3.3. I probably haven't played in ten years. Never ascended.

It's like they don't want me to finish my phd
posted by dismas at 5:58 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


fix pluralization for "this tin smells like mother-in-laws" when hallucinating

plural of "Nazgul" is "Nazgul" not "Nazguls"

don't give erroneous " disappears" message for hero poly'd into quantum mechanic who hits engulfer while swallowed and blinded


There's pedantry, and then there's the Dev Team.
posted by Mayor West at 6:00 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


change the wording slightly to use "one of " when a monster wielding multiple daggers thrusts them

OH GOD this has driven me nuts for YEARS.
posted by Etrigan at 6:11 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Whoops, just walked in on a Medusa. That's the end of that.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:11 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone remember how to get to Y2?
posted by sammyo at 6:13 AM on December 8, 2015


Is there a consensus on whether it's harder to ascend in Nethack or get a 15-rune win in DCSS? I've managed the latter a couple of times but when I played a lot of Nethack several years ago I never got much farther than (I think) the castle. I'd like to give Nethack another go, and I'm hoping some of my DCSS chops will transfer over, but is it just apples to oranges?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:14 AM on December 8, 2015


My dad introduced me to Hacklite on an Amiga 2000 in 1990 or so. I've been hooked ever since but never actually been any good at it. I know what my Friday night consists of though.
posted by deadwax at 6:14 AM on December 8, 2015


There's pedantry, and then there's the Dev Team.

My favorite: You are at 1HP, if you throw a healing potion up and you're not wearing a helmet, the bottle hits your head and breaks, doing 1HP of damage and killing you *before* the healing potion lands on you and cures you. That was easy, the dev team agreed on that.

The argument: But what if you're wearing an Amulet of Life Saving? Well, then you don't die, obviously, but would the healing potion heal you anyway? They argued about that for a couple of years, but the code read that you would not be healed extra, because the healing potion hit you when you were dead, and then the ALS resurrected you and set you to 50% HP. This was all made moot in, IIRC, 3.1*, when ALS was changed to heal you 100% upon resurrection.

It's very doubtful that this case -- dying from throwing a healing potion up and then being saved by an ALS in the one version where the ALS healed you 50% -- ever actually came up in a game. But if it had, it would have been handled.

That's pedantry.


* The general answer to "when did that get changed" was version 3.1. 3.2-3.4 added things as well, but the major change to the dungeon happened in 3.1, where we got the multi-branch dungeon, where the Wizard stopped carrying the Amulet, and when monsters started using the gear they were carrying. Fuck you, orc with a wand of death. Fuck. You.
posted by eriko at 6:19 AM on December 8, 2015 [18 favorites]


Hrm. I'm trying to watch a game (via telnet) but it seems to confuse my terminal (iTerm.) It occasionally just writes over itself instead of refreshing.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:24 AM on December 8, 2015


Are there tile_file images that work with 3.6?
I am getting many mislocated glyphs from the old ones
Should this be in Ask?
posted by hexatron at 6:42 AM on December 8, 2015


That's pedantry.

Just remember: The dev team thinks of everything.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mayor West: "There's pedantry, and then there's the Dev Team."

If they were really pedants, it would be Nazgûl.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


lumensimus, I like Crawl, but I find that its design decisions are not always good ones? It's like, they seem to think that they can make a game not need spoilers by spoiling itself if you just ask? But Nethack's approach is that it's a dangerous world you don't know much about, and learning about the world itself is an interesting part of the game. And yes, that makes it more vulnerable to spoilers, but then just knowing things doesn't always mean being able to effectively utilize them. And Crawl has spoilers too, in fact you end up needing them quite a bit, just for things like not ruining your character's build instead of ways to stop turning to stone.

I don't really agree with this perspective at all. I have two nethack ascensions and somewhat more crawl wins than that. Nethack's approach is that to win you need to access all this secret knowledge, some of which will provide an incredible power boost to your character, and without that secret knowledge, the game is hopeless. It is _practically impossible_ to actually win nethack unspoilered -- yeah, playing for a bit and discovering stuff can be fun, but it isn't really going to get you anywhere because the breadth of stuff you need to have command over is just huge, and no one learns that really by trial and error. But the game is balanced so that you have to know it.

Example (spoilers follow): fire resistance. In nethack, there are various ways to get fire resistance, including a ring, and some armor and other stuff. But this isn't the best way to get fire resistance, because it isn't permanent, and takes up a ring (or whatever) slot, limiting what else you can do. To the extent that nethack is balanced, it is balanced towards permanent resists, as many of them as possible. What you really need to do is eat the corpse of something fire resistant, most of which provide permanent fire resistance with some probability (so you need to repeatedly eat the corpses basically), and to know exactly which monster do it, well, the easiest way is just to look it up. (You can in many cases, presumably, infer it from their ingame behavior.) Or, more extreme, you could polymorph yourself to something that can eat metal (a metallivore) and then eat your ring of fire resistance. Or a few other ways, such as crowning. Some form of fire resistance is basically necessary for most players for later stages of the game, so optimal play is to get it permanently. Now it is part of the charm of nethack that all this stuff exists, and it is fun to discover (even if you just discover it by reading about it, which is what everyone actually does). But is it fun for a game beyond just the phase of discovery and exploration? I don't think so, you just have to memorize all this intricate ways of getting fire resistance (and _everything_ in the game is like this), or sit there with the spoilers compulsively up.

In DCSS, there are also ways of getting fire resistance on items (rings of fire, rings of fire resistance, various armour items, random artifacts). There is also a way of getting semi-permanent fire resistance via mutations. But the latter is not something you can control or rely on, and it is not something the game is balanced towards. There is no hidden mechanism here -- in most scenarios, if you need fire resistance you will need to be wearing items that provide it, and once identified, they will just say that they do that. Like nethack, fire resistance is basically a resist check for the endgame, but in dcss there are enough such items, and you have enough slots that any character can have two or three levels of fire resistance at the endgame (though sometimes swapping is involved). There's nothing to memorize, because everything wears its results on its sleeve.

It is true that there are still many game mechanisms in DCSS that one has to learn, I guess what JHarris is likely referring to is that it isn't always obvious how to train your skills. I'm not sure I'd call this exactly a spoiler, though, just part of learning the game. When people talk about nethack spoilers they're talking about really "swingy" hidden things, e.g. the behavior of elbereth (granted, this one is not super hidden and is probably one of the first spoilers you should read), or what to do with genocide, or things like reading a cursed scroll of destroy armor while confused.

Is there a consensus on whether it's harder to ascend in Nethack or get a 15-rune win in DCSS? I've managed the latter a couple of times but when I played a lot of Nethack several years ago I never got much farther than (I think) the castle. I'd like to give Nethack another go, and I'm hoping some of my DCSS chops will transfer over, but is it just apples to oranges?

A 15 rune win in DCSS is harder, no question in my mind, as long as you're playing nethack spoiled. I don't actually think _that_ many skills transfer over, though it's been years since I played nethack so maybe my memories are hazy; nethack is largely just playing with the spoilers open compulsively checking everything you could do, and then doing it if it's good or could be. If you play dcss in console though the skill of reading a ascii roguelike will transfer, and approaching it as a turn-based game (not getting rushed) is definitely applicable. DCSS is much tactically richer, so probably all the positioning you learned in DCSS will help. Just remember that line of sight is _not_ reciprocal in nethack. Btw if you're interested there's a mefightclub/metafilter DCSS group that plays in tournaments and so on, assuming you aren't someone who's already there under another name.
posted by advil at 7:21 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a Valk that is definitely standing on a dust-engraved Elbereth square (verified by examination, haven't disturbed the dust), and it is being attacked by a jackal and a giant ant.

Elbereth has been made less effective—it's in the changelog.
posted by kenko at 7:32 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thanks, advil. I lurk over at MFC from time to time and I've thought about joining a group for a tourney, but they never seem to come at the right time.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:34 AM on December 8, 2015


Thanks, advil. I lurk over at MFC from time to time and I've thought about joining a group for a tourney, but they never seem to come at the right time.

Caveat: some others in said group who have similar experience in both games disagree about my assessment of 15 rune dcss vs. nethack ascension difficulty -- because it is easier to get into unwinnable/ragequit situations in nethack. Probably true? Also, I'd say a 3 rune dcss win is much more achievable than a nethack ascension.
posted by advil at 7:45 AM on December 8, 2015


I installed the Mac OSX binary, but when I ran it, it threw a seg fault. :-( Help, please? I'm on 10.7, so should be able to run...
posted by tickingclock at 7:54 AM on December 8, 2015


Cool, a change I had been wanting made it:
when you're teetering on the edge of a pit you can use '>' to enter the pit
when you're flying over a pit you can use '>' to enter the pit
My wants still unfulfilled:
- Throwing things up while standing on a < stairwell should send objects up to the next level.
- A way to turn monsters/pets into figurines.
posted by fings at 8:10 AM on December 8, 2015


I have never ascended. I just find eating corpses... ...icky.


But yay!
posted by lumpenprole at 8:11 AM on December 8, 2015


It is _practically impossible_ to actually win nethack unspoilered

I did it spoiler free circa 1992. Spoilers just aren't my thing.
posted by JamesD at 8:16 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'M STILL SO EXCITED
posted by radiosilents at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2015


Linked here.
posted by kenko at 8:19 AM on December 8, 2015


I am sorry for this long comment, but it's a case where there's a lot of things to reply to....
So, there's a new Nethack version, a new Dwarf Fortress version, and Kerbal Space Program 1.1 is imminent. Am I going to see my family at all at Christmas?
A new Dungeon Crawl was released last month, too!
My biggest concern is that, aside from the patches that they've incorporated, this undoubtedly breaks all of my OTHER favorite patches, like the one that colorizes the walls depending upon what branch you're in, or the one that lets you write your own epitaph(!!).
It should be noted that Pasi Kallinen is a new Dev Team member. He maintains the wonderful Nethack Patch Database. I've emailed Pasi a few times over the years and he's very cool!
But I do remember that the only time I did a serious attempt to get deep into the dungeon, I ended up killing myself by accidentally eating an orange.
This is one of those statements that's funny, and could even in its way be true, but could result in someone getting the wrong impression of the game. Oranges (unlike eggs) are not malicious. But anything you eat can kill if you're very satiated and cross the maximum nutrition boundary, which in practice kills everyone two or three times before they get properly wary of it.
Wondering when/if this will be incorporated into NAO. Keeping an eye on rgrn...
The DevTeam undoubtedly has connections with NAO these days. Pasi's Patch Database is hosed on alt.org, and some of the new patches are ones that alt.org's used for years to make telnet games more pleasant.
PS: play Caves of Qud if you haven't!
I've been wanting to, but haven't found time, alas. I met the developers of it at the Atlanta roguelike conference back in May! One of its creators bought everyone lunch there on the Georgia Tech campus!
Whoops, just walked in on a Medusa.
I sense I have an @Play on this subject before long, the process of hinting to a player that something ultra dangerous is around the corner without outright saying "HERE BE MEDUSA, PUT YOUR [SPOILER] ON NOW!" In Medusa's case, the hints in question would be all the statues around, although that could be taken as mere dungeon dressing too. It is not an easy problem, but it used to be much worse when Medusa could just be randomly generated in deeper levels, and just kill you if you entered her room, no warning or ceremony at all.
Is there a consensus on whether it's harder to ascend in Nethack or get a 15-rune win in DCSS? I've managed the latter a couple of times but when I played a lot of Nethack several years ago I never got much farther than (I think) the castle.
Both games, really, require a lot of play, and either spoilers or experience amounting to spoilers (yes I have an article on this in the works too). Nethack's spoilers, however, are legendary, it is perhaps the most spoilery game. It's been said before, the game demands that you have what amounts to a college degree in it in order to win, you can get that by either "reading the literature" or "doing the lab work," so to speak. So, really, apples and oranges, you can be great at one and awful at the other. Some tactics will carry over, but NH isn't really about tactics overall while they matter a lot more in DCSS. (This is one reason I probably prefer Nethack.)
The general answer to "when did that get changed" was version 3.1.
Yes, there were two major watersheds in Nethack history, 3.0, which greatly updated the game model and introduced such things as blessings being the opposite of curses, and 3.1, which updated some of that too but also gave us the 90% of the dungeon layout we know today. 3.1.3 is mostly modern NetHack; there have been lots of changes since then, but the current-day object of the game was established then, and the game is balanced around that norm. Someone who last ascended in 3.1.3 could still win today. I personally am awaiting Nethack 4.0.0 (not to be confused with "Nethack 4"), which I hope brings with it another such radical re-imagining of the game.
[advil's comment]
Oy, you're really living up to your name for an early-morning comment, I feel a headache going on. And this kind of thing, Dungeon Crawl's philosophy vs. Nethack's, is kind of like Lovecraft's racism, it's going to come up sooner or later in a thread about either game.

Well. I've thought about the matter you discuss to such length, advil, over the years. And I've played a substantial amount of both games. And I stand by my previous statement. This from your comment is telling:
I'm not sure I'd call this exactly a spoiler, though, just part of learning the game.
The point I have always made, and stand by, is that there is no real difference. The first time you run into a Crawl ogre, you're going to die just as readily as the first time you run into a cockatrice, it's just going to kill you "fairly," with its stats, rather than turn you to stone. You could check on all the enemies you first encounter and read their intro texts, but that's annoying, it strikes me as a real bookkeeper's way of playing. (You can actually do that with Nethack too; it has a database function, although it's geared more towards giving you text blurbs rather than hard numbers, and the occasional bit of poetry or literary reference, things generally absent from Crawl.) And once you've learned to fear ogres, along comes a herd of centaurs, or Sigmund. And the great cycle of death continues.

But what is more, and what pushes me away from Crawl, is that that ogre is going to be a serious pain to kill unless you've been lucky or have a character built around ogre slaying, so to speak, where ogres are effectively that character's natural prey.

But anyway, it turns out that a lot of Nethack's "hidden features" are minor. It is true, there are some things that in practice you're going to have to learn to win, like the essentialness of magic resistance. The same goes for Crawl, I find, just it exchanges binary situations with cases where the game will just be more dangerous if you don't know the right tactics. And when you have to know something in Nethack, it's just a thing to know and you can move on, like getting permanent fire resistance easily. Which, by the way, is really not that huge a deal in Nethack, you can win the game without it, it'll be a bit harder, but Nethack is, once you know how to play it, almost laughably fair.
When people talk about nethack spoilers they're talking about really "swingy" hidden things, e.g. the behavior of elbereth (granted, this one is not super hidden and is probably one of the first spoilers you should read), or what to do with genocide, or things like reading a cursed scroll of destroy armor while confused.
I've ascended about eight times, and I NEVER USE ELBERETH. It is an entirely optional part of the game and it IS super hidden in that there are only three clues in the game that it exists: a major Oracle consultation, and two naturally-occurring Elbereths, at the end of Sokoban and in the Castle. There might be fortune cookies, but those are less clear.

Personally, I think Elbereth should be taken out, or at least modified, it's not like scrolls of scare monster don't do the same thing but at greater resource cost. The thing about genocide is, those things make sense. There's lots of monsters you could genocide; spoilers will tell you the "best" kind, but that's more optimization-spoiler than feature-spoiler. And confused scroll reading is one of the most awesome parts of Nethack, a perfect example of the Dev Team thinking of everything. The lack of such things, even if you have to learn them (ooh brother), I find depressing about Crawl. In any case, you don't have to get your armor protected to win Nethack, but you're better off doing it with a scroll of Enchant, rather than Destroy, Armor.
posted by JHarris at 8:19 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


I did it spoiler free circa 1992.

How did you figure out the invocation ritual? That's always struck me as the most spoiler-necessary part.
posted by Etrigan at 8:22 AM on December 8, 2015


I've ascended about eight times, and I NEVER USE ELBERETH.

I've ascended every combination of race and class and alignment in vanilla NetHack, and I never use it either. Wanted to a few times when Demogorgon pops, but eh, at that point I'm usually strong enough that I can horn myself healthy enough to kill him.
posted by Etrigan at 8:26 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My one claim to nerd fame is that I was the original author of the rec.games.rouguelike.nethack FAQ
posted by Paladin1138 at 8:28 AM on December 8, 2015 [22 favorites]


Yay Paladin1138! High five! (Note, fiving-hand contains Platinum Yendorian Express card. Use it well.)

How did you figure out the invocation ritual?

The invocation ritual is explained in full in a major Oracle consulation. But so long as you figure out that the Silver Bell, Book of the Dead and Candelabrum of Invocation are unique and special items (notably, you find them at the end of special dungeon branches), and once you locate the vibrating square, you could then get it through trial and error. The game supplies special messages to indicate when you've done one in the right order ("The bell issues an unsettling shrill sound..." "The candelabrum's candles glow brightly!"), and the penalities for getting the order wrong are not huge ones for an ascension-level character.
posted by JHarris at 8:37 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oy, you're really living up to your name for an early-morning comment, I feel a headache going on. And this kind of thing, Dungeon Crawl's philosophy vs. Nethack's, is kind of like Lovecraft's racism, it's going to come up sooner or later in a thread about either game.

This is an ...unusual... way to respond, I have to say, and I'm not sure what a preference for one game over the other has to do with racism. I think I'm going to mostly nope out of any more discussion.

But what is more, and what pushes me away from Crawl, is that that ogre is going to be a serious pain to kill unless you've been lucky or have a character built around ogre slaying, so to speak, where ogres are effectively that character's natural prey.

This is really wrong, and I hope you play a bit more crawl before you do any sort of post comparing the two games. Not much more to be said.
posted by advil at 8:52 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is an ...unusual... way to respond, I have to say, and I'm not sure what a preference for one game over the other has to do with racism. I think I'm going to mostly nope out of any more discussion.

I think JHarris just meant that the difference in philosophy is "the elephant in the room". In a discussion about Lovecraft, eventually the conversation turns to the "the elephant in the room": Lovecraft was pretty dang racist, so should his works be read with that in mind (or even not read at all)? Similarly, in a discussion about Nethack or Dungeon Crawl, eventually the conversation will turn to the elephant in the room: the philosophy behind the game and whether it's sensible (as opposed to a discussion of the game on its face).
posted by jedicus at 8:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pretty much, yes, except that people point to the elephant and say "look! elephant!" all the time. Really though, the Lovecraft racism thing is a reference to a bit of site culture, if you haven't read a ton of Metafilter threads you probably wouldn't have understood what I mean, sorry about that.
posted by JHarris at 9:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: My go-to procrastination tool.
posted by pwnguin at 9:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is really wrong, and I hope you play a bit more crawl before you do any sort of post comparing the two games. Not much more to be said.

For the love of god I've PLAYED a lot of Crawl, I wrote like a six essay series on the game some years back. You should express what you mean clearly instead of waving your hands around and saying "oh, you're just not experienced enough." Engage with my statements instead of dismissing them Bobdammit.
posted by JHarris at 9:05 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


lumpenprole: "I have never ascended. I just find eating corpses... ...icky. "

Play a monk, they're vegetarian and get intrinsics by level.
posted by octothorpe at 9:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


But what is more, and what pushes me away from Crawl, is that that ogre is going to be a serious pain to kill unless you've been lucky or have a character built around ogre slaying, so to speak, where ogres are effectively that character's natural prey.

I've already had the nethack/DCSS argument with you and Im not spoiling to have it again but I will also point out that this is incorrect - after you learn that ogres are dangerous chances are good you will be able to take one with the aid of a common consumable or ability, and if not the answer is to run away which their slow attack can also be exploited to facilitate if you screw up and get close. You're kind of generally over-emphasizing the importance of character build too actually (beyond playing a race/background that doesn't suck). Now is some of that information actually "spoilerly?" Probably, most rogue likes are in reality and I never really tried to play unspoiled. DCSS just has a core design philosophy I trust, which is why I won, um seventeen times before I got bored compared to once with Nethack.
posted by atoxyl at 9:12 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think this DCSS derail is my fault, sorry. Let's end it here? (he says hopefully)

Looking to give Nethack a shot, but I don't see any ssh/telnet info on the surface here in a quick skim. Do most people just download it? Or is there a popular server (or group of servers) everyone knows about and uses?
posted by ODiV at 9:17 AM on December 8, 2015


Oh, that is perfectly fine, atoxyl! Different strokes for different folks, right? I am wondering what that common consumable is, because I don't remember it.

Look, I'm not saying that Crawl is bad. I like the game! But I don't think it's superior to Nethack, objectively, and I know I generally prefer NH, subjectively. I wouldn't even have brought it up if it weren't for advil's comment.

I don't think you really initiated the derail, ODiV. If anyone wants to discuss this more, I'm available for MeMail.
posted by JHarris at 9:23 AM on December 8, 2015


I don't see any ssh/telnet info on the surface here in a quick skim.

There are some telnet instructions upthread.
posted by jedicus at 9:23 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Duh, I don't know how I scrolled past that. Thanks!

I ctrl-f'd ssh and then when writing my comment I said, "Oh right, probably telnet." and added it without searching for it.
posted by ODiV at 9:26 AM on December 8, 2015


The way I've always played Nethack through alt.org is using PuTTY. The Nethack Wiki has a page about using it with the game. It is a fine way to play, it opens the game up being able to run into bones other players have left, to play on shared score lists (well it was before the filled up with so many ascensions), and being able to watch other games in progress.
posted by JHarris at 9:30 AM on December 8, 2015


Don't forget felix's amazing Nethack MeFi post from 2005. One of the all-time best MeFi posts.
posted by grouse at 9:32 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I prefer to play the DOS version (rather than the Windows version - in the case of 3.6.0 this means i'm launching Nethack.exe and not NethackW.exe) but I like to turn the tiles on in the default.nh file.

I used to do this with "options=video:autodetect", but I'm getting a "Bad Syntax in Options" message when trying in 3.6.0

Possibly related is the fact that this option used to be #commented in previous versions of Nethack but currently is not in the defaults.nh file at all; I had to manually add the line.

The Guidebook suggests this option still exists and works, but I'm obviously doing something wrong. Help?

"Set the video mode used (PC NetHack only). Values are `autodetect', `default', or `vga'. Setting `vga' (or `autodetect' with vga hardware present) will cause the game to display tiles. Cannot be set with the `O' command."
posted by radiosilents at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sort of annoyed at the orc fortress minetown, which doesn't provide any benefit in exchange for all the things it screws you out of compared to the other minetowns.
posted by nom de poop at 9:48 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


(beyond playing a race/background that doesn't suck). Now is some of that information actually "spoilerly?"

FWIW, "what race/backgrounds are actually not sucky?" strikes me as spoilery if you don't want to spend a LOT of time finding out (and you might be wrong! because YOU might be the one who sucks and you played wrong).
posted by kenko at 9:49 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sort of annoyed at the orc fortress minetown, which doesn't provide any benefit in exchange for all the things it screws you out of compared to the other minetowns.

The altar's convertible without having to murder the priest, if I'm recalling my UnNetHack correctly.
posted by Etrigan at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Got...7 ascensions? Back in the day; I think 4 wiz, 2 Val and an arch. Played a bunch of Crawl, haven't gotten a win yet.

Biggest difference I feel between them is that in Nethack, the endgame kit kinda is the endgame kit, and that's that to a certain extent. Crawl OTOH seems to encourage greater diversification of build types in the late game.
posted by PMdixon at 9:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


WARNING: the OS X port comes with auto pickup enabled by default. You seriously DO NOT WANT auto pickup. SERIOUSLY. That's not even a YASD, it's just SD.
posted by eriko at 10:07 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


eriko autopickup is only enabled for $"=/!?+ , right? what's the danger?
posted by radiosilents at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2015


The windows version has autopickup enabled, too. In a very stupid way. As in: you'll pick up everything until you go edit the config file. Even treasure chests/large boxes. Even un-purchased items in stores. Even items that you've just identified as cursed.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Even statues, apparently! NetHack 4 on Windows has the intelligent behavior eriko describes.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 10:17 AM on December 8, 2015


it opens the game up being able to run into bones other players have left, to play on shared score lists (well it was before the filled up with so many ascensions), and being able to watch other games in progress.

I'm playing through a Linux Terminal and I also run into bonespiles from other players, and their ghosts (ran into a ghost of me once, which was super weird), and can also watch other people play. I thought the telnet console login gave you all these options. Maybe I just got lucky?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:29 AM on December 8, 2015


I would like to amplify radiosilents statement about the DOS version, which I, too, preferred to play, since I know all the keys and have no use for the clunky GUI nonsense of the windowports. It shouldn't be hard to have a graphics-tiled version of the game that otherwise plays just like telnet.
posted by JHarris at 10:29 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I haven't played Nethack in a while, but I was addicted on and off for years. I've never ascended, or even (I think) made it to the proper endgame. I usually played as a barbarian (the easiest class), and considered it a good game if I made it to the class-specific quest to retrieve the Heart of Ahriman.

But, yeah, it's an absolute classic and a milestone in gaming—Rogue and Hack came first, but Nethack IMHO really crystallized roguelikes as a genre.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:36 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


JHarris Doubly frustrating since this option used to be included in the default text in defaults.nh, commented out, in the DOS version. It bears mentioning that currently there is no "DOS verison" on offer like there is for 3.4.x and prior, so it may be that this is a thing that's coming later? There's information in the dev notes that suggest a true "DOS version" isn't a think that's going to exist any more, and if that's the case I'm very hopeful this option gets brought into 3.6.x

I mentioned it over on reddit and one of the devs said he pinged the Windows team about it.
posted by radiosilents at 11:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The altar's convertible without having to murder the priest, if I'm recalling my UnNetHack correctly.

You're right. I assumed the altar couldn't be converted because it's Moloch's. (It should probably just be chaotic? Minetown seems rather small potatoes for Moloch.)

I guesss I'll take [dozen nastier orcs + non-coaligned altar] over [priest + 66% chance non-coaligned altar]. It doesn't really come close to making up for all the missing stuff from the shops and NPC inventories, though.
posted by nom de poop at 11:03 AM on December 8, 2015


Okay, that's not fair. Fucking NetHack is still Fucking NetHack. I'm inbetween the first and second rooms of the dungeon, and then....
You hear a zap. (more)
Your little dog is hit by a bolt of fire. (more)
Your little dog is killed! (more)
You are hit by a bolt of fire. (more)
You die... (more)
Do you want your possessions identified? (ynaq)
4 points. FOUR.

Fucking NetHack.

Back to the dungeon. Maybe I'll get to see THREE ROOMS this time!
posted by eriko at 11:10 AM on December 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


Whoa, what killed you?
posted by kenko at 11:12 AM on December 8, 2015


I'd rather that happen before the second room of the dungeon than after spending many hours on a game.
posted by grouse at 11:16 AM on December 8, 2015


Whoa, what killed you?

Goblin with a wand of fire, sounds like.
posted by jedicus at 11:17 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is a preposterously dangerous game.
Both in-game and in-life, as in, I could easily spend a dangerous amount of time playing this #$^& !@&)#% game.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:18 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Goblin with a wand of fire, sounds like.

That's my guess, but I didn't even get a chance to see it. Just FWOOSSH! DYWYPI?
posted by eriko at 11:19 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I assumed the altar couldn't be converted because it's Moloch's. (It should probably just be chaotic? Minetown seems rather small potatoes for Moloch.)

There are other Moloch-aligned altars in some of the quests that were "desecrated" by your quest nemesis or the like -- I think they can be converted without risk of minions attacking you? So it's a slightly easier way to make a player work for a co-aligned altar without cheating and making it automatically cross-aligned.
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM on December 8, 2015


I'm inbetween the first and second rooms of the dungeon, and then....

Well, that's what you get for not taking the left at Albuquerque.
posted by Etrigan at 11:21 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Moloch altars can be converted, but altars in some locations (locations where you find some Moloch altars in particular) are not safe for converting.
posted by idiopath at 11:35 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fucking NetHack is still Fucking NetHack.

And it will always be Fucking NetHack.
posted by octothorpe at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's actually impressive eriko! I don't think I've ever actually gotten ambushed by a second room fire bolt before. The game has a special message, by the way, for players who manage to die on turn one.

I'd like to see what marvin could do about that one!
posted by JHarris at 11:52 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]



lumpenprole: "I have never ascended. I just find eating corpses... ...icky. "

Play a monk, they're vegetarian and get intrinsics by level.



Oh, I play monk a lot. I'm also apparently bad at this game. I have almost completed the class quest as a monk a couple times, so that's about as good as I get.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:15 PM on December 8, 2015


It is true, there are some things that in practice you're going to have to learn to win, like the essentialness of magic resistance

There's a bunch of fiddly details to magic resistance you have to learn about - it's not at all obvious what is or is not affected by it. But the one that makes me mad is the magic cancellation level attribute that some armors confer. Understanding it is absolutely critical to picking the right build, but the game gives literally zero indication that it's even a factor to consider, and since it doesn't literally prevent anything, but just tweaks the probabilities, it's nearly impossible to discover experimentally how it works. So you eventually have to just look up why a cloak of displacement isn't part of anybody's ascension kit.
posted by aubilenon at 12:20 PM on December 8, 2015


I have almost completed the class quest as a monk a couple times, so that's about as good as I get.

*sough*sleepspellorwand*cough*
posted by Etrigan at 12:31 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Elbereth has been made less effective—it's in the changelog.

Where can I see the changelog? I just looked over the entire source filetree and don't see anything with a name that's close, and on nethack.org I can see release notes, but no mention of Elbereth.

Also, "made less effective" seems like an understatement. Since Derek Ray is now on the dev team, I might have expected something from sporkhack where it didn't always scare off higher level monsters, but I'm not seeing it scare pretty much anything.
posted by namespan at 12:40 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where can I see the changelog?

Linked here.

The reddit discussion has a subthread about Elbereth.
posted by kenko at 12:46 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've never used Elbereth myself, except for one time when it simply delayed the inevitable. All I see in the changelog about it is "affected monsters should always respect 'Elbereth'" and "engraving Elbereth is less efficient as protection". No skin off my nose, but I guess I'll be reading the Reddit thread to find out what "less efficient as protection" means in the practical sense.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:52 PM on December 8, 2015


Hm. Long work for a minor version change. Interesting.

I wonder what Nethack 4.0 would entail. "The DevTeam went crazy, broke absolutely everything, and represented some monsters with emoji. (timeframe: 'we expect that the team will be released from the mental institution in a decade or two')"

(for those who don't get it)
posted by wwwwolf at 1:01 PM on December 8, 2015


I really want to see a design/philosophy/history document.

In a practical sense it would help let me know what to expect for the future... but more importantly (to me) it seems like it would be an important piece of roguelike history.
posted by tychotesla at 1:22 PM on December 8, 2015


The reddit discussion has a subthread about Elbereth.

OK, that explains a lot.

My habit is to dust-engrave it repeatedly. These changes make that as effective as the probability that the first write takes correctly (not that likely).

I didn't realize how much I'd come to rely on this until five deaths since last night.

Can Wizards have their starting athames back?

(Though I guess the demise of the wizard that was suddenly insta-killed by a falling rock trap taking all 11 HP in one go had nothing to do with that.)
posted by namespan at 2:02 PM on December 8, 2015


I guess I'd take it back and say that the nerfs to pudding farming and Elbereth are significant changes.
posted by nom de poop at 2:03 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My pet satellites of two large dogs and a hasted python were not enough to save me from a troll in the mines with a wand of cold. It shattered my un-Id'd potion of sleep and then me.
posted by nom de poop at 2:18 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


tychotesla, I'm hoping the git repository that the dev team is talking about releasing will have historical commits in it. But then, I've been following the original development of nethack 30 delayed on olduse.net. It's not called nethack yet in 1985, but it's starting to sound a lot like it, and it's amazing how many of the ideas and patches posted to rec.games.hack are available in modern nethack.

Closest I've come to ascending is a monk who got all the way down to the vibrating square, but knew he was going to die if he tried this ascencion business and was not very interested in that anyway. He went back up to the castle, and stocked it up with lots of goodies and then had his save file committed to git so he could enjoy being holed up in it for a long time. Since 3.6.0 won't read that save file, Yeoj will probably remain in that castle forevermore.
posted by joeyh at 2:24 PM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


*pours out potion of booze on a curb in Minetown for Yeoj*
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:33 PM on December 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


joeyh is joey hess? neat!

Old Usenet really seems like something I would enjoy if I actually got it set up.
posted by kenko at 2:36 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think that President Yendor should do something about the proliferation of wands in the dungeon.
posted by JHarris at 2:41 PM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


President Yendor also needs to address the problem of shopowners with establishments between two secret doors, and those relying on finger-drawing "Closed for inventory" in the dust on the ground while thinking this is at all fair warning.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:43 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, seems the 3.6.0 version has been added to the NAO telnet menu, as of a couple hours ago. Allows you to try out the new version menu as a new character, but also to [q]uit back to the 3.4.3 menu as your regular one. Neat!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:45 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My first game of nethack 3.60 and my kitten ate a small mimic and began imitating a tripe ration. Never seen that one before.
posted by joeyh at 3:07 PM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


For the love of god I've PLAYED a lot of Crawl, I wrote like a six essay series on the game some years back. You should express what you mean clearly instead of waving your hands around and saying "oh, you're just not experienced enough." Engage with my statements instead of dismissing them Bobdammit.

Well, ok...

But what is more, and what pushes me away from Crawl, is that that ogre is going to be a serious pain to kill unless you've been lucky or have a character built around ogre slaying, so to speak, where ogres are effectively that character's natural prey.

The design of ogres is pretty simple, and as you noted, it can be viewed in game by looking at a monster (or looked up in the same kind of wiki where one would probably look up cockatrices these days): ogres hit hard, have bad defenses, and fairly bad magic resistance. They are the first crawl monster most players encounter that instantiates all three of these, and importantly the first monster that consistently hits hard (though really far from the only one, this is a continuous factor beyond the early dungeon). To deal with them, there is exactly one tactic that is problematic: standing next to them in melee and hitting them. Practically anything else you might be able to do at that point is viable (wands both attack and hex, almost any ranged attack, poison in any form such as needles, all sorts of spells including ranged damage, hexes). Most importantly, you can just not fight them, which is usually what I personally do in the very early dungeon. So what you need to do to handle ogres is have any build that can handle a hard-hitting melee monster by doing anything other than meleeing it back -- there is no such thing as an ogre slaying character in crawl. I agree that many new players will probably die to an ogre the first time they encounter one, because there's nothing like experience, but this has very little to do with spoileriness or not. I also agree that sometimes it is hard for new players to realize the diversity of tactics available to them at any one time (including not fighting stuff), which may or may not amount to how "spoiled" they are.

Positive suggestions if this is a thread you are planning to pursue: If you want examples of cases where crawl is still spoilery there are a _lot_ better examples you can pick, such as early distortion brands, the behavior of hydras (which if you used instead of ogres in a similar point would be not nearly so likely to get you dismissed by crawl players), the fact that orbs of fire are roughly a gear check for the endgame (i.e. you do actually need to build an orb-of-fire slaying character by the endgame for the most part), or something obscure like the destruction of beogh idols. Ogres are basically the opposite of a case where you need a spoilery "x-slaying" build in order to deal with monster x, and not an example that is suggestive of a lot of experience with the game beyond the very beginning.
posted by advil at 3:07 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


"The b/tard picks up a kobold corpse."

Lots more hallucinatory references. I'm sure they will all age well. Some of them are even from DCSS—I could feel the weighty, crunchy balance of those ones especially.
posted by nom de poop at 3:08 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I accessed nethack.alt.org with telnet, made an account, started a new game, and couldn't even move! Ha!

Help didn't really.

I'll give it another go later, but this doesn't speak well to my ability to figure this out. :P
posted by ODiV at 3:10 PM on December 8, 2015


joeyh: "My first game of nethack 3.60 and my kitten ate a small mimic and began imitating a tripe ration. Never seen that one before."

That is a very roundabout way of your kitten imitating this lolcat.
posted by XtinaS at 3:23 PM on December 8, 2015


How do I make it so ALT-key works for #-key commands?
posted by Etrigan at 3:34 PM on December 8, 2015


My first game of nethack 3.60 and my kitten ate a small mimic and began imitating a tripe ration. Never seen that one before.

Feed the tripe ration to a monster before your kitty polymorphs again, so it can claw it from within. The monster will be all "damn that was good I will be your pet" but then "oh no whats this clawing insidea my belly" and you'll be like "lol sucker".
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:35 PM on December 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


I mean that seems like it would probably work yeah.
posted by PMdixon at 3:38 PM on December 8, 2015


"Both in-game and in-life, as in, I could easily spend a dangerous amount of time playing this #$^& !@&)#% game."

This passage gold trap (command info) potion human (command info) passage edible game?

I think I know why you're having trouble.
posted by klangklangston at 3:44 PM on December 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


Once I was playing a bunch of nethack because I was sick and didn't have much else to do, and had a fever dream where I was deathly afraid of an email address. (all those monsters with my character in the middle).
posted by idiopath at 3:48 PM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


I recall having a playstyle that leaned heavily on magic markers, for blessed scrolls of genocide and recharging.

(Iwon'tgobackIwon'tIwon'tIwon't!)
posted by PMdixon at 3:53 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I recall having a playstyle that leaned heavily on magic markers, for blessed scrolls of genocide and recharging.

Yes! The pleasure of seeing a bunch of Ls dropping off the screen. That is joyous. If I'm in a situation where I can make a lot of scrolls of genocide, I'll more often than not throw in monsters that aren't dangerous per se but are aggravating, disenchanters, rust monsters, et al. One time genocided leprechauns, not even considering the effect this might have on available gold (don't even know if it does, tbh), just pretty much out of pure spite, because fuck them. A roomful is a vault of gold, but one of them by himself is like, Sam from Green Eggs & Ham, the same kind of pushy, grinning attitude, only it takes your gold.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:30 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


advil, it was accurately pointed out above that this is a big derail. How about I respond to you via MeMail?
posted by JHarris at 4:39 PM on December 8, 2015


dywypi: "Do they have unlocked doors that open when you move into them, as opposed to always having to stop and open them?"

Yep, which is a little annoying until I get used to it.
posted by Mitheral at 4:40 PM on December 8, 2015


NetHack needs beer. Just saying.
posted by eriko at 4:53 PM on December 8, 2015


ok, this is very, very bad: I just now ordered 2 USB-numeric-pads, one for the laptop at home and one for the one at work.

damn your scaly hides.

also?

always kick a sink.

always drink from a fountain/sink.

always dip things into them.

always! it can only end well!

by point of which I mean, much like #, I also have never ascended once since starting in ?1992? but it sure as hell is fun dying so very many times along the way.

(my tactics are probably quite-wrong since I mainly die of starvation. therefore my strategy is also probably wrong since I often try to combat that by playing Barbarians...)

((also I cannot resist robbing Shopkeepers either by-pet or by-force. this likely also does not help.))
posted by dorian at 5:17 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, and a developer friend of mine tells me his favorite case of "The DevTeam thinks of everything."

Every so often, when you kill a Quantum Mechanic, it will drop a box. When you open the box, you find a cat named Schroedinger's Cat. 50% of the time, the cat is alive, otherwise not.

Standard QM joke. But the DevTeam goes further. In the code, the decision if the cat is alive or dead isn't made *until you open the box.*
posted by eriko at 5:18 PM on December 8, 2015 [21 favorites]


Not sure what counts as significant but there are hundreds of fixes and changes.

*looks at changelog*
eating gold in front of the vault guard will make the guard angry
Oh man, I am going to have to rethink my whole strategy!
posted by aubilenon at 5:31 PM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is where I get to brag that I played Rogue and Hack on an IBM PC years before Nethack existed, and then admit that I've never ascended.
posted by wintermind at 5:39 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


NetHack needs beer. Just saying.

50 zorkmids. More if you're ugly. Less if you're good looking.
posted by namespan at 5:58 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


50 zorkmids. More if you're ugly. Less if you're good looking.

Booze is not beer, damnit. Beer would have much more nutrition, but you'd need a bottle opener to open a beer 100% of the time without braking the bottle. If you drank from the bottle when it is broken, you'd lose 1d4 hit points and abuse wisdom, and only get 3/4 nutrition.

Obviously, that's just a summary. There's a lot of detail that needs to be worked out. Can you drink beer if you're polymorphed in a mouthless creature? What are the effects when you drink beer while hallucinating? Would your sword rust if you dipped it into an open beer? Beer would obviously become wort if you dipped an amethyst into it, what nutrition would that have? And so on.
posted by eriko at 6:17 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Beer would have much more nutrition, but you'd need a bottle opener to open a beer 100% of the time without braking the bottle.

Or you could wear a ring and pass a Dex check.
posted by Etrigan at 6:29 PM on December 8, 2015


ooh, nice!

Tourists should clearly be better at opening beer and get more nutrition from it.
posted by eriko at 6:39 PM on December 8, 2015


Looking at the changelog some more, it looks like they now expose magic cancellation levels in enlightenment and end-of-game status messages. So my gripe from upthread is obsolete!
posted by aubilenon at 6:39 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


So my gripe from upthread is obsolete!

The DevTeam thinks of everything.
posted by eriko at 6:45 PM on December 8, 2015


(Eriko, did you know that: Dwarf Fortress? And the latest update includes taverns and the spread of culture. Hence this post from yesterday on reddit: "Reproducible Bug Involving Tavern Keepers Giving Animals Alcohol". Except that title is not true because first that would not be a bug, and second it turns out the culprit was poor quaffing form + cats catting.)
posted by tychotesla at 6:49 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I refuse to believe that people who play Dwarf Fortress aren't secretly involved in a giant Mornington Crescent style hoax on the rest of us.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:01 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can someone show me what to put in my nethackrc to make auto-pickup behave sanely?
posted by Television Name at 8:05 PM on December 8, 2015


I can't look it up at the moment, but during the game autopickup can be turned off, if I remember right, with shift-2.
posted by JHarris at 8:31 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


OPTIONS=pickup_burden=Unencumbered,pickup_types=$?!/
posted by joeyh at 8:34 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thanks! I remember setting this all up years ago but I didn't want to look all that up again.
posted by Television Name at 8:44 PM on December 8, 2015


idiopath: "Once I was playing a bunch of nethack because I was sick and didn't have much else to do, and had a fever dream where I was deathly afraid of an email address. (all those monsters with my character in the middle)."

I first encountered this joke in a list of "You know you've played too much nethack when..." jokes, as, "you see an email address and your first thought is 'Oh shit, I'm surrounded!'"
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:59 PM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


confirmed, my life is a joke
posted by idiopath at 9:07 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


> This is a preposterously dangerous game.
Both in-game and in-life, as in, I could easily spend a dangerous amount of time playing this #$^& !@&)#% game.


so what's this about kicking two sinks in one room and summoning both dishwashers, one of which has just thrown a potion at you?

(Also: careful with that trap to your left. and check with ask mefi about whether it's still safe to eat that corpse to your right.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:56 PM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Now I'm torn between devoting weeks to Nethack or maintaining my Minecraft addiction. If only the latter could be the UI for the former.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:13 AM on December 9, 2015


getting repeatedly petrified by a floating eye

"doctor, it hurts when I do this"


It's not theodolite's fault; the bastards just sit there, floating at you. How can you not hit them?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:58 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Now I'm torn between devoting weeks to Nethack or maintaining my Minecraft addiction. If only the latter could be the UI for the former.
posted by five fresh fish 2 ½ hours ago [+] [!]


Thats an idea - Nethack played/emulated in Minecraft...
posted by From Bklyn at 2:54 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


You Can't Tip a Buick - nice. I was going to try to make that joke but did not think I could pull it off, but you totally did.
posted by dorian at 9:49 AM on December 9, 2015


You know, I don't think the DCSS thing is totally a derail. DCSS and Nethack share such a common lineage that it only makes sense to bring up one whenever discussing the other. At the same time, they are sufficiently different in scope and intent that I think that arguing over which is better is going to be pretty fruitless. It's always going to come down to which playstyle or design philosophy resonates with you more.

I have probably spent about an equal amount of time on DCSS and Nethack (hundreds of hours in both cases). I've ascended 7 times in Nethack and won 6 times in DCSS (though the closest I've come to a 15-rune run is dying in Pan a dozen or so steps from rune number 14). I love both games, but I am much more likely on any given day to play DCSS than Crawl. Honestly, I haven't played a Nethack game in over a year, and I've played at least a few dozen games of DCSS in that time.

Part of this is this is that I really do dig their design philosophy of creating strategically and tactically interesting decision points, but a bigger part (or perhaps a directly related part) is that DCSS just has more replay value. Once you ascend once in Nethack, ascending again is going to be very much similar. Your first Nethack ascension is such a triumph--few games can top that feeling--but then I found that I got rapidly diminishing returns on my enjoyment as I kept playing. Yes, the classes do play differently (though the races barely do), and each has its own quest, but once you reach the castle, things go the exact same way every time. In fact, I think the fact the there is so little variation in Nethack ascension kits is pretty emblematic of the problems with the game.

I have two or three different Nethack 3.4.3 characters sitting in the castle (roughly the halfway point of the game) and I'm pretty confident that I could ascend all three of them with a minimal chance of dying. But I just can't be bothered because I know that everything interesting is behind them.

That's part of the reason that I'm really excited to see Derek Ray on the dev team. The Sporkhack fork of Nethack, while it made some missteps, focused very heavily on both introducing more diversity into endgame strategies as while as making the second half of the game, shorter, deadlier, and more interesting. I don't see many ideas coming over from Sporkhack in this update yet, but I'm hopeful for the future.

All of that is not to say that I won't be getting some Nethack deaths in this holiday season. It'll be fun to go back to the game after some time off and remind myself of the best parts of it that make it unique from DCSS and essentially impossible to compare. I particularly miss the robust identification game.
posted by 256 at 12:44 PM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


True story: I thought umrain's comment was extremely well-observed satire until I found a B-flat squeaky board and two gnomes with candles
posted by theodolite at 12:51 PM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh and regarding difficulty, I feel pretty confident in saying that beating Nethack for the first time is harder than beating DCSS for the first time, but beating Nethack for the second time is substantially easier than beating DCSS for the second time. And a 15-rune win in DCSS is harder than anything in Nethack unless you get into some of the crazier voluntary conducts like foodless or pacifist.
posted by 256 at 1:04 PM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


That seems accurate to me 256. I think both games are too long, honestly, but at least having a certain play style won't secretly sabotage you in Nethack, unlike, I seem to remember, Crawl, where you really want to make sure you improve your character's star skills, because it ultimately comes at the expense of others.
posted by JHarris at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2015


That seems accurate to me 256. I think both games are too long, honestly, but at least having a certain play style won't secretly sabotage you in Nethack, unlike, I seem to remember, Crawl, where you really want to make sure you improve your character's star skills, because it ultimately comes at the expense of others.

That sort of used to be the case. For one thing, it is possible (though it requires a tedious amount of grinding) to switch skill-focus mid-game and entirely change your build. It's even easier now that you can choose how you allocate your experience without it being tied to the skills you are actually using in play (i.e. You can set Short Blades to train and level it up while still killing everything with your giant club). They've also added a new god (Ashenzari) whose arguably most important ability is that he lets you move experience points from one skill to another. So you always have the option of converting to him and fixing your build up if you have wasted too many points in skills you don't end up needing.
posted by 256 at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know if there is an alternate download location for the 3.6.0 binaries yet? I really don't trust sourceforge.
posted by 256 at 3:40 PM on December 9, 2015


I checked the md5 sum for my download off of sourceforge, but ymmv.

Not that it successfully ran under OSX 10.7.5, but it was the correct binary.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:05 PM on December 9, 2015


Installed when this was first posted. Now uninstalling. May also have to drink myself into a stupor in the hopes that I'll black out and not remember that NetHack existed.
posted by HeroZero at 6:16 PM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


NetHack will wait for you HeroZero. It will exist into infinity, taunting you.
posted by octothorpe at 7:36 PM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


So, in my very first game of Nethack 3.6.0, I found a bag of holding on dungeon level 1 and immediately knew that I was doomed. Things went fine for a few levels until I found the entrance to the Gnomish Mines, poked my head in and promptly got ambushed by a kitten. I tried to escape and eventually found myself cornered with 1 hit point and an angry kitten adjacent.

Desperate, I quaffed a random potion hoping it might be healing. It was acid. But at least the acid killed me and denied the kitten the satisfaction of doing the deed itself.

Never change Nethack.
posted by 256 at 8:05 PM on December 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


AAAAaaah, YASD. In Sokoban Level 1b. My pet Olog-hai Troll and pet Giant Zombie are stirring around. I've all but cleared the level when a ':' (baby croc) and 'c' (chickatrice) get generated. Troll takes out the croc and like an idiot I think "Oh, a 'c', must be another croc". Slam with Mjollnir, hiss from chickatrice, oh you are turning to stone. But finger memory is hitting the chickatrice again instead of going for my lizard. Now I don't have enough moves to get it out of my pack and I'm stone. Doubly stupid because I panicked instead of praying.
posted by Mitheral at 1:59 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Now I don't have enough moves to get it out of my pack and I'm stone.

If you keep it in your main inventory, you're less likely to get a hiss anyway.
posted by Etrigan at 3:30 AM on December 10, 2015


Death when you had a move or two to avert it and you totally did the wrong things is the worst.
posted by octothorpe at 4:38 AM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


My favorite personal YASD. Oh look, my pet housecat just dropped a ring! Let's see what it does, I could really use regeneration right now....
The housecat hits.... The housecat hits.... The Housecat bites... (more)
You die... (more)
Do you want your possessions identified? (ynaq) 
WTF?
 Ring of conflict (on right hand) 
Oh, so that's what a ring of conflict does!!!!
posted by eriko at 7:07 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


A 3.6.0 nod to pTerry. If the shop is a bookstore, there will be a "small paperback book called $NAME" and it's always a Terry Pratchett book.
posted by eriko at 7:13 AM on December 10, 2015


A 3.6.0 nod to pTerry. If the shop is a bookstore, there will be a "small paperback book called $NAME" and it's always a Terry Pratchett book.

And reading it will give you experience points!
posted by 256 at 8:06 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Etrigan: "If you keep it in your main inventory, you're less likely to get a hiss anyway."

Well, see, that's the depth of the stupidity. Just before I entered the level I was trying to maximize the benefit of a blessed identify. So I'd moved my inventory around to have all my unidentified items in main inventory and then forgot to bring the lizards back to my main.
posted by Mitheral at 8:59 AM on December 10, 2015


That's not stupidity, that's just absent-mindedness.
posted by JHarris at 10:12 AM on December 10, 2015


So I'd moved my inventory around to have all my unidentified items in main inventory and then forgot to bring the lizards back to my main.

I just drop the identified stuff when I'm doing that, but yeah, I've definitely walked off without it too.
posted by Etrigan at 10:17 AM on December 10, 2015


My sister has reminded me that she played so much in the early nineties that her amber screen monitor had the status text burnt in.
posted by octothorpe at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I've never been so happy to see an altar of Moloch as I was just now upon finding one in the orc-infested Minetown. It was the first altar I had seen all game and I was overburdened schlepping around TWO bags of holding I had picked up from two separate bones files. Now, armed with holy water and following a blessed identify and a blessed remove curse, I am riding high.

Among my bounty:

Three magic markers (all with charges left in them)
A cloak of invisibility
Mjollnir (found on the floor on DLVL 1)
Speed Boots (purchased in a shop on DLVL 3)
Helm of Brilliance (same)
A Tinning Kit
A Magic Whistle
A veritable library of scrolls, wands, and potions

Of course, this means that I'm now at the point in the game where nothing fair is going to kill me for the next little while, but I am at maximum danger of frustrating essentially-inavoidable instadeaths. I have no resistances, most notably poison. I have no reflection. I have no magic resistance. I don't even have a lizard corpse or a unicorn horn.

Poison instadeath, here I come.
posted by 256 at 11:31 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would say that you're at one of the rare points where getting crowned will help you, but having Mjollnir will help reduce the chance of the bitey poison instadeaths by killing bitey things faster.
posted by Etrigan at 11:39 AM on December 10, 2015


They've enhanced non-Hawaiian T-Shirts.
posted by Mitheral at 1:04 PM on December 10, 2015


Things are looking up!

I killed a unicorn, netting me both a horn and poison resistance (upon eating its corpse). I also got cold resistance (from eating... something. I don't remember what). And then! I found an amulet of lifesaving and the Icelandic transporter. My tourist is only lvl 11 though, so no quest for me yet.

I also still haven't encountered a (natural, more on that in a second) lizard, which is pretty scary on a new moon. HOWEVER, my dog ate a chameleon corpse and transformed into a lizard. I am considering arranging his death in case of emergency...
posted by 256 at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mjollnir (found on the floor on DLVL 1)

wat
posted by kenko at 2:54 PM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


But what is this "icelandic transporter"?
posted by kenko at 2:56 PM on December 10, 2015


Mjollnir (found on the floor on DLVL 1)

There is a small chance of any item generating on any level of the dungeon. In fact, several years ago, someone figured out a way to exploit the level generator which generates DLVL1 (*) using the timestamp as a random seed. He claimed that he was able, by choosing when he started the game, to generate a first level with basically any characteristics he wanted. People scoffed and so, as proof, he started 5 consecutive games over the course of a couple of weeks on a public server (meaning there was no chance of tampering or foul play) in which his character died on DLVL1 with 0 experience points and a cause of death reading "injured himself kicking a wand of wishing."

But what is this "icelandic transporter"?

When you reach the level of the dungeon which contains a portal to your class quest, you get a message reading something like "A faint voice echoes in your head 'We need your help! Look for the ...ic transporter!' You couldn't quite make out that last part."

It obviously means "magic transporter" but I like to alternately pretend the garbled word is "Icelandic" or "phallic."

(*) Later levels are not generated until you actually enter them for the first time, and what has happened in the game thus far affects the generation, so they are MUCH harder to manipulate.
posted by 256 at 3:12 PM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Three magic markers (all with charges left in them)
A cloak of invisibility
Mjollnir (found on the floor on DLVL 1)
Speed Boots (purchased in a shop on DLVL 3)
Helm of Brilliance (same)
A Tinning Kit
A Magic Whistle
A veritable library of scrolls, wands, and potions


...and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!♬
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:09 PM on December 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


So I realized I was being silly, being so scared of stoning when I had two blessed scrolls of genocide in my bag. I genocided "c" and "L" and am feeling much better now, even if it means that I will never get to wield the rubber chicken.
posted by 256 at 8:18 PM on December 10, 2015


Part of the inventory management hell that is nethack was the discovery that wielding a cockatrice while encumbered is a good idea right up to the first time you descend a staircase.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:41 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well. I'm in the castle holding the wand of wishing....
posted by 256 at 12:55 PM on December 11, 2015


dude wish for more wishes
posted by kenko at 2:25 PM on December 11, 2015


I already have scroll of charging, or else I would.
posted by 256 at 2:30 PM on December 11, 2015


Moloch's merde, I just lost a completely ascendable Monk (the Eye, cloak of magic resistance, two magic markers, and more good kit) to not paying attention to my hit point level while trying to pummel a Xorn.

That's it. I was outside the castle, levitating, I could have hovered back at any moment and been safe and healed up fast with healing spells and ring of regeneration if I was just paying attention.

Don't hate the game, hate the player, I guess.
posted by namespan at 3:01 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


There is a small chance of any item generating on any level of the dungeon.

Actually, a few items never generate on the floor. The classic trio, Bell of Opening, Book of the Dead and Candelabrum of Invocation, those only show up in their designated places, as does the Amulet of Yendor itself.

Beyond that, athames and worm teeth, I believe, only show up in starting and/or monster inventories, unless wished for. Crysknives can only be made. Quest artifacts only appear at the end of their respective quests; in earlier versions they could also be wished for (if it wasn't your quest), but I don't know if you still can in 3.6.

Normal Artifacts can be generated in many places. Findin Mjollnir on level 1 is just about the ideal early lucky artifact, but you can also wish for them, and get gifted them by your god as a reward for sacrificing. If you get crowned you get a good-to-great artifact with it depending on your alignment. Sting and Orcrist you can actually make by applying the right name to the right weapon. Angels, Archons and player monsters are sometimes generated with artifacts if they don't already exist. And finally, artifacts can even be found once in a while in the inventory of a shop, although it'll be grotesquely overpriced.
posted by JHarris at 4:02 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, I genocided Vampires and now have literally immortal vampire bats. Every time I do enough damage to kill one, I get the message "The seemingly dead vampire bat suddenly transforms and rises as a vampire bat!" and it's back at full hitpoints.

Is this a new bug? Is it a feature?
posted by 256 at 6:49 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Guess you need to genocide bats.
posted by Etrigan at 7:10 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seems like monsters can see past boulders these days -- I'm getting missile and breath attacks from outside my fort.
posted by Etrigan at 7:26 PM on December 11, 2015


I'm getting missile and breath attacks from outside my fort

There are no sofa cushions in this game yet?
posted by aubilenon at 7:39 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I found yet another fun message: "It won't come off the hinges"
posted by idiopath at 9:29 PM on December 11, 2015


I wouldn't doubt that boulder forts have seen some special attention paid to them, given that they were a prominent feature of some of the most egregious high score exploits. I'm sure watching recordings of years and years of MAXINT-1 point games on alt.org gave the DevTeam plenty of information on what needed to be done to rein in score abuse, and the safety offered by boulder forts played a role in that I'm sure.

On 256's vampire bat behavior, I believe I've gotten to the bottom of it; it seems to be a bug. Vampires now have alternate forms, of fog clouds and vampire bats, to match them up better with D&D vampires. I think you genocided vampires at a time when a vampire was already in bat form. Apparently when that happens, the bat becomes unkillable; when you kill it it leaves bat form, but it cannot enter vampire form because those are gone now, so it returns to bat form and instead of leaving it dead it gets restored. The same thing seems to happen if you genocide vampires when one exists in fog cloud form.
posted by JHarris at 11:03 PM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I went ahead and submitted it to the DevTeam as a bug.
posted by JHarris at 11:13 PM on December 11, 2015


And they've already responded! Apparently they were able to find it quickly and it's now fixed in the next version.
posted by JHarris at 1:21 AM on December 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


Did they say how many years until next version release?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:00 AM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


@ a human or elf (Wizard of Yendor) [seen: telepathy]
posted by 256 at 11:20 AM on December 12, 2015


Chrysostom: "Did they say how many years until next version release?"

From the FAQ:
When will the next version be released?
When it's ready. We don't announce schedules so we don't miss deadlines :-)
posted by octothorpe at 12:02 PM on December 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


New Big Room layout, more... slanty.
posted by Etrigan at 12:40 PM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's happening....

I'm on the vibrating square. I have the Candelabrum and the Bell. I have six unused wishes and, honestly, nothing that I need to wish for. I have 295 hit points and 3 amulets of life saving.

I could ascend, but it feels so tedious.
posted by 256 at 12:43 PM on December 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


You begin to recite the runes. You turn the pages of the Book of the Dead... The floor shakes violently under you! The walls around you begin to bend and crumble!
posted by 256 at 2:45 PM on December 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


You offer the Amulet of Yendor to The Lady... An invisible choir sings, and you are bathed in radiance... The voice of The Lady rings out: "Congratulations, mortal!"
"In return for thy service, I grant thee the gift of Immortality!" You ascend to the status of Demigod...

You went to your reward with 2884786 points,
Mjollnir (worth 4000 zorkmids and 10000 points)
The Bell of Opening (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Candelabrum of Invocation (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Platinum Yendorian Express Card (worth 7000 zorkmids and 17500 points)
Magicbane (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
5 amulets of life saving (worth 750 zorkmids),
and 0 pieces of gold, after 63168 moves.
You were level 25 with a maximum of 412 hit points when you ascended.


Anyhow, that makes me the 6th person to ascend 3.6.0 on NAO.
posted by 256 at 5:50 PM on December 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Oh... And apparently I currently have the top score on NAO as well....
Rank 	Score 	        Name 		Lev/Max 	HP/Max 					Death 	        Date
1.	2,884,786	2five6	(d)	-5/46	        410/412	Tou	Hum	Mal	Neu	ascended	today
posted by 256 at 6:01 PM on December 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Well, you've ascended. Should we call you 512 now?
posted by eriko at 6:44 PM on December 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


Yaaay 256! Go Team MeFi!
posted by JHarris at 7:28 PM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey, if you're the top-scoring player, from among six ascensions, with a score of less than 3M, it seems safe to say that scoring has been fixed at least a little too.
posted by JHarris at 7:29 PM on December 12, 2015


Links to dumplogs seem broken?
posted by kenko at 11:23 PM on December 12, 2015


Not just the links. When I log in and download the "full" dump of my games, only four of my nine games appear in the tarball.

The TTYREC seems to have worked though. Here is the recording of my final play session for that character, starting at the plane of fire.
posted by 256 at 6:28 AM on December 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


So after three stupid deaths from running into hard to see blue floating eyes does anyone know how to change the colour in the native local client on Windows 10? It's the same color as Gnome Lords and Fountains but those don't cause delayed insta-death when you accidentally run into them and blue on black is apparently hard for me to see.

I've tried the instructions here but they had no effect.
posted by Mitheral at 7:09 PM on December 13, 2015


Is this game harder now or do I just suck? I used to go into the mines when I was around fifth level and never had too much problem and now I get totally crushed.

Also, I found this totally enclosed fort inside the mines that had a series of iron bars on the walls but no doors. Is there any way in there?
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


So after three stupid deaths from running into hard to see blue floating eyes does anyone know how to change the colour in the native local client on Windows 10?

Add the following to your options file:

MONSTERCOLOR=floating eye:yellow

Is this game harder now or do I just suck? I used to go into the mines when I was around fifth level and never had too much problem and now I get totally crushed.

I think the game has gotten harder in some ways. But I also think XPLVL 5 was too early for the mines even in 3.4.3 unless you are playing as a dwarf or gnome.

Also, I found this totally enclosed fort inside the mines that had a series of iron bars on the walls but no doors. Is there any way in there?

Digging. You should be able to find a pickaxe somewhere, even if you need to kill a dwarf for one.
posted by 256 at 5:06 AM on December 14, 2015


Oh, duh. I didn't try digging as I assumed that the walls were no diggable.
posted by octothorpe at 5:17 AM on December 14, 2015




The next highest Tourist is at 187. You've still got the glory.
posted by Etrigan at 5:49 AM on December 14, 2015


I love Nethack, but I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have the patience for all the finicky bits to ever ascend or even really succeed. Not that it has stopped me from trying, but I always go out in a glorious blaze of YASD from not being able to resist quaffing something or putting on some item I found or blundering head first into something. I've been playing the heck out of Moria lately, though, on my ancient Macintosh SE/30. I was doing great last night until I found myself in the middle of a chamber with a corrode armor gas trap and was surrounded by a rapidly moving and growing worm mass. The writhing worm mass kept setting off the trap, and by the time I hacked my way out of there all my armor was toast.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:44 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've played NetHack occasionally for years and have never gotten as far as mines' end as far as I can remember. This weekend I decided to do a little exploring with wizard mode. It was fun to max out intrinsics, armor, and weaponry, but even at level 30 with maximized stats, AC -127, Grayswandir, resistance against everything, getting through the endgame was really tedious.
posted by grouse at 9:02 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's why all the Nethack-but-better variants seem to have less (or at least more varied) Gehennom.
posted by Etrigan at 9:09 AM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm embarassed to admit that I began my ascension at the vibrating square level so I skipped almost all of Gehennom.
posted by grouse at 11:10 AM on December 14, 2015


256: "Add the following to your options file:

MONSTERCOLOR=floating eye:yellow
"

I'm getting an error with that line. Does it need a patch to work?
posted by Mitheral at 12:29 PM on December 14, 2015


Changed my config file to disable numberpad in 3.6.0 and it still keeps on insisting I use numberpad. Bah.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:34 PM on December 14, 2015


I liked Nethack much more before the endgame complications were introduced. When I was playing it originally (it may have just been Hack at that time) you fought your way down, got the amulet, fought off attempts to reclaim it, and ascended. Now it's all very long and very formulaic, and the variants of the formula just don't seem interesting.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:46 PM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Joe, if you're interested in something a bit more action-y, you might check out Delver.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:49 PM on December 14, 2015


Is this game harder now or do I just suck?

After playing around two dozen games, my conclusion is that nerfing Elbereth in this specific way has definitely made the early game significantly harder.

I'm sympathetic to the idea that it used to be overpowered, but the early game was not the place where that came through most -- that's the part where you're pretty fragile and you don't have much gear yet that you can use for an escape contingency. Some way of temporarily scaring monsters away from you is really useful. I guess it's technically not gone, but even repeated engraving was never strictly reliable, and now with the probability that your first write doesn't take correctly my experience has been that it's really quite dodgy and I haven't figured out how to cope other than being lucky (I will happily take advice here -- don't say anything about relying on my pet, though, I already have a play style where I rely on my pet heavily in the early game and I'm currently finding early pet death to be a death sentence in itself).

I'd guess I used to get out of the early game 1 out of every 3-5 times. I've now gotten out of the early game twice in about two-dozen tries, so we're approaching an order of magnitude harder.

I am leaning towards the idea that this Elbereth change is not the right change. Sporkhack seemed to have a mechanic where there was some chance that a monster above a certain level wouldn't be scared off by Elbereth, and the chance seemed higher the higher the monster level. Personally I think that's a better choice than this one as it gradually powers down Elbereth as the game goes on rather than taking a tool out of hands of players trying to make their way through the already iffy early game.
posted by namespan at 2:57 PM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


RE: MONSTERCOLOR I'm getting an error with that line. Does it need a patch to work?

Argh. It looks like it does. And worse, not even one that's publicly available. I thought it was stock because it's on NAO, but it looks like something they just shoehorned in. I guess that's another reason to play online?
posted by 256 at 6:21 PM on December 14, 2015


I dunno namespan, I am of the opinion that effects that only affect monsters below X level is cheap game design. Level/Hit Dice is an arbitrary measure of strength, it's such a concession to gameplay. I'd think the legendary DevTeam could think of a better limiter than that.
posted by JHarris at 6:26 PM on December 15, 2015


                                                                                      Q - a pair of low boots.
                       ┌───────┐    │···Y·····│                                    P - a scroll of identify.
                      #···@···%│    │·········│                                    You start chipping the statue.  You hit the statue with all your might.  The statue shatters.
                       │···@·%%│    │·········+                                    In what direction do you want to dig? [ykul>]
                       │······%%#   │··[······│                                    You now wield an uncursed pick-axe.
                       └──────%┘#  #··········│                                    What do you want to use or apply? [a-cefnwS or ?*]
                              # #  #└·──────▒─┘                                    You see here a statue of a priest named 2five6.
posted by idiopath at 1:16 PM on December 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


How prescient of them. All of my recent priests have died ignoble deaths EXCEPT for the one I started today who looks to be on the road to demigodhood. I am presuming it is he that they built the statue of.
posted by 256 at 7:33 PM on December 16, 2015


For values of "build" that include the workings of a cockatrice hive :)
posted by idiopath at 10:43 PM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked Nethack much more before the endgame complications were introduced. When I was playing it originally (it may have just been Hack at that time) you fought your way down, got the amulet, fought off attempts to reclaim it, and ascended. Now it's all very long and very formulaic, and the variants of the formula just don't seem interesting.

I'd be interested to see a bunch of side-branches, some of them obviously one-way, others interesting pockets with novel and deadly monsters and bosses, spawning off the Elemental Planes. Just punch it up a bit. (I'm sitting right above Gehennom in nethack 3.4.3, trying to figure out if I'm going to dive in or just park my character in Sokoban and walk away. As I did with a previous.

Dynahack sounds cool. No tiles-gui-interface, which is a deal-breaker for me.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:16 AM on December 17, 2015


I'd be interested to see a bunch of side-branches, some of them obviously one-way, others interesting pockets with novel and deadly monsters and bosses,

And now we're talking about Crawl again.
posted by 256 at 6:44 AM on December 17, 2015


SLASH'EM and UnNetHack and suchlike have more side-branches too (alignment quests, one-off "monster home" levels like the Wyrm Caves and such).
posted by Etrigan at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well apparently you can't put a wand of cancellation in a bag of holding.
posted by Mitheral at 1:41 PM on December 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well apparently you can't put a wand of cancellation in a bag of holding.

:(

I've lost a fully charged wand of wishing that way. It's worth knowing that the same thing happens if you try to put one bag of holding inside another.
posted by 256 at 1:44 PM on December 17, 2015


Or if you put a bag of tricks into a bag of holding.
posted by JHarris at 3:16 PM on December 17, 2015


Not reliably:

It is sometimes possible to put one of these items into nested sacks and/or oilskin sacks and then place them safely inside a bag of holding. The chance of an explosion occurring then depends on the amount of nesting[2]:

sacks: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 n, where n>6
odds: 1/1 2/2 3/4 4/8 5/16 6/32 7/64 8/128 9/128 (n+1)/128
~%: 100 100 75 50 31 19 11 6.25 7.03


SLASH'EM and UnNetHack and suchlike have more side-branches too (alignment quests, one-off "monster home" levels like the Wyrm Caves and such).

Elona sounds cool, and can run in Wine. Starting equipment can include a grand piano, but aside from that I think it's the same thing as nethack, only slightly more fucked up.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:19 PM on December 17, 2015


Slightly?
posted by JHarris at 5:27 PM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


It is sometimes possible to put one of these items into nested sacks and/or oilskin sacks and then place them safely inside a bag of holding. The chance of an explosion occurring then depends on the amount of nesting[2]:

sacks: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 n, where n>6
odds: 1/1 2/2 3/4 4/8 5/16 6/32 7/64 8/128 9/128 (n+1)/128
~%: 100 100 75 50 31 19 11 6.25 7.03


See, I knew this and didn't mention it because I can't imagine a situation where I have 8 sacks to nest my wand of cancellation in and am still willing to accept a 6% chance of blowing up everything in my bag of holding...
posted by 256 at 6:52 PM on December 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well apparently you can't put a wand of cancellation in a bag of holding.

You totally can.

Just not twice.

Also, if it has zero charges, it won't blow it up.
posted by Etrigan at 7:05 PM on December 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


"In return for thy service, I grant thee the gift of Immortality!"--More--


                                  
                                  5┌───────┐ 5
                                  3│·······│  
                                   │···@···│  
                                   │···@···│4 
                                   │·······│  
                                │  │·······│  │
                                │· └───·───┘ ·│
                                │········45···│ 5
                                └─┐···5A4···┌─┘
                                  └┬───·───┬┘
                                   ┘·······
                                   ········· ┌────
                                    ···%···· │·····
                                    ·%%%%[[·┌┘·····
                                    ···%···┌┘······
                                    ───▒───┘··)···
                                     0%[[%·[_[···
                                     ──────────
2five6 the Canon              St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:21 Wi:23 Ch:17 Lawful
Astral Plane  $:0 HP:321(328) Pw:34(289) AC:-28 Xp:21 Satiated 
posted by 256 at 7:52 AM on December 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Now you're just bragging.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 AM on December 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've been trying to ascend a priest since forever and it finally happened. One thing that is kind of annoying about the spellcaster classes is how much they encourage startscumming (rapidly starting games and then quitting and starting a new one if you don't like the equipment you get).

A priest can start with a magic marker and with spellbooks of Extra Healing and Identify, or he can start with no marker and spellbooks of Detect Food and Detect Treasure. There is a pretty big difference in how viable those two characters are. This was one of the latter.

The early game was pretty unremarkable until I went down the stairs to DLVL6 and found myself surrounded by an ettin mummy, a human mummy, and a large cat. I lost 80% of my hitpoints the turn I arrived on the stairs.

I noticed that the large cat was named, then noticed that the human mummy was named too and quickly put the pieces together. Some poor adventurer had met his fate at the hands of a surprisingly early ettin mummy and then been mummified himself. This was not a bones file I was equipped to deal with, so I ran back up the stairs.

Effectively cut off from the entirety of the dungeon below DLVL6, including presumably the stairs to Sokoban, I had no choice but to try my luck in the mines.

The upper mines were relatively painless but then, in Minetown, another bones file. This time it was a simple ghost. "Here lies Some Pour Soul, killed by a poisoned arrow." Having acquired poison resistance already myself, I was able to dispatch the bow-wielding orcs as well as the ghost, and for my trouble was rewarded with a pretty minimal stash of loot. He was a wizard though, so I now got a cloak of magic resistance, a nearly empty magic marker, and two new spellbooks out of the deal.

One of the spellbooks was magic missile, which I found that (if I wore my robe rather than my cloak of magic resistance), I was able to cast reasonably well. The minetown shops had nothing of interest.

Still not feeling ready for the ettin mummy, I gritted my teeth and headed straight for mine's end. It went surprisingly well, not encountering a single gnome-cum-Arch-Lich. In addition to the luckstone, I also found a spellbook of extra healing and a few potions of speed. So equipped, I finally decided to have a stab at the ettin mummy.

I dug down from DLVL 6 using a pickaxe, so that I would not have to start the fight in melee range. Then, quaffing a potion of speed, I was a total jerk and just ran circles around both mummies pelting them with magic missile. It took a while, but it worked like a charm. The spoils once again seemed underwhelming. He had Magicbane, which I had no interest in wielding (though I kept it with me all game in case I wanted to engrave with it. I never did) and a cursed lamp and nothing else interesting. I burned a scroll of identify on the lamp just in case and lo! It was magic.

One wish later I found myself wielding the Blessed Rustproof +3 Sceptre of Might.

Sokoban had an amulet of reflection and then I ran into (and magic missiled to death) a shockingly early adult Orange Dragon who was kind enough to drop scales. Once I was kitted up with the Sceptre, ODSM, and the amulet of reflection, clearing down to Medusa was easy.

The priest quest was an absolute cakewalk thanks to the Sceptre and stealth (from elven boots). The Mitre of Holiness was a welcome addition to my kit and, somewhere along the way, I found a spellbook of identify.

Medusa was trivial and in the labyrinth I learned that I was already more than a match for a minotaur in melee combat.

The castle was a bit touch and go thanks to two master liches. Eventually I managed to lure them out to the front of the castle while I snuck around the back, beelined for the wand (thank you, starting detect treasure spellbook) and promptly wished for scrolls of charging and then scrolls of genocide.

First I genocided L, then I locked the door and reverse genocided Silver Dragons. I slaughtered all but one of them, tamed the last with a scroll, traded my ODSM for SDSM, and then wished for an amulet of lifesaving and some speed boots. I burned all my magic marker charges on scrolls of enchant armor and then wished for another marker and burned it out that way too, getting my AC all the way down to -28. It should have been -32 or -33, but I accidentally overenchanted my Hawaiian shirt and then never saw another shirt.

With over 300 hitpoints, the +6 Sceptre of Might, and -28 AC, I was way overprepared and basically just waltzed through Gehennom, sauntered back out of the dungeon, and then shouldered my way through the planes. I found my altar on the first try, but I was well equipped enough that that was just a convenience rather than a life saver. I'm pretty sure that I could have cleared out Astral entirely without a problem.

Long story short: An early wish helps a lot, and I continue to believe that the wand of wishing in the castle just makes the end game WAY too easy for a spoiled player.
posted by 256 at 8:33 AM on December 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I dug down from DLVL 6 using a pickaxe, so that I would not have to start the fight in melee range.

FUCK how have I never thought of this.
posted by Etrigan at 8:42 AM on December 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, two things that I forgot to mention:

1. Early in the game I discovered that smoky potions were healing, which is awesome because they are one of the most common potions in the game and you don't mind quaffing them. As it turned out however, I must have drank 40 blessed smoky potions over the course of the game and never saw a single genie.

2. After finding the vibrating square, I level teleported myself all the way back up to my stash on DLVL6 to fill up on the consumables I might need, and also to pick up my Drum of Earthquake (with which to awaken the wizard from outside the tower). Rather than teleport back down, I just ran the whole way until, somewhere around Orcus Town I noticed that it was taking me way more hits than I was used to to kill monsters. And also that my Unarmed Combat had levelled up. What? My Sceptre of Might was gone. I spent half an hour scouring the previous levels for demons who might of bullwhipped it off of me, then another hour working my way all the way back up to DLVL6 casting Detect Monsters and looking for nymphs. Finally, just when I was about to give up and switch to Long Swords (I had been gifted Sunsword and had the Vorpal Blade stashed away), I killed a nymph on DLVL10 and she dropped my sceptre.

Nymphs can be trouble at any stage of the game folks.
posted by 256 at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Good writeup, 256! Also, your first wish was for another class's quest artifact. I'm still surprised these things can be wished for, they are such potent bundles of advantages.
posted by JHarris at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2015


I remember as a kid running around with the flag set that let you choose whether to die or not. Everything was pretty great up until my Barbarian got brainsucked by a Mind Flayer, at which point since being brainsucked exists regardless of hp damage, I got into a loop of messages reading something like

"Die? (y/n)"

n

"Okay, so you don't die. But you still don't have a brain. Die? (y/n)"
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:12 PM on December 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just walked out a Valkyrie with the Bell and Candleabra. The problem was that apparently something genocided scrolls of genocide. Never found one. And a master mind flayed almost ate me. After that, and while missing a couple of resistances, I realized I was on the "almost" train and said "screw that", level ported to 1 and walked away from the Mazes of Menace with a million points and a bag of holding full of gems.

Screw your amulet, Tyr. One dilithium crystal will buy me a lifetime of beer, and I walked with three. I came, I saw, I went to hell...

... And I came back alive. Drink. It's on me, bartender, can you break a ruby?
posted by eriko at 5:49 PM on December 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, I genocided Vampires and now have literally immortal vampire bats. Every time I do enough damage to kill one, I get the message "The seemingly dead vampire bat suddenly transforms and rises as a vampire bat!" and it's back at full hitpoints.

Is this a new bug? Is it a feature?

Guess you need to genocide bats.


Uh, yeah, for the record -- this doesn't work either.
posted by Etrigan at 2:31 PM on December 19, 2015


Number one most hated thing about Nethack: searching. In my current game there are plenty of dead-ends that clearly aren't that I've given up on exploring because of the time searching takes, and I just burned easily > 100 turns trying to find a door that was obviously there to be found. No wonder I'm getting hungry.
posted by kenko at 3:58 PM on December 19, 2015


Do you know you can stack a huge number of searches by typing eg: 100s That will search 100 times but will stop if you find anything, a monster appears, something attacks you, you get hungry etc.
posted by Mitheral at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno namespan, I am of the opinion that effects that only affect monsters below X level is cheap game design. Level/Hit Dice is an arbitrary measure of strength, it's such a concession to gameplay. I'd think the legendary DevTeam could think of a better limiter than that.

Well, Elbereth no longer works in Gehennom, so there's that.

Of course, having something no longer work after an arbitrary point in the game geography arguably has the same problems of having no affect after a certain monster HD/level.
posted by namespan at 5:26 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you know you can stack a huge number of searches by typing eg: 100s

That's good to know but it still feels like a busywork game mechanic.
posted by kenko at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2015


In my current game there are plenty of dead-ends that clearly aren't

The RNG makes a lot of dead ends, and a lot that look like they shouldn't be.

UnNetHack does so many fewer of these that I really hope they steal some code back.
posted by Etrigan at 6:27 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Number one most hated thing about Nethack: searching. In my current game there are plenty of dead-ends that clearly aren't that I've given up on exploring because of the time searching takes, and I just burned easily > 100 turns trying to find a door that was obviously there to be found. No wonder I'm getting hungry.

Do you have a stethoscope?
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:30 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


If I had a stethoscope, or knew magic mapping, or had some other means of avoiding searching, I would not be searching.
posted by kenko at 6:40 PM on December 19, 2015


Sometimes, alas, in nethack as in life, we lack the tools that would make our tasks simple.
posted by kenko at 6:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or, equally often, we lack the tasks that make our tools useful
posted by aubilenon at 6:57 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The RNG makes a lot of dead ends, and a lot that look like they shouldn't be.

In this case, though, I knew that some weren't (and was eventually proved correct!) because there was no other way to reach the down staircase.
posted by kenko at 7:24 PM on December 19, 2015


That's good to know but it still feels like a busywork game mechanic.

It should be mentioned, at this point, that NetHack is not just a game, but an homage to Rogue and Hack, and also the style of play from the very early days of Dungeons & Dragons. A lot of things that NetHack does, not all but still a lot, are that way because that's how it was done in D&D. I mean, like, in NetHack armor class still counts down, which D&D itself threw out with 3rd edition!
posted by JHarris at 9:53 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


in NetHack armor class still counts down, which D&D itself threw out with 3rd edition!

Well, when you figure THAC0, then that's correct -- you just add the target AC and you get the to-hit number.

Never mind that THAC0 came out a decade-plus after the AC system was built...
posted by eriko at 6:43 AM on December 20, 2015


UnNetHack does so many fewer of these that I really hope they steal some code back.

There are a few things that have shown up from other variants -- the Orc Town in the mines and some of the scroll names, for example.
posted by eriko at 6:43 AM on December 20, 2015


Oh, and new rumors.

"Snakes on the Astral Plane! Coming to a dungeon near you!"
posted by eriko at 6:59 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, this game has been exciting so far. Back to the valkyrie, and here we go. Find a general store on the 2nd floor. Expensive Gloves? Hey cat, will you step on those? You even picked them up? Gimme. Boom, Gauntlets of Power. Selling an orcish helm for 40? +2 Orcish helm. Drops scroll, offered 8, no thank you! Picks it up, reads it, rolls a 00 and identifies the whole knapsack. Hey, already have an enchant weapon.

Damn, lots of monsters on the 2nd level. Hey, I'm level four, -1AC, let's go play in the minds.
You feel a blast of psychic energy...
This is DL3. First level of the mines. There is *no way* that...

FUCK ME A MIND FLAYER RUN RUN RUN. DOWNSTAIRS? FINE!

Sorry, pet, but you were Mind Flayer food in an instant.

Well, fuck. Now what do I do? Go to mine town, hey, a 400ZM scroll? That might be punishment, and that might be salvation....Lucky me, an identify scroll is in the shop too. Let's see what I have...

STINKING CLOUD. Forgot about the effing Stinking Cloud. Nope.

Well. Stay down here until I'm at least level 7 and fast, hope for something really amazing (wand of death or wishing, already identified sleep so I can ident the big D by engraving...), the scroll of genocide (or salvation, in this case) or *something*. Hell, I'd even risk a cockatrice right now, better odds than a mind flayer. Hey, grey stone, kick, yay, pick it up, "scritch scritch." Well, small consolation, but I can dump the glass I've accumulated... Next level, beat on Gnomes until they stop coming, head towards that tool over there, and...

...hit a level teleport. DL1.

Well. We'll work on that luckstone issue later. Because, well, I ain't going down there right now. Not until I genocide it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

What now? Attacked by a rope golem? And a housecat? WAIT. "t p"
The housecat devours a tripe ration.
...and now we have a pet again. Hack rope golem apart, fountain, dip sword...and thank you hand from the murky depths, I can haz blessed rustproof +2 Excalibur.

So...exciting game so far. I wonder what DL4 is going to do?
posted by eriko at 7:51 AM on December 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


DL4 has a bookstore. And in that bookstore is, thanks to an identify scroll...
N - an uncursed scroll of genocide (unpaid, 400 zorkmids)
YEEEEAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

First, need 400Zm. Second, need holy water. Third, NEED TO WATCH THAT PURPLE FUCKING H DIE IN A FIRE!

Dammit. Something killed the cat.1

This game is insane! I can almost smell the YASD coming...

Hey, an altar....time to find a fountain.



1) Yes, I'm going to name the next cat Curiosity.
posted by eriko at 8:02 AM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I had a really great game going with a wizard who started off with rings of slow digestion and poison resistance, and a spellbook of sleep, and then (obvi) I got overconfident and was killed by a rothe that I could easily have killed if I had been thinking.

Oh, and I found a stethoscope :|
posted by kenko at 8:12 AM on December 20, 2015


What class of monsters do you wish to genocide? h

Wiped out all hobbits.  Wiped out all dwarves. (more)
Wiped out all bugbears.  Wiped out all dwarf lords. (more)
Wiped out all dwarf kings.  Wiped out all mind flayers. (more)
Wiped out all master mind flayers. (more)
Well. Hope somebody already dropped a pick axe. But it had to be done.
posted by eriko at 8:15 AM on December 20, 2015


Oh look, a chaotic altar on DLVL3, I'll just sacrifice this iguana and hey, it's Magicbane! Better not fuck this game up.
posted by kenko at 5:46 PM on December 20, 2015


(Also on DLVL3, a kobold lord wielding a silver saber. Ok....)
posted by kenko at 5:47 PM on December 20, 2015


The purple worm swallows the wraith.  "Burrrrp!"
That's one way to level up your purple worm!
posted by eriko at 6:44 PM on December 20, 2015


The purple worm drops an unlocked chest containing 3 items.
Well. That could be fun.
The purple worm drops an unlocked Volvo V60 containing 3 passengers.
posted by eriko at 6:51 PM on December 20, 2015


Okay, note to self. Do *NOT* put on the ring on conflict with Chompy the Purple Worm around.
posted by eriko at 6:52 PM on December 20, 2015


Sadness.
You see here a purple worm corpse named Chompy.
Wait, I have an unidentified wand I've picked up in this madness. Why not. ZAP!
The purple worm corpse glows iridescently.
Chompy's back, and he's out for vengeance (or, at least, food.)

Chompy II: The Chompening.
posted by eriko at 7:05 PM on December 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


Purple worms are my new favorite pet; in the 3.4.3 game I just finished, I saved a reverse genocide & a blessed taming scroll for the Astral plane, and was rewarded with 6. Buuurp!
posted by fings at 9:05 PM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do *NOT* put on the ring on conflict with Chompy the Purple Worm around.
Actually...
Did you know having a pet purple worm can save your life when you use
conflict? Simply put on a ring of conflict, let your pet eat you, and
take it off. The purple worm will not digest you after the ring is
removed, so you can apply healing potions and fiddle with your
inventory in near-complete safety.
posted by fings at 9:07 PM on December 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Pets, man, they'll break your heart.

*pours out a potion of booze for Blinky II, yellow light and earnest companion, who was too good for this world.*
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:29 PM on December 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


"You have a melancholy feeling for a moment, but it passes."
posted by JHarris at 1:59 AM on December 21, 2015


Okay. We're definitely on a run here.

Asmodeus, Baalzebub, Geryon and Jubilex are all dead. AC -27, 190HP. The weapon set isn't the best (+6 Excalibur, +4 Silver Saber) but it's doing the job. All the resistances. I'm really missing two things for a full kit.

1) No speed boots, dammit. So, I'm merely fast except when I chug a speed potion. That's not going to be good on the Planes.

2) No reliable way of crossing water. Right now, I have levelport, but that goes away. I do have a few potions of levitation stashed, but those aren't reliable.

3) Haven't killed Medusa yet, because of that. Easy peasy to do, but without a way to cross her swamp fast, I can't make the run.

Going to dig my way down, map things out, and see if I get lucky and find an answer.
posted by eriko at 7:09 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had what seemed like a pretty good game for me: level 11 samurai, Snickersnee, AC -5, down to mines level 10, uncursed luckstone. But my lawful god was pretty pissed at me since I sacrificed a ghost's pet (oops).

For escape purposes I had a scroll of teleportation, a cursed scroll of teleportation, a blank scroll and magic marker, and wands of lightning, cold, fire, and digging. Something caused my scrolls to catch on fire and I used up the charge in the offensive wands.

Then I got bit by a werewolf. I transformed into a werewolf myself, my armor burst, and I couldn't carry my armor and sword. After a couple of transformations back and forth, the other werewolf's minions finished me off. Anything I should have done? I just realized I could have used the wand of digging to escape? Should I have saved my offensive wands for a more desperate moment?
posted by grouse at 9:04 AM on December 21, 2015


After a couple of transformations back and forth, the other werewolf's minions finished me off. Anything I should have done?

Drink holy water (you seem to have found an altar to get Snickersnee; and I always bless a luckstone as soon as I get it) or eat wolfsbane (harder to come by) to get rid of your lycanthropism.

I just realized I could have used the wand of digging to escape? Should I have saved my offensive wands for a more desperate moment?

Yeah, I only use wands of digging for escape purposes (or the occasional vault heist when I don't yet have a pick-axe).

I hate offensive wands. I pretty much use them as soon as I get them (except death and a couple of colds to bridge water, and I always store them in a bag to prevent lightning breaking them), unless I'm already immune to them or have reflection, so as to turn them against monsters who would use them against me. But that's just me.
posted by Etrigan at 9:15 AM on December 21, 2015


Yeah, I only use wands of digging for escape purposes (or the occasional vault heist when I don't yet have a pick-axe).

I'll use them for simplifying the path between stairs, esp. in Ghennom. When you're making the run out, every step you can avoid helps.
posted by eriko at 9:55 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I only use wands of digging for escape purposes (or the occasional vault heist when I don't yet have a pick-axe).

I'll use them for simplifying the path between stairs, esp. in Ghennom.


The only-one-wall limitation makes me not bother with carrying them that far. Once I kill a minotaur, sure, I'll fire off a few, but mostly I stick to the pick-axe.
posted by Etrigan at 9:58 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, at least this game, they're dropping almost as much as gold. I've got 5 in the "stuff" bag of holding.

Yes, two bags of holding. One only holds gems and artifacts that I've collected and don't use. The other thing that's dropped like mad is actual gems.
posted by eriko at 10:02 AM on December 21, 2015


Yes, two bags of holding.

Why take on the additional weight?
posted by Etrigan at 10:06 AM on December 21, 2015


Phew!

A pit fiend summoned Yeengohu. I whacked him, which means none of the three big guys (Orcus, Juiblex, or Yenngohu) are left, which makes it much less likely that Demegorgon is going to show up. He could still show up if Rodney gets really lucky, but those three are usually the guys to summon him, and you *really* don't want that. So, if I'm remembering things right, the only demon princes/lords I haven't killed are Demegorgon and Dispater, and none of the guys likely to summon those two are alive.

Still need flying/levitation/water walking. I *think* there are boots of water walking in Vlad's tower.

Why take on the additional weight?

They're both blessed, so the extra weight is minor, and I like having the TREASURE BAG! Plus, other than the two weapons, everything else in gems.
posted by eriko at 10:14 AM on December 21, 2015


I *think* there are boots of water walking in Vlad's tower.

Yep.
posted by Etrigan at 10:26 AM on December 21, 2015


DAMMIT TYR I'M NOT A TYR-DAMN SPELLCASTER!

GREYSWANDIR, dammit. Gift me that!

"Spell book of force bolt." Whee!

But, on the good side, got lucky with an identify scroll and it ID'd the bag, so I now know which of those wands is cancellation and can put the other ones in the bag. And, yes, as you said Ertigan, water walking boots in the tower, so I'm set there.

Still want speed boots, but jumping boots have their own fun tricks.
posted by eriko at 11:07 AM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Two more observations about game changes:

- Burning seems like it might be essentially indistinct from plain ol' scratched-in engraving it -- similarly wears out from activity on top of it. Of all the Elbereth changes, this feels the oddest. I can't believe players were getting serious mileage out of any kind of abuse here when wands of lightning and fire were already rare enough, and already otherwise useful enough to make burnt engravings a studied tradeoff. And given the other nerfings this just seems gratuitous to boot.

- Something is up with magic cancellation. About every other battle with a vampire I'm losing a level, and on a few I've lost two. That was a pretty rare occurrence under 3.4. Seeing similar results from encounters with disenchanters. Sure hope I similarly don't have to worry about "touch of death."
posted by namespan at 11:45 AM on December 21, 2015


Guess I could have used the magic marker for Elbereth too.
posted by grouse at 12:13 PM on December 21, 2015


About magic cancellation, I have some bad news. TL;DR: Everything but a Cloak of Protection now gives at most MC2, which means they only block 60% of the time. You can wear a Ring of Protection to boost MC2 to MC3, but even then MC3 has been reduced from a 98% chance to block to a 90% chance to block.
posted by fings at 12:27 PM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Drink holy water (you seem to have found an altar to get Snickersnee; and I always bless a luckstone as soon as I get it) or eat wolfsbane (harder to come by) to get rid of your lycanthropism.

Prayer also works for that in the short period of the game where you're really susceptible to lycanthropy.
posted by JHarris at 1:24 PM on December 21, 2015


Oh, and I like that they reduced the effects of magic cancellation and made it much harder to get to maximum. Unlike magic resistance, which protects against Finger of Death and Destroy Armor spells, cancellation is more of a way to avoid miscellaneous problems. Most of the really dangerous things cancellation wards against are things that you have other guards against, like an explicit resistance, are slow deaths to which there are methods of curing, or that you should just get away from.

Magic cancellation is less essential than magic resistance, but was so good that it was still a great inventive to get it up to 3.

Are you asking for advice eriko? Have you been through this before? Are you looking for spoilers?
posted by JHarris at 1:34 PM on December 21, 2015


Is it possible to win this thing without spoilers? I've had all the spoilers and have still never gotten that far.
posted by grouse at 1:53 PM on December 21, 2015


Is it possible to win this thing without spoilers?

Such an abundance of patience and thoughtfulness would qualify a person for ascension IRL.
posted by asperity at 3:23 PM on December 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I recently had a look at all the major Oracle consultations, and they do cover most of what you really need to know to win the game. The biggest thing that sticks out that they don't mention is the major resistances like poison and magic. Poison a lot of people would catch on to early I think, but magic resistance doesn't become absolutely essential until you start encountering liches.

I think it is possible to win without spoilers, but it's not going to be your first game, or even your hundredth. It takes a while to exhaust the Oracle, but it can be done over many plays.
posted by JHarris at 3:46 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


They say that a spear will hit a neo-otyugh. (Do YOU know what that is?)
posted by aubilenon at 4:37 PM on December 21, 2015


A neo-otyugh is a monster from D&D, I think second edition. Otyughs are basically living garbage, the neo version has psychic powers too.

It sounds like you got a false fortune cookie....
posted by JHarris at 4:51 PM on December 21, 2015


OK. Bell and Candelabra in hand. Wizard/Book located. Time to A) dig out fast paths between the stairs and B) find the vibrating square before I kill piss off Rodney and make the actual ascension run.

But that'll be tomorrow. See if Eriko the Swashbuckler ascends. Same Vampire Bat time, same Vampire Bat channel!
posted by eriko at 6:36 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


A neo-otyugh is a monster from D&D, I think second edition.

First edition AD&D, original Monster Manual.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:03 PM on December 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you got a false fortune cookie....

Well I was quoting one - an old favorite. The "Do YOU know what that is?" is part of the fortune.
posted by aubilenon at 12:52 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, but here's a serious question: What's with all the fortunes about what spears will hit?
posted by aubilenon at 12:54 AM on December 22, 2015


"Some monsters are considered kebabable. This gives you +2 to-hit when attacking them using any weapon using the spear skill or the javelin skill."
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:00 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, I figured that the message might be part of the cookie.

Ah yes, kebabability. I'm not sure why all the spear references, but the idea isn't that false fortune cookies make any sense so much as they aren't helpful.

(Kebabable, da deeee da-dee-dee! Kebabable, da dee-dee do!)
posted by JHarris at 1:53 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Today's episode so far: "Digging and #Dipping" Levelported to DL1, working way down digging out fast paths between stairs and grabbing potions to make holy water. Exciting? No, but that's why they call it a dungeon crawl, not a "dungeon sprint of joy and ease."

Plus, I'm still looking for speed boots and a ring of free action (though I've got a few potions of levitation stashed as a backup for the Air Plane, I mean Plane of Air.
posted by eriko at 6:18 AM on December 22, 2015


AND...I screwed up and was drowned by an electric eel. Dammit.

Oh, well. Next time.
posted by eriko at 6:21 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


All I want to know is when is the ASPCA and PETA going to do something about rock traps? #Hachi4eva

Pours out a healing potion for my homedog Hachi.
posted by eriko at 9:17 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, I dunno how many of you would be interested, but can we post our Nethack handles in this thread so I can watch you play? Promise not to mail spam. Mine is here.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:12 PM on December 22, 2015


(still playing 3.4.3 btw - I can't get used to that numberpad yet)
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:27 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


One absolute 3.6.0 improvement is that it shows you the prices of things in the shop when you walk over them, rather than waiting for you to pick them up.
posted by eriko at 4:26 PM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yep, that's a serious time saver.
posted by Mitheral at 4:31 PM on December 22, 2015


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: vi keys still work! I got them set up on nao. Maybe they just are not the default if you have no numpad config now?
posted by idiopath at 5:23 PM on December 22, 2015


Yeah, the no numberpad option works on the 3.6.0 Nethack on alt.org.
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 PM on December 22, 2015


Just to let you guys know, in earlier versions you could get prices of things in shops by standing on an item and pressing alt/meta C.
posted by JHarris at 6:19 PM on December 22, 2015


Yes, but you don't have to hit anything now. You just know that the scroll DUAM XNAHT is 400Zm. Which gives you hope that it might be genocide, but nope, it isn't.
posted by eriko at 7:16 PM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh wow, this has changed I think auto search caused this message - "You find a vibrating square." - also it is marked as a bright yellow trap (Idiopath the Knight, riding a saddled Ki-Rin)
posted by idiopath at 7:29 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eating disenchanters now has at least some chance of losing an intrinsic. In the case of my most recent once ascendable monk, poison resistance. Instadeath to a spiked pit followed shortly thereafter.

I probably should have treated a late game loss of poison resistance as a major emergency worth spending a ring slot if not a wish on.
posted by namespan at 2:50 PM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, NetHack, putting a can of grease on a rust trap.

Ha. Ha. Ha.
posted by eriko at 4:40 PM on December 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


2Five6 the Caveman is snickersnacking all over the place with his Vorpal Blade and two pets: Sparkles the Silver Dragon and Jin Gitaxias the Djinn (from a very early magic lamp... almost as good as a wish.).

He has -24 AC at experience level 11 and now is basically just trolling for potions of gain level so he can do the quest. If I can find a scroll of genocide, I will totally reverse genocide wraiths.
posted by 256 at 10:30 PM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and FWIW, I've created a thread over at MeFightClub, so we can keep the conversation going indefinitely.
posted by 256 at 10:36 PM on December 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Pay attention to the family on Xmas Eve or play more?
posted by eriko at 4:23 PM on December 24, 2015


Do you get an intrinsics for eating mom's casserole?
posted by cortex at 4:59 PM on December 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clearly you'd get slow digestion for DL*100 turns.
posted by eriko at 5:11 PM on December 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh wow, this has changed I think auto search caused this message - "You find a vibrating square." - also it is marked as a bright yellow trap (Idiopath the Knight, riding a saddled Ki-Rin)

So. This square.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:06 PM on December 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


I jumped straight down from the VoD with a cursed teleport, going bottom up tends to save turns (and makes the trap doors much less dangerous).
posted by idiopath at 8:23 AM on December 25, 2015


You are standing at the top of a stairwell leading down!


           ┌─────────┬───────────┬─────────────────────────┬───────┐
           │·········│*···*······│··$········%·*···········│··%·^··│    ^
     ┌───┐ │·│·┌──·┌─┘·│·│·┌─────┘·┌───┬───┐·┌─────┬─────┐·│·┌──·│·│
     │···│^│·│·│···│··*│·│·│··$····│···│···│·│·····│·····│···│··0│·│
     │·│·└─┘·│·│·──┤·──┤·└─┤·──────┴──·│·│·└─┘·┌──·│·──┐·│·──┤·┌─
     │·│·····│·│···│···│···│··········^│·│^····│$·$│···│·│···│·│        $
     │·├─────┤·└───┴──·├─┐·└─┐·┌─────┬─┘%├─┬───┘·┌─┴──·│·└───┘·│
     │·│     │·········│·│···│·│····0│···│·│·····│····$│·······│·│
     │·│    ─┴─────────┘·│·┌─┘·│·┌───┤·──┤·│·──┬─┘·────┴─┬───┬─┘·│
     │·│    ·············│^│··$│◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆····│·········│···│·····
     │·│   ┌──·┌───┬───┐·│·│·┌─┤◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆┬──·│·──┬───┐·│·│)│·──┬─
     │·│   │···│···│···│·│···│·│◆◆·······◆◆│···│···│··$│·│$│·│···│
     │·└─┬─┘·┌─┘·│·│·│·│·└───┘·│◆◆··^^^··◆◆│·──┴─┐·│·│·│·│·│·└─┐·│
     │···│···│···│·│·│·│·······│◆◆··^@^··◆◆│·····│·%·│·│·│·│[··│·│
     └─┐·│·──┘·──┤[│·└─┴─┬────·├◆◆··^^^··◆◆├────·├───┼─┘·│·├──·│·│
       │·│·······│·│·····│··&··│◆◆·······◆◆│·····│···│···│·│···│·│
     ──┘·└───────┘·│·─·┐·│·────┘◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆◆│·────┘·│·│·┌─┘·│·──┘·└───┐
     ···<>
posted by 256 at 11:21 AM on December 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the up staircase may have messed up your level diagram there ,256.
posted by JHarris at 2:12 PM on December 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Goodbye 2five6 the Demigoddess...

You went to your reward with 2243756 points,
Vorpal Blade (worth 4000 zorkmids and 10000 points)
The Bell of Opening (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Book of the Dead (worth 10000 zorkmids and 25000 points)
Frost Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
The Candelabrum of Invocation (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Sceptre of Might (worth 2500 zorkmids and 6250 points)
7 rubies (worth 24500 zorkmids),
2 dilithium crystals (worth 9000 zorkmids),
2 black opals (worth 5000 zorkmids),
2 amber stones (worth 2000 zorkmids),
2 jasper stones (worth 1000 zorkmids),
1 jet stone (worth 850 zorkmids),
1 opal (worth 800 zorkmids),
1 fluorite stone (worth 400 zorkmids),
1 jade stone (worth 300 zorkmids),
2 amulets of life saving (worth 300 zorkmids),
and 0 pieces of gold, after 49465 moves.
You were level 20 with a maximum of 366 hit points when you ascended.



You were a Roamer, a level 20 gnomish Cavewoman.
You were neutral, on a mission for Ishtar
who was opposed by Anu (lawful) and Anshar (chaotic).


Amulets
A - an uncursed amulet of life saving
L - an uncursed amulet of life saving (being worn)
Weapons
a - the rustproof +8 Vorpal Blade
Z - the blessed +6 Sceptre of Might
Armor
b - a blessed +4 gray dragon scale mail (being worn)
f - an uncursed greased rustproof +2 helm of opposite alignment
m - a blessed rustproof +4 pair of gauntlets of power (being worn)
v - a blessed fireproof +4 pair of speed boots (being worn)
D - a blessed +4 shield of reflection (being worn)
G - an uncursed fireproof +6 elven leather helm (being worn)
N - a blessed +5 T-shirt with text "Don't blame me, I voted for Izchak!" (being worn)
P - an uncursed fireproof +4 oilskin cloak (being worn)
Comestibles
T - a cursed lizard corpse
W - an uncursed cockatrice corpse (weapon in hand)
X - 5 uncursed C-rations
Rings
e - an uncursed +3 ring of protection (on right hand)
h - an uncursed ring of levitation (on left hand)
n - an uncursed ring of free action
posted by 256 at 6:47 PM on December 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Showoff.
posted by eriko at 6:55 PM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yep, I know. But when I brag about ascending basically anywhere but this thread all I get are weird sidelong glances. So I will risk being labelled a braggart here.

With these three fresh ascensions under my belt, I feel a sudden compulsion to go for the complete collection. All I have left are Samurai, Knight, Rogue, and Healer to have ascended every role... (I swear I ascended a Rogue once before, but I can't find any record of it, so I better do it again just to be sure...)

Honestly, Knight gives me the most trepidation.
posted by 256 at 6:59 PM on December 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Brag away 256, I love to see all the different ways that you can ascend.
posted by octothorpe at 7:18 PM on December 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have been doing personal projects during the break and avoiding nethack(!), but my experience with a high level knight is that Expert in lance and having a steed turns most monsters into fluffy pushovers. The turn stealing plus stunning plus monster moving powers of the lance are massively powerful.
posted by idiopath at 8:39 PM on December 26, 2015


Yeah but I loooooove killing things while they are asleep....
posted by 256 at 9:05 PM on December 26, 2015


I, too, have no problems with 256's, or anyone else's, YAAPs. YAAP away!
posted by JHarris at 9:33 PM on December 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interesting developments from this most recent Cavewoman game:

There was a large general store on DLVL2 which allowed me to figure out Scrolls of Identify by the price. The store only had one for sale, so I picked up everything else in their stock and read it. By a stroke of luck, I got the blessed effect that identified my entire inventory including a whole bunch of generally useful scrolls and potions (all belonging to the shopkeep). I couldn't really afford to buy much and didn't have a lot of patience for conducting a heist with my puppy, but it was going to be a big boon to know what all those items were when I ran into them later. The only exciting items for sale were a cloak of protection (woo, MC3!) and a +0 gauntlets of dexterity. I bought them both, which bankrupted me.

A few levels further down there was a very small tool shop with a lamp for sale. It seemed too cheap to be magic, but too expensive to be oil. I'm not sure if they've added more randomization to pricing or if I was just misremembering how price-ID for stuff like that works. Regardless, a light source was going to be nice for the mines, so I was happy to spend 25 gold on a (probably oil) lamp. I also bought a magic whistle, leaving me once again penniless.

Later, in the mines, I found another lamp on the ground. I named the one I had "oil?" and, lo, this second lamp was of a different type. Then, in minetown, Izchak was also selling a lamp called "oil?". I used my last scroll of identify to confirm my suspicions and was surprised to discover that "oil?" was in fact magic, and that I was carrying both a cursed magic lamp and an uncursed magic lamp.

Unfortunately, the altar in minetown was cross-aligned and I had no way of blessing the lamps. Thus began a very tense segment of the game where I explored the main dungeon, still pretty poorly equipped over-all, desperately looking for either a neutral altar or a cross-aligned one without a priest. I knew that, the moment I could bless those lamps my odds of ascending would skyrocket.

I finally found my altar on DLVL8 or so. I blessed my lamps and immediately rubbed the first one.

"Thank you for freeing me!"

So, no wish. But, on the other hand, a pet djinn is very strong at this stage of the game and is probably almost as good as a wish. Fortunately, the second lamp gave me a wish and I happily typed in "Blessed +3 Gray Dragon Scale Mail."

Because I was still weilding my initial club, I hung around the altar for a little bit sacrificing monsters from a couple of wands of create monster hoping that Ishtar would find herself in the Christmas spirit. Just as the second wand was getting low on charges, I was gifted the Rustproof +2 Vorpal Blade. Snicker-Snack!

Jin Gitaxias and I went back up through the dungeon and I let him slaughter every shopkeeper for me, netting me all their wares and gold. Then back to minetown, where I let him run roughshod over the town watch and the shopkeepers there, carefully keeping the priest (and Izchak) alive.

After committing this holocaust on the Yendorian merchant class, and being as I was still only XP lvl 7, I found myself able to buy 9 points of intrinsic AC from the minetown priest.

And that was basically that for the game. I was sufficiently overpowered for that stage of the game that nothing could really scare me (the only thing I was really worried about was a random Black Dragon from a polymorph trap). I got a shield of reflection from Medusa. I intentionally polymorphed into a Silver Dragon and laid a few eggs. I found Frost Brand and gave it to Jin GItaxias. I killed the Chromatic Dragon and retrieved the Sceptre of Might.

At this point, I had been intending to switch to the sceptre, but I was really enjoying the vorpal blade. I decided to play a little game with myself. I took my extra scrolls of enchant weapon and used them to enchant the vorpal blade past the safe limit, running the risk of it exploding. The idea being that, if it survived the enchanting, it was meant to be my weapon. I stopped at +8 and wielded the vorpal blade for (most of) the rest of the game.

The castle was easy after I genocided Liches. The wishes from the wand were, once again, entirely excessive by that point. I was happy to be able to wish for speed boots and an amulet of lifesaving, but the remaining 5 wishes ended up mostly being used on magic markers that I could have done just fine without.

I ended up with an AC of -49, which is silly. From the castle to Moloch's Sanctum and back up to the planes, not once did anything pose even a moderate threat to me.

The Wizard of Yendor reappeared on the Plane of Water (the last plane before Astral) and summoned some nasties, including a cockatrice. The cockatrice left a corpse and I figured, why not?

Wielding the rubber chicken made Astral go a LOT faster, and I think I may actually use a wish (or a reverse genocide) for that purpose in the future. Once again, I was lucky enough to find my altar on the first try, but I had a helm of opposite alignment ready (and, for that matter, hadn't dropped below 90% HP at any time since the castle) so it didn't really matter.

(Oh and Jin Gitaxias stuck with me almost until the end. I lost him to a level teleport trap sometime after killing Vlad and then didn't see him again until he attacked me on the Oracle level as I was running back up with amulet. I killed him and shoved Frost Brand into my pack. In retrospect, I wish I had tried to retame him with a scroll of taming so that he could ascend with me.)
posted by 256 at 7:18 AM on December 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Another thing I just noticed is that, looking at my NAO stats, it took me 75 tries in order to ascend a priest (although about 40 of those were in a single tired, frustrated, and slightly drunk session) and yet it only took me three tries to ascend a caveman. Casters really are a lot harder to get off the ground than even the worst melee classes in my experience.
posted by 256 at 11:07 AM on December 27, 2015


Had another "hate the player" moment the other day.

I'd passed the castle and dug out half of gehennom, and was just thinking it was time to really get serious about my Barbarian's AC (only -20ish) so that minotaurs weren't quite so exciting.

There was one barracks that hadn't gotten emptied at the castle, so I decided to lead them all to a pile of armor and kill them on top of it to make polypiling for a hawaiian shirt and whatever else might show up a little more fruitful.

I'm not sure when the mastodon showed up; I think one of the soldiers read a scroll or zapped a wand of create monster. I was probably lucky I got five hits in before he killed me (and I know from stethoscoping that my last hit *could* have killed it but didn't). Only post-death, it occurs to me that I had both a wand of teleport and a wand of polymorph out and ready to use for this very reason.

Then again, just like a Barbarian to get caught up in the fight instead of thinking things through, right?
posted by namespan at 4:56 PM on December 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


It has been about fifteen years since I've last played this game. So I feel okay about the fact that on my third game this millennium I made it as far as the sokoban tower before not paying enough attention in the zoo and getting killed by a giant mummy.

I had some excitement earlier at the bottom of gnome town earlier, when I read a scroll of genocide, and found it to be cursed. It was foolish not to bcu check everything on the altar first, but I did manage to escape from all those mind flayers, with a whole 4 int points left!

I also got sloppy and destroy-armored my speed boots :( Which I'm sure would have made the zoo easier to deal with too, but probably not so easy that I could stop looking at my HP for the whole thing, which is what apparently my plan was.
posted by aubilenon at 5:50 PM on December 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I always used to just play locally - this is my first time playing on NAO. I have to say, ghosts are WAY more exciting this way. (Except for when it's my own stupid ghost messing up stupid mine town dammit)
posted by aubilenon at 8:44 PM on December 27, 2015


1) I have no problems with 256, or since they've got a double ascension, 1024 has with the YAAP. But somebody had to make the snarky comment, esp. after that whole Giant Eel fubar. And yes, had a wand of teleportation ready to go.

2) It would be a feature if your status bar lit up when you hit, say, 10% of your hit points. But NetHack has a rule. PAY ATTENTION. If you don't, that's when you say "I can take that Gnome", and he whips out the wand of striking and "DYWYPI?" happens. Because you weren't paying attention to the most important stat there is, current HP.

Not that I've ever done this, not even this week.
posted by eriko at 7:08 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


a - the rustproof +8 Vorpal Blade

Did you just gamble because it was the Vorpal Blade and no big deal if it evaporated?
posted by eriko at 7:09 AM on December 28, 2015


I managed to have YASD by getting killed by a mumak in Sokoban where I couldn't teleport away. I had it in my brain that I couldn't dig down in Sokoban but the wiki is telling me that I could have. Bummer.
posted by octothorpe at 7:38 AM on December 28, 2015


Yeah, Sokoban is all about floors with holes in them already. Totally digable.
posted by Etrigan at 7:41 AM on December 28, 2015


Pick up what?
                                 
Scrolls
a - a scroll labeled KERNOD WEL (80 zorkmids)
b - an unlabeled scroll (80 zorkmids)
Don't you love it the few times this game makes something easy?
posted by eriko at 10:12 AM on December 28, 2015


It would be a feature if your status bar lit up when you hit, say, 10% of your hit points.
OPTIONS=statushilites
OPTIONS=HILITE_STATUS: hitpoints/50%/orange/green
The above is what I use in my config file on NAO. It makes your HP display in green if it is 50% of max or higher and orange otherwise.

a - the rustproof +8 Vorpal Blade

Did you just gamble because it was the Vorpal Blade and no big deal if it evaporated?


I mentioned it in my longer recap, but basically yes. I got the Vorpal Blade relatively early and had been enjoying using it. So then, when I got the Sceptre of Might as my quest reward, I couldn't decide whether or not to switch. So I decided to try overenchanting the Vorpal Blade and then, if it didn't explode, I would keep using it.
posted by 256 at 10:36 AM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


OPTIONS=statushilites
OPTIONS=HILITE_STATUS: hitpoints/50%/orange/green


Well, damn, learn something new every day. Thanks, 2^8!
posted by eriko at 10:50 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a new feature in 3.6.0. Although it replaces the old statuscolors patch that NAO used for 3.4.3, which was, frankly, much better.
posted by 256 at 11:18 AM on December 28, 2015


eriko: "Don't you love it the few times this game makes something easy?"

What does that mean/imply?
posted by Mitheral at 11:23 AM on December 28, 2015


256: "It's a new feature in 3.6.0. Although it replaces the old statuscolors patch that NAO used for 3.4.3, which was, frankly, much better."

Must need something on NAO 'cause it doesn't work in vanilla 3.6
posted by Mitheral at 11:29 AM on December 28, 2015


As I understand it, statushilites is now semi-stock but is not compiled into the binaries by default. I think you need to compile it yourself with some options set in order to get it. NAO's version of 3.6 IS compiled with statushilites.
posted by 256 at 11:31 AM on December 28, 2015


What does that mean/imply?

The only two scrolls at the base-60zm level are Blank Paper and Enchant Weapon, and Blank Paper has a non-randomized appearance. Of course, due to the other factors that go into determining item cost, you can't count on Enchant Weapon being exactly 60zm, nor on other scrolls NOT costing 60zm.

HOWEVER, if you see a scroll of Blank Paper and another scroll in the same shop with the same price, you know that the other scroll is Enchant Weapon.
posted by 256 at 11:34 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, statushilites is now semi-stock but is not compiled into the binaries by default.

Yeah, the statushilites option takes (and appears in the Shift-O options menu, but it's not settable during the game) but the hilite_status option throws a syntax error. Odd that it shows up at all, which makes me wonder if the version in base uses a different keyword to set exactly what to highlight.
posted by eriko at 12:02 PM on December 28, 2015


Okay. I see what's up. From options.c
 #if defined(STATUS_VIA_WINDOWPORT) && defined(STATUS_HILITES)
     { "statushilites", &iflags.use_status_hilites, TRUE, SET_IN_GAME },
 #else
     { "statushilites", &iflags.use_status_hilites, FALSE, DISP_IN_GAME },
 #endif
So: if STATUS_HILIITES has been set at compiled steam, statushilites appears as True by default, is settable in game. If not, it appears as false and not settable in game. You can set it in .nethackrc (or whatever your platform uses) and it'll appear as true and not settable in game, but since the code to handle hilite_status hasn't been compiled it, it doesn't know the meaning of that option and throws a syntax error.

So. in at least my version, it's not compiled in. May well have to go build it myself.
posted by eriko at 12:21 PM on December 28, 2015


Clearly I've found one of those swanky shops.
You see here a long sword named Demonbane (15000 zorkmids).
Fetch boy!
posted by eriko at 12:27 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Your pet pit fiend shakes its head sadly.
posted by JHarris at 1:13 PM on December 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


WHY ARE THERE NO ALKALINE BLOBS?

Just think of all the YASD potential there....
posted by eriko at 6:05 AM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Early game wraiths hurt bad, now.

Also, you die when reduced from level 2 to level 1, not level 1 to 0 as one might suppose from the fact that level 1 is apparently viable at the start of the game.
posted by namespan at 6:13 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, you die when reduced from level 2 to level 1, not level 1 to 0 as one might suppose from the fact that level 1 is apparently viable at the start of the game.

Submit that as a bug. I suspect what's actually happening is your dying before the screen display routine is called to change the Xp: slug, but it's clearly not correct behavior. You may want to confirm that in Wizard mode, though -- plus that'll let them reproduce the bug, which makes getting it fixed much easier.
posted by eriko at 7:14 AM on December 29, 2015


Also, you die when reduced from level 2 to level 1, not level 1 to 0 as one might suppose from the fact that level 1 is apparently viable at the start of the game.

I'm pretty sure this isn't a bug and is behaviour that you sometimes encountered in 3.4.3 as well. You're not actually dying from being drained to level 1, I think you died from having your max HP be set to below 0. Basically, when you level up, you get a randomized number of max HP and when you level down, you lose a randomized number of max HP. The game doesn't track how much you gained, so it's possible to gain only 1 max HP levelling up from 2 to 3, but then to lose 5 max HP when drained from level 3 to 2.

If you are unlucky with these dice rolls and have a low base HP, then you can find yourself at 0 max HP after a couple of level drains, even if your level is still above 1.
posted by 256 at 7:18 AM on December 29, 2015


So, I'm downloading Xcode so that I can recompile 3.6.0 to include things like status hilites. Yep, I'm downloading 4+ gigabytes to play NetHack. Must have been ported to the Xbox or PS4.

And, since 3.6.0 is the pTerry memorial edition, I've added this to .nethackrc
OPTION=catname:You, dogname:Gaspode, hilite_pet
Well, hilite_pet has been there every since I got confused by the three white f around me, at least two of which were biting me.
posted by eriko at 7:19 AM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this isn't a bug and is behaviour that you sometimes encountered in 3.4.3 as well. You're not actually dying from being drained to level 1, I think you died from having your max HP be set to below 0.

Oh, right -- yeah, that is how it works, and if you have a high constitution, that +1 to 3 HP per level turns into a -1 to 3 HP per level lost, so it's easy to do if you got a bad roll one level, and you get a string of "good" rolls when the Wraith is chipping them off.

Arguably, this may still be a bug, in that it was not the intended behavoir, but they may have decided that it's good enough to keep. Plus, they'd have to keep track of how many HP you gained each level, and the code may not support that. Given the rewards of beating a wraith (about a 15% chance of gaining a level) the fact that they have this fast-kill method may have become an afterfeature*.

But, yeah, wraiths are bastards without level drain resistance and/or a high enough AC to not be hit and/or enough speed and damage to kill them before they get a chance.

One reason Valkyries are popular is they have a fast path to both speed (level 7) and level drain resistance (level 5 after dipping Excalibur.) Samurais start with speed and can get the Arthurian Army Knife, but they need to find a longsword.

For the general levels of the dungeon, I really like Excalibur -- between drain resistanch, search, and bonuses to the search roll, it makes it easier to get through the first slog. In the endgame, the Grayswandir/Sabre combo is more effective because of all the silver haters out there, and by that time, you usually have enough protection (via MC, AC and speed) to nail the level drainers before they nail you.

* An afterfeature is when you decide that the misimplementation is actually better than what you were intending, thus, you declare it correct. AKA "I meant to do that." Regular features have documentation showing you meant to do that before you did it. Simply declaring a bug a feature is generally laziness, but sometimes, the "wrong" way is better. That's an afterfeature.
posted by eriko at 7:31 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is actually the first time for me that my Valkyrie has been able to have both the gauntlets of power (bought from a shop as "old gloves") and Mjollnir. Blessed both of them, and already have Excalibur. Having tons of fun seeing some menacing beast approaching, saying "nope", pressing x, and bommeranging that sumbitch at it. If I get my AC low enough without my shield (currently -14 with it), I may just drop the shield and twoweapon like a Nordic berserker.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:06 AM on December 29, 2015


Has cancellation always locked shapeshifters into their current form?

My wife, who loves having pets in her nethack games, tamed a chameleon in her current game when it momentarily turned into a kitten. I warned her this was a recipe for heartache, knowing that it would eventually turn into a yellow light or something. A little while later she zapped a wand of cancellation at something and accidentally caught her pet chameleon (at that moment, a vampire lord) in the line of fire. Several hundred turns later, she still has a pet vampire lord.
posted by 256 at 1:35 PM on December 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd expect cancellation to remove the ability to shapechange. Perhaps this is a bug caused by the recent development that vampires shapechange - a corner case? I'd imagine that normally a chameleon would be unable to shape change into another shapechanger.
posted by idiopath at 2:07 PM on December 29, 2015


Took a vey quick stab at compiling 3.6.0 on MacOs 10.10. Ran into a declaration error halfway through. Probably an easy fix, but I'm heading out tonight so won't have a chance to poke at it until tomorrow and my C has been dipped in a fountain too many times.
posted by eriko at 3:13 PM on December 29, 2015


The business with constitution affecting the hit points lost through level drain was part of a game exploit called drain for gain, fixed in 3.4.3 and later, where you put on a ring of gain constitution, earned a level through some means, then took it off and purposely got drained of that level, and repeat. On the average, every time through the cycle you come out a few maximum hit points ahead, and it was endlessly repeatable.

Of course, potions of healing drunk while fully healed and nurse dancing also give you easy maximum hit points, but potions are relatively scarce, and nurses eventually disappear plus are capped in how much max HP you can get from them (up to 25x your experience level).
posted by JHarris at 5:55 PM on December 29, 2015


I was just killed by a goblin, while helpless, on dungeon level 4, with a wand of wishing in my inventory.

Just wanted to let everyone know that a few ascensions is no protection against stupid deaths.
posted by 256 at 7:30 PM on December 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


So is a Vrock a good pet or is it going to summon a bunch of buddies that will try to kill me?
posted by Mitheral at 9:22 PM on December 29, 2015


So is a Vrock a good pet or is it going to summon a bunch of buddies that will try to kill me?

Foocubi and Pit Fiends are the only & that don't summon. However, pets as a class don't use magic, so it may be safe, or it may summon Demegorgon and DYWYPI, or it may summon a tame Demegorgon and you just got the best pet EVAR.

(Actually, I don't think you can tame the named demons, so...strike that.)
posted by eriko at 7:35 AM on December 30, 2015


I polymorphed my pet cat into a jabberwock who then easily killed the first shopkeeper I encountered. "Great!", thought I, "free stuff and the protection racket will be a breeze!".

Then giant ants killed me while Carolus Magnus fucked off somewhere else.
posted by kenko at 9:56 AM on December 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


So is a Vrock a good pet or is it going to summon a bunch of buddies that will try to kill me?

Pets won't use offensive magic, including summoning. You're safe.

(Actually, I don't think you can tame the named demons, so...strike that.)

They're covetous, so you can only make them peaceful.
posted by Etrigan at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2015


Can anyone else confirm that they see ice spontaneously melt over time now? I don't recall this happening in 3.4.

I'm pretty sure this isn't a bug and is behaviour that you sometimes encountered in 3.4.3 as well. You're not actually dying from being drained to level 1, I think you died from having your max HP be set to below 0.

I'd have to look at the ttyrec to be sure, but I think I was 18 HP at level 2. Can level drain reduce max HP that much?
posted by namespan at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2015


Can anyone else confirm that they see ice spontaneously melt over time now?

Created ice (e.g., you zapped a wand of cold over the Castle moat) or organic ice (e.g., the Valkyrie quest home level)?

But no, I don't recall seeing it melting spontaneously anywhere so far.
posted by Etrigan at 10:25 AM on December 30, 2015


Created ice (e.g., you zapped a wand of cold over the Castle moat)

This exactly.

I went around the back of the castle with a wand of cold. Attempting to return around the front, I found that some of the ice had melted. I don't recollect any fire-blasting creatures even existing outside the castle, let alone following me.

When I finally made my frontal assault, there was a winter wolf cub inside. It bridged the moat with a frost blast (I'd destroyed the drawbridge). So that's how I got in. Went to leave after a few hundred rounds and... the moat was no longer bridged with ice. There *was* a red naga inside when I entered, but I think I killed it promptly and the ice bridge was intact at the time.

So it appears to me that (some?) ice now melts over time.
posted by namespan at 10:35 AM on December 30, 2015


Might there have been a fire elemental hanging around at some point? That's all I can think of.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on December 30, 2015


I think I've seen melting ice as well, so I think they did add that.
posted by eriko at 11:43 AM on December 30, 2015


Yup, from the change list umrain linked to:
* hero-created and monster-created ice will eventually melt away
posted by fings at 12:44 PM on December 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


A gush of water hits the snake's left vestigial limb!
TDTTOE. Clearly, that snake is a python or boa.

The RNG this game has been...weird. I have a large stack of holy and a large stack of fruit juice, so blessing things has been basically trivial. And when you've found four potions of gain ability, that leads to a stat line that looks like this.
Eriko the Woman-at-arms     St:18/22 Dx:17 Co:18 In:12 Wi:18 Ch:14  Lawful
Yeah. St:18/22. Because what this game isn't handing out is armor. I do have speed boots, and an oilskin cloak for water levels, and I've gotten a Hawaiian shirt, but otherwise? No helms! No gloves! I'm wearing a very rusty Orchish Helm, because it's +2 and it's hard (so fuck you, rock traps!) and the Valk's +3 shield is still by my side, but other than the cloak of displacement and the oilskin cloak, not a godamn thing. Heck, I might find an Elven Leather Helm and see how well I can cast spells with that In:12 & Wi:18. Naturally, I found a Cornutham -- I'm not playing a wizard, so of course one was lying there. If I can find a helm of brilliance....

Three scroll shops. Mine town? A bones level.

The one armor break I got was realizing the lamp had been on since the start of the Mines and was still on, and since I was long on holy water, #dip, #rub, blessed +2 gray dragon scale mail, TAA-DAH! You were right, Genie, I an't never met a friend like you!*

Oh, have I mentioned FIVE leprechaun halls? I haven't even finished cleaning them all out. So, the innate AC is 5, and the total AC is -13. So, we're not doing bad. I'm long on blank paper and short on markers and enchant armor scrolls, so wish #2 when we take the castle is going to be either a blessed or uncursed magic marker, depending on if I want to nurse dance or wraith farm or not. Wish #1, of course, is "2 blessed scrolls of charging."

Scrolls are almost completely ID'd, with all the baddies safely tagged. In my boring plain bag** is a scroll currently #named "Genocide or Charging" because that's what it is, and once I wish for the blessed scrolls of charging, I'll know which. I've gotten one genocide, so mind flayers are gone, but their evil bosses aren't, and there are still Liches to worry about, and worse yet, have I mentioned no gloves? THERE ARE COCKATRICES ABOUT AND I HAVE NO GLOVES!

If it weren't for the whole "alignment" thing, I might just take out a few watchmen just to get something covering my hands. Then again, come Castle time, there will be *plenty* of that to go around, but then again, wish #4 (if I get that lucky) may well be "+2 rustproof gauntlets of power"

Potions are mostly IDd. Wands are a bit thin (haven't seen either Fire or Cold, but have digging, striking, and MM ID'ed.) Rings are almost as scarce as gloves, but I have polymorph control, Which I can probably take off now that I've got the GDSM, since I have the polypotion ID'd, and Warning handy.

A lucky break with a scroll ID'd 7 of the 9 Worthless Glass. Violet and Yellowish Brown remain, but I've ID'd Amethyst (look up where we get the name "Amethyst") and once I find out what color fluorite is, then I'll know which is violet glass, just leaving Y-B, and Violet and Y-B are the two cheapest gems (600Zm for Amethyst, 1000Zm for Amber.)

So: We're on a slog. Last time, things just fell into place until I YASD'd myself, this time, there's a lot of work to be done before this is ascendable. And, hmm, with a blessed luckstone in hand and a new-found wand of striking, I might be able to salvage Sokoban and get reflection or a BoH, either of which would be fabulous right about now.

But this one hasn't turned into "No, not gonna ascend here...let's just walk out." If I can not screw up and I get a little luck, I think we can make it.

Or I'll shank it again. :-)


* If we're going to honor pTerry, and we should, then I'd love to see #chatting a genie utter lines from Aladdin, in particular, Robin William's genie. IMHO, of course.

** For Tyr's sake I need a bag of holding. But that looks like wish #4, because SOMEBODY fucked up bad in sokobon on that one level that any mistake kills you.
posted by eriko at 5:56 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know it is advised to go for the Protection Racket in the early game, for obvious reasons. All well and good for Tourists and Healers, but Valkyries level up like crazy in the early game, and I think the racket works much better for this class from like about 10XP onwards: the Sokobon treasure zoo, selling loot from the slain, throne rooms, leprechaun halls - all work wonders for me. I'm at -24AC thanks to this. Haven't gotten any wishes yet, so no sweet dragon scale mail yet, but thankfully found a cursed unicorn horn to complete my armor repair kit.

I've paid for protection so many times now Tyr's priestess tossed me a couple bits for an ale. Gotta love that ol' time religion.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:39 AM on December 31, 2015


Gotta love that ol' time religion.

Well we all love Dyonisus
And we really love his vices
and they're at the lowest prices
so that's good enough for me!

Yeah, doing the Protection Racket with a Valkyrie is hard, but it's always worth throwing the first donation at a priest to get the 2-4 points. This time, with ALL THE LEPRECHAUNS running around, I've gotten my personal AC down to 3. And, thanks to finding a magic marker, I now have a +4 GDSM and a +4 Hawaiian Shirt*. So, with just the shirt, I'm AC -1, and with the charged up GDSM and the shirt, -14.

Naturally, I also just found a cloak of magic resistance. Rotten Helm is Still Rotten, and still worth +2, and the half burnt cloak of displacement doesn't add any AC directly but does give me displacement, which is handy in the dungeon. The +1 speed boots are worth another two, all kitted out, I'm at AC-22, which is nearly ascension class AC.

Hmm. Without the shield, I'm AC-18 now, maybe it's #twoweapon time. Plus, the damn shield is a bit heavy, and I'm still fighting with encumbrance. Should pop up to DL1 or 2 and cache some of this stuff.

But right now, in terms of "the grind", this is very grind. Go down to 19, kill a few more LGFs, get the gold, come back to mine town and get a point or two of AC, and repeat.

Still need to try to fix Sokoban.

And, in the "Are you kidding me, RNG?" I just found another potion of gain ability (that's #5) and another ring of polymorph control (#4.)



* MeFi's own jscalzi once remarked "Hawaiian Shirts are dazzle camouflage for the fattening male." At least, I'm pretty sure it was him. Might have well been a fortune cookie!
posted by eriko at 6:59 AM on December 31, 2015


Argh. Healers are so flimsy. I've started 23 healers so far. Twice I've gotten a relatively early wish (at or around minetown). Both times I wished for a Blessed +2 Dragon Scale Mail (silver once, gray once). Both times I still died by getting cornered by a hard hitting creature (panther once, soldier ant once) and just not being able to deal enough damage (or heal fast enough) to kill them before they killed me. Is there a better first wish for a healer?
posted by 256 at 8:32 AM on December 31, 2015


eriko: on sokoban, zaps of teleportation wand are "free", because it's not cheating because it's random (I know this makes zero sense but hey the gods play along and don't fuck up your luck so go for it).

Also if you have a stack of cheap identified gems and a co-aligned unicorn in a known location, it's not hard to do whatever the fuck you want in sokoban and restore your luck quick-quick.
posted by idiopath at 8:34 AM on December 31, 2015


Eye of the Aethiopica will help with the can't-heal-fast-enough issues, if you're of the right alignment and can survive the initial blast.
posted by Etrigan at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2015


Healers (always neutral) can definitely use the eye. If you don't get a good early artifact, go ahead and raise unicorn horns to Expert, and enchant the hell out of it. They are actually great weapons - until you do the quest of course, then you're set.
posted by idiopath at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2015


Also if you have a stack of cheap identified gems and a co-aligned unicorn in a known location, it's not hard to do whatever the fuck you want in sokoban and restore your luck quick-quick.

That's what I ended up doing, killed a couple of boulders and made the puzzle possible.

In #offer news, Her Tyrness just gifted me Werebane.

Bad) I said GRAYSWANDIR, darn it!

Good) Hey, if a god gives you a weapon, your skill in that weapon becomes unrestricted. I won't be able to #twoweapon Werebane in the off hand, and there are far better weapons for the main hand, but I can dance around the top levels for a while and get my saber skill up, so when I find a regular one (castle) I can wield that in the offhand.

I'll keep throwing things at Tyr and see if I get lucky and get Grayswandir.
posted by eriko at 9:19 AM on December 31, 2015


Good) Hey, if a god gives you a weapon, your skill in that weapon becomes unrestricted.

Valkyries already have Saber unrestricted (Basic).
posted by Etrigan at 10:22 AM on December 31, 2015


Valkyries already have Saber unrestricted (Basic).

Oh, right. (sad trombone)

In other news, I FOUND GLOVES! Seriously, just leather gloves, but GLOVES. And, as a bonus, they were +2. Both h and L are genocided, so that's better. And the potions of gain ability continue to drop, so now...
Eriko the Warrior           St:18/40 Dx:18 Co:18 In:17 Wi:18 Ch:18  Lawful
...maybe I should be Eriko the Batman?
posted by eriko at 10:50 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pfff.... Batman doesn't have 17 intelligence.
posted by 256 at 11:50 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pfff.... Batman doesn't have 17 intelligence.

I'm honestly surprised another potion of Gain Ability hasn't dropped, because it's been "Buy One Get Ten Free" today only in the Mazes of Menace.
posted by eriko at 12:15 PM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


eriko: "Because what this game isn't handing out is armor."

Well Saphron the Valkyrie has got the opposite problem. This has to be the most magic poor run I've ever had. Tons of armour and weapons and practically no magic. Four shops outside of mine town were armour, armour, food, weapons. I've got down to AC -17 but it's all off armour +0/1 and intrinsic. IE: collect together 20 dwarven iron helms to get the one that is plus one. Same with one Hawaiian shirts (+1 off a bones pile) of five. I managed a fairly early wish off a throne sit that I used for GDSM; asked for +2 got +0. Have a faded pall but haven't found one with enchantment yet. Have gauntlets of strength but at +0.

Got an amulet of reflection in a random drop and everything else has been strangulation. Have both Excaliber and Mjollnir but both at +1.
And two bags of holding.

I finally got a unicorn horn at level 24.

What I haven't got is:
scrolls of enchant armor or weapon. Not even identified yet.
more than 2 Identify scrolls.
Scrolls of genocide, taming, create monster, remove curse.
potions of healing/extra healing/gain level (though at least I'll be able to recognize them because monsters have used all three).
Potions of levitation. boots of levitation. ring of levitation.
Polymorph wands. Teleport wands
Cold wand with charges (took an empty one off a dwarf).
Magic markers. Magic Whistle.
Water walking boots.


Mine town was a double bones level cleaned out by my ghost that blew up their bag of holding.

So now I'm at the new Medusa level (which is kind of rare for me; first time since the new release). I've completed Sokoban and the Mines (where the only priest in 25 levels is located but I accidentally pissed off the guards so I can't hang around mind town). I don't think Fort Ludios is accessible. But I'm only level 13 so I can't complete the quest. And while I could dig down to bypass the water there is no guarantee I'd be able to get back.

So my question is do you need to complete the quest or is it just an optional nice to have? I realise I'll need to cross the water eventually but I'm hoping to get a solution somewhere past the Medusa level.
posted by Mitheral at 1:09 PM on December 31, 2015


You need to complete the quest. The quest nemesis has one of the three items required to do the invocation ritual. There is no need to do it at any particular time before the ritual though. You can do all of Gehennom and then come back and do the quest.

You should by this point however be able to take out the Minetown watch, which will net you some XP as well as giving you access to the altar.

Also, if you do dig down past Medusa and take on the castle, you should certainly be able to either level up to lvl 14 there, or do so by eating a wraith corpse in the VOTD.
posted by 256 at 1:15 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, The Castle has been very very good to me.
Eriko the Warrior           St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:22 Wi:23 Ch:18  Lawful
Dlvl:25 $:79 HP:149(149) Pw:85(85) AC:-38 Xp:17/641243 T:40183 Satiated
The satiated is because one of the dragons was a black dragon, and them's good eating! And it dropped a potion of gain level! Cursed, of course, but I've still got a few holy waters. FINALLY CAN HAZ bag of holding, and phew. The Captain didn't drop a silver saber, but there was one in the weapon store, so I've got one of my favorite #twoweapons building, just need a few more plusses on the saber.

Halting for now, but we're certainly looking at an ascension run, and this time, we've taken care of Medusa already, so won't make that mistake again!

Happy New Year, everybody!
posted by eriko at 1:36 PM on December 31, 2015


Oh, I just wrote a weird and silly introduction to an @Play column for the book, involving NetHack, with two short poems in it even, but I can't paste them here because they need to be exclusive content for the book when it comes out, at least for a while.

SIGH....
posted by JHarris at 1:39 PM on December 31, 2015


Eriko the Warrior           St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:22 Wi:23 Ch:18  Lawful
Dlvl:25 $:79 HP:149(149) Pw:85(85) AC:-38 Xp:17/641243 T:40183 Satiated
Halting for now, but we're certainly looking at an ascension run, and this time, we've taken care of Medusa already, so won't make that mistake again!


Do you even alchemize, bro?

That's a lot of AC, but a surprisingly low number of HP. I always consider +8 max HP from a potion of full healing now to be worth far more than a potential full heal later. I usually only keep one around as a failsafe and I never use it.

You're looking really solid though. My basic ascension checklist looks like this:

1. Extrinsic Speed
2. Magic resistance
3. Reflection
4. Magic Cancellation 2+
5. AC -30 or better
6. 200+ max HP
7. A reasonably full suite of resistances (Fire, Poison, Cold, Sleep. You only really need shock for the plane of air and you can wear a ring)
8. Free Action
9. A lizard corpse
10. A greased or slippery cloak

Everything else is optional. It sounds like, other than the max HP you're pretty much there.
posted by 256 at 2:20 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and levitation.
posted by 256 at 2:27 PM on December 31, 2015


I wasn't going to really whine about 3.6 until I'd ascended, but after the latest stupid AND annoying death, I'm going to anyway.

For context: I've ascended every class multiple times in 3.4.

This is the latest death: healer, level 15, 150+HP, -30ish AC. Armed with the +7 Staff of Aesculapius, reflection, magic resistance by wearing the Eye, mostly ascension equipped, arguably missing gauntlets of dexterity, a hawaiian shirt, some sort of nice helm, and a ring of free action. But I'd just barely navigated Gehennom all the way through, and was right in the middle where my top-down and bottom-up forays had met each other: Jubilex's swamp. And there were more than a handful of gremlins there. I figured clearing my path for the ascension run meant clearing them out.

I don't know what low-level mook summoned Yeenoghu while I was hanging out on the level doing that, but Yeenoghu was summoned. We went toe-to-toe for a few rounds, he didn't seriously hurt me, and I hurt him bad enough he teleported to the stairs, and I thought about what to do next. I decided I had a bad feeling about fighting him while slogging to the stairs, given the confusion effect, particularly on a water level (even though I was wearing the water walking boots I'd picked up in Vlad's tower).

So, I teleported up a level. Walked over to the stairs, stepped down. Standing next to Yeenoghu was a minotaur and a handful of gremlins. Between the minotaur and the fact that I had not won the staircase lottery (Yeenoghu got the stair-square instead of me), I took stock again. But I had the Eye as another form of escape if things started to look bad, and I'd also been finding that at -30AC and holding the Staff minotaurs were not scary. I could literally stand there and try to chat with them for a few rounds (they apparently don't even grunt, FWIW) before taking them out in 3-4 whacks without breaking a sweat.

So, I thought, let's go a few rounds again and see what happens. And for a handful of rounds, this seemed to go well enough. Then:

"You are frozen by Yeenoghu."

Hmm. I'm not even sure I knew he had a paralysis attack. Magic cancellation was apparently that good in 3.4. I don't remember ever getting frozen by him. Confusion was always my biggest concern.

To give you an idea of how tough the healer actually was, I think we were pushing 20 turns of paralysis before Yeenoghu and the minotaur managed to kill her together. Regeneration plus an AC that strong is a pretty substantial combo. Though obviously not strong enough in this case.

There's a sense in which I should just own this death as yet another stupid one. I had a bad feeling about it once I saw the minotaur and missed the stairs, and I should have listened to that. Also, I didn't know about the paralysis attack, and if I had, that would have tipped the balance into "do this later when you have free action" territory for sure. And now I know.

At the same time, though... I think this situation is one illustration of how big a change the magic cancellation adjustments are.

Let's talk about free action for a minute. Given how many ways you can die during an ascension run when paralyzed within significantly fewer turns than it took that &+H combo to kill me, and given the high prevalence of paralyzing attacks on that run (and *serious* paralyzing attacks instead of thrown potions), I think it's long been understood that free action is all but a requirement for the run. But I've long been comfortable digging out Gehennom without it, apparently on the strength of magic cancellation.

The magic cancellation changes now make me think that doing without a ring or cloak of protection is now living pretty dangerously in Gehennom. Even with it, I've been level drained, slimed, speed-stolen, disenchanted, etc etc an order of magnitude more often than I was in 3.4. And, yes, paralyzed.

Resistance requirements aren't new to nethack. Requirements that require thoughtful tradeoffs aren't even new; they're arguably a big part of the game.

The problem I see here is that there is only one way to get free action. And only two ways to get what's now apparently the only reasonable (but still risky) level of magic cancellation for handling Gehennom.

This wouldn't bother me as much if it was combined with doing something about Gehennom. But lo, Gehennom is still pretty much there in all its long and heavily tedious glory. And that leads us to the most meta level I'm concerned at.

I'm happy to see nethack development apparently vital instead of moribund again. I'm happy to see the very nethack-ish changes like rats not vomiting and trying to get messages to be more consistent with real-world grammatical conventions and to see corner-case interactions considered.

But I'm concerned to see susbtantial changes in 3.6 like magic cancellation and Elbereth nerfing apparently driven by the idea that nethack's main problem right now is that it's too easy rather than too grindy in spots.

I'd kindof hoped when I got to Gehennom I'd see something like Sporkhack's lava caverns, which had the benefit of removing some of the tedium and simultaneously adding a lot of flavor. Seeing Spork's author added to the devteam raised some hopes for me... but then again, my recollection is that he was also often talking about how nethack's problem was that it was too easy. Taking MC effectiveness substantially down instead I guess makes the game more exciting, but not in an exciting way. I'm worried that we got the "make it harder" rather than "make it richer" approach.

Possibly this is an intermediate release and we'll see richer stuff over time. Possibly I'm just butthurt over the latest death and will get used to it the way I got used to so many other things. Or maybe I'm going to go play something else for a while.
posted by namespan at 2:54 PM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


That sucks, namespan.

Overall, I think I'm on board with the MC changes though. I wish they had left a few more cloaks at the MC2 level though, to provide some interesting combine-with-ring options for those who want MC3.

I've ascended 3.6 three times now, and twice I did it with MC2 rather than MC3. I did feel like it added a new and worthwhile element to the game, to be honest.

Take the Yeenoghu paralysis attack specifically: With the old system, giving you a 98% chance of resisting it, it was something that players never really thought about at all. This has two effects. It makes the monster (one of the named demons, who should be cool) less interesting. And it makes it SUPER frustrating when you do eventually die to that effect. After all, you had effectively nullified it with MC3 and then just got an extremely unlucky roll.

With the new system, it's harder to get MC3 and, even when you do, it doesn't reduce any of these effects to once-in-a-blue-moon territory, meaning that you really need to plan around the fact that they might happen and thus figure out survival tactics. Yes, it's still super frustrating to die to a paralysis attack that you didn't know Yeenoghu had, but the same is true of MANY other ways the insufficiently spoiled can lose at any point in the game. As you yourself say, if you did know about the paralysis attack, you would have done things differently. Which makes Yeenoghu (a total pushover at this point in a 3.4.3 game) at least somewhat interesting.

I totally agree with you about Free Action though. I consider it entirely essential to an ascension kit, especially given the MC changes, and it seems poorly thought out that it is available from only one source (without even having any temporary (i.e. potion) alternatives.
posted by 256 at 3:08 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's a lot of AC, but a surprisingly low number of HP. I always consider +8 max HP from a potion of full healing now to be worth far more than a potential full heal later. I usually only keep one around as a failsafe and I never use it.

I'm with you, but the price of that Gain Ability bonanza is a stark lack of Gain Energy potions, and the few Gain Levels I've gotten went to get me to 14 so I could do the quest. However, the low HP is that I've been holding my Full Heals until just now, because of my used-to-be-weak AC. I also haven't even started Ghennom yet -- I'm currently in the Castle after raiding the closets and wishing.

The other factor is as a Valkyrie, I've got the Orb of Weight Fate, which gives you half physical *and* spell damage. So, it's as if I had 298HP against physical and spell attacks, and the biggest one that doesn't cover is Magic Missiles, which reflection does cover. It's annoying to carry, yeah, but seriously, 1/2 damage basically across the board. I've got three potions of full healing, that's 24HP actual, and effectively 48HP.

But you're right about one thing: I'm not yet anywhere near ready to grab the Amulet yet. I'm missing one critical thing -- Free Action. And as you noted, with the MC nerfed, it becomes *huge*, though with the +6 Arthurian Army Knife and a +5 Silver Saber, I can beat up most of the demons in two rounds our less. But still -- one paralyze, heck, one freaking floating eye, and I'm toast. The main resistances I have, and I even have disintegration resistance thanks to the Black Dragon in the castle, Also MC3, Magic Resistance, and Reflection. If I can get free action, then this becomes almost easy. And I wish I'd remembered that -- it's become priority #1 if I should get a wish if I don't find it while digging out Ghennom.

Otherwise, I have to smack down the demons to avoid the summoned nasties, but my policy has always been to do that, because if you can avoid Demegorgon, you should.
posted by eriko at 4:05 PM on December 31, 2015


So, I've heard stories of this happening, but had never experienced it myself. Just playing around with my local compile of 3.6, just doing a quick engrave id with a wand I found on the floor...
You may wish for an object.--More--



     ┌───┐                      8########################
     │···│                      #┌─────────────┐        #######
     │····                       │·············│              #
     │···│                       │·············│              ##
     │dh·▒##                    #▒·············│               #
     └─▒─┘ #                 ####│··············####           ###
           #    ┌────┐      ##   │·············│###########      #
           #    │>···▒#######    └─────────────┘#  ###  ┌─·─────┐#
           #    │····│                 ##########    #  │·······▒#
           ##   │····│                          #    #  │·······│
            ##  │····│        8##################    #  │·······│
             ###···{··########8                      #  │·······│
       ·        │····│                               ###▒·······│
       ·        └────┘                                  │···<···│
       ·                                                └───────┘
       ·
      ───

Justin the Troglodyte    St:18/06 Dx:13 Co:14 In:9 Wi:8 Ch:7  Lawful
Dlvl:1  $:136 HP:17(18) Pw:1(1) AC:8  Xp:1/5 T:369



posted by idiopath at 4:05 PM on December 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


2 BLESSED SCROLLS OF CHARGING!!!
posted by eriko at 4:06 PM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


OMG!

Yes, 2 Blessed scrolls of charging.

Then, personally, I would take the risk of accidentally wresting a charge and zap again for either "Blessed Greased +2 Gray Dragon Scale Mail" or ""Blessed Greased +2 Silver Dragon Scale Mail".

THEN, you can decide whether to wait until you find a scroll of identify or zap one more time. If you get a wish, wish for Blessed Fireproof +2 Speed Boots. Then it's time to use the scrolls of charging (whether you got a wish or not).

At this point, I would probably also wish for a Blessed Amulet of Life Saving because, you know.

After that, you could either keep wishing or save them for after you have explored the dungeon some and have a feel for what you need, but you will already be well on your way....
posted by 256 at 4:15 PM on December 31, 2015


Given that you are a lawful caveperson, I wouldn't consider wishing for an artifact. The best Lawful quest artifact is the caveman one anyway. And even if you did want to wish for one, it will blast you, which is very dangerous at your current max HP. As for non-quest artifacts, you are restricted in all the good ones except for Mjollnir. Mjollnir wouldn't be a terrible wish (once your HP are a little higher), but I think there are better things to wish for.
posted by 256 at 4:25 PM on December 31, 2015


Yeah, I opted for the scrolls (got all 3), then +3 gdsm (got the enchant I asked for).

Now following my pet through the mines, being super careful about poison, and letting my pet expose gear (wielding a mattock, equipped with some dwarven iron).
posted by idiopath at 4:31 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


So I decided to try a knight. I found a random egg on one of the first couple of levels, picked it up, and a few turns later a baby fire ant hatched and thought I was its daddy. Cute!

I named it Hot Stuff.

Some time later, in the lower mines, a mind flayer ate the brains of my warhorse, immediately followed by Hot Stuff eating the rest of it. I killed the mind flayer, now wary of a potential polymorph trap.

Sure enough, about ten turns later Hot Stuff wandered into a polymorph trap and turned into.... an adult red dragon.

Definitely living up to his name. And hey, look, I've suddenly got this spare saddle.
posted by 256 at 6:00 PM on December 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


Looking for some hot stuff baby this evening!
posted by eriko at 9:05 PM on December 31, 2015


As I was falling to sleep last night, I was thinking that there should be additional color floating lights. The ones I thought of:

Red light - acts like a thrown potion of paralysis when it explodes (red light=stop). Also has a chance of foocubi showing up every turn (red light district)

Green light - acts like potion of speed when it explodes.

Blue light - wakes you up when it explodes and grants some turns # worth of sleep resistance. Also if you are in a shop, gives a +4 charisma bonus (blue light special).
posted by fings at 9:40 PM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Hot Stuff ate a chameleon corpse, turned into a large kobold, and then was killed. :(

But I tamed a kitten, named him Mild Stuff, and pushed him into a polymorph trap until he became a Baluchitherium. I am now riding a giant prehistoric rhinoceros.
posted by 256 at 10:08 PM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Laying in bed, just remembered one more. White light - acts like a fire trap when it explodes (white light/white heat, Velvet Underground)
posted by fings at 11:07 PM on December 31, 2015


So I reached Medusa without yet having a way to cross water other than a single potion of levitation. I hemmed and hawed about using the single potion and hoping to find levitation boots in Perseus statue for a little while. Then I suddenly remembered that I had both a ring of polymorph control and a ring of polymorph stashed in my bag.

Next thing you know, I am flying across the Medusa level as a Vampire Lord (I carefully made sure to turn back into a human before fighting Medusa. The wiki is not clear on whether sucking Medusa's blood is fatal, but I didn't care to find out).

Now I am drunk with the power of self polymorph. In the past, I have only ever used it to briefly turn my female characters into other forms for the purpose of laying eggs, but now I'm considering the advantages of spending the mid game as a master mind flayer...
posted by 256 at 12:53 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


"You are aware of the presence of humans and elves."

???
posted by 256 at 1:39 PM on January 1, 2016


You know, in an earlier game, I think I spent some time as a Vampire Lord. Also in an earlier game, I noticed for a while I had something a lot like the warning Sting gives for orcs -- except for humans and elves. This might have been at the same time.
posted by namespan at 1:51 PM on January 1, 2016


Interesting. I still have it after changing back to a human. But given the number of strange Vampire-related bugs that seem to have been introduced, that seems entirely plausible.
posted by 256 at 2:06 PM on January 1, 2016


"You are aware of the presence of humans and elves."

I think you got telepathy in the Flying Reindeer home dungeon.
posted by JHarris at 2:59 PM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


In what circumstances would a bones file not create a tombstone? A hapless archaeologist seems to have died on DLVL after reading a scroll of punishment, and has left behind a lot of stuff—but no tombstone.
posted by kenko at 3:58 PM on January 1, 2016


If they die on a dungeon feature (stairs/sink/fountain) then no tombstone is created. Likewise if they are turned into a Vampire/Mummy/Wraith/Slime/Statue/Pile-of-Dust rather than a corpse.

There are probably other scenarios as well.
posted by 256 at 4:21 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fortunately whatever killed them (which I couldn't identify b/c no tombstone) wasn't a challenge, and the cursed touchstone let me ID a ruby I could sell to the priest for some sweet sweet protection. Too bad my weakling wizard can hardly carry anything tho.
posted by kenko at 4:26 PM on January 1, 2016


CTRL-O (overview) seems new and useful...
posted by Etrigan at 5:20 PM on January 1, 2016


CTRL-O (overview) seems new and useful...

It is! It's worth noting that I late game amnesiaed myself and my dungeon overview got hit by the effect as well. So, yeah, be aware of that.
posted by 256 at 5:32 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


What kinda rinky-dink general store are you running that you run out of money to pay me and offer me store credit, Kipawa? All this stuff you got now, and no one shops here or something? Minetown is experiencing a recession apparently.

Welp, that's Valkyrie Quest. Now on to Medusa's with a ring of levitation and a blindfold, and then the Castle for that sweet wand of wishing.

One weird thing I never experienced before: got some unidentified wand that, when I attempt to zap it, the message just stalls at "What do you want to zap?" Like I can't even select it. It's a wand of less than nothing.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:36 PM on January 1, 2016


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: that's how Wands of Secret Door Detection have always been. I forget if other wands are like that too or not, but just confirmed that behavior on my local in X mode with both 3.4.3 and 3.6.0.
posted by idiopath at 6:44 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah good. Then I don't feel bad about selling it.

My girlfriend had a weird incident earlier today. Playing a Valkyrie, she was 8XP when she ran into none other than Yeenoghu in the Gnomish Mines, entourage in tow. Our theory was that he had been summoned by the player who was now a ghost on that same level. She threw a holy water at it, sending it shrieking into the dark, and managed to make her escape but it was pretty hair-raising. No idea if our theory is accurate but it was the only one that made sense.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:49 PM on January 1, 2016


As I was falling to sleep last night, I was thinking that there should be additional color floating lights. The ones I thought of:

My daydream was "chaos orb": a floating light that polymorphs 3x3 squares when it explodes, and while alive has a chance of polymorphing the items and squares it passes over into lava or such.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:09 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


My daydream was "chaos orb": a floating light that polymorphs 3x3 squares when it explodes, and while alive has a chance of polymorphing the items and squares it passes over into lava or such.

Calm down there, Satan.
posted by Etrigan at 7:21 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's just a floating light. You can kill it by throwing rocks at it.

Of course, you could give it conflict, which means other monsters would try to kill it on sight.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:30 PM on January 1, 2016


It's just a floating light. You can kill it by throwing rocks at it.

The Tomb of Horrors was not intended to be an instruction manual, you sociopath.
posted by Etrigan at 7:44 PM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well, didn't play much today, just cleaned out the Valley of the now very Dead and it was rather profitable. While two of those bastard wraiths drank potions of gain level, three of them left corpses, so....
Eriko the Swashbuckler      St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:22 Wi:23 Ch:18  Lawful
Dlvl:16 $:626 HP:196(196) Pw:110(110) AC:-39 Xp:20/5123736 T:42267
...and as soon as I find a Swash, it will be *so* buckled!

(I cut up to level 16, have a stash there by the altar, VOtnvD is on 26.)

Next up -- have four taming scrolls. Need to find a Balrog.
posted by eriko at 10:25 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


uuuugh this is my most successful game yet (which means: I've made it to sokoban and my current big difficulty in the Mines is not being able to carry enough) and I'm so tense!
posted by kenko at 8:28 AM on January 2, 2016


A wraith was just generated on Sokoban. That seems weird! I'm not complaining!
posted by kenko at 8:30 AM on January 2, 2016


I think you got telepathy in the Flying Reindeer home dungeon.

Check to see if you also know if humans/elves are sleeping or awake, and know their alignment. If so, that's it for sure.
posted by namespan at 8:59 AM on January 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Check to see if you also know if humans/elves are sleeping or awake, and know their alignment

So, what your saying is they're Santa?
posted by eriko at 9:05 AM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


It appears there's no Fort Ludios portal. Darn, a bit of mindless slaughter sounded fun. And since the AC is now -39, I want -40 because.

I have also been presented with a bit of a puzzler. A mimic, of all things, dropped a polished silver shield. So, I can get the AC even higher if I go with that *and* free the neck for an AoLS, but then I lose the extra damage from #twoweapon. I shall have to ponder that -- the best way to keep something from hurting you is to kill it fast, but the AoLS effectively doubles your HP and saves you from many a YASD.
posted by eriko at 9:09 AM on January 2, 2016


(Note: I do not yet have an AoLS, so this is a theoretical puzzler at the moment.)
posted by eriko at 9:10 AM on January 2, 2016


(•_•)

You know what's better than unlabeled paper?

( •_•)>⌐■-■
The voice of Tyr booms: "Use my gift wisely!"
p - a silver saber named Grayswandir.
(⌐■_■)

YEEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
posted by eriko at 12:10 PM on January 2, 2016


I lost my divine protection :(
posted by kenko at 12:50 PM on January 2, 2016


The voice of Tyr booms: "Use my gift wisely!"

How long do you usually spend hanging out around an altar basically farming sacrifices?
posted by aubilenon at 1:14 PM on January 2, 2016


How long do you usually spend hanging out around an altar basically farming sacrifices?

Wands of create monster = offering to $DEITY or a really nice pet if you're lucky.
posted by eriko at 1:17 PM on January 2, 2016


Not to dredge up old topics, but farming for sacrifices was identified as a kind of gameplay that I remember the Crawl devs reacting to and actively designing against, along with selling to shops, as kinds of play that encouraged boring behavior on the part of players.

It's a lot of fun reading about you guys' games, I've not even had time to play a game of NetHack under the new version, even to write about it.
posted by JHarris at 2:46 PM on January 2, 2016


Sacrificing for weapons is a super fun part of Nethack, but it can get really tedious, ESPECIALLY if you are going for a particular weapon.

I feel like, based on my own play experience that you can usually get A gift within about 10 or 20 sacrifices if you are already in good favour with your god, though. So that's basically one wand of create monster, so long as you are willing to accept the first artifact he throws at you.

I think the larger problem is how trash so many of the artifacts are. If you are, say, a priest and get gifted Trollsbane, you are usually better off just sticking with the +1 mace you started with.
posted by 256 at 3:14 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lesson learned: when quaffing from fountains, have some way of removing curses handy. Stupid foul water.
posted by kenko at 3:23 PM on January 2, 2016


How long do you usually spend hanging out around an altar basically farming sacrifices?

Hi, my name is Etrigan, and I'm an artifact farmer.

Hi, Etrigan.

But that's largely role-dependent. Monk? Won't bother with it. Altars are for holy water and BUCdentifying. Wizard, pretty much just Magicbane. Anyone else? Grayswandir if lawful, a Brand if not.

But oh, jeez, SLASH'EM? I will spend years assembling all the armor I can get, plus the Wallet, plus Houchou...
posted by Etrigan at 3:28 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hi, my name is Etrigan, and I'm an artifact farmer.

Yeah, I always used to find a level with an altar and then spend a million years there, camped out by it. Problem was I would offer everything I killed which meant I got hungry, so I ended up praying for food all the time, which meant it took forever to get anything actually worthwhile. So it was dumb. But hey I was just a dumb kid, playing with not so much spoilers!
posted by aubilenon at 3:37 PM on January 2, 2016


Just to be clear, I like sacrificing in NetHack, I think it's fun and not too grindy. I offer it as an example of something that's not really bad in NetHack that some people come to think as degenerate design.

If something is fun in a game, then it is fun. Enjoyment doesn't always obey people's theoretical models. It's admirable that Crawl takes such steps to reduce grind, but I never pictured sacrificing for artifacts, or to give another example they gave dragging all the junk from the upper dungeon to a shop to sell it for gold, to be necessarily bad. Not really that useful, maybe, considering the decreasing chances of getting artifacts and limited use of money in the game. But that is just me.
posted by JHarris at 4:00 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not to dredge up old topics, but farming for sacrifices was identified as a kind of gameplay that I remember the Crawl devs reacting to and actively designing against, along with selling to shops, as kinds of play that encouraged boring behavior on the part of players.

I think there's a big difference between burning wands of Create Monster and doing things like pudding farming -- which the Dev Team explicitly ended in 3.6.0 by making puddings no longer drop corpses as such. I use the sacrifices for two big things, keeping the prayer timeout low when I'm low level, and getting Grayswandir if I'm lawful, because Grayswandir basically doesn't drop because silver sabers themselves are a rare drop, and you have to drop the artifact type before an artifact can drop. I never pudding farm or anything like that, but I'll take found wands and scrolls of create monster to an aligned altar and offer up whatever I can from them, unless it's a really sweet tamable pet candidate and I have a scroll of taming on hand.
posted by eriko at 4:01 PM on January 2, 2016


Can't say I farm for artifacts per se, but I will farm to max out my luck, and have no qualms selling the loot of the dead to shops to buy protection, repeatedly. Boring behavior, maybe, but it gives me the buff I need to take on some places that I wouldn't normally be able to get anywhere near. I consider it a part of my close, personal relationship with my god.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:03 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Generally a good point, but I feel I should mention, pudding farming doesn't refer generally to getting sacrifice fodder (which won't work indefinitely because sacrifice worth depends partly on your experience level, so eventually the corpses won't be good enough to get you goodies) but to abusing "death drops," where, when you kill a monster of sufficient strength, there was a random chance that it would drop a random item that wasn't part of its inventory. If you could set up a situation where you could do it in safety, over the course of tens of thousands of kills you could break scarcity that way, generating hundreds of items, and eventually even get wands of wishing.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 PM on January 2, 2016


Congratulations to this post (and the excellent discussion it engendered) for winning my prize for the best post about games or gaming in December. Luck, as always, was a huge factor.
posted by Etrigan at 4:06 PM on January 2, 2016


Well it's a post about the release of NetHack 3.6.0 after over a decade. Other than Half-Life 3 coming out, what possible post could be more worthy?
posted by JHarris at 4:08 PM on January 2, 2016


Okay. Thanks to finding 17 mimics and a magic marker in the Orcustown shops, we've got the Hellblades just about perfect.
 A - a +7 silver saber (wielded in other hand)
 T - the +6 Grayswandir (weapon in hand)
When I'm out of Gehennom and getting a lot more in the way of non-silver haters, I might switch back to Excalibur because of the combo of level drain protection and searching, but when I want to kill all the demons and Vlad, well, you can't beat that combo.

It does figure I got this *after* I killed Asmodeus, Jubilex, Beelzebub and Orcus...but Vlad hasn't seen me.

Yet.

Well it's a post about the release of NetHack 3.6.0 after over a decade.

Wait. Hack starts with an H, version 3.6, six is two time three and N (since NetHack) is two letters from L. HL3 confirmed!!!!
posted by eriko at 4:21 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, in less than 24 hours, I have another XL15 Healer digging at the top three levels of Gehennom. Decide to head back up to my safehouse on level 21 to dump loot and evaluate/polish up the kit.

Just strolling out of the castle, I'm passing right under the drawbridge, and a Green Elf shows up and zaps a wand of striking.

Guess what happened?

Nothing. Because after yesterday, I'm playing in full-on paranoid mode, and I didn't even walk within two squares of the drawbridge without destroying it myself (especially not with an Ogre Lord playing coy and hanging back instead of charging me like everybody else when I used a wand of opening to let them out, who knows what his high cretinousness was holding). Get that damn deathtrap down and get across some other way, anything else is just inviting DYWYPI.
posted by namespan at 4:48 PM on January 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


When I play a monk, altars are for getting spellbooks and golden glows (and of course this risks crowning, but for a monk it's worth it).
posted by idiopath at 5:00 PM on January 2, 2016


you add the spell "identify" to your repertoire.

Ahhhhhhh.

Sure would be nice to have a non-force bolt attack spell, though.
posted by kenko at 5:03 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know that if you have finished the quest, you have the Bell of Opening. Guess what it does when you apply it, oh, four spaces away from the drawbridge?

What happens, of course, is all hell comes at you. But the drawbridge doesn't.

Still, I understand. After last time, I nY have relied ; to a blessed scroll of genocided. Because those fuckers deserve to rot with the Liches and Mind Flayers.
posted by eriko at 5:07 PM on January 2, 2016


Sure would be nice to have a non-force bolt attack spell, though.

Magic Missle is downright scary when you hit high levels. Damage is 1d6 for every two levels you have. When your level 26, basically what you have is the Wave Motion Gun. 13d6 damage! Make damn sure you have reflection, though, or the blowback could be very bad.
posted by eriko at 5:10 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Magic Missle is downright scary when you hit high levels.

I once one-round-killed Demogorgon with Magic Missile and reflection. Better than at least half the sex I've ever had.
posted by Etrigan at 5:16 PM on January 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Man my not great typing is really bad when I'm on the phone and drinking beer. Pretend those last two posts made sense, please.
posted by eriko at 5:21 PM on January 2, 2016


Why, and there's an altar with a co-aligned priest on this level, too! More protection for me.

Seems I just picked up a cursed scroll of genocide, too. What should I do? Nurses? Wraiths? Incubi?
posted by kenko at 5:22 PM on January 2, 2016


If you're low level, you might consider krakens. They're practically harmless out of water, and each is worth over 1,500 experience points.
posted by JHarris at 5:44 PM on January 2, 2016


Or maybe giant eel might be better, still over 1K XP each.
posted by JHarris at 5:46 PM on January 2, 2016


Experience level 14 happens at 80,000 XP. That's 80 eels, or 60 krakens.
posted by JHarris at 5:47 PM on January 2, 2016


The question is "are Mind Flayers and Liches dead?" If not, the right answer is two holy waters. If they are? Well, wiping out ; is useful, but as jharris mentions, they can't drown you if there's not water and they're deep on EXP. however, over level 11, EXP basically doesn't matter. You level up on wraiths and gain level potions. Some nuke c, because, and other say no, rubber chickens of death are awesome. Some nuke R, but I just nuke disenchanters.

Having said that, going to Sokoban, cranking up the tunes and summoning N is fun.
posted by eriko at 5:51 PM on January 2, 2016


Dammit. Over level 15. Drinking beer, talking to the bartender, didn't see that in time.
posted by eriko at 5:57 PM on January 2, 2016


I went to Sokoban and summoned some nurses, raising my max HP from 69 to 121. I'm going to call that worthwhile, especially since I have a magic marker.
posted by kenko at 6:03 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


however, over level 11, EXP basically doesn't matter.

You can't go on the quest until XP level 14, which is the only thing in the game you absolutely need levels for.
posted by JHarris at 7:51 PM on January 2, 2016


If you ever find yourself with an excess of genocide scrolls, mimics are good to wipe out if you do it early enough, especially before Orcus town. Nice full, shopkeeper-less shops.
posted by fings at 7:52 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


(And it seems there's a historical reason for that, in old versions of Hack 14 was where levels capped out. So, the minimum you need to go home for the quest is where an old character would have maxed.)
posted by JHarris at 7:52 PM on January 2, 2016


What fings is talking about is, when shop inventories are generated, even if the shops are deserted, every spot will contain either an item or a mimic. If mimics are genocided when the shop is generated, the game will generate more items to make up for it.
posted by JHarris at 7:53 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Right, and in Orcus Town (an abandoned town in Gehennom) the shops generate with 5 or so times the normal amount of mimics. So genociding mimics means you get a lot more loot in Orcus Town.

Frankly, my Genocide targets in order are: L, h, n

I frigging hate nymphs and they are my first target if I find a blessed scroll of genocide very early (since it will be a very long time before I see any Ls). I usually won't bother genociding ; unless I have found neither an oilskin cloak nor a can of grease by the time I reach the castle.

I reverse genocide in basically two situations:

1. I want to do the quest and I'm not yet level 14, so I reverse genocide wraiths (did this in my current game in fact)
2. I'm strong enough to easily kill dragons but don't have the DSM I want yet. Once you're at the castle, you can wish for an uncursed magic marker instead of Gray Dragon Scale Mail. Write one cursed scroll of genocide and you're almost guaranteed to get scales, then you can write your own scrolls of enchant armor too. You can reliably get +4 GDSM out of a wish this way and still have marker charges left over.
posted by 256 at 6:14 AM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


I usually go for disenchanters first and foremost when it comes to genocide scrolls. Because fuck those guys.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:37 AM on January 3, 2016


I usually won't bother genociding ; unless I have found neither an oilskin cloak nor a can of grease by the time I reach the castle.

Yeah, but this game? It was for vengeance. "You killed my mother. Prepare to die."

Did everyone notice the new #terrain extended command? It'll show you the current map either without monsters, monsters and objects, or monsters, objects and traps. Really handy when you had a big fight when you got to a level and now can't find the upstair.

Meanwhile, I've apparently found a ring of teleport control, so last night, cut back to the level 16 stash. I also found two amulets of life saving! So, I've removed the amulet reflection, put on the silver shield, enchanted that a bit, went to just Greyswandir rather than #twoweapon, and put on the AoLS. And with this status line set...
Eriko the Heroine           St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:23 Wi:23 Ch:18  Lawful
Dlvl:16 $:0  HP:248(248) Pw:121(121) AC:-44 Xp:22/25607248 T:60625
... and the half physical/spell damage from the Orb of Weight *and* the extra set of hit points from the ALoS, I effectively have 992HP, and add another 496HP for the 2nd AoLS in the bag. I think that's enough, right? The problem, of course, is I've cut my damage per turn by about 33%. The bonus, though, is that it's even hard to kill me, and of course, you have to kill me not once, not twice, but thrice, and I haven't even seen Vlad or Rodney yet, so I may well have a 3rd AoLS coming.

The only thing I'm missing from the ascension kit is Free Action, dammit. If I can find a wand of polymorph, it may be time for a poly pile, but I'll dig out the rest of Gehennom first, and I might get lucky. The magic marker is probably close to done, though, another of those would be handy. I'm not going to bother nurse dancing this game, that would be over the top. Well, *more* over the top.

I need to do some cooking, laundry, cleaning, yadda today, but I think I'll be making the ascension run today. If I don't make it, it'll really be my own damn fault.

Time to lock the chest in the stash and go play whack-a-Vlad.
posted by eriko at 8:50 AM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


And, in the "oops" file, I thought I'd already identified Loadstones, Flint and Luckstones, so I was excited to see a touchstone. NOPE. That's one less holy water for me!
posted by eriko at 8:59 AM on January 3, 2016


You try to feel what is lying here on the floor. There is a staircase down here. You feel here a statue of a knight named Perseus. You kill Medusa!

Well, that was easy.
posted by kenko at 10:45 AM on January 3, 2016


Aaaand YASD two levels below :/
posted by kenko at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2016


Aaaand YASD two levels below :/

This was me yesterday. Way too slow getting that lizard out, and paused to finish off the cockatrice along the way. Dumb move. The Castle would have been a breeze.

On to fight again!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:18 AM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fun fact: you are less likely to get the stoning attack if you have a lizard in inventory. Just carrying it does more to prevent turning to stone than eating it does.
posted by idiopath at 12:07 PM on January 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh no, Vlad the Impaler? What weapon could I possibly wield against such a mighty foe?
c - an uncursed carrot named Vladbane
I swear they've made him even wimpier than before.
posted by eriko at 12:26 PM on January 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Apparently this is a trope.
posted by pwnguin at 1:58 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


wow, wielding the corpse of a wraith to kill vlad is pure #swag
posted by idiopath at 2:39 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Frankly, once your AC is -44 you aren't really worried about damage. At that point, I would be more concerned about edge case instadeaths like nymphs/Rodney stealing your MR source the turn before he finger of deaths you, or a player monster on the astral plane wielding either Vorpal Blade or a cockatrice corpse.

Or, lacking free action, the terrifying prospect of being hit with a potion of paralysis while standing next to a green slime.
posted by 256 at 2:46 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Now digging out paths. The last real grind before the Ascension run. Once I've done that and marked the vibrating square, then I'll go get the book and make the run. That'll be tomorrow.
posted by eriko at 6:01 PM on January 3, 2016


c - an uncursed carrot named Vladbane

I swear they've made him even wimpier than before.


They're A/B testing the Vlad the Impala patch.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:03 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Remind me, eriko: is this your first ascension?
posted by 256 at 6:38 PM on January 3, 2016


This game is ridiculous. By the time I got to minetown, I'd collected FOUR magic lamps. One of them was already blessed, so GDSM ahoy! I also found a magic marker, which was exciting, but no bags of any kind, and I gave up after Sokoban had an amulet instead and used my only holy water (which was scarce because my potions kept getting blowed up) to get one. Now I'm finally accumulating some potions and scrolls to dilute and fade and stuff.

I haven't really found any other fantastic gear, but I also am not desparately hurting for anything (AC -19 on Dlvl 14 and XP 11) either, so I'm just waiting to see what I find before I start wishing. I was excited about my pet, when Bananas Foster Wallace, after growing into a large dog, stepped on a polytrap and turned in to a golden naga - it's extra nice having a pet that can heal itself! But then he level teleported to I don't know where, and when we meet again... well I do have a scroll of taming!

My big fear now is gelatinous cubes. They eat good stuff, and they paralyze me, and I don't like either of those things. I need a couple more XP levels and I can go get that orb of fate thing.
posted by aubilenon at 6:48 PM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


First 3.6.0. I've ascended before.
posted by eriko at 7:29 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


They're A/B testing the Vlad the Impala patch.

I'm waiting for Vlad the Implorer. "PLEASE don't take my candelabra!"
posted by eriko at 10:03 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Demilich, Vlad's tower. Decides he's going to summon all the nasties. Including (but not limited to) an Iron Golem, Two Minotaurs, Jabberwock, Green Dragon, and a Carnivorous Ape to hold me. I'm standing in exactly the wrong spot where at least four of them can hit me -- not to mention the Xorns he brought in just so somebody could pound me from the walls. "What're you gonna do now, healer?" he seems to ask, as I'm burning through 150HP and then another 150 three turns after I quaff a potion of full healing.

Well, listen bonepuppet, I'll tell you what I'm going to do, I'm going to break this wand of death that I'm holding, and everything that's hitting me now is going to fall apart. And then even though I'm at 25HP, since we're technically not in Gehennom, I'm going to call on my BFF Hermes who is going to make sure I am good as new for the explicit purpose of turning your sorry ass-free pelvis into a bone-dust smoothie. Hope casting summon monster repeatedly was the last thing on your undead bucket list!

Man that was close.

And Hermes, I take back everything bad I said about you when you gave me Vorpal Blade. Yeah, you're totally right, it would have come in handy for that Jabberwock.
posted by namespan at 11:35 PM on January 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, listen bonepuppet, I'll tell you what I'm going to do, I'm going to break this wand of death that I'm holding, and everything that's hitting me now is going to fall apart.

"This bounty hunter is my kind of scum, fearless and inventive."

Now you know why we nuke L from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by eriko at 5:23 AM on January 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


OK. Dug all the things. Never so glad to drop the a pick axe.

So, this square, it vibrates?

Now: One last jump to the stash, gear up as best I can for the run, dump things that are no longer important, load up on K-rats, #engrave "eriko was here" somewhere, etc.
posted by eriko at 6:07 AM on January 4, 2016


Well, that was almost a YASD. Busy coming back from my last stash, having grabbed all the gems and shoved them into the bag, and suddenly, because I wasn't paying attention, I fainted -- and an Elf Lord started to wail on me.

Thankfully, a truly stupid amount of HP (now at 320) and AC (-44) meant the elf could wail all they wanted, and when I woke up, first I ate, then I wailed back.

CAREFUL, ME! Stupidity is my biggest threat at the moment.
posted by eriko at 6:40 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay. Let's do this.

"a"
What do you want to use or apply?
"I"
Your candles' flames burn brightly!
WHAT!?! DID I FORGET TO ACTUALLY PICK UP THE CANDELABRUM?

Yep. Yep I did. Quick run back to Vlad's Tower of Comedy, pick it up, back down to the Vibrating Square....and I have to work now.

But first, let's do this part.

Lights, Bell, Read, You are standing at the top of stairwell leading down.

Here. We. GO!
posted by eriko at 7:33 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


OED word of the day is athame. Magicbane 4 lyfe!
posted by kenko at 9:08 AM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow. That was pretty easy. Nailed the High Priest of Moloch, grabbed the Real Amulet, named the real amulet, and ran. Mysterious Force only hit me three times, Rodney only visited twice.

I'm on the Level 1 upstair, and JUST IN CASE, I burned an identity scroll to make certain I have the real actual genuine 100% polymer free Amulet of Yendor.

Breaktime. Level up to 28, HP up to 341. Otherwise, all the same. Have switched back to Excalibur. Won't be needing this cursed potion of gain level anymore...now Level 29, 347 HP.
posted by eriko at 9:54 AM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


You offer the Amulet of Yendor to Tyr...--More--
An invisible choir sings, and you are bathed in radiance...--More--
The voice of Tyr rings out: "Congratulations, mortal!"--More--
"In return to thy service, I grant thee the gift of Immortality!"--More--
You ascend to the status of Demigoddess... 
W00T!!!
 Farvel eriko the Demigoddess...

You went to your reward with 3868206 points
Had to hit all three altars, but I had a stack of wands of teleportation. Yeah, occasionally I'd clip a Rider and have to whack it again, but to get through the chokepoints, one Zap and you can get through the door and have options to move.

So: Done and dusted. My first 3.6.0 Ascension. Took a bit longer than 256, true....
posted by eriko at 10:59 AM on January 4, 2016 [12 favorites]


Notes from my first 3.6.0 ascension


(This is probably spoilers, if you care, so be warned.)

The MC nerf doesn't make Free Action mandatory -- proof, I ascended without it -- but that was only because I had a fairly stupid number of HP (356 at ascension) and a staggeringly low AC, so when I did get frozen, the things that froze me just banged on the armor for a bit. But there's whole classes of attacks that are instadeaths if you're frozen, and I was lucky that I saw very few green slimes. When MC3 meant you were something like 99% immune, Free Action wasn't a big deal because you almost never needed it. At 90%? Oh yeah, important. (Never did find the damn ring. Found a magic lamp, blessed it, and *lost anyway* as the Genie just pissed off.)

The change to the planes of Earth makes me damn glad I was a Valkyrie and had the orb, because I didn't have any other way to detect portals and you can't just mine out the rooms anymore. Make sure to have the appropriate other detection methods, preferably *not* crystal balls, which weigh a ton and freeze you for 1-10 turns.

The moving clouds make the Plane of Air even more fascinating fun than it has been. Normally, Water is also a PITA, but this time, I got surrounded by water elementals who couldn't hurt me and they walked me right to the portal.

Air Elementals were the one thing that could still reliably do damage to me. Not much, they only dropped me below 300 once and that recovered quickly, but those bad boys are still bad in the Planes.

It's not efficient in terms of turns or scrolls/markers, but the stupid high AC was a big factor in my ascending. Even when I was in trouble from dumb (EAT SOMETHING, IDIOT) or a monster, they basically just beat on the metal for little to no effect, rather than on me.

I snuck up on Orcus and nabbed his wand with four charges left, but the lucky drop was another in the Castle that had five. With 9 "And...done here!" charges, both the High Priest of Moloch and Rodney were non-factors, and neither was Pestilence. K-rats made Famine pretty much a non-worry, and Death? Well, the riders have lots of things, but what they don't have is HP, so he was easy to kill.

I would have much rather had SDSM and been able to #twoweapon the whole way, but I got the early wish when I didn't have any magic resistance, that made the GDSM a much better bet. Looking back at how I wasn't hurt, I probably could have forgone the AoLS, but without Free Action, I wanted to make sure I'd have another chance. (Genociding ; helped a great deal too.) Offense is a defense in this game, damn few things can hurt you when they are dead. (You should know the exceptions by now, right?)

Ring of Conflict+Astral Plane=COMEDY GOLD when someone (quite possibly Rodney) summoned a cockatrice. I saw at least 3 dragon statues created by "The $COLOR dragon bites the cockatrice!" It was the rubber chicken on autopilot. On the Astral Plane, other than the riders, the rubber chicken is a one hit kill on just about everything.

Man, those wands of teleportation were wonderful on the Astral Plane. *zap* GET OUT OF MY WAY! Digging out fast paths helped too -- basically, the longer you're on the run up, the more time Rodney gets to screw with you. So, my usual ascension rule is "prioritize movement to the goal over taking down another monster." Exceptions are anything that can summon real nasties, but the idiot who kept summoning insects? Man, my first favor as a demigod is going to that guy. Surrounded by Killer Bees? Break time!

The initial half of the run was very grindy, with me holding lots of healing potions because of the lack of useful armor drops. All that changed after the castle, between drops and wishes, I was tanked up more than enough. I kept piling on AC because, hell, why not? After the castle, really the only grinds were the digging out and the usual Gehennom stomping around. Refactoring the armor to allow me to use the AoLS would have been even more of a grind, but by the time I found and ID'd one, I had teleport control and just level ported with the Orb to the stash.

I'm looking forward to what 3.7.0 will bring - that's likely to be the version that makes big changes. 3.6.X will be bug fixes on the 3.6.0 codebase, they might add minor things, but I suspect 3.7.0 will be a major change.
posted by eriko at 1:18 PM on January 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Since there are already slings I think it would be great if they added atlatls (able to launch darts, rocks, and crossbow bolts) and larger spear-throwers (also able to launch spears). Conceptually great, anyway; I venture no opinions about gameplay.
posted by kenko at 1:48 PM on January 4, 2016


Good game eriko! I never seem to get tired of YAAPs.

My hope remains that the next version will be 4.0, and they substantially shake up the game. For example, I think the Wizard of Yendor should usurp this High Priest guy and get his Amulet back from him. After all, it's pretty much his dungeon, all those soldiers are on his payroll....
posted by JHarris at 3:02 PM on January 4, 2016


all these YAAP (which i love) are reminding me of like, the ultimate mic drop i ever saw on alt.games.nethack or whatever the usenet group was: I think it was just the subject line "PAP"

(pacifist ascension post. Not "YAPAP" 'cause nobody else had done it yet, see?)

Which of course lead to a bunch of tedious arguments about whether you should really call yourself a pacifist if you have a menagerie of pets wandering around murdering everyone you encounter even if you have no blood on your hands.

I think I remember maybe the first foodless ascension also, which as I recall was a monk, involved a lot of prayer, and a bunch of other little tricks to avoid driving up hunger...
posted by dismas at 3:18 PM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Taking a look at the number of bus flagged both "C360" (which means they're new bugs to 3.6.0) and "fixed," which means that they have the fix in place and ready for the next point release*. There's, oh, 36 of them, ranging from trivial (Plural of "slice of cake" is wrong) to crash bugs (#terrain command crashes some Windows ports, but not others) and my favorite in the Windows ports: "Help->About crashes the game. (So don't do that.)"

So, I suspect we're not very far at all from 3.6.1.


* as opposed to "Fixed", which means it is fixed or they know the fix, but it won't be in the next bug fix release. This usually means there's a dependency issue -- the fix depended on a new feature that isn't going to roll until the next feature release, which would currently be 3.7.0 or 4.0.0, or 5.0.0 if they wanted skip over 4 because of nethack4.
posted by eriko at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2016


I just saw a link to an alt.games.nethack post describing a foodless atheist polyselfless lifesaving-less ascension, which is just nuts.
posted by kenko at 3:41 PM on January 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


My "get back on the horse" game is so far going stunningly well: my elvish wizard had the foresight to learn healing before entering the dungeons and to bring along some scrolls of identify (and I found several more soon), I found speed boots and a spellbook of slow monster on DLVL 1, magic missile somewhere around DLVL 4, and now on DLVL 7, identify was hiding out in one of the historic statues surrounding the oracle. 63% failure rate with identify still but it makes me feel better about burning some of my scrolls. Oh, and an amulet of ESP, and a ring of poison resistance that's already saved my bacon.
posted by kenko at 7:23 PM on January 4, 2016


Bones file on the first level of the gnomish mines, though, which has me slightly concerned about what might be lurking.
posted by kenko at 7:26 PM on January 4, 2016


Ring of Conflict+Astral Plane=COMEDY GOLD when someone (quite possibly Rodney) summoned a cockatrice.

Wait, what? Rodney shows up on Astral now?
posted by namespan at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2016


Wait, what? Rodney shows up on Astral now?

He can sneak in with you if he pops up to you as you hit the portal. I'll I know is that suddenly, there was a little yellow c, and shortly thereafter, several large white Ds.
posted by eriko at 8:01 PM on January 4, 2016


Huh. Never heard of that!

In other news: Yeenoghu rematch! A magic trap brought in a Master Lich. The Master Lich started summoning. Maybe he heard about what I did to his Demilich comrade AND my previous loss to captain confusion, so he summoned him.

But knowing, as they say, is half the battle. And also having free action and +7 Grayswandir.

Yeenoghu went down in three hits.
posted by namespan at 8:10 PM on January 4, 2016


Can't believe I made it to mine town having identified some precious gems and there's no one who wants to buy them from me :'(
posted by kenko at 8:13 PM on January 4, 2016


And also having free action and +7 Grayswandir.

Man, I love that fricking sword when you're down there.

Yeah, if baddies summon the Yeenie Weenie, Juiblex, or Orcus, you need to nail them fast, because those three can summon Demegorgon, and you want to avoid that at pretty much all costs. Well, the "summon nasties" monster spell can occasionally roll a 00 and bring him up, but really, it's those three who usually bring him in, so they're in the "Kill Them Now, Kill Them Hard, and Kill Them Again To Be Sure."

Plus, you want to nail Orcus as fast as possible, because every turn he's dead is not a turn he's burning a charge off that wand of death he has.
posted by eriko at 8:20 PM on January 4, 2016


OTOH there was a magic lamp in Izchak's shop so maybe I should shut my trap.
posted by kenko at 8:34 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I was, like a chump, doing the quest with all this good stuff in my bag of holding, that I was I dunno waiting to use for some random time. Including a magic marker, some holy water, and some blank paper.

A monster stepped on a squeaky board, which woke Lord Sutur. But that's just annoying. The actual problem was that another monster stepped on a polymorph trap and turned into a Master Lich. I was fighting a bunch, getting surrounded by nasties, and then more nasties, forgot that my water walking boots weren't fireproof, and got stuck in the lava.

Prayed myself free, which teleported me somewhere I had a few turns. Everything worked out okay, but the real moral of the story is genocide liches before they summon a bunch of dragons and uruk hai and shit, so you don't have to write a scroll in the middle of a big stupid unavoidable fracas. I was pretty sure this was gonna be YASD, but I squeaked through, and now I'm going to use some of this crap I've been hauling around all this time.

It's a pity about the water walking boots, but an elvenking or someone dropped some speed boots, so I'm better off than I was before.
posted by aubilenon at 8:46 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I meant "stupid, avoidable fracas" (and it might have been more of a donnybrook than a fracas)
posted by aubilenon at 8:53 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just started a new 3.6.0 game, after my poor Valkyrie died from vampires after stepping on a poly trap -- Silver Dragon armor, but I lost my cloak and no hands meant I could not wield Excalibur, so I got hit with a ton of level drain before getting killed. But now I'm feeling all paranoid tonight, because the RNG has been too nice to me.

Started an Elven Wizardess. Spellbooks of Force Bolt and Magic Missile, a identify scroll, and a ring of regen!? I'm being buttered up. Found a ring of levitation on level 2. Found a spellbook of sleep and a cross-aligned altar on level 3. Found a Bag of Holding on the 2nd floor of the mines. A magic whistle on the 3rd floor. Currently I'm lvl 5.

That's it, I'm saving for tonight.
posted by fings at 9:09 PM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Right, "nethack" "Y" and we are a chaotic elf wizard. OK.

Hmm. Okay, the RNG has rolled, and let's see what we have.

Good: Dx:17 In:18, we certainly rolled a magic-user here. Ch:13, so the shops will be reasonable. Co:13, which is actually fairly epic for a elf or a mage, so rates EPIC for a elven mage.

Bad: St:8, I can carry NOTHING and Wi:7 AND I'M NOT WISE ENOUGH TO REALIZE THAT.

Good: Got an identify scroll, the MR cloak, and even a teleport scroll.

Bad: Spellbook #2? Wizard knock. Potions? Water, enlightenment, and Holy Water. YEAH, BUDDY, I GOT WATER AND DIET WATER!

Good: RING OF REGENERATION. This Elf has a Hemi. Or VTEC. Or whatever Elves have. And shock resistance, which isn't useless.

Bad: No food yet, so that ring isn't useful. Scroll #3 is Light.

So: Nothing fatal here, and some real wins to go with the real duds. I don't startscumm much, but I'll toss away really crappy things, like a Valkyrie with St:10 or a wizard with complete and utter crap equipment. I can die just fine without that help.

Verdict: Playable. Let's see how long we last. (Just summoned the GWAWAD, I can feel it.)
posted by eriko at 9:48 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't have thought lag could ever be an issue with nethack, but jesus, this is impossible.
posted by kenko at 10:23 PM on January 4, 2016


I forgot what an eggshell with sledgehammer a low level wizard is. A couple of levels in, and you've got enough power to start using Force Bolt, which one-shots most things you'll face, but if they get in range, they can chew you up fast.

After a couple of long runs with a Valkyrie, where the operative mode is "Run at $THING, hit until dead, pick up stuff, repeat" it's taken me a bit to remember how not to do that.

Good: Big shop on DL2, so food in hand, an a Very Very Very bad cat snagged me a ring and a wand, and I'm so proud of it. Otherwise, DL1-3 thin. Absolutely want nothing to do with the mines at the moment, because the only possibly useful armor I've found, the cat won't touch.

And, on DL4, a Jewelry shop. With, naturally, a piece of armor in the middle. Hey, You, Go play in the rings....

Okay. We're still very much in the early stage, but we're developing nicely, the In:18 means Pw: is rapidly accumulating and given I can't find any damn daggers yet (I know, mines!) means I've got the Force Bolt to bail me out of things. I'm also finally getting tired so I'm going to zap myself with a wand of sleep.
posted by eriko at 10:25 PM on January 4, 2016


BTW, don't forget, blessed potions of enlightenment give you a point of both Wisdom and Intelligence if you're not maxed out.
posted by JHarris at 1:16 AM on January 5, 2016


BTW, don't forget, blessed potions of enlightenment give you a point of both Wisdom and Intelligence if you're not maxed out.

I was waiting for one more potion of water -- bless two potions of water, then I can burn one on the enlightenment and still have holy water to make more. Ideally, of course, you stack up several waters and use one holy to get many.

I've always thought this was...silly, actually. But A) that's the way it works for everything. Stack 100 daggers, 1 Holy Water blesses the lot, and B) well, actually, that is the way Holy Water works, you don't use much.

Then again, if we're going to use the Roman Catholic church as an example, any priest should be able to make holy water at will, which would mean priests would not only automagically know BUC, but they could fix it on the fly, and that's a bit of a balance problem.

Finally, the thing that every player needs. Bless these boots. Bless these arrows. Bless these gray dragon scale mails. Bless these mail scrolls. Bless these holy waters.

In other news, I forgot how badass giant bats are when you have no AC, so, yeah, End Of That Wizard.
posted by eriko at 5:18 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I forgot how badass giant bats are when you have no AC

I was going to rip off this comic and point out that there's no indication how big a giant bat is; it could be like 50% bigger than a normal bat, or it could be a batluchitherium. But then I realized there is a way, and checked the corpses spoiler.

Judging from the nutritive content, giant bats are 50% larger than a normal bat, or about the same size as a cockatrice (which is presumably the same size as a chicken). Also the same size as a yellow mold, which I'm sure we all have a pretty good mental picture of.
posted by aubilenon at 8:57 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


As this thread's going to die in a couple of days, interested parties should be aware of this thread over on MeFightClub.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:49 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping to get in one more ascension before this thread locks...
posted by 256 at 2:21 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


It'll probably be good for me when the thread dies because I won't have a daily reminder of wanting to play NetHack instead of whatever else it is I'm supposed to be doing. I know I can hide things from Recent Activity but for various reasons, I don't like doing that.
posted by grouse at 2:31 PM on January 5, 2016


I'm hoping to get in one more ascension before this thread locks...

You have about 28 hours. (remember, December had 31 days, so 30 days after is January 6th. Assuming it's exactly 30 days, the axe will fall at 9:54PM CST Wednesday.

I could also see a process that kicks off and closes threads that are older than 30 days, that means you'd have until that process runs.

Me? After losing three wizards, I've decided to play a samurai, so that I can act all refined, and then just go hit things with my swords like the Valkyrie did, because swords.
posted by eriko at 3:02 PM on January 5, 2016


Almost lost Gaspode-san there. Went down to check if that was the mines or not, and he came with me. Then started eating. Come Gaspode-san, this is no place for a Ronin!

at least, not until I get a few more HP and a few less AC.
posted by eriko at 3:04 PM on January 5, 2016


And, now I'm going to have to join MeFightClub, aren't I?
posted by eriko at 3:05 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


New Conduct: ;-)

Sysadmin. You are required to immediately read the scroll that's labeled READ ME once you find it. And every time thereafter. No, you can't switch equipment once you see that it's that scroll.
posted by eriko at 3:07 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think it should be achievable. I have a Knight who has already collected the Bell and Candelabrum...
posted by 256 at 3:09 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


And, now I'm going to have to join MeFightClub, aren't I?

Have to... or get to?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:38 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


"414 Request-URI Too Large"

Mefightclub's version of JRUN?
posted by kenko at 4:17 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


implemented in Minecraft with redstone, of course
posted by XMLicious at 4:24 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yay, I got Grayswandir! I'm sure it'll take forever to get a good off-hand weapon, oh well, I'll start looking after I kill this wolf... oh, what's that it dropped? Oh, it's a silver saber.
posted by Etrigan at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm drinking beer when I could be playing NetHack.

I'm so sorry I've failed you all.
posted by eriko at 5:38 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eat tengu.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, eating tengu would be it. The long-term benefits of tengu-eating have been proven by experienced tournament-decorated players, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own pigheaded, ignorant biases and prejudices. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of the early game. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of the early game until you're on the fifteenth level of Gehennom with no magic mapping and bored out of your skill. But trust me, in 25000 moves, you'll look back at how excited you were about finding a +2 orcish helmet on Dlvl 1.

Don't worry about Astral. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to kill an Olag-hai behind a boulder by throwing rocks at it. The real troubles in your game are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you when you're in the middle of a summoning storm and some Herzou with a bullwhip swipes the someone-else's-quest-artifact that's your only source of MR. Do one thing every day that annoys your god.

...

posted by sebastienbailard at 7:57 PM on January 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think they should add to the list of hallucinatory monsters "100 duck-sized horses"
posted by aubilenon at 11:02 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


First 3.6 ascension done!

I had to kill Rodney 16 times. I had to wander around fire a *lot* longer than I'd liked to have (and fight three summoning happy Archons and their ever-increasing entourage) because I only brought enough scrolls of gold detection for the first two planes. After adopting a methodical search method, I managed to find it.

On Astral, things got a bit dicey towards the last of the three temples -- yes, I picked them in exactly the wrong order and had to do all three. And as I was heading to the last one, Famine and Death caught me in a doorway, along with an Angel and a fog cloud/vampire lord that for some reason wouldn't teleport out of the way though I kept zapping it (possibly I had already been stunned and wasn't getting my directions right).

Death sheared 80HP off my max (and I was under half of that), but eventually I was the only one standing and I made it to Hermes' altar.
posted by namespan at 4:15 AM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


The voice of Manannan Mac Lir rings out: "Congratulations, mortal!"--More--



                                  @┌───────┐
                                  @│·······│
                                 @ │····@··│
              @                    │···@@··│ A                            @
                                   │···&A·a│ A                 @
                         @      │  │··@···*│  │
       @       @                │· └───·───┘ ·│   @  @
         @     @  @    @        │···A·········│       @   @    @     @
                            @   └─┐····a····┌─┘     @          @
               @                  └┬───a───┬┘                 @
                                   ┘@·a@aA·└┐                  @
               @                   ····@····└┌─────┘
                                   ····a@····│······
                                   ····a····┌┘······
                                   ┐···$···┌┘··%····
                                   └───▒───┘·A······
                      @            ·····@···S······
                                   ───────────────
2five6 the Banneret           St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:13 Wi:18 Ch:18 Chaotic
Astral Plane  $:0 HP:87(237) Pw:87(153) AC:-25 Xp:18 T:48587  
 Amulets
 F - an uncursed amulet of life saving (being worn)
 u - an uncursed amulet of life saving
 y - an uncursed amulet of life saving
 Weapons
 a - the blessed rustproof +6 Excalibur
 Armor
 A - a blessed greased fireproof +4 cloak of displacement (being worn)
 Z - a blessed +5 gray dragon scale mail (being worn)
 S - a cursed -1 helm of opposite alignment (being worn)
 f - the blessed greased +4 Mitre of Holiness
 v - a blessed rusty +4 pair of gauntlets of power (being worn)
 n - an uncursed greased fireproof +4 pair of speed boots (being worn)
 g - a blessed greased +4 shield of reflection (being worn)
 Rings
 t - an uncursed ring of free action (on left hand)
 G - an uncursed +3 ring of increase damage
 M - an uncursed ring of levitation
 O - an uncursed +1 ring of protection (on right hand)

Background:
 You were a Banneret, a level 18 female human Knight.
 You were chaotic, temporarily on a mission for Manannan Mac Lir
 who was opposed by Lugh (lawful) and Brigit (neutral).
 You were actually lawful.
 You started out male.

Vanquished creatures:
Asmodeus
Baalzebub
Orcus
Juiblex
The Wizard of Yendor (11 times)
Death
...
posted by 256 at 7:33 AM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


 You were chaotic, temporarily on a mission for Manannan Mac Lir 
Ugh, they need to fix that.

Not the wearing a helm of opposite alignment, one of the rules of NetHack is everything, even bad, should be useful at the right time. A scroll of fire sucks until you're aligned. You can hit things with the iron ball. You can...umm...errr...blank a scroll of amnesia.

Just that phrasing.

"You were temporarily chaotic, on a mission for....

Or

"You were temporarily chaotic.
You were on a mission for..."
 You started out male.
Flipped sex and alignment? Nice.
posted by eriko at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is there any way to get it to run in a larger Window? Win10 won't let me resize the window and it's just not as engaging in a tiny screen.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:06 AM on January 6, 2016


So this ascension run was actually quite a bit more harrowing (read: even slightly harrowing) than my previous three 3.6.0 ascension runs, due to a combination of an uncooperative RNG, some substantial mistakes on my part, and rushing the run a bit to get it done before this thread closed.

First, the good luck:

Minetown provided me with both a magic lamp and a coaligned altar. I wished for Gray Dragon Scale Mail.

Next, the bad luck:


Pretty much everything else.

The game was extremely stingy with potions, both good and bad. I was constantly on the verge of running out of holy water for the entire game; I only ever saw two potions of gain level (not counting the several dozen that monsters drank on me); I think I ended up with about seven potions of full healing over the course of the game, including through alchemy.

Potions of healing were once again smoky and, once again, I blessed and quaffed all of them without getting a single Djinn. I should have alchemized them.

I made it all the way to the castle without having seen so much as a sack, so I needed to use a wish on a bag of holding. I didn't see one naturally spawn until Vlad's Tower. Having no bag for the early/mid game definitely contributed to my lack of potions.

I burned two more wishes from the castle wand on magic markers, and those were the only two I ever saw.

OMG, the Mysterious Force. It must have hit me 20 times on the climb back up. At one point, I was at DLVL 30 and then, through a series of Mysterious Forces, found myself all the way back at DLVL 39. I came pretty close to eating a cockatrice corpse just to end my suffering.

Now the mistakes:

I found an uncursed spellbook of magic mapping in the castle and thought that could be pretty useful for Gehennom even if my success rate was low. So I read it, failed and was teleported next to a master mind flayer that must have just generated. This could easily have been a YASD, but instead just resulted in me forgetting everything. I needed to reidentify everything in the game, and I needed to remap the entire upper dungeon (which I didn't bother to do and then forgot about (meta-amnesia!) until I was already on my way up with the amulet). So that was fun.

I later wished for a spellbook of magic missile, thinking it might be neat to take advantage of the incredible damage that knights can do with it once they have the Magic Mirror of Merlin. I didn't take into account just how punishing my shield of reflection and gauntlets of power would be to my spellcasting success rate. I learned the spell and then never cast it even once. Great use of a wish, 256.

I wore a ring of protection in the endgame for the extrinsic MC, forgetting that it wouldn't stack with the extrinsic MC I already had from the Mitre of Holiness. I would have been much better off wearing the ring of increase damage.

I forgot that knights can intrinsically jump until the game reminded of the fact after I had already ascended.

I forgot about the double blast I was going to get from the Mitre of Holiness and Excalibur when I switched alignments. It didn't matter THAT much because my HP were in the safe range and I was wearing an amulet of Life Saving, but that would be a pretty funny way to kill yourself while standing on the high altar.

Finally, the Rushing:

I started the run at a lower level, with crappier AC, and with fewer max HP than I would usually consider safe. I didn't bother maxing out my divine protection, nor did I wish for a shirt (didn't see one all game).

I didn't dig any tunnels in Gehennom in advance. Considering how brutally I got hit by the Mysterious Force, it may have net saved me both real life time and turns to have done so.

Overall, I still didn't feel like I was in imminent danger of losing at any point post castle (unless you count the spellbook/master mind flayer incident), but I did have to use my emergency potion of full healing on the Plane of Air (frigging Air Elementals) and there were a couple of times on Astral where I thought I might have to let myself die and put on one of my spare amulets of life saving (I didn't).

Oh, and I swapped sex intentionally in the mid game so that I could lay a gray dragon egg for a mount, but I gave up on it shortly thereafter when it's speed (and constant eating) started to annoy me.

Now back to trying to figure out how to get a healer off the ground, I guess.
posted by 256 at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Now back to trying to figure out how to get a healer off the ground, I guess.

Potion of levitation, of course!
posted by eriko at 12:06 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hey, the thread isn't closed yet! I managed to purchase 7 points of AC from the minetown priest and am now mostly sad that the RNG, which has, let's be honest, been quite good to me in any number of respects, keeps landing on the "identify exactly one item" option every single time I cast identify.

Still, me and my magic-absorbing blade were able to waltz through the rest of the mines without a care in the world, I have blessed my bag of holding, luckstone, and unihorn, speed boots continue to be unexpectedly fantastic (I'm not sure when the last time I was regularly fast was), the wand of sleep-or-death with which I zapped a shopkeeper turned out to be death, and the shopkeeper was holding another wand of death, so …
posted by kenko at 12:55 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Speed boots are one of the ascension kit items, as far as I'm concerned. Much like Dragon Scale Mail, you wear them, and the game becomes mysteriously easier. It's the NetHack equivalent to having a trust fund.
posted by JHarris at 2:27 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Food lasts a lot longer with them, I've noticed. I can easily afford to keep an amulet and ring on.
posted by kenko at 2:28 PM on January 6, 2016


sandettie light vessel automatic: "Is it still, like, actually hosted on SourceForge? Cos, yeeeesh."

If you have a mac and you have brew installed, you don't have to use sourceforge. You can install nethack 3.6 thusly:

brew update
brew install homebrew/games/nethack


I assume you can do the same with the various linux package managers or will be able to soon.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:40 PM on January 6, 2016


Jumping boots can also work, but that's an advanced technique that requires you to know when exactly to use potions of speed or the Haste Self spell.
posted by 256 at 2:48 PM on January 6, 2016


Haste self stacks, so I make it a rule to haste self more often than I need to, whenever I hit a good stopping point. Once you get into the rhythm it's pretty straightforward, and the combo of jumping with max speed is amazing. Add a wand of teleport to get the other guys out of the way, and nothing can stop you.

I was doing great with a human rogue this morning. I had gdsm from a lamp in the mines, another lamp unused, 8 points of divine protection from some time spent playing with a pickaxe, skilled in silver saber from the watch captian, expert in daggers with a stack of elven daggers as my big damage dealer. After maxing out my luck at level 10 and blessing and using my identify scrolls, I decided to read my spell books in case I had haste self so I could have it at a low failure rate before the quest (no speed boots found yet and too early to burn a wish on it).

So, first book I try reading (uncursed, mind you):
"the book is coated in a contact poison!"

"the owlbear is crushing you!"

DYWYPI?

Turns out the first spellbook was finger of death, and that was too much for my tiny rogue brain. Definitely going to price identify spellbooks for level in the future...
posted by idiopath at 3:43 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Something is written here in the dust.--More--
You read:
"yEl|ere?hElber\th?|6erethE|bc??thE|berethElbereth?lberethElberetnElberetnFlbcr
cthElbere?hE|berethElberetnElberethElbereth".


Well this bodes well!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:08 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I meant to link this well earlier in the thread but, before it goes down for good, here is my hand-drawn version of the Nethack World Map, drawn from memory after years of not playing the game, specifically for cortex's mapstalgia blog.
posted by 256 at 5:15 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


"yEl|ere?hElber\th?|6erethE|bc??thE|berethElbereth?lberethElberetnElberetnFlbcr
cthElbere?hE|berethElberetnElberethElbereth".


Well, at least you know it's the bones of someone who hasn't read the 3.6.0 extended release notes...
posted by 256 at 5:17 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Indeed there was a ghost! Loot o' plenty, too. Fortunately, I'm well equipped with holy waters.

Found a lamp in the Gnomish Mines. Identified magic. Blessed it, gave it a #rub and

& - "It is about time!" and disappears.

Oh, fuck you, dude! Ingrate.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:38 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


It is worth remembering that there are five possible outcomes to rubbing a magic lamp: normal (usually hostile) genie, genie leaves, peaceful genie, tame genie and wish. If the lamp is uncursed, the odds are 20% for each one. If it's blessed, it becomes 5%-5%-5%-5%-80%. Note, not only can the genie just disappear, it's still possible for it to be hostile. So it's good to have an escape handy before rubbing, for that eventuality.

If the lamp is cursed, it's an 80% chance of normality. "Normal" means hostile unless you're of the same alignment (Neutral), which means a chance it'll be peaceful anyway.
posted by JHarris at 5:52 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's a really good point. When I find ONE early lamp, I'm pretty comfortable to bless it and rub, even if a hostile genie means near certain death. An 85% chance of a wish/pet-djinn is worth the 5% risk of death.

If I have multiple magic lamps or have already received an early wish from elsewhere or have something else really good already going on in the game, I become a lot more cautious about rubbing lamps, even blessed ones.
posted by 256 at 6:05 PM on January 6, 2016


Yes, blessed magic lamps are no guarantee of a wish. Just hope my yelling at my laptop didn't wake the roommates. Even so, this is life or death, dammit! Surely they would understand.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:11 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


RNG says, I'm a neutral human monk. OK!

Stats, not great, but not bad. Inventory, got the healing spell book, nice, and scroll? Genocide.

Nice. And the first shop had a bag of holding. NICE.
posted by eriko at 6:25 PM on January 6, 2016


Man, the grammar pedants on the DevTeam would be seriously annoyed that, in honor of pTerry, I named my cat You.

Why? Because you get things like this:

(cast healing on me)
You feel better.
(cast healing on cat.)
You looks better.
posted by eriko at 6:35 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Holy cow. Wand of polymorph on the first level of the mines!

C'mere, You!
posted by eriko at 6:41 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Zap 1: Rothe. Nah.
Zap 2: TURNED BACK INTO A CAT!

Calling that a hint.
posted by eriko at 6:42 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just landed on a bones file where there are two graves right next to each other, Hooray's (killed by an invisible jabberwock) and Volsung's (killed by a large dog).

I've also encountered two ghosts, Hooray's and AskHL's. Where's Hooray's?
posted by kenko at 6:55 PM on January 6, 2016


Oh, there it is.
posted by kenko at 6:55 PM on January 6, 2016


Man one of these bags of holding is LOADED.
posted by kenko at 7:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


As in full of awesome stuff, or as in too heavy to pick up? Because a wand of cancellation can solve the latter problem.
posted by 256 at 7:17 PM on January 6, 2016


Oh, and see you all on MeFightClub in the morning?
posted by 256 at 7:19 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Found a cursed, rotted "opera cloak" in that bones pile, which happened to have some suspiciously magic-usery items in it. Sure enough, identified as a cursed cloak of magic resistance. Dipped that sumbitch in holy water. Sure glad I had that unholy water and those spare unicorn horns, making a handy-dandy Horn o' Trouble, plus the uncursed magic marker (also from said bones pile) and remains of an unfortunate paper golem with which to write up a scroll of enchant armor. Locked myself in a room, disrobed, wore the cloak, applied that black horn (several times, kept getting deathly ill and blind), read the scroll and voila. Now it's rotted no more, and fireproof to boot. Guess that makes up my mind between SDSM or GDSM.

Thank you, magic using Elbereth spamming very dead stranger on the Oracle level!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:20 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


As in full of awesome stuff, or as in too heavy to pick up? Because a wand of cancellation can solve the latter problem.

Both actually (it's cursed, naturally). I didn't know about the cancellation thing; several unimportant things have already been zonked when I looted it but oh look, there's also a wand of cancellation here.
posted by kenko at 7:21 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wand of cancellation, as a general rule, can be safely zapped at magic items that fall in the "tool" category but do not have charges (Bag of holding, Magic Whistle, Magic Lamp, etc) to reset BUC status, but not safely zapped at things in non-tool categories or things that do have charges unless you want other (possibly undesirable) things to also happen to them.
posted by 256 at 7:26 PM on January 6, 2016


As a last-ditch resort, I have #looted cursed bags of holding, which can cause a couple things to disappear apparently, and can make it light enough to carry. It's a gamble, but since you got that wand of cancellation anyway, guess you're set.

Oh, and see you all on MeFightClub in the morning?

I'm game!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:28 PM on January 6, 2016


Pretty glad this came up literally the level beneath sokoban.
posted by kenko at 7:34 PM on January 6, 2016


THERE'S A FOURTH GHOST ON THIS LEVEL. wtf.
posted by kenko at 7:42 PM on January 6, 2016


Also killed by an invisible jabberwock. I'd love to see how all this played out.
posted by kenko at 7:42 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


See you in MeFightClub!
Oops...Suddenly, the thread collapses.
posted by eriko at 7:46 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also killed by an invisible jabberwock. I'd love to see how all this played out.

Might be a good time to GTFO
posted by aubilenon at 11:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


(things are going to get seriously frumious)
posted by aubilenon at 11:03 PM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Farwell, thread 155339. You went to your reward with 647(+) comments...
posted by namespan at 1:40 AM on January 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Huh. Looks like the thread was wearing an amulet of life saving!
posted by eriko at 4:11 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kenko... I think it is time to grab the loot and RUN. Unless you are prepared to fight an invisible Jabberwock...
posted by 256 at 4:20 AM on January 7, 2016


Be seeing you....
posted by JHarris at 8:29 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


We have all the time in the world. For like ten and a half hours, at least.
posted by cortex at 9:04 AM on January 7, 2016


Unless you are prepared to fight an invisible Jabberwock...

Killing the invisible Jabberwock was like the first thing I did when I got to this level! How the wizard with the big bag o' loot died is utterly mysterious to me.
posted by kenko at 9:39 AM on January 7, 2016


You nerds are the best.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:45 AM on January 7, 2016


Killing the invisible Jabberwock was like the first thing I did when I got to this level!

It was also DragonForce's best album.
posted by Etrigan at 9:46 AM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


So fill us in! What are the highlights of your loot from four dead adventurers?

Also, how did you kill an Invisible Jabberwock. Didn't you say this bones file was right below Sokoban? I was expecting a level 8 character at best, equipped with whatever they had been able to find, which makes a Jabberwock (visible or not) very dangerous.

Oh, and here's my guess on what went down, assuming you are indeed at a dungeon level where Jabberwocks are extremely out of depth:

An intrepid wizard enters the dungeon, delves into the mines, and finds a polymorph trap. Being as he cleverly brought his cloak of magic resistance with him on his outing to the Dungeons of Doom, the polymorph trap is no danger to him, and he can happily stand there and toss his kitten, Fluffy, in and out of it until she turns into a Jabberwock. And, since he has a ring of see invisible, he promptly zaps Fluffy with his wand of make invisible.

From there on out, our hero just follows behind as Fluffy indiscriminately kills everything in the dungeon for him. The result is that he himself barely levels up at all, and also becomes over-reliant on Fluffy who, eventually, decides to go for a lengthy wander down a dungeon hallway just as her owner becomes surrounded by several monsters including a large dog. Being underlevelled, the wizard is chomped to death, leaving fluffy to wander the level despondent, the only joy in her life the massacre of oblivious adventurers who walk down the stairs expecting nothing more dangerous than a (visible) Uruk-Hai, or a centaur at worst.
posted by 256 at 10:02 AM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I can't remember exactly what I copped (though I do recall replacing my rotten cloak of MR with a non-rotten greased one, once I uncursed it, and also 2 unholy water and like 10 holy water, several useful wands, rings of slow digestion, free action, and a few other things). But as for how I dealt with the jabberwock, let's see. This would have been DLVL ... 8 or 9 or something. But I was at XP11, equipped with Magicbane, speed boots, and SDSM, with a fair amount of intrinsic protection (though I was able to buy more with the like 20,000 zorkmids I got from the bones), and could see the thing (I had both intrinsic and extrinsic telepathy). I was able to stab it repeatedly with Magicbane and that worked fine. (If things really came to a head, I still have two wands of death.)
posted by kenko at 10:32 AM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


My god. This store. Just look at this store....
                     -----       
                     |..>|                            --------------
   -------------     |...|                            |.???????????|
   |...........|     |...|                            |.???????????|
   |.......<...+#  ##-...|                            |.??+??????]?|
   |...........|#  # |....#######%##########          |@?++????????|
   -----------.-#### -----      -------    ###########-@????+??????|
              # ##      #######`|.....|               --------------
It's...it's...(sniff)...it's BEAUTIFUL!!!

Also, this is a particularly easy round of "Spot the mimic."
posted by eriko at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


AND GUESS WHAT IDIOT HAD A BUNCH OF SCROLLS AND THEN ACCIDENTALLY READ THE TELEPORT ONE?
posted by eriko at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dammit. That was truly YASD. I was trying to read the identify scroll I'd paid for and typoed -- and got "lucky".
posted by eriko at 1:23 PM on January 7, 2016


:(
posted by 256 at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2016


My healer is having some problems transitioning from the midgame to the endgame. I've completed mines end, I've completed sokoban, and I've explored the main dungeon down to Medusa's level. I've got a leashed Green Dragon and some decent equipment except that:

I have no magic resistance.
I have no reflection.
I am still wearing +0 leather armour

Oh, and there's an adult Black Dragon hanging out on the quest home level.

I guess it's time to deplete every fountain in the dungeon desperately hoping for a wish...
posted by 256 at 1:47 PM on January 7, 2016


I have like three cloaks of MR and two amulets of MR. I'd loan you one but, you know.
posted by kenko at 1:48 PM on January 7, 2016


Can you staple a cloak to a mail scroll?
posted by eriko at 1:57 PM on January 7, 2016


AND GUESS WHAT EFFING BONES LEVEL JUST LOADED?

Rubbing it in, NetHack. Rubbing it in.

Can you change your name mid-game? Because, well, this is basically game over otherwise. The shopkeeper has a wand of death.
posted by eriko at 2:01 PM on January 7, 2016


Run for the downstairs and come back when you have reflection!
posted by 256 at 2:04 PM on January 7, 2016


I looked around and couldn't find anything. Is there any way to get an RSS feed of the mefightclub thread? I'm unlikely to come check it otherwise, but I've been enjoying reading this thread quite a bit.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:05 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd already ran for the upstairs, which was a mistake.

What I did was walked out of the dungeon. Since it loaded that bones file and I didn't die, that should (sigh) eliminate it.

But yeah, I think if I'm going to keep playing local I needed to start using the -u switch and change up the names. I was all good if I hadn't been named eriko.
posted by eriko at 2:08 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


How's that for a YASD? It was so bad it wrecked two games in a row!
posted by eriko at 2:11 PM on January 7, 2016


Well, now at least you don't need to change your name until the next time you get caught shoplifting.
posted by 256 at 2:12 PM on January 7, 2016


Yeah. It bothers me when I'm not eriko. I've been eriko since before NetHack. (But not quite pre-Hack)
posted by eriko at 3:12 PM on January 7, 2016


I had no idea that whether shopkeepers stayed angry in bones files was affected by whether you had the same name, because I always played locally, and I always used the same name. (but I'm playing on NAO now which is fun, because I see ghosts I of other people and have NO IDEA what's going on)
posted by aubilenon at 3:44 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ghosts of other players is 90% of the reason that I play online. The other 10% is having a public record of my ascensions.
posted by 256 at 4:24 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Which is a valuable thing, no doubt. I should do that. The problem I have right at the moment, considering those DevTeam bastards FUCKING FED CRACK TO MY ADDICTION, is well...

Number pad. I can use vi, but it's so wrong. CTRL-D for kick? No, it's K. Jump is J, and so forth. But the notebook I'm typing on now has no numpad. So, I'm dealing with switching back and forth when I switch from the notebook and the desktop (which has a FUCKING MODEL M KEYBOARD BECAUSE THAT'S HOW I ROLL!)

It's not that I can't handle vi. That's been my editor of choice for 25+years. I know those keys *cold*. But they're (to me) the wrong keys for NetHack. And CTRL-D? Really? Sigh. No. hjklyubn are for vi. 12346789 are for NetHack. (Plus, HJKL are *wrong* in NetHack. H is top of screen, L is bottom, and y is YANK, not move, dammit.

(Interfaces are *important*!)

And if I play online, I have to switch all the time, and that hurts, but with a static .nethackrc, it hurts twice as hard.

God, I'm a whinging bastard, aren't I? I should just suck it and get a NAO account.

More importantly, THAT FUCKING BONES FILE almost certainly wouldn't have happened. Though that does mean some other lucky bastard would have gotten that shop.

GOD I HATE THIS FUCKING GAME.

god I love this fucking game

So, I heard KSP 1.1 is close? Shall we have another megathread?
posted by eriko at 5:08 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ghosts of other players is 90% of the reason that I play online.

Well, I'm contributing heavily, then.

You're welcome.
posted by namespan at 5:12 PM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


The other 10% is having a public record of my ascensions.

Go Team Ant!
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:17 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


NETHACK FOR SHOTS!

When you die, do a shot.

When your pet dies, do a shot.

When your pet kills you, do three shots.

When you make a wish, do a shot.

If you wish for "Nothing," do three shots.

When you ascend, buy everyone else a shot. Seriously, look at all that crap you have, you can afford it.

When you are cast out in celestial disgrace, everybody buys you a shot.

When you hit a floating eye and get stunned? Shot.

When you then die? Another shot.

If you screw up a wish and get nothing? That's so a shot.

When your liver collapses and you die, DYWYPI? Shot.
posted by eriko at 5:21 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


What do you want to wish for? 99 blessed bottles of booze

That's been my editor of choice for 25+years. I know those keys *cold*. But they're (to me) the wrong keys for NetHack.

Strangely enough, I avoid vi as an editor, but I hate using number pad on NetHack!
posted by grouse at 5:28 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


What do you want to wish for? 99 blessed bottles of booze

99 potions of booze in the bag
99 potions of booze.
Take one down, drink it, read "enchant armor" to fooproof one of your armors.
98 potions of booze in the bag.

EVERYBODY!!!!
posted by eriko at 5:29 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Strangely enough, I avoid vi as an editor, but I hate using number pad on NetHack!

Well hello, antimatter me! I'd shake your hand except, well, massive annihilation of us and everyone around us. #Impolite.
posted by eriko at 5:46 PM on January 7, 2016


Maybe I'll play some gonzo Nethack, just drink/read/zap/etc every damn thing ASAP and see how far it gets me, leave some weird bones files.
posted by cortex at 6:07 PM on January 7, 2016


Maybe I'll play some gonzo Nethack, just drink/read/zap/etc every damn thing ASAP and see how far it gets me

I've done that! Well, through the Oracle. If I survive that, then I'm thinking "Holy shit, this might be a run...."

But yeah, it's fun. Even when you get destroy armor followed by punishment followed by cursed genocide. If you manage to survive, the rest is a cakewalk.

Well, theoretically...
posted by eriko at 6:15 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


And man, there's a conduct.
You were Gonzo.
(You used every item within 3 turns of acquiring it.)

If you ascend like that....
Hunter S. Tompson buys you a drink!
posted by eriko at 6:17 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh Moderator My Moderator.

Can we bribe you to make the post date 07-Jan-2016?

Yes, this is an abuse of power. What good is power if you don't abuse it? You can waste it on Comic Sans, or you can do something important like this.
What do you want to engrave?
"E"
This is a wand of desperately pleading....(more)
For what do you wish?
posted by eriko at 6:21 PM on January 7, 2016


Maybe I'll play some gonzo Nethack, just drink/read/zap/etc every damn thing ASAP and see how far it gets me

Live fast, die young, leave a beautiful bones file.
posted by eriko at 6:27 PM on January 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


There are holy compacts even I dare not break with. Even Nethack threads must, in their due time, pass beyond the veil.
posted by cortex at 6:52 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Nooooo!!! I have three amulets of thread saving!!!
posted by eriko at 7:10 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK. Take two.
Oops... Suddenly the thread collapses!
posted by eriko at 7:25 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


*raises a potion of booze as a toast for the dead thread*
posted by octothorpe at 7:35 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Be careful! New moon tonight.
posted by kenko at 7:40 PM on January 7, 2016


You receive a faint telepathic message from MeFightClub. Your help is needed in the Dungeons of Doom. Look for a ...ic transporter.

^
posted by 256 at 7:42 PM on January 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


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