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/dev/null NetHack Tournament 2005 Starts Tomorrow

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that-is-a-potion-bottle,-not-a-klein-bottle dept.

Role Playing (Games) 43

Elitist Snob writes "Registrations for the 7th Annual /dev/null nethack tournament are now open. Time to start cursing at how unfair the Random Number Generator has been to you today. (Or you can just start another holy war about which interface is the best.)" All you folks who shake your canes and say that these new fangled threedee graphics aren't needed, this is your chance to shine. Update: 10/31 16:13 GMT by Z : Thanks to HanClinto for pointing out that if you're new to the tourney you need to wait until Midnight tonight to sign up. Previous year's players can sign up now.

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whaet is nethack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13915107)

is it a computer hacking (sorry! cracking) game? and why does it have threedee graphics?

Re:whaet is nethack? (3, Interesting)

lexarius (560925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915171)

It isn't about hacking. It's more of the Hack 'n Slash sort of thing. Goofy fantasy gaming.
And it doesn't have threedee graphics. In the 'purest' incarnation, it has no graphics whatsoever. Instead it uses an ASCII.
Ah, heck with it. Check the wikipedia [] entry.

Re:whaet is nethack? (2, Informative)

tempest69 (572798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13916000)

NetHack is a game. It is old, it uses ascii graphics. It is turn based, some creatures can make multiple attacks per turn

The genre is DND style fantasy

The programmers added a huge amount of flexibility into the game, you can eat things you kill, you can weild anything as a weapon, from a sword, to a can of tinned beef. You can dip things into your potions.

There were/are addicts. Some of the thrill of the game is that you couldnt build an invunerable character. The chances of death in game were almost certain. Even with careful fighting, you end up bumping into some sort of owlbear or falling into a spiked pit. You can die from eating bad food, or from starving, or overeating. You can cast spells drunk or halucinating, but it probably wont work right. You can have a pet, and train it. The programmers have though of a almost everything.


ok there goes my week.

Re:whaet is nethack? (1)

Gryphn (513900) | more than 8 years ago | (#13925843)

The programmers have though of a almost everything.

That's TDTTOE, sonny.

* TDTTOE == "The Dev Team Thinks of Everything"(tm).

(I apologize for this terrible joke) (4, Funny)

skryche (26871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915125)

Three D??? That's a lot of dragons to have to worry about.

Three D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13915781)




Re:Three D? (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 8 years ago | (#13917205)

Um, the OP was referring to the use of the character "D" within Nethack. Thus, your comment is irrelevant and stupid in context.

RNG (1)

MacroRex (548024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13921712)

I thought *everyone* knew it stands for Random Number God.

Call me crazy, but... (2, Informative)

Willeh (768540) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915145)

I actually prefer playing with tiles instead of the old, wanky ASCII graphics. Not having found a compelling case to use ASCII, i use tiles. Unless ofcourse, i want to slack at work and have to use an ssh connection to my nethack shell.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Insightful)

mikeage (119105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915257)

I agree 100%. While I agree that a simple interface is better, the tiles convey more information, as no symbol is used for more than 1 item.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (5, Funny)

BartulaPrime (744634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915567)

Plus, it's hard to admit that you just got your ass kicked by an asterisk.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13916634)

Nuts; out of mod points!

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13918361)

By an asterisk? Yeah, I would be embarrassed too if I got killed by a gem.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920791)

Don't laugh! Hobbits will use whatever's at hand for sling ammo....

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915579)

After a short while, you have memorized all the characters and what they mean. That purple L coming for you...better hope you have Magic Resistance somehow. That gray q? Better get your arrows out.

But as you said, a great bonus of it is the ability to play it on someone elses computer. I know of many free telnet services that just let you play nethack. Hop on #nethack at FreeNode for more info on one of these and the bonuses it has :)

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920654)

There are cases where playing ASCII is better....

Actually, this tournament itself is such a case, as it's played over telnet.

Also, blessed scrolls of genocide, which wipe out a whole class of monster, ask for a letter to identify that class. If you aren't familiar with what the letters mean from ASCII play, you might not know what represents the class you're removing from play.

And inventory management uses shortcut keys to select all of one type of item or another, that matches with that item type's symbol in the game.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13972469)

Tiles were better, yes. But even better: Falcon's Eye fully 3-d version. Of course, you can't quite see as well as the tiled versions, but it makes it more fun and challenging! Google it...

Nethack, bah! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13915206)

I prefer Angband-derivatives. Try ToME [] .

Get with the times - you old codgers! It's 2005! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13915345)

Angband4life!!!11!! M i Rite???!?

Correction... (4, Informative)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915489)

Registration is only open for those who where were registered in previous years, and are re-activating their accounts for this year.

If you are new to the tournament (like me), then you have to wait until midnight tonight to register.

Happy hacking! :)

Watch out for c ! (4, Informative)

Destoo (530123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915932)

Way to go. Start the tournament on a new moon.

That should be interesting..

For the unitiated: the game checks the date and time for various things in the game. example: you get -1 luck if you start playing on a friday 13th. Undead do double damage from 00:00 to 00:59.

On a new moon, beware of stoning.

Re:Watch out for c ! (1)

Fjornir (516960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13919844)

I must say that sort of the thing is the reason I prefer Angband -- there's none of the "cast a wish on an odd number day while wearing no armor and wielding a wooden weapon and ..." conditionals you need a spoiler or code dive to figure out...

Re:Watch out for c ! (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920698)

However, it's one of the reasons Nethack players prefer it. There's always something new to discover about the game, unless you've played it for years and years. And even then....


To be accurate here, none of the time or date effects really ends up influencing the game that much except for the Friday the 13th bit, which doesn't roll around all THAT much. On Friday the 13th, the neutral luck value is -1, instead of zero, and prayer (the catch-all, get-me-out-of-trouble solution for low-to-mid level characters) will never work when you have negative luck. Unless you're carrying a luckstone, luck will always trend towards the neutral value over time, regardless of whether it's good or bad. On F the 13, that value is negative, so until you get that luckstone at the bottom of the mines, prayer will not work by default, a significant increase in difficulty.

Cockatrices start stoning you automatically if you hear their hissing in melee combat on new moons, but smart players aren't fighting them hand-to-hand anyway. And usually, by the time you start encountering truly dangerous undead like vampires and barrow wights, you're already much more dangerous than they are. Even double damage is much less dangerous with them than their level drain attack, and wearing a simple elven cloak will prevent that almost always.

Re:Watch out for c ! (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 8 years ago | (#13921406)

Never heard the midnight rule before. I always thought there were more undead on Halloween. But I've always avoided spoilers so I don't know for sure.

WOOOT! (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13916472)

I can't wait to go to the Dungeon of Doom one more time. I suck at the game, but it's probably the best game I ever played

Most Ascensions? (1)

Tired_Blood (582679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13917640)

How many people actually ascend?

The best I've ever done (without the cheating) was The Castle, at which point I forgot that I wasn't wearing WaterWalkingBoots (had on +4 SpeedBoots) and screwed up much of my inventory in one step. Oh yeah, those damned RustMonsters didn't help either. Sigh, I don't think I'll get that far anytime soon.

The only contest I would have some success with here is the Most Unique Deaths. I'm quite practiced in that, although not by choice. :(

Ha. I would have never thought of trying this one: petrified by attempting to saddle a cockatrice.
Actually, now that I re-read it, that just sounds wrong.

Re:Most Ascensions? (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13918951)

I've never ascended :-(. I've read all the spoilers, and played for God knows how many friken' hours.'s really hard to start playing again after some really stupid death, but I know I will....

Re:Most Ascensions? (1)

cafard (666342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13922225)

it's really hard to start playing again after some really stupid death Like having your knight die falling from his horse when trying to ride it as his first move in level 1 of the dungeon? Yeah, i hate that too...

Re:Most Ascensions? (2, Interesting)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920770)

I have ascended a Valkyrie, a Barbarian, an Archeologist, a Priest, a Wizard and a Tourist. Here's the secret about Nethack: it's not that hard.

Woah now, did I just say that? Granted, there is a lot, and I mean a LOT, to learn. It has taken me years to get to the point where I can say that.

But once you get to that point, you start seeing how the game really gives you many possible escapes. Just remembering that you can pray to get out of trouble will prevent a huge number of deaths. Finding strategies for early wishes, keeping a good stock of food, learning the Sokoban solutions, finding out about Elbereth, finding good equipment-gaining strategies, learning the ways to identify and bless stuff, knowing when to fight and when (and how) to run, and most importantly, avoiding trivial errors like stepping into water like you did. Nethack characters tend to get much more survivable as they proceed; if that character of yours hadn't died at the Castle, you would probably have stood a reasonable at winning, assuming you had a good ascension kit put together and knew how to handle the special situations remaining in the game.

There are a lot of things to learn in Nethack, but there are not an infinite number of them. No one ascends their first Nethack character, or even their 40th. But with spoilers, newsgroup reading ( and practice, it is certainly possible to ascend in nearly every game, and once you learn all the tricks, it could almost be termed easy.

That's the point where you start playing conducts,
special challenges designed to make the game harder: Atheist. Vegetarian. Foodless. Pacifist.

You may also begin playing Slash'em, the super-deluxe Nethack variant with three times MORE stuff in it. And the process begins again....

Re:Most Ascensions? (1)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 8 years ago | (#13922193)

I have ascended five times [] , including a tourist ^_^

I have failed to ascend many many times. I still weep when looking at my records file and seing that archeologist that died in the astral plane because I didn't realize Rodney had cursed my Unicorn horn (death by Pestilence... sigh).

Re:Most Ascensions? (1)

cafard (666342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13922234)

By the way, do we want to setup a clan to contest at least in the Most Unique Deaths? :)

Re:Most Ascensions? (1)

Enti (726249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13925897)

As said, it's not horribly difficult after you get the hang of it. Start out with one of the easier characters like a Valkyrie or Samurai and go about it slowly. Don't rush down when your level or equipment isn't ready unless you have to. Also, unless you're near death, play for long term success instead of short term - sure it seems like you have a surplus of enchant weapon scrolls now, but it's far better to have a pimped out artifact weapon instead of a +7 rusty when it comes to the endgame. I've ascended a couple times myself as a Valkyrie and Samurai. It was half of a miracle that I managed to survive for the first ascention, given that I ran into Demogorgon near the bottom and had to mash him to death with only my hammer (a -50AC helped just a bit)

@~~~~~~S (3, Funny)

dcapel (913969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13918536)

You see here the corpse of a server.


Slashdot the Slashdotter St:13 Dx:9 Co:12 In:15 Wi:18 Ch:8 Lawful
Dlvl:87 $:0 HP:13(13) Pw:2(2) AC:9 Exp:1

(damn its hard to avoid lameness filter)

@~~~~~~S (1)

blazzy (923401) | more than 8 years ago | (#13921113)

That wisdom is way too high. You've also got the alignment wrong. Lawful?

(adding re: to the subject triggered the damn lameness filter)

slightly off topic but... (1)

joe094287523459087 (564414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13919213)

i've been looking for a specifi ASCII-graphics DOS-based dungeon adventure game for a decade. i played it on a Tandy in 1987. it was pretty straightforward - roll up a character, kill stuff to level up. the thing is,i spent many months as a little kid playing it and i'd really love to find it again and play it for nostalgia's sake, and introduce it to a 10-year-old i know. i've downloaded a lot of old dos dungeon games trying to find it but no match yet.

there were no colors or graphics (except the ascii symbols to form a simple map), and the dungeon layout was static (not randomized each time). i can remember the first room - about 5 steps north was a fountain that would randomly add or subtract a stat from your character.

if anyone can help me find it, i'll pray to FSM to bless you with good karma.

Re:slightly off topic but... (1)

Fjornir (516960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920327)

I'm afraid that's nowhere near enough info for me to find it for you. I'd suggest you start by googling larn and roguelike and see if you can find it. Good luck!

Re:slightly off topic but... (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920798)

Afraid I can't help you either. But PC Rogue kept me going for many late nights when I was fifteen, and it's not hard to find. Assuming you can't find what you're looking for, and your 10-year-old can handle the every-key-does-something interface, may I humbly suggest showing him that?

Re:slightly off topic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13921248)

I know the one you mean. It was called "Castle Adventure". It's on a bunch of abandonware and DOS games sites, just Google it :-)

Re:slightly off topic but... (1)

fujiman (912957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924571)

Are you thinking of Avalon Hill's Telengard? I know the C64 Version had graphics, but the TRS-80 version was ascii... I think...

Nethack guide (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13923824)

Is there any good guides for nethack newbies? I don't want full spoilers but I have no idea when to eat/drink and ways of telling what an item is and such, so could someone give me a useful site to head to please?

spoiler free guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924978)

If you don't want any spoilers of any kind, a decent way to identify things is using the / command, ingame. The description provided often has clues as to what may be expected and sometimes the name of the monster can be enough of a clue: "Fire Elemental" tells you to prepare for fire damage and "Rust Monster" should be obvious.

As for food, you should eat before you need to. Any corpse that your pet ignores is generally safe to ignore too.

Lastly, read the scrolling text and pay attention to your stats. For example, you'll be notified if your hungry/starving and when something bad/good happens.

My Nethack experience (1)

dirtsurfer (595452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13975803)

Nethack is great in theory, but I can never get anywhere. Every game ends up like,
Start game
Take three steps
Wipe face
>Oh no! You wiped your face off! You die!
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