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Where can I find some basic information regarding the game?

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Anonymous
June 21, 2005 2:01:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Hi all.

Just started playing. The game feels great in its minimal interface.
However, the learning curve for the basics seems immense. Read: I have
rigorously no idea how to get out of a pit trap, for instance.
I've read through ESR's guide but it didn't help quite as much as I'd
have liked.
Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?

More about : find basic information game

Anonymous
June 21, 2005 2:19:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

pdpi wrote:

> Hi all.
>
> Just started playing. The game feels great in its minimal interface.
> However, the learning curve for the basics seems immense. Read: I have
> rigorously no idea how to get out of a pit trap, for instance.
> I've read through ESR's guide but it didn't help quite as much as I'd
> have liked.
> Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?

The Absolute Beginner's Guide for NetHack:
http://www.melankolia.net/nethack/nethack.guide.html

Huge list of NetHack spoilers:
http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~eva/nethack/spoilerlist....

(In particular, you may want to look at some of the links in the "Spoilers
about Strategy" section, such as "Getting out of trouble", and "General
rules for survivability" (which I can't seem to connect to at the moment))

Re: getting out of a pit -- just be persistent! If you keep trying to move
you'll get out eventually. There are some other quicker methods if you
have certain items, but this will always work (and also for bear traps).

--
Benjamin Lewis

Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing.
-- James Thurber
Anonymous
June 21, 2005 7:22:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

well, thanks for the information. Some of the spoilers were quite
enlightening. Looking forward to ascension, but common lore seems to
point towards me waiting a couple of years... ah well...!
Related resources
June 21, 2005 9:19:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:

>Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?


Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game? (I imagine that's
what you mean by ESR's guide.)

http://www.nethack.org/v341/Guidebook.html

Another thing that you might consider, is to play online at
nethack.alt.org, while on the irc channel #nethack on irc.freenode.org.

On that server, people can observe your games and there are often
lots of newbie-friendly folks that can help you with various specific
situations.

I believe the game is complex and robust enough as to not be diminished
at all by reading the source or spoilers. This belief stems from the
understanding that the very point of the first rogue game was to provide
a game that could be played and enjoyed even by the programmer who
designed it.

Spoilers you should memorize:
http://www.spod-central.org/~psmith/nh/

You can probably play the game completely unspoiled, using only in-game
intelligence and trial-and-error. I have other things I need to do, so
I couldn't devote my life to that.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 7:35:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On Tue, 21 Jun 2005, james wrote:

> I believe the game is complex and robust enough as to not be diminished
> at all by reading the source or spoilers. This belief stems from the
> understanding that the very point of the first rogue game was to provide
> a game that could be played and enjoyed even by the programmer who
> designed it.

I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).

But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
information I need in them...

When I try to turn people into nethack-junkies, i generally tell them to
play unspoiled at first, at least until they manage to reach Mine's
entrance every other game or reach the oracle once or twice. Just to get a
taste of the basic commands and the more common newbie YASD (What ? There
exists potions of hallucination/paralysis/...)

After that, I think it's a matter of taste. Some of my friend have asked
me for spoilers pages, other ask me questions when we met (once a month)
and other don't wan't to be spoiled at all.

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
June 22, 2005 10:09:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

In article <Pine.LNX.4.51.0506220330210.23021@hagen.loria.fr>,
Jym <moyen@loria.fr> wrote:

>I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
>spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).

Now, there *IS* another side of this coin. There's a LOT of info that
you can gain from in-game intelligence, that spoiled players ignore.
But you have to be pretty sharp and persistent to get all of it. There
have been threads on the newsgroup recently that basically reached the
conclusion that there isn't much in the game that you cannot learn from
playing. Every example of something where spoilers are presumed to be
necessary, has a counterexample where you could get that information
from playing the game. A few things that some people consider very
hard, I figured out myself. And some things that other people find
easy, I never would have seen.

>But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
>took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
>information I need in them...

You can either read about the game, and it will seem overwhelming, or
you can play the game. It's good to know where to look for info when
you need it. I think it's reasonable for a player to know how items
are shuffled, and to know spell and potion effects.
June 22, 2005 10:14:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

In article <1119392523.752496.270030@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>well, thanks for the information. Some of the spoilers were quite
>enlightening. Looking forward to ascension, but common lore seems to
>point towards me waiting a couple of years... ah well...!
>

There's no reason to assume that. You need to get to a tactical level
where you can know if you're playing carefully or not. You will get to
a point where you really can manage a cause and effect relationship
between your actions and their consequences in the game. You can get a
handle on resource management. You can go into situations with
thousand-turn plans, with good prospects of executing those plans. You
can still die a lot. But you will get to a point where you can
attribute the end of your game to your own level of care and risks you
take. At that point, you'll see that ascension is really up to you (and
the RNG sees it differently).

The game has a particular turning point where, if you can get past it,
you can finish no problem. Whether it takes you 2 months to get there
or six years, it's hard to say.

Play live on nethack.alt.org, and use the IRC channel. That's the
fastrack.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 1:12:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Thanks all for the replies. The community seems quite responsive here.
I can reach the mines often enough, if that's the dark place with
gnomes and dwarves all over. Regarding the "what? there're bad items
around?" newbie mistake, I'm afraid I overcorrect. Being a reasonably
long-time roleplayer (Been playing PnP for something like 10 years),
the cursed item reality is quite present. And I'm overly cautious with
that. Read: I never EVER use anything I haven't IDed. The natural
cautiousness was exacerbated by the first couple of items I tried
wearing HERE being cursed. ARGH!

I'm still getting a feel for what's edible and what's not, and for the
life expectancy of food before it rots. I'm also still trying to get a
grasp of "time".

Unless Eric S Raymond wrote any other guidebook for the game, I think
it's pretty clear I meant *THE* Guidebook ;-)
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 2:38:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

In news:<q_Xte.2722$Lr4.1619@fed1read03>, james
<fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
> In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
> >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
> Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game? (I imagine that's
> what you mean by ESR's guide.)
> http://www.nethack.org/v341/Guidebook.html

The Guidebook is defenitely a must to read, but you should get the
latest version, or you will be missing the sections on "Shops and
Shopping" and auto-pickup settings (and perhaps even more stuff?).

http://nethack.org/v343/Guidebook.html

/Kristoffer

--
This cookie has a scrap of paper inside. It reads:
Gurl fnl gung gur Unaq bs Ryorergu pna ubyq hc lbhe cenlref.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 3:15:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

In news:<Rg7ue.5169$Lr4.2095@fed1read03>, james
<fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
> In article <Pine.LNX.4.51.0506220330210.23021@hagen.loria.fr>,
> Jym <moyen@loria.fr> wrote:
> >I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
> >spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).
> Now, there *IS* another side of this coin. There's a LOT of info that
> you can gain from in-game intelligence, that spoiled players ignore.
> But you have to be pretty sharp and persistent to get all of it. There
> have been threads on the newsgroup recently that basically reached the
> conclusion that there isn't much in the game that you cannot learn from
> playing. Every example of something where spoilers are presumed to be
> necessary, has a counterexample where you could get that information
> from playing the game. A few things that some people consider very
> hard, I figured out myself. And some things that other people find
> easy, I never would have seen.

I played unspoiled for a long time, many years ago.

By
* reading the guidebook
* using the in-game help
and, especially important(!) and often forgotten
* getting information from the Oracle
you can gain A Lot Of Important Knowledge.

This is in addition to the obvious (playing the game and experimenting).

Recommended reading on unspoiled gaming is the tale of Ellora:
http://roguelikes.sauceforge.net/pub/nethack/stories/

> >But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
> >took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
> >information I need in them...
> You can either read about the game, and it will seem overwhelming, or
> you can play the game. It's good to know where to look for info when
> you need it. I think it's reasonable for a player to know how items
> are shuffled, and to know spell and potion effects.

I'd tell a newbie friend to
0. Understand that in this game you will die a lot and this is an
important part of your learning process. This is not the type of game
where you start one character, attach to it and keep playing with it
forever. This is the type of game where you get attached to *the game*.
1. Play the game, ask me if confused/enraged/hopeless
2. Read the guidebook
3. Play the game, ask me if confused/enraged/hopeless
4. Read the Absolute Beginner's Guide for NetHack
<http://www.melankolia.net/nethack/nethack.guide.html&gt;
5. Play the game, ask me if confused/enraged/hopeless
6. Read Ellora's tale to get some inspiration
7. Try playing at a public server and hanging out in the chat channel,
start using RGRN, find the spoiler pages
8. Keep playing the game
9. By this stage it is probably I who need to learn from my friend :) 
10. Take part in the devnull tournament, and win some trophies
11. Try Slash'EM when needing a change of style and new surprises
12. Dive into the source and write some nifty patches for people to
enjoy
13. Achieve illumination and post silly Nethack stuff to RGRN, not
minding the hit your 'real life' has taken, you've finally found your
true calling

Uhm. Ehm.

/Kristoffer

--
This cookie has a scrap of paper inside. It reads:
Gurl fnl gung gur vqrn bs vaivfvoyr Anmthyf unf n pregnva evat gb vg.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 6:38:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, james wrote:

> In article <Pine.LNX.4.51.0506220330210.23021@hagen.loria.fr>,
> Jym <moyen@loria.fr> wrote:
>
> >I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
> >spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).
>
> Now, there *IS* another side of this coin. There's a LOT of info that
> you can gain from in-game intelligence, that spoiled players ignore.
> But you have to be pretty sharp and persistent to get all of it. There
> have been threads on the newsgroup recently that basically reached the
> conclusion that there isn't much in the game that you cannot learn from
> playing. Every example of something where spoilers are presumed to be
> necessary, has a counterexample where you could get that information
> from playing the game. A few things that some people consider very
> hard, I figured out myself. And some things that other people find
> easy, I never would have seen.

Yes.

> >But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
> >took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
> >information I need in them...
>
> You can either read about the game, and it will seem overwhelming, or
> you can play the game. It's good to know where to look for info when
> you need it. I think it's reasonable for a player to know how items
> are shuffled, and to know spell and potion effects.

Yes. But I don't think one should know all spell effects before lauching
one first game...

That's why I really think that newbies should play a few games to get a
grab on the game before strating to read spoilers. Once they know enough
basic information (eg the main effect of half the potions and scrolls, by
the name), they can start reading spoilers if they want.

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 6:43:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, Kristoffer Björkman wrote:

>
> In news:<q_Xte.2722$Lr4.1619@fed1read03>, james
> <fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
> > In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> > pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
> > Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game? (I imagine that's
> > what you mean by ESR's guide.)
> > http://www.nethack.org/v341/Guidebook.html
>
> The Guidebook is defenitely a must to read, but you should get the
> latest version, or you will be missing the sections on "Shops and
> Shopping" and auto-pickup settings (and perhaps even more stuff?).

Just to illustrate a well-known contradiction principle:

I never read the guidebook, and I ascended once.

I played a lot, chat with friend, search spoilers and read them again and
again (but not the guidebook, even if spoilers say I should) and ascend
once (with the usual stroke of luck, in my case, 2 bone files and Rodney
not being to harsh (among other not stealing my quest artefact and only
source of MR)).

I think that now I could ascend all the warrior classes and probably all
the classes with enough care. I died once on Fire, reached Gehennom/Medusa
several time and even managed a protection racket once (all that in
slash'em).

So the guidebook is most certainly a good source of not-to-spoily
unformation, but can technically be forgotten...

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 9:47:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

In news:<Pine.LNX.4.51.0506221439400.28200@hagen.loria.fr>, Jym
<moyen@loria.fr> says...
> On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, Kristoffer Björkman wrote:
> > In news:<q_Xte.2722$Lr4.1619@fed1read03>, james
> > <fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
> > > In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> > > pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
> > > Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game?
> > The Guidebook is defenitely a must to read, but you should get the
> > latest version, or you will be missing the sections on "Shops and
> > Shopping" and auto-pickup settings (and perhaps even more stuff?).
> Just to illustrate a well-known contradiction principle:
> I never read the guidebook, and I ascended once.
> I played a lot, chat with friend, search spoilers and read them again and
> again (but not the guidebook, even if spoilers say I should) and ascend
> once (with the usual stroke of luck, in my case, 2 bone files and Rodney
> not being to harsh (among other not stealing my quest artefact and only
> source of MR)).
> I think that now I could ascend all the warrior classes and probably all
> the classes with enough care. I died once on Fire, reached Gehennom/Medusa
> several time and even managed a protection racket once (all that in
> slash'em).
> So the guidebook is most certainly a good source of not-to-spoily
> unformation, but can technically be forgotten...

I mostly agree with you, it is perfectly possible and not at all
uncommon to ascend without reading the guidebook, but that was not
relevant to my point.

It was not my intention to say that 'reading the guidebook is a must to
ascend', rather that 'reading the guidebook is must because by reading
it between your games and consulting it as a reference while playing you
will find a lot of answers to your questions presented in a good and
newbie-friendly way, without spoiling and without requiring prior
knowledge about Nethack's inner workings'. My comment was directed
towards a 'newbie', trying to provide him with a good clue about how to
get deeper into the Nethack world. The discussion was not IMHO at the
'what should I read to really win this game' level of advancement.

A lot of people seem to think of reading the guidebook like an oh-
please-do-I-really-have-to-do-that chore, instead of a useful and fun
diversion between games to improve one's skill. I can't see the reason
for thie former attitude, even though I definitely don't think that it's
necessary to read the guidebook before you even start the game.

If people actually at least used the guidebook for reference we would
also have much less questions with obvious answers in RGRN, especially
the most uninteresting ones about configuration settings (which are
actually often from relatively experienced 'hackers who just can't be
bothered to check the guidebook).

The guidebook is also a good atmosphere-builder which gives you some
basics of Nethack-lore to get your imagination started when faced by the
ASCII-world.

I hope my intentions come through clearer with this posting. May I
recommend you reading the guidebook, because you're missing out if
you've never opened it? :) 

(And the main reason I posted the text responded to was only to provide
the correct URL to the current version of the guidebook, something that
sort of got snipped out of the quoting. I then also made a comment
underlining the earlier poster's recommendation about reading the
guidebook.)

/Kristoffer

--
This cookie has a scrap of paper inside. It reads:
Qebc lbhe inavgl naq trg evq bs lbhe wrjryf! Cvpxcbpxrgf nobhg!
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 11:40:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, pdpi wrote:

> Thanks all for the replies. The community seems quite responsive here.
> I can reach the mines often enough, if that's the dark place with
> gnomes and dwarves all over. Regarding the "what? there're bad items
> around?" newbie mistake, I'm afraid I overcorrect. Being a reasonably
> long-time roleplayer (Been playing PnP for something like 10 years),
> the cursed item reality is quite present. And I'm overly cautious with
> that. Read: I never EVER use anything I haven't IDed. The natural
> cautiousness was exacerbated by the first couple of items I tried
> wearing HERE being cursed. ARGH!

Well, in that case, I would say that you may want to take a look on
spoilers. Of course, at this point it is purely a matter of taste. It is
possible to go very far and understand a lot of thing without reading
spoilers, but it will take the long way to learn all that. OTOH, reading
spoilers can be considered by yourself as cheating.

Notice that spoiled or not, you will still have a hard time to ascend.

Spoilers contains stuff like the exact effect of each potion and scroll,
depending on its cursedness state or how to know when you'll be hungry,
what kind of corpses are eatable,...
But also a lot of information that is much less easy to guess, or even to
guess that such combination can yield to interesting effects. Just a (not
too spoily) example for that: what are the effect of eating differents
rings ?

> I'm still getting a feel for what's edible and what's not, and for the
> life expectancy of food before it rots. I'm also still trying to get a
> grasp of "time".

Set the showtime option (or something similar) to see the clock displayed
on your status bar. Understanding how time works is one of the important
concept innethack. Well, not really a vital one but one that will make
your life easier.
Concerning roting time, I will not answer since I do not know if you want
to be spoiled [on that particular item] or not. This answer can easily be
found in spoilers concerning food (or ask again here) if you want.

Try google nethack spoilers to find all that you need.

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 5:10:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

"pdpi" <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> writes:

> Thanks all for the replies. The community seems quite responsive here.
> I can reach the mines often enough, if that's the dark place with
> gnomes and dwarves all over.

Well, the mines are a quite dangerous place, and until you
know exactly what you're doing, I would not advise strolling
around in them. Keep in the main branch first.

> the cursed item reality is quite present. And I'm overly cautious with
> that. Read: I never EVER use anything I haven't IDed.

That's good, but it's better to find means to assure non--cursedness
without wasting ID. There are two main ways. Since I don't know
how spoiled you want to be, two short hints and a detailed explanation
in rot13: blesses and curses have something to do with religion;
hence religious things might help. Also, animals sometimes have
a natural feeling for curses, trying to avoid them if possible.
Lbhe crg jvyy bayl eneryl fgrc ba n phefrq vgrz; vs vg qbrf, lbh
trg gur zrffntr gung vg 'zbirf bayl eryphgnagyl'. Nygnef nyybj
vafgnag o/h/p qrgrezvangvba, whfg qebc gur vgrz ba gur nygne juvyr
abg orvat oyvaq.

There are also means to partially id some classes of items without
wasting ?oIDs.

> I'm still getting a feel for what's edible and what's not,

Your pet usually is a good judge. If you want to get spoiled
about this (and about almost anything in nethack), an excellent
collection of spoilers, along with some beginner's helps and
FAQs, is available at

http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~eva/nethack/spoilerlist....

Best,
Jakob
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 6:40:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

by now, I've figured out the altar b/u/c check, and edible corpses are
starting to make sense. I actually managed to get to the 4th mines
level, with no problem, but got stuck there (couldn't find stair deeper
into the mines), got cornered by a nymph (odd thing, she didn't
teleport away like the previous ones had), stripped clean of most of my
equipment (except the nice blessed +2 GDSM), and killed by a werewolf.
Totaled at 10k points. Argh, such an annoying death. But it was my best
score to date.
!