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What's this then?

This is the extremely bare-bones website of the fdshack public server. This server is based off of NAO's patched version of NH3.4.3, with a few tweaks by thp, bd, and others. Further changes are forthcoming, including new roles to play, redesigned dungeons, and entirely new content.

Okay, so how do I play?

At the moment, the fdshack server is dead. I'd like to get it back up and running again but I was not confident about the security of the old setup and I've taken it down until I can make sure it's properly secured.

What's New?

New Nethack Version :O — 12/09/2015

Lucifer, the Light Bringer, was spotted at Lowe's today purchasing salt and looking pensively at the snowblowers on offer

So, Nethack 3.6.0 was officially released today. (Whoops, yesterday. It's past midnight now.)


I naturally immediately snagged the source and started poking at it. I'm really impressed so far, a lot of the code has been cleaned up significantly. It's not just a bugfixes-and-cruft update, either. It looks like the DevTeam has slipped in a lot of sneaky rebalancing; there's many seemingly minor changes that actually obliterate entire strategies for abusing Nethack. Pudding farming just doesn't work anymore, holy water is harder to abuse, the E-word is no longer a get-out-of-absolutely-anything-except-elves-free card, and so forth.

Just as naturally, I soon began looking into setting up 3.6.0 on the fdshack server. Looks like most of the community patches I have in the existing 3.4.3 have been folded into 3.6.0, with some minor exceptions. I'm currently working on reimplementing/porting over the statuscolors patch-- the "hilite_status" feature in 3.6.0 is experimental, and kind of jank. It only supports a single rule per stat, which means you can't do cool stuff like graded HP colors that the old patch did fine. On the other hand, you can do stuff in the new hiliter you couldn't do with the 3.4.3 patch, like highlighting values when they change and so forth. So at the moment I'm trying to split the difference between the old and new styles, by implementing a loader for the new rules that allows you to specify multiple hilite_status rules (Actually that part's already done, but I'm having trouble getting the renderer to support the rules now.) If I like the way that patch looks in the end, I will probably post it up here or something for anyone who's interested to use.

Once I get the nethack 3.6.0 source looking the way I want it, it shouldn't be too hard to transition to it on the server. The main headache there will be porting my custom leaderboard logging functionality over. In any event it'll probably be near-vanilla 3.6.0 to begin with. I suspect that all fdshack's features won't just port magically over to the new codebase without a lot of merge-conflict wrestling on my part; too much has changed (for the better) out from under it between 3.4.3 and 3.6.0.

I'm so excited by these developments, if it wasn't obvious. Beyond the simple joy of getting a new official version for the first time in some twelve-odd years, the specific version we got looks really interesting. Nethack 3.6.0 seems to incorporate a lot of the huge kick-in-the-pants balance-tweaking that the game really needed, and I am glad to see the good old DevTeam still cares. :D

What is different in fdshack?

It's still nethack, if that's what you're asking. We're committed to preserving what we consider the ineffable, essential nature of Nethack while adding our own stuff to it. In particular, the goal is to add more interesting options (such as new game mechanics, new classes, and so forth) to the game to make for more varied gameplay, without making it into a different game entirely in the process. The Dungeons of Doom should, by and large, remain the same familiar halls you know and love (and hate)-- just slightly different, with a bunch of new places, denizens and treasures to surprise you along the way.

What new stuff are you working on?

I don't really have a timeframe for updates, since it's basically just "whenever thp feels like hacking on nethack and completes a feature". If there's games in progress on the server and I'm pushing an update that will break saves, I try to hold off and schedule a release for a time that people aren't playing. Future updates may include one or more of the following things, all of which I have source branches and partial code for already:

If you have any other ideas/recommendations, you can always drop me (thp) a line on my blog or elsewhere and suggest things. I may not go for the implementation but I'm always listening for new ideas.

Is there a scoreboard/stats?

There is! Click that link (or the one at the top labeled "Scoreboard") to go there. Right now it's a little bare-bones, but sometime Real Soon Now I'll have user stats and stuff put together.

Users currently playing: