Forum:Does the 'Beginner' mechanic add anything to the game?

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Do you feel like this mechanic is worth keeping? As far as I can tell, it's only there to make read-testing (and quaff-testing, for object/monster detection) more difficult for new characters. Do you think people would startscum more if these scrolls and potions were easier to identify, figuring that the risk of negative effects from an unknown item would be offset by the potential to make discoveries a little sooner? I doubt it, myself, but I'm curious to hear other opinions and perspectives. Kufat (talk) 22:52, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

I certainly can't see any benefit to it. --Kahran042 (talk) 18:44, 13 July 2023 (UTC)
Agreed, it seems to run contrary to the spirit of NetHack's item randomization system, which is that you deduce the item's identity by experimentation. As to why it was implemented in the first place, my best guess is that the DevTeam wanted to discourage players from getting themselves killed early on by e.g. quaffing acid or reading cursed create monster, so they made the messages deliberately vague until you've got a few levels under your belt. (But then, why would the most frail role lose beginner status the soonest?) I certainly wouldn't miss the system if it were removed. --Darth l33t (talk) 13:19, 15 July 2023 (UTC)

I think it's good idea and makes sense. Why should just started character be able to recognize this kind vague hints given by mysterious magical items right off the bat? Considering this, It also does make sense for Wizards to get in it sooner.

If anything, I think this mechanic is a bit underused and plain, as it doesn't really explain how the characters suddenly learns about these (maybe it should be linked to amount of reading character has done?), and 2000 turns is such a short time in early game, and effect so limited, it barely ever actually matters.

I think it's one of those weird neat hidden gimmicks in Nethack that create it's depht, and shouldn't removed. I wouldn't be against very carefully expanding it either. Though I can see how many could see it as needless complication with little value.

Jacew (talk) 05:13, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

Why would, say, a Barbarian understand what a scroll of money protection is trying to do if it doesn't detect anything any better after slaughtering a mine of dwarves and elves? If the point is lore flavour, it should factor in role, INT/WIS, skills, etc. I rather suspect that the actual purpose of the mechanic is, as above, to attempt to dissuade startscumming and mildly hamper dominant, metagame strategies. I see it as an outdated mechanic (if it were particularly well integrated into the game, it might've interacted with the E-word during the long era of the game when every character would instinctively scribble on the floor the moment anything might go south) that tried to address balance issues but is just cruft at this point, and either needs to be entirely revamped to serve its intended purpose or probably just removed entirely. As it stands, it punishes the mythical player who attempts to figure out the best strategies in the game by themselves, and serves as a pointless, minor inconvenience to everyone else. MtsDoGOKO (talk) 00:27, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
I really like the way you put it in your last sentence. Kufat (talk) 20:54, 12 November 2023 (UTC)