Forum:What is considered 'early game'?

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I hear talk that NetHack's 'early game' is by far the biggest challenge to overcome. So, what constitutes 'early game' in NetHack? What is the point at which the game generally gets either more forgiving, or I assume you become OP enough to get on a little easier?

Thanks in advance,

Personally I saw the endings this way. Earlygame: cleared Mines up to and including Minetown, clearing Sokoban. Midgame: getting the Castle wand. Lategame: getting the Amulet. Ascension run: enter the Plane of Earth. Endgame: ascending. --FIQ (talk) 21:15, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I would generally agree with FIQ, although I'd like to clear up a misconception: The game never gets more forgiving. If anything, it gets less forgiving of mistakes.
However, if you play the early game right, you'll start the midgame with drastically improved equipment. This will remove a lot of the luck element from the midgame and allow you to play a more goal-oriented game, as opposed to the opportunism needed in the early game.
--Ms. J. Marie Stanton, Professional Valkyrie (talk) 15:49, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

That seems reasonable and is helpful. Thank you! -Ryan