A devteam member, @, is a type of monster that appears in The November NetHack Tournament. They are representations of the NetHack DevTeam that reside within the DevTeam Office, a special optional dungeon branch where you can take on a quest to find a scroll of missing code on three dungeon floors in exchange for the Really Cool Shirt.
The six devteam members occupy the rightmost half of the Office's level: bhaak, paxed, lorimer, and ais are stationed at each corner of the room containing a statue of a balrog named the RNG, while PatR and Mike Stephenson sit in rooms on each side of the hall that leads to the "PEBCAK disposal area"; Mike Stephenson will additionally be seated on a throne.
All devteam members are generated with either a long sword or katana as their weapon, alongside a shield of reflection, leather gloves, high boots, and either an elven mithril-coat or dwarvish mithril-coat.
Chatting to Mike Stephenson is required to initiate the quest and return the three scrolls of missing code; while the quest is active, talking to Mike will also give you a hint as to which floor you can find each scroll on. It is very possible to find one or more of the scrolls before you even encounter the DevTeam Office - stash them in a container as soon as possible to keep them from burning up or fading. If you complete the quest and have not personally killed Izchak, Mike Stephenson will give you the Really Cool Shirt as a reward.
Be very careful not to anger any of the devteam members: they are very powerful and can displace monsters as the Riders do. There is also no reward for killing any of them, as the game immediately ends if a devteam member dies by any means, and life saving will not protect you. Thankfully, throwing scrolls of missing code at any devteam member will not anger them - Mike will also accept them if you throw them to him. If you are deaf, you can also throw one to him to begin the quest; this is done in order to accommodate possible permadeaf characters (who cannot use #chat).
- "Oh, neat! Show this scroll to Mike Stephenson!"
- You chatted to any of the other devteam members with a scroll of missing code in open inventory.
- <foo> looks <peeved/indignant/irritated>.
"Why don't you just #chat to me like a normal adventurer?"
- You threw a scroll at a devteam member other than Mike Stephenson.
- <foo> asks you about your day.
- Both of these serve as backup generic messages for devteam members.
- bhaak tries to get you to play something called 'UnNetHack'.
- bhaak is the developer of UnNetHack.
- bhaak starts swearing at you in German.
bhaak discusses the merits of HTML dumplogs.
"Denial is a valid bug resolution technique."
"UnNetHack5 > NetHack4. Just ask any sorting algorithm.
"I hate secret doors."
"The Gods are not deaf and can get annoyed by constant mortal lamentations."
"You can lead players to variants but you can't make them play."
- paxed asks you if you've seen dtype.
paxed mumbles something about X11 tty status.
"We just come here to idle."
"You can finally wish for oranges. Now go away."
"If you see K2, tell him I have his ten bucks."
- "Thanks for that recent bug report."
PatR indicates that 3.7 might be released soon.
"To be honest, I'm surprised RGRN is still going."
- "Oh, you must be looking for remirol."
- This message refers to the nickname lorimer commonly uses on IRC.
- "Ask me about Orctown!"
"Have you heard of DIRGE? SporkHack introduced it."
- lorimer is SporkHack's developer and the author of the commit that introduced Orctown to vanilla NetHack.
- ais discusses limiting the player's inventory.
"Ever tried to ascend with only a large box for a container?"
ais mentions tweaking the Wands Balance Patch.
ais opines that NetHack4 is fairer to the player.
"NetHack is just a mound of special cases taped together by global variables."
"You know, you really don't need most items to ascend."
Mike Stephenson acts as a "quest leader" for the DevTeam Quest, with some of his messages formatted similarly.
When you begin the DevTeam Quest:
"Ah, you must be a hero questing for the Amulet of Yendor. May I ask you to listen for a moment? We are in dire need of some assistance.
Recently, we had collected our best new ideas and inscribed the source code on three scrolls. But before we were able to add them to the codebase, the RNG glitched and sent them into the game itself.
Without these scrolls, we can't finish work on the next version of NetHack. We're trying to use our terminals here to search for them, and paxed is pretty sure that they all ended up in the Dungeons of Doom... but we're still trying to figure out on which levels.
It's too dangerous for me to send any of the DevTeam members out searching for them. Unlike you, we are not expendable. But, if you can return our missing code to us, I can promise you a fine reward."
Upon completing the quest:
"Thank you, %p! You have done the DevTeam a great service. We will certainly be able to release the next version before long. In exchange, allow me to present you with this T-shirt, which you may find helpful in your quest."
An alternate completion message if you have personally killed Izchak:
Mike Stephenson looks at you frostily.
"Thank you... I suppose. You have done us a service. But I think you have done us a far greater disservice as well. Now that our business is concluded, kindly remove yourself from our office."
- "How is your search going?"
- You have not yet brought Mike Stephenson any scrolls of missing code.
- "Thank you. There should only be <1/2> more scrolls."
- You brought a scroll of missing code to Mike Stephenson.
- "Paxed thinks a scroll might have ended up on level <foo>..."
- A hint as to where a scroll of missing code is.
- "Thank you again for finding our lost code."
- You talked to Mike Stephenson after completing the quest and being rewarded.
With a DevTeam member dead, the world starts to destabilize... Light fails, the floor shakes, and the air grows hot. The remaining members look at you reproachfully, and then vanish from the world.
- Fissures open up, and the realm collapses in on itself.
- A DevTeam member was killed, causing the game to end. The cause of death is logged as "collapsing dungeon".
- Unfortunately, you are still buried under tons of rock...
- As above, but you were wearing an amulet of life saving - this will print after the standard resurrection messages, and the game will still end. The cause of death is instead logged as "dungeon debris".