Forum:Any changes in favor of the player in 3.6.0?

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I am by no means an expert player, but I am definitely an experienced player. I have played thousands of games of 3.4.3, and ascended many times, in a variety of roles (although not ALL roles), with multiple ascensions in a few roles.

I have played 3.6.0 hundreds of times and I've yet to ascend. My most recent loss that stunned me went like this: I was a level 16 Arc with 157 HP and an AC of -11 in the Arc quest, with EVERY SINGLE resistance except stoning resistance. I was twoweaponing with MagicBane (for magic resistance) and a silver saber and I was wearing an amulet of reflection. I had already cleared the mines AND Fort Ludios, killing multiple dragons, etc. I got to the Minion of Huhetotl without breaking much of a sweat, but in a matter of 3 or 4 turns, my HP went from 157 to 114 to 53 to 24 to dead - REALLY? The Minion summoned nasties (nothing TOO scary), and they did some of the damage, but with my AC of -11, I would have expected much less damage. I was wearing a ring of conflict and the nasties seemed much more interested in attacking me than attacking each other. Did conflict change from 3.4.3 to 3.6.0?

To the point of the title of this post - every change from 3.4.3 to 3.6.0 which I have encountered has been something to the disadvantage of the player, making the game harder, or possibly adding no value at all, such as the scrambling of scroll names, which serves no purpose I can see. Elbereth may as well just go away since a semi-permanent Elbereth can be scuffed just from standing on it ... which defeats its purpose. Oh, and inventory stacking is broken, unless it's been fixed in 3.6.1. For example, in 3.4.3, blanking a bunch of potions at a fountain and then doing "#adjust x x" would stack all the "uncursed potions of water" under "x" (if "x" started as an uncursed water), but it takes at least 2 and usually 3 tries in 3.6.0.

Were ANY of the changes in 3.6.0/3.6.1 intended to advantage the player? Or was the full intent of the version to make an already difficult game more difficult? I've gotten to the Astral Plane ONCE in 3.6.0, (and that was after finding a wand of wishing on level 3 or so), and I immediately died from Angel missiles. I had changed my cloak of magic resistance for an oilskin cloak in the Plane of Water, not realizing that I had to be WEARING the Eye of the Aethiopica for magic resistance in 3.6.0 instead of just carrying it. The portal in the Plane of Water appeared beneath me, I showed up in the Astral Plane generating conflict (without magic resistance) and I lasted, like, 2 more turns, my amulet of life saving disintegrated, and then I was done 2 or 3 turns later.

Is it my imagination? I feel like I have a pretty good sample size to compare, and it's something like one ascension every 30 or 40 games in 3.4.3 vs. ZERO ascensions in about 300 games in 3.6.0.


Bone.Saw (talk) 19:25, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Addressing these one by one:
3.6 did not change conflict. Monsters can of course still resist the conflict on each turn and attack you, the same as before.
The Minion gets 8d4 + weapon damage + 4d6 + weapon damage + 2d6 + its spell. If you're facing it and also other monsters (especially if one was something notoriously damage-spiky like a minotaur), losing 50-60 HP in a turn is unlucky but plausible at -11 AC. 3.6 did not change monster stats like attack damage.
I don't know what you mean by "scrambling of scroll names". 3.6 did add additional scroll labels (such as PHOL ENDE WODAN :) but the randomization of label to scroll identity has been a fundamental part of the game for a long time.
Semipermanent Elbereths could already be scuffed by standing on them, and that erosion rate is the same between 3.4.3 and 3.6. That said, 3.6.0 does have the unpopular mechanic where it has a chance to erode when it causes a monster to turn to flee. Because of that unpopularity, 3.6.1 changed Elbereth again, to a system where it'll erode if the player abuses their safe position.
I think I remember something about an inventory stacking bug that was fixed in 3.6.1.
The artifact MR stuff can be a gotcha if you're expecting them to behave the same way as in 3.4.3. Unless you're totally unspoiled, the only way to avoid gotchas like this is to check the patch notes/wiki/etc for different behaviors when there's an update. (Otherwise, the devs would never be able to make any changes in a new version that create gotchas.) The flip side of the artifact MR stuff is that you can now death-ray the Dark One and Master Kaen, since they don't get MR from just carrying them.
All considered, I don't think there are many gameplay changes in 3.6.0 that are beneficial to the player. The one that comes to mind is the souped up effect of standing on a scroll of scare monster, where it's actually rather overpowered. Though there are interface improvements like status hilites, the #terrain, #overview and #annotate commands, and configurable MSGTYPEs. I don't think the devteam was necessarily aiming for "make the game more difficult" so much as "close off some of the exploits people have been complaining about forever and also it's been 12 years so let's get it released".
My ultimate recommendation is to not play 3.6.0, since it's now outdated and was less popular than both 3.4.3 and 3.6.1. Play 3.6.1 instead, or play the 3.6.2 development version which contains more content and bug fixes. Or play a variant that tries to be nice to the player (my very biased recommendation is xNetHack). --Phol ende wodan (talk) 21:02, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Fair enough on the 3.6.0 recommendation.

By "scrambling of scroll names", I meant - adding some new ones, removing some old ones. I don't see any reason for that.

When facing the Minion, there was nothing with crazy damage that I recall - a couple of ogre kings and an Olog-hai were the toughest things I can remember. Still, tho - at AC -11, I would expect some hard hits, some soft hits, and some misses.

And, yes, the effect of 'Elbereth' scuffing every time it causes a monster to flee really does render it quite worthless. You generally don't resort to 'Elbereth' unless you're down to your last few HP and need to just stand quietly and (hopefully) regenerate several.

In defense of the dev team, I have read about a '#tip' extended command, which would be in the player's favor. I just haven't survived in a game long enough to need to use that one ...

Bone.Saw (talk) 04:13, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Indeed, it did make Elbereth useless against more than one monster. Perhaps that's why it was changed again in in 3.6.1, so that it no longer erodes by scaring monsters, and instead disappears with an alignment penalty if you attack while standing on it. Much less useless now. Also, I believe 3.6.0 was where they buffed the humble bugle so that it can now scare monsters like a tooled horn (but avoid using it in Minetown!) - Andrio Celos (talk) 04:24, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, and also, about the Eye of the Aethiopica, it doesn't give the Dark One magic resistance, either. Whoops! - Andrio Celos (talk) 04:27, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Regarding scroll names: it didn't really affect anything to add more labels, so I'm not sure what the cause for complaint is here. Sure there wasn't any particular reason for that, but why does there need to be justification for a harmless cosmetic change?
A couple ogre kings and an Olog-hai make that average damage soar, and the chance of a high spike actually goes way up. Ogre kings get 3d5 plus their weapon damage, and Olog-hais get 3d6 + weapon damage + 2d8 + 2d6. And that's on top of whatever the Minion was doing. --Phol ende wodan (talk) 04:34, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

The gripe about the scroll labels is really the most minor one I have, and probably comes from my "you kids get off my lawn!" side. Just seemed like a change for change's sake - it didn't improve the game and actually eliminated a tiny bit of the feel of the "old" game. The one very minor part of gameplay that is affected by changing the scroll names is the muscle memory that is built into my hands for typing in the names of the scrolls. I actually use the scroll labels in my price ID naming scheme, so the (again) very minor nitpick is that it took away very slightly from the "classic" feel of the game and has made my typing muscles learn new dances ... "Hey! Close the door! Were you raised in a barn?" Bone.Saw (talk) 22:06, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

3.6.0+ has only 25% instead of 50% chance of Titan on Medusa level, due to 2 more levels to choose from, that's a notable plus. I do quite like 3.6.1, despite it being harder (my Wizards start with MC3->MC1). Personally, my by far biggest complaint is that it's no longer possible to trick demon lords into fetching the amulet. I didn't do this often, but enjoyed it massively when I managed to pull it off. It requires some work and set-up, so I don't see this as an exploit at all. To the contrary, its valid strategy and the reward of skipping the Sanctum graveyard is reasonable compared to the effort necessary. And most importantly it added variation to how you can play the game. --Luna (talk) 02:14, 8 March 2019 (UTC)