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The Crash

What's the deal with The Crash? The information at is vague, to say the least. I though that I had a game saved from several months ago (2007, somewhere between July and November), but it's not there now; is The Crash the reason? And is there any hope?—Toby Bartels 22:18, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

The hard drive where nethack was crashed; read/write errors all over the place, so files were lost. The new server playground is done from scratch, so saved games wouldn't be compatible anyway. --paxed 10:18, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, paxed! Do you know the date (or month) when this happened? It should probably be in the article; certainly this seemed to me the obvious first place to look once the site's own news page didn't help. —Toby Bartels 03:11, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


Is there anyway to play nethack with tiles on a remote server? Ha! Showed you! 01:10, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Not on NAO, but there used to be a server with tiles here, but it's gone. It gives the source, though, so it's possible to set up your own tile server. Dr. 8-Bit 19:04, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
After a bit of poking around I found another tilehack server: here. Dr. 8-Bit 19:07, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It should be possible to play with tiles, assuming you've got the vt_tiledata-option turned on. See this NAO forum post for technical details. Unfortunately, there just aren't any clients that support this, yet. --paxed 19:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

separate message window

Someone wrote a curses interface: [1]

Does this thing work already? If yes, could it be placed on the server? If both yes, would it fix this obnoxious bug that you have to press escape all the time to skip past the battle spam? -Tjr 12:17, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

It's odd that you say "obnoxious bug" for the standard behaviour, as if this were something unusual about NAO that it doesn't use tiles. Maybe "missing feature"? All the same, that does look nice; whether it will work for NAO (whose telnet server will have to detect whether people are logging in from a big enough terminal) I'll leave to paxed to say. —Toby Bartels 13:05, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I didn't mean to insult anyone. I called it a bug from the point of view "user is annoyed at behavior inconsistent with expectations or industry standards", not as in "registered on bugzilla #1234567". Yes, this bothers me in standard nethack, too. Paxed, thank you for running NAO.

Karl Garrison, thank you for coding the interface. [an earlier annoucement of the code] -Tjr 13:23, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I am certain that this interface will work fine when playing remotely via telnet, including detecting terminal size and resizing. I would love to see it on NAO. :-) The project has its own homepage now, for those who have an interest. —Karl Garrison


I can't find a terminal emulator on any OS that doesn't disconnect me when I resize the window or accidentally type Control-C. This is the main reason I don't play on NAO. Has anyone found a workaround for this? Are there "wrappers" I should be playing through? --User:Statico 03:17, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Putty has an option for windows resizing (in "Window"). The default setting is "Change the number of columns and rows". The other ones should prevent the disconnect. --bhaak 07:42, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Found the solution: Use Interhack --Statico 20:10, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

bones files

Can someone describe how bones files work on is it different than vanilla nethack?

Bones work exactly the same as in vanilla. --paxed 19:37, December 19, 2009 (UTC)
Thats another thing: They never show the rankings there anymore (nearly positive they used to).Slarty 00:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Is lack of SSH a problem?

Somebody removed the following paragraph. Many large organizations firewall off all telnet connections, so requests for SSH probably aren't silly after all. If nobody speaks up within a week, I'm going restore it in condensed form. Tjr 02:01, December 27, 2009 (UTC)

It's a pity that NAO doesn't support ssh. There is a good and free ssh client for SymbianOS (Nokia mobile phones) and PDAs, so ssh'ing to NAO could be very popular among mobile users. As for now (December 2007) ssh to is the best way to play NetHack on Palms and Nokia phones. Especially the ones with QWERTY keyboard. Another option would be to ssh to another account, then telnet from there to NAO, should one wish to do so.
The number of people asking for SSH is very small, so I don't think it's really a problem. Also, that paragraph sounds a lot like advertising. --paxed 09:17, December 27, 2009 (UTC)

NAO down?

Is anyone else just getting some stupid placeholder-type site when going to -Ion frigate 08:45, February 6, 2010 (UTC)

DNS changes. You can use the direct IP address until the changes propagate. --paxed 11:19, February 6, 2010 (UTC)

I beleive NAO cheats

Maybe it just cheats w/me. I dunno, but I'm nearly positive it cheats, paranoid as that may seem. I think it just gives you bad nums after you get to around level 3, or does so w/me. I've gone months w/out getting past level 4. I occasionally make dumb mistakes, but mostly I get VERY bad luck! I want to find another flash nethack server. I'm tired of it. Also, it almost always gives bad luck after saving the game. Folks; I mean it! I really think it cheats!Slarty 00:51, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I doubt it: look at Monsters (by difficulty). Around level 3 or 4, they really do start getting much harder. Look at the silly monster I made up on User:Ion frigate/difficulty: I put it there as a demonstration of how the difficulty system is broken/unfair. Giant bats, rothes, giant ants, kittens - these are all monsters that really are dangerous for their depth. Also, what reason would NAO have to manipulate the RNG? They don't gain anything from it. And how would they do it? They run nethack's code - the only thing they could possibly control is the seed of the random number generator (see Random number generator#Misuse), but, for them, controlling that to manipulate luck is impossible. If you know the seed, in theory *you* can manipulate luck, but that's because you control your actions - you might know that on turn x, fountain y will grant a wish, for example. But they can't predict your actions, so there's no way to alter the seed to give you bad luck (there's no seed that gives universally bad luck - that's the idea of pseudorandom number generators).
As for the early game, the site should probably have a page on how to survive it. Some things I learned from playing SLASH'EM (whose early game is a little harder, actually):
  • Dust Elbereths: Spam these everywhere. They will make monsters flee long enough, generally, for you to get away. Don't be afraid to chain them - writing them is fast. Check them after you finish writing to see if you screwed up (about a 28% chance), and if you did, just write it again. Don't try to fight the monsters - this will instantly erode the engraving. Just stand on it until they flee, and then run in the opposite direction, heal, and be prepared to repeat this many, many times. Also be proactive with it: realize which fights are hopeless from the get-go (i.e. healer vs. giant ant, anything vs. a kitten). Note that if you don't move or attack, you actually have a decent number of turns (like maybe 10 or so) before the engraving erodes.
  • Pacify domestic monsters: Kittens and little dogs are actually among the most dangerous early-game opponents. They're quite fast, they do enough damage, and have better AC than most. Keep some vegan food to throw at them - they'll be instantly pacified and you can reuse the food. Of course you can also tame them, but that consumes the food and isn't always desirable.
  • Aggressively pursue advantages:
    • Use every opportunity to increase your damage output. Price-ID all weapons you can gain skill in, in order to find enchanted ones (this is one thing that makes tourists a moderately strong class). Obviously you should prefer weapons you already have skill in, but a +2 enchantment is usually good enough to overcome the unskilled penalties. Price-ID scrolls of enchant weapon, in order to enchant an already-enchanted weapon you found or your starting weapon.
    • Engrave-test all wands: The attack wands will all be unambiguously identified. Soldier ants don't like lightning in their faces any more than you do.
    • Don't be afraid to wear the higher-AC mundane armors. A +0 banded mail might very well save your life, and if you're lucky you might find an enchanted one. Yes, it will be useless in the long run, but in the early game your damage output and AC matter much more than resistances.
  • Don't forget to enhance skills - it's really easy to miss the message amidst battle spam. I have had valkyries who ascended with Basic in long sword, but for the less combat-oriented classes the difference in skill can make a huge difference.
Note that these are generally melee combat survival tips. That's because even wizards probably will have to rely on it in the early game. Anyway, sorry if this got a bit long-winded. -Ion frigate 01:53, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Uh, as Nethack is open source, NAO is perfectly capable of modifying the code base to make adjustments for difficulty or to modify the behavior of the RNG.
In fact, they do. NAO runs a number of patches, one of which actually does modify the RNG to remove that predictability; according to the page, NAO fixes "a bug that allowed predicting the random numbers". I've never tried exploiting the RNG (and I don't play on NAO much), but I assume that is the same issue.
And, of course, even NAO did up the difficulty, that wouldn't be 'cheating', it would simply be increasing the difficulty. And anything you're accusing it of is probably nothing compared to; that server has the nice feature of making it so that any monster not killed by you directly never leaves a corpse - makes feeding yourself difficult if you rely on your pet, and would make a pacifist game damn interesting. -- Qazmlpok 03:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Of course I knew they could do that, as in the situation you just mentioned. I thought, however, they would only remove an exploit that is definitely cheating or make cosmetic changes, not just simply ramp up the difficulty level. The site says they only run "interface patches": I hope that's true - if they really did start messing with the RNG, that would be 1) a way to make things more difficult without making them more interesting and 2) make a lot of things on this wiki (like the whole page on armor class) wrong for NAO. -Ion frigate 04:38, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It's just your imagination... There's only interface patches (menucolors, etc), some crash-bug fixes (wielded cream pie and so on), and a fix for the RNG prediction, which doesn't affect the way the random numbers are chosen. Or if it does, at least it doesn't target just one person... ;) --paxed 07:05, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Another observation: Whenever I get something really good (or @ least what I really like, i.e, multiple pets, good pets, or me or a pet polymorphed into something good)it throws something on me that absolutley nullifies my advantage. I think some1 @ that site didn't like ME PERSONALLY, and decided to mess w/my individual game. I'm not on drugs (very light user), and I recently downloaded the game onto a computer where it was easier to download the game than play @ NAO. Yep; it had none of the stops the nethack has. It was smooth sailing, especially, as I've become a better player, by being forced to loose. I still maintain, some1's messing w/me. Sorry, but I really believe it. A person should not be afraid to make a claim they think true, just because it sounds paranoid (not accusing any1 here, by saying that, just saying that in case).Slarty 20:17, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
When I switched to playing on NAO, I was quite disappointed by the hard numbers how badly I was really playing. Previously, I had been remembering mostly successes because those were the games I was spending most of the time on. If that's what you're experiencing, you're not alone. --Tjr 21:42, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
What possible reason could they have to mess with your games, anyway, Slarty? Dr. 8-Bit 20:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Looks like even your "very light" usage of drugs is making you paranoid. Messing with an individual's game would be technically quite awkward and time-consuming to do. Face it: you are not important enough for somebody to put in the effort. My suggestion: lay off the drugs and play a gnomish Wizard instead. --TPGreyKnight (talk) 22:45, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

What time is used on NAO? UTC is stated on another page but can we confirm and write it in the article since this may vary from the player's own clock. Statistically I also do worse on NAO, but don't believe that is down to the system. It could just be the lag and slower interface that demotivates me from carefully checking things before I act.

Yes, it's UTC. --paxed 13:31, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Even today I might run into a monster in a corridor and quickly tap a BISH!,BASH! before I check on my health or useful inventory. Of course if that monster is strong enough 2 turns could be 6+ hits on me for a DYWYPI.--PeterGFin 12:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)