This NetHack variant has been around for while now, being constantly developed and updated (contrasting to the other variants, let alone vanilla), the author, Derek Ray, has decided to address some of the things NetHack needs to keep being fun and interesting for new and old players.
Along with this, the author also provides a public telnet server you can play on. Simply telnet to sporkhack.com, create an account, and select ‘p’lay!
Vanilla Nethack has been solved.
I know, this is heresy for a lot of people. But Marvin has a 23-game ascension streak posted on nethack.alt.org, and Mike Kelly recently broke that streak with a 24-game one of his own. There is a player with over 100 ascensions on NAO since June. Someone is writing a borg to automate large parts of the game. This wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t effectively solved, which is quite possible for a turn-based game.
Most importantly, because the game has been solved, there’s no longer a lot of fun available for a spoiled and/or experienced player. There are a number of perfect binary defenses available, and the game is all about obtaining those as soon as possible… relegating tactics and on-the-spot creativity to the early game.
I could have waited for the Dev Team to release the next version, but it’s been four years and there’s no guarantee they’ll think the same way I do. So, I created this. It’s a full fork of vanilla Nethack 3.4.3.
In short, one of the purposes of this fork is to try to make the game more interesting for experienced/skilled players, while making it no harder (or, in a couple cases, slightly easier) for the newbie. It’s also going to be an attempt to try to increase variety in the standard ‘ascension kit’, since right now that kit is pretty well defined.