Breaking News: 3.6.0 released December 8, 2015Edit
The dev team released 3.6.0 on December 8, 2015. Downloads are available through your computer's package manager or the official nethack.org site.
The mythical next version of NetHack is also known as Net Hackem Forever (in reference to Duke Nukem Forever). There is no information available to suggest when it will be released, other than "When it's ready."
Possibilities are 3.5.1, 3.6.0, 4.0.0, or something else.
Due to a leak of Nethack source code under certain version numbers the DevTeam "will not now nor in the future release anything with a version number of 3.4.4, 3.5, or 3.5.0." The full statement is still available on the Nethack website as of October 2014.
3.4.5 seems unlikely, unless a major security hole is discovered, in which case it may be released with only the bugfixes marked "fixed" (lowercase f) on the NetHack bugs page.
An increase in major version number to 4.0.0 seems unlikely, as the last major bump was 17 years ago, since when many, many major features have been added. Such an increase doesn't fit in with the DevTeam's observed pattern of extremely conservative behavior.
"Something else" is a possibility, but again would be uncharacteristic. This leaves 3.6.0 as the likely next version number.
Only few new features are known for certain:
- the #tip command
- the integration of the pickup_thrown patch by Roderick Schertler
- an option to rotate the number_pad directions for play on phones (back when 3.4.3 released, phones still had physical keys)
- crossbow shooting range does not depend on strength
News of the #tip command was leaked in July 2003 by Pat Rankin in this RGRN post:
This capability has already been implemented for NetHack version $(NEXT), for some value of $(NEXT) greater than 3.4.2. (At present the command is named #tip rather #dump, but that could conceivably change if your patch actually makes an impact. It has handling for containers on the floor as well as in inventory, for cursed bags of holding, bags of tricks, altars, levitation, and for one or two other things you'll probably overlook. ;-) Its primary purpose is to provide a means of getting things out of containers when your hands are stuck to weapons and/or shield, but it will work at any time unless you're too heavily encumbered.
In February 2008, Pat Rankin revealed in this post:
If they're using Roderick Schertler's pickup_thrown patch like slash'em does (and future nethack will, but you didn't hear that from me...), [...]
In May 2008, Pat Rankin wrote in this post:
The post-3.4.3 development code has extended the number_pad option to support the upside down keypad variant used by phones [...]
In March 2009, Pat Rankin wrote in this post:
As far as crossbows go, they were changed some time back to shoot for maximum distance regardless of strength or dexterity, and to require high strength to retain full multi-shot volleys.
Rumors that Pat has since been executed by the other DevTeam members for these frequent breaches of secrecy remain unconfirmed.
If the next version is a major release (i.e. not 3.4.4), it is very likely to break savefile compatibility, as every previous major release has done so. This can not be known for certain until the release date.
Careful perusal of the official CVS repository, particularly doc/buglist and the revision logs for various files gives some insight into the DevTeam's operation during what appears to be the development of 3.3.0. Some of the bugs and proposed features in the buglist have yet to appear in an official release.
When reporting bugs to the DevTeam, it is possible that the responding member of the DevTeam reveals some information about the current development code concerning the reported bug.
Next version poolEdit
In the Wikihack:Next version pool, you can guess the date on which the DevTeam will release the next version.
- NetHack 3.4.3: Known bugs — What will be fixed in the next version