- When I designed some of Slash'EM Extended's features, I was fully aware of the fact that I'm a sadistic programmer (I refuse to call myself "programmeress" because that just sounds weird, even though it is a rank title of the added Geek role, but that one's from another NetHack fork anyway) and some of my changes are probably just plain cruel. But for the sake of it, I'd love to know what specific things struck you as making the game "much worse"; there are also some features that I "stole" from SporkHack (monster generation speeding up after some time, Elbereth nerf etc.) that I seem to remember you talking about in your Let's Play thread as being useful and/or necessary.
I do feel secure in my belief that regular Slash'EM is heading off in the wrong development direction. Gonzo can be good, but it is also hard to design because more features need to be tested with every other feature to make sure everything continues working together in a way that is all three of challenging, fair, and fun. Vanilla Nethack is extremely hard at the beginning and utterly trivial after the Castle, and Slash'EM addresses this imbalance by making the beginning even more arbitrarily difficult while simultaneously making the too-easy late game even easier. Monsters with higher stats don't make gameplay more interesting unless they're doing something interesting in the context of the terrain or the other monsters around them. Certainly, Slash'EM does have a lot of good things in it, but as near as I can tell there's no gatekeeper deciding which ideas are good and which need revision. Patches appear to get slapped in regardless of whether they are great, destructive, or outright broken code.
Maybe Extended is better off with a single coder at the head of the project. If so, that's great! I might well have been misled by the fact that you're doing crazy things like use-identifying consumables and running ultra-hard polymorphitis starting combos, and normal play for a more typical combo might be much better than default Slash'EM. But then I take a look at the inclusion of the transvestite role and all that implies, and I don't think I'm going to be playing this fork. I see you've had this discussion before, and I'm probably not going to be the last to say this, but the fact that you did not intend it to be offensive does not change the fact that it breaks new grounds in offensiveness.
- The price identification nerf works in a very simple way: All items of a type have the same base price, e.g. every potion has a value of 300. Trying to sell/buy them will always yield the same prices, so the player can no longer say "ahh this scroll only costs 20-something, so it has to be identify".
Yes, I'm aware that use-identifying scrolls and potions isn't always a good thing (unless I happen to find the same one again), but I'm also always afraid of getting hit by fire/cold attacks and losing my consumables without any chance to find out what they would have done.