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View Full Version : From 3.0.6 to 3.0.9: Reactions to changes


Nameless
August 1, 2007, 03:30
Caveats:
I'm a N00b. I've never had a character over level 30 or survive deeper than 1250' despite playing Angband off and on for quite a while now. (I also played Moria long ago, but I also tend to start fresh if I haven't played a character in a while.) I did not play 3.0.7, 3.0.8 or any of the nightlies/bugfixes in the interim. Thus, my experience with 3.0.9 is fresh off my last death in 3.0.6. Some of what I point out are probably changes made in 3.0.7 or 3.0.8. Sorry - I'm taking it as one lump here. I hope the fact that I've missed a version or two hasn't made them permanantly entrenched changes.

Many of these are personal issues from a user interface standpoint, as changes below that level may very likely escape my inexperienced notice for some time. I'd consider this post like a chapter of "The New Angband Thru an Inexperienced Player's Eyes". Add salt, shake well, your mileage may vary, IANAL. ;)

Cons/Bugs/Gripes:
- Numbered options (like in the interface options main menu) do not appear to play nicely with standard arrow keys (ie. not the numeric keypad) in my install of the windows version. Numlock on/off does NOT change this fact. In the "options menu" (=) I can use the up arrow normally, but the down arrow is treated as a '2'. Right arrow is treated as '\r' and left arrow is treated as '4'. While I can understand using right arrow as "enter submenu", down arrow should probably not behave this way . This also affects the "browse knowledge" menu, since the down arrow tries to select "2) Artifact Knowledge". In this case, right arrow behaves inconsistently, acting as '6' instead of "enter submenu". Is this some problem with my install, or a bug caused by having numbered options instead of lettered?

Also, if I press '2' (on upper row of keys) while in a shop, I get "down arrow" behavior instead of either an error message (invalid command) or an ignored keypress. (I get "up arrow" on pressing '8', which is consistent.) Is this behavior normal and expected?

- Shop commands are now inconsistent when buying an item when compared to all of the other inventory commands, which are always "select action, select item". Compare - (G)et/buy, (A) and (G)et/Buy, (B). vs. using (G)+Enter to buy one item, and (H)+Enter for another. Saving some keypresses by removing haggling is all right, but I'm not so sure about the rest.

Consistency here is better than saving a keypress or two, IMO, since the old way behaved like all other commands, and buying items in the shops is not as frequent as selling - which still remains unchanged as (D)rop/Sell+(A), making me wonder why this was done at all. In addition, items are now strangely enumerated, since "d" is now used to sell, and can't be dual used as an item "number" in the enumeration of shop inventories. Hence, selling and buying are now handled differently at the command level for no apparent (to me) reason.

Also, since "enter" will now buy an item, it's possible to buy an item that's selected and has quantity 1 by simply pressing enter twice. This is (to me) an undesirable event and behavior, since I cannot use keymaps within the shop interface, meaning I can't rebind [Enter] to the old behavior in all cases.

Also, the "G" key is no longer usable in shops, and I tended to use this when buying. Instead this now positions me to an item. Is there a way to fix this behavior at the end-user level?

I don't want to revert to a fossilized version (3.0.6) but the shop interfaces really clash for me. I've already carelessly bought two items by exercising the "[enter] clears all haggling messages, flavor messages and prompts" habit from 3.0.6 while an item with one quantity was selected. I'm just not seeing why the change to shop interfaces was needed or desirable. Why was this changed - to save a couple of keypresses on the fairly rare cases where a user buys something after clvl 20? If it's the addition of mouse support, is there a reason why the mouse could not be handled differently from the keyboard? (ie. clicking starts the buy process for the clicked item, keys remain unchanged)

- One of the first things I did was create a keymap of " " for the enter key to avoid the menu pop-up. Maybe newer players will like it, but I'm not fond of it, since I use the numeric keypad enter to clear -more- prompts and messages regularly. That's a very minor nitpick, since I can rebind it. Possibly better to use a different key for the menu by default, since \r can clear messages with no -more- prompt, but [Enter] no longer can?

Pros/Bennies/Kudos:
- I like the colorization changes (shop prices/lite radius on torches in item desc/uniques in monster list). Many Thanks!

- Monster list no longer displays the ASCII tile when using graphics. This saves me some desktop space in my subwindow setup, which I like.

- Added the browse-a-spell feature in spellbooks. Another nice addition which I love, since I play casters exclusively. Describing how a new ability works is simply good practice for games.

Feature Suggestions/Requests:
- Blows per round in the item description for unequipped items. (You don't really want to equip that unidentified dagger just to find out if you qualify for two hits per round, do you?) This would bring fighter-types into closer parity with mages in the understanding-native-abilities category, now that browse-a-spell has been added. This display should NOT consider things like "Extra blows" for unID'd items, but a basic display of 'if this is an unenchanted item, you'd get x attacks' would be nice.

More as I come across it...

ekolis
August 1, 2007, 13:42
Blows per round in the item description for unequipped items. (You don't really want to equip that unidentified dagger just to find out if you qualify for two hits per round, do you?) This would bring fighter-types into closer parity with mages in the understanding-native-abilities category, now that browse-a-spell has been added. This display should NOT consider things like "Extra blows" for unID'd items, but a basic display of 'if this is an unenchanted item, you'd get x attacks' would be nice.
Could've sworn you got that info when you 'I'nspect the weapon, but maybe that was only added in the nightlies post-3.0.9...

takkaria
August 1, 2007, 13:57
Cons/Bugs/Gripes:
- Numbered options (like in the interface options main menu) do not appear to play nicely with standard arrow keys (ie. not the numeric keypad) in my install of the windows version. Numlock on/off does NOT change this fact. In the "options menu" (=) I can use the up arrow normally, but the down arrow is treated as a '2'. Right arrow is treated as '\r' and left arrow is treated as '4'. While I can understand using right arrow as "enter submenu", down arrow should probably not behave this way . This also affects the "browse knowledge" menu, since the down arrow tries to select "2) Artifact Knowledge". In this case, right arrow behaves inconsistently, acting as '6' instead of "enter submenu". Is this some problem with my install, or a bug caused by having numbered options instead of lettered?

Also, if I press '2' (on upper row of keys) while in a shop, I get "down arrow" behavior instead of either an error message (invalid command) or an ignored keypress. (I get "up arrow" on pressing '8', which is consistent.) Is this behavior normal and expected?

You extracted your copy of 3.0.9 over an old copy of the game, so are using old pref files. This is what happens when you do that. If you start afresh, the problems don't occur. (If you have pref file settings, which given you play spellcasters, I imagine you must, then the pref files contain old mappings for the arrow keys which don't correspond to arrow keys in-game.)


- Shop commands are now inconsistent when buying an item when compared to all of the other inventory commands, which are always "select action, select item". Compare - (G)et/buy, (A) and (G)et/Buy, (B). vs. using (G)+Enter to buy one item, and (H)+Enter for another. Saving some keypresses by removing haggling is all right, but I'm not so sure about the rest.

Consistency here is better than saving a keypress or two, IMO, since the old way behaved like all other commands, and buying items in the shops is not as frequent as selling - which still remains unchanged as (D)rop/Sell+(A), making me wonder why this was done at all. In addition, items are now strangely enumerated, since "d" is now used to sell, and can't be dual used as an item "number" in the enumeration of shop inventories. Hence, selling and buying are now handled differently at the command level for no apparent (to me) reason.

Consistency is important, yeah. In development before the release, there was briefly an "items you can sell" screen which you could sell from. It had very little chance of being polished before release, though, so it got taken out again.


Also, since "enter" will now buy an item, it's possible to buy an item that's selected and has quantity 1 by simply pressing enter twice. This is (to me) an undesirable event and behavior, since I cannot use keymaps within the shop interface, meaning I can't rebind [Enter] to the old behavior in all cases.

Why do you want to use keymaps with the shop interface?


Also, the "G" key is no longer usable in shops, and I tended to use this when buying. Instead this now positions me to an item. Is there a way to fix this behavior at the end-user level?

I'm of the opinion that generally, only shop-things should happen in shops. I'd much rather people 'G'ained spells outside.


I don't want to revert to a fossilized version (3.0.6) but the shop interfaces really clash for me. I've already carelessly bought two items by exercising the "[enter] clears all haggling messages, flavor messages and prompts" habit from 3.0.6 while an item with one quantity was selected. I'm just not seeing why the change to shop interfaces was needed or desirable.

I'd stop exercising that habit. :) That there used to be bad old UI that you had to keep keys held down for is not a good argument for keeping it that way, I'm afraid, though I'm sympathetic to your plight -- I changed it so that people never have to learn that habit.


Why was this changed - to save a couple of keypresses on the fairly rare cases where a user buys something after clvl 20? If it's the addition of mouse support, is there a reason why the mouse could not be handled differently from the keyboard? (ie. clicking starts the buy process for the clicked item, keys remain unchanged)

The entire shop stuff was changed to a) better handle bigscreen, b) fit in better with the rest of the game, c) be more obvious and intuitive, and d) support using the mouse, at least partially. With working arrow keys, the new shop interface is generally easier to use than the old one, I find.


- One of the first things I did was create a keymap of " " for the enter key to avoid the menu pop-up. Maybe newer players will like it, but I'm not fond of it, since I use the numeric keypad enter to clear -more- prompts and messages regularly. That's a very minor nitpick, since I can rebind it. Possibly better to use a different key for the menu by default, since \r can clear messages with no -more- prompt, but [Enter] no longer can?

Personally, I'd switch to "space" to clear -more- prompts. Enter is the default key because it's very easy for newbies to discover, and various other variants have the same feature tied to the Enter key too. Putting it anywhere else makes it less discoverable.


Feature Suggestions/Requests:
- Blows per round in the item description for unequipped items. (You don't really want to equip that unidentified dagger just to find out if you qualify for two hits per round, do you?) This would bring fighter-types into closer parity with mages in the understanding-native-abilities category, now that browse-a-spell has been added. This display should NOT consider things like "Extra blows" for unID'd items, but a basic display of 'if this is an unenchanted item, you'd get x attacks' would be nice.

It's in the next version already. (Actually, the next version has the more useful "it gives you x blows per round and each blow does y damage" text.)

Nameless
August 1, 2007, 17:15
You extracted your copy of 3.0.9 over an old copy of the game, so are using old pref files. This is what happens when you do that.Aha! I can fix this, then, since my pref files really consist of only a few basic macros. Thanks!

Why do you want to use keymaps with the shop interface?Actually, I really don't - I just don't want to buy yet another potion of X because I hit enter (or an enumeration letter) once too often. Yeah, yeah... it's just me, so I'll just have to live with it - I know. I can already tell, though - Once I have some money, it'll probably be a (Defender) weapon I buy in the Black Market by accident, and I'll end up nearly bankrupt from it. I suppose that's part of the retraining process, but it seems a bit too easy to botch.

Thus [enter] (and sometimes any letter key used to enumerate, if used on a quantity one item) can directly buy any item, which doesn't take much to goof. Let your cat stand on your keyboard while you're getting a soda (while "safe in a shop"!) and you could attempt to buy the entire black market, thanks to key-repeat working in stores.

Would it be possible to retain the older style shop interface as an option (variants would thus not need to support this)? If not, would it be possible to have an interface option that requires the user to explicitly hit 'y' to give a final confirmation for a purchase attempt as a type of 'safety'? (Probably off by default, since it seems that this may be a fairly firm design decision with me apparently in a vanishing minority. :/)

I'd stop exercising that habit. :) That there used to be bad old UI that you had to keep keys held down forNot held down - just used to clear messages. (One message and keypress at a time, usually, as I tend to look at my message history only when I think I missed a message, and I don't play at warp speeds.)

(1) The Foobar misses you. -more-
(2) The Foobar hits you. -more-
(3) The Foobar defiles your ancestors! That's gotta hurt!

Pressing [Enter] previously would clear any one of these without doing anything else. Now it clears the ones followed by -more- (1, 2) but brings up a menu if used to clear any message NOT followed by -more- (3). This is odd, to me. I'd expect it to clear the final message, and then if used AGAIN afterwards, to bring up the menu, or to bring up the menu anytime it's pressed, regardless of messsages waiting.

Consistency is important, yeah. In development before the release, there was briefly an "items you can sell" screen which you could sell from. It had very little chance of being polished before release, though, so it got taken out again.Why is this mode preferable in a consistency sense? I mean, if I want to pick an item up, or drop an item or do *anything* else with an item, it's always been action key, then item letter, and for anything else, it still is. This was consistent across the entire game, but item manipulation in shops will no longer perform as any other item manipulation command does.

When you DO put in the "items you can sell screen", is the 'g' key then used to get you back to the "items you can buy screen" which then necessitates leaving out 'g' as an enumerator in one screen, but leaving out 'd' in the other?

I'm of the opinion that generally, only shop-things should happen in shops. I'd much rather people 'G'ained spells outside.I'm (g)etting items outside too, right? So why is (g)etting items in a shop confusing, really? (Sorry - I capitalized it and didn't realize it in my reread.)

The entire shop stuff was changed to a) better handle bigscreen,Which I've never used, so that explains why I wouldn't see it.

b) fit in better with the rest of the gameHow does it do this? *All* other inventory management commands game-wide are Action Key -> Item Letter. Consider: activating an artifact, zapping a rod, getting an item from a pile, dropping an item, gaining a spell from a book or inspecting an item (among others) ALL use the command key -> item letter style. Are they slated to be changed as well, or only shops? Further, the necessity of leaving out some letters from the enumerations due to special use considerations in shops is just plain weird.

Bear with me - I'm really not questioning this out of some misguided attempt to resist change simply to resist change, I'm just not seeing how incorporating the different style for shops makes things intuitive for non-mouse users with more than five minutes experience with the game. Users don't do things the same way in shops as anywhere else in the game, thus it's obvious and intuitive for new users?

Personally, I'd switch to "space" to clear -more- prompts. Enter is the default key because it's very easy for newbies to discover, and various other variants have the same feature tied to the Enter key too. Putting it anywhere else makes it less discoverable.Fair enough - I have no qualms about keymapping [Enter] to " ", especially since I don't use the menu and I already have keymapped it. ;)

It's in the next version already. (Actually, the next version has the more useful "it gives you x blows per round and each blow does y damage" text.)Nice. I'll keep my eyes open for any similar information that would help. Is such a modification possible for stealth, to know how a new item will really affect sneakiness, or is the calculation for that too big a pain to make it easily displayed? (It could assume an "average" awareness monster, since one would logically expect it to work less well against aware monsters, and better against those that are a bit less acute.)

What's planned for support for higher resolutions? Is there a change planned to the increase/decrease tile dimensions method in use now?

Kav
August 1, 2007, 17:18
Personally, I'd switch to "space" to clear -more- prompts. Enter is the default key because it's very easy for newbies to discover, and various other variants have the same feature tied to the Enter key too. Putting it anywhere else makes it less discoverable.

I think this is a really good idea. However, for the older players couldn't we just have an option to turn it back to the old behavior? Leave it on by default of course, otherwise the people who would need/like it wouldn't find it. But, people that have been playing a long time are probably only annoyed by it. I think an option to disable it would make everyone happy.

takkaria
August 2, 2007, 14:19
Would it be possible to retain the older style shop interface as an option (variants would thus not need to support this)? If not, would it be possible to have an interface option that requires the user to explicitly hit 'y' to give a final confirmation for a purchase attempt as a type of 'safety'? (Probably off by default, since it seems that this may be a fairly firm design decision with me apparently in a vanishing minority. :/)

I'm not including an option to revert to the previous behaviour, no. I could switch the store buying prompt so it requires a 'y'; but I figured people would object to that since it's more bother than just hitting Enter repeatedly (like you could in 3.0.6).


(1) The Foobar misses you. -more-
(2) The Foobar hits you. -more-
(3) The Foobar defiles your ancestors! That's gotta hurt!

Pressing [Enter] previously would clear any one of these without doing anything else. Now it clears the ones followed by -more- (1, 2) but brings up a menu if used to clear any message NOT followed by -more- (3). This is odd, to me. I'd expect it to clear the final message, and then if used AGAIN afterwards, to bring up the menu, or to bring up the menu anytime it's pressed, regardless of messsages waiting.

That's interesting. It does make kind-of sense, but it also doesn't work like any other commands work. If you press 'E' at (3), then it brings up the 'E'at prompt and clears the last message at the same time.


When you DO put in the "items you can sell screen", is the 'g' key then used to get you back to the "items you can buy screen" which then necessitates leaving out 'g' as an enumerator in one screen, but leaving out 'd' in the other?

No idea as yet.


I'm (g)etting items outside too, right? So why is (g)etting items in a shop confusing, really? (Sorry - I capitalized it and didn't realize it in my reread.)

The lowercase makes all the difference. I think 'g' should probably be used in both the stores and the home.


(moved this paragraph from earlier in the post) Why is this mode preferable in a consistency sense? I mean, if I want to pick an item up, or drop an item or do *anything* else with an item, it's always been action key, then item letter, and for anything else, it still is. This was consistent across the entire game, but item manipulation in shops will no longer perform as any other item manipulation command does.

Bear with me - I'm really not questioning this out of some misguided attempt to resist change simply to resist change, I'm just not seeing how incorporating the different style for shops makes things intuitive for non-mouse users with more than five minutes experience with the game. Users don't do things the same way in shops as anywhere else in the game, thus it's obvious and intuitive for new users?

The menus in shops are the same as the menus used on the birth screen, the knowledge browser, the options menus, the command menu, etc.. It also fits in better with how UIs work outside the same. And no, other commands aren't due to be converted to that method.

The interface-concept is different between stores and inventory use. With stores, browsing is a very likely thing to want to do (you look for an item, then buy it). With inventory use, browsing is not a very likely thing to want to do (you know what you want to do, then you locate the item). Also, the various inventory commands ('E', 'q' etc) display a restricted subset of the inventory, often below 7 items, which is a very easy number of things to choose between. Stores are typically larger, and thus scrolling to the required item is often easier than looking up the cost and key required to buy it on either side, especially with the lack of line spacing in Angband.


Nice. I'll keep my eyes open for any similar information that would help. Is such a modification possible for stealth, to know how a new item will really affect sneakiness, or is the calculation for that too big a pain to make it easily displayed? (It could assume an "average" awareness monster, since one would logically expect it to work less well against aware monsters, and better against those that are a bit less acute.)

I haven't really looked at stealth at all yet, so I can't tell you. I'll consider it, though I imagine it's of far less general utility than the weapon damage display.


What's planned for support for higher resolutions? Is there a change planned to the increase/decrease tile dimensions method in use now?

Well, there's bigscreen support, for one... And yeah, "proper" graphics support should be along at some point.

Nameless
August 2, 2007, 23:52
That's interesting. It does make kind-of sense, but it also doesn't work like any other commands work. If you press 'E' at (3), then it brings up the 'E'at prompt and clears the last message at the same time.Doh. That's true, and an excellent point.

I guess I was looking at it from the standpoint that if a player is trying to 'E'at something, they know they want the messages cleared to do this thing. Until a player selects an option from the menu, however, they're not commiting an 'action' at all, and can bring up the menu half a dozen times. However, that's a false dichotomy - they're still both keystrokes. I then don't have a good reason why [Enter] should be changed to function differently from other keys in this case. It's also more work to alter the operation than to leave it, so....

(...and since I can keymap, I never need to see the menu at all - so this is a moot point, and I can certainly live with (ignore) this one. I'd note that variants should probably always make sure that any in-game action added to the pop-up action menu also has a key to access it directly, so folks are not obligated to menu dive to do things "in-game".)

The lowercase makes all the difference. I think 'g' should probably be used in both the stores and the home.Of course, it's not working as an action in either place any longer, so what's the planned fix? It does work outside shops as normal. It doesn't look like it was intended to work as an action in the new shop interface at all, given that 'g' is used as an enumerator, just as it always has been, while 'd' and 'b' are not.

Essentially, the 'g' key does nothing in the current shop interface unless there's an object enumerated 'g', in which case it highlights that item for purchase, or starts a purchase if it's already highlighted. Thus, I frequently try to (g)et/buy object 'c' and instead end up highlighting and/or purchasing object 'g'. This is part of the source of my consternation with the new shops, as I'll elaborate on below.

The menus in shops are the same as the menus used on the birth screen, the knowledge browser, the options menus, the command menu, etc..Granted, but I note that those are all "metagame" functions. They don't take place "in game", they take place "outside" the game's environs, either before the game, or during a "pause" in the game or sometimes after the game. Nothing else IN the game works in this fashion. More below.

With stores, browsing is a very likely thing to want to do (you look for an item, then buy it).Maybe - I guess I'm not accustomed to browsing with arrow keys - instead, I read the list and browse with my eyes. Effectively, I'm reviewing the contents of a loot pile I haven't picked up. Interaction with piles in dungeons is unchanged, I assume, and I don't know what I'm going to do with those items until I find the item I'm interested in, either!

Personally, I'm far more interested in saving the scrolling keystrokes than having to glance to both sides of a single line of text to check prices and enumerations. Thus, I do not use the arrow keys in any of the menus, either in or out of game. It's potentially convenient for new players, I suppose, and moving to mouse support is an admirable goal for the future.

With inventory use, browsing is not a very likely thing to want to do (you know what you want to do, then you locate the item).Browsing items in a shop is not fundamentally different from reading my inventory letters + weights in a subwindow (or overlay list) when I'm overweight and don't dare drop the heavy artifact armor I just collected. Again, if I'm firing a wand, I've already figured out what I want to do, and I've already located the wand (typically in a subwindow display). If I'm buying, I know what I want to do, and I've already located the item, otherwise, I'm not buying anything!

If I'm browsing a shop, how is that different from browsing a loot pile?

Also, the various inventory commands ('E', 'q' etc) display a restricted subset of the inventory, often below 7 items, which is a very easy number of things to choose between. Stores are typically larger, and thus scrolling to the required item is often easier than looking up the cost and key required to buy it on either side, especially with the lack of line spacing in Angband.Then why does it not make sense to add scrolling and mouse input features, but also leave the action->item interface style? All key scrolling does is make me hit extra keystrokes to scroll up and down, instead of (g)+(c) to buy the item directly. (Repeated keystrokes to scroll to multiple items repeatedly is carpal tunnel inducing. Moving my eyeballs to read a list of information is not.) Since I'm ignoring the ability to scroll with keystrokes in the interest of saving my fingers, that leaves only the Item->action style of the new shops, which is still stuck in my craw a few days later.

For metagame functions (like options menus) this style makes perfect sense - after all, you're not going to "get" a menu option, or inspect it, or dance a jig with it. If you're selecting one, there's only one thing you'd want to do with it, you want to select it (and subsequently enter the menu). 309 handles this in an intuitive fashion - if you pick an option in a menu (like the '=' menu), you immediately open that submenu.

For in-game actions in the dungeon, you lead with the action, and then pick an item to perform that action with/on. This is directly in line with all Angband versions back to the primordial sludge, as far as I know. It's also intuitive with how actions are performed in many written/spoken languages. I zap (the) rod. I aim (the) wand. I verb (the) noun. Action -> Item.

However, if you're in a shop, the standard for all other Angband in-game actions is now entirely reversed. You lead with the item, then the action. I rod (the) inspect. I wand (the) buy. I noun (the) verb! Item -> Action.

Unless of course, you're actually buying an item, then you have to either select the item's enumeration twice, or you need to select the item's enumeration and press enter. Compare inspecting an item to purchasing an item. Either something's broken (The 'b' key?) or users are supposed to expect [Enter] to be the new 'g', but only in shops, which is just a wee bit odd, to say the least.

Thus, it's backwards to perform actions in a shop when compared to all other in-game actions. (getting is used one way in a shop, but the opposite way in the dungeon!) In addition, buying items is presently not even standardized within its own system when compared to other actions!

Like driving on a particular side of the road in neighboring countries, this is going to regularly cause accidents among people not used to the constant switching back and forth purely based on location. Frankly, the new shop interface doesn't feel standardized with other game actions. If it's going to stay inverted, and you're unwilling to provide the old style as an option (two sets of code to maintain, I'm sure) then I cannot urge you strongly enough to allow an option to require an explicit confirmation.

(I think the constant switching back and forth between these modes of action is giving me brain smashing! Or is that brain smashing me is giving? Nevermind...)

I'm not including an option to revert to the previous behaviour, no. I could switch the store buying prompt so it requires a 'y'; but I figured people would object to that since it's more bother than just hitting Enter repeatedly (like you could in 3.0.6).Judging by the way the idea of a reversion or option to use the older style is dismissed outright, I'll bury my hope that this was a simple oversight caused by the adoption of the new menu, mousing and scrolling code throughout the entire system.

That said, *I* wouldn't object to an explicit confirmation option in the slightest, if this is all going to stay the way it is. For me, it's a much needed sanity move. Since I use the numberpad to move around, [NumEnter] is incredibly convenient for use in busting messages, and in shops, it's now a problem-causing no-no for me.

I haven't really looked at stealth at all yet, so I can't tell you. I'll consider it, though I imagine it's of far less general utility than the weapon damage display.Probably true, since only rogues get heavy use out of it, but it was something in the same vein that came to me.

I'll take a poke around other game systems and see if there's other information I might want presented in item descriptions or elsewhere.

tigen
August 3, 2007, 00:25
I think I have to agree with most of Nameless's points.

"Thus, I frequently try to (g)et/buy object 'c' and instead end up highlighting and/or purchasing object 'g'. "

I think this is the main issue for existing users, which can be unlearned of course. But many of us are used to this action->select mode, especially for in-game actions. (One difference with menus is that selecting a menu item in option menus etc is generally reversible, but buying an item is not.) The enter key becoming an action button is also a valid concern I think. I guess you could try thinking about it as walking into the store being the "buy" action. Still it's strange to have the scrolling thing for buying, but the old style for selling.

I don't see that this change really has an advantage, but changes a thing many people were used to. I could see it in context of allowing different control schemes, say on a system with a gamepad-like interface: you'd need a way to scroll through and select stuff like this. But then the entire process should be menu-driven, like when you walk into a shop in Final Fantasy (it first asks buy or sell). But this would be a broad change and really the rest of the UI would have to be altered away from the current keyboard-centric style. (And old-time Angband players would not want this forced on them, because while it would be more intuitive, it would be slower.)

Nameless
August 4, 2007, 15:53
One difference with menus is that selecting a menu item in option menus etc is generally reversible, but buying an item is not.I suppose that offering full purchase price for items sold would fix my gripe indirectly, but I'm not sure we want gold to explode so quickly at lower depths than it already does - even my midgame characters notice the decreasing value of gold, and this would allow a character to enter statgain at lower levels, by purchasing potions in the black market more often.

It could potentially be fixed by making items you buy salable at their purchase price until you leave the store (thereby confirming your purchase). That's not as game-altering as the above solution, and fits with the menu-driven, FFlike style we seem to be incorporating here.

Still it's strange to have the scrolling thing for buying, but the old style for selling.Very, but my understanding is that the whole shop interface will work this way eventually.

But this would be a broad change and really the rest of the UI would have to be altered away from the current keyboard-centric style. (And old-time Angband players would not want this forced on them, because while it would be more intuitive, it would be slower.)Exactly - I'm not personally gaining ANYTHING from the ability to mouse or scroll shop items. It's not saving me keystrokes, and it's not saving me time, since I still have to look up enumerations and prices. All that leaves for me to benefit from is a system where purchasing items I want to buy works in a diametrically opposite fashion from every other in-game system.

Daven_26d1
August 9, 2007, 16:59
I seem to have overlooked this wordfest of a thread. Or maybe I've just been reading it for the past week! ;)

I think I have to agree with most of Nameless's points.

"Thus, I frequently try to (g)et/buy object 'c' and instead end up highlighting and/or purchasing object 'g'. "


This was *way* weird at first, and I think I lost a fair bit of hair duiring my first couple of sessions. Once I got used to it (took about two days, but I play for protracted periods a lot of the time, so it may take longer for others) I found it was just plain better.

I honestly believe most people will come to prefer the new shop interface, whether you decide to use the arrow keys or the item letters/numbers. Effectively you have 2 new, fast ways to shop. Its probably just a question of breaking the habits of old!

Faust
August 9, 2007, 17:20
I seem to have overlooked this wordfest of a thread. Or maybe I've just been reading it for the past week! ;)



This was *way* weird at first, and I think I lost a fair bit of hair duiring my first couple of sessions. Once I got used to it (took about two days, but I play for protracted periods a lot of the time, so it may take longer for others) I found it was just plain better.

I honestly believe most people will come to prefer the new shop interface, whether you decide to use the arrow keys or the item letters/numbers. Effectively you have 2 new, fast ways to shop. Its probably just a question of breaking the habits of old!
I must agree it is a much better shopping system, justs takes time to get used to (I've been playing for 14 years and still managed to break the old habits :) ).

It would be nice if your inventory & equipment were scrollable in the same manner though.

Daven_26d1
August 9, 2007, 20:00
It would be nice if your inventory & equipment were scrollable in the same manner though.

What do you mean? So that you can select from context choices (eg which ! to quaff) with the cursor keys? This would be too slow for me personally, but I can see how others might like it. Odd for such a veteran to want it though, I would have thought it was mainly appealing to newcomers.

I think the highlighted line would be distracting too, I mainly like it in the shop because I sometimes play at a greater distance from the screen these days, with my son asleep (or wriggling distractingly) in my arms - the highlight can be helpful so I don't confuse the prices.

Nameless
August 9, 2007, 21:40
I would have thought it was mainly appealing to newcomers.That's pretty much the only justification I can see for adding it to the shops, since it doesn't really save you any keypresses. Why should the inventory windows work differently?

Faust
August 10, 2007, 00:30
What do you mean? So that you can select from context choices (eg which ! to quaff) with the cursor keys? This would be too slow for me personally, but I can see how others might like it. Odd for such a veteran to want it though, I would have thought it was mainly appealing to newcomers.

I think the highlighted line would be distracting too, I mainly like it in the shop because I sometimes play at a greater distance from the screen these days, with my son asleep (or wriggling distractingly) in my arms - the highlight can be helpful so I don't confuse the prices.

I generally don't use the scrolling (except when I'm feeling indisive), just press the letter. But it's a matter of consitancy & I wasn't referring to general gameplay just selling things in the shop, as buying and selling currently use 2 different systems.


I may have been playing forever, but I wouldn't call myself a veteran, I'm still rubbish. :)

Big Al
August 10, 2007, 04:21
It would be nice if your inventory & equipment were scrollable in the same manner though.

This is on the bug fixes list (http://dev.rephial.org/trac/ticket/97). Peter Mack (I think) is working on it. I took a quick attempt at changing the inventory lists over to the new menu system a couple nights ago (just for kicks), but never got it near completed.

(I got hackish system working so that the new menus could list your inventory and let you select an item, taking into account any item_tester_okay() restrictions, but don't know enough about how to return a value or index from the menu back into get_item(). Mostly copy & paste & modified from the store.c code. EDIT: might as well post the code I made - though it's really quite terribly WIP: here (http://www.ualberta.ca/~aphillip/inv_menu_code.txt).)

Daven_26d1
August 10, 2007, 09:23
I may have been playing forever, but I wouldn't call myself a veteran, I'm still rubbish. :)

Even if you are pants at the game, 14 years of experience means that your opinion should count for something when it comes to interface features. Thats really what I was alluding to, you must have seen a lot of different approaches to many things within V.

I bet you're over the moon about floor piles finally being handled well, for instance - I know I am, and I only picked angband up during 2.9.summat I think...

Faust
August 10, 2007, 11:13
you must have seen a lot of different approaches to many things within V.

I bet you're over the moon about floor piles finally being handled well, for instance - I know I am, and I only picked angband up during 2.9.summat I think...

When I started playing there was no stacking, 1 item per floor square & wands/staffs only stacked if they had identical charges (which was annoying when your inventory was full as you dropped 1 each time you used 1).

I play with autopickup and then filter the junk once i'm full (If your lucky when you're attacked it's only a piece of junk that gets destroyed), I had a brief look a the menu driven pickup system but I haven't played with it enough to coment. :)

Daven_26d1
August 10, 2007, 12:33
When I started playing there was no stacking, 1 item per floor square & wands/staffs only stacked if they had identical charges (which was annoying when your inventory was full as you dropped 1 each time you used 1).

Yeah, I'm aware of the old stacking issues, a holdover from Moria, I guess. The identical charge thing was only completely removed fairly recently, I'm no stranger to wasting charges so that wands stack.


I play with autopickup and then filter the junk once i'm full (If your lucky when you're attacked it's only a piece of junk that gets destroyed), I had a brief look a the menu driven pickup system but I haven't played with it enough to coment. :)

I'm not keen on autopickup, because it takes time (I think) and I don't like the idea of losing a character because my speed drops by 2 points when I auto-grab a lance or something. ToME has that nice heavy-item prompt, but its not been introduced in V, and I don't see it happening as Andrew's philosophy seems to be to simplify, not complicate. I just use flip-pickup when I deem it desirable, tho conversely, I assume you do this when you need to walk over piles mid-combat.

I'm into my third ironman char in a row now, and my inventory is usually nearly full. I guess it depends what depths you are reaching, for the first 5-10 dlevs it might be more convenient your way. Just seems a bit nethacky to me!

Faust
August 10, 2007, 12:50
I'm not keen on autopickup, because it takes time (I think) and I don't like the idea of losing a character because my speed drops by 2 points when I auto-grab a lance or something.
Speed is a problem especially with puny mages. I used to play with prompt for pickup so I'd get a Y/N on everything (this is the one thing I miss), so i'd just go N through everything whilst in battle and come back to them later.
ToME has that nice heavy-item prompt
I like the sound of this.

I just use flip-pickup when I deem it desirable, tho conversely, I assume you do this when you need to walk over piles mid-combat.

Hadn't thought about this, have to give it a try. I tend to try and bring the enemy to me rather than charging straight at them, so I'm generally either staying still or backing away.

I'm into my third ironman char in a row now, and my inventory is usually nearly full.
Ironman's to mental for me (my friend wrote the original berfore it got absorbed into V, I always told him he was mad :) ).

Daven_26d1
August 10, 2007, 23:46
Ah-ha! After 14 years of play, and still feeling like a poor player, I think we have it!

Sounds to me like you need to stop and think a bit more. You should not be sacrificing tactical advantage over easy input - at least not after this length of time playing. Put up with inconvenience if it means you live longer; you will eventually learn some typing hacks that render it all moot anyway.

Basically, I kind of sense that 14 years without a win irritates you somewhat? I have a queer feelinmg that you don't play at light speed, but that you don't really slow down during critical encounters either. Stop me if I'm wrong.

If I'm not wrong, have you ever tried saving and coming back later when the game gets hairy, instead of tap-tap-tapping frustratedly? Analyse your play for an hour or two; I find this helps pass the time at work/uni/college/boring party and come back later with a strategy (and an eager hunger for the game ;) ) - then try to play that strategy out well with thoughtful tactics. Even if your dude dies, you may find that you learn something profound.

Sorry wholeheartedly if I'm barking up the wrong tree, but I have noticed that weaker players tend to save the game religiously in the town, rather than at better moments, like "I'm tired" or "I'm probably gonna die".

I guess a similar point is just to analyse your play more deeply between characters; why did this one die and what could I have done different? I can only think of 1 or 2 chars that I could not have saved if had concentrated more or adopted another tactic.

Hope this doesn't sound too lecture-like, I'm basically trying to help you out.

This is sooo the wrong thread for this pst, too....

Faust
August 11, 2007, 01:05
Ah-ha! After 14 years of play, and still feeling like a poor player, I think we have it!
Basically, I kind of sense that 14 years without a win irritates you somewhat? I have a queer feelinmg that you don't play at light speed, but that you don't really slow down during critical encounters either. Stop me if I'm wrong.
Fairly accurate I start slowly but then become over confident and start charging round like a luney, take on things I really know I shouldn't and refuse to run even when I know I'm going to die.
Have won but not without backing up the save file, this year is the first year I've tried without for a very long time and I'm heading for my 50th @.

Hope this doesn't sound too lecture-like, I'm basically trying to help you out.No offence taken. :)

This is sooo the wrong thread for this pst, too....Yeh we seem to have gone of on a wild tangent. :)

takkaria
August 11, 2007, 01:43
Fairly accurate I start slowly but then become over confident and start charging round like a luney, take on things I really know I shouldn't and refuse to run even when I know I'm going to die.
Have won but not without backing up the save file, this year is the first year I've tried without for a very long time and I'm heading for my 50th @.

I've been playing much shorter than that. :) I just tend to dive like crazy and die from not running away from the monsters much more likely to kill me than I am to kill them. (Normally because by the time I realise I'm about to die, I've run out of teleport/CCW/whatever.)

It's a good way to notch down your confidence; just keep diving whenever you feel you might be able to manage the current level.

Daven_26d1
August 11, 2007, 15:30
I've been playing much shorter than that. :) I just tend to dive like crazy and die from not running away from the monsters much more likely to kill me than I am to kill them.


I'm not dissimilar, TBH - I tend to die because I can't let go of a prize. I love the battles where I almost die, because I feel alive... I'm smart enough to use my items, and use them effectively, its just that I tend not to recall if I've nearly killed that unique or almost cracked that vault. I take adversity as a personal challenge.

Survival is the real prize though, but I have to say I'm getting much better at accepting big sacrifices over the ultimate one these days. Again, Ironman mode can teach you much about this. I'm consistently getting deeper and to higher clevs than in standard play, although you could put this down to less keystrokes means less chance of dying from idiocy.

I won with a ranger about a year ago, no cheating, just lots of patience. I dived slowly, and didn't find myself in too many situations like I mentioned above. I really have lost that zen touch it seems, besides, I like to dive - the first 1000' are dull! I rarely get beyond 2500' now, mind.

@faust: what depths are you reaching? I think if you invested in a little patience, you might find that less time hitting buttons is worth it when you start making consistent improvement. Glad my drunken rant last nite didn't offend you; OMG my spelling!

Way, way off topic...

EDIT - I'd best point out that my win was in standard mode, I suspect endgame may be extremely tricky in ironman without some serious intervention from the RNG.

takkaria
August 11, 2007, 20:27
Survival is the real prize though, but I have to say I'm getting much better at accepting big sacrifices over the ultimate one these days. Again, Ironman mode can teach you much about this. I'm consistently getting deeper and to higher clevs than in standard play, although you could put this down to less keystrokes means less chance of dying from idiocy.

Ironman teaches you a lot of things, including tactics for avoiding needing so many CSW/CCW (when fighting orcs, get into a corridor, sleep one, and rest until he wakes up, repeat), how to do long dungeon dives before needing to come up for air, and how ID isn't quite as necessary as you thought it was before (at least before egos start showing up). And that's just from a couple of games yesterday. :)

Daven_26d1
August 12, 2007, 00:17
Ironman teaches you a lot of things, including tactics for avoiding needing so many CSW/CCW (when fighting orcs, get into a corridor, sleep one, and rest until he wakes up, repeat), how to do long dungeon dives before needing to come up for air, and how ID isn't quite as necessary as you thought it was before (at least before egos start showing up). And that's just from a couple of games yesterday. :)

Intense ain't it? It's unbelievable how phenomally useful relatively mundane items become, like rods of light. Its also nice to have an excuse to use the status wands.

Then there's really clever/sad stuff too, like leaving the gold on the floor (you can't spend it!) to alert you when Smeagol is creeping near. He's extra annoying, but even more satisfying to slay.

Faust
August 12, 2007, 01:06
@faust: what depths are you reaching? I think if you invested in a little patience, you might find that less time hitting buttons is worth it when you start making consistent improvement. Glad my drunken rant last nite didn't offend you; OMG my spelling!

Normally don't get much beyond 1200ft, paitence isn't it, it's stubbornness (i'm a taurus). Glad i'm not the only one who was drunk (entire bottle of sherry to myself.) ;) my grammer sucks too. :)

Big Al
August 12, 2007, 02:16
Drunk 'banding has killed so many of my chars...

takkaria
August 12, 2007, 02:59
Intense ain't it? It's unbelievable how phenomally useful relatively mundane items become, like rods of light. Its also nice to have an excuse to use the status wands.

Then there's really clever/sad stuff too, like leaving the gold on the floor (you can't spend it!) to alert you when Smeagol is creeping near. He's extra annoying, but even more satisfying to slay.

I was playing a High-Elf, who get SInvis, so Smeagol wasn't an issue for me. :) Figured the XP penalty was worth it, given that I'd get much more stuff for my money at the beginning of the day due to naturally high CHR. Odd that I'd never considered playing an ironman char properly before, but glad I did/am.

Of course, one can argue that since I tweak the game as I go along, I'm not playing the same ironman as everyone else. :)