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View Full Version : [Un] Confused how to get started in 0.6.2-wip6a, + misc.


Bostock
September 6, 2007, 13:44
Back in... whatever was current in early August, the way to get started was pretty discoverable without guidance -- travel to Maggot's Farm, get demolished, start over, travel to Bree, kit (the rest of the way) up, head down, get annoyed as hell by Fairies, start making progress, kill mushroom, get curious, eat mushroom, live, make more progress, kill more powerful mushroom, eat mushroom, die. :-)


Now in 0.6.2-wip6a the progression has been: enter Hobbiton (Hobbit Slinger), kit up a bit, eat, travel, find no stairs, eat, travel, find no stairs, eat, travel, find no stairs, eat, travel, find hardly unexpectable horribly level1-unfriendly monsters (Maggot's Farm and Old Forest), eat, travel, find no stairs, run out innocents to slaughter to earn money*, run out of money to buy food, run out of food, Shift-Q, y, @.

* Is there any reason other than tradition and realism (and realism is expendable, I think) for letting innocents have drops and balancing the game for the possibility of farming them?

I presume this is *not* the intended gameplay (unless this is to be the only 'band one is allowed to play in Hell), so what am I missing? And perhaps something could be done to make it harder to miss?

Another confusing thing: I ended up apparently walking in the treetops at a couple points and, besides the fact that the constant shifts of scene as I drifted in and out of them were rather disturbing, I also couldn't find the key to what would trigger those shifts -- I'd see two spaces represented by a dot of the same color, both at the same distance from the nearest green %, and entering one would return me to the normal view, and entering the other would not.

One mildly disturbing thing: I informed the game in the opening that I had experience with all things roguelike, fooish, and Angbandish, just not Unangbandish, so I expected not to be informed of things that any average 'bander would know. But to no avail; I was shown blurbs on what potions are all about a few steps into my career.

(Really liked the Farmer Maggot pamphlets, by the way!)

I can't remember, since I try out lots of variants and tend to get their mechanics mixed up except for the ones I play the most, if this is one of the variants that doesn't support Shift-dir for longwalk. But if it is, I hope that changes.

What I do remember is that the varied terrain makes longwalk fairly useless a large amount of the time, compared to Angband. Even though changing that will be non-trivial, I hope that that changes, too.

To end this on a more positive note, it's exciting to see someone eager to do really wild things with the Angband foundation and having lots of fun with it, and I'm really curious what direction things have gone in the latest official build. In fact, that's why I don't want to just give up after my discouraging test game of 0.6.2-wip6a, and instead am asking here!

Bostock

Bandobras
September 6, 2007, 16:13
Until Andrew is back in business, I'll try to help somewhat...

Back in... whatever was current in early August, the way to get started was pretty discoverable without guidance -- travel to Maggot's Farm, get demolished, start over, travel to Bree, kit (the rest of the way) up, head down, get annoyed as hell by Fairies, start making progress, kill mushroom, get curious, eat mushroom, live, make more progress, kill more powerful mushroom, eat mushroom, die. :-)


Yeah, that was fun.:)

Now in 0.6.2-wip6a the progression has been: enter Hobbiton (Hobbit Slinger), kit up a bit, eat, travel, find no stairs,


Where? Why? Did you wipe up clean any previous versions? All config files e.g. in ~/.angband/Unangband?

eat, travel, find no stairs, eat, travel, find no stairs, eat, travel, find hardly unexpectable horribly level1-unfriendly monsters (Maggot's Farm and Old Forest), eat, travel,


I don't like the availability of many towns at once. Sometimes I could stand 2 at once, but normally just 1, otherwise I start shopping-scumming.

* Is there any reason other than tradition and realism (and realism is expendable, I think) for letting innocents have drops and balancing the game for the possibility of farming them?


I don't thinks so. I'm all for letting townspeople only drop junk.

Another confusing thing: I ended up apparently walking in the treetops


How do you know?

at a couple points and, besides the fact that the constant shifts of scene as I drifted in and out of them were rather disturbing, I also couldn't find the key to what would trigger those shifts -- I'd see two spaces represented by a dot of the same color, both at the same distance from the nearest green %, and entering one would return me to the normal view, and entering the other would not.


I'm not 100% sure, but I suppose one of them had overhanging trees above it. I don't quite like this interface, too.

I can't remember, since I try out lots of variants and tend to get their mechanics mixed up except for the ones I play the most, if this is one of the variants that doesn't support Shift-dir for longwalk.


By far, no. It should work by deault, but if not, set up your macros right.

Bostock
September 6, 2007, 16:52
Until Andrew is back in business, I'll try to help somewhat...



Yeah, that was fun.:) [sic]

Hmm, something seems to be wrong with nested quoting. :-O Guess I'll paste my own text back in by hand where needed. I suppose I could try to restore proper nested quoting too, but I'm afraid I'd screw it up, and besides, I'd really rather focus on responding.


("Now in 0.6.2-wip6a the progression has been: enter Hobbiton (Hobbit Slinger), kit up a bit, eat, travel, find no stairs,")

Where? Why?

Everywhere. None of the maps that I could safely explore in full contained a stair to a dungeon. None of the parts I managed to visit of the Farm (yeah, I know I'm not supposed to go there yet) and the Old Forest had one either.

If I knew why, then this thread wouldn't exist, now, would it?


Did you wipe up clean any previous versions?

Yes and no. I moved the full former contents of the given folder (see below) to a subfolder named "Old".


All config files e.g. in ~/.angband/Unangband?

...some of do play on Windows, you know.

The Windows zip was unzipped onto the path d:\games\_rl\starband\unangband\, for what it's worth. Thus all configuration files are also on that path, unless perhaps some config files are silently and automatically produced during play, or during one's first play. just before unpacking. System is WinXP, installed on logical drive C; C and D are both mere logical drives on the sole physical drive. Anything else I should note?

But I'm not sure why incorrect paths for things would have such a specific, yet sole, effect as eliminating the staircases from maps, and *only* eliminating the staircases from maps! Though, I saw weirder things back in the day when frying my Atari...*

* Yes, I'm old. Was too young at the time to know the practice was common and had its own slang term until years after the fact, though, which might mean I'm not quite ready for the grave yet, or might mean nothing.


(in response to my passing reference to bopping about between towns) I don't like the availability of many towns at once. Sometimes I could stand 2 at once, but normally just 1, otherwise I start shopping-scumming.

Too early for me to pass judgment on UnAngband here. But in ToME with its many towns, I too do precisely what you mention.


("Another confusing thing: I ended up apparently walking in the treetops")
How do you know?

I don't. That's why I say "apparently." However, the view shifting, the context, and the nature of what I saw and how I saw it in the two views all point towards that being what was happening.


("I can't remember, since I try out lots of variants and tend to get their mechanics mixed up except for the ones I play the most, if this is one of the variants that doesn't support Shift-dir for longwalk.")
By far, no. It should work by default, but if not, set up your macros right.

Don't understand you here; sorry! But considering the likelihood that I'm just conflating UnAngband and another variant, don't waste much energy on this.

Bostock

[edit -- clarity and answering missed questions]

andrewdoull
September 6, 2007, 17:14
>find no stairs

That's buggy behaviour - not sure why.

Its funny - people were complaining about the lack of choice: now they're complaining about too much choice. You're right though, the early dungeons could be locked down more so that the start is more 'straight forward'. I like the ability to go to Bree, then the Midgewater Marshes and get very out of depth very quickly. But its scummy / abusable...

>I ended up apparently walking in the treetops at a couple points and,
> besides the fact that the constant shifts of scene as I drifted in and out
> of them were rather disturbing,

You're walking under the tree tops. Its the same mechanism, as walking in and out of a building makes the roof disappear, so you can see inside (at least, you'll discover that when you get to a wilderness area that features buildings).

With 256 colours, I'll be able to shade the 'under a tree' pebbles, slightly darker than the 'out in the open' pebbles to help this... other suggestions welcome.


>* Is there any reason other than tradition and realism (and realism is
>expendable, I think) for letting innocents have drops and balancing the
>game for the possibility of farming them?

Not really - should be fixable.

>What I do remember is that the varied terrain makes longwalk fairly useless a
>large amount of the time, compared to Angband. Even though changing that
>will be non-trivial, I hope that that changes, too.

Its enabled, yes, but you are correct that terrain and so on do stuff things up. Also on my list of things to do is to handle the various corridor shapes that now occur in the dungeons, for the purpose of running.

You might find mouse-based movement more useful in wilderness areas.

>One mildly disturbing thing: I informed the game in the opening that I had
>experience with all things roguelike, fooish, and Angbandish, just not
>Unangbandish, so I expected not to be informed of things that any
>average 'bander would know. But to no avail; I was shown blurbs on what
>potions are all about a few steps into my career.

Its an implementation detail in the new tips system. If its seriously 'mildly' disturbing, I can skip it for roguelike & Angband users who 'know certain things'.

Having said that, I'm not going to cater for every roguelike / Angband out there. By making the choice you did, you skipped out on even the more basic 'you are an @ - here's the keys you use to move, go to a shop, buy something...'

Thanks for the feedback.

Andrew

Bostock
September 6, 2007, 17:44
>find no stairs

That's buggy behaviour - not sure why.

Its funny - people were complaining about the lack of choice: now they're complaining about too much choice.

Don't worry; I won't wait to quit complaining until the amount of choice is reduced. I'll quit complaining the very moment I find a single dungeon entrance! :-D

I highly suspect that the bug has to do with something wonky on my own end that I can easily fix once you, Bandobras, and I figure out what it is: I find it hard to imagine that a configuration-independent problem that fundamental appearing that early would not be caught in the quick playtest that I assume you made before release.


>I ended up apparently walking in the treetops at a couple points and,
> besides the fact that the constant shifts of scene as I drifted in and out
> of them were rather disturbing,

You're walking under the tree tops. Its the same mechanism, as walking in and out of a building makes the roof disappear, so you can see inside (at least, you'll discover that when you get to a wilderness area that features buildings).

Hmm. One thing I forgot to mention that was making me believe I was in the treetops was that at one point while fiddling around (two maps over from Hobbiton, I believe -- some town map) trying to find a pattern in the rapid FOV changes as I moved among the trees, I became Exhausted. It fit the notion of my climbing about in the treetops so well that I really became convinced at that point. There goes my Sherlock Holmes badge...

With 256 colours, I'll be able to shade the 'under a tree' pebbles, slightly darker than the 'out in the open' pebbles to help this... other suggestions welcome.

How about a show-once tip window for this phenomenon, for every player who states that they are not groovy with UnAngband yet?


>One mildly disturbing thing: I informed the game in the opening that I had
>experience with all things roguelike, fooish, and Angbandish, just not
>Unangbandish, so I expected not to be informed of things that any
>average 'bander would know. But to no avail; I was shown blurbs on what
>potions are all about a few steps into my career.

Its an implementation detail in the new tips system. If its seriously 'mildly' disturbing, I can skip it for roguelike & Angband users who 'know certain things'.

It was mildly disturbing because it left me wondering what the point was of the excellent-looking system that seemed to be obviously (and truly is) behind it all. Sometimes implementation details (upon reflection I agree with you, of course) can seriously muddy great things! I really look forward to what the apparent tips infrastructure behind what was happening promises.

Does that infrastructure support only "show/don't show," or does it support "show a ... show z / show nothing?" If the latter, you could instead show people who know Angband, but not Ungband, a tip about UnAngband-specific stuff, like, I guess coating weapons in potions, as ISTR that that's possible.

Incidentally, do you think the system could be easily adapted to provide class-specific tips?

Having said that, I'm not going to cater for every roguelike / Angband out there.

No problem. I think the levels of knowledge that you let the player profess at present are perfect. If the class-specific tips idea above is feasible and sensible, however, you could add an "I've played an Archer before" knowledge-level.

Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for the answers and consideration!

Bostock

andrewdoull
September 6, 2007, 17:50
Does that infrastructure support only "show/don't show," or does it support "show a ... show z / show nothing?" If the latter, you could instead show people who know Angband, but not Ungband, a tip about UnAngband-specific stuff, like, I guess coating weapons in potions, as ISTR that that's possible.

Incidentally, do you think the system could be easily adapted to provide class-specific tips?


Its heavily reliant at the moment on information that is held in the current character's save game file. You can have a look at lib\info\readme.txt for the exact help files that are available at the moment and how to add extra ones.

Class specific tips are supported: also for each additional level that the class gains, also for combinations of classes and styles.

Unfortunately, the 'classes I've played before' is something that is not currently held in the save game file. I could add it in the next version...

Andrew

Matthias
September 6, 2007, 18:17
Did you install Un in that directory before? I always install into a fresh dir when starting with a new version (have about 6 of them now...), and have no problems locating stairs. Maybe some files from the last version that no longer exist in the current one cause the problem.

Bandobras
September 6, 2007, 21:26
> [no stairs down]

One more question, do you play with ASCII or tiles?

Could you try pressing '>' the moment you arrive at a location with a dungeon (you are supposed to start at the stairs, so if they are only invisible, you should still descend).

> [too many shops at once]

While I think it could be good from a storyline perspective to lock Hobbiton until the end-game, I think I've found a way to solve shopping-scumming problem without restricting the breathing space and non-linearity of exploring. Namely, we could restock only the shops in the town where the player's home is located, unless they are bought out. There should also be a trick to prevent abuse by changing home towns, but the counters should not be just reset every time the home town is changed, because it is sometimes convenient to visit home, e.g. to sell some stuff to get money for some consumable we buy in an alien town.

Edit: actually it's much easier than I though. Stores are restocked only once a day when the player is in the dungeon. So, no amount of wilderness travel will restock the shops, I guess, even in dangerous wilderness areas. Now, if I add a suitable condition, only the shops in the home town will get restocked, with no exploits possible.

Edit2: Done in SVN. :)

Edit3: I see there is another scumming temptation with multiple cities: travelling between towns to get the biggest price (including price limit) for your loot (different prices for bought item quickly become irrelevant, because alien towns don't restock). I don't see any solution except removing shopkeeper greed and racial preference variations, as well, as their price limits. And this goes a bit too far a maintainer's sidekick, so I will not make the changes. Hmmm, another solution might be to restrict selling to only one town. But if it's home-town, home-changing should be banned --- e.g. moving your home back to a city could be banned; let's say the townspeople already know you to be a raving adventurer and don't want you back.