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View Full Version : new to Angband, found a few things odd...


Mongler
October 11, 2007, 03:59
I'm new to Angband, but I have some Roguelike experience; I play Nethack and IVaN fairly frequently and love 'em.

now, I'm a big fan of job/class-based games in general, but I couldn't help but notice something odd about the classes: there's a pure Warrior Class, a pure Mage class, a pure Priest, and, of course, a Rogue. there's a Priest/Warrior hybrid, the classic Paladin class, but instead of there being a sort of "Battlemage," a Warrior/Mage hybrid, or even a pure Archer class, there's an odd Archer/Mage class known as the Ranger in this game.

now, I know it's common practice in D&D, for example, to make a multiclass Mage/Ranger ("because Mages run out of Mana eventually,") but I've never heard of an actual Mage/Archer hybrid being a choose able class in other games.

now, I'm not saying the Ranger class of Angband is a bad idea; it's actually a nice ranged hybrid class, but I just find it really odd that the more traditional Battlemage (Warrior/Mage hybrid class,) isn't used, but I find much more odd that there's no actual pure Archer class.

edit: also, what does it mean if a class is grayed out after choosing a race? I thought it meant I couldn't choose it with that race, but it lets me.

Big Al
October 11, 2007, 05:23
The ranger is basically an archer, just with a couple support magic spells. Same with rogue - they get support magic spells too. *shrug*

The greyed out class are just "not recommended", but are allowed if you want a challenge. eg. it would be really hard to play a half-troll mage or rogue since half-trolls have such a big INT and DEX penalty.

Mongler
October 11, 2007, 05:31
The ranger is basically an archer, just with a couple support magic spells. Same with rogue - they get support magic spells too. *shrug*

well, the Ranger can use more Mage spells than the Rogue can; I viewed the Rogue's selection of spells are purely rogue-ish spells.

The greyed out class are just "not recommended", but are allowed if you want a challenge. eg. it would be really hard to play a half-troll mage or rogue since half-trolls have such a big INT and DEX penalty.

that's funny, because I was thinking a High Elf would make an awesome Rogue, but it's grayed out. also, I thought I read references to race/class combinations that you couldn't choose, but it'll let me.

in fact, I could use some general pointers to playing a Rogue, especially on the stat spread.

Parcae
October 11, 2007, 07:18
Angband classes:
Pure fighter
Pure mage
Pure priest
Fighter with backup mage spells (rogue)
Archer with backup mage spells (ranger)
Fighter with backup priest spells (paladin)

The only thing missing is a pure archer, and archery is so powerful in Angband that including anything even better at archery than a ranger would be imbalanced. On the whole, Angband classes are the most balanced of any roguelike I've played.

High Elves and Dunadain aren't supposed to play rogues for roleplay reasons - they're supposed to be noble. Ignore this or not as you choose.

Rogue character creation (I'm assuming you want to go with a high elf):

The key is working out how to get three blows with a dagger. Look up the spoiler files to see how it works. Basically, you want DEX of 18/50 and STR of 18/10. The other important stats are CON and INT - try not to wind up with fewer than 18 in each. This should all be possible using the option "specify minimum stats" with the autoroller.

Mongler
October 11, 2007, 07:54
Angband classes:
Pure fighter
Pure mage
Pure priest
Fighter with backup mage spells (rogue)
Archer with backup mage spells (ranger)
Fighter with backup priest spells (paladin)

The only thing missing is a pure archer, and archery is so powerful in Angband that including anything even better at archery than a ranger would be imbalanced.

I realize that, I was just commenting on it being odd in general.

On the whole, Angband classes are the most balanced of any roguelike I've played.

I second that. as much as I love Nethack, it just doesn't feel right to beat down every single enemy I encounter for a chunk of the early game with a dagger.

High Elves and Dunadain aren't supposed to play rogues for roleplay reasons - they're supposed to be noble. Ignore this or not as you choose.

is it considered scumming to go against the roleplay restriction, or is it purely a roleplay aspect of the game?

Rogue character creation (I'm assuming you want to go with a high elf):

The key is working out how to get three blows with a dagger. Look up the spoiler files to see how it works. Basically, you want DEX of 18/50 and STR of 18/10. The other important stats are CON and INT - try not to wind up with fewer than 18 in each. This should all be possible using the option "specify minimum stats" with the autoroller.

according to a spoiler I read, only a High Elf Rogue can hit 3 times, but it might be an old spoiler.

Mondkalb
October 11, 2007, 08:49
The (afaik) newest spoiler to figure out numers of attacks can be found there:
http://www.juti.nl/hugo/Angband/Spoiler/attack.spo

Mongler
October 11, 2007, 19:23
The (afaik) newest spoiler to figure out numers of attacks can be found there:
http://www.juti.nl/hugo/Angband/Spoiler/attack.spo

thanks, this really helps.

Djabanete
October 11, 2007, 20:43
is it considered scumming to go against the roleplay restriction, or is it purely a roleplay aspect of the game?


Nope, you can play whatever race/class combo you want, and role-play as much or as little as you want. All combinations are legit, and reasonably balanced, although some are definitely easier to win with than others. The greyed out ones are supposed to be the more challenging combinations, but sometimes that's misleading; for example, High-Elves are pretty much good at everything; so having the Rogue option greyed out is kind of silly.

Parcae
October 12, 2007, 01:36
I second that. as much as I love Nethack, it just doesn't feel right to beat down every single enemy I encounter for a chunk of the early game with a dagger.
The main reason why I no longer play Nethack is that every class plays the same. A mage and a samurai have exactly the same end-game approach to most enemies. The difference is probably MORE marked in the early game, prior to the acquisition of dragon scale male armor (which allows any class to have great AC with no spellcasting penalty). Angband, on the other hand, contains massive built-in penalties to a mage's ability to hit, a paladin's ability to use a bow, etc; so the classes are balanced in the sense that each plays differently. They also, however, are balanced in a second sense: any class is viable for a beginner, even though some are harder than others. A player who starts Nethack with a tourist has a shock coming ;) That's why you aren't receiving torrents of advice to start a ranger, even though they are considered somewhat easier than rogues.


is it considered scumming to go against the roleplay restriction, or is it purely a roleplay aspect of the game?

YMMV. My own position is, if it's in the game and it's not a bug, do as you wish.

according to a spoiler I read, only a High Elf Rogue can hit 3 times, but it might be an old spoiler.
The spoiler already linked is great. I think a dunadan can also hit 3 times (could be wrong there), but High Elves have the very useful See Invisible, as well as light resistance. The races are much less balanced in Angband then the classes - you'll quickly find that Dunadain and High Elves tend to be better at almost everything. The experience penalty is largely meaningless, because you'll hit Level 50 eventually anyway, and a high-level character gets less experience for the same kills.

Mongler
October 12, 2007, 06:02
The main reason why I no longer play Nethack is that every class plays the same. A mage and a samurai have exactly the same end-game approach to most enemies.

we're all entitled to our opinions, but to be fair, I think that's a bit too broad of a generalization. Wizards will almost always have more PW to cast spells with, and typically better at spellcasting, even in endgame, plus a Samurai can get a Yumi and some Ya for some very powerful archery, whereas Wizards aren't that great at archery. also, Gauntlets of Power interfere with the Wizard's spells.

They also, however, are balanced in a second sense: any class is viable for a beginner, even though some are harder than others. A player who starts Nethack with a tourist has a shock coming ;)

somewhat true. one thing about Angband is pretty misleading for newer players, though: when I started out, I had no idea about getting multiple hits with lighter weapons when I started off.

YMMV. My own position is, if it's in the game and it's not a bug, do as you wish.

right, but Angband actually has a cheat menu, so it seems possible to accidentally cheat.

The spoiler already linked is great. I think a dunadan can also hit 3 times (could be wrong there), but High Elves have the very useful See Invisible, as well as light resistance. The races are much less balanced in Angband then the classes - you'll quickly find that Dunadain and High Elves tend to be better at almost everything. The experience penalty is largely meaningless, because you'll hit Level 50 eventually anyway, and a high-level character gets less experience for the same kills.

I've noticed that Dunadans and High Elves seemed better despite the more exp. required, but there are some pretty viable race/class combinations, like Human Warrior for blazingly fast level gains.

Mondkalb
October 12, 2007, 08:12
Since I only count one winner until now I am still playing with dunadan paladin or high elf ranger. Both are obviously easier to play if still having problems to win the game.
Although it might be part of the problem. ;) Because of their to or three blows and good CON they give a quite simple start for the game and lead to combinations of over selfconfidence and boredom - both of which are the reasons for my dead characters in 90%. ^^

Parcae
October 12, 2007, 08:56
we're all entitled to our opinions, but to be fair, I think that's a bit too broad of a generalization. Wizards will almost always have more PW to cast spells with, and typically better at spellcasting, even in endgame, plus a Samurai can get a Yumi and some Ya for some very powerful archery, whereas Wizards aren't that great at archery. also, Gauntlets of Power interfere with the Wizard's spells.
Well, of course it's a broad generalization. Finger of Death alone is a fairly significant difference, and not all classes have proficiency in all weapons. Nonetheless, in the late game, the basic strategy is identical for most stuff - hit it with your weapon.


somewhat true. one thing about Angband is pretty misleading for newer players, though: when I started out, I had no idea about getting multiple hits with lighter weapons when I started off.

I was making a point about balance, not noob-friendliness. I actually think that Nethack is friendlier to noobs, because there are fewer commands you need to memorize (most are in the drop-down menus).

right, but Angband actually has a cheat menu, so it seems possible to accidentally cheat.

It's labelled "cheat," though, so you'd have to be pretty oblivious.

I've noticed that Dunadans and High Elves seemed better despite the more exp. required, but there are some pretty viable race/class combinations, like Human Warrior for blazingly fast level gains.

I'm by no means saying that Dunadain and High Elves are the only viable classes. A lot of winners on the ladder are there to prove such a statement wrong. I'm just saying that they are among the best for every class, whereas, say, kobolds are probably not the best for any class. That suggests that the races are less balanced than the classes. It also indicates that experience alone is not an adequate penalty for stronger characters.

This is even more obvious in some of the variants. In ToME, for example, Rohanknight Vampires (with about a 300% experience penalty) are sickeningly powerful and the penalty does essentially nothing to restrict this. IMHO, the whole "stronger but slower, weaker but faster" model is a fallacy, because (with the exception of Sangband) you are essentially certain of maxing out levels eventually in any case. At most, combinations like Human Warrior allow for a small boost early on - but a Dunadan Warrior, with four blows, will overtake him very quickly even in levels as soon as he gets an enchanted dagger, because he will be able to go places the human can't. One kill of a high-level monster is worth many, many kills of low-level monsters. I've tried running human warriors; I've always abandoned them because I found that my dunadain actually levelled more quickly.

Now, none of this is necessarily a problem in itself. It is only a problem if the game attempts to be balanced. Angband (unlike ToME) does make this effort, and succeeds in many regards. It does not succeed in balancing the races, and this is a pity, because it limits the replay value. I have no interest in deliberately choosing a weaker race; if I want a restricted character, I'll return to that wishless genoless samurai I left stranded in Gehnnom a year or so ago.

andrewdoull
October 13, 2007, 01:24
I was making a point about balance, not noob-friendliness. I actually think that Nethack is friendlier to noobs, because there are fewer commands you need to memorize (most are in the drop-down menus).



That's one thing Angband really needs to sort out. One of the most useful features of AngbandTk was the fact you could select a menu item and see at an instant what commands are available in the game.

Parcae
October 13, 2007, 07:23
That's one thing Angband really needs to sort out. One of the most useful features of AngbandTk was the fact you could select a menu item and see at an instant what commands are available in the game.

Yes, when I first found Angband (by looking for games like Nethack), I played for a few minutes and then abandoned it for a long time because it seemed so counter-intuitive. (The v key throws things ... why?) I couldn't even work out how to move diagonally. Later, when I came back to it during a vacation, it took me a couple of hours of boring memorization before I had a basic knowledge of how to move and fight, and I still haven't mastered features like macros, autosquelch etc completely.