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Daven_26d1
November 29, 2007, 12:49
I was gonna send my rebalancing Ideas to Antoine, but I figure Matthias at least will have some 10 cents+ to add, and I guess the new variant could do with a bit of exposure, so here goes:

For those who haven't played it yet, Ironband is an "ironman-only" variant based on NPP. Please give it a go if you have a bit of time spare, because at present not enough players have been past DL5 to give the maintainer proper feedback; the variant has enough new ideas to be worthy of continual development. My advice to the newbies who find it too hard is to get a bit of experience in Ironman mode in V (or another variant if you like) - it will be a little easier to get a character going (ie past the first few floors). A little experience at Ironman in general won't hurt, much better to get some practice in a familiar environment - and as the new variant aims to fix some gripes with that mode, its difficult to appreciate why the new game is good otherwise. Although I'm now going to make suggestions as to how to make it harder, don't let that put you off - I think anyone struggling just needs some ironman experience.

The main problem lies in the game not being hard enough once you get a character rolling (actually I thought it was easier from the word go) and some rebalancing needs to be done. Put bluntly, nobody should be able to win a variant on their first try, even if they have as many wins under their belt as Matthias. I don't believe Matthias to be a cheater either, I suspect he just has far too much time to play *band in - I figure parsing his TC from ladder characters and extrapolating a realtime figure based on those would scare a lotta people away from Angband; but of course, I digress.


So here are my suggestions:

The player is simply too good at everything; the idea was that you get some choice over development but are partly forced down a random route. However, instead of being good at one thing, you end up good at everything and great at one thing. Personally, I think the (currently classless) game would benefit from some basic classes (fighter, shooter, caster) but it may be hard to impose classed play, and perhaps this is something to think about for later; maybe try some rebalncing first, and maybe the game can stay classless. If so, I think the amount of statgain may want reducing a little.

The biggest "broken" aspect of play is casting, not surprising as the game has reworked spellbooks, wands/rods and added an idea of talismans. The concept of not recovering spellpoints until you descend, while a great new tactical feature, has an overlooked balance issue: at low levels, you basically get a low-level mages casting power to last you a whole floor(!) which is fine, and cool, and adds something. Once your SP balloon, though, even though they have to last you a floor, you are capable enough at fighting/shooting to save most of your SPs for the vaults/uniques and coupled with talismans and wands allows you a longer chain of more potent magic than in any variant I know of; my test character (mainly ran as a ranger) died at about 1/2 to 2/3 SP(!!) after fireballing away half a pit of diamond and adamantite coins. I still didn't figure out if these would have been worth "collecting" for XP... Anyway, the point is I tried to base my character around stealth and shooting, then fighting, and lastly magic - I basically would have been happy to detect traps!

This is what I would do for the next version, with regards to rebalancing casting:

*Restore mana potions - rather than reduced effect, get rid. Antoine commented that Matthias' winner had too many supplies at the end, but I also know he drank at least one of these. If he didn't have it he would have presumably had to use up other supplies or take an early exit from the floor. When thinking about realism, this seems a bad thing to do, but remember that never recovering SP, but getting them suddenly zapped back full on using stairs is also unrealistic. Treating the SP changes as a pure game device (and a potentially awesome one at that) mana potions are 100% broken, IMHO.

*Wands - these are almost fine as is - rods and wands are big part of mid-game ironman play, and thats what they are here too. As they take up a whole inventory slot for one spell, you simply cant carry all of them to 5000' as you start having to carry spare artifacts in ther late game, to swap in resists and slays. I don't think the talismans should make casting from wands any cheaper, though... the wands should represent the best value magic in the game.

*Spellbooks - although I didn't find anything but the first spellbook for a long time, I found (over three floors) three spellbooks containing more than enough magic to win with. The fact that practically every spell had the same (<7% by the time I died) fail rate was an issue for me. Either make them rarer, or add more and have each one less useful (make the player choose his magic more skillfully). It wouldn't hurt to make spell fails a little higher. Alternately, let them get burned more easily, even the "good" ones... *evil grin* ...that might just be a lot more fun!

*Talismans - (AKA what got broke) stacking talismans makes spells too cheap, end of story. I suspect Matthias and his dry-run winner will agree with me... They are, unfortunately, a nice & cute newish idea, otherwise I would recommend their removal altogether. So instead I recommend:
A- Stop cumulative effects, curbing the chain-casting "wizard of legend" effect that afflicts lvl 10 "fighters" in Ironband.
B- If you increase spell fail rates, talismans could reduce them, that would be ok in my book.
C- make them rarer, thus forcing the player down unexpected routes and making him/her adapt to what the RNG gifts him... I think this was the basic concept of development in Ironband.
D- To reiterate "stop cumulative effects" - don't let them have any effect on wands, wands should be the cheapest way to cast (because you get only one spell per item) but FGS don't let talismans make them cheaper! After that, spellbooks coupled with talismans are what shapes your power; by chance or by choice - a staple of Angband.

A couple of other observations:

Arts seem rarer, so thats all good, because even with my rebalancing suggestions, IDing items and not wearing cursed ones is actually a lot easier, so those features should even out a bit.

The new unique I fought might have been a tricksy little cow, if only I wasn't overpowered, so don't worry about redoing those, at least until they have been more tested. From what I can tell, they are in line with the current V ones, and new flavour is always nice. Basically, after about 200' all uniques were offed far too easily for my liking - when I play ironman in V (still my favourite ironman) I'm used to getting chased off otherwise tasty floors when Mim turns up to bail Azog out, stuff like that. I put a lot of this down to it being to easy to have a natural +3/+4 speed on a low-level @. Obviously anything of "normal" celerity and zero ranged attack will be laughable to the "somewhat quick" player. Something of a sidenote, this one - I would personally focus on the casting side of things and give it a test run first.

BTW, on a side note, the plural of 'talisman' is 'talismans'. I wish wholeheartedly it was 'talismani' (to bring them in line with the magi who would create them) and google tells me a whole lot of peeps wish it was 'talismen'.

Hopefully, some of this was of some use to Antoine, and at least one or two people are intrigued enough to give Ironband a go.

Bandobras
November 29, 2007, 13:25
I've not yet played IronBand, unfortunately (I don't even have time for the competition --- fortunately though there is Christmas ahead! :-). However, I'm fond of any thought-of and original experiments in Angband (as opposed to mindless adding content, random features from other games and cute jokes that break balance or high fantasy climate), so I'll do 2 random ignorant friendly comments, so that the brave experimentor is not discouraged.

First, about small speed bonuses breaking early game. I think it works OK, or will, in Un, thanks to tweaked AI. Anyway, even without stat-based speed, early speed boost from objects breaks the game (or makes it, as some feel), so I think balancing this with AI seems better than shunning from speed bonuses. (OTOH in Un speed bonuses from objects are very limited --- to DL/10 speed bonus per item, IIRC, as an additional balancing act, besides AI.)

Second, I'm all for making the game harder (but less unfair, that is it should require more skill, but not more luck), but perhaps lower level can be made easier for newbies, instead of advising them to train in ironman V. This is trivial in variants with wilderness, where you can plant a newbie starting dungeon along with a challenge starting dungeon and make everybody happy and able to boast at the ladder according to their measure. As for IronBand, I'm sure there are some original ways specific to it, which I cannot guess without playing it (like, add a one-time shop at DL 3, or something :) ).

Daven_26d1
November 29, 2007, 14:42
I'm fond of any thought-of and original experiments in Angband (as opposed to mindless adding content...)

Well said. The variant could definitely have something special.


First, about small speed bonuses breaking early game. I think it works OK, or will, in Un, thanks to tweaked AI. Anyway, even without stat-based speed, early speed boost from objects breaks the game (or makes it, as some feel), so I think balancing this with AI seems better than shunning from speed bonuses. (OTOH in Un speed bonuses from objects are very limited --- to DL/10 speed bonus per item, IIRC, as an additional balancing act, besides AI.)

Well, for me it doesn't break UN; I have had similar survivability with rolled up (-2 spd) artisans of Bree as I have had with my later min-maxed points based (+3 or +4 spd) shadow fairy rangers. The reason I got further with the rangers is I played them more recently, hence learnt the game more, and yes, I min-maxed them. Also, when I first tried Un, the artisans and paladins I was playing at the time experienced about 50% death by bug or broken savefile! Since WIP 7b, I have lost only one character due to bugs, and I could have recovered it. Mostly, Un kills you because you take your eye of the ball for two or three presses - and you have no excuse with the expanded -more- system.

In Ironband, speed is broken, because there is no real deficit - my rangers in UN had a balancing small HP pool, and being fast, teleporting and shooting ninja-style simply didn't help when something got a hold of you and wrung your neck. With Iron, being fast is just one more power that you're pretty much guaranteed to have. Give it a whirl, and see what I mean - the more the merrier before the creator loses interest!

Second, I'm all for making the game harder (but less unfair, that is it should require more skill, but not more luck), but perhaps lower level can be made easier for newbies, instead of advising them to train in ironman V.

OK, yes - unfair is wrong, but I'd like the game to feel a little "unfair" as ironman mode usually does. Matthias has suggested that the game is a lot about what equipment you find, but I suspect he doesn't play as much Ironman as me. I haven't played more Ironband yet (I have to swap drives or get around to makefile hacking), but seeing as I usually make at least 250' with a kobold and just about guarnteed 1000' with a high elf (in V ironman) I just wanna say you make your own luck, and adapting to the RNG's gifts appears to be Antoines idea, he just made them too numerous, a shame as his vision is what attracts me.

The reason why I suggest V is that its current state makes for great ironman play, and everyone should be familiar with V. By all means, cut your Ironman teeth in Ironband, It was more a suggestions for the players who can't get anywhere and will stop trying (ie playtesting) if they find it too hard.

This is trivial in variants with wilderness, where you can plant a newbie starting dungeon along with a challenge starting dungeon and make everybody happy and able to boast at the ladder according to their measure. As for IronBand, I'm sure there are some original ways specific to it, which I cannot guess without playing it (like, add a one-time shop at DL 3, or something :) ).

I'd be put of if the early game was harder, its already easier than ironman V. However there is something tempting about a birth option which adds a shop (I would put it at dl5). Its something to aim for, and being able to clear dl1-4 in the (forced) one dive (so that you have more cash to spend) is actually a big part of the learning curve. I would personally remove scoring, as if avoid_death was set.

Its unfortunate that the new variant is of main interest to a smaller no. of players than usual, so keep trying guys (It will all make more sense after half a dozen games, I swear) and I'll see you on the ladder. Everyone loves getting ladder comments, so I'll comment with tips & encouragement to anyone who submits a dump, unless I catch you flat out cheating, and I'm sure the creator will too. The thing to remember is ironman play isn't much harder, just a lot different.

EDIT - wtf? had to proxy in to post, I get no life from oook over my bare IP... I'm guessing if you wanted to ban me I wouldn't be able to log in, so I should blame my ISP...

Matthias
November 29, 2007, 17:53
Sorry, don't have any 10c to add. I can only repeat that you cannot draw any conclusions from so little data. I had some lucky drops, and so had you character (2 deep books, acid ball wand , etc)

In other news I've won OAngband on first try as well. Also what is a TC?

Seany C
November 29, 2007, 18:16
In other news I've won OAngband on first try as well.

Crikey, well done - O is *tough*.

Also what is a TC?

Turncount, I'm guessing...

Daven_26d1
November 29, 2007, 19:08
Sorry, don't have any 10c to add. I can only repeat that you cannot draw any conclusions from so little data. I had some lucky drops, and so had you character (2 deep books, acid ball wand , etc)

In other news I've won OAngband on first try as well. Also what is a TC?

Did I write TC? I guess I meant turncount...

I agree more testing is needed, which means more playtesters (hint, hint guys...) I couldn't talk for instance above rebalancing drops and monsters, because that takes much more data.

My drop luck was moslty piss poor until the last couple of floors, I got almost no use from the books & wand you mentioned, which were found not long before I died. I got two lucky wands early though, which obviously kept my equipment in good order - "remove curse" & "enchant armour".

You will always get some good items, and its kind of about using what you find - obviously you need some luck for ironman, but for me - even after only one game - there is no way that I could be convinced that the spell system isn't broken.

Again, people are encouraged to play more and verify my opinions, or just plain prove me wrong. I'm gonna give Iron another whirl probably tommorrow, so we'll see how I do.

Congrats on O, I only played that once, got bored & left my elf somewhere around 1000'. The ai routines were a lot stronger, if memory serves, so a first time win possibly deserves a commendation.

Antoine
November 30, 2007, 00:53
[QUOTE=Daven_26d1;4060]I was gonna send my rebalancing Ideas to Antoine, but I figure Matthias at least will have some 10 cents+ to add, and I guess the new variant could do with a bit of exposure, so here goes: [SNIP]
[\QUOTE]

Hi Dave

Thanks for all the commentary and good ideas.

I agree that the power of the @ needs to be toned down, and I am going to implement some of your suggestions and some other ideas.

Glad you are enjoying the game, though, and I suggest other people jump in and play it now before I overcorrect and make it near impossible :)

A.

Daven_26d1
November 30, 2007, 01:13
I agree that the power of the @ needs to be toned down, and I am going to implement some of your suggestions and some other ideas.

Glad you are enjoying the game, though, and I suggest other people jump in and play it now before I overcorrect and make it near impossible :)

A.

Actually I have to agree with Matthias that the game should be playtested more in its present state before major changes are made, though I hope what I have written gives you plenty to think about. Something to bear in mind is that both myself and Matthias were using high elves, and they are good at fighting, shooting & magic, not too mention have see invisible.

There is a half-orc on the ladder now, and he isn't very magically potent at all, though casting detect monsters and Identify is a very nice addition to a "fighter" build.

Something else I realise, is that you can get access to reusable sources of ID and remove curse (one of these is pretty much required for any shot at ironman mode in V) a lot more easily; however I guess this is one of the annoyances of regular ironman play that the variant aims to fix and it just makes for a more playable game; there are certain other aspects that similarly make it easier, but more fun. I still don't think the start game should be harder, its just a combination of practice and luck, and patience will be rewarded if anyone tries enough times.
I still think magic is the greatest issue, not unsurprisingly because that's what has changed the most.

Incidentally, I have to wonder how well you have performed in your own variant Antoine? Presumably you are a fan of ironman if you took the time to write it?!

Antoine
November 30, 2007, 01:31
> There is a half-orc on the ladder now, and he isn't very magically potent at all, though casting detect monsters and Identify is a very nice addition to a "fighter" build.

Yes I was glad to see that.

> Something else I realise, is that you can get access to reusable sources of ID and remove curse (one of these is pretty much required for any shot at ironman mode in V) a lot more easily

Yes. *ID* and *Remove Curse* a bit harder though.

I myself don't like being short of ID, so I didn't want to make it a big hindrance in the game...

> Incidentally, I have to wonder how well you have performed in your own variant Antoine? Presumably you are a fan of ironman if you took the time to write it?!

I have played a warrior character and a mage. Enjoyed both, won both but with save-scumming (because I wanted to get to the late game and playtest that rather than play the early game again and again).

I want to do some more playtesting before the next release. I also want to try a specialist archer, and a sneaky thief type.

A.

Taqq
December 12, 2007, 19:37
Never won a 'Band...playing them since '90 or so.

Never played any in Ironman modes.

That said, I like this a lot, so far. Reminds me, in some way, of IVAN. Have not made it past DL6, keep running out of torches, not finding enough of them. Maybe a spell in the 1st book, "Create Torch" or "Refuel" would be nice? Also (and my beef with NPP, too) is that there is no "running" through sand. Gonna wear out my keypad by tapping 14 times to move 14 squares. Getting across a level takes a lot of tapping.

Oh, and I am playing w/ archers/slingers mainly so far, and only played High Elf. Back to it for me!
-Taq

Antoine
December 12, 2007, 22:44
> That said, I like this a lot, so far. Reminds me, in some way, of IVAN. Have not made it past DL6, keep running out of torches, not finding enough of them. Maybe a spell in the 1st book, "Create Torch" or "Refuel" would be nice?

Hi

Glad you're enjoying it.

Try switching to the Beta release, you will find a few more light sources and it is generally a better game. Yes 'Magelight' is a spell in one of the dungeonbooks, but in the Beta you often find enough torches that you never need it.

> Also (and my beef with NPP, too) is that there is no "running" through sand. Gonna wear out my keypad by tapping 14 times to move 14 squares. Getting across a level takes a lot of tapping.

Yeah I know, I find that annoying too.

> Oh, and I am playing w/ archers/slingers mainly so far, and only played High Elf.

Cool. But try another race for a different game experience - everyone is playing High Elves so far :)

A.

darkdrone
December 13, 2007, 16:41
Ironband's been the first *Band at playing IRONMAN. and the funny bit is that i've been playing the Comp 55 char the same way!

it isnt easy, its QUITE frustrating after the ease of shops, but as a (relative) new player, i'd say its just balanced between throwing the keyboard at the pet iguana and sailing through , using my big toes ....

but for experienced players , the pointers do make sense i suppose. anyway, Ironman isnt a mode for beginners ....

so more joy to the players and the maintainer!

zaimoni
December 13, 2007, 18:57
Ironband's been the first *Band at playing IRONMAN. and the funny bit is that i've been playing the Comp 55 char the same way!Second. There's also Ingband, a V2.8.3 fork that was subsequently obsoleted by ironman options in later V.

Ironband is a far more substantial effort.

Antoine
December 13, 2007, 21:05
> it isnt easy, its QUITE frustrating after the ease of shops, but as a (relative) new player, i'd say its just balanced between throwing the keyboard at the pet iguana and sailing through , using my big toes ....


Excellent, that's just what I was going for (except I don't have an iguana)

A.

Taqq
December 15, 2007, 17:02
Posted my first dump ever to the ladder. (Galamon)

As stated there, my likes:
The tiles - I hope other variants adopt this idea, or the ones from Sang. (Un especially)
The arrow-firing trap - quite a nice surprise.

Dislikes - none so far

Suggestions:
-Extinguishable/lightable lightsources, so I don't have to overflow my pack when I remove the lamp or torch.
-Get rid of the Gold display entirely, or (this could be a birth option) an in-dungeon supplies store or Black Market.
-I don't seem to be getting any XP for $$ I've found by digging treasure out of veins, though I suspect it's giving me values less than 1. What's the ratio of gold to XP?
-I want to run through sand.

pav
December 15, 2007, 22:32
Unless this is different from Vanilla, there is no experience gained by digging gold.

aeneas
December 16, 2007, 00:09
I've been giving Iron a try, and I posted a dump this morning. Haven't had a chance to play today so it is still up-to-date. I'm only at 1250', so my observations are kind of incomplete, but I'll offer them up. I'm pretty unspoiled for Iron, which is a bit of a switch for me- I've been playing V for a while, so I understand the game mechanics there pretty well.

Unless this is different from Vanilla, there is no experience gained by digging gold.


It is different, in that gold gives XP in Iron. The mechanic seems to be a bit more complicated than just gold to XP though- is there a threshold above which a drop has to be to give XP, at a given clvl/dlvl? I've noticed that after a certain point no copper or silver drops gave XP at all, even if the amount seemed like it should have been enough to do so.

On the whole I haven't been finding Iron very difficult so far, for an Ironman variant. But I've been playing conservatively and mostly clearing levels (skipped a troll pit, and left an arena level pretty early as it was just too dangerous). I expect it will get quite a bit harder once the dangerous stuff comes into depth though, and I imagine that must be soon, since I'm halfway through the dungeon. I lack rCold still, which may be a problem soon. But with Caspanion and the couple points I have put into Int recently the fail rate on the spell is fine now, so I just have to be careful.

A couple of things I've noticed: the revamped poison is pretty nasty at the earlier levels. Phase Spiders are a bit out of control, actually. The combination of tele_to, dodge, and poison may be a bit much, unless you intend that they be the most dangerous thing at their depth- without dodge it wouldn't be that big a deal. OTOH, if I'd known this I would have used a slot to collect neutralize poison potions. As it was I didn't want to burn !CCW on them, so for a while most of my mana was spent casting Cure Serious wounds while waiting for poisoning to go away. If I hadn't had that book by the point the Phase Spiders came into depth I don't think I would have survived.

I'm out of !CCW entirely atm. I've found a reasonable number, but I've had a couple of run-ins with Cold Hounds (I've found 10 !Speed, I think, haven't used any yet, and am down to 6, so that should give you an idea). At 1200' I entered a medium sized vault where I had to deal with a blinder a poisoner and a confuser at the same time, and wound up burning my last 3. I also had my most dangerous encounter so far, with a storm giant, and wound up having to quaff the only !Healing I've found so far- any other action would have risked death. I have Caspanion now, so my fear is blindness atm. I don't want to have to quaff !*Healing* to un-blind.

The biggest change I've noticed is the non-instantaneous escape spells. This really is a pretty big change, and forces very conservative play (this is also why I had to quaff !Healing- I had a turn or two to fail in, so I could have portaled, but I didn't have time to wait, and phasing would have risked death). I am close to having a decent fail on tele_other now though- that is instant right? Haven't tried it yet, as before Caspanion the fail rate was enough to make it useless. Anyway, I'm not sure what I think about that change yet- my impression is that it tends to make luck a bigger factor.

Sling ammo seems plentiful, arrows a bit less so, and bolts quite a lot rarer. For quite a while I was carrying three shooters so I could avoid using up bolts except when I really needed the stopping power. I also think I might have made a mistake in killing a light xbow of xtra might (+8 to_dam) for the current shooter... this would probably have been correct in V even with the increased ammo usage but since I can get more than one shot a round with a xbow... I don't understand the fractional blows system btw... is it like speed?

I was a bit surprised to see how hard Detect Monsters was to cast when I found that book, but I guess detect animals and detect evil cover most of the important stuff between them. I also noticed that it got a lot easier when I went up just a few Int points. It seems like a lot of the spell failure rates have really sharp Int breakpoints- just a couple points can take them from useless to reliable. I've been putting points into Int since I realized that.

Also, and I don't know if this is just the RNG, or if this is a normal thing, for a long time I couldn't find much useful. Then I went from 11 Luck to 16 Luck and passed 1000' and it seemed like every unique was dropping an artifact (Golfimbul dropped both the star and Throt). Is Luck that important? Depth? I haven't put any points into Luck, as I wasn't sure how important it was, but I've been using equipment to increase it... maybe I should use some points on it, though I think I need to start prioritizing Con now- some of those Perception->Con potions would come in handy.

Anyway, my dump is here http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=7296

I need to get rid of some stuff. I've been wielding dagmor, for the blows (with two rings of damage I figured that would be big). But, trying out Throt, the damage seems closer than I would have expected- paired with the % +ses in the character screen (which I find confusing... % of what?). Are you using some variabnt of O combat? I'm having a hard time figuring out which weapon is better without completely understanding the combat system.

Anyway, Caspanion is too good not to wear, but I've been getting FA from my body armor, so I need to switch weapons. I'm guessing Dagmor can go, though the two extra blows would be big with my current kit in V. Still leaves hard choices. Gwendohil would be clearly better than Gondolin if it had better slays, but without them... still, I'm hesitant to pitch anything with execute_undead when the final baddie is undead. Throt looks pretty nice actually, nicer than its store price indicates, though I'm still not sure about the effect of big dice in Iron. Totila is really heavy, and I can't wield it and keep FA at the moment, but I think it is a keeper. The Elec Immunity and brand along with execute dragon and the activation... very useful.

Anyway, there's more to say, but this post is already pretty long. Oh, btw, I did compile from source on Linux (saw something in the ladder about problems with that)... the one thing I had a problem with was the fonts. I have an npp installation though, so I copied the fonts.dir over and then things worked.

Sealer
December 16, 2007, 23:53
Somehow the only reason why I don't play IRON'band is that I run out of fuel/food easily.

camlost
December 30, 2007, 17:48
I don't know if this is a bug, a feature, or just mean.

"Your quiver is cursed" is a highly unpleasant message, especially when you the cursed ammo isn't even of the correct type. Is this correct behavior? Could I shoot the cursed ammo if I had the right launcher?

Nick
December 30, 2007, 22:26
"Your quiver is cursed" is a highly unpleasant message, especially when you the cursed ammo isn't even of the correct type. Is this correct behavior? Could I shoot the cursed ammo if I had the right launcher?

My understanding of this (and assuming it is the same as NPP quiver behaviour) is that nothing from the quiver an be used until the curse is removed. This seems a little harsh for Iron.

ekolis
December 30, 2007, 23:41
Not really, since in Ironband, pseudo-ID comes much quicker than in V... it just teaches you to be patient and not impulsively wield everything you find ;)

camlost
December 31, 2007, 04:39
pseudo-ID doesn't reveal curses in Iron... At least not anytime for me. Usually they pseudo as good.

darkdrone
December 31, 2007, 14:44
Nick:

oddly i was able to fire the cursed pebbles from the sling .... might have to check back again though!

aeneas:

yes IIRC, Luck defines how often you get artifacts ...

Nick
December 31, 2007, 14:57
Nick:

oddly i was able to fire the cursed pebbles from the sling .... might have to check back again though!


OK, I may well have that wrong - I'm basing it on discussion at TONPPAFS over a year ago... Other quivers (eg O/FA) have that you can fire or throw cursed quivered ammo and weapons, so maybe that's how it works. Or maybe I should wait for someone who actually knows something to answer, but why start now?

Antoine
January 4, 2008, 01:40
> Somehow the only reason why I don't play IRON'band is that I run out of fuel/food easily.

You can usually avoid this with a bit of skill/luck - especially in the new (beta) version.

Eventually you'll find some Satisfy Hunger scrolls and the Phial or a Glowing Pebble and then you'll be fine. The dungeon spellbooks also have magic to create food and light.

A.

Antoine
January 4, 2008, 01:42
Posted my first dump ever to the ladder. (Galamon)

As stated there, my likes:
The tiles - I hope other variants adopt this idea, or the ones from Sang. (Un especially)
The arrow-firing trap - quite a nice surprise.

Dislikes - none so far

Suggestions:
-Extinguishable/lightable lightsources, so I don't have to overflow my pack when I remove the lamp or torch.
-Get rid of the Gold display entirely, or (this could be a birth option) an in-dungeon supplies store or Black Market.
-I don't seem to be getting any XP for $$ I've found by digging treasure out of veins, though I suspect it's giving me values less than 1. What's the ratio of gold to XP?
-I want to run through sand.

I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Tiles and missile-firing traps are NPP features. I've realised that I've forgotten to put correct tiles for some new items and monsters though - will fix this in the next release.

You don't get XP for low treasure types once you reach a certain level. Copper, for instance, is worthless past the early game.

Running through sand - personally I agree! - this too is a NPP 'feature'.

A.

Antoine
January 4, 2008, 01:54
I've been giving Iron a try, and I posted a dump this morning. Haven't had a chance to play today so it is still up-to-date. I'm only at 1250', so my observations are kind of incomplete, but I'll offer them up. I'm pretty unspoiled for Iron, which is a bit of a switch for me- I've been playing V for a while, so I understand the game mechanics there pretty well.

...

A couple of things I've noticed: the revamped poison is pretty nasty at the earlier levels. Phase Spiders are a bit out of control, actually.

...

I don't understand the fractional blows system btw... is it like speed?

...

Also, and I don't know if this is just the RNG, or if this is a normal thing, for a long time I couldn't find much useful. Then I went from 11 Luck to 16 Luck and passed 1000' and it seemed like every unique was dropping an artifact (Golfimbul dropped both the star and Throt). Is Luck that important? Depth? ...

...

I need to get rid of some stuff. I've been wielding dagmor, for the blows (with two rings of damage I figured that would be big). But, trying out Throt, the damage seems closer than I would have expected- paired with the % +ses in the character screen (which I find confusing... % of what?). Are you using some variabnt of O combat? I'm having a hard time figuring out which weapon is better without completely understanding the combat system.

...

Anyway, there's more to say, but this post is already pretty long. Oh, btw, I did compile from source on Linux (saw something in the ladder about problems with that)... the one thing I had a problem with was the fonts. I have an npp installation though, so I copied the fonts.dir over and then things worked.


Hi

Glad you're enjoying Iron and that the compile worked (eventually).

You may have a point about Phase SPiders. I'll consider toning them down a bit or push them a bit deeper. Collecting !NeutralisePoision helps (they are pretty common).

Fractional blows - 2.3 blows means you have a 70% chance of getting 2 blows in a round or 30% chance of getting 3 blows.

Melee damage - calculated as (base damage * (100+P+brand+slay)/100) where P is your 'damage %' as shown on the character screen. A 3d6 weapon with slay evil and 300% damage rating does 3d6 x (100 + 300 + 120)/100 - where 120 is the 'slay evil' bonus. Generally you want a heavy weapon, but not so heavy you get reduced blows.

Both Luck and depth are important for drops. You will find quite a lot of arts in the mid game - maybe not so many later on. This is one part of the game that still needs a lot of balancing - any suggestions appreciated.

Cheers
A.

aeneas
January 4, 2008, 05:13
Hi

Glad you're enjoying Iron and that the compile worked (eventually).

You may have a point about Phase SPiders. I'll consider toning them down a bit or push them a bit deeper. Collecting !NeutralisePoision helps (they are pretty common).

I did enjoy it... and I am notoriously picky, and not known for tact, so that's high praise, from me ;). I think that the main problem is giving Phase Spiders evasion. I think that evade is a fundamentally bad mechanic, but it's not that significant unless it is paired with other threatening abilities- Phase Spiders are already dangerous in concert with other monsters because they can yank you into a vulnerable position, and the _much_ more dangerous poison adds to the problem. It's just really hard to avoid being badly poisoned by them because you can't kill them easily when they are next to you, and you can't avoid being next to them. Even !neutralize_poison only partly solves the problem, as the poison is so bad that it hurts you on a turn to turn basis- if you take a turn out to quaff you will just wind up poisoned the next turn. Still, without evade it wouldn't be a big deal.



Iron requires almost the opposite of my preferred play-style, so I am unlikely to adopt it as my major variant, but it's a nice (if very time-consuming) change of pace. I have two deep characters going now, one in Eddieband, and one in NPP, and little time to play them, but I will try, again, to win Iron. I won Quick on my first try, and I am a bit disappointed to have died so early with Baran... should mark him as dead. Came _that close_ to killing a Vampire Lord ;)- in retrospect, it was amazingly dumb to fight him at that point... I just didn't want to abandon the level. I don't feel really able to comment on balance without a few games under my belt, and at least one winner- hopefully I will be able to offer better views in a while. Anyway- not to be redundant, but kill evade and I think the Spiders are OK.

Fractional blows - 2.3 blows means you have a 70% chance of getting 2 blows in a round or 30% chance of getting 3 blows.

Melee damage - calculated as (base damage * (100+P+brand+slay)/100) where P is your 'damage %' as shown on the character screen. A 3d6 weapon with slay evil and 300% damage rating does 3d6 x (100 + 300 + 120)/100 - where 120 is the 'slay evil' bonus. Generally you want a heavy weapon, but not so heavy you get reduced blows.

OK- that explains a lot. I had figured the basics out by watching damage and blows, but it's nice to know the details- I wasn't hallucinating when I saw Throt doing better with less blows, and I should have tossed Dagmor earlier. I have such mixed feelings about the various combat systems that I can't say much, generally, about how I feel about that system, but... in Iron I suppose it makes sense as there isn't a defined stat-gain. In V, I think there is a much better argument for the current system than most people credit.

Both Luck and depth are important for drops. You will find quite a lot of arts in the mid game - maybe not so many later on. This is one part of the game that still needs a lot of balancing - any suggestions appreciated.

Cheers
A.

Well- as I said, I think I need to win Iron at least once before I can really give good advice. Good Ironman, or Ironband, play is so much more time consuming than V that I might have to wait a while before I do that. But, based on one character (plus two others on the scoreboard who died very young, of poison, and of forgetting to set an HP warning ;) ) I'd tone down the poison a bit, and look hard at which mobs have evade.

I don't like Luck as a significant attribute, but I can't claim that that is a matter of good or bad design. It's just a preference (though a very strong one) on my part. In fact, I'm guessing that Iron is not likely to be a favorite of mine, long term, mainly for reasons of temperament and preference. I don't mean that as a criticism though... playing Iron has certainly helped me think about some questions in mainline V.

You've certainly done a lot of work and thought a lot about these things- it's interesting to see variants that question _everything_. I think Iron is still raw, but pretty successful, as far as I got anyway ;). Even if it weren't immediately playable, it would be a valuable comment on Angband... so, many thanks for making it, and I hope that there are some people out there who are are suited to it to such a degree that it becomes their main variant- it would be interesting to see how it evolved with the input of some fanatical players.

EDIT: If there's one thing I would recommend for variant maintainers it is that you should pick up autoconf for Linux/Unix. I was a professional C programmer for quite a few years, so I can generally fix a broken compile, one way or another, if I feel like it... I have to admit that I don't, always. I am, for instance, not afraid to copy NPP's font files into your font directory because I know the provenance of your variant ;). OTOH, I'd like to try Steam, but thあr知ヴぇI got seems to be missing some header files- I'll let Courtney know (I think s/he must be a cousin, if very distant, so it is the least I can do), but I have very little desire to dig through the makefiles trying to figue out what went wrong- instead I played Eddieband.

EDIT #2: also, since it was 2 weeks ago I have forgotten some things about Iron's magic so... for Iron, wands are only useful if you find them before you find the book with their spell- not a big problem, and that still makes them more useful than V's wands, but I kept some too long. But the, errr... what do you call them? totems? I forget now, but they need to be reduce mana costs proportionate to the spell cost to be useful for very long. Reducing the cost of an expensive spell by 1 mana is not very useful, if you compare it to an inventory slot... I carried a couple against my best instincts, to test- my best instincts were correct.

Antoine
January 4, 2008, 11:35
I did enjoy it... and I am notoriously picky, and not known for tact, so that's high praise, from me ;). ...

You've certainly done a lot of work and thought a lot about these things- it's interesting to see variants that question _everything_. I think Iron is still raw, but pretty successful, as far as I got anyway ;). Even if it weren't immediately playable, it would be a valuable comment on Angband... so, many thanks for making it, and I hope that there are some people out there who are are suited to it to such a degree that it becomes their main variant- it would be interesting to see how it evolved with the input of some fanatical players.

EDIT #2: also, since it was 2 weeks ago I have forgotten some things about Iron's magic so... for Iron, wands are only useful if you find them before you find the book with their spell- not a big problem, and that still makes them more useful than V's wands, but I kept some too long. But the, errr... what do you call them? totems? I forget now, but they need to be reduce mana costs proportionate to the spell cost to be useful for very long. Reducing the cost of an expensive spell by 1 mana is not very useful, if you compare it to an inventory slot... I carried a couple against my best instincts, to test- my best instincts were correct.

Thanks for the ups :)

And - just a comment on talismans - yes, they do already reduce mana costs proportionate to spell cost. For example a Talisman of Lore reduces the cost of *Identify* from 15 to 11. (And, no one seems to have picked up on this, but some magic items have the same function as a Talisman when worn...)

A.

aeneas
January 4, 2008, 11:51
Thanks for the ups :)

And - just a comment on talismans - yes, they do already reduce mana costs proportionate to spell cost. For example a Talisman of Lore reduces the cost of *Identify* from 15 to 11. (And, no one seems to have picked up on this, but some magic items have the same function as a Talisman when worn...)

A.

Ah- I think I must have been thinking of wands- that is why I shouldn't comment 2 weeks later ;). As I recall I did keep one of the talismans- the one related to teleporting ;). If only I had used it to tele_other at the right time... anyway, as I said, I'll play the variant to the end sometime soon, and I'll have better comments then.

darkdrone
January 5, 2008, 12:41
OK, I may well have that wrong - I'm basing it on discussion at TONPPAFS over a year ago... Other quivers (eg O/FA) have that you can fire or throw cursed quivered ammo and weapons, so maybe that's how it works. Or maybe I should wait for someone who actually knows something to answer, but why start now?



re Cursed Missile Ammo ... i only got it the one time , although i have had LOADS of "you feel the <armor/weapon> you are carrying is good! you wield the <armor/weapon> .oops it feels deathly cold"

thats why i said i had to check back ... that occurred on a Dead Ironband char and i have played about 8 chars since ....

darkdrone
January 5, 2008, 12:45
Antoine:

will you be adding the functionality to reuse the last played character's stats ?

or is this an Ironband (or NPP, not having played the latest one ) feature ?

darkdrone
January 5, 2008, 13:31
OK, I may well have that wrong - I'm basing it on discussion at TONPPAFS over a year ago... Other quivers (eg O/FA) have that you can fire or throw cursed quivered ammo and weapons, so maybe that's how it works. Or maybe I should wait for someone who actually knows something to answer, but why start now?


Nick:

after i started up IronBand again i have run into cursed arrows ,
the way it works is that you can fire the cursed ammo, but ONLY the cursed ammo... trying to fire any other ammo from the quiver brings up "Your Quiver is cursed"....

i think thats what you meant by FA/O implementing fire/throw cursed quivered ammo ...

camlost
January 5, 2008, 21:06
Thanks for clarifying regarding the ammo. It makes sense to only be able to fire the cursed ammo, which mostly just means that you should pay attention if you equip ammo that you can't fire. You could be a bit more generous and require that the ammo be of the type you can shoot for the curse to be active. Question: can you throw cursed ammo from the quiver?

Antoine
January 6, 2008, 02:31
Nick:

after i started up IronBand again i have run into cursed arrows ,
the way it works is that you can fire the cursed ammo, but ONLY the cursed ammo... trying to fire any other ammo from the quiver brings up "Your Quiver is cursed"....

i think thats what you meant by FA/O implementing fire/throw cursed quivered ammo ...

I do plan to reassess ammo cursing. Not sure what the best implementation is. Any suggestions appreciated...

A.

Antoine
January 6, 2008, 02:32
Antoine:

will you be adding the functionality to reuse the last played character's stats ?

or is this an Ironband (or NPP, not having played the latest one ) feature ?

I hadn't planned to add this - But could, I guess. Is it something you want? Which other variants is it in?

A.

darkdrone
January 7, 2008, 15:35
I hadn't planned to add this - But could, I guess. Is it something you want? Which other variants is it in?

A.

Andrew's UnAngband - the opening screen has an option "Quick Start the game using the same choices as the last character".
with a YES / NO

Matthias
January 7, 2008, 18:03
Also in available in Hengband

takkaria
January 8, 2008, 22:55
I hadn't planned to add this - But could, I guess. Is it something you want? Which other variants is it in?

A.

V-development has it, taken from Ey.

Bandobras
January 8, 2008, 23:12
I do plan to reassess ammo cursing. Not sure what the best implementation is. Any suggestions appreciated...

I like the implementation (no clue which variant it is) where cursed ammo backfires (perhaps only one is several shots). Lots of fun. However, firing every single piece of ammo to get rid of it is tedious and is an advantage for the boring practice of wielding only one piece as a test. Either already the first backfiring shot should move all the stack to backpack or something else should be devised.

konijn_
January 8, 2008, 23:24
I like the implementation (no clue which variant it is) where cursed ammo backfires (perhaps only one is several shots). Lots of fun. However, firing every single piece of ammo to get rid of it is tedious and is an advantage for the boring practice of wielding only one piece as a test. Either already the first backfiring shot should move all the stack to backpack or something else should be devised.

Hmmm... Cursed Ammo ;)
I think I would just curse the bow with bad to/hit to/dam maluses if you use cursed ammo. Like you ruin your bow by using cursed ammo...

( Pav, I could no see Bandobras' post on the forum, only from the main news screen of oook. )

Antoine
January 12, 2008, 08:52
I like the implementation (no clue which variant it is) where cursed ammo backfires (perhaps only one is several shots). Lots of fun. However, firing every single piece of ammo to get rid of it is tedious and is an advantage for the boring practice of wielding only one piece as a test. Either already the first backfiring shot should move all the stack to backpack or something else should be devised.

I think I've got it!

In the new implementation, cursed ammo has to-hit penalties but moderate to-dam _bonuses_. Thus, you are tempted to use it (but may regret it).

However there is nothing to stop you from unwielding it if you so choose.

A.

flight2q
January 21, 2008, 11:10
(From other thread: requesting restore options for (1) easy floor (2) stop running when reach a door (3) suppress flavor text in inventory.)

I'd like to see the player get the wand spell cost/failrate even if they do their casting from a magic book. Allows most casting to be done with the same keystrokes. Perhaps also, when browsing the book, display the wand's cost/failrate, maybe highlighted. Also, a question, the wand descriptions say that failrate due to wand is better than otherwise, but is this ever actually true?

Would like trap effects in the monster memory. (Want this for all *bands.) Yeah, I know what a luminous spot does, but I still want it.

WRT tele-away, I like the idea of taking away action points from a monster that resists it.

The lowly wood spiders are fast, deal out serious poison, and are smart around doors. When you are a step from the doorway, there are none in LOS for a ranged attack, but whenever you are at the door there are 3 on your case? Freakin smart alien spiders.

Antoine
January 21, 2008, 21:15
(From other thread: requesting restore options for (1) easy floor (2) stop running when reach a door (3) suppress flavor text in inventory.)

I'd like to see the player get the wand spell cost/failrate even if they do their casting from a magic book. Allows most casting to be done with the same keystrokes. Perhaps also, when browsing the book, display the wand's cost/failrate, maybe highlighted. Also, a question, the wand descriptions say that failrate due to wand is better than otherwise, but is this ever actually true?

Would like trap effects in the monster memory. (Want this for all *bands.) Yeah, I know what a luminous spot does, but I still want it.

WRT tele-away, I like the idea of taking away action points from a monster that resists it.

The lowly wood spiders are fast, deal out serious poison, and are smart around doors. When you are a step from the doorway, there are none in LOS for a ranged attack, but whenever you are at the door there are 3 on your case? Freakin smart alien spiders.

Thanks, got all that, will see what I can do

A.

flight2q
January 22, 2008, 06:00
I didn't see the pre-release version, but from the comments and changes you've done such a fine job. I hope more people find Ironband. It reminds me why I've so often been nostalgic for rogue.. with all the collecting and shopping and such we ordinarily do in *band. Very nice contribution to the community to make something planned to be balanced for ironman.

Antoine
January 22, 2008, 09:43
I didn't see the pre-release version, but from the comments and changes you've done such a fine job. I hope more people find Ironband. It reminds me why I've so often been nostalgic for rogue.. with all the collecting and shopping and such we ordinarily do in *band. Very nice contribution to the community to make something planned to be balanced for ironman.

Thanks for the ups.

I should get on with finishing the coding changes, but I'm too busy playing the game... :cool:

A.