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Wraitheist
May 27, 2008, 02:56
I hate to admit it, but whenever I play a cleric or mage, I end up stair-scumming a lot until I get a lot of escape options. I'd say that until I get scrolls or a staff of teleportation AND a wand of teleport other, I don't step off the stairs unless there is treasure to pick up in my LOS or a set of > stairs are fairly close by. This changes a bit after I get these things. Do you all do this, too, or do you actually explore the levels? If so, do you find yourself dying a lot more often?

ChodTheWacko
May 27, 2008, 06:52
I'd say that until I get scrolls or a staff of teleportation AND a wand of teleport other, I don't step off the stairs unless there is treasure to pick up in my LOS or a set of > stairs are fairly close by. This changes a bit after I get these things. Do you all do this, too, or do you actually explore the levels? If so, do you find yourself dying a lot more often?

You get good items far quicker by killing monsters than searching levels.
So Stair scumming is not only boring (imho), but also inefficient.

I usually play mages. For low levels, I play character level = dungeon level,
until I reach char level 20 or so, then I sink down to dungeon level 30 to start potion hunting.

Let me ask you this - what are you so scared of? You are a mage, for crying out loud. You have detect monster. Use it. Constantly. Then there are no surprises. If you see a monster which can instantly kill you, THEN head for the stairs.

But really, there are only a handful of monsters which are a real threat.
As long as you carry scrolls of phase door, and Potions of cure serious wounds (to cure blindness/confusion), you should be fine. Just don't get stupid with pack monsters - take them one at a time.

Worst case scenario, read a scroll of word of recall and then run via phase
door. Sleep is incrediby useful for running away too.

Wand of teleport away is very useful but not critical initially. Teleport is very safe, intiailly, since monsters are sleeping when first generated.

- Frank

Svladd Cjelik
May 27, 2008, 08:28
I play Z and my short answer is yes. I play human mages and stair scum till I hit Clvl 20ish, after which I lilke to explore every last corner of the Dlvl before I descend again. (I have been known to scum for stat potions at about 1500'-1600'. Shame on me I know...

However...

On the off chance that I choose to roll a Dwarf Paladin or Half-Troll Warroir (which I sometimes but rarely do), I just kill things and clear entire level from the get go.

Narvius
May 27, 2008, 15:14
Well, partially yes.
As a mage, I dive to 500', then stay there clearing the level multiple times, recalling when I'm done each time. When I have Identify I begin to slowly go down until I hit 1000', which happens very rarely, so I don't have any patterns for after that. If I'm really impatient, I stair scum for nearby down-stairs.

Slick
May 27, 2008, 18:13
I'll only stair scum at the town level and only if in need of some basic common item that isn't currently in the stores: CCW, Restore Life Levels, those kinds of things.

Narvius
May 27, 2008, 20:09
Ah, yes, right. I sometimes town-stair-scum for longbows and !Restore [Stat].

takkaria
May 27, 2008, 20:23
Ah, yes, right. I sometimes town-stair-scum for longbows and !Restore [Stat].

Is townscumming part of the character of the game? If some items were permanently available in the shops a la the general store, would it impact gameplay at all or just make it less annoying?

roustk
May 27, 2008, 20:59
Is townscumming part of the character of the game? If some items were permanently available in the shops a la the general store, would it impact gameplay at all or just make it less annoying?

Now that ammo, torches, food, and WoR are always available at the General Store, I don't feel that anything else is required. Certainly not restore stat (or life levels) potions or any type of weapon or armor.

I might argue for making the eight town books always available (but most likely only one copy of each). I could also see ensuring that scrolls of Phase Door are always available, but that is a close call.

Logic:
* Food is the *only* item required for living.
* Playing without light or WoR is unbelievably annoying.
* Ammo is fragile and important to fighting (so long as bows are unbalanced).
* Playing with a missing book is slightly annoying.
* Playing without phase door is dangerous (but not crazy).
* Playing with drained stats/experience is common.
* Everyone starts with a weapon, and neither bows nor armor are required for survival.

Kevin

Djabanete
May 27, 2008, 21:02
Is townscumming part of the character of the game? If some items were permanently available in the shops a la the general store, would it impact gameplay at all or just make it less annoying?

I haven't played Vanilla for a while, so take this with a big grain of salt, but for me the answers would be YES and "much, much less annoying." When I need something fairly basic I'll scum for it until I have it, and it would make things a lot less tedious if these items were permanently available.

Poop Loops
May 27, 2008, 21:27
Is townscumming part of the character of the game? If some items were permanently available in the shops a la the general store, would it impact gameplay at all or just make it less annoying?

Sometimes the magic shop doesn't have an Identify scrolls, which if I'm playing a warrior I need. Other times I want a phase door. Restore stats is a big one, too. I only townscum for those things and for stat potions if I have like 27000 to spend for one.


So stat potions would impact the game, but scumming for restore potions would just make it less annoying. I am not going back to level 20+ if I have my strength or dex lowered as a warrior, wis, str, dex as a paladin, or int or con as a mage. It's just not happening.

Moreover, at that point I can afford plenty of food and torches, so it doesn't impact my wallet or anything either. Just kind of time-consuming.

Narvius
May 28, 2008, 15:20
I agree on the books.
There's enough food in the shops.
How about making !Restore [Stat] always accessible in shops, but more expensive? This would be a new way to use money.
The same for missiles - make them 2 or even 3 AU a piece, but unlimited amounts of them.

rdermyer
May 29, 2008, 00:20
I think the availability Stat Restores are mostly fine as it is. I normally snag one or two even if I don't need them if I have money after scrolls and potions and put them in my house in case there aren't any when I do need them.

Narvius
May 29, 2008, 09:58
Me too. But by the time I do have enough money, I'm stat drained already.

Garrie
May 30, 2008, 13:22
Well sorry for hijacking the post...

!restore stat isn't that big a concern. Buy one of each the first time you get a chance and leave it in your home. Dive faster and you will trip over !stat gain. Buy 'shrooms of restoration at the black market. "just get over it".

Making them permenantly available would make stat drain a much less feared attack, because you would know you could get your stat point back just by ?WOR + $.

Garrie
May 30, 2008, 13:25
Yes, I stair-scum. Most violently to get away from not-quite-insta deaths.
Mind you I dive, I don't clear levels, if I cannot get to a > quick enough it's a <> shuffle to try again. I don't mess around resting to make sure I get a feeling.

Zero
June 20, 2008, 21:00
Not only do I not stair-scum, I don't even give myself the option. I disable connected stairs.

I'll go to DL1 and rest for a few thousand turns if there's something I need from the stores that isn't available. Honestly, I strongly dislike many things about the town: Maggot's drop makes too much of an impact on the early game, loss of visibility at night requires monster detection that is not challenging and wastes time, black market items can make the game too easy, town-scumming for common items is annoying, farming townspeople allows a (very boring) way to generate unlimited cash for classes that can create food, etc.

I'd like to see the edit files changed to allow more self-sufficiency. For example, make the books drop earlier, !restore stats should be set to DL10, food, light, and ?identify could drop more often. Really, I think the town, money, and WoR should be removed entirely. Having to survive entirely on what one finds in the dungeon would be more fun and challenging, IMO.

[EDIT] > loss of visibility at night requires monster detection that is not challenging and wastes time

What I mean is that either you have to proceed slowly to make sure you don't run into filthy urchins, or you have to cast detection. Either way, it's a slowdown that adds nothing to the overall gameplay.

Narvius
June 20, 2008, 22:59
I like possibilities. Really. It should be possible to stair scum, scum on townspeople, scum for stairs, generate food, kill Maggot for stuff and so on. If someone does not like it, he or she may not use that feature. Nobody forces you to murder the poor farmer.

Antoine
June 20, 2008, 23:14
I'd like to see the edit files changed to allow more self-sufficiency. For example, make the books drop earlier, !restore stats should be set to DL10, food, light, and ?identify could drop more often. Really, I think the town, money, and WoR should be removed entirely. Having to survive entirely on what one finds in the dungeon would be more fun and challenging, IMO..

I'm happy to tell you that there is a variant which is exactly what you describe :)

It is called Ironband and you can download it at http://angband.oook.cz/ironband

A.

daft
June 23, 2008, 12:55
Is townscumming part of the character of the game? If some items were permanently available in the shops a la the general store, would it impact gameplay at all or just make it less annoying?

Even though I am frustrated when I get back to town only to find the store out of stock on something I dearly need I accept it, as I would in real life. Heavily stocked stores are a crutch.

Zikke
June 23, 2008, 22:33
I tend not to stair scum, but not because I have a moral problem with it. I find that I get better items and have more fun when I clear entire floors. As you can imagine, with this technique I rarely dive and I stay pretty conservative on the dungeon level. I like going around a level *knowing* that I could probably crush anything I run into.

Conker
June 25, 2008, 22:48
Even though I am frustrated when I get back to town only to find the store out of stock on something I dearly need I accept it, as I would in real life. Heavily stocked stores are a crutch.

Personally, I think it would vastly improve the game to have more items guaranteed at the shops, including restore potions, identify - to be honest, I'd suggest making even 'conveniences' like CCW, phase door scrolls and Holy Chant guaranteed. If somebody really wants those items (and given that it's a massive game with perma-death, people aren't going to go 'oh sod it, I'll just play on with -5 CON and hope everything is ok!'), they'll go down the stairs, wait 1000 turns, etc, repeat until the item they want is there. I don't think it would ruin anything at all to eliminate that part of the process - I play Angband to kill monsters, not to wait for a vendor to restock his wares.

zaimoni
June 26, 2008, 15:17
Would it suffice if the Black Market was guaranteed to have those items "when needed" if no other stores did?

Narvius
June 26, 2008, 15:19
Eh, that's an awesome idea.

Blackleaf
July 3, 2008, 22:48
I don't stair scum, but I do make more recalls back town more often than is strictly necessary till I have restore potions stocked up - which is basically the same thing so far as I can see.

rdermyer
July 4, 2008, 00:45
I'm also a fan of Zaimoni's idea. I would much rather shell out extra gold than waiting around in dungeon level 1 waiting for !restore strength to show up.

Zikke
July 4, 2008, 04:50
I do like the feature in some variants where the Temple will restore a stat for a hefty fee. It's not too unbalancing.

Narvius
July 4, 2008, 09:41
I wouldn't like any "services" in Vanilla.

Elsairon
July 4, 2008, 20:10
I like the Black Market idea of carrying 'necessary' items when the other shops don't have them. But I also like the occasional challenge of not having an item I need available. I vote for having those items show up in the BM 'most' of the time.

Papayouki
July 9, 2008, 09:03
Another idea should be to increase the skills and the inventory of shopkeeper depending on the money he earned by trading with you.
For example, if you sell plenty of good stuff to the temple, the priest becomes a bishop who can cure your stats and sells better items.

When you sell him unidentified good stuff, the shopkeeper gains 10 points of xp, when you sell him an identified good item he gains 1 point, when you sell him an unidentified bad item he loses 1 xp. After 100xp, the shopkeeper gains a new inventory and skills.

Or you can calculate the level of the shopkeeper only with the amount of gold he earns. So the player could sell a wonderfull artefact for 1 gold, just to make the shopkeeper rich.

Medardo
July 21, 2008, 21:46
I don't. And I hope the game can be won even without any sort of scumming.

Narvius
July 21, 2008, 22:53
Of course it can, see Psi's FAA (I'm not absolutely sure, but I think it was FAA) Ironman AAR.

Pete Mack
July 27, 2008, 21:45
Stair scum, as in: keep going up and down until you see a juicy room/dungeon?

No, although I sometimes play with autoscum enabled, for a different game flavor.

Stair scum as in: Run back upstairs when I come down in a room full of hounds, or with Crebains, ghouls & a ghast around the corner, and I am without free action?

Yes. I do that, especially when I am playing with autoscum enabled. :-/