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-   -   Sil: What are your least liked features of Sil? (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=6036)

half April 25, 2013 11:29

Sil: What are your least liked features of Sil?
 
In the other thread, I asked for people's favourite features, but I'd also like to know what people like least about it. This would ideally be something that is fixable, but even if it is something basic and inherent to it, we'd love to know. This helps us see where Sil is in the landscape of roguelike games and who it is or is not appealing to. It should also help us to improve it.

Even if you really like the game, do speak up. We are more interested in having a game that some people absolutely love than a game everyone likes, and so we are particularly likely to improve things that the fans want improved.

LostTemplar April 25, 2013 13:10

1) How skills are learned.
1a) Possibility to stock exp. to learn skill only if needed is a huge drawback imho. It completely ruins all the strategy for me.
1b) Easy way get skill to it's cap e.g. perfect stealth (well, it is not too easy, so it is only a slight drawback imho)

2) Time limit implementation seems like a crutch to me, not like a part of a game it should be.

Overall it is fine if played with "learn things immediately" self restriction and ironman.

Psi April 25, 2013 13:57

I realise I am probably part of the reason behind the way things are, but I do think that smithing costs are now prohibitively high, unless you eek out every last point of smithing that you can.

Survivability in the early game is down to how quickly you can find some armour. Not massively important as there is not much to replay, but it irks occassionally.

As has been mentioned the "forced descent" isn't the prettiest mechanic, but I haven't thought of any alternative to achieve the same ends.

Starhawk April 25, 2013 15:36

I'm a little frustrated with gear drops, as I am not much interested in the Smithing skill (especially as it's being made more difficult to use, to accommodate the highly skilled players in the community who use it to beat the game like a redheaded stepchild). Given the severity of the level timer, I am often forced to dive to my death without gear of any consequence.


Another note on gear: a little bummed at how many items give penalties to hit or evasion. But that's balance and I can live with it.


Also: I read in passing somewhere on this forum that using stairs in Sil takes turns off the timer, to discourage stairscumming. If turns are being burned, should we be popping up on the next level fully healed and hungrier?


Related to the points above: sometimes I'd like to repeat a level at the depth I'm on. i.e. the next level down will be too dangerous, and the next level up won't have any monsters worth looking at for xp. Since using stairs has an impact on the timer, it's not a great idea to just go up then immediately back down. At least that's my understanding. Would it be possible to add a third kind of stairwell that takes you to a new level at the same depth? Call it a 'tunnel' or some such.


edit: i hate that 'mindless' monsters like molds still seem to have enough common sense to shoot spores at me, but not at the orcs/Easterlings/whatever that are chasing me. Ditto for the various bugs and worms. I'd love to be able to use those things against the more intelligent dungeon dwellers. Traps, too.

Patashu April 25, 2013 15:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Starhawk (Post 79346)
Also: I read in passing somewhere on this forum that using stairs in Sil takes turns off the timer, to discourage stairscumming. If turns are being burned, should we be popping up on the next level fully healed and hungrier?

This got taken out when stairs were changed to randomly collapse if you've taken a lot of stairs lately, instead. So you don't have to worry about this.

fph April 25, 2013 15:47

I like the fact that you are explicitly looking for negative feedback; this speaks a lot about your attention to your users.

Anyway, here are some tips for improvement; but most of it are interface/minor stuff.
1) Two separate keymaps are used, when, with a little more optimization, one would probably suffice: none of the hjklyubn keys is really that important that it cannot be remapped.
2) Loremaster is too an easy way out of the identification minigame. It easily pays off for itself in XP.
3) the interface for increasing abilities and gaining skills could be unified; now they are too logically separate.
4) the final Carcharoth level is a bit dull if compared to Morgoth's lair. Only one way out, no real incentive to visit the other rooms.
5) a quiver-like interface for throwing weapons.
6) it should be easier to explore the forging options even when not at a forge ("what would I be able to forge if I took artifice?")

debo April 25, 2013 16:00

So I've hardly played 1.1.1 at all, so these might not be relevant at all.

a) I don't like how the 1.5lb two handed / 0.5lb throwing weight-per-damage-side-per-Str was changed to use 1lb across the board, and I also don't like the introduction of momentum. There seems to be little incentive to use two-handed weapons outside of flavour reasons anymore, and I actually did like the hilarity of stunning monsters with a two-handed axe.

b) I feel like the song tree could be tweaked a bit. The song tree in particular seems a bit unsuited to the same experience progression expense calculation as the rest of the trees, since it would conceivably be neat to have a "bard" type character who could situationally use 6 or 7 songs. Right now, songs seem relegated to the same status as throwing weapons, which is in the 'clearly you will only use 1 or 2 for support' bucket.

We've seen song-heavy builds that put all their eggs in one basket (be that lorien, or the majesty one) out of sheer expediency, but I for one would like to see more flexibility here. I haven't thought this one out much.

c) Throwing weapons continue to frustrate me. Maybe applying a bucketing rule like arrows (where you can only get a +0, 2d4 or a +2, 2d5 throwing axe or something) would help, because right now it's a pretty big pain to manage them. There's also a large range of available throwing weapons (daggers, spears, throwing axes), but I don't know how much value that adds. A throwing quiver might be nice too.

Again, I'd like to see throwing specialists made viable as a build, but this would suffer the same balancing problems as archery I think.

d) I know that archery is a big thematic part of this game, and that we want melee characters to use it as support, but I think the 50% evasion penalty is still a bit extreme in that regard. I'd like for melee characters to have to invest, say, at least 1 point per 100 feet of dungeon depth to make it viable.

I also think versatility is a bogus ability. If you're going to make an archery specialist, I think you should have to invest in melee to survive if things get up close, or get good at running away. As it stands, we've had characters with only ~15 archery kill V (although this might not be possible in 1.1.1. anymore?), so it's not like archer builds can't afford it.

e) I'm looking forward to having more options to test forging without actually having any skills / abilities in it.

That's all I've got for now. I'm sure I'll come up with more later :) I am generally not very good at reasoning about what makes a good game, so a lot of these may be useless whinging.

Edit: I also agree with Psi on the armor thing. I always thought it would be helpful but not easy-mode if you were to always find a [-1, 1d4] leather armor or something in that first room. It makes a huge difference in the first 200', and it's pretty common for me to only find boots or gloves before the first forge. You get used to it after a while, but it must be annoying to newbies?

Derakon April 25, 2013 16:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by LostTemplar (Post 79330)
1) How skills are learned.
1a) Possibility to stock exp. to learn skill only if needed is a huge drawback imho. It completely ruins all the strategy for me.

Again, I've not played Sil yet, but AIUI different upgrades cost different amounts of experience, so there's no really reasonable way to say "you must learn a skill now" unless you've earned enough experience to buy anything that's currently available.

However, it occurred to me that you could possibly remove some of the gameism by only allowing the player to upgrade at fixed points, e.g. every time they reach a new dungeon level. Perhaps that's too rare though. *shrug*

clouded April 25, 2013 18:13

* Some sort of forced decent is absolutely necessary, however I have a problem with one aspect of the current method: it almost always makes sense to do 900-950ft several times. There is a reward for diving quickly/playing well/playing riskily which is you get the maximum amount of time to do 950ft over and over, but I think this is a case of the best strategy not actually being much fun (diving is fun, repeating 950ft isn't).

Any sort of turncount clock will always have that aspect, I see a few other methods:

1) Ironman

The main change with ironman is not being able to use stairs as an escape, which I don't mind as that is fairly cheap (especially with connected stairs). If up stairs simply took you to a different up stairs on the same level, I think the game would play roughly the same.

2) Persistant levels

Similarly, persistant levels would act the same, you would go up stairs to the previous level and down a different set of stairs to a different part of the lower level. Persistance does bring in some largely negative things that anyone who plays crawl will be familiar with: The method of going up/down stairs I just described, stair scumming, which in crawl is repeatedly going up and down the same set of stairs to lure enemies up one by one, and the biggest one is that you can stash items (which is awful if you don't have autotravel). I don't like this option much for Sil.

3) Items drying up, similar to how XP does

You could take the average number of items per depth and when the player has seen ~150% of that number, remove all items from the level and do not generate any more at that depth (including drops). I would remove items from the current level because you could generate a new level when you are close to the limit and have an entire level of items over what you should have otherwise. Tracking this as the player sees items rather than on item generation is important, or else this causes the weak to stay weak and the strong to get stronger. The problem with this is staff of treasures, I'm not sure it should work.

The big advantage I see for option 3 is that you retain a few very important aspects of angband, having situations where you must completely abandon a level and not forcing you to fully explore each level. The latter of those is where I start to dislike playing ironman a bit.

* Perhaps this is just the way I play, but I feel song of sharpness is mandatory. Even for characters that can kill ancient serpents and kemenrauko, you still always want it for the throne room. This ties in to what debo was saying about bard type characters, it ups the price of all other songs by a lot so you can't experiment as much. I never use Este or Staying despite them being really good, because I can't afford the cost or convince myself to play without sharpness. Of course this all changes if you are lucky enough to find a weapon with sharpness, which I would say is the best thing you can possibly find.

There are a few skills that act a little the same on the silrun, sprinting is a must as is exchange places unless you are purposefully playing without stealth. This isn't as big of a deal because the game is over at that point, but still.

* I agree with debo about throwing weapons, simplification here would be good - only having +0,2d4 throwing axes would be fine by me.

* The Noldor being the best at everything. This certainly is just me, and it isn't even strictly true. I understand the point of the Noldor but it bothers me. If I were to make a personal version I would reduce their power to the same as Naugrim and Sindar which I think is the best difficulty setting. I like playing Edain too, but there is a lot of emphasis on getting con while playing them. Alternately to reducing Noldor power, I would simply make them the best at one thing (no frills melee combat) and add a perception niche to elsewhere.

* Early game monster variety. I don't like to mention this again as I've done so a couple of time before but this is definitely a place for improvement. I haven't thought too much about what monsters could come in, but I'm sure there are a lot of mechanics that could work well and keep in line with Sil's style.

* A couple of complaints I've heard introducting the game to people are: 1) centre map continuously option not working. 2) radius 1 lights are terrible.

On the lights, keen senses is in my "I can't stand playing without this" category.

I feel like an asshole posting here when I completely neglected the positive thread, there's obviously a lot about Sil that I love, but I couldn't bring myself to make such a glowing post, I am a negative person. I'll sum up briefly what I appreciate most about Sil.

* Minimalism, while retaining enormous tactical and strategic depth.
* Theme, feel and tone.

I've taken a lot away from Sil in a design sense.

emulord April 25, 2013 19:05

1. Opaque forced descent turncount.
I feel like drying up exp / torches / light should make this worthwhile anyway. Maybe increase danger if you stay somewhere too long, like Morgoth's minions have caught on that there is an intruder. Accompanied by a message so the player is aware of the mechanic.

2. Skill/experience system.
I'm not a fan of "choose skill" levelups anyway, because mistakes are permanent and can cripple a otherwise decent character. I like DoomRL because its levelup system is simple enough to completely comprehend at once. Increasing costs and planning ahead is too difficult to "wing it". You have to die A LOT to figure out a good build or cheat and look at ladder characters.

2b. HOWEVER. I love the "see monster exp" and "kill monster exp" that becomes less significant. And without making increasing costs, of course unbalanced builds would be the only way to go. Im not sure how to improve, its just not my cup of tea.

bron April 26, 2013 06:52

1) Sil, by design, has elements with high variance. I find it to be just a little *too* random in the early going. Too many characters die in those first couple hundred feet, no matter what you do.

2) It is not possible to forge certain artefacts that you can find, no matter how good you are. You cannot make your own Ringil clone, because the game won't let you put that much evasion on a sword. You can't make a Crown of Feanor because you can't put Smithing on a crown. And so on. I understand the usual dodge in these situations is to say "the skills needed to do that were lost in a bygone age", but isn't Sil supposed to be set *in* that bygone age of skill?

3) Archery is too good.

4) The Naugrim deserve a (little) buff.

5) The game encourages "restart scumming". e.g. you want to run a smithing character, so you just play the first couple of levels over and over until eventually you find those Smithing gauntlets and another forge at 200 feet.

6) No one except the one Edain house has Melee affinity.

7) Forging can be horribly frustrating since you have to commit to a forging strategy early on, yet can get hosed if you don't find enough forges, something that is completely outside of your control.

------------------------------------

Now, that said, I will mention my personal suggestions about what might be done about these, but I wanted to make a clear separation between the statement of things I don't particularly like, and my own probably stupid ideas about dealing with (some of) these:

The character should have more starting equipment. Some leather armor and a pair of boots would go a long way to boosting early survivability. It's not like you weren't going to find some eventually anyway.

Characters should not be able to have both a bow and a melee weapon ready. The game already recognizes you can't have both a 2-handed weapon and a (1-handed) shield, so why can you have both a 2-handed weapon and a (2-handed) bow? Being forced to swap between them (as in Moria) would cut down on the effectiveness of bows, without needing to change any of the archery mechanics.

As I've said elsewhere about the Naugrim: Belegost should add Melee affinity, Nogrod should add Will affinity.

I would like to see a Smithing ability that lets you squeeze one extra use out of a forge. One more use would not let you forge 2 artifacts at a single forge, but would ensure that you could always forge one, even if it was nominally a 2-use forge. This would help mitigate problems for unlucky smithers, at the cost of taking the ability. You should not be allowed to put such a skill onto an artifact.

-----------------------------

Lastly, along the lines of my complaint about the lack of melee affinity characters, I think it would be fun to be able to do a *complete* design-your-own character. E.g. you get 6 starting stat points (no more than 3 points in any one stat), and your choice of 2 affinities and one proficiency. With the option to get a 7th stat for the cost of a negative stat point, and/or a third affinity at the cost of a skill penalty (like the Naugrim do). I imagine Half-Trolls with 3 Str, 1 Dex, 3 Con, -1 Gra. Or maybe you should only start with 4 stat points and 1 affinity+proficiency for a full design-your-own. But it sounds like fun.

andrey April 26, 2013 13:29

1 Attachment(s)
As I said in the previous post, I don't really like the fact that the Dwarves are so lousy. Please make them a bit stronger to play.

Swords are much more versatile than axes - you have a span from short sword to great sword, which allows you changing your tactics according to the monster you meet. I use to switch weapons a lot in the game. Axes are only on one part of the range. Also, there are defender swords, which combined with parry give you +4 to evasion, which is a huge buff.

Also, most of the artifact weapons are swords, so you're most likely to be forced to play with a sword anyway by the late game, unless you artifice.

Archery is so useful that I tend to use it with Naugrim anyway, but with the (-2) penalty - (compared to elves).

Elves start with lambas, Dwarves have dark bread. That means that a Dwarf smith cannot smith out a helm of radiance because he can't restore that grace point.

Elves have +2 more points in (str,dex,con,gra) which is a lot more.

To be fair, I am kind of "cheating" right now to play dwarves. I've edited the files in the "edit" folder and gave them a buff in the (s,d,c,g) department. I am attaching my "fair races" files , in case someone else have the same feelings about dwarves. (These files are to be unpacked in the "edit" folder). I hope that the author is not offended by this act of editing.

debo April 26, 2013 13:42

I don't actually understand all the angst with dwarves. They're really not that much harder than the Sindar IMO, just different, and there's no general outcry to make the Sindar stronger :)

The only thing I'd maybe like to see with them is a re-jigger of stat / proficiency combos, since Belegost feels inferior to Nogrod in some critical ways that aren't really made up for by the Will proficiency.

I imagine that something as simple as giving both dwarf houses +1 Dex would go a long way to smoothing out the early game for them, but as HM said -- if you're willing to do unthematic things like wield a longsword for the first few hundred feet, you can increase your odds a bit.

But I don't think this thread was supposed to be a conversation thread, so I'ma gonna shush now :)

Philip April 26, 2013 14:02

If you don't like dwarves, stop playing them. If they feel weak, then play them as challenge games. I also don't like dwarves, because they are contrary to my playstyle, so I don't play them. Dwarves were considerably less powerful than Noldor (their only achievement being to severely wound glaurung, while the Noldor killed a whole load of balrogs, did damage to Morgoth et al. One of them barehand killed a werewolf.

HallucinationMushroom April 26, 2013 14:43

Hmm, I guess if I had to point out something, it's confusing to me that rfear isn't on the will tree in some form or fashion, or perhaps tacking on rfear to a song like slaying or something. It just seems natural, since you can control your hunger, break curses and resist confu/hallu on the will tree, but not fear. Fear is something I worry about late game, so I try to have rage and liquor available as even when I have decent will score and maybe even rfear on an item, I still get afraid sometimes.

I've no beef with Dwarves, I would tally them second easiest race to win with... but you stealthy/archer types probably peg Sindar easier. They are supposed to be challenge races, after all.

debo April 26, 2013 14:50

Whoa, i thought Clarity gave rFear. I never take it, though, so I guess I never found out :) I learned something today!

Psi April 26, 2013 15:53

Definitely agree with HM on rFear - should be something in Will tree to cover it. I'm always having to save a slot for Defiance or the like when it is perhaps the most natural thing you'd expect to find under Will.

bron April 26, 2013 19:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom (Post 79419)
it's confusing to me that rfear isn't on the will tree in some form

*That* was the other thing! I knew I was forgetting something. I agree completely. I complained about this point months ago, admittedly in a post that did a lot of whining and complaining about random stuff (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=5650).

Antoine April 26, 2013 23:16

Nothing unthematic about using a sword - Thorin did

debo April 27, 2013 00:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 79455)
Nothing unthematic about using a sword - Thorin did

Only counts if first age :D

nyahhhhhh

Nick April 27, 2013 00:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 79457)
Only counts if first age :D

nyahhhhhh

OK, Azaghal stabbed Glaurung with a dagger :D

debo April 27, 2013 02:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 79458)
OK, Azaghal stabbed Glaurung with a dagger :D

While still harping on the dwarf thing -- I forgot to mention that I often use throwing axes as _melee_ weapons in the early game, since it's pretty much the only useful weapon that dwarves will get a net +1 to melee with. Especially if you get a 2d5 one, that's not really that much different than wielding a longsword.

Might be worth considering changing "throwing axes" to "hand axes" and keeping the "efficient to throw" flag on them, just like daggers in the sword tree. This conflicts with the idea of bucketing throwing weapons so they stack easier, but I'm happy to have one or the other.

I'm not even sure that 'throwing axes' are thematic -- I don't remember ever hearing of them in any of the Tolkein books? They're the last weapon in the list that is sort of a 'thematic clash' for me.

And that also reminds me -- it bothers me that daggers suck so bad for stabby characters. Shortswords are basically always superior. Daggers are also arse throwing weapons, so I think there's room for some cleanup here.

Finally -- blunt weapons are still pretty lamoid. No one has a proficiency in them, war hammers are probably the only remotely useful ones and they require huge strength to use effectively -- and now, with momentum, there are plenty of other options in the one-handed megadamage realm.

Quarterstaves are pretty lol -- +2 evasion is nice, but that's really only useful for archers, and a shield + a longsword would get you to the same place with protection bonus to boot. Those new sceptre things are cruft IMO even with the early brands, since the damage sides are so so pathetic. Every time I find a sceptre of fire, i find myself wishing it was a different weapon/ego combo :)

fph April 27, 2013 11:27

Since we are at balancing issues, I use only very rarely hauberks and those 1d6 (-2) shields -- the penalty seems too harsh for what they provide over a corslet or a small shield. Is it only me? Maybe my judgment is skewed, but they look like they could use an adjustment.

Scatha April 27, 2013 13:18

Some really useful replies here: thanks, and keep them coming! We'll definitely give some serious thought to ways we might address some of these concerns.

In response to a couple of the recent points on equipment balance, I just wanted to explain a little of the reasoning behind the way things are.

A major factor behind equipment balancing is to make thematic choices and effective choices coincide. We want elves to use axes sometimes and dwarves to use swords sometimes, so the bonuses for using a preferred type are kept pretty small. Of the blunt weapons hammers and mattocks are occasional martial weapons mentioned by Tolkien, so we want them to be worth using occasionally. This means that they are typically a little worse than swords, but in the right circumstances or with the right hammer, they'll be worthwhile. Sceptres and Quarterstaves just aren't martial weapons, so shouldn't compare well for that. The image of an adventurer descending with a sceptre is an unusual one. I think that there are enough interesting reasons to use one occasionally. It might be nice if there were just a couple of similar reasons to use quarterstaves. (Note: this isn't meant to address debo's comments on throwing axes or daggers! Daggers in particular are a known issue, but it's interesting to find out how much this irks others.)

In a similar way, we don't think -- thematically -- that everyone should want to use the heaviest armour available. Hauberks and Kite Shields are deliberately at the top end of that. They are perfect in some cases and for some builds, but often not wanted by others, and it sounds like your (fph's) characters fall into the latter bucket. If they're almost never used over a variety of builds and situations, on the other hand, that's an indication that we've got the balance wrong. Having read ladder entries I don't think that's what you're suggesting, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Let us know to what extent that explanation deals with the problems or if they still feel wrong!

debo April 27, 2013 15:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 79474)
A major factor behind equipment balancing is to make thematic choices and effective choices coincide.

Which is why I never would have brought it up unless specifically asked for negative feedback :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 79474)
Sceptres and Quarterstaves just aren't martial weapons, so shouldn't compare well for that. The image of an adventurer descending with a sceptre is an unusual one.

I can't remember offhand which egos appear on sceptres -- if they were all passive buffs of some kind (majesty, defiance, light, etc) then this would be fine, but pretty much the only one I've ever seen are vanilla ones (useless) or fire (also, largely useless). I would also personally like it if crowns and sceptres were basically guaranteed to roll with an ego attached, but that's probably asking too much. I guess having vanilla crowns and sceptres scattered about the dungeon is thematic, in a way :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 79474)
In a similar way, we don't think -- thematically -- that everyone should want to use the heaviest armour available. Hauberks and Kite Shields are deliberately at the top end of that.

I personally think these are fine. I also think that I only tend to use them when the melee penalty has been blunted by 1 or 2 b/c of the generation roll, but that's just me. Kite shields, in particular, are a godsend if you find them before archers show up, regardless of the melee penalty.

I should note that, compared to most people who seem to play this game, I am not a very clever player. I don't tend to find niche uses for things etc, I just sort of elbow my way through the game with stuff I think is cool. I'm guessing a lot of these equipment snags are just things I haven't put the energy into using yet because, in my mind, this Bigass Sword of Head Cleaving is just way simpler to use. :)

Cirion April 28, 2013 05:16

In terms of flavor, the monsters on the upper floors feel a bit generic. I can imagine seeing worms, molds, and so on in Angband, but they aren't particularly evocative of Tolkien. Once you get below about 200' or so, the mix is much more like what I would imagine encountering in the fortress.

I would dearly, dearly love to have just one or two more inventory slots. It doesn't seem like it would make a big difference, but I often feel like I need to pass up a useful backup weapon because I'm fully stocked on potions.

wobbly April 28, 2013 14:01

On the subject of worms, I find there tendency to spiral out of control so quickly a little frustrating. . Particularly clear worms. Lost a couple of promising characters when I tried to flee, only to find myself in a room full of clear worms. Possibly dropping their spawn rate or their perception (they don't seem like they should be paying as much attention as they do).

Perhaps a little more diversity in the early level monsters also, so repeat play of the 1st couple of levels is a little less dull & repetitive.

I too wouldn't mind seeing leather be a little more common early on, surely there's no need to have a level full of filthy rags & no leather. Maybe the early orc soldiers could have a chance to drop one, or a round shield?

Also agree on the comment earlier about songs being a little expensive if you wish to diversify. I find myself wondering whether to avoid useful early songs because of costs to later songs I might need.

fph April 28, 2013 17:24

The comment on many songs being expensive to take is spot-on I think. In my opinion the skills mechanic is the only one in the game which isn't perfectly thought-out and working like a Swiss clock. The fact that multiple skills on the same tree are more expensive discourages too much specialization. Often the characters end up looking very similar because, well, you should pick at least 1-2 skills from most groups since the first ones are almost free, and you can't pick too many of them because they quickly become too expensive.

On the other hand, I do not see an easy solution for this.

Nomad April 28, 2013 19:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by fph (Post 79512)
The comment on many songs being expensive to take is spot-on I think. In my opinion the skills mechanic is the only one in the game which isn't perfectly thought-out and working like a Swiss clock. The fact that multiple skills on the same tree are more expensive discourages too much specialization. Often the characters end up looking very similar because, well, you should pick at least 1-2 skills from most groups since the first ones are almost free, and you can't pick too many of them because they quickly become too expensive.

On the other hand, I do not see an easy solution for this.

Maybe some sort of specialisation bonus? Like once you have, say, five skills from the same category, or more skills from one category than all the others put together, then further skills from that group could be reduced in cost.

Or even the option to pick a specialisation at character generation (although for balance purposes it should probably be set up so you don't get any benefit immediately, only when it comes to the cost of later skills).

Pete Mack April 28, 2013 20:40

The obvious alternative is to make all skill points come from the same source, so that any skill point makes others (slightly) more expensive, while skill points in the same branch still become significantly more expensive...

BlueFish April 29, 2013 02:09

Does the strength bonus for Charge work correctly? According to the "combat rolls" window, I'm gtting the same number of sides to my damage rolls as I get without charge. The accuracy bonus from the dexterity bonus does seem to be applied though.

This is just a normal attack, using a long sword.

debo April 29, 2013 02:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueFish (Post 79523)
Does the strength bonus for Charge work correctly? According to the "combat rolls" window, I'm gtting the same number of sides to my damage rolls as I get without charge. The accuracy bonus from the dexterity bonus does seem to be applied though.

This is just a normal attack, using a long sword.

Damage sides are only applied if your weapon is heavy enough. You get 1 damage side per point of strength per pound of weapon weight.

If you have 2 strength and charge a monster with a 3lb 2d5 longsword, your effective strength is 5. But you're only wielding a 3lb sword, so you'll still only get 3 bonus damage sides (2d8).

(This changes when you buy momentum, but is otherwise now constant for all weapons.)

bron April 29, 2013 20:02

One (extremely minor!) gripe I have is the the descriptions of some of the Abilities are too vague without any (to me) sensible reason for it. Now, I can understand if you don't want to drag out the gory details of exactly how, say, Knock Back works in the short Ability summary text. But I see no real reason for not explaining how, say, Heavy Armor Protection works. I mean, you do it for Hardiness after all.

So here are some abilities whose descriptions I think should be improved, and straw-man proposals for those descriptions:

Heavy Armor Use: Increases your protection by 1dX, where X is the weight of your armor in pounds, divided by 15 (rounded down).
[I should also interject here that the game should make it more clear that the "total weight" number shown on the Equipment screen is actually the total weight of the *armor* (only), not the total weight of the equipment.]

Poison Resistance: Opponents with a Poison Melee attack no longer get an extra die of damage. Does NOT offer additional protection against Poison Breath attacks.

Inner Light: Does not increase your light radius, but does add +1 to the light intensity in all squares within your current light radius.

Song of the Trees: Increases light level by 1 per 5 points of Song.

Song of Staying: Increases your Will by 1 point per 3 points of Song. Increases your protection by 1dX where X is Song / 3

andrey April 29, 2013 22:44

Is it possible to make an inventory bound only by weight and not by amount of things? I find myself constantly dropping good items, which is a bit annoying. We could add an ability that allows carrying more stuff.

Antoine April 29, 2013 22:44

Should the Naugrim get some innate fire resistance?

A.

Patashu April 29, 2013 23:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrey (Post 79546)
Is it possible to make an inventory bound only by weight and not by amount of things? I find myself constantly dropping good items, which is a bit annoying. We could add an ability that allows carrying more stuff.

Part of the game's balance is around the fact that you can't carry everything, even though there's so much good stuff you'd love to. Same for Brogue.

locus April 29, 2013 23:18

Things that bother me about Sil:

1. Molds don't get marked on the map when you first encounter them. Every time I run into a violet mold in the dark, pass my will check, retreat, then accidentally run into the same violet mold again and fail my will check, I feel like going back to Crawl with its wonderful exclusion system.

2. Molds don't get a prompt "are you sure you want to move next to this mold and have your constitution drained" so if you are fighting a wolf or something and not being careful and it moves out of your way you can lose a point of constitution.

3. Forging is too random as to whether you'll ever find a second forge. I know you implemented a system that makes forges appear more regularly, but it seems like that only helps if you fully explore levels, which most of the rest of the game discourages you to do. And then enchanted/artifact forges make a huge difference depending on a die roll.

4. As an aesthetic matter, I'd prefer if items the player can ID by appearance such as Orcish Liquor, Miruvor, and most artifacts would just auto-ID, to remove a pointless part of the learning curve.

5. Song of Sharpness is too mandatory. Even non-combat characters need it to cut the Silmaril out of the crown if they don't find a sharpness weapon. And it's a huge investment for a character that might not otherwise even want to bother with Song.

6. The inventory rearranges itself such that I can't learn where my throwing weapons and healing potions are, I have to check every time.

andrey April 29, 2013 23:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patashu (Post 79549)
Part of the game's balance is around the fact that you can't carry everything, even though there's so much good stuff you'd love to. Same for Brogue.

I agree with you, though I am not saying to remove the limit completely. There is still a burden limit. This will also make the Strength attribute more attractive.

If you still feel it is unbalanced, make it an ability that costs XP.

Derakon April 30, 2013 00:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrey (Post 79551)
If you still feel it is unbalanced, make it an ability that costs XP.

This kind of thing is always extremely tricky to balance compared to the current system, because suddenly the cost of carrying X is not "one inventory space and negligible weight", but merely "negligible weight". Let's say that the developers want the player to be able to carry 75% of the consumables that they would ideally have (and to make up the remainder through careful play and spending XP on abilities). Let's further say that they want the player to be able to carry a couple of swap pieces of gear. How many additional potions and herbs should you be allowed to carry by forgoing carrying an 8-pound jerkin? A 3-pound sword? I hope you can see how balancing this is difficult. Especially if the target weight for the consumables that the player "should be allowed to carry" is, say, 10 pounds. Potions and herbs don't weigh much, after all.

NetHack allows you to carry as much as you can handle based on your strength. But NetHack also implicitly assumes that you are making stashes of gear that you'll be returning to later (not to say that you must do this but it's very common); it also simply doesn't make many items available to the player.

The bottom line, though (in this and every other roguelike), is that you shouldn't be allowed to carry everything you want to carry. Items are there to let you be prepared for things, and you shouldn't be allowed to be prepared for everything.

ekolis April 30, 2013 01:33

Sorry if someone's mentioned this already, but the damned neverending bands of marauding orcs that keep coming up/down the staircases! :rolleyes:

half April 30, 2013 15:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 79542)
Poison Resistance: Opponents with a Poison Melee attack no longer get an extra die of damage. Does NOT offer additional protection against Poison Breath attacks.

Thanks for all of these. Good ideas. Except that this one is incorrect. Poison Resistance works on poison breath attacks just as fire resistance works on fire breath attacks etc. Or if not, then that's a bug.

bron April 30, 2013 19:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by half (Post 79572)
Poison Resistance works on poison breath attacks

You're absolutely right of course; can't imagine where my head was at on that one. Although describing how it actually works might be a little wordy for the short description. May be something like "Provides one level of resistance against poison breath attacks, which is cumulative with other forms of poison resistance" and counting on a description in the manual to fill in the details? I admit I'd like to also see "One level of resistance cuts poison breath damage by one-half, two levels cuts it by two-thirds, etc." but all three sentences may well be too long for the short description. Whatever you decide.

half May 5, 2013 12:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 79542)
Heavy Armor Use: Increases your protection by 1dX, where X is the weight of your armor in pounds, divided by 15 (rounded down).

Inner Light: Does not increase your light radius, but does add +1 to the light intensity in all squares within your current light radius.

Song of the Trees: Increases light level by 1 per 5 points of Song.

Song of Staying: Increases your Will by 1 point per 3 points of Song. Increases your protection by 1dX where X is Song / 3

I've changed these in line with your recommendations.

taptap May 5, 2013 16:43

I agree on throwing weapons. It is very hard to use them (I only ever tried spears) efficiently - not that they don't do enough damage, but I tend to discard better quality for stackable items all the time and there is really no way I hold on a single throwing axe with a slay on it unless I need a warning system.

Smithing: I never played an endgame with a smithing character but the high commitment to smithing combined with the uncertainty of forges and/or power to defend forges when you find them frustrated me somewhat. But it certainly is powerful.

I would consider taking away the second hand slot for smithing bonus and the masterpiece skill point burning, this might limit the range of available skill values enough to deescalate the smithing costs somewhat. Smithing is also the only skill which isn't transparent right away, but only after you took all the abilities (I never understood the effects until I took every ability at least once, not to speak of the modifiers for artifice, artistry, enchantment) That Mithril makes enchanting easier is also not that well explained in-game.

I agree that Loremaster is too cheap. In my games non-perception chars tend to take it, but perception specialists (that already want at least 4 other abilities on the tree and the grace point) end up avoiding it. The ID mini game is quite limited as you only have monster pickup / drop, creating items and use identification - and throwing, but I never do that. I don't understand why the smithing abilities allow you to create things, but not to identify the very same items you would be able to create.

I realize I agree to most what fph wrote but just wrote more paragraphs about it. Well...
----

I don't share the feelings about worms, they were only a problem when I played without stealth and only mediocre damage output - even a few cheap points of stealth and habitually closing doors, not to talk about generally better damage output which reduces noise significantly basically solved the worm problem. I don't share the feelings of some regarding violet molds either. Violet molds are so rare now, that even with my careless play I rarely lose constitution to them anymore.

locus May 5, 2013 21:32

I'd like to say in response to people complaining about Lore-Master that it's only the existence of Lore-Master that keeps me from listing "the ID minigame" among my least liked features of Sil.

T-Mick May 5, 2013 22:32

Perhaps if Lore-Master wasn't instant. Like the pseudo ID in Angband, but more exact. That way, it would have the same overall effect, but not be so amazing that every player takes it.

debo May 5, 2013 23:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by locus (Post 79840)
I'd like to say in response to people complaining about Lore-Master that it's only the existence of Lore-Master that keeps me from listing "the ID minigame" among my least liked features of Sil.

+428000

I don't see any need to change this. If you like the ID game, play it. If you don't, eat the few thousand XP you need to spend in order to avoid it.

I should have listed the design decision to put loremaster in the game high up in my list of things I love about Sil.

I absolutely hate the id game in pretty much every roguelike I've ever played, and while Sil does it very well it's just not something I would ever be entertained by.

clouded May 5, 2013 23:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 79848)
If you don't, eat the few thousand XP you need to spend in order to avoid it.

Well, I think the issue here is that there is a legitimate thought that you should always take lore-master when you can to *gain* XP.

debo May 5, 2013 23:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by clouded (Post 79852)
Well, I think the issue here is that there is a legitimate thought that you should always take lore-master when you can to *gain* XP.

If that's the case, I'm just being dense -- because I can't see how the math would ever really work out in your favor in the long run by taking loremaster if you're actually good at the ID game.

I guess in cases where there's a vault full of stuff where you're too scared to enter -- a loremaster character would get the XP for seeing everything, whereas a non-loremaster guy would have to run without being able to id them?

taptap May 6, 2013 02:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 79855)
If that's the case, I'm just being dense -- because I can't see how the math would ever really work out in your favor in the long run by taking loremaster if you're actually good at the ID game.

I guess in cases where there's a vault full of stuff where you're too scared to enter -- a loremaster character would get the XP for seeing everything, whereas a non-loremaster guy would have to run without being able to id them?

I try to play the ID game, because I like the other perception abilities, but if you don't find a staff you need to carry sanctity staffs (if you have enough of them) with you. If you recognize bad stuff by exclusion (orc doesn't pick it up, herb lying under a wright tends to be bad as well, weapon/armor IDable by weight/visible modifiers) - you don't get the XP. It doesn't help you that as player you might know exactly what it is. The same goes for self knowledge identified items. If you burned your sanctity staff you just don't pick up potentially dangerous items -> no XP. Sustaining only artifacts are hard to ID by use - you would need to carry them around quite a long time and in unpleasant situations (I usually wouldn't risk drain on the off chance I have IDable sustaining item) to ever realize what they are. Not daring to pick up things in certain rooms is quite common whenever I try a stealthy character... Of course you can take curse breaking or only lore keeper - but having to buy the halfway ability somehow defeats the purpose of saving in that department. You also quaff/chew a lot of useful consumables in the process either just by testing them, by using them to undo damage inflicted by testing, or due to failed tests (voice potions, restoration herbs), run out of baggage slots earlier and you might miss crucial knowledge on dangerous enemies before the first engagement - how high exactly is that cat assassins perception?

clouded May 6, 2013 02:33

These are very good points. Lore master isn't simply ignoring the ID game, it gives you quite a large number of advantages.

locus May 6, 2013 03:55

Maybe increasing the drop rate for Staves of Understanding could help implicitly nerf Lore-Master? AFAICT Lore-Master, Staff of Understanding, or Smithing are the only ways to ID an Amulet of Adornment.

fph May 6, 2013 09:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by taptap (Post 79866)
If you recognize bad stuff by exclusion (orc doesn't pick it up, herb lying under a wright tends to be bad as well, weapon/armor IDable by weight/visible modifiers) - you don't get the XP.

I didn't know about the "orc doesn't pick it up" and "herb lying under a wright tends to be bad" methods of ID. All of this is taking a very Nethack-ish spin (for those who don't know: in Nethack, id'ing is mostly done by checking the outcome of a zillion of hard-coded side effects, such as using gems to engrave, dipping in potions, interacting with monsters, and so on. Typically, players figure out about most of these tricks using spoilers, since many of them are really crazy stuff).

Psi May 6, 2013 11:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by taptap (Post 79833)
That Mithril makes enchanting easier is also not that well explained in-game.

I never knew that! How does it make enchanting easier?

fph May 6, 2013 11:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by taptap (Post 79866)
Not daring to pick up things in certain rooms is quite common whenever I try a stealthy character...

Let me add one point to your excellent list of subtle things in which Loremaster gives you an edge: risk-taking. If you see an un-ID'd amulet in a vault close to a red D, you are tempted to try and run for it (either killing the dragon or using stealth). If you knew from the beginning that it's a constitution<-1>, you'd spare the risk.

Psi May 7, 2013 09:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi (Post 79886)
I never knew that! How does it make enchanting easier?

Anyone...?

taptap May 7, 2013 10:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psi (Post 79916)
Anyone...?

Wow... never thought I have news for the player who made so many winning smithing chars.

Afair: You start at a higher difficulty, but the difficulty increase per enchantment is less than with normal metal, so for really complicated artifacts you end up with lower difficulty.

P.S. Turns out this was all wrong. Misunderstanding resulting from taking Mitril Corslet as base and comparing to equal stats non-Mithril item.

Psi May 7, 2013 11:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by taptap (Post 79918)
Wow... never thought I have news for the player who made so many winning smithing chars.

Afair: You start at a higher difficulty, but the difficulty increase per enchantment is less than with normal metal, so for really complicated artifacts you end up with lower difficulty.

Fascinating - thanks for the info.

Scatha May 7, 2013 13:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by taptap (Post 79918)
Afair: You start at a higher difficulty, but the difficulty increase per enchantment is less than with normal metal, so for really complicated artifacts you end up with lower difficulty.

I don't think there's anything so explicit (like there is for crowns, robes, and sceptres). But mithril items do have better base stats than regular items. The difficulty is higher, but only around as much as it would cost to get that bonus on a fine item regularly (I think normally about a point less, but I can't remember). If you try to stack that particular bonus -- for instance you want a sword with high accuracy -- then the increasing costs for the same kind of bonus mean that you're noticeably better beginning with a mithril base.

Is that what you meant?

taptap May 7, 2013 21:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 79931)
I don't think there's anything so explicit (like there is for crowns, robes, and sceptres). But mithril items do have better base stats than regular items. The difficulty is higher, but only around as much as it would cost to get that bonus on a fine item regularly (I think normally about a point less, but I can't remember). If you try to stack that particular bonus -- for instance you want a sword with high accuracy -- then the increasing costs for the same kind of bonus mean that you're noticeably better beginning with a mithril base.

Is that what you meant?

I believe I was looking up high end armor with a certain set of enchantments (sustain most stats, 1-2 resistances) and stats (low penalties) both in mithril and normal once and recognized the mithril one being a few points less difficult. I have no way to check it now.

If this isn't true, I apologize and would like to register this as an idea :)

wobbly May 8, 2013 17:17

Not so much a least liked as much as a couple of interface requests:

The , for herbs blends in with the . on my screen causing me to often miss them.

Exchanging between 2-hnd & 1-hnd + shield is convenient 1 way but not the other. I end up doing this quite a bit if I say, have a weapon of doriath & of gondolin. Perhaps keep the shield in it's slot & just disable it when wielding a 2-hnder? (or if you just fired a bow). I seem to remember at least 1 variant just changes the shield slot to a on-back slot when wielding a double hander.

Being able to access the manual in game would also be a bonus.

debo May 8, 2013 17:48

This reminds me -- this would probably be a pain to implement, but if you go back in my chardump history you'll see a lot of comments written _after_ i've perused my notes like "OMG I FOUND FINGON AND I DIDN'T REALIZE?!?!?!"

When the game detects that you've discovered an artefact with Loremaster, or that you've seen a unique coming, or that you've entered a special area (ESPECIALLY THIS ONE), it would be nice to have a thematic message and possibly a prompt so that you realize it.

Like "you feel a chill as you remember Ulfang the Black from blarhgoutofwordsalready"

When I first started playing Sil, I would routinely find places on 800'-950' that seemed really dangerous, and would bail out of them, only to discover later that it was the Chambers of Thu, or Glaurung's Hoard, or whatever. If the game had told me I was somewhere special, I probably would have stayed :)

Even something as simple as duplicating the message that already goes into your notes and flashing it at the top of the screen would be badass.

debo May 8, 2013 17:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 79969)
The , for herbs blends in with the . on my screen causing me to often miss them.

SO MUCH THIS. Dark-shaded small items in general are terribly hard to see, but the , is so close to the . of the dungeon floor that I miss them constantly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 79969)
Exchanging between 2-hnd & 1-hnd + shield is convenient 1 way but not the other. I end up doing this quite a bit if I say, have a weapon of doriath & of gondolin. Perhaps keep the shield in it's slot & just disable it when wielding a 2-hnder? (or if you just fired a bow). I seem to remember at least 1 variant just changes the shield slot to a on-back slot when wielding a double hander.

This is even worse with 2-weapon fighting -- I constantly trip over that prompt that says "wield in your off-hand? [y/N]".

HallucinationMushroom May 8, 2013 18:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 79970)
If the game had told me I was somewhere special, I probably would have stayed :)

You read the messages? I'm too busy staring at the left side of the screen at my hp. Change the walls of the special rooms to blood red or something? Make all shrooms yellow and orange and pink? Make all uniques multi_color. There you go, all good. And ugly. Damn I'm feeling snarky today. I love you guys.

debo May 8, 2013 19:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom (Post 79972)
You read the messages? I'm too busy staring at the left side of the screen at my hp. Change the walls of the special rooms to blood red or something? Make all shrooms yellow and orange and pink? Make all uniques multi_color. There you go, all good. And ugly. Damn I'm feeling snarky today. I love you guys.

That reminds me of something I wanted to put in the challenge thread -- play a game where you're not allowed to take more than e.g. 1 second to make any move lol

"speed sil"

I got the idea from watching your throne room video :D

HallucinationMushroom May 8, 2013 20:12

Kind of similar to that, I've almost asked about adding a clock about 20 times, then decided against requesting said clock. I don't want there to be an implied hurry-the-hell-up tool, but, I've often thought it would be really cool to know exactly how much time I'm dumping into Sil. You could then scrape it for me Debo with your webscraper! I know Heng/Entro has a clock, and some other short variant... Xband, or tiny, I forget which. Edit: Tiny

Patashu May 9, 2013 01:14

If you need a real timer for Sil, you can always use the excellent WSplit that speedrunning streamers use. Make a split for reaching each depth and try to set real time records, maybe ;) It even has a built-in reset counter, to track your resets!

taptap May 10, 2013 20:21

I wonder how a Sil would work were you start with 20k XP but all XP in the dungeon is effectively halved. When I got deep I always had the feeling that the beginning was tough but at a certain point I can blast away everything. Sure enough, a single misstep can kill even then - and it usually does. Be it
cats or any other easily underestimated opponent. Just sometimes it feels I spend a disproportionate time dodging around orc archers and running away from sword spiders (which is in a way good so the game is a challenge all the time), but troll guards I can take down in two moves.

HallucinationMushroom May 10, 2013 20:57

This is a little like the post I made in the concepts thread, where I give my character a set amount of xp using debug commands, but he never uses any more. It is a lot of fun, but understandably breaks the opening game, which can lead to breaking the rest of the game if you build your character in such and such a way. I play this now and again with 45,000xp, which is a lot, even though compared to the 80,000+ you usually get by the end it's not as much. It's a lot of fun, and a challenge if you put your points in less than optimal ways, which is fun too. Maybe try monkeying with it, make some of your own edits to the idea?

I could ramble on and on about the 'why' I did this, but to boil it down, since so much is stripped out already... hp gain, low magic, general numbers mechanics... why not push it further and remove xp as well?

BlueFish May 12, 2013 08:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by taptap (Post 79833)
I don't share the feelings of some regarding violet molds either. Violet molds are so rare now, that even with my careless play I rarely lose constitution to them anymore.

Careless is a relative term, but I lose CON to violet molds at least 40% of my games, in the early-game. With one-radius light, they're unavoidable in corridors. Definitely qualify as my least liked feature of Sil so far. But I love and appreciate Sil and I'll keep slogging on with my stealth melee @ commanded by an unfortunately unobservant and careless captain of the keyboard.

taptap May 12, 2013 13:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueFish (Post 80087)
Careless is a relative term, but I lose CON to violet molds at least 40% of my games, in the early-game. With one-radius light, they're unavoidable in corridors. Definitely qualify as my least liked feature of Sil so far. But I love and appreciate Sil and I'll keep slogging on with my stealth melee @ commanded by an unfortunately unobservant and careless captain of the keyboard.

Well, I usually spend a few points in will and play with quite high grace and I like perception (keen senses) too - you want listen anyway sooner or later if you are playing stealth build.

debo May 25, 2013 02:35

OK, I was on a trip recently with a long flight, and I killed about 30 Feanor artistry starts 4/3/3/3 (which I now call the "beefcake build")

I have two comments:

a) I really hate shadow spiders. Seriously. They are not fun anymore. I think it would be way more interesting if shadow BATS could blind you, because 1) gorcrows did that a few floors ago, so I can sort of see the pattern, 2) it would be more a case of other monsters having to be around to kill you, rather than the bat doing it.

I frequently have characters with a lamp and inner light who fight a shadow-spider 1-1 when they can SEE it and still basically almost die to it most of the time. And you can't even run. I get so sick of meeting these damn things.

I think it would be a lot more fair if the blindess thing moved to the bats. I'd even like shadow spiders to have speed nerfed, but that is probably going too far.

There is no other spider in the game that I'm really afraid of. The next ones in sequence are basically a joke compared to shadow spiders -- at least you can run from the other ones if you can't see them.

The difficulty curve with spiders in general is sort of weird. Sword spiders are very dangerous. Distended spiders... sometimes, but really they're sort of pushovery. Shadow spiders are off the scale. I can't even really distinguish between the next two types (gorgoroth and ancient) because usually I just roll over them.

debo May 25, 2013 02:42

b) I've noticed a weird pattern with most of my games.. I was trying to figure out why the game suddenly becomes so difficult at 600', and I think I've found the answer.

For the first 500', I rarely meet monsters out of depth. Maybe 50'-100', sure. But as soon as I hit 550' or 600', I almost always have to be prepared to face the next 300' of levels all at once, because there are often rooms that house VERY out-of-depth monsters. I've had many games where I fight greater werewolves long before I see a single vanilla one.

I never used to notice this before, because I often played stealth characters and could sneak around things.

This isn't really so much a complaint -- I don't mind it all that badly -- as it is a question -- did you guys really intend for the game to play this way? I imagine the monster depths were supposed to progress fairly evenly, but because "interesting room" probability goes up with depth, you are frequently going to be meeting out-of-depth monsters at deeper depths. So that begs the question -- are monster depth levels really that meaningful past 600'? Is this an accidental "interaction" of two features, or did you sort of see it working this way?

It might be interesting (or perhaps not) if out-of-depth monsters could somehow be confined to their "special rooms". The wandering monsters in this game generally have no qualms about opening doors to special rooms and letting everything leak out if you make the slightest bit of noise :) I dunno. This is more of a ramble than a complaint :)

Actually you know those special rooms with warding symbols trapping a monster in them? That could be neat trick to use more often... that way if I peek inside a special room and see, say, Fingon hiding in a corner surrounded by monsters 200' out of depth, I can _choose_ taking the risk to go in there and fight them, instead of having the choice made for me...

clouded May 25, 2013 03:39

I'm not sure what you mean about not being able to run from shadow spiders, they have the same territorial behavior as the other spiders. Shadow bats blinding you would be much more annoying to me, maybe they wouldn't be able to kill you (I don't even know what melee they have to be honest) but now you would have an even faster monster with even higher evasion that you can't shake off blinding you. If anything, I'd like to remove shadow bats, they don't particularly add anything and that way you know all of the things around 500ft that emit darkness are going to be something nasty.

On the topic of the thread, a few things came up for me when I played again recently too.

Firstly, the way monsters are displayed as "an enemy" when you are examining them while raging. It's a pointless bit of interface screwing, since it is easily bypassed by recalling when examining them (of course, the correct thing here is being able to see what things are always, not restricting recalling or something silly).

Secondly, the ascension. I've complained about it before and even complained about it in this thread a little, but I'm going to mention it again because I really get sick of it. It puts far too much emphasis on having certain skills and items, especially revelations and drastically increases in difficulty and length if you don't have them. I don't particularly like ascensions in any roguelike I've played, I appreciate the feature of Angband that you can just quit the turn you kill Morgoth and say "finally I don't have to play this anymore".

debo May 25, 2013 03:50

Hmmn, interesting comments on the ascension. There are some parts I really like -- the gates are SO COOL, for example. But I think I'd enjoy it a lot more if every upstair was an up shaft. Generally after I've beaten the throne room, I want to win the whole game. Climbing 20 floors + crumbling stairs can take a REALLY long time though, especially since you feel like you've "won" already.

I didn't realize shadow bats moved faster than shadow spiders. In any case, I still think you're wrong :) If you have light radius 1 or 2 and a shadow spider sights you from a hallway, it's on top of you before you really know what's happening. You can 'run' and try to take advantage of the territorial thing, but if it gets one blinding hit in good luck trying to take advantage of territory. At least shadow bats move erratically. I actually like the bats as a monster.

debo May 25, 2013 05:30

Also, this is a little on the "maybe whiney" side, but have you ever thought of toning down the kemenrauko melee damage a little? +11 means they'll still hit pretty often, and their earthquake gimmick + high defense + dig through walls is already pretty impressive. They usually create situations where you are insta-surrounded by digging around your corridor, which means you're fighting with an evasion penalty, and hitting for 4d8 is pretty crazy.

Ringrauko and Ururauko seem pretty one-trick-pony, in comparison. If you have evasion that is worth anything, and you remember that they're dangerous, you can stomp either of them with impunity, even if they do hit way hard.

Hithrauko are still my favorite :) So annoying to get hallucinated at that depth.

OK, that's all the Sil I have in me for a while o/ lol

clouded May 31, 2013 22:47

I hear a lot of complaints about the hjklyubn keyset. Having to use ctrl on certain movement keys for unrelated commands is very awkward and it also prevents ctrl+dir from being "interact in this direction" which is a very natural and convenient thing. It would be easy to unify the two keysets, there are only a few overlapping commands.

l -> x (same as crawl and angband)
L -> W (same as angband)
x -> I (same as angband)
u -> a (same as brogue(?))
a -> A
b -> remove
T -> remove

Neither bash nor tunnel commands are necessary when you can ctrl+dir in that direction to do it.

Edit: I forgot about the destroy command. I think it should go too, it is only used in a single place which could use ',' which interacts with whatever is under you.

half June 3, 2013 11:11

Thanks for the ideas everyone. This thread has worked perfectly. I'm looking forward to when I next have time to fix some of these longstanding gripes.

Nomad June 3, 2013 12:30

After playing the latest version for a couple of weeks, I've realised that my least-liked feature, silly as it is, is the fact that the Escape key brings up a menu. I habitually use the Escape key to clear -more- prompts, since that's what I'm used to doing in Angband, and I keep bringing up that bloody menu every time. Would definitely prefer it if the menu was activated with the Enter key like in Vanilla instead.

half June 3, 2013 14:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad (Post 80999)
After playing the latest version for a couple of weeks, I've realised that my least-liked feature, silly as it is, is the fact that the Escape key brings up a menu. I habitually use the Escape key to clear -more- prompts, since that's what I'm used to doing in Angband, and I keep bringing up that bloody menu every time. Would definitely prefer it if the menu was activated with the Enter key like in Vanilla instead.

Many people prefer this the other way around (i.e. Escape over Enter), and Escape is more typical for brining up menus. However, I think there is still an option to disable escape for the menu (and use 'm' instead).

Nomad June 3, 2013 16:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by half (Post 81001)
Many people prefer this the other way around (i.e. Escape over Enter), and Escape is more typical for brining up menus. However, I think there is still an option to disable escape for the menu (and use 'm' instead).

Ah, thank you! Had no idea that was there.

debo June 3, 2013 17:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad (Post 81003)
Ah, thank you! Had no idea that was there.

I keep forgetting to use this in my videos!!!!!

debo June 4, 2013 04:42

Question: Why is there variance in the number of torches you start with? It seems to vary between 2 and 3 (in inventory). This just seems... silly, lol, all your other starting conditions are more or less fixed (even the # of uses at the 100' forge now). I've honestly just started startscumming to make sure I get a 3 torch character...

wobbly June 5, 2013 22:24

A minor one: When you run (. direction) you don't move the right way to maintain sprinting.

wobbly June 7, 2013 12:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by half (Post 81001)
Many people prefer this the other way around (i.e. Escape over Enter), and Escape is more typical for brining up menus. However, I think there is still an option to disable escape for the menu (and use 'm' instead).

If you do end up changing the key binding there is a stupid one I do. I hit "l" to look at something & it clears the -more- prompt. Then I press the arrow key & it attacks something or moves somewhere stupid. I occasionally lose characters this way. I know it's my own stupid fault but I doubt I'm the only one.

debo June 7, 2013 12:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 81138)
If you do end up changing the key binding there is a stupid one I do. I hit "l" to look at something & it clears the -more- prompt. Then I press the arrow key & it attacks something or moves somewhere stupid. I occasionally lose characters this way. I know it's my own stupid fault but I doubt I'm the only one.

Isn't there an option that forces you to use enter or some other cmd key to clear the more prompt? Or am I remembering things wrong?

FWIW this is why I use Esc to clear more prompts :)

Nomad June 7, 2013 12:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 81139)
Isn't there an option that forces you to use enter or some other cmd key to clear the more prompt? Or am I remembering things wrong?

FWIW this is why I use Esc to clear more prompts :)

Same here. I think Angband has or had the option to only clear -more- prompts with spacebar, but I also play Nethack, where spacebar is the "rest for one turn and let all the adjacent monsters have a free hit" button. Escape is the only key that's guaranteed not to be linked to any in-game action in any roguelike that I play.

So now that I've found that option for switching off the Escape menu I'm a much happier player!

clouded June 8, 2013 21:34

I dislike how a player using subwindows is afforded more information on a given turn than one without subwindows. Yes, it's fine for this information to be more easily available, but to me it's unacceptable to have subwindows give an advantage like this. Examples:

If a player is carrying an unknown special weapon in their pack, they will be able to see the glyph glowing should they be using the inventory subwindow. A player not using this will need to spend a turn to throw this item or equip it in the dark in order to see this. Solution is to show the glyphs in the 'i' screen like the subwindow.

If a player steps on top of a weapon, using the inventory subwindow they can see its weight. Without this window they must pick it up and look in their inventory (probably also having to drop an item first), this can equate to taking 3 or 4 more turns than with subwindows! Solution is to either show the weight of an item when you examine it, or a much better would be to show a message like: "You see here: A Longsword (+0,2d5) 2.4 lb." This would be an enormous reduction of hassle for those without subwindows.

And obviously the most significant: Combat rolls are completely hidden without the subwindow. Adding these to messages would be sort of crazy with the one line message area (though an option would be nice...). At the least, you should be able to bring up the combat roll log as you can the message history, it is probably more important after all.

WaveMotion June 8, 2013 22:20

I've groused enough about Mewlip amnesia on this forum, but I'd like to go on record in this thread that I still consider amnesia the single most annoying, unfun feature of the game. I won't try to claim again that I can write down the whole map whenever I encounter a Mewlip (admittedly that was a stupid argument) but I can still say that in a year of playing Sil I've never run into a situation where I felt I was in danger due to amnesia—at least violet molds do your character actual harm.

fph June 8, 2013 22:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad (Post 81140)
I also play Nethack, where spacebar is the "rest for one turn and let all the adjacent monsters have a free hit" button. Escape is the only key that's guaranteed not to be linked to any in-game action in any roguelike that I play!

Nethack has an option to disable rest-on-space. Actually, wikihack says about it:
Quote:

There is an option to rest when space is pressed, but this is not considered desirable.
I'd suggest *not* to change the current behaviour in Sil; esc is a rather standard key to bring up a menu.

HugoTheGreat2011 June 8, 2013 23:29

My #1 annoyance is getting the tombstone screen when HP hits 0 (and not -1 like in Vanilla and other variants).

debo June 9, 2013 00:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by WaveMotion (Post 81214)
I've groused enough about Mewlip amnesia on this forum, but I'd like to go on record in this thread that I still consider amnesia the single most annoying, unfun feature of the game. I won't try to claim again that I can write down the whole map whenever I encounter a Mewlip (admittedly that was a stupid argument) but I can still say that in a year of playing Sil I've never run into a situation where I felt I was in danger due to amnesia—at least violet molds do your character actual harm.

Haha aww... I'm sad to admit that I actually really love that ability. It makes them scary, but in a different way.

HugoTheGreat2011 June 9, 2013 01:04

One way to make Newlips worse is to make them natives of deeper levels, increase amnesia frequency, and give them higher HP. This way, if Newlip do the amnesia while Shadow spiders, Gwathraukar, and all the nastier foes are nearby, Newlips would be much scarier.

jujuben June 9, 2013 02:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 81219)
Haha aww... I'm sad to admit that I actually really love that ability. It makes them scary, but in a different way.

There's nothing quite like Mewlip + Gorcrow = a completely black screen...

wobbly June 9, 2013 16:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 79542)
One (extremely minor!) gripe I have is the the descriptions of some of the Abilities are too vague without any (to me) sensible reason for it. Now, I can understand if you don't want to drag out the gory details of exactly how, say, Knock Back works in the short Ability summary text. But I see no real reason for not explaining how, say, Heavy Armor Protection works. I mean, you do it for Hardiness after all.

A couple more where I had the wrong impression until reading the manual:

concentration: "Gives you a +1 bonus to attack for every round spent attacking an enemy ...."
"particular enemy" as it says in the manual clarifies a lot.

subtlety: I had to check the manual to find out whether it worked with "hand & a half" weapons.

half June 9, 2013 16:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 81217)
My #1 annoyance is getting the tombstone screen when HP hits 0 (and not -1 like in Vanilla and other variants).

It's not my fault there is an off-by-one error in Angband...

tungtn June 10, 2013 06:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by fph (Post 81215)
Nethack has an option to disable rest-on-space. Actually, wikihack says about it ...

Offtopic, but wikihack is frequently outdated and sometimes vandalized. Next time, consider linking to NetHackWiki instead, which is maintained and updated by the current NetHack community.

Not that I'm blaming you; Google's ranking algorithms tend to mean that whatever appears at the top of a search just stays there, no matter how good or bad it is.

EDIT: Fixed link, derp. Now yet another link feeds Google juice to that damn wikia site. :(

fph June 10, 2013 14:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by tungtn (Post 81267)
Offtopic, but wikihack is frequently outdated and sometimes vandalized. Next time, consider linking to NetHackWiki instead, which is maintained and updated by the current NetHack community.

Not that I'm blaming you; [...]

Thanks for the tip, good to know! I suppose your link was meant to be to this page.

(in this case, the contents of the two pages are identical anyway).

Starhawk June 10, 2013 15:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by WaveMotion (Post 81214)
I've groused enough about Mewlip amnesia on this forum, but I'd like to go on record in this thread that I still consider amnesia the single most annoying, unfun feature of the game. I won't try to claim again that I can write down the whole map whenever I encounter a Mewlip (admittedly that was a stupid argument) but I can still say that in a year of playing Sil I've never run into a situation where I felt I was in danger due to amnesia—at least violet molds do your character actual harm.

It's a very gentle but real form of harm: you'll spend a few extra turns trying to remember exactly how to get to the stairs. This takes time off your timer and is therefore harmful.

Patashu June 11, 2013 01:53

There is one mechanical disadvantage from losing your memories that can't be overcome by screenshotting the map - you can't see when doors are opened if they're not on your map.


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