Angband Forums

Angband Forums (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/index.php)
-   Variants (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Halls of Mist is here! (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=5673)

Mikko Lehtinen September 13, 2012 15:11

Halls of Mist is here (now at 1.2.3)
 
Halls of Mist was first released here on oook on September 13. Thanks to the help I received from the folks here, I was able to update to a more polished version 1.2.1 before announcing the game on ARRP 2012 on September 16! The biggest change is that the internal help files are now up-to-date.

The download links, except for OS X executables, have been updated to latest version. (Bugfix releases 1.2.2 and 1.2.2b. Version 1.2.3 has also some important new features besides general polishing.)

Download Halls of Mist here:
Halls of Mist is a successor to my earlier roguelike FayAngband, which was based on Eytan Zweig's EyAngband. If you are interested in the history of FayAngband, you may also want to read the release announcement for version 1.1 which had big changes.

I'm not even trying to make a changes list. It's easier to just treat this a new game. :)

The game is set in a brand new world, and has had a complete gameplay overhaul.

What hasn't changed from FayAngband are my design goals:
  • Halls of Mist should not reward slow playing. Instead, it should reward good tactics, and taking calculated risks.
  • Make the gameplay faster. Remove unnecessary tedium.
  • Characters should be different from each other. All character classes should have their distinct personality, and all stats should be important for all classes.

Well, maybe with Halls of Mist I have added a fourth design goal to the list:
  • The dungeon should feel like a real, mythical place in a fantasy world. Every dungeon level should feel unique and bring different challenges and opportunities to the player.

Eventually www.mikkolehtinen.net/mist will be the game's web page. For now it just holds the old development blog.

My biggest influences when developing Halls of Mist were David Bowie's persona The Thin White Duke, Andrew Doull's UnAngband, the forgotten classic Kamband, and listening to the Roguelike Radio. (Thanks to the RR I don't have to spend years playing all the great roguelike games myself! Stealing good ideas has never been this easy.) I've stolen some code and ideas from Angband, Sangband, and NPPAngband. My own code is pretty ugly since I've learned everything I know about C by reading Angband's source code. :)

Here's a collection of documentation posts to get you started. Most of the info here is also available in the internal help system. But if you want to find out what's new in Halls of Mist compared to my older variant FayAngband, these links may give you a better picture. The documentation is my Achilles' heel at the moment -- I have plans for a pretty pdf manual written from scratch.

Flavour
The flavour behind the stairs mechanic. "It takes a week to travel between dungeon levels?"

Attributes and skills
The stats are the heart of the game. They can be divided into physical stats and mental stats.

Skills are divided into primary and specialist skills. Skill checks are mostly unmodified percentage rolls, like all skill checks for Alchemy, Jumping, Navigation, Saving Throw, and Perception. (Some extra information on Perception, secret doors and warding runes.)

Proficiencies are special abilities derived from your MEM+WIS, race, and level. (Here's some design philosophy behind mechanics that use MEM+WIS.) If you're still scratching your head, read Lore for Dummies.

Weird magicks!
Alchemical Circles: a riddle, an explanation, and a complete list of all seven circles. Ritual Magic uses circles, too (some more info).

You may sacrifice ego items or artifacts on altars to gain temporary or permanent blessings. (In the future, ego items will become "rare" items.) And here's the design philosophy behind the deity system.

Strategy
Up-to-date combat rules.

Even the town is now dangerous. You get wounded below 0 HP.

Torches are now interesting.

Read the tiny strategy guides if you want to triumph in Halls of Mist.

Watch out for summoners! (The mechanic will change to this in future versions.)

Mikko Lehtinen September 13, 2012 20:53

Too many changes for a changes list. Here's some that weren't mentioned in the documentation posts:
  • Dungeon generation will surprise you. The look is genuinely different, and not just because of the new dungeon features.
  • All boring magic items removed. Tens of interesting magic items added!
  • Lots of new ego item types, too!
  • All town spell books redone, with lots of new or rebalanced spells. Again, boring spells removed or changed. Different monsters will be easy or problematic for Fire and Frost mages.
  • You tend to encounter monsters in heterogenous groups, which makes battles more interesting tactically. More empty rooms to compensate.
  • Interesting terrain features tend to have thematically appropriate monsters nearby. Battlegrounds are often tactically interesting, and you can predict much about monsters if you learn about dungeon features.
  • Less item drops but they are generally much more interesting. For example, more ego items, potions and scrolls come in stacks.
  • No food, no mining, less but more challenging enemies... Lots of effort spent on reducing tedium and making gameplay faster! Spend your playing time making interesting tactical decisions instead.

HugoTheGreat2011 September 13, 2012 23:58

pav needs to add a Halls of Mist ladder! I am liking the new touches. The only problem was this...as soon as I entered the dungeon, my character got perplexed and never recovered from it, such that I had no clue what to do!!

Also, the name of the Windows app is still angband.exe. I was wondering if you would change it to hallsofmist.exe or just mist.exe.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 00:05

Hehe. Yeah, there are stories about adventurers who see horrible visions in the blue mist and lose their mind... They say carrying a bright torch would help.

HugoTheGreat2011 September 14, 2012 00:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72686)
Hehe. Yeah, there are stories about adventurers who see horrible visions in the blue mist and lose their mind... They say carrying a bright torch would help.

Good hint. I'll try again. By the way, the Halls of Mist dumps are not uploadable on this ladder...until further notice from you or pav. :(

ekolis September 14, 2012 00:53

The help files still mention FayAngband, for instance in the description for Humans... :p

edit: heck, the main help menu mentions *Ey*Angband! :eek:

ekolis September 14, 2012 00:58

Also, did you leave the attack/got-hit messages in debug mode? It just says "Hit. Hit. Hit. Ouch." Or was that intentional to save on spam?

edit: relatedly, message recall doesn't seem to work for these messages I got fighting a novice mage in town...

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 03:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72689)
The help files still mention FayAngband, for instance in the description for Humans... :p

edit: heck, the main help menu mentions *Ey*Angband! :eek:

Yes. I'm rewriting everything at some point. I think pdf manual is the way to go. I'm not sure what to do with internal help... Remove it totally? Only show commands and map legend?

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 03:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72690)
Also, did you leave the attack/got-hit messages in debug mode? It just says "Hit. Hit. Hit. Ouch." Or was that intentional to save on spam?

edit: relatedly, message recall doesn't seem to work for these messages I got fighting a novice mage in town...

Ah, important and probably controversial change. It's intentional. Spam got too annoying since you can now attack two monsters in melee every turn! (Did you try it? It's at best when you stand on a table, and dodge 2/5 of melee attacks because of high ground.)

The system tries to show the name of the monster when it's necessary, for example for monster special attacks. For losing hp, I figured "ouch" is enough.

fizzix September 14, 2012 05:26

Mikko, should I wait until you release elsewhere to draft a news item, or should I do that as soon as I get the chance? (probably tomorrow evening)

edit: actually this is a dumb question. By the time I draft something and send it to you for approval, and then send it to pav to post, it will almost certainly be after you've released it elsewhere due to time zone shenanigans. So I'll draft a news item tomorrow. Now for the impossible task of picking the most salient features to mention!

Darin September 14, 2012 06:08

Well, I have a mac os x port of sorts. All I did really was run "make -f Makefile.std" from the terminal and moved the resulting binary up a level. It runs using XQuartz on 10.6.8. It certainly won't run on PPC macs and may or may not run using other versions of os x intel or using X11 instead of XQuartz. But if there is interest and a place to put it I can zip up the binary and the lib folder (do I need anything else?) and upload it wherever.

On an unrelated note, is there any description of the classes anywhere? The in-game docs don't even acknowledge the existence of a Templar (Paladin replacement?) let alone describe it. Other then that the game is a blast! Great job.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 07:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darin (Post 72700)
Well, I have a mac os x port of sorts. All I did really was run "make -f Makefile.std" from the terminal and moved the resulting binary up a level. It runs using XQuartz on 10.6.8. It certainly won't run on PPC macs and may or may not run using other versions of os x intel or using X11 instead of XQuartz. But if there is interest and a place to put it I can zip up the binary and the lib folder (do I need anything else?) and upload it wherever.

On an unrelated note, is there any description of the classes anywhere? The in-game docs don't even acknowledge the existence of a Templar (Paladin replacement?) let alone describe it. Other then that the game is a blast! Great job.

Shaman was the original paladin replacement. Templar is another, completely different take. :)

See "primary and specialist skills" link in the first post for Templar description. (I'm writing this on a phone, so no linking here.) Also see "proficiencies". The in-game doc has pretty accurate descriptions for the other classes.

Please send your port to me! My email is gmail with the user name miihkali.lehtinen. You will need to change the package name from zip to zippo (for example) for gmail to let the attachment through. As soon as I get internet connection with a laptop, I'll upload your mac port, and another similar mac port from Michael Drinen. Hmm, I have no idea what's Michael's hardware other than that it is "old".

Nick September 14, 2012 08:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by fizzix (Post 72697)
Mikko, should I wait until you release elsewhere to draft a news item, or should I do that as soon as I get the chance? (probably tomorrow evening)

edit: actually this is a dumb question. By the time I draft something and send it to you for approval, and then send it to pav to post, it will almost certainly be after you've released it elsewhere due to time zone shenanigans. So I'll draft a news item tomorrow. Now for the impossible task of picking the most salient features to mention!

I already did one and submitted it :)

Nick September 14, 2012 08:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72694)
Yes. I'm rewriting everything at some point. I think pdf manual is the way to go. I'm not sure what to do with internal help... Remove it totally? Only show commands and map legend?

Maybe have just a single internal helpfile that's just a quick reference, and then point to the pdf manual in that.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 09:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 72704)
Maybe have just a single internal helpfile that's just a quick reference, and then point to the pdf manual in that.

Sounds like a plan.

My cousin sort of promised to sketch an image for the "cover" of the manual. Knowing her style, it will probably be The Thin White Duke about to sacrifice a virgin to the demons of Aether.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 09:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72705)
My cousin sort of promised to sketch an image for the "cover" of the manual. Knowing her style, it will probably be The Thin White Duke about to sacrifice a virgin to the demons of Aether.

Actually that would be even better with a female grippli (frogman) rogue sneaking in the background, about to ambush the Duke... Classic pulp fantasy magazine cover.

pav September 14, 2012 09:46

Ladder now accepts Halls of Mist dumps. Enjoy.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 11:17

Thanks, pav!

Shapeshifted characters will probably enter the ladder as "Harpy Mage" or something like that, but let's call that a feature rather than a bug, shall we.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 72703)
I already did one and submitted it :)

A perfect news item, thanks. Good idea to link to the development blog. Even though it doesn't have much content it serves as a soft introduction to the setting.

Narvius September 14, 2012 12:47

Please, please tell me shapeshifting is NOT permanent. ;_;

Repeated RoC blastings have no additional effects. :/

Also, killed on Level 5 by a Death Sword. I went from full HP to several wounds in one move. oO

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 13:06

Quote:

Please, please tell me shapeshifting is NOT permanent. ;_;
Both shapeshifting and temporary blessings from goddesses last at least for the current dungeon level and the next dungeon level. (Town doesn't count.) After that, every time you take the stairs down, there's a 50% chance of returning to your original form.

The other common way to shapeshift besides getting blasted by the Rune of Change is by (q)uaffing from a fountain. You may decide to only drink from fountains you manage to identify with a successful Perception roll when walking next to them. If you make your roll, look at the fountain to see what it does.

The player is supposed to know the effects of various forms, so that you can make educated decisions. However, there's no documentation about them anywhere yet. :o

Quote:

Repeated RoC blastings have no additional effects. :/
Rune of Change? Took a moment to decipher that. Yes, you're right. That way Rune of Change feels more like a trap and less like an utility magic device...

Repeated blasts from the rune do work on monsters, though.

Quote:

Also, killed on Level 5 by a Death Sword. I went from full HP to several wounds in one move. oO
I tend to play with the visible monsters subwindow open. It reveals mimics but it probably should not. It's not fair for the player that subwindows affect how nasty monsters are.

Narvius September 14, 2012 13:29

It was in a corridor. I had only range 1 lighting. It was more a case of a random "screw you" from the RNG (helped by my unpreparedness, of course).

In other news, Halls of Mist is fun.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 13:30

Shapes
 
Harpy
Speed +5, DEX +5, WIS -5, PRE -5. Flies over obstacles. Does not have these item slots: melee weapon, bow, rings, body armor, cloak, shield, gloves, boots. (If you have items in these slots when transforming, you drop them.) Unarmed damage Xd3 (claws) instead of the normal Xd2.

Angel
Speed +2, DEX +2, WIS +5, PRE +5. Flies over obstacles. May not wear body armor or cloak.

Ape
STR +5, CON +2, MEM -5, PRE -2, Jumping +25.

Naga
Speed -2, MEM +5, STR +2, Stealth +5, Jumping -25. May not wear boots. Unarmed damage Xd4 (crush) instead of the normal Xd2.

Statue
Speed -5, CON +5, PRE +2, Jumping -25, Armor +25, all resists +25.

Faun
MEM -2, WIS +2, CON +2. May not wear a helmet or boots.

Goblin
Speed +2, DEX +2, STR -2, MEM -2, WIS -2, CON -2, PRE -2.

Ghoul
Speed -1, STR -1, MEM -1, WIS -1, DEX -1, CON -1, PRE -1.

All shapes are possible when getting blasted by a Rune of Change. The first five shapes are possible fountains effects. Some shapes are available as potions, also, but I don't remember which ones.

Both shapeshifting and temporary blessings from goddesses last at least for the current dungeon level and the next dungeon level. (Town doesn't count.) After that, every time you take the stairs down, there's a 50% chance of returning to your original form.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 13:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Narvius (Post 72715)
It was in a corridor. I had only range 1 lighting. It was more a case of a random "screw you" from the RNG (helped by my unpreparedness, of course).

Enchanted Torch (somewhat expensive) would have saved you. It's a tough item to evaluate -- how much are you willing to pay to be save from jellies and death swords, and to get the other benefits of bigger light radius?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Narvius (Post 72715)
In other news, Halls of Mist is fun.

Good to hear. :)

Narvius September 14, 2012 14:00

Frankly, I've found that after the first three levels or so, switching to exclusively use Enchanted Torches isn't much of a problem.

The thing with the magic circles is brilliant, by the way.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 14:00

Thanks to Darin for the Mac port!

The Halls of Mist "Mac port" is really an XQuartz/X11 port for Mac, not a true OS X port.

One way to use the executable is to open a terminal, navigate to the Halls of Mist folder and type:
Code:

./angband
These two posts will give you more hints on how to use the executables.

Timo Pietilš September 14, 2012 14:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72717)
Ghoul
Speed -1, STR -1, MEM -1, WIS -1, DEX -1, CON -1, PRE -1.

Others count as different species, but IMO ghoul does not. In angband it is just one kind of undead, so it feels like it should not belong in species category. OTOH it does count as one kind of demon according to wikipedia.

Not knowing what is possible in HoM may I suggest replacing that with imp or similar lesser (traditional) demon. Maybe homunculus?

getter77 September 14, 2012 14:31

I would vote on removing all the outdated ingame help outright in the interim and focus on getting the manual in good shape then the fresh ingame help ASAP----many players like to learn and wrangle in-game as opposed to messing about with Alt-Tab madness between windows/don't have dual monitors/etc.

For flavour, I'd recommend doing a novel take on it along the lines that Triangle Wizard has with the ingame Trianglopedia. http://trianglewizard.webs.com/apps/blog/ If there was ever a project where fanciful pomp applied to the in-game help made sense...this has got to be one.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 16:24

With some magic we could easily have all kinds of documentation formats.

If in-game help files were written in markdown format, which is designed to be perfectly human-readable, I could write a script that transforms these into another format better suited for Scribus (open source DTP app).

I've already written a Python script that generates web-pages out of markdown-formatted text files in folders.

BTW, I prefer the pdf manual mostly because it's perfect for the big attribute tables.

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 16:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 72722)
Others count as different species, but IMO ghoul does not. In angband it is just one kind of undead, so it feels like it should not belong in species category. OTOH it does count as one kind of demon according to wikipedia.

Not knowing what is possible in HoM may I suggest replacing that with imp or similar lesser (traditional) demon. Maybe homunculus?

All but one of them are species but they wouldn't need to be. They don't replace your racial bonuses; lizardman apes are stronger than gnome apes. But you're probably right, it would be better for them all to be species for aesthetic reasons.

Homunculus sounds like it should have good Memory and a large bonus to Alchemy skill, but penalties to everything else. After all, in the stories they are often Alchemists' familiars. :)

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 16:43

Hmm. Monsters that infect you with lycanthropy or ghoul plague could easily be handled with temporary shapes. If you were already in another shape, you would be immune.

ekolis September 14, 2012 18:40

The docs don't seem to mention what Fencing proficiency does...

ekolis September 14, 2012 18:43

Also, why does my character not keep all the gold he finds? Leaving some for other heroes? :P

ekolis September 14, 2012 18:45

Tunneling through rubble never seems to work. Do I need a special weapon?

Mikko Lehtinen September 14, 2012 19:23

Tunneling through rubble should work always. Could you send me a savefile?

Templar's proficiencies are explained here.

Templar gives 2/3 of gold to the poor.

Michael Drinen September 14, 2012 23:20

I made my port the same way that Darin describes. Mine is also an intel mac running 10.6.8.

You can also run ./angband -mgcu to run a curses version!

Darin September 14, 2012 23:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72720)
Two "mac ports" available! They are both more like X11 ports for Mac than true OS X ports.

With no OS X knowledge at all I can guess that you may need to open a terminal, navigate to the Halls of Mist folder and type:
Code:

./angband
Thanks, guys!

Close. You need to open either the X11.app or XQuartz.app, not a normal terminal. After that it is as you say, navigate to the Hall of Mists folder and type "./angband".

Scatha September 15, 2012 01:01

I've been playing a bit. I've generally enjoyed it, but some things have felt a little strange or mysterious.

I also encountered problems with tunnelling. Using 'T' didn't seem to do anything (and I think doesn't use a turn), but if I subsequently used ctrl-v to repeat the command it would tunnel for me.

Some other comments (in a code block to let me indent):
Code:

- I agree stripping out the incorrect documentation would be a good move.
  - Not having documentation is frustrating, but finding documentation you don't know is erroneous is really frustrating.
  - For instance I read something telling me I couldn't get experience in town
  - Was surprised to then level up!
- Similarly I agree with the proposal to rename the executable, if that's easy.
- Overall the dungeon generation feels pretty good!
  - the dungeon features are really pretty easy to grok (but I have read you writing about them, which might have helped)
  - The bookcases and armour racks feel really fun
  - tables get surprisingly big
      - On a similar note, could you have more than one table in a room?
      - Would feel natural, and I think tactically interesting
  - I like the little treasure rooms
  - The faerie portals seem odd, but interesting
  - I haven't worked out if bushes do anything except block sight and make movment hard
      - Similarly are trees different from rubble?
  - Does (s)earching do anything? It's listed in help, but it's never found me something I hadn't already seen.
  - Sometimes tripped over several altars per level when I didn't want them
      - and none over several levels when I did!
      - not enough data to conclude anything, but don't know if this level of apparent variance is desired.
  - The Circles seem fun, but pull a lot of complexity in early.
- I don't really understand how combat works
  - made it hard for me to know how to prioritise upgrading equipment versus buying consumables.
- Playing a Warrior I only ever died fighting uniques
  - at DL8-13, generally diving a fair proportion of the time because I could cope with everything else I met
  - May say more about my playstyle than anything about the game.
- My method for dealing with invisible creatures is to fight something else and take advantage of the extra attack you get
  - Something feels odd about this.
- I like the torches
- I like the dungeon descent rules
  - But are there any advantages to skipping a town break?
  - I guess it saves a few turns of your torch ...
- I'm not sure I could always tell the difference between different dungeon depths, though.
- The profiencies are a bit cryptic
  - even after reading your explanation and playing around with them a little I feel I only half understand them.
- Many of the monsters merged into each other
  - Most were "moves, easy to kill"
  - Some "doesn't move"
  - Some "Ranged attack"
  - A few dangerous ones! I wouldn't know until a couple of rounds of combat
  - May have led to me getting sloppy

Hmm, sorry if that was a little too much stream-of-consciousness. Just trying to record thoughts as they occur to me in case some of them are useful.

Good luck with the release!

Edit: to clarify, of course I don't expect to have anything of value to say about balance. But I think it's important to know what people's first impressions of a game are, too, so I'm sharing that.

Michael Drinen September 15, 2012 01:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darin (Post 72752)
Close. You need to open either the X11.app or XQuartz.app, not a normal terminal. After that it is as you say, navigate to the Hall of Mists folder and type "./angband".

Hmm...

Darin's description of of how he build is how I built my version and Mikko's description of how to run is what I've been doing to run. (I think that the story is that ./anband will start XQuartz.app for you.)

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 02:45

Woke up in the middle of night. Ok, a bug in tunneling! I always use ctrl + direction to tunnel, it should work I hope?

ekolis September 15, 2012 05:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72759)
Woke up in the middle of night. Ok, a bug in tunneling! I always use ctrl + direction to tunnel, it should work I hope?

Dunno, I was using T and then a direction; it never gave any message indicating failure, but using repeat it never succeeded, either! I think it didn't even consume a turn! Is that what happened when you switched to using T instead of ctrl? I'll try using ctrl next time and see if that works...

Darin September 15, 2012 05:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Drinen (Post 72756)
Hmm...

Darin's description of of how he build is how I built my version and Mikko's description of how to run is what I've been doing to run. (I think that the story is that ./anband will start XQuartz.app for you.)

I just tried it and it worked. I don't think it used to work that way. And the window I get is awfully small compared to what I get when I launch from XQuartz, so I will continue to use XQuartz directly rather than launching from the terminal. But it is good to know that I can do it this way if I choose. Thanks!

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 08:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72761)
Dunno, I was using T and then a direction; it never gave any message indicating failure, but using repeat it never succeeded, either! I think it didn't even consume a turn! Is that what happened when you switched to using T instead of ctrl? I'll try using ctrl next time and see if that works...

Yes, T and direction is buggy, just like you describe.

Ctrl + direction works.

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 09:20

Change of plans. Since internal help seems to be very important for players, I'll try to update it with the information in the first post before the second launch. Deadline: tomorrow. Lots of other things to do this weekend, like assembling a bed, cleaning the apartment, and having dinner with friends. I think I'll manage, though. All the needed information already exists in either the legacy internal help or in oook documentation posts.

I'm also going to collect all new information about Halls of Mist to a separate "Welcome to Halls of Mist" text document.

I still think that writing documentation from scratch would be best for the game. Well, I'll do it later, without pressure. For now, this will do.

I know documentation is my Achilles' heel. I still love that I'm releasing now, rather than year from now when everything is "perfect". Deadlines are great.

(Scatha: thanks for your comments! They're precious. I'll answer later, after the launch.)

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 12:32

Attacking and Being Attacked

Attacking is simple in Halls of Mist. If you move into a creature, you attack it. In addition, if there is another creature in melee range, you get a free attack against it! If there are many additional creatures in melee range, you make the extra attack against a random enemy.

Creatures attack in the same way. If they move into you, they attack you.

If the target of a melee attack is standing on a table or platform and the attacker is not, the attack has a 2/5 chance of missing because of bad position.

You can attack from a distance by firing a missile or by magical means (such as aiming a wand). Some creatures can also cast spells from a distance, and others can use various breath weapons (such as fire) on you from a distance.

If a table or platform is between you and the enemy, the missile or spell has a 3/5 chance of hitting the cover instead of the intended target. However, if the attacker is standing right next to the cover, he can shoot or cast spells without problems while still gaining defense bonuses from the cover.

Creatures in walls can not be attacked. (There are rare exceptions, like the Wand of Stone to Shards.) This applies to creatures which "pass through" walls: if they "bore through" walls, the wall is no longer there, and the creature can be targetted normally.

If you are wielding a weapon, the damage for the weapon is used when you hit a creature. Otherwise you will do some damage based on your strength and dexterity - but fighting empty handed is almost never really worthwhile.

You may wield both a primary weapon for melee combat, and a bow for firing arrows at the same time (along with a light, an amulet, two rings, a helmet, boots, gloves, a shield, a cloak, and body armor).

Firing an arrow (while wielding a bow) is the only way to get the full power out of the arrow. If you try to throw an arrow at a monster, it causes no damage. Note that the targeting interface tells the distance between you and the target. If the monster is out of range, the description changes from "You target" to "You see".

Hits and misses are determined by ability to hit versus armor class. A hit is a strike that does some damage; a miss may in fact reach a target, but fails to do any damage. Higher armor classes make it harder to do damage, and so lead to more misses.

You may check your melee hit chance against a monster by (l)ooking at it. If you see two percentage scores (like 92% + 4%) the first score is your hit chance and the second score your critical hit chance if you hit. Similarly, you can check your archery hit chance by targeting a monster with a bow, and your throwing hit chance by targeting it with a thrown weapon.


Your Melee Weapon

Carrying a weapon in your backpack does you no good. You must wield a weapon before it can be used in a fight. A secondary weapon (indeed, more than one) can be kept by keeping it in the backpack, and switching it with the primary weapon when needed.

Weapons have two main characteristics, their enchanted bonus to hit (if any) and their damage dice, expressed as `(+#, #d#)'.

The third major thing to know about your weapon is its weight. Your number of blows per turn is either the weapon's maximum blows (depending purely on weapon weight) or the maximum blows granted by your dexterity, whichever is lower. In addition, depending on your strength, some weapons will be too heavy for you. Wielding a weapon that is too heavy can seriously cripple your combat capabilities.

Fortunately, you don't have to do the math for each weapon you find, trying to figure out whether it is more or less effective than your current weapon. To see how many blows you will get with a weapon, how much damage it will do on average, and whether it is too heavy for you, all you need to do is 'I'nspect it.

In addition to their basic characteristics, many weapons have additional magical powers such as fire brands or extra damage vs. demons. If you have identified the weapon, you can see these effects as well when 'I'nspecting the weapon.

If you score a critical hit with a melee weapon, the effect depends on the weapon type. Swords will cause open wounds, making the enemy bleed, incurring additional wounds over time. Blunt weapons can cause concussions, stunning and occasionally confusing your opponents. Axes and polearms will simply provide a greater amount of bonus damage. Priests or Shamans will never score a critical hit with a weapon that displeases their god.


Bow and Arrows

Similarly to melee weapons, bows and arrows each have basic characteristics. Bows have three major characteristics - their to-hit bonus, their multiplier, and their range, displayed as (+#, x#, #). Arrows also have three attributes: their to-hit bonus, their damage dice, and their range modifier (+#, #d#, +#).

When shooting an arrow with a bow, the to-hit bonuses of both bow and arrow are cumulative, and can have a major effect on your chance of hitting. The damage done by an arrow is calculated by its damage die similarly to a melee weapon, but is further multiplied by the bow's multiplier. Finally, the range is the furthest, in dungeon squares, that you can reach with your current bow - the arrow's modifier may influence this, as some arrows can reach further than others.

If you are wielding a bow, all you need to do is 'I'nspect an arrow and you can see exactly how effective it is with your current bow.

Like melee weapons, you will occasionally get critical hits with bows. These can cause additional damage, and sometimes can make an enemy bleed.


Thrown Weapons

You can throw effectively any weapons that weigh less than 10 lbs. Also, your strength must be at least equal to the weapon weight in pounds. Throwing heavier weapons than this doesn't cause any damage. The range traversed depends on your strength and the weight of the object.

Magical powders can be be very effective when thrown at enemies. They create many special effects upon an enemy, and some more powerful types can injure a group of enemies. Powders have a bigger radius if you score a critical hit with them. Normally the radius increases by one. Rogues may score a great hit which increases radius by two.

Your strength determines the thrown weapon damage multiplier like this:

Code:

STR  Thrown weapon damage multiplier
13  *2
17  *3
21  *4
25  *5
29  *6

The Berserk Strength buff doubles your thrown weapon damage, and so do some rare magic items. The absolute maximum thrown damage multiplier is 6 * 2 * 2 = 24!


Critical Hits

Occasionally, for all combat types, you will score a critical hit - a hit so effective that it does extra damage. Depending on the type of weapon involved, this can have additional effects. You can't get criticals against unseen monsters.

There are two ways to score critical hits.

You can get Ambush-criticals against sleeping, scared, confused, or blind monsters. Ambush chance in percentages is 5 + character's to-hit bonus from stats, temporary magical buffs and weapon enchantments. (The combined bonus from stats & magic is shown on character sheet in parenthesis after combat skill scores.) Rogues get to add 5 + half their level. (Note that your bow's to-hit bonus has no effect here. Only the arrow's to-hit bonus matters.)

You can also get criticals if you have a truly overpowering combat skill versus your opponent. Once your hit chance reaches 91% or higher, your gain a bonus to your critical hit chance, even when the target is not distracted. The bonus is (hit chance -90) * (hit chance -90).

Rogues get double power thrown criticals, and one-and-half power melee and archery criticals. Warriors get double power melee criticals. Rangers get double power archery criticals.

(That's it. I think the combat system is slightly too complicated at the moment. Here's my latest idea on how to streamline it.)

ekolis September 15, 2012 18:46

For some reason, targeting seems to have lost its "lock onto monsters" ability from V and most other variants; I have to tap the arrow keys repeatedly to target any monster more than one square away! :(

edit: and worse, it will only target the square the monster was standing on, so if he moves, I'll have to retarget! :(

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 18:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72773)
For some reason, targeting seems to have lost its "lock onto monsters" ability from V and most other variants; I have to tap the arrow keys repeatedly to target any monster more than one square away! :(

edit: and worse, it will only target the square the monster was standing on, so if he moves, I'll have to retarget! :(

Do you mean you're doing this: press f to fire, select item, press * for targeting interface?

The game will target the nearest enemy if you have any chances of hitting him. It won't target if the enemy is outside your range or if the line of fire is blocked by a wall.

I'm not terribly familiar with newer targeting interfaces. What kind of behavior would you like?

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 19:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72755)
- Playing a Warrior I only ever died fighting uniques
- at DL8-13, generally diving a fair proportion of the time because I could cope with everything else I met

- I like the dungeon descent rules
- But are there any advantages to skipping a town break?
- I guess it saves a few turns of your torch ...

What if you could descend three levels if you take the stairs down in a dungeon? It would ease both of these concerns.

"Descend one (l)evel, (d)ive two levels, or (b)urrow three levels?"

I mean burrow metaphorically of course. Does the verb make sense here? Better ideas?

Edit: (p)lunge three levels maybe?

With warriors (and often with mages, too) I generally dive all the way down to DL 20 at least. It would be fun to descend even faster.

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 19:09

Ekolis, there's an option use old target by default. It's off by default. Would switching it on help?

(It's possible that I've broken the targeting behavior with the option on. I never use it myself and haven't considered it when I made changes to the targeting interface.)

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 19:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 72685)
Also, the name of the Windows app is still angband.exe. I was wondering if you would change it to hallsofmist.exe or just mist.exe.

This turned out to be super easy to do. Took me one minute.

Scatha September 15, 2012 20:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72775)
What if you could descend three levels if you take the stairs down in a dungeon? It would ease both of these concerns.

"Descend one (l)evel, (d)ive two levels, or (b)urrow three levels?"

I mean burrow metaphorically of course. Does the verb make sense here? Better ideas?

Edit: (p)lunge three levels maybe?

With warriors (and often with mages, too) I generally dive all the way down to DL 20 at least. It would be fun to descend even faster.

This could work well. Letting the player get too deep fairly quickly seems good, else it reduces the impact of the choice (at least for better players).

Plunge sounds much better than Burrow to me.

Do the long-term effects which have a chance of wearing off each dungeon level also get checked on returning to town? That would be another natural way to give an incentive for staying in the dungeon.

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 20:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72780)
This could work well. Letting the player get too deep fairly quickly seems good, else it reduces the impact of the choice (at least for better players).

Plunge sounds much better than Burrow to me.

I'll code plunge in right now. I've been missing the danger in early game.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72780)
Do the long-term effects which have a chance of wearing off each dungeon level also get checked on returning to town? That would be another natural way to give an incentive for staying in the dungeon.

No, town doesn't count. I'll have to think about this. It does seem like a good idea.

ekolis September 15, 2012 21:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72774)
Do you mean you're doing this: press f to fire, select item, press * for targeting interface?

The game will target the nearest enemy if you have any chances of hitting him. It won't target if the enemy is outside your range or if the line of fire is blocked by a wall.

I'm not terribly familiar with newer targeting interfaces. What kind of behavior would you like?

I play with the "remember last target" option on, and I can't just press f to fire anymore, because it fires at what I last fired at, which isn't there anymore - so I press * to select a new target, and then I'm stuck tapping arrow keys until I find something! :( I guess I'll have to try turning "remember last target" off and see what happens...

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 21:48

The option works just fine in EyAngband, so the bug is my fault! I'll try to fix it.

I just fixed the tunneling bug. You're really good at running into bugs. :)

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 21:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 72722)
Others count as different species, but IMO ghoul does not. In angband it is just one kind of undead, so it feels like it should not belong in species category. OTOH it does count as one kind of demon according to wikipedia.

Not knowing what is possible in HoM may I suggest replacing that with imp or similar lesser (traditional) demon. Maybe homunculus?

I just renamed ghoul to icky thing. :)

ekolis September 15, 2012 22:10

Just what you need, more boring icky things... :rolleyes:

I do like how getting hit by invisible monsters (or while blinded) highlights the square you got hit from, so you know where to strike back! :D

ekolis September 15, 2012 22:11

By the way, if there is a time limit (well, levels-explored limit), how about displaying that limit in game somewhere? Or if it's variable, at least a min and max estimate?

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 22:12

Actually you notice the invisible monster next to you if you make a Perception check. Getting hit by the monster doesn't have any effect.

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 22:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72791)
By the way, if there is a time limit (well, levels-explored limit), how about displaying that limit in game somewhere? Or if it's variable, at least a min and max estimate?

Min Depth (shown on character sheet) goes up every time you take the stairs down. It's the shallowest dungeon level you can navigate to. When Min Depth > 48 you have lost the game. 48 is the level where the Thin White Duke resides.

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 22:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72790)
Just what you need, more boring icky things... :rolleyes:

I'm anxiously waiting for the first Icky Thing Shaman (or whatever) to hit the ladder. :)

half September 15, 2012 22:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72775)
"Descend one (l)evel, (d)ive two levels, or (b)urrow three levels?"

"Do you wish to descend (1), (2), or (3) levels?"

Mikko Lehtinen September 15, 2012 22:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by half (Post 72797)
"Do you wish to descend (1), (2), or (3) levels?"

The problem with that is that I have to use words when someone navigates back to dungeon from town. "Navigate to which depth: (e)asier, (s)ame, (l)ower, (d)ive?" Using the same style seems preferable when taking the stairs down in the dungeon.

jujuben September 16, 2012 00:34

Playing the OSX version, cannot start as an Ursa or Vargr Shaman. Taking either of those options starts the game as a Mystic.

Also, anyone know how to get the rest of the windows to work? I tried what I thought the command should be, and get an error when I try to open it with more than one window.

Code:

macbook-pro:mist_120 jujuben$ ./angband -mx11-n4
./angband: Unable to prepare any 'display module'!

Single window is great for a hack and slash romp, but that's kind of the exact opposite of how Mist feels like it should be played, and the single window UI is just so very clunky for getting information I need to stay alive...

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 03:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by jujuben (Post 72801)
Playing the OSX version, cannot start as an Ursa or Vargr Shaman. Taking either of those options starts the game as a Mystic.

Huh, that's bad. Fixed for the next version. Thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by jujuben (Post 72801)
Also, anyone know how to get the rest of the windows to work? I tried what I thought the command should be, and get an error when I try to open it with more than one window.

I play in a Linux virtual console (pure command line). The default display has three subwindows -- I pick messages, monster recall, visible monsters. This might work in pure console environment in OS X, too. Setting the console font might be necessary for a comfortable playing environment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Drinen
You can also run ./angband -mgcu to run a curses version!

This method works similarly if your console window is big enough.

...and that was how I spent my 15 minutes awake this night. Seems to become an every night ritual. :)

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 10:06

The list of Halls of Mist command line options can be seen when starting the game with
Code:

./angband -?    (if you're playing the First Attempt)
./mist -?      (if you're playing the Second Attempt, coming later today)

Starting the x11 version with two subwindows (in Linux at least):
Code:

./mist -mx11 -- -n3
For some reason I'm not able to display more than two subwindows? -n5 gives the same two.

jujuben September 16, 2012 16:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72807)
Starting the x11 version with two subwindows (in Linux at least):
Code:

./mist -mx11 -- -n3
For some reason I'm not able to display more than two subwindows? -n5 gives the same two.

This way works for me, thanks. In Mac X11, it gives the correct number of total windows.

debo September 16, 2012 16:56

I turned into a statue!!!

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 17:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by debo (Post 72819)
I turned into a statue!!!

Depending on your armor class, that might even be a good shape against some monsters... Also, shopkeepers like shining marble.

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 18:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 72787)
The option works just fine in EyAngband, so the bug is my fault! I'll try to fix it.

Unfortunately the bug proved too problematic to fix for the moment. I had changed the targeting interface a lot, and the option use_old_target doesn't seem to be compatible with my changes.

I'm removing the option from 1.2.1 but I hope to bring it back later.

Good news: All the other known bugs have been fixed. I've also updated the internal help files. All the important information from the oook documentation posts is now included in the help, and there are some other enhancements. Documentation is not perfect but it will do.

I'm releasing 1.2.1 pretty soon both here and in the ARRP 2012.

debo September 16, 2012 18:51

Crows of Durthang are pretttttty good.

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 18:55

Halls of Mist 1.2.1
 
Halls of Mist 1.2.1 is now available! See the first post for download links.

Changes:
  • Executable named to mist in Makefile.std and Makefile.cyg.
  • If you take the stairs down when you are in the dungeon or if you just started the game, you may (p)lunge three levels.
  • Fixed a bug: (T)unneling command did not work.
  • The shape Ghoul renamed to Icky Thing.
  • Bugfix: you couldn't play a shaman if your race was specialized in frost magic.
  • Changed version number to 1.2.1.
  • Updated the internal help files.
  • Unfortunately the use_old_target bug proved too problematic to fix for the moment. I had changed the targeting interface a lot, and the option doesn't seem to be compatible with my changes. I'm removing the option from 1.2.1 but I hope to bring it back later.

Thanks to HugoTheGreat2011, ekolis, fizzix, Darin, Nick, pav, Narvius, Timo Pietilš, getter77, Michael Drinen, Scatha, Half and jujuben for your help and valuable suggestions! Thanks to you, Halls is Mist is now in a much better shape for ARRP 2012.

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 19:58

I rewrote the first post since I'm going to link to it from the ARRP announcement. Added some information about the game's history, the design goals, my biggest influences, etc.

getter77 September 16, 2012 20:03

Congrats on this ARRP release---feel free to come by Roguetemple and further expand on things, answer questions people might have, and generally frolic and sample amongst the other entrants this year. Quite a number of interesting mechanics coming forward across a good many this year in particular.

Darin September 16, 2012 20:44

I compiled another XQuartz/X11 port of Halls of Mist v 1.2.1 and sent it to Mikko to save time (I hope he doesn't mind!). I also looked into the multiple window issue. Using the Google-Fu I found this old thread on the Angband forums:

http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=493

Based on this I tried the command "./mist -mx11 -- -n4" and it seemed to work. To actually make the other windows visible you need to use the Window menu. I still don't know how to make the extra windows show anything, but it is a start of sorts.

Mikko Lehtinen September 16, 2012 21:11

Awesome, Darin. I updated the intel OS X executable to 1.2.1.

Mikko Lehtinen September 17, 2012 12:52

I'm relaxing by playing for a change. Plunge was a great idea, it makes early levels fun for me. I'm playing a Kyrrus Mystic at the moment. First I dived two levels and then plunged three levels. I'm clearly out of my depth. I have already two wounds...

And now I stepped into an alarm trap and waked up Mughash and thirty kobolds. Clearing this level is going to be tricky!

Ow. Died. From now on I'm not going to plunge unless I feel really strong!

ekolis September 17, 2012 13:22

I encountered Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman in my game. I thought you took out all the Tolkien monsters? :p

Mikko Lehtinen September 17, 2012 13:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by ekolis (Post 72847)
I encountered Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman in my game. I thought you took out all the Tolkien monsters? :p

I haven't had time to remove/rename them all yet. For Wormy it will be just a renaming. Flavour texts need work, too.

Mikko Lehtinen September 17, 2012 13:50

BTW, if anyone wants to contribute new names or flavour texts or images for the upcoming PDF manual, feel free! Halls of Mist's world is No Myth, meaning that nothing about the world that isn't already written in the game has been decided.

Mikko Lehtinen September 17, 2012 20:45

I just created a proper roguebasin page for the game. Much self-praise but still no pretty screenshots. :)

Starhawk September 17, 2012 21:54

Getting roflstomped in town before I even had a chance to buy equipment was pretty disheartening on my first play.

If I'm the hero that's going to save the world, you'd think these ungrateful Novice Spellswords would back off a bit...

Mikko Lehtinen September 17, 2012 22:14

The Thin White Duke is smarter than Morgoth. He sends sellswords to kill the hero before he levels up. :)

Using the (p)roficiency Alertness as your first move helps a bit. And the player has a Scroll of Phase door and a healing potion for purpose.

I often try to buy a short bow and arrows before too many enemies notice me. Or if the weapons shop is too far, I'll buy anything that might help, like armor or a powder vial.

jujuben September 18, 2012 01:06

There's also an option to auto-shop in character generation. No choice of gear, as you start with 0 gold instead, but if the default for your race/class is OK with you, this might make those first couple fights a bit more even.

Mikko Lehtinen September 18, 2012 06:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by jujuben (Post 72867)
There's also an option to auto-shop in character generation. No choice of gear, as you start with 0 gold instead, but if the default for your race/class is OK with you, this might make those first couple fights a bit more even.

Oops, I've broken the option. You'll be better off without the auto-shop option! (With auto-shop you trade a Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, some wooden torches and all your gold to an Enchanted Torch and a cloak.)

Everybody starts with a good pretty good melee weapon (excluding Mystics), some armor, a bonus item depending on the class, some torches, a Scroll of Phase Door, and a Potion of Cure Serious Wounds. Plus some gold.

All the bugs so far have corcerned non-default options or commands that I don't use. I've tuned the defaults for myself and played with them a lot, fixing every bug I've encountered... Good to have new players!

Mikko Lehtinen September 18, 2012 10:03

Heh, a cursed Ring of Teleportation and Circle of Nexus is a funny combination. (I always teleport to the circle which happens to be near a kobold army. I tried to make a Circle of Illusions to help against Mughash, but Nexus was what I got.)

Another cool combination is Circle of Nexus + Wand of Harpoon. The low-level wand essentially becomes a Wand of Teleport Other. (Wand of Harpoon is a modified Wand of Call Forth that also damages and stuns the monster.)

Ah, and a Wand of Swap Places will turn into Teleport Other, too. It's a cool device that I would like to see in other variants, too. (Very simple to code.)

Staff of Eden is another new magic item that actually proves useful in my battle against the Imperial Kobold Army. When used, it temporarily blesses you and protects from evil, fire and cold.

Starhawk September 18, 2012 21:43

Has the <B>ash command been removed? If I fail to pick a lock, I'm out of luck. I think that screwed me out of a treasure room....

edit: I like the short combat messages, but they are just a little too short. I'd at least like to know what I'm swinging at, in case I didn't <l>ook at the creature first.

Mikko Lehtinen September 18, 2012 22:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Starhawk (Post 72895)
Has the <B>ash command been removed? If I fail to pick a lock, I'm out of luck. I think that screwed me out of a treasure room....

No bashing doors, and just one try to pick a lock (Perception check). The treasure rooms are also teleportation-proof, and you can't mine through a stone wall.

The dungeon generation is tweaked so that it is not necessary to pick any lock.

Invest in Wisdom if you want to raise your Perception! That's the main benefit of Wisdom in the game. There are lots of other uses for Perception; mainly you will find more stuff.

If you do manage to pick a lock, you may open and close the locked door as often as you choose. Most monsters will have a really hard time getting through the door. Use this to your advantage. (Yesterday I locked Wormtongue inside a treasure room and Phase Doored away...)

There are a couple of ways to enter the treasure rooms if lock picking fails. There's a wand that blasts walls (and golems!) into deadly shards, and another wand that destroys doors and traps. Depending on your class, you may need to invest in Presence to raise your Magic Device skill high enough to use these wands successfully... Otherwise you will just waste most of the charges.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Starhawk (Post 72895)
edit: I like the short combat messages, but they are just a little too short. I'd at least like to know what I'm swinging at, in case I didn't <l>ook at the creature first.

The short combat messages were coded in a burst of rage against the message flood. I'm sure they can be improved.

EDIT: Have you tried using the visible monsters subwindow? I always play with it, and almost never miss the longer messages. There should probably be an option for longer messages for people who don't use the visible monsters subwindow...

Narvius September 18, 2012 22:43

May I suggest "You strike <direction, ie. "north">"? or something like that? It should prove useful when you multi-attack different opponents (which, as far as I can see, is possible).

Mikko Lehtinen September 18, 2012 22:59

It already tells you the name of the second monster you attack in a turn.

Here's example messages after player melee attack, with another enemy at melee range:

"Hit. Hit. You have slain the Black Harpy. Welcome to level 4. --more--
You hit the Headless. Ouch."

Mikko Lehtinen September 18, 2012 23:10

To clarify a bit, the game doesn't bother reporting any misses, either the player's or monsters'.

BTW, based on my playtesting, attacking two monsters per turn has achieved what I wanted: to move combats from corridors to rooms. Jumping on tables, hopping over bushes, fighting while protected by a magical circle - rooms are much more fun than corridors.

Narvius September 18, 2012 23:38

I had an idea.

Introducing early-game challenges - like a graveyard full of slightly OOD skeletons, who will flood the player given the chance - but with a higher chance for magic circles on the level.

An orc "dining room" - rows of tables, columns and... well, orcs (who are bad at jumping, IIRC?).

Basically things that force you to use the more creative aspects of the game early on, as practice for the later depths.

getter77 September 18, 2012 23:38

So, aside from the various mad dashes to get the ingame help and manual stuff in good order, as well as "old" foes that are leftovers----what's the near term roadmap of the game look like in terms of the next targets and the roughly hopeful release pace to hit them?

In other words, are you intending to hew closer the the Chengband style or the Sil one?

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 01:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by getter77 (Post 72902)
So, aside from the various mad dashes to get the ingame help and manual stuff in good order, as well as "old" foes that are leftovers----what's the near term roadmap of the game look like in terms of the next targets and the roughly hopeful release pace to hit them?

In other words, are you intending to hew closer the the Chengband style or the Sil one?

I don't have a todo list at the moment, and for now I prefer playing to developing, but I like Scatha's list a lot. :) It seems to generate good ideas.

For a couple of days I've been perfecting a new game mechanic that tries to answer these two concerns:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72755)
- Sometimes tripped over several altars per level when I didn't want them
- and none over several levels when I did!
- not enough data to conclude anything, but don't know if this level of apparent variance is desired.

- I like the dungeon descent rules
- But are there any advantages to skipping a town break?
- I guess it saves a few turns of your torch ...

I'm again picking two different concerns from the list and proposing a mechanic that might help with both...

The mechanic: When you walk near a down staircase, make a Mapping check. If you succeed, you know what kind of an area the staircase leads to. The possible areas are: Desolate, Wilderness, Barracks, Rich, Temple, Magical.

These styles are already used in the dungeon generation. If the player takes the stairs, the game would start the dungeon generation by making a room of the chosen style. New rooms tend to copy styles from rooms that are close to them, often leading into big areas of one style. Finally the game would start the player somewhere near the first room. Easy.

BTW, I have a reason to often want many altars on the same dungeon level. That way the player gets to choose who to worship.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72755)
Do the long-term effects which have a chance of wearing off each dungeon level also get checked on returning to town? That would be another natural way to give an incentive for staying in the dungeon.

I decided I don't like the way how this breaks the timekeeping flavour. Min Depth = weeks of time. As returning to the town doesn't increase Min Depth, it seems weird why it would count against the long-term effects.

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 01:58

Some easy questions from Scatha's list:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72755)
- tables get surprisingly big
- On a similar note, could you have more than one table in a room?
- Would feel natural, and I think tactically interesting

Good idea, but annoying to code. Saved for my maybe/sometime list.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 72755)
- I haven't worked out if bushes do anything except block sight and make movment hard
- Similarly are trees different from rubble?

Bushes don't block sight. (Together with trees it might seem that they block sight.) All they do is make movement hard. That's enough to make them tactically interesting.

Trees are rubble in a very real sense. The game "paints" traditional Angband dungeon features with Eytan Zweig's trap layer. All the new dungeon features are made like this. Eytan probably didn't realize how flexible his trap layer was. :)

There are two wands that affect trees and vegetation.

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 02:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Narvius (Post 72901)
I had an idea.

Introducing early-game challenges - like a graveyard full of slightly OOD skeletons, who will flood the player given the chance - but with a higher chance for magic circles on the level.

An orc "dining room" - rows of tables, columns and... well, orcs (who are bad at jumping, IIRC?).

Basically things that force you to use the more creative aspects of the game early on, as practice for the later depths.

Good idea, but the game already implements this in a way!

Monsters are much more likely in rooms with terrain features, and they tend to be thematically appropriate. Actually you will often see orcs around a table and undead near circles. :)

Empty rooms are often just that -- empty. Why bother having monsters in rooms that would be boring battlegrounds?

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 10:15

I gave some thought on my future development plans.

I take streamlining and documenting the current game mechanics very seriously. Transparency of the mechanics is the goal. If a game mechanic proves hard to explain in documentation, it probably needs simplifying. I want the game to be accessible to non-Angbanders, too!

Game balance will also always be high priority. The game absolutely needs to be challenging to force the player to use all the tactical options, but it should not get frustrating. This tightrope walking takes lots and lots of playtesting, but coding-wise all that is needed is a continuous stream of minor, easy tweaks here and there.

Monsters will probably gradually get more interesting, both in game mechanics and in flavour. I've lately concentrated on dungeon generation and items. It's time to start thinking monsters. Borrowing stuff from other variants is highly likely.

For nifty new game mechanics, the plan is simple. Whenever I tire of playing the game, I need to code in new stuff to draw me back to playing! It's better to not keep a todo list about possible mechanics, I prefer a big someday/maybe list that I can pick from when I feel like coding. I want the game to develop organically, and sometimes to surprise even myself.

This plan is devised to maximise my own enjoyment. That's the best guarantee I can think of for continued development.

getter77 September 19, 2012 13:51

Yep, that sounds like a solid plan with the only question mark left being if changes will come all at once in giant updates, or trickle in moderately, or some mix. Guess it depends on how things go and feedback!

Main thing is garnering visibility to grow the playerbase to help arrive at answers to the questions as they happen---quite a good bit is out there but taking part in ARRP should help for starters. Further, you then may also attract wouldbe contributors as far as art, music, etc---which would also hopefully have a multiplicative effect.

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 14:16

I did think of a publicity stunt: The Official Halls of Mist Campaign!

You may join the campaign at any point with exactly one character. All players are allowed to play only one dungeon level per day (town doesn't count), and they are expected to report about their progress and keep a player diary -- short notes is all that's required. If your character dies, you may start with another character on the following day.

The campaign ends when someone finally manages to kill The Thin White Duke. There would be a prize for the winner, maybe real cash...? This would be so fun for me that I could invest some money. :) Or would a cash prize be a bad idea in a competition that depends on the honor of the participants? Ideas for a better prize?

Any flavourful pieces of writing in player diaries that I like would be incorporated in the game world in future versions (new artifacts, uniques, monsters, anything). You can draw a picture of your character, and it will be included in the pdf rule book. Roleplaying and inventing new stuff about the game world is encouraged (it's a No Myth setting), but you can also just focus on the competitive strategic challenge aspect if you like.

I would create a web page for the campaign.

Does it sound fun?

HallucinationMushroom September 19, 2012 14:48

I would play such a competition for the fun of it, though I know I would not win. It would be neat to watch the progress, run stats, build narratives...

I think a game-based reward would be a better and easier incentive, like a shopkeeper or artifact or statue? I learn toward an artifact within the game that makes sense within the world and reflects some instance or experience the winner had at one point.

It wouldn't be a post by me if it didn't ramble... I've done things too like you've mentioned elsewhere... like in Nethack I like to make one of each of the classes and play a level a day until it gets down to like, the Valkyrie and the Samurai. etc... Probably a product of isolation (Playing Moria in small town Mississippi), but I find the tournament dynamic interesting, especially in a game I cannot reasonably expect to win so I find the fun elsewhere.

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 15:12

Statues, hey! Altars often have statues around them. Some of these statues could represent the greatest either living or dead permanent followers of the goddesses in the official campaign. Your score would affect how probable it is to encounter your statue near the altar.

Mikko Lehtinen September 19, 2012 15:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom (Post 72932)
build narratives...

There could be a rule in the official campaign regarding world-building: whatever any player writes about the world is true in this campaign! Other players must take this fact into account in their diaries. A common wiki to keep track of changes in the fictional world?

For the next version of Halls of Mist, I would incorporate the "best" or most popular ideas and write them down in the PDF rulebook. In the next campaign the world-building would start from this new "core" setting.

Let's say someone invents the Castle Starfall, famous for the Templars that guard it. I could create an ego item "of Starfall" based on the behavior of some player Templars originating from that place...


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:14.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.