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Glorfindel October 30, 2019 06:56

Some questions about the dearly departed hill orcs
I have been working on a modified monster list (thank you again for your help, wobbly and Adam), and I noticed some things while I was there that made me wonder about the replacement of Hill Orcs with Tracker Orcs in Angband 4.2. Most notably, I noticed that Grishnakh and Golfimbul had formerly had Hill Orcs for friends, and in fact still have. It is just that there is no monster entry for those friends. They still have Snaga and canines as friends, so they do not lack for bodyguards today, but all the same, this is a bit of a nerf, as Hill Orcs are tougher than Snaga. Was this nerf deliberate? Shouldn't they be moved to shallower levels to reflect the nerf? Was there perhaps an intention to give them Cave Orcs as new friends, but it got lost in the works?

I for one would be all for restoring Hill Orcs (and I have in my modified list; they are the default Orcs in my mind; the kind that armies are made from), but if they are really to be left out, I feel like someone should bring up these effects of their removal.

Nick October 31, 2019 02:12

First, thanks for pointing out about Grishnakh and Golfimbul - both their escorts and their names, actually.

When I was redoing orcs, it was apparent that snaga, cave orc, hill orc, black orc were all just slight progressions from the previous ones, with black orcs also getting archery. Given that tolkien's works do actually have some differentiation of types of orc which was not really being reflected here, and this general sameness, it seemed like introducing some variation would be a good idea. Hence the replacement of hill orcs by trackers (which have particularly good senses of smell and hearing), and black orcs by archers.

My feeling is that the best change from here would actually be a slight buff to cave orcs, so they fill the role you were seeing for hill orcs.

Gwarl November 1, 2019 18:26

The difference with hill orcs, as Grishnak? remarks to Ugluk? is that they aren't vLight, and thus are able to keep up with the Uruks on their march to Isengard, where Morgul orcs would have been unable to tolerate marching during daylight.

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