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-   -   Sil-Q final beta release before 1.5.0 (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=10890)

Quirk August 23, 2021 20:56

Sil-Q final beta release before 1.5.0
 
It's been a while. Less development has been going on in the last year than I would have liked. Blame the pandemic.

However, there are a few new changes that could probably use a little play-testing to prove themselves before the actual release is run.

Release is at https://github.com/sil-quirk/sil-q/r...g/v1.5.0-beta2, Windows binaries at https://github.com/sil-quirk/sil-q/r....5.0-beta2.zip.

Please post bugs, issues or complaints about game balance below.

Quirk August 23, 2021 23:10

First bug: combat rolls window is bugged with Song of Slaying. Slaying does the normal combat damage then the extra Slaying damage, but the rolls window only shows the latter.

Infinitum August 24, 2021 17:46

Well, that's my evening then.

* Checked the manual. The morale section lists Cruel Blow instilling a morale penalty to the recipient and similar monsters, but this is not mentioned in the ability description later on.

* Stealth section of the manual references staffs of earthquakes. Weren't those removed?

* Speaking of morale; monsters have extra morale when generated after their native depth, and a morale penalty when generated before it? Seems a bit nonsensical unless base morale was once == native depth or somesuch. Not a bug, just something I noticed in the manual.

* Haven't checked yet, but are there any additional restrictions for when you can swear oaths? Because at a glance the Oath of Iron looks like a really good choice prior to descending to the thone room (and never earlier).

* Got to 100' and realized I hadn't actually opened any visibility windows. Not having to manually set the ui when trying a new version would proabbly be a good QoL improvement (and lower the threshold for new players).

* Speaking of QoL - I've since gotten a laptop with a numpad, but improving movement with the arrow keys would be welcome. Have you played Infra Arcana? I seem to recall that game modifying the arrow keys input using either control or alt to enable diagonal movement. Beats hovering over the keyboard number keys..

* Random musing - make "new game" the top choice of the menu, relegating the tutorial to third place? Most players only use it once or twice.

MicroChasm August 24, 2021 19:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 154924)
Well, that's my evening then.

* Checked the manual. The morale section lists Cruel Blow instilling a morale penalty to the recipient and similar monsters, but this is not mentioned in the ability description later on.

* Stealth section of the manual references staffs of earthquakes. Weren't those removed?

* Speaking of morale; monsters have extra morale when generated after their native depth, and a morale penalty when generated before it? Seems a bit nonsensical unless base morale was once == native depth or somesuch. Not a bug, just something I noticed in the manual.

* Haven't checked yet, but are there any additional restrictions for when you can swear oaths? Because at a glance the Oath of Iron looks like a really good choice prior to descending to the thone room (and never earlier).

* Got to 100' and realized I hadn't actually opened any visibility windows. Not having to manually set the ui when trying a new version would proabbly be a good QoL improvement (and lower the threshold for new players).

* Speaking of QoL - I've since gotten a laptop with a numpad, but improving movement with the arrow keys would be welcome. Have you played Infra Arcana? I seem to recall that game modifying the arrow keys input using either control or alt to enable diagonal movement. Beats hovering over the keyboard number keys..

* Random musing - make "new game" the top choice of the menu, relegating the tutorial to third place? Most players only use it once or twice.

Excellent proofreading! Quirk will have to comment on whether the issue is that Critical Blow has no effect on morale and should be removed from the section, or whether the effect that it does have is just not mentioned in the ability description.

Earthquakes were removed from the section related to the player's stealth-related actions, but they are still mentioned in the section about monster actions because of the Kemenrauko ability.

As far as the oaths go, you have to maintain the oath throughout the whole game, including before you take the ability.

Making New Game the top choice does seem reasonable to me as well. I have seen players be frustrated that after tabbing through the list of their dead it can be easy to start the tutorial by accident.

My own feedback for the manual is that the title is still set as "Sil 1.2 Manual" which shows up as the tab name when I open the pdf in Chrome.

Infinitum August 24, 2021 19:29

* Noticed the tiles are at a 1:1 aspect ration whereas the ASCII is 1:2. Are those unicode 1:1 asian fat ascii characters supported? Might be a worthwile 'graphical' option.

* Orc scouts are more annoying than I remembered. I do like the idea of a non-aggressive enemy, but chasing them down or having them spam the message box gets old.

* And the thorns still feels off. Rework into a dungeon feature? A prince of Noldor fighting a bush (underground) does take something from the otherwise excellent atmosphere.

* Dig the little exclamation marks and whatnot signifying morale with tiles. Any plans to extend those for other statuses? ASCII mode could also do something similar with diacritics.

* Attempting to adjust one of the ancillary windows before opening a game (ie in the menu) crashes the program.

* Chasms are nigh impossible to tell from unlit spaces using tiles. Doesn't affect gameplay much but still looks a bit off.

* Those nifty exclamation marks on enemies in tiles? Thorns also get them. Um..

* Lost the oath of iron con bonus somehow. Didn't notice until after the fact, but didn't take any up stairs and the oath is listed as active. I did fall through a false floor previously; might've been that?

* Lost the oath con bonus again. Didn't get floored this time. Looking through messages I did get a "illegal command for character sheet" shortly before the con went away, but nothing in particular
seemed to trigger it judging from the log? I did attack some easterlings before noticing (and lost it around 300' both times); might be related to attacking @'s? No warning or prompt whatsoever beforehand tho.

* Slaves are generated sleeping on the job.

* Idea re: Oaths. Straight up forbid players from breaking the oath whilst active, without prompts (but probably genereating an explanatory line in the message log). Prompt them only if they first disable the oath in the skills menu. Should cut some prompting spam and accidental oathbreaking.

* Kept testing the Oath of Iron: fighting an easterling warrior lost the bonus con without prompting. Singing also disables the Oath.

* Ascending stairs under oath of Mercy/Silence doesn't disable their respective oaths, nor does singing whilst under oath of Mercy or killing men under Oath of Silence.

* Unrelated, and I know you're not looking for balance passes, but also the Oath of Mercy looks like a giant hassle for non-pacifists in general. I guess it's not entirely unplayable with Elbereth, but having to pretty much abandon any level with significant numbers of Easterlings seems very much not worth it, ever. Didn't there use to be a "don't attack unaware monsters" Oath? Would very much prefer something along those lines. Same general gist, still works for pacifists and [The Easterling Spy shouts for help! <x4> -More-]

Infinitum September 1, 2021 21:52

* "Door sense" is still in the game. Oldie but goodie; player is aware if a door is open/closed even when it's out of LOS. Not super powerful, but can help keeping track of enemy patrols. Also weird.

* Speaking of doors; the AI quirk where slamming a door on groups of smart monsters causes them to move into corridors instead of camping the entryways. Granted this is one of the things that makes early orc packs manageable; still.

* Maybe replace the "you feel something roll beneath your feet" message when you kill something and it spawns somthing beneath you with "you stand upon a(n)/x# {item(s)}" or somesuch. For convenience.

Nick September 1, 2021 22:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155115)
* "Door sense" is still in the game. Oldie but goodie; player is aware if a door is open/closed even when it's out of LOS. Not super powerful, but can help keeping track of enemy patrols. Also weird.

This is not a trivial thing to change. Angband has done it, but it required keeping two copies of the level, one actual and one what the player knows.

Infinitum September 1, 2021 22:56

I've just recently started dabbling with programming (Python no less, not C), but how does Angband remember what tiles/objects are seen/door states? Couldn't door seen/unseen tiles be handled by separate arrays with only the seen state forwarding data to the draw function and the unseen being used for game logic, with the seen state only being updated in FOV by some boolean statement? Or is that more resource intensive/effectively the same thing/unworkable? Is monsters picking up known items handled using the same logic?

Quirk September 1, 2021 22:57

Thanks very much for the Oath of Iron bug testing. I mostly only tested its behaviour around stairs. I think I know what I may have done wrong. Will take a look at that.

Slaves are indeed mostly found asleep, but maybe at some point you'll get to talk to an awake one.

The replaced Oath was not to attack fleeing monsters, which turned out to be a bit of a hassle as this was very easy to do. Alert monsters only is by no means a bad idea, might be a bit easier to avoid and also fits Mercy as a concept. It would need some playtesting to check it wasn't as irritating as the stop-start of attacking fleeing monsters could be. I'll have to think about it as releasing a whole new beta is something of a hassle so there's a bit of a critical bug mass issue, and the skill works quite well for pacifists as is.

Excellent feedback as always Infinitum. I will think about thorns a bit. Perhaps they need to be more of a feature as you say, and positioned near patches of sunlight. However if they are a destroyable feature we get back quite close to where they are now. The alert indicator is a tough one for if a player is using the indicator to warn them if they will be attacked on moving next to something, they are unlikely to appreciate its removal.

Quirk September 1, 2021 23:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155118)
I've just recently started dabbling with programming (Python no less, not C), but how does Angband remember what tiles/objects are seen/door states? Couldn't door seen/unseen tiles be handled by separate arrays with only the seen state forwarding data to the draw function and the unseen being used for game logic, with the seen state only being updated in FOV by some boolean statement? Or is that more resource intensive/effectively the same thing/unworkable? Is monsters picking up known items handled using the same logic?

The Sil code, which is very old unreformed Angband code, handles it by having two big 2D arrays of all the terrain elements: one to describe the terrain feature, and one to describe additional elements such as whether the player has seen the location yet, or if it is lit, or if it is impassible, or part of a room.

Doors are represented as different terrain types. There are various types of locked doors of different difficulties, one simple closed type and one open door type.

The combination of the terrain at the location and the seen flag generates the map beyond the player's immediate line of sight.

You need another representation of the terrain to recall how it was when the player saw it last, rather than how it is now - a third array. Of course there is no need to restrict this to doors only, and doing so would be a bit awkward as well as limiting (perhaps you want to hide tunneling from the player also). This leads to the modern Angband solution.

Pete Mack September 2, 2021 01:39

It's worth noting that it took *many* releases to knock all(?) the bugs out of silent monster pick up. It is complicated and fragile code.

HugoVirtuoso September 2, 2021 01:53

When is 1.5.0 official slated for release? There are some things I've notice that I'll upload in the near future that need addressing.

To start with one, how do I even interact with slaves?

When I review my screen captures, I'll say what the actual issues are here.

Quirk September 2, 2021 08:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155125)
When is 1.5.0 official slated for release? There are some things I've notice that I'll upload in the near future that need addressing.

To start with one, how do I even interact with slaves?

When I review my screen captures, I'll say what the actual issues are here.

Find an alert one (it has a different colour or tile and is titled as Alert) and move into it. While I cranked their rarity down a little, they should be showing up roughly 1 in 3 slave pits.

It might be better to rename "Slave" to "Sleeping slave". I didn't want the player to have to waste a lot of time interacting with non-quest slaves, but some interaction message informing you the slave is asleep might help. Flavourwise some slaves being awake but ignoring your presence would have merits also.

Quirk September 2, 2021 08:32

Forgot to answer the release question: was thinking within the next month or so originally but it depends on how many bugs there are to iron out.

HugoVirtuoso September 2, 2021 12:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155128)
Find an alert one (it has a different colour or tile and is titled as Alert) and move into it. While I cranked their rarity down a little, they should be showing up roughly 1 in 3 slave pits.

It might be better to rename "Slave" to "Sleeping slave". I didn't want the player to have to waste a lot of time interacting with non-quest slaves, but some interaction message informing you the slave is asleep might help. Flavourwise some slaves being awake but ignoring your presence would have merits also.

Sleeping slaves cannot be awoken?

Quirk September 2, 2021 12:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155130)
Sleeping slaves cannot be awoken?

That is correct.

HugoVirtuoso September 2, 2021 18:49

Why can't the slaves be awoken logistically? I know they can't by design. Also Rfe: Escaped slaves? Slave revolt? Or will be too much outside scope of Sil-q?

Quirk September 2, 2021 22:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155134)
Why can't the slaves be awoken logistically? I know they can't by design. Also Rfe: Escaped slaves? Slave revolt? Or will be too much outside scope of Sil-q?

Logistically, it was easier for me to begin with sleeping slaves and alert slaves than sleeping slaves, willfully unalert slaves and alert slaves.

It's possible I may seek to do more with them in future, but the Sil codebase is very old and hard to work with, and has no support for allied NPCs at present. This would need AI written from scratch. It's not a small undertaking, and not something I am going to attempt in the coming release or probably any minor 1.5 releases.

What is more likely is that interactions will be expanded with the few alert slaves and characters such as Gelmir may be added.

HugoVirtuoso September 3, 2021 02:06

Is there any LOTR-specific-thematic reason why is Song of Silence now even +2 to STR instead of its formerly +1 to DEX? I'm not even half-complaining at all about the new change. I never had a problem with its former function either. Certainly, the now +2 to STR is a definite strong incentive for me to integrate it into my end-game repertoire. I'm curious about this from a canon perspective. Or give more insight of what 'Oath of Silence' is expected to mean in terms of more STR (now) vs. more DEX (previously)? Sorry man, I know I'm picking your brain here :D

Brainstorming down the road: player penalties should any slave get killed? -1 or -2 immediate penalty to player IF any companion slave killed at all be it because of the enemy or carelessness of the player...to punish players who goof around. heh heh

Quirk September 3, 2021 09:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155136)
Is there any LOTR-specific-thematic reason why is Song of Silence now even +2 to STR instead of its formerly +1 to DEX? I'm not even half-complaining at all about the new change. I never had a problem with its former function either. Certainly, the now +2 to STR is a definite strong incentive for me to integrate it into my end-game repertoire. I'm curious about this from a canon perspective. Or give more insight of what 'Oath of Silence' is expected to mean in terms of more STR (now) vs. more DEX (previously)? Sorry man, I know I'm picking your brain here :D

Not LOTR-specific I am afraid as the trope of "strong and silent" is much older than Tolkien, and heading back to early English source material you have the example of Robin Hood, dextrous archer and quick talker and his huge silent henchman, Little John. Tolkien's own usage is for me best exemplified by the laconic Ents, most physically powerful of all his races.

Why was it not this way before? Before Silence was competing with Honour, which also has a connection to strength c.f.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennyson, in the poem Sir Galahad
My strength is as the strength of ten
Because my heart is pure

and a nimble silent figure had its own thematic might.

With regard to freeing slaves it is most likely that this would be part of a triumphant exit, bearing Silmaril. Seeing them dejected and hopeless on the way down would set up an encounter with hopeful slaves at the surface on the return; probably this would require the player to kill Carcharoth to let them escape, which could result in additional score.

Thraalbee September 3, 2021 17:15

Some notes after "(Oath: Silence)" entry get the "Silence" suffix, e.g. "(Indomitable: Silence) and (Keen Senses: Silence) but (Disguise) don't.

Quirk September 4, 2021 10:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thraalbee (Post 155145)
Some notes after "(Oath: Silence)" entry get the "Silence" suffix, e.g. "(Indomitable: Silence) and (Keen Senses: Silence) but (Disguise) don't.

Thanks. Tracked this down quite quickly; it's caused by choosing other abilities after you choose Oath in the ability menu. Will be fixed for release.

HugoVirtuoso September 4, 2021 14:26

Is Thraalbee's bug only cosmetic or one that actually affects gameplay?

Check this from Thraalbeast

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=24621

Quirk September 4, 2021 17:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155157)
Is Thraalbee's bug only cosmetic or one that actually affects gameplay?

Check this from Thraalbeast

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=24621

Cosmetic only. The only gameplay affecting bug I know this version so far is the (fixed, pending release) Oath of Iron issues.

Svalbardcaretaker September 5, 2021 01:18

Feedback on new features:

- New 2xhealing glove ego is great. I like to wear it in the early/midgame and have smithed it.

- Appreciate the new Grace enchantments (eg. on helm).

- Oath of Silence - I already took that when it only gave STR+1, I will continue to take it with STR+2

- Oath of iron - minor tests only so far due to bug. Reaaally strong early on Edain, no lategame experience yet. Will report back once the bugfix is released.

HugoVirtuoso September 11, 2021 22:47

Does Fear prevent one from singing or using staves? I haven't checked for it thoroughly, but they really should.

bron September 12, 2021 02:35

I've been away from sil-q for quite awhile, but recently thought I'd look in on it again. Unfortunately for Quirk, Smithing has always been one of my favorite aspects of the game, and I am disappointed by the way Smithing has been increasingly gutted in sil-q, and 1.5 continues this trend. You can't reasonably build up a set a smithing gear - no forge gloves, no forge hammers, song of Aule is long gone. Simple buffs like Lesser Jewel of Grace, gone. Spear of the Vanyar loaded down with extra buffs to make its cost unreasonable. And so on. Plus, a lot of things I'd like to smith are gone (Bow of Nargothrond, armor of Resilience). I like the removal of Artistry, but the inability to increase the evasion bonus on a weapon (short of making an artifact) is a serious minus. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Anyway, I'm not a fan. I'll probably stick with Sil 1.3

Quirk September 12, 2021 08:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155294)
I am disappointed by the way Smithing has been increasingly gutted in sil-q, and 1.5 continues this trend.

Opinions are going to differ on this of course, and I would suggest the Smithing middle game has been made a good deal smoother. You are quite right that I have toned down the Smithing stat-boost end game, though you are the first I think I have heard complain about no longer having to spend a lot of inventory space on smithing boosters. These changes will be to some tastes and not others clearly. I have high respect for your skills and think you probably found it easier to survive the difficult section of the old Smithing runs than many.

However, just to gently push back on a couple of your assertions, Resilience is still in the game on mithril armour and Defender weapons still exist.

I would also like to ask, if you don't mind, what it is that you enjoy about Smithing so I can see if it's possible to mold it closer to something you would enjoy without compromising balance. The old Smithing was from a game design perspective somewhat problematic; players would sacrifice a great deal of convenience and endure a punishing mid-game to get to an end-game where every worn item was a ludicrously high-end artifact, making it very hard to balance the game around both smiths and non-smiths. I have made some of the flashier items such as branded weapons cheaper already, and I am open to approaches that make having one really really nice item possible, but it rather depends what part of Smithing is fun for you.

HugoVirtuoso September 12, 2021 16:28

I noticed no game turns are lost when going in 'right direction' into walls while confused . In FrogComposband, "game energy" is consumed when this circumstance happens regardless if the direction is correct or not. I feel that game turns should be consumed when players go in correct direction into wall while confused. iirc, confused player going 'in wrong direction' into wall already consumed game turn.

Rfe?: Chasms should cause more player injury the more weight you carry. Controversial idea, possibly.

Quirk September 17, 2021 15:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155119)
The replaced Oath was not to attack fleeing monsters, which turned out to be a bit of a hassle as this was very easy to do. Alert monsters only is by no means a bad idea, might be a bit easier to avoid and also fits Mercy as a concept.

Brief play-testing suggests that this is not very much of a restriction at all on most non-stealthy characters, which makes it into an almost-free Grace point. I'm not sure Grace builds need the help, but I'm open to being persuaded on this.

Infinitum September 17, 2021 18:22

Well, I did suggets it sort of. Most combat bruisers want some stealth for Opportunist and not activating too much of the level at once, and it does prevent pulling sleeping monsters by bow. And it makes dealing with dragons much, much more dangerous since at the very least they get another turn to entrance or breathe. Grace is also nowhere near as strong as extra melee/evasion or hp, and the Will tree has a lot of competing abilities for combat characters.

bron September 19, 2021 00:30

Sorry for the delay in responding to this.

What do I like about smithing? Mostly, I think it's about building up the character, step by step. As you say, trading a harder middle game for an easier end game. You build the character via skills and abilities; smithing is like that in spades.

But it's also about building the character to be hugely powerful, to crush your enemies and see them driven before you. And not just because you got lucky and found Ringil or the Boots of Feanor, but because you personally and deliberately made those powerful items, via skill and hard work and sacrifice.

Nobody likes consuming inventory slots to carry smithing gear, but it's a choice, a trade-off. The potential to make something wonderful by sacrificing inventory in the present.

In current sil-q, it is easier to make modestly powered items. A Sword of Gondolin say. But nearly impossible to make really powerful items, mostly because you can't raise your smithing score to the levels needed. You can maybe use Masterpiece to make *one*, but that's just not a large enough payoff.

There don't seem to be any items that raise your Smithing score directly anymore, so you have to use +Grace items to supplement the points put into Smithing. At best, that's a Robe+2, Helm+1, Amulet+1, Lamp+1, and a Weapon+1. That's a reasonable set, but smithing costs are higher than they were, so it's not really enough. Plus several of these items require relatively high smithing scores to make them in the first place, which means you have to put a lot of points into Smithing in order to make them, and you can't really afford that until later in the game, which in turn means you have less opportunity to make that investment pay off.

At this point, I'm going to make some highly speculative and totally untested statements about what would make Smithing more interesting and fun for me personally. Take them for what they're worth: I'd like to see more Smithing actions, which means more forges, which in turn means making each forging action be less significant. One possible way to do this would be to dispense with "Artifice", and make each of the choices in the Artifact menus be an Enchantment, and allow multiple Enchantments to be put on the same piece, one at a time, with increasing numbers of "forge uses" required for each additional Enchantment, and probably an increased cost to Enchant an already Enchanted item. You could make a lot of simply Enchanted items, or just a few really powerful ones, or something in between. The work done on a piece early on the start would not be irrelevant, it would be a step toward the thing you ultimately want e.g. first you make a non-magical (+1,2d6) [+1] Longsword, then later you add (Defender), still later you brand it with poison, and finally just before going to face Morgoth you make it Sharp. Thus, the equipment progresses, just as the character progresses.

Quirk September 19, 2021 10:58

Posted a long reply, forum ate it. Sorry if this is overly terse, am now low on time.

Quote:

What do I like about smithing? Mostly, I think it's about building up the character, step by step. As you say, trading a harder middle game for an easier end game. You build the character via skills and abilities; smithing is like that in spades.

But it's also about building the character to be hugely powerful, to crush your enemies and see them driven before you. And not just because you got lucky and found Ringil or the Boots of Feanor, but because you personally and deliberately made those powerful items, via skill and hard work and sacrifice.
This is the old "linear warriors, quadratic wizards". I like this too, because I like playing wizards. Unfortunately this makes the late game suck for routes that have more linear power gain, and pushes players to Smith as a route to higher scores whether they like Smithing or not.

Quote:

At this point, I'm going to make some highly speculative and totally untested statements about what would make Smithing more interesting and fun for me personally. Take them for what they're worth: I'd like to see more Smithing actions, which means more forges, which in turn means making each forging action be less significant. One possible way to do this would be to dispense with "Artifice", and make each of the choices in the Artifact menus be an Enchantment, and allow multiple Enchantments to be put on the same piece, one at a time, with increasing numbers of "forge uses" required for each additional Enchantment, and probably an increased cost to Enchant an already Enchanted item. You could make a lot of simply Enchanted items, or just a few really powerful ones, or something in between. The work done on a piece early on the start would not be irrelevant, it would be a step toward the thing you ultimately want e.g. first you make a non-magical (+1,2d6) [+1] Longsword, then later you add (Defender), still later you brand it with poison, and finally just before going to face Morgoth you make it Sharp. Thus, the equipment progresses, just as the character progresses.
This is a very interesting idea, though the flow you've described would be a little difficult in practice I feel. Jumping from defender to defender + poison, or poison to poison + sharp makes for a huge upgrade, and would be difficult not to make lumpy.

I did have a somewhat similar idea for a skill called Reforge, which would let you reshape an artifact into a slightly more powerful artifact of the same type. The old artifact powers would be lost though, so you might for example replace slaying orcs, wolves, dragons and raukar with flame brand.

However, this would require some reshuffling of Smithing power level again as I am not looking to make it head and shoulders the best late game choice, and looking at wobbly's ongoing Morgoth-killing run it's clear it's still possible to build some powerful gear as things stand. (FWIW I think wobbly's smithing on this run has Smithing in a place I am quite happy with it - most gear customised to fill niches the character needs without being dramatically better than normal end-game gear, plus an uberweapon).

Quirk September 19, 2021 11:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155404)
Grace is also nowhere near as strong as extra melee/evasion or hp, and the Will tree has a lot of competing abilities for combat characters.

I would disagree with this. The ladder is mostly topped by Smithing and Song builds (Staff of Earthquakes/Channelling abuse aside, though this also was Grace-reliant). Grace is rarely as immediately impactful, but it tends to impact more non-linear ways of scaling up.

Infinitum September 19, 2021 13:32

I wouldn't necessarily use the ladder as balance feedback. There's a handful at most people regularily logging runs, and a lot of those are for bragging rights. Also I don't agree that endgame smithing is overpowered; past 850' or so is comparatively trivial for any combat build.

In its current form smithing ha a problem in that more smithing skill gives linear dividends, but costs are whatever a (100+200+300...) sequence is called. Then again, even if you fix that there's still the bigger problem of crafting in games just not meshing well with random loot.

fph September 19, 2021 14:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155422)
whatever a (100+200+300...) sequence is called.

It's called "quadratic": indeed, 1+2+...+n = n^2/2 + O(n).

HugoVirtuoso September 19, 2021 20:40

I've killed off the Thrallmasters a number of times, then one or more Thralls become alert to what's happening...After the thrallmasters are dead, how do I interact with the Thralls? What gameplay purpose do they have now? Also, if I'm surrounded by the Thrallmaster and the Thralls at the same time, does that increase the Thrallmasters' ability to attack?

Quirk September 20, 2021 00:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155422)
I wouldn't necessarily use the ladder as balance feedback. There's a handful at most people regularily logging runs, and a lot of those are for bragging rights. Also I don't agree that endgame smithing is overpowered; past 850' or so is comparatively trivial for any combat build.

Depends what you consider trivial or whether you are talking about current smithing or previous version smithing. Morgoth kills are predominantly smith based. In terms of being able to grab a Sil, most reasonable builds can thrive at 850' and after, combat or not.

With regard to the ladder entries I've been there for quite a number of the higher ranked ones on Angband.live. I think they are reasonably representative of strong play.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155422)
IIn its current form smithing ha a problem in that more smithing skill gives linear dividends, but costs are whatever a (100+200+300...) sequence is called. Then again, even if you fix that there's still the bigger problem of crafting in games just not meshing well with random loot.

Costs may be 100+200+... but this is the same for every skill and the XP handed out is floor adjusted to compensate i.e. it is not linear either. Put together skill progress vs XP is more or less linear.

Smithing dividends are not however linear in the way that investing in Evasion is. The tipping point where most gear has extra Evasion bolted on is one non-linearity, extra stat points another. With smithing kits the rewards were very much more non-linear as getting to sufficiently high Smithing meant a snowball of stat points, resistances and weapon effects.

Anyway, I think in the post smithing kit world this non-linearity has been much reduced, and I am less scared of Song builds right now, though it is far from clear they need any extra help. I will think on this a bit and probably talk to a few players.

Quirk September 20, 2021 00:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155427)
I've killed off the Thrallmasters a number of times, then one or more Thralls become alert to what's happening...After the thrallmasters are dead, how do I interact with the Thralls? What gameplay purpose do they have now? Also, if I'm surrounded by the Thrallmaster and the Thralls at the same time, does that increase the Thrallmasters' ability to attack?

If you see an Alert thrall rather than a Dejected thrall, move into them and they will make a request of you. Alert thralls are a different, brighter green or a different tile.

Thrallmaster ability to attack is not influenced by thralls.

wobbly September 20, 2021 10:00

+grace is very build dependant. If you are straight down the line melee/evasion its basically a pt of will. If you are using song of staying it doubles to +2 will plus extra voice. Same on a smith add the cost for a smithing pt. The perception kick is minor but if you rely on hunter, listen or concentration it's a minor small bonus.

By the way Quirk your post read as a little heated, not sure that was intended.

Quirk September 20, 2021 14:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 155431)
By the way Quirk your post read as a little heated, not sure that was intended.

Fair, have been ill a lot lately and it's made me grumpy. Will tone it down a tad.

Infinitum September 20, 2021 16:49

Eh. We've been having the same argument for years. I'm mostly doing ou of habit at thi point.

HugoVirtuoso September 20, 2021 17:39

The interaction with Thralls. Is this in the Sil-Q manual? If not, it should be

Quirk September 20, 2021 17:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155438)
The interaction with Thralls. Is this in the Sil-Q manual? If not, it should be

No, the manual doesn't cover commands/interactions currently - but there's probably a good case that the help screen should.

bron September 21, 2021 23:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155417)
FWIW I think wobbly's smithing on this run has Smithing in a place I am quite happy with it - most gear customised to fill niches the character needs without being dramatically better than normal end-game gear, plus an uberweapon

I looked at wobbly's post on the ladder, and I'm clearly missing something. Perhaps wobbly can enlighten me? The question I don't understand is, How was Narth able to kill Morgoth? You claim in the game notes that the final weapon is both Sharp and Branded, but the item description in the equipment list just has the brand, not sharpness. But even if it were both Sharp and Branded, AFAICT Narth doesn't have Rapid Attack so I don't see how he could deliver enough damage for a kill? Am I just plain wrong about that, or is there something I'm not seeing?

I've been playing around with some 50K smithing characters (similar to my comp 217 character) to challenge my own assertions about all this, and so far I've been able to produce some very powerful archery characters, and been able to smith some reasonably powerful items. Without Rapid Fire, and Flaming Arrows, and with the weight restriction on the bows, an Archery based Morgoth killer seems unlikely, but getting a Silmaril is definitely doable. I need to start exploring Melee characters more seriously.

Anyway, it's kinda looking like I may be snacking on Crow soon enough.

wobbly September 22, 2021 08:46

My notes were perhaps unclear. I could afford sharpness but I got 2 extra damage sides instead. I could of done +0, 3d5 6lbs and the str gauntlets instead, and in retrospect I suspect that was better.

The kill was raw damage, enough con to take a hit, the brand+vengence (its on the amulet). Accuracy came from concentration and controlled retreat. Again con + good protection was important as drinking a heal would break concentration.

Most of my will comes from staying on the ring. He still managed a slow through 2xFA but only once at short duration.

bron September 22, 2021 19:09

Interesting. I just find it remarkable that you were able to do enough damage, fast enough, to overcome Morgoth's healing without Rapid Attack. And you must have done a good job of killing everything else in the throne room first, and/or getting Morgoth into a long corridor, since any sort of distractions would allow him time to heal. And I'm sure it was a long fight even so. Very well done indeed!

Infinitum September 22, 2021 23:38

Idle thought, but has anyone tested how song of slaying interacts with breaking Silmarils off the crown? Does he crown of morgoth even have health?

Quirk September 23, 2021 12:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155465)
Idle thought, but has anyone tested how song of slaying interacts with breaking Silmarils off the crown? Does he crown of morgoth even have health?

The crown doesn't have health, no, it has its own hit calculation. This is quite awkward any time any skill that should affect that calculation is added or modified. In this case Slaying has no interaction with it.

HugoVirtuoso September 23, 2021 12:16

Bug? Some beta versions ago, Spider hatchlings and the Brown spiders were not poison resistant. Are they still not poison resistant in the most recent beta? I think they should be. I think I got the name wrong, but I am referringtos the spider + hatchling subtype that appear in the very early game before the Sword Spider.

On the same topic, are Distended Spiders and the other higher level spiders resistant to poison? Again, I think they should be, if not yet already. Except for the Shadow Spider, though.

Quirk September 23, 2021 12:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155470)
Bug? Some beta versions ago, Spider hatchlings and the Brown spiders were not poison resistant. Are they still not poison resistant in the most recent beta? I think they should be. I think I got the name wrong, but I am referringtos the spider + hatchling subtype that appear in the very early game before the Sword Spider.

On the same topic, are Distended Spiders and the other higher level spiders resistant to poison? Again, I think they should be, if not yet already. Except for the Shadow Spider, though.

All early spiders save Sword Spiders are poison resistant. I think all late ones are also but have not checked thoroughly.

Infinitum September 23, 2021 23:42

Do all venomous animals need to be poison resistant? The enchanted forge tile is busted, shows a blank space ingame (or at least the 4-use ones do).

HugoVirtuoso September 24, 2021 01:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155480)
Do all venomous animals need to be poison resistant?

In my view, they should for more consistency.
Example: Don't red / ruby serpents have fire resistance? Fire drakes too, right?

Quirk September 24, 2021 08:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155482)
In my view, they should for more consistency.
Example: Don't red / ruby serpents have fire resistance? Fire drakes too, right?

Looking at the monster list, this is true of all venomous animals with three exceptions:
Werewolves
Unrelenting horrors
Green serpents.

The last appears to be an oversight as other serpents resist their elements. Werewolves are consistent in all forms and were clearly designed to be susceptible (I suspect they are not meant to be considered venomous as such but have festering disease ridden maws the game does not model differently). Unrelenting horrors I have no real opinion on.

HugoVirtuoso September 24, 2021 12:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155491)
but have festering disease ridden maws the game does not model differently)

What does that mean?

Do all emerald serpents, regular and ancient ones, have the oversight too? You plan to fix these oversights?

Quirk September 24, 2021 13:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155496)
What does that mean?

Do all emerald serpents, regular and ancient ones, have the oversight too? You plan to fix these oversights?

I describe green serpents as being an oversight precisely because no other serpents have an issue.

Werewolves are not I think in canon supposed to be naturally venomous the way snakes or spiders are. The only werewolf known to have a poisonous bite is Carcharoth, the Red Maw; others are a matter of speculation and the effect is presented as more magical than innate in any case. This I think underlies half and Scatha's decision to have werewolves be poisonous but not immune to poison.

I am slightly annoyed at the line of questioning, given it started with incorrect and unchecked assertions about spiders. If you find something actually wrong, please flag it, but I am not minded to run around following every line of speculation you have about things that could possibly be wrong.

Infinitum September 24, 2021 16:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by whispering shadow
A flickering darkness, spreading through the halls. From its midst, you hear faint sounds (voices?) yearning, beckoning.

The (voices?) part looks like it escaped the editing process. I think "[...]faint voices[...]" flows better myself.

EDIT: Pretty sure Carcaroth's poison fangs are analogous to Eitr given how much Tolkien was influenced by Norse mythology.

wobbly September 24, 2021 17:03

Formidable is creating message spam. If you fight a room full of whispering shadows you get constant unaffected message from each of them.

Infinitum September 24, 2021 19:02

Speaking of speculation; just noticed that there are no acidproof cloak egos. Not a biggie, but it does make lategame item/nameless things management slightly more annoying.

EDIT: Morgoth Bauglir, the fell enemy and black lord of darkness can be slain by mortal hand.

EDIT: Chasms can be generated as to completely cut off a levels up and down staircases. Happened during my ascent. Not a biggie; although it might've been.

EDIT: Carcaroth's tile is bipedal, which is not consistent with his description in the Silmarilion (which is specifically the biggest wolf, specifically bred as a nemesis to Huan).

Quirk September 24, 2021 19:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum
The (voices?) part looks like it escaped the editing process. I think "[...]faint voices[...]" flows better myself.

EDIT: Pretty sure Carcaroth's poison fangs are analogous to Eitr given how much Tolkien was influenced by Norse mythology.

Agreed that faint voices would flow better.

I was unaware of Eitr, that's interesting. Thanks for the link.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 155502)
Formidable is creating message spam. If you fight a room full of whispering shadows you get constant unaffected message from each of them.

Thanks, will take a look and fix this.

Quirk September 24, 2021 19:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155505)
Speaking of speculation; just noticed that there are no acidproof cloak egos. Not a biggie, but it does make lategame item/nameless things management slightly more annoying.

Yeah nameless things are on my list of things to improve at some point. They're not particularly interesting or rewarding to fight, they're just nasty to your stuff.

How do people feel currently about the acid destruction mechanic?

bron September 24, 2021 19:44

I find the loss of "Cloak of Protection" to be annoying; I'm sure there are reasons.

bron September 24, 2021 19:48

Possible bug: I note that "Song of Delvings" doesn't seem to work right around the edges, and particularly not in the corners, of the map. I'm guessing that there is some sort of "range" on the effect, and once your distance to the edge is less than the range, it stops working. Or something like that. I admit I have not investigated the issue very closely.

Infinitum September 24, 2021 20:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155507)
How do people feel currently about the acid destruction mechanic?

Given how often the mechanic creeps up in games, one must conjecture that there exists a breed of degenerates that enjoys them. It remains unproven far as I can tell though.

Quirk September 24, 2021 21:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155505)
EDIT: Morgoth Bauglir, the fell enemy and black lord of darkness can be slain by mortal hand.

Attempts to fix this are ongoing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155505)
EDIT: Chasms can be generated as to completely cut off a levels up and down staircases. Happened during my ascent. Not a biggie; although it might've been.

Have made some attempts to fix this, but the generation code is of very dubious quality and probably needs a comprehensive rewrite.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155505)
EDIT: Carcaroth's tile is bipedal, which is not consistent with his description in the Silmarilion (which is specifically the biggest wolf, specifically bred as a nemesis to Huan).

Any thoughts, Microchasm?

HugoVirtuoso September 24, 2021 23:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155511)
Attempts to fix this are ongoing.

How about reverting Morgoth's difficulty & aggression back to his 1.4.1 version? Consensus says that was the toughest Morgoth, period.

MicroChasm September 25, 2021 00:59

I appreciate the tiles critiques so far, Infinitum. I have already modified the chasm tile to be darker than the blackness tile, which is something that I should have done a long time ago. I see the issue with the forges as well. It looks like a mix-up with tile assignments and should be an easy fix.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155505)
EDIT: Carcaroth's tile is bipedal, which is not consistent with his description in the Silmarilion (which is specifically the biggest wolf, specifically bred as a nemesis to Huan).

I think it is a good idea to revisit the Carcoroth tile. This is an issue that I am aware of, and really all of the werewolves fall under this critique, but Carchoroth is the worst offender. The others look, to me, to be halfway between standing and simply rearing up, but Carchoroth really does like bipedal. I've changed and adjusted the werewolves many times and have never been 100% happy with them.

A similar issue was brought up in an earlier release about the vampires looking too human. I made them more bestial and I think they are better for it. They are probably still too humanoid for some people, but here I would be more inclined to argue for my right to artistic interpretation.

Infinitum September 25, 2021 02:03

Well, good thing Tolkien was never big on descriptions. It would be an awful lot of wolves to pose in 16x16 pixels. One alternate look for the werewolves might be going full "attack on titan" maybe; screwing up their proportions a bit? Something proportioned more like this could still be wolflike enough but distinct? Re-reading of Bereth and Luthien and imagining WolfMan in lieu of a more canine Carc does get pretty ridiculous fast though.

Wiwaxia September 25, 2021 07:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155507)
Yeah nameless things are on my list of things to improve at some point. They're not particularly interesting or rewarding to fight, they're just nasty to your stuff.

How do people feel currently about the acid destruction mechanic?

I actually quite like nameless things as-is. They occupy a unique niche in terms of being absolutely not worth fighting but easy to avoid while also slowly trashing the dungeon and making it more dangerous by way of opening up new passages (mostly relevant for smiths and thresholds builds, mind).

Acid destruction feels a little clunky and not quite in-theme, but I do like the gameplay effect of nameless things and crawling H as slow monsters that you really, really do not want to let get a turn while you're still standing next to them, and nothing inspires that quite like equipment degradation.

wobbly September 25, 2021 08:59

Infinitum's kill looks reasonable. That's crazy evasion + saithnar. It seems reasonable to me that that power level without saithnar should work, otherwise anyone aiming for the kill will smith to guarantee the weapon.

Infinitum September 25, 2021 12:43

I used to do that actually. Sharp Dangerous Mithril Greatsword used to be 22 skill to make, which was very doable for less than 10k experience with a Masterpiece Hammer and some found gear, and with some luck you could make it [+2] and get very efficient Parry. Still a sidegrade from a found sharp weapon tho.

Speaking of smithing Quirk; considered simply adding "-X smithing" to all +X Grace items if you've started down on this path?

Bows of the Falmari should id when fired, not when picked up for consistency.

Picking up stuff from skeletons displays the un-Id'd item message, even if the item is/will be Id'd immediatly afterwards.

Quirk September 25, 2021 13:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155513)
How about reverting Morgoth's difficulty & aggression back to his 1.4.1 version? Consensus says that was the toughest Morgoth, period.

Morgoth in 1.4.1 was a long slog of attrition that frequently ran the player out of potions before they had Morgoth on the ropes. I don't think this was fun.

Current Morgoth is slayable by truly overpowered characters but definitely requires a step up from a three-sil win, and in general the fight is decided one way or another within a couple of hundred turns. I think I like this, though the ladder is of course dominated by highly skillful players who are capable of building Morgoth-killers.

I intend just before release to add an increment to score for wins with Sindar/Naugrim/Edain characters (I think the first two are roughly equal in challenge but am willing to hear counter-arguments). Given we have only two Edain Morgoth kills to date I think honouring this as the crowning achievement of the game on the scoreboard is fair, and I think current Morgoth is already pitched to make doing this extremely hard. Any stat tweaks from here will probably be minor, though if I can find other ways to make the dynamic of the fight more challenging without just buffing stats I may incorporate these.

Infinitum September 25, 2021 14:00

Surely you meant to say THREE Morgothslaying Edain? ;)

Re: difficulty:

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Silmarilion
Then Morgoth sent forth a terrible cry, that echoed in the mountains. Therefore that region was called Lammoth; for the echoes of his voice dwelt there ever after, so that any who cried aloud in that land awoke them, and all the waste between the hills and the sea was filled with a clamour as of voices in anguish. The cry of Morgoth in that hour was the greatest and most dreadful that was ever heard in the northern world; the mountains shook, and the earth trembled, and rocks were riven asunder. Deep in forgotten places that cry was heard. Far beneath the ruined halls of Angband, in vaults to which the Valar in the haste of their assault had not descended, Balrogs lurked still, awaiting ever the return of their Lord; and now swiftly they arose, and passing over Hithlum they came to Lammoth as a tempest of fire.


Quirk September 25, 2021 14:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155523)
Surely you meant to say THREE Morgothslaying Edain? ;)

Re: difficulty:

Okay. That's very impressive. Very quick Morgoth kill in the throne-room also. Am a bit curious about your Artifice aside, was that just to establish you could make useful artifacts even without any grace?

+3 Evasion ring is a nice find.

Any more pointed thoughts you have on difficulty, given by my proposed new scoring mechanism you've submitted what would be a Sil-Q highscore? Was this an especially lucky run? And what was your strategy early, I presume you switched to greatswords late?

Would appreciate being talked through this run a bit more.

Infinitum September 25, 2021 14:54

Perception/Will isn't really required until you start running into Sulraukar so a 2330 Hador kinda sorta plays like an elf with the melee bonus. Not so bad in all, althouh I had to burn more consumables for difficult fights than otherwise. I thought I'd need Inner Light to compensate for not having song of the trees, but 4 light + keen senses proved enough. Early amulet of constitution and the helm of brilliance helped alot.

The artifice was only for another source of FA on the bow since I couldn't sing Freedom or Staying. Smithed shortbows are an outlier in that their stats don't matter, and you can pile lot of resists on them compared to Marchwarden bows. Hence "third ring". In hindsight I should've gotten Extra fear and stun resists instead of sustains since Dragons/Watchers were a nuisance and Vampires went pop in close proximity to my character.

Closest call was a Wraith casually showing up at 700' before I had a source of FA, forcing me to run across the entire map whilst being slowed and entranced. Thankfully a bunch of trolls and cats were present to help create distance from it. Also Sauron casually showing up and putting me at 2 hp before buffing up in the chambers of Thu.

Kill was mostly me skillfully finding Anguirel, Maeglin and Finrod on the same character. I had really good equipment finds in general. The 8+ staffs of treasure and recharging helped.

HugoVirtuoso September 25, 2021 19:46

I recently found a Curved Sword of Murder. Is this new? I thought the "of Murder" weapons were limited to exclusively one-handed weapons.

Infinitum September 25, 2021 21:25

Orcs be all about murder. Curved swords don't really share ego types with non-orcish weapons. You can use the smithing interface to check it out.

HugoVirtuoso September 26, 2021 00:47

I noticed that 'piece of dried meat' tastes foul, but yet doesn't hurt player, which is of course ok. But, shouldn't the text be changed to something other than 'foul'?

Was there a canonical reason why the meat is foul yet not hurting the player?

Nick September 26, 2021 00:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155531)
I noticed that 'piece of dried meat' tastes foul, but yet doesn't hurt player, which is of course ok. But, shouldn't the text be changed to something other than 'foul'?

Was there a canonical reason why the meat is foul yet not hurting the player?

Foul doesn't need to mean poisonous. Frodo, talking to Sam about orcs: "Foul waters and foul meats they'll take, if they can get no better, but not poison"

Quirk September 26, 2021 12:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155525)
Kill was mostly me skillfully finding Anguirel, Maeglin and Finrod on the same character. I had really good equipment finds in general. The 8+ staffs of treasure and recharging helped.

Thanks for the run-down. Obviously there was a bit of luck getting to a critical mass of evasion (good rings, silverhand adding another point, Maeglin and Finrod) which made you very difficult to kill, but still: 48ish Evasion with Dodging and Dex potion is exceptionally high. This close to blanks everything but Morgoth's final phase. This is game-breaking levels of Evasion, and currently the only things that really mess with Evasion are mostly contained by stacking free-action.

I think also relevant is the damage output - Oath of Silence going from +1 Dex to +2 Str adds a lot of damage here particularly with Rapid Attack (2 damage sides * 3 dice * 2 blows and possibly another 2 * 2 from a Vengeance die) - and I need to think a little bit about whether the Oath of Silence change tips the meta toward heavy weapons too much particularly as you took Finesse over Power, which I think is probably suboptimal for your final loadout. Giving up Songs like Freedom and Staying in the throne room is fairly significant, but with such high Evasion they're less necessary.

I say this because sufficiently high damage output means you only need survive Morgoth's final phase for a few blows.

On the one hand I don't want fights to drag out because the player lacks damage output, but getting to practically invulnerable defences should come with a tradeoff. I feel you weren't at much risk against Morgoth, and dropped him very fast.

Probably my main takeaway here though is that 40 Evasion is partially possible through only having 8 Will, and examining how to keep evasion builds honest probably involves making Will more directly relevant in non free-action contexts.

In any case while I may fret about tweaks, considerable skill is needed in any case to navigate an Edain to such a victory, so congratulations again, it's a notable achievement.

Quirk September 26, 2021 12:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155527)
I recently found a Curved Sword of Murder. Is this new? I thought the "of Murder" weapons were limited to exclusively one-handed weapons.

Curved Swords are one-handed weapons.

HugoVirtuoso September 26, 2021 20:31

Found a bug I think: Thorns ('&') are visible when player is blinded

wobbly September 26, 2021 21:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 155540)
Found a bug I think: Thorns ('&') are visible when player is blinded

This was a change made long ago. You can't see them, as far as accuracy is concerned, but the symbol stays as they are immobile.

Infinitum September 27, 2021 17:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quirk (Post 155535)
In any case while I may fret about tweaks, considerable skill is needed in any case to navigate an Edain to such a victory, so congratulations again, it's a notable achievement.

Hey, thanks! Dunno about "fixing" melee/evasion, but the quick and dirty way to increase endgame diffiulty is probably to remove Treasure, Foe and Revelation staves altogether. Not being able to hunt down uniques and vaults for fun & profit would put a serious hamper on 950'-900' scumming.

Cuboideb September 27, 2021 18:52

This line in spells1.c looks strange (double negation):

bool supress_messsage = !!(flg & PROJECT_SILENT);

backwardsEric September 27, 2021 19:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuboideb (Post 155558)
This line in spells1.c looks strange (double negation):

bool supress_messsage = !!(flg & PROJECT_SILENT);

That's a C idiom to leave a value of zero as it is and to convert a non-zero value to one to match the expected range of a boolean.

Cuboideb September 27, 2021 23:48

Thanks! My level of C is too K&R :D

Quirk September 28, 2021 09:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infinitum (Post 155556)
Hey, thanks! Dunno about "fixing" melee/evasion, but the quick and dirty way to increase endgame diffiulty is probably to remove Treasure, Foe and Revelation staves altogether. Not being able to hunt down uniques and vaults for fun & profit would put a serious hamper on 950'-900' scumming.

I was planning a big rework of staves and consumables but it turned out to be too much work for 1.5 - I don't have the time at present. However Revelations, or at least the Revelations effect needs to be available for the ascent in order to stop it dragging out too long I think. Treasures I have more issues with but the ideal would be to make scumming less optimal, not just harder, because making optimal play more tedious is frustrating for players I think.

One approach might be to make the turn clock tick a little faster when the player is far below min depth so rapid diving comes with some tradeoff. The balance could still be set to favour diving but to a lesser degree.

bron September 30, 2021 22:43

Rather than continue to shoot my mouth off about smithing in the abstract, I decided I should run a character so I could shoot my mouth off in the concrete. A few impressions:

I found that running a 50K "challenge" character was actually easier/better for a high smithing run, since I could make good use of any early forges, and could very quickly run down to the deeper levels which are bigger (and so generically more likely to have a forge somewhere), and also to find Revelations staves sooner.A standard run by contrast takes a lot more turns to build up the character leaving a lot less time to hunt for forges. More (useful) forges was more important than the extra experience points.

Smithing of 27 feels like a good compromise. I'd have 4 Grace, plus build a Smithing kit of items with +6 Grace, and 16 skill points. Plus one for the affinity. That's a big investment, but not an impossible one. And there's a lot of good stuff to be made at 27 smithing skill, notably +3 Evasion or Accuracy rings. A case could be made for 28 smithing skill,which would allow one to make a +2 Constitution Amulet (needs 31 skill) if you find an Enchanted forge, or burn enough Grace potions. But I decided against that.

Despite my earlier statements, smithing is still interesting and fun. It's just (a little) different. Making a really powerful character via smithing now seems to demand more forges, but that's not an unreasonable limitation. My winning chars would make a lot of gear, and lastly a Masterpiece weapon at the 900' forge.

Anyway: the changes are maybe not what I would have done, but probably every individual can say that about everything, all the time. And it's not like I'm actually doing anything about it, other than complaining. I really like Sil, and Silq, and am glad to see that it is under active development.


A couple of specific points:

You can *decrease* the "special" bonus of a War Hammer of Crushing, allowing one to make a 4d3 War Hammer as an ordinary (non-artifact) object, at high but not impossible cost. I suspect that this is an oversight (?). Other objects (notably Shadow Cloaks) do not allow you to decrease their bonus. Admittedly, you can make a 4d3 War Hammer by starting with the Hador Enchantment, but that increases the smithing cost quite a bit.

Song of Delving doesn't seem to work in the extreme lower-left corner of the map.

The "final form" of Morgoth is tough! I had characters that could get him down to 2 stars, but couldn't finish. This was a little unexpected (to me anyway), but is actually sort of a nice feature. Once I knew about it.

The ascent seemed harder, despite the shafts. Have the "3-sils" monster bonuses gotten bigger? Or is it just my imagination?

"Smite" is an interesting mechanic. It's certainly useful against high defense enemies (serpents, Kemenrauko), but the fact that you lose a turn even if you miss on the initial attack makes it dangerous. Particularly against Morgoth, where a mis-timed Smite can kill you.

bron September 30, 2021 22:55

One more thing: It's embarrassing to admit, but I'd never noticed that "resist poison" does not in fact protect you from poison damage incurred in melee (e.g. being bitten by a Werewolf), only against "pure" poison damage (like poison breath). This just seems wrong. Armor of "Venom's End" is nothing of the sort. Admittedly, this is pretty clearly a deliberate decision in the original Sil that has been continued in Silq, and admittedly fire and cold work the same way (e.g. extra fire damage when a Balrog hits you in melee is not reduced by having fire resistance). But for Poison in particular, this just seems wrong.

Infinitum October 1, 2021 00:18

Wait, what? According to the manual unresisted elemental damage equals 1 extra damage die added to the roll, which matches my experience ingame? Did you do some code diving or something?

bron October 1, 2021 02:57

Yes, you are right; unresisted poison (or fire or cold) gets an extra die in melee, so in that sense you get (some) protection (by not taking extra damage). But poison protection does not halve the damage, and multiple layers of protection do not stack. You can still get hit for 20 or 30 points of poison, even wearing double poison protection.

Whatever - just chalk it up to me whining ...

Quirk October 1, 2021 09:53

The way the game thinks about the damage is that it is "mixed" damage i.e. if a Balrog hits you with a flaming whip, you're taking damage both from being hit and being burned. This is analogous to the way branded weapons work.

I agree that poison presents differently: you take all the damage as poison damage, not partial immediate damage and partial poison damage. This is somewhat easier for the player as some of the damage that should be done immediately is pushed into the future but it clouds representation of it as mixed damage and makes it look like more of it should have been resisted.

In terms of enemies that poison the player, I would be inclined to say that werewolves are definitely mixed damage, but spiders and serpents could possibly be represented as having more pure poison damage. I note though that sword spiders do not poison players but pack quite a punch so I am not sure of the consistency here.

Quirk October 1, 2021 10:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155594)
Despite my earlier statements, smithing is still interesting and fun. It's just (a little) different. Making a really powerful character via smithing now seems to demand more forges, but that's not an unreasonable limitation. My winning chars would make a lot of gear, and lastly a Masterpiece weapon at the 900' forge.

I'm very glad to hear this, and appreciate how open-minded you have been here.


Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155594)
A couple of specific points:

You can *decrease* the "special" bonus of a War Hammer of Crushing, allowing one to make a 4d3 War Hammer as an ordinary (non-artifact) object, at high but not impossible cost. I suspect that this is an oversight (?). Other objects (notably Shadow Cloaks) do not allow you to decrease their bonus. Admittedly, you can make a 4d3 War Hammer by starting with the Hador Enchantment, but that increases the smithing cost quite a bit.

So it is actually Shadow Cloaks which are the special case here - the Shadow Cloak base item has the stealth built into it, and so it doesn't have a special bonus. If you take a Mithril Corslet of Resilience or a Longsword of the Feanorians you can decrease the special bonus there also.

21 Smithing is quite an investment so I don't think a 4d3 warhammer is necessarily too good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155594)
Song of Delving doesn't seem to work in the extreme lower-left corner of the map.

This is on my list to look into, but thanks for adding precision to the report.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155594)
The ascent seemed harder, despite the shafts. Have the "3-sils" monster bonuses gotten bigger? Or is it just my imagination?

Morgoth himself will get tougher the more Sils you have and be positioned closer to you on the escape, but the 3-sil curse is the same as always.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155594)
"Smite" is an interesting mechanic. It's certainly useful against high defense enemies (serpents, Kemenrauko), but the fact that you lose a turn even if you miss on the initial attack makes it dangerous. Particularly against Morgoth, where a mis-timed Smite can kill you.

Yes, it adds a lot of damage against highly armoured enemies and the front-loading of damage can kill an enemy without response, but you are effectively committing up front to making two attacks instead of one. This requires different risk management. Most of the time you want to Smite but doing so at the wrong moment can kill you.

I am happy with the skill though precisely because it changes the experience of play. For me the flagship skill of Sil is Flanking, precisely because taking it has such an impact on how the player approaches melee; my hope with Smite was that it would add a new tool yielding a dimension of fresh challenges.

bron October 8, 2021 08:36

I just finished a high-smith, 50K, no-artifacts run on Angband Live, and thought I'd give a few thoughts:

The Smithing game is a bit different, and a bit less powerful. Since the only +Smith items available are +Grace items, and you can only make so many of those, I had to invest a lot more points in the skill. A 16 point investment can yield 27 smithing skill, which seems like a good compromise number; I could make a lot of good stuff, but within limits. And the occasional enchanted forge can help. I assume serially quaffing Grace potions can also temporarily increase your Smithing - I didn't try this.

A regular (not 50K) character seems like it would be hard to run as a high Smith. Sure, you ultimately get another 25K experience points, but you don't pass 50K until pretty late in the game, and so have a lot less time to hunt for forges in the "fully buffed" state.

The "final form" of Morgoth is very hard. It was pretty frustrating to get him down to two stars, but then only barely be able to finish the job. It seems like the power jump is too much. I used a poison branded glaive as my weapon of choice; what do other people find effective against Morgoth?

I was surprised to find that the "infinite arrow production" bug is still in the game i.e. have 80 arrows in the first quiver slot, and 70 arrows in the second quiver slot. Now drop the 70 arrows directly onto the floor. 19 arrows get added to the first quiver slot from the group being dropped, bringing the first quiver slot up to 99, but nevertheless 70 arrows (not 51) hit the floor.

Song of Delvings seems to be inconsistent. Despite my earlier reports, it does seem to work ok in the lower-left corner. But it doesn't always find traps and/or staircases. I don't quite understand the conditions that cause this. But it does seem to be pretty good at locating forges at a distance.

Quirk October 8, 2021 13:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155674)
The "final form" of Morgoth is very hard. It was pretty frustrating to get him down to two stars, but then only barely be able to finish the job. It seems like the power jump is too much. I used a poison branded glaive as my weapon of choice; what do other people find effective against Morgoth?

I think you are right that Vengeance would have helped, though perhaps I should increase Morgoth's power a little more smoothly. I am impressed that you managed the kill with a 50K character at all.

Morgoth is balanced with two goals: that kills should be rare and much harder than three sil victories and that the fight should be relatively short and brutal to avoid player frustration.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155674)
I was surprised to find that the "infinite arrow production" bug is still in the game i.e. have 80 arrows in the first quiver slot, and 70 arrows in the second quiver slot. Now drop the 70 arrows directly onto the floor. 19 arrows get added to the first quiver slot from the group being dropped, bringing the first quiver slot up to 99, but nevertheless 70 arrows (not 51) hit the floor.

I too thought this had been squashed though it was some time ago it was last brought up, and I have a hazy recollection that the replication may have been different for the last instance. Is this reliable every time?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bron (Post 155674)
Song of Delvings seems to be inconsistent. Despite my earlier reports, it does seem to work ok in the lower-left corner. But it doesn't always find traps and/or staircases. I don't quite understand the conditions that cause this. But it does seem to be pretty good at locating forges at a distance.

Thanks to your earlier post I looked into it and found a quite embarrassing bug caused by a typo misplacing an x for a y. This is fixed in my master branch and will be sorted for release. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

bron October 8, 2021 20:28

Quote:

infinite arrow production
Yes, it seems to be consistent.

I stumbled over this by accident, and then tested it to be sure I understood the conditions. It seems to happen when the arrows in the second slot are dropped on the floor; the arrows in the first slot are less than 99, but are increased to 99; and there are still some arrows left over that hit the floor. Under these conditions, the arrows that get added to the first quiver slot are not subtracted from the arrows that hit the floor.

bron October 8, 2021 20:47

Here's an underhanded trick that occurred to me after I finished the game: If you know Masterpiece, you can begin Smithing something that takes 3 more skill than you have. But you also sing Delvings (or anything else you know), and carefully arrange for your voice to give out just before the piece is finished. This interrupts the smithing just before the end. Now you quaff a Grace potion, and finish the piece. This allows you to stretch your supply of Grace potions, using one one per piece, rather than needing to serially quaff a bunch of them the whole time. Note that I didn't actually try this so I don't know that it actually works.

Note that I think you *should* be allowed to boost your Smithing by quaffing Grace potions for the (full) duration of the work, I just think the thing described above is somewhat out of bounds. Note that it's not just singing; anything that interrupts you will do the trick- your light going out for example. I don't have a good answer to this. It's niche enough that it could just be ignored for now.

bron October 8, 2021 22:36

Also - is the 900' forge now not a guaranteed thing? I've had a couple of runs that didn't have a forge when I entered 900' for the first time. OTOH, I have been consistently finding a forge at 300'. What's the truth about guaranteed forges in the latest version?

bron October 8, 2021 23:08

Also - looking at the code, and thinking back on it, despite my whining on the topic I believe the main problem I was having with Morgoth's "final form" is that when he went to 30 evasion I just wasn't able to hit often enough, despite the "balanced" re-rolls. I think the solution to that, at least for that particular character, would have been to gather even more healing potions, and to make two +3 Accuracy rings, rather than the Evasion rings. I'd still miss a lot, and get pummeled even harder, but I think it would be enough to tip the scales.


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