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Mikko Lehtinen December 21, 2011 12:21


Originally Posted by LostTemplar (Post 65106)
I am trying another simple solution currently, using stairs just costs a lot of food in my variant (with some other changes to make food mechanics interesting).

Ok! That makes perfect sense if you assume travel between "interesting" levels takes a lot of time.

I've recently removed the food clock from the development version of Fay altogether, and made torches more interesting and scarce. It will be nice to see your version. :)

Mikko Lehtinen December 21, 2011 12:33


Originally Posted by andrewdoull (Post 65104)
What kills most characters is the player playing not risky enough which results in deaths from boredom and inattention. Therefore the 'real' optimal way to play is be too risky...

I think many people just get bored eventually and move on to other games, because they just don't realize what's the proper way to play Angband. There must be better answers.

And let's imagine a veteran player who usually plays risky. Then, with one character, he finds some very cool stuff and realizes that he *really* doesn't want to lose this character. He decides he is willing to accept days of boredom if that's the way to keep this character alive. Is this good game design?


Originally Posted by andrewdoull (Post 65104)
If you want to go the whole way, the real fix for the problem is not having character levels. But I don't think that game is Angband.

Well, limiting dungeon levels is easier and it works... (I'm not proposing it for Vanilla.)

Mikko Lehtinen December 21, 2011 14:02

I was actually not planning to start advertising my views about the problems of infinite dungeons. I really just misunderstood what Andrew meant with "you can either balance the whole dungeon or individual battles", and got a bit carried away.

I'm happy that the dev team is considering adapting a better scoring system. In my mind this goes a long way in aligning "fun" with "optimal".

In addition to that, I'm proposing that Angband's playing philosophy should be stated very clearly to beginners!

Tell them that diving fast is fun, that you are not supposed to kill all monsters, and that stealth and avoidance is a viable strategy. People who come from other games just don't get these ideas, and may easily come to the conclusion that Angband is a boring game.

I don't think it's wise to advertise too much that "this game can be played in many ways" when clearly some of the ways are much more fun than others.

I've been playing Angband a long time. For a long, long time I didn't have a clue that Angband was designed for this stealth/avoidance playing style. I've always considered switching dungeon levels in a tight spot "cheating" because it is so, so easy. I've always played with disconnected stairs (coming from Moria), but even then. I thought this was a "bug" in the game and avoided it. Maybe that's the reason why I've never won.

I wish somebody had told me right from the beginning how this game was supposed to be played.

chris December 21, 2011 16:51


Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 65115)
I've always considered switching dungeon levels in a tight spot "cheating" because it is so, so easy.

Unless monsters could chase you down the stairs!

Magnate December 21, 2011 19:52


Originally Posted by chris (Post 65116)
Unless monsters could chase you down the stairs!

Crawl does that, and IMO it is the single mechanic which makes Crawl harder than Angband. Much, much harder. I don't actually like the mechanic (persistent levels or no) - it basically means that if you wake up/aggro a too-tough monster, you are pretty screwed. Much much less forgiving of mistakes. (Note also that teleport is much harder to acquire in Crawl.)

I don't think it's unbalanced in Angband, providing that tele isn't too common. Lots of the most hair-raising survival stories are about running for stairs when your last means of tele got burned up.

Mikko Lehtinen December 21, 2011 20:45

I guess the thing I most dislike about stairs is this:

As a newbie, everybody eventually learns that repeatably going up and down the stairs is a good method for keeping you safe. So good that it must be unethical somehow! And then everybody has to make his own rules regarding "how much do I want to cheat with the stairs".

I'd much rather let the game designer do this job for me.

I think I went overboard with my own "rules" and missed some enjoyment -- I never realized you should be using stairs to actively search for deep monsters that you can kill. (Do you guys play like that?)

nppangband December 21, 2011 21:05

How about playing with the connected stairs option turned off? That should be a good way for the player to address this.

Mikko Lehtinen December 21, 2011 21:19


Originally Posted by nppangband (Post 65129)
How about playing with the connected stairs option turned off? That should be a good way for the player to address this.

I do, of course. That option is one part of that "choose your own ethics" thing. I went further than that and always tried to clear even the hardest of levels because I had learned to associate stairs with cheating. And then died a lot, of course.

There are other similar features that cannot be turned off by an option, like town scumming.

That's the one thing I like most in my own variant: no fuzzy ethics. No forbidden tricks.

Mikko Lehtinen December 21, 2011 23:53

I want to end with a positive note. To me, Angband is great -- and beats all other roguelikes I've tried -- because it is so competitive. Man versus computer at its purest.

No hidden rules like in those other roguelikes. Pure sweet tactical hack'n'slash and resource management with no pretentions for being an "adventure" or "puzzle-solving" game.

Only because I see the potential for an even greater game in this aspect have I been so obsessive about the minor flaws. And basically that's also why I made FayAngband: I'm trying to enhance the one aspect in Angband that I like the most.

Malak Darkhunter December 22, 2011 01:36

Mentioning from earlier posts about levels and monster threat level, some rpg's mainly NWN uses monster to character level scaling, so no matter the dungeon level the monsters generated depend on character level. This is interesting but possibly problamatic in itself, but you could in a since use this algorithim for each dungeon level, and take 1 unique weakest to strongest and place them on each dungeon level, a goal somewhat to complete that level and then go down to the next, then if a character gains levels and then tries to go back up a few DL's then they are still faced with the same amount of danger as monsters are generated and scaled by character level, and there is no sense of "overpowered for the dungeon level." This however would be hard to balance but is an interesting idea.

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