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-   -   Shouldn't Ironman be the default (and is it even playable atm) ? (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=10922)

Evilpotatoe October 1, 2021 14:03

Shouldn't "Ironman" be the default (and is it even playable atm) ?
 
Hi,
To make my question/suggestion a bit more clear :

By "ironman", I only mean no recall/upstairs
I didn't play any *band for some years, essentially because I realize I'm tired of the scumming mechanic.

In games like FTL, B.o.Isaac, DoomRL, Slay The Spire, Monster Train, Hades... one doesn't have the choice, and MUST play "ironman" every game.
Of course, the difficulty of the game is calibrated on this, and most games can be won if one plays the right way, but good difficulty setting, like StS's ascension, or the excellent pact system of Hades keep things challenging. (I don't like Hades much, but Hell... this pact system is so neat !)

I realize the game feels much more interesting to me with finite resources (and feels dull without it, tbh), so I'd want to play *band the same way, but I'm afraid it's not designed for that at all atm.
I think I'd find too few stuff, no shops at all, and be extremely dependent on the RNG.
As an average player, I'm not sure beating a Vanilla game with no upstairs or recall would be even remotely possible.
Am I wrong ?


If this hasn't already been suggested, I'd love to read some thoughts about it.
A quick search didn't give me much result, except that I should give a glance to "Coffee break".
... but is it the only version focused on that way of playing ? I'd want that spirit in Vanilla !


Thoughts, or links to existing threads debating about this would be welcome.
Maybe I should have made it a poll about scumming's relevancy :) ?

Sphara October 1, 2021 14:49

These are my personal observations over the past 3-4 years:

Winning ironman is most certainly possible, but it has become much more difficult after the release of 4.2.1 version. Early huorns and newly buffed hydrae are not only tough and fast, they are also very common. The new endgame has also several common monsters, that pass or dig through a wall. These two factors alone have made ironman much harder for me.

One way of easing things up, is to choose random artifact set. You can find artifact rings much, much earlier than you will find em with standard set. Also random artifacts can give immunities, attack speed bonuses, ridiculous damage dice for weapon etc. Immunities are especially valuable in ironman because you need those fragile consumables in the endgame. You're gonna have to think twice before dropping an immunty-granting artifact behind. People complaining about inventory management know next to nothing, if they haven't tried ironman. :D

I've won lots of ironman games using randarts.. before 4.2.1. Today I mainly use standard set and I have serious trouble even winning with just forced descent on.

PS: Ironman DEFINITELY should not be a default.

EDIT: Just remembered that most of my pre-4.2.1 ironman wins had Know-all-flavors birth option turned on. That doesn't make much difference to the late game, but I can imagine early game being a bit easier this way. The most powerful buffs are immediately identified by wielding anyway.

malcontent October 1, 2021 16:12

Normally when we talk about game play/play-ability of Angband we are talking about non-ironman play. We don't typically talk about ironman play because it is not the norm and those setting are considered challenge settings. So taking the non-normal settings and making them default does not make sense, regardless of how other roguelike games are structured.

Personally, I think everyone should play ironman once in awhile - it will make you a better player because it forces you to think about all your decisions in ways that will help when you are playing normally.

When I first started playing Angband a few years ago I predictably died, a lot. One day, frustrated yet again, I decided to try something crazy - an ironman game. If Morgoth had not double moved me with two mana storms (I didn't quite have enough speed, obviously :)) I think I would have won.

Try it, you might be surprised.

One thing that helps is to have already won the game with a given class, so that you have a pretty good idea what you need at the end, which helps you make all the crucial decisions on the way.

I have won three ironman games - I think the Druid class is especially suited to iron man games - never go hungry, lots of super useful utility spells and the last spell book gives you inexhaustible endgame fighting ability (assuming you fine a bazillion restore mana potions - which you will)

Thraalbee October 1, 2021 20:20

I prefer Ironman settings for vanilla. Partially because a challenge option made previous versions more interesting but also because I prefer on-the-spot inventory management vs. filling houses of kit and constant reshuffling for optimal setup.

Ironman has a different pace and other sweet spots than normal game play. Warriors, for instance, normally easy to play in the early game suffer from lack of free ?phase door and ?teleport which makes a big difference. Then you learn to hunt the now more common blue p's and that is ok, etc.

Burden and speed is often an issue. Imagine finding a strong dragon scale mail on level 1, clearly you will use that PDSM (or whatever DSM) so you start learning to cope with crap (negative) speed.

In previous versions I'd say Priest is easy even in Ironman mode. Now I'd probably go for a Ranger.

kineahora October 5, 2021 07:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evilpotatoe (Post 155603)
Hi,
To make my question/suggestion a bit more clear :

By "ironman", I only mean no recall/upstairs
I didn't play any *band for some years, essentially because I realize I'm tired of the scumming mechanic.

In games like FTL, B.o.Isaac, DoomRL, Slay The Spire, Monster Train, Hades... one doesn't have the choice, and MUST play "ironman" every game.
Of course, the difficulty of the game is calibrated on this, and most games can be won if one plays the right way, but good difficulty setting, like StS's ascension, or the excellent pact system of Hades keep things challenging. (I don't like Hades much, but Hell... this pact system is so neat !)

I realize the game feels much more interesting to me with finite resources (and feels dull without it, tbh), so I'd want to play *band the same way, but I'm afraid it's not designed for that at all atm.
I think I'd find too few stuff, no shops at all, and be extremely dependent on the RNG.
As an average player, I'm not sure beating a Vanilla game with no upstairs or recall would be even remotely possible.
Am I wrong ?


If this hasn't already been suggested, I'd love to read some thoughts about it.
A quick search didn't give me much result, except that I should give a glance to "Coffee break".
... but is it the only version focused on that way of playing ? I'd want that spirit in Vanilla !


Thoughts, or links to existing threads debating about this would be welcome.
Maybe I should have made it a poll about scumming's relevancy :) ?

In short: *NO* it shouldn't. It should be default for Rogue, a different but related game. Rogue is intrinsically ironman.

Thraalbee October 6, 2021 11:20

Default? NO.
Doable? Certainly. My first attempt in the latest release is not done yet, but what's there not to like? Can't see that infinite shopping in the town had helped much except made the game a bit faster.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=24674

Sphara October 6, 2021 13:23

Thanks to this thread, I've started running ironman games again on angband.live. Randarts on! Gimme some +3 movement speed now!

Randart drops have been very, very rare so far, even though I've played at least 10 games already and easily gotten past L20 most of the time. The worst case was finding a great Torch artifact, but not finding a single weapon on the way that could beat my starting weapon. I died somewhere before L30 wielding +0+0 dagger.

The best one I've managed so far, was a character that bought 5 iron shots of flame with most of the starting money. Throwing those killed everything and did even better, after I found an enchanted sling.

Egavactip October 7, 2021 19:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sphara (Post 155648)
Thanks to this thread, I've started running ironman games again on angband.live. Randarts on! Gimme some +3 movement speed now!

Randart drops have been very, very rare so far, even though I've played at least 10 games already and easily gotten past L20 most of the time. The worst case was finding a great Torch artifact, but not finding a single weapon on the way that could beat my starting weapon. I died somewhere before L30 wielding +0+0 dagger.

The best one I've managed so far, was a character that bought 5 iron shots of flame with most of the starting money. Throwing those killed everything and did even better, after I found an enchanted sling.

Randarts are pretty rare indeed on levels 1-20 and many are very crappy when they do appear. You'll be far more likely to find them on levels 30-50.

Selkie October 8, 2021 10:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sphara (Post 155648)

The best one I've managed so far, was a character that bought 5 iron shots of flame with most of the starting money. Throwing those killed everything and did even better, after I found an enchanted sling.

I only ever play randarts and the hardest thing is not getting early access to the thancs.

Like you I prioritise branded shots or pebbles. The fact they're now indestructible is massive, you'll eventually find a sling of power and the combination can easily take you to clvl40.

At some point you'll find a randart bow/crossbow with such incredible buffs you'll have to make a switch. But I do think slings are currently the greatest launchers in the game, solely on account of indestructible ammo

Sphara October 8, 2021 13:15

@egavactip
Yeah. It seemed like dlvl 1-20 are less likely to create an artifact.
I thought artifact generation is 'based' on standard artifacts and their depth. So for example the early ones; the Phial, the three thancs, Elvagil and Forasgil would be represented by some crappy, even harmful artifacts. But no. Pre 4.2.1 gave some massively strong artifacts, frequently. It generated harmful ones too. Even one that had no branded intrinsic of any kind :D
Got my first good one today, with the cost of almost all my cure wounds potions and having deliberately stepped on a skull druj's sight to be able to TO it away. It was 9-8 suicide-or-prize vault.

@selkie
The game I just saved has had typical 'this-can-only-happen-to-me' whining scenario. Game has produced Light Crossbow of Accuracy but not a single bolt from start to this moment. It also produced 10 pebbles of slay evil early but not a single Sling yet. And finally some unique dropped 37 arrows of wounding +17dam, but the game hasn't generated a single bow after that :D

Those missing pieces will drop eventually, but as far as launchers go, I've been going smh all the way so far. Character just cannot carry a +0 longbow in ironman game just for the fact that some great arrows MIGHT drop.

Selkie October 8, 2021 13:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sphara (Post 155678)

@selkie
The game I just saved has had typical 'this-can-only-happen-to-me' whining scenario. Game has produced Light Crossbow of Accuracy but not a single bolt from start to this moment. It also produced 10 pebbles of slay evil early but not a single Sling yet. And finally some unique dropped 37 arrows of wounding +17dam, but the game hasn't generated a single bow after that :D

Those missing pieces will drop eventually, but as far as launchers go, I've been going smh all the way so far. Character just cannot carry a +0 longbow in ironman game just for the fact that some great arrows MIGHT drop.

Weirdly when you play as a rogue especially, you can do more damage throwing shots and pebbles than you can do with a vanilla sling

Sphara October 8, 2021 13:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Selkie (Post 155679)
Weirdly when you play as a rogue especially, you can do more damage throwing shots and pebbles than you can do with a vanilla sling

This I have noticed. I do not carry unenchanted slings anymore.

Julian October 8, 2021 15:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Selkie (Post 155679)
Weirdly when you play as a rogue especially, you can do more damage throwing shots and pebbles than you can do with a vanilla sling

This feels like a bug to me.

Nick October 8, 2021 20:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julian (Post 155681)
This feels like a bug to me.

Yes, it does to me too, but I haven't got around to working out how to fix it.

backwardsEric October 8, 2021 22:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 155687)
Yes, it does to me too, but I haven't got around to working out how to fix it.

Something like,

Code:

dmg *= 20 + (5 * missile->weight - 35) / 6;
dmg /= 10;

for the non-O thrown damage formula would make damage from shots a bit less than they would be with an unenchanted sling (for unenchanted iron shots the possible results would be 1, 3, 5, and 7 for an average of 4 versus 2, 4, 6, and 8 for an average of 5). Thrown daggers and spears would also suffer (2.4x and 5.5x multipliers versus the current 3x and 6x) while thrown hammers would remain the same.

Julian October 9, 2021 02:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 155687)
Yes, it does to me too, but I haven't got around to working out how to fix it.

A lower multiplier for thrown items that aren’t throwing weapons?

will_asher October 9, 2021 05:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Julian (Post 155695)
A lower multiplier for thrown items that aren’t throwing weapons?

Iron shots are considered throwing weapons in the code. Seems like an easy solution to me (if you think it needs fixing). Just remove the THROWING flag from iron shots.

Thraalbee October 12, 2021 19:23

Ironman is certainly viable in 4.2.3.

You can't expect to have all the luck this character had, but the drops were balanced enough through the game - I neither had a shortage nor an abundance of escapes, healing and decent ammo. The balance feels ok. (note: I may look overstocked after the final fight but that's because I didn't use a single !*heal* or !Life in the entire game, a first, and only a few !healing. Emergency activation and mushrooms were very helpful to conserve consumables until I found my first _healing (of two in total).

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=24674&ok

Evilpotatoe October 14, 2021 00:27

Thanks for your answers
And special mention for Thraalbee's nice demonstration :)

I guess I'll give a new try to the latest version, with disabled recall and stairs, of course...
I still doubt it will be as noob-friendly as "modern games", where I expect to quickly win some runs on low difficulty just to get familiar with the mechanics, before I use more serious settings... but it deserves some tries.
personal "Skill" note : my hall of fame reminds me I won 4.1.3 not only with a lvl48 High elf ranger, but also as a lvl46 Dunadan paladin and a lvl50 dwarf warrior). I also did win some Z/Heng runs.


Anyway,
I'm not much surprised to see the players (still here) like things the way they are (else, they would be gone, -- like I (more or less) am --, right ? :)
But if I came back here to post, it's because I realized the reason I stopped to play was the ability to reroll levels.

While I've been pretty happy with the "it's possible !" part & given advices of answers (up to a nice char dump !), I was a bit disappointed by the lack of arguments when it comes to saying it "should not be" the defaut option... "because it shouldn't".
I'm not suggesting something harder (it's the opposite), but something with a better balance, less repetitive tasks, and more challenging choices !
Difficulty options should remain, of course, but I think the default should be "average" (read : easy to win for an experienced player), with noobie & veteran options to ease or spice things up...

I'm not expecting everyone to agree with my opinion, but I really do think some great (and well-playtested) concepts, like the finite dungeon, should be imported in this game, making it more interesting and appealing.
And since I love most of the choices made in Vanilla (cleaning of the codebase !, rebalancing stuff/monsters...), I'm overall quite confident, whatever happens-or-not of this suggestion/discussion

Quote:

"I prefer on-the-spot inventory management vs. filling houses of kit and constant reshuffling for optimal setup"
Fully agree.
This is one of the reason for my suggestion.
As a retired Hengband player, I often ended-up with my 20 pages of home not beeing enough... so much stuff for "shuffling" looks like a very wrong direction to take for me, now.
I know no one is forced to use it, of course, but I tend to try "optimizing" as much as I can, and since it is allowed, doesn't really has any in-game cost, and improves your chances of winning, I somehow "have to" overuse it.

Quote:

"We don't typically talk about ironman play because it is not the norm and those setting are considered challenge settings. So taking the non-normal settings and making them default does not make sense, regardless of how other roguelike games are structured."
Strongly disagree.
Okay, "Ironman" is a keyword for "extra challenge"... but I precised I actually meant "no recall/upstairs". Maybe I should just have talked of "finite ressources" and getting rid of level-scumming then ?
Taking a good or bad setting in or out of the default ones perfectly makes sense to me.
Didn't this happen several times already ? (With preserve mode, no_sell, runes, or whatever else... ? Well, I'm not *band-history aware enough...)

Anyway, it's all a matter of balance, and what I'd like is the game beeing well balanced (even for non-expert players), and not requiring to abuse of exploits (or similarly, floor-scumming) to get serious chances of winning.
In case my initial post wasn't clear enough about this, I think the game could disallow recall/upstairs, but have better drops, more shops in dungeons, etc. instead



I think "easy" difficulty options should make the game pretty easy (and more importantly, forgiving) for noobs. Not turn it into a grinding contest.
On the other hand, hardcore options should grant experienced players real challenges (birth_no_artifacts anyone ^^ ?), and Angband could probably use even more of them.

I don't quite get the point of still allowing -- by default-- to skip dangerous situations and challenging decisions with the ability to regenerate levels until they satisfy one's safety or reward requirements.
Having to cope with what you get and weight things like risks of getting killed in some level vs the risk of getting short of good loot seems much more important to me than requiring sheer patience.
I'm not a freaking borg !

Even keeping this as an "easy" birth option wouldn't look much relevant to me : couldn't better ones be added, like an increase in drop rates of healing or escaping stuff, a faster XP gain, a bigger HP pool multiplier... ?


@Nick : would you mind sharing your point of view please ?

Nick October 14, 2021 00:46

My understanding is that one of Angband's principal principles is it doesn't tell the player what to do.

Options like forced descent and no recall (which together make ironman) are in a sense unnecessary - as a player, you could choose never to take upstairs or use recall, and the effect would be identical.

I think your statement
Quote:

I know no one is forced to use it, of course, but I tend to try "optimizing" as much as I can, and since it is allowed, doesn't really has any in-game cost, and improves your chances of winning, I somehow "have to" overuse it.
is the key one here, and is for some people the down-side to not being told what to do.

So my philosophy is there is more to gain by allowing the player free rein than not, and so the default will be to give the player maximum freedom (note that I'm not sure if defaulting to no selling contradicts this :)).

That said, note that there's also the persistent levels option, which you may find interesting in some combination with forced descent and no recall, as well as various numbers you can tweak in constants.txt (stair skip, for example).

archolewa October 14, 2021 01:23

Personally, I think Ironman should not be the default because making it the default goes against the spirit of Angband. Fundamentally, Angband assumes each player understands what they do and do not find fun and will adjust their playstyle accordingly. Making ironman the default effectively tells people who like to grind that they arent playing the game as intended. Meanwhile, the cureent default says nothing one way or the other about how much grinding is necessary. Want limited resources? Just dont take the upstairs! Nothing except the player is keeping them from playing ironman even with the current default.

However, making ironman default does restrict players who like grinding or at least having it as an option.

Evilpotatoe October 14, 2021 01:29

Wow, what reactivity :)

Quote:

My understanding is that one of Angband's principal principles is it doesn't tell the player what to do.
This makes me think of sandbox games (which I quickly got bored of), but calling this freedom sounds way much better ^^

Anyway, thanks for this simple answer, which just makes perfect sense.
Plus, I'm pretty sure playing with some .txt could be another way to "ease" the game.
Well, I won't toy with this, clearly... but if it's possible, it's a quite good thing already.

Pete Mack October 14, 2021 02:34

It occurs to me that the easiest way to make Ironman playable early is to set the depth of _Teleport from 20 to ~10. For nin-ironman, an early escape isn't a big deal: recall is always an answer to exhausting your consumables. Ironman has no such mechanism.

Sphara October 14, 2021 06:05

For me, the reasoning is simply that I don't like people telling me how to play the game and I don't tell the others how to play. I strongly dislike stairhopping in order to generate a profitable level, but as long as I can set forced descent or ironman as default myself, why should I care people playing that way?

Nowadays, I even think that suggesting changes here in the Forum is often labeled as forcing people play like you'd like the game played. This is nothing new in roguelike communities. I'd guess everyone has a beef about something. Believe me, I would turn off endless stream of wolves and wargs if I could.

sffp October 18, 2021 16:30

Forced Iron-man?

I'm confused. I've never been a big fan of angband ironman games. The game is difficult enough to begin with without dying because I ran out of light or food or escapes or cures. I also like to know what my artifacts/weapons do. The way I learn most runes is by either using or selling.

I HATE making inventory decisions because I'm out of slots already. You're going to deny me access to the house? <ick>

No upstairs never made sense to me. Are the stairs all chutes/trapdoors that go down a level. No level regen would make sense but the game's been this way for 30 years. I've always assumed the stairs were multiple and you just ended up on a different floor when you came back up.

I mean, I guess "I like ironman. We should make the default ironman" is a perspective. But if you want to play ironman, there's no reason you can't play it that way without making everyone else play it that way. When they turned off selling as a default (which I liked), there was a trade off of gold being relatively more common in the dungeon. What tradeoff do you propose for making iron man the default?

Evilpotatoe October 19, 2021 00:02

@Sfpp
It's not that "I like Ironman", but I just happened to realize all the "great roguelikes" I loved those last ~10 years did include that among their default settings, which don't necessarly make them hard to win with default settings.
When thinking back to playing some good ol' *band those last years, I always tought... "Meh... too long, too much grinding... just NO".

Essentially, since I'm not an *band expert, the game was pretty hard to approach again for me.


After this thread, I created a fresh (ironman) high-elf ranger, which is somewhere around CL27 and DL23, with decent stuff (includes a *cold weapon dropped by an orc chieftain, @DL13 IIRC, and good sling, bow AND cbow), but the game's pace seems to slow down already, and having used most my phase door scrools to get rid of a dwarf disenchanters triplet, I wonder what will happen next.

Anyway, what I'd like is a faster rythm, with less grind, less necessity to find "THE good gear pieces", no need to save some specific precious consumables (basically, escapes&healing). Something more forgiving.
Think of Slay the spire, Binding of Isaac, or DoomRL : a game lasts a few hours at most, and therefore, you don't care much about losing some character to YASD, or having made a bad choice.
Also, the difficulty starts pretty easy, but increases as long as you understand the game, and ends-up beeing very serious.
This lets you discover the mechanics / items / enemies softly without making the game pointless once you completed it once or twice.

THAT is what I'd expect.
Not an easier game, but a faster one, where learning about this or that isn't a pain, because the characer you lose would only have a few hours of play behind it. Not dozens.
The most important aspect I see in "modern roguelikes" is that it incites players to try things out, rather than the current "old school" approach we still have here, which lets us farm as long as we want, without any in-game drawback.



This morning, I was reading http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthr...t=10808&page=1, and it points out some of the biggest issues -- from my pov -- in *band.
Seeking stat potions, for example, should IMO be replaced with something cooler, like the stat gain every few levels in Hengband.
IIRC, Vanilla improved this significantly... but didn't really "fix" it.

Anyway. From what my hall of fames tells me, last time I played, I ended-up winning with several race/class combos, but my gnome mage, while he didn't die, didn't win either.
... I suppose I just got bored of diving / banishing monsters / looting enemy-free vaults.


Well, I didn't intend much to continue posting in this thread, since I already gave my opinion, and am not gonna try to "educate" the community by explaining how "my way is the best", right ? :o))
But if you did read what I wrote before posting this, I might have just not been clear enough at all, so I'll go in a bit deeper...


Quote:

The game is difficult enough to begin with without dying because I ran out of light or food or escapes or cures
Without Ironman, all this can be farmed pretty easily. Heal & escape will usually be boring to stack, but not hard, if you just avoid dangerous situations.
And from my experience, as soon as you start understanding the game a bit, it looks wayyyyyyyyy easier. To me, the problem isn't that the game is hard (I don't think it is), but that it's hard to learn, since it's an old game, of which most aspects aren't obvious, and often undocumented (or at least, not contextually, which is close to the same).

Quote:

I HATE making inventory decisions because I'm out of slots already
So do I... I did FILL the 20 pages of my Hengband houses several times. I just think it's a very wrong way of playing, even if it's mine too.
Unneeded things like those 20 pages are, IMO a really bad thing to encourage. People wouldn't feel they need it if only they were aware of what they really need to win.

What I'd like is a game giving me an easier way of experimenting what I actually do need
This can be done via an easier default difficulty,with better drops, and/or a stats & HP multiplier, etc.
Maybe having the quantity of carried heal/escape limited more by inventory space than frequency of appeareance could be an idea ?

More in-game help, like Monster Train's "everything-is-fully-and-contextually-described" would help a lot too.
My ranger found some mushrooms of terror... What does the help say ?
"Grants you terror for X+dY turns". Okay... now, what IS terror ?
I see +10 speed and some probably "non-dispellable" fear, but does it change anything to AC, to hit, to dam or anything else ?
Same for a wand of holding... a new "slow/sleep-like" item ? If it's new, it won't be useless junk, right ? [...tries it out...] I must have got something wrong :/
Quote:

No upstairs never made sense to me. [...] No level regen would make sense but the game's been this way for 30 years.
Yeah, as long as the loot is finite, I guess it could be ok. (note : finite would probably mean either no respawning mobs, or having them give no XP/loot)
With preserved levels, maybe people would tend to delay vaults, and go back with some more CLvl to clear them easy ? But since the loot wouldn't be out of depth anymore by then, it might not be a problem either... anyway, I doubt going back is necessary, and it looks like one of those "don't encourage bad habits" thing, but I'm not sure it would really affect the balance.

Quote:

What tradeoff do you propose for making iron man the default ?
Maybe I should have written pages about it, but I tried to keep it short, and focus on what seemed to be the most important aspect to me.
When I said the game "should be balanced accordingly", this implied a *lot* of things.
Basically, and not extensively :
  • Different difficulty options. To keep it simple : Say current drop rates aren't changed for "Hard", and consider we'd have at least "Normal" and "Noobie" added, with better and *better* drop rates. Harder difficulties would be welcome too, btw.
  • This means better equipment drops by default, so that important resist-holes hardly ever happen as long as you play right. No "I need to farm some FA / SI / Rwhatever before diving" when playing a "normal" game.
    Some guaranteed items drops at depth X or Y may be considered. (like Hengband quests or dungeon masters did)
  • This also means more consumables drops, so that one can waste a lot of them with unoptimized gameplay.
    The easiest difficulty could even include some unlimited turn lantern as starting gear (unless you picked a necromancer).
  • *Faster* paced mid & endgame. The most important here is that one shouldn't be afraid of losing 40 hours of char leveling.
    I know a good player doesn't need that much time to win, but my targets here are the other ones, which I'm trying to give the space to improve. Players which don't need that are already reading a stack of scrools of deep descent anyway.
    Faster [end]game could include
    • Runes & flavors known from start.
      I'm not sure needing to identify things, even once, makes any sense gameplay-wise by now.
      Auto-ID could happen more progressively, e.g. step by step when using downstairs, but... I think it would still be more an annoyance than an interesting mechanic.
    • Making stat gain automatic with levels. No more potions hunting.
    • Nerfing summoners, so that only uniques or exceptionnal mobs may summon summoners instead of "trash" minions.
      So that we don't need to create an anti-summoning corridor every other rooms for safe exploration or combat
    • Reliable way of getting stats & XP back somehow over time. So that stat drains (including time attacks) don't scare unexperienced players too much
    • Less or smaller lower levels ? I'm not sure at all about this. I didn't went deep enough times.
  • On the ++difficulty side, I think escapes would benefit from some nerf too. I'd say Teleport level and consumable means of *destruction* are the most acceptable mechanism, since they are not too abusable, but teleport other and unlimited banishment look like serious issues to me, since they promote the avoidance of uncomfortable decisions without missing their benefits.
  • Other difficulty scaling options could includes challenges like what DoomRL has
    • One is to win with only 5 or even 2 inventory slots instead of... 16, I think
    • One times every level with a nuke exploding after a number of moves
    • One maxes every dice roll's value
    • Etc.
    I also mentionned Hades's pact system. It includes things like "less player HP regen", "Stronger mobs", "More dangerous traps", "Worse drops", etc.
    This is just to give an idea of the higher difficulty settings which could be added.
    In my view, the difficulty palette should have options to make some game aspects *very* easy as well as very hard.
    And ideally, most of those settings could be separated, with noobie/default/challenge values, so that one could experiment with some funny mixes.
----
Ok... it looks like a full variant already now >.<
Hey, I just meant to "make games faster/smoother/better/funnier", yet still playable.
Not much more !


Anyway, sharing my point of views was what mattered most to me.
I can easily understand the conservative vision of most veterans when facing this, for sure.
And I'm myself very resistant to change, so how could I have expected everyone instantly agreeing with my point of view ?

I'm also pretty aware of the time all this would need to balance (and code, even if I assume most core aspects could easily be done without insane reworks).


I hope the post-wall wasn't too heavy to digest... I made my best to avoid it in my previous posts !

Pete Mack October 19, 2021 03:13

Ironman does not allow drawn out fights, except in the rarest cases. It especially doesn't allow it in a class so horribly dependent on ?phase door as a ranger. Make sure to kill every non-unique thief you detect. They drop ?PD with high odds.

Bill Peterson October 19, 2021 16:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evilpotatoe (Post 155873)
@Sfpp
Not an easier game, but a faster one, where learning about this or that isn't a pain, because the characer you lose would only have a few hours of play behind it. Not dozens.

Have you tried Sil yet, it has at least some of the ideas you talk about


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