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Old August 23, 2007, 14:25   #42
Nameless
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Out of curiousity, I pulled down a copy of UnAngband, having never played it before. I figured it'd be an interesting thing to try a variant, and given this thread, why not give it a go?

First reaction? What are all these different races, and how do they differ beyond stats? I'll check the documentation. OH! There is no documentation... Oookay. Maia looks like the "easy mode" given the significant bonuses without penalties, and I'll play a mage. Sure, that'll be familiar from V. Oh, and I have to pick other stuff? I'll check the... oh, right.. no documentation. Oh, Magic Books and Sorcery sounds good, since I'm a mage. Hey, wait... it didn't take, and I'm a Warrior classed Man of Bree. I'll start over, maybe I missed it. (Did it twice, third time was the charm. Odd, but probably just me, I hope.)

Constitution affects spellpoints? Egad, the changes in this version must be significant! Look at all these spells in the first book! Well, at least *they* explain themselves. That's nice to have.

So I explore a bit - and find that I can get lost and nearly starve to death just going "one hill over" into the next area. Gotta carry lots of food and be prepared to arrive in a "weak" state due to hunger. A bit odd, but I can live with this, and I still want to figure it out, right? Besides, this very open grassy are is nice (what parts have tiles and not placeholders, anyway) and it's all shiny and new.

At last, I find a dungeon (in Bree?) and prepare to make a first descent. I've got torches and a cloak, food for the trip and my spells all learned, so I go for it. I find some faeries, and smite them with Magic Missile. This repeats for a while, I pick up some copper. Things are rolling along.

Finally, I try to cast on a faerie, target myself unintentionally, and my Soon to Be Mighty Maia dies by Magic Missile-ing himself in the foot. Thank goodness I discovered this early, before I spent the time to get a fireball spell and used it to kill myself unexpectedly while fighting a close-ranged, hard fought battle with a unique monster.

It's not enough that there's no documentation to speak of, or that the wildly V-divergent features cry out for more intuitive in-game explanations before they bite you, but now I ALSO have to worry about killing myself with my own abilities? Not by eating an unidentified poisonous mushroom, or drinking a potion of detonations by accident, but by casting the spells I was "born" with? What's next, warriors hacking off their own feet and starving to death before they get back to town?

I uninstalled it posthaste - if I can do this with a Magic Missile spell, then this is a variant with a more hostile player environment than any game in which I'm interested. Thanks, but I'll pass. Maybe I'll try it again later - a few more versions down the road to soften the player environment and polish the numerous rough edges, and produce a lot more documentation.

Maybe. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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