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Old December 10, 2020, 05:04   #18
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 97
whartung is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
Angband *is* gambling. It literally is the same reward mechanism, do the same thing over and over until you casually get an artifact drop, then return to the mechanism.
There's truth in that but I do feel it is different.

At a high level, since the goal of the game is to acquire randomly generated gear, then, certainly, the RNG has a large impact.

There's also the farming aspect -- repeatedly running levels in a certain range to acquire specific, for example stat gain. Here you're working specific content for a particular end.

In video games, this is common, and there is certainly, perhaps, an endorphin hit when you get the prize you seek from the RNG after repeated tries. A friend of mine has what I call the "gambling gene", in that he has a high tolerance for that kind of content. The kind of person that would do 100's of boss runs in something like Diablo 2. Just over and over and over and over, striving for better gear.

My patience wears thin doing that kind of content.

But in Angband, most players do not do that explicitly. First, there really is no mechanic to "farm" high value monster, per se, over and over. Rather, they may level scum -- repeated redo high dungeon levels hoping, not necessarily for a good monster to kill, but, rather, a chance that the RNG just plonks a nice piece of gear on the floor for the character to sneak in and pick up.

But, it seems to me, most players, at least most successful players, don't linger. They don't repeated do content. Rather they dive, and they dive fast, relying on their wiles to get deeper in to the dungeon, in to the "loot rich" levels to quickly gear up enough to take on the bad guy waiting for them at the end.

There are certainly different play styles.

However, there's also one more factor.

Gambling incurs risk. While playing the game, you risk the life of your character. In that sense it can be risky to gamble with the characters life (especially diving too quickly for example).

But, outside of time, there are few "real world" risks. You don't risk money, you can't spend your way to, well, anything in this game. The things you risk for has very little value.

Sure, you might get the "One Ring" or some amazing piece of gear, but to what end? To convert an ASCII character from one letter in to an explosion of other letters? Even if you get the "One Ring", you can't keep it. You can finish the game, you can win with it, and then...what? Not so much.

Brag on a forum?

Contrast to these casual games that let you buy power ups, or buy loot boxes in order to beat other people. To get permanent cosmetic bits that hold some social status over others in the community. I've seen the income charts on some of those games, and there's always someone that just pours an extraordinary amount of $$$ in to trying to match some more colored crystals.

I don't think Angband has that kind of drive in the game. Heck, if you want the "One Ring", wizard mode is a key click away.

In the end, to win this game, you need patience and knowledge. Everyone likes a lucky drop, but it's clear that good players do well at this game. As I said, you can't luck your way to a win. It rewards perseverance, but not necessarily gambling.

So I don't think it really quite has the gambling hook, despite the pervasive nature of RNG in the game.
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