Thread: Sil-Q Review
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Old January 5, 2019, 14:38   #5
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 2,356
wobbly is on a distinguished road
Hi Scatha, great to hear from you & hope you're doing well. Now that Quirk has had a chance to reply I'll add my 2 cents on some points.

Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
Both Phantoms and Brood spiders are interesting early game monsters. I think in each case you’ve put them slightly too early, though. Brood spiders feel like they should go 50’ or 100’ deeper (and get correspondingly tougher presumably) so that it’s more likely one has met Spider hatchlings before first encountering one.
This is hard for me to judge as I recognize spider hatchlings already. I'll give the good & the bad for me. Having something new in the early game is great for an old player who sees the same stuff all the time. Having something that is easy xp scumming before the 1st forge, not so great.
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
No strong feelings on the other monster changes – I have minor good feelings and minor bad feelings about most of them. I rather like the paired orc uniques, although I seem to encounter them a bit too often (also be aware that paired uniques are quite a chunk of experience for the player; possibly they could do with a slight buff).
I'll just mention that the one with Cruel Blow was horrendous to fight with an Edain pre-nerf. I mean Edain's are meant to be hard & Boldog's a nightmare too, but it's worth keeping in mind. A lot of experienced players were dying here with Noldors.
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
  • Monsters scared from the level yield a (little) experience
[Part of the reason I care so much about this is that Sil is quite delicately balanced in terms of the pools of experience points available, and a modest change in the amount of experience available can have a surprisingly large affect on difficulty.]
I don't 100% like the implementation either but am not convinced it's worth scumming. I'm pretty good at collecting broken levels of XP. The time to scum this is potentially losing more then you gain. My main trick for breaking the XP pool is to stack a couple of levels of danger & dive as hard & as fast as you can (obviously this is risky). Possibly you can scum vampire lords & the like, I've never bothered to try. There are easier ways to break the XP curve.
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
  • Gorged status gone - you can overeat without losing the ability to eat more
This is a tradeoff of realism-seeming against avoiding really annoying seeming downsides for the player. I don’t have a strong view either way. [I do have some feeling that things like this contribute to the erosion of the hunger clock as a significant mechanic in Sil. Maybe it should eventually be removed, I’m not sure. I certainly used to lose characters to starvation and don’t anymore.]
Gorged is & has always been one of the most horribly bad mechanics in every angband variant (Obviously my opinion). If you're ready to face Morgoth the last thing you want to do is go through a heap of busy work emptying your stomach. It's slowing the game down at a moment that should feel dramatic.

I too had food issues as a beginner. That still works for those learning the game (a beginner is probably better at answering whether that's good or bad). I think it still works as a slot filler & limit on how much hunger gear you can wear. Mostly I'm neutral on hunger clocks. I'm not neutral on Gorged & never heard of anyone liking them outside of 1 player who recently posted in the vanilla thread on hunger. I'm sure you can find the thread if you want an alternative opinion.
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
  • Traps easier to detect and disarm
This might be alright, but I notice I’m worried about it. I think traps throwing players into unexpected and difficult circumstances provide some of the most exciting moments in the game. If it’s too easy to opt out of the dealing-with-traps game, people will do that, and then the game will be less interesting.
I didn't mind the old traps but I'm in the minority. I did dislike lugging chests around till I found a freedom staff & I certainly disliked getting caught by rooms where you couldn't find the secret door, ever, no matter how many times you hit search....
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
I initially felt confused and like things were mispriced. After exploring more and trying to break things I felt less sure. e.g. slays and damage sides on weapons seem very cheap and good value, but perhaps that’s OK because it makes Weaponsmith more attractive?
For the most part I find smithing better balanced. Which is to say it's not but it never was & has always been a hard ask to get right. Previously it wasn't worth the investment to go low smithing, only to replace 50-100' latter. Now you can usually get something that'll last you to 400' (& still ultimately be replaced).
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
Things that were particularly surprising to me:
  • Why is it so expensive to move a shortsword weight down to 1lb?
  • Why is it so cheap to increase protection on a hauberk (e.g. relative to a corslet), and one can do it twice?
I'll add my perspective on these 2:
Making weapons super light was usually a big deal for me in smithing something crazy good (particularly if you play str 1/dex 5 on a feanor)
Hauberk's are generally bad unless you can get 1 with high protection when all of a sudden they are crazy good (on the right character of course). Getting a good hauberk by the 1st forge used to be pretty strong. I prefer the feeling of starting with mail then upgrading to a hauberk if I'm going for super heavy.
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