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Old June 24, 2012, 05:02   #1
Oramin
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A Few Questions/Observations From an Old Player

Hey folks,

I just recently started playing again. I've played versions as far back as, hmm, 1995 or so.

Anyway, here we go:

1. I just got a vault which has both Huan and Carcharoth in it. I don't suppose the AI allows me to get these two to start fighting each other? Considering Gabriel ignores Ringwraiths, I'm betting not.

2. Is it my imagination or has the number of item slots in the house gone down drastically? As I recall, there used to be two screens, now there's only one. Last version I played prior to 3.3.2 was around 2005 so it has been awhile.

3. I read some comments on the forum about how everybody has the same endgame gear. The last time I swapped gear out, I ended up having to switch 5 items. If you severely limit choices (i.e. storage space), everybody is going to go for the same items instead of looking for interesting combinations.

4. Similarly, if the quiver is overpowered at 99 arrows (nice idea, btw, it hadn't been implemented in previous versions), why not increase the number of house slots so people can store consumables in it?

5. I'm currently playing a Dwarf Priest since a bunch of posts indicated that was a popular character. The previous one was a level 35 High Elf Ranger with over 500 HP that was insta-killed by a random respawn of an Ancient Multi-Hued Dragon (Poison Breath) on level 35 before I had a chance to react. Note that I hadn't even *seen* an Ancient Dragon prior to that point and that the character had a high Stealth which was made useless by the out of depth respawn automatically being awake.

(Yes, I could have been constantly recasting Resistance since I hadn't found a source of Poison Resistance, but I wasn't expecting such a low probability sequence of events.)

6. Why are weaker creatures able to Summon tougher creatures? Not just 1 tougher, but lots of tougher ones? I understand 3.4 already has the features finalized but, seriously, tone down the Summons. It make little to no sense for a Greater Demon to Summon Demon (i.e. 1 Lesser Demon) and Summon Greater Demons (i.e. a *bunch* of Greater Demons). That should be reversed unless the Greater Demons are the wimpy I through IV types.

7. I read somewhere that people don't like that *Destruction* can be used to deal with Morgoth's summons. I tested it out on Maeglin and he went away as well. Has this already been tweaked so that if I use *Destruction* on Morgoth, I'll just have to start over? If so, fine, I'll try to stock up on Mass Banishment scrolls before heading down (Hint: all you're doing is taking away play options).

8. Certain monsters seem to have extraordinary luck in destroying my potions, etc. Is this just luck or are some monsters given really good chances? One Gelugon was trashing potions on every attack round.

9. Why do I have to equip the appropriate ranged weapon before seeing the chance of the ammo breaking?

I think that hits the high points. Thanks in advance for your answers and thanks to the developers for maintaining a great game.

P.S.

Oh, I also found a Sling of Buckland and Mithril Shots of Holy Might. When I can do 1000 pts of damage a round (3 shots) with that combo, I can understand why people are saying ranged weapons are overpowered. I'm saving it for the big "M".
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Old June 24, 2012, 06:07   #2
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oramin View Post
Hey folks,

I just recently started playing again. I've played versions as far back as, hmm, 1995 or so.
Welcome back! And thanks for posting your feedback. It's always helpful.

Quote:
1. I just got a vault which has both Huan and Carcharoth in it. I don't suppose the AI allows me to get these two to start fighting each other? Considering Gabriel ignores Ringwraiths, I'm betting not.
Vanilla doesn't have any kind of monster factions, sadly. It's everyone vs. the player.

Quote:
2. Is it my imagination or has the number of item slots in the house gone down drastically? As I recall, there used to be two screens, now there's only one. Last version I played prior to 3.3.2 was around 2005 so it has been awhile.
I believe you're right -- the current capacity of the home is 24 items, and previously I think it was two pages that each went to 'v' (thus, 42 items). Anyone know why this happened? It doesn't really seem necessary. In fact I think we could reasonably say that the home should have unlimited space.

Quote:
5. I'm currently playing a Dwarf Priest since a bunch of posts indicated that was a popular character. The previous one was a level 35 High Elf Ranger with over 500 HP that was insta-killed by a random respawn of an Ancient Multi-Hued Dragon (Poison Breath) on level 35 before I had a chance to react. Note that I hadn't even *seen* an Ancient Dragon prior to that point and that the character had a high Stealth which was made useless by the out of depth respawn automatically being awake.

(Yes, I could have been constantly recasting Resistance since I hadn't found a source of Poison Resistance, but I wasn't expecting such a low probability sequence of events.)
Monster Detection is your friend. You should be casting it regularly so you can see enemies before they get into line of sight. I'll grant that's not a guarantee that you'll spot the enemy before he nails you, but it vastly improves your odds.

Otherwise, consider this encouragement to not linger on levels too long.

Quote:
6. Why are weaker creatures able to Summon tougher creatures? Not just 1 tougher, but lots of tougher ones? I understand 3.4 already has the features finalized but, seriously, tone down the Summons. It make little to no sense for a Greater Demon to Summon Demon (i.e. 1 Lesser Demon) and Summon Greater Demons (i.e. a *bunch* of Greater Demons). That should be reversed unless the Greater Demons are the wimpy I through IV types.
This has always been the case, but I believe fizzix has some ideas he wants to implement to make summons a bit more plausible.

Quote:
7. I read somewhere that people don't like that *Destruction* can be used to deal with Morgoth's summons. I tested it out on Maeglin and he went away as well. Has this already been tweaked so that if I use *Destruction* on Morgoth, I'll just have to start over? If so, fine, I'll try to stock up on Mass Banishment scrolls before heading down (Hint: all you're doing is taking away play options).
Destruction will remove Morgoth from the level, just like any other monster. However, you can teleport him away before Destructing and thereby take out everything he's summoned without removing him himself. This is a reliable technique, but I hesitate to call it cheesy; if it weren't for the forums teaching everyone to do it, I doubt it would be anywhere near as widespread as it is.

Personally I don't think that Destruction needs to be nerfed. If you think it's cheesy then don't use it.

Quote:
8. Certain monsters seem to have extraordinary luck in destroying my potions, etc. Is this just luck or are some monsters given really good chances? One Gelugon was trashing potions on every attack round.
Hm, this seems to have changed recently, so it depends on what version you're using. It looks like as of the most recent version, elemental attacks now once again have a flat 3% chance of destroying any eligible item in your inventory, regardless of how much damage is done or whether or not you have resistance. Previously the chance was 1% for damage under 30HP, 2% for damage under 60HP, or 3% otherwise, with the damage being after resistances are applied.

So yes, inventory damage is more brutal now. Though, if the last time you played was before...what was it, Magnate, 3.1.2?...then it would've been the same HP breakpoints, but prior to resists being applied (i.e. resistance didn't protect your inventory any).

Still, I consider this a bug. Resistance should help protect your inventory, and as far as I can tell currently it does not.

In any event, there's no monster dependency. Gelugons are breaking all your potions because they have three cold-based attacks per round, move very quickly, and are high enough level that they can hit you reliably.

Quote:
9. Why do I have to equip the appropriate ranged weapon before seeing the chance of the ammo breaking?
Presumably all stats on ammo are hidden unless you have the appropriate launcher because some of them require the launcher before they can be calculated (specifically, the damage done). But of course breakage chance is not one of these.

Quote:
Oh, I also found a Sling of Buckland and Mithril Shots of Holy Might. When I can do 1000 pts of damage a round (3 shots) with that combo, I can understand why people are saying ranged weapons are overpowered. I'm saving it for the big "M".
That's a powerful combination. Buckland slings are very rare for that reason.
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Old June 24, 2012, 06:35   #3
Oramin
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Actually, I had recently cast a detection spell, and I was just finishing off the level. Just bad luck that the first attack was a breath weapon that hit my resistance hole.

The respawning, though, seems to be very aggressive. If memory serves, one time I had recently left the starting room on a level. When I hit the detection limit, I cast a detection spell and there was already a new monster in the room.

If I remembered this correctly, this suggests that there's a percentage chance of a respawn from the instant you enter a level. It would seem to make more sense to delay the respawn timer until after a certain number of moves at which point you could either have a set percentage or an increasing percentage which resets on a respawn.
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Old June 30, 2012, 23:35   #4
Oramin
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A few follow up questions:

1. Is it my imagination or have Narya and Nenya been nerfed? I thought Narya was supposed to have Nether resistance. Also the (+x, +x) seems to be lower than the spoilers indicate.

2. I found Stormwalker and I'm wearing Dal-i-Thalion. Is it worth giving up my sole source of Nether resistance for Lightning Immunity and activate to Berserk? I'm on level 95, base Speed is about 28-30 and I've killed all Uniques other than Sauron and Morgoth. Still using a Dwarf Priest.

3. Morgoth isn't a Demon so does Annihilation work on him (or, for that matter, Sauron)?
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Old July 1, 2012, 01:35   #5
Derakon
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Dunno about Narya and Nenya.

Immunity to lightning is a situational ability. Sauron and Morgoth both have high-damaging nether attacks, so the resist would be helpful there, while I'm pretty sure they have no lightning-based attacks. So at least for those fights you won't want it (the activation is mildly helpful but not really significant). I'd say carry Stormwalker as a swap since it could be useful for a few fights, e.g. against blue dragon pits, but leave it at home for the endgame.

Annihilation works on everything that's alive, which IIRC is something like "all non-undead that are not vortices, elementals, or golems". Might be forgetting a category, but it's pretty intuitive. Sauron and Morgoth are both vulnerable; wands of Annihilation are a mage's best offense against them, assuming that mage avoids melee range (due to charge drain).
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Old July 1, 2012, 04:34   #6
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Summons are toned down a bit in v4 compared to previous versions. They're still pretty powerful though. Right now summoning power is based on the summoning monster and the level that the summon is from.

details
------------
The summon power is the product of the monster level and the current dungeon level. A summoned monster is given a power rating of its level squared. Monsters that normally come in groups get a discount and their power rating is divided by 16, which is roughly an average group size. If the sum of all summoned monster powers is more than the power of the summon spell no more monsters are summoned. So the first monster can be arbitrarily powerful, but you only get one of them.
------------

There's no reason that the summoning algorithm can't be tweaked further, and I would love suggestions about how to do this better.

Also for the record. I hate spawned monsters. I feel that the player should be able to actually clear a level. spawned monsters are too frequent and limit what a player can tactically do to keep the level terrain in their favor. At the very least, I don't see any reason that spawned monsters should be automatically awake.

There was once a patch that had an unlimited house. I played games with it. I agree that inventory slot management is fun, but house slot management is boring. Furthermore it's not friendly to the people who haven't memorized the ego and artifact list (nevermind new players).
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Old July 1, 2012, 06:49   #7
Oramin
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Derakon:

Thanks. I guess I'll stick with Dal-i-Thalion. I thought I had read that Annihilation doesn't work on Demons but apparently Morgoth isn't a Demon (they just work for him).



Fizzix:

As an example, I was just fighting a Pit Fiend when it summoned another Pit Fiend *and* about a dozen other Demons including, IIRC, a couple of Gelugons. With that number of additional monsters, I'm sure one of them is going to summon more and then we'll have a "doubling rice on each square of the chessboard" issue. In other words, I had to end the combat immediately.

Major Summoning should be reserved to Uniques or 'Q' creatures (since that is their primary threat).

As an example, a Pit Fiend should be able to summon either:

1. Another Pit Fiend or Greater Balrog.
2. A couple of Lesser Balrogs or Gelugons.
3. A bunch of wimpy Greater Demons up to 16 Vrocks.

Similarly, I was just fighting a Great Wyrm of Balance (on level 97) and it summoned a bunch of Great Wyrms. It should be able to summon either:

1. Another Great Wyrm which isn't one of the five basics.
2. A couple of (Fire, Cold, Acid, Lightning, Poison) Great Wyrms.
3. Perhaps up to a dozen of the ordinary Ancient Dragons.

I don't have a problem with Tselakus Summoning Ringwraiths (in part because I killed them all before I ran across him), but ordinary monsters shouldn't be able to do more than double up on themselves. No suggestions on how to implement it, though.
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Old July 1, 2012, 09:16   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
details
------------
The summon power is the product of the monster level and the current dungeon level. A summoned monster is given a power rating of its level squared. Monsters that normally come in groups get a discount and their power rating is divided by 16, which is roughly an average group size. If the sum of all summoned monster powers is more than the power of the summon spell no more monsters are summoned. So the first monster can be arbitrarily powerful, but you only get one of them.
------------
I like that, looks much better then the potentially exponential summoning in v3.3.2. Two questions, does each summoner keep track of their own summoned monsters or is this for total of summoned monsters on a level? Second, if I kill of the summons can he summon new monsters?

Just a note how others have resolved this issue.
ADOM uses a summoning hirarchy to address some of these problems. For example there are wolfs, werewolfs, werewolf lords, werewolf kings and werewolf emperors and each of these can only summon creatures of a lower level then themselves. So a lord can summon wolfs and werewolfs but nothing higher then that. That fixes most excesses of exponential growth in summoning but you still get a lot of creatures if you run into an emperor.
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Old July 1, 2012, 15:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oramin View Post

Fizzix:


As an example, a Pit Fiend should be able to summon either:

1. Another Pit Fiend or Greater Balrog.
2. A couple of Lesser Balrogs or Gelugons.
3. A bunch of wimpy Greater Demons up to 16 Vrocks.
We're a lot closer to that mechanic in 3.4 than in 3.3.2 It's still probably a little generous in allowing powerful summons but it's not nearly as bad. The only way to get a dozen gelugons is to summon one of the unique balrogs with their escorts. 3.4 doesn't allow escorts to come with summons (the unique is bad enough!) so the ridiculous summons are ruled out. It's still not perfect.

@quarague
the summoning power is calculated for each individual spell, so it only keeps track of summoned monsters for that spell. If the monster summons again in the next round of combat, it can pull in another high powered creature.

I thought about hierarchies, which is pretty easy. Only allow summoned monsters to be at or below the summoner's level. I'm not sure this is the best. But it probably has more to do with the way I associate summons, which is more like candlelight pentagrams and silly teens trying to summon powerful demons rather than a call for underlings to do your bidding. Regardless, either way can work for good gameplay.

One thing to realize is that there's a balance between player and monster. I often consider powerful spells like destruction, teleport other, banish evil, and banishment to be the players counter to monster summonses. You could also take the point of view that summonses are the counter for those powerful player spells. If you nerf summons so that 80% or more are handleable through normal combat, then you also need to nerf some of the player spells likewise.
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Old July 7, 2012, 19:11   #10
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Dunno about Narya and Nenya.

Immunity to lightning is a situational ability. Sauron and Morgoth both have high-damaging nether attacks,
Morgoth and Sauron have only nether ball. That's not very damaging, only 155 points average for Morgoth (one point less for Sauron). Excluding nether breath that's the most damaging nether attack (there is no nether storm) and nether breath isn't that common so nether isn't actually very damaging element (just very common).
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