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Old September 13, 2012, 15:11   #1
Mikko Lehtinen
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Halls of Mist is here (now at 1.2.3)

Halls of Mist was first released here on oook on September 13. Thanks to the help I received from the folks here, I was able to update to a more polished version 1.2.1 before announcing the game on ARRP 2012 on September 16! The biggest change is that the internal help files are now up-to-date.

The download links, except for OS X executables, have been updated to latest version. (Bugfix releases 1.2.2 and 1.2.2b. Version 1.2.3 has also some important new features besides general polishing.)

Download Halls of Mist here:
Halls of Mist is a successor to my earlier roguelike FayAngband, which was based on Eytan Zweig's EyAngband. If you are interested in the history of FayAngband, you may also want to read the release announcement for version 1.1 which had big changes.

I'm not even trying to make a changes list. It's easier to just treat this a new game.

The game is set in a brand new world, and has had a complete gameplay overhaul.

What hasn't changed from FayAngband are my design goals:
  • Halls of Mist should not reward slow playing. Instead, it should reward good tactics, and taking calculated risks.
  • Make the gameplay faster. Remove unnecessary tedium.
  • Characters should be different from each other. All character classes should have their distinct personality, and all stats should be important for all classes.

Well, maybe with Halls of Mist I have added a fourth design goal to the list:
  • The dungeon should feel like a real, mythical place in a fantasy world. Every dungeon level should feel unique and bring different challenges and opportunities to the player.

Eventually www.mikkolehtinen.net/mist will be the game's web page. For now it just holds the old development blog.

My biggest influences when developing Halls of Mist were David Bowie's persona The Thin White Duke, Andrew Doull's UnAngband, the forgotten classic Kamband, and listening to the Roguelike Radio. (Thanks to the RR I don't have to spend years playing all the great roguelike games myself! Stealing good ideas has never been this easy.) I've stolen some code and ideas from Angband, Sangband, and NPPAngband. My own code is pretty ugly since I've learned everything I know about C by reading Angband's source code.

Here's a collection of documentation posts to get you started. Most of the info here is also available in the internal help system. But if you want to find out what's new in Halls of Mist compared to my older variant FayAngband, these links may give you a better picture. The documentation is my Achilles' heel at the moment -- I have plans for a pretty pdf manual written from scratch.

Flavour
The flavour behind the stairs mechanic. "It takes a week to travel between dungeon levels?"

Attributes and skills
The stats are the heart of the game. They can be divided into physical stats and mental stats.

Skills are divided into primary and specialist skills. Skill checks are mostly unmodified percentage rolls, like all skill checks for Alchemy, Jumping, Navigation, Saving Throw, and Perception. (Some extra information on Perception, secret doors and warding runes.)

Proficiencies are special abilities derived from your MEM+WIS, race, and level. (Here's some design philosophy behind mechanics that use MEM+WIS.) If you're still scratching your head, read Lore for Dummies.

Weird magicks!
Alchemical Circles: a riddle, an explanation, and a complete list of all seven circles. Ritual Magic uses circles, too (some more info).

You may sacrifice ego items or artifacts on altars to gain temporary or permanent blessings. (In the future, ego items will become "rare" items.) And here's the design philosophy behind the deity system.

Strategy
Up-to-date combat rules.

Even the town is now dangerous. You get wounded below 0 HP.

Torches are now interesting.

Read the tiny strategy guides if you want to triumph in Halls of Mist.

Watch out for summoners! (The mechanic will change to this in future versions.)

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; October 5, 2012 at 14:43.
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Old September 13, 2012, 20:53   #2
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Too many changes for a changes list. Here's some that weren't mentioned in the documentation posts:
  • Dungeon generation will surprise you. The look is genuinely different, and not just because of the new dungeon features.
  • All boring magic items removed. Tens of interesting magic items added!
  • Lots of new ego item types, too!
  • All town spell books redone, with lots of new or rebalanced spells. Again, boring spells removed or changed. Different monsters will be easy or problematic for Fire and Frost mages.
  • You tend to encounter monsters in heterogenous groups, which makes battles more interesting tactically. More empty rooms to compensate.
  • Interesting terrain features tend to have thematically appropriate monsters nearby. Battlegrounds are often tactically interesting, and you can predict much about monsters if you learn about dungeon features.
  • Less item drops but they are generally much more interesting. For example, more ego items, potions and scrolls come in stacks.
  • No food, no mining, less but more challenging enemies... Lots of effort spent on reducing tedium and making gameplay faster! Spend your playing time making interesting tactical decisions instead.
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Old September 13, 2012, 23:58   #3
HugoTheGreat2011
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pav needs to add a Halls of Mist ladder! I am liking the new touches. The only problem was this...as soon as I entered the dungeon, my character got perplexed and never recovered from it, such that I had no clue what to do!!

Also, the name of the Windows app is still angband.exe. I was wondering if you would change it to hallsofmist.exe or just mist.exe.

Last edited by HugoTheGreat2011; September 14, 2012 at 02:37.
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Old September 14, 2012, 00:05   #4
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Hehe. Yeah, there are stories about adventurers who see horrible visions in the blue mist and lose their mind... They say carrying a bright torch would help.
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Old September 14, 2012, 00:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
Hehe. Yeah, there are stories about adventurers who see horrible visions in the blue mist and lose their mind... They say carrying a bright torch would help.
Good hint. I'll try again. By the way, the Halls of Mist dumps are not uploadable on this ladder...until further notice from you or pav.
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Old September 14, 2012, 00:53   #6
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The help files still mention FayAngband, for instance in the description for Humans...

edit: heck, the main help menu mentions *Ey*Angband!
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Old September 14, 2012, 00:58   #7
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Also, did you leave the attack/got-hit messages in debug mode? It just says "Hit. Hit. Hit. Ouch." Or was that intentional to save on spam?

edit: relatedly, message recall doesn't seem to work for these messages I got fighting a novice mage in town...
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Old September 14, 2012, 03:27   #8
Mikko Lehtinen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekolis View Post
The help files still mention FayAngband, for instance in the description for Humans...

edit: heck, the main help menu mentions *Ey*Angband!
Yes. I'm rewriting everything at some point. I think pdf manual is the way to go. I'm not sure what to do with internal help... Remove it totally? Only show commands and map legend?
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Old September 14, 2012, 03:36   #9
Mikko Lehtinen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekolis View Post
Also, did you leave the attack/got-hit messages in debug mode? It just says "Hit. Hit. Hit. Ouch." Or was that intentional to save on spam?

edit: relatedly, message recall doesn't seem to work for these messages I got fighting a novice mage in town...
Ah, important and probably controversial change. It's intentional. Spam got too annoying since you can now attack two monsters in melee every turn! (Did you try it? It's at best when you stand on a table, and dodge 2/5 of melee attacks because of high ground.)

The system tries to show the name of the monster when it's necessary, for example for monster special attacks. For losing hp, I figured "ouch" is enough.
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:26   #10
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Mikko, should I wait until you release elsewhere to draft a news item, or should I do that as soon as I get the chance? (probably tomorrow evening)

edit: actually this is a dumb question. By the time I draft something and send it to you for approval, and then send it to pav to post, it will almost certainly be after you've released it elsewhere due to time zone shenanigans. So I'll draft a news item tomorrow. Now for the impossible task of picking the most salient features to mention!

Last edited by fizzix; September 14, 2012 at 05:32.
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