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Old August 13, 2018, 15:02   #1
Carg
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list of bugs and wishes

As a long time nethack, moria, angband etc. player (> 30 years), I recently picked up Angband again, and really enjoy the changes since last time I played (2 series).
Trying to contribute, I started collecting bugs and wishes, and here they are.
version: vanilla Angband 4.1.2 / 4.1.3
System: desktop PC with Windows 10-64, AMD video card with resolution 1680x1050.
Using Shockbolt tiles with 4x4 multiplier, no 'nice graphics', default terms, but added term 6 with map view.

01 - map view (in term6) often doesn't refresh correctly: you can see your own character in there a lot of times, and sometimes remains are left of beam/cone attacks. CTRL-R corrects the errors. Apparently erasing changes from the previous turn is imperfect.

02 - outdated dungeon.txt:
* "Each level has at least one up staircase and at least two down staircases. There are no exceptions to this rule." Level 99, 100 and 127 are, I believe, exceptions. But several types of special map levels might not have 2 downstairs either. Notably a maze level always seems to have exactly 1 up and one down stairs.
* The whole file also is based in the character interface, ignoring tiles.
* It also contains a strange label: ".. |'D'isarm| replace:: 'D'\isarm"

03 - weapon damage calculation: if the blows per round is not a whole number, but say 3.8, you get 3 blows every round, never 4. But the calculation for the weapon view does count the fraction, resulting in too high dam/rnd values.

04 - with the Shockbolt tiles I still don't see any difference between passable and impassable rubble in 4.1.3.

05 - if there is a bunch of monsters, I am often in a corridor get only one attacking me, resting until the next one steps in. Their drops are piling gradually, and when there is more than one item under me, the screen gets redrawn every time because it displays the list of items under me. I wish there was at least one wait command key (of the '5', ',' and '.') that I can use to rest without picking up.

06 - why are elementals, esp. Pukelman resistant to all attacks except the one they are using themselves (acid)? That seems illogical.

07 - changing the font to a larger size does not increase the space a letter gets, so they get truncated

08 - resolve naming inconsistency wirh wands and rods by renaming staff of light to staff of illumination

09 - why does @m1 inscription work, but not @p1?

10 - Wish: display monster level in monster memory (esp. with uniques). If there is not enough room, I wouldn't mind the monster symbol being removed - I assume most users use tiles by now anyway.

11 - Wish: change options permanently (e.g. I like show_damage) - e.g. save set like exporting autoinscribe. Every time I start a new character (I like playing several in parallel) it is off again.

12 - show_damage should not only show weapon damage, but also spell damage

13 - treasure balance seems off: too many weapons compared to armor pieces (you need 6 armor pieces compared to 1 weapon, so it would seem better if they occur 6x as often too, but they seem to have similar occurences currently). For artifacts my high level mage has found 25 weapons, 4 shooters, 28 armor and 4 miscellaneous (light, ring, amulet).

14 - There seems to be something off with the generation of elemental rings (fire, acid, cold and lightning). According to the generated spoiler (obj-desc.spo) from 4.1.2 they are level 50, but I seem to find them regularly from around level 20. That seems a bit overpowered, considering their protection similar to rings of protection but also offer a big amount of area damage regularly, AND temp. elemental resistance.

15 - Amulets of resistance are way too high level for their worth: since most artifact armors, shields, and even many ego armors, shields and cloaks offer the same elemental resistances, by the time you reach level 60 no one is ever going to need them. 10 levels later than resist acid en lightning, so 20, seems more appropriate. Or perhaps it should have 1 or 2 random extra resistances?

16 - in principle it is a good thing that slow digestion is powered up, but still there is so much food found in the dungeon, not to mention loads of satisfy hunger scrolls, that even a half-troll warrior is unlikely to sacrifice a ring or amulet slot for it. Perhaps the ring and amulet should have some minor extra power, like slow poison?

17 - spell failure chances seem higher than the spellbook mentions. I tested this with a 21st level mage with listed spell failure of 4% on detect monsters, with no negative effects present as far as I could see. I cast it in total 335 times in a row, and had 26 failures, which amounts to more than 7% - almost twice as much as listed.

18 - stores will not accept unidentified armor, not even for free. (I had a robe [2,+2] {??} that wasn't accepted until I happened to find out the rune in another way. It was resist fire.) I think they should, just like unidentified negative potions, scrolls, wands, etc. are bought. This is also contrary to the description in dungeon.txt. Weapons that are partially unknown and contain a curse are also unsellable.

19 - Why don't shops have consecutive letters for their inventory? It is confusing and I don't see a use.
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Old August 13, 2018, 15:45   #2
Derakon
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Hey, thanks for the feedback and bug reports! I've responded to a few of them below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carg View Post
* The whole file also is based in the character interface, ignoring tiles.
It's not exactly clear how documentation could make use of tiles instead of text, in any event, tiles are not the assumed default UI for a lot of things (including e.g. the Banish prompt).

Quote:
03 - weapon damage calculation: if the blows per round is not a whole number, but say 3.8, you get 3 blows every round, never 4. But the calculation for the weapon view does count the fraction, resulting in too high dam/rnd values.
This is something that could absolutely be explained better, but when you have 3.8 blows per round, what you get is 3 blows performed in slightly less than one turn's worth of time (specifically, 3/3.8 turns). So you do get to attack faster, or alternately, your enemy is less likely to get a turn in between your attacks.

Quote:
06 - why are elementals, esp. Pukelman resistant to all attacks except the one they are using themselves (acid)? That seems illogical.
Pukelmen are golems, not elementals. All elementals, as far as I'm aware, are strong against their own elements. Golems tend to be weak to acid and strong against everything else. Maybe pukelmen should have different vulnerabilities, but they should have some element they aren't strong against or else mages will be sad.

Quote:
09 - why does @m1 inscription work, but not @p1?
Probably because the 'p' command is mapped to 'm' internally, so 'p' is not a "real" command. But yeah, this is weird and should be fixed.

Quote:
10 - Wish: display monster level in monster memory (esp. with uniques). If there is not enough room, I wouldn't mind the monster symbol being removed - I assume most users use tiles by now anyway.
Probably not a safe assumption. But to be clear, you're saying that you want the monster level to show up in the one-line description of the monster, right? Their level already shows up in the full monster memory; it's the depth the monster normally appears at. So e.g. Morgoth is level 100.

Quote:
14 - There seems to be something off with the generation of elemental rings (fire, acid, cold and lightning). According to the generated spoiler (obj-desc.spo) from 4.1.2 they are level 50, but I seem to find them regularly from around level 20. That seems a bit overpowered, considering their protection similar to rings of protection but also offer a big amount of area damage regularly, AND temp. elemental resistance.
I don't know why the spoiler says they're level 50; they're really not that great. Rings of Protection are pretty bad rings, and while the activation is quite nice it's not competitive with the kinds of rings you'd normally be playing with by level 50. Specifically, big stat rings and Rings of Damage easily out-compete them.

Quote:
17 - spell failure chances seem higher than the spellbook mentions. I tested this with a 21st level mage with listed spell failure of 4% on detect monsters, with no negative effects present as far as I could see. I cast it in total 335 times in a row, and had 26 failures, which amounts to more than 7% - almost twice as much as listed.
Interesting, that's the first time I've seen someone gather statistics that weren't closely in-line with the listed numbers! People often complain about spells failing too often, but in the past every time someone's collected stats they've been within a percentage point of what the game says.
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Old August 13, 2018, 17:01   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.
A few remarks:
02 - I think the file should at least mention something the symbols are replaced with tiles if you use those.
03 - OK, thanks for the explanation. I have never noticed that with unmodified speed and 3.8 blows, I sometimes get an extra turn against other monsters with the same speed.
06 - sorry, you're right. I mixed it up since earth elementals have the same issue. Silent watchers are also only vulnerable to acid, but do not do acid attacks. I agree they should have at least one vulnerability; e.g. gelatinous cubes are a horror for mages.
10 - yes, if you show the monster level in the overviews, you can quickly find which to expect on the level you are at. Opening the full recall is rather cumbersome for that.
14 - I read the description in object.txt, and now assume that the spoiler lists the property: depth ('strength' of the item), and not the alloc min (dungeon) level. Perhaps this could be made clearer in the spoiler. (I would prefer to see the min dungeon level in the spoiler rather than a subjective strength.) Perhaps rings of protection could have higher armor increase then if they are underpowered, making them more balanced with the elemental rings.
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Old August 13, 2018, 21:20   #4
Adam
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Talking about wishes - I have something which bothers me in the user interface.
I use the default layout, it's mostly fine for my needs.
It would be nice if we had a maximize/restore button on the terminal windows.
If one of them has too much information, i need to manually enlarge, then resize it again (usually not succeeding in positioning perfectly).
Also sometimes the displayed information could be improved in content and order.
As an example here is a screenshot:
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=r1dbeo&s=9#.W3Hk4bhx2M8

What do I see in the object inspection window?
Item name and who dropped it, fine.
But then combat info with 5 lines of text which is not really useful, it would be more important to see what damage it would do with my current setup.
Additionally all lines are duplicated which is a waste of space.
With +x STR and +y DEX you would attack a bit faster.
With +x STR and +y DEX you would get 1.1 blows.
These 2 messages could merged into one. Or just have the second one which is more meaningful. Surely if currently I would have 1.0 blows and with more STR/DEX I would have 1.1 it means I would attack a bit faster.

Btw I just upgraded from 4.0.3 to 4.1.3 and really like the changes so far, thanks for them
Rune ID is interesting and nice, but ID when walking over is really super.
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Old August 14, 2018, 13:56   #5
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Re the strange label in 02: I assume you are seeing this when opening the .txt file with a text editor. The doc files are written in RST (restructured text), a Markdown-like format that is used (for instance) in Python documentation. The game includes a parser that can display the files correctly in the online help, and you can compile it to HTML or PDF with "make manual", but when you open the .txt file directly you see some of these strange artifacts (though the file is mostly readable).
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Old August 14, 2018, 14:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carg View Post
Perhaps rings of protection could have higher armor increase then if they are underpowered, making them more balanced with the elemental rings.
Some history here. AC in angband has never been great. Last quick fix was doubling armour & making it super cheap. It failed to fix the issue & my warrior just pounded Morgoth with too much AC (here AC is king). AC could be fixed with radical rebalance. Not easy and requires hard changes to core gameplay (like teleports). I'd say the history of fudge fixing made this worse. More band aids is probably a bad idea. You either get your hands dirty trying to rip out the guts of the problem or avoid making it worse. At least in my opinion.
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Old August 14, 2018, 15:13   #7
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Maybe AC in general should be more useful, like giving some protection against some attacks, say force, shards, and/or stunning for example?
The rings of protection could grant a random resistance also, to make them more useful.
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Old August 15, 2018, 01:27   #8
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Yes, rings of protection are among the weakest items in the game. They're supposed to be. They're among the gear that you can buy from the magic shop for a few hundred gold. That sort of equipment is intended to be nothing more than a way to fill slots until you find something more useful in the dungeon.

A case can be made for reworking the whole armor system, but if we're not doing that, there is no reason to change the protection rings.
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Old August 15, 2018, 09:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mondkalb View Post
Maybe AC in general should be more useful, like giving some protection against some attacks, say force, shards, and/or stunning for example?
The rings of protection could grant a random resistance also, to make them more useful.
Just thinking aloud, but perhaps the AC thing essentially being another inout to the to-hit calculation isn't a good fit.

Perhaps to-hit should be simply 'have you been hit at all' so a function of the stats of the hitter together with the to-hit values of the weapon.

Then if that hits, AC would soak up some or all of the damage. Maybe some armour could be better against different attacks

Just an idea that might make it actually useful to get a good AC
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Old August 27, 2018, 14:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carg View Post
07 - changing the font to a larger size does not increase the space a letter gets, so they get truncated
You need to adjust the space used to show characters as well (which would be realy handy if the program would calculate that automatically and update the screen after you have choosen a new font size. There is only 1 font size size per window possible. )

You adjust the screen size (per character) for the main window with the window menu option "Term 0 Font Tile Size" => "Font".

Remark: THAT is ONLY POSSIBLE after character creation in game mode. It is not possible while the start up screen is shown!

For windows 1 to 9 you have to do that manually (*sigh*).
Use the four window menu options "Increase/Decrease Window Tile Width/Height".

For example i am using Win7 system and the standard font size is 8x12 points. If i change that to the more eye friendly size of 10x14
i need to use 2x Increase Tile Width and 2x Increase Tile Height for each subwindow i change the font in.

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12 - show_damage should not only show weapon damage, but also spell damage
+1 from me for that wish!

Since spells can hit more than one target (beam or ball attacks or breath attacks) you could solve that by either
(a) show the damage for each monster damaged (could be spammy)
(b) show only the damage for the targeted monster (if no target, the 1st monster damaged).
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Last edited by Tibarius; August 27, 2018 at 14:44.
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