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Old June 5, 2008, 20:53   #1
Mangojuice
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Question Zangband revival?

Hey all -- I'm new on the forums but a long time roguelike fan, but Zangband has always had a special place in my heart because it has rich and interesting gameplay. Unfortunately there were a bunch of things that bugged me about the game too. So, since I do have experience programming in C, I decided to try my hand at hacking it and I've gotten to the point where I understand the code pretty well. So I'm working on a new version, which I suppose I might have to give a new name to since I'm not an "official" developer. But anyway, I have a lot of ideas of my own but I wanted to get feedback from other people. What do you like about Z? What do you hate? What would be on your wishlist for a great variant?

To give you a brief list of things I'm working on:
- Try to balance random artifacts so they don't accidentally get too powerful
- Fix monster summoning so it's worthwhile
- Squelch command
- A wider range of play options, for a more flexible game
- Avoid those huge annoying "lake" levels
- Balance towns and stores more

I'd love to hear and debate your thoughts!
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Old June 5, 2008, 21:15   #2
Bandobras
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I presume you hack 2.7.5pre1? I liked 2.2.*, but it was not replayable enough and too unbalanced, so I was very excited about the approach of 2.6 and 2.7 and very sorry it died (repeatedly). Apart of finishing the new features in 2.6--2.7 and apart of balancing the outcome, there is also lots of goodies to be stolen from other variants (e.g. UI stuff) and of course your personal vision. Good luck!

P.S. I wonder if it would be possible for you to just create a branch at the Z SourceForge project SVN and hack there?
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Old June 5, 2008, 21:22   #3
Mangojuice
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Yes, hacking 2.7.5pre1. I'll look into the SVN thing... this started as hacking for personal use so I haven't really thought much about things like distribution and my variant's official status. Any particular UI things I should look for? I must admit, I haven't explored variants much beyond Z and vanilla.
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Old June 5, 2008, 22:39   #4
Citybob
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I loved the old TK version but I haven't played later Z- but ,yes, lake levels...and 'rubble' levels, very annoying.
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Old June 5, 2008, 22:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
Yes, hacking 2.7.5pre1. I'll look into the SVN thing... this started as hacking for personal use so I haven't really thought much about things like distribution and my variant's official status.
It might be worth trying to contact the existing devs (I think they should be listed at SourceForge) - maybe your changes should be going into regular Z.
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Old June 6, 2008, 09:03   #6
AR_chie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
[...] but Zangband has always had a special place in my heart because it has rich and interesting gameplay.
[...]
To give you a brief list of things I'm working on:
- Try to balance random artifacts so they don't accidentally get too powerful
- Fix monster summoning so it's worthwhile
- Squelch command
- A wider range of play options, for a more flexible game
- Avoid those huge annoying "lake" levels
- Balance towns and stores more

I'd love to hear and debate your thoughts!
There are more Z-fans, than you think (sic!) and that message pleased me
Unfortunatelly Z gets so many variants which dissolve fans beetween them.

I.e. I prefer 2.7.2 with branding patch, and no wilderness with boring quest.
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Old June 6, 2008, 10:34   #7
uberbacon
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Sounds interesting! I play 2.2.8 myself, so I'd have to download the newest version and have a look at what can be changed.

Just a note: Occasionally getting too powerful artifacts sounds random, just how random artifacts are supposed to be. Why else would you wish for them through the game? As long as they are really really rare, it just adds spice to the replay value!
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Old June 6, 2008, 13:40   #8
Mangojuice
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Originally Posted by uberbacon View Post
Just a note: Occasionally getting too powerful artifacts sounds random, just how random artifacts are supposed to be. Why else would you wish for them through the game? As long as they are really really rare, it just adds spice to the replay value!
Well, part of it has to do with a feeling that the rare resists should be a little ... rarer. Another part of it is that I think the game should be more deliberate about giving out the power, and not do it by mistake. Also, really powerful artifacts sometimes come with negative abilities to balance things, and I wanted to see that more consistently applied to artifacts that have extreme levels of power.

Also, I want to see ego items be a bit more competitive with artifacts. I'm powering some of them up; the idea is that artifacts should be more stranger than vastly better.
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Old June 6, 2008, 13:52   #9
Lebannen
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Would be awesome to see zAngband get balanced

The wilderness is still a little... untuned. In a way it's far too easy to townscum by running in between different towns to find overpowered randarts*, and in a ways it's all far too susceptible to sudden death. A radius of risk and reward running out from the starting town would be good...

The initial dungeon can also be quite frustrating with the current themes (is it sewer? It's been a while...), but finding a slightly-tougher one can also be very risky.

Rings of fate are wonderful, but oh so overpowered

It would be interesting to contact the previous Z developers (if you can!) and try to find out the intended direction of the changes. There were so many of them, there must have been a large goal

* I do think randarts can be far too powerful at the moment - they're often better than the preset artifacts. There's a fine balance between allowing variation in the endgame - it's a *wonderful* thing if the final equipment can vary significantly from game to game - and having randarts rendering Artifacts useless.
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Old June 7, 2008, 03:56   #10
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Hehe, seems like way too much changed over the years.. feels like completely different variants (old Z vs new Z)

Personally I disagree about boosting ego items, some of them are stronger than many artifacts already. There's a lot of crap artifacts out there... Regardless, getting that {special} feeling about an item feels sooo much better than the {excellent} you just throw away after a while anyways. Do you want to take away the feeling over the {special} like that? Just like stealing candy from kids!

I say: Let artifacts be artifacts (best stuff you can get!) and ego-items be ego-items (not as good as artifacts)! Perhaps it's just as wise to make both fixed artifacts and random artifacts much more rare for a little balance gain?
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