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Old January 7, 2009, 21:49   #1
hillsc
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V vs V?

Here's my story. I played the original VMS/Pascal Moria (v4.something) way back in 1991. I soon discovered Angband, and played that quite a bit for the next couple years. It took me a good long while (and I cheated quite a bit: sorry, but I'm not competing with anyone but myself and frankly permadeath sucks) but I finally defeated Morgoth, and hung up my sword.

So here I am almost two decades later, and just happen to check in on Angband the day 3.0.1 beta is released. I've also noticed there are something like twenty-five active variants. Yowsa.

So my question is "V vs V"? If I were to start up again, do I go Vanilla or Variant? And if I wanted to try Variant is there an angband-variant.eharmony.com where I can match my personality to the perfect variant? I'm not sure I want to install and play 25 different games. How do others go about finding their Angband variant soul mate?
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Old January 7, 2009, 22:02   #2
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So my question is "V vs V"? If I were to start up again, do I go Vanilla or Variant?
Now that Vanilla is so modern, if only it had 4GAI, I'd surely start with Vanilla. As it is, I might choose NPP with quests turned off, which is quite close, but with 4GAI. IMHO, gameplay in both is quite improved compared to the old times (at least much less tedium in low to mid-level gameplay), but the flavour remains retro and simple, so it's a good start.

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And if I wanted to try Variant is there an angband-variant.eharmony.com where I can match my personality to the perfect variant?
Just attach your personality to subsequent post and we'll divine your perfect variant for you.
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Old January 7, 2009, 22:11   #3
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Does 4GAI make the monsters a lot harder or just more 'realistic'? Frankly, I could almost always count on monster dumbness to get me out of a tight situation. Not sure if I want to give that up.
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Old January 7, 2009, 22:14   #4
Donald Jonker
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IMO, each variant has something unique to offer and ought to at least be tried out for a few hours or so.

Good places to start (grouped thematically):
Vanilla
NPPAngband

Oangband
FAAngband

Z+Angband
Hengband/Entroband (basically the same)
ToME

Those are the sort of "mainstream" variants. From there, check out the more "out there" ones: Steamband, Unangband, Eyangbang, Hellband... really all of them are great - check the Variants tab here at oook and at the thangorodrim site. I've spent time in nearly all of them and don't regret a single minute.

You won't really know what you're looking for until you've sampled around a bit.
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Old January 7, 2009, 22:40   #5
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Just attach your personality to subsequent post and we'll divine your perfect variant for you.
He's not kidding. We really do that here.
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Old January 8, 2009, 07:22   #6
Bandobras
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Does 4GAI make the monsters a lot harder or just more 'realistic'?
I'd guess that usually the improved AI is countered by lower monster stats. But still you will die shallow and you will die rather of stupidity than of boredom or unforeseeable unavoidable death. Sages agree that shallow deaths do you good in you path of Angband enlightenment. That is also why save-scumming is discouraged and diving is recommended in young master's classes.
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Old January 8, 2009, 16:01   #7
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Whelp, after poking around a bit, I'm trying out NNPAngband. But, like Donald said, I really would like to (er, need to) spend some time with the other major variants.

I guess in that vein, are there any to avoid? Or are they all good, but just from different points of view?

My personality inventory: I don't want anything goofy, too offbeat, or anything Nethackish. I prefer traditional/tolkienesque themes. I don't mind playing a single game for months and months and months. As far as commercial games go, I really liked Morrowind. I like cheeseburgers and fries and long walks on the beach.

Er, sorry ... got a bit carried away there.
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Old January 8, 2009, 16:35   #8
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I'd advise, especially if you play Magic Spells users, the newest snapshots from:

http://www.assembla.com/spaces/NPPAngband/documents

This is also related to my geek rule of thumb about variants: only pick those updated in the last year. OTOH, this rules out such long lost wonderful pearls as MultiBand. But then, I'd probably feel very bad with the old UI and other long forgotten legacy annoyances in such an ancient artifact...

Nice personality, BTW. But so far it only rules out some wild (Jedi&Dragons) variants of TOME, I think. In other words, you have a very positively Angband personality, but that's not specific enough.
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Old January 8, 2009, 17:12   #9
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Now that Vanilla is so modern, if only it had 4GAI, I'd surely start with Vanilla.
... one day.
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Old January 8, 2009, 17:58   #10
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Is the 'released' column kept fairly up to date on the variant page?

http://angband.oook.cz/variants.php
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