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Old October 27, 2016, 09:50   #1
PowerDiver
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look at my dumps

I haven't submitted a dump in forever, but if you've never seen you ought to look. Go to
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-browse.php?e=PowerDiver
click on "updated" to get them in time order and browse from the top.

Read the comments. That's where the actual info is.

In particular, Fuial is my crowning achievement.
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Old October 27, 2016, 10:31   #2
Antoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
I haven't submitted a dump in forever, but if you've never seen you ought to look. Go to
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-browse.php?e=PowerDiver
click on "updated" to get them in time order and browse from the top.

Read the comments. That's where the actual info is.

In particular, Fuial is my crowning achievement.
Remind us why you left?
A.
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Old October 27, 2016, 20:19   #3
PowerDiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
Remind us why you left?
A.
I fought and fought and fought. To no avail. The game kept getting worse. The developers thought the insights of the best player in the history of the game were irrelevant. The thought the desires of newbs(*) were far more important. You know, ask the children if they want more sugar in their diet. They are the ones eating it after all.

V [by which I mean 3.0] deserved a champion, and I was the only one fighting for it, so I struggled on, alone, in an unending hopeless battle. I don't know how long I would have continued. I was already close to giving up. My involvement here was steadily diminishing.

Now this post gets *dark*. You are warned.

In April of 2012, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought and suffered, and died in January 2016 at the age of 53. You are not supposed to compare these things, but I do anyway, and I understate when I say her experience was worse than average among breast cancer victims, and I was along for the ride. We had no kids, together since college, she was my whole world.

Once she was diagnosed, I couldn't continue any activities that might make me more aggravated, so leaving here completely was automatic.


DO NOT EXPRESS SYMPATHY


Hopefully, you are incapable of understanding my situation, not even a tiny bit at all. Your words are meaningless, which shouldn't be a problem. However, everyone in my position has multiple stories of people who think they are being supportive saying things so hurtful the choices are flee or manslaughter. No upside, huge possible downside. Do not express sympathy to me. Do not try to be supportive. Do not mention any bright sides. There aren't any.

A month ago, I would not have been open to returning. I was spiraling towards doom. Some days, it seemed the only reason to get through the day was that it would be rude to die before my mother. One day I realized if I was going to survive I would have to reinvent myself. That was October 1, after midnight, maybe I should call it October 2. Luckily or unluckily for you guys, it was after that when someone from long ago politely asked me to return, so I did.

There's a fair chance I will become toxic to the community, but before I started posting I told Nick he should feel free to ask me at any time to leave and I will.

I've decided as a life choice to be frank and direct. Don't ask me any questions if you don't truly want the answers. I will not dissemble, and I have a lot of animosity towards people I think ruined a game I loved.

My wife would have said "Get over it, already." She'd tell me it was stupid to harbor grudges. However, I'm likely to be an angry, bitter, nasty person for quite a while longer. I have to re-edit every post. I set my first goal posting here to be "adequately polite", but that doesn't mean I'll succeed at it.


That's the short answer. Eventually I'll post the long answer. I hope it will be therapeutic to write. The unfinished outline is already longer than this post, so it may take a while.


(*) I know someone corrected me about "noobs", but in a world that changes word meanings all the time, I stick to the classics. That some person spelled something phonetically because they didn't make the connection to "newbie" is no reason for me to follow suit even if afterwards everyone piled on. It should be clear by now I'm not someone who follows the crowd.


In case you forgot already:

DO NOT EXPRESS SYMPATHY


OK, I won't be a complete nazi about this. You can make remarks and ask personal questions without fear I'll put you on ignore forever. But please keep the point in mind, and restrain yourselves. If you say something you realize is inane trying to be polite or civil or whatever, keep in mind it sounds 10 or even 100 times as inane from the other side.
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Old October 27, 2016, 20:44   #4
Derakon
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I just want to thank you for being honest and straightforward. We may not always see eye to eye, but it's only through disagreement that we can hash out the really difficult decisions, the ones where people may not even realize something is wrong.

For what it's worth, regarding the game I believe the general developer stance has been largely to try to remove things that were "no-brainers". All the talk about traps, to take one example, is because 99+% of the time, players just spam one of their sources of unlimited trap detection every so often and then play on as normal. "Removing trap detection" was an attempt to address this ritualistic formality, to replace it by meaningful choices. Of course it also changed the class balance because now warriors did not need to (indeed, could not) carry trap detection items, thus easing their inventory pressure. The aim was to get all of these "systemic rituals" thrown out, and then to address balance. We're midway through dealing with the rituals; balance hasn't really gotten a serious look yet.

3.0 was the culmination of a good 15 years or so worth of very subtle tweaks and refinements. I think it's entirely fair to consider it to be the peak of "old Angband", and I mean nothing derogatory about calling it "old". The problem we ran into was that we had nobody willing to maintain such a mature game without making their own tweaks to it. So instead we got maintainers who experimented. And as you note, balance is very easily disrupted, so those experiments rapidly "loosened" a balance that had been gradually tightened over the course of those 15 years.

I do believe that the framework underlying "new Angband" is better than the framework underlying "old Angband". Many systemic mechanical problems with the game have been corrected, making balance tweaks is easier, and the potential scope of those tweaks is far larger than it used to be. Not to mention major strides in the cleanliness of the code! What we need, once the current round of features is completed, is a serious look at the game balance -- where we are, where we used to be, where we want to be, and how to get there. You're absolutely right that we have erred on the side of making the game easier for almost every change in the past several versions (though at least we're nowhere near the brokenness that was 3.2). My hope is that what we come up with for Angband 4.0 is something that has an accessible "default difficulty" that is still tightly-designed, and has scope for being scaled via game options to anywhere from "easy enough for a young child" to "hard enough for Eddie".

(the above should not be taken as any kind of desire to lead or even necessarily participate in the balancing effort beyond as a member of the peanut gallery )
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Old October 27, 2016, 21:04   #5
Thraalbee
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Thanks for sharing! Not that I agree with everything, but my recent wins are all randart ironman games and now even that challenge feels too predicable to make me start a new game. Sil is more fun since I can easily challenge myself far beyond my limits but a bit limited. A more difficult Angband with today's gui improvements would be great.

On the personal side: I'm ok now but 12 years ago, being the one getting the radiotherapy treatment instead of standing on the side was a blessing.
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Old October 27, 2016, 21:10   #6
Sky
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and the answer is ... because angband is becoming a single player game.

it's no longer a game run on a server where hundreds of people play, and getting the high score is the objective of the game. the objective of the game is now to win, and the competition is .. games released today.

just because modern games are easier, it doesn't mean they are less fun.

and a game that requires you to have an encyclopedic knowledge to progress is no longer seen as a plus; the time you dedicate to angband will not translate into, say, familiarity with computers which could one day make you money. there is no longer any excuse to devote so much effort to angband.

fun?

maybe it's fun for you, because you are - and i quote - the best player the game has ever had. you are so high in the clouds, you forgot what it's like to experience angband as a generic player.

i'm sorry if the new guy needs to tell you this, but it's true.
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Old October 27, 2016, 21:59   #7
Pete Mack
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Eddie-
Very glad to hear from you, regardless of the terrible circumstances. (That is all the sympathy I will offer, in correspondence with your wishes.) If you need a place to vent, it won't disturb me, at least. You could never be as disruptive or annoying as neo. (Note: not intended as a dare.)

I suspect there are some players here that will challenge your mettle. Even in the current version of Angband, 57k player turns is an impressive win. And Sil is a surprisingly good evolution. Really, do try it-the current comp, for example.

A few points (about the dev branch)
Traps are much nastier than they used to be. Sure, there is a brief time at the start where detection is easier. But there is no longer any avoiding them, since they always appear at strategic locations in hallways. (Paladin is currently a nightmare because of this.)

Fuzzy object detection I don't particularly like. But makes the game harder, and largely makes up for the increased ego item drop, which itself is much reduced from 3.5: The Unbalancing. That's pretty much where I quit working on the engineering deficit, which I felt was 3.0's greatest weakness. Thanks to Nick and others' yeoman work, the code and edit files are vastly cleaner than 3.0. This should make it easier to hack.

Rune based ID would fit very well with your (and Sil's) notion of experience. I agree that you should not get more EXP for multiply redundant kills, though it's not clear that killing an ant and an ancient dragon should yield the same exp.

I don't think the quiver is so unbalancing as all that. The real imbalance was from massive archery damage from brands, which has been largely but not completely nerfed.

The one recent change I now think mistaken is breath attenuation. At the very least, more classes of breath should be beams. (Basically everything except poison and sound)
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Old October 27, 2016, 21:59   #8
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Derakon has summed up the situation perfectly.
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Old October 27, 2016, 22:08   #9
Pete Mack
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Sky:
Make angband too easy and replayability goes in the toilet. I stopped playing because 3.5 really was boring. Sure 3.0 is was unaccessible, largely because all the help files and user's guides gave bad advice.

Yes, it is now played on PCs not timeshare systems. But thanks to Pav, there is still a ladder, and thanks to debo there are still competitions. I think you are wrong in both the specific and the general.
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Old October 27, 2016, 22:11   #10
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@PowerDiver: If I might ask a couple of (perhaps) seemingly silly questions...

#1: how many games have you played, do you think? (Obviously, I'm talking ballpark here.)

#2: how many times did you get to *extremely* low turn-counts before facing the big P?

Obviously we can all look at the dumps, but if we are to learn anything from the recent replication crisis in science circles, it's that "publication bias" is a huge deal, so I'd like to get a sense of the real numbers -- and not the numbers just based on your "published" characters. EDIT: (because I'm just now realizing...) I'm not insinuating anything here about you purposefully omitting to publish characters that didn't make it very far. It's just that a) nobody tends to publish characters until they make it past, say, level 20, or b) find a significant game-changing item at an earlier level.[1]

Apologies if you're already specified these things somewhere, I haven't really read all of your recent posts fully.

@Derakon + @Nick: +1

[1] ... which is why I really think we should have (by default) auto-uploaded statistics for all levels generated, options chosen/altered/etc. It's not that "metrics" magically makes all choices about how a game should be easy, but knowing what the game is will certainly make "should" decisions more informed.[2]

[2] (Doin' the David Foster Wallace thing here, but: ) For example: It would be really interesting to know how full a typical player's inventory is. If we had really detailed stats we could even figure out what the distribution was, what the most "kept" items were, if there was a "bimodal" thing going on wrt. whether it was new players who tended to keep more "junk", and whether more experienced players (#games as a proxy?) tended towards not even picking up things that would eventually be useless, how option:ironman (etc.) influenced these things, etc. It's going to be a hell of a lot of data, probably filled with a lot of false correlations, but a simulated world is effectively almost as complicated as a real world, so it's not that surprising.

Last edited by AnonymousHero; October 27, 2016 at 22:33.
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