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Old February 11, 2017, 04:19   #1
unic
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"Best" versions of Vanilla Angband?

I've been an Angband player on and off through the years. FrogKnows, 2.7, 2.8, 3.0 mainly - been away for quite a few years now.

If I wanted to play about 3-5 versions from the history of Angband, which are the best, most interesting, and most diverse ones? I guess the current one should be one of them, to show Angband's state right now, but vanilla has gone through a lot of changes over the years, and I'm sure there are older versions that would also be worthwhile and fun to play. (Though some of the really old stuff, maybe not - I doubt I'd nowadays find FrogKnows as entertaining as newer versions.)

Or are there variants that stick very close to vanilla that could also be included? Like, the JLE patch was a vanilla-close variant before being incorporated into the main branch.

(Note, this thread is not to start an argument about which changes are good or bad - I just want to experience for myself some of the major versions and ideas that Angband has had in the past and up to now.)
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Old February 11, 2017, 05:32   #2
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I'd say the major "stopping points" would be frog-knows, 2.8.3, 3.0, and the current version. 2.8.3 was the official release for quite awhile; I dimly recall that 3.0 is where we stopped for awhile as well. 3.1-3.5 were relatively rapid development, with interesting changes that often got rolled back (3.2 was notoriously easy, for example).
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Old February 11, 2017, 10:40   #3
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4.05 Nightlies
3.5
3.0
3.a (Powerdiver version of 3.0)
2.8.3 or frog-knows

I can't verify their differences as I haven't played them all, but as Derakon pointed out they're the major change points, as I think each of them had a different developer/dev team. Certainly 3.5 is the culmination of the Takkaria era and 4.05 is the current peak of the Nick era. Powerdiver took 3.0 (his favourite version) and extended it in ways that he thought would improve it, resulting in 3.a.

NPPAngband is a variant that sticks fairly closely to vanilla and has an NPPMoria variant too.

PWMangband is fairly similar to vanilla as well I believe.
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Old February 11, 2017, 11:21   #4
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3.5 is pretty bad--much too easy. That's still a problem in 4.0.5, but it's no longer so ridiculous. 3.0 has the TMJ problem in spades: you need to carry rods of acid balls to use-ID armor (except for boots.) 3.0.9 is a bit better, with squelch. 3.0.9 with use-by-ID would be great. But the right way to do it is retrofit 4.0.5 with the old behavior: the new code is vastly cleaner.
It might be enough just to remove the upper limit on item/ego depth and increase ego frequency a bit. Also fix the birth point allocation and blows table, a few other tweaks.

Does anyone have a list of the necessary fixes to make it old-school again?
* remove multiple pvals
* Nerf certain artifacts
* Remove max object depths
* Fix door bashing
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Old February 11, 2017, 11:44   #5
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There's one more offshoot of mine that is little known now. It was a decade ago, and based on 3.0, and was the first release to attempt any sort of meaningful id-by-use. It was 3.0 with improvements, not a radical departure like my later efforts that culminated in 3.a. Over the years, I got a few requests from people wanting to get it again who were upset by the direction Sidwell took.

I don't remember much any more, including even the name, but I see a file in my onedrive that might be it.
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgmkWQjFit4Mf1XGF5lZDq7kAiU

If this is that version, it is historically important, because it demonstrated id-by-use well enough to strongly influence 3.1+. Even if it's not, it is stuff I thought was good enough to share, so it might be a better game to try than generic 3.0.

Sadly, I just tried to compile it, and failed. I never really understood the autoconf/automake/aclocal dance, and apparently that has changed in the interim so I get errors now trying automake.
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Old February 11, 2017, 11:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
3.5 is pretty bad--much too easy. That's still a problem in 4.0.5, but it's no longer so ridiculous.
3.5.1 and 4.0.0 are gameplay identical (apart from the town), and pretty much the only gameplay change from 4.0.0 to 4.0.5 was more room templates.

If you want to see the (many) changes from 3.0.9 to 3.5.1 go to the releases page at rephial - each release page has a description of the changes.
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Old February 11, 2017, 12:04   #7
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Don't listen to anyone here TC: Just play Rocketband.
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Old February 11, 2017, 14:57   #8
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Don't listen to anyone here TC: Just play Rocketband.
+1, he...he...he...he.... {malevolent laugh}
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Old February 11, 2017, 15:08   #9
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well i happen to like the shower of artifacts you'd get in 3.2, actually, i miss it.
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Old February 11, 2017, 19:18   #10
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Don't listen to anyone here TC: Just play Rocketband.
... or ToME 2.3.5. That is to say the version before I, personally, completely ruined it.
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