Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > AAR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 17, 2012, 18:52   #1
CliffStamp
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 64
CliffStamp is on a distinguished road
3.3.0 Hobbit Rogue / Death

I ran up a Hobbit Rogue in 3.3.0 (high stealth, decent device/bow) and ran him down to dl 76 in 75k turns to check out a few aspects of game play.

At dl 76

-level 33
-full base_r (rings of cold/fire, shield of lit, all armor for acid)
-no high resists inc. poison
-speed +6 (boots+cloak)
-dagger of westerness, 4 attacks
-no stats close to max
-<400 hp
-sling of accuracy, one set of acid pebbles

There was no real way to kill anything significant, the plan was to get to dl 98 and then just poke about and hopefully find :

-amulet of speed/dex/con
-ring of con/speed
-better bos
-some kind of weapon (gondolin,heaxy xbow of shots, or pool of wands)
-necessary consumables (speed, healing, destruction, genocide, tel-away)

And of course actually get something decent for armour like :

-shield of elvenkind (nether/disenchant/chaos/poison)
-DSM (chaos/law, or some artifact armour)
-gauntlets of agility/power
-helm of telepathy/might

I was hoping for something like a decent d pit and potions of same and some dispel staves to try to make this happen before Wyrms made it into them.

I was however put in an awkward situation when I found a staff of power right outside a giant pit. If I could clear it without dying it was likely the exp and possible drop could be greatly advanced. The only danger was teleport to with the titans and then a double hit to confuse.

I opened a slot, got off two shots of power and then teleport to, hit to confuse double turn and all HP to zero - blammo. That pit would have been a huge accelerator had it dropped amber/hammerhand and a x-bow of might then it would have been a stroke of genius obviously.

A few notes, the game seems very munchkin now, it is similar to other variants which have easy/cheat flags on :

-when you id something it gets *id*
-artifacts are id when you pick them up
-treasure detection (including rod!) now does object detection
-there is a massive quiver which expands the inventory
-no cursed items?
-armor classes were boosted insanely high
-stat drains seem to go away automatically (no restore potions ever seen)
-monsters seem to have been reworked / difficulty is down
-potions of curing cure much more now?

I mainly played when Ben was the maintainer and was variant hopping a lot after that and a lot of this is from memory but as a few examples :

- there do not seem to be things to breath confusion
- Hydra's seem not to be the rolling engines of destruction they once were
- I was actually capable of killing a lot of things almost up to dl 40 with that westerness weapon with three attacks and phase door.

I can see how someone like Eddie would not be positive about that direction as he spent a lot of time figuring out how to move very fast, survive with sub-optimal equipment and deal with a lot of problems which look to have just been removed from the game completely.

There are some nice things :

-squelch (infancy but there)
-some pits have items in them (animal)
-more rooms/layouts
-interesting new rings (dog, mouse)
-more mushrooms with interesting effects, some +/-

I checked out some of the development and it is going in that direction even more and some of the changes are a bit silly like the +150, +250 enchantments. I realize the coding is different but this just doesn't even look like Angband any more when you see a sling +45,+65 on dl 3 or similar. I would be curious to see where the same will be in 1-2 years under the same direction/views.
CliffStamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 2012, 19:12   #2
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,503
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffStamp View Post
A few notes, the game seems very munchkin now, it is similar to other variants which have easy/cheat flags on :
3.3.x is easier than we want the game to be; that much is certain. 3.4.0 is trying to redress the balance, but I wanted to directly address a few of your specific concerns. Thanks for the feedback, incidentally.

Quote:
-when you id something it gets *id*
-artifacts are id when you pick them up
If I recall correctly (these two have been in for awhile), the goal here was to eliminate the advantage that memorizing the spoiler/edit files gives you. Perhaps it would be better to ID everything that is nonvariant about the item, and leave randomly-assigned abilities un-ID'd?
Quote:
-treasure detection (including rod!) now does object detection
Object detection always existed; the two have simply been merged now. The rod is new though.
Quote:
-there is a massive quiver which expands the inventory
The original goal of the quiver was to make it reasonable for the user to carry around ammo after losing a few of the items; previously, the value of a stack of 10 arrows was very low. However, the initial approach was flawed because the maximum stack size was 99, which meant that the player could carry absurd amounts of ammo. The stack size (for all item types) has since been reduced to 40, so that should fix this problem.
Quote:
-no cursed items?
This is all part of trying to eliminate the "ID game", which is generally seen as being more tedious than fun. In this case, the goal is to eliminate the need to ID every single item before you dare wear it. There's been plenty of discussion on this and particularly on how to continue to spring nasty surprises on the player while still making them willing to wear unknown items.
Quote:
-armor classes were boosted insanely high
Armor class has been rescaled, actually. The goal was to increase the impact of body armor relative to the other armor slots, and to make a bigger difference between e.g. a robe and a suit of plate armor. If I recall correctly, the old AC 250 is the new AC 350, or thereabouts.
Quote:
-stat drains seem to go away automatically (no restore potions ever seen)
Stats restore automatically on levelup now. This has a number of convenient effects:
* Stat restore potions are no longer sold in the stores, eliminating an impulse to shop scum.
* Stat drainers are not as dangerous early on (providing a gentle introduction to new players), but significantly more dangerous later (since your next restore is not just around the corner)
* Stat-gain potions retain relevance even in the endgame.

I find Dreads to be much more frightening under the new system, for example. But perhaps we want the restores to be less common?
Quote:
-monsters seem to have been reworked / difficulty is down
If anything, compared to the Ben Harrison days, there are more powerful monsters now. The only monster-related nerf I can think of compared to back then is that zephyr hound pack sizes have been decreased -- which was mainly done to combat the fact that the midgame was all about killing dogs.
Quote:
-potions of curing cure much more now?
Yes. IIRC C*W potions were dice-based back in the day (e.g. 8d4, 8d6, 8d8 healing?), and were basically useless for restoring HP. Then they went to restoring a flat amount (15/30/60?), and now they do percentile-based healing (10/15/20%?), or the flat amount, whichever is more. Probably what we should do here is go back to the flat healing, and possibly make a Potion of Curing that does all the ailment-cures that we currently use Cure Critical Wounds for.

Quote:
- there do not seem to be things to breath confusion
Confusion as an element is gone, yes. Personally I rather liked it but other people thought that it didn't really make sense to breathe a status ailment (like there's no monsters that breathe blindness or hallucination). 3.4 should introduce baby chaos and balance drakes though.
Quote:
- Hydra's seem not to be the rolling engines of destruction they once were
I don't think hydras have changed much if at all, so the big difference must be in your character's power. Again, we're working on fixing those balance issues.
Quote:
- I was actually capable of killing a lot of things almost up to dl 40 with that westerness weapon with three attacks and phase door.
Monster locations have also been rescaled a bit, again IIRC. Part of the goal there is to eliminate the "wasteland" of dlvls 60-90 where there are basically no new monsters introduced. This does mean that the difficulty curve earlier on is a bit smoother, since some monsters that were previously powerful for their depths are now "properly" located.

Quote:
I checked out some of the development and it is going in that direction even more and some of the changes are a bit silly like the +150, +250 enchantments. I realize the coding is different but this just doesn't even look like Angband any more when you see a sling +45,+65 on dl 3 or similar. I would be curious to see where the same will be in 1-2 years under the same direction/views.
I'm certainly beginning to think that we don't need as much precision in the finesse/prowess bonuses as we're currently using. +1 prowess on a weapon is less than +1% damage (it's multiplied by the heft of the weapon, which is always less than 1), which in turn is generally less than 1HP of extra damage. We could divide all the numbers by 10 without losing much.

Last edited by Derakon; May 17, 2012 at 19:20.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 2012, 19:37   #3
CliffStamp
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 64
CliffStamp is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
IIRC C*W potions were dice-based back in the day (e.g. 8d4, 8d6, 8d8 healing?), and were basically useless for restoring HP. Then they went to restoring a flat amount (15/30/60?), and now they do percentile-based healing (10/15/20%?), or the flat amount, whichever is more.
That is one of the biggest changes because if you pour money into those potions and you can last 1-2 rounds and the monster can not distance attack (or you are willing to corridor) then you can kill anything. The consumption of healing potions/staff used to be a real critical point which is why a rod of healing (and especially two) meant it was open season on all the uniques you were avoiding. If you can phase or tel-away and then just drink 5 ccw it makes a lot of the game very easy as it isn't that difficult to get 99 of serious/critical. This alone is enough to seriously change how the game can be played.

In regards to ID, I think calling that tedious is one of the things that may have been argued to be reworking for a novice as only a novice id's everything before they pick it up, sell it. It doesn't take much thought for example to use a scroll of remove curse as a sort of mass ID. But beyond that it is inventory and shop management and knowing how to balance resting to trigger ID, etc. . If you are refusing to think about all of that and just want to id everything immediately without any thought then I really think that is not in the spirit of how Angband is played, it certainly isn't by people like Eddie and I never did it as it is too high of a cash out lay.
CliffStamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 2012, 19:50   #4
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,503
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffStamp View Post
That is one of the biggest changes because if you pour money into those potions and you can last 1-2 rounds and the monster can not distance attack (or you are willing to corridor) then you can kill anything. The consumption of healing potions/staff used to be a real critical point which is why a rod of healing (and especially two) meant it was open season on all the uniques you were avoiding. If you can phase or tel-away and then just drink 5 ccw it makes a lot of the game very easy as it isn't that difficult to get 99 of serious/critical. This alone is enough to seriously change how the game can be played.
I definitely agree, and am happy to hear Magnate say that this has been changed again in 3.4. We're iteratively approaching balanced gameplay.

I think part of the issue here is that, if I recall correctly, one of the previous versions of Angband (3.1.2?) had absolutely terrible availability of consumables -- item drops had been reduced across the board in an attempt to reduce the amount of junk items generated (since most players don't really enjoy sorting through hundreds of items after every pit cleared), and this accidentally hit potions of Healing and the like. I wouldn't be surprised if the C*W potions were stepped up to fill in the gap. Obviously this was a mis-step, which we can now correct.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 2012, 20:34   #5
CliffStamp
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 64
CliffStamp is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
... I wouldn't be surprised if the C*W potions were stepped up to fill in the gap.
One of the larger changes which almost everyone regards as positive were the artifacts which you can use for healing. They are rare enough they don't make the game trivial but if you add the chance of finding at least one of them with the staff/rod or just stack of potions, it did reduce the necessity of item scumming at the end to either kill the questors and/or trim out the unique list. The trick is to stop the stalling, but not trivialize game play.
CliffStamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 2012, 21:34   #6
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,001
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Derakon and Magnate hit most of the main points but I'll add a few more.

3.1-3.3 were indeed easier. These are some of the fastest games around. In addition to your changes the game is way too generous with ego item and artifact drops. This has been corrected in 3.4. Artifacts are much rarer. Ego items are much rarer. Even stat potions are rarer in 3.4, which I don't necessarily agree with, but it does make it more difficult.

BoS are an incredibly lucky find for 75k turns. BoS + westernesse is a great stroke of luck. I would say this is lucky even for 3.3, but it certainly is for 3.4.

Zephyr hound pack size have not been reduced. They've instead been dropped in frequency (around 3.1 i think). This has certainly made the game easier, because landing in a dark room of gravity hounds is instant death on first move, and the chance of that occurring has been reduced. However, there is a big downside to high frequency hounds, which is what prompted the change. They are so damn tedious, that, in earlier version, you spent 25% of your total game time hockey sticking hounds. (My preference was to retain high-frequency but reduce pack size, but that was not what made it into gameplay.)

!CCW is still pretty powerful in 3.4, however you can't carry 99 !CCW anymore unless you want to devote 3 slots to them. Furthermore, they've been dropped to max 60 HP so you need 5 of them to be equivalent to one !healing. All slots (including quiver) have a max of 40. Try to kill Morgoth in 3.4 with 40 !CCW as your only healing. Hell, try to do it with 80. You won't get too far, I assure you.

Hydras are pretty rough. They move fast, they have decent HP, and they can hit hard and breathe. 3.4 includes monster weaknesses and hydras are weak to cold though, so they have actually been nerfed a bit. They still are a pain though.

I would also like to point out some additional difficult changes that are in 3.4
  1. destruction removes artifacts (preserved if applicable), so no more destructing vaults.
  2. teleport other is a bolt, not a beam (I think this is in 3.3)
  3. TO rods and wands are now much more expensive to buy from the BM
  4. additional monster pits, ainu(angels), golems, vampires, hydras, eyes, people, etc.
  5. Morgoth's summons are harder to deal with (although Lorgan's are weaker)
  6. No more enchant scrolls in town
  7. Starting stats are weaker for most classes. Your rogue is going to have a tougher time in the early levels with his town-bought dagger.
  8. Branding rings no longer brand
  9. DSM recharge times are down (this makes things a bit easier)

Typically I've found that I need about 1.5x as many game turns in 3.4 than in 3.3. I also need to spend more time on the first few levels in order to not get slaughtered. I haven't played a rogue yet, but I suspect they're the fastest class, mainly because they're now the only class with access to a full object-detection spell. Everyone else is limited to fuzzy.

Roughly 1/3 of pit items are good. Or at least that was my initial implementation. I'm not sure if Gabe changed things when he extracted pits to the edit files. Jelly pits, zoos, graveyards and the new pits of golems, hydras, eyes and centipedes have items in them, ranging from few in the centipede, jelly pits and lots in the graveyards.

Also, there is still a large difference between v4 and 3.4. v4 is experimental, and that's where you're seeing the (+45, +60) modifiers. 3.4 does not have the finesse/prowess combat, and I would say that 3.4 doesn't look too different from 3.3 or 3.0.x. v4 however, is a radical departure, and it's specifically designed as such. It's probably best to view it as a variant right now. There may come a time where there is discussion of whether v4 should be Angband 4.0, but that time is not yet.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2012, 16:54   #7
CliffStamp
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 64
CliffStamp is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
In addition to your changes the game is way too generous with ego item and artifact drops. This has been corrected in 3.4. Artifacts are much rarer. Ego items are much rarer. Even stat potions are rarer in 3.4, which I don't necessarily agree with, but it does make it more difficult.
Note these do not actually make the game easier or harder, they just make it shorter/longer. They only effect the game play if the ratios are off. For example if a HA is not significantly more rare than slay evil then the ratio is broken as you just make SE redundant, similar if Gondor is nor more rare than Hammerhand. But having to kill for example ten times as many things doesn't make the game harder, it just makes it more repetitive.

If the entire purpose of game play is to just bulk a character to absurd levels all you do is use clone/summoning (or scumming) to generate monsters/vaults which low risk and high reward. It doesn't matter if you have to kill 100 (or 1000) swamp wyrms to get what you want vs 10. All you did was stretch out the time and again basically turn the player into a borg.

The only way it really effect difficulty would be if the drops are so common so low that you were too likely to get over powered gear before you even needed it, i.e. there was no way to move so fast that the game could be a challenge as the drops were too high/frequent. The problem is that you have to balance with play styles, if you are winning in > 10M turns and you balance drops around that, then anyone who is playing in < 500K has their "effective" rarity 20 times less.

After my hobbit died, I ran a HE-warrior down to dl 40 with absolutely nothing ego wise aside from a whip of slay troll. Stealth is enough to avoid anything serious and all money goes into detection and teleportation. Now based on that could I argue drops are not common enough, no, it would be absurd, if I wanted to be polluted with drops I would just scum/clear for them.

Difficulty, aside from ratios, is always balanced simply by game play in any rpg where there are infinite spans of exp/drops and the monsters do not level with you. The player can simply sit in a safe place, level until they are walking death and then stomp through the game. You can not balance that at all as no matter what you do the player can simply stay longer. The most you can achieve, which is the ideal balance, is that you can play the game without grinding.

This is impossible in Angband (without extreme luck) and has always been one of the key issues. Many variants get around this with allowing requested drops which remove scumming/grinding where you can pay to order/stock items that you want at a vastly inflated cost. The only thing to balance here is availabiity as for example even if !healing were $5000, if you could order them unlimited on demand it would break the game.
CliffStamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2012, 17:44   #8
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,503
Derakon is on a distinguished road
You're absolutely right that at some level, item rarity just dictates how long you have to scum to get items. I'd say what drop balance tweaks are aiming to do is to get the right amount of stuff to drop in the average case (i.e. splitting the difference between the maximally-aggressive playstyles and the more cautious clear-everything-multiple-times playstyles). Eventually the aggressive players are going to get in over their heads, which is good because isn't that what they want? Meanwhile the more cautious players are going to find more good stuff early because they're finding more stuff, period, and again isn't that what they want?

Drop balance in Vanilla is based on two things: user reports and a stats generator. The stats generator generates a bunch of levels and kills everything on them once, and is used to compare drops in one version to drops in another. I don't think we consider the absolute numbers it provides to be remotely meaningful -- it's not like we look at them and say "Oh, the stats generator found 100 Healing potions, that's clearly too many so it's time to make them rarer." That's what the user reports are for. The difficulty is that any time we make a given item more rare, that effectively makes everything else slightly more common -- there's second-order effects here which are hard to measure. That's where the stats generator starts coming in handy. So we make e.g. potions of *Enlightenment* more common, and then we look at the stats and go "Huh, that's funny, potions of Healing are 25% less common now, we should fix that."
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2012, 21:46   #9
Philip
Knight
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Prague,Czech Republic
Posts: 860
Philip is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffStamp View Post
Difficulty, aside from ratios, is always balanced simply by game play in any rpg where there are infinite spans of exp/drops and the monsters do not level with you. The player can simply sit in a safe place, level until they are walking death and then stomp through the game. You can not balance that at all as no matter what you do the player can simply stay longer. The most you can achieve, which is the ideal balance, is that you can play the game without grinding.

This is impossible in Angband (without extreme luck) and has always been one of the key issues. Many variants get around this with allowing requested drops which remove scumming/grinding where you can pay to order/stock items that you want at a vastly inflated cost. The only thing to balance here is availabiity as for example even if !healing were $5000, if you could order them unlimited on demand it would break the game.
I agree with you, considering that the only options are making no safe place to level in (essentially what was done in Sil with the time limit) or make it impossible to become walking death(which is ridiculous in V).
I don't really have any problem with purchaseable healing potions, but having them restricted to the black market and making rare consumeables more common there would probably be the way to go. It strikes me as bad to have them infinetely availible to the character and with appropriate rarities it shouldn't be too much of a problem to make the dungeon more usefull than scumming the black market.
Of course, some consumeables should be outright banned to shops, to make scouring the dungeon for healing potions return things that cannot be bought. Maybe we should make a thread about item rarity balance and how to solve the problem of scumming.
The black market would become THE shop of the late game but there isn't much to be done about that. Buying out the black market could be an option but that shoudn't cause immediate recycle. You should be able to grab 6 more healing for example, or replenish teleport level or such. Over 1 milion turns I'd imagine about 10 tellevels, 10 teleports, 10 healings and maybe a couple isolated *healing* could be bought.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2012, 22:02   #10
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,503
Derakon is on a distinguished road
How much townscumming is done these days, anyway? Thinking back to my old days of playing, the main causes of townscumming used to be for stat/experience restoration potions, followed by Word of Recall or ID. These have both been solved by making the town stocking more binary -- it carries effectively unlimited WoR/ID and never carries stat restores. I think experience restore is somewhat unreliable but it's generally not an issue anyway.

Sure, you could scum the Black Market, but a combination of limited room for stock and the ability to stock just about anything means that it'd be an incredibly tedious way to get stuff. I check the Black Market every time I'm in town, sure, but I'm not going to make extra trips to the town just to see what it's restocked.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hitting bottom with my Hobbit rogue Jay Vanilla 6 December 24, 2011 00:13
Baris, the Hobbit mage. Philip AAR 20 April 7, 2011 22:31
YAWP [V 3.2]: Sneak the High-Elf Rogue (my first rogue win ever) Max Stats AAR 0 January 7, 2011 05:01
Not so stupid death, but death nonetheless bron AAR 10 April 15, 2010 00:23
Hobbit Rogue - possible Winner or just a worthless try SaThaRiel Vanilla 24 March 1, 2010 01:42


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:49.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.