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Old October 9, 2007, 14:59   #91
Hugo
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Hi Bandobras,

I have no doubt that many deaths by carelessness will continue to occur if Teleport Level is unchanged. After all, they occur now don't they?

Scrolls and spellbooks can be burned or stolen. Players can be confused, blinded, or without light. And what's more - many players will decide NOT to teleport level but attack "just this once more", because the enemy is already down to one star and they don't want to lose the great loot they have stowed in a deserted corner of the dungeon. Or don't want to miss having a go at that promising vault.

An ancient multi-hued dragon is native to 2150', has +10 speed, and can breathe for 2100 hp of damage if at full health. Double resist reduces that to ~235 hp, but there's always a chance of a double move (since most players do not yet have +10 speed at 2150'). A mid-game character with ~500 hp can take this dragon on - but he/she needs a scroll of teleport level to escape in case the dragon does indeed get a double move and decides to breathe twice in a row.

If teleport level has a chance of a one-turn delay, ancient mutli-hued dragons are too dangerous to take on until the character is almost end-game strong - but end-game strong characters should be fighting wyrms and hunting down Sauron and Morgoth!

Note that the ancient multi-hued dragon is just an example. Similar can be said about many other mid-game monsters. And if most mid-game monsters become too strong for a mid-game character, something is wrong with game balance.

You also wrote: "I agree Destruction should also be nerfed". To be honest, I have far less problems with that. Teleport level carries the penalty of losing everything on the previous level, and the risk of ending up even deeper, with no stairs up in sight. Destruction will only destroy your loot if you are near your stash. I consider destruction to be far more unbalancing than teleport level, because it doesn't cost the player enough to "buy" his safety.

Oh, and BTW - did I mention yet that Alter Reality should be removed from the game?
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Old October 9, 2007, 15:14   #92
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Hugo, you are right and surely you know the current state of balance better than me. (I've played Angband for 14 years, but I've never won and I usually just variant-surf no deeper than 1000ft.) However, my point is the dragon you mentioned got so powerful _because_ of the cheap escapes (healing and various tricks included). What I propose is: do make it possible that the dragon is deadly, see how people cope and if there are problems with the dragon, correct them in the dragon (or level generation, or new monster generation rate). Chances are people will just prepare better for the dragon, with !Speed, healing, etc. and have more fun with it and, say, by coincidence also less TMJ problems in mid-game. We've gone a long road wrongly balancing Angband. Let's trace it back home.

Edit: I may be wrong about that particular dragon you mentioned, but still there is monster power inflation and there are better ways to correct Moria cruelty (which I don't like) than by giving extra lives for a cost of some loot (TL without delay). Loosing loot is just not interesting enough. Some interesting trade-offs are necessary to keep it tactically fun and to keep it rare so that it does not break the action flow.

Last edited by Bandobras; October 9, 2007 at 15:30.
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Old October 9, 2007, 16:05   #93
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Originally Posted by Bandobras View Post
surely you know the current state of balance better than me
Heh! Don't count on it. I've been playing for only a few years, and the last few years I find that my play time is really limited. One save-scummed win, and one promising mage underway. That's all.

Your ideas are good, but way too revolutionary for Vanilla. The state of Vanilla within the *band community is such that you can't deliberately break balance and hope to get it corrected in a release or two.

Maybe you, or someone else, can write a variant to try out yoour ideas?
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Old October 10, 2007, 08:22   #94
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3. The ammount of crap dropped has risen a *LOT* from 2.9.x (and variants based on)... Now i know why it is not impressive to brag off when one finds 7 egos in [O].... dammit, ive found 31 egos and 6 artifacts in ONE vault at dlvl 35! And even thought i was walking in a sea of {excelent} magic stuff, most of them were crap. That char is going on, clvl 41, second [V] char this week.
Point 3 has SEVERAL reverberances... and must be studied with care.
Are we playing the same game? I've only found about 7-8 artifacts in the entire game to date (on dlvl45). Maybe the RNG just hates me, or maybe you got a lucky vault.

Quote:
3.a. A solution was already proposed in the feature request page, Mass Identify, but IMHO, Mass Identify is the ugliest, clumsiest way to fix the TMJ problem. It would be like putting a bandaid in an infected wound spewing pus non-stop. There is a thread discussion in the RGRA where some big names, Leon, Bahman, RR and others discussed that some years ago, and by the time the thoughts about Mass Identify were the same as mine.
So please, pretty please, do not implement Mass Identify... and instead focus on fixing TMJ. I have a nice proposal to fix it, if someone wants to hear i can explain. Else, i will implement it in my own variant someday (dreaming) lol
I think mass identify is a good idea, not for fixing TMJ, but for saving time. Let's face it, if you can identify once, identifying multiple times is probably not problematic (after the early game), so making people do so forces a pointless, lengthy and boring routine after every battle.

For TMJ, my suggestion would be that items should have a maximum level at which they can drop. Thus, for example, past dlvl 30 no {normal} item should drop, and past 50 no {good} item. Ego weapons should also have a list, with ego bows of a given type being able to drop at higher levels than melee weapons of the same type. (Since good bows are harder to find, players might actually be able to use a slay demon longbow long after a slay demon mace would even be worth selling). Same with low-level scrolls and so on. This might create problems for ironman, but ironman is supposed to be something that only very skilled and lucky players can do in any case.
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Old October 10, 2007, 08:40   #95
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\Conlcuding, I think Angband should be fair, but not 100% forgiving (20% for hopeless situations is max). Problems with fairness should not be cured (or rather obscured) by forgiveness. Otherwise you teach people to set and then automatically ignore 30% HP warnings in the early game (it will be forgiven, so what's the problem?) and conscious incorporating hopeless situations into standard late-game tactics (I have 4 TL, so I can afford 4 near-deaths on this level, let's take on that vault!). There is also a mad escalation of monster power and 90% or higher ways of escaping death (huge healing, immunities, TL, Genocide, etc.) instead of a true balance. In the result, O the shame!, most deaths are instadeaths (overpowered monsters) or deaths of boredom (overpowerd escape) instead of a slow, dramatic bleeding to death in an unequal fight, unwisely initiated 30 turns earlier, as an interesting story should have.
This is why I find Nethack more exciting, even though Angband is better balanced. A bad choice (should have zapped Rodney with the Wand of Death as soon as he popped up; now I've got to fight his clone and their merry minions as well) tends to result in death not immediately but a while down the line.

At the same time, Angband is a very different game and the escape options should reflect that. My low-level characters tend to know in advance that their end is nigh, and simply can't do anything about it (Bullroarer got in a double move on my mage and stunned me; now I can't cast escape spells and must watch as my hitpoints fall towards death). Teleport Level avoids that, and forces players to make strategic decisions about when to fight and when to flee. Changing this would mean rebalancing the normal cause of death completely, altering it from "sudden unexpected event" to "death by a thousand cuts." Nethack has the latter mode, but gets boring late in the game because nothing can really hurt a player with a full ascension kit. That is the logical consequence of trying to ensure that death is the result of a long and gruelling battle in which all options are slowly exhausted - sooner or later the player becomes so strong that any enemy that can't severely damage him in a single turn can be ignored. And if you have a game where all serious enemies can damage you severely in a single turn, then you need to provide plenty of options for flight.

That's without mentioning, by the way, that fire hounds ensure that relying on Teleport Level is not a zero-fail solution. No escape solution, in Angband, is - you can run out of mana for spells, scrolls can't be read while blind or confused, staves have a fail risk when confused and are heavy, and all of the above can drop you in a bad place; Teleport Level means that you can't come back to finish the job, destruction is fairly hard to find (apart from the spell) and, critically, both of them are cop-out solutions. Yes, you can theoretically dodge every battle until Sauron, but Sauron will then wipe you from the planet because you have no experience or items. That's what I like about Angband - like every good roguelike, it forces advance planning and the preparation of multiple options for every situation, while still forcing tradoffs (inventory space, weight, cost).
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Old October 10, 2007, 13:25   #96
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I hate Nethack. ;D
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Old October 10, 2007, 20:53   #97
Atriel
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How To Solve Tmj!

Well, i´ve found 10 or so vaults on the same character; Right now it is saved inside of a vault with 3 deep uniques by dlvl 60 sort of in a messy situation and i decided to go to sleep instead of trying to do something yesterday so probably ill pick the game today with a clear view;

In every fight i fight monsters, monsters drop stuff. Dragons can drop 11 things (or more). In a vault i get the items in the floor plus some of the crap monsters dropped. If Mass identify were present, it would be *MUCH* easier to neglect TMJ, and also destroy something present since Moria: The uniqueness of every item/ego found.

I´ve started playing by 2001 (by the time i savescummed and etc), but the variant i picked up to learn to play was DrAngband, with drops based on 2.7.8. It had lots of crap, but still maybe less than half the present situation (and IS the hardest released variant EVER in version 2.9.9a, notice the letter). I also played some chars in Moria, to get the idea of what the game was, and well, only one item per floor can tell you something.

The squelcher as it is now is awesome because items are not destroyed (but the squelcher is buggy in this version..) and so one can actually see the ammount of crap after a vault just turning off the squelcher.

So, let´s see how one plays [V] today:

One detects object by dlvl 40, finds a long sword in the floor, and sometimes even ignore it if there is a stair nearby to go down, if a huge countour is needed to reach the sword or if there is a pack of white wolves on the way, because the sword has a huge chance of being {good} or less, and if being {excelent}, you can bet that it may be a brand or one single slay (slays are between the common egos in ego_item.txt). So, actually, one must walk by a sea of crap post-pit(vault)-cleaning to find that Holy Avenger or Westernesse.
This is because the balance in ego_item.txt, the useful egos are ranging from just a bit rarer (westernesse, xattacks, 2 of the brands at rarity 10), to much rarer (defender, holy avenger at 12, *slay evil* at 20).

Now, instead of the good egos being rare and swords being common, imagine this other situation:

Player detects object by dlvl 40, a broad sword in the screen. There are some Zs in the way, but he decides to fight them to get that sword, knowing that it is unlikely for he to find another sword (class weapon) soon. He knows that there is a huge chance of that sword being westernesse, good chance of it being holy avenger, defender or *slay evil*, some chance of it being a brand, a small chance of being some slay. He picks the sword and proceed to kill the trolls inside that troll pit. Trolls rarely drop anything useful, but 2 potions, one staff and 3 scrolls filled with dung were found by the time half the pit was done, when the pseudo of the sword kicks in. Player retreats to a corner, identify it and it is Westernesse. Player grims like finding the BFG and proceed to wipe the floor with the rest of the trolls. He luckily finds just another blade-class weapon in the level, dropped by the last troll, but by bad luck, it was a fire-branded cutlass.

So the idea is to *heavily* cut all weapon and armor drops but have the useful egos easy to find, and easier to roll than crap egos; With care because cutting drops can affect consumables...

The reaction when finding a bad ego would be:
"*DAMN*. When i´ll find a sword again? The next will be a Holy Avenger, i fell! (and player actually finds a HA 4 swords later...)"
instead of
"Damn. One more crappy ego to the sea of crappy egos."

IMHO this would be the best way to fix TMJ.

NOTE: This is already done in some extent in [O], and probably also in [FA] and [S], but things in [O] are unbalanced in 2 aspects:
1. drops have been cut in every area, not only weapons and armors, affecting consumables somewhat
2. even if [O] ego.txt is already an improvement relative to [V] towards finding better egos, i think a still bigger boost to find better egos (rebalancing of chance of ego types) is needed.

Last edited by Atriel; October 10, 2007 at 22:40.
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Old October 11, 2007, 03:53   #98
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Non-sneaky humanoid monster's without infra-vision carrying lights (ninja's or thieves w/ lights are silly imo, novice fighters, mages, etc. would be fine). Self-lit monsters (fire-hounds, colbrans, etc.).

I think this has been well tested.
Ya Monsters carrying lights are cool. I have that on DrAngband and even have a patch written for one of the older vanilla versions. The patch is at www.itctel.com/apwhite/download/mlite293.zip

For what its worth, the borg is already programmed to understand monsters carrying lites and knows to shoot them

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Old October 17, 2007, 23:56   #99
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So the idea is to *heavily* cut all weapon and armor drops but have the useful egos easy to find, and easier to roll than crap egos; With care because cutting drops can affect consumables...

The reaction when finding a bad ego would be:
"*DAMN*. When i?ll find a sword again? The next will be a Holy Avenger, i fell! (and player actually finds a HA 4 swords later...)"
instead of
"Damn. One more crappy ego to the sea of crappy egos."

IMHO this would be the best way to fix TMJ.
I agree to an extent, but you go a bit too far. There should never be a HUGE chance that a random item on the floor will be an ego, but it should be reasonable. Perhaps 10-20% or so, once an appropriate level (1500?) has been reached. Obviously, the egos themselves need to be graded better - Slay Orc would be best being available from level 1, whereas something like Gondolin is best saved for around statgain (Keep in mind how long people typically spend at that depth scumming for R-Poison).
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Old October 19, 2007, 01:10   #100
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Talking

I like some features from NPP.
Warriors a max of 5 attacks a turn but +1 at clv 25
everyone gets a bonus to attacking undisturbed monsters

Rogues should be able to get backstab

I don't know how to balance it but I would like to see warriors wield 2 weapons instead of a shield. They should weigh less than ?? 20 lbs total and 1 half the weight of the other. 12# broad and 4# Rapier.

I played more with bows and excel ammo with my last c. They are nuts near the end 250+ dam from 1 attack!! Remove to dam from weapon or -1x to all and increase range

I think it was in Sang that thrown potions affected monsters.

Can we Shield bash mons like in moria any more??

Don't mess with ?tel lvl!!!!

Charisma effects should be more exponential. I can sell my brd swd and by a dagger and wor with either troll or high elf in the begining. Troll should pay ~300 and HE 125.

To make gold mean more add basic services from NPP. I also like the idea of a back room for good customers. The more you spend the more they will stock for u. Even possible bribes.
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