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Old September 22, 2009, 04:06   #1
BlackFlame
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Question Any recommended variants that are fairly noob-friendly?

I've got some experience with roguelikes in general, but not so much with *bands. I'm wondering if there's a variant you folks might recommend that's easy to get into, but has more variety in classes and player abilities than vanilla Angband seems to.

In addition to vanilla, I've gotten ToME and Z+Angband, having heard they were some of the more popular variants, but I'm not sure how easy they are to get into. I also grabbed Steamband after reading about it, but I heard it was a lot harder than most variants.

So all rambling aside, any recommendations?
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Old September 22, 2009, 04:24   #2
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Old September 22, 2009, 09:01   #3
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You might like TinyAngband. It doesn't change classes and races that much, but it does adds patron dieties. They're really pretty interesting but very poorly documented so it takes some effort to learn what they all do :/ BUT, it compresses Angband into 27 levels, simplifies magic down to 2 spellbooks for priests and 2 for mages, and drops some resistances and monsters and maybe egos. It's also a lot easier IMO.

ZAngband and EyAngband add a bunch of classes and races while still being pretty newb-friendly. You'd probably prefer Z to Z+ as the latter doesn't add any new classes or races (IIRC) but does make some pretty complicated and challenging changes to monsters, quests, and spellcasting. If you want more classes and races than Z then ToME was a good choice, it has a great help system. Furyband and Entroband have tons of new races and classes but are really complicated and poorly documented.
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Old September 22, 2009, 13:27   #4
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Z+ has less classes and races? From what I'd read on roguebasin and other places it sounded like it was just a futher-developed Zangband. I guess I misunderstood that, maybe I should get basic Zangband for now then. Sheesh, going blindly into variant hunting is kind of like jumping in the deep end when I just mastered the doggy paddle.

Anyway, ToME does look promising. In fact the whole reason I started looking into variants was because I saw a "Let's Play" of it on another forum I visit and it got me wondering what was out there.

Now, what about Gumband? Is that largely just a Moorcock-flavored Zangband or something? I like the setting, so I'm rather tempted to try it.

As for FAangband, it does seem kind of interesting from the half-hour or so of tinkering I've done with it. These "specialty abilities" look along the lines of what I was wanting in terms of variety of abilities. Seems a bit like what I've seen of ToME in that, but simpler to get into?
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Old September 22, 2009, 13:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackFlame View Post
As for FAangband, it does seem kind of interesting from the half-hour or so of tinkering I've done with it. These "specialty abilities" look along the lines of what I was wanting in terms of variety of abilities.
If you like this but are looking for a dungeon-only no wilderness variant (like V), then Oangband may be worth checking out too.
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Old September 22, 2009, 18:00   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackFlame View Post
Z+ has less classes and races? From what I'd read on roguebasin and other places it sounded like it was just a futher-developed Zangband.
Yeah, sorry, that's right. Same # of races and classes but more stuff added and changed. I generally like the changes but I think they make the game more complex and a bit tougher so I figured they weren't what you were looking for ATM.

Gumband's a good pick too from what little I've played of it. I don't remember having to check the help files for anything besides race/class information.
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Old September 22, 2009, 19:00   #7
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Old September 23, 2009, 04:00   #8
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I like Steamband, in fact, I love Steamband, but I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner. It can be brutally hard, and the mechanics are a bit unconventional, and there is no current maintainer (as far as I know). FA is fun, easier than it was previously, but it may take you quite a while to find a dungeon (use Teleport Level (50/50) in the wilderness if you absolutely need a dungeon level).

EDIT... and as if to make my point, I just played a game of Steam. I spent 10 minutes outfitting my character in town, entered the dungeon, rounded the first corner and was paralyzed and killed at DL 1, without so much as even attempting an attack. Poor luck, yes. Uncommon, I'm afraid not.
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Old September 23, 2009, 07:11   #9
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If I were you I would play some Vanilla angband first just to get used to the general behavior of *bands. Then I would download all the variants that seemed interesting and play them each a little bit until I had a taste for them. I think I've played ToME/Fury, Iron, Heng/Entro, Pos, Steam, Hell, Un, and Mang, and eventually I just settled on Entro as my overall favorite. And that's by no means a comprehensive selection --- off the top of my head, I know that NPP, O, Sang, and FA come highly recommended by a lot of people.

Not all variants are newbie-friendly, but if you start with Vanilla, you'll find that none of the variants are really all that hard to pick up.
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Old September 23, 2009, 10:48   #10
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If I were you I would play some Vanilla angband first just to get used to the general behavior of *bands. Then I would download all the variants that seemed interesting and play them each a little bit until I had a taste for them...
That's largely what I've been doing, using mostly the suggestions in this thread as my list of candidates. Although maybe you're right, and I should play with Vanilla a bit more. It's just that the added character customization after birth that many of the variants I'm leaning toward have seems so much more interesting than the simple classes of Vanilla.

Of course, I could probably get more out of that customization if I could go more than 10 floors or so without dying, so that's probably another point for more Vanilla play.

In any case, thanks for the recommendations so far, folks. I've found a lot of them to be really interesting. I just hope I improve enough soon to see all they have to offer.
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