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Old May 14, 2015, 21:11   #21
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Even if Nick doesn't do this, one of the first plans I have after 4.0 is released is to make a fork where the dungeon is, a) shrunk to 50 levels and b) broken up into distinct 5 level blocks with different level properties for each block. It's my project for 2016, I think.
Sounds interesting. Random brainstorming, though: have, say, 10 different level types, and cycle through them, so the first 10 levels in the dungeon are each one of the different types, then the next 10 levels repeat, etc. Of course these would need to be more generic than what you probably had in mind, but e.g. you could have:

* A very small level
* A labyrinth level
* A level that has had one or two Words of Destruction used on it (because a) dammit it was a cool thing back in the day when we had those, and b) I love the idea of some poor hapless adventurer reading Word of Destruction on dungeon level 4)
* A level that strongly features an enemy type, like orcs, demons, nonliving, etc.
* A 20x20 arena with a single unique or out-of-depth monster in it between you and the stairs (and some walls so you can try to avoid them if you don't want to fight)
* Similarly, a level that consists of nothing but a vault (have fun trying to teleport monsters away from it!)

Et cetera...
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Old May 14, 2015, 22:02   #22
fizzix
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Sounds interesting. Random brainstorming, though: have, say, 10 different level types, and cycle through them, so the first 10 levels in the dungeon are each one of the different types, then the next 10 levels repeat, etc. Of course these would need to be more generic than what you probably had in mind, but e.g. you could have:

* A very small level
* A labyrinth level
* A level that has had one or two Words of Destruction used on it (because a) dammit it was a cool thing back in the day when we had those, and b) I love the idea of some poor hapless adventurer reading Word of Destruction on dungeon level 4)
* A level that strongly features an enemy type, like orcs, demons, nonliving, etc.
* A 20x20 arena with a single unique or out-of-depth monster in it between you and the stairs (and some walls so you can try to avoid them if you don't want to fight)
* Similarly, a level that consists of nothing but a vault (have fun trying to teleport monsters away from it!)

Et cetera...
The reason I like blocks of 5 levels is that it makes it harder to "skip" a level type that's slightly less optimal. This allows more freedom in that I don't need to balance it so that every level type is equally profitable/risky. This is the main problem with caverns today, you just leave because the risk/reward isn't worth staying.

Also, the levels are going to look far different, but not out of line with what you're suggesting. Definitely will have focused enemy types, and that's going to be a main feature. I'm really planning to take advantage of a lot of the new features Nick has put in level design. (or at least I plan to). So for example, there might be 3-4 templates of levels the player might get for levels 1-5. For example.

A natural cave: similar to the cavern levels of today, but with animal "lairs" that have significant amounts of floor loot. Monsters would be mainly animal types with the occasional humanoid group.

A humanoid camp: sort of like a cavern, but with rooms interspersed throughout. Rooms would generally have humanoids (kobolds, adventurers), which would make up the dominant fauna on the level. Animals might appear in smaller numbers. Less floor loot.

Orcish/kobold halls: Sort of like the normal dungeon levels in V, but with some special rooms interspersed with more monsters and loot in them.

Ruined town: Wide open area with ruined "buildings" (think maybe old school DCSS vaults if you remember). Very few monsters but they tend to be more dangerous than average and mostly solitary or in very small groups. Ruined buildings may have extra loot and possibly undead haunting them.

When you start the game it would decide which levels are what formats. So you might have levels 1-5 be a natural cave, and 6-10 be orcish halls, and 11-15 be a ruined town, and so forth. Certain types would only be applicable for certain level ranges. Like a ruined town probalby only up to 15 or so. Other types get adapted as you go deeper, a kobold halls becomes an orcish hall, becomes a trollish hall, becomes a giant hall. Same format, different monsters to pull from. There are also deeper level design options like a crypt design or a demon lair.

We'll see how far I get. Balancing for 50 levels is the first step, and that's going to take some work.
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Old May 15, 2015, 18:37   #23
Zireael
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Love the way you're thinking, fizzix!
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Old May 15, 2015, 19:52   #24
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Count me in as liking the idea of occasional directional feelings. Certainly very in the theme of Tolkein, where both artifacts and threats were sensed (directionally, often).

I think the idea of linking it to INT/WIS is OK, but since these are maxed within the first 1/2 of the game it would only make a difference in the first part of the game anyway. I'd also suggest making it shut off at higher levels unless there is something truly exceptional, otherwise it would always be triggering some message or another.
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Old May 18, 2015, 12:45   #25
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
Random thought to throw into this discussion: should level feelings/hints about what's on the level be dependent on INT/WIS stats in some way, so that smarter/wiser characters detect interesting things about the level earlier than low-level ones with poor mental stats? (Maybe you could even split it so that high INT makes you more likely to pick up the presence of vaults/artefacts while high WIS makes you more likely to notice monster-related hints like clawmarks indicating pits and nests.)
More like perception / searching skills than INT / WIS. Could make those searching amulets useful again.

If you add that LoS trap detection (and remove all magical means of detecting traps) you get some use for those skills. Currently they are pretty much useless. I don't even remember what was the distinction between the two. There was some, but what was it?

Trap detection should be instantaneous with 100% searching/perception, ESP -style, so that traps created by monster get detected before you step in them.
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Old May 18, 2015, 14:27   #26
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I always imagined that perception was passive (i.e. just noticing traps and doors), whereas searching was active (i.e. the search command was more effective). No idea if that's true, however?
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Old May 18, 2015, 15:38   #27
Derakon
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I always imagined that perception was passive (i.e. just noticing traps and doors), whereas searching was active (i.e. the search command was more effective). No idea if that's true, however?
I think that's accurate. It's crazy that they're split into two stats though.
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Old May 19, 2015, 05:33   #28
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I've never liked level feelings in their current form.

I think I'd prefer something where the level shape/layout/terrain/walls give you possible clues about the potential monsters and treasures, and the current mechanism is gone.

Failing that I think Nomad's suggestions seem reasonable.

Just my 2¢.
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Old May 19, 2015, 07:49   #29
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+1 Nomad's ideas or something similar.
For flavor vague feelings with multiple possible causes would be neat. The feeling "You feel a chill in the air" could have a chance to be triggered by Nimthanc, Ringil, or Scatha.

I don't like the guaranteed knowledge that some level is worthless or exceptional. If it wasn't guaranteed it could be OK. The One Ring, could have like a 50-60% chance of triggering a "special" feeling.
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Old May 19, 2015, 17:39   #30
Ingwe Ingweron
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At the outset, first let's settle whether there SHOULD be level feelings at all, before deciding if those feelings should be "directional" or tweaked in some way.

There seems to be a growing consensus that level feelings are a bad thing to have in Angband, but it is not quite universal. There is a birth option to turn them off. For those that don't like the level feelings, why not just turn them off?

My "feelings" are split about the level feelings. Just like the level feelings themselves, apparently.

First, do I have a hard time conceptualizing just how @ knows so much about the relative danger of monsters instantly upon arrival on a level and about the relative object rewards soon thereafter? Yes. That argues for the removal of level feelings on the basis of them breaking the "reality" of the game. Or, alternatively, tweaks (many of which suggested previously in this thread) to make them fit more into the "realism" of the game.

Second, do I find them useful. Yes. They do provide information that I use to make my play more efficient. That argues for keeping the level feelings, at least if I'm willing to ignore the realism problems or we tweak the feelings to become more "real".

How do you use level feelings, for those of you that do keep them on?

Here is my standard operating procedure regarding the level feelings:

First few levels: Apart from cautionary warnings from monster feeling, search out levels pretty thoroughly to get a lot of the consumable identification out of the way (at least until id is reworked).

Until stat gain depth: Cautionary warnings from monster feeling. Try to stay on level long enough to get treasure feeling. If 5 or greater, search out the level (provided the monster situation isn't out of hand for the particular @). Otherwise, descend as quickly as possible to stat gain depth.

Stat gain and =Speed depths (~Dl 30 to ~Dl 50): Cautionary warnings from monster feeling (although, because @ has descended so quickly even "regular" depth monsters may be difficult). Ignore treasure level feelings, since stat gain potions don't really affect the feelings and I want to find as many as I can. Although a 7, 8, or 9 may increase my avarice.

Once stat gain is fairly well achieved, descend as rapidly as possible to Dl98. Ignore monster feelings and treasure feelings once arriving at depth. All monsters appearing may be difficult and even "ordinary" treasure may be good, since @ descended so quickly. A high treasure feeling may indicate a good vault though.

As @ increases in power and acquires ever better equipment, the level feelings begin to come back into play as @ starts to need caution only for higher level monsters and has interest only in higher level treasures.

Once powerful enough (I keep testing what that is, by the way), ignore all level feelings and go kill the bosses.

EDIT: Obviously, Forced Descent changes the calculus. Then greater exploration of the levels between ~Dl 50 to Dl 98 is required to have a shot at getting the right equipment mix and experience gains to take on the bosses before reaching Dl 99.

Last edited by Ingwe Ingweron; May 19, 2015 at 18:02.
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