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Old December 13, 2011, 16:01   #1
Magnate
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The v4 FAQ

Welcome to the v4 forum. If you haven't already, please read The Angband FAQ.

1. What is v4?
It's an experimental version of Angband, which contains a bunch of changes that are not in the current Vanilla game, for a variety of different reasons. Some are done but not yet well enough refined or tested, some are stepping stones in a big series of related changes that aren't yet finished, and some are just not suitable for Vanilla for historical or flavour reasons.

One way of thinking of it is as "the devteam's variant" where radical changes can be tried out without breaking Vanilla. Or as Nick put it: "Angband is like the standard car that car companies produce in large volumes. v4 is like the concept car that they produce for car shows."

2. How stable is it? Can I actually play it?
In terms of crash bugs and literal playability, yes it runs stably and you can play it. The devteam treats bugs in v4 the same as bugs in Vanilla: if it makes the game unplayable we'll fix it ASAP; if it's a minor inconvenience or irritation, it'll probably be fixed when someone is working on that particular feature.

But the pace of change of v4 is very different to Vanilla, and the balance of the game is changing all the time, so it's definitely not stable in that sense. Players are advised NOT to upgrade their v4 version in the middle of a game (unless it's to fix a crash bug).

3. Where do I get it? What's the latest version?
If you play on Windows or MacOS you can get it from the autobuilders. If you play on *nix you need to build it yourself.

Because v4 is in constant development it doesn't have versioned releases. To specify the version you are playing, use the last seven characters from the version string (shift-v in the game). It will be of the form "v4-xyz-g123ab67". Those last seven hex characters are a unique commit ID which will tell us exactly which version you're using.

4. Can I use my Vanilla savefile?
That might work, but it's not advisable. One of the aspirations for v4 is to improve the handling of save files, UI preferences, game options, keymaps etc. etc. This means that savefile compatibility is likely to break completely, if it hasn't already. It is much better to use a completely different savefile for v4 - your monster memory might not be very accurate for v4 anyway ...

5. Can I upload my characters to the ladder?
Yes, there's a separate v4 ladder, and you can upload normally.

6. What's the history? Why did you create v4?
v4 was announced in this thread on 1st Nov 2011. It was the conclusion of a long debate about the pace of change of Vanilla which took place over the preceding two or three years.

7. So what exactly is different?
For the high-level summary of changes from V, read the changelog.

For a more detailed breakdown, see the ticket list (which shows both completed and planned tickets).

For even more detail, look at the sequence of commits.

8. How do I make a suggestion, report a bug or offer a contribution?
The simplest way is to start a thread about it - but please check first to see if one already exists. Please also check the ticket list linked above, in case your issue is already noted there.

If you actually want to do some hacking, clone the git repo to get started (use v4.git instead of angband.git), and submit a pull request against v4-master when you're done.

The bar for contributions to v4 is significantly lower than for contributions to V, because we don't have all the purity/history arguments to worry about (that's the whole reason v4 was invented). So unless your contribution is positively harmful, or exactly contradicts what someone else is already working on, it's very likely to get accepted and tried out.
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"3.4 is much better than 3.1, 3.2 or 3.3. It still is easier than 3.0.9, but it is more convenient to play without being ridiculously easy, so it is my new favorite of the versions." - Timo Pietila

Last edited by Magnate; May 13, 2012 at 10:45. Reason: Added note about contributing via github.
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