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Old September 15, 2015, 10:50   #71
Bogatyr
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
This is also one of the greatest strengths of cardboard boxes and I suppose by extension Monopoly. To say something can be enjoyed in many ways does not say much for its merits as a game.

What these conversations in fact come back to is the idea that there's no standard by which to find angband deficient.
I'll tell you what standard works to find angband awesome: the fact that I keep returning to it year after year, decade after decade. The cardboard box was fun when I was 5, but never again.
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Old September 15, 2015, 17:36   #72
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Mushroom patch, you make use of a good analogy with cardboard boxes to make your point, but I don't see how it applies to Monopoly? (I love that game and it was my favorite growing up), though I guess not everyone does. There really is only one proper strategy in monopoly. Get the best one you can and build as many houses as fast as you can without leaving yourself so vulnerable you have to sell them immediately.
I say "and by extension Monopoly" because Monopoly comes in a cardboard box, with which one can have all the same kinds of fun as any cardboard box of that size and shape, but doing so ignores what makes Monopoly a game rather than a toy.

When someone says, "hey mushroom patch, you should stop taking angband so seriously and go play chess," they're not really defending angband as a game. They're defending it as a toy.

Part of what I'm saying here is that mechanics like food or fuel (and even resistances that don't contribute usefully to winning, which is quite a lot of them) are trappings of the game not very different from the box Monopoly comes in. When you spend a lot of time thinking about these things, deciding what kind of food items to buy at 1 or obsessing over details of your equipment that are totally unimportant, you're doing something more or less like playing with a tomagotchi (a digital pet keychain thing, for those who don't remember them). Tomagotchis are toys. I don't think games should get a lot of credit for encouraging this kind of thing.
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Old September 15, 2015, 18:14   #73
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
I say "and by extension Monopoly"
...
this kind of thing.
Pardon my language, but that's utter bullshit. Light has very important job in angband, you should try to expand that feature instead of make it go away.
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Old September 15, 2015, 18:45   #74
Ingwe Ingweron
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Pardon my language, but that's utter bullshit. Light has very important job in angband, you should try to expand that feature instead of make it go away.
+1 here!

That, and I'm tired of being called "incompetent" by mushroompatch if I happen to have a @ die of starvation or lack of light. In some situations, it happens in the early game. Glutton ghosts, burned scrolls of recall, light drainers ... I win quite often, but not always. And sometimes @ dies even to the most mundane cause.

Light and food are both important learning curves for beginning players. They help prepare a player for more challenging problems later. Just because mushroompatch has apparently "perfectly" conquered this problem, doesn't mean everyone else has or that the problems are irrelevant or useless to others.
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Old September 15, 2015, 19:55   #75
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
Tomagotchis are toys. I don't think games should get a lot of credit for encouraging this kind of thing.
Feel free to correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but your stance appears to boil down to "games should consist of nothing more than a set of rules and a win condition". In other words, "gloss" and "flavor" are irrelevant, and game rules that exist solely to further gloss and flavor (with minimal game impact) should be discarded.

I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from. Your base premises are clearly very different from those of many users on this forum, and frankly you're not doing the greatest of jobs in explaining yourself without putting labels on players who don't agree with you.
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Old September 15, 2015, 23:05   #76
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
I can't speak to everyone. I don't win every game. Last time I played I died by incorrectly assessing the threat of new monsters in a recent version and not having adequate escape options to get out of it when I realized I had made a mistake. I believe the last time I died before that was trying to speedrun a mage and not having a good feel for the pace to keep in the early game.

I think all deaths in recent memory were in the early part of the game, < xl 15, where the escape options I've been talking about were not available. I don't think I've ever died when I had teleport level, banishment, or teleport other (again, in recent memory -- years ago I died to things like high damage breath and whatever, the usual stuff people get killed by). Recently, I more often fail to win a game by getting bored with it than by actually dying.

But we can sit here all day talking about how I die or how the hypothetical median angband player usually dies and so on, but it would be a lot more useful to know through actual records. I've suggested it before and I'll suggest it again: If we really want to know where the state of play is, what works and what doesn't without just appealing to our own intuitions, we need public servers with rigorous record keeping.
OK, I think I have a reasonable understanding of where you're coming from now.

I think I want to deny the original feature request - although the light radius idea is cool, and I will keep it in mind. One of the main reasons is the current state of the game. The 4.0 -> 4.1 transition is mainly about cleaning up long-running problem areas, like traps and ID (cone breaths is not really one of these, except maybe in my mind). This thread illustrates that light isn't really one of those. We've had copious discussion about it, which will inform future plans.

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When you spend a lot of time thinking about these things, deciding what kind of food items to buy at 1 or obsessing over details of your equipment that are totally unimportant, you're doing something more or less like playing with a tomagotchi (a digital pet keychain thing, for those who don't remember them). Tomagotchis are toys. I don't think games should get a lot of credit for encouraging this kind of thing.
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Old September 16, 2015, 00:52   #77
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Part of what I'm saying here is that mechanics like food or fuel (and even resistances that don't contribute usefully to winning, which is quite a lot of them) are trappings of the game not very different from the box Monopoly comes in. When you spend a lot of time thinking about these things, deciding what kind of food items to buy at 1 or obsessing over details of your equipment that are totally unimportant, you're doing something more or less like playing with a tomagotchi ...
OK... so I'm going to go concrete here, using my latest Ironman HE Ranger. Firstly, I ran out of light again, on the level I'm at. I picked up every flask and lantern possible, and refilled only when less than 500 turns would be wasted. Perhaps I'm playing the ranger a bit too mage'ish and waiting for SP to regen so I'm burning turns. I stopped picking up torches after I had over 22500 turns banked(a full lantern and a spare flask). Sure, the Ranger is progressing uber-slowly. But the RNG has not been kind, and there have been very scarce drops. Every level except those lost to ?Deep Descent have been cleared. Luckily, on the current level where he ran out of light, he was 2/3rds of the way through clearing it, and it had a medium vault left (his first!). He cleared the path to the vault and the vault itself using spells for light and beam of light, and there was a flask left in the vault. So he's back up to 7500 once he fills his lantern before descending.

So firstly, unless you think I should've stockpiled both torches and lanterns, which would've cost another already scarce ironman inventory slot as well as weight, then light as a resource made an impact on this character.

Secondly, inventory management. Here's a link. I dropped all 4 spellbooks, and a stack of 17 !CLW on the floor to take this screenshot. So, in order to move down, he'll have to drop 5 items from his inventory. I've already made my decision, but I feel like it's anything but "straightforward." I could go for max damage (+9dam ring,=FA,ScimXA,117mana), max mana (cardrote, =Int, GlovesFA), or some happy medium using the artifact spear. At the heart of it is how I want to play my ranger, with ~200 mana and weak melee, or ~100 mana and strong melee. Do I want to use the spear for the sprint activation all the time? etc. Given the scarcity of arrows he's encountered, he can't really lean on ranged attack for most monsters.

So maybe you think this is "straightforward." Or maybe you think gear decisions at this level are all Tamogotchi, and it doesn't matter if the ranger plays like a warrior or a mage. But note that at dlvl 33, he's descending into some hairy territory, doesn't have RoPoison, Hold Life, and with only 200+ HP and weak AC can't stand in melee with a lot of mobs, but with ranger casting and no spare arrows, can't do much sustained damage at ranged. (Hence the constant resting and using up fuel). Finally, the fact that he has only 7500 turns of light left is pushing him to rest less and take more risks.

IMO, this is a great example of how light interacts with inventory management for ironman play.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=18135
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Old September 16, 2015, 02:27   #78
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I guess I am the type of player mushroom patch refers to as I go bat-crazy trying to juggle what to keep and what to leave behind; and which artifacts and non-artifacts to stop saving in my home (and other useful items). I find inventory management to be one of, if not *the* most challenging part of the game.

I thought 'solving' the character was a very desirable thing to do before facing Morgoth or the last levels of the game? I find I don't have the mental acuity to keep up with holes in my character. If I lack rDisenchantment I hate that the solution is to just TO everything that might Disenchant me. I fatigue easily from checking everything I encounter for its details.

I die all the time to stubbornness and impatience. I suffer from 'attachment' syndrome, in which I want to kill the thing because it might drop something or because I want to secure the level. I hate leaving battles or levels before I've seen everything. And whenever I confront a Unique I feel a strong desire to kill the monster.... I want its drops. I want the vindication that the dungeon does not win; that I am not here to flee, but to fight. I am stuck in the mentality that I have to kill everything on my way to the final boss fight. I'm an explorer, I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to leave a stone unturned, a vault, a special room, a dingy corner of the map unscrutinized.

I tend to stockpile a lot of powerful escapes (?*destruction*, both ?banishes, TOs and others but rarely using them... I die because I'm too optimistic that RNG will roll in my favor. I die because I'm greedy.
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Old September 16, 2015, 04:25   #79
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Pardon my language, but that's utter bullshit. Light has very important job in angband, you should try to expand that feature instead of make it go away.
My God, how many times do I have to say straight out that I am not advocating removal of light? I've literally said this in at least three posts including the OP. The OP is exactly a suggestion for expanding the light feature.

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Feel free to correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but your stance appears to boil down to "games should consist of nothing more than a set of rules and a win condition". In other words, "gloss" and "flavor" are irrelevant, and game rules that exist solely to further gloss and flavor (with minimal game impact) should be discarded.

I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from. Your base premises are clearly very different from those of many users on this forum, and frankly you're not doing the greatest of jobs in explaining yourself without putting labels on players who don't agree with you.
No, that's not quite what I think. I think flavor is good when it provides useful intuition for how the game can be played effectively. To take the Monopoly example, it's good that it uses concepts from real life (money, property, mortgages, development, etc.) because it helps the player grasp the rules. Similarly, it's good when a game like angband uses medieval melee weapons, bows and arrows, and to a lesser extent magic spells and devices because they provide accurate intuition about how the game's rules work.

Flavor, done right, is a collection of symbols that communicate game rules to players by analogy to their understanding of something familiar, either real or imagined. It also provides a language for talking about game rules with other players in a way that sounds less technical and more familiar.

Flavor can also be done badly. The signs of bad flavor are rules that are motivated by "realism" as understood in the model on the flavor side, but that have tedious or uninteresting consequences on the rules/gameplay side.

[edit:] One other bit about good flavor and bad flavor: It's good for flavor also to suggest effective strategies and tactics. It's bad for flavor to create complexity that obscures effective strategy/tactics and very bad for flavor to suggest outright bad strategy/tactics. Angband has a little bit of the former problem, not so much of the latter. It looks to me like bad strategy/tactics are mostly caused by the trauma of losing characters to instant deaths and the particular manifestation of caution that inspires in most RPG players, namely "level up a lot so you won't die in one hit :^D" -- not really a flavor issue. (In fact, the right response is just not to get hit.)

Last edited by mushroom patch; September 16, 2015 at 04:42.
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Old September 16, 2015, 05:14   #80
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Flavor, done right for me, is a collection of symbols that communicate game rules to players by analogy to their understanding of something familiar, either real or imagined. It also provides a language for talking about game rules with other players in a way that sounds less technical and more familiar.
Fixed that for you. I'm thrilled to see flavor stuff that doesn't give me any sort of hint or clue or rule explanation or example of something technical to help me win. A cool-looking room? Fun to see! A monster that eats light? Neat concept! A bloodstained corridor? Creepy! A dining-hall-themed room with a bunch of rations and wine and hard biscuits and jerky and potions of water/apple juice? Nice touch! A winding corridor off to the side of the normal dungeon with a dwarf skeleton and completely mundane shovel or pick at the end? Evocative!

These are the types of things that make this "game" more "fun" for me, even though they aren't making me learn some tip to improve my chances of winning or providing some kind of challenge. They're just neat. They add to the feel and the experience, and remind me that this isn't just a card or chess game, but that we're in a world that has some history, legend, and atmosphere to it.

I mean ... game, right? For fun? Isn't that what this is? Not just some challenge/tournament system that needs to be refined for Maximum Challenge and Tactical Requirement? I mean, if that's what Angband is actually supposed to be, then by all means; I'll move on to something else more to my taste, but Angband never struck me as that type of game; it's always had a decent balance of tactics/challenge with overlying flavor. Different people like different things; derive fun from different aspects of the same activities. I'm hearing a lot of definitive-sounding statements about what constitutes good and bad, but all the conflicting and contrasting opinions seem to indicate that perhaps there isn't One True Way to Good Game Design.
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