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Old May 9, 2015, 06:06   #21
Dwarf
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Have you tried running using the mouse? Just click where you want to go, and the game will try to run you there. Currently it has a maximum distance of 250 and a maximum radius of 250, but that could easily be increased; also it currently attacks the monster at the end of the run if there is one, but that could be fixed too.
Using the mouse you have to shift between using the keyboard with both hands and using the mouse for the point-and-click movement. This is slower than having the command on the keyboard. I think most people will find switching between mouse and keyboard clunky.

The keyboard-only interface is faster than mouse-and-keyboard for a console game like Angband, that has a large number of different commands that you frequently use. Unlike Starcraft, the game tempo also changes dynamically, so when there's things happening you want to pause and think what options you have left, and otherwise you get relatively high actions-per-minute.
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Old May 9, 2015, 06:13   #22
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The answer is basically yes, apart from the fact that the borg works for 3.4.1, but nothing later. See here for the latest on the borg.
Keep in mind that every time you hand over control to the Borg, it's going to do things like evaluate the equipment and inventory you have, get horribly frightened by being at dlvl60 at clvl35, go back to town and make a bunch of odd purchasing decisions, etc. The borg is a lot more than a dungeon explorer, and it plays nothing like any human I know.

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You won't get insta-killed in Angband unless you go too deep too early.
In both games you collect resistances and level up, so you won't run to an insta-kill event. This is bad game design, since the games should be about exploration and tactics, but the winning strategy devolves into picking the right fights.
I think you may have trouble telling a bunch of Angbanders that the game shouldn't be about what it's about. An awful lot of us would rather risk instadeaths than play in the uber-cautious "I must never take any risks" playstyle. The latter playstyle is incredibly slow and ironically more prone to producing mistakes, simply as a matter of statistics (longer play = more chances for mistakes to happen). A "risky" playstyle where you dive "too deep" and then have to carefully pick your fights is a lot of fun and the game works very well when you play it that way. Of course, there are also players who enjoy taking things slowly and trying to ensure that they're prepared for as many things as possible, but that is not the only fun way to play the game.

Put another way, there's a reason why Scrolls of Deep Descent are in the game, and show up so early: we want new players to experience what it's like to be out of your depth, and to learn that that's not necessarily a death sentence.
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Old May 9, 2015, 06:29   #23
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However, I did forget about one aspect of DCSS-style auto-explore which would mitigate this type of thing, which is the auto-explore "exclusion zones" (I think that's what they're called), where auto-explore will prevent you from exploring automatically. I'm not sure if they're created automatically by the engine or if they only exist in fixed (portions of) levels in DCSS, but I'd think they'd be pretty hard to generate automatically as they would have to be to accomodate Angband's all-random levels.
This is for the high-level statue monsters, that are stationary and will kill characters without the right resistances. The exclusion zone is automatically generated marked as the monster's line of sight. This is not a necessary feature, but not hard to implement.

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The advantage of that shift-running over auto-explore is that it is relatively trivial to implement (compared to auto-explore at least), but more importantly... it's actually implemented now. Auto-explore is not.
Omitting complications like exclusion zones, it's basically just a recursive search to explore the nearest unexplored tile.
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Old May 9, 2015, 07:06   #24
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In both games you collect resistances and level up, so you won't run to an insta-kill event. This is bad game design, since the games should be about exploration and tactics, but the winning strategy devolves into picking the right fights.
As Derakon points out, this is a pretty big call.

The traditional approach with Angband is that if you want a non-trivial feature included, you should code it up and provide a patch. Should you do that, it would definitely be considered
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Old May 9, 2015, 12:22   #25
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Omitting complications like exclusion zones, it's basically just a recursive search to explore the nearest unexplored tile.
Which is convenient but also pretty dumb and a sure-fire way to waste provisions and make your DCSS turn count explode.

Though I admittedly don't give much of a damn about turn counts when playing Angband, and I regularly miss a way of getting around faster.

I agree that using the mouse to travel is clunky, and also prone to misclicking for me as I like to play with continuous centering. Though I for one would be satisfied with a way to simply make my character walk, let's say, twice as fast with a toggle. Much like current running, just in a dumber way that favors smooth and even movement as long as I keep pressing "run" over intelligently stopping whenever something interesting happens.
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Old May 11, 2015, 18:55   #26
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I say, we give them their autoexplore. BURN MORTALS

They will never make it past thier first pack of gravity hounds.
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Old May 12, 2015, 11:21   #27
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Have you tried running using the mouse? Just click where you want to go, and the game will try to run you there. Currently it has a maximum distance of 250 and a maximum radius of 250, but that could easily be increased; also it currently attacks the monster at the end of the run if there is one, but that could be fixed too.
Actually the keysets in Angband and most console roquelikes are antiquated. You could replace most of the commands with a couple of general commands like equip, unequip, use item, do something to a tile. This would better with the mouse as well, since you do all non-movement commands with one hand on the keyboard. With the mouse you could get move/attack with left click, information boxes with right click.

I'd still prefer a good keyboard interface with macros & extended movement commands.
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Old May 12, 2015, 20:39   #28
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Is there a way to use this feature in -mgcu UI? (that's what I play)
Not currently - although if you're playing in Linux it does work in both x11 and sdl.
However, I do have a patch to add mouse support to the gcu port; I have successfully moved the character with the mouse with it (and then promptly disabled the mouse movement option, since I don't use it). It just needs a little cleaning up before I submit the pull request.
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Old May 12, 2015, 21:11   #29
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Originally Posted by Dwarf View Post
Actually the keysets in Angband and most console roquelikes are antiquated. You could replace most of the commands with a couple of general commands like equip, unequip, use item, do something to a tile. This would better with the mouse as well, since you do all non-movement commands with one hand on the keyboard. With the mouse you could get move/attack with left click, information boxes with right click.

I'd still prefer a good keyboard interface with macros & extended movement commands.
Sil actually does a great job of paring down the commands into a very sensible subset. They still provide options but the core set is pretty small. Take a look at their help page.
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Old May 12, 2015, 22:27   #30
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@Dwarf: The fact that you think auto-explore exclusions are for immobile monsters in DCSS suggests you don't know what you're talking about wrt DCSS. The fact that you think angband needs or would benefit from autoexplore suggests you don't know what you're talking about wrt angband either.

There's a pattern one sees in roguelike forums of people confidently making incorrect assertions about games they've never won or even played enough to have anything beyond a surface level understanding. That's what's going on here.

Auto-explore and travel work in dcss because you have static levels. This means you need to explore them or you will be missing irreplaceable content. Angband does not have this situation. Quite the opposite, it's best not to explore everything or fight every or even most monsters.

Perhaps one day when you know what you're doing in dcss, you'll play pandemonium, which is similar to angband. What you realize in pandemonium is that using autoexplore is often a bad idea because you really just want to find portals and generate new levels to find the pan lord levels. What you care about is positioning yourself cautiously and covering ground quickly, exactly the opposite of what autoexplore does. If you're playing angband correctly (i.e. according to current thinking re: diving) this is very much what you're doing in angband, except that stealth is more powerful and the consequences of waking the wrong monster are more instantaneous.

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AFAICT from watching a few Let's Play's of DCSS, I don't think there's anything in DCSS that can insta-kill you from off-screen, is there?
Indeed, monsters can't even see you if they're off screen in crawl. They approach where they last saw you and if they can't find you, they start wandering. Nothing can attack you when it isn't in LoS and LoS is exactly what you see on the screen.

Last edited by mushroom patch; May 12, 2015 at 22:39.
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