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Old March 3, 2020, 15:20   #1
Anarchic Fox
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What I would love to see in 5.X

Collective AI. Such scenarios as...

The orc scout tags the player before being killed. From somewhere on the level, an orc battalion is on its way.

A horn blast announces that Morgoth is shifting his troops. Slowly, lumbering trolls emerge from down staircases and leave on up staircases. How many? ...Too many to fight, that's for sure.

Summoners that summon intelligently, terrifying though that thought may be.

Or hell, even just making individual AI better. In the archetypal story, the warrior defeats the necromancer by cleaving through a swarm of undead to their master at the rear. In Angband, the warrior defeats the necromancer by lounging by a doorway until the dumb schlub comes through. I do not think it would be so terrible for a type of monster to just head for n spaces away from the player, and hang out there doing the normal 1/3 chance of magic attack... and it might finally help mitigate the effectiveness of those dumb anti-summoning earthworks.

Last edited by Anarchic Fox; March 3, 2020 at 17:53.
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Old March 3, 2020, 15:42   #2
Anarchic Fox
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Oh, that and the ability to obtain the newest version via aptget. Linux gaming is hard enough as it is. :P
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Old March 3, 2020, 19:44   #3
Anarchic Fox
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*coughs embarrassedly* And a museum. Look, some of us really enjoy collecting the shiny artifacts and lining them up in a big shiny row to admire. Please give us a place to do so.
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Old March 4, 2020, 03:04   #4
luneya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
Collective AI. Such scenarios as...

Or hell, even just making individual AI better. In the archetypal story, the warrior defeats the necromancer by cleaving through a swarm of undead to their master at the rear. In Angband, the warrior defeats the necromancer by lounging by a doorway until the dumb schlub comes through. I do not think it would be so terrible for a type of monster to just head for n spaces away from the player, and hang out there doing the normal 1/3 chance of magic attack... and it might finally help mitigate the effectiveness of those dumb anti-summoning earthworks.
As long as the spellcaster doesn't retreat when the player tries to approach, I'd be fine with this. Summoning monsters that step back to maintain distance while still actively casting stuff rather than fleeing in terror would make the melee-focused classes nigh unplayable; they already would effectively get free turns whenever a summoned monster blocks the player's path, which would happen frequently if ASC were no longer an effective strategy.
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Old March 4, 2020, 04:56   #5
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I wouldn't mind if squishy casters like the mage kept its distance. Most of the nastier summoners are actually melee monsters like demons & undead who may as well just be coming at you.
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Old March 4, 2020, 08:33   #6
Anarchic Fox
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I figure there could be two variations of this AI. Most would just scoot towards n steps away, but not retreat any further, for the reasons Luneya gave. However, varying the number n would then be another way to distinguish them, and would greatly improve their subjective variation.

Both advancing to a certain distance but also retreating would be too annoying in most cases, but it could make an interesting challenge for certain slow monsters in groups. Say you had an archer phenotype which both advanced and retreated, but when they retreat they can take any of the three directions leading away from you. Then, charging a group of them would mean they "move" to circle you.

But of course, it's easy to throw out ideas when I'm not the one who would have to code them. If nothing else, take it as a sign of my enthusiasm for this new version of Angband. ;P
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Old March 4, 2020, 15:30   #7
Sideways
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Keepaway AI exists in Pos-likes, though it's a randomly selected AI that can only appear on uniques with attacking spells. It's coded as "AI_MAINTAIN_DISTANCE", which is exactly what it sounds like: the monster will approach if it's too far away and retreat if it's too close, unless it's in melee range in which case it accepts the inevitability of melee. I think monsters with that AI also cast spells more often.

That AI can make some fights more difficult, and does limit the usefulness of anti-summoning corridors. Frequently, though, it just increases annoyance rather than danger or difficulty.

Not sure how well the Pos-like keepaway AI would translate to V, because in V players already rely so much on hockeysticks/loscheese, and keepaway AI might well just mean you kill even more things by loscheese. Loscheese is a lot less effective in Pos/Frog, and if you tried it the monster would adjust its AI (and, in Frog, might summon or heal without LOS). Allowing V monsters to likewise summon, heal and adjust their AI in response to being hurt from outside their LOS would solve that issue, but it would also greatly reduce the effectiveness of loscheese more generally.
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Old March 4, 2020, 17:45   #8
Diego Gonzalez
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In NPP you must be in LOS to hit a monster directly. The only source of indirect damage is splash from ball spells. The game should stack CCW potions in stores to balance that.
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Old March 4, 2020, 18:47   #9
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Sideways, if it's been tested and found annoying, I'll scratch off that one as a bad idea. However, the weaker version where the monster stops advancing, but does not retreat, might still be fun.

I don't have a strong enough sense of Angband's overall AI programming to make reliably good suggestions, so I'll lay out my subjective experience instead. While I love this game, I'm dismayed by the way every enemy feels like a deranged berserker, and the main difference is whether they pause to shoot a spell while they're running at you. There are times when it feels like the dungeon is populated with nothing except dogs, insects and berserkers.

That being said, I've played many other conventional roguelikes, and I don't think I can name one (besides maybe Brogue) that does a much better job.
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Old March 5, 2020, 01:37   #10
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The monster AI already has code for determining the best range, but it is currently only used in fleeing. I believe this is an oversight on my part - I'll look into adding it to advancing.
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