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Old October 9, 2017, 17:56   #11
Infinitum
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I think they're a much more visible manifestation of the clock to newer players, and in some ways I find the minimum depth clock less elegant, as it is right now. If the minimum depth clock had some more flavorful and compelling manifestation, then maybe.
Ever played Dungeon Crawl? The later Hell levels have a mechanic where the player was blasted at regular but random intervals with what amounted to the ancient foul curse with a smorgosbord of different nasty effects. Something like that, with a greater chance of happening (with nastier effects) as the pc approaches minimum depth? Could make for an interesting alternative to traps in creating tension (tm). Also, minimum depth could be made more apparent on the main hud.

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This would, oddly, involve removing a lot of authentically Tolkien artifacts that simply should not be in Angband at the date we're playing (~ FA 469) - like Aeglos, Gil-galad's spear. I also don't see why Angband should be so littered with weapons specialised to killing orcs and spiders - these should be smithable by players, but only found as rare recoveries from human, elven and dwarven corpses. Weapons dropped by orcs and trolls and Easterlings should be weapons orcs and trolls and Easterlings might use, and most artifacts should be Morgoth-forged and carry serious drawbacks, apart from a few captured at times of Morgoth's strength (possibly many of these now remaning in dragon-hoards).
Well, to be fair stuff like Aeglos could still be present as it could conceivably have been smithed prior to Gil-Galad; and you would have to create quite the bit of fanon content to replace everything. The tolkien overload is a big part of the pull of these sort of games,just saying.

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(I have toyed with overhauling generation to try and make something more like a real fortress, with kitchens and armories and barracks and dormitories, but this would be a pretty big undertaking).
And spider-infested caverns, haunted abandoned mineshafts, guarded easterling tombs, lava reservoirs, underground lakes..

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It also would involve removing some uniques who shouldn't be in Angband at this date, like Ungoliant, as well as deathblades (and possibly the cats, who exist in an earlier version of the same canon - Tevildo becomes Thu becomes Sauron). Draugluin dies in the tale of Beren and Luthien, so is probably fair to keep. There is also quite a lot of canon support for varied and horrifying fell beasts of the Elder Days (e.g. Nazgul-steeds, the Watcher in the Water) which I think gives some room for interesting and horrifying additions to Angband's roster.
Ungolianth creeping around the Silmarils does a certain amount of sense though, maybe just add monster infighting instead :^). Fell Beasts not being included always struck me as an oversight. I was initially sceptical about the cats as well but they've grown on me with time. Wouldn't mind seeing more Book of Lost tales additions like the mecha tanks/dragons or heavily industrialized themes in angband. The fall of Gondolin in BoLT is a fucking goldmine in this regard; reads pretty much like a heavy metal album cover.

I started just wanting to do a rebalancing, and I'm not sure how many people would be put off by a turn in this direction; I'd be interested to hear any thoughts for or against.

Last edited by Infinitum; October 9, 2017 at 18:18.
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Old October 9, 2017, 19:51   #12
Pete Mack
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The twenty years of cruft is an issue only if there's no initiative to clean it up. That's happened to the Vanilla code, and it's really pretty clean code nowadays; it is *much* better than any of the variants. It has proper use of
* Separated data from code
* Use of C-style object oriented code (with function pointers)
* Cleaned up header tables (using included lists for generating similar fragments)

What left is going to full view-model-controller, which newUI largely did, sigh.
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Old October 9, 2017, 20:16   #13
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Ugh. I was going to say something mildly upset about the way can_fix_color is still in there but now untouched by anything, but in the Sil codebase it was only set within an #ifdef and depended on a can_change_color() function that no longer exists in Sil...

I'm going to clean this file up a little bit on top of applying the patch, though if I start letting myself get generally annoyed by dead code and warnings progress will grind to a halt. I've already spent a bunch of time tracking down memory corruption. I guess when an old C codebase has had twenty years of evolution these things happen.
I say leave the dead code there and just worry about gameplay. Almost nobody plays via terminal anyway.
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Old October 9, 2017, 21:59   #14
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So I made a brief foray into adding a throwing slot tonight so throwing axes could improve their reason to exist, and would have introduced a new bug/exploit if I hadn't happened to have been accidentally testing with a stack of Daggers of Accompaniment and suddenly found myself able to dual-wield longswords.

I could go through all the places it iterates over slots and make sure they don't touch the throwing slot... but I'm not sure it's worth it or that throwing adds a lot. Even with a more streamlined UI I suspect it will always be archery's poor relation.

There's a small part of me that wants to try to keep three blunt weapons and three axes, just to balance out the look of the crafting tree, but quarterstaffs and sceptres are useless and throwing axes scarcely better. Maybe I'll scrap throwing weapons entirely instead, and have handaxes, maces and mauls - though there don't seem enough reasonable dice pools to be quite satisfying there unless blunt weapons get some additional gimmick.

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Originally Posted by Infinitum
Well, to be fair stuff like Aeglos could still be present as it could conceivably have been smithed prior to Gil-Galad; and you would have to create quite the bit of fanon content to replace everything. The tolkien overload is a big part of the pull of these sort of games,just saying.
To be fair, many of the more totemic weapons could be in Angband at this point, also. Ringil, Anguirel, Glamdring, Orcrist are all plausibly there, Angrist fits thematically. We do however have a lot of fanon content that could be a little more Morgoth-themed.

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Originally Posted by Infinitum
And spider-infested caverns, haunted abandoned mineshafts, guarded easterling tombs, lava reservoirs, underground lakes..
Ooh, and then I could implement water flow and tunneling and flooding and... something something Dwarf Fortress?

I'll try to bite back on the urges until I have a maturer release with an acceptably balanced skill tree. Making the great artifacts rarer is tempting though, particularly when they feed into an already dominant play style.
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Old October 9, 2017, 22:38   #15
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Originally Posted by Quirk View Post
So I made a brief foray into adding a throwing slot tonight so throwing axes could improve their reason to exist, and would have introduced a new bug/exploit if I hadn't happened to have been accidentally testing with a stack of Daggers of Accompaniment and suddenly found myself able to dual-wield longswords.
Sweet. Wouldn't it be easier throwing weapons use the existing quiver slots though (code illiterate asking), retaining the (f/F)ire commands? Could possibly cut some input bloat.
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Old October 9, 2017, 23:07   #16
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Sweet. Wouldn't it be easier throwing weapons use the existing quiver slots though (code illiterate asking), retaining the (f/F)ire commands? Could possibly cut some input bloat.
That was my first thought - load throwing weapons into quivers with the use command or have a question input in wield - but that gets into a tangled mess of code that stretches everywhere and relies on things being of type Arrow. Then I discovered Ctrl-T already existed to automatically throw a weapon at the closest enemy; I swapped T and Ctrl T and for a few brief moments was somewhat happy wandering round chucking things at enemies with T out of my new throwing slot.

Once I had a throwing slot though I also found I wanted to show the to hit and damage in the UI. (This would also be messily true if I put it in the archery slot). In short I saw this stretching into a major undertaking and becoming self justifying labour; "All that work in improving the throwing UI and still nobody uses it, throwing weapons need to be better"... "Well, if people had skills that relied on it they would use it..."

I think it's probably better off cut or at least de-emphasised to be a very minor option.

Still looking for something to fill a high skill spot on the Will tree after I move Strength in Adversity down and buff it. I've a couple of ideas for replacing Careful Shot - some kind of arrow knockback effect and something related to light radius - but am not completely happy with either. I have an idea for a new Smithing skill - Reforge - letting you trade an artefact for +1 uses of a forge - not sure if this is potentially broken good at 950 or not good enough. So I'm hanging off on many of these changes until I feel I have an idea I am confident with.
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Old October 10, 2017, 12:10   #17
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Ever played Dungeon Crawl? The later Hell levels have a mechanic where the player was blasted at regular but random intervals with what amounted to the ancient foul curse with a smorgosbord of different nasty effects. Something like that, with a greater chance of happening (with nastier effects) as the pc approaches minimum depth? Could make for an interesting alternative to traps in creating tension (tm). Also, minimum depth could be made more apparent on the main hud.
Please don't use Hell Effects, they are mostly tedious, unfun, and poorly balanced. It's one of those ideas that looks better on paper.
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Old October 10, 2017, 16:33   #18
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You could start aggressively spawning in roaming guards once the depth clock expires. Combine it with a message like "Morgoth's forces have discovered your presence", and repeat that message every time the player enters a level that's shallower than the depth clock requires. If you really want to stick around and deal with the guards, you can, but it should be weighted (in terms of guard difficulty / frequency / loot) so that that's not generally worth doing.
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Old October 10, 2017, 18:22   #19
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Please don't use Hell Effects, they are mostly tedious, unfun, and poorly balanced. It's one of those ideas that looks better on paper.
Been years and years since I actually played crawl, but I disagree about the tedium part. As I recall the Hell levels were the only ones where my winning 15-runers actually felt threatened past the first few runes due to the uncertainties involved. Also, the incentive to hurry along as opposed to always playing it safe (food not being an issue) was pretty nerve-wracking. Also, "It draws the will of Morgoth" has a better ring than "it incraseases your food consumtion" as an item drawback.

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Still looking for something to fill a high skill spot on the Will tree
What about an ablity to have the player save versus death? A simple Will check versus dc(negativehp), if passed the player lives on (with negative hp; meaning consecutive checks get harder unless they heal inbetween). Assuming an endgame will of ~15 including Grace this should hopefully not be too broken compared to extra constitution.

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Originally Posted by Of the return of the Noldor (ch 13), the Silmarillion
Thus it was that (FŽanor) drew far ahead of the van of his host; and seeing this the servants of Morgoth turned to bay, and there issued from Angband Balrogs to aid them. There upon the confines of Dor Daedeloth, the land of Morgoth, FŽanor was surrounded, with few friends about him. Long he fought on, and undismayed, though he was wrapped in fire and wounded with many wounds; but at the last he was smitten to the ground by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, whom Ecthelion after slew in Gondolin. There he would have perished, had not his sons in that moment come up with force to his aid; and the Balrogs left him, and departed to Angband.

Then his sons raised up their father and bore him back towards Mithrim. But as they drew near to Eithel Sirion and were upon the upward path to the pass over the mountains, FŽanor bade them halt; for his wounds were mortal, and he knew that his hour was come. And looking out from the slopes of Ered Wethrin with his last sight he beheld far off the peaks of Thangorodrim, mightiest of the towers of Middle-earth, and knew with the foreknowledge of death that no power of the Noldor would ever overthrow them; but he cursed the name of Morgoth thrice, and laid it upon his sons to hold to their oath, and to avenge their father. Then he died; but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped his body fell to ash, and was borne away like smoke; and his likeness has never again appeared in Arda, neither has his spirit left the halls of Mandos. Thus ended the mightiest of the Noldor, of whose deeds came both their greatest renown and their most grievous woe.
Classic determinator stuff.

Last edited by Infinitum; October 10, 2017 at 18:36.
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Old October 10, 2017, 20:27   #20
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What about an ablity to have the player save versus death? A simple Will check versus dc(negativehp), if passed the player lives on (with negative hp; meaning consecutive checks get harder unless they heal inbetween). Assuming an endgame will of ~15 including Grace this should hopefully not be too broken compared to extra constitution.
I like this. Will maybe need a little bit of balancing, but something that kicks in and saves you from a deathblow would feel epic enough to be higher on the skill tree.

I'm a little tempted to have it block the deathblow itself, because that way the skill is useful even if you don't have healing potions, possibly at the cost of draining some Will points. Or alternatively, you could be mortally wounded and be unable to heal when below 0, but only die when you reach negative HP equal to your will? There are possibilities here. I like it.
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