Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > Vanilla

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 15, 2014, 19:46   #1
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Vaults, TO, and some general musings

So I've been thinking a lot about certain mechanics in my no-TO play through (was competition 154, but I'm slow in finding time to play...)

Not having TO leads to some really neat situations, but also a lot of "well, gotta bail" situations. You can definitely reach a point where you are too underpowered to continue and need to either grind, or die (if you're playing forced descent). And that's no fun. However, the area that is most problematic is vaults. Even in Fizzixband where monsters are toned down in vaults in comparison to Vanilla (10 levels OoD instead of 40) they tend to be too hard. It turns out that 3-4 at depth monsters are more than any player can usually handle. Removing vaults removes a lot of fun, which was one of clouded's critiques, and I agree.

In previous threads, it's pretty clear that vaults, specifically large vaults, with lots of nasties and loot are a very desirable thing for Angband. However, I've learned some new things about what I think about vaults. And I've developed some ideas that might be worth playing around with.

1) Sneaking around vaults to pick up a piece of gear is super fun. Unfortunately, too many vaults are too densely packed with monsters to make this viable. Furthermore, the long amount of time needed to dig/wade through weaker monsters, means that the nasties you want to sneak around are likely to be awake. In the few times I was able to do this sneaking, I had a blast. (when I was a kid we had a game with penguins carrying eggs on their heads called "don't wake the dragon" and if you rolled onto a square that woke the dragon, you'd push a button and the board would shake and the egg would fall off of your head. I played a different game of "don't wake the dragon" several times in Angband, only if the dragon awoke, @ would lose more than just an egg)

2) For a single nasty monster, games of evasion can be fun. Pulling a monster out, teleport by teleport and then coming in behind it is pretty cool. But you can't do it with more than one monster.

3) For length considerations, one tough battle is equal to about 20 Teleport Others as far as my own personal exhaustion. One tough battle is far more interesting though.

4) Having to deal with annoyance monsters can also be interesting. When you lack the option to send them to the other side of the level, you have to make more interesting decisions.

So, if we were to remove or greatly nerf TO (or more specifically, if I was, in some variant I eventually flesh out completely) how would vaults look?

1) Monster density would be lower. Like 10% of current for some vaults. Treasure density would be roughly the same. Lesser vaults are actually pretty good right now. Medium vaults sometimes push it a little, but the greater vaults need some significant paring down.

2) Vaults would be frozen until the player cracks it. Everything is forced asleep and possibly even unmappable until the player enters the 'entrance square"

3) Vaults are more segmented. For vaults that are more open, you can add extra "unfreezing squares" and allow the player to activate it segment by segment.

4) Repurpose the annoyance monsters as vault guardians. Specifically, the moving eyes, the golems and maybe the Lichs. They could even go with specifically themed vaults. 1 undead beholder that you have to fight is much more interesting than many other monsters. (also switch it so that golems are always awake, and eyes are heavy sleepers)

5) Alarm traps. The game already has them (shrieker patches). Silent Watchers are one of the most underutilized monsters in the game. They are perfect for this. On the other hand, shrieker patches (or crebain or other always awake shriekers) are too powerful for vaults. Those need to go. Also change the shriek mechanic to remove the overpowered haste, and reduce sleep instead of auto-awakening everything.

6) If you phase starting in a vault, you can land in the vault. Stop this using phase as an automatic escape.

7) Remove the floors full of tons of traps nonsense. If traps were worth worrying about, then the floors of traps would be too powerful.

8) Give the player a bail option. You pretty much have this already with teleport, but make it so that once you leave, the vault is sealed. Make it a real risk-reward question for the player. Of course this is suicide with the current way vaults are.

9) Vaults are immune to destruction and banishment.

10) Ban certain monsters from vaults. Specifically, destroy item monsters (elementals, Xs).

11) Vault monsters could be territorial, kind of like in Sil. I'm not sure how well this would work though.

The aim is to have big vaults, similarly sized with current ones that tend to be filled with a small number of tough tactical battles. My experience tells me this is fun and could work, although it would take some significant rebalancing.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2014, 23:37   #2
Mark
Adept
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 129
Mark is on a distinguished road
Very eloquent and thought out!

Quote:
Vault monsters could be territorial, kind of like in Sil. I'm not sure how well this would work though.
I haven't played Sil (yet). Is this feature something like the Orc Guard Tower? (like a cross between vaults and monster pits?)

I think all your ideas seem like they are worth trialing.

It would be interesting to consider how different classes would approach the vaults, or perhaps whether different vault layouts and contents could vary, so some vaults are really great for fast, stealthy characters, others favour meatshields, other favour classes with utility spells - and the player needs to ask 'can I handle *this* vault' - it seems like between the traps, monster-density, segmentation, wake-fulness, we could play up class differences a little bit?
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 01:34   #3
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Very eloquent and thought out!



I haven't played Sil (yet). Is this feature something like the Orc Guard Tower? (like a cross between vaults and monster pits?)
Basically the monsters stay within whatever room they start in. They can be lured out but it takes some effort. They won't chase the player into the corridor. I don't know all the details.


Quote:
It would be interesting to consider how different classes would approach the vaults, or perhaps whether different vault layouts and contents could vary, so some vaults are really great for fast, stealthy characters, others favour meatshields, other favour classes with utility spells - and the player needs to ask 'can I handle *this* vault' - it seems like between the traps, monster-density, segmentation, wake-fulness, we could play up class differences a little bit?
Yes, this is certainly true. Right now with regards to vaults, rogues and late game mages play it differently, and all other classes are roughly the same. Rogues because they have good item detection and mages because they have banishment. Thinking in terms of class differences is always a good thing, I just haven't gotten that far yet.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 04:46   #4
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
In related news, I just finished almost clearing a divisi vault with no TO and tons of nasty uniques. I'll port the video to youtube tomorrow. But, in my mind, this kind of gameplay is similar to what I envision as near ideal for angband vaults. Lots of tactical choices in which place to go first, how long to wait, etc.

One thing that was a bit frustrating is that towards the end, I started generating crazy amounts of lag, probably due to the huge amount of items on the ground and the fact that my laptop can only barely handle streaming and playing even a simple a game as angband. That was something new for me. Kind of wish we had destroy item back again...

Also, it's clear that I can still improve a lot play-wise. Krazyhades was tearing his hair out with some of my stupid errors.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 07:30   #5
Thraalbee
Knight
 
Thraalbee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 630
Thraalbee is on a distinguished road
In the comp I tried to sneak around in the vaults and only take fights when I woke someone, that was great fun but did not work in many instances.
For more busy vaults my main tactics was to awaken and lure monsters out of the vault and then destruct them. Usually by going inside, zap a ball spell or something to get some attention and then ?phase out. Once I had to destruct very close to the vault and blasted part of the vault too since I could not outrun the whole set of D's chasing me. I did not want that since I then had to dig a lot losing both time and floor items. I found that battle really exciting. Being forced to be creative instead of just _to made it more fun. Also I like that this makes it worthwile to bring a source of aggravation.
I like your suggestions, but some of them would make this type of play impossible. Not sure what works best.
Thraalbee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 08:12   #6
Estie
Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,822
Estie is on a distinguished road
This is all interesting, but I dont understand why you insist on forced descent. It just limits the retreat options, forcing the player commit or take a greater risk next time, like Sil. Given that the competion was one game, why not let people poke around and find their comfort zones where to play ? By forcing descent, you change two variables at once for a test run.

Mindless grinding bot-style has always been an option in angband and isnt a problem as long as its not the most effective way to go about winning.
Estie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 14:41   #7
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
This is all interesting, but I dont understand why you insist on forced descent.
This was your suggestion!

http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showpos...3&postcount=18

I refer you to your arguments on the matter.

Quote:
It just limits the retreat options, forcing the player commit or take a greater risk next time, like Sil. Given that the competion was one game, why not let people poke around and find their comfort zones where to play ? By forcing descent, you change two variables at once for a test run.

Mindless grinding bot-style has always been an option in angband and isnt a problem as long as its not the most effective way to go about winning.
Everything needs a balance metric. Deciding whether a change is too easy or too hard. Interesting vs. scummy needs a standard number of levels to decide against. With infinite levels, any challenge can be overcome by grinding, but what's important to me is whether the challenge can also be overcome without grinding! For me, a change that *requires* grindy play is bad.

The changes mentioned in this thread are mostly irrelevant of forced descent or not.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 15:19   #8
Estie
Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,822
Estie is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
This was your suggestion!

http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showpos...3&postcount=18

I refer you to your arguments on the matter.



Everything needs a balance metric. Deciding whether a change is too easy or too hard. Interesting vs. scummy needs a standard number of levels to decide against. With infinite levels, any challenge can be overcome by grinding, but what's important to me is whether the challenge can also be overcome without grinding! For me, a change that *requires* grindy play is bad.

The changes mentioned in this thread are mostly irrelevant of forced descent or not.
Ouch, I forgot that. My bad. Also, it was a small footnote not thoroughly thought through.

I looked upon the no-to competition as a test run. If it turns out that grinding is the best way, then that might be bad and other changes should probably be considered like lowering monster level variance; I still didnt like being limited by forced descend when I played (your version of the competition). It is too random.
Estie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 15:28   #9
mrrstark
Adept
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 101
mrrstark is on a distinguished road
If you're fiddling with vaults, could there also be room for early vaultlettes?
Since newer, less-good players like myself rarely get deep in the dungeon, we miss out on some of the most fun parts of Angband, like the different vaults.

It'd be cool if there was an early-vault type, with a fizzix style one-two monster tactical challenge, and a decent chance at some good early game loot.

Obviously you have less options near the start, so they'd have different balance challenges, but if you're making the later vaults not require Teleport Other, then it should be easier to balance a low-level vault type.
mrrstark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2014, 15:59   #10
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrstark View Post
If you're fiddling with vaults, could there also be room for early vaultlettes?
Since newer, less-good players like myself rarely get deep in the dungeon, we miss out on some of the most fun parts of Angband, like the different vaults.

It'd be cool if there was an early-vault type, with a fizzix style one-two monster tactical challenge, and a decent chance at some good early game loot.

Obviously you have less options near the start, so they'd have different balance challenges, but if you're making the later vaults not require Teleport Other, then it should be easier to balance a low-level vault type.
Yeah, something like this is definitely doable, with minor work, even in the current version. In fact I know Nick has a lot of ideas in this direction and I do too.

The templated rooms already work like this in a sense. They have a higher density of monsters, monsters can be 3 levels OoD and they have more items than usual. (Or at least that's how they worked last I checked)

But really, what I'd like to see in the early game is more themed areas. Kobold camps, orc halls, ant nests, etc. A lot of stuff we can throw in at dungeon level 1 and not really throw off the balance too much (although I'd be inclined to wait to 2 or 3 for any somewhat scary challenge, just so that a very very new player has a place to get their feet wet.)

To pull this off, all we'd need is a way to select monster (by race or base) in vaults.txt or rooms.txt, neither of which is beyond my abilities (i think). If we didn't care about that, we could do it right away. You could even design new rooms, it's pretty easy and no coding is needed. Just imagination.

Of course there's the "after the refactor" business, so any code changes will have to wait. Unfortunately, my abilities don't seem to be high enough to contribute greatly to the refactor, I'm having a hard enough time just keeping up with the changes Nick and Takkaria are making.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Musings on an alternate timekeeping system Derakon Variants 6 September 30, 2012 08:04
General Advice robbio Variants 3 February 14, 2010 15:41
General Impressions of the 3.1.0 beta bron Vanilla 1 March 24, 2009 08:37
General Store Malak Darkhunter Vanilla 3 January 11, 2009 18:21
[all] Some general questions quaxocal Variants 17 July 29, 2007 22:02


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:03.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.