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Old January 11, 2012, 16:39   #11
half
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Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
However I will note that three of the people who have posted to the ladder, including me, were beta-testers (and alpha-testers!) for the game, so have had a while longer to get used to the style of play it calls for.
That is true. It is also interesting that the beta-testers were often completely new to roguelikes and to my knowledge none had ever played a variant of Angband before. It *could* be that this helped them in some ways, as they hadn't grown used to having easy escapes. Will Asher is entirely right that a main aspect of Sil is the lack of easy escapes. This doesn't mean you can't escape though, just that you need to think carefully and often flee before the last minute, as well as investing in skills and abilities that help with avoiding the types of situations in which you die.

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From your existing character dumps, I'd suggest that you might find the early game a little easier with slightly higher investment in melee and evasion (and/or Dexterity).
This is correct. I think that the easiest playstyle for the early to mid game in Sil is a high-melee, high-evasion Feanorian. To get high melee and evasion, investing in a lot of Dex is really useful. Dex is probably the most important stat in Sil (as opposed to Angband where it is Con). The particular archetype I'm thinking of will want to use light weapons (a longsword or short sword) to get good critical hits, and will want to avoid many items that give penalties to melee and evasion. Avoiding many of the less useful Abilities will also help save your experience for more melee and evasion. This can make you almost unhittable in melee (but beware of arrows and breath weapons!). It is far from the only strategy, but I think it is one of the easiest for new players.
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Old January 11, 2012, 18:47   #12
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The trick with this kind of character is to try not to let yourself become surrounded.
It is fun to fight surrounded and kill them all. BTW fear still may be trouble, I miss heroism potions.
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Old January 11, 2012, 19:20   #13
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Your Will helps you to resist fear-causing effects (among many other things). And eating a herb of rage or drinking a potion of orcish liquor will cure your fear (with the herb I think moreover you may resist or even be immune to fear while its effects last).
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Old January 11, 2012, 19:31   #14
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It is definitely a difficult game (still haven't made it past 300'), although I'm still learning.

I think that it's pretty easy to have bad luck in this game (i.e. do the "right" thing and melee in a corridor, but then have new monsters come from the other side and trap you). Respawn is fast enough that you can't really count on any area as being safe, and true escapes (stairs) are where the new monsters come from! My last good run was ended on my first meeting with clear worms. I learned that you just need to leave the level when you first meet one of those.

That said, I'm certainly not ready to say it is "too hard". I'm having fun, and making slow progress getting farther into the dungeon. This variant feels so much more interactive than most.

One thing that would be helpful, and might be OK thematically IMHO, would be if herbs auto-ID'ed. Maybe even starting with a useful herb or two.

I usually find a bow and arrow by the time I need them. I don't usually find armor better than basic leather, and will usually make either the studded leather or mail in a forge if I can. Herbs are very hit-or-mis- there are games where I haven't found any.

edit- I'd be very interested to see a good player do a video play-through to see exactly how they start and build their char, as well as their fighting and retreat tactics.
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Old January 11, 2012, 19:34   #15
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Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
It is fun to fight surrounded and kill them all. BTW fear still may be trouble, I miss heroism potions.
You do get massive penalties for this though. As well as having one attack to their many (8 if fully surrounded), you get a penalty to evasion. Your penalty against an attack is -1 for each other monster adjacent to you, or -2 if that monster is directly opposite the attacker, or in the two directions closest to directly opposite. So you get -10 to all evasion rolls if completely surrounded, as well as suffering 8 attacks for each one you perform.

I try to avoid it, though I do know players who get Whirlwind Attack and try to get surrounded...
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Old January 11, 2012, 21:25   #16
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I'd be interested to hear of specific examples of this, as I'm prepared to change things if it is widely perceived as unfair. Orcs do indeed modify their behaviour based on your health and your status conditions (e.g. fear, blindness, stunning, paralysis, slowness). This seems pretty fair to me though. You change your behaviour based on whether the monsters are afraid, stunned, slow etc.
It is just a feeling, but I think that orcs decided to follow me in to the corridor when I got severely poisoned or blinded even if they could not see that happen - I was behind the corner.

Sil is very different from Angband - mosters are much more cooperative and the situation can get from manageable to deadly very very quickly :-)
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Old January 11, 2012, 23:26   #17
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It is just a feeling, but I think that orcs decided to follow me in to the corridor when I got severely poisoned or blinded even if they could not see that happen - I was behind the corner.

Sil is very different from Angband - mosters are much more cooperative and the situation can get from manageable to deadly very very quickly :-)
That may well have happened. You are right that they can directly determine your health state even if you are out of their line of sight, which is a little cheaty (though it is rare that this makes a difference). Often they would remember seeing you slow or poisoned when you escaped around the corner anyway. Perhaps the best solution is to make them treat you as healthy when you are out of sight. I should add that they can also tell if you are in the open around the corner or still in a corridor and they technically shouldn't be able to tell that either. However Angband has this feature too, so this might really not be a criticism of Sil in particular, but of pack-AI.
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Old January 12, 2012, 01:26   #18
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I think my biggest problem with the game is this:
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Originally Posted by will_asher View Post
I really don't like having a small limited number of turns to spend at each depth. I always feel rushed. If I run away down the stairs, it uses an extra 100 turns so I end up deeper faster when I was already at a depth I couldn't survive.
If I keep finding monsters that can kill me and running away down the stairs, I'll end up deeper when I already can't survive at the depth I'm at. If I keep running away, I'll end up facing Morgoth when I couldn't survive a group of orc archers.
In Sil, stairs are the _only_ escape, so I don't think they should be limited use like this.

The fact that most of the dumps belong to beta testers does explain the ladder.
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Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
I can maybe provide more specific tips if you could share, say, a screenshot and a character dump at a point where you think things might go badly (don't leave it until things have gone badly, as that can be too late). From your existing character dumps, I'd suggest that you might find the early game a little easier with slightly higher investment in melee and evasion (and/or Dexterity).
How do I know that it'll go bad before it goes bad?

PS: I always hated pack ai and play with it turned off in V, and in DAJ I tweaked it so that it has less effect.
PPS: Another reason this game seems so hard, it that in most *bands when you get to dL25, you feel like you're doing pretty good. But with only 20 levels, you have to finish a higher percentage of the game in order to feel like you've had a good game, if you know what I mean. That's an advantage of having a 100 level game.
PPPS: Are chests ever worth opening? Both times I found one I just get a bunch of junk weapons and a cloud of poison. (I'm never able to find a trap when searching for it on a chest)
PPPPS: I like how throwing weapons work in Sil (just that they are viable as an alternative to missile weapons is a big improvement over throwing in V).
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Old January 12, 2012, 11:17   #19
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If I keep finding monsters that can kill me and running away down the stairs, I'll end up deeper when I already can't survive at the depth I'm at.
Something is definitely going wrong at this point. You shouldn't have to flee as much as that. Do try a high Dex, high melee, high evasion character to get the hang of it. Once you get even a Curved Sword and Leather Armour, you should be able to beat most early creatures. A unique may well be a reason to flee, but they are relatively uncommon. Also, remember that you can go up stairs to earlier levels so long as you haven't used all of your time.


[QUOTE]In Sil, stairs are the _only_ escape, so I don't think they should be limited use like this.[QUOTE]

This is something that is very unlikely to change. I did this to avoid what I (and many others) see as a major design flaw with Angband: the infinite levels, and potential for making the game arbitrarily easy/boring.

The time limits on the other hand are open to possible revision. Personally, I find that I am usually a bit ahead of the minimum depth and rarely get forced down.

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PS: I always hated pack ai and play with it turned off in V, and in DAJ I tweaked it so that it has less effect.
You may actually want an item of Wrath (aka "aggravation" in Angband). These make unwary monsters in LOS notice you, and also make alert monsters aggressive so they won't use the 'pack AI'.

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PPS: Another reason this game seems so hard, it that in most *bands when you get to dL25, you feel like you're doing pretty good. But with only 20 levels, you have to finish a higher percentage of the game in order to feel like you've had a good game, if you know what I mean. That's an advantage of having a 100 level game.
I certainly feel like I'm doing well in Sil by 500ft (which is half the dungeon length, but maybe 1/3 of the game time of a full game). I aim to make Sil take about 10 hours to complete successfully, and there is no reason one can't feel quite a sense of progress several hours into a game. CF most action games, or puzzle games. The gameplay is deliberately more intense than V to give you more of a feeling of satisfaction in a shorter time.

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PPPS: Are chests ever worth opening? Both times I found one I just get a bunch of junk weapons and a cloud of poison. (I'm never able to find a trap when searching for it on a chest)
Yes, they are typically quite good. You get several items in a theme, generated as if they were found on a deeper level. You will get hit by the trap unless you have good perception, but they don't matter that much if there are no creatures around. If it has consumables, they will only be the best items of that type which is particularly useful.

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PPPPS: I like how throwing weapons work in Sil (just that they are viable as an alternative to missile weapons is a big improvement over throwing in V).
I'm glad you like it! And sorry that there are so many other things that bother you with the game.
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Old January 12, 2012, 12:07   #20
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The fact that most of the dumps belong to beta testers does explain the ladder.
Actually "most" isn't quite right. In particular HallucinationMushroom and Satyr have been doing very well without having played the game before release.

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How do I know that it'll go bad before it goes bad?
I'm thinking of things like in your first post, where you said:
"I see monsters that will probably kill me, then start going the other direction and see more monsters."

I should also add that the 100 turns for using the stairs shouldn't be a big thing; it's meant to stop total abuse of the stairs just reloading levels until you get one you like, but using it now and again as an escape should be fine.
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