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Old February 26, 2010, 23:19   #1
Susramanian
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Angband 3.1.2 impressions

My impressions of 3.1.2 after a warrior winner:

The good:

0) The reworked artifacts are great. That's what finally persuaded me to give Vanilla another try.

1) Not having to mess around with *Identify* is wonderful. I recently started up an Oangband warrior and cringed when I found my first artifact and knew nothing about it.

2) The quiver was a very welcome addition.

3) The streamlined shopping interface took some getting used to, but I'm hooked on it. With the Oangband character I mentioned above, I now feel like I'm wearing out my enter key every time I go to town.

4) I felt the need to add something here, since this list looked so short and could give the impression that I hated 3.1.2. I loved it. Much fun. Made me care enough to post something to the Angband community for the first time ever. All the nit-picking below is because I care


The bad:

4) Line of sight is still not symmetric. Ever since I played a bunch of Sangband a while back and got used to its symmetric line of sight rules, the hockey-sticking and other line of sight funny business from other variants is painful.

5) Feeble pits seem quite common at inappropriate depths. A room full of 95 orcs should look like dinner to most of the monsters that should really be living at 4950 feet. Oh, and I do not feel very superbly about jelly pits.

6) Chests are a bit buggy and unappealing. Besides the already-reported chest within a chest strangeness, I ran into trouble when there were several chests stacked in one square on the floor. After some ambiguous disarming and attempts to open, I think I finally had to pick one or two of them up and spread them out on the floor to get them open. As for chests being unappealing, that's probably the result of too much [S] and [O] and [FA], where chests are cause for great rejoicing. In vanilla, chests just seem to represent mediocre loot that requires a bunch of extra keystrokes to get at. Somebody took the trouble to lock this stuff up-- it should be more interesting than the random dungeon floor litter.

7) For warriors, the amulets available for much of the game leave a lot to be desired. Seems like there should be some relatively low level amulet that might be of some use. The closest I found was regeneration. Later on, of course, I was swimming in interesting amulets.

8) I found the dungeons to be, on average, much less interesting than what I'm used to in many variants. Maybe it's because I always play with Auto Scum when it's available. I've probably missed a bunch of good discussions about this.

I'm an untested and yet passionate champion of justice, seeking to descend into the depths of the very Pits of Angband where the dark god himself dwells among his legions of monstrous followers. Much weeping and moaning ensued among my family at my announcement of the decision, for to challenge Morgoth in his home is certain death. The murderous and endless labyrinth that is the seat of Evil's embodiment on Earth possesses horrors no sane man would face, let alone seek out. My will signed, my family and friends hugged for what is most likely the last time, I descend into the killing depths.

This seems a quiet, peaceful place.
Huh?

This place seems reasonably safe.
What?

This place looks uninteresting.
Am I at the right address?

I get level feelings like that in the grocery store. I want something a bit more pulse-quickening in my video games. I know it can't be excitement all the time, because excitement in Angband pretty much means mortal danger. But these huge levels full of rectangular rooms littered with shards of pottery and iron spikes and feeble monsters... come on. I wouldn't mind an "At Least One Unique Monster or One Vault of Some Kind Per Level" policy.

9) Oh God, the hounds. They're everywhere. Most variants have this problem, too. When I light up the level and see a greater vault loaded with loot, my greedy little gamer heart starts pounding... until I get closer and see that the whole vault is coated in multicolored Z's. Then I stare in dismay for a couple seconds and get up and go do something else. I've read debates here on this subject, and I want to make it clear that I'm not pushing for making the game easier, just less... canine. I'd rather see a vault filled with out of depth monsters that will likely kill me if I engage them than a vault brimming with hounds. I don't fear them, I'm TIRED of them. How much of my Angband play time has been spent hiding beside the door in some room killing dogs as they walk in?

10) There seem to be no non-unique monsters native to the last thousand feet before Morgoth. What happened to the Great Wyrms of Power and such? This feels like an attempt to set up the game for some heavy rebalancing or something, but I couldn't find any mention of that. The last thousand feet before Morgoth have always been dull (more on that in another post, maybe), and now it's even worse. Or has it been this way for years? I've played nothing but variants since maybe 1997.

11) The Paur* gauntlets didn't get much love with the artifact reworking, except for the Paur that actually frost-brands your attacks. A large percentage of random ego gloves would be better than several of the Paurs.

12) Speaking of ego gloves, gauntlets of combat don't seem nearly good enough to warrant the aggravate flag. I know curses are getting reworked in the future.

13) Qlzqqlzuup no longer squeals and snorts and writhes in his description. This is a very serious matter.

The random:

14) Mushrooms of most types seemed so rare as to be a waste of time to collect.

15) The squelch settings served me well with the exception of boots. Is it possible to squelch any boots that don't give speed?
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Old February 27, 2010, 00:36   #2
will_asher
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I had some of the same problems you have with vanilla (especially 7,8,9,10) except that I am opposed to symetrical line of sight on principal. It sounds like what you need is more flavor in the game. For this I recommend my variant DaJAngband. Some things about DaJAngband you might like:

- several different room designs to make the dungeon layout more interesting
- more interesting monsters (including more which are native to very deep depths)
- occational themed levels which are home to appropriate types of monsters.
- hounds are less common and come in smaller groups
- Sometimes you'll find chests with silver or gold locks on them which (usually) mean better treasure inside.
- charm effects (slow/sleep/scare/confuse) from wands & spells are significantly more likely to work so they're actually useful.

Little things:
- some more types of amulets for the levels in between the weaks ones and the great ones.
- level feeling of pits depends on the pit type (jelly pits do not raise the level feeling)
- *identify* still exists for random stuff on egos, but artifacts fully auto-ID on peusdo.

Cool stuff for next release of DaJAngband (I hope to release it sometime in the next couple weeks):
- reworked level feelings: separated feelings for danger and treasure. Also an option to remove level feelings completely.
- different nest sizes
- about half of the townspeople will take no notice of you unless you hit them (no more following you around and being annoying). Also certain dungeon monsters may sometimes appear in the town in a weaker form (only not at the very beginning of the game).
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Old February 27, 2010, 00:44   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susramanian View Post
15) The squelch settings served me well with the exception of boots. Is it possible to squelch any boots that don't give speed?
If you squelch "all but splendid" via quality, that gets everything except speed and stealth and the combo elvenkind. Not your solution, but better than nothing.

When the bugs are worked out of the brand new implementation [Way to go MarbleDice!] of bitflag support, I'll improve squelch to where you can squelch anything.
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Old February 27, 2010, 03:44   #4
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I remembered another oddity: constitutions above 18/200 have no effect on hit points.

Will, I downloaded DaJAngband tonight and I'm having a blast. Thanks. I'll have much more to say later in the weekend, I'm sure.

PowerDiver: yeah, that's what I ended up doing. Looking forward to your improvements!
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Old February 28, 2010, 14:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susramanian View Post
0) The reworked artifacts are great. That's what finally persuaded me to give Vanilla another try.
Excellent.
Quote:
11) The Paur* gauntlets didn't get much love with the artifact reworking, except for the Paur that actually frost-brands your attacks. A large percentage of random ego gloves would be better than several of the Paurs.
One of them got regen, which some people consider is too powerful. One got combat bonuses, making it better than plain gloves of slaying. I can't remember the last one offhand - FA I think (and that was controversial too).
Quote:
12) Speaking of ego gloves, gauntlets of combat don't seem nearly good enough to warrant the aggravate flag. I know curses are getting reworked in the future.
These originally had +blows, which made aggravate much more appropriate. The +blows was removed, deemed overly powerful, but the aggravate was left. I agree with you, and now that randarts can have +blows, I think we should bring them back.

Thanks for the feedback. If you've read the debates you'll already know this, but just in case anybody doesn't, I'm totally totally with you on hounds. And level feelings.
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Old February 28, 2010, 17:09   #6
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The hounds are ridiculous, there are more of them throughout the game than orc pits, ot troll, giant pits. Everywhere you go see about 2 or 3 kinds of hounds on a level, and there's usually about 2 dozen per pack. There breath attack slows gameplay. That's probably my biggest gripe the time it takes to remove them, Banishment helps tremendously though. This argument has went on for a long time about hounds. I remember we had a poll going a while back about hounds.
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Old February 28, 2010, 18:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter View Post
The hounds are ridiculous, there are more of them throughout the game than orc pits, ot troll, giant pits. Everywhere you go see about 2 or 3 kinds of hounds on a level, and there's usually about 2 dozen per pack. There breath attack slows gameplay. That's probably my biggest gripe the time it takes to remove them, Banishment helps tremendously though. This argument has went on for a long time about hounds. I remember we had a poll going a while back about hounds.
I attach my personal hound-balancing patch, in case anyone is interested. It still results in a lot of hounds, just not quite so damn many.
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Old February 28, 2010, 18:46   #8
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I would love to get this patch added in. Could someone tell me how to install it please? I'm using the Windows version. Do I just copy it into my monsters.txt file?
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Old February 28, 2010, 19:32   #9
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I would love to get this patch added in. Could someone tell me how to install it please? I'm using the Windows version. Do I just copy it into my monsters.txt file?
Ugh, no. It needs to be applied with the patch command, and I don't know how to do that in Windows. Here is a version of the monster.txt file with it already applied - just extract this over the top of your existing monster.txt
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Old February 28, 2010, 20:05   #10
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Ugh, no. It needs to be applied with the patch command, and I don't know how to do that in Windows. Here is a version of the monster.txt file with it already applied - just extract this over the top of your existing monster.txt
Thanks, I really appreciate you taking the time to post that.
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