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Old November 26, 2019, 20:48   #1
NiJabbieJabba
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Longtime player returning after about 4 years

This has been done before, but I thought I'd contribute some perspective from a returning player. I've played on and off since... sometime in the 90s. Usually I'll play a few winners through to the end, drop Angband for a while, and come back when the itch returns in 3 or 4 years.

Anyhow, the big picture is that I'm delighted with recent changes. Gameplay is smooth, interesting, and balance has been improved. I like the new spellbook system, the current ID mechanics, and thematic improvements to monsters.

I recently won with a hobbit rogue, and am now tidying up uniques and collecting consumables at DL 97 with a high-elf ranger.

Thoughts:

1) Stealth + TO is overpowered. Maybe it always has been; I'm not sure I've played that kind of character before. Both of these characters have just spent the mid- and endgame sneaking around, using TO on every inconvenient enemy, and looting at will. Strangely it was particularly important for the ranger simply because I couldn't find a decent bow until DL 97. Until then I had some weird conflict between wielding a Long Bow of Power and Cubragol - obviously a ranger wants the extra bow shots, but who doesn't love speed? Went with the bow since I had independent sources of +20 permanent speed.

2) Recharging is too good. My rogue played a weird item-dependent game. For most of the early and midgame, my staple for damage was a stack of Wands of Dragon's Fire that I recharged hundreds of times. I found one moderately early, and then basically never used weapons again. I just stealthed away from enemies with fire resist. Later that got supplemented with Wands of Drain Life, and I murdered Morgoth with Wands of Annihilation. A big stack of Staves of Banishment deleted any inconvenient enemies. Recharging almost never failed, so I felt like I could banish anything at will. I'm not sure where the sweet spot lies, but recharging Staves of Banishment in particular made the endgame pretty trivial. Recharge should fail more often.

Many, many thanks to all the work from recent developers. Nick, you're doing a great job with this.

I keep wondering what the health/size of the overall Angband community is. Is the game attracting new players, or is it all folks like me who found the game 25 years ago? I hope it's the former, but I'm not sure if there's really any way of knowing.
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Old November 26, 2019, 20:54   #2
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Thanks for the feedback.

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Originally Posted by NiJabbieJabba View Post
I keep wondering what the health/size of the overall Angband community is. Is the game attracting new players, or is it all folks like me who found the game 25 years ago? I hope it's the former, but I'm not sure if there's really any way of knowing.
I often wonder this too. That said, I'm a n00b who's only been playing 16 years...
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Old November 27, 2019, 02:52   #3
archolewa
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Well, Im a very new player. Only been playing for about a year. Found the game when I bought Tales of Maj'Eyal on GOG, enjoyed the game and learned about Angband when I read about TOME4 on TV Tropes. Very quickly fell in love with it.
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Old November 27, 2019, 07:37   #4
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welcome back! i played a lot in elementary school but rediscovered the game in the mid-2000s.
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Old December 1, 2019, 06:45   #5
DavidMedley
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old January 6, 2020, 06:16   #6
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Another intermittent player checking in. I last played for a bit during 4.1 back in Nov 2017. I got to wondering how the updates were going, poked at the forums while up with insomnia last night, and it got me jonesing enough for the 'Band addiction to download the latest stable build this afternoon.

While the limited number of spell books on the redone caster and half caster classes scared me at first once I actually poked at the spell lists they looked pretty decent actually. So I decided to try out a Ranger for my first character. I got lucky with finding the rapier Forasgil sitting on the dungeon floor on DL8 along with a Rod of Treasure Detection on my very first trip down. Then on on DL 13 Leather Scale mail of Resistance + a Flail of *Slay Toll* with Telepathy. Those are all still main items even though I'm down to DL28.

I'm finding I rather like the utility of the Ranger's town book (I haven't found the dungeon book yet) and the inventory slots freed up by NOT having to carry a number of town books just to get the basic utility spells is very handy for carrying more ammo/consumables on the way down and more loot on the way back to town. I am playing no selling but "selling" an un IDed item teaches me the runes and you can always find decent gear to store for later swaps.

The rods of Treasure Detection + the Ranger's mapping spell is a nice combo for finding the loot and letting you avoid stuff if you don't want to fight it. I really should start diving faster now I have the Free Action, Res Blind, Res Conf, and Res Base sorted out and a Longbow of Power (+17, +19) was just sitting on a maze level floor just before I called it quits for the night...

I am remembering my lesson from last time. A tired player is a Dead Character so even though I _want_ to keep playing ('Band = Crack) I signed off and decided to share my first impressions after coming back 2+ years after my last characters. :-)
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Old January 6, 2020, 10:37   #7
rubjo
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Another on-and-off player here, been playing now and then since the Moria/Umoria days on the Amiga in the early 90s. Am also generally hugely supportive of the recent changes to the game. Can't really say I've found anything I think throws the balance off personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiJabbieJabba View Post
I keep wondering what the health/size of the overall Angband community is. Is the game attracting new players, or is it all folks like me who found the game 25 years ago? I hope it's the former, but I'm not sure if there's really any way of knowing.
Download stats from rephial.org might say something, if they exist.
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Old January 6, 2020, 14:26   #8
Pete Mack
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Beware: 4.2 is a whole lot harder. And 'l' no longer means 'louse'. It means run away.
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Old January 6, 2020, 14:50   #9
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The slice of the community which plays online seems to suggest we get steady drips of both new and returning players. New players mostly come from other roguelikes or through one of the variants. Sil gets more angband converts, frog players tend to remain frog players.
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Old January 6, 2020, 16:24   #10
tprice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Beware: 4.2 is a whole lot harder. And 'l' no longer means 'louse'. It means run away.
Yah, I was pretty surprised when I ran into my first green l in the dungeon and it was barely hurt by my artifact weapon... At least they don't explosively breed like the louses did unless you all were mean enough to make a deeper and nastier variety that does so, I've only seen the shallow one.

So far 4.2 does seem a bit harder but the class changes + RNG smiling on me seems to be balancing it out. The extra inventory slots for consumables freed up by the smaller spell book count really does make a difference as well. I'm not just stocking 1 kind of CureXwounds potion due to limited space but 3 different ones right now for example.
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