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Old May 5, 2018, 17:46   #1
fizzix
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4.1.2 tweaks

I pushed a list of suggested tweaks to my github.

https://github.com/fizzix/angband

There were also a few things that I wanted to do, but realized they would require some more coding. Since I'm no longer very familiar with the code base, it would take some time to get it right. Here's what I implemented and the rationaled.

Give ?phase door drops to cutpurses, brigands and bandits. ?Phase Door drops are very low in the dungeon. This is a thematic way of increasing them. This really only affects ironman characters since ?phase is infinite in town.

Double floor drop size of ?phase door from 1d3 to 2d3 (same reason as above)

Move !resist head/cold/poison to be a bit later in the dungeon. They're useless early on.

Increase duration of !resist heat/cold/poison from the piddly 10+1d10 to 50+1d10. They might actually last through a fight now.

Increase duration of true seeing similarly. Right now it disappears before you could even kill what you want to kill.

Remove Teleport Other spell from ranger and paladin and make it level 38 for rogue. I realize this is probably a bridge too far for most. But the improved status effect spells/wands means that we should force these classes to use other means of removal.

Reduce TO wand charges and move both wands and rods deeper. These now become premium removal.

Reduce trap frequency. In retrospect, I don't like how I did this. It occurred to me, when thinking about it, that the problem is the traps in junctions. I think right now, a good approach might just be to remove traps from the junctions altogether and leave them everywhere else.

----------------------------

Here are some things I wanted to do but realized they would take some more effort. The other changes are essentially one-line things, in most cases changes of the edit files.

1) Reduce GV frequency. I couldn't actually figure out where in dungeon generation this was handled! GVs are too frequent in the last few levels of the dungeon.

2) Variable rates for different GVs. Some GVs should be more common than others. Super gigantic vaults like Divisi should be very rare, as should be the crazy lucrative vaults. Some vaults with awful design probably should be removed. I thought this functionality existed at some point, but right now it looks like it doesn't

3) Remove "KILL_ITEM" monsters from vaults. It makes no sense for someone to make a vault with all these fancy items, and then put a giant mass of fire in it that destroys everything. This would require a new function to specify allowable flags for vault monsters. Probably the easiest of the things I didn't do yet. Alternatively, it could just be that "KILL_ITEM" and perhaps "PICKUP_ITEM" flags should not trigger on vault squares.

4) Give arrow/bolt drops to archer monsters. The problem here is that what I want to give them is a drop of a few +0, +0 arrows. The bog standard ammo that you can get in the general store. However, there's currently no way (i think) to enforce a lack of enchantment on an item.

5) Give automatic pluses to cursed items. This looks straightforward enough to do. And I can probably do it if Nick things it should be implemented. The basic idea is that for each curse on an item it gets +x, +y to hit or +n to AC depending on whether its a weapon or an armor. How to handle jewelry and lights is a bit more difficult. The pluses would depend on the curse power. Nick probably knows exactly where to put this, I'd have to search a little.
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Old May 6, 2018, 00:21   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I pushed a list of suggested tweaks to my github.
Thanks for all these. I'm in the middle of some bugfixes, so probably won't pull any of them in for a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Give ?phase door drops to cutpurses, brigands and bandits. ?Phase Door drops are very low in the dungeon. This is a thematic way of increasing them. This really only affects ironman characters since ?phase is infinite in town.

Double floor drop size of ?phase door from 1d3 to 2d3 (same reason as above)

Move !resist head/cold/poison to be a bit later in the dungeon. They're useless early on.

Increase duration of !resist heat/cold/poison from the piddly 10+1d10 to 50+1d10. They might actually last through a fight now.

Increase duration of true seeing similarly. Right now it disappears before you could even kill what you want to kill.
These all seem fine, and sensible.

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Remove Teleport Other spell from ranger and paladin and make it level 38 for rogue. I realize this is probably a bridge too far for most. But the improved status effect spells/wands means that we should force these classes to use other means of removal.
Given 4.2 is going to be a complete redo of classes (see the feature/magic branch), I think it's better not to mess with 4.1 classes.

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Reduce TO wand charges and move both wands and rods deeper. These now become premium removal.
Probably better not to do this too, because my previous comment would mean it's just nerfing warriors (and Derakon will start complaining...).

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Reduce trap frequency. In retrospect, I don't like how I did this. It occurred to me, when thinking about it, that the problem is the traps in junctions. I think right now, a good approach might just be to remove traps from the junctions altogether and leave them everywhere else.
I'll have a look. Initially the traps were put in junctions instead of doors, and then I made them less frequent - the vague idea IIRC was to make trap locations a bit predictable. I'll see what you've done and have a think.

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
1) Reduce GV frequency. I couldn't actually figure out where in dungeon generation this was handled! GVs are too frequent in the last few levels of the dungeon.

2) Variable rates for different GVs. Some GVs should be more common than others. Super gigantic vaults like Divisi should be very rare, as should be the crazy lucrative vaults. Some vaults with awful design probably should be removed. I thought this functionality existed at some point, but right now it looks like it doesn't

3) Remove "KILL_ITEM" monsters from vaults. It makes no sense for someone to make a vault with all these fancy items, and then put a giant mass of fire in it that destroys everything. This would require a new function to specify allowable flags for vault monsters. Probably the easiest of the things I didn't do yet. Alternatively, it could just be that "KILL_ITEM" and perhaps "PICKUP_ITEM" flags should not trigger on vault squares.
Vaults are definitely an issue, but again I plan to do a big rework of vaults, room templates, etc in 4.2. I think a quick adjustment to GV frequencies is a good idea for 4.1.3.

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4) Give arrow/bolt drops to archer monsters. The problem here is that what I want to give them is a drop of a few +0, +0 arrows. The bog standard ammo that you can get in the general store. However, there's currently no way (i think) to enforce a lack of enchantment on an item.
This can be part of the monster list rework - I'm planning on specific archer behaviour, too.

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5) Give automatic pluses to cursed items. This looks straightforward enough to do. And I can probably do it if Nick things it should be implemented. The basic idea is that for each curse on an item it gets +x, +y to hit or +n to AC depending on whether its a weapon or an armor. How to handle jewelry and lights is a bit more difficult. The pluses would depend on the curse power. Nick probably knows exactly where to put this, I'd have to search a little.
Interesting idea. Note that currently cursed items get a bit of a boost to effective depth - do you think a direct buff like you're suggesting is a better idea, or maybe some combination?
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Old May 6, 2018, 00:57   #3
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For cursed items, I think some combination would be good. Presumably this would mean that cursed items could be more powerful than you otherwise could generate. Maybe curses should only appear on ego items?

I think there's also some good reason for this. Who leaves a shiny sword of westernesse on dlevel 10? The guy who got teleported into a pack of spiders when he was wielding it.

I actually think curses are pretty good. I like the flavor. I just wish they prompted more interesting decisions.

For the archers. What I really would want to do is to have them spawn with ~10 arrows, and when they shoot that arrow is removed from their inventory and lands on the ground near @, with the standard mulch chance of course. That was beyond my abilities, but I bet it will be more plausible when you put in monster profile behaviors.
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Old May 6, 2018, 03:44   #4
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Removing TO spell, or just making it very high level is just a rotten thing to do with the current spellbook model. It's basically just stealing a backpack slot.
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Old May 6, 2018, 14:22   #5
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Removing TO spell, or just making it very high level is just a rotten thing to do with the current spellbook model. It's basically just stealing a backpack slot.
Sort of. The idea (eventually) is that TO gets replaced by stuff like hold/confuse/sleep monster. Soft removal that allows you to get what you want and get out. We probably still need to do something about summoned monsters. Maybe summoning gets a lot weaker for most monsters.

If the spell was gone but the number of slots increased by one, would it be ok?
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Old May 6, 2018, 14:31   #6
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You take away TO, do you take away greater vaults too? It is the only way to deal with most of them.
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Old May 7, 2018, 03:58   #7
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You take away TO, do you take away greater vaults too? It is the only way to deal with most of them.
I've always viewed this as a problem. We spawn way too powerful monsters in vaults, and way too many of them too. Vaults are too big and too dangerous. The greater vaults that exist now should only really be endgame occurrences, and something like once a game experience. +40 OoD is really dumb for medium or lesser vaults, These all should be removed. Spawning Ungoliant in a vault in a funnel vault on DL 40 is dumb (as I just saw in a recent game).

Presumably if you actually completely take away TO, you also make some other changes as well. In reality, we're actually not taking away TO, we're making it more precious of a resource. There's got to be some middle ground between, "players can't do anything so why bother" and "Just TO everything after dungeon level 40."

A long time ago we did a competition with TO removed entirely, and the nerf to monsters was to restrict summons greatly and to limit OOD vault monsters. Most summons only pulled monsters already on the level. The game was certainly playable. Stealth was super important for vault looting.

The competition is here http://angband.oook.cz/competition.php?showcompo=154
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Old May 7, 2018, 05:05   #8
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Not opening a vault is a valid way of dealing with it.
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Old May 7, 2018, 14:07   #9
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Not opening a vault is a valid way of dealing with it.
And likewise, "She who opens a vault without ESP, detect evil, or detect monsters might as well dig her own grave before so doing."
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Old May 7, 2018, 14:17   #10
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So again there should be some middle ground with vaults between "Just TO everything inside" and "don't bother." How to find this middle ground isn't easy, and will take some effort. But it's probably worth struggling through. In my view vaults are essentially an exchange between precious consumables for possible loot. They're not really a risk/reward thing, since in permadeath games, risks are pretty much never worth it (unless you're playing ultra-diving turn-count minimizing.) If TO is a precious resource, then they are very useful for vault clearing.

I actually think most small/medium vaults are in a good place right now. There are probably a few with uncontained OoD monsters that can escape, and those should be looked at with a critical eye. Stuff like the Planet X vault is an example of a good vault design, with 4 non-interacting sections. Other vaults do a good job of segregating the worst monsters in their own small corridors (e.g. Turnabout), Other vaults are less good at this (Central, cross, etc.)

For medium vaults, two of my creations, Disguised 2x2 and Disguised Checkerboard are problematic. The "8" square monsters should be replaced with something a little less dangerous. The vaults as is are way too dense and there's nothing keeping the dangerous monsters from walking out of the dungeon.

Honestly, if we reduced the density of some of the worst offending vaults, we could probably leave most as is, and even keep the frequency somewhat high. Looking at something like "the reward is worth it" we have 32 "8" squares, which seems like large amounts of overkill. (There's also something like 60 "6" squares! and I'm not counting the 4s and 2s).
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