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Old May 7, 2012, 19:26   #21
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffStamp View Post
So it was decided to turn Angband into Ironman by default?
No; in Ironman you can't buy "basic consumables" like CCW, Phase Door, ID, spellbooks, or ammo; nor can you get a few stat gain potions or a Ring of Free Action, etc. from the Black Market.

I would describe the basic philosophy as "Buying new gear is boring, but finding new gear is exciting." Thus the game should not be predicated on buying as much stuff as possible. Certainly there are exceptions to this, like when you see a high-priced item that you can't quite afford so you sell other stuff you're actually currently using (or make a quick jaunt to the dungeon and hope the store doesn't restock while you're out). However, those are largely dealing with the Black Market, which hasn't changed in behavior. Buying stuff from the "basic" stores is what's been changed; they should provide the gear you need to get started, as well as a selection of utility items*, but that's it.

* Arguably, any item that is usually available in stores, and that you automatically buy any time you're in town because you know you'll use it when you're in the dungeon, is a sign of a breakdown somewhere. Ideally the item shouldn't be needed, or should be needed in quantities greater than the town allows for. Otherwise we just have gameplay that amounts to a "Did you restock recently?" check, which doesn't provide depth.
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Old May 7, 2012, 20:35   #22
Stan Belik
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It's an interesting discussion going on here. And I think I have something to add as well

I'm new to the forum, but I've been playing Angband since 2010, and at that time the version I first played was 2.9.3.

Then it was a long pause in my playing, after which I took up Angband 3.3.0. (It is now I realize that the version of Angband has a great impact on how the gameplay generally feels like, but back then I never read the forums or anything, so I just guessed that all the newer versions were just improvements of the older ones, maybe adding but not changing any established gameplay features). Having played 2.9.3 really heavily, I grew accustomed to all the features it could offer. At this moment I'm playing 3.3.2 really heavily (as I've been playing 3.3.0 sometime ago), and I still can't get used to the absence of cursed items.

I remember it felt really annoying (especially at early levels) to me back then when trying on some sword of a piece of armor turned up having it attached to your body giving you stat drains or some disadvantages of other types. Probably that was what keeped me from reaching deeper dungeon levels and thus winning the game (and I never won - I couldn't even get deep as I venture in the current release), but it was there and it added up to the challenge the game could provide. And even never getting close to such powerful items, deep DLevels and high CLevels and not having any of the artifacts my current 3.3.2 character posesses, it was, let me face it, more fun for me.

Right now, without cursed items, the matter of winning is just about the player knowing (and having mastered) all the tactics necessary to survive deep down in the dungeon. This does not feel much like roleplaying to me. Back then it was, seems to me, more realistic - you (and your character, which is more important) had to think heavily before even trying to put something on - it was a matter of life and death sometimes. Right now it's like the dungeon is filled just with (+0,+0) - normal or (+something, +something) - enchanted items.
But is it realistic? There's a lot of stuff supposed to be scattered around the dungeon. There should be, for example, some rusted swords lying around the floor of some rooms. Of course something like that can easily be recognised by the player and the PC as not-so-good of an weapon, being (-4,-6) or something like that. But IMHO those things *should* be there - even to simply add to the flavour of the game. Nowadays I personally play like this:
1 - find a weapon
2 - ID it
3 - see if it's better than my current one
4a - if it is - wield it
4b - if it is not - squelch it (i.e. throw it away)
5 - continue on
And it used to be:
...
4b - holy smokes, I'm so happy and joyful I never tried it on before ID'ng it!!! gosh, I'm such a lucky and prudent guy!!! Now I can push forward with no worries and finally destroy that evil Morgoth guy!!! Yeah!!!
5 - happily venture on

What I mean is that for me personally having cursed items added lots of emotion while playing the game. What I also want to say is that I see no logic in getting rid of bad (and sometimes even useless - where are the canine skeletons?) items.

Anyone played Ragnarok (AKA Valhalla)? If anyone did, you know what made that roguelike ultimately challenging - lots, and I mean *LOTS* of items there are either bad for your PC or just useless (happens much rarely) - this along with ID being not so readilly available. Can be irritating? Yes. But anyway, it felt that those items *belonged* to that world.

I see it like with 3D action games. Remember the very first one - Wolfenstien? It's still a good game, but I doubt I'll ever play it again. Why? Because it is just walls and right-angled rooms and enemies and ammo and good loot. No furniture, nothing just lying around as it is in real life.

Well, thanks for listening to my rant. It'll be really interesting to know what you guys think about it.

Dixi
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Old May 7, 2012, 20:47   #23
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Thanks for the post, Stan (Dixi?). It's not often we get a perspective on the overall changes between the 2.x series and more recent versions of the game.

How would you feel about items that are bad, but more subtly bad? For example, you wield a new sword, and it behaves like any other sword -- a bit better than your old one, maybe, so you keep it around. But eventually you notice that all the monsters are always awake now, or that for some reason every single level has a particular unique on it that you've had to keep running away from, or that your potions seem to be getting shattered by cold attacks with suspicious regularity. So you take a closer look at that sword, and discover that it had a hidden curse on it.

As a further hypothetical extension to "my" hypothetical game in which you don't get ID to discover the attributes on equipment or what a particular ring/wand/etc. does, you could have hidden attributes which aren't recognizable by the character; it's up to the player to recognize how things have changed and put two and two together. Perhaps we could have ID scrolls and the old potions of Self Knowledge as rare/deep items that would actually tell you all the attributes of an item, including the hidden ones -- but certainly for the early/mid-game you'd be on your own.

I'm sure someone's already implemented this. They tend to.
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Old May 7, 2012, 22:01   #24
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How do you deal with squelch. Do you squelch based on power, such as all steel rings? Or something else?
You can technically squelch all cursed, but in practice you don't want to because any ring might be usable.

FA also has a fairly early bailout from the ID subgame (rods of ID are shallower and more common), so by the time you are getting lots of rings you just ID them all. Although of course that doesn't tell you about curses...
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Old May 7, 2012, 22:14   #25
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You can technically squelch all cursed, but in practice you don't want to because any ring might be usable.

FA also has a fairly early bailout from the ID subgame (rods of ID are shallower and more common), so by the time you are getting lots of rings you just ID them all. Although of course that doesn't tell you about curses...
That probably leads to my biggest pet-peeve with late game gameplay in Angband. Namely you clear a giant pit or vault and you're left with 100 armor/weapons that you need to ID (or at least test ID). Usually at this point I squelch all but artifacts, and the big dice weapons, just because I don't want to deal with it. This becomes a bigger problem in v4, where any ego can be comparable in power to an artifact. Even if you IDd everything on sight, you still have to manually sort through the 100 useless items for the one good one.

This is where squelch truly shines. Only the question is, is it that important that you want to design your items/egos around squelch or not...
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Old May 7, 2012, 22:28   #26
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
That probably leads to my biggest pet-peeve with late game gameplay in Angband. Namely you clear a giant pit or vault and you're left with 100 armor/weapons that you need to ID (or at least test ID). Usually at this point I squelch all but artifacts, and the big dice weapons, just because I don't want to deal with it. This becomes a bigger problem in v4, where any ego can be comparable in power to an artifact. Even if you IDd everything on sight, you still have to manually sort through the 100 useless items for the one good one.

This is where squelch truly shines. Only the question is, is it that important that you want to design your items/egos around squelch or not...
mass identify
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Old May 7, 2012, 23:19   #27
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mass identify
Doesn't help. v4's problem isn't that you don't know what the item does -- its properties are readily discernable because v4 uses rune-based ID. The problem is that you can't readily say which combinations of properties are useful without looking at them first, so the game can't squelch them for you. You have to say "Okay, that's a 3d4 sword with good pluses, slay demon, a weak electrical brand, and bonuses to STR and CON...but I'd rather keep my current weapon which has a strong acid brand and bigger dice."

In short, by making the potential variation of items so much bigger, our previous categorization-based squelch system breaks down.
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Old May 8, 2012, 00:00   #28
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Doesn't help. v4's problem isn't that you don't know what the item does -- its properties are readily discernable because v4 uses rune-based ID. The problem is that you can't readily say which combinations of properties are useful without looking at them first, so the game can't squelch them for you. You have to say "Okay, that's a 3d4 sword with good pluses, slay demon, a weak electrical brand, and bonuses to STR and CON...but I'd rather keep my current weapon which has a strong acid brand and bigger dice."

In short, by making the potential variation of items so much bigger, our previous categorization-based squelch system breaks down.
Yeah, this is a 'problem' that FA already has to some extent too. One of the nice things about Vanilla is the relatively simple equipment tradeoffs.
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Old May 8, 2012, 10:16   #29
Stan Belik
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How would you feel about items that are bad, but more subtly bad? For example, you wield a new sword, and it behaves like any other sword -- a bit better than your old one, maybe, so you keep it around. But eventually you notice that all the monsters are always awake now, or that for some reason every single level has a particular unique on it that you've had to keep running away from, or that your potions seem to be getting shattered by cold attacks with suspicious regularity. So you take a closer look at that sword, and discover that it had a hidden curse on it.
I'd feel really nice about this particular idea in general. This obviously makes the game more interesting - making you concentrate and think even more, thus involving you much more into the feeling of the depths of Angband.

But the question is - what do you mean by saying "...you take a closer look at..."? You mean it's the player himself who takes a closer look? Otherwise, how can this be implemented game-wise?

Quote:
As a further hypothetical extension to "my" hypothetical game in which you don't get ID to discover the attributes on equipment or what a particular ring/wand/etc. does, you could have hidden attributes which aren't recognizable by the character; it's up to the player to recognize how things have changed and put two and two together.
So even the shopkeepers aren't actually aware of all or most of the attributes the items can possess? Why not implement a feature then which would allow the shopkeepers to charge money for ID'ng things for you? It should be a rather big sum of gold, but again it would be more realistic than, say, current playing with 'no_sell = on'. Because now it looks to me like this - you come to a shopkeeper, you ask him to identify something for you, he agrees, but a price for doing so would actually be handing him the item no matter the result of ID. I see no logic here.

Quote:
Perhaps we could have ID scrolls and the old potions of Self Knowledge as rare/deep items that would actually tell you all the attributes of an item, including the hidden ones -- but certainly for the early/mid-game you'd be on your own.
This fits my idea above really well - you can't suppose the shopkeepers to know all the item properties which exist out there - maybe the PC is the first one to get that deep and fetch some mysterious item out of the dungeon. That's where rare and expensive ID scrolls and the abovementioned potions come to play.

So the basic idea is - the enchantments should be 'level-based' of some sorts. Low-level ones can be identified by the merchants for quite a fee. Mid-level ones can also be ID'd by the shopkeepers but it should probably take them some more time, i.e. ID is not instant in this case (you leave the item with them for a while for them to compare the enchantments of the item with the ones they have in stock via some magical experiments, or to consult some old magic tomes, for example). And high-leveled enchantments are unknown to the townsfolk (except, maybe, for the guy who runs the black market, but he charges *way* to much for his ID service), so that's where you use those rare ID scrolls etc.

This approach makes ID challenging all the way down from the first dungeon levels to the very depths of Angband - exactly what is felt needed by lots of people here, as far as I noticed (I may be wrong here).

That's how I see it I'll be glad to hear what you, guys, think about my ideas

Edit - aslo-also
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Old May 8, 2012, 12:56   #30
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Namely you clear a giant pit or vault and you're left with 100 armor/weapons that you need to ID (or at least test ID).
A rod/want of acid balls does a fairly decent job at that point unless you are still farming for money.
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