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Old June 20, 2022, 21:47   #11
smbhax
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Autofight and autoexplore are necessary in DCSS because the early dungeon layouts are dreadful--just incredibly depressing to explore. And they don't take the problem away, in fact they make it even more tedious, just in a shorter period of time.

Angband does not have that problem, the early game is actually pretty fun.
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Old June 20, 2022, 21:53   #12
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For me the beginning of the game is the best part. I haven't played in a while, but I was last playing PosCheng. My recipe for an enjoyable early game was simple:

(*) Random race, random class, random personality, random spell schools
(*) Don't intelligently assign stats (distribute your stat points across all stats evenly)
(*) Don't enter any shops
(*) Take every down staircase as soon as you see it until dungeon level 10 or so

Bumpy ride guaranteed.
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Old June 20, 2022, 22:14   #13
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I started playing in the early 3.0.* days and I remember the early game being more unfair and deadly. I don't know how much of that was my own lack of skill versus the game itself, so it's a fair point for me to go play older versions to compare.
I think it was the game itself. My vague impression is that 3.2 was suddenly much easier (for several reasons, some of them accidental), and then since then there's been a fairly steady trend of the game overall getting gradually harder, apart from the early game.

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Let me stick up for the probably-unpopular opinion: I think Angband is a better game for having lots of tedium and grind in the early games. The reason is that it makes you much more invested in each @. Dying HURTS when you've invested many hours in a character, and so the early game effects how you play. Namely, much more conservatively than you would if a @ dying didn't cost you much. Even beyond the auto-save-upon-death thing, Angband rewards careful game play (and early versions did much more so), which is one of its strengths.
I'm sympathetic to this idea, but I also feel that it's a bit of a hangover from when Angband was new and there were no other games like it and people were prepared to put large chunks of their life into trying to master it. I also had some experiences with Oangband (which was even more brutal) that (while fun in a masochistic sort of way) left me feeling that I was on the wrong track, and harder is not always better.

So my aim has not been to bring back the old days, but rather to try to make the game hard in new and interesting ways.
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Old June 21, 2022, 02:14   #14
Pete Mack
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If you're spending that much time on the first 30 levels you're doing it wrong. It should take under an hour.
Also: taking out an OoD Glabrezu at DL35 with a CL18 HE Mage is a whole lot of fun. Yes, I was very lucky to meet it in the first place, but it's not even possible if you are grinding.
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Old June 21, 2022, 03:12   #15
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The tedium of early game, with a strong or risk inclined character, is finding the stairs down. Moving through empty areas with shift-direction works fine for me; I doubt auto-explore would speed that up by much. Getting stalled by irrelevant encounters is one of the major mistakes that new players need to learn to avoid.

Once that has become habit, I dont see how auto-fight helps. So auto-fight would be for players who insist on clearing snaga hordes, but dont want to manually press the button.

Now I am sure I would like playing with auto-anything; I also enjoy watching the Borg. But I dont think putting this into Angband is a good idea. It would split the game and create a phase where youd have to stop using it.

If skipping early game is the only purpose, deep descent scrolls arent the right tool since they also allow you to skip the mid game. If thats also intended, then sure, go for that, but be aware that making them more frequent will do more than just allow skipping of the early game.

Another option would be to introduce "deep stairs"; differently coloured "<" and ">" that skip (a randomized amount ?) of levels. You could make them more frequent/skip more levels in shallow regions.
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Old June 21, 2022, 03:31   #16
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Another option would be to introduce "deep stairs"; differently coloured "<" and ">" that skip (a randomized amount ?) of levels. You could make them more frequent/skip more levels in shallow regions.
Hengband has I think they're called "shafts": different-colored stairs that move you up or down two levels instead of just one. As I noob I found them deeply confusing; DCSS had taught me that the color of stairways didn't matter. ; |
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Old June 21, 2022, 05:34   #17
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I would love an autoexplore a la tales of majeyal.

Also I use 5 levels per dungeon stairs myself to skip on the tedium of getting to harder levels... XD
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Old June 21, 2022, 07:03   #18
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Ah just make a stairway mimic, that'll put the excitement back in that some people in an awful hurry seem to be missing.

(Or is there one already? I don't know, I'm a noob. Now I'm gonna be scared of stairs.)
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Old June 21, 2022, 07:40   #19
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The beauty of single player games is that people can play their way. There is no "hurry" or "slow it down" to aspirate to to "balance" the game.

I have played ever since Moria god knows what version number. My play speed is blitzingly fast in real time speed (all uniques must die, so not in game turn speed), and exploring takes a proportionally annoying part compared to fighting, and an autoexplore-until-disturbed button (you can probably find video of how tales of majeyal does it) would be lovely ...
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Old June 21, 2022, 14:29   #20
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The tedium of early game, with a strong or risk inclined character, is finding the stairs down. Moving through empty areas with shift-direction works fine for me; I doubt auto-explore would speed that up by much. Getting stalled by irrelevant encounters is one of the major mistakes that new players need to learn to avoid.

Once that has become habit, I dont see how auto-fight helps. So auto-fight would be for players who insist on clearing snaga hordes, but dont want to manually press the button.
How would new players get the message that diving early and/or avoiding encounters is the "right" way to play? It's effectively dogma here but the game doesn't do anything to document or signal that as the right strategy, or penalize players that grind (not necessarily that it should). The food clock (I think) is supposed to achieve that implicitly, but doesn't (except in ironman).

A tutorial or even an in-game guide accessible via the character creation screen would do a lot to motivate new players in the right direction without any gameplay changes, but it still leaves the early game as a slog to repeatedly find stairs until you start facing meaningful resistance, and anyone who doesn't read guides (most of the general population) will play for ten minutes and say "Yep, this is grindy" and never come back.

I like the idea conceptually of removing the food clock, removing Sauron as a questable monster and have him act instead as a per-level clock with level feelings replaced with increasing levels of dread until he appears on the level as a relentless pursuer. Unfortunately, this would leave the people that enjoy the grind, ironmen, and persistent levels out in the cold.

This approach does have the benefit that new players get the message that they can't hang out on a dlvl indefinitely and implicitly that small encounters don't matter when you have bigger fish to fry. Stair-scumming could also be penalized by not resetting the dread-clock.
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