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Old September 11, 2008, 08:18   #1
CJNyfalt
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Having fun with Oangband

== Intro ==

So, I'm back to the Angband scene, and decided to concentrate on having fun this time. I want to avoid the mistake of getting stuck in structural code changes that doesn't affect the user.

I decided on playing Oangband, since the classes and their specialties interests me, and the structure of FA doesn't suit my goals right now.

Having fun, that means different things with different people. For some it's the challenge - for me it's exploring the different character powers and watching my character grow.

A disclaimer: I'm modifying the game to suit my tastes, some might call this cheating, I call it maximizing my fun.

Changes in the code from vanilla 1.1.0:
- Improved main-x11.c, with support for x11-settings.prf. (These changes are also in Nick v1.1.0u, BTW).
- Highlight spellcasting stat when selecting class at birth.
- More explicitly show that the stat gain from Clarity & Athletics are something from the character itself, not from equipement, by showing 2s in the @ column in character screen.
- Made specialties available more often. Once every ten levels, instead of every 20 levels. This allows me to toy around with more of them, instead of just picking a few must-have.

I will of course make more changes to the code as I play, and comment on why I'm making them.

== Playing ==

I have always preferred pure spell-casters over warriors, and having a desire to experiment with many classes at once, I picked Druid, Necromancer, Mage and Priest to start with. Created them all, but have only played the Druid so far.

=== Rhiannon the Druid ===

For specialties, I picked Power Strike at lvl 0. Druids aren't good at offensive spellcasting at start, so improved melee is good. At lvl 10, I picked Clarity, since now spells starts to become useful, and the mana boost is needed.
For lvl 20, I will choose Channeling since I believe in a strong first strike.
The first picks for the other casters will be similar, with Clarity and Channeling + one class specific.

Nice things about druids: Druids have very strong utility in their first two books. You don't have to buy a digger, or food. You also gets both detect life and detect traps/doors/stairs. Add to that light spells, remove curse and snuff small life that deals with annoying breeders. Also having melee that doesn't depend on a weapon, is nice.

Playing this character, I was very lucky. First time down, I find a phial on the floor on dlvl 1. YES!

I also discovered that hauling ammo back to town is a good way of making money. The ammo found in the dungeon often have a few plusses, and they're cheaply identified by selling one of the stack.
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Old September 12, 2008, 00:41   #2
CJNyfalt
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Progress report:
- I have gotten my druid trough the annoying beginning phase of the game, otherwise nothing really exciting happened with that char.

- Started on my necromancer, and soul siphon is as awesome as I remembered. The lack of utility compared to the druid is a bit annoying, but I have at least infravision that helps deal with annoyances like Smeagol.

- Also, started on my priest, which happens to be my first serious try at playing this class in any *band, ever. Picked Armsman as first speciality which seems like a good choice. However, the second pick of Clarity might not have been all that useful, since I'm hardly casting priest spells other than for utility.

As for changes to the program, the only additional one is that the slow/sleep/confuse/turn spells shows power rating when browsing. I'm still in progress of implementing this change.

So, what is this power rating?
These type of spells affect a normal monster if randint(pow) >= r_ptr->level + 2. That means that power has to be quite a bit more than monster depth to get a reasonable chance of slowing a monster.
Example:
Having a 50% chance of slowing a town monster would only require pow = 4, but to get the same chance of slowing a Storm of Unmaking would require pow = 914.
Example 2:
A necro slow monster spell without Beguile has pow = plev + 5, which means that pow is 55 when level is maxed. That gives 50+% chance of slowing monsters with native depths <= 25 (Stone Trolls, Cloud Giants). Adding Beguile improves this somewhat to pow = 82, which gives 50+% for monsters with native depths <= 39 (Half-Trolls, Mithril Golems, Mature Green Dragons).
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Old September 12, 2008, 17:42   #3
CJNyfalt
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My necromancer managed to get into real trouble.

I was at dlvl 3, encountered the desperate adventurer, who asked for oil. Since I still had money problems I accepted. Two encounters with trap doors later I was in deep shit - no WoR yet, that was what I needed the money for.
I managed to get back up to dlvl 3 before I ran out of fuel.

So what could I do?
- Use Wizard mode? No, distasteful to me.
- Delete character in anger? No, childish and defeatist.
- Die and cheat death? No, defeatist and I loose all that gold.
- Stumble around for a stair? No, I have better things to do with my time.
- Change the rules? Well, I always considered the current infra-vision implementation to be unrealistic.

So, I set out to edit the game and change to rules to something more to my liking.
First, I went and changed the rules of trap generation. Trap doors was disabled, so was also dungeon alteration and alter char and reality traps.
Not only does this get rid of traps that does distasteful stuff, it also makes trap more of a nice optional rather than a must-have. (Able to play as viable device-less warriors would be nice.)

Second, I improved infra-vision to allow characters to see stuff with infra-vision, but still not take any actions that requires light. Seems to work fine. However, I have to take a look at the Unlight specialty and consider if it needs changes to not become too powerful combined with infra-vision. Comparing O and Ey Unlight and decide on which one to use becomes an upcoming task for me.

BTW, my priest was lucky and got the Phial from Lotho. (This should have been in the last post.)
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Old September 13, 2008, 16:14   #4
CJNyfalt
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Managed to get my Necro back to town with the changes to infra-vision. Ironically when I visited the general store there was no light sources for sale, but I was at least able to buy scrolls WoR and food. The next trip to town allowed me to finally get some oil.

Also started to play the mage. Managed to her deep enough and rich enough to be set up to start serious diving. Now I only the priest is stuck in the beginning game due to lack of money.

For the mage I picked Power Siphon (and Clarity at 10). I'm not yet convinced that Power Siphon was a good choice, I hope that it will become more useful when I run into more spellcasters.

As for editing I did two edits:
- Weak pseudo-id now detect average items.
- Items dropped by uniques are inscribed with the name of the monster who dropped it.
The first one should help speed up the early game a little, and the second is merely a convenience.
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Old September 14, 2008, 15:37   #5
CJNyfalt
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Didn't get much playing done since last post, but I managed to implement some changes I wanted in.

- Monster list in a sub-window added.
- Artifacts are now immune to disenchant.
- Nexus no longer scramble stats or teleport level.
- All teleport level attacks removed from monsters.
- All amnesia attacks removed from monsters, and memory mosses removed.
- Wearables in inventory will no longer be destroyed by fire/acid/elec attacks. (I wouldn't mind them just getting damaged, but outright destroying something that only would get damaged when worn was too much for me.)
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Old September 15, 2008, 18:36   #6
CJNyfalt
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Managed to get all my characters to lvl15. Finally some ranged spells for my priest. Now the biggest trouble is not anymore money, it's shops that doesn't have needed stuff in stock. My priest need to restore strength.

Also had my first death. Got careless with my mage, didn't even have CSW in my inventory when I ran into Crows of Durthang and Wormtongue.

Did some small changes to the code also. These are not really things I feel strongly about, they're more nice to have stuff that was easy to implement.
- First I changed the way skills are shown on the character screen to a numerical representation like Eddie Grove did in his patch for vanilla.
- Second, I implemented Pav's Ey Reveal prices patch: http://angband.oook.cz/eypatchset/
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Old September 15, 2008, 20:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJNyfalt View Post
- Monster list in a sub-window added.
- Artifacts are now immune to disenchant.
- Nexus no longer scramble stats or teleport level.
- All teleport level attacks removed from monsters.
- All amnesia attacks removed from monsters, and memory mosses removed.
- Wearables in inventory will no longer be destroyed by fire/acid/elec attacks. (I wouldn't mind them just getting damaged, but outright destroying something that only would get damaged when worn was too much for me.)
Huh, these and the earlier features are exactly what annoyed me for years. BTW, in Un most of the annoyances you mention are removed, too, though less drastically (e.g. teleport level is not instantaneous, Nexus's swap is much bigger, but temporary, amnesia is changed, stuff gets damaged, instead of destroyed, until is has not more plusses to drain).

I like O. It's simple but it has a style. It's really a variant, not an expansion.
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Old September 16, 2008, 20:43   #8
CJNyfalt
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Got no playing done today, was busy with other things.

As for programming changes, I considering changes to shops, id system and consumables. Mostly things that would clean up things, streamline stuff and remove useless crap. Nothing decided on yet, since these are bigger things, and I'm wary of making to big changes before I really decides on making it a real variant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandobras View Post
Huh, these and the earlier features are exactly what annoyed me for years. BTW, in Un most of the annoyances you mention are removed, too, though less drastically (e.g. teleport level is not instantaneous, Nexus's swap is much bigger, but temporary, amnesia is changed, stuff gets damaged, instead of destroyed, until is has not more plusses to drain).
Nice to see someone else that doesn't belong to the 'I my days we only played Ironman without lanterns and artifacts faction'.

Have to test Un some day, it has been on my to play list for years. I guess that the fact that it's in active development makes me wary. Have had enough of maintainers of variants I'm involved with going AWOL.

Quote:
I like O. It's simple but it has a style. It's really a variant, not an expansion.
Yes, I also prefer variants that has a clear style and identity. Everything and the kitchen sink variants like Z/Heng/Entro has no appeal to me.
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Old September 17, 2008, 18:53   #9
CJNyfalt
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Progressing slowly with all characters. The goal is to get them to 500' and clvl 20. The thing that's slowing down my dive speed is inventory space, it's hard to get enough worthless junk generated to have room for valuable items from two levels.
Lvl 20 is where certain fun spells gets a low enough failure rates to be usable. Notable ones are Dispel Evil for necros and OoD for Priests.

The old Anglib idea is back bothering me. I will probably have to start it soon to get peace of mind, but I'm not really willing knowing how annoying the whole process will be.
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Old September 23, 2008, 12:44   #10
andrewdoull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJNyfalt View Post
Have to test Un some day, it has been on my to play list for years. I guess that the fact that it's in active development makes me wary. Have had enough of maintainers of variants I'm involved with going AWOL.
I'll be around for a while... UnAngband has arguably been the longest continuously maintained variant (If you don't count DarkGod and ToME as a variant) in existence at the moment (Steamband is another contender). It is also available via SVN, which allows a measure of continuity if I do fall off the face of a bus.

Quote:
Yes, I also prefer variants that has a clear style and identity. Everything and the kitchen sink variants like Z/Heng/Entro has no appeal to me.
Un has a clear sense of style and strong Tolkienian influence, particularly thanks to Bandobras, and design sensibilities indepted to Leon Marrick's influential thinking. It may not be a style you necessarily agree with, but you'll have to play that to find out. You may want to read my blog, Ascii Dreams, to get a feel for what I'm trying to achieve - the Unangband dungeon generation article is probably the best place to start.

Andrew
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