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Old January 6, 2019, 05:18   #31
Nick
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OK, there are new builds for macOS and Windows up on the build page (source is here) with these changes:
  • Significant rewrite of monster group code (meaning breaking of savefiles, sorry) which I think has eliminated at least the common crashes
  • The first of the monster overhauls - dragons!

I decided I needed to do a big (as in many monsters) change first, so as to have a starting framework for more changes; dragons seemed like the obvious one. I will probably try to do some other big ones next - I'm thinking demons, ainur and probably orcs and/or trolls, and maybe some undead.

The dragon changes can be summarised as follows:
  • Baby and young dragons untouched;
  • Almost everything else buffed (more HP, better melee, sometimes more speed) and moved deeper;
  • Smaug buffed a lot and moved much deeper;
  • Great wyrms of Law and Chaos have been replaced with better things

This is not the final word on dragons, but it's a start; we'll see how the rest of the list evolves.
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Old January 9, 2019, 01:51   #32
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Its nice to see all the happening changes (and have so much details about it)

Quick suggestion/question :
Quote:
Summoned non-living monsters will vanish when the summoner is killed. Monsters affected so far: undead, elementals, golems, vortices.
Fantastic idea ! This slight nerf might even give an excuse to buff something else
=> Will they drop potentially grabbed stuff when vanishing ? I don't think usual banish should save items, but it would seem normal to me for that specific case.
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Old January 9, 2019, 20:43   #33
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New builds for macOS and Windows on the build page (source is here) with the following changes:
  • Changes to demons, including:
    • Manes removed, replaced by nrulings
    • Erinyes removed, replaced by furies
    • Hezrou revamped to be more interesting - but possibly too weak, comments encouraged
    • Greater balrogs buffed and moved deeper, and they and the deep balrog uniques get the ability to tunnel
    • Some changes to descriptions
  • Adding of the "monster teleport to player" spell (largely for nrulings)
  • Fix to a bug that was probably making a bunch of monster spells not work properly
  • Adding an experimental depth factor (of level/10) to allocations, making shallower monsters progressively less likely at deeper levels

I'm now looking at ainu and have numerous problems with them. I'm not a big fan thematically of any of the uniques (Arien, Osse, Radagast); on the other hand, Saruman and Sauron probably should become ainu, and there are a couple of other unique possibilities. I don't mind the lesser Maia, Maia, greater Maia series, but I think blue wizards and Istari have thematic problems too, and don't really know what could replace them - possibly the x Maia could be buffed to fill their place and there could be lower level nature spirits, etc, but that kind of runs into elementals. One thing I do plan is to give pretty much all of the ainur shapechanges.

I would really like to hear some opinions on this.
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Old January 9, 2019, 21:16   #34
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If we're going to add (or rework) maiar, then Eonwe is something of a natural maia to add. The description text could include something about Eonwe believing they have a destiny to defeat Morgoth, so you should go ahead and get out of their way. Abilities are a bit tougher to gauge, since despite leading an army to defeat Morgoth, we don't really know what Eonwe actually does, AFAIK. Summoning combined with powerful melee, but maybe no good ranged attacks, to make the fight interesting tactically?

Alatar and Pallando could be added as monsters that appear together, like Angamite and Sangahyando. I suspect that would make them interesting enough to warrant inclusion, and they could be given complementary roles (ideally also a spell which teleports one to the other when they are separated) where one has good melee and healing and teleport to and such, while the other is better with elemental spells. I am worried about how thematically appropriate it is, though.

One lower level maia that would vaguely make sense is the Eagles. However, they probably fit the 'B' glyph more naturally, and wouldn't fit the generalist spellcaster with decent melee role the rest of the maia seem to have.

In theory, to avoid stepping into elementals, you could just merge them into Ainur. Perhaps modify them a bit, they're rather boring and unthematic as it is, and not particularly interesting to fight, especially since there is only very rarely a good reason to. The emptied E glyph could be turned into 'E'lves, and maybe the sons of Feanor could be added there, so it's not just dark elves you fight.
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Old January 9, 2019, 21:43   #35
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I'm not a great fan of Arien/Radagast/Osse either, or, for that matter, any "good guys" in the monster list. (Except for Bullroarer, but only because I find he is one of the very few monsters who is actually fun to fight.) If you're not happy with just renaming blue wizards into purple wizards, why not just remove them altogether? There's way too many monster types around as it is.

What's a/an nruling? (Unless it's the geometric cousing of an ncolouring.)

And while on the subject of demons, I think it might make it more enjoyable if similar monster types, like demons, had similar resistances/vulnerabilities. This would reduce the load on player memory, that was mentioned not long ago. In case of demons, maybe make them all fire/darkness-themed? If you really miss your gelugons, I'm sure you can genetically engineer them into some other species.
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Old January 9, 2019, 23:29   #36
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Thanks for the comments. I have actually come up with a decent solution, I think. There are three deep Greek-themed giant uniques (Polyphemus, Atlas and Kronos), and three mid-level ainur uniques; I'll essentially swap the roles these are playing. There are some good candidates for both big ainur uniques and mid-level giant uniques in early Tolkien writing.

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Alatar and Pallando could be added as monsters that appear together, like Angamite and Sangahyando. I suspect that would make them interesting enough to warrant inclusion, and they could be given complementary roles (ideally also a spell which teleports one to the other when they are separated) where one has good melee and healing and teleport to and such, while the other is better with elemental spells. I am worried about how thematically appropriate it is, though.
This is a possibility.

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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
In theory, to avoid stepping into elementals, you could just merge them into Ainur. Perhaps modify them a bit, they're rather boring and unthematic as it is, and not particularly interesting to fight, especially since there is only very rarely a good reason to. The emptied E glyph could be turned into 'E'lves, and maybe the sons of Feanor could be added there, so it's not just dark elves you fight.
This is an interesting idea too. I think I'll just start making ainur something that makes sense, then move other things around as necessary.

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Originally Posted by Voovus View Post
What's a/an nruling? (Unless it's the geometric cousing of an ncolouring.)
They're from O (invented by Leon Marrick, I'm guessing), and are memorably annoying

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Originally Posted by Voovus View Post
And while on the subject of demons, I think it might make it more enjoyable if similar monster types, like demons, had similar resistances/vulnerabilities. This would reduce the load on player memory, that was mentioned not long ago. In case of demons, maybe make them all fire/darkness-themed? If you really miss your gelugons, I'm sure you can genetically engineer them into some other species.
I take your point, but I think that demons actually work pretty well at the moment. As it is most of them are fire-based, with a few interesting exceptions; as I was going through, I felt they were fairly coherent.
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Old January 10, 2019, 01:19   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
In theory, to avoid stepping into elementals, you could just merge them into Ainur. Perhaps modify them a bit, they're rather boring and unthematic as it is, and not particularly interesting to fight, especially since there is only very rarely a good reason to. The emptied E glyph could be turned into 'E'lves, and maybe the sons of Feanor could be added there, so it's not just dark elves you fight.
I agree that ainu (or alternatively rauko/demon) are thematically better fits for elementals. On the other hand they have a mechanical purpose (same detects as a golem) which may need filling if moved off the E.
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Old January 10, 2019, 06:50   #38
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Originally Posted by Voovus View Post
I'm not a great fan of Arien/Radagast/Osse either, or, for that matter, any "good guys" in the monster list.
They've simply realised that @ is on a murderous rampage that ends when they take Morgoth's crown and supplant him as the supreme evil of the land. The "good" monsters are there to prevent that while the "evil" monsters are trying to save themselves.
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Old January 10, 2019, 08:23   #39
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"nruling"? Is that related to "nurgling" (there's such thing in another variant, ZAngband or CthAngband probably)?

"deep balrog [...] get the ability to tunnel"
I thought we got rid of this nightmare long ago... At leat in my variant, pit walls are made of titanium
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Old January 11, 2019, 21:47   #40
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Latest builds for Windows and macOS are up on the builds page (source is here), with these changes:
  • Major rewrite of Ainur:
    • lesser Maiar, greater Maiar, blue wizards and Istari are all gone
    • Stole an idea (if not much of the implementation) from NPP of having Maia attached to given Valar (so Maia of Oromė, Maia of Varda, etc) - there are 8 types of these (corresponding to the High Ones of Arda), with stuff in common but thematic differences. All have shapechanges.
    • Removed all existing uniques (Arien, Ossė, Radagast), replaced them with two new deep uniques (Makar and Meįssė)
  • Moderate rewrite of giants:
    • Uniques (Polyphemus, Atlas, Kronos) removed, replaced with mid-level uniques stolen (in concept) from Sil (Nan and Gilim)
    • Storm giants buffed and moved a bit deeper
  • Two new monster spells - storms and balls of light (starbursts)
  • Thinking monsters which shapechange into non-thinking monsters are now still detectable by ESP and use smart spellcasting

This is not the last word on Ainur or giants, but we'll see how these changes play out.

I have started looking at spiders, and it seems to me that they are a microcosm of what needs attention in the current monster list. Fifteen non-unique spiders, 12 of them appearing by dungeon level 26, and many of them utterly forgettable. Expect big changes here
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