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Old February 17, 2019, 12:55   #31
tangar
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End of vanilla Angband

It was interesting to read the feedback

I donno why some other folk with whom I discussed this matters in Discord are silent.. I suppose there could be two reasons:

1) people who do not like what's going on - do not participate in Angband forum discussions anymore.. Why?

Because they do not see any way to stop this butchering. The only man who could stop Angband's lore destruction is Nick or next maintainer who (hopefully) may consider to revert this monsters/races changes. At the same time I really do not want to see anyone else as maintainer, Nick is really genious in terms of gameplay mechanics (traps, ID, curses etc). Nick please don't go away! (my poor Russian soul: you love and hate him at the same time).

And now I understand this 'out-of-forum' people. I myself after reading this thread feel that it's really pointless for me to participate in V-discussions anymore; it's pointless to try and save certain monsters from destruction, it won't save V. I do not want to dramatize, but just look at this new execution list and say goodbye to Angband which you know and to your memories:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Dark elf replaced by eastern dwarf
Dark elven mage replaced by blacklock mage
Dark elven warrior replaced by stonefoot warrior
Gnome mage replaced by drúadan mage
Dark elven priest replaced by ironfist priest
Dark elven lord replaced by dark dwarven lord
Dark elven druid buffed, moved deeper and renamed drúadan druid
New monster green elf archer
Dark elven sorcerer replaced by stiffbeard sorcerer (this one's for HallucinationMushroom)
I wanna note again - this is just another tiny drop of Vanilla blood.. There already were a lot of changes like this. Nick is doing a very smart thing (as I said before - he is a great leader and knows the stuff) - he makes 'butchering' in tiny portions so community won't notice the whole picture and won't react to it. Everything is going according The Dark Lords plan ...

2) there are people who participate the discussions on this forums, but silent in this particular one. Why? Because they are too.. gentle. This is very good virtue of human, but not in all conditions.

Some people do not speak what they think because it's 'western' politcorrect bahaviour. This is a very interesting issue and I wanna share some thoughts about it because it's not the first time when I note this: if some 'western' people do not agree with something - they are just keep silence (I mean highly cultured people; for example, ones who play intellectual roguelike games like Angband).

On contrary Russian people (even roguelike players) are very straight-forward and sometimes you could think that they are even offencive. We do not have political correctness in our culture and we tell what we think. It's truth that in some cases it produces bad bahaviour (like someone could start harassment and swearing). But sometimes such properties gives an advantage - you could get real, fair feedback from such people - without politically correct behaviour which is harmful in certain conditions... Everyone are kind and loyal to Nick (and me too, I love this man), but there should be a difference between being kind to person and to give a real and clear feedback on his actions.

This 'gentleness' makes people who do not agree - just to be silent so they won't offend beloved person / won't go agains it's supporters.

So the picture is: people who like what's Nick doing are supporting him on this forum (obviously). But people who do not agree - are silent (again, I know such people as I've spoken to them via Discord).

Does it matter really? No. Just an interesting observation. I suppose most of the V-players would support anything what Nick's doing, like lemmings.. and if he would say "Jump from the cliff, fools!".. they would jump And minority of the community are looking at this picture from the distance, being sad and silent.

--

Now I wanna write a note considering comments like "you are free to have your own variant with old monsters" or "you could use monster.txt from past version".

The problem is: vanilla is the Core. It's the exemplar. A lot of non-Lore, good gameplay changes upcoming there. A lot of new monsters are going to appear. How to be up-to-date with new versions now? After this revamp, 'new Angband' monsters would not be compatible to real 'vanilla Angband' (sorry, but I'm going to call Angband with new Lore as 'new Angband', not 'Vanilla'). It would be _very hard_ to be up-to-date and look into 'new Angband' config files while there are so much monsters deleted/renamed/changed compare to 'Vanilla'. I know what I'm speaking about as I'm currently working with Angband gamedata customization a lot.

That's why this isn't a 'vanilla Angband' anymore. 'New Angband' monster list won't be compatible to previous versions and variants. I want to emphasize: this is not about physical compatibility (gamedata configs are the same), but about monsters compatibility - you can not compare two monster.txt files properly (old and new one) to make your version of the game up-to-date - if they got so much differences between monsters and their names.

If before that changes, Vanilla was a place from where you take stuff for old game versions or another variant - 'new Angband' would be itself variant-like game. This is very bad for Angbands' evolution.
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Old February 17, 2019, 13:29   #32
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JLE's patch was a huge change, in terms of rebalancing but also in terms of changing the monster lore. It added a huge heap of D&D stuff, turned some monsters that used to be classic @-killers into "just another monster" and generally created the feel of today's Angband monster list.

Then there was the recasting of angels as Maiar - which was pretty much exactly equivalent to what Nick's doing here, tweaking and renaming monsters who'd been part of Angband and its lore for a long time to give the game a more Tolkien feel.

Those are just the big monster lore ones; there have been other similar changes that didn't involve monster lore. I'm not saying you don't have every right to feel as you do; I'm saying similar changes have happened before, Nick's is not the first, it will probably not be the last, every one of those changes left a few people feeling the way you do now, and everybody else, including you, just kept playing. For you, maybe a couple other people, this is the big change that ruins everything. But there have been fifty big changes that ruined everything before, and yet Angband is still here.
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Old February 17, 2019, 13:37   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfy View Post
I clear ever level. (exvept for the few at the beginning when I discover Deep Descent).
Me too. I squelch deep descent the moment I find it. But then again, I always play forced descent so I never get bogged down.

EDIT: I just died on dlvl70 to a force breath from Baphomet (I always forget he can do that) with a character who could easily have killed Morgoth so... er...

Last edited by MattB; February 17, 2019 at 13:48.
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Old February 17, 2019, 13:44   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangar View Post
End of vanilla Angband
This 'gentleness' makes people who do not agree - just to be silent so they won't offend beloved person / won't go agains it's supporters.
I wasn't going to reply to this thread, but since you have accused non-repliers of being tacit disagreers who are keeping silent out of politeness, I feel I am now forced to reply and say that I agree with most of the changes, disagree with a few, and am totally confident that the net result will be significantly better than the starting point.

Now on politeness, I think you've got it the wrong way round (speaking only for myself, of course). The reason I didn't reply was not out of politeness and not wishing to offend. Rather, the reason I didn't reply was because I felt the original post was too impolite to warrant a reply.
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Old February 17, 2019, 19:10   #35
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Look, Vanilla was ruined from the moment that Nick decided to not have rockets in it. Who cares about the rest.
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Old February 17, 2019, 19:20   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
Look, Vanilla was ruined from the moment that Nick decided to not have rockets in it. Who cares about the rest.
I beg to differ. Can't have rockets without rodent skeletons, can you?
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Old February 17, 2019, 20:30   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangar View Post
If before that changes, Vanilla was a place from where you take stuff for old game versions or another variant - 'new Angband' would be itself variant-like game. This is very bad for Angbands' evolution.
This raises an interesting point.

The standard advice to anyone who has an idea that they want implemented in Angband has for a long time been "Make a variant, you can do what you want". I think this is good advice, but it has a kind of evil twin which is "That doesn't belong in Vanilla, that belongs in a variant". I think we need to be careful not to allow the variants to weigh down Vanilla, or define it as all the stuff that every variant should have.

In particular, tangar, I don't think you actually play Vanilla Angband very much. It seems to me that you're treating it a bit like your childhood home - you don't want it to change, but you don't want to live there either. Whereas the people who actually live there are probably the ones I should be listening to the most.
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Old February 17, 2019, 21:23   #38
tangar
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Angband as an educational game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
In particular, tangar, I don't think you actually play Vanilla Angband very much. It seems to me that you're treating it a bit like your childhood home - you don't want it to change, but you don't want to live there either. Whereas the people who actually live there are probably the ones I should be listening to the most.
I played TomeNET ~4 years which is basically multiplayer vanilla with whistles and bells. As I do not play in party, I always play solo - my gameplay experience is very close to Angband singleplayer (but with real-time which makes game much harder). And now I work/play at Angband Online which is based on PWMAngband which is much, much closer to vanilla then TomeNET; all PWMA gamedata is just a copy of V-Angband with a few additions.. And if TomeNET is based at old Angband, PWMA based at modern core.

And before that I played Moria and Rogue. So I know where this staff came from. Btw, speaking about Moria - a few years ago I've wrote an article to popular Russian game magazine which had a name: "Roguelike: where do Diablo's ears stick out": http://tangar.info/game-magazine/roguelike-history, to popularize rlg genre.

So I know Angband lore and spirit firsthand. I know monsters which you delete from the game. I know a lot of their properties by heart as while you play in real-time - you can not look in spoilers.

And I'm not just playing the game, I'm streaming - communicating with viewers, reading their comments at the same time when I play real-time Angband. It's pretty special experience which require some skills (yep, I'm not too humble when someone occuse me being incompetent).

But it doesn't matter - the most important that I love Vanilla World. I learned A LOT from it.

I was Tolkien maniac for a long time. I didn't read much fantasy exept him, I've continued to read LOTR again and again. But after playing Angband (TomeNET) - I've met there a lot of monsters which I didn't recognize. I've read their description and I opened new books and new fantasy universes and worlds for myself. This is USEFUL, educational element of the game which you destroying right now. Even having Medusa giving some new lore to 'modern' gamers who do not really read a lot of books, but watching movies.

Vanilla had HUGE advantage towards strict-universe games cause there you got a lot of different mythology. Devs should enhance this direction for the game - it gives players new knowledge. Having a lot of Tolkien is cool thing too, but purging everything else and making it pure-Tolkien game is a mistake.
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Old February 17, 2019, 21:39   #39
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Didn't tomenet fork from Angband like, a billion years ago? Why are we even talking about this?
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Old February 17, 2019, 22:50   #40
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tangar, I understand you think you're "in the right" here. But there isn't a right or wrong; we're talking about aesthetics. This is the kind of thing where there are preferences and not facts. It's not a democracy, so citing that other people agree with you doesn't make an argument stronger either.

Nick as the maintainer has a preference for altering elements of the monster list that clash with the Tolkien theme and it doesn't seem like this is going to change. He has no intention of making it a pure-Tolkien game, though it's an interesting point you raise about how the multiple sources of content lead to a more educational game. But ultimately, all maintainers make aesthetic decisions and the players just have to put up with it

PWMAngband and your own variant are very welcome to keep the old monsters, or add to them or mix between the different monster lists to your heart's content. Personally I like the new dwarven monster names over the old dark elven ones; they add more distinctiveness and flavour.

From your post history, I didn't see that you'd engaged that much in the past with developments in Vanilla, so you might not have the context for some of these changes:
  • One recurring topic of discussion has been whether the game should be shortened (50 or 70 dlevs). Nick has chosen to expand the monster list and buff monsters so that they fill the space available instead of doing this.
  • "Just add more stuff and leave the old stuff alone" is not a very good approach to designing a game and doesn't lead to balance. The history of modern Angband (for better or for worse) is one of removing stuff as well as reworking existing elements, to achieve a better overall balance.
  • A lot of people have made the same kinds of claim you've made here - that some particular element of the game is sacred, makes the game "Angband", that removing/changing it/adding to it is the end of Angband. But we also have some players who have played since 2.4.frog-knows and have seen almost everything in the game change in some way, including the monster list, and they still call it "Angband".

I think it's fair to say that everyone who has seen your posts on the forum, tangar, understands you have a strong attachment to the current monster file as of Angband 4.1, and that you don't want to see things removed. It sucks when games change in ways you don't like. But maybe give the changes a go? You might find that an updated monster list is a new challenge to master, rather than a loss of hard-won knowledge. Personally, I've been playing the game more recently than I have in ages because I'm excited to see the changes.
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