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Old November 24, 2020, 10:04   #21
Werbaer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldernut View Post
This sounds like "enjoy the game my way or play something else". Very well then, I will play something else. For the record, here's my protest for this change.
Just do what i do, and stick to 4.0.x.
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Old November 24, 2020, 17:54   #22
archolewa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldernut View Post
This system was in place for decades. No searching is the new system that has been invented - and with option to search, people who don't like to search lose nothing. Options are not bad for gameplay, but instead cater to different gameplay styles.
It's true that options are not bad for gameplay, however they are bad for code maintenance. If you had an option for searching, then the maintainer has to maintain two subsystems. They have to make sure any new changes work in both subsystems. There's a greater surface area for obscure bugs that might be hard to track down, because it's some weird interaction between one search subsystem and something else, and the bug reporter forgot to mention they had the old search system on, possibly because they forgot they had it on.

To say nothing of balance implications. There's no guarantee as the game evolves that a particular option remains well-balanced. Maybe in the future, some maintainer decides to make traps a bigger deal by making them more numerous and nastier, but balance it by making them easier to detect. Not a big deal with automated searching, but suddenly manual searching makes the game way harder than intended.

Maintaining a large number of options that cater to different playstyles is a huge undertaking that gets exponentially bigger with each new option. It sucks when the current maintainer makes a change we don't like, but this is part of the reason why older versions are still available. So that players can play their preferred version, and the (volunteer) maintainer doesn't have to maintain multiple versions simultaneously.
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Old November 24, 2020, 18:53   #23
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Originally Posted by Aldernut View Post
Options are not bad for gameplay, but instead cater to different gameplay styles.
This is true in general; but both trap gameplay and the underlying code have been entirely re-designed around the new system with no searching, and undoing those changes in a way that made traps play at all similarly to older V would be a lot more complicated than just adding an option in.

It is impossible for maintainers to please everybody. Nick has made quite a few major changes to the game besides the trap one; and while all of them were only made after requesting feedback and suggestions from players, most of them have still irritated at least some people. This is entirely understandable, from both sides; and there usually isn't any right or wrong, just different views. In such situations, one might think the idea of letting everybody have it their way through options is a good one. I think it is a good one! Alas, in this case the option isn't implementable; just as an option to keep using the old 9-book magic realms would not be implementable.

I don't approve of everything Nick does as maintainer. My variant still has searching and trap detection spells But Nick is a good guy, and does his best not to implement changes that are broadly unpopular.
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Old November 24, 2020, 19:36   #24
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Nick the butcher screams "No active searching!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
Alas, in this case the option isn't implementable; just as an option to keep using the old 9-book magic realms would not be implementable.
Oddly enough these are still here. You have to swap the file old_class.txt with class.txt

I like the new trap system. Unfortunately for those who don't, it's like Sideways and others have said. It's too hard to maintain both systems.
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Old November 24, 2020, 20:15   #25
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Nice spot! Though it doesn't seem to actually work; at a minimum, old_class.txt is in an old format the current parser doesn't accept.
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Old November 24, 2020, 20:33   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldernut View Post
This sounds like "enjoy the game my way or play something else".
Yes, and I'm afraid I am kind of saying that, but it's not really "my way". I don't think I've introduced (or at least retained) anything that there's majority dislike of; I really do try quite hard to express the will of the community. And sometimes that means making a hard decision to remove something that has appeal, but is just really no longer working. The searching mechanic is just one of many - haggling, spiking doors, pseudo-ID, potions of detonations, and so on.

Being Angband maintainer is an interesting gig. You get to have influence over a classic game that many people love, but that cuts both ways. So far I feel like I get "thank you for maintaining/revitalising this game" more than I get "why are you ruining this game", but both are definitely represented. I'm sorry you're disappointed about this change.
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Old November 24, 2020, 20:33   #27
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Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
Nice spot! Though it doesn't seem to actually work; at a minimum, old_class.txt is in an old format the current parser doesn't accept.
Thanks (files bug).
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Old November 24, 2020, 20:50   #28
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Originally Posted by archolewa View Post
It's true that options are not bad for gameplay, however they are bad for code maintenance. If you had an option for searching, then the maintainer has to maintain two subsystems. They have to make sure any new changes work in both subsystems. There's a greater surface area for obscure bugs that might be hard to track down, because it's some weird interaction between one search subsystem and something else, and the bug reporter forgot to mention they had the old search system on, possibly because they forgot they had it on.

To say nothing of balance implications. There's no guarantee as the game evolves that a particular option remains well-balanced. Maybe in the future, some maintainer decides to make traps a bigger deal by making them more numerous and nastier, but balance it by making them easier to detect. Not a big deal with automated searching, but suddenly manual searching makes the game way harder than intended.

Maintaining a large number of options that cater to different playstyles is a huge undertaking that gets exponentially bigger with each new option. It sucks when the current maintainer makes a change we don't like, but this is part of the reason why older versions are still available. So that players can play their preferred version, and the (volunteer) maintainer doesn't have to maintain multiple versions simultaneously.
This sounds like the game should be stripped down to fewer features just to make it easier and quicker to maintain, even at the cost of gameplay options. It also sounds like there's a need for quick releases, even though the game is three decades old freeware.

I find this is exactly opposite to what I think. The game should not serve the maintainer. Instead, the maintainer should serve the game.

If there's a situation when the maintainer doesn't have enough time and resources to maintain the game, a new maintainer should be chosen. The game itself should be the very last thing to be compromised and stripped down because of these considerations.

Regarding older versions - they don't get any bugfixes anymore. They really get nothing. If you play them, you deal with the bugs as well.

- Otherwise -

Considering drastic changes to vanilla, I also think they should not be done. Instead these should be done in a variant. This maintains backwards-compatability and time-tested gameplay. In addition to searching, an example of this is the new spell system of five instead of nine books.

From what I've seen, so much less spells dramatically cut down the flavour of the classes. For example spell-based enchanting is AFAIU removed. There's plenty of threads, too, where people discuss what spells have utility and what should just be thrown out.

This kind of approach naturally cuts down on the roleplay, and aims for Angband less as a RPG and more of a numbers game. It's another gameplay style and not wrong as such. Here again, it's about options. Flavourful spells, even when they're not often used, are entirely optional. A player doesn't have to use them if s/he doesn't want to.
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Old November 24, 2020, 21:48   #29
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Originally Posted by Aldernut View Post
This sounds like the game should be stripped down to fewer features just to make it easier and quicker to maintain, even at the cost of gameplay options. It also sounds like there's a need for quick releases, even though the game is three decades old freeware.
This is a misinterpretation of what I said. Maybe I wasn't clear. Nowhere did I advocate for stripping the game down solely to make it easier and quicker to maintain. It's a balancing act. One of the responsibilities of the current maintainer is to weigh the cost and benefits of a proposed change, not just in terms of gameplay but also in terms of code clarity and ease of maintenance. After discussions with the community, Nick decided the new search system would improve the game for most players.

However, adding an option to go back to the old search system would only improve the game for a minority of players, but would massively increase the maintenance burden, so it's not worth the trade off. To say nothing of the opportunity cost. The time Nick would spend putting the search system back in is time he can't spend fixing bugs, improving balance, or whatever else is on the to-do list.

Remember that searching wasn't changed because it's easier to maintain (no idea which system is easier to maintain) it was changed because a majority of the community didn't like the search system and wanted it changed.

Quote:
If there's a situation when the maintainer doesn't have enough time and resources to maintain the game, a new maintainer should be chosen. The game itself should be the very last thing to be compromised and stripped down because of these considerations.
This all well and good. But if your codebase grows too big and complex *nobody* will have the time and resources to maintain the game, and it will die. Nobody here wants Angband to die, least of all the maintainers. So they have a responsibility to ensure that any changes they make keep the maintenance burden manageable.

Refusing to put back an old system is hardly "compromising" the game.

Quote:
From what I've seen, so much less spells dramatically cut down the flavour of the classes. For example spell-based enchanting is AFAIU removed. There's plenty of threads, too, where people discuss what spells have utility and what should just be thrown out.
I don't know, I think the current changes have *increased* the flavor of the various classes at least in some cases. Paladins for example feel much more like holy warriors enhanced by magic than they did before the spell changes. Before the changes, they were warrior-clerics who warriored slightly worse than the warrior, but clericed much better than the warrior, and clericed slightly worse than the cleric, but warriored much better than the cleric. They feel more like their own class now.

Last edited by archolewa; November 24, 2020 at 22:04.
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Old November 24, 2020, 21:51   #30
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It's interesting but I hadn't really considered the evolution of trap handling with regards to impact on play style until I read Nick's history. I was nodding my head at every step but hadn't really ever looked at the ultijmate consequence. It was just a "oh, so it behaves that way now" reaction.

I recall dying randomly to traps right at the beginning of the game and developing a neurosis around searching; move-search move-search, then an option to just be in search mode where the -"search" was implied. That gobbled turn counts but reduced trap death so long as I always noticed when it (apparently randomly) turned off so I could reactivate it.

Future versions gave me the shaded indicator that I needed to do whatever I did to detect traps over a wide area again so that I could focus on kicking open doors, butchering things that move (and things that don't) and collecting stuff.

Great! From having to search every time to just the occasional use of a stick/spell and built in reminders that it's time to do it again.

Latest version suddenly the traps area back. Just like in real life I have some value indicative of my perception and not infrequently I notice that something's fishy and a trap appears. Other times I stumble into one (thankfully no more insta-death) but I realize that I really appreciate the fact that I don't have to maintain this at all anymore, it just handles itself in what (to me) is a more realistic fashion and I don't have to sweat it.

Really, who checks that wall 32 times 'cause you're fairly certain you were mistaken the first 31 except in utter desperation? (Actually if I'm in that situation, and can't recall happening in years, I just tunnel into it in lieu of detection. If it was a door it revealed itself relatively quickly).

So I'm gonna go ahead and thow out my (unsolicited) opinion that this approach is more realistic and immersive because I do get hit with traps more often... and it sucks in the short term... just like life.

(Acknowledged irony because I actually appreciate the returned relevance and maintenance of food. People are strange eh?)
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