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Old August 13, 2020, 18:00   #21
tangar
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I don't agree with some feedbacks above.. as my variant is based at PWMA which is based at V I always have fears that some feedbacks could turn the game wrong.. as it feels pretty good to me right now, it's hard to make stuff better, but easy to make it much worse.. so I just wanna say - it's great if new stuff will be added as game options - so people who wish to play differently - will be able to turn certain options in game settings, while others will be able to play the way it is now
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Old August 14, 2020, 03:25   #22
Nick
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Thank you for your frank opinions. I have not responded before now because I wanted some time to consider, and because I thought it better to let some discussion to develop first.

You raise some good points, and I will try to address what I see as the most salient; I'll also probably end up moralising a bit about the nature of Angband, game development, life, etc

Food - briefly, there has been a suggestion that cure potions should cost food rather than give it, which I think might fix most of the issues people have with it.

Level feelings - briefly again, it's possible these need recalibration to the new monster list, or even a rethink of the way they are calculated.

Replacing elves with dwarves - this has come up a bit, the idea is that Angband had "dark elves" from D&D, which are really quite incompatible with the Middle-Earth conception of elves. The elves also make a big deal of never having fought for Morgoth, whereas dwarves are explicitly said to have done so. In practice, this hasn't made a lot of gameplay difference.

Incongruity of trees - yes, maybe, but there are plenty of other monsters which are pretty incongruous in the dungeon setting (many of the animals, for example), and they make a distinctive and thematic class of monsters, in my opinion.

Monsters moving through walls - yes, there are a few more that can now, but there were already quite a lot that could (all G's, many of the higher undead, all X's, etc). I don't agree that this inhibits the player's tactical ability; I think it changes the balance of threats the player has to respond to, and so alters the tactics they will need to employ.

Stat draining - the changes here are
  1. Ringwraiths can confer the black breath if you melee them (1 in 5 chance per melee round, minus the times they miss with that blow), which lasts a small number of turns, but can unresistably drain STR or CON while the player has it;
  2. Storms of unmagic get a drain-all-stats melee attack, which is prevented by sustains (previously only Morgoth had this);
  3. Some more monsters have time attacks.
The relevant monsters are all deep, and this is part of a deliberate strategy on my part tom make the deeper levels more dangerous. One of the problems I perceived with the monster list as it was was that it still had the hangover from Moria, where most of the monster power-up happened over the first fifty levels, and the remaining levels weren't that much harder but had better gear.

Maiar - I really don't see the difference between different types of these and different types of demons, or dragons.

Randarts - Yes, agreed, randarts are overpowered. Producing a set of randarts of similar power and distribution to the standard artifacts is a difficult problem, and the answer tends to be subjective, and I have to rely on player feedback. It turns out that people will complain more when they get too many crap randarts than when they get too many good ones, so that has undoubtedly influenced my thinking. Don't worry, you have been heard, and I will now nerf the hell out of them
Note here that the standard artifacts have actually been made a little less powerful in 4.2.

Tiles - OK, I saved this for last, I apologise (kind of) in advance for the rant. Tiles are the bane of my existence. When I first started playing, they were an optional add-on that had to be downloaded separately, and if I had my druthers they'd go back to that. Originally someone made a single tileset, which might have been manageable, but now there are five, one of which comes in two different flavors. Angband is fundamentally an ASCII game, I personally use ASCII, angband.live uses ASCII, and tiles are grafted on as something of an afterthought. And the consequence of this is that every time a new object or monster or terrain feature or spell type or whatever is introduced, someone (frequently muggins here) has to go through and work out what that means for all the different tilesets, or just let default ASCII show through, or most often some bastard combination of the two. So when you say "priority two tileset has a few monsters that look the same", you'll understand when I don't turn on the flashing lights and come speeding to the rescue. But I'll try and take a look.

Finally, I just want to say that I think roguelikes have the best, deepest gameplay of any games, and Angband and its variants are the best roguelikes. Being involved with developing Angband is an amazing ride, and in some ways I wish I could do it full-time. It also needs to be said, though, that this is not a AAA (or however many A's it is) game with a massive team of programmers, artists and game designers. Every line of the Angband source code (and there are many thousand) has been written by someone for no reward other than their satisfaction at contributing to a game they love, and volunteers like this usually have many outside demands on their time apart from the many demands of trying to make a coherent game that keeps a diverse (ish) Angband community satisfied. So all commentary on the game is welcome, but commentary that comes with practical, constructive suggestions and preferably code is particularly welcome
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Old August 14, 2020, 13:03   #23
Thraalbee
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After some games including two ironman wins with 4.2.1 (ranger and blackguard) I must say I am quite happy with the changes!

First, I definitely like the changes to classes as well as the boost of deeper monsters. This makes things more interesting and challenging as well.
Previously an Ainu pit was low risk high reward but now you will face a decent risk and require some consumables in such a fight. It is still doable (and I did it a lot in the last game to get more healing although the net effect was limited).

Randarts might be off but always were and remember, only the OP or crap stuff will be posted here. Usually that is not what you get. In my two wins I did find powerful weapons early but in both games, v.s. Morgoth, I was worse off for primary weapon than in any previous standart game (except one special case).
A nerf is not that simple but I have some ideas

#1 artifact melee weapons
These are quite common and most of them get too many slays and brand and features including immunities.
This makes the feeling of wonder when investigating a new weapon quickly turn into "... I can't read all that, what is the dpr?..." Clearly a fail!
Also, too often you end up with a "kill anything but Morgoth" weapon and tactical decisions on what weapons to carry and whom to fight becomes moot. Also clearly simplifying the ironman game too much.
I'd go for fewer brands and slays and effects and make artifact weapons more single purpose. Then powerful is ok.

#2 off-weapon slays and attacks
I like these. A lot! But when you find multiple items you may end up with silly amounts of attacks and slays which kind of ruins the game (for some but not all).
Again, if you had only one of these active instead of all, you would bring back tactical elements to the game.
Ideally you would only be able to use a single off-weapon effect at any time but be able to choose which one. Coding this might not be feasible though.
Perhaps if any off-weapon effect also had a rating you could just choose the highest rated to be in effect. To change that the player would have to stop wielding the item with the higher rating to get the effect of a lower rated piece. But... sounds less simple than desired.

#3 the rings of power
Randart rings are interesting but rarely come which high speed boni so are not that great. In my last win I ditched all of them for the Morgoth fight and just used speed. Sure, sometimes these are OP but also quite often crap.
Actually I'd prefer the original rings of power to be there in randart games as well instead of random versions.
It is not likely that randmizing these will turn out balanced and interesting and quite differently between games anyways. Also, I think randart games suffer a bit from having no standard lore at all (except Grond and ...). And the rings of power would be my #1 to bring in for a hybrid artifact set.

#4 +Moves
This was a fun and inventive addition, but I want this out of standarts as well as randarts! It quickly ruins a competition when someone gets this but not the others. Also it is too powerful.
And the tactics of juggling with =escape and ,sprinting or "do I use !speed here?" becomes moot. Not an improvement to the game play unfortunately.
I'd be tempted to keep the effect but only as a progressive spell for a single class.
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Old August 14, 2020, 14:06   #24
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Quote:
#4 +Moves
This was a fun and inventive addition, but I want this out of standarts as well as randarts! It quickly ruins a competition when someone gets this but not the others. Also it is too powerful.
And the tactics of juggling with =escape and ,sprinting or "do I use !speed here?" becomes moot. Not an improvement to the game play unfortunately.
I'd be tempted to keep the effect but only as a progressive spell for a single class.
Many players disliked the selling minigame and the id minigame; those have been changed, and we are generally very happy with the results. The food minigame is in the process of being changed, too, and I am confident that our great dev team will find a good solution for it.
My hot take is: I don't like the turncount minigame. This minigame is largely optional, since it matters only in ladders and competitions, but maybe in the future it would be better to find a form of scoring and an additional challenge that do not require me to juggle rings of escape and other similar abominations.
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Old August 14, 2020, 16:00   #25
Sphara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thraalbee View Post
#3 the rings of power
Randart rings are interesting but rarely come which high speed boni so are not that great. In my last win I ditched all of them for the Morgoth fight and just used speed. Sure, sometimes these are OP but also quite often crap.
Actually I'd prefer the original rings of power to be there in randart games as well instead of random versions.
It is not likely that randmizing these will turn out balanced and interesting and quite differently between games anyways. Also, I think randart games suffer a bit from having no standard lore at all (except Grond and ...). And the rings of power would be my #1 to bring in for a hybrid artifact set.
It's been quite a while I played with 4.2.x or earlier game with randarts, but I do remember that artifact rings appear much, much earlier than Rings of Power. Those are not even that rare and they often possess stat boosts and powers that make Ring of Barahir for example, look like a beerleaguer trophy. I'd prefer if randart rings were much rarer and Narya, Nenya and Vilya were included even in randart artifact jewelery set.

Randarts are absolutely a cool addition to the game. I personally just lost interest after getting so ridiculous gear every time. And by ridiculous, I mean compared to standarts.
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Old August 14, 2020, 16:08   #26
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For me, the no-selling and rune systems are really good improvements. I play bands since 2003 and I remember having to rest a lot to get the pseudo-id feeling. Perhaps the only thing I miss from the old system was the satisfaction of getting the 'special' flag

I think that some amount of OP makes the game more fun. I played NPP a lot too (first versions were very OP) and sometimes nerfing things gives you a harder and uniform game, but less fun. If we have harder monsters after dlvl 70 we need a bit of OP to fight them, if the reward is good enough. Giving a good reward at that depth is difficult for the developer...

What I try to do when I play V is to avoid using asymmetric ranged combat, specially against bosses. I need a strong char to do that. I'm not saying that we should get rid of asymmetric los. It's sometimes useful for new players. Just don't nerf too much.

Last edited by Cuboideb; August 14, 2020 at 19:01.
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Old August 14, 2020, 18:55   #27
Pete Mack
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I just don't understand the claim that rune ID is either tedious or slow.

There is no reason to ID things that aren't obvious, or easily determined through experimentation. (Brands, most slays, and basic resistances are trivial to determine.) Good items are usually obviously good, with stealth or a stat bonus or the like. The only non-obvious good egos are either deep or easily determined.

And if you find a cursed object, either ignore it or sell it to ID the curses.
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Old August 14, 2020, 19:37   #28
Thraalbee
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+1 to the above
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Old August 14, 2020, 22:10   #29
Pete Mack
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To be clear: if an item has a high resist and you don't know it, you will eventually find it out if you wear it. If you aren't wearing it, it means you almost certainly have something better for the slot. Yeah, there are a few high resists that really matter, but only one of them is rare in the early-to-mid game. For all except nether, you will quickly see a monster to try it out on.
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Old August 16, 2020, 22:35   #30
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Created an account just to say that rune-identification is the only ID system I have ever actively enjoyed in any game that isn't centered around it. If it was a birth option and all items were identified by default, I would go out of my way to turn it on. It owns.
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