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Old November 11, 2012, 13:18   #1
TJS
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Playing 3.4.1 after a few years off

Hello there,

Thought I'd give my thoughts on the newest version as I've not played for a while.

Object detection changes - Love these, makes you want to explore the level far more. Also makes potions of enlightenment much more useful.

Teleport other change - Makes more sense as a bolt rather than a beam. Was far too easy to remove groups of monsters before.

Level feelings - Good job separating the danger and object feelings. An excellent change.

Rarer artifacts - Makes the game much more fun to have them so rare. Very exciting when you eventually find one.

New map types - Really like the caves, they have a very different feel. I'd up the object drops a bit on these if possible as they are more dangerous than the traditional levels. They can be confusing though to see where the cave part and where the wall part is though as the wall appears hollow (since only the edge walls are displayed). Would be better to fill in all the walls in the centre of the cave if possible.

I don't really like the pac man levels though much. They seem more like a vault without a level attached.

Money drops are very low, I get almost all my money from selling spell/prayer books I don't need in town.

Overall I relly like the changes. In the early game there's a lot less junk, but later on the problem returns with having to sift through hundreds of egos. I found none of the less powerful egos until long after they could possibly be useful.

Equipment drops need to be reduced later on somehow. I'd get rid of pits that drop hundreds of items eg. Dragon pits as it starts to become a bit of a chore. Or perhaps the more of a certain type of monster on a level means that they are less likely to hold as many items. Either way there are far too many items being created mid-game onwards.

I also think that the chance of an artifact/ego should not increase by much as you descend, just the quality should be higher. Lesser equipment should just not be created (you can rationalise it that the stronger monsters you get deeper would have crushed them underfoot long ago).

I also think you should be able to get vaults from the very first level. I always feel a bit deflated starting a new game as I know nothing interesting is going to happen for ages. Then when you get to the later levels there's a vault every other level and they start to get boring. Spread them out a bit more.

Rings of Ice/Acid/Fire appear too later to be useful.

A few bugs. I play with old tiles and the trap display indicator is a hydra tile. I almost got killed by a 7 headed hydra as I just assumed it was the trap detection edge.

Also now I can't increase and decrease the tile sizes manually using "increase tile width" etc, which means I need to play 2x2 which is too zoomed in for me.

The shockbolt tiles came up with an error at first, but now seem to work.

Overall though I really like all the changes.

Edit - forgot to mention the shop inventory changes. I prefered it before where you could navigate to the item you wanted and then press p. I've bought the wrong item several times because of this.

Also I think missiles should automatically be put in the quiver when you pick them up. Is there a reason for being able to put them in your inventory?

Last edited by TJS; November 11, 2012 at 13:26.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:31   #2
Antoine
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Bump

just thought this deserved to be bumped

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Old November 12, 2012, 15:52   #3
fizzix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJS View Post
Hello there,

Thought I'd give my thoughts on the newest version as I've not played for a while.
Thanks for the feedback it's always appreciated!

Quote:
New map types - Really like the caves, they have a very different feel. I'd up the object drops a bit on these if possible as they are more dangerous than the traditional levels. They can be confusing though to see where the cave part and where the wall part is though as the wall appears hollow (since only the edge walls are displayed). Would be better to fill in all the walls in the centre of the cave if possible.
Item drops in caverns were bumped up in 3.4.x, but I have no objection with upping them a little further. Alternatively, we could instead increase the OoD rating of them. I'm personally more a fan of making floor drops higher.

I don't know what if anything can be done about the display, unfortunately.

Quote:
I don't really like the pac man levels though much. They seem more like a vault without a level attached.
The original plan was for them to be exactly that, a subsection of a level with a labyrinth quality. We need someone with enough motivation to implement that (I don't have it.)

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Money drops are very low, I get almost all my money from selling spell/prayer books I don't need in town.
Try no-selling. Money drops are much higher.

Quote:
Overall I relly like the changes. In the early game there's a lot less junk, but later on the problem returns with having to sift through hundreds of egos. I found none of the less powerful egos until long after they could possibly be useful.

I also think that the chance of an artifact/ego should not increase by much as you descend, just the quality should be higher. Lesser equipment should just not be created (you can rationalise it that the stronger monsters you get deeper would have crushed them underfoot long ago).
Item balance is always tricky. What I'm gathering is that you'd prefer a flatter ego drop rate with increased chances at lower levels and decreased chances at higher levels. Is this an accurate assessment of your opinion?

Artifacts do have a maximum generation rate. I've been looking into the possibility of imposing that on egos also (I'm not convinced it's applied correctly right now).

Quote:
Equipment drops need to be reduced later on somehow. I'd get rid of pits that drop hundreds of items eg. Dragon pits as it starts to become a bit of a chore. Or perhaps the more of a certain type of monster on a level means that they are less likely to hold as many items. Either way there are far too many items being created mid-game onwards.
That would eliminate all the late game pits. Dragons, ainu, graveyards and demon pits all drop tons of items. These pits can certainly be less frequent, but I don't think eliminating them altogether is the best approach. I also don't think reducing the drop rates of these monsters is a good solution because it punishes the player who took on those monsters at an earlier level. Lastly, I don't think reducing their drops when they appear in pits is a good solution either, there's no reason that the reward should be less when the risk is higher. It should be noted that these drops are *way* down from what they were in 3.0.6 when wyrms would drop 16 items and ancient dragons something like 10-12.

There *is* a possible solution which I have working on my computer, which is to create a mass_identify spell. This spell would be available to priests, mages and rogues in PB6 and MB4 respectively and to the other classes with the rod of identify. This IDs all items in LoS and turns a massive equipment haul into something where it's easy to squelch the lot of it without picking it up or wielding it.

I wasn't planning on pushing this for 3.5, mainly because I don't want to put the effort of arguing for it. But if someone else is willing to make the case and argue with the detractors, I will go ahead and submit a pull request for it (after I finish play-testing it of course).

Quote:
I also think you should be able to get vaults from the very first level. I always feel a bit deflated starting a new game as I know nothing interesting is going to happen for ages. Then when you get to the later levels there's a vault every other level and they start to get boring. Spread them out a bit more.
A vault when you can't get into it or deal with the monsters isn't terribly interesting either. 3.5 will have additional room types which should help with some of the early-game blues. We'll consider a flatter dependence on vault distribution though. (I'm going to post a feedback poll for rooms soon to get opinions on that also, one thing at a time though.)

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Rings of Ice/Acid/Fire appear too later to be useful.
A holdover from when they were branding rings. They can be moved earlier.

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A few bugs. I play with old tiles and the trap display indicator is a hydra tile. I almost got killed by a 7 headed hydra as I just assumed it was the trap detection edge.

Also now I can't increase and decrease the tile sizes manually using "increase tile width" etc, which means I need to play 2x2 which is too zoomed in for me.

The shockbolt tiles came up with an error at first, but now seem to work.
What system are you playing on?

Quote:
Edit - forgot to mention the shop inventory changes. I prefered it before where you could navigate to the item you wanted and then press p. I've bought the wrong item several times because of this.
Honestly, I don't like the new system either, but it seems I lost that argument. The reason (i think) is that this is the old method that's used in several variants, so that people who come to V after playing a variant get confused also.

Quote:
Also I think missiles should automatically be put in the quiver when you pick them up. Is there a reason for being able to put them in your inventory?
My guess is that the reason they aren't put in the quiver is because of the massive code-hack that the quiver is. I have absolutely no desire to mess with it.
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Old November 12, 2012, 16:30   #4
TJS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Thanks for the feedback it's always appreciated!

Item drops in caverns were bumped up in 3.4.x, but I have no objection with upping them a little further. Alternatively, we could instead increase the OoD rating of them. I'm personally more a fan of making floor drops higher
Nice one, although it's not a big deal. I'd quite like to see the caverns as part of the normal levels as well rather than completely new ones. Didn't we also used to have destructed parts to the normal levels? Not seen them in a while.

Quote:
I don't know what if anything can be done about the display, unfortunately.

The original plan was for them to be exactly that, a subsection of a level with a labyrinth quality. We need someone with enough motivation to implement that (I don't have it.)
Fair enough, I don't blame you. By the way, what exactly is the status regarding the maintanence of Angband at the moment?

Quote:
Try no-selling. Money drops are much higher.
I could do, but I quite like playing the default settings as much as possible for some reason (except disconnected stairs and randarts). Plus I like to have some use for spell/prayer books when playing a warrior.

Quote:
Item balance is always tricky. What I'm gathering is that you'd prefer a flatter ego drop rate with increased chances at lower levels and decreased chances at higher levels. Is this an accurate assessment of your opinion?
Yes pretty much. Although you should still have more change at higher levels. But the main thing is that I want less weapons/equipment in general at higher levels. I'd say you should find roughly similar amounts of them at all the depths if you clear the level. Perhaps up to twice as many at later levels.

At the moment later levels have hundreds compared to 2-3 at the start. If the generator rolls a sword of slay orc or average weapon at dlvl 50 then simply don't generate anything.

Quote:
Artifacts do have a maximum generation rate. I've been looking into the possibility of imposing that on egos also (I'm not convinced it's applied correctly right now).
This would be an excellent change. Something else I find is that you get loads and loads of dungeon spell/prayer books. I've found Wrath of God 3-4 times on the same level.

Quote:
That would eliminate all the late game pits. Dragons, ainu, graveyards and demon pits all drop tons of items. These pits can certainly be less frequent, but I don't think eliminating them altogether is the best approach. I also don't think reducing the drop rates of these monsters is a good solution because it punishes the player who took on those monsters at an earlier level. Lastly, I don't think reducing their drops when they appear in pits is a good solution either, there's no reason that the reward should be less when the risk is higher. It should be noted that these drops are *way* down from what they were in 3.0.6 when wyrms would drop 16 items and ancient dragons something like 10-12.
Well with the maximum ego/normal weapon level then it would help. Something else I find is that the pits are just too big. If you can handle 10 of a particular monster type then you can almost certainly handle 50. The only difference being the amount of time you have to spend doing the same thing over and over again. Reducing the size of pits to 1/4 to 1/3 would go a long way to reducing the tedium and equipment clutter in one go (plus you could then put more than one on the same level, increasing variety).

Quote:
There *is* a possible solution which I have working on my computer, which is to create a mass_identify spell. This spell would be available to priests, mages and rogues in PB6 and MB4 respectively and to the other classes with the rod of identify. This IDs all items in LoS and turns a massive equipment haul into something where it's easy to squelch the lot of it without picking it up or wielding it.
That does seem a bit like treating the symptoms rather than the cause. It would also probably create some unintended consequences as well. I do find the whole ID thing boring once you get to the mid-game though.

Quote:
A vault when you can't get into it or deal with the monsters isn't terribly interesting either.
Actually I disagree with this. I've occasionally seen an early vault and searched the level high and low for a heavy weapon, shovel or want of stone to mud to get in there. When I found the wand and finally got in there it felt brilliant. Compare to the end game when you can mass banish vaults every other level.
Also I think the potential of being able to get into a vault gives you something interesting to aim for even if ultimately you can't get in. It makes you think twice about what to carry early on, which is a good thing.


Quote:
What system are you playing on?
Windows XP.

Quote:
Honestly, I don't like the new system either, but it seems I lost that argument. The reason (i think) is that this is the old method that's used in several variants, so that people who come to V after playing a variant get confused also.
Fair enough. I used to love the previous style shops though as it was a clear improvement.

Quote:
My guess is that the reason they aren't put in the quiver is because of the massive code-hack that the quiver is. I have absolutely no desire to mess with it.
Ah that makes sense as it seems like a load of special cases cobbled together a bit.
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Old November 12, 2012, 17:22   #5
fizzix
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Originally Posted by TJS View Post
Fair enough, I don't blame you. By the way, what exactly is the status regarding the maintanence of Angband at the moment?
Sometime after (during) the winter holidays, I'll try to start discussions about 3.5 in earnest. Specifically to find someone to be release manager, although if I did it again it'd be a bit smoother since I'll actually know what I'm doing. As far as changes for 3.5 there's unlikely to be significant major changes. There will be the set of new rooms created by Nomad (and Gabe?) which is already in 3.5 dev. 3.5 has thematic spellbook drops for casting monsters already and we'll see how that goes. I'll also push for bron's changes to allowing physical damage despite having immunity. I'm going to testplay it first. I'll also test out an intermediate difficulty between normal and ironman which I've described on this forum elsewhere. Beyond that, the only other gameplay change are likely to take the form of somewhat conservative tweaks to various frequencies and probabilities, most (all?) of which will be motivated by user feedback.

The vast majority of changes will be fixes to bugs. How many get fixed depends on who steps up to the plate. This is impossible to forecast for next week, nevermind 3 months from now. There are a lot of tile-related bugs that are just waiting for someone to fix. Also, I think myshkin has plans to continue improving the cocoa port. Other devs are knee-deep in pyrel and there's a chance I'll be too, but I will keep an eye out on V regardless.

Quote:
But the main thing is that I want less weapons/equipment in general at higher levels. I'd say you should find roughly similar amounts of them at all the depths if you clear the level. Perhaps up to twice as many at later levels.
I don't think this is likely. I'm not even sure how to balance it properly. Later monsters are more dangerous and have larger drops. That's always going to weight items to later levels.

Quote:
At the moment later levels have hundreds compared to 2-3 at the start. If the generator rolls a sword of slay orc or average weapon at dlvl 50 then simply don't generate anything.
I've argued for this so-called "hard-squelch" before, but was overruled. Instead I've focused on making squelch be as trivial as possible. The goal is to allow the player to avoid tedium.

Quote:
This would be an excellent change. Something else I find is that you get loads and loads of dungeon spell/prayer books. I've found Wrath of God 3-4 times on the same level.
The v4 solution making dungeon books artifacts is unlikely to find it's way into V anytime soon. In the meantime, dungeon books are recognizable on sight and therefore easily squelchable.

Quote:
Something else I find is that the pits are just too big. If you can handle 10 of a particular monster type then you can almost certainly handle 50. The only difference being the amount of time you have to spend doing the same thing over and over again. Reducing the size of pits to 1/4 to 1/3 would go a long way to reducing the tedium and equipment clutter in one go (plus you could then put more than one on the same level, increasing variety).
I completely agree on this point. But these huge pits are such a mainstay to the angband environment that I fear a change would upset a lot of people. I'd put this as one of those changes that I would be ok with trying to implement but do not feel motivated enough to argue for.

Quote:
That does seem a bit like treating the symptoms rather than the cause. It would also probably create some unintended consequences as well. I do find the whole ID thing boring once you get to the mid-game though.
This comes down to an argument between two camps. One side said the solution to junk is to reduce item drops and increase quality. The other side said the solution was to let players choose what items they want to see and what ones they don't. This led to the squelch system. I would say my opinion leans towards the second side.

Quote:
Actually I disagree with this. I've occasionally seen an early vault and searched the level high and low for a heavy weapon, shovel or want of stone to mud to get in there. When I found the wand and finally got in there it felt brilliant. Compare to the end game when you can mass banish vaults every other level.
Also I think the potential of being able to get into a vault gives you something interesting to aim for even if ultimately you can't get in. It makes you think twice about what to carry early on, which is a good thing.
Vault distribution in 3.5 will definitely be considered and is one area that feedback is appreciated on. Consider your opinion heard and keep an eye out for a poll about this topic in a week or so.



Quote:
Windows XP.
Try using the "allow nice graphics" (not sure if that's the actual name). Then see if you can select different tile sizes. I have no idea what's going on with the hydra graphic problem, I'll see if I can replicate on windows7.
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Old November 12, 2012, 19:51   #6
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Honestly, I never felt that "too much junk" was a problem. Identifying is fun! Macro it and its no big deal. Without too much junk you lose the identifying minigame. Its just like "oh something dropped, it must be good".

The only time I actually felt it was a problem was in R(ealistic)angband, where every orc had a full set of armor -_-.
Also you were only weight constrained so after a orc pit you'd pile up everything on one square and word of recall back to town.
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Old November 14, 2012, 20:51   #7
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Honestly, I never felt that "too much junk" was a problem. Identifying is fun! Macro it and its no big deal. Without too much junk you lose the identifying minigame. Its just like "oh something dropped, it must be good".

The only time I actually felt it was a problem was in R(ealistic)angband, where every orc had a full set of armor -_-.
Also you were only weight constrained so after a orc pit you'd pile up everything on one square and word of recall back to town.
Identifying is fun? On what planet? Here's a standard routine for my current 33rd level ranger. Cast identify. fail. cast identify. fail. cast identify. fail. rest until spell points come back. cast identify. succeed. oh, it's a crap item. Go on to next item. Lather, rinse, repeat, for some 15 items.
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Old November 14, 2012, 21:19   #8
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Originally Posted by Egavactip View Post
Identifying is fun? On what planet? Here's a standard routine for my current 33rd level ranger. Cast identify. fail. cast identify. fail. cast identify. fail. rest until spell points come back. cast identify. succeed. oh, it's a crap item. Go on to next item. Lather, rinse, repeat, for some 15 items.
Or you could spend 1 inventory slot and 1% of your current gold total on items that cast identify for you at a much-improved success rate. Just because you can cast a spell doesn't mean you have no more need for consumables.

That doesn't change how boring identifying loads of gear is, though.
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Old November 14, 2012, 21:36   #9
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There are papers on why the kind of drop scheme of
the following is psychologically addictive.

Rough % chances with endgame example items.
80% useless - Dagger of slay orc, average robe, etc
19% useful - CCW potions, teleport level ?s
1% good - heal pot, staff of destruction, scroll of banish.
rare awesome drop- equipment improvement.

Identifying delays the response so you're hoping for something great for longer.

Problems arise when useless becomes > than 90 or 95%, or when useless is < 50%. If useless happens too infrequently, getting one becomes a let-Down, rather than just adding dopamine to the next time you get something good.

And yes, use identify ?s. The extra turncount is #1 bad gameplay, and #2 allows dangerous monsters spawn on the level. Although I hate it when the town doesnt stock any temporarily :/. I usually leave unID'd stuff at home, and if it happens again, I townscum. Only time I townscum unless stats are *wrecked* with no restores handy.
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Old November 14, 2012, 21:40   #10
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That doesn't change how boring identifying loads of gear is, though.
This should be highlighted. Identification is only a chore when the amount of gear is high. At some level this is sort of perverse, it's like getting too many presents at christmas. Unwrapping hundreds of presents is going to get a bit tiring, especially a lot of them are ugly sweaters that grandma bought from the salvation army. However, if you only get one present, then it's fun to unwrap it. And you'll probably be more likely to feign a smile to grandma and pretend you like it. What's my point? I dunno. I guess my point is that I'm feeling that once I play with a method of mass-identification, I'll never want to go back to a game without. (rune-based ID is essentially mass-ID, provided you can see the runes from afar.)
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