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Old August 23, 2021, 21:56   #1
Quirk
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Sil-Q final beta release before 1.5.0

It's been a while. Less development has been going on in the last year than I would have liked. Blame the pandemic.

However, there are a few new changes that could probably use a little play-testing to prove themselves before the actual release is run.

Release is at https://github.com/sil-quirk/sil-q/r...g/v1.5.0-beta2, Windows binaries at https://github.com/sil-quirk/sil-q/r....5.0-beta2.zip.

Please post bugs, issues or complaints about game balance below.
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Old August 24, 2021, 00:10   #2
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First bug: combat rolls window is bugged with Song of Slaying. Slaying does the normal combat damage then the extra Slaying damage, but the rolls window only shows the latter.
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Old August 24, 2021, 18:46   #3
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Well, that's my evening then.

* Checked the manual. The morale section lists Cruel Blow instilling a morale penalty to the recipient and similar monsters, but this is not mentioned in the ability description later on.

* Stealth section of the manual references staffs of earthquakes. Weren't those removed?

* Speaking of morale; monsters have extra morale when generated after their native depth, and a morale penalty when generated before it? Seems a bit nonsensical unless base morale was once == native depth or somesuch. Not a bug, just something I noticed in the manual.

* Haven't checked yet, but are there any additional restrictions for when you can swear oaths? Because at a glance the Oath of Iron looks like a really good choice prior to descending to the thone room (and never earlier).

* Got to 100' and realized I hadn't actually opened any visibility windows. Not having to manually set the ui when trying a new version would proabbly be a good QoL improvement (and lower the threshold for new players).

* Speaking of QoL - I've since gotten a laptop with a numpad, but improving movement with the arrow keys would be welcome. Have you played Infra Arcana? I seem to recall that game modifying the arrow keys input using either control or alt to enable diagonal movement. Beats hovering over the keyboard number keys..

* Random musing - make "new game" the top choice of the menu, relegating the tutorial to third place? Most players only use it once or twice.

Last edited by Infinitum; August 24, 2021 at 19:40.
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Old August 24, 2021, 20:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinitum View Post
Well, that's my evening then.

* Checked the manual. The morale section lists Cruel Blow instilling a morale penalty to the recipient and similar monsters, but this is not mentioned in the ability description later on.

* Stealth section of the manual references staffs of earthquakes. Weren't those removed?

* Speaking of morale; monsters have extra morale when generated after their native depth, and a morale penalty when generated before it? Seems a bit nonsensical unless base morale was once == native depth or somesuch. Not a bug, just something I noticed in the manual.

* Haven't checked yet, but are there any additional restrictions for when you can swear oaths? Because at a glance the Oath of Iron looks like a really good choice prior to descending to the thone room (and never earlier).

* Got to 100' and realized I hadn't actually opened any visibility windows. Not having to manually set the ui when trying a new version would proabbly be a good QoL improvement (and lower the threshold for new players).

* Speaking of QoL - I've since gotten a laptop with a numpad, but improving movement with the arrow keys would be welcome. Have you played Infra Arcana? I seem to recall that game modifying the arrow keys input using either control or alt to enable diagonal movement. Beats hovering over the keyboard number keys..

* Random musing - make "new game" the top choice of the menu, relegating the tutorial to third place? Most players only use it once or twice.
Excellent proofreading! Quirk will have to comment on whether the issue is that Critical Blow has no effect on morale and should be removed from the section, or whether the effect that it does have is just not mentioned in the ability description.

Earthquakes were removed from the section related to the player's stealth-related actions, but they are still mentioned in the section about monster actions because of the Kemenrauko ability.

As far as the oaths go, you have to maintain the oath throughout the whole game, including before you take the ability.

Making New Game the top choice does seem reasonable to me as well. I have seen players be frustrated that after tabbing through the list of their dead it can be easy to start the tutorial by accident.

My own feedback for the manual is that the title is still set as "Sil 1.2 Manual" which shows up as the tab name when I open the pdf in Chrome.
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Old August 24, 2021, 20:29   #5
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* Noticed the tiles are at a 1:1 aspect ration whereas the ASCII is 1:2. Are those unicode 1:1 asian fat ascii characters supported? Might be a worthwile 'graphical' option.

* Orc scouts are more annoying than I remembered. I do like the idea of a non-aggressive enemy, but chasing them down or having them spam the message box gets old.

* And the thorns still feels off. Rework into a dungeon feature? A prince of Noldor fighting a bush (underground) does take something from the otherwise excellent atmosphere.

* Dig the little exclamation marks and whatnot signifying morale with tiles. Any plans to extend those for other statuses? ASCII mode could also do something similar with diacritics.

* Attempting to adjust one of the ancillary windows before opening a game (ie in the menu) crashes the program.

* Chasms are nigh impossible to tell from unlit spaces using tiles. Doesn't affect gameplay much but still looks a bit off.

* Those nifty exclamation marks on enemies in tiles? Thorns also get them. Um..

* Lost the oath of iron con bonus somehow. Didn't notice until after the fact, but didn't take any up stairs and the oath is listed as active. I did fall through a false floor previously; might've been that?

* Lost the oath con bonus again. Didn't get floored this time. Looking through messages I did get a "illegal command for character sheet" shortly before the con went away, but nothing in particular
seemed to trigger it judging from the log? I did attack some easterlings before noticing (and lost it around 300' both times); might be related to attacking @'s? No warning or prompt whatsoever beforehand tho.

* Slaves are generated sleeping on the job.

* Idea re: Oaths. Straight up forbid players from breaking the oath whilst active, without prompts (but probably genereating an explanatory line in the message log). Prompt them only if they first disable the oath in the skills menu. Should cut some prompting spam and accidental oathbreaking.

* Kept testing the Oath of Iron: fighting an easterling warrior lost the bonus con without prompting. Singing also disables the Oath.

* Ascending stairs under oath of Mercy/Silence doesn't disable their respective oaths, nor does singing whilst under oath of Mercy or killing men under Oath of Silence.

* Unrelated, and I know you're not looking for balance passes, but also the Oath of Mercy looks like a giant hassle for non-pacifists in general. I guess it's not entirely unplayable with Elbereth, but having to pretty much abandon any level with significant numbers of Easterlings seems very much not worth it, ever. Didn't there use to be a "don't attack unaware monsters" Oath? Would very much prefer something along those lines. Same general gist, still works for pacifists and [The Easterling Spy shouts for help! <x4> -More-]

Last edited by Infinitum; September 3, 2021 at 17:28.
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Old September 1, 2021, 22:52   #6
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* "Door sense" is still in the game. Oldie but goodie; player is aware if a door is open/closed even when it's out of LOS. Not super powerful, but can help keeping track of enemy patrols. Also weird.

* Speaking of doors; the AI quirk where slamming a door on groups of smart monsters causes them to move into corridors instead of camping the entryways. Granted this is one of the things that makes early orc packs manageable; still.

* Maybe replace the "you feel something roll beneath your feet" message when you kill something and it spawns somthing beneath you with "you stand upon a(n)/x# {item(s)}" or somesuch. For convenience.

Last edited by Infinitum; September 1, 2021 at 23:10.
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Old September 1, 2021, 23:07   #7
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* "Door sense" is still in the game. Oldie but goodie; player is aware if a door is open/closed even when it's out of LOS. Not super powerful, but can help keeping track of enemy patrols. Also weird.
This is not a trivial thing to change. Angband has done it, but it required keeping two copies of the level, one actual and one what the player knows.
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Old September 1, 2021, 23:56   #8
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I've just recently started dabbling with programming (Python no less, not C), but how does Angband remember what tiles/objects are seen/door states? Couldn't door seen/unseen tiles be handled by separate arrays with only the seen state forwarding data to the draw function and the unseen being used for game logic, with the seen state only being updated in FOV by some boolean statement? Or is that more resource intensive/effectively the same thing/unworkable? Is monsters picking up known items handled using the same logic?

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Old September 1, 2021, 23:57   #9
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Thanks very much for the Oath of Iron bug testing. I mostly only tested its behaviour around stairs. I think I know what I may have done wrong. Will take a look at that.

Slaves are indeed mostly found asleep, but maybe at some point you'll get to talk to an awake one.

The replaced Oath was not to attack fleeing monsters, which turned out to be a bit of a hassle as this was very easy to do. Alert monsters only is by no means a bad idea, might be a bit easier to avoid and also fits Mercy as a concept. It would need some playtesting to check it wasn't as irritating as the stop-start of attacking fleeing monsters could be. I'll have to think about it as releasing a whole new beta is something of a hassle so there's a bit of a critical bug mass issue, and the skill works quite well for pacifists as is.

Excellent feedback as always Infinitum. I will think about thorns a bit. Perhaps they need to be more of a feature as you say, and positioned near patches of sunlight. However if they are a destroyable feature we get back quite close to where they are now. The alert indicator is a tough one for if a player is using the indicator to warn them if they will be attacked on moving next to something, they are unlikely to appreciate its removal.
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Old September 2, 2021, 00:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinitum View Post
I've just recently started dabbling with programming (Python no less, not C), but how does Angband remember what tiles/objects are seen/door states? Couldn't door seen/unseen tiles be handled by separate arrays with only the seen state forwarding data to the draw function and the unseen being used for game logic, with the seen state only being updated in FOV by some boolean statement? Or is that more resource intensive/effectively the same thing/unworkable? Is monsters picking up known items handled using the same logic?
The Sil code, which is very old unreformed Angband code, handles it by having two big 2D arrays of all the terrain elements: one to describe the terrain feature, and one to describe additional elements such as whether the player has seen the location yet, or if it is lit, or if it is impassible, or part of a room.

Doors are represented as different terrain types. There are various types of locked doors of different difficulties, one simple closed type and one open door type.

The combination of the terrain at the location and the seen flag generates the map beyond the player's immediate line of sight.

You need another representation of the terrain to recall how it was when the player saw it last, rather than how it is now - a third array. Of course there is no need to restrict this to doors only, and doing so would be a bit awkward as well as limiting (perhaps you want to hide tunneling from the player also). This leads to the modern Angband solution.
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