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Old October 13, 2011, 18:29   #1
Derakon
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Magnate's new egos

(Because clearly his old one wasn't big enough! )

Magnate just posted this link in the Angel -> Ainur thread.

Wow. So to sum up:

* "Special" artifact generation is gone -- the game either generates an artifact from the list of available artifacts, or it generates an item. Hooray!
* Allocation probabilities are on a 1000-point scale instead of a 100-point scale, so we can make Ringil, Feanor, etc. 10 times more rare. But artifact rarity is now independent of base item rarity, so all rarities will need to be rescaled. But we wanted to do that anyway, right?
* Non-artifact equipment generation is now completely different. There was a lot here, so apologies if I get things wrong, but...
** Affixes can now apply modifiers to damage dice and sides, and to weight. The old "of Slicing", "of Disruption", and "of Chaos" are now affixes that apply to the appropriate item types (for "of Chaos", katanas, executioner swords, and zweihanders). "Mithril" is an affix, as is "adamantite".
** "good" and "great" are now properties of affixes. So a "good" item could be, say, a Sharp Dagger which has a boost to its damage. Or it could be a Dagger of Feather Falling, which has no magical modifiers to its hit/damage. In other words, magical plusses and "good" are separate concepts now.
** Only items that pass the old ego-item check (now the "great" check) get access to the great affixes (everyone else is limited to good affixes). The number of affixes available is a function of depth.
** You can say that a given affix is great at one depth and only good at another depth. No more Small Leather Shield of Resist Cold from Sauron! Of course, this probably means we need to rescale how many items drop later on, since there won't be as much junk pushing out the good stuff.
** There are affix themes, which are collections of affixes (for example, the old Resistance is four elemental resists + Durable + Reinforced). When rolling affixes, an item that has rolled at least two of the affixes for a theme has a chance to pick up the entire theme. This chance can be finely tweaked based on exactly which affixes have been picked up (for Resistance, the elemental resist affixes are more important than the durable/reinforced affixes).
** Broken equipment is back.
** Knowledge and ID still need some work, although most important functionality apparently works.
** The rarity of themes should match the rarity of old egos pretty well.

Color me impressed. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Last edited by Derakon; October 13, 2011 at 18:36.
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Old October 13, 2011, 19:12   #2
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I just finished reading the link from the other thread, and yup, this sounds really awesome. I definitely want to have a go at testing this as soon as it's in the nightlies.

It seems like the armour base types may need a rethink, since a lot of them are currently distinguished by material, which seems more properly an affix: maybe in place of Soft/Hard/Studded Leather, they should be changed to a series of items of clothing like "Robe", "Shirt", "Jerkin" and so on, and then all of those could have affixes like Coarse, Woven, Padded, Soft/Hard Leather, Studded etc. as appropriate. (Which would also help with the task of making robes more interesting.)

I'm also really interested in the possibility of ego jewellery, but I think ID is a big potential stumbling block there. Needs either rune-based ID or some careful thinking about what's a base type and what's an affix, since the last thing you want is to have to ID every individual ring you find in the late game to learn whether it's a speed ring. (Maybe you could, e.g., have Speed Ring as your base type, with Teleportation and Escaping negative affixes found on early rings, and something like Extra Haste to create rings with an unusually high speed bonus.)
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Old October 13, 2011, 19:51   #3
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If I get a chance this weekend, I'll try to run some basic stats generation to see how different certain ego allocations are. I'll also look at the differences in how quickly a player is likely to find a certain resistance or ability. This will at least give a baseline for item allocation. However, playtesting will definitely be needed. There will probably need to be a lot of tweaking for various allocation probabilities.

edit: I should add. One of the biggest questions is what to do with randarts. Should randarts exist as they currently do? Should they be eliminated and should egos be allowed to be made into randarts in standart games? Should something else happen. I'm not sure anyone's in agreement on the best way to proceed in this area.
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Old October 13, 2011, 23:40   #4
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Hmmm. It doesn't strike me that randarts are an immediate problem. Yes, it's important to think about how to change them eventually, but it doesn't strike me as one of the biggest questions. Surely whether this new approach to generating non-artifacts works is orthogonal to what happens to artifacts?

I am planning to compare stats with those I ran for 3.3.0. I am fully expecting the affix levels/depths/rarities to need a lot of tweaking - it's important that nobody thinks this is presented as perfectly balanced and then shoots it down for not being so. I'm more interested in feedback on the ideas and, if it gets merged, whether it crashes. If it's right, then the text files can be adjusted forever - I've deliberately tried to move as much balancing stuff as possible out into the edit files and leave the minimum in the code. The only things hard-coded are the theme-acquisition formula (which uses weightings from the edit file) and the number/level of affixes (and the levels are all adjustable).

I really like Nomad's suggestions about armour names. For me it's one of the biggest problems arising from this work - we have lots of base items in object.txt which look like they have affixes already, and it could be confusing. ("Hey, I found this pair of Hard Leather Boots, but they don't see to have any bonuses.") In particular, we've always used "elven" or "elvenkind" at different levels: base object (elven cloak) and elvenkind armours and boots (which are fabulous and rare items). Very confusing. I really like the idea of making all base item names just nouns, with no adjectives.

I think ID will work as well for ego jewelry as for any other ego item. When you know the affix, it gets revealed. The real issue with jewelry is that we've always used svals to specify affixes, which is fundamentally different to how armour and weapons are treated. It would be possible to generate all jewelry using the affix system, re-creating the existing rings and amulets in exactly the same way as the affixes and themes re-create the old egos, and allowing a whole load of other permutations too.

It might be helpful to clarify the various uses of the terms "good" and "great" (anyone else having flashbacks to Gary Gygax describing four different meanings of the word "level" in 1E AD&D?).

First, there are "good" affixes and "great" affixes. "good" affixes in the main just affect +hit/+dam/+ac and so on, and can be considered a more flavourful way of generating the same sort of items that used to be called {good}, e.g. Sharp weapons, Tough armour etc. But some other things are also weak enough to be considered merely "good", e.g. Slow Digestion, Feather Falling etc.

"great" affixes are what used to be the "low end" ego items - things like of Resist Acid, of Free Action etc. etc. (There are also "uber" affixes, which are things like KILL_DRAGON and so on - single things that used to appear only on high-end egos.)

Second, there are "good" drops and "great" drops, defined (in most cases) by the monster flags DROP_GOOD and DROP_GREAT in monster.txt. Acquirement scrolls also give "great" drops. Compared with "normal" drops, "good" items get 1 or 2 more affixes, and "great" items get 3 or 4 more. Also, "great" items are guaranteed access to affixes one level better than "normal" items, while "good" items may or may not get that access (25% chance).

But the slightly confusing thing is that a "good" item can get a "great" affix (and even an "uber" affix, deep in the dungeon). (EDIT: note that this isn't something I've changed: "good" drops always had a chance to become "great" items, i.e. ego items.)

Hope that's totally clear for everyone ;-)
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Last edited by Magnate; October 13, 2011 at 23:46.
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Old October 13, 2011, 23:58   #5
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One thing I'd definitely like to see is more of a disconnect between magical pluses (to hit/dam/AC) and an item being good or great. It sounds like this should be easier to do with your new system than with the old, where a good item by definition had some magical bonuses. The problem is that, in my opinion, the greatest thing about that Mace of Slay Orc that you find at 500' isn't the Slay Orc mod, it's the +6 damage bonus.

I'd love to see the player have to decide between an item that merely excels at its standard job and an item that provides secondary benefits. Sort of like having to choose between the Glaive of Pain or Enw -- the Glaive dishes out damage like crazy but gives nothing else, while Enw boosts all of your stats, gives you immunity to cold, and has some nifty slays...but doesn't deal as much damage. Well, practically Enw probably deals as much or more damage, but you get the idea.

It sounds like the way to do this is simply to split out the various "basic boosters" from the bonus flags. For example, presumably the Slay Orc theme combines something like "orcslayer" and "cruel" affixes to match what the current Slay Orc ego is (i.e. an orc-slaying weapon with unusually high to-hit/dam bonuses). If there was only a 50% chance of the Slay Orc theme giving the "cruel" affix (or whatever it's actually named), then you'd more often be in the situation of choosing between a weapon that kills orcs specifically or one that damages everything, but less well.
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Old October 14, 2011, 00:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I really like Nomad's suggestions about armour names. For me it's one of the biggest problems arising from this work - we have lots of base items in object.txt which look like they have affixes already, and it could be confusing. ("Hey, I found this pair of Hard Leather Boots, but they don't see to have any bonuses.") In particular, we've always used "elven" or "elvenkind" at different levels: base object (elven cloak) and elvenkind armours and boots (which are fabulous and rare items). Very confusing. I really like the idea of making all base item names just nouns, with no adjectives.
I think the simplest thing is to give material affixes a particular boost to AC. So say "Boots" have an AC of 2, "Iron Shod" adds 2, "Steel Shod" adds 5, "Mithril Shod" adds 6 plus Durability, etc. That way you can mix it up and also get things like "Ethereal Sandals" or "Mithril Shod Slippers".

There are plenty of hard armour types, and I think for most of the other categories we've got or could create at least three base types. Shields are the toughest one:

Soft Armour: Robe, Shirt, Jerkin
Cloaks: Cloak, Cape, Hood
Gloves: Gloves, Gauntlets, Caestus
Boots: Slippers, Sandals, Boots
Helms: Cap, Helm, Crown
Shields: Buckler, Shield, ???

Also, random thought: could you potentially make "Dragon Scale Mail" a base type and have "Red", "Green", "Multi-Hued" etc. be affixes? It seems like that would be a neater approach than having multiple different types of DSM that are inherently good/great.
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Old October 14, 2011, 00:42   #7
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You could add "tower shield" as a shield category, to replace the "large shield" we currently have.
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Old October 14, 2011, 01:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I'd love to see the player have to decide between an item that merely excels at its standard job and an item that provides secondary benefits. Sort of like having to choose between the Glaive of Pain or Enw -- the Glaive dishes out damage like crazy but gives nothing else, while Enw boosts all of your stats, gives you immunity to cold, and has some nifty slays...but doesn't deal as much damage. Well, practically Enw probably deals as much or more damage, but you get the idea. .
Along these same lines...

In the recent buggy FA competition, item generation, specifically ego generation was screwy, which resulted in, at least in my experience, ego weapons being generated with minus to hit and damage values, like a Sabre of Shocking (-4,-6), which with O-combat isn't a horrible find. While overall it got out of hand with items like Leather Sandals of Stealth (+1) [1,-9], I felt that there was some good in it. It almost felt right. The problem was that it never eased up, and the RNG never generated purely good items. A curve would have been nice. It certainly made enchant scrolls an exciting find.
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Old October 14, 2011, 01:16   #9
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I could certainly see a system where items could "buy" good affixes by also taking bad affixes. So e.g. when you're at the depth where items only get one affix, you could find something with three, but one of those would be negative.
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Old October 14, 2011, 02:53   #10
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Two things:
  1. I haven't tried Magnate's affixes yet, but they sound brilliant. It's making me question my ego system for FA.
  2. How many egos does Magnate have now? Surely his previous one was sufficient
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