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Old September 23, 2011, 14:34   #1
Malak Darkhunter
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making angband harder

There seems to be a lot of talk these day's about angband being too easy and needs to be harder like the old days. I have one simple solution I think would work well....get rid of the artifacts, because artifacts are ultimately what makes the game easier. make ego items your primary source for good gear, and randomize the ego items in a way that you never know what item property's your going to get, your going to search harder for better items, and it's going to be a lot more challenging, but your going to be very excited when you do get something good. And that item won't be seen again after that game is finished.

ego items have always been confined to have certain abilities, and resists, randomize that, you get rid of what an item is known to have and what items you know you need and are entirely random you create harder yet more exciting gameplay.
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Old September 23, 2011, 15:56   #2
Therem Harth
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Getting rid of artifacts in favor of more randomized ego items is an interesting idea, but it also removes one of Angband's hallmarks. Not sure it would fly.

OTOH I do like the idea of making more powerful egos available, and making artifacts rarer, so that endgame kits don't wind up all looking similar.
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Old September 23, 2011, 16:07   #3
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This thread with this title has appeared many times over the past year. There are lots of good suggestions in all of them. I'm going to address your question first. There already is an option to play without artifacts, and the game is winnable in that way. (I'm currently playing a no artifact game.) Furthermore, Magnate wants to include more randomness into ego items, hopefully by 3.4. So essentially, half of your suggestion already exists, albeit as a difficulty setting, and the other half may exist in the near future. I think it's unlikely for artifacts to be removed altogether simply because of the history and the flavor.

Now I'd like to describe some of the things that I think have made the game easier in my current game.

1) Hordes of novices drop tons of stuff. After clevel 10 these are pushovers, and they are the most lucrative kills for money, especially in a no-selling game.

2) Low level high-egos are too common. I found a HA quarterstaff on dlevel 10. I dive very quickly, with everything but mages. This should be a very rare event. It's possible that this was supposed to be an artifact that got turned into an ego because of no-artifacts. But it should have been turned into a slay or even a brand at that dlevel. Hopefully this will be fixed if Magnate works on egos.

3) DSM mail is too common early in the dungeon. It is a very powerful find at dlevel 20 or even 30. I seem to find several in every game I've played between dlevels 20 and 30. And I'm generally moving as fast as possible through those levels to get to stat-gain depth.

4) BM sells too powerful items for too cheap. Specifically ?tl, ?dd, _destruction, _speed, -TO, =resist poison, =FA. The combination of these items and the gold mines that are novices, make for a very powerful @. The only things that seem well priced in the BM are weapons, armor and stat-gain potions. Everything else is too cheap and too plentiful.

5) Overall the dungeon is extremely safe but is dotted with areas of extreme danger. This allows a player to get by with a small stack of ?TL (readily available in the BM) to bypass the areas that are dangerous and get a new level which is more likely to be safe than not. Monsters with power close to the current level need to be more common than they currently are. I already tried a variation on this, but was not successful (it changed the game, but it made it much more tedious).

6) smart packs make monsters less dangerous. They're easy to exploit, and they won't chase after you allowing you to heal or regen mana as much as you want. I think they'd be a lot more dangerous if they chased you into hallways. If you want them to be smart, don't have them move into places where @ has LoS but they don't. That'd be a much better improvement than the current complicated algorithm. Still, I think they'd be harder if they just chased @ wherever. And they'd be less tedious as well.

7) Quiver is too powerful, encumberance penalty is too weak (late in the game).

8) Melee characters do way too much damage early in the game. A warrior or paladin will start with over 20 damage per round with a dagger. That's way too much.

9) Poison is too easy to just walk off. I know Derakon and others had a lot of suggestions for things to do with poison, maybe we should revisit them.
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Old September 23, 2011, 16:24   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
4) BM sells too powerful items for too cheap. Specifically ?tl, ?dd, _destruction, _speed, -TO, =resist poison, =FA. The combination of these items and the gold mines that are novices, make for a very powerful @. The only things that seem well priced in the BM are weapons, armor and stat-gain potions. Everything else is too cheap and too plentiful.
I agree with ?TL and ?DD being much too cheap. I don't recall buying _Destruction from the BM so I don't remember how much it costs..._Speed I do buy, but only with non-arcane casters. Make it more expensive and it becomes a good selling item for arcane casters; are we worried about that?

As for the rings, I don't view them as powerful. You lose a ring slot in return for permission to continue playing the game. IMO they should be permanently available, and you just have to decide when it's worth losing that ring slot and when it isn't. I hate the "whoops you forgot this particular monster can paralyze and now you're dead" nature of playing without FA past a given depth (and I know others feel similarly about lacking poison resistance, though at least there the danger is concentrated in fewer, more distinctive enemies), but I also hate grinding...
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Old September 23, 2011, 16:52   #5
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Just some my thoughts on those subjects:

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
1) Hordes of novices drop tons of stuff. After clevel 10 these are pushovers, and they are the most lucrative kills for money, especially in a no-selling game.
In NPP I prevent lower level monsters from appearing deep in the dungeon. I think my formula is 1:5, so creatures from level 10 can't appear below level 50.

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
5) Overall the dungeon is extremely safe but is dotted with areas of extreme danger. This allows a player to get by with a small stack of ?TL (readily available in the BM) to bypass the areas that are dangerous and get a new level which is more likely to be safe than not. Monsters with power close to the current level need to be more common than they currently are. I already tried a variation on this, but was not successful (it changed the game, but it made it much more tedious).
Teleport-to and improved monster flow can help this problem.

Another way to address both of these problems is to add alot more deep, dangerous monsters, but I can understand why that is a hard thing to do because it ruins the tilesets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
6) smart packs make monsters less dangerous. They're easy to exploit, and they won't chase after you allowing you to heal or regen mana as much as you want. I think they'd be a lot more dangerous if they chased you into hallways. If you want them to be smart, don't have them move into places where @ has LoS but they don't. That'd be a much better improvement than the current complicated algorithm. Still, I think they'd be harder if they just chased @ wherever. And they'd be less tedious as well.
I have played alot with the NPP AI, and tried to fix these issues. The main problem is, no matter how much you "improve" the AI, it is still a constant set of tactics used by almost all monsters. So you wind up spending countless hours getting the AI to do what you want it to do (you would be amazed how easy it is to muck the whole thing up. Sometimes the slightest change makes the monsters just wander around in circles). But, in two weeks the players figure out the tactics to beat the new, wonderful AI, tell everybody, and the whole effort feels like a waste of time.

My only thoughts on how to make the AI unpredictaable is to have 2-3 different AIs, maybe bring back 3gai and keep 4gai as well. Then flag the monsters at creation, having some packs follow one set of tactics, and other packs follow the other. At least then they would be unpredictable.

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
7) Quiver is too powerful, encumberance penalty is too weak (late in the game).
Agreed. I want to lower the # of arrows per slot, but I want it to be constent with Vanilla. I was thinking 25-35 arrows per slot. Has the devteam thought about a number?


Quote:
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9) Poison is too easy to just walk off. I know Derakon and others had a lot of suggestions for things to do with poison, maybe we should revisit them.
There used to be a time when poison breathers were the most dangerous in the game, because poison resistance was so hard to come by. Now poison breath is weak. Poison could only resist 1/3 damage, instead of 2/3. That would make it scary again.
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Old September 23, 2011, 16:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter View Post
There seems to be a lot of talk these day's about angband being too easy and needs to be harder like the old days. I have one simple solution I think would work well....get rid of the artifacts, because artifacts are ultimately what makes the game easier. make ego items your primary source for good gear, and randomize the ego items in a way that you never know what item property's your going to get, your going to search harder for better items, and it's going to be a lot more challenging, but your going to be very excited when you do get something good. And that item won't be seen again after that game is finished.

ego items have always been confined to have certain abilities, and resists, randomize that, you get rid of what an item is known to have and what items you know you need and are entirely random you create harder yet more exciting gameplay.
Back to Moria then.
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Old September 23, 2011, 16:55   #7
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Back to Moria then.
Moria gameplay with the Angband UI would be *AWESOME*.
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Old September 23, 2011, 17:01   #8
Malak Darkhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nppangband View Post
Moria gameplay with the Angband UI would be *AWESOME*.
Would love to see that
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Old September 23, 2011, 17:36   #9
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Quote:
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Agreed. I want to lower the # of arrows per slot, but I want it to be constent with Vanilla. I was thinking 25-35 arrows per slot. Has the devteam thought about a number?
Given that the original stated goal of the quiver was to stop discouraging the use of depleted stacks of ammo by not having them take up an entire inventory slot, the quiver should allocate 1 stack's worth of ammo to each inventory slot. Looks like stack sizes for ammo are 6d7, which has an average of 24, so make 25 be the stack size.

The only problem with that cutoff is that a given stack of ammo could take up less space in the inventory than in the quiver...
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Old September 23, 2011, 18:00   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Given that the original stated goal of the quiver was to stop discouraging the use of depleted stacks of ammo by not having them take up an entire inventory slot, the quiver should allocate 1 stack's worth of ammo to each inventory slot. Looks like stack sizes for ammo are 6d7, which has an average of 24, so make 25 be the stack size.

The only problem with that cutoff is that a given stack of ammo could take up less space in the inventory than in the quiver...
Honestly, I see no problem with reducing stack size overall to something like 25 or 35.
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