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View Poll Results: What is stopping you from playing Unangband?
Haven't heard of it. 3 8.33%
It doesn't sound that interesting. 3 8.33%
There's too many other variants out there. 17 47.22%
I've tried it and didn't like it. 6 16.67%
I've tried it and am waiting for the next release. 7 19.44%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 23, 2007, 12:12   #41
andrewdoull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corydon View Post
To get to the original question: why am I not playing Unangband?

I did play some earlier versions, and I enjoyed them, but I haven't played the most recent version for a very simple reason: I can't get it to work!

I've downloaded the most recent version (0.6.2.whatever it is) for OS X. When I open it, I get an error message telling me it can't create the scores.raw file, and that the 'lib' directory is probably missing or broken.

If you tell me how to get it to work, I promise to play it!
I noticed this recently for OS X having just bought a new Mac book. The temporary fix is to create the lib folder structure (I think you need lib/apex, lib/data, lib/user of the top of my head) under the Libraray/Preferences/Unangband folder under your user account. I'll confirm this tonight.
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Old August 23, 2007, 15:25   #42
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Out of curiousity, I pulled down a copy of UnAngband, having never played it before. I figured it'd be an interesting thing to try a variant, and given this thread, why not give it a go?

First reaction? What are all these different races, and how do they differ beyond stats? I'll check the documentation. OH! There is no documentation... Oookay. Maia looks like the "easy mode" given the significant bonuses without penalties, and I'll play a mage. Sure, that'll be familiar from V. Oh, and I have to pick other stuff? I'll check the... oh, right.. no documentation. Oh, Magic Books and Sorcery sounds good, since I'm a mage. Hey, wait... it didn't take, and I'm a Warrior classed Man of Bree. I'll start over, maybe I missed it. (Did it twice, third time was the charm. Odd, but probably just me, I hope.)

Constitution affects spellpoints? Egad, the changes in this version must be significant! Look at all these spells in the first book! Well, at least *they* explain themselves. That's nice to have.

So I explore a bit - and find that I can get lost and nearly starve to death just going "one hill over" into the next area. Gotta carry lots of food and be prepared to arrive in a "weak" state due to hunger. A bit odd, but I can live with this, and I still want to figure it out, right? Besides, this very open grassy are is nice (what parts have tiles and not placeholders, anyway) and it's all shiny and new.

At last, I find a dungeon (in Bree?) and prepare to make a first descent. I've got torches and a cloak, food for the trip and my spells all learned, so I go for it. I find some faeries, and smite them with Magic Missile. This repeats for a while, I pick up some copper. Things are rolling along.

Finally, I try to cast on a faerie, target myself unintentionally, and my Soon to Be Mighty Maia dies by Magic Missile-ing himself in the foot. Thank goodness I discovered this early, before I spent the time to get a fireball spell and used it to kill myself unexpectedly while fighting a close-ranged, hard fought battle with a unique monster.

It's not enough that there's no documentation to speak of, or that the wildly V-divergent features cry out for more intuitive in-game explanations before they bite you, but now I ALSO have to worry about killing myself with my own abilities? Not by eating an unidentified poisonous mushroom, or drinking a potion of detonations by accident, but by casting the spells I was "born" with? What's next, warriors hacking off their own feet and starving to death before they get back to town?

I uninstalled it posthaste - if I can do this with a Magic Missile spell, then this is a variant with a more hostile player environment than any game in which I'm interested. Thanks, but I'll pass. Maybe I'll try it again later - a few more versions down the road to soften the player environment and polish the numerous rough edges, and produce a lot more documentation.

Maybe. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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Old August 23, 2007, 15:51   #43
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Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
I noticed this recently for OS X having just bought a new Mac book. The temporary fix is to create the lib folder structure (I think you need lib/apex, lib/data, lib/user of the top of my head) under the Libraray/Preferences/Unangband folder under your user account. I'll confirm this tonight.
Pete Mack has done a bit of work on OS X ports generally - the FA one seems to work pretty smoothly now. It might be worth comparing the main-crb.c and Makefile.osx for Un and FA and see where there are differences. There's also a src/osx directory for FA which may be relevant.
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Old August 23, 2007, 20:16   #44
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> What's next, warriors hacking off their own feet and starving to death before they get back to town?

A perfect idea! As for now you can only die by failing to catch a thrown weapon hurled with a trick shot (from the main weapon slot) and by failing to set up a trap. If I had my way you would also occasionally prick yourself when coating weapons and ammo with mushrooms and potions.

Are you not afraid of chopping your head off with your own weapon? Are you not afraid of frying your ass with your own fireball? Play UnAngband! And remember: real men don't read manuals.
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Old August 24, 2007, 10:09   #45
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Just in case anyone who hasn't yet tried Un is reading this, I have to say when I tried it I didn't have anything like these problems. I found a dungeon, went exploring and just got a bit overwhelmed with all the features. I don't remember having any difficulty learning spells or casting them, buying stuff, avoiding hunger or anything else.

But I never read docs anyway.

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Old August 24, 2007, 11:10   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandobras View Post
> What's next, warriors hacking off their own feet and starving to death before they get back to town?

A perfect idea! As for now you can only die by failing to catch a thrown weapon hurled with a trick shot (from the main weapon slot) and by failing to set up a trap. If I had my way you would also occasionally prick yourself when coating weapons and ammo with mushrooms and potions.
Actually implemented that... its actually you occasionally prick yourself when using coated weapons and ammo. Very occasionally.

The reasoning behind being able to hit yourself with spells is multi-fold: Firstly, you get another way of testing if you have a particular resistance. Secondly, it makes wands of wonders properly risky, as opposed to just having a couple of effects that are dangerous.

But mostly, its because fireball is not that interesting a spell.

I mean, look at it this way. Bolt spells, you at least have to attempt to ensure that the target is in direct line of fire. Minor fire ball, which is unique to Unangband, is a mix of bolt and ball spells. It explodes at the first target in line of fire. Everything in line of sight spells are interesting because they force you to wade through lots of damage messages and lots of mana, and are (usually) only effective against a particular target type.

But fireball - at least the Angband implementation of it - is dull. Automatically hit anything in line of fire for lots of damage, plus targets adjacent to it. It at least has the redeeming and slightly balancing factor that it destroys stuff on the ground. But the too much junk problem in Angband makes this beneficial rather than problematic the majority of the time.

By making the player get damaged if they are too close to the fireball, there's at least a trade of between position and utility of the spell. There's no more standing at ground zero and fireballing a monster you should be meleeing to death or running away from.

That's why I like it.

PS: I'm likely to tone down the amount of food used moving between locations and replace a 'lost in the wilderness' with a random encounter with monsters. Having to have a full stomach before you travel is still quite a strict requirement.
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Old August 24, 2007, 20:17   #47
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I don't remember having any difficulty learning spells or casting them, buying stuff, avoiding hunger or anything else.
I don't recall mentioning any problems with Un in these areas. I didn't suddenly forget how to eat rations when switching versions - I just arrived from a "lost in the wilderness" random result already weak from hunger.

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But I never read docs anyway.
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Originally Posted by Bandobras View Post
And remember: real men don't read manuals.
If I must code dive to figure out how Un works, then forget it. I've got my own code projects on which I could/should be working, after all. IMO, a developer should be looking to streamline my entry into the play experience as a new player, not requiring me to read source code to figure out the basics. It boils down to the fact that at the end of the day, I'm trying to play the game as an end-user in this situation, and there's no user manual to speak of. That's bad.

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The reasoning behind being able to hit yourself with spells is multi-fold: Firstly, you get another way of testing if you have a particular resistance.
Did the handy chart of detailed character information with the resistances-by-item-slot not make it into Un? I didn't bother to check, after my little run-in with a spellbook. Frankly, I've never needed to fry myself in V to figure out if I'm resistant, because I can (gasp) read the chart. Zapping myself takes "character" time, reduces character resources, and consumes nearly as much "player" time. Reading the chart takes none of the first, none of the second, and little more (if any) of the latter. (In fact, I think it may even take fewer keypresses!)

Given that goal of an alternative means to check resistances, why not just add a level X spell called "probe resistances" and let players cast this on themselves (and maybe even a higher level Y version for monsters?) to list all their resistances. Problem solved, and no need to fry mages.

Being able to shoot myself in the foot with a magic missile is missing from V for a reason, IMO. Frankly, it reminds me of old (and poorly played) games of D&D from my childhood:
"At long last the secrets of arcane might are mine!"
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Secondly, it makes wands of wonders properly risky, as opposed to just having a couple of effects that are dangerous.
So, it's a good idea, because hasting that unique or healing it completely when I wanted a frost bolt isn't nearly bad enough! No one uses these for long now because they're risky, aside from at very early levels. (They DO have adverse effects, after all.)

...and now I have to wonder even more about wonder: Will it blow me up, or blow him up, or make him kill me quicker, heal him completely... I already stop using wands of wonder in V first, due to the chance of adverse effects in the hands of the RNG. You're just making a less desirable thing even less desirable, here.

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That's why I like it.
Which indirectly answers your poll, in my case. I don't, and it's indicative of a player experience I don't care to have. I'm not saying there shouldn't be things you can do that will cause your character to suffer adverse reactions, but this one isn't much "fun" to me. Truth told, it's kind of a non-starter.

It's clear you've put a lot of time into broadening one of my favorite games. Good luck with Un - it'll be interesting to see how it turns out "in the end".
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Old August 24, 2007, 21:04   #48
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Did the handy chart of detailed character information with the resistances-by-item-slot not make it into Un? I didn't bother to check, after my little run-in with a spellbook. Frankly, I've never needed to fry myself in V to figure out if I'm resistant, because I can (gasp) read the chart. Zapping myself takes "character" time, reduces character resources, and consumes nearly as much "player" time. Reading the chart takes none of the first, none of the second, and little more (if any) of the latter. (In fact, I think it may even take fewer keypresses!)
That chart, I guess you are talking about the Character screen, is available in Un as well. But just as in Vanilla, most resistances only show up there if you have *id*ed the items. However V has no Randarts, no magic items and less objects with random powers, so the need to test things isn't as obvious. If you play at a faster pace you might, even in V, find yourself in a situation with a lot more stuff to *id* then scrolls to use.

Once again this is just "in theory". I have never used those self hurting devices and the reason for that is likely what you mention as player time. Those things also take up one more inventory slot than I am willing to pay
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Old August 24, 2007, 23:06   #49
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Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
I noticed this recently for OS X having just bought a new Mac book. The temporary fix is to create the lib folder structure (I think you need lib/apex, lib/data, lib/user of the top of my head) under the Libraray/Preferences/Unangband folder under your user account. I'll confirm this tonight.

Awesome! I tried this-- created apex, data, save, scores and user folders-- and it seems to work fine.

Thanks for your help, and I'm psyched to play some Unangband!
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Old August 25, 2007, 00:45   #50
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I used to play Unangband a lot. I found most of the changes very exciting, and I think it has the potential to be the best variant out there. There were two reasons I am not playing it as much anymore:

1. Bugs and crashes - The last few times I played the game crashed. When I tried to restore my saved game I couldn't even get the game to run.
2. Lack of documentation - I agree with whoever said that the lack of documentation is a serious downpoint. Each new version of unangband brings with it major changes to gameplay, including the effects of various stats. It is currently unclear to me what each stat does. I also feels that the stat changes have unbalanced the game somewhat.

I think if you want more people to play unangband your next goal should be to make a version that is stable, balanced and has updated help files. It may not be as exciting for you as a developer but it would go a long way towards getting more people interested in this variant.
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