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Old December 24, 2013, 12:01   #1
taptap
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Playing Angband for the first time

As my Sil is unfortunately not working at the moment, I tried out a few Angband variants (FA, un and quickband):

Why is there no clear exposition of the most basic combat rules in any of them or in the Angband page (rephial.org)? When do I fricking hit?

This "Hits and misses are determined by ability to hit versus armor class. A hit is a strike that does some damage; a miss may in fact reach a target, but fails to do any damage." definitely does not tell me, what I need to know.

Do I always "hit" but it counts only as hit when I do more damage than the enemy has AC or is there any other roll before to determine the hit? Likely no, but what dice are rolled and why nobody bothers to explain? Is this kept obscure on purpose while elsewhere minor details (effects of certain ego items etc.) are explained?

Why is there no list of the existing spells in the game? Am I supposed to take less useful spells for the first dozen chars before I get sufficient metalore or spoilers?
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Old December 24, 2013, 12:25   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taptap View Post
As my Sil is unfortunately not working at the moment, I tried out a few Angband variants (FA, un and quickband):

Why is there no clear exposition of the most basic combat rules in any of them or in the Angband page (rephial.org)? When do I fricking hit?

This "Hits and misses are determined by ability to hit versus armor class. A hit is a strike that does some damage; a miss may in fact reach a target, but fails to do any damage." definitely does not tell me, what I need to know.

Do I always "hit" but it counts only as hit when I do more damage than the enemy has AC or is there any other roll before to determine the hit? Likely no, but what dice are rolled and why nobody bothers to explain? Is this kept obscure on purpose while elsewhere minor details (effects of certain ego items etc.) are explained?

Why is there no list of the existing spells in the game? Am I supposed to take less useful spells for the first dozen chars before I get sufficient metalore or spoilers?
There's not much point explaining the rules because they're obscure and impossible to calculate in your head. Here's the rules for most recent V:
  • There is always a 7% chance of hitting.
  • There is always a 5% chance of missing.
  • X = (your 'base to hit' value as shown on the character screen + to hit bonuses) * 3.
  • If a monster is invisible, halve X.
  • N = a random number between 0 and (X or 9, whichever is higher).
  • You hit if N is higher than or equal to monster's AC * 2/3.
In older V, the calculation for X is X = your 'melee' score as shown on the character screen + to hit bonuses*3. In variants where numbers aren't shown you have no way of knowing this value.

In V 3.5, if you've killed a monster once then the monster recall tells you your chance of hitting that monster too.

Re spells, in V at least if you browse books then you find out what the spells do while browsing. And you can do that to books in store also.
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Old December 24, 2013, 13:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
There's not much point explaining the rules because they're obscure and impossible to calculate in your head. Here's the rules for most recent V:
  • There is always a 7% chance of hitting.
  • There is always a 5% chance of missing.
  • X = (your 'base to hit' value as shown on the character screen + to hit bonuses) * 3.
  • If a monster is invisible, halve X.
  • N = a random number between 0 and (X or 9, whichever is higher).
  • You hit if N is higher than or equal to monster's AC * 2/3.
In older V, the calculation for X is X = your 'melee' score as shown on the character screen + to hit bonuses*3. In variants where numbers aren't shown you have no way of knowing this value.

In V 3.5, if you've killed a monster once then the monster recall tells you your chance of hitting that monster too.

Re spells, in V at least if you browse books then you find out what the spells do while browsing. And you can do that to books in store also.
Oh my... so convoluted.
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Old December 24, 2013, 13:55   #4
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Oh my... so convoluted.
We prefer "rich"
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Old December 24, 2013, 14:34   #5
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Is there a reason why to_hit and AC are not renormalized to get rid of those 3 and 2/3 factors? (What I mean by this is: we could multiply all AC values in the edit files by 3/2 and get rid of that factor in the formulas).
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Old December 24, 2013, 14:58   #6
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Originally Posted by fph View Post
Is there a reason why to_hit and AC are not renormalized to get rid of those 3 and 2/3 factors? (What I mean by this is: we could multiply all AC values in the edit files by 3/2 and get rid of that factor in the formulas).
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Last edited by takkaria; December 24, 2013 at 15:04.
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Old December 24, 2013, 15:21   #7
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Originally Posted by fph View Post
Is there a reason why to_hit and AC are not renormalized to get rid of those 3 and 2/3 factors? (What I mean by this is: we could multiply all AC values in the edit files by 3/2 and get rid of that factor in the formulas).
I've done this at least twice...
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Old December 24, 2013, 16:09   #8
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Out of curiosity, what is the need to know? I haven't played Sil(unless I briefly gave it a try once, I can't quite remember), so I don't know where you're coming from here, but melee combat in Angband involves pressing a directional arrow key into a monster. Whether you hit or miss isn't something you can optimize, other then by increasing your +to_Hit bonus, which seems to me fairly obvious.

Unless you're trying to determine when to use melee versus magic or ranged, I don't understand why you'd possibly need any more information then this. Even in those cases, it's mostly tactical - you want to use Ranged at a distance, or when it's clearly your highest DPS(which should only ever be true for Rangers, or Archers/Snipers/what-have-you in variants that feature them). Magic versus melee is more about resource management.

For example, in my current Poscheng game, I freely use my low cost Punishment spell to poke down enemies at a distance, since I regenerate mana almost at the same rate casting that spell uses it. In melee range, I'll use my weapon if I'm low on mana or if the monster resists Holy Orb or doesn't resist Poison, and use Orb if I have enough mana for a significant number of casts, or if I have a large number of opponents in range of the AoE, if it's going to be effective in either case. If it's not effective, say against good monsters or others that resist it, I'll just melee one opponent at a time, even if I have lots of mana.

This is the kind of reasoning that goes into choosing an attack in Angband(at least for me) - it has nothing whatsoever to do with the exact behind-the-scenes calculation used to determine whether I hit or miss.

Could you perhaps give a brief outline of how it works in Sil, so those of us that don't play it can get a better idea why you're asking?

As far as spells, I agree that browsing should work for any spell in a book you own, rather then just for spells you have knowledge of. That is an unwelcome change for me as well. I do feel like most spells have fairly self-explanatory names, but that isn't quite as ideal as having the full description available... unless you want the actual numbers for those as well, and are for some reason playing this game like a math problem rather then an RPG?
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Old December 24, 2013, 16:12   #9
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AC * 2/3
It was AC* 3/4 at some point. So it is a very important number. Extremely important and philosophically valuable.

Quote:
Out of curiosity, what is the need to know?
I had the same question a while ago, but now it is clear that there are a lot of people who play games only for "DPS" so numbers are the main thing for such people, nothing else matters just damage numbers.

In general I agree that angband melee combat system is just "you move into mob and mob dies", nothing else.

Last edited by LostTemplar; December 24, 2013 at 16:17.
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Old December 24, 2013, 16:57   #10
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Regarding spells: all characters should be able to learn all spells eventually (given enough character levels and a high enough casting stat (INT/WIS depending)), so there's no need to worry that learning a bad spell will lock you out of a good one down the road.
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