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Old October 26, 2012, 20:10   #1
Egavactip
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Idle Dreams of Things to Come

Stopped playing for about half a year, then started up again recently. Tried a thief for the first time. Got him up to level 30-something, then some glitch got rid of him. Yikes. Trying again.

Anyway, playing Angband again has got me thinking about things I'd like to see.

These include:

1. A type of monster called a Doppleganger. I could see it in either of two varieties. In variety 1, it is a monster that would have set stats, but could look like any other monster (random). In variety 2, it would always look the same but would have the stats of some other random monster. The first is more of a "trap" type monster, while the second is more of a "fog of war" type monster.

2. Not everything in each game. It would be nice to have a pool of artifacts/items/dungeon features/and-or monsters that will NOT show up in every game. In other words, from this pool of possibles, at the beginning of a game, the engine would decide which few of these would appear in this particular game. None of the others would ever appear in this particular playing. This provides a bit of extra excitement for what would essentially be "super-rare" features and increases replayability.

3. Better missile weapon descriptions. Currently, the only way to find out if one missile weapon is better than another is to load up with the weapon and a missile and then examine the missile. If you examine the weapon, you get nothing. This makes comparing a new missile weapon with your existing old one to see if it is better a chore. Why not have a line on the examine weapon results that tells you what damage you would average with a generic non-magic missile for that weapon? So if you examined your shortbow, it would tell you the average damage that weapon would deliver with a +0/+0 arrow? This would be so much more convenient.

4. An ability to manually arrange the order your missiles appear in your quiver.

5. Water obstacles.
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Old October 26, 2012, 20:33   #2
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egavactip View Post
Stopped playing for about half a year, then started up again recently. Tried a thief for the first time. Got him up to level 30-something, then some glitch got rid of him. Yikes. Trying again.
Yikes indeed. If you have more details about what destroyed your character, please do let us know.

Anyway, welcome back! My thoughts on your ideas are below.

Quote:
1. A type of monster called a Doppleganger. I could see it in either of two varieties. In variety 1, it is a monster that would have set stats, but could look like any other monster (random). In variety 2, it would always look the same but would have the stats of some other random monster. The first is more of a "trap" type monster, while the second is more of a "fog of war" type monster.
The first one sounds sort of like a "monster mimic". So long as the monster wasn't instakill-capable, it sounds like a good idea to me. The second one is much more of a wildcard, since a lot of Angband strategy derives from knowing what your enemies can do -- if you know nothing, then the safe bet to assume the enemy is maximally lethal. I'm not certain how well that would work in practice, but I'm willing to give it a shot if someone's willing to code it.

Quote:
2. Not everything in each game. It would be nice to have a pool of artifacts/items/dungeon features/and-or monsters that will NOT show up in every game. In other words, from this pool of possibles, at the beginning of a game, the engine would decide which few of these would appear in this particular game. None of the others would ever appear in this particular playing. This provides a bit of extra excitement for what would essentially be "super-rare" features and increases replayability.
The really rare items aren't in every game anyway, simply because they're so rare that statistically speaking you usually don't see them. When was the last game you saw Bladeturner? Deathwreaker? Even lower-tier artifacts often don't show up -- by my count there's 140 artifacts in the game and IIRC the average generated per-game is around 30. The same thing applies to vaults -- while there are common vaults that show up in most games, there are also a lot of really uncommon vaults that you see maybe once in every 10 winners, if that.

If you want to randomly exclude more common stuff from the game, you have to be careful that you're not eliminating something that forms a key part of the game's balance. E.g. deciding that Phase Door scrolls wouldn't be in the game -- well, now it's a heck of a lot harder! I don't think most players would be very interested in playing a game that would randomly decide at the outset to be significantly more challenging (or less challenging, in the event that particularly difficult monsters are randomly excluded).

Quote:
3. Better missile weapon descriptions. Currently, the only way to find out if one missile weapon is better than another is to load up with the weapon and a missile and then examine the missile. If you examine the weapon, you get nothing. This makes comparing a new missile weapon with your existing old one to see if it is better a chore. Why not have a line on the examine weapon results that tells you what damage you would average with a generic non-magic missile for that weapon? So if you examined your shortbow, it would tell you the average damage that weapon would deliver with a +0/+0 arrow? This would be so much more convenient.
UI improvements are always good, and it wouldn't be hard to give a line printing the damage dealt by a 0d0 (+0,+0) shot fired by the launcher. Dealing with the actual damage dice would be trickier though since then you have to know, in the code, which type of ammo to use.

Quote:
4. An ability to manually arrange the order your missiles appear in your quiver.
It's a bit tedious, but you can inscribe your ammo with @f0 to put it in the first slot, @f1 to put it in the second slot, etc.

Quote:
5. Water obstacles.
I kind of get the feeling that if the majority of players really wanted terrain in Vanilla, it'd have it by now. Terrain is one of the more common features that variants add, though there's little consistency in how it's treated. But Vanilla is much more "pure".
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Old October 26, 2012, 23:14   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egavactip View Post
1. A type of monster called a Doppleganger. I could see it in either of two varieties. In variety 1, it is a monster that would have set stats, but could look like any other monster (random). In variety 2, it would always look the same but would have the stats of some other random monster. The first is more of a "trap" type monster, while the second is more of a "fog of war" type monster.
FAangband essentially has variety 1 - there are monsters which temporarily shift shape. IMHO it works pretty well.
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