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Old October 21, 2016, 05:07   #1
Severian
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[Propsed] Diveband

I only recently came back to Angband after an almost decade-long hiatus. If you'll allow me a bit of immodesty, I felt like I was relatively good at the game back then. I was certainly one of the first to pick up on what Eddie Grove was doing, and start to play the game very aggressively. A decade later I see that people have gotten much better at the game, probably much better than any of us were back then, but that they have mainly built on the aggressive style we pioneered.

Way back then I had an idea for a variant. I called it Diveband. I meant it mainly as a teaching variant, but I have come to think it might be a fun and exciting alternative to V (though not at all an appropriate change to V itself.)

My idea is to keep all of V's mechanics, but make it unrewarding to spend much time on a level, let alone farm one repeatedly. My first thought was to start spawning deeper monsters after a certain number of turns, but also spawn/drop shallower items. That's a bit hard to balance for different race/class combinations, but...

Well, I still think Diveband is an interesting idea. I've spent a long time thinking about it and I'm not sure how it would be best implemented. I think it might be a great variant if properly done though.
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Old October 21, 2016, 05:54   #2
Derakon
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One simple possible solution would be to add something like the Ghost from Spelunky, which spawns if you spend too much time on the level, is invulnerable, slowly chases you across the level, and kills you in one hit if it touches you. You could still explore the level, but you had to carefully kite the ghost around so you could reach the areas you were interested in without getting trapped. I guess the Angband version would always move at your speed, be able to walk through any kind of wall (including permanent walls), and be immune to Teleport Other, Destruction, Banishment, etc. You could still avoid it via teleportation, of course, but that's inherently risky. For added fun, once the ghost spawns, you could add another ghost to the level every 50 turns. Spawn the ghost after, hm, 1000 player turns on the level? Which is not a lot, but implies a 100k-turn game, which is readily achievable by a reasonably skilled player.

(Insert complaints here from players who favor playing mages and are used to resting after every single encounter )
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Old October 21, 2016, 06:36   #3
AnonymousHero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
One simple possible solution would be to add something like the Ghost from Spelunky, which spawns if you spend too much time on the level, is invulnerable, slowly chases you across the level, and kills you in one hit if it touches you.
Fun Spelunky Fact of the Day: The Ghost is not completely invulnerable.

(Not that this changes the point of your post, of course. I just thought it was a fun little thing to mention.)
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Old October 21, 2016, 10:54   #4
Pete Mack
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Or you could check out Sil
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Old October 21, 2016, 12:10   #5
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I think increasing the level of spawned monsters on a given level over time, and reducing the quality of their drops, would do the trick. And I'd be inclined to make forced descent, which prevents repeating a level, mandatory instead of an option.
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Old October 21, 2016, 12:51   #6
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Just make it MoraffsWorldBand and it will be perfect.
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Old October 21, 2016, 13:04   #7
t4nk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian View Post
I meant it mainly as a teaching variant
That's interesting. My opinion is that Angband currently teaches new players that grinding is the correct strategy.
Imagine that someone is new to the game, but wants to play in such a way that (in their opinion) maximizes their chances to win (as much as possible). In that case, grinding seems to be the correct strategy. This player wants to face new, unknown monsters having a lot of HP, many resistances, etc. The only other strategy that Angband offers is "evade monsters that are too strong", but if you don't know which ones are too strong, how can you evade them? Trying to evade ALL new monsters is completely impractical, and not fun (in a game that is mostly about combat). Probing every single monster? But rod of probing is a deep item, and it doesn't even reveal the most important information - how much damage the monsters do! (I think it used to be different? why was it changed?) Besides, probing all monsters (in a correct position, where you have LOS on them, but they don't have LOS on you) is annoying, keypress-intensive, and hardly better than grinding anyway.
So, if the goal is to encourage faster gameplay, I'd recommend to deobfuscate the game. In particular, give the players more information about monster. Just make all monster memory revealed on turn 0.
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Old October 21, 2016, 13:16   #8
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Something like the Sil timer could be implemented: once your depth is shallower than the timer, you stop getting xp and drops from monsters. Also make Force Descent on by default.
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Old October 22, 2016, 12:55   #9
the Invisible Stalker
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Two changes which would make grinding much less rewarding:
  1. persistent dungeon levels
  2. xp only for the first monster of each type
Obviously if you made only those changes the game would be nearly impossible. To make it playable again you'd need quite a bit of rebalancing.
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Old October 22, 2016, 13:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
You could still explore the level, but you had to carefully kite the ghost around so you could reach the areas you were interested in without getting trapped.

For added fun, once the ghost spawns, you could add another ghost to the level every 50 turns.
Player avatar tries to move around a level, trying to consume the various items on the level, while trying to avoid multiple ghosts...

This seems more like a Pacman variant.
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