Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > Variants

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old October 25, 2016, 14:33   #1
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7,766
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Variant musing: no resting, no healing

Arguments over how many healing potions to stock up for the final fights have reminded me of an idea I've always kind of liked conceptually, but had reservations about, balance-wise: removing all ability for the player to heal themselves, except via making progress in the game.

The driving motivation behind this is action/platformer games, especially the modern Castlevanias and similar fangames, where healing items are really a crutch for players who lack the skill needed to consistently dodge enemies. There's no skill in simply sitting in front of Dracula, mashing attack, and eating a pot roast every time he hits you; you're just demonstrating that your supply of healing items is larger than his HP pool. It's far more impressive to recognize every signal, react appropriately, dodge every attack, and beat the boss without even getting scratched. Instead of boss fights being damage races, they're intricate dances. I'd like some way to translate that to Angband, while still leaving it recognizably Angband. This may prove difficult.

The first change to the game is of course to remove all sources of healing -- no potions, no spells, no innate regeneration. The only ways to heal are a) to level up, and b) to reach a new dungeon level for the first time.

Naturally, this change requires substantial changes to basically every aspect of combat balance. Since the player can't heal easily, they need far more options to avoid or mitigate damage taken. Or rather, monsters can't have abilities that just directly harm the player with no possible counter or dodge. Even standing in melee range should be a safe thing to do if the player approaches it correctly. Fundamentally this means re-thinking what it means for the player or a monster to make an "attack".

This is where I start getting stuck, though. I'd like to figure out some way for monsters to mark out a "zone" that they're going to attack, so e.g. a dragon would on turn 1 prepare to breathe, and on turn 2 actually breathe, so you'd have a chance to move out of the way. Likewise, any melee attack from an enemy would take at least 2 turns to "go off". But I suspect that would make one-on-one fights trivial, while making multi-enemy fights still overly dangerous.

So I'll turn it over to you. Given the proposed starting change of removing healing, how would you tweak things to make the game fair?
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 14:56   #2
Pete Mack
Prophet
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,961
Donated: $40
Pete Mack is on a distinguished road
Steamband does a rough approximation of this, with wound points vs. hit points
Pete Mack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 16:37   #3
debo
Veteran
 
debo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,262
debo is on a distinguished road
What if you just restricted this to per-encounter? Like you magically get healed every time you get rid of all monsters in LOS or kill your target or something. I've always liked JRPGs, for example, that heal you back to max after every encounter. It means they can really crank up the difficulty on each individual fight.
__________________
Glaurung, Father of the Dragons says, 'You cannot avoid the ballyhack.'
debo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 17:04   #4
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7,766
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
What if you just restricted this to per-encounter? Like you magically get healed every time you get rid of all monsters in LOS or kill your target or something. I've always liked JRPGs, for example, that heal you back to max after every encounter. It means they can really crank up the difficulty on each individual fight.
Conceptually I'm fine with this, as long as we can strongly define what an "encounter" is -- I don't want players pulling individual snagas around corners so they can kill one, get healed, get restored, etc. But you did remind me of a random idea I had as I was falling asleep last night -- when the player sees a monster, barriers spring up in some radius around them, which only go away when all the monsters are dead. Clearing the barriers could naturally correspond to getting healed.

Of course, if you go with an encounter-based approach, then you need to balance the encounters to be of roughly appropriate difficulty. It probably wouldn't be appropriate to make an entire vault be one encounter, for example. At least, not if the vaults are still to "Angband scale". Perhaps this could be controlled to an extent by varying how large the barrier radius is, but it has to be at least wide enough to contain both the player and the monster they just saw, as well as some room to maneuver.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 17:25   #5
debo
Veteran
 
debo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,262
debo is on a distinguished road
How about "bossrushband"

Every "floor" is small themed map with a unique and maybe a small cohort. You don't heal until they're all dead. You get a gob of items when you kill the boss, and then you move onto the next one.
__________________
Glaurung, Father of the Dragons says, 'You cannot avoid the ballyhack.'
debo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 18:22   #6
HallucinationMushroom
Knight
 
HallucinationMushroom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Indiana, U.S.A.
Age: 38
Posts: 756
HallucinationMushroom is on a distinguished road
My first image of your idea made me think of Sil, where the character is very limited in its ability to boost stats and hp, and is a much tighter experience. There are outliers, but basically your starting hp is usually not much different than initial hp, though there is healing and regen. Maybe if you pushed Sil further, and if I'm understanding your idea correctly, everything can basically kill you if you lack the skill to approach each enemy correctly? Sort-of-deterministic combat, and perhaps some (or none) rng with dice rolls?

Another variant (sort of) that comes to mind is the card game angband mashup that TJS made, Into the Darkness. http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=7236 Maybe this is a stretch, but I seem to recall hp regain was scant compared to V, and the combat relied on understanding enemy patterns. Perhaps instead of signaling squares that are about to be attacked, there could simply be patterns for enemies that the @ should either learn through play, or be granted through monster memory. The idea of colored squares being lit up before an attack does seem kind of cool though.

These are just rough thoughts. I like your idea!

edit: Well, now I can't recall if the monsters had patterns or not. But the @ surely did with the cards it had. It would be easy to imagine the enemies having similar patterns as well. Perhaps they had different abilities, or specials? Bah! Stupid JP Wisers.
__________________
You are on something strange

Last edited by HallucinationMushroom; October 25, 2016 at 18:31.
HallucinationMushroom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 18:43   #7
debo
Veteran
 
debo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,262
debo is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom View Post
everything can basically kill you if you lack the skill to approach each enemy correctly? Sort-of-deterministic combat, and perhaps some (or none) rng with dice rolls?
Have you played Brogue?
__________________
Glaurung, Father of the Dragons says, 'You cannot avoid the ballyhack.'
debo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 18:45   #8
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7,766
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom View Post
My first image of your idea made me think of Sil, where the character is very limited in its ability to boost stats and hp, and is a much tighter experience. There are outliers, but basically your starting hp is usually not much different than initial hp, though there is healing and regen. Maybe if you pushed Sil further, and if I'm understanding your idea correctly, everything can basically kill you if you lack the skill to approach each enemy correctly? Sort-of-deterministic combat, and perhaps some (or none) rng with dice rolls?
That sounds a bit like Crypt of the Necrodancer, which is an excellent game that everyone should play, but is perhaps a bit too far along the axis that we're defining between highly-random combat with a large degree of "stat escalation" over the course of the game (Angband) and highly-deterministic combat with almost no "stat escalation" (Necrodancer). Ideally I'd like to keep the large variety of monsters and monster abilities that Angband has, and at least some of the escalation, because I like it when I can easily handle a monster that used to give me trouble. But I want to eliminate the "surprise, you take damage" aspects of the game. Ideally you should know the damage is coming at least one turn in advance.

Maybe the approach to take would be to have a lot of different "pattern sets" that can be applied as templates on top of monsters, and then to build encounters out of a small group of monsters that the player has to fight together. So e.g. one pattern set would define how the monster moves (charges the player, tries to stay away, always moves diagonally, etc.), one provides a set of melee attacks (simple strike, stabbing lunge, sweep), one provides different ranged abilities (breathe, lightning bolt, slow). Then the monster AI would decide between move/attack/cast and then follow the template assigned to them, with appropriate lead times on anything that does damage.

Now I'm imagining a monster memory that shows you the "threat zone" for each of a monster's abilities, so you know which tiles are likely to provoke an attack if you move into them. I guess with that kind of information you could provide the monster with "instant" attacks that simply punish the player for moving into the wrong tile. Attacks that take one or more turns to "wind up" would then be for the ones that cover a wider range, do more damage, or have other implications (summoning, status effects, etc.).
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 18:56   #9
Antoine
Ironband/Quickband Maintainer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 951
Antoine is on a distinguished road
Derakon, I think for a first iteration you could make just two further changes:
1. Make all monsters alternate between 'normal' and 'glowing' statuses. Only a glowing monster can cast a spell or attack,
2. Amend player spell lists to provide cheap access to various strong powers, varying between classes, such as:
- invulnerability for 1 or several turns
- buff for massive increase in speed
- buff for total invulnerability to an element
- buff for greatly increased AC
- backstab - attack for massive damage on a sleeping monster
- dimension door
- buff for greatly increased melee damage
- distract - make a monster stop glowing
Etc...

A.
__________________
Ironband - http://angband.oook.cz/ironband/
Antoine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25, 2016, 21:51   #10
Nick
Vanilla maintainer
 
Nick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canberra, Australia
Age: 51
Posts: 6,425
Donated: $60
Nick is on a distinguished road
Very interesting. A couple of things:
  1. Quote:
    Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
    But you did remind me of a random idea I had as I was falling asleep last night -- when the player sees a monster, barriers spring up in some radius around them, which only go away when all the monsters are dead. Clearing the barriers could naturally correspond to getting healed.
    I have had for a while an idea of a (probably) paladin spell Single Combat, which when cast on a monster transports monster and player to a small cell where they fight to the death. Player transports back on winning.
  2. Some of these ideas are making me think a little of Final Fantasy Tactics; I've already considered the possibility of having an action queue in Angband.
__________________
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Nick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
priest healing prayers Tibarius Vanilla 8 March 17, 2015 07:40
Faster regeneration while resting Haladon Vanilla 11 August 31, 2013 01:59
Game Turns, Standard Turn, Resting Turns Bombadil Vanilla 3 February 27, 2013 19:50
Rod of healing, not as useful as I expected. ulrichvonbek Vanilla 21 May 5, 2011 03:43
An analysis of healing in Angband andrewdoull Vanilla 2 August 6, 2007 10:17


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:22.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.