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Old November 3, 2015, 15:22   #21
Rydel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I think for these decisions to be meaningful, we have to take away the "well, I can always do it later" option, which in turn goes against a big part of what makes Angband Angband (viz the infinite dungeon that you can proceed through at your own pace).
Perhaps another way would be "I can do it later, but it will still be dangerous."
One way to do this would be to more closely tie loot with monster. If the game generates a very nice item, it will then try to put OOD or Unique monsters around it. Or, perhaps some items could be only found in vaults.

Do it later will often still be safer, but less frequently "safe"
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Old November 4, 2015, 09:20   #22
Bogatyr
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Originally Posted by Rydel View Post
Perhaps another way would be "I can do it later, but it will still be dangerous."
One way to do this would be to more closely tie loot with monster. If the game generates a very nice item, it will then try to put OOD or Unique monsters around it. Or, perhaps some items could be only found in vaults.

Do it later will often still be safer, but less frequently "safe"
Well, my "unkillable" gnome mage with all dungeon spellbooks decided that using a staff of power on a demon pit on dlev 98 would be fun. Gelugon breaths shards, -- more --.

Point is, the player can always make choices to do something risky that's also a bit of fun. If you want to erase all risk of dying to zero and avoid any slightly dangerous situation, that's your choice. The player should be given that choice.
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Old November 5, 2015, 14:09   #23
danaris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rydel View Post
Perhaps another way would be "I can do it later, but it will still be dangerous."
One way to do this would be to more closely tie loot with monster. If the game generates a very nice item, it will then try to put OOD or Unique monsters around it. Or, perhaps some items could be only found in vaults.

Do it later will often still be safer, but less frequently "safe"
This is exactly what I would suggest: make certain rewards always tied to a particular level of risk.

To use the earlier example of Potions of Strength, don't make them limited in absolute number; instead, make it so that you can only get a Potion of Strength if you defeat, for instance, an extra-powerful Iron Golem.

That does reduce the degree to which Angband is random, but it does reduce the ability to just take the safe road every time, while not removing the ability to play at your own pace.
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Old November 5, 2015, 18:00   #24
Bogatyr
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Originally Posted by danaris View Post
This is exactly what I would suggest: make certain rewards always tied to a particular level of risk.

To use the earlier example of Potions of Strength, don't make them limited in absolute number; instead, make it so that you can only get a Potion of Strength if you defeat, for instance, an extra-powerful Iron Golem.

That does reduce the degree to which Angband is random, but it does reduce the ability to just take the safe road every time, while not removing the ability to play at your own pace.
Even better, "make it so that you can get a Potion of Strength if you defeat, for instance, an extra-powerful Iron Golem." Choice is *always* better in Angband. And the choice to make the game more challenging is right there before you on every level (especially deeper). If your playing style is boring, then change your playing style.
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Old November 8, 2015, 10:07   #25
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As a player who has never beaten the game I may be a bit incompetent to comment on a thread like this, but I believe I can imagine myself in the shoes of people for who the game seems too easy. After all, each and every one of my high-level character deaths have been results of either me playing way too carelessly for a moment or by not yet understanding some mechanism in the game (such as excessive stun will make you pass out). I have always felt that almost invincible feeling at some 2500 feet when my gear collection begins to feel very good and I'm sure that players with more patience than me can wrap it up from there with high propability.

As one part of the answer I have to say that I have always played the game in no-preserve mode from the late 90s when I first found it (I recall it was default then) and for me that has always been the only way to play Angband being perhaps as important feature as permanent death itself. Without that I would not have been pulling my hair for three days in my last game trying to loot a GV with some serious OODs well beyond my character at 1500 feet. After a lot of granite tunneling, numerous escape-teleports and a few carefully picked fights I could finally say for sure that the only artifact on the level was a scythe I couldn't reach and I was ready to leave the place. In the end I didn't gain or lose anything important on that level, but the knowledge of a no-preserve artifact forced me to reach my limits and that was a lot of fun.

I know little what happens below 3000 feet in the game, but my understanding is that since the character can't improve much anymore, things can't keep getting worse so exponentially than earlier in the game. I think that would leave room for some new game mechanisms to appear in those deep dungeons. For example at some point it could get impossible to descend deeper using spells and the downstrairs would be treated as valuables that are often heavily guarded. Reaching those would be dangerous and rewarding goals for end-game players. And instead of stairs they could also be one-way pits to add some excitement.

What comes to mechanisms that would push players to dive faster, I think one possibility would be to tie leveling caps to dungeon depths - you wouldn't be able to gain experience over a limit on a level. That would force a certain level of danger at given depths, if such is desirable.

In general I think that instead of insta-deaths the challenge should come from a need to weigh between options and especially between pros and cons on taking a risk. The no-preserve artifact hunting is one example of such mechanism and other might take place in the late game.
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Old November 8, 2015, 12:25   #26
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Originally Posted by Fluster View Post
What comes to mechanisms that would push players to dive faster, I think one possibility would be to tie leveling caps to dungeon depths - you wouldn't be able to gain experience over a limit on a level. That would force a certain level of danger at given depths, if such is desirable.
I'm skeptical of such artificial caps[1], but it would be pretty easy to try this in a release version of Angband and see what people think.

[1] Especially since we already have an approximation of this via the fact that XP per monster generally scales with level since it scales roughly with monster toughness and monster toughness roughly scales with level. Not as clear cut as a hard cap, but still...
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Old November 8, 2015, 12:50   #27
Rowan
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
So, is the possibility of unavodable death really a bad thing? I remember losing game in some exceptional way longer than winning it.

Discussion: Do you agree/disagree and if you agree, how to do that "properly", if disagree, why?
I think the possibility of unavoidable death isn't a bad thing if you can learn from it. But if it's truly senseless and unavoidable after spending days carefully planning for every contingency, then yeah- that's a bad thing to me.

Maybe it's just a difference in personality, but in most games I remember and appreciate the win more than senseless unavoidable deaths.

Or, it may also be your experience. If you've won Angband hundreds of times, killing Morgoth would just be another win, whereas it would seem more interesting to be killed by an enchantress summoning drolem after drolem while your 1%-fail teleport lets you down 15 times in a row. To me that's just aggravating.
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