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Old September 11, 2016, 16:09   #1
Valkenar
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End Game Grind

I've been playing Angband forever, and I often have this problem where I get bored grinding out the rest of my equipment once I'm basically coasting and end up either abandoning the character or just kamikazing out of fatigue.

(mage)
The early and middle parts of the game are fun and exciting but once I get telepathy, +30 speed and 0% spell fail, there's essentially no danger, but a long way to go before I can win the game.

I drop to level 98, then just clear vaults, which seems more efficient than taking the time to kill tons of monsters for drops, but it's pretty dull. I'm only level 35, but it just seems like a tedious grind to the end from here.

How do you handle this period of the game?
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Old September 11, 2016, 18:46   #2
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Angband and variants are pretty much all horrifically grindy. I deal with it by quitting for months at a time, or by, in a late night tired boredom, getting the character in question killed.
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Old September 11, 2016, 21:22   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkenar View Post
I've been playing Angband forever, and I often have this problem where I get bored grinding out the rest of my equipment once I'm basically coasting and end up either abandoning the character or just kamikazing out of fatigue.

(mage)
The early and middle parts of the game are fun and exciting but once I get telepathy, +30 speed and 0% spell fail, there's essentially no danger, but a long way to go before I can win the game.

I drop to level 98, then just clear vaults, which seems more efficient than taking the time to kill tons of monsters for drops, but it's pretty dull. I'm only level 35, but it just seems like a tedious grind to the end from here.
So what is it you're looking for at this point? Is it end-game consumables, gear, spell books, or a combination?

Do you have any suggestions of how the game could change to fix this problem?
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Old September 11, 2016, 21:31   #4
Derakon
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Do you have any suggestions of how the game could change to fix this problem?
No floor items, all monsters are unique, less experience needed to level up.
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Old September 11, 2016, 21:45   #5
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Do you have any suggestions of how the game could change to fix this problem?
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No floor items, all monsters are unique, less experience needed to level up.
No XP, only floor items, gain a level when pressing >, half the number of floors, no upstairs, town every ten floors.

It's very easy to design a concept for a non-grindable game, but designing a non-grindable game that's still Angband would be very difficult indeed.
I don't think Angband would be Angband without any grinding.
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Old September 11, 2016, 21:47   #6
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What you want at this point is play with force descent on. Then you can say goodbye to grinding...
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Old September 11, 2016, 22:00   #7
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Well, I need enough hit-points and resists to survive the big breathers/casters, which means gear and levels. Once I've got a set that's mid-range I can kill any number of things that can't one-shot me with basically no risk, and I just have to avoid the instakillers. What I like about the mid-game is that I can kill anything in the dungeon, but I can also get overwhelmed and my resources exhausted if I don't play smart.

I was more looking for suggestions as to a sensible playstyle for this stage than fixes to the game itself. My assumption was that I needed to change something, rather than the game.

If there is a game design issue, it's the interaction between teleport-other and vaults compared to general damage output. Basically, I can run through a vault and pick up 5-6 artifacts way faster and with less risk than finding and fighting for drops. Sometimes I have to either take a risk of instakill or just move on to another vault.

To change that you could implement any of these bad ideas:
Nerf teleport-other... minimum failure rate or monster resistance.
Nerf vaults... items less good.
Pump vaults... every monster in a vault has a high damage attack and is at least very quick
Nerf monster hitpoints... make farming items takes similar time to vaulting.

Or, you could do some semi-questy thing where in a vault, every monster can have an extra powered-up drop, but the vault doesn't contain items on the ground. So you can't get free stuff without a fight. Also maybe beef up the minimum danger of the monsters in the vault so I don't get rings of speed from jackals.

Or vaults are a beacon and if you walk into them you aggravate monsters and they come from all over the map to kill you.

None of these seem like great ideas to me, honestly. The overall feeling I have is that I have a pretty strong power curve for the first while, but then it slows down a lot. And the way the game changes, I don't feel challenged, just delayed. So slowing the curve at the start or speeding it up at the end would change that perception. But I dunno.
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Old September 11, 2016, 22:11   #8
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And "grinding" is kind of in the eye of the beholder. To me, what feels like grinding is low-risk, slow-gain. Angband has to have some element of going around trying to find items. But I don't think there's a baked-in level of risk and reward that has to be maintained. In the beginning you can play cleverly (or so it feels) to take risks and get items pretty quick, or you can take your time, full-clear levels and get stuff more rarely, but safely. I prefer the former. The question for me is whether there's an end-game way to take fun risks that require smart play and continue getting upgrades quickly. I'm not aware of it, but maybe someone else is.
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Old September 12, 2016, 05:37   #9
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What you want at this point is play with force descent on. Then you can say goodbye to grinding...
You sure? My experience of iron man play is say hello to grinding earlier. Gotta clear those earlier levels for the crucial detects, teleports etc.
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Old September 12, 2016, 19:44   #10
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And "grinding" is kind of in the eye of the beholder. To me, what feels like grinding is low-risk, slow-gain. Angband has to have some element of going around trying to find items. But I don't think there's a baked-in level of risk and reward that has to be maintained. In the beginning you can play cleverly (or so it feels) to take risks and get items pretty quick, or you can take your time, full-clear levels and get stuff more rarely, but safely. I prefer the former. The question for me is whether there's an end-game way to take fun risks that require smart play and continue getting upgrades quickly. I'm not aware of it, but maybe someone else is.
Normally 2 or 3 good vaults are enough to give you a setup you can defeat the game with. Going up/down stairs and detecting levels with 8 or higher monster rating lets you find vaults easily.

More problematic can be the acquisition of con potions and/or character levels. With the randomness of loot, there are games when I just happen to not find many con potions in time, so grinding becomes necessary.

Mages are a special case in that they can get the ability to loot vaults way earlier in the power curve than other classes; so when the elation of that power gain vanes, the feeling of grindiness settles in as you still have to do the stuff everyone else had to do before getting their endgear.
Given that mages cant kill **** doesnt help the issue.

What I do in that situation is to catch up on unique kills. Usually I have avoided all but the easiest of those, so I keep myself busy eliminating more and more of them, gaining levels in the process and possibly more gear upgrades. Fighting dangerous uniques requires tacticts and attention and is therefore not grindy.
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