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Old August 31, 2008, 05:24   #1
andrewdoull
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[Un, others] Eddie Grove patch

Hi,

I had every intention of talking about this anyway, but it appears to have come up in a parallel thread. Eddie Grove's patch to Angband does a number of things to improve the overall UI and game play. While I disagree with some of them: you'll hopefully never see a squelch implementation in UnAngband beyond what I've done already - there are at least two fundamental changes that I'm considering including and would like people's opinion on.

1. Preventing selling to stores.

Now Bandobras will disagree with me on this one: but I like the idea of adventurers not becoming inverterate pack rats who instead of challenging Morgoth are more likely to turn up in his house, take everything of value not nailed down and sell it to the General Store. As the saying goes: beware of a Kender with a claw-hammer.

Seriously, this may be one of those switched on birth options. The selling game component of Angband is only interesting in the early game, with the late game abundence of gold rendering it pointless. That may be the right approach. But I think Eddie's approach makes the game more interesting overall.

2. Changed ID system.

I will admit, that UnAngband has perhaps a degree of complexity in the ID system, that on more than one occasion Bandobras has threatened to rip out and replace wholesale. I won't disagree with this. If this is the case Eddieband seems to have the best substitute out there - perhaps by enhacing this with getting rid of the time base sensing (if he hasn't done already). I will be sad to see the current state of affairs go, as I have spent undue amounts of time working on it and I enjoy its quirks, but it may be time for a change in this area.

Thoughts?

Regards,

Andrew
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Old August 31, 2008, 06:08   #2
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the unangband ID model is one reason I don't play it. You end up needing a bag of tricks just for ID. If you don't find that bag, your inventory is overwhelmed by weak ID techniques. It's too much hassle for me, but diff'rent strokes and all that.
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Old August 31, 2008, 07:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
2. Changed ID system.

I will admit, that UnAngband has perhaps a degree of complexity in the ID system, that on more than one occasion Bandobras has threatened to rip out and replace wholesale. I won't disagree with this. If this is the case Eddieband seems to have the best substitute out there - perhaps by enhacing this with getting rid of the time base sensing (if he hasn't done already).

My changes to id are entirely minimal. (1) I allow pseudo on jewelry and (2) I make brands obvious. Oh, maybe (3) number of charges is given without id. Everything else is just automating things you could get by looking at the 'C' screens or the .txt files. I have no idea why anyone thinks any of this is a big change. It is just good automation. I consider squelch simply automating the 'k' command, and never understood how it could be radical either, so clearly I don't understand. But I don't understand why I don't understand.

I want to say that the last time I tried Un, I really liked it a lot, except that I could not stand all of the keypresses. For the first time I wanted "explore room" and "explore corridor" commands to save me dozens of keypresses. And of course, I am a barbarian who wants all of the cloaks in the cloakroom squelched and invisible if I know I don't want them. But I understand these are flaws in my character, and I think Un would be great for people who value flavor over gameplay measured by keypresses. The problem is that, at heart, I am far more of a wargamer than a roleplayer.

If I ever did an actual variant, there would not be any id at all. At a minimum, I think that you should learn egos the way you learn flavors, but I would go further and say that learning a shield of resist fire should let you also know immediately the first time you see a shield of resistance that it gives fire resistance from the prior knowledge.
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Old August 31, 2008, 22:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
the unangband ID model is one reason I don't play it. You end up needing a bag of tricks just for ID. If you don't find that bag, your inventory is overwhelmed by weak ID techniques. It's too much hassle for me, but diff'rent strokes and all that.
The only thing I've taken away from the Angband identify model is I've made identify rarer - and not by much. Everything else is added in: e.g. makes identification easier.

But I'll definitely agree despite that...

Andrew
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Old August 31, 2008, 22:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
1. Preventing selling to stores.

Now Bandobras will disagree with me on this one[...]

Seriously, this may be one of those switched on birth options.
I'd actually prefer the removal of selling to yet another option. I hate options. They are a nightmare to balance and to maintain. So, go ahead. If one day we see we really miss the haul of 7 mithril statues at speed -20 for selling, we can always add it back, new and better (via quests?). Just as you've now re-added Slow Poison in a totally unexpected and general way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
2. Changed ID system.

I will admit, that UnAngband has perhaps a degree of complexity in the ID system, that on more than one occasion Bandobras has threatened to rip out and replace wholesale.
Sorry for not ripping it out, already. I have no time and will not have for a bit longer, I'm afraid. What I intended was to perfect your system of auto-learning item flags, via the algorithm of unification of something similar.

But I also thought about some simplification and here Eddie shows that with a few trivial changes you can get rid of much of the ID boredom that Un battled via complex algorithms and numerous extra game features. Currently ID in V is an essential resource, trivial to get and tedious to apply. A very bad mini-game. Un complicates the mini-game, instead of eliminating it. Un approach is flavourful, but I'm not sure if ID is worth its own mini-game...

At least the game should be 100% logical, regular and realistic, so that learning and applying the skills is easy. That is mostly what I wanted to accomplish with my future changes. No mechanical routine, but no quirks, either. BTW, selling to shops is another mini-game. And haggling was another that I liked a lot for the 1st of my 15 years with Angband. Now I'd remove the haggling option without a second thought, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
the unangband ID model is one reason I don't play it. You end up needing a bag of tricks just for ID. If you don't find that bag, your inventory is overwhelmed by weak ID techniques. It's too much hassle for me, but diff'rent strokes and all that.
How do you like the ID in S? I mean mostly the part where you can (safely) test potions, etc.? Or the one where you learn about a weapon by wearing it or fighting with it? If you like it, where lies the difference with Un?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
I want to say that the last time I tried Un, I really liked it a lot, except that I could not stand all of the keypresses. For the first time I wanted "explore room" and "explore corridor" commands to save me dozens of keypresses.
Could you explain the keypresses and the explore commands a bit more?
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Old August 31, 2008, 22:21   #6
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
My changes to id are entirely minimal. (1) I allow pseudo on jewelry and (2) I make brands obvious. Oh, maybe (3) number of charges is given without id. Everything else is just automating things you could get by looking at the 'C' screens or the .txt files. I have no idea why anyone thinks any of this is a big change. It is just good automation. I consider squelch simply automating the 'k' command, and never understood how it could be radical either, so clearly I don't understand. But I don't understand why I don't understand.
I think I've gone probably overboard as I mentioned. Some entirely minimal changes are a good half-way house...

Quote:
I want to say that the last time I tried Un, I really liked it a lot, except that I could not stand all of the keypresses. For the first time I wanted "explore room" and "explore corridor" commands to save me dozens of keypresses. And of course, I am a barbarian who wants all of the cloaks in the cloakroom squelched and invisible if I know I don't want them. But I understand these are flaws in my character, and I think Un would be great for people who value flavor over gameplay measured by keypresses. The problem is that, at heart, I am far more of a wargamer than a roleplayer.
(Caves in) After praise liike that I'd be tempted to implement a squelch system just to get you to play more

It really is a difference between those people who can find a magic cloak on the floor and visualize a 40'x60' room as being a cloakroom, and those people who have to have it described to them and shown all the other cloaks.

I'm working on automating the explore corridor part as I'll freely admit corridors are a pain to explore at the moment - howver I don't have a good general solution. Can I suggest as an interim measure you could use the mouse?

Quote:
If I ever did an actual variant, there would not be any id at all. At a minimum, I think that you should learn egos the way you learn flavors, but I would go further and say that learning a shield of resist fire should let you also know immediately the first time you see a shield of resistance that it gives fire resistance from the prior knowledge.
Diablo and Wow have gone done this route - only more so...

Andrew
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Old August 31, 2008, 22:25   #7
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I could see a birth option simple_identify which kept the identify subgame a lot simpler. The only real difficulty with implementing would be not generating all the identify related objects...

Andrew
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Old September 1, 2008, 09:10   #8
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What I intended was to perfect your system of auto-learning item flags, via the algorithm of unification of something similar.
Actually, auto-deducing item flags, pseudo-inscriptions, pvals, weapon stats, etc., because it's all connected.

IIRC, IronBand has an improved KISS ID system, too. I think just making pseudo strong and instantanous is a very simple step that removes a lot of ID tedium. Add learn-by-use without instadeath, as in S or Un and you are much closer to the West than half-way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
I could see a birth option simple_identify which kept the identify subgame a lot simpler. The only real difficulty with implementing would be not generating all the identify related objects...
How about removing all ID scrolls except the main ID (keep it expensive, but readily available in stores)? Would that solve Pete's problems with Un ID? I really like the fact that putting items in bags gives you some info, that each class starts with a different but sufficiently detailed pseudo (I'd only leave the strong pseudo for each class to make it KISS and helpful enough), I also like the Value Item scroll, so perhaps keep it as well, it's much less boring than e.g. the separate spells to ID potions and scrolls. Of course, if we have that much, we still need to rip out and perfect the deduction of item properties... Or at least stack inscriptions so the player can deduce for himself. Without ID scrolls it's only about 3 inscriptions (out of ~20) any single player can get at once on a single item, plus any partial pval/stat/flags info.

Last edited by Bandobras; September 1, 2008 at 09:17.
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Old September 1, 2008, 10:25   #9
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Originally Posted by Bandobras View Post
How about removing all ID scrolls except the main ID (keep it expensive, but readily available in stores)? Would that solve Pete's problems with Un ID? I really like the fact that putting items in bags gives you some info, that each class starts with a different but sufficiently detailed pseudo (I'd only leave the strong pseudo for each class to make it KISS and helpful enough), I also like the Value Item scroll, so perhaps keep it as well, it's much less boring than e.g. the separate spells to ID potions and scrolls. Of course, if we have that much, we still need to rip out and perfect the deduction of item properties... Or at least stack inscriptions so the player can deduce for himself. Without ID scrolls it's only about 3 inscriptions (out of ~20) any single player can get at once on a single item, plus any partial pval/stat/flags info.
That sounds like a good half-way house. It really boils down to, as you point out, getting the auto-deduction system working well.

I guess you're implying keeping selling, as the Value Magic scroll isn't useful for much else

Andrew
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Old September 1, 2008, 10:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandobras View Post
I'd actually prefer the removal of selling to yet another option. I hate options. They are a nightmare to balance and to maintain. So, go ahead. If one day we see we really miss the haul of 7 mithril statues at speed -20 for selling, we can always add it back, new and better (via quests?). Just as you've now re-added Slow Poison in a totally unexpected and general way.
That is a great quest that I haven't even considered. Carrying a ridiculously heavy statue around with you. Brilliant!!!


Quote:
Sorry for not ripping it out, already. I have no time and will not have for a bit longer, I'm afraid. What I intended was to perfect your system of auto-learning item flags, via the algorithm of unification of something similar.

But I also thought about some simplification and here Eddie shows that with a few trivial changes you can get rid of much of the ID boredom that Un battled via complex algorithms and numerous extra game features. Currently ID in V is an essential resource, trivial to get and tedious to apply. A very bad mini-game. Un complicates the mini-game, instead of eliminating it. Un approach is flavourful, but I'm not sure if ID is worth its own mini-game...

At least the game should be 100% logical, regular and realistic, so that learning and applying the skills is easy. That is mostly what I wanted to accomplish with my future changes. No mechanical routine, but no quirks, either. BTW, selling to shops is another mini-game. And haggling was another that I liked a lot for the 1st of my 15 years with Angband. Now I'd remove the haggling option without a second thought, though...
A nice analysis. Don't apologise about the lack of time. That is demon we all battle...


Quote:
Could you explain the keypresses and the explore commands a bit more?
I presume Eddie is talking about the need to wander through a room, searching every nook and cranny for the valuables he craves. I'm guessing an auto-goto the nearest thing in view command if you're not standing on anything, and pick it up and maybe squelch it e.g. a mini-borg.

Eddie - no apologies about squelching needed.

Andrew
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