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Old June 27, 2021, 02:52   #31
Nick
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Originally Posted by NCountr View Post
Players will play and consume the game creatively. Stop trying to corral everyone into playing the game the same way as you do! THAT is boooooring. I don't want to play the game the same way you do. I do it my way, you do it yours.
This is very much my philosophy. The great thing about Angband is that everyone plays it differently, and for different reasons, and the game usually gives scope for that.

That said, there are times when change can make what seems like an overall improvement to how the community as a whole perceives the game. A good example of this is the rise of no selling; another is rune-based ID. In both cases there were many people who didn't like the idea of change to start out with, but most came around afterward to thinking the game had improved.

My reason for starting this thread was I thought late-game mage play might be another such. I gather from the discussion that it isn't, so I'm going to leave it alone.
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Old June 27, 2021, 03:02   #32
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I agree with you that there is a late-game issue. I think it is just that the mage playstyle exemplifies the problem (as in mages can bypass most of the problem the easiest).

Time to crack out the iVanilla branch again, last time I did autosearch for traps, noselling, auto-id and spell/item balance passes (a lot of similar changes now in base game yey!), let's see if I can figure out some late-game stuff.
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Old June 27, 2021, 03:26   #33
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
This is very much my philosophy. The great thing about Angband is that everyone plays it differently, and for different reasons, and the game usually gives scope for that.

My reason for starting this thread was I thought late-game mage play might be another such {improvement}. I gather from the discussion that it isn't, so I'm going to leave it alone.
I've given several alternative ideas to pursue to improve the game. Finding / collecting scrolls for spells is one such idea. Would make the mage (and other spell-casting & maybe agility-based classes) more interesting to play. You could make that a Birth Option, so vanilla players who like vanilla as is can maintain it as so.

What I don't see is how putting a damper on mages is an improvement to the game. That's just putting a damper on mages.
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Old June 27, 2021, 05:50   #34
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Originally Posted by ewert View Post
I agree with you that there is a late-game issue. I think it is just that the mage playstyle exemplifies the problem (as in mages can bypass most of the problem the easiest).
I believe that the "ease" by which a late game mage can deal with problems is only fair and adequate compensation for the "difficulty" of keeping said mage alive through the early and mid game. Just my opinion.
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Old June 27, 2021, 08:40   #35
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.. i just wanted to say that i'm glad NCounter is here. We agree on pretty much everything he says (some of which i did already post here).


Because Nick likes to be "adventurous" with his design decisions, he might want to consider a different approach to endgame mages, based on classic D&D.

Limit the maximum number of spells a mage can know. [per-book]

This way you get to keep your overpowered spells; yes sure go ahead and Mass-Banish everything. But, as a tradeoff, no Mana Storm. Want Globe Of Invulnerability brought back? Ok then, but no Word Of Destruction.

This would require a rework of the spell list, but, it would at the same time remove the problem of OP endgame spells, AND facilitate the implied idea that you need to decide *how* to build your mage - different solutions for different players.
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Old June 27, 2021, 08:56   #36
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Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
I believe that the "ease" by which a late game mage can deal with problems is only fair and adequate compensation for the "difficulty" of keeping said mage alive through the early and mid game. Just my opinion.
Oh I mean that the mages being strong with control shows the problem, not that mages being strong with control is the problem ...
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Old June 27, 2021, 22:11   #37
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Originally Posted by Sky View Post
.. i just wanted to say that i'm glad NCounter is here. We agree on pretty much everything he says (some of which i did already post here).


Because Nick likes to be "adventurous" with his design decisions, he might want to consider a different approach to endgame mages, based on classic D&D.

Limit the maximum number of spells a mage can know. [per-book]

This way you get to keep your overpowered spells; yes sure go ahead and Mass-Banish everything. But, as a tradeoff, no Mana Storm. Want Globe Of Invulnerability brought back? Ok then, but no Word Of Destruction.

This would require a rework of the spell list, but, it would at the same time remove the problem of OP endgame spells, AND facilitate the implied idea that you need to decide *how* to build your mage - different solutions for different players.
Another possibility would be giving mages some "study points" per level, with the points being spent on which spells to use. Maybe Light Area is one study point to learn, while Mass Banishment is 25. Want all the utility spells? Spend 'em early at the expense of the big damage dealers later on. Want both Mass Banishment and Mana Storm? Better save up those points and forego something like Mana Bolt or Dimension Door earlier in the game. Obviously it would take a lot of experimentation and balancing, but it's another thought to provide control over the character's makeup.
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Old June 28, 2021, 04:38   #38
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Originally Posted by wv_wxman View Post
Another possibility would be giving mages some "study points" per level, with the points being spent on which spells to use. Maybe Light Area is one study point to learn, while Mass Banishment is 25. Want all the utility spells? Spend 'em early at the expense of the big damage dealers later on. Want both Mass Banishment and Mana Storm? Better save up those points and forego something like Mana Bolt or Dimension Door earlier in the game. Obviously it would take a lot of experimentation and balancing, but it's another thought to provide control over the character's makeup.
So we'd force players to choose between hobbling themselves now vs. hobbling themselves later? Pass. To say nothing of the fact that with this approach, a bunch of spells become total dead weight. Why would you ever take a spell that can be duplicated with a staff if it means you can't later take your best endgame source of damage?

Personally, I think that if the goal is to nerf mages a little bit and introduce some variety in what spells they have, we'd be better off slightly randomizing the contents of each copy of the books.

So suppose you have Book Awesome, and it has four spells:

1. Awesomesauce.
2. Supreme Awesomeness
3. Beyond Awesome.
4. Totally OP Awesome.

When the game spawns a copy of Book Awesome, it also randomly selects a subset of spells to appear in it. Maybe it just has Totally OP Awesome. Maybe it has Awesomesauce and Beyond Awesome. Or maybe you got really lucky and it has all *four* spells in it! Score!

This means "you only learn a subset of spells" is no longer about making permanent build decisions that will bite you later but instead about forcing the player to adapt to what they find in the dungeon. It lines up much better with how Angband currently plays, and gives the players the same kind of freedom they have now with gear and consumables. If the RNG is being stingy about the Mana Storm, they can choose to grind until they find Mana Storm, or look for an alternative source of damage.

It also, I think would create *more* variety in mage builds in the long run than giving the player only a limited number of "known" spells. When players choose, they will eventually figure out which spells are worth taking and which aren't, and the spells that aren't worth taking just become filler. With mildly randomized spell books, players will discover new ways of dealing with things even without access to their favorite toy. Or they'll just grind until they find the awesome spells. Depends on the player. But that's how Angband works now.
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Old June 28, 2021, 04:59   #39
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At first blush I like the "study point" idea. Then the "wow, would I be pissed as a neebie when I finally got a dungeon book and learned half of it would be forever out of reach.

Then I considered my own Pompeiian playstyle under which I would then turn any mage into a tissue warrior until I had cautiously ground out all books before carefully allocating my spells now that the big picture is before me. Sounds sucky even in theory so I'd prolly just not play a mage.

Wonder if that could be tweaked in fashion to make it workable though...

Randomized spell books, that I think would really mix it up. It would keep those redundant drops of dungeon books exciting and push a less formulaic mage style (unless of course you just grind it 'til you find it which some of us love doing anyhow).
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Old June 28, 2021, 05:58   #40
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Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
I believe that the "ease" by which a late game mage can deal with problems is only fair and adequate compensation for the "difficulty" of keeping said mage alive through the early and mid game. Just my opinion.
I agree completely and I don't believe that late game mages are OP.
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