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Old October 5, 2017, 16:20   #1
PosChengband Maintainer
Join Date: Jan 2008
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[Announce] Poschengband 7.0.2 released

Version 7.0.2 is up in the usual spot. I haven't had time to read any recent forum posts. Remember, I don't have Internet access, so I really cannot read and respond to everything that is written here.

If you are posting on oook, please play the actual Poschengband source code. If you mod, that is fine, but please don't post on this forum. This is just common courtesy and is the only price I ask for all of my hard work on this variant.

As with the last 2 releases, I am still playtesting. 7.0.0 and 7.0.1 would not normally be releases, even as beta, since major gameplay changes are still being implemented. 7.0.2 is probably beta worthy, though I have a couple of more things to look at. Again, this is not a finished, polished release. Wait for a non-zero second digit in the version number ... 7.1 should be ready around XMas.

Version 7.* is not meant to be a difficult release. It is not meant to squish noobs. I'm finding this release a bit on the easy side and am content to leave it so. If you are having trouble with this version, it is probably just that game mechanics have changed and require some getting used to. For example:

[1] Free Action: Paralysis always used to be a death sentence but got changed in Chengband so that players, even without FA, could survive. This was accomplished by not incrementing the paralysis counter while the player is paralyzed as well as decrementing the counter on player moves, not every 10 game turns. In effect, paralysis usually means losing 1d3 actions. The only difficulty is what happens on the turn that you recover. You see, you miss that turn and your paralysis counter is now back to zero. Should the enemy attack again, hit again, and paralyze you again, the process repeats. So the key to adressing this is some combination of (1) speed, (2) high AC, (3) distance attacks, (4) avoidance, and/or (5) multiple sources of FA. FA gives you a save vs paralysis, but it is a normal magic resistance saving throw. This means that (6) Anti-magic helps (and is available early for warrior builds that otherwise have low saving throws). In about 30 plays thru the 7.0 versions, I've only lost a single character to paralysis (flying polyp on DL30 of forest, using 8x8 graphics to camouflage itself). Mostly, paralysis is just the loss of a single turn ... something to think about, but generally a very non-threatening game mechanic. If you are dying from it, post your dump ... You are probably doing something wrong.

[2] See Invisible: Address this by improving your searching skill. Try wearing (1) elven cloak, (2) cap of seeing, (3) amulet of magi or trickery. If you have a low searching build, it is more important to improve your base searching skill than it is to get multiple sources of SI. Pay attention to the affect of race and personality choices in this area. Power builds such as Mighty Half-Titans are disadvantaged relative to, say, Nimble Hobbits. In addition, deal with SI by (1) using _DetectInvis to locate them if you lack SI; (2) using -DetectMonsters to locate them if you have SI; (3) quaffing !DetectInvis to help your detection odds; or (4) using _Telepathy (or permanent telepathy, should you be so fortunate). If you are getting spanked, then simply teleport away until you can handle this mechanic using any of the above.

[3] Hold Life: This is a big time mechanic, but it only manifests a few times in the game. Be prepared to pay attention anytime you notice your enemy "growing more powerful". Carry !RestoreLife. Some foes are best dealt with from a distance. If you can't manage this, then wait until you have multiple sources of HL, a high AC, and use ?ProtEvil.

[4] Poison: This has been redone a bit in 7.0.2 and the counter now ticks down every player move, and quite a bit faster. In the end game, use mushrooms to address this. If you have time, !Curing works better than _Curing which is better than !NeutralizePoison, but often, you can just heal more often during battles and let the counter play out (provided you have _Healing).

[5] Telepathy: This mechanic was always a bit on the absurd side. Which would you rather play without: Telepathy or Clairvoyance? Compare how easy/common telepathy is with how rare clairvoyance is! Changing the telepathic awareness is a very strategic change and it is the intent that you not know the exact power/danger of nearby foes. That pack of U's nearby might be harmless ... then again, it might be extremely deadly. Deal with this change by carrying a high capacity -DetectMonsters but it might not always be safe to spend a turn using it!

[6] Devices: I've now played a Magic-Eater all the way thru and devices are playing quite well. There is no nerf here ... good stuff abounds and _Healing is always showing up for me in the mid-60's (once in the early 30's!). Winning with devices is probably just something for Magic-Eaters, Devicemasters and Mage classes (though they will prefer spells, I think). Otherwise, devices play a support role. Playing a pure devicer all the way thru is not advisable ... It never was in heng either. You'll need to start out with melee or shooting and won't be able to switch over to pure devices until the mid-60's.

This version has done the following:
[1] Many rooms, quests, monsters and options have been removed or reverted. You can upgrade early 7.0 versions, but quest monsters or bounty monsters may no longer be available. I'm fully expecting someone to have forked poscheng by now ... so look there rather than here for these things. As usual, if you want explanations/justifications of changes, look to the commit logs.

[2] Devices can now be lored thru use. Previously, using an un-identified device allowed you to learn its spell and its charges bypassing the need for ?id. Now, you can also learn its power (how much damage it does, or how much it heals) by simply using the device. You'll need to observe the full power of the effect for this to work. Monsters that resist the effect, for example, will block the lore. For healing, you must be wounded enough to need the full amount of the healing. Also, you can learn device difficulty (i.e., its fail rate) by simply failing enough times. Devices are no longer cursed. In sum, the need to ?*id* devices should be greatly diminished.

[3] More work on the early game: Traps now using an allocation table with minimum levels and rarities. You won't get clobbered with stat drain in the early game before trap detection is even a reasonable possibility. AFC traps are restricted to much deeper depths.

[4] Monster densities and pack sizes have been reduced. I've read complaints about new effects being too difficult, but remember that in 7.0 monsters have had both their melee damage and spell frequencies reduced across the board. While some monsters did become more difficult (e.g. Grand master mystics), most have been quite seriously reduced in power (e.g. Greater titans and even the big J). Balance has been maintained by making the effect game more important. Consistent with these changes, I've added r_info support for specifying pack sizes on a per monster basis. You should notice this change fairly early ...

[5] Vaults have been redone. They are now very much worth attempting, and are rare enough to no longer dominate playtime. Every vault has at least one tasty inside, but they are very well guarded so be careful.

[6] Monster summoning has been rebalanced a bit. For one thing, max monster depth no longer applies during either player or monster summons. What does this mean? Well, my last character had Omarax summon an Undead beholder and ... a floating eye Also, remember that heng had every S_* spell summon 4 times while we now do greatly reduced amounts. S_CYBER or S_UNIQUE are only 1d2 I think, and the most you get are 1d3+1. In general, you get less quantity then heng. Finally, destruction now works 100% against any summoned monster.

[7] Fixed bug with project() calling project_p() multiple times. For example, I've had Kavlax hit me with a 500 dam BR_NEXUS once. I got this behaviour from heng ... It was not intentional.

[8] alloc_horde() has been re-designed. If you don't know, this is basically a summon kin mechanic added in Zangband, generating a large group of wide awake monsters of of the same display character. It is also a very fragile mechanic ... You could get 15 Flying polyps on DL30, for example. Or a mob of Dracoliches, AMHD, Great Crystal and Ethereal Dragons in the early 30s. Plenty of unfair insta-death here. Also, you got up to 15 monsters in the horde, but monsters with FRIENDS also got their full packs, so you could get a horde of 200+ hounds in one of the wide open FRACAVE rooms: basically a teleportation death trap. The mechanic, which is otherwise and most of the time a good one, should now behave much more reasonably.

[9] Fixed major bug with AURA_REVENGE. Hopefully, nobody but me hit this one, but you'll notice it if you try to melee Master Tonberry.

[10] Bow proficiency is now just like weapons.

You can post comments and criticisms in this thread, but please take time to explain what you don't like. If something seems unfair, linking to a character dump will help. It may take me a while to read and address comments, but I will eventually get around to them.

Finally, some context. This is a Hengband variant. You should know that heng was a long game, perhaps 40 hours if you kill all the uniques. If you don't believe this, look on the heng world score server for dumps by Henkma and Mogami. I'm going by memory here, but seem to recall them being in the 35 to 50 hour range. It is also a variant that takes a long time to master. It took me 2 years to get reasonably skilled with, and even now, 14 years later, I'm still improving my play ... This is not meant to be a casual variant that you play for a month and then grow bored with. If you are a new player, then taking a year to get a win is reasonable. 'bands always used to be this way. In the mean time, use the ~H high score ladder ... It is the only ladder that really matters Also, set goals for yourself other than winning. For example, your first goal should be to complete the Stronghold dungeon, and once you can do that, move on to The Orc Caves. Conquering any dungeon for the first time should make you proud!
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