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Old January 29, 2019, 01:38   #81
Nick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangar View Post
It's righteous to enhance Angband with canonic Tolkien stuff, but at the same time - the most important thing is to preserve canonic Angband stuff itself.
I have a lot of sympathy with this, and want to try and make my position a bit clearer (in what will be a fairly unfocused ramble).

First, I should say that there is a lot of canonic Angband but non-Tolkien stuff that is remaining - yeeks, quylthulgs, icky things, etc. There's also a whole bunch of monsters which are derived from elsewhere but sufficiently generic that they don't feel too clashy - griffons, nagas, minotaurs, hydras (although the Lernean Hydra is a bit problematic), etc.

The things that have been removed so far tend to fall into two categories:
  1. Clearly identifiable in a different mythology - Kronos, Atlas, Polyphemus, eldraks, algroths...
  2. Tolkienian but don't feel like they should be fightable in Angband - Arien, Radagast - or seem like they're stretching the boundaries too much - blue wizards, Istari
It's worth noting that the category 1 removals have been going on for a while, with things like Gabriel, Azriel, Tiamat, having been progressively removed.

Then there are largish number of D&D derived monsters - kobolds, gnomes, dark elves, many of the major demons, umber hulks, etc etc. Many of these I am completely fine with. I start to run into trouble, though, when they come into direct conflict with Tolkienian creatures; the two really striking examples here are dark elves and gnomes. Dark elves are particularly problematic - Tolkien's Moriquendi were regular elves who never made it to Valinor to see the trees, whereas the current Angband Dark elves are essentially D&D drows, dark-skinned, white-haired, evil underground creatures.

So my current plan is to replace monsters that I feel are problematic with more thematic ones. I'm going to keep talking about what I'm doing, so people get a chance to object; also, I won't be maintainer forever, and someone else may revert some of my changes or make their own.

Player races, I think, need to be treated more carefully. People get attached to particular races, and want to keep on playing them. So my plan there is
  • Keep all the current races pretty much unchanged (as they all service a particuar gameplay niche), but possibly renamed
  • Add new races for new gameplay niches

So that's a lot of fairly unordered blather, but it goes some way to expressing my state of mind on these issues. Very happy to get opinions.
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Old January 29, 2019, 15:21   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netbrian View Post
I lean heavily toward gameplay concerns, rather than worrying too much about how true to the source material it is. Since kobolds play well and fill an interesting niche, I'd keep them.
I agree -- I like kobolds for their poison resistance, which balances their other weaknesses quite well, and while D&D kobolds aren't the same as folklore kobolds, kobolds are definitely a thing outside of D&D. And since they're underground dwellers, perhaps they could get a small bonus to tunneling (though not equivalent to dwarves, obvs) to give them a little more bite.
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Old January 29, 2019, 15:31   #83
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Nick, thank you very much for revealing your concept details; now I see your points, it's more clear.. and sounds right

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Originally Posted by gglibertine View Post
[kobolds] could get a small bonus to tunneling (though not equivalent to dwarves, obvs) to give them a little more bite.
Good point! Also hobbits and gnomes? (even lesser bonus, than kobolds, but make sense).
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Old January 30, 2019, 09:39   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Tolkienian but don't feel like they should be fightable in Angband - Arien, Radagast - or seem like they're stretching the boundaries too much - blue wizards, Istari
It was fun to have some moral dilemma and make something more complex in terms 'good' and 'evil'. As we wrote @ 'Angband Online' FAQ:

Quote:
I saw monsters which are intrinsically 'good' creatures: such as Maggot, Bullroarer and of course the Maia. Why they attack player?
1) Don't try to get away with Maggot's mushrooms.
2) 'For the Greater Good' we often make bad thing happen in the end.. Also who says that the *player character* is always good? Actually if you would manage to defeat Morgoth you may consider to take his Crown and become the new Lord of Darkness. It makes
'good' creatures to consider you as a very big danger, maybe even worse than Morgoth himself..?
3) Considering Maia, or spirits. Sauron himself is a Maia, so there's nothing that will tell you which one is good or bad. In the dungeon, assume that they are all bad Maia. The ones that are not (Arien for example) simply see you as a nuisance that breaks the universe's balance and must be stopped.
So maybe leaving Angband too 'simple' in terms of moral choices could reduce intellectual depth of the game.. It's quite angbandish feature - to make player do something strange and ask himself "why?"
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Old January 30, 2019, 21:49   #85
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Tangar, I'm with you in the sense that it is rather odd to assume that @ should not fight good creatures because @ is somehow 'good'??!
He's not, he's thoroughly evil. He disembowels lepers simply because they are in his way. He kills dogs just for the experience. He tests wands of annihilation on passing village idiots, etc. etc. etc..
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Old February 23, 2019, 16:01   #86
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What if you changed gnomes into Petty Dwarves? They are sorcerous little beings.
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Old April 10, 2019, 12:43   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
It'd be nice if there was something between "monster cannot cope with walls at all" and "monster moves through walls as if they were nothing", where it takes multiple turns to move through walls. It'd make the pathfinding logic more complicated, though, since you'd want the monster to bore through walls unless there was a faster route through open space. That kind of thing is easily handled by A* pathfinding, but not by the heat maps that Angband uses.
I had a thought today that a 75% speed digger might behave right even with the dumb AI. That's fairly close to 1 / sqrt 2 e.g. diagonal speed through wall = down + left in open space. It'd still need something for digs literally adjacent to corridor but most other cases might be semi-sensible.

Edit: I might try this out with an insect & rand_25. That's 3/4 speed, 3/4 of the time, will randomly break stupid patterns & wont look so odd if it does something non-sensible.

Last edited by wobbly; April 10, 2019 at 12:50.
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