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Old January 10, 2019, 20:37   #11
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Hi Quirk,

I haven't had time to try Sil-Q yet, but have enjoyed reading this thread and finding our more about it. Like Scatha, there are things I like and things I dislike, but my overall impression is being impressed that you *get* so much of the underlying aesthetic and reasons behind many of the choices we made, so as to be able to improve it at all by our lights. That is no easy feat. It is difficult to pick up someone else's novel and make a whole lot of changes and find that they agree with even a tenth of them, and I think the situation is similar with unusual, opinionated games like Sil. The people behind mpa-sil shared some, smaller, part of the aesthetic with Scatha and I, while you share a different and larger part.

Here are a few quick comments on things that have come up in the thread.

Deathblades: are there for the reasons Scatha mentioned, and also because they are cool. This probably wouldn't be quite enough to include them (especially not with a not-so-Tolkienian name), but the extra reason is that they are a subtle homage to the Dungeon of Doom: the first roguelike I played and one that had a few really nice ideas and hasn't been remembered by the community (perhaps because it was on Mac). I'm willing to bend things a bit more than usual to get in a homage, but future developers should feel no need to bend things to allow a homage they don't personally connect with.

Blunt weapons: I never intended these to be balanced with swords, as I think they simply are less good for combat (prior to plate armour), and they aren't used much in the source material. I included them because they are mentioned in a few places and I'm happy for them to exist and just be worse. The same goes for broken swords, curved swords and filthy rags. To a lesser extent, we were happy to have swords be a little better than other things for most characters so that most characters ended up with some kind of sword (like in the books) rather than spread equally between all kinds of different weapons.

Scaring monsters: Apart from the monster that kills you, you always manage to deal with the monster in some manner (be that sneaking past, fleeing, scaring, or killing). You get half the experience for each monster on first encountering it because that is easier to implement than getting it upon dealing with the monster. I'm happy with killing it being the only thing that grants extra experience. As why is scaring it off the level any better than scaring it into another room? or to sneaking past, or putting to sleep, etc.? If I were changing anything, it might be to drop the extra experience for killing it -- you already are rewarded with the items. (this would obviously require increasing experience a little to compensate)

Early game: As Scatha said, we had an approach of making it feel more magical and more complex as you descend. But the downside is more mundane and simple at the top. The mundane is bad for new players and the simple can be bad for old players. I'm willing to believe that we overdid it and should have left a bit more excitement for the first levels.

Other things: It's great that you found and removed many small bugs, and make various changes that were overdue (e.g. removing the need to be hungry before Morgoth, doing something about Song of Slaying in the throne room, and doing something about Momentum).

As I said at the top, it is great to see that you understand so much about what the game is trying to do, and have continued in that spirit.
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