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Old August 11, 2011, 13:53   #11
half
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Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
The ideal, I think, would be a rooms.txt edit file similar to vault.txt that the game can pick room designs from at level generation. But I'm sure that's a hideous coding nightmare to implement.
It is actually trivial to code, and you can just use the vault.txt file with a new code number for an 'interesting room' which is uses the vault code but is less crazy looking and has less out of depth stuff. Then work out how common you want interesting rooms to be. The more of them you have available in the file, the more common you can make them. The challenge is in designing such rooms. I have 66 of them in Sil, some of which are based on ones in other variants which implement them. I'd be happy to send a copy of my vault.txt file to anyone who wants it. I do think a judicious selection of interesting rooms is a 'no-brainer' for Vanilla given the desire to make dungeon layout more interesting.
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Old August 11, 2011, 14:30   #12
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I have been playing Hack recently... Considering inventory management, who says we should have "x" number of slots? It's almost like it has become bible. I like how you can carry as much as you want in Hack, as long as it is not too heavy.

Also, there has been a lack of new items for YEARS in Angband. I always thought ToME was interesting because of some much different items. Even in Hack, I like the ring of teleport control, for instance, and think it should be included. Others like wands of wishing, scrolls of destroy armor, tins with different contents, and other cool effects like reading a teleport scroll while confused, etc...

Angband is far too stat and ego-heavy... Let's go back to one hit per round (like Hack), and modify monster speeds and things like that. Also, CON is far too important, as are hit points (just listen for a second)... Some monsters hit for 2 damage, others hit for breaths of 1600... The easiest Hack monsters hit for up to 6 and the shopkeepers tend to hit for 20. There is just so much wild variation throughout Angband concerning stats...

I have found I have to use FAR more strategy in Hack than Angband, despite the fact that Angband is more complex in the sense that there are so many items (that all act similarly, ie weapons and armor, with different egos, etc).

All my comments are base don "prior to Nethack days", ie Hack 1.4.

I actually tried to play Angband last night for a half hour and got bored. First time ever. I played a hobbit rogue and slaughtered everything I could find, no challenges.

I know some of these ideas will be met with "this is why we have variants and older versions of roguelikes", and I don't imagine Angband will really do any of the things I suggested, but I have found I have liked Hack and ToME (old ToME, not new ToME) much more than Angband for the past year or two. FYI, new ToME has too many egos and crazy combinations of equipment, but my son does like the little pictures of the skeletons.
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Old August 11, 2011, 15:50   #13
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I might as well include my input on this, because I've been thinking about it a bit.

Ideas that I like:

Reducing quiver size to 30 per slot or 50 per slot. Yes that's still much easier than Timo wants with no quiver at all, but I'd rather the quiver exist.

With object stacking. I would rather have encumberance penalties be more severe in the late game. Instead of -1 speed it should be -% speed, so you still only get -1 at low levels, but at high levels, going past your encumberance drops you from 20 to 15 or so. It produces the same result, forcing choices of what to bring, but in a different way.

As to powerful weapons and armor, the solution is not to remove anything, but to rarefy them. I used to browse old winners, and almost all of them had identical endgame gear. They were all wielding ringil. The game looked like it was a game of surviving until you found ringil. Which is certainly difficult, but not exactly fun. Instead, I think the solution is to make sure that all the new ringil substitutes are altogether as rare as ringil once was.

For amulets, remove rpoison from trickery, and then maybe knock the stat boost to 1-2 for dex/speed. I don't think anything else needs to be weakend, but they certainly could be rarer. I usually only find one "trickery in a game, but maybe that one is too much. If you're thinking about removing something else, "ESP should be the one to go.

As for difficulty of dungeon. I've been playing with enforced monster minima, and I think something like this is the way to go. Right now, the tactic of dive as quickly as possible is recommended because there are enough wimps to kill in the deep dungeon, they drop better items, and dagnerous monsters are rare enough that you can avoid them. If you remove all the weaklings, then the dungeon becomes much more dangerous. The current version I've been playing isn't perfect. It seems to require more grinding than I like, so some tweaking is necessary. I think the way to go is to specify all monster placement as a level and standard deviation.

More vaults as they currently exist doesn't help. Most vaults are not dangerous. There's little risk, but the reward is huge.

Floor stacking. I guess this is somewhat interesting. But I don't use ASCs so it would have negligible effect on me. However, with the current system that does not allow @ to destroy items, this is untenable. Old games didn't have squelch, and squelch is a huge step up with regard to item UI. One thing I'd like is that monster drops *never* roll under @s feet. Make them go somewhere else, but don't allow @ to pick up the drop by just standing int he same spot. I hate that. Especially with arrows you've shot at the adjacent enemy. Ugh.

Last night I had a dream (nightmare?) where I had detected a zoo, and could hear the umber hulk eating through the walls while I sprinted for the stairs.
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Old August 11, 2011, 16:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhegler View Post
I know some of these ideas will be met with "this is why we have variants and older versions of roguelikes", and I don't imagine Angband will really do any of the things I suggested, but I have found I have liked Hack and ToME (old ToME, not new ToME) much more than Angband for the past year or two.
Well, there's been quite a lot of debate about the philosophy and direction of Angband development, and while we do often mention that old versions are available to people who prefer them, that's not because we don't want to improve anything. We do want to improve things, but without re-creating previous problems.

So, let's take an example from this thread: Derakon said "the game was balanced around the amulet slot sucking". He didn't, of course, mean that that was a conscious choice - it was simply how the game had evolved through a combination of changes. So JLE came along a decade or so ago and solved the problem of "the amulet slot sucks" with a load of interesting new amulets. Unfortunately this has created a new problem, that some of those amulets, in combination with other stuff, are a bit de trop. So we need to restore the balance but without making the amulet slot suck again.

This happens a lot, and sometimes we overcompensate: heavy armours sucked so we made AC more important, but that led to high AC being too uber so we nerfed it a bit, but that made high-end melee too hard so we've tried to fix that. Developing Angband is a constant cycle of tweaking and adjusting - there isn't a "right answer" and this week's improvement will mean that some previous improvements need looking at again.

Anyway, what I wanted to say about your post is that yes, we're aware that combat in Angband is very reliant on stats and weapons, and there are plans to overhaul it. We aren't going to end up with the full range of monster damage being 6 to 20, but it will conceivably move away from the current 2 to 1600. This is a long-term goal and will take many iterations and the introduction of fundamental changes one by one. We've already reduced missile multipliers and increase damage per unit mana, but there's lots more to do.

There are loads of other issues besides combat - one of the biggest is detection/LoS, and another is item generation. I'm prioritising the latter for 3.4, and combat for 3.5 - I hope one of the other devs will take on the whole detection issue. (Fizzix is already experimenting with variable-range ESP, I think.)
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Old August 11, 2011, 17:08   #15
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(Fizzix is already experimenting with variable-range ESP, I think.)
Oh right, I said, I was going to do that... I should probably prioritize that.
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Old August 11, 2011, 17:12   #16
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Well, there's been quite a lot of debate about the philosophy and direction of Angband development, and while we do often mention that old versions are available to people who prefer them, that's not because we don't want to improve anything. We do want to improve things, but without re-creating previous problems.

So, let's take an example from this thread: Derakon said "the game was balanced around the amulet slot sucking". He didn't, of course, mean that that was a conscious choice - it was simply how the game had evolved through a combination of changes. So JLE came along a decade or so ago and solved the problem of "the amulet slot sucks" with a load of interesting new amulets. Unfortunately this has created a new problem, that some of those amulets, in combination with other stuff, are a bit de trop. So we need to restore the balance but without making the amulet slot suck again.

This happens a lot, and sometimes we overcompensate: heavy armours sucked so we made AC more important, but that led to high AC being too uber so we nerfed it a bit, but that made high-end melee too hard so we've tried to fix that. Developing Angband is a constant cycle of tweaking and adjusting - there isn't a "right answer" and this week's improvement will mean that some previous improvements need looking at again.

Anyway, what I wanted to say about your post is that yes, we're aware that combat in Angband is very reliant on stats and weapons, and there are plans to overhaul it. We aren't going to end up with the full range of monster damage being 6 to 20, but it will conceivably move away from the current 2 to 1600. This is a long-term goal and will take many iterations and the introduction of fundamental changes one by one. We've already reduced missile multipliers and increase damage per unit mana, but there's lots more to do.

There are loads of other issues besides combat - one of the biggest is detection/LoS, and another is item generation. I'm prioritising the latter for 3.4, and combat for 3.5 - I hope one of the other devs will take on the whole detection issue. (Fizzix is already experimenting with variable-range ESP, I think.)
I think my overall opinion is that the game has become so linear... Hack and ToME have some interesting variations like stores in the dungeon for Hack as well as lack of item availability and ToME has a good storyline. Neither is quite as simple as dive, kill, collect, and repeat. And 100 levels of that tedium is quite a bit. That being said, I love the new variations in dungeon level creation with mazes and caverns. There are far too many items dropped that you need to look at. I can get to dlvl 7 with a Wizard on the original Hack and not see a melee weapon or any armor...
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Old August 11, 2011, 17:41   #17
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I think my overall opinion is that the game has become so linear... Hack and ToME have some interesting variations like stores in the dungeon for Hack as well as lack of item availability and ToME has a good storyline. Neither is quite as simple as dive, kill, collect, and repeat. And 100 levels of that tedium is quite a bit. That being said, I love the new variations in dungeon level creation with mazes and caverns. There are far too many items dropped that you need to look at. I can get to dlvl 7 with a Wizard on the original Hack and not see a melee weapon or any armor...
It's tough responding in the context of tome/hack/nethack/etc because people who like those games already play them, and people who like Angband may not want to see the game morph into another version of something else.

That said, there are some things you point out that I definitely agree with... I'd like to reduce/remove the importance of the town as a place you return to all the time. Dungeon shops are one way to do this, as are room types. I do think that the ease with which someone familiar with the game can deal with any opponent (Morgoth included) after a certain point caused developers in the past to ramp up crazy monsters who could kill most characters given one or two attacks. As Magnate said, there are definitely ways of trying improve this dynamic.

I've been really busy for the last month or so but hope to be able to put something pretty radical/exciting into the nightlies soon on this front. Stay tuned!
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Old August 11, 2011, 18:02   #18
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I also don't agree that the spell range being the same as the visual range is a problem. IMO this is something that makes the game harder (it's more important to detect and avoid monsters which can one-shot you) - whereas for Timo it's just annoying. See my point above.
I don't find unavoidable death annoying, I find it infuriating. That's a bug in design IMO. I did detect, saw nothing dangerous, start running and out of nowhere a one-shot monster killed me. Monster that I could have avoided if the running would have stopped ASAP when monster appears in LoS and it would have been my turn and not monsters.

That was absolutely unavoidable death. No info about that monster whereabouts was possible to get unless I would have gone one step at the time unless I have moved around half the distance between LoS-range and detection range difference. Even less if the monster were faster than me.

In old angband unavoidable deaths were unacceptable. If you find those acceptable, then you and I are in serious disagreement.
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Old August 11, 2011, 18:54   #19
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I don't find unavoidable death annoying, I find it infuriating. That's a bug in design IMO. I did detect, saw nothing dangerous, start running and out of nowhere a one-shot monster killed me. Monster that I could have avoided if the running would have stopped ASAP when monster appears in LoS and it would have been my turn and not monsters.
Your death was avoidable, by detecting more often and running less. The fact that you took the shortcut of running was the problem. You relied on ESP for monster knowledge and were burned because of it. Detect monsters goes beyond MAX_SIGHT. You *could* have known it was there. You didn't detect, you ran too far, you died. Running is dangerous. If you want to propose a fix to this problem its with running, not with MAX_SIGHT.

What about a priest/paladin/warrior who gets one shot by a drolem that was unseen because they haven't found any rods of detection yet? Technically avoidable by scumming for gear, but otherwise, instadeath. Or, how about a character that lands in a darkened room and detects on its first turn only to be breathed on by time hounds and killed? You can avoid this by getting ESP but otherwise, instadeath. +28 speed and get double moved by Morgoth who manastorms you twice. Low probability instadeath, avoidable by scumming for that extra speed.

Low probability deaths are a part of the game. We all deal with them. We know that teleporting is dangerous after a certain level. So is running. Adjust your play according to the level of risk you're willing to take.
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Old August 11, 2011, 19:14   #20
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Low probability deaths are a part of the game. We all deal with them. We know that teleporting is dangerous after a certain level. So is running. Adjust your play according to the level of risk you're willing to take.
This is true, but does this mechanic actually make the game more fun?
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