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Old March 4, 2014, 15:49   #1
Fingolfin
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First (maybe only) post

I found Angband back in the day... like late 80's when it was Moria. I've beaten it once. I never took a typing class in school (predated those a bit - Oregon Trail didn't need typing) - but I did play Angband for years... and that's all it took. Every key, every uppercase - this game taught me where the letters were so intrinsically that it became hardwired. I have songs from the early 90's that when I hear them, I am bombarded by images of this game. When playing with dice, I still think of Identify as mcf - that's just what it is in my head.

I guess I'm trying to emphasize that this game means a lot. Tolkien's works, aren't just some action movies - this game with it's ASCII graphics relied so heavily on the love of the lore, that no one I've ever sent looking for this game has cared about the tiles. They see an artifact, and then realize they really should re-read the Silmarillion. We all feel true dread when a ringwraith comes into view, and we know all we can do is run.

The point of the post is a warning, a reminder... the recent ports will attract a lot of new players. Hate sounding like a death eater here - but new blood isn't always good - this game doesn't need graphics, or balancing. This is not an MMO, there are plenty of those out there. Some of the ideas in this forum on changes may make this more popular... but it kills what has allowed this game to endure for almost 30 years. There is a Tolkien MMO out there, I think it is free to play - go play that if you want balancing and chat. This game has always been a single player, TINY footprint, Tolkien lore game.

The things that make this game unique are the depth to which it was Tolkien - and the randomness that was clearly NOT balanced. Some times it SUCKED to play a character - and sometimes it was AWESOME getting something vastly OP early on. I have played most all MMO's at one point or another.. and always come back to Angband. 1 win in a lifetime of playing (mage btw, invulnerability with a TON of life and mana potions - toon named Raistlin) - you don't get that with newer games, and a lot of the ideas I have seen tossed just by skimming the threads, are all things I see in forums of games I'm getting ready to stop playing.

A fantasy game, a life in a fantasy world, isn't easier than the real world - it is just a different setting. Things are not balanced... yes as a mage you find a room with one working door and a worm in it, and you spend 5 levels right there. Open door, stinking cloud til out of mana, shut door, rest. You have to manage keeping rings of Charisma cause you're ugly, and life isn't fair, you still don't get a good deal from the shopkeep. You have to leave behind food to carry that Artifact, and then you find a 2nd in that same level.

This is the Angband experience - lessons that actually cross over to the real world. You have to do the crap sometimes, and even then you get frustrated. But when you get to that point that suddenly you can walk up to a dragon room and in three dispel evil be looking at nothing but loot - yeah... it is TOTALLY worth it.

I know the old versions are still around, and for old guys like me I keep back ups of the code. But it isn't just nostalgia talking, it is actual lessons learned, and still sometimes hard work paying off that drives this post. This game isn't for a quick play, it isn't for the instant gratification group. It allows you time to think, time to plan, it forces you to do both too - it isn't a button masher, nor an orgy of pixel magic. Angband is something rare... please don't ruin it by getting caught up in what you can change - the things that seem most annoying are what make you think, force you to choose...
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Old March 4, 2014, 16:44   #2
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This forum sees a ton of brainstorming. Very little of it actually gets implemented. If you feel strongly about an idea, then participate in the thread and say why it's a bad idea. Be specific. But also be respectful.

And recognize that yes, the older versions of the game still exist, so you can't just have the stance of "No gameplay changes are allowed". The game is going to change; we just hope it will change for the better instead of for the worse. You're welcome to help us guide that change.
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Old March 4, 2014, 17:00   #3
Mondkalb
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Angband has spawned a lot of variants since back in the day, some of them take new ideas or make the UI more convenient or make it harder oder easier to play.
I think nowadays Vanilla Angband is just a starting point for new players to cover the rich environment of *band games.

I managed to win a couple of times after years of fruitless efforts. It might be a bit easier than it has been; but you can still get amazingly good OOD items which render any balancing attempts futile , and loose the game nevertheless.

A couple of years ago I started to play FAangband and still haven't won once, it is a lot harder and less forgiving than Angband, notably in the wilderness.

I also like the Tolkien theme, which has been improved in the last few years to be more consistent; FAangband has gone a bit further and removed all LOTR- and Hobbit- elements of the game and added some from the First Age as described in the Silmarillion which makes it very appealing to me.

I don't think that the recent changes were wrong or not in the spirit of the game. (I even play with graphics, as I did back in the day on the Amiga with Moria - it's just more convenient to my eyes.)
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Old March 4, 2014, 19:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
This forum sees a ton of brainstorming. Very little of it actually gets implemented. If you feel strongly about an idea, then participate in the thread and say why it's a bad idea. Be specific. But also be respectful.

And recognize that yes, the older versions of the game still exist, so you can't just have the stance of "No gameplay changes are allowed". The game is going to change; we just hope it will change for the better instead of for the worse. You're welcome to help us guide that change.
That's good to know that little gets implemented - I have stuck with an older version so long (can we say Genocide?) that I am a little apprehensive about trying the newer versions. A lot of the reasons I would be pointing out are the type that a mobile or newer generation won't appreciate. The ability to solo play a game that requires no groups and no human interaction seems to be the antithesis of current games (facebook and mobile games really made it 100% social). That is what I am most concerned with - newer gamers who look at this and think of a million ways to "improve it" - the idea of something being great, and not needing change really doesn't occur anymore. People need new content, people need custom interfaces, people need... crap they don't need.

I give the example of the mobile game "Knights of Pen and Paper" - it is a good play on old school D&D games - and I feel it was a hit - sure it could use more content... but that's cause they made it for newer players. The content of Angband is great, and it takes forever to get to some of it. I still have never found some artifacts in all these years! So will I stick around and help the game change? Probably not - an author has control over his material, and once that is lost (normally with the author's death) then majority rule states that the very things that attracted such a following will be diluted, refined, and the idea of the static world as it was captured - will be derided and destroyed.

This isn't a criticism of any current change, nor of those working on Angband - rather, a warning to those who believe change is inevitable - some "good" changes will put this game on Abandonia - look at the changes of the past, and realize this isn't a game needing change to be saved.
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Old March 4, 2014, 21:53   #5
Thraalbee
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I find that "recent" improvements in the user interface were over due and only positive. Targetting, missiles, shops, id ... all these changes increase focus on game play rather than ui fiddling. Actual game changes are much less common. I recommend the latest Vanilla. Smooth but great, as always
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Old March 4, 2014, 22:36   #6
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Sil is another obvious variant to play if you're a Tolkien purist.
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Old March 5, 2014, 08:50   #7
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
Sil is another obvious variant to play if you're a Tolkien purist.
But not if you are angband purist. Way too different game.
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Old March 15, 2014, 05:26   #8
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Originally Posted by Thraalbeast View Post
I find that "recent" improvements in the user interface were over due and only positive. Targetting, missiles, shops, id ... all these changes increase focus on game play rather than ui fiddling. Actual game changes are much less common. I recommend the latest Vanilla. Smooth but great, as always
Likewise. I've only played ~6 versions in my life; starting ~20 years ago, meaning that most times I've played a new version "lots" has changed. But in fact the gameplay is preserved and yet everything feels better; and there have been lots of moments thinking "oh! of course! they've changed this to that, I never thought of doing it, but it makes perfect sense." It's become a more logical, transparent, streamlined system, but it hasn't lost its charm; it's still deliciously unbalanced and chaotic, while giving you a chance of awesome and death at every turn.
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Old April 19, 2014, 17:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingolfin View Post
I found Angband back in the day... like late 80's when it was Moria. I've beaten it once. I never took a typing class in school (predated those a bit - Oregon Trail didn't need typing) - but I did play Angband for years... and that's all it took. Every key, every uppercase - this game taught me where the letters were so intrinsically that it became hardwired. I have songs from the early 90's that when I hear them, I am bombarded by images of this game. When playing with dice, I still think of Identify as mcf - that's just what it is in my head.

I guess I'm trying to emphasize that this game means a lot. Tolkien's works, aren't just some action movies - this game with it's ASCII graphics relied so heavily on the love of the lore, that no one I've ever sent looking for this game has cared about the tiles. They see an artifact, and then realize they really should re-read the Silmarillion. We all feel true dread when a ringwraith comes into view, and we know all we can do is run.

The point of the post is a warning, a reminder... the recent ports will attract a lot of new players. Hate sounding like a death eater here - but new blood isn't always good - this game doesn't need graphics, or balancing. This is not an MMO, there are plenty of those out there. Some of the ideas in this forum on changes may make this more popular... but it kills what has allowed this game to endure for almost 30 years. There is a Tolkien MMO out there, I think it is free to play - go play that if you want balancing and chat. This game has always been a single player, TINY footprint, Tolkien lore game.

The things that make this game unique are the depth to which it was Tolkien - and the randomness that was clearly NOT balanced. Some times it SUCKED to play a character - and sometimes it was AWESOME getting something vastly OP early on. I have played most all MMO's at one point or another.. and always come back to Angband. 1 win in a lifetime of playing (mage btw, invulnerability with a TON of life and mana potions - toon named Raistlin) - you don't get that with newer games, and a lot of the ideas I have seen tossed just by skimming the threads, are all things I see in forums of games I'm getting ready to stop playing.

A fantasy game, a life in a fantasy world, isn't easier than the real world - it is just a different setting. Things are not balanced... yes as a mage you find a room with one working door and a worm in it, and you spend 5 levels right there. Open door, stinking cloud til out of mana, shut door, rest. You have to manage keeping rings of Charisma cause you're ugly, and life isn't fair, you still don't get a good deal from the shopkeep. You have to leave behind food to carry that Artifact, and then you find a 2nd in that same level.

This is the Angband experience - lessons that actually cross over to the real world. You have to do the crap sometimes, and even then you get frustrated. But when you get to that point that suddenly you can walk up to a dragon room and in three dispel evil be looking at nothing but loot - yeah... it is TOTALLY worth it.

I know the old versions are still around, and for old guys like me I keep back ups of the code. But it isn't just nostalgia talking, it is actual lessons learned, and still sometimes hard work paying off that drives this post. This game isn't for a quick play, it isn't for the instant gratification group. It allows you time to think, time to plan, it forces you to do both too - it isn't a button masher, nor an orgy of pixel magic. Angband is something rare... please don't ruin it by getting caught up in what you can change - the things that seem most annoying are what make you think, force you to choose...
amen, amen~

please no abuse or rage,

can i add that angband doesnt need neuter gender in my opinion~
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Old April 20, 2014, 18:09   #10
Narvius
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Maybe this is just me being more-or-less of the youngest here, or me really wanting to be offended, but I don't like the general implied attitude of "everything and everyone new is automatically bad/shallow/wrong/whatever; change is always for the worse". I know this isn't exactly what you were trying to convey, but still - coming in here without (admittedly!) having any idea what is truly going and denouncing everything new sorta just rubs me the wrong way.

It's roughly congruent to that self-righteous anger that rises in me when someone tells me "you're having fun the wrong way".

Please don't take it as too much of a personal attack. It's just one of my few berserk buttons, even though I don't deny the proliferation of shallow and/or social games in general.
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