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Old October 25, 2013, 15:26   #11
fizzix
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Work out who is interested in contributing to development and in what capacity
I am itching into getting back into development. Unfortunately, even though I didn't really sign up for a huge role for Mystery Hunt, a lot of the people that did flaked out, and I wound up being thrust in those roles anyway. But, after Jan 20th or so, I will have more free time, and Angband/pyrel work will probably be high up on my list of things I want to do.

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Do a massive restructure of the code with no gameplay (or language!) change. takkaria has done a huge amount of this (pretty much unsung) already; I plan to be fairly revolutionary here
So this is not my expertise in any way. I've never been really good at high level thinking about code. But if someone's willing to sit down and talk me through what needs to be done, I would be willing to work on it.

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Tackle the outstanding thorny issues - traps/searching/perception, ID, squelch
Yes, please choose a solution. The status quo isn't really ok. Lots of these things have been broken for a long long time (except for squelch really, that's been a massive improvement)

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Open up discussion on *big* issues - combat system, dungeon generation and structure, new races and/or classes, new ports, monster and item balance
So it might be worth discussing some of these big issues before the massive code overhaul. Depending on what big features we want in the future, it might affect the structure.

We had some great ideas in v4.

I agree though, we need to get 3.5 out. But while I've been slacking Molybdenum's been fixing bugs right and left, so we're getting closer!
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Old October 25, 2013, 15:49   #12
Mikko Lehtinen
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Yes, please choose a solution. The status quo isn't really ok.
Yes! This is why a maintainer is needed, to make decisions.

I agree on studying v4 first for ideas on radical gameplay changes.
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Old October 25, 2013, 15:54   #13
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Nick, your ideas aren't as controversial as you seem to think. But I think it's good to be upfront about being willing to Change Everything; that way the conservative old fogies at least can't claim to be surprised when you ruin their favorite game.

A few particular bullet points:

* Combat: it seems like we have a few possible approaches here. Vanilla-style, O-style, Mists-style, Sil-style, and v4/Pyrel-style. I'm not too familiar with Mists combat, but all of the others (except Vanilla-style of course) would entail a fairly significant rebalance of items at the very least, and Sil combat I suspect only really shines when the monsters are built around it too. We could also of course come up with something new, but all of these systems have the advantage that they're already implemented and working.

* New races/classes: personally, I'd like to see our existing races made more distinct and interesting. In particular, humans, half-elves, elves, and half-orcs are pretty subtle variations on each other and could stand to have "key features" that make them stand out more.

* Item balance: I think the best place to start here is to bring in v4's affix system. It can be used to precisely replicate the existing magic/ego system (or so Magnate tells me), and from there we should be easily able to set up an affix-based ID system as well as start playing around with what kinds of ego items can be created. Just throwing this out here, but what if you could start getting "double-ego" items (e.g. Westernesse + Flames, or Holy Avenger + Defender) once you got deep enough in the dungeon? Or we could just move whole-hog to the affix-based system; fine by me.

For my own part, my spare coding time has to go to Pyrel first and foremost, and there's been precious little of that time available lately. But I wish you the best of luck!
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:00   #14
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:04   #15
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Mist-combat is simple and pretty fun, and it will get more interesting eventually, but it does not suit Angband. It needs basic items that get more and more powerful deeper in the dungeons, it gets silly and "videogamey".

O, Sil and v4 are all good choices. Unangband might have done something interesting to V-combat.
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:18   #16
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What variants exist that fix searching and traps? At least Sil and Mist come to mind, they have very different solutions.

I would love the removal or radical alteration of mechanics that don't contribute much, like food and light clocks.

Word of Recall is a super-weird and gamey mechanic. Could we have something better, please.
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:24   #17
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Word of Recall is a super-weird and gamey mechanic. Could we have something better, please.
I've suggested in the past having fixed portals in the dungeon that basically act as "super-staircases" to take you back to town. So every time you enter the dungeon, you're basically playing a mini-ironman session until you find the next portal. There wouldn't necessarily be a portal on any given level (though there'd probably need to be code to ensure that portals got generated on a semi-regular basis as well as on levels 98 and 99).
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:31   #18
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I've suggested in the past having fixed portals in the dungeon that basically act as "super-staircases" to take you back to town. So every time you enter the dungeon, you're basically playing a mini-ironman session until you find the next portal. There wouldn't necessarily be a portal on any given level (though there'd probably need to be code to ensure that portals got generated on a semi-regular basis as well as on levels 98 and 99).
Sounds really good. Mini-ironman may be Angband needs. It creates feelings of danger & achievement.

Town would have a portal too, right? Taking you to your max depth?

Mist has its own stair system, but it doesn't suit Angband.
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:40   #19
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Tackle the outstanding thorny issues - traps/searching/perception
Here's a zany idea: Monster Stealth. For monsters that have this, the player needs to use their searching/perception skills to notice the monster even when it is in line of sight. I'm thinking of Master Thieves sneaking up on players completely unawares, and landing a nice backstab!
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Old October 25, 2013, 16:46   #20
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Town would have a portal too, right? Taking you to your max depth?
Right.

Another possible approach would be to mimic Diablo 1's shortcut system; functionally, that'd mean that when you entered the portal in town, you'd be able to return to any previous depth you'd portalled from. So e.g. if there's portals every 5 levels (not that I'm suggesting they be spaced so regularly), then when you're in town, you'd be able to return to any level where (dlvl % 5 == 0).

You can also mimic the current staircase options:

* forced-descent: portal always takes you to (max depth + 1)
* connected stairs: when you take a portal, you spawn on a portal back to town.
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