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Old February 28, 2014, 06:45   #1
Mark
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Unhappy The Hardest part of Angband

So...

...I've noticed a few times on the forums, it is espoused that a good choice or strategy is to avoid monsters that can kill you. (i.e. you don't necessary need resistances to withstand them, or to stay above a certain depth as a safeguard, but simply avoid them when you detect them.)

That sounds to me like very good advice; but saying "avoid the poison-breathing monsters" (if one lacks rPoison) is only helpful to players who know which monsters those are. I agree that ultimately the way one learns, and gets better at Angband is to descend (deep), die, and learn. But we can hardly call that easy. (So when someone says "it's easy, just avoid such monsters", it is in fact not easy). I find it a pretty depressing way to learn my lessons and build up a knowledge of things that can one-shot you.

I like that 'player knowledge' is a key part of the game, it rewards the long-time player; but it feels it comes at too cruel a cost for newbies.

There are some especially dangerous monsters that the game warns the player about up front - namely Uniques. You can identify them immediately from the name, description and sometimes from being rendered in purple. (Some Uniques of course are not particularly dangerous, but better a false positive than a false negative where danger is concerned)

What if there were another category of monsters - Powerful Monsters. These are those that can breathe (or melee?) over X raw damage in one shot. This could be communicated as an early line in the description "It is powerful". Or possibly through naming the monster "The <X>". "The Winged Horror"; "The Dracolisk" vs "a black orc", "a ghost". That doesn't tell you anything specific about the monster's attack; just that you should proceed with caution.

While for some monsters, like an Ancient Red Dragon it is fair to assume will breathe a high amount of fire damage and a Shardstorm will breath Shards; it doesn't seem fair that the only way players learn "A Winged Horror" breathes deadly amounts of Nether, Poison or Darkness, is after the fact!

(On a related topic, I thought Angband used to preserve what you learned about Monsters across all your characters; you'd get things like 'you ancestors have killed 54 of these creatures, and 3 of your ancestors have been killed by this creature' type information + all the regular information those characters has found out; but I've not seen that in a long time - why was it taken out?)
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:20   #2
Quendus
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That's why full monster knowledge should be a birth option, not a cheat option.
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:29   #3
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
That sounds to me like very good advice; but saying "avoid the poison-breathing monsters" (if one lacks rPoison) is only helpful to players who know which monsters those are. I agree that ultimately the way one learns, and gets better at Angband is to descend (deep), die, and learn.
Use probing. That's what it is for.

Use asymmetric LoS as helper:

Code:
   #.#
####x#
..@..#
######
You are safe at that position.
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:33   #4
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
(On a related topic, I thought Angband used to preserve what you learned about Monsters across all your characters; you'd get things like 'you ancestors have killed 54 of these creatures, and 3 of your ancestors have been killed by this creature' type information + all the regular information those characters has found out; but I've not seen that in a long time - why was it taken out?)
It's still there, but you have to use previous savefile to get it. Instead of selecting "new" open an old char. Monster memory is saved into savefile.
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Use asymmetric LoS as helper:

Code:
   #.#
####x#
..@..#
######
You are safe at that position.
Yet another powerful trick that long-time players use but one must know in advance... this kinda proves the OP's point.
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Old February 28, 2014, 08:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fph View Post
Yet another powerful trick that long-time players use but one must know in advance... this kinda proves the OP's point.
You learn about that chess knight move -trick really fast in angband. It works both ways, monster can target you also when you can't see it in reverse situation. Way before you meet any one-shot distance-killers.
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Old February 28, 2014, 08:40   #7
Mark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Use probing. That's what it is for.
I believed probing told you the life rating of an enemy. Does it tell you about attacks or damage capability? Life Rating is interesting to know, but pales in comparison in terms of 'information that helps keep you alive'. Has it changed?
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Old February 28, 2014, 08:45   #8
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
I believed probing told you the life rating of an enemy. Does it tell you about attacks or damage capability? Life Rating is interesting to know, but pales in comparison in terms of 'information that helps keep you alive'. Has it changed?
Yes. It tells you all there is to know about monster with one caveat, it doesn't tell you directly how much damage monster can do until you have actually killed one of them (it should though, if it can tell you monster HP it should also give you direct info about it's damage capability, especially for breath-attacks). You basically get full monster info after probing and then killing one.
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Old February 28, 2014, 08:54   #9
Mark
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Smile Well that's good to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Yes. It tells you all there is to know about monster with one caveat, it doesn't tell you directly how much damage monster can do until you have actually killed one of them (it should though, if it can tell you monster HP it should also give you direct info about it's damage capability, especially for breath-attacks). You basically get full monster info after probing and then killing one.
Ah, that's awesome to know. I have probed but didn't realise it gave more information than the messages about hitpoints. (Not until very recently have I been playing with more term windows open that show recall information - if I had perhaps I would have spotted it 'pop' to almost full info after probing).

I'll probe like a bamf next time I have access to the spell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
It's still there, but you have to use previous savefile to get it. Instead of selecting "new" open an old char. Monster memory is saved into savefile.
This also will really help me. I guess I'll start from the savefile I currently have that made it furthest into the dungeon.
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Old February 28, 2014, 09:40   #10
quarague
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Use asymmetric LoS as helper:

Code:
   #.#
####x#
..@..#
######
You are safe at that position.
One can definitely win without properly learning how this works (I have multiple times). I know that asymmetric LOS exists, but I never bothered to figure out when exaclty I have it and when the monster benefits. It seems more like a bug than a feature to me anyways.
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