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Old February 21, 2012, 18:29   #11
PowerDiver
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Quests might be OK, in terms of balance, if there were no rewards. Simply knowing in advance the particular out of depth monsters you will face is an enormous advantage. You get to prep with foresight. Those kills give you out-of-depth experience and drops, after all. When you toss in all the powerful artifacts NPP gives you for rewards, balance changes A LOT.

I played NPP once with quests but no rewards, and I thought it still made things significantly easier. But that was only once, so it is not fair to draw any conclusions.
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Old February 23, 2012, 15:24   #12
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Hi.

unfortunately npp is missing a couple of interface changes from vanilla that I rather like, particularly here I'm thiking of list monsters, list items and the bigger fonts and tyle sizes, ---- I also wasn't sure whether the larger tyles I have from buzkill would do npp or not, which all made things a bit of a pest to play.

That being said, the quests looked great.

I can't speak for zangband sinse there once again I would've liked a few more interface options from vanilla to make playing possible, but personally as I said, I just get a kick out of doing quests for the sake of doing them.

Even if, as powerdiver suggests, quest rewards were limited to gold only, ---- it makes sense there is some reward, but if out of depth items seem too game breaking maybe gold would do, I would very much like to see them in vanilla, not to mention in some of the very vanilla like varients such as Daaj.
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Old February 24, 2012, 08:59   #13
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I think the real issue isn't that the quests make the game easier. You could just make the game harder in other ways to compensate.

IMO the real problem is that if only the quest monsters matter on each dungeon level, the game becomes monotonous and boring.

I think Adventurer's Guild should base their quest depths on player's level. If the player is too powerful for his dungeon level, he should be sent far into the depths. The quest monsters don't need to be as OOD if the quest levels are challenging even without them.
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Old February 24, 2012, 09:20   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
I think Adventurer's Guild should base their quest depths on player's level. If the player is too powerful for his dungeon level, he should be sent far into the depths. The quest monsters don't need to be as OOD if the quest levels are challenging even without them.
Sounds fair, +1
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Old February 24, 2012, 09:54   #15
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Well that was why in my original thoughts on this idea I just suggested the quest monsters be limited to whatever happened to be on the dlvl at the time. if the player has leveled to the point that a certain dlvl isn't worth exploring and killing those 10 orcs or that specific goblin would be uninteresting, ---- well nobody says the player has! to take that quest, or even if he/she has taken it, to complete it, indeed that's why perhaps quests should be limited to only the floor the player was on anyway, and if your doing a super fast dive you might not bother.

i suppose it's just that I enjoy the flavour and exploration factor of the game as much as it's tactics and would find quests a really nice addition to that, just to give descent a bit more interest.

The optimal stratogy might be just to dive dive dive superfast, not kill anything that isn't worth xp and wait around for specific items at depths to show up, but for myself I just enjoy the act of wandering the halls, looking out for specific monsters, learning the capabilities of different beasties etc.

Indeed, this is why Daaj is probably my favourite varient sinse it adds so much to the monster list (I still don't think I've met all the monsters daaj has to offer, even in levels 1-10).

of course I'm not suggesting that the game be broken to make slower exploring more rewarding, that would be ridiculous, just that quests be added to give a little more to the flavour and exploration of the game and to an extent make exploration based playing more fun, ---- even if not from a literal perspective that much more rewarding, ---- other than perhaps for some extra gold.
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Old February 24, 2012, 10:19   #16
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Originally Posted by Dark View Post
Well that was why in my original thoughts on this idea I just suggested the quest monsters be limited to whatever happened to be on the dlvl at the time. if the player has leveled to the point that a certain dlvl isn't worth exploring and killing those 10 orcs or that specific goblin would be uninteresting, ---- well nobody says the player has! to take that quest, or even if he/she has taken it, to complete it, indeed that's why perhaps quests should be limited to only the floor the player was on anyway, and if your doing a super fast dive you might not bother.
I like what you are proposing. (Fixing the Adventurers' Guild style quests is a separate issue.)

I'd love to have dungeon levels with flavourful missions, like saving prisoners or killing werewolves before they shapeshift, or whatever.

Unangband maintainer Andrew Doull has lately been raving about Brogue-style "quests" that require you to solve complex problems on a dungeon level. You might need to drink a Potion of Fire Resistance to cross a lava river, then use a key that you found earlier on a level to open a locked door, then drop a heavy item on a pressure plate mechanism to open the final door to the treasure chamber. The game makes sure that each of these random quests are actually solvable with items found on the level.

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Indeed, this is why Daaj is probably my favourite varient sinse it adds so much to the monster list (I still don't think I've met all the monsters daaj has to offer, even in levels 1-10).
I'll have to take a look at the DaJ monsters. Maybe I'll steal something for FayAngband. Do you have some favorites? (I'd love someone to start a thread on their favorite monsters in variants...)
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Old February 24, 2012, 13:36   #17
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Well those unangband quests you mention are rather more complex than I was thinking, ---- though could be cool provided what you do to solve them isnt' too obscure.

Actually if Unangband is going that way in developement I probably need to give it another go, especially sinse it had the same very nice big tyles that faangband and oangband did.

Thus far my favourite varients have been Daaj and faangband, though I will confess some varients such as npp and zangband I found more difficult to play due to lack of reasonable sized graphics, while others I've simply not tried extensively, sinse it can get a little confusing when trying many varients remember what does what in each one, ---- this is why I haven't played oangband or unangband as much despite their nice tyle size, though I'm very tempted by what you say about unangband and quests.

For quests in Vanilla though as I said, I was only really thinking quests that involved at most killing specific monsters or perhaps bringing a friendly monster or given item found on the dungeon level back to a quest location, ---- though whether adding friendly monsters and associated Ai is a bit much for Vanilla I'm not sure.

As to monsters, well of course Daaj has many more of them for you to look at even in town, and therefore variety is rather good, I also find Wil has updated some of the descriptions of even standard monsters.

the silver monsters and extra miner demons added in Daaj I thought were a particularly nasty idea, and the themed levels that you can find with different level feeling text and specifically generated types of monsters are pretty cool surprises as you descend I thought.

I also like the way the game added some monsters that were just unique ideas, like the nul, a squid with acidic skin, and the glarx, a two headed golem cobbled together from spare parts, indeed there's a hole new playable race, the hobglibs, human sized and stumpy creatures with rough brown skin like a potatoe who enjoy experimenting with magic and alchemy.

I think my absolute favourite Daaj monster is the greps, which are demons shaped like serpents with a head at either end that fly by spinning through the air and attack by bighting alternately with both heads.
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Old February 24, 2012, 15:35   #18
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Thus far my favourite varients have been Daaj and faangband, though I will confess some varients such as npp... I found more difficult to play due to lack of reasonable sized graphics...
NPP does have a 32x32 tileset, a very nice one, but it's not in the distro yet (but will be very soon). You can get it at www.mediafire.com/buzzkill.
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Old February 24, 2012, 16:10   #19
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I will admit to only having skimmed the thread at best, but here's my thoughts on quests:

1) They slow down the game. This can be desirable sometimes, but Angband's already a pretty slow game -- it takes a long time to travel down 100 dungeon levels! Whether Angband should have 100 dungeon levels is a different issue...

2) Most players will play with them, and try to complete them, by default. Even if they aren't interesting and don't provide a meaningful reward. Thus you have to make certain that they're fun to complete because the alternative is to introduce boring gameplay. This is unfortunately one of those areas where you can't necessarily introduce a mechanic and then say "but don't worry; you don't have to do it!"

3) As generally formulated, quests involve killing some number of out-of-depth monsters. Assuming this is feasible, those monsters will tend to give more experience than in-depth monsters, which will tend to overlevel the player. Which in turn makes killing anything besides quest monsters somewhat meaningless.

4) Material rewards for quests are either meaningful or not. If meaningful, then they have to be taken into account when calculating the power curve for the game (read: the game needs to be rebalanced to take them into account); if not, then quests become aggravating on the part of the player because they're accomplishing difficult tasks without any visible reward beyond the experience.

This is all rather negative, I'm afraid. I'll freely grant that quests can create interesting scenarios and encourage the player to get into fights that they would normally try to avoid. And I've played NPP and grabbed every quest I could, played ZAngband / ToME with quests on, etc. I'm just not convinced that we've figured out how to do them properly yet.
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Old February 24, 2012, 20:57   #20
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I will admit to only having skimmed the thread at best, but here's my thoughts on quests:

1) They slow down the game. This can be desirable sometimes, but Angband's already a pretty slow game -- it takes a long time to travel down 100 dungeon levels! Whether Angband should have 100 dungeon levels is a different issue...

2) Most players will play with them, and try to complete them, by default. Even if they aren't interesting and don't provide a meaningful reward. Thus you have to make certain that they're fun to complete because the alternative is to introduce boring gameplay. This is unfortunately one of those areas where you can't necessarily introduce a mechanic and then say "but don't worry; you don't have to do it!"

3) As generally formulated, quests involve killing some number of out-of-depth monsters. Assuming this is feasible, those monsters will tend to give more experience than in-depth monsters, which will tend to overlevel the player. Which in turn makes killing anything besides quest monsters somewhat meaningless.

4) Material rewards for quests are either meaningful or not. If meaningful, then they have to be taken into account when calculating the power curve for the game (read: the game needs to be rebalanced to take them into account); if not, then quests become aggravating on the part of the player because they're accomplishing difficult tasks without any visible reward beyond the experience.

This is all rather negative, I'm afraid. I'll freely grant that quests can create interesting scenarios and encourage the player to get into fights that they would normally try to avoid. And I've played NPP and grabbed every quest I could, played ZAngband / ToME with quests on, etc. I'm just not convinced that we've figured out how to do them properly yet.
For some unknown reason, this post made me (in NPP) want to completely remove quests from the main dungeon, and set up a wilderness and alternate dungeons outside of town where the quests can take place. That way they would never distract from the main objective in the primary dungeon to kill morgoth, and could be done at the player's leisure with a much greater variety in objectives and challenge.

(Patches welcome! )
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