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Old October 27, 2020, 17:29   #1
Voovus
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Angband vs Moria

In a fairly recent post Nick said the magic words "NPPMoria". Classical Moria is almost unplayable after Angband, thanks to the vast UI improvements. NPPMoria is. I dug it out and played through with most of the classes. It was fun. I was afraid it wouldn't be, but it was.

So here is a list of things I found better in Angband (marked with +s) than in Moria (marked with -s). Make what you will of it.


+++++ User interface - customisable shortcut keys, squelch.
+++ No selling option - selling adds atmosphere for the first few games, but then becomes a pointless chore. Having the option to switch it off is ideal. I wish I had a couple more such options...
+++ Artifacts and equipment variety - these add variety to equipment choices and add significant replay value; in Moria, all my characters wore pretty much the same equipment.
++ Basic gear in shops - availability of Cure light wounds, Word of Recall, Phase door, etc means it's not necessary to go to 50' and rest for 5000 turns to restock shops.
++ Stat gain - this has a better balance: I never harvest oozes in Angband for potions, but did every time in NPPMoria.
+ Id - rune id is better than classical id; but, as for selling, after a few games I prefer to switch on the "known runes/flavours" option.
+ Monster Uniques - they add variety to the game, though they would probably be more fun if they were much more rare and more "unique", that is genuinely different from each other and from other monsters.
+ Asymmetric LoS - creates interesting tactical options, though overpowered as it stands (maybe due to abundance of Stone-to-Mud).
+ Bows - shooting is much more viable in Angband.
+ Item drops - improvement on Moria, where a lot of important gear ends up being bought rather than found in the dungeon.

- Vaults - yes, finding a vault is always exciting in Angband, but my impression is that is seriously messes with the game balance and might be a negative overall.
- Treasure veins (Moria) - finding and mining large treasure veins is quite fun in Moria.
- The Balrog (Moria) - the Balrog is a nutcase in Moria, but you pretty much have to go down to his depths in order to find a ring of speed (essential); this results in a change of playstyle and a healthy injection of excitement. (And fear... "They are coming. We cannot get out.")
- Ego weapons - useless in Angband, critical in Moria; Angband's artifact weapons make all the FT, FB, SU, SA, SD, HA, DF stuff pretty much irrelevant, which is a shame.
- Fractional stats - Moria has none of the 3.3 blows/turn nonsense, and feels much more pleasant as a result.
- Adventure feeling - I found that Moria had more of an adventure feeling to it than Angband; not sure why precisely.
- Resistances clutter - fire, acid, cold, lightning and poison is plenty.
- Damage balance - no tediously long fights in Moria.
-- Monster packs and high monster density - did not miss them at all in Moria; gameplay feels smoother and faster with fewer monsters and no packs.
-- Speed - Moria basically doesn't have a permanent speed stat, and that works great (rings of speed are only relevant to about 5% of the game, and in effect play a different role).
-- Teleport Other - Moria has it, but I did not need to use it in any of the playthroughs , and that felt great; not TO's fault, but probably that of other issues.
--- One shot deaths - far too may in Angband, and annoying for such a long game; Moria only has two notorious D's (who both tend to be asleep) and the Balrog to watch out for.
--- Monsters not worth fighting - none, or next to none in Moria, and I didn't miss them. At all.
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Old October 27, 2020, 22:10   #2
Estie
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It has always been my dream to play 3.0.9 with modern UI improvements, rune-id and the new randart algorithm (3.0.9 randarts are stupid). Moria, I only played it a little very long ago and dont remember much, but by extrapolation I can see me agreeing with most of your +/-es.

In particular monster density: everything boring and phasing towards you does make the game harder, but it also removes a strategic layer and reduces the game to pure tactics. It doesnt feel like I enter a new dungeon level as much as a big, oddly shaped room.

Adventure feeling is a weird one; I think I know what you mean, and my best guess is that it might have to do with streamlining of trash items, charisma stat and such. It might also be nostalgia.
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Old October 28, 2020, 03:38   #3
archolewa
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Personally, I think it might not be a bad idea to remove some of the early-game artifact weapons, and make ego weapons show up sooner. Then, your (expected) weapon progression could be something like:

1. Mundane starting weapon.
2. A weapon with a few plusses
3. A slay weapon.
4. An ego weapon or two, depending on what you find.
5. Artifact weapon.

Delaying your first artifact weapon would make it feel much more special (especially when you get lucky and find one early), be less likely to trivialize the early levels (Narthanc anyone?), and would make you much more likely to see some use out of your ego weapon.

Maybe, tweak the game so that you aren't expected to get your first artifact weapon until like floor 40 or something?

I feel like Frog might do something like this, or if it doesn't, it's how things usually shake out for me (though I often play Polearmmaster, so I need not just an artifact weapon, but an artifact polearm).
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Old October 28, 2020, 05:22   #4
Ingwe Ingweron
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As if all artifacts are equal, or some ego weapons aren't better than many artifacts? The distribution isn't, and I would argue shouldn't, be so arbitrary.
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Old October 28, 2020, 06:17   #5
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how dare you say old randart algorithms were stupid; how else will i find boots of +7 Spd, +7 CON, +7 DEX, +7 STR for my warriors.
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Old October 28, 2020, 13:01   #6
Estie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
how dare you say old randart algorithms were stupid; how else will i find boots of +7 Spd, +7 CON, +7 DEX, +7 STR for my warriors.
Thats not the stupid part, its the "aggravates" you forgot to mention.
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Old October 28, 2020, 16:21   #7
archolewa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
As if all artifacts are equal, or some ego weapons aren't better than many artifacts? The distribution isn't, and I would argue shouldn't, be so arbitrary.
The fact that people hardly ever use ego weapons seems to support the idea that artifact weapons render ego weapons mostly superfluous. The only time Ive ever used an ego weapon is at the very end if I find a Mace of Disruption with a good ego.

The gondolin ego is the most egregious, because by the time it starts showing up, orcs and trolls are no longer a threat.

I also dont understand your concern with "arbitrary." Everything in this game has an "arbitrary" minimum depth. The game is already built around an "arbtirary" character progression (first levels are primarily how you get more powerful, then stat potions, then gear). Sometimes the RNG mixes it up a little, but this is still the general rhythm.

Making egos show up sooner, and artifacts show up later hardly makes the game any more or less arbitrary than it already is. It renders ego weapons less superfluous, and would make your first artifact weapon even more exciting than it already is.
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Old October 28, 2020, 16:32   #8
Pete Mack
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I What is too early? 1000'? 1500'? In my current game I replaced a cheesy ego Slay dagger with Forasgil(!) at 800', and felt it was astonishingly lucky.
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Old October 28, 2020, 18:01   #9
Sideways
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archolewa View Post
Maybe, tweak the game so that you aren't expected to get your first artifact weapon until like floor 40 or something?

I feel like Frog might do something like this, or if it doesn't, it's how things usually shake out for me (though I often play Polearmmaster, so I need not just an artifact weapon, but an artifact polearm).
That sounds more like V 2.x, where (most) artifacts were neither as strong as now nor as common in the early game, and lucky finds really felt lucky and game-changing.

In Frog you typically do get artifacts early, those artifacts just don't necessarily outclass the egos. There's more parity between different options (and a frequent need to make compromises and find equipment that fits with other equipment). Almost all V standarts got massively buffed in early 3.x, making egos less competitive - despite egos also getting massively buffed... The new blow meta also shook things up; in 2.x an item could be good just because it was the only one you got more than 1 blow with.

That said, I wouldn't call any ego egregiously superfluous if it can generate with FA, SI and Telepathy.
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Last edited by Sideways; October 28, 2020 at 18:17.
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Old October 28, 2020, 18:18   #10
Pete Mack
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Quote:
That said, I wouldn't call any ego egregiously superfluous if it can generate with FA, SI and Telepathy.
Even without the ESP, that weapon can be one of the best in the game for a mage or priest who wants to melee. Massive damage with 4 blows, against Dragons, Demons AND undead. Sure you won't use it against the bosses, but so what? I successfully meleed a horned reaper with it and used no !Heal. Playing a mage.
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