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Old May 9, 2009, 17:12   #31
Nolendil
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Last time I wanted to try MAngband (quite many years ago), I couldn't find any server.
Now, there is an OS X binary and some servers up, so I had no excuse not to try MAngband again and I did yesterday

It looked fun but even more difficult than Angband

Anyway, I had some problems (apart from dying which I'm already used to thanks to offline roguelikes ) :

- Roguelike keys are not well supported and I can't play at all without them (I'm on a laptop with no keypad and I'm too used to them anyway). Support is need for at least "Use ghostly powers (U)" and "Party menu (P)".

- The game opened 4 windows but I couldn't assign anything to any of the subwindows so I had 3 useless empty windows (called "Recall", "Choice" and "Mirror"). The "Window flags" options menu seems broken, I couldn't change anything in it (even with roguelike keys disabled).

- I can't resize the main window, so the view is quite limited

- The game is far too fast for me
I can't manage to target enemies before they reach me. Luckily, you automatically attack nearby targets but using spells and shooters might be more tricky. I guess macros are essentials (as pointed by Arphod). The monsters also seem to be a bit easier to kill, at least low level ones so you can survive in town even at clvl 1.
I also suppose that playing in team makes you quite powerful so that speed is less of an issue.

- Most options seem to be useless. They are all set to "no" by default and I can't see what most of them should do in an online roguelike. Some of them are clearly ignored. Some cleaning would be required.

- Version numbers are confusing, sometimes it says it's 1.1.1, sometimes 1.1.2.

- It's based on an old version of Angband (2.7.2, I guess that's when I started playing Angband, more than 10 years ago ) and I miss a lot of things that were added to V since.

- When I died in the dungeon (once I finally found the entrance after dying a few times in town or wilderness ), all my stuff was on the floor and you can't pick anything up as a ghost. I had some hope that the level would be saved and still contain all my equipment when I come back, but no, a new level was generated when I got back to that depth.
Is it lost forever if I play alone? I guess that if I had someone in my party he could have grabbed my loot and handed it back to me when we meet again (or keep it for himself if he's not nice ), right?

- Getting back to town as a ghost with no light is quite difficult. Do you really have to look for stairs and hope that there is at least one in a perma-light area?

Well, that's all so far. I'll probably try again anyway
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Old May 9, 2009, 17:31   #32
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I think as a ghost you can just press the < key to float up a level. That might be TOMENet I'm thinking of, though.

I die enough in the single-player roguelikes that I only play the tougher multiplayer ones once in a blue moon, mainly more to socialize with other roguelike players than to play the actual game.
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Old May 9, 2009, 18:08   #33
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I'll have to try that, thanks.
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Old May 9, 2009, 19:39   #34
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Just a couple of corrections to Arphod's post:

1. Its no longer possible to house artifacts, you simply can't drop them above their base depth. If you sell an artifact to a shop the shopowner will smuggle it out the back (so you can't get lots of artifacts just by hanging around the shops when high level people sell arts).

2. Player versus player is now only possible if you agree to it (both/all players have to set hostility in party options).

There are rumors that in a future version there will be features such as "Time bubbles", to make time move more slowly under certain conditions (such as when fighting really tough monsters) while speeding up time when doing other things, such as resting or running.

Also, the rumors tell of Arenas (or maybe even custom levels) in the dungeon or wilderness, where people can fight each other either for fun or to death).

But yes, hounds in MAngband is something very different, especially time hounds, one of our top killers -> http://www.mangband.org/Main/Statistics

***

Good to see you on the server Nolendil and it's awesome to get such detailed feedback, really appreciate that

Here's the answers:

Quote:
Roguelike keys are not well supported and I can't play at all without them (I'm on a laptop with no keypad and I'm too used to them anyway). Support is need for at least "Use ghostly powers (U)" and "Party menu (P)".
You are right, unfortunately none of the members of our project team use the roguelike keys and to the best of my knowledge not a lot of users do either, but if we got some more detailed feedback on the problems experienced we will definitely try to fix it.

Quote:
The game opened 4 windows but I couldn't assign anything to any of the subwindows so I had 3 useless empty windows (called "Recall", "Choice" and "Mirror"). The "Window flags" options menu seems broken, I couldn't change anything in it (even with roguelike keys disabled).
We're aware of this one and it's on our list of things to look at, I'm being told it's related to a "X11 Terminal weirdness"

Quote:
I can't resize the main window, so the view is quite limited
We plan to fix this soon.

Quote:
The game is far too fast for me
Like I hinted at in the reply to Arphod above, a new, major feature that is planned for the next major version (Time bubbles) will deal with this and make the game much more manageable for new players.

Quote:
Most options seem to be useless. They are all set to "no" by default and I can't see what most of them should do in an online roguelike. Some of them are clearly ignored. Some cleaning would be required.
This has been fixed and while we can't promise you it'll be rolled out immediately it will however be implemented in the next major release.

Quote:
Version numbers are confusing, sometimes it says it's 1.1.1, sometimes 1.1.2.
Some people haven't updated their servers to 1.1.2 yet so thats probably causing most of the confusion here. There may be some occasional slips, where we've just missed it but we're correcting what we can whenever we become aware of it.

Quote:
It's based on an old version of Angband (2.7.2, I guess that's when I started playing Angband, more than 10 years ago ) and I miss a lot of things that were added to V since.
This is not really correct, since version 1 we've been syncing up with Angband 3.0.6 and should be, for the most part quite identical. We would greatly appreciate anyone posting any missing features either to this thread or preferably to our forums. The main goal of MAngband v1 + is to be multiplayer Angband, and we decided to go for 3.0.6 and try to catch up more recent changes as we go along.

Quote:
When I died in the dungeon (once I finally found the entrance after dying a few times in town or wilderness ), all my stuff was on the floor and you can't pick anything up as a ghost. I had some hope that the level would be saved and still contain all my equipment when I come back, but no, a new level was generated when I got back to that depth.
Is it lost forever if I play alone? I guess that if I had someone in my party he could have grabbed my loot and handed it back to me when we meet again (or keep it for himself if he's not nice ), right?
Dying in MAngband can cause a lot of grief, but when you think about it, isn't it better than instant permadeath? As long as your ghost is intact you can reequip yourself (Say you have a full set of backup equipment in your house) - it really ain't that bad. If you play alone you can often just ask someone else on the server to rescue you - if no one is around people typically make a post in the forums and ask for a rescue, the community is quite friendly and to have your drops stolen is quite unusual. But you're correct about the level resetting if you leave it, thats the whole concept - death is not meant to be easy in any roguelike, but I think our way of dealing with it is very reasonable.

[edit]
Just noticed you here Whelk, come back! We need your Accrued Wisdom
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Old May 9, 2009, 20:51   #35
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Hi Warrior, good to see a Mangband developer on this forum. The thing that's always put me off is the old-style # and % signs for walls. Is it possible to configure the new Mangband to display solid walls? If so I might give it a try ...
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Old May 9, 2009, 21:27   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
The thing that's always put me off is the old-style # and % signs for walls. Is it possible to configure the new Mangband to display solid walls? If so I might give it a try ...
I'm a full-fledged mangbander, and the walls are not supposed to be like that. I've played on XP, vista, and linux. XP and vista both worked 100% fine with mangband. Vista mangband even worked better than vista angband. However, the game did like to display the old style signs after I fix angband graphics in vista. But its fine after I restart my computer
I have sometimes had errors in linux though, but only when I compile to non single window mode.


As a note to anyone thinking of trying mangband, it was my first roguelike. It was a bit tough at first, but thankfully, I knew someone who played the game (emulord) and so he guided me through the early lvls, until I could survive on my own. It was a nice way to learn. Once I eventually permadied because of the lynerian hydra and a death drake at 1150', I started a new character, which went much better.

My first death wasn't until lvl 30! Once I permadied, I finally started my third character, my first one to king. I went through a funny thing with this character for a while, called die, regain 5 lvls, repeat. That stretch from 2000' to 3000' can be tough. Had to learn quite a lot. Having the chance to resurrect really helped me not quit the game. Sure, sometimes I would have to hide in the walls for like 8 hours before someone who could rescue me would come online since i was playing at 3AM, but whatever!

After bad death to the tarrasque where I lost everything, cus something was attacking my ghost, I quit for a few months. Then, I came back, played smart, found power dsm, and a Mace of Disruption of Fury (5d8)(+23,+27)(+2). I couldn't get 8bpr with, so I traded with ascii to get ringil. Ascii king'd taking morgoth in mele in real time as a mage with only heal pots.
Then, with ringil in hand, I king'd for the first time.


After that king, I decided to make a REAL king. Half-Troll Rogue. Best combination ever. He was able to trade for nearly everything he wanted. The only thing he couldn't get was feanor, even though he offered ringil, gondor, and more +10 speed boots (I didn't need ringil, since I already had so much speed). But in the end, the person with feanor just felt like not trading...ah well. So close to perfect.
He was still so strong though, that even though he forgot to put on his +17 damage ring instead of his +6 int ring, he still killed morgy in 12 seconds.

Last edited by Schroeder; May 9, 2009 at 22:09.
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Old May 9, 2009, 21:35   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Hi Warrior, good to see a Mangband developer on this forum. The thing that's always put me off is the old-style # and % signs for walls. Is it possible to configure the new Mangband to display solid walls? If so I might give it a try ...
Hi there Magnate, good to see you too.

Yes, we have been sort of keeping to ourselves all this time (we're sort of like the dwarves when I think about it ) which is kinda crazy in a way, considering that at least we consider our variant very closely related to vanilla, we're simply multiplayer realtime Angband with a few custom features to make the game more playable in our setting.

About the walls, unless you're playing via GCU (console) terminal or something like that you should get the normal solid blocks. The confusion here may be based on some of the screenshots on the old mangband.org page as well as this one based on an unreleased SDL client from a while back: http://www.mangband.org/images/scree...MAngband-8.png - it's all solid blocks now.

Here are some more updated screenshots of how it looks these days
http://www.mangband.org/Main/Screenshots

I would like to end with saying that you're (everyone is of course) most welcome to come play, currently we have two official servers, one "regular" server and one ironman server where you can only go down, for that extra challenging (and typically, quite short) game.

[Edit] Oh - and for anyone who don't want to play until they know more what it's about - we've got a pretty nice selection of downloadable videos to look at, check it out if you want to, some of them are pretty entertaining for the roguelike mind

http://www.mangband.org/Main/Videos
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Old May 9, 2009, 22:59   #38
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Hrm, I'll have to make another foray. I'll see if I can accrue any more wisdom to share.
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Old May 10, 2009, 07:08   #39
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Thanks for the great reply, Warrior. I was a bit shy and only connected to empty servers on purpose so far but this makes me want to meet MAngbanders in-game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
Good to see you on the server Nolendil and it's awesome to get such detailed feedback, really appreciate that
You're welcome, I'll try and give more details when I can. These were just a few points that came to my attention after a short session.
However, that's not a promise as I'm quite lazy and might disappear at any time if Real Life requires it
Sorry for reporting issues here and not on your forum, I'll have to create an account there for my future reports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
You are right, unfortunately none of the members of our project team use the roguelike keys and to the best of my knowledge not a lot of users do either, but if we got some more detailed feedback on the problems experienced we will definitely try to fix it.
It's a shame, roguelike keyset is The Only True Way to play a roguelike
So far, the broken keys I noticed are 'U' (does nothing) and 'P' (already used for 'P'erusing a book, so it won't open the 'P'arty menu).


> About broken windows
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
We're aware of this one and it's on our list of things to look at, I'm being told it's related to a "X11 Terminal weirdness"
Mac OS X implementation of X11 is even weirder than most Unix ones, so I was not really surprised.
That's not crucial at low level anyway, I just hope you'll have found a way to fix this when I manage to get below dlvl 3 (i.e. it's not urgent)


> Resizing the main window
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
We plan to fix this soon.
Great! I was afraid it was done on purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
Like I hinted at in the reply to Arphod above, a new, major feature that is planned for the next major version (Time bubbles) will deal with this and make the game much more manageable for new players.
Nice idea although I can't see all the consequences of this feature (player exploiting it in some way?).


> Options: cleaning/default values
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
This has been fixed and while we can't promise you it'll be rolled out immediately it will however be implemented in the next major release.
Great!
Also note that options are not saved at all and you have to set them again after logging out and logging in again.
Maybe monster recall history was lost too but I didn't check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
Some people haven't updated their servers to 1.1.2 yet so thats probably causing most of the confusion here. There may be some occasional slips, where we've just missed it but we're correcting what we can whenever we become aware of it.
I suspected that I was on a 1.1.1 server when I first noticed that but I saw that also on the official server and on another server that was described as 1.1.2 in the server list.
For instance, the starting screen (with the skull) when you connect to the mangband.org server says "MAngband 1.1.1 (18th August 2008)".
I couldn't say exactly if and where I found more right now. I'll have to take screenshots next time I encounter a wrong version number.
Maybe using some #define would help keeping the information up to date in all the code more easily? If it's also stored in data, you might want to replace those with a symbol that is replaced by the program version when it's displayed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
This is not really correct, since version 1 we've been syncing up with Angband 3.0.6 and should be, for the most part quite identical. We would greatly appreciate anyone posting any missing features either to this thread or preferably to our forums. The main goal of MAngband v1 + is to be multiplayer Angband, and we decided to go for 3.0.6 and try to catch up more recent changes as we go along.
Yes, I read some of the changelogs and noticed that some stuff from more recent versions of V had been added.
However, I still noticed several missing features
I couldn't list them all right now (and maybe there's not a lot of them anyway) but here are some of them that come from the top of my head:
- unified 'm' command to cast spells or prayers (it doesn't work for prayers with roguelike keys at least)
- details in equipment list although I enabled all list related options (it doesn't say what each slot is used for e.g. Wielding/Shooting/On left hand...)
- the '/' command is not supported (in both keysets) to ask for monster recall
It's great to know that you plan to merge improvements in the long run, anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior View Post
Dying in MAngband can cause a lot of grief, but when you think about it, isn't it better than instant permadeath? As long as your ghost is intact you can reequip yourself (Say you have a full set of backup equipment in your house) - it really ain't that bad. If you play alone you can often just ask someone else on the server to rescue you - if no one is around people typically make a post in the forums and ask for a rescue, the community is quite friendly and to have your drops stolen is quite unusual. But you're correct about the level resetting if you leave it, thats the whole concept - death is not meant to be easy in any roguelike, but I think our way of dealing with it is very reasonable.
Yes, I was complaining but I agree that it's already nice not to have to start from scratch every time you die
I suppose it's also a way to allow artifacts to be lost and be regenerated for another player a bit more often.


Thanks for reading, I hope to be able to play again soon


P.S.: Sorry for the errors in this post (especially missing words). It's really late here (or should I say early) and even after proofreading several times I still find errors...


P.P.S.: Call me weird but I don't like the solid walls at all, I prefer the oldschool #
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Old May 10, 2009, 13:47   #40
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Thanks for the new comments Nolendil, and -- if oldschool is weird I think it's safe to say every single *band'er ever is weird too -
Normal people don't see the @ vs P charm at all


(I know you meant roguelike-oldschool though, which is something quite different).

The MAngband project team has expanded a bit lately and interestingly enough it seems that pretty much all of the new faces have experience from playing Moria back in the day, which is pretty interesting as a fun fact but I also think it says a lot about the general roguelike "scene" and about us as a game.

It's always been a priority for us to stay true to the old concepts and "feeling" of things (this goes for staying true to Angband as well as staying true to the earlier/original versions of MAngband, while at the same time making it as enjoyable as possible for those few people "weird" enough to be able to enjoy a game like this

But to be a little specific again:

About the roguelike keyset - we've been looking at this and one simple way to get around it is to first hit the '\' key, then for example 'P' to access the party commands.

About time bubbles - There will be extensive beta testing on this feature and it will not be rolled out until it's ready and we're 100% happy with the behavior. Being a multiplayer game we're lucky enough to have a lot of information available to us as far as player exploits go and the creativity of the players can sometimes go way way beyond what we're able to foresee

About options not saving - That's peculiar, they do for me (just double checked), this has been fixed for years, at least on the windows client. I'll get back to you with more info on the other clients a little later.

About version numbers - I've been cracking the whip and I'm being told this will be fixed with the next server restart

About missing Angband features - Some things are missing, we're *built* on 2.7.9 (IIRC) and that makes it difficult to implement everything, (all though we are closer to the 3.0.6 framework currently, not just in gameplay but also as far as flags and other things go).

As for the monster recall feature specifically it's a difficult matter to deal with, most likely the monster recall would kill more people than it would save, simply because not looking at the screen at all times can be quite lethal, especially in the later game (imagine a pack of time hounds advancing towards you in real time while you're looking at their descriptions). MAngband can be extremely demanding sometimes, almost all stages of the game has it's challenges that will make the player (not only the character) grow a lot, the faster you "learn" the correct play, the faster you will stop dying. But that said, the game is perfectly manageable for someone preferring a slower pace, in early MAngband history very few people played deeper than 1000-1500ft and it took several years before anyone passed 2000ft.

About unified m command - I think (haven't discussed this yet within the team) that it's simply a matter of preference, we feel the m and p are important for historical/nostalgic reasons, priests pray - mages do magic, so though I'm not 100% sure about this, I don't think it's gonna get implemented.

About details in equipment list - I'm not sure what you mean here but it seems to be a cosmetic thing and should be possible to add without much trouble.

And like you said - about death and how it affects artifacts - MAngband decided, long long ago that we wanted to stay true to the Angband artifacts, artifacts are special and should be considered as such so we have not gone the tempting route of adding random artifacts for example, instead we have solved this by creating a few custom items that, if you're lucky, can be generated in combinations of base/ego items that will be reasonably good artifact substitutions, this way, it is possible to play successfully without artifacts while artifacts still can be found that haven't lost their "magic".
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