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Old August 13, 2020, 01:14   #11
archolewa
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Having played a few variants with the old pseudo ID system, I cannot at all comprehend how runes could possibly be slower. Maybe vanilla's old pseudo ID was different, but at least for the various old variants I've tried, I've found the pseudo ID system to be the single most tedious, slow, fiddly identification system I've ever encountered in a roguelike. I straight up turn it off when I play Frogcomposband, and refuse to play any other variants except Sil because they don't have that option.

Maybe it's just a matter of taste though. I don't mind jumping up to town to hand off non-artifact gear to the town every now and then, and I dont ever feel the need to buy it back. Even in the early game I almost always find it obvious when something's so good I want to save my Identify Rune scrolls for it, and when it's just something I can give to the vendor for identification.

Can't really comment on the rest of your criticisms though. I started playing with 4.1 and only got one win (with a priest) before 4.2 came out, so I don't really have any basis for comparing to previous versions.

I think the purpose of many of the monster changes was flavor more than anything else, an attempt to make Angband more Tolkien and less "grab bag of fantasy pop culture." Personally, I appreciate the more coherent lore, and I enjoy the trees. They scare the crap out of me, and frankly they make as much sense as Angels working together with Demons to murder you even though you're trying to kill the Ultimate Evil, and they're, you know, demons.
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Old August 13, 2020, 01:43   #12
Egavactip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archolewa View Post
Having played a few variants with the old pseudo ID system, I cannot at all comprehend how runes could possibly be slower.
It is slower because there is no way to identify many items and only the seemingly relatively rare identify rune to identify the others. As opposed to the previous version of Angband where after a short period, one always had staffs and/or spells of identification and could fully identify any item while on the move. That's much faster and much more pain-free.


Quote:
I think the purpose of many of the monster changes was flavor more than anything else, an attempt to make Angband more Tolkien and less "grab bag of fantasy pop culture." Personally, I appreciate the more coherent lore, and I enjoy the trees. They scare the crap out of me, and frankly they make as much sense as Angels working together with Demons to murder you even though you're trying to kill the Ultimate Evil, and they're, you know, demons.
Unfortunately, the monster changes don't do that. They introduce many things not found in Tolkien, while they still have stuff in it that never ever was in Tolkien.

Moreover, Angband is not a Middle Earth simulator. It is based on Moria which itself was inspired by, but not a true attempt to duplicate or simulate, Tolkien's Middle Earth. So having Atlas in there was fine.
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Old August 13, 2020, 01:58   #13
archolewa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egavactip View Post
It is slower because there is no way to identify many items and only the seemingly relatively rare identify rune to identify the others. As opposed to the previous version of Angband where after a short period, one always had staffs and/or spells of identification and could fully identify any item while on the move. That's much faster and much more pain-free.
Except that's only true past the early game right? In the early game you have to pick things up and carry them around a while. The same time at which runes are their most painful. Sure, past the early game you've got staves of identification, but past the early game you've got almost all the runes identified too. And once you know them, you know them. So you don't have to spam Staves of Identify on piles of treasure over and over again. And I'll take slightly more pain early, if it means I have almost zero pain mid, and zero pain late.
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Old August 13, 2020, 07:01   #14
drquicksilver
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Really interesting to hear your views. I have responded to the ones which don't match my experience. I really agree about level feelings - I love level feelings, for me they add a lot to the game, I would like them to be more reliable / more consistent.

Quite a few of your remarks are really down to the tileset. I've never used tiles myself - always ASCII, except in TOME4 after DarkGod made tiles the default and I grudgingly got used to them. Since just ASCII character plus colour have never been a reliable judge (well some combinations are unique but many are not and in the old days, with fewer colours, fewer were unique), I have always made heavy use of the look command ('x' in rogue like keyset), or just using the targetting system to check out enemies. In fact I think the look command was one of the things which attracted me to Angband over Nethack (the only other rogue like, except from Moria and Larn, I knew of in the early 90s).

In this version though I heavily use the excellent known monster and known object windows (partly because the version I downloaded has it configured that way by default, and I saw how useful they were!). With that display in place you immediately know when you are dealing with a Maia of Mandos or a Maia of Yavanna. So I haven't suffered from this confusion at all. The way you phrase it about the Maia suggests to me that you aren't that familiar with Tolkein's mythos and so the names of the Valar are indistinct to you: someone unfamiliar with the D&D-inspired dragon colours might find it similarly bizarre remembering the difference between red and green dragons. I am quite familiar with the names of the Valar but in the end it's the monster memory, of course, that I turn to to remember the Maiar's abilities!

7 - rune ID? I'm really surprised about your feelings here because the system causes me to make many *fewer* trips to the town - just think of all those weapons and armour you don't need to Identify. This links to point 11 - I find the downsides to use-ID to be absolutely minimal now and I happily use-ID all potions, scrolls, rods, wands, staves. There are some obvious precautionary tactics: don't try new potions with monsters around; read scrolls on stairs just in case it summons something you don't want to deal with; use un-IDed wands on monsters you could cope with if cloned or hasted. The only "negative" effect that seems substantial is Deep Descent but I just view that as a challenge! I will quite often identify quite a few runes by wearing rings, amulets, armour and weapons around for a while, and only end up using scrolls on the non-obvious ones. Curses are one part of the system which I don't find that engaging - they just don't seem very interesting since 90% of the time they ruin the item - and I often identify the curse runes by selling. I wouldn't make a trip to town just for that reason but if I'm going back to town anyway, I take a couple of cursed items back to sell-ID. Overall the fact that in mid-late game when sorting through piles of loot becomes really time consuming, the fact that you don't need to identify it (because you know all the runes) is a huge convenience.

15 - move through walls and tunnel - I didn't find this to be a big problem at all. The only creatures I remember moving through the walls are all the Gs, the earth Es and most of the Xs (which has always been true, and makes sense), plus the toughest L and V, one D, one U, and one annoying 'u'. The annoying 'u' (death quasit) is the only one to really annoy me, since it comes relatively shallow in the dungeon. Tunnelling it's just the umber hulk, the ent, the Xs and a couple of powerful Us? I actually agree with you entirely that if these two attributes became too common it would spoil part of the game but I contrarily I think if there were *no* enemies with these attributes the tactics would be too reliable.

17 - stat drains - are you sure? I only remember time breath as unresistable (from hounds and vortices). Powerful elemental attacks drain stats sometimes but that's not new, and as far as I can remember sustains work fine on that.

18 - up gunning - not my experience at all? Extra blows is very rare. Were you playing with randarts? I have the impression (based on ladder posts and forum posts) that with randarts on occasional lucky characters get amazing combinations of off-weapon brands and off-weapon blows but I don't know how common it really is.
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Old August 13, 2020, 08:17   #15
Sphara
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I mostly do like the new content and I've started playing in the 90's (if that is relevant piece of info).

I do however agree OP on Maia point. I do not remember which maia does this and that. They are mostly omniresistant, tough, have inventory-destructing spells and they tend to summon each other. Cherry to the top, their shapeshifting can be really deadly. Late game Maia with sudden breath attack is no joke but the worst thing is them to shapeshift into an unique. Sometimes into someone who is already dead. It's easy to avoid them because they are generated in deep, deep sleep. So, I just don't fight them at all.

Player upgunning is weird too.. when it comes to randarts. Randarts are already wacky powerful. As for me, I stopped playing with randarts when I got an early item that had Movement Speed +3 (was on 4.2.0). Things like that should not exist. I don't think Attack Speed +2 on non-weapon-slot-item should exist either.

Last edited by Sphara; August 13, 2020 at 16:33.
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Old August 13, 2020, 13:57   #16
Sideways
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Originally Posted by Sphara View Post
I mostly do like the new content and I've started playing in the 90's (if that is relevant piece of info).

I do however agree OP on Maia point. I do not remember which maia does this and that. They are mostly omniresistant, tough, have inventory-destructing spells and they tend to summon each other. Cherry to the top, their shapeshifting can be really deadly. Late Maia with sudden breath attack is no joke but the worst thing is them to shapeshift into an unique. Sometimes into someone who is already dead. It's easy to avoid them because they are generated in deep, deep sleep. So, I just don't fight them at all.
Remembering which Maia does what is a little easier if you are familiar with the underlying lore; but if you keep forgetting it it's no biggy, since the appropriate tactics for dealing with a Maia - let them keep sleeping and/or TO them on sight - are the same for all of them That's the main problem with making enemies tougher; it doesn't matter how much you buff a monster if @ never fights them, and V both makes not fighting monsters very easy and gives few if any incentives to fight high-level things.

And yes, randarts were already absurdly overpowered in earlier versions and might be even more so now.

--

Egavactip: most of those changes happened well before 4.2.1; many date to early 4.x, and the rest existed in 4.2.0 (and for the most part existed in the nightlies for quite a while before 4.2.0 came out); so by this point they're all already pretty old and were often extensively debated at the time. While most of them are things Nick always wanted to do, he did listen to community input before making the final decisions. You might be interested in this thread Big changes are almost always controversial, but there were also plenty of players who approved of them.

I do think it's a pity that V's maintainers have been so down on options. Options allow players to configure and enjoy a game the way they want to configure and enjoy it, and if other people disagree with their views, well, that's why they are options.
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Last edited by Sideways; August 13, 2020 at 14:38.
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Old August 13, 2020, 15:59   #17
Egavactip
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Originally Posted by drquicksilver View Post
The way you phrase it about the Maia suggests to me that you aren't that familiar with Tolkein's mythos and so the names of the Valar are indistinct to you: someone unfamiliar with the D&D-inspired dragon colours might find it similarly bizarre remembering the difference between red and green dragons. I am quite familiar with the names of the Valar but in the end it's the monster memory, of course, that I turn to to remember the Maiar's abilities!
That there is a difference between red and green dragons is clear from the fact that one is red and one is green. That is not the case for the Maia, where the new maia have many different flavors but commonly share sprite colors with maias of other flavors.

The "names of the Valar" are irrelevant to the complaint I made. They could be Bob and Sue and David and Tom. The problems with them are 1) there are too many of them and they have too similar names, 2) they are all gratuitously upgunned, and 3) too many of them share the same sprites so that, combined with the similarity in names and their great number, distinguishing between them is difficult and one must constantly consult the monster memory.

As for being familiar with Tolkien's mythos: not that it matters, but just for the record, I have read the Lord of the Rings over 20 times, the Silmarillion over 10 times, and all of the Christopher Tolkien compendiums at least once each.
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Old August 13, 2020, 16:33   #18
Egavactip
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Originally Posted by drquicksilver View Post

15 - move through walls and tunnel - I didn't find this to be a big problem at all. The only creatures I remember moving through the walls are all the Gs, the earth Es and most of the Xs (which has always been true, and makes sense), plus the toughest L and V, one D, one U, and one annoying 'u'. The annoying 'u' (death quasit) is the only one to really annoy me, since it comes relatively shallow in the dungeon. Tunnelling it's just the umber hulk, the ent, the Xs and a couple of powerful Us? I actually agree with you entirely that if these two attributes became too common it would spoil part of the game but I contrarily I think if there were *no* enemies with these attributes the tactics would be too reliable.

17 - stat drains - are you sure? I only remember time breath as unresistable (from hounds and vortices). Powerful elemental attacks drain stats sometimes but that's not new, and as far as I can remember sustains work fine on that.

18 - up gunning - not my experience at all? Extra blows is very rare. Were you playing with randarts? I have the impression (based on ladder posts and forum posts) that with randarts on occasional lucky characters get amazing combinations of off-weapon brands and off-weapon blows but I don't know how common it really is.
Re moving through walls and tunnelling: there are now multiple demons that can do that (one upgunned greater balrog, one new one (fury), and the death quasit). There are huorns that can do it, more uniques that can do it, I think one of the new maiar can do it, the time-spitting hounds can do it, and more, in addition to all the creatures that already could do it.

Re stat drains: now all the Nazgul can do stat drain, and vortices of unmagic can do stat drain, and it is all unresistable.

Re upgunning: Of course I play with randarts (I don't see any point to play otherwise). The limited 4.2 games I've played so far were practically dripping with weapons that provided extra attacks, other gear that provided extra attacks, and a number of weapons with +25 or more damage. All of this was very rare beforehand. Now, as I said in my OP, this could have just been weird luck, but I've seen messages here with others posting examples of similarly hugely powered randarts.
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Old August 13, 2020, 16:37   #19
Egavactip
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Egavactip: most of those changes happened well before 4.2.1; many date to early 4.x, and the rest existed in 4.2.0 (and for the most part existed in the nightlies for quite a while before 4.2.0 came out); so by this point they're all already pretty old and were often extensively debated at the time. While most of them are things Nick always wanted to do, he did listen to community input before making the final decisions. You might be interested in this thread Big changes are almost always controversial, but there were also plenty of players who approved of them.

I do think it's a pity that V's maintainers have been so down on options. Options allow players to configure and enjoy a game the way they want to configure and enjoy it, and if other people disagree with their views, well, that's why they are options.
Exactly when they came out isn't really the issue; the problems that they present is what matters.
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Old August 13, 2020, 17:00   #20
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Exactly when they came out isn't really the issue; the problems that they present is what matters.
The passage of time has no effect on the validity of your feedback, of course, but it does mean you can't expect any of those changes to be reverted while Nick is the maintainer. Nick asked for community input on this stuff long ago, views similar to yours were presented by others during that stage, Nick has already heard them, he implemented the changes anyway because enough other people figured they were good and solved rather than presented problems.

Nick will listen to your feedback at any time, of course, because he's a nice person; but he's not going to revert rune-ID or unsearchable traps or the Tolkienization of the lore at this point; nor are you likely to build a community consensus that he ought to.
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