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Old May 7, 2018, 14:25   #11
Pete Mack
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Without those 8s, the reward isn't worth it. If you want to tone it down, and make it impossible to TO monsters, then tone down what 8 means for monsters, but not for loot.

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
So again there should be some middle ground with vaults between "Just TO everything inside" and "don't bother." How to find this middle ground isn't easy, and will take some effort. But it's probably worth struggling through. In my view vaults are essentially an exchange between precious consumables for possible loot. They're not really a risk/reward thing, since in permadeath games, risks are pretty much never worth it (unless you're playing ultra-diving turn-count minimizing.) If TO is a precious resource, then they are very useful for vault clearing.

I actually think most small/medium vaults are in a good place right now. There are probably a few with uncontained OoD monsters that can escape, and those should be looked at with a critical eye. Stuff like the Planet X vault is an example of a good vault design, with 4 non-interacting sections. Other vaults do a good job of segregating the worst monsters in their own small corridors (e.g. Turnabout), Other vaults are less good at this (Central, cross, etc.)

For medium vaults, two of my creations, Disguised 2x2 and Disguised Checkerboard are problematic. The "8" square monsters should be replaced with something a little less dangerous. The vaults as is are way too dense and there's nothing keeping the dangerous monsters from walking out of the dungeon.

Honestly, if we reduced the density of some of the worst offending vaults, we could probably leave most as is, and even keep the frequency somewhat high. Looking at something like "the reward is worth it" we have 32 "8" squares, which seems like large amounts of overkill. (There's also something like 60 "6" squares! and I'm not counting the 4s and 2s).
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Old May 7, 2018, 16:13   #12
Derakon
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fizzix, I'm curious what kinds of interactions you're imagining in a "TO-less" world when the player encounters a monster that they can't feasibly fight. How is the player expected to cope with that monster, short of avoiding it? I gather you want to make such monsters more rare, but that does not mean by a long shot that they'll stop being generated; you don't need '8' squares to get very out-of-depth monsters. So what's the proposed "endgame" for your changes, so to speak? That is, what challenges do you want the player to face, and what tools will they have to face those challenges with?
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Old May 7, 2018, 20:34   #13
Pete Mack
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@Derakon--
Well said. Monsters don't even need to be out of depth to be unfightable. (Kavlax and Gorlim come to mind, not to mention drolems.) And drolem cannot be avoided by priests, paladins, or warriors, unless they are very lucky.
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Old May 7, 2018, 22:07   #14
dos350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
You take away TO, do you take away greater vaults too? It is the only way to deal with most of them.
idk how tru this statement is my friend,, by time u are strong most vault can be clear'd pretty easy without much to,,

on the otherhand i prefer'd t/o when it was a beam,

dont change angband too much bros just make a new *band

(lovin the "changes" to phase and potions tho)
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Old May 8, 2018, 01:52   #15
fizzix
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Sure, the following are ways I can imagine dealing with difficult enemies.

1) incapacitate the enemy: paralyze, hold, sleep. These would have to be a bit more powerful, and give @ enough turns to get around.

2) Leave and come back: In the ideal world monsters can switch between "engaged", "aware/tracking", "unaware/wandering" and "asleep" Maybe you can lure the monster away and come back for the loot.

3) Leave the level. Essentially what you do now before you have TO.

4) Use valuable consumables (one of which could be TO, but also destruction, branded explosive ammo, powerful wand charges, etc.)

Nothing exists statically. Any change necessitates other changes. So a change in allowing players to deal with enemies allows for more dangerous enemies. Taking away that power requires weakening the enemies.
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Old May 8, 2018, 14:29   #16
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Also, thinking about this more. It may be useful to see how other roguelikes deal with the problem. Obviously stealing their answers wholesale isn't going to work, and isn't recommended. But it'd be silly not to see if there's anything we can poach.

TOME - monsters scale with character level, although this is somewhat of a weak scaling with regard to difficulty. (A level 60 rat is much weaker than a level 30 ancient dragon). TOME escapes are cooldown based, but otherwise they are similar to Angband escapes. TO exists, but can be resisted. A somewhat cheesy tactic is to give a monster a debilitating damage-per-turn status effect and then teleport them away. Monsters can block your escapes through status effects and the like, which can be very frustrating. Tome doesn't tend to put impossible to handle monsters in the path of the player, although there are some quests that will trap an unwary player into an impossible situation (like the lightning guy or the dark crypt). TOME bosses are static and you can prepare for them before engaging. TOME does create random unique (and rare) monsters which, depending on what skills they get, can be pushovers or impossible.

SIL - no teleport, really no instant kill monsters either. SIL is a lot about managing terrain and making sure you can get to the stairs if things go bad. Very rarely will you find yourself in a scenario where running away won't get you to the stairs fast enough (shadow spiders maybe) The closest thing SIL has to teleport is a switch position skill, which can allow you to get past monsters that flank you (and monsters do love to flank you). This kind of playstyle requires there to be very few hard hitting monsters, and even fewer (if any) hard hitting ranged attacks. I don't have tremendous experience with Sil though, so maybe someone else can chime in.

DCSS - Mostly DCSS is about making sure you always engage on your own terms. There are very few places (like Vaults 5) where you are going to be locked in. Prized escapes, like binking scrolls (A controlled, short distance teleport) are rare. Long range teleport comes on a delay so it is an escape that needs to be planned ahead. Healing items are also rare, and there's no "priest" class or skill branch. On the flip side, ranged attackers are also relatively rare, especially in the first half of the game, and being able to identify them is really important. DCSS doesn't really have magical monster detection, but it generally gives the player some turns after they spot a monster before it is aware, unless you've been making a godawful ruckus. Monsters also go unaware if you've been out of sight for a while, so this allows you to reset battles with more favorable terms. DCSS strongly enforces what monsters can appear on what levels, which allows you to prepare, and limits OoD problem monsters.

Of the three games above, none really produce monsters that are as out of depth as Angband. TOME unique monsters come the closest. Unique monsters in Sil and DCSS are much weaker on average. DCSS specifically often uses gimmicky tricks for its unique monsters. So there'll be a monster that specializes in paralyzing the player (Grinder), or one that creates clones (Mara), or one that is electricity based (Nicola), etc. These unique monsters can be hard enough that you will often want to avoid them and come back later.

Of what's available in other games, I would make the highest priority of something to adapt, the ability to make monsters unaware. It certainly shouldn't be the case where a monster is able to track you across the entire level after a teleport (something that happened to me with a Vampire lord recently.) A player teleport should essentially be a safe reset into a new territory. I'd also consider introducing controlled teleports and controlled blinks as alternatives to TO.

I could also suggest weakening some unique monsters (and simultaneously moving them earlier). I'd look at weakening some of the strong ranged attacks that monsters have, and in general weakening the summon monster traits.

On that last note, both DCSS and TOME have monster summons (and player summons for that matter). In both cases summoned monsters are timed, and vanish after some amount of time. In DCSS summoned monsters also disappear after the summoner has been killed. Rarely can monsters summon a bunch of monsters stronger than them.
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