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Old December 15, 2009, 21:30   #1
Malatar
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A Few Comments about V

Hi there. I've been playing Angband for many years now. (Since it was still Moria on a VAX 11/783 mainframe with amber screens and VT100 keyboards, heh...) I've been playing the new version for a while and I had some things that I thought I'd mention and see what others thought.

1. I don't ever seem to be able to buy a lantern in the General Store anymore. It seems odd that they lost the ability to make a fairly normal piece of gear in this town...

2. The General Store doesn't buy anything any more. Bug or feature?

3. Lack of autoscum for more interesting levels. I understand this isn't something that everyone likes, but I'm a compulsive level clearer, and hitting boring level after boring level gets quite tiresome. Perhaps it could be put back in and just defaulted to off? It isn't something that you'd have to have, but it's an option that makes the game far more enjoyable to me.

4. NPPband has had some interesting changes in mage spells. I've always thought it was sad that mages spend most of their time in combat just using magic missile or meleeing. Maybe it's time for rewrite of their books? I realize that this would probably mean adding resistances (or lack thereof) to monsters to encourage intelligent spell selection, but it does seem to give more depth to the game.

These are the biggest things I've been thinking since starting Vanilla again. I was glad to see the discussion on making some of the artifacts useful, too. (I don't think I've ever worn the Paur* gloves when I found a pair...) It's really nice to see development still continuing on Angband. Thank you to all the developers and contributors over the years... I play Angband on a 30" monitor and love it when my friends stare at me as if I've got insane. I hope to still be playing Angband when the primary display method is holographic, and to still be able to tell people that game quality means more than graphics anyday.
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Old December 15, 2009, 21:50   #2
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Hi there! It's true the general store no longer sells lanterns. I've always though this was strange, but since the light radius of well-lit torches was increased to 2, it doesn't bother me too much. You'll also notice the Phial is a lot harder to find these days.

2. The general store will purchase lights, food, and anything they sell in the development version of the game (so called "nightlies" - which will eventually become 3.1.2 some time in January).

3. I didn't use auto-scum, so I can't really comment on that one.

4. I think everyone agrees that mages need some re-working. Currently, (again, in the nightlies) offensive mage spells have had their casting costs reduced by 50%. I'm not sure if this change will stick, but mages (and ranged damage) are slated for some serious rebalancing in the upcoming future.
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Old December 15, 2009, 23:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marble Dice View Post
2. The general store will purchase lights, food, and anything they sell in the development version of the game (so called "nightlies" - which will eventually become 3.1.2 some time in January).
When did that change? Was it an approved change?
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Old December 16, 2009, 00:28   #4
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When did that change? Was it an approved change?
Takkaria had a ticket open for it, unless I misunderstood http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/288

Even if they don't buy lights and food, they should at least buy back what they sell, from a user interface stand-point.
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Old December 16, 2009, 00:29   #5
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Originally Posted by Malatar View Post

3. Lack of autoscum for more interesting levels. I understand this isn't something that everyone likes, but I'm a compulsive level clearer, and hitting boring level after boring level gets quite tiresome. Perhaps it could be put back in and just defaulted to off? It isn't something that you'd have to have, but it's an option that makes the game far more enjoyable to me.
autoscum heavily favored putting more dangerous monsters on a level. Since the easiest thing to create a good level feeling were pits, you wound up with a lot of jelly pits. Other things that helped boost level feeling were OoD group monsters like hounds and trolls.

I think autoscum was turned off mainly because the level feelings were broken and it was doing a very poor job at picking 'interesting' levels. If you're getting bored with clearing a level of weaker monsters, the easy solution is to just diver deeper! You'll get better loot too!
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Old December 16, 2009, 01:07   #6
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Originally Posted by Marble Dice View Post
Takkaria had a ticket open for it, unless I misunderstood http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/288

Even if they don't buy lights and food, they should at least buy back what they sell, from a user interface stand-point.
That ticket is very strange. It has his name on it, so I guess he shouldn't complain.

I implemented "refunds" hack at one time. They buy back an equal number to what they sold of a slot so long as the slot remains. Something like that is important when selling is otherwise disallowed in case you spend all your money and forget to buy food or recall or such.
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Old December 16, 2009, 04:32   #7
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autoscum heavily favored putting more dangerous monsters on a level. Since the easiest thing to create a good level feeling were pits, you wound up with a lot of jelly pits. Other things that helped boost level feeling were OoD group monsters like hounds and trolls.

I think autoscum was turned off mainly because the level feelings were broken and it was doing a very poor job at picking 'interesting' levels. If you're getting bored with clearing a level of weaker monsters, the easy solution is to just diver deeper! You'll get better loot too!
I'd have to disagree about this. I loved seeing a good level feeling because it meant that when I explored I could have the joy of finding nasty things that could kill me, as well as the agony of jelly pits and hounds.

Anyway, diving quickly doesn't fix the problem of obsessively compulsively exploring the entire level, when each level is boring... I think on my current character I did 25 dungeon levels with only one "good" level. It's snore inducing.

Again, I think that just leaving it as an option that people can turn on would be a better solution. Don't worry about balancing it anymore or anything, but leave it as a feature that people can play with if they want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
I implemented "refunds" hack at one time. They buy back an equal number to what they sold of a slot so long as the slot remains. Something like that is important when selling is otherwise disallowed in case you spend all your money and forget to buy food or recall or such.
This is an interesting idea. I'm sure we've all groaned at characters who overspent and couldn't buy recall, especially. Don't you love killing aimless merchants trying to get just enough to buy a scroll of WoR? ;-)
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Old December 16, 2009, 04:55   #8
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How about a 'boring level' counter, to insure that no more than 'some percentage' of all levels are boring. If the number of 'boring levels' exceed more than 'some percentage' of the total levels generated, then auto-scum kicks in. 50% sounds about right.
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Old December 16, 2009, 21:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malatar View Post
I'd have to disagree about this. I loved seeing a good level feeling because it meant that when I explored I could have the joy of finding nasty things that could kill me, as well as the agony of jelly pits and hounds.

Anyway, diving quickly doesn't fix the problem of obsessively compulsively exploring the entire level, when each level is boring... I think on my current character I did 25 dungeon levels with only one "good" level. It's snore inducing.

Again, I think that just leaving it as an option that people can turn on would be a better solution. Don't worry about balancing it anymore or anything, but leave it as a feature that people can play with if they want.
It was removed as an option because the maintainer didn't like it, so I doubt it's coming back any time soon. That said, the post about level feelings being broken is correct.

I'm afraid the game is not designed for the clearing of the entire dungeon - this is why the dungeon is infinite. If you want to play a roguelike that rewards clearing levels, try Crawl or ADoM.
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Old December 17, 2009, 12:42   #10
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It was removed as an option because the maintainer didn't like it, so I doubt it's coming back any time soon. That said, the post about level feelings being broken is correct.
Game with autoscum created too easily pits, but is also created more vaults. Currently vaults are IMO too rare.

That said, level feelings were broken. Pits, no matter how deep monsters they had, should not give as good level feeling as vaults. In fact most useful level feeling was "excellent", because that almost always meant some excellent single (or sometimes multiple) item, if it were Suberb it was almost always pit or vault. That single "excellent" item was almost always more useful than vault full of ordinary "good" items.


Quote:
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I'm afraid the game is not designed for the clearing of the entire dungeon - this is why the dungeon is infinite. If you want to play a roguelike that rewards clearing levels, try Crawl or ADoM.
In old days there was no preserve mode, and no autoscum. All levels were quite interesting, but not extremely so. Without preserve mode you got "special" -feeling if there were artifact on the level, but that could also mean pit or vault. If you found pit onto "special" level you still needed to check entire level to make sure there is no artifact there. That was bad. Not very bad, but bad. Anyway you needed to clear full levels every now and then, and game *was* designed for that. Not every level, but sometimes.

Some of the variants have more useful level feelings. Someting that tells you if there is items or monsters that are worth checking out.
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