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Old November 27, 2016, 17:41   #1
PowerDiver
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3.a advice

I'll give advice about how to play 3.a here in response to questions. I'm not sure how much I'll say on my own without questions. Please put the "this is good or bad" comments in the advocacy thread, and "what's the rule on foo" questions in the rules thread. Feel free to give advice as well!

My first advice is to use the options
unsquelch_useful_flavors
squelch_useless_flavors

If you have those set, and you find a potion of drain strength, it generally would be in your best interest to quaff the potion. You have some version of restore strength that you still need to learn. When you have learned all of the strength restores, then drain strength will be squelched.

I squelch stuff like restore potions, remove curse, and cures. If you are squelching potions of restore strength and your strength gets drained, they are automatically unsquelched. The exception being that if you are only down 1, and you need to learn a different restore strength, then the potion would remain squelched because you shouldn't want to use it.

I left all the learning basically as it was in 3.0. So you learn a wand of heal monster used on a monster at full hp, just because that's how it was.
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Old December 5, 2016, 03:13   #2
t4nk
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So, it's really mushrooms that are nearly universally terrible. So in the beginning (levels 1 - 30) I don't eat them, but instead stockpile in home, and only identify them when I have some potions of restoring.
Question. Do staffs of identify do anything? All items are already identified, and these staffs don't identify consumables.
Also, how exactly squelch works? As far as I can tell, it takes item weight into account.
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Old December 5, 2016, 05:14   #3
PowerDiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t4nk View Post
So, it's really mushrooms that are nearly universally terrible. So in the beginning (levels 1 - 30) I don't eat them, but instead stockpile in home, and only identify them when I have some potions of restoring.
Question. Do staffs of identify do anything? All items are already identified, and these staffs don't identify consumables.
Also, how exactly squelch works? As far as I can tell, it takes item weight into account.
The staves of perception, along with the priest spell, are mostly but not completely useless. Two times it is useful: (1) After clearing a pit using dispel evil or holy light, it shows the properties of all of the weapons and armor and stuff like rings of damage from a distance, so they can be squelched without walking over. (2) After you light a room, you can see a ring of speed off behind a too-tough monster. In either case, the small use is to know whether to cross a room to pick it up, when e.g. Itangast is on his way to burn your books. This was probably a waste of effort on my part, but in a game where you don't identify anything I was trying to repurpose "perception". I use it with priest chars that have it in a book I was carrying regardless, or if I run across a perception item early into clearing a pit. I would never devote a slot to it.

The universally terrible stuff is actually very useful for old-fashioned ironman, where figuring out restore potions is an important part of the game. The only decreases that really hurt are str losses, and there is an early sustain ring you can wear while testing mushrooms [I wear it all the time]. Another choice is to use the birth option for increased starting stats which ought to more than compensate.

There are no important early break points, so running around with all stats down 1 or 2 is no big deal. It's not like 3.0 where that could drop you from 2 blows to 1 blow.

I did some more reasonable testing, and it turns out that always_learn doesn't work properly. I have fixed that, and changed another easiness option to allow learning flavors from shops to not cost experience, so people who absolutely hate the ID game should bug me for 3.a.1. There are a couple other things I want to fix first before the next release, so not sure when.

Squelch compares each object to a squelched object, and if every positive aspect dominates the right way, and every negative aspect dominates the other way, the object is squelched. I considered an option to ignore weight, but the way blows are calculated I figured that was asking for trouble. Life would be better if the weights of objects did not increase every time the base object gets slightly better, but that's just how it has always been done. Changing those details was beyond my scope.

The way I cope is with the multiple choices on the squelch menu. So if you ignore a longsword(2d5)(+3,+4) you are given assorted choices of what exactly to squelch. The lightest base item that matches the flags for a longsword is a dagger. One of the options you will be given is

a dagger(2d5) (+4,+4)
That has the weight and other properties of a dagger, but the dice and plusses to dominate the longsword that initiated the menu.

[There is a limit to the number of items that can be stored internally for squelch. To keep things under control, most choices have to_hit = to_damage.]

Sometimes you will go to squelch an item that would already have been squelched, except it was not squelched because it weighs less than the comparison object. In that case, there will be a (*) in the list of squelched items and a message telling you such an item would be squelched except for weight.

Another example. You squelch metal shod boots [6] (+1). The lightest match is soft leather boots [2], so you will also be given the choice to squelch

soft leather boots [2] (+5)

Those are lighter, but give the same total AC of 7. My current character was up against the 180lb threshold, and wanted to squelch the heavy boots but not lighter boots, so weight really does come into play in some games.

Finally, there is a "store service" to restore stats and experience. For technical reasons, it was best to put that in the player's home, not the priest store. Look at the bottom line and it should be mentioned. I'm overly harsh, so I probably set the price at something like 10,000 and didn't have room on the line to print the cost.


My writing above seems correct but not clear. Best I can do. I am fuzzy-headed right now. Please ask again with a specific example if something doesn't make sense.
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Old December 5, 2016, 13:12   #4
t4nk
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Thank you, this is pretty clear. BTW,
Quote:
There are a couple other things I want to fix first before the next release, so not sure when.
The targeting line is drawn over 'r'ecall area, which is pretty annoying; to fix, I replaced lines 2672-2676 of xtra2.c:
Code:
    /* Command */
    display_path_and_get_key(&query, y, x);

    /* Load screen */
    screen_load();
with this:
Code:
    /* Command */
    anykey();

    /* Load screen */
    screen_load();
    Term_fresh();
(the comment on line 2660 mentions "this doesn't work right"; that's because Term_fresh() has to be called after screen_load() to actually update the screen).

edit: Oh, and another thing I just remembered; the "b)" line of squelch menu is always empty (doesn't display anything except "b)" tag and has no effect).
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Old December 5, 2016, 19:00   #5
PowerDiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t4nk View Post
edit: Oh, and another thing I just remembered; the "b)" line of squelch menu is always empty (doesn't display anything except "b)" tag and has no effect).
Thanks for the bugfixes. I will check them out.

The empty (b) line is on purpose. The (b) line is for squelching all of a flavor, for example you squelch a ring of con(+2). (b) is used for all con rings, (c) for con(+2), and (d) for con(+6) IIRC. The con+6 will get them all, but not until you see the value. The (d) choice is there because of the way I handle, for example, Helms of Infravision(+1). There should always be choices to squelch with the highest allowable pval.

I was planning to make things a little more standard, so that one could use macros effectively, but that project fell by the wayside. In that context, making it possible for a player to squelch all longswords is a big no-no. I think the squelch code is likely correct, and is basically good enough, but it is not close to ideal.
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