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Old September 6, 2017, 17:10   #141
wobbly
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Forum dramas & discussions about adding porsches to the game aside: Thanks for taking the time to explain some of the game design philosophy & as always for a new version.

I've played a bit more & apart from a few bugs: mentioned up-thread, also see no-phase screenshot & the device bug screenshots.
& some balance issues: Summoning being the main one.
I've been enjoying most of the changes.

Feedback:

Free Action changes: Agree in principle, as I find binary mechanics dull. In practice? Haven't noticed a major difference other then gear decisions being a little trickier. Sometimes I'll be paralyzed for small amounts of time, I'm yet to have a "that was close" or "that got me moment".

See Invisible/Telepathy Changes: Again in principle agree. In practice? It's been more of a hassle/annoyance than a gain

Summons: Seem out of control. I already mentioned Utgard-Loke. I'll add Gachapin & Scylla. I'll also add that crypt creeps for me have become instant teleport. Not dangerous, not interesting, just see crypt creep=teleport.

Poison: Seems an improvement. However the only character I've fought great venom wyrms with was a phase spider, so unsure how the balance is late game for anything else.

Turn loss for empty devices??: Why was this reverted? What does it achieve other then me constantly checking invenory menu for charges? Seems an added UI hassle, breaks immersion for me, slows down an otherwise smoth flowing combat.

Minor quibble about statues: Why do they now stack? Were people really hauling them back to sell? Dropped a fancy statue in my museum & it suddenly changed, must of secretly been a mimic.
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Old September 6, 2017, 17:40   #142
Antoine
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I have never played poscheng but I think it is the best *band and I always read about it.

I came here to say that I hope chris and clouded are soon reconciled. I suspect that if all the facts were clear, they would find they had a lot of common ground.

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Old September 6, 2017, 18:00   #143
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I've broken my comments up in to 3? posts for easier readability. Also spoilered my virtue rant. Hope you don't mind my verbosity. At times it's unclear if you even get around to reading comments. Shrug. Your variant & your time. do what you want, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
In the future, I probably will remove a bunch of options. Consider this fair warning or, better yet, an inventation to step up now while there is still time. For example, vaults may be getting a *huge* adjustment sometime very soon. If you like the current vaults, better act fast! I only ask that any new fork not be posted under the Poschengband ladder, as it would confuse me.
I play mostly default options with partial randarts.

Easy Id: Id games don't bother me. *Id games don't bother me. Have played games with no id, find them less aesthetically pleasing. I think the changes to ego & id a few versions back were good. Just going to point out that what you're saying about "next time you play" assumes people use the same save. I don't. On the other hand I already know what egos have what & it's pretty irrelevant to me.

Easy Lore: Tried it on a magic-eater. Disliked being able to check every monster for it's resistance holes. Went back to playing with it off.

Virtues: Ambivalent about this. Play with it on. Mostly ignore them unless I'm a caster or a summoner. Are super annoying for nature casters, see virtue rant later on.

All this said I recognize I'm in the minority. I talk & read the comments of people who HATE id games WITH A PASSION. No amount of making the id game cleverer or sexier is going to change that. They'll feel like something that annoyed them is being forced on them, because to be blunt you are talking about literally doing just that.

Virtue Rant
I've been playing on-line on angband.live & talking to people who are new to the game. The most common question I see comes when someone uses an un-ided item & becomes "less knowledgable". You can almost sense the paranoia of a player who is learning the game & "done something wrong" & "lost something" that'll matter latter on but they have no idea what happened & why it matters or where it'll come back to bite them.

Nature Casters. Maintaining true neutral is super annoying. I know enough quirks to game it & it is gaming it. Feels artificial. Get hungry so many times to be good-er. Be a glutton so many times to be evil-er.
The nature virtue itself? Anything with the animal tag is natural. Hounds. Hydras. God-damn Nether hounds are natural.

Last edited by wobbly; September 6, 2017 at 18:24.
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Old September 6, 2017, 18:20   #144
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Final comment/rant(for now )

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
For example, I like Hugo ... he's rather entertaining! But I wouldn't say he is playing the game using the style for which it is designed. And if you think you can develop a variant without a target playstyle in mind, then you are "super batshit crazy" The most important decisions you make as a variant maintainer, imo, involve resource allocation and different playstyles need vastly different approaches. I assume a controlled descent approach, using ability to defeat uniques near their level as the controlling principle. I do not like "if you are getting you butt whooped on DL40, go deeper" as a playstyle, though it admittedly works much ... *much* better. And this is for *design*, not play. Play anyway you like. If I say a certain style is scummy, that is not a moral judgement and does not reflect in any way on the player or what they accomplish while playing. But don't expect design to change for any playstyle that differs from the intent. To repeat, you can and should play anyway you like. But it is impossible to vary the game design to suit all playstyles. Also, I feel it is OK for a VM to discourage certain actions such as stair skimming or what not. These tend to be things that I have all too much first hand experience with, having been a very "scummy" player myself. But they usually exploit some code weakness that is unnatural or unrealistic. For me, when I stopped doing these sorts of things, the game improved. My win/loss ratio, if I cared about it, certainly went down. My games became longer ... but more fun. I'm trying to do you a favor here
Ok, I get this & don't. Let's talk 2 different characters. 2 different gamestyles.

I play a big bad bruiser (Half-Giant Warrior?). Fight things. Get stronger. Fight bigger things. Get stronger etc. Works within the design philosophy.

I play a small sneaky guy with teleport games (say a Shrewd Sprite Sorcery Rogue). My whole stick is avoiding fights. My fun comes from playing where things are super dangerous. Where I have to concentrate & constantly detect because everything is dangerous. My fun does not come from fighting/killing a thousand things my own size because the game has enforced a brick wall on progression of which sections of the game I have access to.
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Old September 6, 2017, 23:50   #145
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So right. Some characters absolutely have to dive, because otherwise the tedium of picking off puny monsters is extreme. Anyone who was paying attention to the forums when Eddy posted "Tales of the Bold" will understand this, even if they don't agree. Compared to "Adventures of the Novice Mage" (paraphrased earlier thread title), it's night and day. More fun, more interesting, more educational, and less likely to lead to YASD due to inattention after dozens of hours.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobbly View Post
Final comment/rant(for now )



Ok, I get this & don't. Let's talk 2 different characters. 2 different gamestyles.

I play a big bad bruiser (Half-Giant Warrior?). Fight things. Get stronger. Fight bigger things. Get stronger etc. Works within the design philosophy.

I play a small sneaky guy with teleport games (say a Shrewd Sprite Sorcery Rogue). My whole stick is avoiding fights. My fun comes from playing where things are super dangerous. Where I have to concentrate & constantly detect because everything is dangerous. My fun does not come from fighting/killing a thousand things my own size because the game has enforced a brick wall on progression of which sections of the game I have access to.
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Old September 7, 2017, 00:05   #146
Mocht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobbly View Post
At times it's unclear if you even get around to reading comments
I think he does read all comments (well, every 6 months he does, when he goes online)
I once made a small, easy to miss comment and he alluded to it
I think the thing is, however, that he disagrees with almost all comments and has little to say about them

I am shocked that he thinks virtues are wonderful and that non-auto id is enjoyable
For me, invisibility, free action and summoning are the 3 most irritating parts of the game, so what does he do, he cranks them all up
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Old September 7, 2017, 02:15   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobbly View Post
Virtue Rant
I've been playing on-line on angband.live & talking to people who are new to the game. The most common question I see comes when someone uses an un-ided item & becomes "less knowledgable". You can almost sense the paranoia of a player who is learning the game & "done something wrong" & "lost something" that'll matter latter on but they have no idea what happened & why it matters or where it'll come back to bite them.

Nature Casters. Maintaining true neutral is super annoying. I know enough quirks to game it & it is gaming it. Feels artificial. Get hungry so many times to be good-er. Be a glutton so many times to be evil-er.
The nature virtue itself? Anything with the animal tag is natural. Hounds. Hydras. God-damn Nether hounds are natural.
I was expecting people to take debo's warning to heart and avoid talking about any sharp edges of chris' post, but for this topic at least, I'm willing to add my work to the pile.
On Virtues and Verbosity:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
For example, I think the virtue system *must* be on all the time. It has subtle design effects on the gameplay and a few not so subtle effects that really, really *ought* to be experienced. First-hand ... not source dived and spoiled. Hengband was a game that was still surprising me after 6 years of heavy play. There was still stuff I didn't know. I'm trying for the same sort of experience, the same sort of design.
There's games like The King of Dragon Pass that do this really well, and games like Dwarf Fortress that do it decently well, but the reason the first does it well is because it shows you the results of the subtle things quite obviously (with art!) and is already a reading-comprehension game with writing that implies those subtle things, and then the second does it well because of the spoilers and the community that helps guide people through the subtle details of those spoilers in ways that are entertaining instead of confusing... and that's the key, you see.

New players talking about the virtue system regularly mention how it would be a lot better if it weren't so opaque: "what do virtues even do?", "should I try not to lose nature virtue?", "it should be documented better", "it could be more transparent", "Without the spoilers, it's all esoteric"... They look at the "You brute!" message and they have no idea why its happening, how to stop it, what it does, or even if they care about it. They are confused, and the answers to their questions generally boil down to "don't worry, the virtue system doesn't really matter, you can ignore it, it doesn't make much sense, and trying to control it would be a huge hassle".^

Then, for examples of people enjoying the virtue system, you have stuff like "virtues are funny just for the firs ttime i opened the virtues info page and found out that i was Bitter Enemy of Compassion", "learning stuff, makes you less knowledgable. It's vey Zen", and I remember someone being entertained by 'selling empty bottles gives you nature virtue' once, but I can't find a quote for it.

All in all, virtues are currently one of those things you experiment with a little or read the code, then turn off once their jokes grow old.


Trying to fix that is an entirely different issue; it's already too spammy for most players, kinda ruining the 'subtle' part, and if you were to try and make it more subtle, they wouldn't even be as entertained with it as they are, since they might not ever notice the system or its effects unless they were very thorough, and they might never figure out how it works.

Using it (in a game design sense) successfully probably involves making sure the player can trust that the system will make sense, that it wont screw them over, and that each thing it does is reasonably possible to figure out. Then, you need to show them early on— in their introduction to the game— that they even need to be giving this trust, and that it won't be misplaced. Something like "Each character will have a set of Virtues that interact with the world around them; higher virtue marks that character as an ally of all things that hold the same virtue." Which neatly implies things like how creatures can be friendly based on virtue and how chaos/random items work better with higher chance virtue...

...but runs the problem that it doesn't quite match how spellcasting penalties work right now, or with how compassion = 'heal monster wand is better', and if you wanted to implement it, you would still need to fix things like Nature or Honor virtue, so that player decisions can actually have a proportionate effect on the virtue.

There's also the arguable bonuses; like Chance virtue's effect on Polymorph is good for some purposes but not for others, so a player might feel betrayed that they increased their Chance only to discover it made their odds worse at their goal.

^(Kinda like the "crazy" disconnect, there are players [myself included] that thought some parts of Poschengband were intentionally confusing; pieces not intended to add anything to the gameplay but instead to leave someone playing or reading the code befuddled into speechlessness at least once, or, at the very least, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)

That was longer than expected, and I don't think I managed to say my point explicitly. I hope you can figure it out anyway, chris, but if you don't want to bother, I wouldn't be upset.
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Old September 7, 2017, 04:19   #148
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Quote:
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I have never played poscheng but I think it is the best *band and I always read about it.
Wat? I mean, I can understand being interested, but "the best band"? Get outta here with your smarmy and transparent flattery!

Quote:
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I came here to say that I hope chris and clouded are soon reconciled. I suspect that if all the facts were clear, they would find they had a lot of common ground.
A.
I honestly find it hard to care about the specifics, but of course one generally hopes for a magnanimous outcome.

(FWIW, I did play PosCheng for a bit up until 4.x-ish? It ended up being a bit too crazy for me. Loved Entroband, though, so... meh?)

@chris: Do whatever the fuck you want... and I actually mean that sincerely. It's your variant, you do you. If people want to fork or whatever, that's their prerogative. I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind dropping clouded's patches (assuming they're good patches), but again... you do you. It's fine.

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Old September 7, 2017, 04:21   #149
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> Wat? I mean, I can understand being interested, but "the best band"? Get outta here with your smarmy and transparent flattery!

No I mean it, I think it is better and more true to the Angband heritage than V

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Old September 7, 2017, 04:28   #150
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Quote:
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> Wat? I mean, I can understand being interested, but "the best band"? Get outta here with your smarmy and transparent flattery!
No I mean it, I think it is better and more true to the Angband heritage than V
A.
My point was: How can you say that without having played it?

EDIT: And, no, it isn't. It's more true to the Hengband heritage (which derives from Angband, yes, thank you). There's was a huge schism around randomized energy replenishiment. (I happen to like it "up to" Entroband, but Poschengband ended up being too extreme for me.)
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