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Old August 10, 2014, 18:28   #1
Ende
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Very old returning player needs advice!

Hey guys im a very old skool player who originally played Moria on my Amiga 500 and then on my 600... since then every now and then ill search out the latest Angband/Moria/Nethack type game to have another burst of nostalgia

Well i installed the latest Angband at the start of this weekend looking forward to some oldskool fun... and tbh most of the game is as i expected with some very nice updates

However..... A couple of glaring changes are haunting me which i must say i dont like much...

1. What happened to selling your loot in the town? There doesnt seem to be much point of the shops as all i can do is get items identified and buy a few things too.

2. What happened to cursed items? A part of the game which needed decent skill to work around was the existence of cursed items.

3. Where are the packs of beasties with a leader? Ive only gone down 5 levels so far but i havent seen a single pack of nasties, something i would expect to have seen by now.

Overall it looks to me like the game has been simplified somewhat and the difficulty has been tuned right down to pretty easy.

If its not possible to toggle these changes ingame then can someone point me to a version of Angband which includes these original elements?

Thanks

~Ende~
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Old August 10, 2014, 19:32   #2
Derakon
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Hey, welcome back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ende View Post
1. What happened to selling your loot in the town? There doesnt seem to be much point of the shops as all i can do is get items identified and buy a few things too.
By default, the "no-selling" birth option is turned on. It prevents you from gaining money by selling items, but in exchange you get more money from cash in the dungeon. The goal is to keep you from having to worry about the cash value of every single useless magical item you find in the dungeon, and let you spend more time actually using items and exploring.

You can turn the option off when creating a new character.

Quote:
2. What happened to cursed items? A part of the game which needed decent skill to work around was the existence of cursed items.
One of the long-term goals of "recent" Angband development (in the last five years or so) has been to streamline the identification metagame. Part of this is to encourage ID by use, that is, you find out what an item does by using/equipping it and seeing what happens. The game will tell you if your character notices that e.g. that shield they equipped protects them from a fire-based attack, or if their weapon deals extra damage when they hit an orc.

However, nobody would ever equip an un-ID'd item or quaff an un-ID'd potion if there was a chance of something seriously bad happening, so the old sticky-cursed equipment is gone, as are potions with strictly negative effects (e.g. drain stats). In the long-term we'd like to have more "mixed-blessing" items that have more interesting negative effects than just being unable to remove a cursed item, but nobody's dedicated the development time yet.

Quote:
3. Where are the packs of beasties with a leader? Ive only gone down 5 levels so far but i havent seen a single pack of nasties, something i would expect to have seen by now.
They're around, but monster packs in general have been toned down in the interests of increasing monster variety. Instead of spending entire levels fighting nothing but Zephyr Hounds, now you'll see more giants and dark elves and so on. There are also more mixed packs -- for example, the different kinds of adventurers now show up in heterogenous groups instead of an entire pack consisting solely of Novice Priests or the like. And there are some other clever groupings, like the elemental giants showing up with the appropriate corresponding Zephyr Hound.

Quote:
Overall it looks to me like the game has been simplified somewhat and the difficulty has been tuned right down to pretty easy.
The difficulty that has been removed is difficulty that many people (including the devs) considered to be not very interesting, since it mostly consisted of going "Gotcha!" when the player did something they had no reason to believe was a mistake until after they did it. Though you aren't the only one to disagree with the way things have been going. It's basically impossible to please everyone while developing a game with a history like Angband has.

Quote:
If its not possible to toggle these changes ingame then can someone point me to a version of Angband which includes these original elements?
You'll probably want something from the 3.0.x era, if I recall correctly.
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Old August 10, 2014, 20:06   #3
Ende
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
By default, the "no-selling" birth option is turned on. It prevents you from gaining money by selling items, but in exchange you get more money from cash in the dungeon. The goal is to keep you from having to worry about the cash value of every single useless magical item you find in the dungeon, and let you spend more time actually using items and exploring.

You can turn the option off when creating a new character.
Thanks ill turn it on when i reroll my next character



Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
One of the long-term goals of "recent" Angband development (in the last five years or so) has been to streamline the identification metagame. Part of this is to encourage ID by use, that is, you find out what an item does by using/equipping it and seeing what happens. The game will tell you if your character notices that e.g. that shield they equipped protects them from a fire-based attack, or if their weapon deals extra damage when they hit an orc.

However, nobody would ever equip an un-ID'd item or quaff an un-ID'd potion if there was a chance of something seriously bad happening, so the old sticky-cursed equipment is gone, as are potions with strictly negative effects (e.g. drain stats). In the long-term we'd like to have more "mixed-blessing" items that have more interesting negative effects than just being unable to remove a cursed item, but nobody's dedicated the development time yet.
I must say that i dont like the sound of that direction at all... removes the D&D culture from the game and replaces it with the modern-day console gaming mentality.

It took skill to manage the negative effects from items/potions/scrolls etc. Skill to manage your backpack, the stacks, the items, and decide what u carry to the surface to get checked out. Your rewards were worth the risks once u pulled out a superb bit of kit.

I have noticed that the games upped the % for recognising items hidden properties... again i was happier with the old game low rates which meant u needed to get things checked by a guy who knows or use magic to unlock their secrets.

Ultimately it meant spending the first few dips into the dungeon to gather items to get checked out so u were opening up yout characters wisdom. The current system seems to just throw all the info at u without any effort.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
They're around, but monster packs in general have been toned down in the interests of increasing monster variety. Instead of spending entire levels fighting nothing but Zephyr Hounds, now you'll see more giants and dark elves and so on. There are also more mixed packs -- for example, the different kinds of adventurers now show up in heterogenous groups instead of an entire pack consisting solely of Novice Priests or the like. And there are some other clever groupings, like the elemental giants showing up with the appropriate corresponding Zephyr Hound.
Ok i can go along with this... ill see how i get on with the newer spawning system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The difficulty that has been removed is difficulty that many people (including the devs) considered to be not very interesting, since it mostly consisted of going "Gotcha!" when the player did something they had no reason to believe was a mistake until after they did it. Though you aren't the only one to disagree with the way things have been going. It's basically impossible to please everyone while developing a game with a history like Angband has.
Hmmm i cant agree with this sorry.

If u died it can always be put down to a poor decision u made at some point. Sure, the game was quite punishing at times but thats where the challenge lied... to beat it.

Like i said above, it sounds more like console gaming mentality over the original D&D culture which is where Moria etc was born from.

It looks like the game has been streamlined and made far more linear... in fact the old game gave a player far more options on how to play the game. now it appears ive got the play the game in the playstyle the designer wants me to play it.

By that i mean it looks like the games been twisted to function in how 1 person wants to play it. At the very least please have some toggle options so us players can set the game up to how we like it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
You'll probably want something from the 3.0.x era, if I recall correctly.
Thanks
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Old August 10, 2014, 20:38   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ende View Post
If u died it can always be put down to a poor decision u made at some point. Sure, the game was quite punishing at times but thats where the challenge lied... to beat it.
The game is roughly as challenging as 3.0.x was. It's just that they removed the (metaphorical) "press X to not die/become fatally crippled" button that was identifying everything before using it.
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Old August 10, 2014, 21:03   #5
wobbly
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There's also NPP Moria:

http://forum.nppangband.org/viewtopic.php?id=1573

I haven't tried it my self but it's an attempt to get something as close to Moria with a better interface etc.
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Old August 10, 2014, 21:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ende View Post
Thanks ill turn it on when i reroll my next character





I must say that i dont like the sound of that direction at all... removes the D&D culture from the game and replaces it with the modern-day console gaming mentality.

It took skill to manage the negative effects from items/potions/scrolls etc. Skill to manage your backpack, the stacks, the items, and decide what u carry to the surface to get checked out. Your rewards were worth the risks once u pulled out a superb bit of kit. <snip>
Only if for some reason you refuse to carry a stack of id scrolls or staff of id when recalling down. While removing the ability to id in the dungeon might have some potential for upping the player skill requirement, identifying things with device or spell has always been possible (in good D&D fashion), so I dont see what you mean here.
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Old August 10, 2014, 21:33   #7
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Originally Posted by Estie View Post
Only if for some reason you refuse to carry a stack of id scrolls or staff of id when recalling down. While removing the ability to id in the dungeon might have some potential for upping the player skill requirement, identifying things with device or spell has always been possible (in good D&D fashion), so I dont see what you mean here.
I used all of those methods too... now those methods dont seem very relevant.

Now u know within 30seconds of picking up an items if its magical or not. U know very quickly if its worth keeping or not. Thats where the skill and immersion has been dumbed down, and where the D&D feel has been removed.

The decision making the player made when an item could be cursed or mega-cool made Angband runs interesting and exciting. Now theres no risk to cursing and the properties r discovered so fast...
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Old August 10, 2014, 21:45   #8
Malak Darkhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ende View Post
I used all of those methods too... now those methods dont seem very relevant.

Now u know within 30seconds of picking up an items if its magical or not. U know very quickly if its worth keeping or not. Thats where the skill and immersion has been dumbed down, and where the D&D feel has been removed.

The decision making the player made when an item could be cursed or mega-cool made Angband runs interesting and exciting. Now theres no risk to cursing and the properties r discovered so fast...
There are still some around in modern Angband.....But the beauty of Sangband is that there are hidden curses..check them out.
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let me try this workaround...oh crap computer just went black
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Old August 10, 2014, 22:06   #9
Estie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ende View Post
I used all of those methods too... now those methods dont seem very relevant.

Now u know within 30seconds of picking up an items if its magical or not. U know very quickly if its worth keeping or not. Thats where the skill and immersion has been dumbed down, and where the D&D feel has been removed.

The decision making the player made when an item could be cursed or mega-cool made Angband runs interesting and exciting. Now theres no risk to cursing and the properties r discovered so fast...
There is a simple, IŽd even call it dumb, definitely not skill involving in any way, shape or form, algorithm for old Angband:

Id the first flavours by selling to a vendor. Once money is plenty, start identifying them.
With armor/weapon, carry everything till pseudo-id kicks in (yes, mage has bad pseudo id but gets the spell early). Once that has happened, id it if it has potential to be an upgrade, discard otherwise. This last step requires meta-game knowledge.

If you find a sophisticated, skillfull way to extract information by other means: congratulations, you just saved the cost of an id scroll.

edit: mistakenly called flavours flags.

Last edited by Estie; August 10, 2014 at 22:37.
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Old August 10, 2014, 22:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
There is a simple, IŽd even call it dumb, definitely not skill involving in any way, shape or form, algorithm for old Angband:

Id the first flags by selling to a vendor. Once money is plenty, start identifying them.
With armor/weapon, carry everything till pseudo-id kicks in (yes, mage has bad pseudo id but gets the spell early). Once that has happened, id it if it has potential to be an upgrade, discard otherwise. This last step requires meta-game knowledge.

If you find a sophisticated, skillfull way to extract information by other means: congratulations, you just saved the cost of an id scroll.
Its called character building.

The old way appears to be more about developing your character, training him, building a knowledge of the items (and the creatures). So if he came across the same kind of thing again he would know it and be able to identify it himself. But the realism was all about discovering something for the first time... the headscratching decision of what u do with an unexamined item.

To me that just seems more in line with the immersion old Angband was trying to achieve. That adventuring feel that u were in a real fantasy world.

Having fantasy shopkeepers who both buy and sell is also more immersive imo.

If theres an issue of gaining too much gold too early in the game then cap the gold that each vendor has in his pocket, the same as Skyrim has. That would limit the amount of items u can sell.

I guess im just surprised at the change to the game since i last played it. It appears to have gone down a different road than i expected...
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