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Old August 18, 2014, 12:25   #11
DeusIrae
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Is there a canonical rap on exactly how Angband has been dumbed down/ruined/made too easy? I've only played 3.5.0 and while I'd agree that it's not really that hard of a game, I don't have a great sense of in what way that was different before. To my mind, there are two major things I'd point to as making Angband fairly easy: a) the common availability of escapes (phase door, teleport, teleport other), and b) the comparative absence of undocumented stuff that requires lots of pointless trial and error or out of game spoiling before you can play well (e.g. Elbereth in Nethack, the various invisible timers and such in ADOM).

Were there changes over the years that impacted one or both of those things, and therefore made the game harder? Most of the things I know about don't seem like they'd really go to difficulty in this way. Getting rid of CHA removes a bit of pointless complexity and a dump stat. I believe there are more vaults now than there used to be, and while that's sort of an increased risk/increased reward situation, given all the escapes available I'd be willing to believe they make things easier on net. I think you used to be able to recharge staves with 100% reliability by selling and rebuying them, so if anything that would have made things easier.

The thing that might go in this category would be the various changes to make ID by use a viable option (getting rid of gotchas like Potions of Death, toning down curses). But that mostly seems like it's removing things that make the game difficult to learn, rather than making it difficult to play -- magical ID is so easy to come by that forgoing ID by use doesn't really reduce your effectiveness. It's just that you'd need to lose a couple of characters before learning that you should never drink unID'd potions or try on unID'd equipment (which, see my point b) above -- I can see how opinions would differ, but personally I don't find increased challenge through barriers to entry all that compelling). Was magical ID rarer in early versions, such that not being able to ID by use was actually an increased challenge, rather than just enforcing a particular playstyle? Or were there other changes I don't know about that actually were the thing that made early versions harder?
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Old August 18, 2014, 14:50   #12
Derakon
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The most notable changes compared to 2.8.3, off the top of my head:

* Teleport Other is now a bolt, instead of a beam.
* Destruction now removes artifacts.
* Enchantment scrolls no longer sold in the town.
* Removal of cursed equipment and many bad potions (including e.g. Potions of Death)
* Distributions of items and monsters have been significantly tweaked
* Stat gain is faster (accelerated gains once you get above 18)
* Addition of no-selling option (thus in 2.8.3 you have to lug gear back to town for money if you want to buy expensive stuff like stat potions)
* Monster summons now appear around the summoner instead of the player (among other things, this removes the "Sea of Runes" tactic for risk-free fighting of Morgoth)
* Mage damage spells are much more viable (they used to have lousy damage-to-mana ratios, and Raal's was the last spellbook)
* Rangers have had their melee and spellcasting nerfed, but gain extra shots to compensate
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Old August 18, 2014, 15:57   #13
HallucinationMushroom
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Wow, this is super handy. I fired up 2.8.3 about two days ago just to remember what the first version I played looked like. As long as Angband has color I think will still play it.
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Old August 19, 2014, 00:20   #14
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Surprised to hear you say that, HM. Color ruined the game for me.
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Old August 19, 2014, 08:26   #15
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mondkalb View Post
And I thought frog knows was the real McCoy.
I actually hope that someone makes a frog-knows "variant" with a more modern UI. It was so different than current game. Keep the gameplay, update the UI to include keymaps, inscriptions and stuff like that.

I have fired up frog-know for time to time, but my patience of playing it is not what it used to be and I quit because of frustration of bad UI more than game itself.
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Old August 19, 2014, 08:43   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeusIrae View Post
To my mind, there are two major things I'd point to as making Angband fairly easy: [...] b) the comparative absence of undocumented stuff that requires lots of pointless trial and error or out of game spoiling before you can play well (e.g. Elbereth in Nethack, [...]).
It doesn't detract from your point, but it's worth knowing that Elbereth is mentioned in the NetHack Guidebook that ships with the game.
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Old August 19, 2014, 09:38   #17
Zikke
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In my experience, the newer versions of Angband have greatly improved the user experience and UI, removed many things that were simply tedious and annoying rather than dangerous, and removed the TMJ issue.

The only big reason it's "easier" now is because there's less brain-numbing tedium so you die less often in one shot from fatigue mistakes.


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Old August 19, 2014, 10:31   #18
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zikke View Post
removed the TMJ issue.
TMJ was not issue before item stacking was introduced. After that you got bazillion items to go thru when before that you got only a few after any big fight. That also affected item quality and where you find those a lot, getting great items you basically needed a great vault (or needed to kill things in open space), now it just requires you to kill lots of stuff, where you kill them doesn't matter.
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Old August 20, 2014, 02:26   #19
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Originally Posted by Mondkalb View Post
And I thought frog knows was the real McCoy.
Amen!

(This line exists to exceeds the forum requirement of a minimum of 10 characters per post)
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