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Old November 30, 2010, 10:40   #1
bron
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Egoless Dwarf Priest Winner

A couple of months ago a discussion was kicked off about trying to run Angband not only with no artifacts, but also with no egos (see e.g. http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=3616). I started slogging away at it in my usual slow style, particularly slow because I was actually running 2 characters: both a HighElf Mage, and a Dwarf Priest (the 2 chars that seemed like they might have a chance). PowerDiver naturally zoomed past me and completed a run with a HighElf Mage. I am happy to be able to say I have now finally won my egoless game with the Dwarf Priest (http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=10647).

I think the thing that makes egoless particularly hard is that basically you have very little margin for error. So you have to stay not only seriously focused, but severely paranoid the entire time. And it takes several times longer than a normal game, so it is easy to slip up and die.
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Old November 30, 2010, 10:55   #2
Timo Pietilä
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post
A couple of months ago a discussion was kicked off about trying to run Angband not only with no artifacts, but also with no egos (see e.g. http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=3616). I started slogging away at it in my usual slow style, particularly slow because I was actually running 2 characters: both a HighElf Mage, and a Dwarf Priest (the 2 chars that seemed like they might have a chance). PowerDiver naturally zoomed past me and completed a run with a HighElf Mage.
Eddies achievement went one big step further than just egoless, it was ironman egoless.

With shops and CCW/phase door/whatnot freely available it's less impressive, but still impressive. Congrats for winning.

(somehow it feels wrong that ironman egoless is even possible)
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Old November 30, 2010, 12:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilä View Post
Eddies achievement went one big step further than just egoless, it was ironman egoless.

With shops and CCW/phase door/whatnot freely available it's less impressive, but still impressive. Congrats for winning.

(somehow it feels wrong that ironman egoless is even possible)
I have yet to even get half way to Morgoth with no restrictions. I applaud this achievement.
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Old November 30, 2010, 16:05   #4
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilä View Post
Eddies achievement went one big step further than just egoless, it was ironman egoless.
Not yet. The game he finished (http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=10718) was not an ironman. The one he is currently working on (http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=10802) is an ironman. I certainly agree it looks a lot like he's going to be able to bring it on home, but he's not quite there yet. Which sort of pushed me to finish my own game while it was still news, rather than be totally eclipsed by that achievement in the making.
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Old November 30, 2010, 18:14   #5
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<CLAP> <CLAP> <CLAP>

Come on guys, just pile on the applause!

Also, bron did it with a priest which I'd guess is harder than with a mage, so at this moment he has the record AFAIAC.
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Old November 30, 2010, 18:19   #6
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Y'all're nuts, that's all I can say. Nice job.

To quote the original Moria developer:
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If anyone managed to win, I immediately found out how, and 'enhanced' the game to make it harder. I once vowed it was 'unbeatable', and a week later a friend of mine beat it! His character, 'Iggy', was placed into the game as 'The Evil Iggy', and immortalized… And of course, I went in and plugged up the trick he used to win…
So, who's for making Vanilla harder?
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Old November 30, 2010, 18:46   #7
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Y'all're nuts, that's all I can say. Nice job.

To quote the original Moria developer:So, who's for making Vanilla harder?
I think that mode of thinking is outdated. I mean -- mandatory interesting rooms nightmare mode for everyone.
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Old November 30, 2010, 18:50   #8
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If Vanilla is going to be the main entry point for new players it should be casual gamer friendly, and that means a fairly smooth difficulty curve with a relatively gentle slope.

The people winning challenge games need to get their own variant. No game can be challenging for them without being impossible for normal people.
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Old November 30, 2010, 20:07   #9
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Originally Posted by Atarlost View Post
If Vanilla is going to be the main entry point for new players it should be casual gamer friendly, and that means a fairly smooth difficulty curve with a relatively gentle slope.

The people winning challenge games need to get their own variant. No game can be challenging for them without being impossible for normal people.
And yet, the pendulum has started to swing back after a couple of years of helpful improvements which made the game "easier". One recent fix in the nightlies was to extend MAX_RANGE to 20 to allow targeting with x7 launchers (like Umbar). This has an interesting side effect that monsters can now breathe/cast at you as soon as they can see you/be seen. That should make the middle and late game noticeably more challenging, though nobody's complained yet. We shall see.
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Old November 30, 2010, 22:14   #10
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And yet, the pendulum has started to swing back after a couple of years of helpful improvements which made the game "easier". One recent fix in the nightlies was to extend MAX_RANGE to 20 to allow targeting with x7 launchers (like Umbar). This has an interesting side effect that monsters can now breathe/cast at you as soon as they can see you/be seen. That should make the middle and late game noticeably more challenging, though nobody's complained yet. We shall see.
player friendly != hard. For example, this game is hard and user friendly:
Big waste of time...

Most of the significant changes (excepting the quiver, and paralysis changes) have been UI changes. Fail rates on spells/items shown, damage per blow calcs, item locations in the menu, attr_flicker to distinguish dangerous monsters from weaker ones, etc. None of these actually change the gameplay, but they make it more user friendly and in a way easier because you're less likely to make an error in calculation.

The consequence is right now the game is easier than it's been in a while, and mostly because it's become friendlier. There are plenty of ways to make the game harder without making it unfriendly. There are simple ones like giving Sauron Im_Acid. And there are more detailed ones like reducing the effectiveness of ESP/detection.

If the question is 'is the game too easy' I'm not sure looking at bron's (or eddie's) achievements can provide the answer. You wouldn't say Ninja Gaiden for the NES is easy because some guy can speedrun it. The way to answer the question is to see how long it takes a new player to win, and whether they felt it was challenging. If a person can pick up angband and win on his 2nd or 3rd character and are bored with the game, then we have a problem on our hands. I'm pretty sure we're not there yet.
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