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Old April 1, 2012, 21:55   #11
fizzix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Indeed, I wouldn't suggest anything else. My point is that a x4 launcher ought to have greater range than a x3 launcher. But beyond x4 it's not worth worrying about.
I actually don't mind x4 and x3 launchers having the same range, after all you do get an extra die damage, and that seems like enough compensation.

@Mikko - If I understand correctly, spell range and monster ranges are handled under MAX_RANGE. Launcher range is not, but it's an easy fix to make it capped at MAX_RANGE. Do I understand correctly?

@Shockbolt - remaking the dungeon is a hard process and would also require remaking things like special (moated) rooms. Allowing for a short-range mode like Nick suggests is probably easier, but will likely have to wait for the next version.

There are yet other options that allow playing with a long range with a small amount of visible tiles. Specifically, you could put an indication on the perimeter of the screen that a visible monster is there. Or you could devote the outer rim of tiles to visible off/screen monsters. I have no idea how this would look, or even if it's a good idea. It would also be impossible to get working for 3.4

Last edited by fizzix; April 1, 2012 at 22:01.
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Old April 1, 2012, 22:51   #12
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MAX_SIGHT needs to be at least 2 more than the maximum distance for ranged monster attacks [e.g. drolem breath] if you don't believe in unavoidable instakills.

Personally, I think MAX_SIGHT should be increased, not decreased. If you stand in the corner of a moat of a magically lit standard moated room, IMO you should be able to see the far wall. This has nothing to do with game balance. Just, to me, a room is a unit and should be treated as a whole whenever possible.

If you reduce MAX_SIGHT, it will not be possible to clear pits using a staff of power from one of the sides. Whether that change is a plus or a minus is a matter for debate. If you reduce MAX_RANGE, beam spells such as light or elec beams become significantly less efficient. I think the player should be rewarded for setting up as long a beam as possible, but the opposing view is not wholly without merit.

If you are addressing these issues, you ought also to address the approach that dispelling uses MAX_SIGHT rather than MAX_RANGE to determine which monsters are affected. My guess is that this was done due to simplicity of coding. My wife tells me MAX_SIGHT is clearly the correct choice, that any vampire that can see the priest's holy symbol should be affected, but I believe the point is open to debate.

If the whole point is to use larger tiles, I think you are going too far. One should decide the gameplay issues, and then decide how much needs to be on the screen, and then do some arithmetic to determine the maximum tile size. Let the best gameplay determine the tile size, rather than making the tile size determine gameplay.
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Old April 1, 2012, 22:53   #13
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
1024 pixel range (a typical vertical range for a good monitor)
It's still a conservative estimate: it's becoming more and more difficult to find a laptop with more than 768 pixels of vertical real estate.
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Old April 1, 2012, 23:30   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
FA 1.1 has a short range mode, where MAX_SIGHT is 10 (and MAX_RANGE is the same by defeault, IIRC). I've only played it a little; it didn't seem all that different.
How's that working out for unavoidable instakills? When I made MAX_RANGE equal to MAX_SIGHT in 3.2 Timo had a fit, but it doesn't seem to have killed anyone yet.
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Old April 2, 2012, 01:42   #15
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
MAX_SIGHT needs to be at least 2 more than the maximum distance for ranged monster attacks [e.g. drolem breath] if you don't believe in unavoidable instakills.

Personally, I think MAX_SIGHT should be increased, not decreased. If you stand in the corner of a moat of a magically lit standard moated room, IMO you should be able to see the far wall. This has nothing to do with game balance. Just, to me, a room is a unit and should be treated as a whole whenever possible.

If you reduce MAX_SIGHT, it will not be possible to clear pits using a staff of power from one of the sides. Whether that change is a plus or a minus is a matter for debate. If you reduce MAX_RANGE, beam spells such as light or elec beams become significantly less efficient. I think the player should be rewarded for setting up as long a beam as possible, but the opposing view is not wholly without merit.

If you are addressing these issues, you ought also to address the approach that dispelling uses MAX_SIGHT rather than MAX_RANGE to determine which monsters are affected. My guess is that this was done due to simplicity of coding. My wife tells me MAX_SIGHT is clearly the correct choice, that any vampire that can see the priest's holy symbol should be affected, but I believe the point is open to debate.

If the whole point is to use larger tiles, I think you are going too far. One should decide the gameplay issues, and then decide how much needs to be on the screen, and then do some arithmetic to determine the maximum tile size. Let the best gameplay determine the tile size, rather than making the tile size determine gameplay.
I think these are all good points. Seeing the whole room is impossible because of rooms like the DIVISI greater vault which is about 1/4 of max level size from corner to corner. This does mean that you could have monsters on the other side of a large hall that you couldn't see. I seem to remember you hated this about DJA, but I'm not convinced that this is inherently bad. Regardless, changing MAX_SIGHT is less of a concern, it can remain 20 or increase.

I'm ok with allowing MAX_SIGHT to be adjusted, so that you are guaranteed to see everything in sight in a room, provided that you can see one square into the room. This seems like too much of a departure for 3.4 though, maybe too much for V altogether.

MAX_RANGE is really the problem. Luckily there are both player benefits and drawbacks to a lowered value. The benefit is that monsters have to get closer to you to cast spells or breathe on you, the downside is that you have to get closer to monsters, or can't affect as many as you could previously. All in all, I don't think the changes will make a significant difference on the quality of gameplay, even if they do have an effect on the substance. I certainly am planning on testing this, and will readily admit it if I'm wrong.

I would like MAX_RANGE to be the case for all spell effects, including dispels. Although I'm loath to make unnecessary changes in 3.4 even if it's an improvement.

As for the last paragraph. The motivation is not solely based on tiles, although they are a major issue. We'd certainly like the game to be playable with 64x64 tiles, although the path forward is not clear yet. The motivation is also due to smaller playing surfaces like phones and other portable devices. The idea I had is that lowering MAX_RANGE, even to something as low as 12-14, will not have a huge difference on gameplay, so we might as well change to accommodate both the new media and the new displays. *IF* there is a significant change to gameplay, then it will have to wait until 3.5, unfortunately. Perhaps a player option for a far shorter range (7-8) is desirable, and if so we can try implementing this, even possibly as an option in 3.4.

Other test-players and feedback are of course welcome. Right now I'm stuck on some odd errors that come when lowering MAX_RANGE, in an obscure piece of code that I can't quite fathom, so I haven't been able to push changes and test-play myself yet.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:12   #16
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All sorts of fun things are possible with range.

For example, in Fay I made monster range 2d6+4, rolled every turn. That means monsters are more likely to breath when they are close. It makes intuitive sense to me that spellcasters are less dangerous at extreme range.

Spell and device range depends on your CHR (it's more than good looks, it's also your "aura"). There are also magic items and other effects that increase your range with both weapons and spells.

Just wild examples. I'm not advocating these for V.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:50   #17
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I've been playing *bands on smallish laptops using 32x32 tiles and in my experience it still works with MAX_SIGHT & MAX_RANGE values greater than what I can see on screen if I use a subwindow with a list of visible monsters. Then I just have to be careful and note when that list changes and 'L' where the monster is. It is not optimal but it works.

What would be helpful is a subwindow with a mini map like *bandTK has. It has ~5x5 font size and just indicates where there are walls and if there are monsters/items (red dots for monster, green for items or something). Again, it makes me aware that something is there and it is up to me to 'L'ook what it is.

Playing on a handheld is probably something completely different though.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:57   #18
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Quote:
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How's that working out for unavoidable instakills? When I made MAX_RANGE equal to MAX_SIGHT in 3.2 Timo had a fit, but it doesn't seem to have killed anyone yet.
This is very interesting. In FA, O and NPP, MAX_SIGHT = MAX_RANGE. In V (since at least 3.0.6), Fay and Z+, MAX_SIGHT > MAX_RANGE.

I haven't noticed instakills from the edge of sight being an issue for the equal variants, but then my characters die more than Timo's anyway...
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Old April 2, 2012, 13:13   #19
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
This is very interesting. In FA, O and NPP, MAX_SIGHT = MAX_RANGE. In V (since at least 3.0.6), Fay and Z+, MAX_SIGHT > MAX_RANGE.

I haven't noticed instakills from the edge of sight being an issue for the equal variants, but then my characters die more than Timo's anyway...
It seems like a fringe case, which is probably why there haven't been many (any) reports. Generally it's in a player best interest to limit LoS to himself in the first place. Secondly, the dungeon don't often offer opportunities in which a long LoS is available, mostly special rooms and vaults. Last, long straight corridors are scary to begin with. I can't tell you the number of times a carved an alcove in a long long hallway 'just in case'.

In my long (not entirely successful) career of playing Angband variants with 32x32 tiles on a laptop, I don't know that I've ever died from an unknown foo from off screen. I'm generally able to be aware of things that are off screen even though they are harder and sometimes a PITA to keep track of in certain situations.

Other stuff. A single key option to zoom in/zoom out (in 10% or 25% increments) of current size tiles would be nice, and/or a message when a previously unknown monster 'appears to the north'. Or, something I've suggested many time before, use a sound scheme to convey information rather than provide ambiance.
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