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Old May 22, 2012, 01:55   #21
Estie
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Level 60 monk on euro getting killed in act1 inferno alot.
The bosspacks are beyond silly, the only way to progress is to hope for a rather harmless combo of mods and park packs you cant kill; usually, its new game at some point.
Natuarlly my gear isnt stellar yet, but even with better gear it will be horrendous. I am playing both solo and in public games with the monk (my friends arent level 60 yet).

The typical public game goes like this: with much noise, display of skills, fancy aoe effects and great lightshow, everyone whacks at the initial skeletons. Then the first bosspack appears. They get engaged.
With much noise, display of skills, fancy aoe effects and great lightshow, the minions chase the party back to the start location. Someone dies, the rest runs and fights a retreating battle, more die and respawn to rejoin the ongoing fight. No boss mobs die though and soon someone leaves the game, followed by another and thats the end.

There is one mod - mortar - that adds a distance attack to boss/minions with a minimum range and makes it hard for ranged attackers to deal with the pack, but nontheless, when things get hairy, ranged can make progress where melee is stuck. As usual, as expected, same as in D2.

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Regarding the game itself, I *still* have yet to find a single unique or set item. I think that means they've made the artifact generation odds too low... come on, I should at least have a Phial by now ;-)
I have found 3 or 4 unique items sofar, one of which I used for a short time. Uniques dont seem to be top tier though, yellows and blues can be better. Set items are forged by craftsmen; you need to find the recipe. I havent got any yet, but a friend has. So when you find the Phial, youll be rather sticking to your lantern with see invis and resist blindness

D1 and D2 both had a hidden depth to them. In D1, Jarulf found out how the game really worked and posted his famous guide. D2 also had a ton of undocumented features/bugs that took years to discover, knowledge of which could drastically change build approaches. Nextdelay comes to mind, or strafe speed which, iirc, was animated at up to 2 frames but actually only applied at maximum 3 frames, for example.

It is too early to tell, but sofar I havent seen a glimpse of anything in that direction. I somehow suspect that not many surprising features will be found.
I predict that if that is the case, the 3rd diablo will not have the longevity of its predecessors. Sofar, despite many misgivings, I enjoy the play.
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Old May 23, 2012, 04:22   #22
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update: my hardcore monk is now L51 and has defeated Nightmare. I've also cleared normal and nightmare Whimsyshire. woot!
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Old May 23, 2012, 15:29   #23
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I'm a bit disappointed again now. Only in Act III Normal myself (L27), but now know a lot more about the later stages of the game through others.

- Why did they make a whole difficulty level that you have to play at max level? I'm not against the creation of Inferno per se, but why the cl60 cap? My guess is that this is WoW-like, and that expansions will increase it, with more runes etc. I find hitting a level cap to be a dampener on my enjoyment of a game.

- that said, I think Inferno is more likely to result in people discovering cool tricks or hidden aspects of the game that aren't currently known. Also nice to think that Inferno will provide a challenge throughout, instead of having to playing Act IV or V Hell in D2.

- I'm still unclear on whether the skill system gets any deeper later on. You choose six skills for your action bar, each with one accompanying rune ... and that's it? Or do you get to enhance skills/runes in any way? It still seems to me that once I've built one barb, I've built them all - because I can select any skills/runes I want, and will not have made any choices that could be made differently with a new build. This I think will have the greatest impact on the game's longevity.

- I think it's a real shame that they have only three tiers of magic items (magic/blue, rare/yellow, legendary/orange). I think they missed a trick there and underestimated the value of seeing different coloured drops. The idea that my first yellow can drop in A1 Normal but I won't see an orange until late Hell is depressing - even if the yellows get really really good.

- But having the smith make set items from recipes is great. I look forward to seeing one of those drop. (Please don't tell me they're white!)
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:56   #24
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All your posts here are very interesting. I own D2, played it a lot in the beginning, but didn't really get hooked because of the annoyance of having to grind for xp/items (especially considering the gigantic amount of possible drops: normal, elite, egos, sets, uniques, artifacts, gems, runes...) and the limited replayability (having normal, nightmare and hell modes are nice... but you still play the same game three times!)

I'm considering getting D3, but I'd like to get more feedback about the game compared to D2. From what I see, the game is still linear and has even more level stages. The "Inferno" mode feels the same as playing Angband after defeating Morgoth... What's the point except grinding for more items? It would have been nice to get a brand new area (a bit like the Cow level in D2, but much more expanded; TomeNET has that -- the Nether Realm), giving an ultra-difficult challenge for characters with max level. But as you said, there will probably be expansion sets for that...
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Old May 24, 2012, 13:40   #25
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Originally Posted by PowerWyrm View Post
All your posts here are very interesting. I own D2, played it a lot in the beginning, but didn't really get hooked because of the annoyance of having to grind for xp/items (especially considering the gigantic amount of possible drops: normal, elite, egos, sets, uniques, artifacts, gems, runes...) and the limited replayability (having normal, nightmare and hell modes are nice... but you still play the same game three times!)

I'm considering getting D3, but I'd like to get more feedback about the game compared to D2. From what I see, the game is still linear and has even more level stages. The "Inferno" mode feels the same as playing Angband after defeating Morgoth... What's the point except grinding for more items? It would have been nice to get a brand new area (a bit like the Cow level in D2, but much more expanded; TomeNET has that -- the Nether Realm), giving an ultra-difficult challenge for characters with max level. But as you said, there will probably be expansion sets for that...
Yes. It's important to bear in mind that we are (or certainly I am, not sure I can speak for others) comparing unpatched D3 with fully-developed D2:LoD - I didn't ever play D2 Classic, but I gather it was a very much more limited game than D2:LoD.

Personally I wouldn't be at all surprised if the D3 programme plan has at least three expansions scheduled. Especially since it's going to take another twelve years before D4 appears. Probably.

Anyway, if you thought D2 lacked replayability, I think D3 will be a huge disappointment. It's just as big if not bigger in terms of number of areas - and the scenery's very pretty, and as I've noted before they've done a good job of making the procedural generation give each area a slightly different feel each time through (cf. Hellgate's terrible repetitiveness).

But the real replayability in D2 was about skills. It's what kept me playing through again and again - I loved finding uniques I'd never found before (and the fact that they dropped from Act I Normal onwards was a big part of that) - but that was a pleasant side-effect, not a reason for replaying the game.

Let's take the barb as an example, since the class is common to D2 and D3. In D2, my first barb was a sword-using Frenzy barb. My second was an axe-using Berserker. My third was a mace-using Concentrate barb (in 1.1x when Concentrate got huge defensive synergies), my fourth was a throwbarb, fifth was a singer, sixth was a polearm whirler. That's six completely different experiences of playing the same game through - different mastery, different primary attack skill, different permutations of warcries and defensive skills. And there were dozens more barb variations that I didn't get round to try (I think I had a total of about 30 characters in the end, so an average of only four builds for each class).

In D3, my barb currently uses Frenzy with the Sidearm rune. I'm sure I'll have settled on something better by the time he hits level 60. But the point is, to try a different permutation of skills, I don't have to level up a new build - I just load up this one, select new skills, and go off and try them out. Unless there's something about D3 I haven't yet discovered or understood, that has slashed replayability by a factor of about five or six, immediately.

The other issue is that I never hit cl99 in D2, not by a long long way - despite what must have totalled thousands of hours of play. My highest ever char was around cl80 or so, so there was always a feeling of progress. I hope that D3 ends up with a higher level cap than most people could normally attain, for the same reason.

So I still have two main issues where D3 is inferior to D2: skills and items. Both are pretty crucial to longevity of a roguelike - but I'll keep my views updated as I progress through the game. I won't really form a final opinion on its replayability until I've completed the game with every class and start on second builds.
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Old May 24, 2012, 16:07   #26
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In D3, my barb currently uses Frenzy with the Sidearm rune. I'm sure I'll have settled on something better by the time he hits level 60. But the point is, to try a different permutation of skills, I don't have to level up a new build - I just load up this one, select new skills, and go off and try them out. Unless there's something about D3 I haven't yet discovered or understood, that has slashed replayability by a factor of about five or six, immediately.

The other issue is that I never hit cl99 in D2, not by a long long way - despite what must have totalled thousands of hours of play. My highest ever char was around cl80 or so, so there was always a feeling of progress. I hope that D3 ends up with a higher level cap than most people could normally attain, for the same reason.

So I still have two main issues where D3 is inferior to D2: skills and items. Both are pretty crucial to longevity of a roguelike - but I'll keep my views updated as I progress through the game. I won't really form a final opinion on its replayability until I've completed the game with every class and start on second builds.
Many people are happy about the ability to swap skills without having to level up a new toon; they welcome the change as removing grind. If you want to start a new level 1 and pick different skills than your former barb, you are still free to do so, though there may be fewer ways to play than in D2 (despite a huge amount of skill/rune combinations; not each of those makes for a different way to play a barb). As it is, I think its better to not look at it the old D2 way, "WW barb" "frenzy barb", rather look at THE barb.

In theory the most effective way to play would be to adjust skills to the situation; basically, use aoe skills to clear an area and change to single target skills for the endboss. This is however discouraged as level 60 characters lose out on a magicfind buff if they swap skills in an ongoing game.

As for the hard level cap of 60, I dont think it is much different from having another few levels with very small gain stretched out over a long period of playing on top. Wether a lvl 60 D3 or a levl 85 D2 character at the end of hell, noticable further growth is going to come only from better items. In this regard D3 is more akin to Angband. That being said, personally I would also prefer a token gain over no gain at all for all those "xp", both in Diablo and Angband

On the topic of items: while the droprate of "shiny" items is low as in D2 and you wont find many while levelling a single character to 60, there is now the ingame auctionhouse. It is somewhat similar to the black market: while the vendors in town keep you stocked on cheap consumables, you can buy gamechanging stuff if youre willing to part with the majority of your hard-found gold. And yes, plans for set items are of course white
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Old May 24, 2012, 18:08   #27
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Many people are happy about the ability to swap skills without having to level up a new toon; they welcome the change as removing grind. If you want to start a new level 1 and pick different skills than your former barb, you are still free to do so,
But why would I want to? There's nothing new to discover in playing another barb up from cl1 to cl60 again - every possible discovery has already been made the first time through. If I want to try different skills, I'll just fire up my cl60 barb and try them. I think this is a huge misunderstanding of what "grind" means. Levelling up a new toon isn't grinding - it's playing the game. They just made it 85% less replayable by giving every skill to every barb. Huge disappointment - I wish I had known this before buying it. (Last I heard, the skill augmentation was to be done with runes you found - they obviously did away with this as too "grindy" at some point. That would at least have opened up the opportunity of finding new/different runes with a new toon.)
Quote:
On the topic of items: while the droprate of "shiny" items is low as in D2 and you wont find many while levelling a single character to 60, there is now the ingame auctionhouse. It is somewhat similar to the black market: while the vendors in town keep you stocked on cheap consumables, you can buy gamechanging stuff if youre willing to part with the majority of your hard-found gold. And yes, plans for set items are of course white
Then I hope someone produces a mod that makes them a different colour! (And gems too.)

My first impressions of the auction house are that there's a lot of chaff - people selling cracked sashes for 999,999,999,999 gold. A simple limit would solve that (say 10,000x the vendor cost). But I'm open-minded about its function as a source of desired items - I'll see if I can ever raise enough gold, as a solo player, to buy anything useful.

EDIT: I just had a thought. Every barb having every skill is much more like Angband than D1 or D2 were. So the obvious solution for me is to play HC! That's effectively making it just like Angband - how far can I get before dying. We'll see how long that lasts.
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Old May 24, 2012, 18:50   #28
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Then I hope someone produces a mod that makes them a different colour! (And gems too.)
Alas, the days of modding are over. No longer does the game run on the client - online only was introduced to maintain control over what happens in your game.
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Old May 24, 2012, 19:20   #29
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Alas, the days of modding are over. No longer does the game run on the client - online only was introduced to maintain control over what happens in your game.
I suspect online-only was introduced to combat piracy; preventing modding was mostly a happy side-effect (happy because it makes multiplayer exploits harder). I doubt Blizzard much cares how you'd want to modify your singleplayer game, but they care much more about preventing people from playing without paying, or from screwing up other peoples' games.
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Old May 25, 2012, 12:12   #30
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I suspect online-only was introduced to combat piracy; preventing modding was mostly a happy side-effect (happy because it makes multiplayer exploits harder). I doubt Blizzard much cares how you'd want to modify your singleplayer game, but they care much more about preventing people from playing without paying, or from screwing up other peoples' games.
But wait a minute - D3 runs on the same principle as WoW: the game logic all runs on the server, but your multi-gigabyte client handles all the UI and display issues. There are a trillion mods for WoW - everything from highlighting drops in different colours to realtime combat stats tickers and inventory- and toon-management snap-ins. So why wouldn't the same type of mods - which merely interrogate and use client data and modify the UI - be possible for D3?
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