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Old May 28, 2012, 23:09   #1
Egavactip
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observations from a novice

I downloaded the v4 software the other day and have been playing since then. I've taken a warrior character up to level 29 so far with it. I am a relative novice at Angband, having won the game only twice, once with a warrior and once with a priest.

For what its worth, here are my constructive observations re v4 so far:

1. the trap bug, in which a black square reappears after you move away from a disarmed trap, is obviously minor but manages to trigger a huge annoyance factor in me, fwiw.

2. I presume there will be tiles created for baby drakes and rapiers and clubs at some point.

3. the redesigned quiver system sucks. Actually, it is the whole "40 item limit" that sucks, and several things combine to screw the player and make it difficult for them to stay in the dungeon for long, which seems to me a move in the wrong direction. In particular, the quiver limit of 40 seems to combine with the potion limit of 40 to really screw warriors, giving them a limited ability to stay underground. I have been going through cure critical wounds like water and arrows do not seem to do the damage that they used to, which really screws you when something causes fear (I had to use 3 potions of heroism in a single battle today, because I couldn't kill people with arrows in any effective way).

4. Maybe a solution to the above problem is to make some items only .5 of a slot and others 1.0 of a slot (and maybe some things even 1.5 of a quiver slot). That way you could increase the slot limit but still have control of balance.

5. Amulets of resist lightning seem to appear in every other room. They are ubiquitous.

6. Potions of contemplation, toughness, etc., are still problematical. Before, they were useless but at least a steady source of income. Now, they are still useless, or so it seems to me, but aren't worth crap (at least according to their description). Why can't they simply restore a stat? That would actually be useful, and it would be level appropriate, too, as they appear at the time that characters start being faced by stat draining monsters.

7. I am not convinced that the average damage bug is only a display bug. My character has a weapon with slay troll and he doesn't seem one damn bit better against trolls than any other type of creature.

8. Acid seems totally crazy. I have to piss my pants every time I see a water hound now--the first time I battled a pack of them, they pretty much totally destroyed all the armor I had at the time, even though I had resistance to acid. It seems like no item gets any sort of a saving throw at all versus being damaged by acid and instead gets automatically damaged every time it hits.

9. I would have thought that things that are silver, gold, emerald, etc., would be worth more if you sold them, but this does not seem to be the case. Is this entirely cosmetic? If so, I could do without it.

10. I don't see the advantage of replacing to hit and damage with finesse and prowess and frankly don't understand the new system.

11. There is still a shortage of decent rings, at least so far. Rings and amulets seem to be of two varieties in Angband: utter crap and artifacts, with not much of a range in between.

12. I am glad that caestuses are appearing earlier.

13. Potions of healing need to be more numerous, especially with the 40 limit on cure critical wounds.

14. Damage causing items (wands, etc.) still tend to be underpowered.

15. I like a lot of the new room configurations.

16. I don't understand why a new keystroke was added to have to buy anything. This seems rather pointless and a waste of time.

17. Why are rings of escaping so incredibly valuable now? Finding one is like finding a pot of gold. I thought they were reasonably priced in vanilla; now, they are pure treasure.

18. The low hitpoint warning should occur once per round, not once each time you are hit in each round. That just takes up gratuitous keystrokes to page through them.

19. I don't understand why some items can have runes that are seemingly contradictory, such as the rune that protects an item from acid and at the same time the "hates acid" rune.

20. It would be nice if Angband had water obstacles like water filled rooms or tunnels, bridges, underwater creatures, swimming and breathing issues.
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Old May 28, 2012, 23:35   #2
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egavactip View Post
I downloaded the v4 software the other day and have been playing since then. I've taken a warrior character up to level 29 so far with it. I am a relative novice at Angband, having won the game only twice, once with a warrior and once with a priest.

For what its worth, here are my constructive observations re v4 so far:
Thanks for the feedback! It's always good to get the perspective of a relative newcomer; most of us have been playing for so long that we can't really see the forest for the trees any more.

Quote:
1. the trap bug, in which a black square reappears after you move away from a disarmed trap, is obviously minor but manages to trigger a huge annoyance factor in me, fwiw.

2. I presume there will be tiles created for baby drakes and rapiers and clubs at some point.
Regarding 1., this is the first I've heard of it. What platform are you on? What graphics mode are you using? Presumably tiles of some sort judging from your second question. Unfortunately one of the problems with tiles is that it's much easier to create a new monster or item than it is to create graphics for a new monster or item; especially if you're using the Shockbolt tiles, we pretty much have to wait for Shockbolt himself to have the time and inclination to make new tiles, and that's entirely up to him.

Quote:
3. the redesigned quiver system sucks. Actually, it is the whole "40 item limit" that sucks, and several things combine to screw the player and make it difficult for them to stay in the dungeon for long, which seems to me a move in the wrong direction. In particular, the quiver limit of 40 seems to combine with the potion limit of 40 to really screw warriors, giving them a limited ability to stay underground. I have been going through cure critical wounds like water and arrows do not seem to do the damage that they used to, which really screws you when something causes fear (I had to use 3 potions of heroism in a single battle today, because I couldn't kill people with arrows in any effective way).

4. Maybe a solution to the above problem is to make some items only .5 of a slot and others 1.0 of a slot (and maybe some things even 1.5 of a quiver slot). That way you could increase the slot limit but still have control of balance.
As I mentioned in the other thread, I suspect missile combat in v4 is still largely useless -- it hasn't been fully ported to the new combat system so all the damage is out of whack. My sincerest apologies.

Regarding point 4, that would basically amount to moving to an inventory by bulk instead of an inventory by item slots. It's not a bad idea at all, but it would probably require a complete redesign; from all I've heard the current inventory implementation is rather painful to modify.

Quote:
5. Amulets of resist lightning seem to appear in every other room. They are ubiquitous.
*shrug* There's not very many low-level amulets.

Quote:
6. Potions of contemplation, toughness, etc., are still problematical. Before, they were useless but at least a steady source of income. Now, they are still useless, or so it seems to me, but aren't worth crap (at least according to their description). Why can't they simply restore a stat? That would actually be useful, and it would be level appropriate, too, as they appear at the time that characters start being faced by stat draining monsters.
They should restore the stat they boost prior to applying the boost. So if you're willing to sacrifice a point in a random stat to restore your drained stat, you can.

Quote:
7. I am not convinced that the average damage bug is only a display bug. My character has a weapon with slay troll and he doesn't seem one damn bit better against trolls than any other type of creature.
Slays are pretty weak now. They give you (slay multiplier) * (base damage dice) extra damage per blow, which is almost always going to be pathetic. I think I convinced Magnate that they should actually just multiply your damage overall by the slay multiplier, which should be more useful -- e.g. if you have a 30% troll slay, then you'd do 1.3x more damage against trolls.

Quote:
8. Acid seems totally crazy. I have to piss my pants every time I see a water hound now--the first time I battled a pack of them, they pretty much totally destroyed all the armor I had at the time, even though I had resistance to acid. It seems like no item gets any sort of a saving throw at all versus being damaged by acid and instead gets automatically damaged every time it hits.
This isn't new to v4. Any time you get hit by an acid attack, one of your armor slots will be chosen at random. If there is armor there, then it will be damaged (unless of course it ignores acid, or you have acid immunity). There is no saving throw, nor does acid resistance have any effect. However, you take half damage from these attacks, so basically as long as you have a full kit of armor, you have 50% damage reduction against acid.

As is generally the case, your best bet is to avoid the attack altogether -- either by avoiding the monster in question (granting this is difficult when you're a warrior) or by killing the monster before it can attack you (much more feasible for a warrior).

Quote:
9. I would have thought that things that are silver, gold, emerald, etc., would be worth more if you sold them, but this does not seem to be the case. Is this entirely cosmetic? If so, I could do without it.
The material affects the capabilities of the item, and its price is determined entirely by those capabilities. In other words, the shopkeepers only care about how well the item performs; item materials have no intrinsic value.

Quote:
10. I don't see the advantage of replacing to hit and damage with finesse and prowess and frankly don't understand the new system.
The old system had a number of issues, of which the biggest would probably be:

* Young melee characters wanted the smallest possible weapon, while characters who were bad at melee wanted the biggest possible weapon.
* Pluses to-damage were massively overpowered.
* Weapons were poorly differentiated.

The new system seeks to correct this. All damage now derives from your weapon's damage dice:
Code:
damage = (dice roll) * (weapon heft * your prowess)
And the number of blows you get in combat is determined similarly:
Code:
blows = 1 + (weapon balance * your finesse)
Functionally this creates tradeoffs: you can go for lots of slightly-damaging hits (a high-finesse character wielding a finely-balanced weapon), or a few highly-damaging hits (a high-prowess character wielding a hefty weapon), or strike a balance in the middle. High-finesse characters have good average damage and are better-able to deal with evasive monsters, while high-prowess characters have somewhat irregular damage but hit very hard and are good at damaging monsters with high damage absorption.

Quote:
11. There is still a shortage of decent rings, at least so far. Rings and amulets seem to be of two varieties in Angband: utter crap and artifacts, with not much of a range in between.
In my experience, the following rings are used or at least I consider using them in many games:

* Reckless Attacks
* Protection
* Resist Fire/Cold
* See Invisible
* Free Action
* Strength
* Damage (a.k.a. Prowess)
* Constitution
* Resist Poison
* Speed

That's 10 out of the 33 rings in the game, which isn't a terrible ratio though I admit it's not really fantastic either. Other players get more value out of rings I ignore (c.f. Dog, Mouse, Teleportation, Escaping, Open Wounds).

Quote:
13. Potions of healing need to be more numerous, especially with the 40 limit on cure critical wounds.
You can carry more than 40 CCW, but it'll take another inventory slot. However, ideally you shouldn't need to be drinking so many CCW in the first place. Could you upload a dump of your character so we can take a look at it? Given that you said you didn't understand the new combat system, I wouldn't be surprised if you're having trouble killing things, thus causing you to take more damage than you "should" be taking.

Quote:
14. Damage causing items (wands, etc.) still tend to be underpowered.
They will be for warriors, who have bad device skill. Mages get much more mileage out of them.

Quote:
16. I don't understand why a new keystroke was added to have to buy anything. This seems rather pointless and a waste of time.
I believe the store interface is being reworked a bit.

Quote:
17. Why are rings of escaping so incredibly valuable now? Finding one is like finding a pot of gold. I thought they were reasonably priced in vanilla; now, they are pure treasure.
I guess vanilla and v4 have different shopkeeper valuations on the "terror" attribute that those rings have. Their speed bonus would make them incredibly valuable if it weren't for the terror.

Quote:
18. The low hitpoint warning should occur once per round, not once each time you are hit in each round. That just takes up gratuitous keystrokes to page through them.
Good idea!

Quote:
19. I don't understand why some items can have runes that are seemingly contradictory, such as the rune that protects an item from acid and at the same time the "hates acid" rune.
The system that prunes out redundant runes is still a bit buggy.

Quote:
20. It would be nice if Angband had water obstacles like water filled rooms or tunnels, bridges, underwater creatures, swimming and breathing issues.
Now this came out of nowhere. Terrain in general is one of those things that I think most people consider to be variant territory. Vanilla has a very "clean" (alternately, bare-bones) dungeon aesthetic which some people like. Of course, many if not most variants add terrain of some kind, so it's clearly a popular addition.
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Old May 29, 2012, 00:21   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Slays are pretty weak now. They give you (slay multiplier) * (base damage dice) extra damage per blow, which is almost always going to be pathetic. I think I convinced Magnate that they should actually just multiply your damage overall by the slay multiplier, which should be more useful -- e.g. if you have a 30% troll slay, then you'd do 1.3x more damage against trolls.
You did, and I made this change. But 30% of 1d8 damage (or whatever) is still going to be only barely noticeable. Slays are basically not going to come into their own until later in the dungeon - a nice smooth progression.

That said, I wouldn't put my life on disagreeing with the OP about damage not being buggy. If you turn on wizard mode, you can see the actual numbers and confirm whether the extra damage is being applied or not. Unless that's broken too ;-)
Quote:
I guess vanilla and v4 have different shopkeeper valuations on the "terror" attribute that those rings have. Their speed bonus would make them incredibly valuable if it weren't for the terror.
Speed is twice as valuable in v4, which means that rings of escaping are four times the price as they are in V. This change should go into V really; it's made for far fewer complaints about cheap BoS in the BM ... but we do need to add a hefty markdown for the terror flag ...
Quote:
The system that prunes out redundant runes is still a bit buggy.
Hmmm. This is a regression - I thought I'd fixed this. Thanks for the report.
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Old May 29, 2012, 01:56   #4
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Just out of curiosity -- this idea of slays having a "smooth progression" into the upper levels -- doesn't this make some slays completely useless? Slay orc, for example -- how many orcs do you fight past, say, dlvl 30?

Or maybe I've just been playing too much Sil and I forget what slays actually exist in vanilla
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Old May 29, 2012, 02:01   #5
Derakon
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I believe the idea is that some slays will ramp up much more quickly than others. Elemental slays would start out weak and get stronger as you go deeper, while orc/troll slays would start out strong.
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:08   #6
Egavactip
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Regarding 1., this is the first I've heard of it. What platform are you on? What graphics mode are you using? Presumably tiles of some sort judging from your second question.
I run Windows. The graphics mode on Angband is the Gervais tiles. Essentially what happens is that when your light radius leaves the former trap square, that square turns black. If you move back and re-light the area, the black square goes away and stays away.
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:09   #7
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They should restore the stat they boost prior to applying the boost. So if you're willing to sacrifice a point in a random stat to restore your drained stat, you can.
The circumstances in which I would be willing to do that would be extremely rare, so the potions are still useless.
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:12   #8
Egavactip
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I believe the idea is that some slays will ramp up much more quickly than others. Elemental slays would start out weak and get stronger as you go deeper, while orc/troll slays would start out strong.
Well, as I noted, my troll-slaying weapon does not do much more than blow sweet nothings into their ears.
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:35   #9
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In current v4, contemplation/toughness, etc. are just temporary boosts to that stat, not lose one gain one as they were when first introduced in V. At least, they were in my last game. Don't think they restore the stat.

These potions are very nearly useless. On specllasting stats, they don't last long enough to use the extra mana you gain, learning new spells obviously results in losing them immediately, and failure rates don't change enough to justify a slot to save for a fight. For the other stats, I tried a few times and saw minimal damage changes to my melee - carrying scrolls of blessing / holy chant or potions of berserk strength / heroism were more useful, and I rarely bother with those. The only real upside is the temporary strength boost if you are slightly overloaded, to lose that -1 or -2 speed.

Changing them to stat recover potions + the temporary boost might help, but stat recovery potions were just eliminated. In V and v4 since that change, I have always found and saved enough mushrooms of vigor in the first few levels to have a few in my home when I get badly drained.
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Old May 29, 2012, 04:56   #10
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Originally Posted by Taha View Post
In current v4, contemplation/toughness, etc. are just temporary boosts to that stat, not lose one gain one as they were when first introduced in V. At least, they were in my last game. Don't think they restore the stat.
Wait what? That's news to me. I don't think I even saw discussion about trying this out.

If they're going to boost stats temporarily, then they need to provide pretty massive boosts -- like, +10 at least. But as Taha notes, INT and WIS don't really affect your damage, which is the key thing you want to be improving. DEX and STR might be helpful for finesse and prowess fighters, respectively...CON, I guess it depends on how many hitpoints you gain but I've generally felt (in other systems) that temporary hitpoints don't work too well.
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