Angband’s lore destruction: “Nick is going to butcher the game”

There were loads of new awesome stuff came in Angband: new ID, traps, curses, new light effects etc. All this enhancement of the gameplay made Angband a bit different, but the better game overall. I know some guys (eg in Discord) who like old gameplay mechanics more, buy most of players enjoying evolution of the gameplay mechanics (and I’m among them).

But currently there are coming changes to monsters and races (game’s lore actually) which are NOT liked by a lot of players. This changes pushed by huge Nick’s authority, which he absolutely deserved by his work on the game. But what is more important: Nick’s authority or Angband itself?

What made me to write this post? New LORE-based changes in Angband:

Originally Posted by Nick 
Healer replaced by tamer (novice druid)
Bandit replaced by ruffian (novice blackguard)
Easterling warrior renamed warrior
Master rogue renamed rogue
Black knight tweaked and renamed blackguard

This is just a small drop. If it was the only changes in games LORE – I won’t created this thread. But it’s a long lasting job on game’s lore transformation. Loads of monsters changed depths (eg all nazguls now >75 lvl monsters.. poor Uvatha), renamed, revamped.. NOT rebalanced, but revamped 🙁

So the question now – could we save vanilla Angand from destroying? 

Why monsters are lore?

Overall I liked a lot of stuff Nick’s doing, but all past monster revamp is really bad – when he just throw away monsters which were with us FOR YEARS. I understand that Nick got his own vision on the game, but it feels like a destroying the game which we knew. New version would certainly be not an oldschool classic Angband anymore, it’s a new variant. I do not know why other players are silent or only approving Nick’s changes to monsters.. It can not be that I’m the only one who can’t bear it. I know some people who also said that “Nick is going to butcher the game” and they do not like this stuff. Why are you silent, guys?

Certain stuff shouldn’t be changed. Angband doesn’t have ‘lore’ like some other RPG’s which got a static map and a rich storyline. The only ‘lore’ and ‘spirit’ of this game is concluded in monsters. Monsters in Angband – it’s LORE, A WORLD. It’s a CORE of the game. It should be preserved and threated with huge respect. It should be great cautious to put our dirty fingers at any of classic monsters, which loved by thousands of players.

Traps mechanics – alright. They were boring with trap detection. Curses.. Yeah – it was annoying not to be able to drop stuff. ID system.. New one made gameplay more rich. All this stuff is an enhancement of gameplay, but the game itself stayed the same. Because it had a) roguelike concept and b) WORLD (lore)

With changing WORLD you change the game. It’s becoming not an ‘Angband’, but something different. It’s not right to do this to ~30 year old game. People loved and KNOW the monsters. They recognize them by tiny sight and they understand what to expect from them because they played Angband for years.

I’ve created this separate topic, cause if I’ll just a reply to ‘feature/monster’ topic, it would be quickly buried by Nick’s supporters messages. I myself got HUGE respect to Nick, his work and his personality, he is great leader. But game design, coding and game’s lore is different areas of responsibility. Maybe there should be different persons in charge for this particular game component. Let’s Nick would be lead gamedesigner and coder, but someone else would take lore-based decisions in their hand – some of Angband veterans. Or even create a ‘council’ of veterants – like 3-5 past V-maintainers who would vote for LORE-based changes.

What else could I add.. I have my own variant which would preserve classic stuff in it. I won’t ever touch any respectable monster, because I’m in love with them. I know each and everyone there. Of course, monster’s itself should be rebalanced sometimes, but their LORE – names and depth where you find them – wouldn’t be changed. It shouldn’t be changed. It’s a core of the game.

Angaband is RNG-based game; I mean when each dungeon levels is created – we do not know what to expect there. The only things which we expect – is certain monsters. Each one is good known and got it’s own special place. You won’t meet Nazguls at -50, you know it and it’s one of small static things in absolutely RNG game. The only thing which we have is lore and our knowledge of it. Please don’t take it away.

The right way – is to add new stuff and to enhance the game, not to cut it’s parts. How come that I’m as a huge Tolkien fan (damm I even runned in the forests with wooden sword in real life) – do not like current Angband tolkienization? Because it’s a conflict of interests – Tolkien lore VS Angband lore. Sorry, but Angband is not a fanfic Tolkien website to bend it like this. In Angband ‘game’ it’s lore and traditions more precious then Tolkien heritage. Nick doesn’t feel like this it seems 🙁 But even Gandalf was mistaken a lot of times. Let’s go back…

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Angband’s objects customization

Just a tiny example of customization which is already possible within current system:

name:& Flask~ of Whisky
alloc:40:0 to 50
msg_self:*Hic... Hic...*
desc:It pretty strong and could raise your spirits.

This is just a laugh, a small test for Tangaria, but it’s already makes some interesting changes:

1) drinking Whisky restore STR/CON (important for newbie players who attacked wrong monster in melee and have -5 speed for example and can’t continue playing), but could make you stupid OR less wise (logical lol). 
2) it makes you bold (@ Tangaria it’s pretty useful, eg to fight VS Maggot who is living at -50 and could ‘fear’ you sometimes)
3) it makes you confused (you drunk lol)
4) it produce certain random effects (drinking booze in magical world should be more interesting than in real life)
5) it nourishing.. and in Tangaria it’s very important as you can not buy food in the shops. Whiskey also could found only during adventures.

Why I posting this? Just to show that working toward enhancing customization is important. So having:

Originally Posted by tangar 
It would be great to add ‘simple’ condition’s system to gamedata customization. It would be give wide possibilities, eg to make different races to react differently at stuff.

It could be called: flagcheck

Would really open ‘third’ eye in Angband development.

Originally Posted by takkaria 
At some point, if you start adding checks to gamedata files, you end up with a (hard to understand and nonstandard) scripting language…

The question is:

What is easier: to hardcode new objects’ properties or to add them in object.txt ?

For example:

You have 50 objects, something like this tiny Whiskey flask, which you wish to customize with some ‘checks’. What would you prefer – to hardcode it or to have them all in one place in object.txt?

And what about adding 51 object? 52? 153?

Having objects customization in one place – it’s how it should be to move forward. Forward towards roguelike way – which is different from modern graphic RPGs with faceroll 3-buttons gameplay.

Why Angband implement new objects very rare? Answer is simple – because there are low possibility of such items customization. Monsters – ok, work is going on. Classes too. Their gamedesign potential are very high already and Angband using it’s 5% (or even less), so there are loads of space left for their development. Monsters and classes got loads of properties and very high ‘degree of freedom’ as monsters are controlled by AI and classes are enhanced by players bahaviour.

But for objects, which got the only way to act – when you use them – there are lack of options. Enhancing this particular direction would bring game to the next level.

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Realism in Angband

In general, game balance is more important than realism. Of course it’s great to make stuff to make sense.. But if there is a choice between following precise realworld medieval experience and making game less balanced – hell to realism. This is magic world which has it’s own magic physical laws.

At the same time it shouldn’t be too non-realistic. We have to find compromise between realism and game balance.. I mean – we shouldn’t be too tedious in trying to match precise values to real-life.

Current weight is ok in terms of lore/realism to me. Imho the problem is to rebalance different weapon in early/mid/end game; so heavy weapons would be more useful for early-mid game. How come that dagger is more ‘dangerous’ weapon then bastard sword? It’s actually makes less sense and more important than ‘realism weight problem’.

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Angband as ‘game engine’

Comment to ook discussion: could Angband be considered as ‘game engine’?

I played for years in TomeNET which is based at very old version of MAngband (which is based at ancient version of Angband), and it didn’t had ‘game engine’ component in it. Modern Angband is very different!

Considering ‘configuration’ aspect:
In contrast to ‘regular’ graphic-based games (eg modern RRG genre), roguelike genre ‘game engine’ is supposed to be configuration based. As the foundation of the roguelike game is to ‘assemble’ RNG dungeons, put there random objects and give player to deal with them – and it’s all depends on certain formulas and constants. When we change such parameters in configuration – we change the most important part of the game; actually roguelike game could be considered as a ‘mathematical model’.

Thats why current Angband gamedata configuration provide loads times more possibilities in game design than any existent _default_ (out-of-box) ‘modern RPG’ game engine, like Unity etc. of course, this fact mainly based at roguelikish RNG-based gamedesign, but still 🙂

And of course to implement some unusual staff you have to code.. But anyway right now you could do AMAZING things with current ‘game engine’ 😀 I enjoy working with it!

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Water in Angband

There is an interesting discussion @ oook about water. My 0.02$:

I like this idea. TomeNET got pretty cool water system and even ‘swimming’ skill. They got:

– aquatic monsters which can spawn only at ‘water’ tiles; they can pursue player even in ‘shallow’ water, but can’t leave it to surface
– swimming in deep water give a chance for scrolls & other items to be destroyed; water resistance items or tarpaulin (tool slot) protect from it.
– eventually you could die (drown) if you are tired and bad at swimming :E
– ‘swimming’ skill & racial parameter; It would be fun to have it in Angband (like ‘Digging’) eg makes hobbit swim not really good ^^
– you can not create walls on deep water; not all stuff could be summoned on deep water
– there is fresh and salt water. You could fill bottle; eg with salt water and use this potions to throw to the enemies or ‘clean’ your stomach Continue reading

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Angband 4.x races changes: heretic or canonic?

Right now @ oook forums there is a big discussion considering upcomming races/classes changes. As I’m working at new races design for ‘Tangaria‘, thought about this matters too, so my 0.02 $

Firstly I wanna note that I’m really enjoying the way how Angband developing. It’s feels like ‘Golden Age‘ of this game; all past changes like ID, traps, curses.. new light systems & etc – it’s definitely move toward the right direction.. But.. Such race changes.. It feels a bit like a developing new Angband variant, than enhancing V; sorry to say this, with all huge respect to beautiful dev team.

I was quite sad when heard that kobolds are go away soon; they feels very ‘native’ to Angband atmosphere even if they are not canonic to Tolkien. But Tolkien himself left a lot of space for other creatures in his World, who knows who lived to the far south east, in some dark caves? Kobolds sounds like a creatures who wouldn’t like to be found and used by other races in their wars, small and stealthy, they mind their own business. Continue reading

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Roguelike gamedesign: food problem

Let’s remember Frodo who went to Mordor from Lothlorien. He got limited supplies and he should be causious with them. It was fun 😀

There is a big discussion @ oook considering food in Angband. I wanna share some my thoughts about this topic:

1) Food is a resource which slowly depleted (the same as light); it works differently in compare to other sources, like HP (which depleted very fast, but only during the battle).

2) With such long-term resources there should be rare occasions which brings ‘crysis’ to it. There are RNG events which could drain this resource at once: mobs EAT_FOOD, traps; and also draining it’s more slowly – curses, wearing powerful items (magical rings in Nethack). The more different events like this – the better (I mean diversity). Some of them should be higly unpredicted. Continue reading

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Online roguelike: solution to wilderness cheating

In next update I’m thinking to switch server back to wilderness mode (with adjusting Angband dungeon in Hobbiton). I so love dungeon-city (it’s reminds me about Moria..), but it would be fun to give players more freedom – someone wish to travel around ME, some would like to dive right after they create a new character.

All this time I thought how to solve the biggest problem os wilderness – ‘cheating’ with moving along the borders. I’ve also suggested some ideas there , and got some more thoughts, but finally it comes to my mind, how to solve it.

If wilderness option is on, players using ‘cheating’ possibility to move along the borders to be able to change location immideatelly as soon as they noticed dangerous monster. This vulnerability in gameplay mechanics gives players non-roguelikish endless ‘escape’ option from danger and makes wilderness kinda pointless. Continue reading

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Tangaria – let’s the game begin!

Yay! Our server now got it’s new home:

It was my dream for a long time: to have proper, truly online roguelike gameplay without cheating, stair-scumming, everlasting and other stuff with spoil the fun and habitate people to play ‘wrong’, non-roguelikish way, so after a while they loose interest to the game. No! In my opinion, online roguelike should propose different philosophy opposite to MMORPG boredom hoarder-simulators.
Roguelike – it’s just you, your skill, your guts.. and your freedom.

Freedom from fear of death. Freedom from fear ‘to loose’. Every adventure – counts. Every death – is an achievement. Every new character – is a happiness of unique exploration experience. Continue reading

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Tangaria – my PWMAngband server

Tangaria – welcome to Tangar’s server! : D

We made it! From the self-made server on the third level domain, something more has grown. I’ve slept this days for 3 hours, but it was worth it 🙂 Huge thanks to PowerWyrm (developer of PWMAngband) for his continuous work, he already released two updates, fixed bugs and added new features: D

Do not worry, streams will soon return to normal daily mode.

See you in the game!

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PWMAngband suggestions: wilderness and houses

Some discussion with PW and a fe suggestions:

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm 
“This doesn’t work atm, minimum isn’t 6, but 8”

Works perfectly, must be your addon. But if you want less, I can reduce to a 1/8 of the max (10×3) instead of 1/4, so you’ll be able to get a smaller term 1 for messages.

Addon just removes header of window and doesn’t influence other way. But I figured out how to solve it for now – it works (to have 6 rows) only if I apply addon when I start a client and yet didn’t enter the game (stay on login screen). But if I apply addon later on – min. rows becomes 8.

So there is definitelly a bug, but as I’ve found a way to solve it (protecting .ini file and applying addon before login) – it’s not a critical one.

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm 
“maybe it’s possible to assign to ignore all kind of item type (eg books, corpses) in game options”

Yes it is, option menu (=) then i) item ignoring setup

Continue reading

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PWMAngband – new server

Hooray! I’ve launched  server @ PWMAngband – online roguelike game with innovative features. To get there:

  1. download the game on (choose the latest version, even if it beta)
  2. unpack and run the game (mangclient.exe). If you wish to play in fullscreen mode, you can use my addon). Soon I’ll add guides about game customization.
  3. choose server:

Server homepage:

Two more cents:
1) atm it’s in testing mode. There should be only one character per account soon (now it’s unlimited), so when this functionality would implemented – there would be a wipe.
2) you could find there some pretty unusual features, for example, the stairs are “disconnected” (so when you go downstairs, you can not run back immideatelly – you need to find stairs again) to prevent stair scumming.
3) the map of the game is based on Tolkien’s world .. be careful when traveling at night 🙂 You appear in the Hobbiton, where there is only a small newbie dungeon; experienced players should try to get to the Bree (rumors say it’s somewhere at east).
UPDATE: I turned off wilderness for now because of certain problems. Now it’s vanilla Angband dungeon-town 😀

Have questions? Join the PWMAngband discord:

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PWMAngband – online roguelike FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I’ve came back to play PWMAngband again after a long break and setup there the way to play fullscreen with my addon – with some tweaks it’s become possible to use very nice in-built graphic tileset as blind-friendly. So I’ve made two streams with my 1st impressions, in English:

…and second stream in Russian.

In general it was huge fun to play PWMA. PWMAngband is awesome game which definitely needs much more attention from roguelike community. It’s got loads of unique and awesome features. But also it’s got some ‘weak’ spots which I’ve noticed and wanna share to help developer to see the game with ‘fresh eye’: Continue reading

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[TomeNET] Races: rebalancing analysis

TomeNET is pretty good balanced game and one of the main reasons of this fact is that it’s balance based on Angband (which based on Moria), so it’s rebalance history could be counted as ~40 years in total. But as TomeNET overgrown (in a good way) with a lot of features, new classes and races – it’s important to continue balance polishing.

Main idea of game balance is simple:
If players are keeping to use the same build (race, class, skills) – in most cases it means that it’s stronger than others and it should be nerfed. And vice versa – if players do not use certain build – it should be buffed. Btw, in the past TomeNET had quite interesting statistics for different races/classes, it could help in rebalancing. Continue reading

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[TomeNET] ‘Soloist’ should be truly independent

C. Blue wrote (Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:06 am):
Currently there are no plans to extend the amount of characters
per account, also because of the amount of (free) houses.

How ‘Soloist’ could become a new mode without increasing house limits:

1) Make it not possible to buy/own houses for ‘soloist’ mode characters.
2) Give ‘soloist’ characters access to NE houses (like they got it now in pseudo-mode)

I create ‘soloist’ char. This char can not buy house. But this char could access houses of my alts at NE mode (he could come inside, drop his ‘soloist’ items and take them back).

Making ‘soloist’ truly separate game mode is good – because it would be easier to tweak different changes to this mode gameplay, eg: Continue reading

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