Author Topic: PosChengband (now at beta v7.0.2)  (Read 19736 times)

getter77

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Re: PosChengband (now at beta v6.1.0)
« Reply #60 on: May 12, 2017, 11:47:48 AM »
v6.1.0

Quote
A new release (6.1.0) is up in the usual spot. Enough gameplay changes, some fairly major, have accrued to warrant a new minor version.

Changes this release include:
[1] Quest sequence in Angband is now random. You won't know what levels contain quest monsters. But, you can safely leave a quest level if you like and the quest monster will patiently await your return. You decide how to play this, but the game is more fun if you try to complete quests on the first attempt, only backing out if the foe is ridiculously OP (e.g. Malekith on DL35 before you have nether resistance).

[2] Rune Knight redesigned and even playtested. They are strong, but no more than many other classes (unless I am missing something?).

[3] Major changes to devices. End game devices are much harder than before to use, and the high device classes (mage, sorcerer, device master) will finally see some need for their high class device skills. Charmed Pendant restored to its original +2 status.

[4] Changes to melee and spell proficiency systems to smooth out level restrictions. Some players won't like any sort of spell proficiency system, so there is a new birth option to turn it off.

[5] Reforging: The game now uses slot-based power ratings. For example, melee weapons vs light sources. No longer can you reforge powerful slots into weak slots with impunity. This also applies when reforging strong items into weak weapons like daggers and falcon swords (e.g. ninjas). However, you might try reforging Vilya into a Blade of Chaos or even Diamond Edge and like the results, so it is not all bad.

[6] Rand/Replacement Arts: These also will use slot-based power ratings. Fixed a major bug with rand-art scoring after noticing how ridiculous end game rand-arts were becoming.

[7] Archery: Shots per round is completely determined by your base shooting skill (class *and* race/personality).

[8] Devices now have much better allocation. You can get lower level stuff in the end game rather than having effects just cut off abruptly. You should find 1 or 2 -Rockets in a normal game, but will never find more than 3 or 4. No longer will you get annoyingly frequent Beams of Disintegration (and others).

[9] Lots of oook requests addressed. You can do a git shortlog v6.1.0...v6.0.5 to see the details, but the following is worth mentioning: Press '@' at an object prompt to temporarily stop using inscriptions to override label choices.

[10] Stat sustains now help protect against nexus scrambles.

[11] Archery: Slings shoot slightly faster (1.40 vs 1.25).
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training

getter77

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Re: PosChengband (now at beta v7.0.0)
« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2017, 11:49:50 AM »
v7.0.0

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I've begun a substantially redesigned 7.0 version, mostly in response to monster related issues and player effects. While I am not finished playtesting, I have tested enough that what I have seems stable and playable. 7.0.0 is available in the usual spot, but only those brave and eager for design changes should attempt this. I'll keep playtesting ... I had planned to sit on this 'til November or December, but having so many local changes not pushed to github makes me nervous (and once I push, people will play, I think).

Monster Issues:
Playtesting the recent monster additions revealed numerous problems, and investigation led to frustration with the existing system and, therefor, another major re-write. I've redone monster melee, monster auras, and, most aggressively, monster spells. I can go into issues if you like, but perhaps it will be better to just browse the commit history if you are curious. I tried to explain my reasoning whenever possible. Dont' browse r_info.txt unless you wish to spoil stuff ... Try playing "blind" instead!

Monster spells are now lored, and you can legitimately learn damage numbers with enough experience. Try playing without easy_lore and easy_id ... The lore system is quite good, IMO. And player omniscience does make the game much easier (not to mention spoiling anything new I might add).

Many monster types have been redesigned. Some new types have been added. Many of the recent 6.1 additions have been dropped (e.g. the Steam stuff) as there was just too much. For example, there is no need for new unique angels, but some work on the existing ones should do the trick. Go slay Azriel and Raphael (preferably in melee), and let me know if we really need new, harder stuff

Player Effects:
While working on monsters, its hard to avoid considering player effects. If the only way to improve monster difficulty is to bump up raw melee damage, then the game goes in a direction I dislike. So, player effects were changed:

[1] Free Action: No longer all or nothing. FA entitles you to a saving throw: one per source. (TODO: More late game monsters need PARALYSIS, I think).

[2] See Invisible: No longer all or nothing. SI entitles you to a "skill roll" to notice an invisible monster: one roll per source of SI. Which skill? Why, searching, of course!

[3] Hold Life: Very interesting changes here. I won't spoil, but powerful undead monsters (especially uniques) might have something nasty in store for you!

[4] Stun: Redesigned effects (for players and monsters alike). Effects are smoothed out, and more significant, I think. Monsters, on the other hand, had an off-the-wall ridiculous stun system where the least stun affect made them miss half their moves, miss half their blows and fail half their spells (non-innate). They now use the same system as the player.

[5] Poison: No immediate damage. Instead, all damage is delayed. You'll see a poison counter in the current version. Poison is much harder to cure and many things only cure it partially.

[6] Nether: A significant portion of nether damage has been siphoned off into ... something nasty. So there will be a bit less direct damage.

I'm sure I'm forgetting major changes ... Many bugfixes and game balance issues.

Oh, and a new score system. The old scores.raw was segfaulting by (1) keeping raw ids in the score table; (2) attempting to display without calling init_angband. Many monster races need a valid r_info to work. The new system is available with ~H or from the Birth Welcome Screen. It is a single user system, not designed for large concurrent access (as in the old, original VAX days). Don't delete files in the scores (apex) directory unless you know what you are doing. The system keeps dumps for you, and you can view them directly from the high score listing. Also, live characters are added to the score list so that if, like me, you have large numbers of currently active characters, there is no need to wait until they die/win to see them.

Finally, I haven't been on-line for the last 4 months or so. Any issues or complaints raised on oook in that time will be addressed in a future release.

Enjoy!
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training

getter77

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Re: PosChengband (now at beta v7.0.1)
« Reply #62 on: September 01, 2017, 11:34:51 AM »
v7.0.1

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This release is a minor update, mostly because I am about to go online to access all the expected complaints about the 7.0 stuff As with the last release, I'm not finished playtesting and still making considerable design changes. If this bothers you, wait for the 7.1 release which should happen sometime around Xmas ... I hope.

This release addressed a few 6.1 oook reports including:
[1] Problems with quests if monsters are summoned *after* the quest is completed. Fixed. Reports about the Vapor quest not working could not be reproduced. Is this still an issue? If you are on Linux (I think the OP was), try running in gdb and at least getting a backtrace (bt). Also, make sure you are running the correct executable. The build system builds into the src directory. Any executable at the root level was placed there by you, and therefore must be manually kept up to date by you. Also, on Linux at least, you can just run out of src (directories are set by configure).

[2] Minor complaints about message coloring ... weapons of sharpness.

[3] Request to look at mimic design ... I did, but haven't had a chance for playtesting. FYI, mimics are designed to be much weaker in mimicry than possessors. They can learn 5 forms, after all, and they are quite capable of success in their native form whereas the Possessor is hopeless without a current body. They should not be able to count on learning any specific form.

[4] Confusion about device design: In the old days, almost any player could get enough device skills to use (almost) any device. Skills were meaningless for mage types: You could probably do a Mighty Zombie Mage and not notice any decrease wrt devices. These days, *nobody* is above the device system... Well, perhaps a Devicemaster is, but then only in their speciality. And even in this case, race and personality choices matter, as does INT. Every player *might* find Magic Mastery useful.

Wrt devices themselves, the old system had each effect identical (and damage indexed to player level??!). The new system has variability in effectiveness, and I've gone ahead and taken a good hard look at this for 7.0.1. For example, Fire Balls start at around 65 damage, but can go all the way up to 370 damage! If you are in the habit of ignoring certain device types, you might want to rethink that approach. So while a Warrior can't use a wand of rockets, they might be able to snag some other device type that doesn't scale difficulty with power so aggressively. (Of course, warriors are *much* better off shooting.)

Check out the wizard commands ^A"3 and ^A"2 if you don't understand the current system and its design goals. And remember, devices should be considerably weaker than mage spells ... at least until the end game (where device skills really, really matter).

I've also continued to make minor gameplay adjustments, such as:
[1] FA helping with slowing effects from inertia as well as with recovery from being slowed.

[2] Random quest rewards are now 10 levels deeper than the current quest level, but there are fewer reward objects (You can get good stuff early).

[3] There is now more !Healing. _Healing is not required and never really was ... at least before the 6.0 monster additions. If you have it, of course, then it is very nice.

[4] Black Market now stocks object levels commensurate with player level. This is not realistic, of course, but is a nice balance change. For example, stocking OL50 for CL30 is a bit broken. On the other hand, the BM is no longer useless in the late game ... You can get OL70 and CL50.

[5] reduce_uniques no longer removes boss monsters or demigod parents.

[6] _Holiness removed. If you upgrade, it still works of course. You just can't find these any more.

[7] Nexus stat scramble replaced with something else. No spoilers, just play and see!

And remember, I still haven't seen any comments about 7.0. I'll adress those in the next release ...
Brian Emre Jeffears
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In Training

getter77

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Re: PosChengband (now at beta v7.0.2)
« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2017, 11:31:28 AM »
v7.0.2

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Version 7.0.2 is up in the usual spot. I haven't had time to read any recent forum posts. Remember, I don't have Internet access, so I really cannot read and respond to everything that is written here.

If you are posting on oook, please play the actual Poschengband source code. If you mod, that is fine, but please don't post on this forum. This is just common courtesy and is the only price I ask for all of my hard work on this variant.

As with the last 2 releases, I am still playtesting. 7.0.0 and 7.0.1 would not normally be releases, even as beta, since major gameplay changes are still being implemented. 7.0.2 is probably beta worthy, though I have a couple of more things to look at. Again, this is not a finished, polished release. Wait for a non-zero second digit in the version number ... 7.1 should be ready around XMas.

Version 7.* is not meant to be a difficult release. It is not meant to squish noobs. I'm finding this release a bit on the easy side and am content to leave it so. If you are having trouble with this version, it is probably just that game mechanics have changed and require some getting used to. For example:

[1] Free Action: Paralysis always used to be a death sentence but got changed in Chengband so that players, even without FA, could survive. This was accomplished by not incrementing the paralysis counter while the player is paralyzed as well as decrementing the counter on player moves, not every 10 game turns. In effect, paralysis usually means losing 1d3 actions. The only difficulty is what happens on the turn that you recover. You see, you miss that turn and your paralysis counter is now back to zero. Should the enemy attack again, hit again, and paralyze you again, the process repeats. So the key to adressing this is some combination of (1) speed, (2) high AC, (3) distance attacks, (4) avoidance, and/or (5) multiple sources of FA. FA gives you a save vs paralysis, but it is a normal magic resistance saving throw. This means that (6) Anti-magic helps (and is available early for warrior builds that otherwise have low saving throws). In about 30 plays thru the 7.0 versions, I've only lost a single character to paralysis (flying polyp on DL30 of forest, using 8x8 graphics to camouflage itself). Mostly, paralysis is just the loss of a single turn ... something to think about, but generally a very non-threatening game mechanic. If you are dying from it, post your dump ... You are probably doing something wrong.

[2] See Invisible: Address this by improving your searching skill. Try wearing (1) elven cloak, (2) cap of seeing, (3) amulet of magi or trickery. If you have a low searching build, it is more important to improve your base searching skill than it is to get multiple sources of SI. Pay attention to the affect of race and personality choices in this area. Power builds such as Mighty Half-Titans are disadvantaged relative to, say, Nimble Hobbits. In addition, deal with SI by (1) using _DetectInvis to locate them if you lack SI; (2) using -DetectMonsters to locate them if you have SI; (3) quaffing !DetectInvis to help your detection odds; or (4) using _Telepathy (or permanent telepathy, should you be so fortunate). If you are getting spanked, then simply teleport away until you can handle this mechanic using any of the above.

[3] Hold Life: This is a big time mechanic, but it only manifests a few times in the game. Be prepared to pay attention anytime you notice your enemy "growing more powerful". Carry !RestoreLife. Some foes are best dealt with from a distance. If you can't manage this, then wait until you have multiple sources of HL, a high AC, and use ?ProtEvil.

[4] Poison: This has been redone a bit in 7.0.2 and the counter now ticks down every player move, and quite a bit faster. In the end game, use mushrooms to address this. If you have time, !Curing works better than _Curing which is better than !NeutralizePoison, but often, you can just heal more often during battles and let the counter play out (provided you have _Healing).

[5] Telepathy: This mechanic was always a bit on the absurd side. Which would you rather play without: Telepathy or Clairvoyance? Compare how easy/common telepathy is with how rare clairvoyance is! Changing the telepathic awareness is a very strategic change and it is the intent that you not know the exact power/danger of nearby foes. That pack of U's nearby might be harmless ... then again, it might be extremely deadly. Deal with this change by carrying a high capacity -DetectMonsters but it might not always be safe to spend a turn using it!

[6] Devices: I've now played a Magic-Eater all the way thru and devices are playing quite well. There is no nerf here ... good stuff abounds and _Healing is always showing up for me in the mid-60's (once in the early 30's!). Winning with devices is probably just something for Magic-Eaters, Devicemasters and Mage classes (though they will prefer spells, I think). Otherwise, devices play a support role. Playing a pure devicer all the way thru is not advisable ... It never was in heng either. You'll need to start out with melee or shooting and won't be able to switch over to pure devices until the mid-60's.

This version has done the following:
[1] Many rooms, quests, monsters and options have been removed or reverted. You can upgrade early 7.0 versions, but quest monsters or bounty monsters may no longer be available. I'm fully expecting someone to have forked poscheng by now ... so look there rather than here for these things. As usual, if you want explanations/justifications of changes, look to the commit logs.

[2] Devices can now be lored thru use. Previously, using an un-identified device allowed you to learn its spell and its charges bypassing the need for ?id. Now, you can also learn its power (how much damage it does, or how much it heals) by simply using the device. You'll need to observe the full power of the effect for this to work. Monsters that resist the effect, for example, will block the lore. For healing, you must be wounded enough to need the full amount of the healing. Also, you can learn device difficulty (i.e., its fail rate) by simply failing enough times. Devices are no longer cursed. In sum, the need to ?*id* devices should be greatly diminished.

[3] More work on the early game: Traps now using an allocation table with minimum levels and rarities. You won't get clobbered with stat drain in the early game before trap detection is even a reasonable possibility. AFC traps are restricted to much deeper depths.

[4] Monster densities and pack sizes have been reduced. I've read complaints about new effects being too difficult, but remember that in 7.0 monsters have had both their melee damage and spell frequencies reduced across the board. While some monsters did become more difficult (e.g. Grand master mystics), most have been quite seriously reduced in power (e.g. Greater titans and even the big J). Balance has been maintained by making the effect game more important. Consistent with these changes, I've added r_info support for specifying pack sizes on a per monster basis. You should notice this change fairly early ...

[5] Vaults have been redone. They are now very much worth attempting, and are rare enough to no longer dominate playtime. Every vault has at least one tasty inside, but they are very well guarded so be careful.

[6] Monster summoning has been rebalanced a bit. For one thing, max monster depth no longer applies during either player or monster summons. What does this mean? Well, my last character had Omarax summon an Undead beholder and ... a floating eye Also, remember that heng had every S_* spell summon 4 times while we now do greatly reduced amounts. S_CYBER or S_UNIQUE are only 1d2 I think, and the most you get are 1d3+1. In general, you get less quantity then heng. Finally, destruction now works 100% against any summoned monster.

[7] Fixed bug with project() calling project_p() multiple times. For example, I've had Kavlax hit me with a 500 dam BR_NEXUS once. I got this behaviour from heng ... It was not intentional.

[8] alloc_horde() has been re-designed. If you don't know, this is basically a summon kin mechanic added in Zangband, generating a large group of wide awake monsters of of the same display character. It is also a very fragile mechanic ... You could get 15 Flying polyps on DL30, for example. Or a mob of Dracoliches, AMHD, Great Crystal and Ethereal Dragons in the early 30s. Plenty of unfair insta-death here. Also, you got up to 15 monsters in the horde, but monsters with FRIENDS also got their full packs, so you could get a horde of 200+ hounds in one of the wide open FRACAVE rooms: basically a teleportation death trap. The mechanic, which is otherwise and most of the time a good one, should now behave much more reasonably.

[9] Fixed major bug with AURA_REVENGE. Hopefully, nobody but me hit this one, but you'll notice it if you try to melee Master Tonberry.

[10] Bow proficiency is now just like weapons.

You can post comments and criticisms in this thread, but please take time to explain what you don't like. If something seems unfair, linking to a character dump will help. It may take me a while to read and address comments, but I will eventually get around to them.

Finally, some context. This is a Hengband variant. You should know that heng was a long game, perhaps 40 hours if you kill all the uniques. If you don't believe this, look on the heng world score server for dumps by Henkma and Mogami. I'm going by memory here, but seem to recall them being in the 35 to 50 hour range. It is also a variant that takes a long time to master. It took me 2 years to get reasonably skilled with, and even now, 14 years later, I'm still improving my play ... This is not meant to be a casual variant that you play for a month and then grow bored with. If you are a new player, then taking a year to get a win is reasonable. 'bands always used to be this way. In the mean time, use the ~H high score ladder ... It is the only ladder that really matters Also, set goals for yourself other than winning. For example, your first goal should be to complete the Stronghold dungeon, and once you can do that, move on to The Orc Caves. Conquering any dungeon for the first time should make you proud!
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training