Artifact finding

From now on players can find the same true artifact only once – you ID an artifact by moving on it or picking it up, then you cannot find it again.

Info for new players: there are two types of artifacts – true artifacts and random artifacts (randarts). True artifacts are unique items, which could be possessed by one player at once; when it found by someone, others can’t find it before it would be lost again. Randards is a powerful RNG items; which are not unique and that’s why they could be stored in player’s house (true arts can’t).

Note from PowerWyrm: sometimes you can still find an artifact again – if another player generates the level and hasn’t find the artifact, it can appear and if you recall on the same level, you can find the art before the other player.

Hunger came!

There is very interesting topic about in-game food system @ oook, so I’ve made my 0.02$ there by writing an article Roguelike gamedesign: food problem

In short: current food system in ‘regular’ mode is not bright. To make it more interesting we would try an experiment by removing food from provisioner shop. It fits in lore alright – war with Morgoth made bag of gold cost less than bag of wheat. Food is rare and you should find it to survive.

Don’t worry, guys, there are plenty of food in the dungeon, stolen from fellow townies by orcs 🙂 You just need to put some effort to get it (and you would meet a lot of interesting situations and adventures in process!).

Inventory slot +1

Max number of pack slots for carrying inventory increased from 22 to 23. We had 22+quiver slot; now there is one more slot for extra wand/rod or other useful staff.
Actually it’s really fun to give players more possibilities to use surrounding objects and items which they occasionally found in the dungeon. Currently you have to throw away most of situationally useful items because of lack of inventory space, which isn’t right. Most of this items are not balance breaking onces, but pretty occasionally situational (and if there would be too imba items – they always could be rebalanced by increasing their weight, for example).
Roguelikish approach to the online game is to give player as much different option to act as he could have in his head at the present time. As we have fast-paced real-time gameplay, we do not need to fear too much imbalance caused by having a lot of options for player – having a lot of options could mess you up even more when you have to act fast. In singleplayer roguelikes when you have endless time to think about next turn, it’s indeed could be a big balance problem and limited inventory is an important way to prevent imbalance.
So now we have the same amount of inventory slots as MAngband/TomeNET. Maybe we should increase inventory space even more, for example, in exchange to max. carrying weight? Please discuss.
Ideally would be to limit number of inventory slots in which you could take stuff to the dungeon; so World of Recall scroll would work only when you got, for example, 20 inventory slots; at the same time greatly lift limitation on found loot which you could carry around while you are in the dungeon, eg up to 30 slots. So when you would find items inside – you would be able use them more often and also go back to town not so frequently.

Hunger is comming…

When I first recognize that in online roguelike game you have to eat – I was very excited about that. It feels very oldschool and greatly added realism to the gameplay.
But than one day I’ve discovered Satisfy Hunger scrolls. They were cheap. They were immune to glutton ghost and other creatures which ‘steal food’. And they really break game food mechanics cause it makes ‘eating’ (it’s even not eating, but reading anymore) just a very regular and boring activity.
Guys, trust me. It’s so great to appear in the dungeon without food and without possibility to escape! It’s real adventure. You need to survive, find _anything_ to eat. Every mushroom is a treasure! I had such situation at TomeNET IDDC recently.
So… From now on Satisfy Hunger scrolls are very rare and expensive. Their price now x100, up to 1000 g (regular shop, but you won’t see them there until new ‘rare’ flag would come) and 3000 g (BM). Also chance to find stack reduced (now it’s pile:100:1d1).

Update: vigor mushrooms and magic mapping

Vigor mushrooms are now available in BM (Black Market) under ‘always’ flag. Their price increased x4 (200 -> 800), from 600 to 2400 gold. It’s temporary measure, having ‘always’ stuff in BM is wrong, such items should be semi-rare, but for now no other flags available (more are comming). 

Next change is more important – Magic Mapping (MM) & Detection Monsters from items become nerfed – it’s radius heavely reduced.

Why MM is imba right now?

  1. MM removing huge part of one of the most important parts of roguelike genre – exploration. Especially at mid-end game when everyone could afford MM magic.
    Beauty of exploration is based on lvls RNG. You _should_ never know what to expect after you turn a corner, what’s lay after you enter next door. You could have certain sneak peek (that’s why MM is still in the game, but with small radius), but you shouldn’t know too much. Playing without MM brings to the game new feelings – so players would try to search for hidden rooms, passages & etc.
  2. It’s all came from Angband (which came from Moria.. ). As I wrote in previous post about shops’ rebalancing, Vanilla ‘Angband’ got limited stock refreshing in stores, so you can not buy 99 MM scrolls or bunch of staves at wish, so MM is kinda balanced there in compare to MAngband, TomeNET and PWMAngband. So having artifact with MM on activation in vanilla gives you real advantage; in online roguelikes you would rather be frustraded with such artifact property, cause of endless flow of MM util items. Having cheezy ‘MM on demand’ is wrong.
  3. And at the end.. Please note that almost all major RPG or even roguelikish-ARPG (Diablo, PoE etc) do not give player endless possibility to MM ‘at will’; exploration is one of the foundamental RPG mechanics.

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Shops rebalancing

Why we rebalancing shops? Because current balance based at vanilla Angband in which shops got static stock for 10000 turns, so resources are limited to Angband’s player. But they are limited only for one player and it’s pretty alright to have all the shops only for yourself even without restock. As we got a lot of players at the server and all of them needs different items, we have to redesign this gameplay system by adjusting  shops refreshments and prices. Currently players had to wait a lot of time near BM doors to buy consumables and it’s quite grindy gameplay. At the same time prices for some items are too cheap…

Previous tiny attempt to rebalance (yesterday) was focused on XBM (expensive black market) price rearrangment , but it seems that it’s wrong approach, cause x15 prices isn’t right for ‘regular’ items (pots&teleport scrolls), it’s alright for vanilla Angband with limited stock refreshment, but not for multiplayer. At the same time we do not have possibility to use ‘normal’ (which appears from time to time) stock in BM (glitch?), so we got to use ‘always’ flag there. For now (as always, experimental):

Provisioner shop ‘1’
+ normal:potion:Cure Critical Wounds
+ normal:potion:Restore Life Levels
– normal:stone:House Foundation Stone
– normal:scroll:House Creation
always -> normal:digger:Pick 
// to give player at least some necessity to visit ‘1’ shop – to buy occasional cure crit pots there
+ always:potion:Cure Serious Wounds
+ normal:potion:Restore Life Levels
– always:scroll:Life
Black Market
always: (item/old price/increased multi/values)
speed 225 //  x6 (75 -> 450) // now it’s 1500 g
res poison 90 // x3 (30 ->90) // now it’s 300 g
teleport 120 // x15 (40 -> 600)  // now it’s 1800 g
heal (no price changed, 2400 g)

Magic shop

– normal:staff:Magic Mapping // make it more rare
Other rearranged prices:
*heal* 4500 // x2 (1500 -> 3000) // 4.5k is meh for such potion
teleport level x3.5 (800 -> 2800) // major escape
magic mapping scrolls x3 (65 -> 195) // should be nerfed (more details in further post)
Also we need to move server to birth_noselling option when it would be available (you can not sell items to NPC, but you got extra gold). With two modes available it’s impossible to rebalance game economy and also it provides exploits.

Shops & price rebalancing (experimental)

To reduce ‘shop grind’ (need of wating for certain items at stores) were made several experimental adjustments:

  1. refresh time for shops boosted from 250 to 100
  2. added ‘always’ to BM (Black Market):
    – Cure Serious Wounds
    – Cure Critical Wounds
    – Restore Life Levels
    3. added ‘always’ to XBT (Expensive Black Market):
    – Healing
    – Speed
    – Resist Poison
    – Teleportation scrolls
    4. Prices changed:
    – Teleportation scrolls: x5 (40 -> 200 value)
    – Speed potions: x2 (75 -> 150 value)

This is temporary measures to reduce grind because currently there is a problem that it’s not possible to assing ‘normal’ price appearence to BM and XBM. Also more price rebalancing are planned soon. Please leave your feedback!

Fixed critical bug

Fixed critical bug which crushed client when player was idle:

C:\PWMAngband\mangband.exe caused an Access Violation at location 004bae6a in module C:\PWMAngband\mangband.exe Reading from location 0000002c.
Debug server updated. No client update needed 🙂

New PWMAngband 1.2.0 beta 2 released!

Quick update to narrow down the bug which occures quite rare, but it’s crush the server. Eg

090119 164424 Goose: You enter a maze of down staircases.
090119 164424 BEGIN dungeon_change_level()
090119 164424 depth=1 height=66 width=198
090119 164424 END dungeon_change_level()
090119 164424 Shutting down (panic save).
090119 164424 Server panic info save succeeded!

So when player changes the lvl – he crush server. And if after I restart server he try to login again – crush repeats.

List of changes:

– Add a server option to automatically transfer death dumps to the client (AUTO_DUMP in mangband.cfg)
– Add a debug version of the server executable which generates a mangband.rpt file when a crash occurs

Files are available for download at the usual location:

To update server in debug mode:
– download PWMAngband server (debug version)
– copy the files from the zip into the /PWMAngband directory
This will replace the executable mangband.exe and add files to include debug information to generate a file named mangband.rpt when a crash occurs.

New PWMAngband 1.2.0 beta 1 released!

– Remove “change password” feature from character description screen
– Reduce the allowed minimum size of subterms to a fifth of the maximal size (16×4)
– Fix 32bit builds of the Windows client
– Allow looking and targeting with roguelike keyset
– Make maximum number of characters per account a server option

Players must get the new client to play on beta 1 servers. Files are available for download at the usual location: . Here’s a little upgrade procedure for players:

1) Rename the /PWMAngband directory to /PWMAngband_old
2) Unzip the binaries into /PWMAngband directory
3) Replace \PWMAngband\lib\user by \PWMAngband_old\lib\user
4) Replace modified configuration files by the ones from /PWMAngband_old: the ini files, any .prf modified in /lib/customize, any .fon added in /lib/fonts
5) Archive (or delete) /PWMAngband_old
6) Restart your client

And this one for server admins:

1) Rename the /PWMAngband directory to /PWMAngband_old
2) Unzip the binaries into /PWMAngband directory
3) Replace \PWMAngband\lib\user by \PWMAngband_old\lib\user (this should copy the savefiles, preference files, logs and score file)
4) Replace modified configuration files by the ones from /PWMAngband_old: the cfg file 
5) Archive (or delete) /PWMAngband_old
6) Restart your server