The Angband Ladder: Zendar, German Naturalist by <>

Posted on 29.12.2007 02:27

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12977. on the Ladder (of 18813)
172. on the Steamband Ladder (of 318)
14. for this player (out of 14)


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On 29.12.2007 02:27 wrote:
My first foray into the latest incarnation of Steamband. Been putting off really giving this variant a go because of its development cycle--something was always on the verge of being released. Well, after a couple year wait a big release came along, and the ol' *band itch started flaring up again. All right, poor choice of imagery. Anyway, Warcraft has been boring me to tears lately, so might as well trace back my roots to what made games fun way back when.

Steam definitely has a lot going for it. I also like the big experience boosts for discovering things--one of Sangband's greatest touches. On a side note, I hope the big insta-kill pots have been toned down a bit, like in Sangband.

I enjoy playing mage-type characters, so I chose Naturalist (sounded somewhat mage-like, though now I realize this comes close to the old druid class), and chose a mix of elemental and arcane skills.

My death came around the time I started getting a little bored with things (kept running into the same packs of semi-hard to kill monsters, rather
rare treasure drops, etc). I saw the Queen of
Hearts on my level--she was surrounded by quite
an escort of those abysmally dull card monsters
(they take several spell hits to kill, and never
drop anything), so I thought--"Hey, now would
be a great time to test out genocide. I hope
there's not too many card monsters on the
level. I wonder if genocide just extracts wound
points, because at 29 max, this probably won't

And that was about the last train of thought my
character had before dying. No idea how many
card monsters were on the level, but apparently
it was more than my wound points or 300 hit
points could handle.

Had a really nasty early quest for some named
"p" type monster that had an escort of rather
out of depth "p" monsters that could summon
even more of themselves. Beating that one
was quite an accomplishment. I always picked
difficult quests, but ran into a problem with some
big creatures that I just didn't have the spell
points to kill. That was another problem I was
having--got to the point where I just couldn't
put out enough damage with my spells, especially given how many hit points some of these difficult quest monsters had (wild elephant, anyone?). I wonder if my splitting skill points between elemental spells and arcane spells led to this problem. Didn't have the mana repository to use any of the really big spells more than once--was tooling around with 160 mana until I finally gave up a saving throw amulet, threw on a +3 mana amulet and was pleasantly surprised to see my mana go up by 60 points (or thereabouts).

Missed one artifact (The Eye of Ra) which might have contributed a bit to my carelessness--always play with Preserve off, so it stings a bit when you miss something.

But anyway, fun game. I will probably be at it again, not sure how I'll distribute skills differently--the healing ability of elemental spells I used constantly, as well as a few attack spells. Well, thanks for all the contributions to the game. Nice to see Angband still after all these years keeps its charm.

-- Adam

On 29.12.2007 02:31 wrote:
Ah yes, forgot to mention--in the Windows precompiled version, "monsters exploit player weaknesses" is enabled. Is this really how everyone plays? It's pretty darn nasty. As nasty as it is, it should be shown in the character dump, and perhaps made a birth option rather than an anytime toggle.

-- Adam

On 29.12.2007 04:02 wrote:
I was also a little frustrated with the spellpoint limitations for Naturalists. You cast Lightning Storm for 85 points, then rest and rest and rest...

On 29.12.2007 18:24 wrote:

1. Negative potions *have* been toned down - it should be difficult to die from them (though I had someone die from a potion of poison in beta testing) I tried to make sure the effects wouldn't kill you. Also: you can throw them at monsters for *boom*. I've actually made several changes to make it more difficult to be insta-killed.

2. Again, as in the last post, the key with naturalists is to use multiple castings of the lower level powers, since they stick around, you can cast them over and over. The damage will stack up pretty quick. Lightning storm can be gotten way before you have the mana to use it. It's quite powerful later in the game. In the early to mid game, look for multiple candle flames and blizzard to assist with your kills (think six to ten or more).

3. Monsters exploit player weaknesses being enabled is intentional. I've never liked handicapping the monsters. You're good enough that it shouldn't be a problem, right? ;-p

4. I think the way you split your skills is good. There are fewer skill points gained from levels. (I'm sure you noticed). The books you return to the library for skill points are also more rare. I would say that if you're going double spell caster you should weild a spellbook instead of a weapon. (that plus next to the spell book is a magic master bonus. lets you cast more spells safer etc.)

5. Yes. Development is much more stable at this point. Things are perfect but they are relatively balanced. I only have a few more things to add (terrain, better shop code, ego monsters, companions) but those are minor compared to the previous changes. There's a good monster list, and a good artifact list.

Glad you're playing -- I hope to see more dumps and comments in the future.

On 29.12.2007 20:13 wrote:
Yeah, I'll keep at it a bit more.

The problem with keeping "monsters exploit player weakness" is that this makes pretty much anything that can blind/confuse lethal if you have the resistance hole and you
don't have a means of escape. For a spellcaster, this is pretty nasty, confusion in particular. While this is just
something that requires cautious play later (regarding
resistance holes), it can make the early game a bit tedious
and rather unforgiving.

Still, if it's default, I'll keep it on. :)

Newest promising character just ate it by using a Summon
Automata scroll (un-ID'd), blinded by one of them, and wiped
out in 2 turns (used healing power for 1st turn, didn't help).

-- Adam

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