Angband

Angband Releases: 3.1.0beta

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Background

Angband 3.1.0 beta was released on the 7th January 2009 by Andrew Sidwell, some ten months after the previous (bugfix) release, and so the release represented a big change over what had gone before. The main features of the release from the user's point of view were the improved UI and the reduction in monster drops.

This release also had the longest list of credits for a single release in the history of the game: Eytan Zweig, pelpel, Kenneth Boyd, J.D. White, Eddie Grove, Rowan Beentje, Nick McConnell, Gabriel Cunningham, Shanoah Alkire, Alexander Philips, mikon, Antony Sidwell,J oe Buck, Erik Osheim, d_m and Antoine were all noted as contibutors.

The changelog provided with the release is below, but it is by no means exhaustive.

Noticeable up-front UI changes

  • Add EyAngband-style quickstart option.
  • Notes, like NPP and FA, except with brand new code by J.D. White. (#10)
  • Add a trap detection indicator. Also, colour the edges of trap- detected areas green. (#19)
  • Make status bar display all timed effects, left-to-right, which involves moving the dungeon level to the bottom of the left-hand display. (#191)
  • Add showlists option, which is the same as alwaysshow_lists in Ey. (#25)
  • Auto-wield birth items (#24)
  • Change the object information screen quite a bit: (#214, #26)
    • Show average damage for weapons and ammo (#26)
    • Make descriptions a fair bit terser (#399)
    • Show breakage chance for ammo
    • Track item origin, so every item has a tag telling you where it came from (#149)
  • Monster recall changes (part of #152)
    • some colouring removed, some added
    • Monster's depth is in red if it's beyond maximum depth, light green otherwise.
    • more information is known about monsters before they are killed
  • Add how many items the player already has when buying something at the store. (closes #151)
  • Allow use of the space bar to advance a screenful in all menus. (#244)
  • Make all menus wraparound at the top/bottom. (#244)
  • Monster recall display now cycles through monsters in level order, not in the order that the monster definition file is written in. (#302)
  • Add an indication of maximum capacity in the inventory display. (#358)
  • Menus should use 1234567890 as little as possible for "tags". (#292)
  • Remove the "depthinfeet" option, instead displaying both the dungeon level and the depth everywhere.
  • Ensure that store-bought and birth-given torches have the same number of turns for stacking purposes.
  • Death screen now uses scrollable menu. (#416)
  • Drop squelched items
  • Append {tried} to tried items in the object browser (r606)
  • Put {tried} items before untried items in the object browser
  • The monster list display has a little more colour-coding
  • Death menu now uses a scrolly menu.
  • Preserve mode has a sensible description again.
  • Try and differentiate the level feelings more.
  • Add the moderately well-tested "lazy movement" patch which allows a movement delay to be set, during which it is possible to choose a second direction. This means that up and left in quick succession can be translated to an actual diagonal. This may improve some people's laptop playing experience without resorting to the roguelike keyset.
  • Add bigscreen support to the self-knowledge screen.
  • Make inscriptions like "!k!k!k" prompt multiple times again. (#492)
  • Make monster XP and native depth always known, even without kills. (#596)
  • Rejig social status a bit -- it rises with level from a certain baseline.
  • Display various skills numerically on the character sheet, rather than with text. This is like Eddie's patch, but a bit more polished.
  • Add a "display item list" command and term window. (Thanks to Eric Osheim)
  • Add method of death to the character dump. (#501)
  • Tell the payer when timed effects increase or decrease as the result of effects. (idea by Eddie Grove)
  • Windows versions now use hashes and percent signs for walls until there's time to sort out all existing fonts to be Vista-compatible. (#232)
  • Squelch 'K'ind feature now available in the roguelike keyset. (#339)

Gameplay changes

There are some pretty big gameplay changes.

The object list has been reworked quite a bit. It is a bit more varied and has less duplication. Some items have been removed and others added. The new items have had relatively little testing and may be gone again next release. - The number of items that monsters drop has been reduced drastically. - Potions tend to appear in stacks now. - The range of food items has been reduced. - Healing heal a proportion of wounds, not just a set value-- this makes all the potions useful. - Add a selection of "gain one, lose one" stat potions to replace the old stat loss potions-- they guarantee a stat to raise and reduce one randomly. - The Elven Rings have a variety of healings, at the suggestion of Timo. Also, apply some other changes from the TV-patch (r428) - Replace the sustain {stat} rings with sustain mind and sustain body, providing three sustains each. - (#543) Make ammo of slay evil/venom apply to Mithril ammo too.

Gold drops have also been reworked. By the end of the game, there is about 3.6x less gold per drop than in any earlier version or Angband or Moria, but the amount per drop at the beginning of the dungeon is quite similar to pre-existing levels. You may be interested in looking at http://rephial.org/research/avggolddrop.pdf for an illustration.

Magic mapping and detection use the same-sized rectangular area around the player regardless of screen size.

Fear now carries a to-hit penalty to missile weapons of 20, as well as giving an AC bonus of 8. It also increases the failure chance of spells, but spells that cure fear have been made harder to fail to balance this out.

Birth: * Make point-based points worth less gold. * Minimum starting gold is 200AU. * Add an option to start the character with 500AU but no equipment. * Point-based character generation is now equivalent to best available from the autoroller. (Eddie Grove) * All characters start with WoR.

Stores: * Phase Door is now a staple item. * Start stocking deeper items as the character descends. * Rewrite the rules for shopkeepers - Remove individual-shopkeeper and race-based price changes from the store code, to make it easier to balance pricing. - Adjust adjchrgold[] values upwards to represent the average-110% inflation usually applied by the individual-shopkeeper greed values. This should really be applied to the object.txt file instead, though.

ID: * Make ID reveal all powers of an object, and remove ID. (#158) * Make pseudo-id not occur whilst resting, but also make pseudo-ID lengths shorter (by a little over half) to compensate. * Some items, when worn long enough, get automatically ID'd * Items pseudo-id'd as {average} are automatically ID'd, and thus will stack properly * Make wands/staffs stack even when un-ID'd * Pseudo-ID obviously excellent items as {excellent} when possible (e.g. brands/slays/obvious stat bonuses). * Remove "good" pseudo-ID, replace with "magical" -- for non-cursed non-average non-ego non-artifacts * Add "strange" pseudo-ID, for when items have mixed blessings * Stop automatically cursing all bad weaponry * Make weak pseudo-id notice the difference between magical and excellent * Allow any/all rings/amulets to be cursed if the game wants to generate a "bad" item. This is liable to be rethought in the future.

A small selection of other changes: * Remove autoscum. (#365) -- really? * Add minimum depths for each kind of trap. As such, only teleport and confusion traps occur at dlev1. This should help some people. * Make the rogue slightly better at combat than the ranger, based on Timo's sugges tion. (Message-ID: 651vknF2cvjl2U1@mid.individual.net) * Lower the distance missile weapons can fire into the 10-14 grids range. * Make monster arrow attacks sometimes miss. (#537) * Some improvements to monster AI.

Port

  • X11: Add -x commandline option for choosing the location of the settings file (#333, patch by morth)
  • GTK2: Continue work; add term windows, graphics, etc. and also some special dedicated display windows, like "messages" and "monster list". (shanoah)
  • OS X: the OS X version is now a universal binary, and runs faster, better, quicker, and with more sound than before. (Rowan Beentje)

Code-level

Monster HP is now specified as an average value around which to randomise, instead of using a "12d5"-type calculation. Uniques always have the number of HPs specified in the monster.txt file, like before. This is copied from Ey.

A lot of code-level cleanup has been applied to this release, much of it still in flux. Many new files have been split out of existing files, which should now have much more self-explanitory names. The player/, monster/ and object/ subdirectories have been created, to aid seperation of code.

There is also a new generic effects handler so that all item activations and use abilities share the same code; this replaces use-obj.c and a lot of descriptions from lib/edit/object.txt. (#234)

Memory handling has been reviewed. Now, all code should assume that allocation will succeed, just like it did already. There is also a realloc()-style function along with its own hook. string_make() has been modified to no longer return a "const char *", and so all the code now only uses "const" when it means "const". Some macros have been removed.

"Elly" rewrote the message and quark packages, previously in util.c, and in the process split them out into their own z- files. The z-msg package is now much more understandable but marginally less "efficient", and certainly less "optimised".

Option definitions have moved to option.h, and the names and descriptions for options have moved to option.c. Option data is now stored in a much more visually compact way, much more suitable for editing than the old system was. (#64)

Additionally, a new file API has been introduced which combines the previous mishmash of fd*() and myf*() calls into a simpler, better documented interface. (#137)

Store stocking is specified in lib/edit/store.txt now, in a reasonably flexible format.

A fair bit of work has gone into allowing item names to be used in the edit files rather than the tval/sval numbers. For example, see the new store.txt file; but also the lib/pref/ graphics files, and the starting items in the p_class.txt file, amongst others. This is a fairly easy thing to do and is a massive massive usability enhancement. It means that invalid item references are caught much sooner, since if an item is removed, all references to its name become invalid.

Set up an event system for UI display updates, where the game communicates with the UI by sending messages saying that something's changed that the UI might be interested in, rather than deciding that specific things should be redraw. The main screen updates all use this system now. Amongst other things, this system should help things like the borg and graphical frontends, because they can hook right into changes in state. (#348)

object1.c and object2.c have been split out into a series of files, obj-{desc,make,ui,util}.c. This makes it much easier to remember what is where. Also, object_desc() has seen a rewrite, so hopefully it's a lot more hackable now.

The beginnings of an organised code documentation scheme have started, using doxygen. Makefile.std provides an easy mechanism to generate docs (try "make docs").

Other assorted changes: * Remove a whole load of useless or unused configuration options from config.h. * "make -f Makefile.inc depgen" will output "Makefile.new", which then contains up-to-date dependencies for the project. * Add "flags" back to objecttype, removing the need for the hacky "xtra" bytes. This paves the way for e.g. fireproofing scrolls later. (#120) * Makefile for MSVC/NMAKE command-line build. Currently works with MSVC 6+; flags could use tweaking for MSVC 8+. * Clean up racial and class skill values into arrays. (Kenneth Boyd) * Use header file guards in all header files, and use a consistent naming scheme for them ("Elly") * Add a very basic test harness for "unit testing" of the game's code, though this is barely used at present. Thanks to Fennec for cleaning this up a bit. * Introduce the onein_() notation to the game, for percentile dice. * Move to using randint0() and randint1() for random numbers. * Add proper transparency to the PNG files. (fixes #270; thanks to Rowan Beentje * Move to using flags[6] for monster flags rather than individual flagsets. * Score code moved to score.c and extensively refactored.