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’:

  1. Dungeons. There is a dungeon in town which got only two levels deepth (50-100 ft). There are another dungeons somewhere, but you do not know where so you should find it. Exploration is fun, but as it is forced (town dungeons too shallow), it’s pretty annoying task atm to complete because there are overpowerful monsters in wilderness, especially deadly at night. After a while (in my second stream in Russian language) I’ve managed to figure out how to find them and survive (stay at border to run from monsters, ‘r’est till morning), but still.. It’s not really fun to try and find entrances in wilderness full of mountains when you just started to play a new char.

– increase depth of dungeon in town. I would say – it could be fun to have possibility to go only to this dungeon to beat the game (like in MAngband).. Other dungeons could be the way to get good layout based on your equipment (eg. to go to ‘cold’-themed dungeon if you got *cold* immunity) or to get a special artifact from dungeon boss.. But in general it’s not fun to be obliged to go to the wilderness without having an alternative. At least it could be ~1500 dungeon in town (like Barrow Downs in TomeNET).
– add bulletin board which would show ‘Exploration history‘ (like TomeNET has in Major office) so players could explore server and get there all dungeon locations in time.

I heard a rumor, that PWMA map is based on Tolkien map.. It solves the mystery and actually make sense 🙂 So previous two suggestions are not actual for now, I have to test it first. So far:

The map is based off original ToME, but redrawn to exactly match Middle Earth, so if you want to visit Mordor dungeon, you’ll ahve to travel to Mordor on the map. The main dungeon (Angband) is in Carn Dum which is the old capital of Angmar realm, so it’s to the north. In general it’s good idea to go east to Bree as soon as you can and start diving in the Barrow Downs.

2) Macroses. Currently macroses moved to ‘=’ menu. I would say that in MAngband macroses were easier to find, create and operate. And in TomeNET is the best macro system among all roguelike games. It would be great to take macro system from TomeNET and adapt it (or some of it’s features) in PWMA. One of the most crucial things having possibility to macro items by names (posted description of this issue in MAngband git.

3) Add quick reference guide – one page with all in-game commands (like the one which TomeNET has when you push ‘?’). Help files in PWMA are too big and it’s hard to find how to complete this of that action.

4) Fire-till-kill mode. It’s not really critical though, just nice feature. Currently in PWMA you could use ‘h’ to target monster.

5) Rain is too loud 🙂 And actually SFX it’s yet another good system which could be inspired from TomeNET, where it’s really perfectly implemented.

At the same moment there are loads of stuff in PWMAngband which TomeNET could consider to get – from tileset and some of angband 4.x features support to the idea that at night wilderness could be more dangerous & etc. I believe all 3 dev teams (MAngband, TomeNET, PWMAngband) of this beautiful genre (‘online roguelike games’) should unite and help each other, to bring all the best from one game to another! All three games are ONE family, all got unique features and always would be different from each other, so there is no need to fear competition. We all should help each other!

That’s it for now; my 1st impressions 🙂 I’ve started new section on my website about PWMA (in top menu), so I’ll post more stuff soon!

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