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-   -   Future of Angband development (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=5110)

Timo Pietilš November 17, 2011 10:24

Future of Angband development
 
Because there is no real design plan or roadmap for angband, referring to my own post lets discuss this:

1) What is broken in current 3.3 vanilla?
2) how to fix it?
3) what new should/could we incorporate into game without breaking the general feel.

I'll start:

Broken constantly repeated "press this button to avoid death" -thing:

Traps, trap disarming and detection. This is currently broken and has been broken actually for entire game history. There is searching ability that is tied to this and it's main function was to detect traps and secret doors.

However after few first levels this becomes "press this button to avoid death" situation, and searching loses it's importance. Warriors use rods, magic users use spells. Traps can't be ignored because they are too deadly, and detecting them is too trivial and just incorporates tedium into game. Same applies to secret doors.

We either

1) need to make traps less deadly so that detection can go away
2) need to make detection less "press this button to avoid death"
3) need to make trap disarming less easy or unnecessary task

I think potentially deadly traps should stay, and we should concentrate on detection and disarming instead.

There is already searching ability which is next to useless that has PVAL. Lets make is useful. Make trap detection LoS thing (requiring visibility) that depends of your searching ability. With 100% searching detect traps as soon as it is in LoS. Remove all magical aids for trap detection.

How to deal with trap after it is discovered:

Make traps avoidable. With stat/skill-depended saving throw you can just plain walk thru a trap field without triggering them. I prefer DEX for such a stat "you carefully avoid triggering the trap". Maybe even for undetected traps if you make a save with increased failure chance.

Trap disarming should be skill that can reach 100% while trap avoidance cannot, but with usually much higher failure chance at early levels (more difficult skill). Maybe only rogues could reach that 100%.

Door detection could go away as well, but there is a catch in that. With door detection you get an idea about dungeon layout, where to expect rooms and corridors. If there is a door, there must be at least an corridor. That means there is something there that you might want to investigate. Do we want to keep that? Does it matter? If it does, how would we compensate if door detection goes away?

Currently door detection does not detect only secret doors, it detects all doors as well as stairs. It is into game not for secret doors (those are pretty trivial to find even without spell), but for giving you info about where to go. This is important for player, but it isn't something you absolutely need to do like trap detection (there is no border mark for door detection). Doors wont kill you. I think that should stay.

Nick November 17, 2011 11:16

I think this thread is an excellent idea. Not that I think there will be a huge amount of agreement, but just having a big list of things that someone thinks are broken is a great starting point for discussion.

As far as traps go, I like Therem Harth's approach in this thread.

Djabanete November 17, 2011 12:55

The problem with traps is that they are inherently less interesting to deal with than monsters. If you fall into one, it was either bad luck (if you couldn't have known about it) or sloppiness (if you could have). This is not very interesting or exciting. The only interesting thing here is inventory management, assuming you don't have a detect traps spell, which almost every class has.

However, traps can be very interesting in combat situations. If you are fighting monsters and the area is riddled with traps, suddenly the fight becomes ten times more interesting (whether or not you can see the traps). Do you move next to the summoner to kill him, or do you play it safe to detect traps first? Can you afford to trigger the poison trap? The dart trap?
Sometimes you are forced to stand still and rely on a ranged weapon until your rod can recharge.

Teleport traps and trap doors also become exciting means of escape. When you deliberately trigger a trap in order to get away, you feel like a ninja.

I advocate the addition of a Create Traps monster spell. I have had some nail-biting early game fights against Wormtongue in variants that have this. It's oh-so-satisfying to kill an enemy that demands resourcefulness on your part. (Edit: most monsters shouldn't have this. Only monsters with DROP_GREAT are worth the headache :) )

The other situation in which you experience combat near traps is in vaults. I like the puzzle element of cracking a vault, and abundant traps make things especially interesting.

I would not mind if traps never occurred at all except in vaults (and special rooms, like checkerboard rooms) and as a monster spell. To me these are the only times when traps are exciting and call for problem solving.

Timo Pietilš November 17, 2011 14:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djabanete (Post 63648)
I advocate the addition of a Create Traps monster spell. I have had some nail-biting early game fights against Wormtongue in variants that have this.

I would not mind if traps never occurred at all except in vaults (and special rooms, like checkerboard rooms) and as a monster spell. To me these are the only times when traps are exciting and call for problem solving.

Wormy has create traps in vanilla. Few others have it too, but I don't remember right away which ones (Ogre mage, Master thief and Harowen comes to mind, but I'm sure there are more)

Your way to solve the detection problem still leaves the fact that you need to cast the spell in order to find the traps, and searching stays useless. If you remove traps from everywhere else except vaults and special rooms then you don't need to cast it all of time, but you still need to cast it.

konijn_ November 17, 2011 14:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djabanete (Post 63648)
<snip>
<TLDR>
* Traps suck but they could be useful if used only in vaults and as a monster spell
</TLDR>

I totally agree, kind of jealous I did not come up first with that..

T.

konijn_ November 17, 2011 14:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63652)
Wormy has create traps in vanilla. Few others have it too, but I don't remember right away which ones (Ogre mage, Master thief and Harowen comes to mind, but I'm sure there are more)

Your way to solve the detection problem still leaves the fact that you need to cast the spell in order to find the traps, and searching stays useless. If you remove traps from everywhere else except vaults and special rooms then you don't need to cast it all of time, but you still need to cast it.

For that, the Strawberry approach(?) where searching skill goes up with gained levels would make searching useful again.

T.

Antoine November 17, 2011 19:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63652)
Wormy has create traps in vanilla. Few others have it too, but I don't remember right away which ones (Ogre mage, Master thief and Harowen comes to mind, but I'm sure there are more)

Incidentally, Quickband 2.0.5 has monsters with a create traps spell that works on their location (not yours), which they will happily use when out of your LOS. Quite nasty as they can cast it in an area that you had already trap-detected.

A.

Shockbolt November 17, 2011 21:07

I personally would like to see more trap variations, and make it more time consuming and skillbased to disarm a trap, for example traps that are identified with "routine", "normal", "hard" based on the difficulty to disarm them, and you have a time window or some other gameplay mechanism to disarm them.

Djabanete November 17, 2011 21:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63652)
Wormy has create traps in vanilla. Few others have it too, but I don't remember right away which ones (Ogre mage, Master thief and Harowen comes to mind, but I'm sure there are more)

Your way to solve the detection problem still leaves the fact that you need to cast the spell in order to find the traps, and searching stays useless. If you remove traps from everywhere else except vaults and special rooms then you don't need to cast it all of time, but you still need to cast it.

I'm not sure that searching is really a salvageable mechanic. Any character will stop using the unreliable method as soon as they have something reliable.

Derakon November 17, 2011 21:53

In my opinion, the problem with traps is the discovery mechanic. So the simple solution here is to make trap discovery automatic. In other words, traps should never be hidden; they are revealed instantly when the player enters LOS of them. What they do can be hidden, to an extent (failing to recognize that a dart trap will drain your DEX vs. poisoning you until you've triggered it, though you know that it is a dart trap), but not the fact that they exist. Bam, no more tedium.

By way of compensation, you can then make traps harder to disarm or move through safely, allow them to affect tiles they are not themselves on (c.f. tripwires, NPP's "turret" traps), etc. The goal is to make the dungeon terrain more varied, basically. Given the choice, the player will generally want to simply avoid a trap, but the tactics of the moment may demand that they decide between the expedient movement that puts them at risk of a trap, or the safe movement that puts them at risk of a monster or other threat.

I do like the idea of having a skill that allows the player to move through trapped tiles safely. It would serve as an ideal replacement for the existing searching skill. Items that currently boost searching could then boost trap evasion; contrarily we could have items that boost trap disarming skill.

bio_hazard November 17, 2011 22:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63670)
In my opinion, the problem with traps is the discovery mechanic. So the simple solution here is to make trap discovery automatic. In other words, traps should never be hidden; they are revealed instantly when the player enters LOS of them.

I don't mean to belittle the challenge of designing a non-trivial, non-binary trap detection scheme, but this just feels wrong. Angband just wouldn't be the same without the exquisite agony of killing some important monster, walking over to pick up the loot, and falling through a trap door you forgot to detect.

edit- I'd really like to see the turret type traps in V. Maybe also a rolling boulder type. I also had a kind of crazy idea for a trap- a trap of transmutation. It would randomly change an item in your backpack into some other substance. If gold, you'd get a "gold ingot" in your inventory, heavy but valuable. If lead, just a worthless hunk. If you can identify the trap and have the use for gold, you can throw an item onto the trap and see what you get.

getter77 November 17, 2011 22:32

I should generally think making the trap situation robust and thematic is a good way to go about things---take a page from Brogue at the least.

Instead of funneling everybody towards a catchall tool/spell/stat, why not have each lead with their best to varying nuanced degrees? The Wise know enough to leave something alone, the Strong not a damn thing aside from smashing it as hard as they can so as to break the thing, etc. I also favor the notion of just having them be a Vault concern.

In general, I see Angband as being about a theme, a personality to it, moreso than Adventures in Mathletics and Checklists. Math can get things really screwed up when such precise wranglings lord over all----look what happened to Portralis in the not distant past where things go so out of hand with numbers, not intent/situations, a wholesale re-do of sorts had to get underway and is now slowly coming back in Alpha-form.

It is fine to want to support Angband as a historical notion, but I would like to imagine much of what makes Angband "Angband" isn't rooted so much in dogma and sacrosanct anachronisms of gameplay-user notions, like Nethack or some such, but rather core elements and good times beget by solo and shared camaraderie of the various exploits.

Venerate the Spirit, not the Body, or some such. Shockbolt's fine work alongside and/all UI enhancements should help to open many good avenues to grow the community and encourage good times to be had by all.

bio_hazard November 17, 2011 22:41

One the more general theme of Vanilla development, along with the questions in the OP, maybe the "traditionalists" here can discuss Vanilla Angband should be. In the whole scope of roguelikes, some of them much more complex in a variety of different ways (quests, maps and levels, character options, items), some of them much simpler, what niche does Angband carve out? Whatever it is, it should do that as well as possible.

Antoine November 18, 2011 00:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63637)
Traps, trap disarming and detection.

Take it to the V4 forum!

[EDIT: or to be more verbose: this thread seems to suggest replacing a long-established V mechanic with a whole bunch of untested thought-up-on-the-spur-of-the-moment alternatives: I thought that was exactly what we were trying to get away from.]

A.

Timo Pietilš November 18, 2011 05:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by konijn_ (Post 63655)
For that, the Strawberry approach(?) where searching skill goes up with gained levels would make searching useful again.

T.

My problem with that skill is not the skill itself, just that it works only on adjacent squares. It should be LoS -thing (visual range thing). Then it would really matter.

[EDIT] typo corrected.

d_m November 18, 2011 05:52

I totally agree with Timo's description of the problem, and I think several of the proposed solutions would work very well.

I would happily merge any of these strategies into V4 if someone implemented one of them. With strong consensus I'd merge any of them into V if they played well in V4 first.

I've been very busy this fall so I will make no promises, but I think it's an area where we could quickly see some drastic improvement.

Timo Pietilš November 18, 2011 05:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djabanete (Post 63669)
I'm not sure that searching is really a salvageable mechanic. Any character will stop using the unreliable method as soon as they have something reliable.

As I said in my original post, remove the reliable method. Extend search as skill to LoS.

With poor searching skill you might still stumble upon some traps, but that would be acceptable price of that skill being poor one. Helmet of seeing and amulets of searching would have valuable flag then.

With light radius of three you have at least three turns before you step on one, which means that search skill of 50% should have quite good probability to detect the trap before you actually step on one. This also would mean that you probably step on traps in early levels quite a lot more.

Timo Pietilš November 18, 2011 05:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 63678)
Take it to the V4 forum!

[EDIT: or to be more verbose: this thread seems to suggest replacing a long-established V mechanic with a whole bunch of untested thought-up-on-the-spur-of-the-moment alternatives: I thought that was exactly what we were trying to get away from.]

A.

This is for debating what should we do for the vanilla, not for a variant based on vanilla.

I have brought up one thing that could be fixed. I haven't yet seen any other posts about same thing.

Then if there is some sort of consensus that this is something that could/should be done, then test it in v4, I'm not against that.

Antoine November 18, 2011 06:28

That sounds a better process.

Hey, if we want searching to be an interesting thing, then we need there to be more pattern about where traps are found.

In the extreme, if every space is equally likely to conceal a trap, the player will end up searching at every move (boring) or never searching (unsatisfactory).

it would be better if you could look at the dungeon layout and guess where a trap is likely to be. This is already true for vaults, but not so much, I think, for rooms/corridors.

So perhaps the trap placement algorithm needs to be part of the solution.

A.

Nomad November 18, 2011 10:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 63692)
it would be better if you could look at the dungeon layout and guess where a trap is likely to be. This is already true for vaults, but not so much, I think, for rooms/corridors.

So perhaps the trap placement algorithm needs to be part of the solution.

A.

It seems to me that traps should be added to a level after everything else has been generated, and go in squares around doorways, staircases and floor objects. Traps should be protecting something, not just randomly stuck in the middle of the floor.

ghengiz November 18, 2011 11:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad (Post 63709)
It seems to me that traps should be added to a level after everything else has been generated, and go in squares around doorways, staircases and floor objects. Traps should be protecting something, not just randomly stuck in the middle of the floor.

yeah, it sounds about right :)

buzzkill November 18, 2011 12:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 63692)
So perhaps the trap placement algorithm needs to be part of the solution.

I doubt Angband is intelligent enough to accomplish this effectively. I fear it will lead to entirely predictable trap placement, just as we currently have entirely predictable secret doors.

Re secret doors: If any end of a corridor has a secret door, then both ends of that corridor and any intersecting corridors should end in secret doors. This would effectively create 'secret' areas of the dungeon which is what secret doors should be all about, no?

...edit... and eliminate 'predictable' secret doors at the ends of long corridors, unless of course you had previously found a non-obvious secret door to find your way into the 'secret' corridor in the first place.

Timo Pietilš November 18, 2011 14:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad (Post 63709)
It seems to me that traps should be added to a level after everything else has been generated, and go in squares around doorways, staircases and floor objects. Traps should be protecting something, not just randomly stuck in the middle of the floor.

An appropriate link: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0036.html

artes November 18, 2011 16:08

In my Rogue-like there is a Perception skill but no Search skill, because I think Search is redundant. If someone wants to search, they can just rest at a place and hope to find something with Perception.

artes November 19, 2011 21:42

One area that I think has become marginally worse in later versions is shops.

One annoying thing about shops is the interface when buying, when one first chooses the item and then gives the buy command. This is not bad in itself, but it runs contrary to the normal way to give commands. E.g. when dropping an item one first gives the command and then chooses the item. Example:

Commands for buying item a: a p
Commands for dropping item a: d a

This inconsequency makes shopping a confusing experience, when I often choose the wrong item by mistake.

buzzkill November 19, 2011 22:40

In DaJ, there's no reason to have to press 'p' to purchase. Just select the item twice in a row to purchase it. 'aa' buys item 'a'. It's simple and less finger travel.

Malak Darkhunter November 20, 2011 04:52

One area I think broke game balance is the removal of race/class restrictions, a long time ago during Robert Ruhlemans maintainership.

Also blows per round being easier for begining players to just wield that dagger or whip, and do more damage round total obliterating the first few levels of monsters, you can wield a dagger get 3 blows per round at about 18 ponts of damage with high strength or dex, VS 1 blow per round doing 10 points of damgae wielding a longsword, seems unbalanced.

There have been a lot of new items introduced to the game that makes game easier to survive and dive deeper more quickly, stat draining is no longer a fear, along with stat restoration with level gain, should move back to old system with restore potions. Make player spend his gold.

To many monsters through confusion around before confusion resistance is found.

Not enough healing potions availiable in final levels of the game, nor do stores sell as often the higher level you go, warriors are at a disadvantage.

Overall I like 2.7.8 's game balance, and feel but that's just my opinion.

Derakon November 20, 2011 05:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter (Post 63788)
One area I think broke game balance is the removal of race/class restrictions, a long time ago during Robert Ruhlemans maintainership.

Do you feel that the combinations that were restricted were overpowered? I can't see how removing those restrictions could otherwise break game balance except by making the game voluntarily harder, which is hardly an issue.

Quote:

Also blows per round being easier for begining players to just wield that dagger or whip, and do more damage round total obliterating the first few levels of monsters, you can wield a dagger get 3 blows per round at about 18 ponts of damage with high strength or dex, VS 1 blow per round doing 10 points of damgae wielding a longsword, seems unbalanced.
Getting lots of blows per round right out the gate has been an issue for a very long time, pretty much ever since the autoroller was introduced. Anyway, the overall issue of light weapons overpowering heavy ones in the early game has been discussed to death elsewhere.

Quote:

There have been a lot of new items introduced to the game that makes game easier to survive and dive deeper more quickly
No argument there.

Quote:

, stat draining is no longer a fear, along with stat restoration with level gain, should move back to old system with restore potions. Make player spend his gold.
Restoration potions were never a significant drain on the player's gold. If you want him to really have to ration his money, then charge more for C*W potions. And I don't know about you, but I find far more tension in modern stat drain, since I can't just go back to town and then townscum for a few thousand turns to get my stats restored. Of course in the early game the drained stats go away pretty quickly, but what about when the next level is several hundred thousand experience points away?

Quote:

To many monsters through confusion around before confusion resistance is found.
Meh. Play randarts sometime, go the entire game without once finding a usable source of protection from confusion. The game's eminently winnable without it (and without blindness protection too).

Quote:

Not enough healing potions availiable in final levels of the game, nor do stores sell as often the higher level you go, warriors are at a disadvantage.
Warriors are at a disadvantage, sure, but not IMO due to a healing potion shortage; more due to lack of versatility compared to the spellcasters. If you're careful with your use of healing potions you ought to be able to win with a warrior.

Timo Pietilš November 20, 2011 08:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63789)
Do you feel that the combinations that were restricted were overpowered? I can't see how removing those restrictions could otherwise break game balance except by making the game voluntarily harder, which is hardly an issue.

Stop.

Balanced does not mean "overpowered" or "hard". It's balanced when it is fun.

Correct question is "Do you feel that the combinations that were restricted were less fun? (in long run)"

One thing original game did was restricted paladin for humans only. Dwarf/High-elf paladin is quite boring. But OTOH so is human paladins too, so I can't say if that change did anything for that.

It did increase player options, which in turn counts as "harder to balance". Class restrictions are similar thing as with restore stat potions. Remove option and player is forced to choose other things. You don't have to deal with restore potion rarities and store appearance if there is no potions.

So I see point in Malak Darkhunter post. I think it is very minor thing though, and I think it is more fun to be able to choose anything I want.

I think what did break something was introduction of Kobold race. Inherent rPoison resist which was supposed to be difficult to get and good overall skills and stats. I still haven't played it ...much at least... because I see it as intruder and overpowered race. It also isn't Tolkien race (arguably h-Troll isn't either, but at least there were trolls in Tolkien world).

nppangband November 20, 2011 13:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63793)

It did increase player options, which in turn counts as "harder to balance". Class restrictions are similar thing as with restore stat potions. Remove option and player is forced to choose other things.


The whole point of stat drain was that it was genuinely dangerous to the player (a mage with drained INT wasn't nearly as powerful), so the player was expected to prevent their stats from being drained if they wanted to live. IMHO it is much more fun for stat draining to be dangerous and take on the responsibility to not have my stats drained in the first place. And you had to use slots in the home and in your inventory/equipment to make sure your key stats couldn't be drained or you had something to restore them.

I guess in one person's viewpoint, it is strategy. In another person's viewpoint, it is tedium.

Shockbolt November 20, 2011 13:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by nppangband (Post 63796)
The whole point of stat drain was that it was genuinely dangerous to the player (a mage with drained INT wasn't nearly as powerful), so the player was expected to prevent their stats from being drained if they wanted to live. IMHO it is much more fun for stat draining to be dangerous and take on the responsibility to not have my stats drained in the first place. And you had to use slots in the home and in your inventory/equipment to make sure your key stats couldn't be drained or you had something to restore them.

I guess in one person's viewpoint, it is strategy. In another person's viewpoint, it is tedium.

I totally agree with the above, experience/life force and stats should be affected by npc/trap drain effects, forcing the player to be prepared with a stock of potions to restore any drained stats or drained experience. Where's the fun in playing if you can only get killed? :)

Malak Darkhunter November 20, 2011 14:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63789)

Restoration potions were never a significant drain on the player's gold. If you want him to really have to ration his money, then charge more for C*W potions. And I don't know about you, but I find far more tension in modern stat drain, since I can't just go back to town and then townscum for a few thousand turns to get my stats restored. Of course in the early game the drained stats go away pretty quickly, but what about when the next level is several hundred thousand experience points away?

Meh. Play randarts sometime, go the entire game without once finding a usable source of protection from confusion. The game's eminently winnable without it (and without blindness protection too).

Warriors are at a disadvantage, sure, but not IMO due to a healing potion shortage; more due to lack of versatility compared to the spellcasters. If you're careful with your use of healing potions you ought to be able to win with a warrior.

At deeper levels, restoring is not much of an issue, rods of restoration start to drop and the fear is overwith, along with items that hold life, and weapons and artifacts with sustains.

I've played randarts a few times, I like the idea behind it, it's more fun IMO but at the same time you don't always get what you expect from a standart game, so I would rather play without artifacts at all. Constant forms of confusion and chugging potions is aggravating to me, it's not dangerous really either after you carry around about 20 potions of ccw, you end up just healing yourself basicaly, and confusion is gone.

I certainly agree that warriors arent versitile enough, or balanced, in the first 25 levels of the game the kick everybodys but in no time, i can dive from level 10 to level 25 and clear every level, before going back to town, or it gets dangerous. On the other hand from about level 30 onwards they are sitting ducks, CCW potions start becoming less useful means of healing, warrior almost has to play very stealthy.

Shockbolt November 20, 2011 14:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter (Post 63799)
I've played randarts a few times, I like the idea behind it, it's more fun IMO but at the same time you don't always get what you expect from a standart game, so I would rather play without artifacts at all.

The only fun that comes with finding artifacts is being able to equip/use items associated with Middle-earth, for example Glamdring or Phial of Galadriel, unique items.

Therem Harth November 20, 2011 14:43

Strongly disagree. I like randarts better - they're complete unknowns, and discovering their abilities is fun.

That said, some of the new ego items in v4 could almost be considered randarts.

Shockbolt November 20, 2011 14:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Therem Harth (Post 63802)
Strongly disagree. I like randarts better - they're complete unknowns, and discovering their abilities is fun.

That said, some of the new ego items in v4 could almost be considered randarts.

Then we have opposite opinions of what an artifact is or should be. To me it's a special (one of a kind) item that in most cases come with an unique name and/or has a legend tied to it. A mighty crossbow of might of the bear (3d8) (+10,+10) is no artifact in my eyes, simply "just" a powerful item.

buzzkill November 20, 2011 15:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63789)
I find far more tension in modern stat drain, since I can't just go back to town and then townscum for a few thousand turns to get my stats restored. Of course in the early game the drained stats go away pretty quickly, but what about when the next level is several hundred thousand experience points away?

Many players, mostly newbs, never reach the point where level-ups are few and far between. They die long before that. The change to level-up based stat restoration makes stat drain almost entirely irrelevant to this class of players (which I include myself in, which I'll also go out on a limb and call the majority), and for the first half of the game for anyone.

The stat-restoration process was never the problem, town-scumming was the problem, that and the over arching PoV that the player shouldn't have to deal with any genuine hardship, such as prolonged stat-drain, because such things are "tedious". There is something to be said for tedium. It give you something to (try to) avoid. Ditto that philosophy for ID-by-use and sticky curses.

I'd support a return to the stat-restoration potions, but in lieu of that, how about tweaking the current system so that is doesn't guarantee restoration. Maybe a % chance based on CL, or just restore 1 point of one drained stat upon level-up? Just throwing it out there.

Derakon November 20, 2011 17:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 63807)
I'd support a return to the stat-restoration potions, but in lieu of that, how about tweaking the current system so that is doesn't guarantee restoration. Maybe a % chance based on CL, or just restore 1 point of one drained stat upon level-up? Just throwing it out there.

How about if leveling up restored each stat by 1 point? I'd rather not have chance-based things happen when you level up, because it creates the potential for leveling to be disappointing (because you didn't get what you wanted).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malak
At deeper levels, restoring is not much of an issue, rods of restoration start to drop and the fear is overwith, along with items that hold life, and weapons and artifacts with sustains.

I can't remember the last time I saw a rod of restoration. It's one of the most rare rods in the game -- most games you won't find it unless you spend a long, long time in the dungeon (e.g. because you're trying to find and kill every unique).

Maybe sustains should be harder to get?

Malak Darkhunter November 20, 2011 17:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63815)
How about if leveling up restored each stat by 1 point? I'd rather not have chance-based things happen when you level up, because it creates the potential for leveling to be disappointing (because you didn't get what you wanted).

I can't remember the last time I saw a rod of restoration. It's one of the most rare rods in the game -- most games you won't find it unless you spend a long, long time in the dungeon (e.g. because you're trying to find and kill every unique).

Maybe sustains should be harder to get?

Rings of bodykeeping, soulkeeping, and amulets of sustenance make it 2 easy to ignore stat draining.

Derakon November 20, 2011 17:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter (Post 63819)
Rings of bodykeeping, soulkeeping, and amulets of sustenance make it 2 easy to ignore stat draining.

At the cost of losing the use of those slots for other things. Ring slots are way too valuable IMO to dedicate to preventing stat drain, and Sustenance starts showing up well after the amulet slot is doing similarly valuable things for you.

Timo Pietilš November 20, 2011 17:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63821)
At the cost of losing the use of those slots for other things. Ring slots are way too valuable IMO to dedicate to preventing stat drain

Use swaps. It becomes easy when you have space in inventory for swap rings.

myshkin November 21, 2011 03:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shockbolt (Post 63803)
Then we have opposite opinions of what an artifact is or should be. To me it's a special (one of a kind) item that in most cases come with an unique name and/or has a legend tied to it. A mighty crossbow of might of the bear (3d8) (+10,+10) is no artifact in my eyes, simply "just" a powerful item.

How would you feel about a randart regime in which the most powerful swords are named Ringil and Anduril, the most powerful axes Eonwe and Durin, and so forth? Generating flavor text to match both the name and the random attributes would be challenging and possibly infeasible, I'll grant.

RogerN November 21, 2011 14:11

Re: searching/traps
I've played several RPGs in which traps made a positive contribution to my enjoyment of the game. The thing these games had in common is that they didn't have permadeath :)

The viability of traps as a gameplay mechanic comes down to this question:
Is it OK to permanently kill a character who is otherwise healthy for walking into an invisible trap? The current system says yes, and therefore all characters without perfect searching skill must zap or cast Detect Traps every 100 turns or risk instant death.

The searching mechanic feels broken because anything less than 100% detection is too risky for long term survival. LOS searching might help, but I think characters would still feel obligated to use magical detection for safety.

Here's my spur-of-the-moment solution... Passive searching should reveal traps 100% of the time in adjacent squares. Disarmament should be tricky. Certain status effects (e.g. Fear) prevent 100% adjacent detection, so that when the player encounters monsters in conjunction with traps then the situation becomes more dangerous. Traps might need to be more deadly on average in order to stay interesting.

buzzkill November 21, 2011 20:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by RogerN (Post 63858)
Here's my spur-of-the-moment solution... Passive searching should reveal traps 100% of the time in adjacent squares. Disarmament should be tricky. Certain status effects (e.g. Fear) prevent 100% adjacent detection, so that when the player encounters monsters in conjunction with traps then the situation becomes more dangerous. Traps might need to be more deadly on average in order to stay interesting.

This is very good solution for game play (providing we then make most traps genuinely dangerous and/or deadly), but I don't care for it thematically. 100% passive trap detection should be an ability that only a select few race/class combos (stat/level dependent) can achieve.

100% point-blank detection with active searching is another story. Assuming the character is taking fully 50% of his time and devoting it to not falling into a pit or stepping on a rune, then I think that most any character would notice a trap, unless they're blind or otherwise impaired. Then, as you said, disarmament is the tricky bit.

bio_hazard November 21, 2011 21:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 63872)
This is very good solution for game play (providing we then make most traps genuinely dangerous and/or deadly), but I don't care for it thematically. 100% passive trap detection should be an ability that only a select few race/class combos (stat/level dependent) can achieve.

100% point-blank detection with active searching is another story. Assuming the character is taking fully 50% of his time and devoting it to not falling into a pit or stepping on a rune, then I think that most any character would notice a trap, unless they're blind or otherwise impaired. Then, as you said, disarmament is the tricky bit.

I like this suggestion better. Make active searching effective but trade-off heavily against other things (speed, to hit, AC, blows/round, spell failure).

Either that, or make some traps unavoidable, but DON'T make them deadly (except for low level characters). More nuisance traps that destroy backpack items, curse equipment, stun, trapdoors, teleport, summon, alarm, confuse, poison, prevent ESP, ...)

I guess a question would be: would you be more upset because you died by accidentally stepping on a deadly trap that you know is there by hitting the wrong key, or because you forgot to turn searching on/off and didn't detect a deadly trap?

Derakon November 21, 2011 21:54

Anything that doesn't give 100% trap detection is a failed concept, because it implies that it is acceptable for the player to be randomly attacked with no possibility of preventing it. That's why hidden traps are such a terrible idea. Sure it's realistic for them to be hard to discover. But it doesn't work gameplay-wise.

Even with the current traps, which are rarely deadly (the vast majority amounting to "take a trivial amount of damage"), players refuse to explore an area before making certain they know where all the traps are. Getting hit by traps you don't know are there isn't fun. You think that making it impossible (or impossibly tedious) to reliably detect traps will somehow make them fun?

Passive 100% trap detection when adjacent to them works reasonably well -- that's what Dungeon of Dredmor does. You can be surprised by a trap while in the middle of a fight, but at least you're given a choice of how to deal with it, instead of just being randomly afflicted by the trap's effects.

tl;dr traps need to be more than a "play in a tedious fashion or accept being randomly dicked over" mechanic.

Malak Darkhunter November 21, 2011 22:02

I think traps are fine the way they are, but on the other hand they are only dangerous to new characters, up the damage done by gas, dart, pit attacks, for deeper levels.

will_asher November 22, 2011 03:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 63876)
Anything that doesn't give 100% trap detection is a failed concept, because it implies that it is acceptable for the player to be randomly attacked with no possibility of preventing it. That's why hidden traps are such a terrible idea. Sure it's realistic for them to be hard to discover. But it doesn't work gameplay-wise.

You think that making it impossible (or impossibly tedious) to reliably detect traps will somehow make them fun?

Passive 100% trap detection when adjacent to them works reasonably well -- that's what Dungeon of Dredmor does. You can be surprised by a trap while in the middle of a fight, but at least you're given a choice of how to deal with it, instead of just being randomly afflicted by the trap's effects.
tl;dr traps need to be more than a "play in a tedious fashion or accept being randomly dicked over" mechanic.

If you detect traps 100% of the time when adjacent to them, there's no reason for them to be hidden in the first place (of course in the current system their being hidden doesn't have much point either). And if they aren't hidden, then you can't really call them traps -just obsticles.

Yes, I think making it impossible to reliably detect traps will make them more fun (as long as the traps aren't instadeath). It's probably better for it to be completely impossible than just tedious and more trouble to prevent people from being tempted to play in a tedious way.
It's okay for traps to be not reliably detectable as long as they aren't deadly. I think the best solution is for traps to be significant, damaging, but not deadly. Traps are already very rarely deadly. 'Randomly dicked over' is what Angband often does to you anyway. As long as it isn't an unavoidable instadeath, then 'randomly dicked over' is a perfectly acceptable game mechanic.

To me, it'd be a lot more frustrating for something very bad to happen from a trap that I saw one turn ago, but accidently moved into, than for something bad to happen from a trap that I was unable to detect.

Derakon November 22, 2011 03:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 63882)
If you detect traps 100% of the time when adjacent to them, there's no reason for them to be hidden in the first place (of course in the current system their being hidden doesn't have much point either). And if they aren't hidden, then you can't really call them traps -just obsticles.

There is a reason to hide traps until you're next to them -- if you'd planned on moving into the tile the trap is in, now you have to adjust your strategy.

As for the rest of your post, I think we'll simply have to agree to disagree, since I take the opposite stance on every single statement you made. :)

Timo Pietilš November 22, 2011 11:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 63882)
Traps are already very rarely deadly. 'Randomly dicked over' is what Angband often does to you anyway. As long as it isn't an unavoidable instadeath, then 'randomly dicked over' is a perfectly acceptable game mechanic.

I can think of two traps I want to remove from game in order to make 'Randomly dicked over' acceptable:

Teleport (because that can be instant death, and it is very annoying even without)
Trap door (just because that can ruin your day when you are clearing GV)

Summoning is OK if we apply "summoning sickness" IE. summoned monsters start with zero energy (they could still act before you do if they are faster than you, but that's not so likely).

Then rest of the traps are somewhat OK. I think that paralysis and slow are only two really dangerous after that, and both are safe with FA.

buzzkill November 22, 2011 11:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63891)
I can think of two traps I want to remove from game in order to make 'Randomly dicked over' acceptable:

Teleport (because that can be instant death, and it is very annoying even without)
Trap door (just because that can ruin your day when you are clearing GV)

These are the OLNY threatening traps in the game. I don't consider a point of stat drain, an ounce of poisoning, or a minor scratch 'getting dicked over'. Falling through a trap door while clearing a vault of getting teleported into a room hounds is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will Asher
To me, it'd be a lot more frustrating for something very bad to happen from a trap that I saw one turn ago, but accidently moved into, than for something bad to happen from a trap that I was unable to detect.

There could always be a really step onto trap (y/n)? prompt.

Timo Pietilš November 22, 2011 11:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 63892)
These are the OLNY threatening traps in the game. I don't consider a point of stat drain, an ounce of poisoning, or a minor scratch 'getting dicked over'. Falling through a trap door while clearing a vault of getting teleported into a room hounds is.

If you leave those two and remove reliable 100% fail proof detection I have to agree with Derakon.

Magnate November 22, 2011 12:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63891)
Summoning is OK if we apply "summoning sickness" IE. summoned monsters start with zero energy (they could still act before you do if they are faster than you, but that's not so likely).

This is fixed for 3.4 btw - summoned monsters start slowed for one turn, so they're at 10 speed less than normal, *and* they start with 0 energy. They can still move before you if their native speed is >10 higher than yours, i.e. you're at +9 and they're at +20 - but this should not be very common ...

buzzkill November 22, 2011 22:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63894)
If you leave those two and remove reliable 100% fail proof detection I have to agree with Derakon.

I think the discussion turned against 100% reliable passive detection. I don't think anyone spoke out against 100% reliable active detection. Then again I didn't re-read, so my recollection of recent post might be skewed.

Malak Darkhunter November 22, 2011 22:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63891)
I can think of two traps I want to remove from game in order to make 'Randomly dicked over' acceptable:

Teleport (because that can be instant death, and it is very annoying even without)
Trap door (just because that can ruin your day when you are clearing GV)

Summoning is OK if we apply "summoning sickness" IE. summoned monsters start with zero energy (they could still act before you do if they are faster than you, but that's not so likely).

Then rest of the traps are somewhat OK. I think that paralysis and slow are only two really dangerous after that, and both are safe with FA.

teleport and trap door should stay there has to be a reason to have a class that has good detect trap skills, there has to be a price to play a warrior, if you remove traps like these then the warrior class becomes easier, therefore making the game easier, if you remove trap door from vaults then the game gets easier, because then you will probably get that artifact or powerful item when normally you might not.

will_asher November 23, 2011 00:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63891)
I can think of two traps I want to remove from game in order to make 'Randomly dicked over' acceptable:

Teleport (because that can be instant death, and it is very annoying even without)
Trap door (just because that can ruin your day when you are clearing GV)

Summoning is OK if we apply "summoning sickness" IE. summoned monsters start with zero energy (they could still act before you do if they are faster than you, but that's not so likely).

I'm going to have a delemma as I'm changing traps & trap detection for DAJ about what to do with the teleport traps & trap doors. I want to make trap detection not 100% reliable, and I agree with you about these two being potentially too nasty to be an acceptable level of 'randomly dicked over', but I don't want to completely remove those two traps either. I'm thinking I might change teleport traps & trap doors to be non-hidden terrain features instead of being traps, or possibly just make them be much easier to detect than other trap types. not sure yet...
PS: sorry to tangent to DAJ talk when the thread is supposed to be future of (V) Angband development. Maybe I should post this as a separate thread instead?

artes November 24, 2011 07:43

To me there is a difference between trap door and traps that can lead to an unavoidable death. If I'm plundering a vault or about to kill a boss and fall down a trap door, that's ok for me. One cannot get everything that one wants, and there will be more chances to find loot.

Timo Pietilš November 28, 2011 08:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 63637)
Because there is no real design plan or roadmap for angband, referring to my own post lets discuss this:

1) What is broken in current 3.3 vanilla?
2) how to fix it?
3) what new should/could we incorporate into game without breaking the general feel.

Discussion is stuck in traps. Anything else? There must be something else, why change game at all if there isn't and it is perfect.

Forget about "how" for a second, just list here what you think could be better.

Malak Darkhunter November 28, 2011 17:08

I think damage dice of middle weapons could use rebalancing, to offset the lack of blows compared to lightt weapons, in example change damage dice values.

Derakon November 28, 2011 17:53

Tweaking of the object list to get the balance right is implicit in v4 IMO. We've argued about it over and over again and at this point I think the devs are just going to implement what they think were the best ideas from the lot and we'll see how it plays. It's going to be an iterative process.

Similarly, there were discussions about trying to limit the player's knowledge more, for example by nerfing detection. Some of that's been done already -- object detection now doesn't show you exactly what item is on a tile, just that there is an item there.

Extending that to limiting monster detection could probably be done fairly straightforwardly, with a number of possible levels of delineation. For example, you could remove extended 'l'ook, but leave everything else the same -- then players who have memorized the monster list will have an advantage. You could detect the letter but not the color of the monster (black and white monster detection, basically), which eliminates that advantage. Or you can try to get fancy with detecting threat levels, coloring the monster based on their relative danger rating. Again, this is an area where I expect we'll want to experiment some.

Malak: per your specific idea, what problem are you trying to solve? The fact that small weapons are preferable to large ones in the early game? Boosting midweight weapons won't fix that (at least, not in isolation); it'll just make those weapons too good later on. The problem with lightweight weapons largely comes down to off-weapon combat bonuses. If a warrior gets 3 blows/round and +3 to damage from his STR rating, then a 1d4 dagger (+0,+0) is more or less equivalent to a 3d4 bastard sword (+0,+9), which of course isn't going to be available early on.

Malak Darkhunter November 28, 2011 23:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 64145)
Tweaking of the object list to get the balance right is implicit in v4 IMO. We've argued about it over and over again and at this point I think the devs are just going to implement what they think were the best ideas from the lot and we'll see how it plays. It's going to be an iterative process.

Similarly, there were discussions about trying to limit the player's knowledge more, for example by nerfing detection. Some of that's been done already -- object detection now doesn't show you exactly what item is on a tile, just that there is an item there.

Extending that to limiting monster detection could probably be done fairly straightforwardly, with a number of possible levels of delineation. For example, you could remove extended 'l'ook, but leave everything else the same -- then players who have memorized the monster list will have an advantage. You could detect the letter but not the color of the monster (black and white monster detection, basically), which eliminates that advantage. Or you can try to get fancy with detecting threat levels, coloring the monster based on their relative danger rating. Again, this is an area where I expect we'll want to experiment some.

Malak: per your specific idea, what problem are you trying to solve? The fact that small weapons are preferable to large ones in the early game? Boosting midweight weapons won't fix that (at least, not in isolation); it'll just make those weapons too good later on. The problem with lightweight weapons largely comes down to off-weapon combat bonuses. If a warrior gets 3 blows/round and +3 to damage from his STR rating, then a 1d4 dagger (+0,+0) is more or less equivalent to a 3d4 bastard sword (+0,+9), which of course isn't going to be available early on.

yes trying to solve the fact that light weight weapons are better in the begining, The fact that 3 blows per round with a dagger vs 1 blow per round with a bastard equaling to the same amount of damage is still unbalanced, because you have 3 chances to hit with a dagger, vs 1 chance with the bastard sword, there needs to be an added bonus to trying that 1 blow per round, and I feel that it needs to be the capacity to do more damage than the dagger, so you up the damage dice of that weapon that gets 1 blow. This makes it worth it. Regarding being to strong in the later game....i really don't think so, odds are you are wielding an artifact of at 3d8 or higher damage later in the game before it makes a big difference, in example-blades of chaos 6d5 and maces of disruption, scythes of slicing, lochaber axes.

Note that I'm only proposing rebalancing a few extra ponts on a die, nothing drastic like adding another dice to the roll, to become in effect like a heavy weapon. bastard sword 3d4 becomes 3d5 just a few points difference but slightly greater damage output than your 3 blows from a dagger, basicaly 3d4,there is a reward for the 1 blow per round if it hits and that is doing 15 points damage vs 12 points total damage from a dagger.

buzzkill November 29, 2011 01:02

IMO, (at least part of) the problem is that a starting character can get three blows...

Timo Pietilš November 29, 2011 04:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 64157)
IMO, (at least part of) the problem is that a starting character can get three blows...

Nailed it. That's my impression of the problem as well.

artes December 9, 2011 20:45

The house has too little space. It's a pain to organize one's stuff. To think strategically and use different outfits against different opponents is not practical. The house can hold less than two pages of items. Make it bigger.

Shockbolt December 26, 2011 13:00

What happened to the restore potions? struggling with my rogue here, his STR stat currently dropped to 3 and no help in sight..

using this version: 21 Dec 2011 at 19:50 UTC, revision 700d8c8 for Windows

Jungle_Boy December 26, 2011 13:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shockbolt (Post 65405)
What happened to the restore potions? struggling with my rogue here, his STR stat currently dropped to 3 and no help in sight..

using this version: 21 Dec 2011 at 19:50 UTC, revision 700d8c8 for Windows

Your stat is automatically restored when you level up. Though I think you can still find some restore potions in the dungeon, none in stores though.

Shockbolt December 26, 2011 14:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jungle_Boy (Post 65406)
Your stat is automatically restored when you level up. Though I think you can still find some restore potions in the dungeon, none in stores though.

Sucky change...bring back the potions! :)

Also, traps should perhaps be transparent tiles overlaying the dungeon floor, much like items on dungeon floor are shown.

fizzix December 26, 2011 14:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shockbolt (Post 65407)
Sucky change...bring back the potions! :)

Also, traps should perhaps be transparent tiles overlaying the dungeon floor, much like items on dungeon floor are shown.

I agree with the second. But there's a problem with the restore potions. Namely that it led to town scumming for restore potions.

Derakon December 26, 2011 16:09

There actually aren't restore potions at all, currently. Your options for restoring stats are to level up, eat a mushroom of Restoring, or drink one of these potions:

* Stat-swap that boosts the stat in question (e.g. Brawn for STR drain)
* Stat gain for the stat in question
* Augmentation
* *Enlightenment* (for INT/WIS only)
* Life

In the early game you should generally rely on levelups; later on stat potions become more available. There's a brief window where you're around level 25-30, so levelups are harder to come by, but the various potions are in short supply. In which case, well, I hope you either hoarded a ,Restoring or have a good launcher handy.

takkaria December 26, 2011 17:18

Hmm, with trap detection, here's my summary of where we're up to:
1. They're a do-X-avoid-death mechanic, which is boring
2. Traps outside of combat situations are boring, inside combat situations they aren't
3. Searching is currently a relatively useless skill

The solutions so far have been some combination of:
* remove 100% accurate magical detection
* make searching 100% accurate, either passively or actively
* make searching LOS based instead of vicinity based
* make trap doors and teleport runes always visible dungeon features
* make traps more avoidable with a trap evasion skill, based on DEX
* merge perception and searching skills

I think as an additional constraint, bio_hazard has it totally right: "Angband just wouldn't be the same without the exquisite agony of killing some important monster, walking over to pick up the loot, and falling through a trap door you forgot to detect."

My suggestions:

Removing 100% accurate magical detection combined with making searching LOS based seem no-brainers. 100% accurate passive detection is good for gameplay but not for theme. Merging perception and searching seems sensible, too.

If we want to remove the possibility for rewarding tedious play, we could make it so that if you don't spot a trap the first three times you see a grid, you're never going to spot it.

Other idea for traps I had when thinking about this were traps that trigger the second time you walk onto them and traps that trigger when you leave a square, not when you enter it. (Encouraging you to teleport away, I guess.)

Stat restore

One incremental change that isn't "revert it" is to make stat potions restore only one point of each stat per level. Maybe also be worth splitting out body/soulkeeping into three separate rings rather than just the two. Maybe STR/INT DEX/WIS CON/CHR?

Combat

Same things came up as always. Relatively easy wins that could be tweaked in isolation:
  • rejigging blows to ensure starting characters just can't get 3 blows/round
  • make critical hits for heavier weapons significantly more important

Also, UnAngband restricts to-dam bonuses to no higher than the max weapon damage. This is an easy win. Maybe we could do a similar thing to restrict STR bonuses with light weapons. After all, even if you're really strong, there's only so much you can do with a dagger on a single blow...

Derakon December 26, 2011 17:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 65412)
My suggestions:

<snip traps discussion>

As I've said before, I don't really care that much what happens to traps so long as traps are either always 100% detectable or otherwise are completely rethought as a concept. The current trap system amounts to "detect regularly or risk being randomly dicked over"; changing that to "randomly get dicked over" isn't an improvement.

My personal favored approach is to replace traps with terrain (which would create interesting combat decisions without having to be detected) and NPP-style turret traps (which should be obvious on sight, most likely, but even so create interesting decisions especially in vaults).

Quote:

One incremental change that isn't "revert it" is to make stat potions restore only one point of each stat per level. Maybe also be worth splitting out body/soulkeeping into three separate rings rather than just the two. Maybe STR/INT DEX/WIS CON/CHR?
The bodykeeping/soulkeeping rings are really marginal anyway; making them weaker just means that nobody will ever use them. Well, outside of the "I just found an X-keeping ring and I'm about to fight a drainer; might as well equip it for that one fight" type of situation.

Quote:

Combat
I don't know if you've been paying any attention to the v4 subforum, but we're completely reworking combat. To summarize the changes:

* to-hit is replaced by DEX-influenced attack speed ("finesse")
* to-dam is replaced by a STR-influenced percentile multiplier on the dice damage ("prowess") (i.e. +50 == +50% damage)
* Every weapon has two multipliers that control how strongly they're impacted by these two values ("balance" and "heft"). A dagger has excellent balance but bad heft, so you can get a high attack speed with it but won't get much benefit from improving your prowess.
* Every class has different skill growths in finesse and prowess

The basic mechanics have been implemented and are apparently working reasonably well so far, though we of course have a lot of balancing work to do. Meanwhile, Fizzix is implementing evasion and armor for monsters, to replace the existing AC system.

I know you're talking about minor changes that could easily be implemented, and these are instead major. I just wanted you to be aware of recent developments.

Malak Darkhunter December 26, 2011 18:21

Just to chime in for a sec, it seems like lately everybody has been on the same page lately and development fired back up again, things are moving in a good direction for 2012!

Jungle_Boy December 26, 2011 19:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shockbolt (Post 65407)
Sucky change...bring back the potions! :)

Also, traps should perhaps be transparent tiles overlaying the dungeon floor, much like items on dungeon floor are shown.

Actually I like the change since it means you can restore stats much easier at low levels and by the time your level is higher you can find a mushroom of restoring or you at least have options to avoid the stat drain fights.

d_m December 27, 2011 05:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 65414)
My personal favored approach is to replace traps with terrain (which would create interesting combat decisions without having to be detected) and NPP-style turret traps (which should be obvious on sight, most likely, but even so create interesting decisions especially in vaults).

I agree with your premises. But I think hidden traps are a flavor thing that we can't afford to lose completely.

Solution that follows Takkaria's post and your own approach is:

All trap detection is passive. No search command. You get one chance to notice a trap based on your current search/score. Once you've seen the square you get no more chances even if you have better search. The chance can be relatively high or not depending on whether you want traps to be mostly known or mostly unknown. That obviously has an impact on how lethal they should be also.

Passive means it's not repetitive and you don't have "press X not to die." The reason the "only 1 chance" thing is important is to prevent a weird, detection-style play where you wander to the "last known safe" square, equip your +Search gear to "see" the other squares, take it back off, and proceed. With only 1 chance, either you wear your +Search gear or not and that's it. It functions more like a swap and less like a rod of detection or something.

Magnate December 27, 2011 08:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by d_m (Post 65427)
I agree with your premises. But I think hidden traps are a flavor thing that we can't afford to lose completely.

Solution that follows Takkaria's post and your own approach is:

All trap detection is passive. No search command. You get one chance to notice a trap based on your current search/score. Once you've seen the square you get no more chances even if you have better search. The chance can be relatively high or not depending on whether you want traps to be mostly known or mostly unknown. That obviously has an impact on how lethal they should be also.

Passive means it's not repetitive and you don't have "press X not to die." The reason the "only 1 chance" thing is important is to prevent a weird, detection-style play where you wander to the "last known safe" square, equip your +Search gear to "see" the other squares, take it back off, and proceed. With only 1 chance, either you wear your +Search gear or not and that's it. It functions more like a swap and less like a rod of detection or something.

Yes yes yes. One-shot passive trap detection all the way. I vote that traps are quite hard to spot, but don't completely dick you over. So -2 to speed instead of -10, for example. Much much shorter durations of blindness, confusion etc., so you might actually survive them if it happens in combat. (If you're not in combat, it doesn't matter how long they are.) Weaker summoning traps (single monsters?). But trap doors still mean you don't get to that 4d5 longsword ...

AnonymousHero December 27, 2011 09:27

What about teleport traps? Those can be quite lethal, even if you have zero-fail escapes.

Nomad December 27, 2011 10:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnonymousHero (Post 65434)
What about teleport traps? Those can be quite lethal, even if you have zero-fail escapes.

Phase door effect instead of long-distance teleport?

ghengiz December 27, 2011 11:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad (Post 65435)
Phase door effect instead of long-distance teleport?

it seems a reasonable compromise

Nick December 27, 2011 11:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by d_m (Post 65427)
All trap detection is passive. No search command. You get one chance to notice a trap based on your current search/score. Once you've seen the square you get no more chances even if you have better search. The chance can be relatively high or not depending on whether you want traps to be mostly known or mostly unknown. That obviously has an impact on how lethal they should be also.

Neat. I also like Derakon's idea of more "trappy terrain" (standard disclaimer - FA already has some of this), and having some traps already visible (in vaults, for example).

Note too that removing the search command would require a new way of handling secret doors - or else you could keep the search command, and just have it only apply to doors.

buzzkill December 27, 2011 12:38

re searching: I'm all for passive LoS trap detection. I don't don't see a problem with at the same time having a search command, so long as it gives diminishing returns, so repeatedly spamming the 's' button is counter-productive in general use, but might be worthwhile if you really, really, really know that there is a trap on the space and have no alternative (tunneling, phase, etc).

My model for the diminishing returns would be something like a half-life initially based on searching ability. Once the probability (of finding a trap) drops below 5%, then no further searching is possible, and a message given "You've searched every nook and cranny, if there's a trap here you're not capable of finding it". Great searchers could search extensively before exhausting all possibilities. Poor searchers will run out of places to look quickly.

I also be careful not to make traps inconsequential. Traps that kill you are bad (but such are the consequences of poor searching). Traps than almost kill you are good. If traps become overly-weak to avoid "dicking over" the player, then we're no better off than we are now (and the traps are already lame).

Mikko Lehtinen December 27, 2011 13:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by d_m (Post 65427)
All trap detection is passive. No search command. You get one chance to notice a trap based on your current search/score. Once you've seen the square you get no more chances even if you have better search.

That's the FayAngband method. :)

I also tied Wisdom to Perception to make it more relevant to non-spellcasters.

LostTemplar December 27, 2011 14:13

Btw what is so bad in search command, why not just remove magical detection, but still have search ?

Mikko Lehtinen December 27, 2011 15:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by LostTemplar (Post 65440)
Btw what is so bad in search command, why not just remove magical detection, but still have search ?

We don't want to force players to search 20 times after each step.

Repeated searching is cool for secret doors, though.

d_m December 27, 2011 16:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 65437)
Note too that removing the search command would require a new way of handling secret doors - or else you could keep the search command, and just have it only apply to doors.

I have never thought the current secret doors work very well.

A lot of people I've watched learn to play Angband (who aren't veterans) never learn that secret doors exist. Once you've played a lot (or been a dev) you get a feel for which dead-end tunnels or weird intersections probably have a secret door, and you just hang out there hammering "s" until you find it. But I have watched people "miss out" on half a level because they didn't manually search in the exact right spot.

I would handle secret door detection using the same LOS rules, with the caveat that when you're directly adjacent to a secret door you automatically detect it. This means secret doors will never "shut down" a player who walks by them, but are not revealed via e.g. magic mapping.

There are other ways to handle it too. But I think that eliminating the need for a search command is important. It reduces the number of commands/concepts new players need to learn, it removes a repetitive mechanic, and makes discovering secret doors a bit more of a surprise.

LostTemplar December 27, 2011 16:58

Quote:

We don't want to force players to search 20 times after each step.
I doubt you can anyway :) You greatly overrate traps.

BTW in my variant there is meaningfull choice to play cowardly (search for traps, rest after fights) and die by starvation, or to play fast and die in combat.

Mikko Lehtinen December 27, 2011 18:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by LostTemplar (Post 65444)
I doubt you can anyway :) You greatly overrate traps.

People wouldn't search for 20 times, of course. But they would not be playing optimally then, and that bugs some people (like me).

There's another benefit for only having one try: it makes Perception skill more important, and gives classes/races more variety.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LostTemplar (Post 65444)
BTW in my variant there is meaningfull choice to play cowardly (search for traps, rest after fights) and die by starvation, or to play fast and die in combat.

Having a tight food clock (and eliminating Satisfy Hunger) of course makes it a different situation! That would play a bit like the granddaddy Rogue.

EpicMan December 27, 2011 18:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by LostTemplar (Post 65444)
I doubt you can anyway :) You greatly overrate traps.

BTW in my variant there is meaningfull choice to play cowardly (search for traps, rest after fights) and die by starvation, or to play fast and die in combat.

Which variant is that, Lost Templar?

FWIW, I like the idea of one-shot, passive trap detection, and the variation for spotting secret doors.

You could give elves and half elves high racial bonuses to perception/searching skill to give them something more than 'the weak race for casters' place they hold now. Elves might have other issues, but they nearly always spot / evade traps.

You could even make them immune to traps, 'elves walk lightly on the earth' and all that. I don't know if that would make them a viable race choice but at least they would be different.

What I would really like to see is monsters affected by traps, too. So some you would spot when a monster in LOS suddenly gets blasted by fire or falls through a hole in the floor.

Derakon December 27, 2011 18:45

Making monsters be affected by traps was pretty easy about 12-15 years ago when I implemented it on a lark. You do need to remember to make them immune to vault traps though, to avoid excessive silliness. But that's also easy. The main thing is deciding how much damage the monster should take from the trap, since player and monster HP scales are so different. And of course, monsters don't have STR or DEX to drain via dart traps, nor are they bothered by summoning traps.

LostTemplar December 27, 2011 18:52

Quote:

Which variant is that, Lost Templar?
Yggband, based on FA 1.16. Not finished yet, and very broken. github link

Btw perception is still important, it is definitely not worth searching every turn, but if, e.g. some monster cast create traps, then it is worth searching, or in a vault maybe.

Mikko Lehtinen December 27, 2011 19:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by d_m (Post 65443)
I have never thought the current secret doors work very well.

A lot of people I've watched learn to play Angband (who aren't veterans) never learn that secret doors exist. Once you've played a lot (or been a dev) you get a feel for which dead-end tunnels or weird intersections probably have a secret door, and you just hang out there hammering "s" until you find it. But I have watched people "miss out" on half a level because they didn't manually search in the exact right spot.

I've had more than one "bug reports" for Fay because people couldn't find any stairs on the level, and the stairs were hidden behind secret doors. This confirms this is a real issue. The only reason this doesn't happen in Vanilla is because stairs are so common.

Repeated searching for secret doors (or other stuff) is kinda cool in variants with "special walls" and shelves, like Un. That's the only reason I'm planning to keep the mechanic in Fay. Inside rooms, secret doors will only exist in special walls or shelves. I use repeated searching in places where I want the player to eventually discover something, like secret doors. In truth, having to search repeatably is more for flavour than anything else.

But I've also added "interesting squares" that work more like traps -- you only get one Perception roll to find something interesting. Perception skill should matter!

bio_hazard December 27, 2011 22:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 65453)
Making monsters be affected by traps was pretty easy about 12-15 years ago when I implemented it on a lark. You do need to remember to make them immune to vault traps though, to avoid excessive silliness. But that's also easy. The main thing is deciding how much damage the monster should take from the trap, since player and monster HP scales are so different. And of course, monsters don't have STR or DEX to drain via dart traps, nor are they bothered by summoning traps.

I think having a weak monster run to and activate a known summoning trap would be a fantastic mechanic. I guess similarly, a monster running away and jumping on a teleport trap to get away would be cool too.

Jungle_Boy December 27, 2011 23:15

In this hypothetical one chance to detect a trap world what happens when wormtongue casts create traps and your searching is poor enough that you cannot see them? You just have to walk on one and hope it isn't a nasty one?

Nick December 27, 2011 23:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jungle_Boy (Post 65460)
In this hypothetical one chance to detect a trap world what happens when wormtongue casts create traps and your searching is poor enough that you cannot see them? You just have to walk on one and hope it isn't a nasty one?

A simple answer would be that any trap created in the player's LOS is visible.

will_asher December 28, 2011 05:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 65453)
Making monsters be affected by traps was pretty easy about 12-15 years ago when I implemented it on a lark. You do need to remember to make them immune to vault traps though, to avoid excessive silliness. But that's also easy. The main thing is deciding how much damage the monster should take from the trap, since player and monster HP scales are so different. And of course, monsters don't have STR or DEX to drain via dart traps, nor are they bothered by summoning traps.

When I was thinking about implementing this in DaJAngband, I was thinking the really tough thing about making monsters affected by traps is how to keep track of whether the trap was set by the PC, by monsters, or already there. Obviously, a monster shouldn't be affected by a trap that it created.
IMHO, I don't think there's much point in having monsters affected by traps if there's no way for the PC to set traps. (Except maybe for that scenario of a frightened monster running onto a teleport trap, but I don't like the idea of monsters using summoning traps. There's already too much summoning in the game, I don't want to give monsters with no summoning spells a way to summon.)

Mikko Lehtinen December 28, 2011 08:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 65461)
A simple answer would be that any trap created in the player's LOS is visible.

Yep, that's what I'm doing in Fay 1.2, too: traps created by Create Traps are visible.

buzzkill December 28, 2011 15:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 65464)
IMHO, I don't think there's much point in having monsters affected by traps if there's no way for the PC to set traps. (Except maybe for that scenario of a frightened monster running onto a teleport trap, but I don't like the idea of monsters using summoning traps. There's already too much summoning in the game, I don't want to give monsters with no summoning spells a way to summon.)

Brogue uses traps well. The traps are probably as dangerous as the monsters. There's a lot of traps and they are effective since detection is scarce. Monsters can trigger traps which are more often than not (maybe always) area of effect, clouds, explosions, etc. so even it's it a monster that trips it, the player it likely to be affected by it. It quite exciting to have your pet ogre set off a paralysis gas trap that engulfs you and a few enemies and then waiting to see who regains mobility first.

Malak Darkhunter December 28, 2011 17:07

Quickband seems to me to have a good trap system, after playing the latest competition I found traps that shoot bolts at you, somethings that explode on you making death by traps very possible.


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