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Old March 1, 2012, 21:22   #1
CunningGabe
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Trap changes

One of the things I've been itching to change for a long time is the trap system. ewert has coded up a system that allows for passive trap detection in line-of-sight, and also allows for trap evasion. I am planning to port these changes to v4 and build from there.

In a nutshell, this is what the new system would be:
- Trap detection scrolls, spells, etc would go away entirely.
- You can passively detect traps (and secret doors) up to 3 squares away.
- Your chance to detect a trap is (Searching skill)/(distance) %. That is, you get your full searching skill for traps adjacent to you, half of it for traps 2 squares away, etc.
- Your searching skill is affected by class, race, wis, and int. As you level, it improves.
- While in Searching mode, your speed is reduced by 2, and your search skill is increased by 20%.
- It is possible to avoid the effects of a trap when you walk into the square. The chance is based on your dex, and it is easier if you know the trap is there.

That is more-or-less where ewert's changes end.

Now, along with this are some other changes I have planned:
- Review the list of traps. Summoning and Teleportation will probably change so that they are less deadly.
- Extend the trap/secret door detection to mimics and lurkers.
- Add some more mimics and lurkers.

Eventually, I'd like to add more traps and trap-like features, but I think that is quite difficult with the current terrain system.

Obviously, getting the numbers just right will take some work. How do people feel about this system in general, though? What traps need to be toned down and how if there is no longer an infallible way to detect them?
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Old March 1, 2012, 22:01   #2
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At last! There have been SO many threads about traps, it's awesome that someone is going to grapple with it.

Slightly tangentially to your questions, I think we have the following circular problem:

1. If traps do not significantly perturb the player (i.e. neither irritating nor deadly), they are hard to make interesting.

2. If they are really irritating and/or deadly, and the chances of detecting/avoiding them are too low, gameplay worsens with frustration (assuming you allow only one chance to detect each trap, otherwise it encourages grinding)

3. If they are irritating and/or deadly and the chances of detecting/avoiding them are too high, it is hard to make them interesting again.

So I don't envy you trying to solve this. But for my two penn'orth, I'd say that both paralysis and blindness traps need to be shorter duration, to give people a slightly better chance of surviving them.
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Old March 1, 2012, 22:08   #3
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Yeah, there's been a ton of discussion. I continue to maintain that the best way to handle traps is to not hide them, and make it challenging for the player to work around them -- basically making them into some merger between terrain and stationary monsters. Damage fields, NPP turret traps, sirens (basically shrieker mushroom patches), etc.

Magnate sums up why the hidden-trap thing is so problematic. You have to decide: are players going to be able to detect traps 100% of the time or not? If not, should traps be allowed to kill the player? Answering "yes" to that implies that random unavoidable instadeath is okay; some people are okay with that but personally I am not.

I suppose another possibility would be for the player to always know that a trap is there, but not what the trap will do, so they at least have to decide if they want to take their chances. We want to encourage the player to be making meaningful decisions, after all.
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Old March 1, 2012, 22:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
1. If traps do not significantly perturb the player (i.e. neither irritating nor deadly), they are hard to make interesting.
Exactly. I like what I read in the OP, the gist of it, but would be wary of taking the bite out of traps even if detection is no longer fool proof. Traps were mostly a joke. Imperfect detection will help to make them somewhat of a hazard. I say implement the detection changes and hold off on the nerfing until rabid complaints of unfair deaths starts pouring in. At least that's what I'd do.

On the other hand. You could split traps in two distinct groups, physical and magical. Summoning and teleportation would be good examples of magical traps. Darts and pits and trap doors, obviously physical. Physical must be found, LoS searching. Magical are harder to find, but can be magically detected, though I'd tone down the volume and tune up the cost of magical trap detection.
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Old March 1, 2012, 22:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Yeah, there's been a ton of discussion. I continue to maintain that the best way to handle traps is to not hide them, and make it challenging for the player to work around them -- basically making them into some merger between terrain and stationary monsters. Damage fields, NPP turret traps, sirens (basically shrieker mushroom patches), etc.

Magnate sums up why the hidden-trap thing is so problematic. You have to decide: are players going to be able to detect traps 100% of the time or not? If not, should traps be allowed to kill the player? Answering "yes" to that implies that random unavoidable instadeath is okay; some people are okay with that but personally I am not.

I suppose another possibility would be for the player to always know that a trap is there, but not what the trap will do, so they at least have to decide if they want to take their chances. We want to encourage the player to be making meaningful decisions, after all.
In the long-run, I agree with you -- I really want an overhaul of the whole trap system. But that's a lot of work, and in the meanwhile, I'll settle for a system that is less dumb then "cast detect traps every time I hit a trap detection border". Porting ewert's changes would take an hour or two.

My goal is for trap detection to not be 100% (unless you optimize for it), but for traps to not be deadly (in isolation).
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Old March 2, 2012, 00:25   #6
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Always liked hallucination or amnesia for trap effects that provide plenty of disincentive to setting them off, without leading to too many YASD that make the game less fun.
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Old March 2, 2012, 02:19   #7
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I continue to maintain that the most important trap change is to place them in somewhat predictable places so that there is some skill in anticipating where they might be found
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Old March 2, 2012, 04:24   #8
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I like the trap setup in Dungeons of Dredmor:
-Traps are hidden initially, but are always revealed when they are within the player's Trap Sense range (normally one).

Traps can be disarmed, the difficulty based on the trap type and the player's trap disarming ability. Most traps are one-shot, though not all. Failing to disarm a trap always sets it off.

Non-flying monsters can set off traps.

The best traps are basically triggers, with a corresponding turret on a wall. When triggered, the turret fires and arrow / blast / whatever is fired. You can protect yourself by making sure there is something between you and the turret (say, a monster), or even use them against the monsters. These traps are not one-shot, of course.
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Old March 2, 2012, 05:12   #9
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If traps are no longer 100% detectable and disarmable, I think the amount of traps will need to be greatly reduced, especially in vaults. A few strategically placed traps is good, a vast mass of them will just make vaults completely impossible.
I remember this being a major issue in early versions of FAY.
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:15   #10
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I think Gabe should proceed with his changes, since V4 is all about trying things out.

I agree with Derakon that traps which are likely to kill and/or hard to disarm should probably be obvious or detectable. Ideally, I think I'd like some traps to be obvious but hard to disarm/avoid, and others to be hidden but (in general) less dangerous.

That said, I don't mind the idea that "small" traps will be unnoticed 5-10% of the time (where small traps means things that aren't summoning, trap doors, or teleport).
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