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Old January 8, 2008, 02:21   #1
Zero
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Traps

I like the idea of having traps, but the way they are implemented now doesn't seem to add much strategy to the game. Trap detection is obtained by all classes by CL10, and avoiding/disarming/destroying them is pretty trivial. It just seems to be a constant interruption to the flow of the game to have to remember to keep detecting them, and with detection now a radius effect, you have to keep an eye on the bottom of the screen for that very hard to see dark green DTrap. The development wiki has some ideas regarding traps, like monster rogues being able to set them, and I think that's a good idea. @ could also set them with ?Create Trap or something. Rogues could have a spell to create traps that would slow down advancing enemies similar to the old glyph of warding.

Here's an idea: get rid of magical instant trap detection altogether. Instead, make perception stronger with respect to trap detection, and allow perception to work on any visible tile, not just adjacent ones. This would make perception and items of +perception more important to the game, and add an additional element of strategy. I think trap effects themselves could also be rebalanced. When you think about it, trap doors are effectively random teleport level spells that always work in the more dangerous down direction, which feels like a strong, high-level effect. The stat drain dart traps seem like a stat-gain depth effect to me. At low levels, you could have nets or something that stun, sleep, or slow the player for a couple turns--enough to make a difference in combat, but not permanent.

Or you could just make trap detection a duration effect, so that you'll automatically detect all traps in a radius of whatever every round. But this doesn't solve the problem of traps not really adding much to gameplay.

With traps as they are now, I think I'll be removing them from the game entirely as soon as I can get the code to compile.
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Old January 8, 2008, 06:45   #2
Djabanete
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The problem with traps is that, in general, either they're trivial to avoid, or impossible to avoid. There is some gray area if you are willing to play in a really OCD way (avoiding stepping on tiles you haven't stepped on, searching everywhere), but that's no fun. So basically you either have a way of detecting traps, and you detect unless you forget to; or you don't have a way of detecting traps, and you just randomly have bad stuff happen every so often. I wouldn't even mind that, except that sometimes the trap is stat draining, which annoys me to no end.

The only exception to what I said above is traps in vaults. There they make sense and present an extra challenge. If anything, they could be made much more deadly (plenty of ways to do that!).

So... I agree with Zero that the game would be better without traps --- unless they are somehow created by monsters or generated in vaults/trappy rooms. And then they can be much nastier than they are now.

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Old January 8, 2008, 11:48   #3
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The biggest problem with traps is that they don't do enough damage to be a problem later in the game. I don't even bother with rod of traps with warrior most times. I may use it to find vaults or carry it for a while if I find one until I need space. Teleport or create monsters are only ones that can really mess you up later in game. Trap door is only anoying if you fall thru when in a vault.
Traps need to do dng lvl damage or % HP. More powerful ones should be in some of the vaults; Caveins (acts like earthquake or destruction), Create wall ( maybe even permanent), Magic Syphon to remove charges, buffs and mana.
Also when a moster creates traps it shouldn't be quite so obviuos. Cakcles at you means you are surrounded by traps and you know it if you pay attention. Traps could also be generated randomly (off screen) like monsters are the longer you are in a lvl.
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Old January 8, 2008, 19:01   #4
gglibertine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero View Post
It just seems to be a constant interruption to the flow of the game to have to remember to keep detecting them, and with detection now a radius effect, you have to keep an eye on the bottom of the screen for that very hard to see dark green DTrap.
I think it's good to have "minor" annoyances that still show up late in the game. It keeps you on your toes -- I've certainly gotten screwed at pretty high levels just because I forgot to cast a detect and fell through a trap door before I could get to a monster pit full of treasure, or had an important staff destroyed by a flame trap. I don't think it makes sense at all to stop worrying about the little things just because you're down to where the big things are.
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Old January 8, 2008, 19:49   #5
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Originally Posted by gglibertine View Post
I think it's good to have "minor" annoyances that still show up late in the game. It keeps you on your toes -- I've certainly gotten screwed at pretty high levels just because I forgot to cast a detect and fell through a trap door before I could get to a monster pit full of treasure, or had an important staff destroyed by a flame trap. I don't think it makes sense at all to stop worrying about the little things just because you're down to where the big things are.
Agreed. The game is made up of lots of features, some big, some small. None of the small ones really matter individually, but remove too many and the game loses its flavour.
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Old January 8, 2008, 23:25   #6
Zero
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but remove too many [of the small features] and the game loses its flavour.
I agree. I'm just saying it would be better if we made some of those small features into bigger features, and remove the others. Yes, simplify the game too much, and it becomes boring. But, add complexity while removing monotony and I think it becomes more interesting.

Think of it this way: imagine the game didn't have any traps, and someone suggested that we add this feature where you have to run a macro after every few rooms or bad things happen randomly. It doesn't require any thought at all, you only have to remember to do it, and do it, before moving on. To me, that sounds more like a bug than a challenge. But, to each his own.

Vault traps have great flavor, but they're always in lines, which makes them easy to take out with a wand of trap/door destruction. Really, when did you ever detect a vault, and think, "Whoa, how am I going to deal with those traps?!" You don't. It's the monsters that make you think, because they involve risk. Traps don't, and that's why they don't seem fun to me.

I think we should make them more interesting, but until we do, I don't want them interfering with my game.
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Old January 8, 2008, 23:47   #7
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I remember some variant I played once (NPP, I think?) with 'magical' traps that could effect the player from a distance - there'd be things like a magical spot that would fire a frost ball at the player every dozen turns or so, or a trap that darkens the room every few turns. This made things a lot more interesting - because at times even if you knew that the trap was there, you still had to get close enough to the trap to disable it without it seeing you. Occasionally, if there was eg. a fireball trap on the other side of a big room, it would be difficult to actually cross the room and disable it without dying first. Kind of like specialized potion mimics. I think that this would make traps in general more interesting and get rid of the 'either you know about them and they're harmless or else you don't know about them and they're harmful, with no in-between' problem.
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Old January 9, 2008, 05:10   #8
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I think band' traps are rather 2 dimensional. This may be a fault of the games design or simply that they were never evolved.

I like the NPP traps idea (if indeed it was NPP that has them) Traps should be more then just step on a tile and something bad happens. they SHOULD be motion sensing magical traps. Trap door traps could be ala Indiana Jones, not just one trap door but a floor tiled with them, step in the wrong spot and down you go! Spiked pit traps should take time to climb out of if you do fall in. maybe act like a short term paralyze, takes a couple turns to escape....or you need to succeed a disarm trap to climb out. teleport traps should teleport you to a room with no doors or directly into a vault if one is available. They should be there to make you pay. Imagine getting teleported to a 1x1 room out on the periphery of the map and having to dig your way back to the main dungeon. Arrow traps should infuse a hallway with arrows doing damage to all who are present. Fire traps should light rooms or hallways when activated. Acid traps should splash acid over an area, corroding anything with in a couple squares of the trap. Anything to make a person think twice before activating them.

Some traps should have a trigger AND a shutoff, but maybe not in the same place. add switches around the dungeon that activate and deactivate traps. Traps should be obstacles, things to work around. NEED to get into a room dig around the trap. Wands or trap destruction or any of the trap destruction stuff should go away. or only be useful on some types of traps.

Not all traps have a trigger. for many the trap IS the trigger. the pit trap for example you step and fall in. This kind of trap seems a tad less disarmable.

Trap door traps, disarm and it becomes a stairs (ladder) down.

Fail to disarm a trap should cause other problems. Fail a pit trap disarm and it become a trap door you collapse the pit and fall to the next level.

Fail to disarm a teleport trap and it blows up like a fireball spell.

Some traps should give off flavor...you see the floor ahead of you is crumbled and loose. Pit traps.

Some traps should be easy to detect but hard to disarm, like an arrow trap firing arrows down a hall, small pile of arrows on the floor at the end of the hall! But you have to get to that end of the hall to disarm it. some traps should be directional. only fire arrows in one direction, others...magical ones can get you from anywhere if you set them off. One's stealthiness could provide protection from traps that detect the @.

anyway there is a quick flash of trap ideas that I came up with after reading this thread. do what you will with it.

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Old January 9, 2008, 23:26   #9
Big Al
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I could see a lot of the above ideas going into Unangband some day - it already has traps with switches, right? (I never really could figure out what all those levers and such actually do most of the time.)
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Old January 10, 2008, 03:59   #10
Antoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero View Post
Here's an idea: get rid of magical instant trap detection altogether. Instead, make perception stronger with respect to trap detection, and allow perception to work on any visible tile, not just adjacent ones. This would make perception and items of +perception more important to the game, and add an additional element of strategy.
Ironband has Perception as a primary stat, and high levels of Perception gives you a good chance of detecting adjacent traps (even when running, so it stops you from hitting a trap in your path). Useful, as Detect Traps is not readily available to any low or even some high-level characters.

It also has NPP-style traps, which are ranged and a good deal more interesting.

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