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Old October 8, 2017, 13:22   #1
Thraalbee
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Too many vaults!

Vaults are fun and medium-to-high-risk/reward encounters. Or was, the fun is eroded by them being so common! I used to get really exited when seeing a new vault. Today, I barely flinch seeing THREE of them in the same level and then I skip a few levels to soon find another two or three vaults/special rooms in a singel level.

Not a bug. Not new. Still, a massive reduction in vaults generated would be more fun imo. Especially, I'd like to see an exponential reduction in the chance for the n'th vault on the same level.

The downsides I see are (1) common = less exciting, (2) slows down the game - when I should be diving, instead I gain more from clearing vaults to get that additional rod of teleOther, healing pot etc with the potential upside of a nice equipment boost. I rarely die from this tactic or lose more than I gain.

Thoughts? Maybe I'm the only one asking for this and everybody else wants more?
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Old October 8, 2017, 14:53   #2
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This definitely seems possible. I keep harping on about O, but in O, stuff is just so much harder to come by, and I think it makes the game better. Most levels, you won't have a vault to loot, and looting vaults is much more interesting when *Destruct* and Banish don't work.

I don't think reducing the frequency of vaults is sufficient though. If vaults are supposed to be tactically interesting, high-reward, then the reward has to be relevant, and as it stands, the only plausible way to increase reward for vaults is to reduce it elsewhere.

Basically, for vaults to be interesting, they have to be noticeably better and more dangerous than the ordinary dungeon, and not available at will.

There are things about modern V that I think can be really helpful to vault play, though. Fuzzy object detection means you know the risk, but not the reward, which feels good to me, since in the past, you would just ignore any vault that didn't have enough un-id'd rings or devices or interesting base items.

The last and most obvious way to make vaults more interesting, but also a way almost impossible to reconcile with standard play, is to turn off preserve mode.
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Old October 8, 2017, 17:25   #3
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For a starter, why does permawalls enclosing a vault allow detection to pass? Telepathy? How about you had to literally knock on the door and take a single step into the vault to detect for objects and possibly even for monsters?
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Old October 8, 2017, 19:29   #4
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What you suggest is also realized in tome4, which I happen to know and also happen to dislike. The only things you have to go by there are the shape of the vault and the monster level of of the first monster you encounter inside.
Played at harder difficulty with only 1 life, this basically means you dont touch greater vaults when you find them.

When you eventually open a dangerous vault, its a lottery - either you can deal with what you release, or you cant and die. Not instantly, normally, but you wish it were instantly - you can act for a few rounds while dots are ticking away, but if your escape options are disabled by some of the monsters spell effects, you know youre gonna die. The tactical gameplay is rather limited.

In vanilla vaults, on the other hand, all kinds of things are going on:
If I remove this block, then that monster gets LOS, so maybe I its better to approach from over there; I have 1 speed potion, should I drink it to make sure the Phoenix doesnt double move me or should I keep it for the Tarrasque ? - and so on. Disabling detection would shut down exciting gameplay.

I have recently played a few games with preserve mode on - mostly out of nostalgia - and it is different; the main reason I prefer the default mode is that the amount of artifacts are limited, so the first GV you encounter will always have many artifacts while later ones will have less and less. At some point the information that an artifact is on a vault level becomes significant, but normally the game should be decided before that point. It would be a different matter if artifact generation was unlimited, like ego items, to get rid of the weird front-loaded distribution, but that is only feasible for randarts.

What it all boils down to is that making the game harder without simply introducing a "a rock falls on your head - you die" mechanic is not so easy.
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Old October 8, 2017, 19:49   #5
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Agree. Fewer vaults on the same level is probably the only simple change that I find clearly reasonable.
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Old October 8, 2017, 22:17   #6
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Agreed, filed as a bug.
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Old October 8, 2017, 23:02   #7
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Definitely agree that monster detection should still be possible in a vault. And object detection should follow the same (fuzzy) rules it does already. I just mentioned it because I felt like it was a way in which the V vault experience could actually be better than the O one, and I wanted to highlight that. The spell effect change I would like is if vaults were immune to safe monster removal options like Banish and Mass Banish. Sure, it's mostly a nerf to Mages, but they're generally good at vaults, so I think it's not unfair.
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Old October 9, 2017, 11:22   #8
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In ADOM, the number of greater vaults you can encounter is determined at birth, since the main dungeon is fixed (level contents are randomly genrated, but level repartition inside the dungeon is fixed). Usually, you will find 2-3 greater vaults inside a 50 level dungeon, and there can only be one GV per level. Apply this rate to an ironman game of Angband, you would find 5-6 GVs during your game (100 levels). Then you can apply this rule to any game, and allow something like 5% chance of having a GV on a level. Of course, if you play with connected stairs, you can stairscum to get all the vaults you want, but that should greatly decrease the number of GVs generated.
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Old October 9, 2017, 11:53   #9
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By the way, there are now a LOT of new rooms that look like vaults, but are not vaults. Maybe that's why you get the impression of finding many vaults.
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Old October 9, 2017, 13:18   #10
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Two vaults are common. Three happens. Plus special rooms.
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