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Old August 4, 2010, 16:43   #1
Derakon
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Feature idea: themed staircases

Here's an idea for livening up the gameplay a bit. Once you get past, oh, 2500' or so, start making most staircases themed. The staircase would have a non-generic description, and would take you to a different kind of level than the "normal" levels. For example:

Demonic: "A passage into the hellish depths". Predominantly features demons; items are biased towards melee weapons.

Undead: "A staircase made of bone and ivory". Predominantly features undead; items are biased towards potions and scrolls.

Unique: "A shining ramp of gold". Massively increased unique monster and vault generation rates.

Natural: "A tunnel lined with trees". Predominantly features natural monsters; items are biased towards missile weapons and ammo, with more items on the floor than usual (to compensate for natural monsters' low drop rates).

Hard: "A passage lined with warning signs written in Orcish". All monsters and items are generated as if 10 levels deeper; otherwise normal.

The overall idea here is twofold: first, this gives the player some options if he's looking for specific kinds of gear. Want weapons? Go kill demons. Want artifacts? Try your luck on the golden levels. Need ammo for Morgy? Go to a nature preserve. But secondly, it also means that you may not want to take the first staircase you find, if it's not the kind of dungeon you're looking for. This would encourage some amount of exploration.
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Old August 4, 2010, 17:06   #2
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Interesting. Of course the stairway is only id'd when stepping on it?

But it is kinda neat idea.
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Old August 4, 2010, 19:16   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Here's an idea for livening up the gameplay a bit. Once you get past, oh, 2500' or so, start making most staircases themed. The staircase would have a non-generic description, and would take you to a different kind of level than the "normal" levels. For example:

Demonic: "A passage into the hellish depths". Predominantly features demons; items are biased towards melee weapons.

Undead: "A staircase made of bone and ivory". Predominantly features undead; items are biased towards potions and scrolls.

Unique: "A shining ramp of gold". Massively increased unique monster and vault generation rates.

Natural: "A tunnel lined with trees". Predominantly features natural monsters; items are biased towards missile weapons and ammo, with more items on the floor than usual (to compensate for natural monsters' low drop rates).

Hard: "A passage lined with warning signs written in Orcish". All monsters and items are generated as if 10 levels deeper; otherwise normal.

The overall idea here is twofold: first, this gives the player some options if he's looking for specific kinds of gear. Want weapons? Go kill demons. Want artifacts? Try your luck on the golden levels. Need ammo for Morgy? Go to a nature preserve. But secondly, it also means that you may not want to take the first staircase you find, if it's not the kind of dungeon you're looking for. This would encourage some amount of exploration.
I have plans for this in Hellband, I think its an awesome idea. I was thinking also dragon lairs, armories and elemental levels.

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Old August 4, 2010, 19:22   #4
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Originally Posted by konijn_ View Post
elemental levels.

T.
Ooh a vault!
> The fire elemental wakes up
> The fire elemental crushes *everything*
goddammit
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Old August 4, 2010, 20:43   #5
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Ooh a vault!
> The fire elemental wakes up
> The fire elemental crushes *everything*
goddammit
Well, obviously the object generator would be aware of the themed level

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Old August 4, 2010, 22:03   #6
Tiburon Silverflame
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I like the idea, because it does encourage an explorational style, *without* penalizing a diver.
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Old August 5, 2010, 00:07   #7
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Originally Posted by Tiburon Silverflame View Post
I like the idea, because it does encourage an explorational style, *without* penalizing a diver.
If even one of these levels are substantially harder than normal levels and you aren't allocating additional staircases that would penalize the diver. She might skip the gold or hard staircase. Not that this invalidates the idea itself, just that I think your statement is incorrect if some % of stairs are unusable.
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Old August 5, 2010, 01:57   #8
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I think this idea has huge potential; in particular, it's the best idea I've seen for making the bottom half of the dungeon interesting.

I'm not sure whether I think you should be able to tell the description of the staircase from detection or not - probably not.
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Old August 5, 2010, 19:15   #9
Tiburon Silverflame
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What might be cool is, special stairs show up in a coded color...but only when you're looking at them directly.

null: you could have a point, if most stairs are themed, because it would take much more work to dive. You definitely need to have regular stairs.

So, one option might be: only stairs going UP, are themed. Another option is that you actually don't change level; they're not stairs, but a "gate"...so you get the effect of an Alter Reality, keeping you at the same depth while creating the new level with the proper theme.

In the latter, they're not 'stairs' at all, so Detect Stairs doesn't pick them up. I dunno if Enlightenment/Clairvoy would or not, but my intuition says, no, it wouldn't, as it is right now.
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Old August 5, 2010, 20:14   #10
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Originally Posted by Tiburon Silverflame View Post
I dunno if Enlightenment/Clairvoy would or not, but my intuition says, no, it wouldn't, as it is right now.
Why would an effect whose purpose is to reveal map features fail to reveal a map feature? What is the purpose of making these themed staircases/gates/whatever opaque to detection spells?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but "exploration" (as opposed to diving) consists largely of detecting the majority (>90%) of the dungeon and examining those rooms that look interesting, for whatever qualifies as "interesting" to you. It seems like making these objects impossible to detect would be advocating a clearing strategy, which is entirely different from exploration.
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