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Old September 30, 2011, 04:21   #1
Therem Harth
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More thoughts on traps

Lately I've been playing ToME 2 with trap damage leveling disabled... Using characters that have no reliable means of trap detection or disarming.

This has led to rather interesting - and IMO more enjoyable - gameplay. ToME traps are for the most part much less lethal without the damage scaling, except for a few outliers like the Trap of Drop Everything. But when your character has unreliable trap detection and less reliable disarming, they still pose a hazard, and it's often necessary to tunnel around them - or grit your teeth and take some damage. Not to mention the risk of taking an unexpected acid ball while fighting a pack of monsters.

IOW, traps can make the game more interesting... If you don't have instant trap detection and disarming, and if survival without those is actually possible.

So my current thoughts on traps look like this:

- Traps should not get damage scaling with depth, and should not be horribly nasty to start with, barring a few outliers - the summoning and teleport traps. None of them should be able to instakill a typical undamaged character at the depth they first appear at.

(This, AFAIK, is already the case in Vanilla.)

- Trap detection spells should have a limited radius, and not be available until relatively late in the game. Trap detection through manual searching ('s' or 'S') should generally have a good chance of working, but Perception ability (i.e. search frequency) should be hard to come by. In general, trap detection should be more limited, at least until later in the game. Searching radius > 1 would be nice, but not really necessary.

- It should be possible to ID generic trap types. For instance, if you stumble across a summoning trap, you should have a chance of identifying later traps as being a summoning trap of some sort (but NOT the specific type of summoning trap).

(Not sure if this is the case in V, I believe it was last I played...)

- Traps should be hard to disarm! Magic devices that disarm traps should be very rare, if present at all. Disarming traps manually should be possible, but have a significant chance of failing for most classes, even at high levels.

Overall I'm thinking that making traps harder to bypass, without being excessively dangerous, would help add a bit of spice to the game.

Thoughts?
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Old September 30, 2011, 06:41   #2
will_asher
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I'm doing several of these things in DaJAngband.
I did make trap damage scale with depth, but they still don't do enough damage to be really deadly unless you dive really fast. Trap difficulty to disarm also scales with depth.
I haven't yet, but plan to greatly reduce magic trap detection, and revamp searching a bit as well. I've also added some interesting new traps which should be dangerous but not too deadly.
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Old September 30, 2011, 10:07   #3
Narvius
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I think traps would be generally much more interesting if there were NO DAMAGE TRAPS. At all. Because those are boring. Basically either lethal (and thus require perfect TD) or negligible (in which case they are redundant).

Instead:
teleport
summon
whole-level aggravation
item steal traps (item dropped SOMEwhere on level, with possible restrictions being "outside vault", "within x of trap")
trap doors
destruction (kind of a mixed-blessing. Someone who finds one of these may very well want to walk into it strategically)
earthquake
melee-block curse (can't melee for some short time)
spell-block curse
item-curse (only sticky curse)
unbuff (removes all current buffs)
slowing
elemental weakness
temporary stat drain (this one could be annoying, so temporary drain that times out after a few hundred turns. As recompensation, they would ignore sustains)
manadrain (all SP, plus temporarily no regen)
fumble curse (can't use devices)
+ basically everything that temporarily disables some subset of @ skills.

These are all potentially disastrous, but not by as brutishly direct means as instakill damage traps.

Damage traps only make sense when damage is hard to remove - this isn't the case in Angband. Here, you can sleep next to a bunch of giant fire demons for a few minutes and all your severed limbs will grow back.
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Last edited by Narvius; September 30, 2011 at 10:14.
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Old September 30, 2011, 11:24   #4
UglySquirrell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narvius View Post
I think traps would be generally much more interesting if there were NO DAMAGE TRAPS. At all. Because those are boring. Basically either lethal (and thus require perfect TD) or negligible (in which case they are redundant).

Instead:
teleport
summon
whole-level aggravation
item steal traps (item dropped SOMEwhere on level, with possible restrictions being "outside vault", "within x of trap")
trap doors
destruction (kind of a mixed-blessing. Someone who finds one of these may very well want to walk into it strategically)
earthquake
melee-block curse (can't melee for some short time)
spell-block curse
item-curse (only sticky curse)
unbuff (removes all current buffs)
slowing
elemental weakness
temporary stat drain (this one could be annoying, so temporary drain that times out after a few hundred turns. As recompensation, they would ignore sustains)
manadrain (all SP, plus temporarily no regen)
fumble curse (can't use devices)
+ basically everything that temporarily disables some subset of @ skills.

These are all potentially disastrous, but not by as brutishly direct means as instakill damage traps.

Damage traps only make sense when damage is hard to remove - this isn't the case in Angband. Here, you can sleep next to a bunch of giant fire demons for a few minutes and all your severed limbs will grow back.
I. Love all these trap ideas I'd add create walls, and destruction but remember having fun trying to find dropped items before, rogues that stole items also imo added a lot to gammeplay. As long as you got them back on killing them.
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Old September 30, 2011, 12:14   #5
Narvius
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More:

Temporarily no HP Regen
Exp Drain
Wall Remover (in range; items and monsters remain)
Anchor (@ can't teleport or be teleported for some time)

Create walls is problematic, because it's lethal if you don't have any escape.

The main emphasis should be on temporary disabling subsets of @ skills, because that's - I think - the most interesting way to inhibit the player without outright killing him.
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Last edited by Narvius; September 30, 2011 at 12:35.
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Old September 30, 2011, 12:39   #6
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Just one more: Mortal poisoning - No counter on this one. It can be slowed, reducing the frequency of HP drain, but it doesn't go away until cured. Which reminds me, I don't like CCW being a cure for poison. It's diminishes the usefulness of the real cure.
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Old September 30, 2011, 12:39   #7
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I personally don't know why monsters aren't affected by traps. Now, THAT would make gameplay more fun and add some strategies. Maybe you would have to exempt vaults as you'd assume the monsters know about those traps, since they may have set them.
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Old September 30, 2011, 13:06   #8
Therem Harth
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buzzkill: if mortal poisoning makes an appearance in the game, I'd prefer it as a monster attack, not a trap. IMO such a trap would be way too deadly, and my point here is that traps can make the game more interesting without being hideously lethal.

dhegler: presumably because they know about the traps already. IMO anything intelligent shouldn't set off traps. I think it would be intersting, though, if stupid or erratically moving monsters could trigger them.
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Old September 30, 2011, 17:37   #9
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I like the Quickband (NPP?) ranged traps. Even if they don't always do a whole lot of damage, they impact game play a whole lot more than any trap in V does.
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Old September 30, 2011, 23:00   #10
Therem Harth
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Yeah, ranged traps sound good. But again, lethality has to be kept in check IMO, or it's just another way to die through no fault of the player. e.g. in Unangband there are a lot of hugely damaging ranged traps in the early dungeons; you can stumble into one and get instakilled on level 1.
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