Angband.oook.cz
Angband.oook.cz
AboutVariantsLadderForumCompetitionComicScreenshotsFunniesLinks

Go Back   Angband Forums > Angband > Vanilla

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old September 18, 2015, 16:53   #1
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,024
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Tactically interesting obstacles

This is a fork off of the "4.1-4.3 features" thread, which devolved into arguing about what traps should be. Nick invited us to do some design work on the concept, so this is what I've thought of so far (in the last ~half hour ).

My thesis:

* Traps should be visible. Detecting traps is not interesting. Detect trap spells, and searching skills (and the search command) should be removed.
* Traps should get in the way. Traps that are trivially avoided are not interesting. Mass-disarming spells should be removed; if you want to disarm something, you should have to get close to it.
* Traps should be tempting to move through anyway. If they're effectively a different kind of wall, then they aren't especially interesting -- we can just add chasms if we want walls you can see/shoot over.

And here are some of the concepts I've thought of that I feel adhere to the above principles:

* A room with spiked floors. Moving through the room, or fighting in it, has a chance to deal damage to you. If you want to avoid the traps, then you must go around, or dig around, which can take significant time. Of course this is more significant in the early game, where straight damage from traps is more likely to matter and the player has fewer options for dungeon navigation.

* Turrets. These act as stationary enemies (that can't be killed, only disarmed) that periodically fire a projectile at the player. I like the idea that they fire at where you were on your previous turn, so you can juke back and forth to avoid them -- but if you're in a fight, that may prove difficult. Turrets can fire stat-draining darts, arrows, elemental bolts, etc. Probably not explosive shots (at least not until later in the dungeon) because those would be so much harder to avoid taking damage from.

* Crushers. As with the spiked floors, these would most likely fill an entire room (or length of hallway), but in a checkerboard or cross-hatch pattern. There's two ways we can rig these: indiscriminate and discriminate. In the former version, every few turns a subset of the crushers will activate, damaging everything they hit and forcing them into adjacent tiles (or else be severely crushed for heavy damage). In the latter case, the crushers follow the player, slamming down right behind them and then staying down for a few turns, acting as walls. Thus you not only need to keep moving but also need to avoid getting boxed in.

Traps of course are negative dungeon features. But nothing says we can't have positive dungeon features. These would give the player benefits while standing in their tiles; the goal being to encourage the player to move fights to those locations. Consequently these effects should be small and easy to avoid, because the point is to make it harder to take advantage of them. For example:

* Magical pools that improve the player's stats while they stand in them. Such pools could temporarily increase STR, DEX, INT, WIS, or CON by +5, say. Or they could give extra blows, extra speed, etc.

* Auras of protection, which give automatic double resistance to an element (fire/cold/acid/electricity/poison only, I would think) or reduce physical damage taken to 2/3rds normal.

* A fountain of healing, which gives triple regeneration.

* A teleportation cage, which prevents all teleportation into or out of the region of effect, for player and monsters alike. This one should probably take over an entire room.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 18:11   #2
Nomad
Knight
 
Nomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: England
Posts: 958
Nomad is on a distinguished road
Traps on doors, staircases, and squares containing objects are one obvious way of making traps more necessary/worthwhile to tackle. Even with the current trap setup, more intelligent placement of the existing traps would help to make them less trivially avoidable: put them in corridors, make rings of them around staircases/objects, make lines of traps that stretch from one side of a room to the other.

I don't know that traps should always be automatically visible, but I think manual searching and detection methods should go: noticing traps as you walk around should be a passive function of your searching ability/perceptiveness.

You can also have trigger traps, where stepping on the trap square causes some kind of change to the terrain around you - surrounds your square with rubble, triggers the earthquake effect, blasts away walls/doors/objects within a certain radius, etc. Which is both an inconvenience and something that's potentially tactically useful to do on purpose at times - provided you've got the HP to take the initial trap damage, you can surround yourself with rubble to rest undisturbed, lure monsters into the blast radius to damage them, and so on.

You could also combine triggers with new terrain types, where setting the trigger off surrounds you with a ring or starburst pattern of some kind of permanent, non-disarmable terrain type that's passable but causes damage or status effects when you do: non-disarmable pits, lava, ice, poisonous swamp, permanent gas clouds, etc. If these terrain types have the same effect on monsters as they do on the player, that creates interesting tactical possibilities as well.
Nomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 18:15   #3
debo
Veteran
 
debo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,386
debo is on a distinguished road
Corollary: silent watchers and drujs can now become traps
__________________
Glaurung, Father of the Dragons says, 'You cannot avoid the ballyhack.'
debo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 18:36   #4
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
I'll move my reply over to this thread.

I disagree that random (unseen) traps are uninteresting. Basically the static terrain features that you are describing represent preparable challenges. You know what's going on beforehand, you can make a plan, and then tackle the challenge on your own terms. This is fine, and roguelikes do like this kind of planning in advance.

The unseen traps represent a kind of unpreparable challenge. You now are in a situation which is more difficult and you have to adapt. This is also interesting. This is the same idea behind curses, or at least what they should be. You're given a temporary and unexpected handicap that you must deal with for some period of time. I think these add a lot to the game, and we should pause before ripping them out entirely.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 18:37   #5
bio_hazard
Knight
 
bio_hazard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 625
bio_hazard is on a distinguished road
I like the ideas- I feel like things like the spiked floor, crushers should be in special rooms and not just randomly in corridors though.

Spider webs seem like an obvious one. Don't necessarily do damage, but hold you up temporarily while you fight through. Fire or sling stones can take them down at a distance. If webs block an exit, it becomes a tactical choice for a player to use turns to push through them or finish fighting monsters first.

I'd vote for some monster-placed traps too. The "Cackling about Traps" or whatever current monsters do is not very interesting. Besides spiders making webs (see above), how about having various humanoids place visible traps in potentially strategically interesting places. I've always wanted an orc with pass-wall or digging that could get around behind you in a corridor. Imagine it places a couple of bear traps then starts lobbing rocks at you from the other side of the traps. The traps are visible and take one turn to destroy, but in those turns you may be taking damage from the rest of the orc group. And if you stumble into one while blind/confused, then you take damage- probably not lethal unless you are already heavily wounded.

You could also have active alarms/summoners as traps. Small guard rooms with a relatively small group- if you can fight/teleport over to destroy the alarm rune before one of the group runs over to trigger it, you'll have an easier time getting to the treasure room beyond.

"Crushers" could also be implemented as a monster spell/effect as well. "The Ancient Dragon points. The Ceiling above you begins to tremble!" Then rubble at that spot next turn.
bio_hazard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 18:57   #6
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,024
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad
I don't know that traps should always be automatically visible, but I think manual searching and detection methods should go: noticing traps as you walk around should be a passive function of your searching ability/perceptiveness.
I went into this in the other thread, but in short, passive stochastic searching devolves into the player assuming that any space they move into may be trapped, and playing accordingly, because they cannot be certain that the square is not trapped. I would much rather see the perception/searching skill replaced with a trap avoidance skill that allows you to move through trapped spaces without suffering the consequences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I'll move my reply over to this thread.

I disagree that random (unseen) traps are uninteresting. Basically the static terrain features that you are describing represent preparable challenges. You know what's going on beforehand, you can make a plan, and then tackle the challenge on your own terms. This is fine, and roguelikes do like this kind of planning in advance.

The unseen traps represent a kind of unpreparable challenge. You now are in a situation which is more difficult and you have to adapt. This is also interesting. This is the same idea behind curses, or at least what they should be. You're given a temporary and unexpected handicap that you must deal with for some period of time. I think these add a lot to the game, and we should pause before ripping them out entirely.
How would you feel about having some traps that are invisible until you move next to them? Then it is your choice whether to continue moving into that square or do something else, but it's still an unexpected surprise.

Alternately, can we not simply replace surprise traps with curses cast by monsters? The vast majority of hidden traps in the current game are dealt with when there are no monsters around anyway. I would not object to a monster being able to cast a curse that temporarily reduces your number of blows, or increases your spell failure rate, or prevents you from using arrows, etc.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 20:53   #7
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Alternately, can we not simply replace surprise traps with curses cast by monsters? The vast majority of hidden traps in the current game are dealt with when there are no monsters around anyway. I would not object to a monster being able to cast a curse that temporarily reduces your number of blows, or increases your spell failure rate, or prevents you from using arrows, etc.
From a game design perspective they sort of serve the same purpose (although you can avoid coming into contact with monsters that can curse, just like you can avoid stat draining monsters currently.) The idea of hidden traps is that now you are in a new situation that you did not expect. That can be very interesting, if done correctly. But in principle I agree that it doesn't have to be done through "traps."

Also, can you explain what you mean by "stochastic." I think that word might have a very different implication for me than it does for you.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 18, 2015, 21:47   #8
Derakon
Prophet
 
Derakon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,024
Derakon is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
From a game design perspective they sort of serve the same purpose (although you can avoid coming into contact with monsters that can curse, just like you can avoid stat draining monsters currently.) The idea of hidden traps is that now you are in a new situation that you did not expect. That can be very interesting, if done correctly. But in principle I agree that it doesn't have to be done through "traps."
I guess I'd be inclined to try to improve dungeon generation to the point where the player is frequently encountering unique combinations of enemies, terrain, traps, etc, rather than to just throw out a bunch of invisible surprises and hope that one triggers at an interesting time. Certainly the former approach involves fewer surprises though.

Perhaps we could have traps whose presence is obvious, but whose effect is not? If you step into a glowing red pool, you can guess that something bad will happen, but you won't know what it is. We can give traps flavors that the player can identify over time, so they can recognize the Vampiric Slime Pool in future encounters, but it'll still be an unknown in their first encounter. My worry then would be that players would not risk the pool simply because it is an unknown, though. It takes a lot of faith in the game developer for a player to willingly do something that they know is bad, but of an unknown scope.

Quote:
Also, can you explain what you mean by "stochastic." I think that word might have a very different implication for me than it does for you.
I may be misusing the term, but functionally I'm talking about random effects that you cannot predict except in aggregate. With hidden traps, you know that you're gonna hit some of them, but you can't predict when, let alone know what their effects will be in advance. Just randomly dicking with the player in the hopes that it creates an interesting scenario seems a very, uh, scattershot approach to game design.
Derakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 19, 2015, 00:49   #9
Nick
Vanilla maintainer
 
Nick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canberra, Australia
Age: 55
Posts: 8,546
Donated: $60
Nick will become famous soon enough
OK, good work everyone

My proposed system is pretty close to the OP, but I'll detail it anyway:
  • All traps are visible.
  • There is a chance of avoiding the effects of the trap, probably based largely on DEX but possibly also on the type of trap.
  • There is a disarming skill as now, with the chance of disarming being (always, or at least mostly) less than the chance of avoiding.
  • Magic disarm as it is goes completely, replaced by a safe passage spell. This could work on the traps (as a beam, probably?) or on the player. If on the traps it could be either duration based or "good for one use". This feels like a priest spell if on the player, a mage spell if on the traps.
  • In vaults, have trapped items, so picking up the item triggers the trap. This is not to say that all vault traps are on items, or all vault items are trapped.

A lot of this has been suggested already, and there are a bunch of detailed ideas that could fit in this framework - all Derakon's traps (and in particular the idea of traps with flavours you have to learn), Nomad's trap that spawns traps and other stuff, bio-hazard's spider webs and monster trap ideas, debo's trap that fires rockets (at least I assume that was what he suggested - I didn't read his post).

For a start distribution of traps would not need to change, but longer term some thought might be desirable.

A nice effect is that this system can be used to better flavour the rogue class. If rogues get perfect avoidance relatively early (and at least some other classes perhaps never), then rogues are much better at going in and looting vaults.

There's also the potential for certain characters (probably class-based) to have an advantage in disarming/avoiding/neutralising temporarily certain types of trap; and the question of whether or how much traps should affect monsters.
__________________
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
Nick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 19, 2015, 03:27   #10
fizzix
Prophet
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
@Derakon

I still don't agree. Angband is a game where functionally a player never has to take risks. This is why the "random dicking over of the player" as you put it is relevant.

I'll also note that "random dicking over of the player" is pretty much a given in roguelikes and it already exists at all levels of the game. Descend into a dark room of hounds? Randomly dicked over. Have your staff of Desctruction burned by an off screen fire vortex? Randomly dicked over. Have that stat potion crushed by an elemental in a vault? Randomly dicked over. Nexus stat swap? Randomly dicked over (and more like the hand of god crushing you than any trap.)

I'm not sure at all why we're trying to eliminate these things. We're playing a roguelike after all, presumably we want a challenge based off of random elements.
fizzix is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Interesting scroll names. Whelk Vanilla 11 December 1, 2017 01:08
that was kind of an interesting game... Grotug Vanilla 14 December 18, 2013 09:39
[3.4RC] There may not be much interesting here... PowerWyrm Vanilla 2 June 28, 2012 19:05
Artifact generation: some interesting stats PowerWyrm Vanilla 26 June 20, 2011 19:34
Interesting Randart activation fyonn Vanilla 6 February 2, 2011 20:48


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:18.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.