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Old November 18, 2010, 20:24   #1
fizzix
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Return of junk

This was on d_m's list of desired changes in generate, and it's been banging around in the back of my head for a while as well.

Here's the idea: certain monsters will generate specific junk around them that will give indications of what monsters are lurking around. This leads to a more interesting dungeon and a more organic method of determining danger instead of the current detection/ESP combo.

Method ideas:
The idea I had was to create a large amount of junk items. Every junk item will have a JUNK flag along with more specific indications of what can drop it. For example broken arrows might have:
F: JUNK | JUNK_AMMO

a corresponding junk flag would appear on monsters that could drop this item, e.g. kobold archers, uruks, novice rangers etc.

When the game attempts to place a monster with the junk flag, it will generate something like 3d4 junk items (or 1 if the monster has the friends tag) scattered within some reasonable range of the monster. This will not occur for spawned monsters, summoned monsters, pits, nests or vaults.

At first guess I'm thinking of keeping the junk flags specific for the items and general for monsters. For example an uruk might have the flags.

F:JUNK | JUNK_AMMO | JUNK_ARMOR | JUNK_EDGED

How will it help?
I would like junk to help with recognizing threats up to about nexus hound depth. If it works, we can see about extending it out to the next group of threats, Gravity hounds, time hounds, time vortexes, ethereal dragons etc.

Of course the difficult will be getting the right amount of junk. Enough that you have a good chance of coming across the junk (w/o detection) before coming across the monster. However, there can't be too much so that you get fed up and squelch everything immediately. This will take some trial to get right (if it's possible at all!)

ideas for junk by flag
JUNK_ARMOR
includes: broken helmets, broken shields, filthy rags
dropped by: most humans, orcs, trolls, kobolds

JUNK_AMMO
includes: broken arrows
dropped by: anything that fires missiles

JUNK_EDGED
includes: broken daggers, broken swords
dropped by: some humans, kobolds, orcs

JUNK_BLUNT
includes: broken clubs, broken maces
dropped by: priests, orcs, yeeks?

JUNK_MAGIC
includes: broken wands, broken staves, broken rods
dropped by: shamans, magical humans

JUNK_FLASK
includes: empty flasks
dropped by: humans

JUNK_BONE
includes: animal bone, human bone, skeleton
dropped by: spider groups, animal groups

JUNK_FIRE
includes: charred remains, burnt books
dropped by: fire monsters

JUNK_COLD
includes: frozen corpses
dropped by: cold monsters

JUNK_ELEC
includes: melted jewelry
dropped by: elec monsters

JUNK_ACID
includes: melted armor, melted sword
dropped by: acid monsters

JUNK_POIS
includes: poisoned rats, poisoned corpses
dropped by: poison monsters (spec air hounds, drolems, AGD, AMHD, G. Bslsks, winged horrors)

JUNK_NEXUS
includes: disfigured corpses
dropped by: nexus breathers

JUNK_SHARD
includes: glass shards, pottery shards
dropped by: sound, shard, force monsters

JUNK_DRY
includes: desiccated corpses, desiccated rats
dropped by: melee paralyzers

JUNK_NETH
includes: I'll come up with something
dropped by: reasonably powerful undead.
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Old November 18, 2010, 20:35   #2
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I don't think encoding these as actual items is the way to go. It'll just add a lot of clutter. Better would be some form of flavor text like Unangband has -- when you step on a floor that the game has decided has a junk item on it, you get a flavor message e.g. "you see many broken arrows here".
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Old November 18, 2010, 22:55   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I don't think encoding these as actual items is the way to go. It'll just add a lot of clutter. Better would be some form of flavor text like Unangband has -- when you step on a floor that the game has decided has a junk item on it, you get a flavor message e.g. "you see many broken arrows here".
I've thought about this and rejected it for the following reasons (caveat, i'm not familiar with the Un system).

Squelch eliminates any clutter problems.
Messages are much more burdensome than items. You either set them to ignore, in which case they're useless, or you get stopped way too often.
There would need to be an entirely new interface to squelch individual messages for this to work, which is UI clutter (much worse than item clutter)

The alternate method would be to make a whole bunch more terrain features, like burnt floors.
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Old November 18, 2010, 22:59   #4
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Squelch eliminates clutter, but also the items. If these items are tactically useful, then your options are either to squelch them, not be bothered by the clutter, and not get the tactical info, or not squelch them, have the tactical info, and also have to deal with the clutter.

I'll grant that Un's flavor text can be a bit intrusive sometimes, but usually it isn't a big issue.
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Old November 19, 2010, 00:38   #5
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What about a scent status block somewhere. There are three useless lines above level and the AU line is useless outside of town. Give each monster an odor based on max HP and fade from there. Let the player detect the top three or four odors at his location that top some threshold possibly based on his perception stat.

Scent should diffuse through doors and spread far enough that a large group of hounds or a jelly nest should be easy to detect. If color indicated the degree of scent it would be possible to judge direction by moving around and seeing where it changed, but a densely populated dungeon level would make that difficult with only the top four scents displayed.

Smoke (fire creatures)
Chill (cold creatures)
Bitter (acid creatures)
Ozone (electric creatures)
Noxious (poisonous creatures)
Decay (undead and nether monsters)
Corruption (demons and chaos monsters)
Dragon (said in The Hobbit to have a distinctive and overpowering odor)
Filth (unclean humanoids)
Animal
Sweat (humans and "civilized" humanoids)
Mold (and jellies and Qthingies)
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Old November 19, 2010, 01:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I'll grant that Un's flavor text can be a bit intrusive sometimes, but usually it isn't a big issue.
I think my opinion is that items on the floor are less annoying than messages. Furthermore, they become much easier to turn off. At some point you stop caring about orcs, trolls, etc. So you can squelch all the broken armor and weapons. However, you still want to know if nexus or acid hounds are nearby, so you leave the melted stuff on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atarlost
What about a scent status block somewhere. There are three useless lines above level and the AU line is useless outside of town. Give each monster an odor based on max HP and fade from there. Let the player detect the top three or four odors at his location that top some threshold possibly based on his perception stat.
this isn't a bad idea. I'll poke around and see how hard it would be to implement and how slow it is (i think it will depend on pathfinding algorithms)
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Old November 19, 2010, 01:59   #7
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For what it's worth, I think the odor idea is good but is more related to the discussions about making ESP more varied (by type and range) and less related to whether to include dungeon feature hints (whether terrain or junk related).
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Old November 19, 2010, 03:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
The alternate method would be to make a whole bunch more terrain features, like burnt floors.
^^ this. you can have floors get burnt after fire breaths, too.
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Old November 19, 2010, 03:28   #9
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Just so long as you don't go down ToME 2's route of having fire attacks of any strength have a chance of creating lava floors (and ice attacks of creating icy floors, which is definitely worse as ice breaks potions, gives cuts, and prevents accurate movement).
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Old November 19, 2010, 04:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
^^ this. you can have floors get burnt after fire breaths, too.
I thought about this approach a while back also. Let's flesh it out a bit more and see what it would look like. No terrain features will affect game play in any way.

Every breather would affect some floors in its vicinity on creation during dungeon generation. The effects would be noticeable by different colored dots. (note: these would make vents be mimics if they ever make it into V, not necessarily a bad thing) Colors would be.

dark red - fire
bright red - plasma
blue - elec
light blue - cold
gray (color of not currently lit floor) - acid
dark green - pois
light green - nether
purple - nexus
perma-lit - light
black - dark
umber - refuse (from humans)
dark brown - refuse (from animals)
(sound, shards, gravity, time? do we want these?)

Additionally we could have breathers change the floor color under their breath (solely for cosmetic reasons). Or give them a chance to change the floor every turn they spend on it. (useful since hounds flee out of corridors into rooms.)

Having too many floors colored makes it difficult to see what is lit and what isn't. As I remember this is the major drawback to this approach.

Alternatively, you can combine colors and change them if they are lit. This may look like:

Dark red - fire, plasma (light red when lit)
dark blue - elec, ice (light blue when lit)
dark green - pois, nether (light green when lit)
dark brown - refuse, animal and human (light brown when lit)
black - acid, dark (gray when lit)
purple - nexus (??? when lit...if only there was a pink)

You should be able to distinguish between the two by looking at the square, so there may need to be some playing around with the look command.

I'm kind of inclined to make gravity hounds drop rubble, but that goes against the whole not changing gameplay thing. I do like the 'are there gravity hounds behind this rubble pile' feeling though.
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