Traps after 0.13


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 18:16

Traps after 0.13

The traps and doors skill was removed in version 13. Good riddance.

But, although the skill was removed, traps remain in the game. In some places, they are simply set pieces, and by the time you could reasonably expect to find them, you can expect to be high enough level to detect them. For example, alarm traps in zot 5, traps in the ossuary, etc.

In other places, for example branch endings, depths, and zot, there are still randomly placed traps. These are almost always either teleportation or zot traps.
The issue is, without a skill to train, you have almost no control over whether you will detect these traps. If you are unlucky, autoexplore may well drop you onto a teleport or zot trap. If you are even more unlucky, those traps may put you into very bad situations, over which you had no control whatsoever.

So my suggestion is that those traps should always appear when you are adjacent to them, so they remain a tactical surprise you have to adjust to, but with no chance of autoexplore or just bad luck possibly getting you abyssed, or teleported into the orb chamber.

It used to be that if you stumbled into a zot trap, that was your fault, because you didn't train your traps skill enough. Now that the skill no longer exists, there is nothing I can do to make my character less likely to get screwed over by a couple of bad rolls.

By the way, this is extremely rare. Like I said, typically by the time you see zot traps, you'll generally detect them before you step into them. Early teleport traps typically aren't a big deal. But if a promising character gets abyssed out of a lair branch zot trap because I got unlucky while autoexploring, it still sucks.

For this message the author damiac has received thanks: 4
and into, coolio, duvessa, Shard1697

Spider Stomper

Posts: 216

Joined: Saturday, 25th December 2010, 20:02

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 18:26

Re: Traps after 0.13

Always detecting them would make certain vaults trivial that weren't meant to be. Would monsters get this detection too? Would it make Ash less useful as a God (I ask because I don't generally use Ash or even know if he's relevant)?

Perhaps some other compromise could be reached. You detect "something wrong" nearby, stopping autoexplore, if there is a trap within 2 tiles of you somewhere. With this, certain spells or Gods could increase that detect radius, or offer a more specific direction, but the trap itself isn't revealed.
The above post is for entertainment purposes only. If you think anything I ever say is backed by fact, or if you cite things I've said in any argument ever, you are insane.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 18:59

Re: Traps after 0.13

Maybe just guaranteeing detection of Zot traps and tele traps would be enough. The mechanical traps are now vault specific, so they should stay as is. Same with alarm traps I think.

As it is now, 99% of the time, I'd have to willingly step onto a zot trap to get harmed by it. 1% of the time, autoexplore steps on it for me. I just don't understand the point of zot traps anymore, except that they essentially take a square you thought you could use, and makes it usable for enemies only.

Do monsters actually hurt you with zot traps anymore? I've had monsters step on them in my LOS, but never gotten ill effects from that. If they do, and I was just lucky, then that's another way visible zot traps are still highly dangerous.

So my modified proposal is that all traps still start out invisible. All traps except zot and teleport function exactly as they do now. Zot and teleport traps are guaranteed to be revealed when adjacent, except perhaps special vault specific ones.

Why?
Because right now zot traps and late teleport traps come with a teeny tiny chance of screwing you over through no fault of your own. My proposal is to remove that <1% chance of a random screw, while leaving the rest of trap functionality the same.

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 19:15

Re: Traps after 0.13

I don't have a strong opinion on Zot traps one way or another (though pre-identifying them would make them pointless except for some very specific situations), but I think tele traps are fine. There is a very slim possibility that they can kill you without giving you a chance to survive, but I don't think that chance is very big.

Edit: also I am pretty sure the goal is to remove mechanical traps altogether, if some vaults have them they just weren't worked on yet.

For this message the author Sar has received thanks:
MIC132

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6394

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 19:18

Re: Traps after 0.13

Note that your "traps skill" when it was removed was simply set to be your experience level/3 most people stopped training traps around 6 or 7.

I personally like things as-is, having a chance of encountering an un-detected trap makes the game more interesting. Always detected traps would be boring.
Spoiler: show
This high quality signature has been hidden for your protection. To unlock it's secret, send 3 easy payments of $9.99 to me, by way of your nearest theta band or ley line. Complete your transmission by midnight tonight for a special free gift!

Slime Squisher

Posts: 354

Joined: Tuesday, 14th January 2014, 23:33

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 19:53

Re: Traps after 0.13

damiac wrote:It used to be that if you stumbled into a zot trap, that was your fault, because you didn't train your traps skill enough. Now that the skill no longer exists, there is nothing I can do to make my character less likely to get screwed over by a couple of bad rolls.

Training Traps skill was objectively a waste of XP in 100% of situations. Why do you think it was removed? The only exception was the relatively brief period where 8.6 traps skill would eliminate the possibility of stepping on unknown traps entirely, which if I understand correctly, is what this thread is proposing. Saying it is the player's own fault for not training a useless skill is silly because first of all even 27 skill did not prevent stepping on traps, and more importantly it is akin to saying it is the player's own fault for not wearing gold dragon armour on a deep elf wizard.

Because right now zot traps and late teleport traps come with a teeny tiny chance of screwing you over through no fault of your own.

That is precisely the purpose of traps in crawl and always has been.

It is worth noting that as long as traps exist in Crawl, optimal play will require the player to keep careful maps of every space on every level that he steps on, AND every space on every level that he sees a monster step on. While it may be generally impractical, it is exactly the reason the old scroll of amnesia was removed. Worse, on Zot:5 it's not only practical, it's something I highly recommend all players to do every time they go there. From the Philosophy section of the Crawl Manual: "Another basic design principle is avoidance of grinding (also known as scumming). These are activities that have low risk, take a lot of time, and bring some reward. This is bad for a game's design because it encourages players to bore themselves. Even worse, it may be optimal to do so." (slightly offtopic but a problem for the same reasons, one must step on every item and feature to ensure it isn't a mimic, which again, is highly recommended as actual practice in the case of stairs)

For this message the author TheDefiniteArticle has received thanks:
duvessa
User avatar

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 895

Joined: Saturday, 15th June 2013, 23:54

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 20:05

Re: Traps after 0.13

Traps have never affected me in 0.13. They may as well not be there.

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 21:55

Re: Traps after 0.13

What I take damiac to be saying is that traps can be made interesting tactically without having them randomly hurt you through autoexplore. It isn't fun when you hit o and suddenly wind up in the abyss for a long time. (Just had this happen to me, actually.)

I like damiac's proposal because I'd want to see more creativity around traps, and I think disconnecting traps from the trigger of having to step on them would be a move in the right direction. When you keep in that trigger, it means concealing information in weird ways that the player has no tactical *or* strategic (with T&D skill removal) control over, it means walking a thin line between what is and isn't spoilers when it comes to trap prevalence in certain recognizable vaults, and it means allowing bad interactions with autoexplore.

Certain ossuaries and vaults where you have tons of mechanical traps can stay I think. The sheer number of traps means that even when you see them, they are going to affect how (or whether) you can safely retreat. That's good. Freedom of movement is important in Crawl, and I think you could even make things like mechanical traps work in the dungeon if they spawned differently: Make them always generate in groups that are clustered around a certain area (with preference for doors, entrances to narrow hallways, etc). You are guaranteed to spot them when adjacent, but now they are substantial enough to actually impact lines of retreat and how you move.

So along similar lines I'd say just make teleport traps appear in corridors or in small clusters when not in corridors. You have a chance to spot them from far off (as currently) but a 100% chance to spot them when you are adjacent. Give same treatment to net traps. For teleport traps, ones associated with particular vaults can be "permanent," ones that generate randomly could disappear not too long after being spotted, so they won't end up blocking off areas for long periods and/or so they can't be abused by players intentionally.

Alarm traps could hit you with mark status even when an enemy passes through them (like Zot ones), and Zot traps can stay as they are.

A few quick ideas for late-game traps that could be created around a "trigger when spotted" mechanism: A trap that gives a 2-tile radius aura of slowness, or of silence, that triggers two turns after being spotted. A trap that either triggers a word of recall (like convokers), again two turns after being spotted, or casts shadow creatures twice then disappears. Fulminant prism traps. Etc. I think there's a lot of interesting things you could do with traps that trigger when spotted, so long as it is always beneficial that you spot them far off (which would happen randomly) versus seeing them when only adjacent.

For this message the author and into has received thanks: 2
damiac, Lasty

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 508

Joined: Tuesday, 1st November 2011, 00:36

Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 22:38

Re: Traps after 0.13

If you make it so that traps are autodetected it's still best to sweep all over the level scanning for them. I think traps should be always revealed, but designed to be interesting in spite of that (like alarm traps in an important corridor).

Halls Hopper

Posts: 57

Joined: Monday, 15th October 2012, 17:02

Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 03:03

Re: Traps after 0.13

How about Devs finally cave in and simply add meaningful traps? Obviously traps that simply damage the player are a snooze fest... but shaft traps have great flavor tactfulness, as well as tele. I think traps should be HARDER to detect than they are now... an included in more strategic locations.

Blades Runner

Posts: 546

Joined: Saturday, 7th May 2011, 02:43

Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 05:32

Re: Traps after 0.13

King_jelly wrote:How about Devs finally cave in and simply add meaningful traps? Obviously traps that simply damage the player are a snooze fest... but shaft traps have great flavor tactfulness, as well as tele. I think traps should be HARDER to detect than they are now... an included in more strategic locations.


The hard part is not the adding, but arriving at a good design.

That said, I agree with your general sentiment. 'tidal wave' or 'tornado' could be interesting traps. A few Xom/Nemelex effects (eg. vitrification) could make interesting traps. We should think of what the player wants tactically, and design traps to deny them those things (but not absolutely). A stealth character wants to not be seen, so vitrification would make things hairy. A melee character wants to close with the enemy, a dispersal effect would challenge that. A mage wants to maintain distance, tidal wave or tornado could deny that.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 15:09

Re: Traps after 0.13

King_jelly wrote:How about Devs finally cave in and simply add meaningful traps?

How about you come up with a great design? Also, we did. In the last few versions, cloud traps were added (although, they have been disappointing) and pressure plates too (better).
We've almost completely removed the meaningless ones and kept the interesting ones (the ones you mentioned). Adding new good traps isn't a priority, but if we get good contributions, they'll be considered. However, designing good traps for crawl is actually pretty hard.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Dungeon Master

Posts: 634

Joined: Sunday, 22nd September 2013, 14:46

Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 15:15

Re: Traps after 0.13

Cloud traps?

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 15:19

Re: Traps after 0.13

Step on a tile, receive a freezing cloud. Or miasma cloud. Or, I guess, some other cloud.
I didn't like them much.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 17:53

Re: Traps after 0.13

and into wrote:What I take damiac to be saying is that traps can be made interesting tactically without having them randomly hurt you through autoexplore. It isn't fun when you hit o and suddenly wind up in the abyss for a long time. (Just had this happen to me, actually.)

I like damiac's proposal because I'd want to see more creativity around traps, and I think disconnecting traps from the trigger of having to step on them would be a move in the right direction. When you keep in that trigger, it means concealing information in weird ways that the player has no tactical *or* strategic (with T&D skill removal) control over, it means walking a thin line between what is and isn't spoilers when it comes to trap prevalence in certain recognizable vaults, and it means allowing bad interactions with autoexplore.

Certain ossuaries and vaults where you have tons of mechanical traps can stay I think. The sheer number of traps means that even when you see them, they are going to affect how (or whether) you can safely retreat. That's good. Freedom of movement is important in Crawl, and I think you could even make things like mechanical traps work in the dungeon if they spawned differently: Make them always generate in groups that are clustered around a certain area (with preference for doors, entrances to narrow hallways, etc). You are guaranteed to spot them when adjacent, but now they are substantial enough to actually impact lines of retreat and how you move.

So along similar lines I'd say just make teleport traps appear in corridors or in small clusters when not in corridors. You have a chance to spot them from far off (as currently) but a 100% chance to spot them when you are adjacent. Give same treatment to net traps. For teleport traps, ones associated with particular vaults can be "permanent," ones that generate randomly could disappear not too long after being spotted, so they won't end up blocking off areas for long periods and/or so they can't be abused by players intentionally.

Alarm traps could hit you with mark status even when an enemy passes through them (like Zot ones), and Zot traps can stay as they are.

A few quick ideas for late-game traps that could be created around a "trigger when spotted" mechanism: A trap that gives a 2-tile radius aura of slowness, or of silence, that triggers two turns after being spotted. A trap that either triggers a word of recall (like convokers), again two turns after being spotted, or casts shadow creatures twice then disappears. Fulminant prism traps. Etc. I think there's a lot of interesting things you could do with traps that trigger when spotted, so long as it is always beneficial that you spot them far off (which would happen randomly) versus seeing them when only adjacent.



Yes. This seems to be a cleaner version of what I am saying. I completely agree with this.

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 17:58

Re: Traps after 0.13

@sar: You can also get chaos clouds and be abyssed if you don't blink out, hooray!

Slime Squisher

Posts: 411

Joined: Saturday, 9th March 2013, 14:22

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 19:00

Re: Traps after 0.13

but is it really good for the game to remove everything that has a slight chanche of putting your character in unexpected dangers? that would turn the game into a mathematical equation and nothing else.

you see lots of posts: let's remove uninteresting uniques, let's remove/neuter traps, let's remove X bad mutation, let's make all stuff identify easily, let's remove poison deaths... it would make for a really fair game but also a very dull one. imho having a slight chanche of having your character 1shot during autoexplore isn't a big deal, you lost a character you got a story you'll tell everyone instaed.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 57

Joined: Monday, 15th October 2012, 17:02

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 19:40

Re: Traps after 0.13

Shiren The Wanderer, one of the best RL's had good trap design, I suggested basing some off those but of course everyone flipped a shit.

For this message the author King_jelly has received thanks:
Klown

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 19:43

Re: Traps after 0.13

Well I remember you suggested traps that corrode the shit out of your equipment and everybody already loves jellies, brown uglies and yellow dracs.

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 19:57

Re: Traps after 0.13

Chaos clouds do that as well, hooray!

Halls Hopper

Posts: 57

Joined: Monday, 15th October 2012, 17:02

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 20:00

Re: Traps after 0.13

Sar wrote:Well I remember you suggested traps that corrode the shit out of your equipment and everybody already loves jellies, brown uglies and yellow dracs.


There was more than that. Look up the traps in Shiren. They're pretty interesting and offer a lot of interesting situations.

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 20:00

Re: Traps after 0.13

They do? They corrode equipment? Yay!

Halls Hopper

Posts: 57

Joined: Monday, 15th October 2012, 17:02

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 20:10

Re: Traps after 0.13

Sar wrote:They do? They corrode equipment? Yay!


Oh boy, that's what ALL the traps in Shiren do?!?!? WOW!

This is why no one likes this community.

http://shiren.wikifoundry.com/page/Traps

Lazy.

Obviously some of these wont work in crawl but some are interesting.

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 20:19

Re: Traps after 0.13

I was replying to dck, I should've made that more clear.

For this message the author Sar has received thanks:
King_jelly

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 20:24

Re: Traps after 0.13

Serious q. for devs: What would be the best way to experiment with new trap types? Introduce them in certain vaults and portal vaults to spice things up? Or make a whole new experimental patch that adds them in? How difficult would it be to code new traps like the ones I described in the last paragraph of my previous post?

There is definitely new areas for Crawl to explore here. I mean, the change to Manticores seems pretty interesting (based on my last play through of Shoals); had that not been added to the 'cores, it probably could have worked as a trap—that's a mechanical trap that could have potentially been interesting. (Of course now that it is on manticores I wouldn't recommend putting it in as traps as well, but it is a recent addition that I could see having worked as a trap.)

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 20:34

Re: Traps after 0.13

It's not very creative but the same idea as manticores but with MP instead of HP would work. Trading off MP for positioning more explicitly sounds like an interesting decision. A trap that casts rain might also work.

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 22:56

Re: Traps after 0.13

@King_jelly: So OK, I read the list of Shiren traps, and pretty much all the interesting ones exist in Crawl: alarm traps, tele traps (spring trap), shaft traps (pitfall), and Zot trap Shadow Creatures (summon trap). Other Shiren traps do damage (boring in Crawl for reasons mentioned countless times), fuck with your equipment (eugh) or satiation, or do things that would not be interesting outside of combat (reposition you, confuse etc). Feel free to point out if I missed something.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Friday, 31st January 2014, 23:43

Re: Traps after 0.13

and into wrote:Serious q. for devs: What would be the best way to experiment with new trap types? Introduce them in certain vaults and portal vaults to spice things up? Or make a whole new experimental patch that adds them in? How difficult would it be to code new traps like the ones I described in the last paragraph of my previous post?

There is definitely new areas for Crawl to explore here. I mean, the change to Manticores seems pretty interesting (based on my last play through of Shoals); had that not been added to the 'cores, it probably could have worked as a trap—that's a mechanical trap that could have potentially been interesting. (Of course now that it is on manticores I wouldn't recommend putting it in as traps as well, but it is a recent addition that I could see having worked as a trap.)

Putting custom ones in vaults sounds like a good idea to experiment new traps. If you randomly put them in the dungeon, they often trigger without any monster around which makes all the tactical ones pointless. That's why it's more interesting to introduce new mechanisms (like manticore's spike) as monster spell or ability.
In a vault, using pressure plates and lua, you can be creative.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Dis Charger

Posts: 2064

Joined: Wednesday, 9th January 2013, 19:44

Post Tuesday, 4th February 2014, 08:11

Re: Traps after 0.13

Got sent to Abyss today from Lair:8... A rare situation, though.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Tuesday, 4th February 2014, 18:01

Re: Traps after 0.13

If autoexplore randomly kills off 1 out of 1,000,000,000 characters, then that's 1 too many. I don't care if the fact that my promising character just died or got abyssed completely out of my control was extremely rare, or extremely common. I played well, then the game rolled a die and said "Oh, sorry, it came up on the extremely unlikely You Lose".

And I don't think anyone will be interested in that story. A promising character killed by a bad dice roll is a boring story. What they'll take away is "Oh, that game sounds stupid". Having a game with permadeath kill you at random is bad, even if it's insanely unlikely. And crawl isn't about random deaths out of the players control, so where situations exist where that could happen, they should be fixed.
User avatar

Pandemonium Purger

Posts: 1319

Joined: Monday, 24th October 2011, 06:13

Post Tuesday, 4th February 2014, 18:49

Re: Traps after 0.13

I know this isn't an abyss thread, but the abyss is constantly tied to autoexplore maladies. It has been suggested before: make monster abyssing a multi turn spell and one less complaint about this game will exist.
seattle washington. friends for life. mods hate on me and devs ignore my posts. creater of exoelfs and dc:pt

For this message the author twelwe has received thanks:
Kismet

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1217

Joined: Sunday, 14th April 2013, 04:01

Post Tuesday, 4th February 2014, 20:01

Re: Traps after 0.13

The best form of Trap in crawl really is the set of statues and oklobs. They zone you, they require you do behave differently positioning wise, but they can be dealt with.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Tuesday, 4th February 2014, 20:23

Re: Traps after 0.13

Those are not traps, those are immobile enemies.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 508

Joined: Tuesday, 1st November 2011, 00:36

Post Wednesday, 5th February 2014, 01:06

Re: Traps after 0.13

I think most of the Zot trap effects are bad - they just randomly screw you over, giving you literally no chance to do anything about them.

One trap effect which I think is ok, though: making monsters appear around you, like the spider basket. That creates a potentially interesting tactical situation that a good player otherwise does not face very often, and gives you a chance to respond to what the trap does. Maybe "ambush traps" could be a thing (monsters wouldn't trigger them).

e1: Actually, other trap types (say, debuffs that are not paralysis) could be ok if they're combined with an ambush. That would remove the "they are boring out of combat" part, because triggering the trap would put you into combat.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1217

Joined: Sunday, 14th April 2013, 04:01

Post Wednesday, 5th February 2014, 18:15

Re: Traps after 0.13

Sar wrote:Those are not traps, those are immobile enemies.


My point exactly. They have the benefits of traps (zoning, interesting effects) but without the unfair factor. Archery statue is basically an arrow trap, but far more interesting.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Wednesday, 5th February 2014, 18:45

Re: Traps after 0.13

They don't have interesting effects, though. They damage you or your equipment.
Tele/shaft/alarm traps do have interesting effects while being traps and not enemies.

For this message the author Sar has received thanks:
duvessa

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.