Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)


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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 19:00

Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Shafts aren't really dangerous except for like d:1 and d:2 ones which are vanishingly rare...

The main problem with shafts is that they are traps so they suffer from the same problems as all other traps; it's optimal to keep track of which squares have been stepped on, and step on as few squares as possible that monsters haven't stepped on first. Traps should really be removed and shafting should be a spell instead.

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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 19:07

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

Alternately, monsters and the player could sometime avoid unseen traps, and also not detect them (removing the optimal ness by removing the safety of already stepped on tiles)
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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 19:55

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

Siegurt wrote:Alternately, monsters and the player could sometime avoid unseen traps, and also not detect them (removing the optimal ness by removing the safety of already stepped on tiles)

I would still be optimal to step only on tiles you have already stepped on because those tiles would be less likely to be trapped.

I think a better solution would be to make movement give a very small chance of shafting you on shafted elegible level whenever you move (so you don't get shafted while resting). This way keeping track of the tiles you have stepped on doesn't help at all.
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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 20:14

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

WingedEspeon wrote:I think a better solution would be to make movement give a very small chance of shafting you on shafted elegible level whenever you move (so you don't get shafted while resting). This way keeping track of the tiles you have stepped on doesn't help at all.

This should be applied to all traps, and I think I proposed something like that a while ago. Also, the probability of a trap/shaft triggering should depend on dungeon level and experience level, so that when you progress in the game you won't be affected by traps when you travel the earlier already cleared levels.
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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 20:28

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

duvessa wrote:it's optimal to keep track of which squares have been stepped on, and step on as few squares as possible that monsters haven't stepped on first.


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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 23:31

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

If you want to keep traps and get rid of the keep-track-of-which-tiles-were-stepped-on behaviour, there is a very simple way to do it with very few side effects. Make traps trigger when their square comes into the player's LOS, not just when they are stepped on. Now avoiding traps requires not exploring squares that could have items, so it's no longer optimal to do. You will need to remove vault-placed traps (why are there vaults placing traps in the first place??? that's like the most blatantly spoiler-reliant thing you could possibly do in a vault!) but nothing else would need to change.

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Post Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 23:55

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

But shaft traps are fun to drag monsters over.
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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 03:07

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

duvessa wrote:If you want to keep traps and get rid of the keep-track-of-which-tiles-were-stepped-on behaviour, there is a very simple way to do it with very few side effects. Make traps trigger when their square comes into the player's LOS, not just when they are stepped on. Now avoiding traps requires not exploring squares that could have items, so it's no longer optimal to do.

This seems like a good idea. And when the trap triggers, the game can place the trap where you're standing so it doesn't look like you fall down a shaft from like 20 yards away.

The biggest complication is explaining this to people, so they don't think keeping track of stepped-on tiles could work. And as you mention, vault traps would need to change.
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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 14:54

Re: Shafts need to be reworked.

njvack wrote:
duvessa wrote:If you want to keep traps and get rid of the ke....

This seems like a good idea. And when the trap triggers, the game can place the trap where you're standing so it doesn't look like you fall down a shaft from like 20 yards away.
...


This produces the odd effect where steps that uncover the most unexplored squares are more likely to produce a trap (teleporting to a new area has abnormally high chance of trap?), or if that's compensated for, uncovering the most squares per turn reduces the total number of traps you'll encounter.

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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 15:50

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Whats odd about it? Isnt that the purpose of traps? Cant we just replace shaftes with spear traps? Its not even trying to be subtle at this point.
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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 17:36

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

I don't think it's big problem that uncovering 5 new squares is 5 times more likely to spawn a shaft under you, just odd and maybe spoilery. An alarm trap being spawned in place during level creation and setting off for entering your LOS then being shown as a spent trap at it's location is a much better system( but make little sense with a shaft until you hand wave a magic reason).

An alternate suggestion would be to spawn traps exclusively under items
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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 21:10

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

duvessa wrote:Make traps trigger when their square comes into the player's LOS

Note that this would mean that if you were on a partially cleared level and wanted to go upstairs for whatever reason, it would be optimal to take a route which would not reveal any new squares. Of course it can be argued that this is already the case (maybe a nasty unique is hiding somewhere). But now the situation would be more dangerous: in addition to the risk of being spotted by an enemy you would also risk getting shafted/trapped while you're trying to escape with low health, if you reveal new squares.
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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 22:30

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Sprucery wrote:
duvessa wrote:Make traps trigger when their square comes into the player's LOS

Note that this would mean that if you were on a partially cleared level and wanted to go upstairs for whatever reason, it would be optimal to take a route which would not reveal any new squares. Of course it can be argued that this is already the case (maybe a nasty unique is hiding somewhere). But now the situation would be more dangerous: in addition to the risk of being spotted by an enemy you would also risk getting shafted/trapped while you're trying to escape with low health, if you reveal new squares.

Note that if you're revealing new tiles, you necessarily step onto tiles that haven't been stepped on before, barring LOS-reducing effects, and risk getting shafted/trapped in the current trap system too.

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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 22:38

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Also for example digging, disintegration, LRD and Shatter change the dungeon layout so that you may reveal a new square without stepping on an unstepped square.
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Post Wednesday, 20th January 2016, 23:44

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

@sprucery you mean, if you want to go BACK to the stairs (probably to safely rest) you WILL take the pathway from which you came not only for the sake of traps but also other creatures that can be lurking around.
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Post Thursday, 21st January 2016, 01:49

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

I had a run in with Shafts later in the game I barely survived. V:2 -> V:4 (next to Xtahua); ran away and fell to V:5 while running.
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Post Thursday, 21st January 2016, 02:33

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

duvessa wrote:Traps should really be removed and shafting should be a spell instead.

Give shafting to one of the boring early D uniques and then replace wyverns or hippogriffs or some other boring speed 10 jerk with a shafting monster.

Replace some Orc Wizard weight with Orc Warpers, or just give some Orc Wizard spellbooks tele other.

Mechanical traps can just go away, since they're already monsters that just happen to be inside the floor.

I don't really care about zot traps; you could do hell effects in rune floors and in zot, but that seems like a ridiculous buff for an effect to replace a trap I haven't seen go off in ages.

Then I nominate duvessa to fix/remove all the vaults that don't work without traps.

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Post Thursday, 21st January 2016, 07:01

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

dynast wrote:@sprucery you mean, if you want to go BACK to the stairs (probably to safely rest) you WILL take the pathway from which you came not only for the sake of traps but also other creatures that can be lurking around.

Unless I'm at full health and just want to go back to shop or pick up a spell or a piece of equipment. But of course in most cases not revealing new tiles equals not stepping on unstepped squares.

However, I wouldn't like to be affected by a trap/shaft after zapping a wand of digging / disintegration or casting LRD or Shatter. And could you be then affected by several traps at the same time, if several came to view at once? How about chain-shafting from D:2 to D:15?
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Post Thursday, 21st January 2016, 12:28

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

I am not saying i agree with those traps, in fact, i want traps to be removed because they dont add anything to the game, i just meant that you wont be revealing new tiles on your way back to a already explored place. If traps triggering on sight was a thing then shafts would have to be removed because there would be no way to fully explore a floor without falling into one.
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Post Thursday, 11th February 2016, 08:37

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

I was thinking about the trap issue the other day and came up with the idea of making traps take effect with a delay, but the consequences would be much more severe.

The simplest would be Indiana Jones style Boulder release. Get out of the way fast or get crushed. (No instadeath of course) There already is the mini vault with a bait item and boulder beetle spawns, that works kinda like this.

Also Indiana Jones style celing crush could work. Get out of the room fast or be crushed.

Giant bomb trap: When you set off a pressure plate or trip wire, a fuse starts running. You can choose to try and out run the fuse to the bomb to disarm it or run away to get out of the blast. The blast should be HUGE, breaking up walls, causing noice and perhaps shafts, earth elementals and clouds.

Lugonu trap: Step on it and it starts to corrupt the floor. Add a way to stop the corruption from spreading, by destroing an object or something. If left un checked, this would cause a "hostile" Lugonu corruption on the spot.

Water trap: Fills the floor with shallow water either instantly or spreading from one point outwards. Perhaps it spawns rainclouds that do the job. Can be good, bad or meh. Anyways not instantly deadly, but something you need to handle the best you can.

This would make traps force you to make quick decisions on your next moves. You can choose to ignore them if you know you can handle the consequences. If not, then you should do all you can to either stop the trap or run. You could even intentionally set of a trap in order to deal with other threaths.

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Post Thursday, 11th February 2016, 17:00

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

MrRokkomies wrote:I was thinking about the trap issue the other day and came up with the idea of making traps take effect with a delay, but the consequences would be much more severe.

The simplest would be Indiana Jones style Boulder release. Get out of the way fast or get crushed. (No instadeath of course) There already is the mini vault with a bait item and boulder beetle spawns, that works kinda like this.

Also Indiana Jones style celing crush could work. Get out of the room fast or be crushed.

Giant bomb trap: When you set off a pressure plate or trip wire, a fuse starts running. You can choose to try and out run the fuse to the bomb to disarm it or run away to get out of the blast. The blast should be HUGE, breaking up walls, causing noice and perhaps shafts, earth elementals and clouds.

Lugonu trap: Step on it and it starts to corrupt the floor. Add a way to stop the corruption from spreading, by destroing an object or something. If left un checked, this would cause a "hostile" Lugonu corruption on the spot.

Water trap: Fills the floor with shallow water either instantly or spreading from one point outwards. Perhaps it spawns rainclouds that do the job. Can be good, bad or meh. Anyways not instantly deadly, but something you need to handle the best you can.

This would make traps force you to make quick decisions on your next moves. You can choose to ignore them if you know you can handle the consequences. If not, then you should do all you can to either stop the trap or run. You could even intentionally set of a trap in order to deal with other threaths.


I am stunned at how infinitely better that is compared to current traps which are like forced instant russian roulette for the crime of RNG auto explore making you step on wrong square.

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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 07:25

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Trap detection is an other issue... You could make it work with an actual visual clue, like a slight color flaw on a tile or a "hard" to spot icon on a tile. How this would work on console I have no idea. Then there is the auto explore issue. How it should treat traps? Perhaps it would move around them automatically, without notifying the player, unless it is a one tile corridor. Then it would stop right next to it and notify the player with "You spot a tripwire across the path" etc.

Some traps might be obvious and easy to spot, but with risk reward mechanics, like bait items. (Perhaps these are already in game, known as vaults. :P)

It would be up to the player to spot the traps, but no ingame skill would be required. There could be ways to better highlight traps, so they wold stand out clearer from the surroundings.
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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 09:16

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

MrRokkomies wrote:Trap detection is an other issue... You could make it work with an actual visual clue, like a slight color flaw on a tile or a "hard" to spot icon on a tile.

Sorry but this seems like a terrible idea. I definitely don't want to scan the screen for traps myself.
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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 10:18

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Sprucery wrote:
MrRokkomies wrote:Trap detection is an other issue... You could make it work with an actual visual clue, like a slight color flaw on a tile or a "hard" to spot icon on a tile.

Sorry but this seems like a terrible idea. I definitely don't want to scan the screen for traps myself.


I know, me neither... But it would still make traps more interesting than they are now. Now they are pretty much always deteced and avoided, or make no difference what so ever if stepped on. Either you are screwed without a chance to save you'r self or you just rest it off.

One option would be to make detection under normal conditions impossible, so that the player has no point worrying about them before they are sprung. Or make it possible to detect them if you suspect them, but you should otherwise not worry too much about them. If you have time to react to them, it's not so bad to set them off if you did not pay attention.
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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 11:39

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Or... we could have a skill which would help detect traps and possibly reduce their effects!
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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 13:34

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Making the undetected-trap tile different from regular floor makes all traps completely trivial to identify in console (you can adjust floor glyph at will, after all), and the devs are strongly opposed to giving out strictly more information in console than in tiles or vice-versa, so this suggestion does not work. It would be identical to pre-identified traps, except presumably it would be way worse for autoexplore and autotravel.

(Just so no one jumps on me, yes, there is information that is more difficult to access in console than in tiles (such as what weapon a monster is wielding), but you receive exactly the same information in total.)

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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 16:52

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

MrRokkomies wrote:You could make it work with an actual visual clue, like a slight color flaw on a tile or a "hard" to spot icon on a tile.

I hate to be blunt, but nothing remotely like this will never happen as long as I have anything to say about it. I absolutely despise games that do this, and it's completely inexcusable in a turn-based game where you could theoretically take the time to squint closely at every single square you ever see the entire game.

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Post Friday, 12th February 2016, 23:41

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Can we just have a good old "remove without replacement" with discovered traps? I feel like the only function they serve at this point is randomly trolling you on D:1-7 or blocking the halls in Z:5. I think you can still get shafted on later floors, but it seems to never happen - it might be that it's not noticeable because the danger increase after getting shafted is small outside of early game in most cases. Is it so important to have these two things in order to retain traps?
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Post Saturday, 13th February 2016, 21:54

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Shafts aren't that bad ... but MrRokkomies' ideas are better. So reduce the number, have both.

The whole thing about never stepping on the same square seems a bit overwrought to me. The traps just aren't that bad, except on the first couple of levels when they drop you down 3 levels at a go. Even then, well... at least you didn't invest much time in that character. If you're really nervous, you can watch out yourself. Or maybe the developers can put a less-bright set of little yellow footsteps on every tile you ever walked on, and then you can set a "coward mode" on your explore/move so you don't leave those ... but I can't picture it being worth it.

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Post Sunday, 14th February 2016, 07:02

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Being able to track tiles you've stepped on is bad.
But I completely disagree that shaft traps are not dangerous or boring. Considering that no one actually tracks tiles they've stepped on to a significant degree, but everyone does fall into shaft traps, I think it would be a clear loss to remove shaft traps. If even a few people were seriously tracking tiles I would agree that a change is needed.

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Post Sunday, 14th February 2016, 10:14

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

duvessa wrote:Shafts aren't really dangerous except for like d:1 and d:2 ones which are vanishingly rare...

The main problem with shafts is that they are traps so they suffer from the same problems as all other traps; it's optimal to keep track of which squares have been stepped on, and step on as few squares as possible that monsters haven't stepped on first. Traps should really be removed and shafting should be a spell instead.


I agree with the removal of shafts entirely. Don't see the point of having a create shafts spell. It really depends on what kind of a game the devs are trying to make: if they want an unfair "instantly screw you over" kind of game, then shafts are a good way to have a fresh and undergeared player fall 2 floors down and get destroyed almost immediately by a roaming band of whatevers.

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Post Sunday, 14th February 2016, 16:40

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

Remove shaft traps from D:1-3 (you could argue further too - perhaps start shaft traps at D:7). Past the very early game, noone is going to track squares. This solves both problems with unfairness (RNG decided to drop you from D:1 to D:3 without any items and 10 max hp) as well as tedious optimal behaviour (no need to to track squares when a shaft can be handled with consumables if it does happen).

Also a shaft spell isn't a bad idea. It beats confusion, paralysis and banishment at least.

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Post Sunday, 14th February 2016, 16:51

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

I have literally died to not tracking which spaces I stepped on. It is by far the most frustrating death I have ever had in crawl, because it was trivially avoidable, but of course the steps necessary to avoid it would be awful. This is much worse than just randomly dying to unavoidable bad luck, in my opinion.

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This could easily have been a zot trap and killed me in versions without mechanical traps.

So no, removing shafts from early game does not at all remove the problems with traps.

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Post Sunday, 14th February 2016, 19:45

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

You would keep track of tiles you've stepped on if the trap density was high. Around the Spider:4 rune vault, I often try stepping on all the squares where I don't see a web, in case there's a web there, because the space is so small and so full of webs and I want to know my retreat path.

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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 05:52

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

The way I see it, traps have two conceivable purposes in the game: 1. To put the player into unexpected and unanticipated situations, and 2. To be terrain that has tactical significance. Traps do not need to be hidden to serve purpose 2, and I think if traps were intended to serve purpose 2 they are failing spectacularly and need to be reworked. So clearly, 1 is the current purpose of traps. It puts the player into unexpected and unanticipated challenging situations. I think this is a nice goal. It makes the game more interesting, and potentially more challenging in a good way, if the game sometimes forces challenges on you that you were't expecting.

The problem is simple: traps don't feel fair. It doesn't necessarily even matter if they are fair on paper: they tend to feel frustrating, as the numerous complaints about them indicate. And frustration tends to make the game less fun. In general, I think an essential quality of Roguelikes in general, and DCSS is definitely included, is that you learn a lesson from every death. Ideally, you feel like every death, or at least the vast majority of your deaths, were your fault, and that by improving your play you can avoid such deaths in the future. It's a fundamental part of what makes games where mistakes can erase hours of progress enjoyable games: the sense that, while the character you spent hours on is dead, the knowledge you've learned and can apply to your next character is its own form of progress.

And stepping on a trap randomly, that you had no way to avoid whatsoever, does not go well with that goal. Sure, plenty of times, there *was* something you could have done to survive after the trap, but that doesn't change the feeling of frustration that you were punished for a perfectly reasonably action. It makes your death feel less like a learning experience, and in turn makes the game feel less fun. And of course, there's the discussion that's been going on for ages, that one of the ways you can avoid traps is the mind-numbingly tedious exercise of tracking tiles you've stepped on. The problem is the proposals that remove that as a tactic - making traps trigger on sight, or entirely randomly - also makes them feel even more arbitrary and frustrating.

So ultimately, I think hidden traps should be removed. If the purpose they served - occasionally thrusting the player into unexpected and challenging situations (and Zot traps and any sort of damage traps don't even accomplish this well in my opinion) - is valuable, it would be good to find a new mechanic to accomplish this that is less frustrating to the player.

The other purpose - tactically interesting terrain - is a cool idea, I think. Discussions about traps always seem to include mentions of luring enemies onto shafts or making good use of teleport traps as great moments that players love. But I think those situations do not require traps to be hidden, and creating more of them requires rethinking how traps are handled in the game entirely in my opinion.

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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 07:31

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

ontoclasm wrote:
MrRokkomies wrote:You could make it work with an actual visual clue, like a slight color flaw on a tile or a "hard" to spot icon on a tile.

I hate to be blunt, but nothing remotely like this will never happen as long as I have anything to say about it. I absolutely despise games that do this, and it's completely inexcusable in a turn-based game where you could theoretically take the time to squint closely at every single square you ever see the entire game.


Fair enough. Like I said, squinting every tile was not something that I would like to have to do either. This was more of an incomplete idea I threw out there to see if it could be refined in to a working solution. :P

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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 07:49

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

The way I see it, traps have two conceivable purposes in the game: 1. To put the player into unexpected and unanticipated situations, and 2. To be terrain that has tactical significance. Traps do not need to be hidden to serve purpose 2, and I think if traps were intended to serve purpose 2 they are failing spectacularly and need to be reworked. So clearly, 1 is the current purpose of traps. It puts the player into unexpected and unanticipated challenging situations. I think this is a nice goal. It makes the game more interesting, and potentially more challenging in a good way, if the game sometimes forces challenges on you that you were't expecting.


I strongly aggree with these two points and getting in to that was my intention with the "delayed effect traps" proposal. We should actually have 2 types of traps.

Type 1 traps that are always hidden, and can't be detected (atleast by normal means). These force the player to quickly adjust to the new situation, but are never instantly dangerous. They can make previously bad situation suddenly survivable or force you to quickly retreat or use consumables in order to survive. For example the water trap or Lugonu trap I described earlier.

Type 2 traps are obvious traps you know are there and want to either stay away from completely or play around. They can be used in you'r advantage with clever play. There might be a reward worth the risk, if the rng is kind. The question is, do you want to set the trap off? When and how? Example would be the giant bomb trap or boulder trap described in my earlier post.

About shafts: Let the player know they are there. The shaft is either open in the first place, opens up after you have moved over it or is set off by a pressure plate. (It should probably be either pressure plate or moving over. Not both, so player always knows what sets them off) This would allow baiting in a corridor. If the player moves in to get the bait, he knows he will be shafted. Or just make shafts always visible and reward players from shafting them selves. :P

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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 08:57

Re: Trap Improvement (was: Shafts need to be reworked.)

MrRokkomies wrote: Type 1 traps that are always hidden, and can't be detected (atleast by normal means). These force the player to quickly adjust to the new situation, but are never instantly dangerous. They can make previously bad situation suddenly survivable or force you to quickly retreat or use consumables in order to survive. For example the water trap or Lugonu trap I described earlier.

Current traps that are like this include shaft traps, teleport traps, and alarm traps. These are the most interesting traps I think, so long as they don't appear too early in which case they are too interesting.

MrRokkomies wrote:Type 2 traps are obvious traps you know are there and want to either stay away from completely or play around. They can be used in you'r advantage with clever play. There might be a reward worth the risk, if the rng is kind. The question is, do you want to set the trap off? When and how? Example would be the giant bomb trap or boulder trap described in my earlier post.

These are like the traps in Brogue. I've suggested the sort before but iirc devs don't want to go in this direction. One potential issue would be that it would encourage luring and maximal usage of these traps vs enemies. It could get grindy especially early on.

In the absence of heavy environmental interaction like Brogue, I think you could do with just removing all traps that aren't shaft/tele/alarm.

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