Shafts without disadvantages


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

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 12:24

Shafts without disadvantages

Bad things about shafts:
1) missing timed portals without player's fault is annoying. You may play perfectly but you cannot do much when you got shafted two floors down while going to the portal
2) they don't scale good enough. Shafting from D:13 to D:15 is not a big deal, shafting from D:1 to D:3 as XL 1 character is a game breaker
3) autoexploring is punished. With manual exploration you can recognize vaults and see that they cannot contain loot at some tiles while traps are still possible there.
4) scroll of magic mapping is too important, it can decide if you live or die.
5) multiple shafts in a row.
6) exploring while wounded is even worse idea than without shafts.
7) if you cannot run away from adjacent monster, you can try running into unknown territory hoping to get shafted (minor thing though)

Good things about shaft:
1) There are usually no stairs in view and you often don't know where good territory for fighting is
2) You can be surrounded immediately

I believe there is a solution which keeps good things and removes bad things.

When you enter a level for the first time, there is a chance that you will be instantly teleported away from those stairs.
1. Timed portal is still on the same level.
2. Scales naturally, you are still on the same floor.
3. autoexploring is not affected.
4. scroll of magic mapping still is very useful but at least you have an extra option of trying to get to those stairs: more decisions is good
5. no multiple shafts
6. exploration while wounded is not punished additionally
7. removing a way to escape adjacent monster without spending a consumable is a good thing.

As a bonus if you use current teleportation mechanic, you will be guaranteed to land with hostile monsters in view, currently some shafts are boring as you don't meet any monsters on the way back.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 15:28

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

We already have "TP trap on entering the floor" in crawl right now.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 15:43

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

TheMeInTeam wrote:We already have "TP trap on entering the floor" in crawl right now.
Great, and there are no complaints about them. Just make them occur more often and remove shafts.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 19:25

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

I expect complaints would be more common if that sequence itself were more common. It can straight up kill frail species in some branches, rarely. Since there's only one up stair on branch entrance you're often just straight up forced to fight. Would introduce some imbalance between build types and god choices too, Qazlal with such an occurrence would be miserable for example.

Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 20:26

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

TheMeInTeam wrote:I expect complaints would be more common if that sequence itself were more common. It can straight up kill frail species in some branches, rarely. Since there's only one up stair on branch entrance you're often just straight up forced to fight. Would introduce some imbalance between build types and god choices too, Qazlal with such an occurrence would be miserable for example.

This would be less dangerous than shafts, and this is proposed to replace shafts. The "problem" you're describing would be reduced by the change.

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VeryAngryFelid

Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 20:33

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

stormdragon wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:I expect complaints would be more common if that sequence itself were more common. It can straight up kill frail species in some branches, rarely. Since there's only one up stair on branch entrance you're often just straight up forced to fight. Would introduce some imbalance between build types and god choices too, Qazlal with such an occurrence would be miserable for example.

This would be less dangerous than shafts, and this is proposed to replace shafts. The "problem" you're describing would be reduced by the change.


No, shafts are considerably safer. Shafts *can* put you next to monsters, but unlike TP trap they are not guaranteed to do so. AFAIK they just dump you somewhere X levels below. They can also never dump you into a new branch, so there's always at least 3 stair escape options rather than 1.

Proposal is safer than TP trap on down, but I'm not convinced even that is safer than shafts at present unless it's a scroll of TP-esque teleport.

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stormdragon

Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 20:40

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

I see. If teleport-to-monsters is considered too dangerous, this could very well use random teleport instead. Could also be limited to non-branch-entrance stairs.

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VeryAngryFelid

Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 3rd May 2019, 00:30

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

stormdragon wrote:I see. If teleport-to-monsters is considered too dangerous, this could very well use random teleport instead. Could also be limited to non-branch-entrance stairs.


When VeryAngryFelid mentioned this in the other shaft thread, this is what I originally imagined as the application of it. Random TP on non-entrance floors. I think that's the only way you can make it similar to the shaft mechanic. Here's a list of things worth considering:

1. Is it range restricted? For example, does it only teleport players within an X tile radius from the staircase?
2. Is it area restricted? Can you literally teleport wherever (into a vault, on top of a rune, next to a different staircase)?
3. Are there any methods of avoiding the trap? Do -Tele items make you immune?
4. How is it implemented mechanically? Is it something that actually exists on the staircase tile or is it a random dice counter internally that rolls on going down stairs?
4a. If it exists on the tile, can a monster accidentally trigger it? Can a player knowingly trigger it (like a net trap)?
4b. If it's internal, how frequently does it happen? Can it happen multiple down stairs in a row?

Slime Squisher

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Post Friday, 3rd May 2019, 00:52

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

I think I can answer those questions, despite not being VAF

1 it should not be range-restricted, because shafts aren't, and it doesn't add much to restrict the range
2 it should not be area-restricted, because shafts aren't, and it doesn't add much
3 somehow, -Tele items should not make you immune. That would be cheesy. ideally it should also be noise-less, to differentiate it from teleport traps.
4 it should trigger the first time you enter a level, regardless of how you enter it. Chance should depend on the level, not on anything outside of the level.

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VeryAngryFelid

Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Friday, 3rd May 2019, 04:45

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

3.-tele items should be removed from the game because they are cheesy and can stop one of the worst mutation (similar how clarity and rMut were removed from unrandarts). As long as they and Fo are in the game, the new shafts can be flavored as magically broken stairs which land you in different place without teleportation. After "shafting" you will see location of the upstairs but nothing around it is revealed (similar to how Ash or DD shows stairs). When you get to them you fix them so they work normally next time. Or maybe even let them "shaft" you every time to a random place, in this case we will need to change their tile and description.
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Zot Zealot

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Joined: Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 15:03

Post Friday, 3rd May 2019, 09:08

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Bad things about shafts:
1) missing timed portals without player's fault is annoying. You may play perfectly but you cannot do much when you got shafted two floors down while going to the portal


While I pesonally like to looking after a timed portal, from the design perspective they are bad, and shafts has nothing to do with it. Even without shafts your chance to reach one is mostly random, since mostly it depends on the monsters generated between you and the portal - I guess there is some player skill involved but not too much.

Also, they are bad because they make strong characters even stronger and leave weak characters, who cannot clear them right now, weaker, increasing the gap between them, and making balancing the game harder and harder as the game progresses. I mention this because I do not like to base design decisions because of timed portals.

VeryAngryFelid wrote:2) they don't scale good enough. Shafting from D:13 to D:15 is not a big deal, shafting from D:1 to D:3 as XL 1 character is a game breaker


This is not because shafts do not scale. It is because the dungeon do not scale, independent of shafts. OOD monster on D13 is not a big deal, OOD monster on D2/D3 can be lethal. Shafts do not change this, and I really do not think that shafts makes the first few levels that much dangerous as you make it seem. If someone thinks that the first few levels are too hard, then I would propose really different changes instead of removing shafts, which seems really arbitrary, and would not help at all.

VeryAngryFelid wrote:3) autoexploring is punished. With manual exploration you can recognize vaults and see that they cannot contain loot at some tiles while traps are still possible there.


Sorry, I do not understand this. While many things punish autoexplore severly currently, I fail to see how shafts do it or what it has to do with vaults - I guess I really miss something here.

VeryAngryFelid wrote:4) scroll of magic mapping is too important, it can decide if you live or die.


I really think that you have a good chance of surviving a shaft without magic mapping. Making a consumable somewhat more important is not a problem - for me, it sounds good. You make it seem like that you are guaranteed to die with magic mapping and guaranteed to survive without it, while I think it just helps you a little bit.


VeryAngryFelid wrote:5) multiple shafts in a row.


I personally would not like internal state determining whether we can be shafted right now or not, even if it is to prevent some "unfair" situations.

VeryAngryFelid wrote:6) exploring while wounded is even worse idea than without shafts.

While this is true, I fail to see how teleport traps help with it, since they guarantee to place you next to monsters, while a shaft has a good chance to drop you in a good place where you can rest. Also, crawl is kind of based around the idea that exploring wounded is not very good - shafts has really little impact on this. A monster can come into view in the level you are in as well.

VeryAngryFelid wrote:7) if you cannot run away from adjacent monster, you can try running into unknown territory hoping to get shafted (minor thing though)


Uhm - while you certainly can do it, I suspect this is not a very good strategy, and even if it were, it does not sound like a problem. Escaping from trouble to another trouble sounds good.

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Good things about shaft:
1) There are usually no stairs in view and you often don't know where good territory for fighting is
2) You can be surrounded immediately


I personally do not think that point 2) is that good. I do not mind it since it is really rare, but if shafts guarantee that you land surrounded by monsters then I would not like them. Movement is interesting.

Zot Zealot

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Joined: Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 15:03

Post Friday, 3rd May 2019, 09:17

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

As acknowledge some of the problems that VeryAngryFelid mentions, I'd like to tell that I would support removing shafts together with upstairs, as tealizard suggested (I think).

Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Friday, 8th May 2015, 17:51

Post Friday, 3rd May 2019, 13:41

Re: Shafts without disadvantages

It looks like the idea is not interesting enough, too bad, the thread can be closed.
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