Monsters and alarm traps


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Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2019, 14:43

Monsters and alarm traps

Why does an enemy walking over the trap put a mark on me?

I don't have control over where the enemy moves, especially when confused, so why punish the player like this.

Optimal play is if you have to fight next to an alarm trap, you should just trigger it yourself and just to the above floor for a minute, which is boring and counter intuitive.

Solution: Monsters don't trigger alarm traps, or if they do, it just turns the monster neutral (a positive effect for the player).

On that note, the new blink traps might also benefit from a change, but those are more neutral in their effect so less frustrating.
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Barkeep

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2019, 15:09

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

kcfos wrote:Why does an enemy walking over the trap put a mark on me?

Because traps are designed to be harmful to the player.
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duvessa, grisamentum, nago, stormdragon

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2019, 15:28

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

kcfos wrote:I don't have control over where the enemy moves


This is not true, for most (any?) monster is possible to determine where is going to move according the position of the player and therefore use terrain at own advantage - e.g. water, flame clouds, shafts and so on.
And fight a monster with a dispersal trap in LOS is far more dangerous for me than alarm trap in most areas of the game.

However I agree with the general idea that the design of alarm trap could arguably enjoy a re-work as it is sometime a good idea to trigger it in order to lure and fight monsters in a safer area - e.g. zot:5 or when an alarm trap spawns nearby a staircase.
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Stairdancer

Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 21st February 2019, 21:11

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

njvack wrote:
kcfos wrote:Why does an enemy walking over the trap put a mark on me?

Because traps are designed to be harmful to the player.


That doesn't actually answer the question asked.

Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 00:54

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

It answers the question from a game mechanics standpoint. If you are after a lore-wise answer, I propose "because the trap contains an evil spirit. When the trap is disturbed, the spirit seeks out the closest dungeon invader and debuffs them".

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Slime Squisher

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 05:36

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

I find alarm traps to be very helpful.

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nago

Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 22:30

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

chequers wrote:It answers the question from a game mechanics standpoint. If you are after a lore-wise answer, I propose "because the trap contains an evil spirit. When the trap is disturbed, the spirit seeks out the closest dungeon invader and debuffs them".


Actually, it doesn't answer the question from a game mechanics standpoint and claiming otherwise is demonstrably false. Consider the following potential states:

- Monster stepping on trap impacts player
- Monster stepping on trap does not impact player

In both of these cases, the trap activating is or at least can be harmful to the player.

The former makes the trap harmful to the player with more frequency. njvack made no arguments considering relative frequency, player positioning/thought process when interacting with traps contingent on monster actions, and certainly didn't acknowledge that other traps break said design statement in some situations (shafts and teleport traps can be outright helpful).

Instead, the statement was just "Because traps are designed to be harmful to the player.". Since "traps are harmful" is (mostly?) true regardless of the state posited by the OP, it's a non-answer at best. Similar in utility to saying "the trap triggers because you can train spellcasting".

And as svendre points out, even alarm traps can be beneficial. There are times where intentionally triggering one makes clearing the floor safer, hence the "at best" above.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 22:37

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

Actually, it's a good answer. It's short and goes directly to the error the OP makes in framing the issue. You can spend all day arguing with people who make verbose comments on video game forums filled with errors of fact, reasoning, and premise or you can make a terse, corrective comment and hope they'll work it out on their own.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 22:46

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

tealizard wrote:Actually, it's a good answer. It's short and goes directly to the error the OP makes in framing the issue. You can spend all day arguing with people who make verbose comments on video game forums filled with errors of fact, reasoning, and premise or you can make a terse, corrective comment and hope they'll work it out on their own.


Not answering a question is not a good answer. OP asked for a reason. The answer given was non-sequitur, and that's not a matter of opinion.

In this case, even the accuracy has been called into question, so it's arguably a worse answer than "because you can train spellcasting", which is similarly non-sequitur but isn't as misleading/inaccurate to actual gameplay in crawl.

nago actually gave some useful advice, and while not directly stating reasoning for OP's question there's at least some implied in his post. The only post in this thread to do that so far.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 22:53

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

I don't think it was a non-sequitur and neither do other people here in the position to know, so I think you ought to take some time to reflect. That makes a second useful piece of advice in the thread, I guess.
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 16:16

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

tealizard wrote:I don't think it was a non-sequitur and neither do other people here in the position to know, so I think you ought to take some time to reflect. That makes a second useful piece of advice in the thread, I guess.


- If someone asks "why does a beachfront house cost more than one in the slums?" the answer "because houses are supposed to cost money" is non-sequitur.
- If someone asks why a particular trap outcome happens the answer "because traps are designed to be harmful" is non-sequitur.

Anybody participating in this thread is "in a position to know". When a question asks why X happens vs doesn't happen, giving an answer that is true regardless of whether X occurs is non-sequitur. It doesn't matter what someone "thinks" in this context.

~~~

At best, the answer to OP's question is that the players are expected to anticipate monster movement and the danger(s) caused by it, using the presence of traps to their advantage when possible and otherwise attempting to avoid detrimental effects.

The objectively inconsistent nature of trap outcomes when a monster steps on it is an issue. There's no valid basis to expect an unspoiled player to correctly guess which traps effect both player and monster, which traps impact just the player, and which traps impact only the monster. When a monster steps on a trap, all of those outcomes are possible (dispersal, alarm/zot, tp/shafts as respective examples). Even the 3rd category has inconsistencies between itself.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 19:04

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

TheMeInTeam wrote:- If someone asks "why does a beachfront house cost more than one in the slums?" the answer "because houses are supposed to cost money" is non-sequitur.
- If someone asks why a particular trap outcome happens the answer "because traps are designed to be harmful" is non-sequitur.

Anybody participating in this thread is "in a position to know". When a question asks why X happens vs doesn't happen, giving an answer that is true regardless of whether X occurs is non-sequitur. It doesn't matter what someone "thinks" in this context.


You don't get it, and your examples are not similar to the OP's question at all. A more appropriate example would be "Why did the heat-seeking missile I fired at a tree turn around and hit me*?" The answer "Because heat-seeking missiles are designed to be harmful to the hottest object" may be tongue-in-cheek but it is a good answer.

This example is analogous to the OP's question. If a heat-seeking missile was launched from a tree, it would hit you, so you might expect that if you shoot one at the tree it will hit tree; just as the OP sees that putting the player on an alarm trap marks the player, and expects that putting an enemy on an alarm trap would mark (or some equivalent) the enemy. But both of these "weapons" have special targeting rules and do not just hit what's in front of them. Heat-seeking missiles are designed to be harmful to the hottest object, and alarm traps are designed to be harmful to the player.

The first answer was effective and concise, the only word I think it lacked is "alarm".

*I am talking about a simplified caricature of a heat-seeking missile and do not claim that actual heat-seeking missiles would behave in this way.

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 20:45

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

You don't get it, and your examples are not similar to the OP's question at all. A more appropriate example would be "Why did the heat-seeking missile I fired at a tree turn around and hit me*?" The answer "Because heat-seeking missiles are designed to be harmful to the hottest object" may be tongue-in-cheek but it is a good answer.

This example is analogous to the OP's question.


You gave a condition (heat) that differentiated expected occurrence vs actual. Traps are potentially harmful to the player regardless of whether monsters step on them so your example is *not* analogous.

If a heat-seeking missile was launched from a tree, it would hit you, so you might expect that if you shoot one at the tree it will hit tree


And in fact sometimes the missile does hit the tree, if this analogy were accurate. Sometimes it doesn't, because reasons (monster stepping on alarm vs shaft or TP). Nothing in the answer or game indicates this or says anything about "heat seeking" in advance, but "missiles are supposed to be harmful so it's okay"!

The first answer was effective and concise, the only word I think it lacked is "alarm".


The first answer did not answer the question it quoted and that is not a matter of opinion. Quoted assertion is provably false :/.

Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 02:09

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

The feature descriptions in xv explain to an unspoiled player (some of, Zot traps are a mess here) what will happen when the trap is triggered. If one of these descriptions is inaccurate or lacking, patches welcome. However, the one word name can’t be expected to match every player’s preconceived notions.

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TheMeInTeam

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Post Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 14:06

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

TheMeInTeam wrote:And in fact sometimes the missile does hit the tree, if this analogy were accurate. Sometimes it doesn't, because reasons (monster stepping on alarm vs shaft or TP). Nothing in the answer or game indicates this or says anything about "heat seeking" in advance, but "missiles are supposed to be harmful so it's okay"!

The first answer was effective and concise, the only word I think it lacked is "alarm".


The first answer did not answer the question it quoted and that is not a matter of opinion. Quoted assertion is provably false :/.

The OP clearly was operating under the assumption that traps in DCSS are intended to be harmful to the thing the steps on them (a simulationist design.) That's not the current design philosophy; traps are intended exclusively to increase risk to the player.

Under that design philosophy, them harming the player on monster activation makes more sense than either them doing nothing or them harming a monster.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 17:25

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

byrel wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:And in fact sometimes the missile does hit the tree, if this analogy were accurate. Sometimes it doesn't, because reasons (monster stepping on alarm vs shaft or TP). Nothing in the answer or game indicates this or says anything about "heat seeking" in advance, but "missiles are supposed to be harmful so it's okay"!

The first answer was effective and concise, the only word I think it lacked is "alarm".


The first answer did not answer the question it quoted and that is not a matter of opinion. Quoted assertion is provably false :/.

The OP clearly was operating under the assumption that traps in DCSS are intended to be harmful to the thing the steps on them (a simulationist design.) That's not the current design philosophy; traps are intended exclusively to increase risk to the player.

Under that design philosophy, them harming the player on monster activation makes more sense than either them doing nothing or them harming a monster.


OP was operating under assumption that step on trap = bad effect from trap, yes. However, his question was why this effect impacted him, and the answer initially given didn't answer the question.

I'm also unconvinced by the "current design philosophy" vs what is actually going on, per discussion in this thread. Aside from Zot traps, every other trap has at least some use cases where player stepping on it intentionally or baiting a monster into doing so is beneficial. This includes alarm traps, the OP topic trap in question! For example they can pull some of the most dangerous enemy placements in the game out to the stairs in Zot:5, or suck > 1/2 the monsters of a level into a corridor with stairs at the back. If only "harm to player" is really the design intention traps are way off.

IMO current trap function is more of a tactical consideration. Some of them going off at the wrong time can be really bad (teleporting on first downstairs to a level, shafted into ranged enemies at low level, dispersal in tomb:3). In some cases they have no counterplay. In most cases, you *can* see them and anticipate the consequences of them going off, even making an evaluation of risk of revealing more tiles while they're in sight vs waiting until more of level is explored vs intentionally triggering. Shafts and TP traps can be used to reset fights with dangerous uniques w/o forfeiting consumables or to shove OOD monsters into a further depth.

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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 4th March 2019, 19:41

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

For what it's worth: I was not trying to be a jackass with my answer. I interpreted the OP's question as "why does something bad happen to me when a monster steps on the trap, what if something good happened to me instead?" and I thought saying the design intent of traps was to harm the player was an adequate answer.
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

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TheMeInTeam

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Post Monday, 4th March 2019, 20:41

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

njvack wrote: I thought saying the design intent of traps was to harm the player was an adequate answer.


FR: Monster stepping on a net trap should net the player.

Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 4th March 2019, 20:58

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

Rast wrote:FR: Monster stepping on a net trap should net the player.

This is the current behaviour.

Snake Sneak

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Post Monday, 4th March 2019, 21:21

Re: Monsters and alarm traps

njvack wrote:For what it's worth: I was not trying to be a jackass with my answer. I interpreted the OP's question as "why does something bad happen to me when a monster steps on the trap, what if something good happened to me instead?" and I thought saying the design intent of traps was to harm the player was an adequate answer.


Lol no worries, you basically stayed out of the ensuing shenanigans in discussion.

That said, it truly isn't as simple as advertised, as there are times you want them stepping on it, even alarm traps. I do feel initial answer was a little unfair to OP, even if the intent was good. If you want to bait monsters to stairs and get a monster to alarm you without leaving stairs you're safer than you'd be stepping off and getting marked. And in general monster stepping on trap interactions adds more depth than it doing nothing or always being beneficial. That's it's situationally good or bad (and more often bad than good) is probably the best spot for them to be in. Now if only they were more intuitive in function and a little less game breaking on rare occasions :p.

You can still blink out of net traps to get actual nets, though at least being netted more consistently is something of a threat.

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