Orb vault zot traps.


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Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 27th May 2012, 10:05

Orb vault zot traps.

Hi it's really extremely irritating when both lungs of the orb vault are blocked by zot traps, you either need to have controlled blink or have to play deliberately stupid to avoid stepping on it.

It's essentially the only point in the game where you are forced to play poorly. You either have to step into a zot trap or rblink into an atrium you can't easily get out of, and if you want to make it safe you have to coax enemies out through that awkward choke point in a way that can easily get you killed. What's the point? What value does this add? It unfairly penalizes certain characters over others. The orb vault is the most dangerous part of the game and having the rng multiply its difficulty by several orders of magnitude by placing impassable traps is silly.

I have won a few times, and the times where the orb vault is blocked like that are much, much harder for no reason. I just lost a character that should have been a win because I blinked into an unlucky situation. I'm sure someone will find the TV and tell me exactly how I could have played better and obviated the danger of the situation completely but the fact that I was forced into such a situation makes me extremely aggravated, and when I get annoyed I start playing terribly. This is the worst part of the game. If there was one thing in the entire game I could change it would be the chance of this happening. Zot already stresses me out and my stress goes through the roof when I see double zot traps.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Sunday, 27th May 2012, 10:58

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

You realize that you can, in fact, step on Zot traps, right? Also, to get out you can just rtele. Crawl sometimes is much harder for no reason, that's the idea behind randomized maps. You can also get lots of orbs of fire and ancient liches. Or get unlucky with casters using the most inconvenient spell to your character multiple times in a row. Or hell, just lots of unlucky damage rolls (high for monsters, low for you) in a row. Crawl is random. That's the point.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 27th May 2012, 11:27

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

The orb vault is the most dangerous part of the game


I am pretty sure that D:1 is the most dangerous part of the game, if we are using "most dangerous" in the sense of "relative to the character's strength" here - and if we aren't, various places of the game are absolutely more dangerous than Zot:5.

Also, silent spectres penalise some characters more than others! Oh no, let's remove them!

Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 27th May 2012, 11:56

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

danharaj wrote:I'm sure someone will find the TV and tell me exactly how I could have played better and obviated the danger of the situation completely but the fact that I was forced into such a situation makes me extremely aggravated, and when I get annoyed I start playing terribly. This is the worst part of the game. If there was one thing in the entire game I could change it would be the chance of this happening. Zot already stresses me out and my stress goes through the roof when I see double zot traps.

This is absurd. You weren't "forced" into anything, and your admission that you could have played better proves this. There was a good way to get past the situation you were in. You just didn't see it.

You got unlucky, used bad tactics (you admit you played terribly), and died because of it. It's never Crawl's fault that you played badly. The problem you are describing here is your own, not the game's.

If this happens again, step on the zot trap. Put on stasis if you have it, this will block paralysis (which is the only thing you need to worry about here). Don't recklessly try to blink past it unless you are sure you can handle it. You could also try typical teleport "ninja" tactics, which I'm not very fond of, but work well for some players (such as elliptic, who seems to use it a lot).

It's still possible to argue that having both lungs blocked by zot traps is a bad thing (design-wise). That is not the same thing as whining about it.
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Pandemonium Purger

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Post Sunday, 27th May 2012, 13:53

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

danharaj wrote:I'm sure someone will find the TV and tell me exactly how I could have played better and obviated the danger of the situation completely but the fact that I was forced into such a situation makes me extremely aggravated, and when I get annoyed I start playing terribly. This is the worst part of the game. If there was one thing in the entire game I could change it would be the chance of this happening. Zot already stresses me out and my stress goes through the roof when I see double zot traps.


Your stress and aggravation are not functions of game behaviour - they are functions of your behaviour. As far as the developers are concerned (not with crawl, but any video game) player stress is not a priority issue to be solved. It isn't an issue that can be solved with design. If you find yourself easily angered and high on stress while playing video games then the problem lies with you. Your suggestion is to basically eliminate annoyance, a suggestive thing in design that varies from player to player.

The worst trap I ever had to deal with was a Zot trap in a one-tile-wide mini-maze crypt entry vault. Planning on switching to TSO and without rMut, crypt was my only viable option to build up piety. Do I ignore my lack of rMut and go to the abyss, since I also have no cTele and am saving blink scrolls for a treasure trove? Should I ignore the trove and burn the scrolls to get in crypt and just teleport out of the entry vault when I want to leave? Do I switch to TSO at all? These are all interesting decisions and present a situation that I should evaluate before rushing to action. It sounds like in your anger and stress you rushed to action without evaluating all your options, which resulted in your death and this thread. Nothing was forced upon you. You tasted the flavor of winning and lost because of recklessness.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Sunday, 27th May 2012, 18:29

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

Well, there may be an actual reason why abovementioned double zot trapping is not sound design: banishment. At this point of game getting abyssed is really not the least bit of threatening for my chars (I don't speed run) so if you are forced to step on the trap and get banished it's just tedium not a challenge. And I guess optimal play for a character that does not have controlled blink would be to step on the trap rather than randomly teleporting around zot:5. However, I don't know what the actual chances of getting banished from a zot trap are and there are probably hundreds of more important things to do for devs so....

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 16:09

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

Maybe the better solution is to add a "scroll of disarmament" to the game, which removes all traps (discovered or not) in LoS. Then they could actually add MORE deadly, unavoidable traps and trap-based vaults to the game, creating interesting decisions; do I use my scroll of disarmament to get past this teleport trap into what I know is going to be a little room full of treasure on the other side, or do I save it in case Zot:5 has dual Zot traps?

I guess it's a little redundant with scrolls of blinking in areas without -cTele, but interesting trap-based endings could be added to multiple branches to make scrolls of disarmament valuable.
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Pandemonium Purger

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 16:40

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

All that would do is add another consumable to hoard for Z:5
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 17:45

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

twelwe wrote:All that would do is add another consumable to hoard for Z:5


Well, not if it was also something that had uses elsewhere, either by adding trap-based vaults elsewhere, or additional functionality for the scroll, e.g. turning all water and lava in sight into dry floor. It could also instantly free the player from nets/webs.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 18:00

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

So actually all this scroll does is "neutralise a specific set of challenges"? Imagine if we had arrows with a "one-shot all jellies" brand. It would be, principally, the same thing. Two things: it makes a certain challenge very boring, and it is useless outside of that certain challenge. Not interesting.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 18:54

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

Wands of Digging remove a specific type of obstacle. Potions of Levitation are a little more flexible, but still basically serve the purpose of crossing deep water and lava...

Traps & Doors skill already removes the actual threat aspect of traps, and leaves only Zot and Teleport traps as something to be dealt with, and even then, they're basically just another form of obstacle, and not a particularly interesting one.

But your point is taken, and is why I suggested it might be interesting to make it remove water and lava as well. Why not go further and make it do clouds too? Then it would be powerful enough and multi-purpose enough to justify making it a rare find, and to deciding when to use it an interesting choice.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 20:32

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

Potions of Levitation are a little more flexible, but still basically serve the purpose of crossing deep water and lava...


I never said that I thought that deep water and lava were actually helpful to the game. As a matter of fact I find that both are useless. Removing them would also remove the necessity for Flight. Shallow water is OK, though. This has little to do with the thread topic so I won't expand on this.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 20:57

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

xopods wrote:Traps & Doors skill already removes the actual threat aspect of traps, and leaves only Zot and Teleport traps as something to be dealt with, and even then, they're basically just another form of obstacle, and not a particularly interesting one.


Sounds like a reason to make traps more interesting to me.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 29th May 2012, 22:56

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

Or you could rework T&D. Spending a little XP to get T&D at a respectable level of 10-15 pays off far too much. There's usually no reason to get it higher either... which is sad, because it is a neat skill. It just has very few uses once you can reliably sidestep traps.

My suggestion would be to make T&D more gradual, add more reasons for high-level T&D, cut down on the number of traps in the dungeon, and increase the power of the more mundane traps.

Also, get rid of those vaults that rely on obscene numbers of weak traps in predictable places. Most memorably terrible are some of the Ossuary vaults. The traps there serve only as a time waster whilst no danger is actually applied to the player as he sits and searches for traps.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 30th May 2012, 00:43

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

You know, I think we've wandered away from the original question.

Is allowing both lungs of Zot:5 to be blocked by Zot traps bad design?

The common "draw out threats one at a time" clear method becomes unfeasible, as it would require exposing yourself to potential Zot-ings man times over. Players in this situation would be forced to adopt alternate strategies-
  • Tele-roulette. It's done, but has it's risks. Probably better suited for certain builds, playstyles?
  • Shout-luring. Get them to come to you, retreat so you're not in LOS of the trap when they cross. Blink or walk across the trap when you think it's clear.
  • Shatter / Corruption. Make a path, dang it. Obvious downsides apply.
  • LRD. Make your own path in a slightly more controlled manner.
  • Dig / passwall? I'm not sure if any of the Zot:5 maps are set up such that these could get you past a trapped bottleneck, but if there are, it's probably the simplest solution.
  • cblink. If you're careful about glow, you can use the degraded semi-c blinks to cross back and forth, and apply normal tactics.
  • Random blink across. Unreliable, and a bad idea if you're going into hostile territory. Ideally, you want to pull as much as you can out first. ...or go in, wake them all up, and then tele out? You could then come back and pick off wandering things looking for you in smaller numbers, cross the trap again later.
  • Walk across it. This sounds like a bad idea to me. I'm not even sure what the worst outcome could be. If you have to do this, you'd probably want t have lured as much out as possible to limit collateral damage. Definitely don't want to cross the trap repeatedly.
So is it bad to be forced into one of these strategies? It does seem tougher for non-casters, at least.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 30th May 2012, 01:15

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

mageykun wrote:[*]Walk across it. This sounds like a bad idea to me. I'm not even sure what the worst outcome could be. If you have to do this, you'd probably want t have lured as much out as possible to limit collateral damage. Definitely don't want to cross the trap repeatedly.[/list]
So is it bad to be forced into one of these strategies? It does seem tougher for non-casters, at least.


The worst possible outcome would be a translocations miscast that forces a teleport plus confusion. You can prevent the most problematic part by swapping to stasis or -TELE if you have it, but otherwise you're just at risk of starting an unwanted teleroulette. That's pretty bad.

Assuming you can block unwanted teleports, your next worst options will be high-level translocations miscasts that result in malmutations, heavy glow, banishment, or top-end durable summoned monsters. With respect to malmutations and heavy glow, you're already just about to win the game so they probably won't matter. Banishment results in a tedious Abyss run followed by another try at the Zot trap. Top-end durable summons aren't any worse than the permanent residents of Zot 5, so just kill whatever shows up.

Naturally, you already lured out anything in your shout radius before entering, so any Zot effects that result in damage or a normally-dangerous status effect can be harmlessly timed out. You'll want to advance very carefully into uncleared territory, but you should already have a cleared-out area that was in earshot of the other side of the trap, and you have a choke point to work with too.

Zot traps are mostly dangerous when they catch you by surprise.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2012, 19:25

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

Deimos wrote:Or you could rework T&D. Spending a little XP to get T&D at a respectable level of 10-15 pays off far too much. There's usually no reason to get it higher either... which is sad, because it is a neat skill. It just has very few uses once you can reliably sidestep traps.

My suggestion would be to make T&D more gradual, add more reasons for high-level T&D, cut down on the number of traps in the dungeon, and increase the power of the more mundane traps.

Also, get rid of those vaults that rely on obscene numbers of weak traps in predictable places. Most memorably terrible are some of the Ossuary vaults. The traps there serve only as a time waster whilst no danger is actually applied to the player as he sits and searches for traps.


I've long felt that if I ever write a roguelike, the way searching is going to work is that it's automatic, and there's no dice involved. Hidden things (secret doors, traps, treasure caches, camouflaged monsters) have a detection rating, and if your searching score is >= detection rating + distance, you find it.

So if you have a Searching score of 5, you can automatically detect something of difficulty 5 when you're right next to it, difficulty 4 from one square away, difficulty 3 from two squares away, etc. Spending extra turns searching won't do any good, because that's boring gameplay and makes time-wasting a substitute for increasing your searching score.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2012, 19:43

Re: Orb vault zot traps.

mageykun wrote:You know, I think we've wandered away from the original question.

Is allowing both lungs of Zot:5 to be blocked by Zot traps bad design?

The common "draw out threats one at a time" clear method becomes unfeasible, as it would require exposing yourself to potential Zot-ings man times over. Players in this situation would be forced to adopt alternate strategies-
  • Tele-roulette. It's done, but has it's risks. Probably better suited for certain builds, playstyles?
  • Shout-luring. Get them to come to you, retreat so you're not in LOS of the trap when they cross. Blink or walk across the trap when you think it's clear.
  • Shatter / Corruption. Make a path, dang it. Obvious downsides apply.
  • LRD. Make your own path in a slightly more controlled manner.
  • Dig / passwall? I'm not sure if any of the Zot:5 maps are set up such that these could get you past a trapped bottleneck, but if there are, it's probably the simplest solution.
  • cblink. If you're careful about glow, you can use the degraded semi-c blinks to cross back and forth, and apply normal tactics.
  • Random blink across. Unreliable, and a bad idea if you're going into hostile territory. Ideally, you want to pull as much as you can out first. ...or go in, wake them all up, and then tele out? You could then come back and pick off wandering things looking for you in smaller numbers, cross the trap again later.
  • Walk across it. This sounds like a bad idea to me. I'm not even sure what the worst outcome could be. If you have to do this, you'd probably want t have lured as much out as possible to limit collateral damage. Definitely don't want to cross the trap repeatedly.
So is it bad to be forced into one of these strategies? It does seem tougher for non-casters, at least.


Yes, and silent spectres are tougher for "casters". Who cares?
The thing your post does show very well that there is an interesting decision to make here and double Zot traps do not prevent them. There are numerous solutions and each have an individual drawbacks.

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