Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults


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

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Zot Zealot

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 12:35

Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

OK, so this suggestion isn't as flippant as the thread title might suggest.

I know there are suggestions afoot to trim or compress some of the branches. If the Vaults had fewer levels but more of its trademark Big Square Rooms were replaced with random vaults, it could be simultaneously thematic, more interesting (Vaults is by far my least favourite branch, with the exception of the bottom level which is awesome - thanks for trimming the branch already, whoever did that) and more 'reward-dense' in terms of play difficulty and loot/XP. Also, potentially pretty small in terms of code changes.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 13:14

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 15:46

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

I like the ideas on that page, but I read one thing that disturbed me - magic mapping is being changed to no longer show areas behind secret doors?

That is, like, the main thing I use that scroll for! Also, I've been assuming it works that way, I wonder if I've missed any vaults because of this...

Secret doors on vaults sort of trouble me. That suggests that optimal play (assuming you can afford the time / food) is to search every wall on every room.

Please tell me I'm wrong.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 17:55

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

Personally, I'd love to see more stuff inside those rooms in the vaults. All those empty rooms, especially the rooms withing rooms, bug me.

Danr- you're a little wrong. In crawl, you don't have to be standing next to a secret door to find it, it just has to be in LOS. So you can be searching one wall, but find the door on another. 'Course, this mostly helps inside rooms. Outside, you're right. You have to run and search a lot.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 19:09

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

danr wrote:I like the ideas on that page, but I read one thing that disturbed me - magic mapping is being changed to no longer show areas behind secret doors?

It hasn't shown secret areas for a while, I think. I like the idea of having it reveal secret doors but not the area behind them (especially since it's actually a limited resource now, I assume that it not showing secret areas is from when it was a Divinations spell).

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 19:10

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

MarvintheParanoidAndroid wrote:
danr wrote:I like the ideas on that page, but I read one thing that disturbed me - magic mapping is being changed to no longer show areas behind secret doors?

It hasn't shown secret areas for a while, I think. I like the idea of having it reveal secret doors but not the area behind them (especially since it's actually a limited resource now, I assume that it not showing secret areas is from when it was a Divinations spell).

The idea was (and is) to make T&D more useful. If you can use Mapping to find out the secrets, that damages the "D" in T&D.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 19:28

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

I guess I still have this idea from nethack that you can only search adjacent walls. Does everything in LOS get searched? Or does it help to be closer?

I realized that T&D should be useful, but is making people intentionally search entire levels for secret vaults a price worth paying? That adds up to a lot of tedious gameplay.

For me right now it doesn't seem worth it - I don't want to search every square box in vaults for a secret door, but I probably will now because there's probably a nice quickblade or a bunch of juicy XP hidden in one of them.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 19:32

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

danr: You won't have the food for this.
There is a question of whether secret doors are useful at all. Clearly, we want them in random spots, otherwise they're just spoiler material. If they're properly random, players will miss some of them. I don't mind, neither as player nor as designer, but others may.
A related topic: the statue Lair end attracts questions from time to time. It involves a mini-puzzle which revolves around careful observation (the first hint) and then searching (the loot room). I am fine with this -- I believe that this level clearly indicates to the player that something must be going on, and that we can ask our players to walk the special section again by hand. I wouldn't say the same for every level, of course.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 19:39

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

written before danr:

Pardon me continuing the mapping tangent, but as I see it, since mapping is a limited resource and the few secret doors aren't obvious or available through spoilers (bad design in my opinion, but that's a different topic) wouldn't be knowable through magic mapping without using it on every level (a huge & unsustainable resource drain), so T&D would still be useful for that much.
Magic mapping is most useful for determining the locations of features on dangerous levels, like stairs in Zot:1-4 (when diving them) and Shoals:5 huts, anyway.


written after danr & dpeg:

Yeah I agree with purely random secret doors.
That lair ending, specifically, doesn't seem to be clear enough for most players. ##crawl gets questions about it all the time, at least.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 22:22

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

The problem I see with random secret doors is random placement doesn't mean they go anywhere.

It bugs me when I find a secret door that opens to another wall, which happens all the time. It's also kind of weird when one of those scattered 1 square walls in the lair turns out to be a secret door to nowhere. It just seems pointless to offer a door with no connectivity.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 22:40

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

I guess I meant undetectable purely by placement (like with doors in dead ends or in fancy vaults) but leading to something nifty.

Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 24th February 2011, 00:02

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

dpeg wrote: There is a question of whether secret doors are useful at all. Clearly, we want them in random spots, otherwise they're just spoiler material. If they're properly random, players will miss some of them. I don't mind, neither as player nor as designer, but others may.


I've never really enjoyed secret doors. Usually they're useless or a pain. Rarely are they fun or flavorful. I'd much prefer crumbling walls or something in most cases, which could still be detectable by T&D.

I just cleared the "Ancient Champion" vault, which I'm assuming is new in Trunk. First, it was awesome. Second, it featured disappearing (crumbling?) walls. I love it -- fun and flavorful.

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Post Thursday, 24th February 2011, 00:25

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

The thing about secret areas is, they're kind of confusing to new players. If you don't have any idea where they're usually located, you naturally think they don't exist. So, the T&D skill seems worthless and unintuitive (and the fact that early-game traps are more of an annoyance than threat doesn't help). And removing magic mapping would just make it even worse, not to mention turning the scroll into nothing more than a convenience or novelty.

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Post Thursday, 24th February 2011, 02:52

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

The Tar ones are probably the only really worthwhile usage of secret doors in the game, since they're randomised and you can't just search for free because of hell effects.

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Post Thursday, 24th February 2011, 16:13

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

Oh okay, I was thinking of the Mu vault. I'll look into randomising the others, perhaps.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 27th April 2011, 20:09

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

The thing with magic maps vs secret doors is that if you use trees to hide stuff requiring effort, magic mapping finds the areas, but if you use secret doors to hide stuff requiring effort, then burning a map is useless.

This in itself is kind of eh. Conceptually, scrolls are powered by Spellcasting or Evocations (I like Evocations better), and the results of a Magic Mapping should be altered to conform with the active mapping mutation spray.

No evocations or a bad roll gets you a single spray as though you had the low-middle range mapping mutation.
low-mid evocations or a good roll gets you a single spray as though you had the middle range mapping mutation.
high evocations or a great roll gets you a high range mapping mutation spray.
Scale higher for the full map, including secret doors.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 27th April 2011, 21:31

Re: Suggestion: More Vaults in the Vaults

The fact that magic mapping scrolls have exceptions seems confusing to me; I personally (and I assume those who haven't been explicitly told) would expect that it would map the whole level. To the player, "vaults" are as much a part of a dungeon as the rest, so it's confusing that they're treated differently. Despite the fact that some are hidden behind secret doors, there is still the inconsistency where "regular" dungeon sections can be hid by secret doors but are revealed by a mapping scroll.

Finally, the presence of secret doors in fixed maps (vaults) that offer no hint to their location seem spoilery to me -- not to mention that T&D skill once you know the location in a fixed vault becomes irrelevant. At least having mapping scrolls reveal them is a good alternative and solves that problem.

Personally, I would be fine with completely removing the T&D skill and make the initial "detection" of a trap be tied solely to attribute (STR/INT/DEX) checks. For example, Zot traps might test INT to see if the character notices them beforehand, etc. Spear/arrow/dart traps test against DEX. Adjust with character level. The issue with this solution is that there's no direct way for a player to easily avoid traps, since attribute gains are relatively minor in comparison with starting attributes.

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