Shafts - Too common now?


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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 20th January 2019, 02:09

Shafts - Too common now?

This has been discussed quite a few times, and i believe that each time the conclusion has been that its fine as it is.

However, the fact that its getting discussed a lot recently leads me to believe something must have changed. I regularly get shafted 2-3 floors in the early game. I think other players are experiencing this too from the posts on the forum going on.

The answer seems to have been that being shafted provides an interesting challenge rather than an unavoidable death; and so its fine. This is true in some cases, but not all. Up until around D:7 or 8, getting shafted 3 floors generates a huge spike in the difficulty of the game, and going down 3 floors from D:2 can turn a strong start, into a game of pot luck quaffing un ID'd potions and scrolls.

I certainly have found myself getting shafted more recently and dying as a result of it. Whether its avoidable or not is debateable, but it's causing me - and it would seem others problems. It makes me re-do the most boring part of the game (early D) more often.

How does everyone else feel? I wonder if it would be helpful to:

a) reduce the number of shaft traps. Potentially implement a formula that reduces the number of shaft traps by a percentage depending on floor... E.g D:1 has 50% less shaft traps than normal. D:2 has 40% less. By the time you get to D:6 you are at regular numbers of shaft traps.
b)Increase the number of traps in line with level. Something similar to the above but scaling up with level rather than down with depth of D:x

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 20th January 2019, 04:09

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Why is increasing the number of shafts a bad thing?

Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 20th January 2019, 05:00

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

All IMO of course... The game is pretty hard as it is anyway. Shafts add difficulty that doesn't need to be there, and introduce tedium by way of having to replay the early game if you don't always deal with shaftings in an optimum way. Even then sometimes you cant get out of it.

Shafting 3 floors on D:10 is pretty OK to add challenge. Shafting 3 floors on D:3 is a very bad situation.

Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 20th January 2019, 05:43

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

The shaft rate in 0.22 (trunk and stable) and 0.23 (trunk) games from before the trap change for the first six dungeon levels:
  Code:
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft br=D lvl<7) (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft br=D lvl<7 x=cdist(gid) fmt:"${x}"))
 <Sequell> 1.0524399289712063

is slightly smaller than post trap change (excluding games when those changes were in flux)
  Code:
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft br=D lvl<7) (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft br=D lvl<7 x=cdist(gid) fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 1.0744844042952104


On average, in the first 6 dungeon levels, you'll run into an extra 0.022 shafts. There's not much here to reduce.

The new trap change did increase the later game trap rate by a bit more, using shafts as a proxy (and since this is a thread about shafts)
  Code:
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft) (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft x=cdist(gid) fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 1.156431054461182
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft) (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft x=cdist(gid) fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 1.4142197125256672

A whopping 0.36 new shafts on average.

Why is it more of an increase later in the game? The old traps and doors skill, when it was removed, survived in an xl chance to reveal traps. In the new trap system, the trap rate is determined entirely by dungeon level, so late game the player will hit more trap effects than they used to. Yes, this is a player nerf. No, that's not a bad thing.

If you want to read more about why the devteam is in agreement that shafts are good dpeg wrote a great post years ago that I agree with. The short of it is: shafts increase the probability of a tense memorable random encounter in which skill makes a real difference; such encounters are a goal of crawl development.

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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 20th January 2019, 06:03

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Thats interesting that the change is in fact so small. Can't argue with figures! Funny that lots of people seem to be noticing it...but I guess they might just be having a placebo because they see other people mentioning it too....

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 20th January 2019, 10:58

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I like shafts, or more accurately, I enjoy trying to climb back up to the level I got shafted from... but not in conjunction with portal timers, because the completionist in me can't abide continuing a run if I miss a timed portal. This wasn't as big a problem before the traps change, but now I find myself occasionally getting shafted a few floors, then before I find an up staircase, getting shafted a few more, and then encountering a portal timer prematurely, or (more rarely) getting shafted from a level with a portal timer multiple times and thus being unable to climb back up in time to reach it. Maybe it's just a coincidental run of bad luck, but if the chance of getting shafted increases with depth, that also means that one of the consequences of getting shafted is an increased risk of getting shafted.

I'd like to think there's some way that portal timers could be reformed to not ruin the fun of getting shafted... perhaps by pausing the timer if a player leaves a portal level other than by voluntarily descending? That way, getting shafted from a level with a timed portal or climbing back up after being shafted and encountering one wouldn't cause a player to lose the chance to enter the portal, but choosing to skip the portal to farm beyond it would. It's not a perfect solution, because if a timed portal generates past a branch, the player could climb back up to the branch and explore it while the timer was paused, but then again, if that causes players to consider exploring branches sooner than they otherwise would, that could be kind of interesting too.

(Btw, I noticed an increase in my shafting experience before I saw anyone mention it, so at least in my case, the placebo theory doesn't hold up.)

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 00:57

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Something about the math is fishy, I definitely have experienced more traps by a large margin above what I previously had roughly on the order of twice as many shafts. In each of my previous four games I was shafted 4 times before the lair, something I've never experienced in all the prior years of my playing once, much less four games in a row.

I suspect there's a factor at play that hasn't been explained, and if the intent is to double the number of shafts encountered, then that's fine, but if it's intended to be roughly equal, it's not.
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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 01:24

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Siegurt wrote:Something about the math is fishy, I definitely have experienced more traps by a large margin above what I previously had roughly on the order of twice as many shafts. In each of my previous four games I was shafted 4 times before the lair, something I've never experienced in all the prior years of my playing once, much less four games in a row.

I suspect there's a factor at play that hasn't been explained, and if the intent is to double the number of shafts encountered, then that's fine, but if it's intended to be roughly equal, it's not.

Looking back at my actual morgues, I misremembered, there was only 4 shafts in one game, 3 in two and 2 in another, and there was a short game where I died before the lair in the middle when I didn't get any shafts, so my statement was misreperesentative (however that's still an unusually high number of shafts, it's possible that my games were just a outliers though)
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Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 01:48

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

You're right, though for the wrong reason (as I was typing this I see you looked at your morgue and see that the post was an exaggeration). Your sample size is too small to make definitive judgements about the shape of the distribution, and you might be including a game played in the interval where the rate was being tinkered with post-merge.

However, the denominator in my previous number includes the large number of early deaths, which skews it. Looking at won games over the whole game (which includes some of extended) the shaft rate has increased, on average, by one whole shaft, but the experience on early D is approximately the same (increase of .004 shafts on average). As I said above, the increase in later traps is intentional.

The calculations for winning games (old followed by new).

Early game:
  Code:
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft br=D won lvl<7) (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft br=D lvl<7 won x=cdist(gid) fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 1.0765407554671969
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft br=D lvl<7 won) (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft br=D lvl<7 x=cdist(gid) won fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 1.0807174887892377


Entire game:
  Code:
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft won) (!lm * vlong>=0.22 vlong<0.23-a0-495 shaft x=cdist(gid) won fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 1.4518862766539093
<ebering> .echo $(/ (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft won) (!lm * vlong>=0.23-a0-517 shaft x=cdist(gid) won fmt:"${x}"))
<Sequell> 2.5343642611683848

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 04:34

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

If getting shafted makes winning more difficult, then I would expect that selectively limiting the sample to games that were won would also skew the shaft rate down. I wonder how the data would look if average number of shafts encountered for characters that died at each XP level 1-26 were compared between pre- and post-rework.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 05:39

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Comparing the numbers of shafts that people fell down doesn't really say much of anything, because most people use autoexplore, and even those who don't aren't exploring optimally. If you explored optimally in old versions then you would practically never fall down a shaft.

Spider Stomper

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 06:33

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Pre-rework, if you were optimizing to minimize occurrences of traps, then you would spend most of your turns standing in place to generate chances for traps to be discovered, so I agree with you about that. I think it makes more sense to compare to average player behavior than a theoretical optimum, however, which would seem to be achieved by averaging the data.

In any case, I think you've hit on a point in that the way traps used to work isn't really important compared to whether or not the current behavior is healthy, and aside from the portal timers issue, I think it is.

Dis Charger

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 07:27

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

duvessa wrote: If you explored optimally in old versions then you would practically never fall down a shaft.

Am I the only one who do not understand this?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 07:54

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Magipi wrote:
duvessa wrote: If you explored optimally in old versions then you would practically never fall down a shaft.

Am I the only one who do not understand this?

Enter level, make noise while standing on upstairs, note which tiles the monsters step on, only use those tiles to explore etc.?
...{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz
{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMo
HuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 21st January 2019, 16:33

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Sprucery wrote:Enter level, make noise while standing on upstairs, note which tiles the monsters step on, only use those tiles to explore etc.?

Additionally, Just regular old attention-paying manual exploration reduces your trap likelihood, even if you don't go to extremes about optimizing it. Because when you explore manually you generally: 1. do less backtracking than autoexplore does, because you have a better ability to anticipate where unexplored parts of the level will be than autoexplore uses, and 2. When you do backtrack, you'll more frequently reuse the same paths, because people are habitual and what looks like the 'right' way to get from point a to point b will generally still look like the right way when coming back.

Over the course of the game, that means that a manual explorer will generally step on less *distinct* tiles than an an autoexplorer will for the same amount of tiles revealed, even if you don't optimize for it (optimizing for it could mean tracking where monsters and you stepped and the aforementioned shouting thing)

It may be that part of my personal experience with new traps is that my general habit is to manually explore most levels out somewhat to start with, and only use autoexplore at the end, if at all (for wholly un-trap-related reasons), which may have previously reduced my trap experience below that of the average person.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 00:33

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

ebering wrote:If you want to read more about why the devteam is in agreement that shafts are good dpeg wrote a great post years ago that I agree with. The short of it is: shafts increase the probability of a tense memorable random encounter in which skill makes a real difference; such encounters are a goal of crawl development.


I had a look through dpeg's posts back in 2016 on shafts, I don't know if those were the ones you were referencing, but I understand the basic idea behind his philosophy: Shafting adds another level of randomness and difficulty to a player's exploring. I also get where you're coming from with your interpretation of that, insofar as it adds tension to the game by increasing the stakes. I kind of see your point about skill, even though I don't necessarily agree with it completely. Regardless, that I do think a shaft trap is a cool concept, it just needs very fine tuning to be successful.

I think that the current version of shafting is needlessly punishing early on. I think it limits the incentive to fully explore a floor and has an exponentially higher impact for players on early floors.

So the big difference between being shafted on floors 1-5 and being shafted at any other point in the dungeon is resources. Getting shafted late means I've already IDed the majority of the scrolls/potions, I have reasonable enough items to have made it to that point in the dungeon, and higher XL translates to a higher likelihood of better rolls. Getting shafted early means I've got unIDed scrolls/potions or even few at all, barebones equipment, and I'm rolling garbage.

So, in that early game situation, what skill is really being reasonably tested? What can a new player really learn from an early shaft experience? About the only answers I can come up with is the ability to get lucky on a random potion chug/scroll read and pressing the "o," button is bad.

My proposal is that the likelihood of being shafted should follow a flattened sigmoidal curve, or something akin to one. It should be zero for the first floor or two, increase and then eventually plateau. I'd add the additional factor that the likelihood of a deeper shaft should follow that curve. For example, using arbitrary numbers:

A trap on floor 4: 66% chance of 1 floor shaft, 33% 2 floor, 1% 3 floor
A trap on floor 8: 30% chance of 1 floor shaft, 30% 2 floor, 30% 3 floor, 10% 4 floor

This means that shafts have an effective window where they have the most impact on a player and the highest chance of actually testing a player's skill (mid-game). This also means that earlier players are punished less severely, which I think fosters the ability to learn from easier shafting experiences so they can be managed later in the game when they are more prevalent. This is pretty in line with your goals of shafting based on statistical analysis. I think the only point we really differ on is how often shafting should occur (and how severe it is) in the early game.

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 01:59

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

IveGoneSupine wrote:I think that the current version of shafting is needlessly punishing early on. I think it limits the incentive to fully explore a floor and has an exponentially higher impact for players on early floors.
Can you explain how it reduces the incentive to fully explore a floor?

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 02:43

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Of course!

Let's say you've done enough on your current floor to the point where you know you can survive on the next floor, but there is still unexplored terrain. That leaves with you these options:

A. 100% chance of just going down one floor on a staircase with some unexplored terrain above you
B. Non-zero chance of shafting down multiple floors if you fully explore the floor you're already on

A truly optimal, risk-averse robot is always going to pick option A. I think most players pick option B and fully explore a floor anyway for a wide variety of reasons, but the truth is that you always put yourself at risk of getting shafted every time you fully explore a floor. And, anecdotally, I've had the rare game where I've mostly explored a floor, tapped o to wrap it up, stepped on a tile I'd seen but never walked on before, and promptly shafted.

That being said, I'll admit the exploring thing is a very minor point of contention, but I think exploring a floor fully is very important early on because you need all the resources you can get your hands on. Which means you're putting yourself at an increased risk of an event that has a much larger impact on your game now then it does later.

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 02:46

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Sorry, still don't get it. You have the same chance of hitting a shaft exploring level N+1 as you do exploring level N, so how does skipping part of level N help you avoid risk?

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 04:48

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Here's how I'm looking at it. The more tiles you walk on, the more likely you are to fall into a shaft trap. Fully exploring a floor = more tiles walked on = more likely to fall down a shaft. Going down is required for success, but fully exploring a floor is not required for success. N+1 > N.

It's a very reductionist way of looking at it. We both know the vast majority of crawl players don't play that way. Hell, I don't play that way. But, the way shafts are implemented now does mean that the most optimal play is only explore exactly what you need to in order to succeed.
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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 04:55

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

One aspect of shafts missing from these discussions is that the danger depends on lower floors not being cleared. So if you can clear a level of 90% of its monsters while exploring only 50% of its floor space, you may get ahead by backtracking after each half-clear to autoexplore the level two or three floors up. In effect, you're down at most 10% of available xp and 50% of items, which fractions diminish as the game progresses, but you've eliminated 50% of the risk of shafts. Not a new problem, but it's not good.
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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 05:41

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

IveGoneSupine wrote:Here's how I'm looking at it. The more tiles you walk on, the more likely you are to fall into a shaft trap. Fully exploring a floor = more tiles walked on = more likely to fall down a shaft. Going down is required for success, but fully exploring a floor is not required for success. N+1 > N.
Yes, I am aware that the partial-exploration strategy you describe reduces the total number of shafts encountered across the entire game. You have not demonstrated how it reduces the risk of your character dying when the N+1 level is eligible to generate shafts.

It is an issue when the deeper level is ineligible to generate shafts, if only because you can go back up stairs.

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 18:26

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I guess I don't understand your question. I'm always looking at this from the perspective of the early game, before Temple or even maybe the first 3 floors. So I agree that N+1 has the same or higher risk for a shaft event as N, but that risk is outweighed by the need to progress downwards. Coupled with this, a shaft event on N could drop the player to N+2, which is obviously much riskier than taking a staircase down to N+1. A truly risk averse player is going to look at any unexplored space that is not necessary for surviving on the next floor as a potential shaft event. So why put yourself at risk of a shaft event with a little part of the dungeon when you can just go down one floor on your own terms? Tealizard's post does a good job of illustrating this, albeit from the perspective of going back up and clearing the unexplored terrain.

That being said, I'll again admit that the exploration argument is not that important. I think it's more important to bring the execution of shaft traps more in line with the goals of shaft traps as stated by dpeg and ebering. Which, in my opinion, is just less shafts with less floors dropped in the early game and more of both in the mid- to late game.

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 18:52

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

IveGoneSupine wrote:Coupled with this, a shaft event on N could drop the player to N+2, which is obviously much riskier than taking a staircase down to N+1.
A shaft event on N+1 is just as likely as a shaft event on N, and could drop the player to N+3, which is obviously much riskier than a shaft dropping the player to N+2. You're making the assumption that level N+1 cannot have a shaft, which is only true if that level is a branch end or similar level - not the case in early game!

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Post Sunday, 7th April 2019, 23:00

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Thanks for the clarification, duvessa. However, I made a point of not making that assumption. Here is some quoted text from my posts:

IveGoneSupine wrote:Going down is required for success, but fully exploring a floor is not required for success.

IveGoneSupine wrote:So I agree that N+1 has the same or higher risk for a shaft event as N, but that risk is outweighed by the need to progress downwards.


Yes, exploring a new floor means you put yourself at risk of being shafted, with a worse outcome. But exploration of a new floor is required for success. Fully exploring a new floor is not required for success and still puts you in an outcome that would cause death.

Here's another way of framing it. There's acceptable risk and there's unacceptable risk. Going down the stairs to N+1 and exploring is an acceptable risk, because you want to win the game. Fully exploring N, when you know you can survive on N+1, is an unacceptable risk because it is not required and, as you agreed, increases your chances of being shafted.

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Post Monday, 8th April 2019, 04:20

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Ok, think of the following strategy: you explore as little of each level as possible, only enough to find and use the stairs down. This strategy minimizes the number of shafts you hit. Compared to fully exploring, does this strategy increase or decrease the risk posed by shafts?

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Post Monday, 8th April 2019, 23:55

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Decrease your chances of getting shafted, but also severely decrease your chances of getting the orb and winning. That's why I always used the following qualifier in my posts:

IveGoneSupine wrote:Let's say you've done enough on your current floor to the point where you know you can survive on the next floor, but there is still unexplored terrain.

IveGoneSupine wrote:A truly risk averse player is going to look at any unexplored space that is not necessary for surviving on the next floor as a potential shaft event.

IveGoneSupine wrote:Fully exploring N, when you know you can survive on N+1, is an unacceptable risk because it is not required and, as you agreed, increases your chances of being shafted.


It's cool if you don't agree with the exploration point, bud. I think the rest of the initial proposal still stands pretty well.

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Post Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 01:11

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I am certain that the rest of your proposal, or anything like it, has no chance of catching on with the DCSS devteam. It's a complete dead end. You're not going to get early game shafts removed. I talked about the not-fully-exploring issue because it's the part of your post that seems like it might lead to something.
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Post Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 02:32

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

It seems to me that recent changes to traps only alter the set of weird exploration tricks that reduce the danger of traps. That's the problem with focusing on narrow problems. It makes you think you're solving a big problem by eliminating the most annoying defect, but the progress you actually make is just the difference between the most annoying defect and the second most annoying defect. The ultraviolent4 floor trap demonstration only pointed to the tip of an iceberg. The solution is not to get rid of the tip.

Unfortunately, while it seems almost certainly true to me that you can game shaft frequency by pursuing a strategy like I describe above (and my ratios there are probably very conservative -- I would speculate that you can consistently get 90% of the monsters on a level exploring closer to a third of a level's floor space), I would be surprised if a demonstration of that could be so vivid as to change the thinking on shafts.
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Post Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 05:53

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

duvessa wrote:I am certain that the rest of your proposal, or anything like it, has no chance of catching on with the DCSS devteam. It's a complete dead end. You're not going to get early game shafts removed. I talked about the not-fully-exploring issue because it's the part of your post that seems like it might lead to something.


That's cool. I'm glad you found it interesting.

tealizard wrote:It seems to me that recent changes to traps only alter the set of weird exploration tricks that reduce the danger of traps. That's the problem with focusing on narrow problems. It makes you think you're solving a big problem by eliminating the most annoying defect, but the progress you actually make is just the difference between the most annoying defect and the second most annoying defect. The ultraviolent4 floor trap demonstration only pointed to the tip of an iceberg. The solution is not to get rid of the tip.

Unfortunately, while it seems almost certainly true to me that you can game shaft frequency by pursuing a strategy like I describe above (and my ratios there are probably very conservative -- I would speculate that you can consistently get 90% of the monsters on a level exploring closer to a third of a level's floor space), I would be surprised if a demonstration of that could be so vivid as to change the thinking on shafts.


I get what you're saying, but what you just described is the definition of progress. You either chip away at problems or you do a complete overhaul. Failing a big overhaul, you gotta do what you can to make it better.
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Post Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 05:59

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Simply removing traps would've been a fine solution and it would be better than what they've got now. Stair-traps would make a fine replacement, but not necessary. It's not true that you have to chip away at problems to make progress. [edit: Or, I should say, it is not necessary to "overhaul" a feature to make progress. Frequently, simply removing the feature without replacement makes both a clean, simple break and a radical improvement. Legacy crawl features often suck so bad that totally removing them is a better option than any plausible reform.]

As an aside, upthread we see references to the devteam's enlightened position on shafts. They're not wrong, but they don't take that next, crucial step: it's good not to have stairs available in crawl. Pretty much every time you replace a situation with stairs going up with one without stairs, that's a good thing. The possible implication that you need to do this at random in the form of a trap to make it a good thing is completely wrong.
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Post Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 15:29

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Monster threat scales with dungeon depth. Why shouldn't trap threat do the same?

Because reasons. The end. I feel like shafts got increased and have made similar arguments before. You go around in circles with people arguing all sorts of different reasons and nobody seems to agree that having traps be most dangerous at the exact time they are most tedious (I.e causing replays of D1-5) is going to cause people to have less enjoyment of the game.

It's a dead end. I've learnt to just deal with it and take a break if it gets too much. Splat less, play d1-5 less, and hit less traps. I guess thats an argument in itself for not reducing their occurance or difficulty curve, right? :?:

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Post Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 19:47

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

delarado wrote:Monster threat scales with dungeon depth. Why shouldn't trap threat do the same?
All the traps except Zot traps work by putting you closer to monsters. Zot trap frequency scales with dungeon depth. So trap threat scales with dungeon depth just as much as monster depth does.

Of course, in practice, monster threat goes down with dungeon depth, not up, because your character gets more powerful faster than monsters do - the greatest monster threat is on like D:2. So yeah, traps are more impactful earlier in the game, but only because monsters are more impactful earlier in the game.

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Post Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 09:19

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

duvessa wrote:
delarado wrote:Monster threat scales with dungeon depth. Why shouldn't trap threat do the same?
All the traps except Zot traps work by putting you closer to monsters. Zot trap frequency scales with dungeon depth. So trap threat scales with dungeon depth just as much as monster depth does.

Of course, in practice, monster threat goes down with dungeon depth, not up, because your character gets more powerful faster than monsters do - the greatest monster threat is on like D:2. So yeah, traps are more impactful earlier in the game, but only because monsters are more impactful earlier in the game.


Except in the most obvious of scenarios concerning traps in this thread, shaft traps. A shaft trap can put you closer to monsters of a greater difficulty than your current maximum possibly obtained experience is matched with. Not only that, you can be moved in such a manner that you're completely surrounded with no escape anywhere nearby. Then, there is the possibility of being shafted more than once which would make the deadliness of the previous shaft(s) even greater.

I think it is reasonable to make the argument that shafts don't scale the same way as monster threat of a dungeon depth.

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Post Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 10:43

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I hate shafts because they punish player for no reason and you can do nothing about it except healing fully before doing any exploration (and casting Apportation to pick up all items in view which is boring/stupid).
Can we replace all shafts with monster which has a new spell "You are instantly teleported 2 levels deeper in dungeon if you have the monster in your view more than 10 turns" ? When the monster casts the spell, the monster instantly dies. Then players might have some options how to deal with it: 1) burn a consumable to kill it (make it susceptible to Silence, or just quaff berserk/might etc.), as bonus you get some XP, 2) avoid it (with some risk of meeting it later when you are not at full HP!) 3) accept the shaft as inevitable (probably because you are at full HP). Arguably first 2 options are more interesting than the 3rd one but all we have now is just 3rd option.
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Post Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 12:16

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

duvessa wrote:
delarado wrote:Monster threat scales with dungeon depth. Why shouldn't trap threat do the same?
All the traps except Zot traps work by putting you closer to monsters. Zot trap frequency scales with dungeon depth. So trap threat scales with dungeon depth just as much as monster depth does.

Of course, in practice, monster threat goes down with dungeon depth, not up, because your character gets more powerful faster than monsters do - the greatest monster threat is on like D:2. So yeah, traps are more impactful earlier in the game, but only because monsters are more impactful earlier in the game.


I don't understand the logic of "one in 5 types of trap scales with dungeon depth so therefore trap threat scales with dungeon depth"

Thats a bit like saying "Glorx Vloq is easy to kill so all pan lords are easy to kill"

You've also kind of just made my point for me there.

Delarado wrote: having traps be most dangerous at the exact time they are most tedious (I.e causing replays of D1-5) is going to cause people to have less enjoyment of the game.


You have just said monsters are most threatening in early dungeon. Why is it a good idea/balanced to make early dungeon even more threatening with a trap that is most dangerous when you are most vulnerable?

I must admit, I'd prefer it this way (Shafted static number of floors on D:x) than the other (Shafted greater number of floors the deeper you go) but thats only because dying earlier when you feel like its unavoidable is less ragequit inducing than dying later when you feel like its unavoidable. But why can't we limit it to 1 floor before d:4 and 2 floors before D:6 or so?

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Post Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 12:29

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I hate shafts because they punish player for no reason and you can do nothing about it except healing fully before doing any exploration (and casting Apportation to pick up all items in view which is boring/stupid).
Can we replace all shafts with monster which has a new spell "You are instantly teleported 2 levels deeper in dungeon if you have the monster in your view more than 10 turns" ? When the monster casts the spell, the monster instantly dies. Then players might have some options how to deal with it: 1) burn a consumable to kill it (make it susceptible to Silence, or just quaff berserk/might etc.), as bonus you get some XP, 2) avoid it (with some risk of meeting it later when you are not at full HP!) 3) accept the shaft as inevitable (probably because you are at full HP). Arguably first 2 options are more interesting than the 3rd one but all we have now is just 3rd option.


Even if the monster uses the spell immediately, I think I can be convinced of the result than now. I'm going to blame myself for not training stealth.
What if the monster is a statue?

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Post Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 20:06

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

delarado wrote:
duvessa wrote:
delarado wrote:Monster threat scales with dungeon depth. Why shouldn't trap threat do the same?
All the traps except Zot traps work by putting you closer to monsters. Zot trap frequency scales with dungeon depth. So trap threat scales with dungeon depth just as much as monster depth does.

Of course, in practice, monster threat goes down with dungeon depth, not up, because your character gets more powerful faster than monsters do - the greatest monster threat is on like D:2. So yeah, traps are more impactful earlier in the game, but only because monsters are more impactful earlier in the game.


I don't understand the logic of "one in 5 types of trap scales with dungeon depth so therefore trap threat scales with dungeon depth"
That's not the logic. The logic is "4 of the 5 types of trap scale with monster power, which scales with dungeon depth, and the other 1 of the 5 types of trap becomes more common with dungeon depth, therefore trap threat scales with dungeon depth as much as monster threat scales with dungeon depth".

duvessa wrote:
Delarado wrote: having traps be most dangerous at the exact time they are most tedious (I.e causing replays of D1-5) is going to cause people to have less enjoyment of the game.


You have just said monsters are most threatening in early dungeon. Why is it a good idea/balanced to make early dungeon even more threatening with a trap that is most dangerous when you are most vulnerable?
Everyone agrees that early game is the most dangerous part of the game. We disagree on whether early game is the most tedious part of the game; I find it the least tedious. So I am not bothered by making it more dangerous.

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2019, 04:46

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

Even if I die because of the hell effect, I can be convinced of the consequences. I went in knowing that hell was in danger. It's all my fault that's caused by it. The use of alarm traps, teleport traps and nets by monsters is annoying but understandable. It happened because I was poor at vision and noise management.
Did the alarm go off? I can cancel it by drinking potion of cancellation. I can also use 'Yara's Violent Unravelling' for myself.
Did I get caught in the net? Use blink.
Teleport traps are a little tricky. But I know where the stairs are. It's not like the monsters downstairs are coming up. This risk is tolerable.
I can meet gnoll on the first floor. This is too much of a risk, but I may be cleverly out of it.
Be ready, follow-up measures can reduce the risks listed above. But shafts are different. This is extremely dangerous, but it is not able to cope(Because you have to go to the next floor to win). All I can do is pray. Don't get me wrong. I think shaft's mechanism is fun. But it's not the way it is now.

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2019, 13:25

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I see there are two types of players: those who like exciting moments/deaths for no reason and those who don't so it looks like we cannot have everyone happy. But actually the same situation was with player ghosts so probably we can adapt ghost solution to shafts. For example, shafts are placed inside vaults with loot AND runed transparent door. When you open the door, you are instantly shafted 2 levels deeper. When (if) you return back to the vault, you can get the loot. If you ignore the vault and enter next floor normally, the loot is destroyed. Thus some players can have fun and get rewarded for that, other players can continue playing the way they like (and still sometimes be tempted to get shafted because of amazing loot and die but it will be their own fault). Everyone's happy.
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Post Thursday, 11th April 2019, 14:30

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:When you open the door, you are instantly shafted 2 levels deeper
Or maybe a transparent teleport-in only vault, with a shaft as only exit?

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2019, 14:41

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

rigrig wrote:
VeryAngryFelid wrote:When you open the door, you are instantly shafted 2 levels deeper
Or maybe a transparent teleport-in only vault, with a shaft as only exit?


I think it is better to give the reward only after returning. It will be closer to current shafts (the floor you shafted from is rather easy after you return) and also more fun/unique. Another thing is that if the loot is very powerful, you no longer care about shaft (something like dragon king armour)
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Post Thursday, 11th April 2019, 14:55

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I often think it's fun being shafted, even though it is dangerous. I still get to choose how to react upon landing. Are they deadly? Sometimes yes, other times not as much. But here is what I don't like:

* I wouldn't like being shafted coming down stairs, or because some other monster stepped on something (hopefully this isn't the case in development)
* I wouldn't like being shafted on a level containing a timed vault, especially shafted more than one level down, and even worse to another level with a bonus vault. Remove shafts on levels spawning timed vaults.
* I don't enjoy being shafted several times even before I've gotten past the first few dungeon levels (I've had this happen recently, got back up only to be re-shafted back down in a loop)

* I propose the rate of shafting be at least slightly reduced, it is currently common enough that it is more of an eye roll than surprising and exciting.
* I think the maximum # of floors you can fall should pertain to the dungeon level such as no more than 1 floor on D:1-3, 2 floors on D:4-6, etc.
* Consider blocking shafting if it has recently occurred within a certain time frame (similar to resisting chain paralysis), because you're stepping more carefully..
* Consider changing a shaft event into a flag which takes 1 or 2 turns to actually happen (similar to petrify, but maybe more quickly), so that people who want to try and avoid shafting can at least attempt to blink, teleport or quaff flying. The flavor is that you aren't stepping on a teleport trap, but the floor is actually giving out beneath you. You'd be able to hear creaking and feel it beginning to break up for a second or two before your body went crashing through, unless you were so careless that you'd step on any flimsy balsa wood flooring. Smaller, lighter species would have more time, and larger heavier species would have less or zero time to react.

I understand it is a mechanism that isn't necessarily fair, and I am fine with that. Randomized rolls determining if you will live or die aren't fair either. I just feel the point is that the risks ideally should have more tie in with the way the players play rather than just random bolts of lighting from the sky that instantly kill you for no apparent reason. Shafts are on the more dangerous side, but don't cross it. For that reason they should be less common. On the subject of unfair, one of the biggest offenders which is far more problematic than shafts is the paralysis mechanism, when you get to just ---more--- through pages of crap until you're dead.

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Post Thursday, 11th April 2019, 15:28

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I keep coming back to this point, but looking at where the thread is going, it bears repeating: The good thing about shafts is the outcome of being shafted, namely being on a level, perhaps with depth out of the PC's comfort zone, without immediate recourse to stairs.

Many complaints about shafts really have to do with the delivery mechanism, traps. The good kind of complaint about traps is that traps are a half-baked idea, easily gamed in ways that are tedious and disrupt normal play.

The other kind of complaint focuses on the arbitrary, random nature of getting caught by traps. That sort of complaint seems out of place in a game heavily based on randomization, but suggests a thought experiment: What if shafts were not traps, but instead were required to progress at certain parts of the game, e.g. the only way to enter some branch or the only way to progress beyond d:10 (or some earlier floor even)? Suppose you did both so a typical 3 rune game has one required shaft and another theoretically optional but strongly encouraged one (say on one of the lair branches). It'd be hard to say this is unfair or happens for "no reason." Psychologically, it seems like a major improvement for some.

To my mind the problem with random deployment of shafts isn't that the player gets shafted at random but that the player may randomly not get shafted. Optional shafts would make this worse -- the player may not get shafted out of their own cowardice and caprice! I think it's fair for the game to force the player to pull the trigger, but to allow them to avoid the shaft through choice or chance is unacceptable.
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Post Friday, 12th April 2019, 05:21

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I'm not gonna lie, tealizard, reading your posts makes me think your favorite branch in the game is the Abyss, haha

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Post Friday, 12th April 2019, 06:45

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

tealizard wrote:I keep coming back to this point, but looking at where the thread is going, it bears repeating: The good thing about shafts is the outcome of being shafted, namely being on a level, perhaps with depth out of the PC's comfort zone, without immediate recourse to stairs.

Many complaints about shafts really have to do with the delivery mechanism, traps. The good kind of complaint about traps is that traps are a half-baked idea, easily gamed in ways that are tedious and disrupt normal play.

The other kind of complaint focuses on the arbitrary, random nature of getting caught by traps. That sort of complaint seems out of place in a game heavily based on randomization, but suggests a thought experiment: What if shafts were not traps, but instead were required to progress at certain parts of the game, e.g. the only way to enter some branch or the only way to progress beyond d:10 (or some earlier floor even)? Suppose you did both so a typical 3 rune game has one required shaft and another theoretically optional but strongly encouraged one (say on one of the lair branches). It'd be hard to say this is unfair or happens for "no reason." Psychologically, it seems like a major improvement for some.

To my mind the problem with random deployment of shafts isn't that the player gets shafted at random but that the player may randomly not get shafted. Optional shafts would make this worse -- the player may not get shafted out of their own cowardice and caprice! I think it's fair for the game to force the player to pull the trigger, but to allow them to avoid the shaft through choice or chance is unacceptable.


This is very interesting point of view. May I assume that your other complaints about the game are:
1) player is not banished before Lair
2) player is not drained to 0 skills in Depths
3) player does not incur god wrath while already in danger
etc.
Generally if player does not experience some very nasty things then the game is not as interesting as it might be?
And yes, if I know I will need to use a shaft, it will make me more happy. Actually even limiting shafts to some low number like 1 or 2 will make me happy because every time I am shafted and survive it I will know I am closer to winning. Currently if I am shafted and survive it I am not awarded at all, most often I am even punished comparing to a lucky player who was not shafted or was shafted into position where he/she didn't need to use any consumables.
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Post Friday, 12th April 2019, 07:37

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I comment on the shaft issue because the proposition that "shafts are good" is pretty central to active development and surrounding discussions. It's really weird to see people get so solidly behind dpeg's old comments on this which are really not well thought out at all. For example, he seems to recognize that you can separate the delivery mechanism from the shaft effect, but concludes, well, then we'll just improve the way traps work. We're seeing how that goes, exactly the approach that was under discussion at that time as I recall. To me, if shafts are so good, they ought to have a more deliberate and controlled presence. That's not what traps give you.

About abyss, I'm not a big fan because too much of the time the player outclasses the monsters there. Pretty often it's sparsely populated and tedious too. At its best though, abyss can produce nice chase dynamics, similar to what sometimes happens after shafting.
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Post Friday, 12th April 2019, 07:44

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

tealizard wrote:About abyss, I'm not a big fan because too much of the time the player outclasses the monsters there. Pretty often it's sparsely populated and tedious too. At its best though, abyss can produce nice chase dynamics, similar to what sometimes happens after shafting.


Did you miss "before Lair" part? I don't think there are many Abyss monsters who are outclassed at that XL. To me shafts are really similar to early Abyss trips, you are put into new location which can potentially have several very dangerous monsters surrounding you and you have nowhere to run, just hope to teleport in safe place.

PS. I hope devs won't remove MR check for banishment after reading this comment :)
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Post Friday, 12th April 2019, 07:50

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

I was responding to the previous comment re: abyss.
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Post Friday, 12th April 2019, 10:58

Re: Shafts - Too common now?

svendre wrote:* Consider changing a shaft event into a flag which takes 1 or 2 turns to actually happen (similar to petrify, but maybe more quickly), so that people who want to try and avoid shafting can at least attempt to blink, teleport or quaff flying.


My memory may be failing me but I'm pretty sure that part of the reason I started this thread was because I got shafted three floors on swamp:1 despite having boots of flying active and died a few turns later to a pack of Hydras/Blink Frogs I got landed next to.

So While I like your idea, flying, somehow, does not prevent you from getting shafted.
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