Timed vaults are fun and there should be more


If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it belongs here. Also, come here if you just need to get hammered.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 24th November 2013, 04:12

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 19:29

Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

I haven't put much thought into this so I think posting here is more appropriate than GDD. I just thought I'd get a discussion going on timed vaults in general.

Personally, I think they're one of the most interesting aspects of the early game. They're a great break flavorwise from the early dungeon, which is somewhat bland. For a newer player, entering something like ossuary is a really exciting experience; it feels mystical and scary in a way that dungeon does not. I also like ossuary specifically because it's a much safer preview of tomb and is also virtually the only place in the game where traps are tactically important.

Generally, I think offering the player extra loot at extra risk is fun, even if going for the loot is suboptimal, i.e. ice cave without rC+ or Elf:3. Making timed vaults risky is good for balance: if the loot usually isn't worth the risk, more vaults can be added without fear of making the game too easy for players who find them. Hard vaults also help with the concerns from people who dislike timed vaults and want to see them (especially labyrinth) removed.

Anyway, I think adding a few more timed vaults would really improve the game. Has anyone had ideas for new vaults? Going back to ossuary, I think it could be cool to add other miniature versions of late game content. Perhaps mini-Pan? It could be some sort of temple to a Pan Lord, with humanoid acolytes and weak demons. I think giving new players who can't get past lair a glimpse of endgame content could be really fun.

EDIT: I should add that I don't the fact that they're timed is what makes them fun, so new vaults need not necessarily be timed. What makes them good is that they are optional, and a sharp departure from dungeon in terms of both tactics and flavor.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 431

Joined: Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 17:34

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 21:41

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

There have been several ideas raised for new portal vaults, including an early demonic one, and since they're "extra" content in a sense they seem like they'd get in pretty easily. The main obstacle is just the amount of work necessary; you need quite a few possible maps to prevent the portal from being repetitive. For instance, there are a full 18 distinct ossuaries, most with randomization, not to mention 6 ossuary entry vaults, and ossuary.txt is one of the smaller portal vault files. That's a sizeable amount of effort, so making a new portal will take either a serious contribution from one person, or a compelling theme to draw volunteers! :)

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 24th November 2013, 04:12

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 22:11

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

I did some poking around the dev wiki and couldn't find any proposed portal vaults, perhaps I was looking in the wrong place? I realize that they're a big time investment, but the more I think about the more I think it could be a fun project. I may take a stab at creating one over winter break. Unfortunately I have very little coding experience and I'm guessing that the level generation algorithm would require pretty advanced knowledge of Lua or whatever is used. Do you think a portal vault is feasible as a sort of learn-to-code project?
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 143

Joined: Wednesday, 23rd October 2013, 02:30

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 22:33

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

Maybe one day someone will make a crawl-level editor. Then all of us newbs can make vaults and sprints.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8783

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 22:37

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

Someone actually did make one a while ago (it even displays tiles) but I can't find a link to it...

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 24th November 2013, 04:12

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 22:43

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

After taking a look at some of the .des files for portal vaults, it seems like it's within reach. It looks like the layouts are predefined with some random elements, instead of generated from pieces. I guess it would mostly be a matter of making 15 or so different layouts and making whatever tiles are needed. Easier said than done of course.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 23:37

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

monty wrote:After taking a look at some of the .des files for portal vaults, it seems like it's within reach. It looks like the layouts are predefined with some random elements, instead of generated from pieces. I guess it would mostly be a matter of making 15 or so different layouts and making whatever tiles are needed. Easier said than done of course.


Once you get the hang of vault design, it's pretty easily done also. Proposed portal vaults are on the devwiki here.

I've worked a little on two proposals, Demon Pit and Dragon's Den, though they stalled out for various reasons (not the least of which is that I occasionally get burned out on working on Crawl).
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 762

Joined: Thursday, 25th April 2013, 02:43

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 00:04

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

duvessa wrote:Someone actually did make one a while ago (it even displays tiles) but I can't find a link to it...

http://infiniplix.ca/applets/vault_editor.html
On IRC my nick is reaverb. I play online under the name reaver, though.

For this message the author reaver has received thanks:
duvessa
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 00:49

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

monty wrote:I did some poking around the dev wiki and couldn't find any proposed portal vaults


Did you navigate through Brainstorm, Dungeon, Portal Vaults, Portal Feedback & Proposals? How about to the overall listing?
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 24th November 2013, 04:12

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 01:09

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

I found them now, thanks! I was looking in branches, which is obviously not where they are. I really like the proposed demon pit idea where each layout is the lair of a tier-3 demon.

Off topic, but the autumnal ruins branch proposal is awesome! I guess the need for new monsters is holding it back, which is too bad because the Asian mythology flavor is so good.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 01:55

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

monty wrote:I found them now, thanks! I was looking in branches, which is obviously not where they are. I really like the proposed demon pit idea where each layout is the lair of a tier-3 demon.


So did I, but it turns out that the existing tier-4 and -5 demons are pretty boring tactically, so in practice there's not many interesting things to do with a Demon Pit beyond throwing a handful of lesser demons into a layout.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 24th November 2013, 04:12

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 02:19

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

nicolae wrote:So did I, but it turns out that the existing tier-4 and -5 demons are pretty boring tactically, so in practice there's not many interesting things to do with a Demon Pit beyond throwing a handful of lesser demons into a layout.

I would think they're more tactically interesting than the rats and kobolds in sewers or mummies in ossuary. I think good flavor and interesting layouts could probably make up for that. Not to mention, the real tactical challenge would be the neqoxec or whatever tier-3 is at the back of the vault. Sun demons are probably too strong for that depth though.

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 03:37

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

monty wrote:
nicolae wrote:So did I, but it turns out that the existing tier-4 and -5 demons are pretty boring tactically, so in practice there's not many interesting things to do with a Demon Pit beyond throwing a handful of lesser demons into a layout.

I would think they're more tactically interesting than the rats and kobolds in sewers or mummies in ossuary. I think good flavor and interesting layouts could probably make up for that. Not to mention, the real tactical challenge would be the neqoxec or whatever tier-3 is at the back of the vault. Sun demons are probably too strong for that depth though.


But with vaults, you can get a little creative not only with the creatures, but also experimenting with some new effects. One idea that popped into my head: The demon pit layout is variable with random elements (like other portal vaults), however, generally open floor plan, with some obstacles and corridors for cover. It initially is empty, but then begins summoning demons, but with a much shorter than usual turncount before timing out and poofing away. You don't have to kill all (or even any) of the demons, but you do have to survive. After a while, the pit stops calling forth demons, you've "won" the portal vault, and a new room is generated with a nice pile of loot. There is an exit through which you can bail before the end, but you get nothing for your efforts if you do so. Tier 1 would still be out of the question early on, obviously, but I think you could get away with tougher ones than just imps if you did something like this.
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 143

Joined: Wednesday, 23rd October 2013, 02:30

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 21:33

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

reaver wrote:
duvessa wrote:Someone actually did make one a while ago (it even displays tiles) but I can't find a link to it...

http://infiniplix.ca/applets/vault_editor.html


:D Now I can finally master the art of making bad vaults that get denied!

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 22:00

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

monty: Sure! More portal vaults are always fun. It's definitely not necessary to start out with 15 maps... none of the currently existing portal vaults did. A single one is good enough: others will make more maps, don't worry. (If the number of maps is small, the vault will just be a bit rarer, to avoid repetition.) I definitely agree that early game content like this matters a lot. By the way, that was one of the lessons we learned from the first Crawl survey: so many players never even reach the midgame, so giving them new stuff (uniques, vaults etc.) will always be appreciated.

I want to believe: No coding skills are required to make maps. There's actually something of an introduction, start by looking at some simple entry vaults and read the level documentation in parallel.

nicolae: Before giving up on your ideas, would you share what you have? I still believe that an early game demon vault would work. I wouldn't worry about the mediocrity of 4 and 5 demons -- the zombies and mummies of Ossuaries aren't anything to write home about either. Just lower your expectations :) Having the maps flavourful and challenging enough suffices (and, I maintain, the earlier, the better).

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 22:21

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

dpeg wrote:Just lower your expectations :)


now that I can do!

Dungeon Dilettante

Posts: 3

Joined: Thursday, 12th December 2013, 15:52

Post Thursday, 12th December 2013, 15:56

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

It would be cool to have an empty mansion that you wander around, and you open doors and there might be monsters or loot inside.

Like, it could be a vampire's manor, so theres a vampire in the master bedroom, and bats or other undead in the rooms.

Or an artificers house and put a lot of golems in it

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Thursday, 12th December 2013, 16:52

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

horatiothegreat wrote:It would be cool to have an empty mansion that you wander around, and you open doors and there might be monsters or loot inside.

Like, it could be a vampire's manor, so theres a vampire in the master bedroom, and bats or other undead in the rooms.

Or an artificers house and put a lot of golems in it

There's plenty of room for cool stuff in an artificer's house. Imagine a trap that causes walls to rotate or doors to close/lock, trapping you in or dumping some monsters on you. Maybe he's a summoner in a room with a tele trap, and he's constantly summoning stuff to tele around the level until you can rotate the right wall to kill him.
User avatar

Sewers Scotsman

Posts: 3192

Joined: Friday, 13th May 2011, 08:47

Location: Ultima Thule

Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 15:20

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

dpeg wrote:that was one of the lessons we learned from the first Crawl survey: so many players never even reach the midgame, so giving them new stuff (uniques, vaults etc.) will always be appreciated.

I think this is important. I remember reading that section of the results of the first survey and being struck by it (not least because I'd never been past midgame at that point). Even now that I'm slightly (not much) better at the game and have ascended a few times I've only ever been inside a wizlab half a dozen times - much of the design work that goes into them must only be seen by a minority of players.

Making the early game more diverse and hence more interesting benefits all players, since even the best pass through it.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 24th November 2013, 04:12

Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 17:20

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

I've been practicing making some small vaults with demons (not portal vaults) that could go in early dungeon, but I can't come up with anything that's really interesting besides just unexpected demon fights. Does anyone have ideas for smaller vaults with early demons? Are floating vaults with early demons something that would be welcome in crawl?

Confidence Interval: I think you're spot on. On top of more people seeing early game content, there's more variability in late game challenges already. All kinds of different ways to die, from shapeshifters, to uniques with large spell sets, and to the overall larger variety of monsters. In the early game its Sigmund and orc priests.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 18:32

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

monty wrote:I've been practicing making some small vaults with demons (not portal vaults) that could go in early dungeon, but I can't come up with anything that's really interesting besides just unexpected demon fights.


Now you're beginning to see why evilmike and I backed off on the Demon Pit idea. Though after dpeg's comment about lowered expectations, I got out my old file, which mostly just had the redone code for the entry portals, and I might try my hand at it again.

Does anyone have ideas for smaller vaults with early demons? Are floating vaults with early demons something that would be welcome in crawl?


Sure, I don't see why not.

In the early game its Sigmund and orc priests.


don't forget Grinder!
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 143

Joined: Wednesday, 23rd October 2013, 02:30

Post Friday, 13th December 2013, 19:34

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

nicolae wrote:
monty wrote:I've been practicing making some small vaults with demons (not portal vaults) that could go in early dungeon, but I can't come up with anything that's really interesting besides just unexpected demon fights.


Now you're beginning to see why evilmike and I backed off on the Demon Pit idea. Though after dpeg's comment about lowered expectations, I got out my old file, which mostly just had the redone code for the entry portals, and I might try my hand at it again.

Does anyone have ideas for smaller vaults with early demons? Are floating vaults with early demons something that would be welcome in crawl?


Sure, I don't see why not.

In the early game its Sigmund and orc priests.


don't forget Grinder!


What, the big guys don't get any love? Ogre's and their reskinned later game counterparts.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 02:00

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

nicolae wrote:
monty wrote:I've been practicing making some small vaults with demons (not portal vaults) that could go in early dungeon, but I can't come up with anything that's really interesting besides just unexpected demon fights.


Now you're beginning to see why evilmike and I backed off on the Demon Pit idea. Though after dpeg's comment about lowered expectations, I got out my old file, which mostly just had the redone code for the entry portals, and I might try my hand at it again.

I do believe that the threshold for almost all kinds of features has gone up (species, monsters, spells etc.)... as Darshan once put it "Linley's cowboy days are over". That's a good trend but my comment about expectations was half-serious. The most important thing for a new early game portal vault, in my opinion, is flavour. It doesn't have to come up with a new kind of threat or trick. Just facing some assortment of demons in a nice and proper environment would do!

What could make such a portal vault more lively? I'm also hard pressed for ideas, but stuff like blood fountains, fog generators, altars (Makhleb, Lugonu), portals (Hells, Abyss) might work -- not all in one map, of course. Loot could sometimes be a bad (=negatively enchanted) demon weapon. If you want slightly more story-like elements, there could be the corpse of a (presumably good) hero who didn't make it (for example, deposit a pre-identified scroll of Holy Word next to the corpse).

Opposition could be a number of 5 demons, and one 4 as the boss, or perhaps just a one on one fight against a particular 4 (or even 3)?

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8783

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 03:02

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

Ufetubus, lemure, and quasit are all very nearly the same monster, and crimson/iron imps are harmless (except for iron imps against nagas). The remaining 5s are white imps, shadow imps, and Grinder. This is a pretty thin monster set for a portal vault. Most of the 4s can kill players in a couple hits at sewer/ossuary depth, and the one that can't, rotting devil, is almost completely identical to a necrophage.
I think it would be better to target Lair depth or so...but ice caves already use demons extensively, as does a Lair ending vault, so they might be pretty played out already.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Saturday, 14th December 2013, 05:24

Re: Timed vaults are fun and there should be more

dpeg wrote:What could make such a portal vault more lively? I'm also hard pressed for ideas, but stuff like blood fountains, fog generators, altars (Makhleb, Lugonu), portals (Hells, Abyss) might work -- not all in one map, of course.

I had been thinking about maybe throwing in a few humanoids with vault-defined spell lists here and there to suggest adventurers who had come before but had been enslaved or driven insane, as a way to add the flavor while secretly patching up the weak monster variety. Really, though, I think the low-tier demons need some tweaking, though sadly I don't have any ideas at the moment.

Opposition could be a number of 5 demons, and one 4 as the boss, or perhaps just a one on one fight against a particular 4 (or even 3)?

Possibly. The original idea had the idea of each demon pit being the lair of a 3, but that would be extremely rough at ossuary depth. Perhaps combine it with part of the Dragon Den idea, where you want to sneak past the 3 to the loot rather than engaging...

Return to Crazy Yiuf's Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 12 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.