Elven Halls

Name dcss:brainstorm:branch: elf
Summary Ideas for Elven Halls.
Further information See also layouts
Added by evktalo
Added on 2010-08-06 16:09

Here's an analysis and a plan to make Elf more exciting.


Elf has six levels of repetition, then an exciting ending vault. The branch should be shortened to five levels.

The first two levels should stay about as easy as they are now, so that peeking in early stays an option. Levels three and four could be made a little more challenging, to offer some progression.

E7's ctele state could apply to all of elf, if possible - that is, no ctele on any floor until the fountains at the bottom are drained. The cloud entrance vaults would need to go, probably, but it's a simple way to make the entire place more interesting. — og17 2010-08-06 23:26
Shortening Elf to 5 levels but bumping up the generation of the high-level elves in the earlier floors sounds like an good plan for making Elf less dull, I'd really like to see it happen. — marvinpa 2010-09-27 18:55
I like the idea of a shorter Elf, but I also agree with the original point that the first one or two levels should stay the same. Having a large risk of running into a deep elf demonologist or master archer on elf:1 doesn't seem right to me. Also, it can be a good idea to visit the early part of the branch if you want to find a buckler (which can sometimes be hard to come by, but are very common in Elf). Doing that is currently a bit risky, but it isn't suicidal (which it would be if high level elves were more common on the early floors). — evilmike 2011-01-02 08:07
If Elf was already 5 levels, I bet you would have suggested shortening it to 3. When would people ever suggest lengthening a branch? Bear in mind that you are all pretty strong players. You don't need the extra loot a single level gives, but for someone else it might make the difference between ascending and not. What Elf needs to be more exciting is more vaults, and possibly different layout generation code. — vintermann 2011-02-07 12:55
If more XP or items are needed, add more XP or items instead of more levels. — minmay 2011-02-07 19:12


Elves aren't bad monsters. They're quite different from the other parts of the game. The problem is lack of variation within the branch. Also, the power curve between elves is rather sharp. If you go in early, the knights are a notable challenge. If you go in later, only the elves at the bottom mean much. They occasionally make an appearance at the shallower levels, but too rarely overall.

One idea that I had was that elves could utilize Blink Close and Blink Range. Melee elves could blink towards the player, while archers and casters could blink away to keep firing. Also, they could use Deflect Missiles against ranged attacks. Might want to make soldier and fighter into archer and fighter, or take equipment into account when choosing a spellbook for them.

Master archers and blademasters should stay as they are, as they're certainly significant without it. — og17 2010-08-06 23:18
I agree, they have no spells at the moment and shouldn't get any. — evktalo 2010-08-07 11:13


Elf has a good challenge:reward ratio. The end vault provides unique challenge, with a good amount of loot. It can be a good idea to pop in early, if the player wants an elven armour, a shield or arrows. You come to the place for loot - there's no rune, and the XP isn't huge either.


Adding vaults would be an easy way to provide more interest to the branch. Vaults should be conceptually like smaller versions of the Elf:7 vault: offer resistance in the form of the more challenging elves, and offer a reward in the form of loot.

Piecing the Elf loot reward into smaller chunks would offer an incentive to go to the branch earlier. It would also make it less monotonous.

The loot added this way could be removed from the branch end vaults. (The amount of challenge offered by the branch end shouldn't be reduced.)

I think it's better to keep the loot at the end - the end vault's going to be much tougher than the rest of elf no matter what happens, and players shouldn't be tempted to skip it in favor of earlier loot, especially if they're only after a specific resistance or spell. Earlier vaults would be great, but they should be obstacles, with the only reward being getting closer to the loot vault at the bottom. — og17 2010-08-06 23:26

Teleport Control

I really believe that quaffing the sparkling fountains on Elf:7 to enable cTele should be removed. It's a completely spoiler-reliant feature (those playing with no spoilers would quickly learn not to quaff sparkling fountains after being rotted/mutated, I'm sure, so why would they try it in Elf?) that doesn't even have any interesting gameplay consequences. In rune branches (the Hells mainly) with no cTele, you can run to get the rune and then cTele is enabled, at which point you teleport out. In Elf nothing like this happens, it's not possible to ninja all the loot, quaff the sparkling fountain and cTele out while avoiding combat, like you would do for a rune. Why not just permanently disable teleport control on Elf:7? — marvinpa 2010-09-27 18:55

I agree. If a way to disable cTele is really desirable, it should at least be easy to figure out, like killing the Royal Jelly or picking up a rune, both of which are probably already goals for unspoiled players visiting the respective branches. — mrmistermonkey 2010-09-27 21:23

How about upon first arrival on the level: “The magic of the fountains seems to block control of your translocations.”? And this would announce for those with or without skill in translocations. — tenaya 2010-12-31 16:56

How could a character possibly know that? That's a very gamey message for such a pointless feature. — og17 2010-12-31 20:37

You think the message is too obscure? Well it could be made to be more explicit, but I thought that “The magic fountains are blocking controlled teleport. Drink from them (at your own risk) to get rid of the magic and cTele will be enabled” sounded too out-of-theme. It really doesn't matter, though. By the time it's safe to drink from them (if that is really ever safe) it isn't necessary to drink from them. but I enjoy seeing a little variety in the branches, even if it's only aesthetic. — tenaya 2011-01-06 02:40

Why not make the fountains unique, so that they're not just ordinary sparkling fountains seen elsewhere in the game, but, say, highly ornate, majestically decorated magic fountains, with some sort of description indicating they're the source of the powerful magic blocking your teleport control? The cTele blocking property already sets them apart from other fountains. And maybe instead of requiring quaffing, they can be destroyed, with e.g. a wand of disintegration? — zannick 2011-01-01 23:26
> Or perhaps we could make it, say, a statue that emits an aura of coloured light.

Why, you ask? That might make it too easy to rush. But it could be protected somehow and make for a tactically interestingly risk/reward situation. — tenaya 2011-01-06 02:46

My point was more to make them stand out more as a dungeon feature, rather than make them easier to activate. — zannick 2011-01-09 21:43

Elf Castle

New idea for Elf layout theme. Elf levels increase going up instead of down (the branch entrance from Orc is a < for instance), and Elf:1 always has a surrounding area with a drawbridge/moat thing, similar to geh_old (and the player should start outside of it). Inside the moat is a normal layout of some kind (probably of geoelf, concentric_octagons, onion_city, etc - something geometrical and castle-shaped), and the layout type is fixed for all Elf levels in a given game. Elf:2 is another layout of the same type, and Elf:3 is a layout with the vault in the middle - most Elf end vaults already have a throne room kind of feel to them, so this should be somewhat flavorful already. The layouts themselves should favor openness more than corridors, since elves are ranged monsters in general. — doy 2014-08-07 02:50

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dcss/brainstorm/dungeon/branch/elf.txt · Last modified: 2014-08-07 02:50 by doy
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