Control Teleport


  • Teleport control is too strong in some places, notably Vault:8.
  • Semi-controlled blink for 2 mp and 1 glow is too good.
  • Controlled blink degrading to semi-controlled is too good in Zot:5.


dpeg, 06/2011

From the tavern and c-r-d mailing list — dpeg 2011-06-28 01:15

  • Hostile teleports are defined as monster spells, trap, teleportitis and ring (for ring see below).
  • All hostile teleports have a delay (say 1d3 for a start), apart from trap which is instant.
  • Hostile teleports with delay>0 are announced by “Tele” in a colour different from player teleport (lightred instead of blue, say).
  • You can cancel announced hostile teleports as usual, by teleporting on your own.
  • You cannot control hostile teleports (hence the colour scheme).
  • Additional hostile teleports (trap, another cast) immediately teleport, i.e. zero delay.
  • cTele from ring/randart are invoked (via ability menu). Failure like berserk ability (50-2*Evoc) would do for a start.
  • cTele mutation is removed.
  • High power portal cards teleport are not instant, but have a very short delay.
  • Teleportation traps come in two types: permanent ones (to be used for vaults) and finite ones (for random placement). (Teleportation traps can be scummed via luring monsters. Ideally, maps can also place finite teleportation traps.)
  • Increase level of the cTele spell to 5 or even 6.
  • The ring of teleportation becomes passive only (does not provide the ability to teleport anymore). Its random teleports are hostile.

Scope: the goal is to nerf semi-controlled blink, which provides very reliable escape given the ridiculously low cost. The nerf above is: * spell is more expensive * ring has to activated in advance (this means one more turn, and some investment in Evoc) If we find that semi-controlled blink can take more nerfing, then we should make the precision depend on power (of spell/evocation). That would be for later (not 0.9).

Reply by galehar: Some points which have been raised on IRC:

  • Making the ring of teleportation completely passive turns it into a pure bad item which is boring.
  • being able to cancel a teleport by teleporting again is an obscure mechanism that many players aren't aware off (removal has been, of course, suggested as a solution).
  • teleportitis is not that bad and is manageable even without stasis nor TC.
  • teleportitis is a fun mutation and doesn't need a counter.
  • it's interesting to be able to turn it around into a good thing by using TC.

Taken individually, all of those are valid points. About the comments on the dangerousness of the mutation, they were made by very good players. I believe that many average players rarely survive the mutation. But let's consider the whole situation. Currently, if you have teleportitis and can't cure it, here are your options:

  • Wear stasis and suffer the consequences (no tele/blink/haste).
  • Wear or cast TC. This completely nullify the threat of the mutation and can even be quite useful. Except in -cTele levels where it doesn't work.
  • Just live with it and teleport again if it throws you into a death trap.

I think this is way too binary. By giving a delay to the mutation (btw, I think 1d(5 - mut_level) is a good duration) we give a new option to the player to use consumables to cancel teleportation when it triggers. Stasis shouldn't work if you put it after the trigger, just like putting rP doesn't cure poison. TC is already very good, and I don't think allowing it to completely nullify a dangerous mutation is a good thing. Having to use consumables is more interesting than just wearing a ring. You have to choose when to accept the risk and save resources and when to burn them. Turning the ring of teleportation into a pure bad item is an unfortunate drawback of the new system, but I think it's worth it.

Regarding the “teleport cancel teleport” system being too obscure, this can be addressed. It's already in the manual. We can add a note about it in the descriptions of the scroll and the wand. We can add it to the tutorial and/or hint mode.

Blink and/or Semi-Controlled Blink

There is agreement that semicontrolled blink is way overpowered. Not just that you get fast, cheap movement (2 MP if used with the Blink spell and a cTele ring), it makes non-cTele levels much easier. Some ideas:

  • tgw: don't ask for the direction you want to blink rather ask for the direction you don't want to blink in
  • ebarrett: scrap semi-controlled blink: non-cTele level means that your blinks will be random
  • eronarn says: Blink and semi-controlled blink should have range be a function of power; 2 or 3 at no power at all, increasing to 8 at around 150.
  • rob: I agree with making these more dependent on power. For semi-controlled blink, I'd like to go with a weighted choice of target squares, with high power weighted more strongly in the desired direction. We need to watch out a little that it doesn't require more spell power than controlled blink to be useful.

Controlled Blink

  • tgw, eronarn: At low power, start with range of 2 (same as above Blink/Semi-Blink); at full power, have full range. The scroll works as now. The cTele ring only affects teleports.
  • KoboldLord: This spell is probably worth being higher level. If it was the translocations capstone spell, it would have a meaningful food cost for even the most focused casters, and you'd have to devote much more xp to get the same effect. I would argue that this spell can be reasonably argued to be the defensive equivalent of Fire Storm; when you want to evacuate, it just works. The same way Fire Storm pierces fire resistance, it overrides effects that normally block controlled translocations. — KoboldLord 2011-01-30 23:30

Cloud targeted blink

Replace blink, blink+ctele and controlled blink with “cloud blink”. This blink lands randomly in a target cloud which shrinks as spell/evo/invo power increases.

As a result low power has control only in wide open spaces and reliable blinking along corridors requires high power.

Control Teleport spell/ring has no effect on blinks. Levels with “powerful magical force warping space” increase cloud size (a lot).

Kalma 2012-10-12 11:08

Ring of Teleport Control

  • KoboldLord: Once you've identified this ring and know a valid translocations spell, you're unlikely to find two randart rings that are more useful in CTele-enabled levels than a vanilla ring of teleport control. Perhaps instead of causing the user to have teleport control enabled at all times, the ring of teleport control should be an evocable item like the ring of invisibility. You need the skill to get reliable use out of it, and causes glow and hunger just by being turned on. Whatever level of both is required to make activating it an intentional choice, rather than something to keep running for the entire game. Similar modifications for the spell would probably be good, so it isn't a strictly superior alternative. — KoboldLord 2011-01-30 23:30

Indirect Nerfs

  • KoboldLord: It would be a good thing to have some means of controlling teleport control in the game, aside from turning it off entirely. Nullifying it as a floor effect is all right as an occasional thing, but if it becomes too prevalent then it becomes a “Useless Useful Spell”, and it might as well be stricken from the game entirely. For instance, a monster spell Teleport Anchor that gives -TELE status for a duration could be randomly rotated into the spell lists of a number of mid- and late-game casters, and it would be natural for the iron-themed demons native to Dis.
  • Other monsters could have teleport control abilities of their own, and follow you automatically. This would be a thematically appropriate ability for Zin's divine minions, following their duty of pursuing law-breakers no matter where they run and bringing them to justice. Monsters with this ability should probably tend towards being glass cannons, because a non-threatening monster that is difficult to kill but cannot be gotten rid of is just an unpleasant annoyance.
  • The elemental gargoyles common in some of the Hell branches could get a Sentinel ability to use on the player. The ability would make it so all monsters who are already aware of the player will not become unaware of the player unless made to do so by a hex or other similar player ability. In other words, if you get into a scuffle in the entry area of Dis 7 and a metal gargoyle tags you with the Sentinel effect, every monster you were fighting would know exactly where you fled to and head off after you. Dispater sitting on his throne was not aware of you, so he would not be made aware. Sentinel would not time out on its own; you have to find and kill the gargoyle that is scrying you to get rid of it.
  • Levels with strong dispositions toward particular elemental effects could automatically react to translocations magic. For instance, teleporting in Cocytus could cause freezing-cold air to flood through the spacial breach, causing a localized freezing cloud at the destination. No matter where you teleport, you always end up in a cloud. No big deal if you were just traveling, since you would obviously have rC++ or so or you wouldn't be here, but more of a problem if you're depending on chain-blinking to save you from dangerous situations.— KoboldLord 2011-01-30 23:30

Levels With Teleport Restrictions

  • sorear: there should be at least one branch end where ctele isn't a game breaker for reasons other than “it doesn't work here”; ctele blocking is boring
  • eronarn also says: Vault:8 should use no_tele_into for the loot rooms. Zot:5 should use no_tele_into for everything outside the Orb Chamber proper; even after picking up the orb. dpeg: For Zot:5, this could also be used with some chance only
  • elliptic, dpeg: carring the orb should give -TELE
    • How about loss of cTele when carrying the orb? — evktalo 2010-04-03 15:16

Teleport Control (for Teleports)

  • dpeg, ebarrett: teleportation kicks in slower if controlled, but Tloc skill mitigates that effect
  • eronarn: cTele lets you choose destination. If you have high skill you can see where you would've ended up and decide whether you want a “do-over”
  • sorear: right now, there are two levels of control: none, and within 2 spaces. Make teleport control accuracy variable; perhaps starting at “66% chance of the correct side of the level” and working up for there. Can improve it from there depending on skill. The ring would have fairly high power, but not enough to reliably enter a Vault:8 loot vault. Variability should be something like an x/y normal distribution with mean at the chosen position and variance (per dimension) of pow(distance(new,old), 1.5)/5.

cTele only works on teleports you initiated

Not related to the above idea, as the above concerns player-initiated translocations. From 193. By dpeg.

Currently, there is a problem with the interaction of controlled teleports (cTele) and random teleports, e.g. from the mutation. In particular, you can press Escape to make sure you're not teleported, which creates some problems. There are various proposals for how to solve this, but here is a very simple one:

cTele only affects teleporations initiated by the player. That means the scroll, the spell, the wand, the ability but not the mutation, trap, monster casting teleport on you.

The cTele ring would be still very good, obviously. This proposal makes teleportitis somewhat harder as cTele won't help anymore. If we are concerned about this, I would simply make -TELE come up more often. Other ideas here are possible, too.

If we do this, we should change the teleportation messages, so as to make clear what is going on:

“You feel strangely unstable.” (current)

“You feel a familiar instability.” (future with working cTele) Kyrris “You feel strangely unstable.” (future without cTele) “You feel strangely unstable and unable to control it.” (future with cTele present but not working)

An idea to make cTele temporary

I've seen a lot of discussion on getting rid of perma-teleport control, and making the ring evocable. Here's my idea for how to do it.

  • Remove the random mutation. Not a great loss, since nothing has it intrinsically anyway.
  • Change the ring of teleport control to be a “ring of controlled teleport.” It has the passive effect of suppressing teleportitis (similar to how clarity suppresses zerkitis), and two evocable effects:
    • You can evoke it to do a single, controlled teleport, with the normal delay. Costs 5 MP, 300 food. This effect should not be easy to evoke: probably similar chances to the ring of teleportation now, if not even lower. This would give players a pretty good incentive to train Evo. Furthermore, these teleports do not cause glow, even though they are controlled. This shouldn't be a huge balance issue: controlled teleport is still too imprecise to use like controlled blink, and you wouldn't be able to support the MP and food cost of chaining too many together anyway.
    • You can evoke it to gain teleport control, like the spell cast at a power dependent on Evo. Costs 2 MP, 150 food. This effect should be easier to evoke but still not that reliable at low Evo, maybe something like (60+1.5*Evo)% chance of success or something similar. It's cheaper than the spell, but less reliable, always costs food, and requires training Evo.

I don't think any of this interferes with the ring of teleportation - it's still more common than the ring of teleport control, and until you get one, would still be desirable to have. -[user:Ion_frigate]

Other Feedback

Hitting period and then 'y' to cancel teleports when you have Control Teleport is annoying. It's also not clear if allowing CT to costlessly cancel any unwanted teleport is a good thing from a balance perspective – it makes tele traps weaker and -TELE not even situationally useful. One solution, let CT simply block (with a message but no prompt) hostile teleports, but with less than 100% effectiveness. Say:

  • Mutation- and item-induced teleports: prevented 80% of the time.
  • Tele trap induced teleports: Prevented 50% of the time.

When TC fails to block a teleport, it could be uncontrolled, or controlled but with the scattering condition.

Alternatively, you could simply eliminate the option of canceling teleports, and force players to take their chance with scattering and glow (as in 0.5.x and earlier.) This would be fine too.

But what seems problematic is the current arrangement where TC means immunity to hostile teleports, and where the player has to make an effort to costlessly cancel teleports. (If canceling had a cost, requiring the effort would be OK, since there would be a real decision involved.)

lemuel 2009-12-15 06:46

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dcss/brainstorm/effect/teleport_control.txt · Last modified: 2012-10-12 11:14 by Kalma
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