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#1 2012-10-02 08:38:32

NPPAngband
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Thoughts on quests

One thing I like about the arena quests that it breaks the mold of the "go to a level and kill x creatures" that all other quests follow.  I think wilderness quests, and labrynth quests need work to make them worth doing.  In both wilderness quests and labrynth quests, to me the levels seem too big, and it is too tedious to kill everything.  I am trying to think of ways to shake them up a little bit.  Ideas definitely welcome.

For labyrnth quest, I like the looks of the levels, and there has to be some great quest ideas for the player working its way through a maze.  Maybe finding 10 of a certain object and bring them back to the guild?  Maybe the maze completely changes every time the player finds one.  My only worry is that teleport other would make a quest of this sort incredibly easy.   The player needs to have the requirement of fighting their way through the corridors.  I do have the ability to count time elapsed on quests now, which opens up all kinds of possibilities.  IE collect 10 old bones in x number of turns.  I think this has the makings of a great quest, but I don't feel like I have the complete idea yet.

Personally, I find wilderness quests incredibly tedious.  There has to be a way of mixing them up.  Besides making the levels smaller, maybe there could be numerous forest fires or a gradually growing lava pit on the level, and some sort of time limit for the player to do something?

Other ideas for quests:  The player has to make some sort of last stand on a small level somewhere.  There is a spot that the player has to stand for x amount of turns without moving while fighting off the monsters charging at them. 

Do you all have any thoughts?

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#2 2012-10-02 08:51:41

camb
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Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 708

Re: Thoughts on quests

NPPAngband wrote:

I think wilderness quests, and labrynth quests need work to make them worth doing.  In both wilderness quests and labrynth quests, to me the levels seem too big, and it is too tedious to kill everything.

I totally agree -- I've tried each of those quest types once and don't feel the urge to try them again.

For the labyrinth, how about making the walls permanent, so the player really does have to follow the maze rather than just tunnel through. Or fill every second corridor with something impassable (lava?) or unpleasant (nether worms?) so the player is obliged to follow the path laid out before him rather than taking a shortcut by cutting across into parallel corridors. Or start a flood of lava from certain points in the labyrinth, which slowly flows along the corridor each turn.

A variant on the wilderness level might be a swamp quest, which starts out as wilderness but then each turn water encroaches into the level. The players and the creatures that share the level would then all be forced to move to the dry areas, and fight for territory as the dry areas become smaller and smaller islands.

Or maybe volcano levels that slowly fill with lava until there are only sporadic islands remaining, and all creatures have been herded onto them in tight bunches. Teleporting from island to island lands you in a cluster of annoyed monsters.

Cameron

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#3 2012-10-02 08:58:27

camb
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Re: Thoughts on quests

Sacrificial temple quests: The quest level contains a permanent temple, and the player must lure N monsters of a certain type into the temple. Each time a monster of the correct type enters the temple, it is destroyed, the gods are appeased, and the player is offered the creature's treasure and a little bonus reward.

The player must then find the required monsters elsewhere on the level, wake them up, then lure them into the temple without the monster killing them (I can imagine that luring Greater Balrogs halfway across a level could get dangerous) or the monster being killed other monsters.

Cameron

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#4 2012-10-02 10:15:55

murphy
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Posts: 275

Re: Thoughts on quests

camb wrote:

For the labyrinth, how about making the walls permanent, so the player really does have to follow the maze rather than just tunnel through. Or fill every second corridor with something impassable (lava?) or unpleasant (nether worms?) so the player is obliged to follow the path laid out before him rather than taking a shortcut by cutting across into parallel corridors.

That sounds like a good idea.  And I don't know how tough it would be to code, but supposed 'teleport other' magic always teleports the monster 'forwards' through the maze, and phase door or teleport self always teleports the player 'backwards' through the maze, then they would still be useful for safety but not shortcutting the maze.

Wilderness quests aren't that bad, but less fun than the others just because of the sheer size of the map and the tedium of searching for hidden monsters, so I'd think maybe if we figured a way to fix those properties it would help.

What about a 'trap' level quest where the challenge is to disarm all the traps.  There could be monsters too, but they aren't part of the challenge, its up to the player to kill them or run from them

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#5 2012-10-02 17:46:12

Sethos
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Registered: 2010-12-03
Posts: 80

Re: Thoughts on quests

I really like the temple Idea- but something else along those lines could be to do a level where you need to save some townsfolk by killing the monsters around their pen and leading them to a portal a short distance away. (Hmm... I wonder why I feel like this has been done:) )

Collecting items from the labyrinth could be great - and each time you collect one, new traps / dangerous tiles / more dangerous monsters would spawn. in that situation, I'd think that regular walls would be better - digging too much would make it easier for the mobs to get to you. you could even have each required treasure only spawn after the previous one had been collected - at a required minimum distance from the player, perhaps with vault like teleport restrictions near it as well.

actually, that sounds really terrifying, especially if you need to collect 10-20 items of awesome to finish the quest.


a variation on the islands / volcano level would be a king of the hill style level where things get progressively more cramped until you're all alone in a tiny room - it would make grabbing your loot along the way far more important!

and, of course, you'll need an option where you tell the guild "what'll you have me do?" and get a random quest (or perhaps semi random) but the reward would be a bit higher than normal, as you're doing what the guild most needs done.

man, if even a quarter of all this stuff ever makes it on, we'll all be on quest overload, for sure. (Though I mean that in a good way).

Last edited by Sethos (2012-10-02 17:58:34)

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#6 2012-10-02 19:42:54

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

camb wrote:

Sacrificial temple quests: The quest level contains a permanent temple, and the player must lure N monsters of a certain type into the temple. Each time a monster of the correct type enters the temple, it is destroyed, the gods are appeased, and the player is offered the creature's treasure and a little bonus reward.

The player must then find the required monsters elsewhere on the level, wake them up, then lure them into the temple without the monster killing them (I can imagine that luring Greater Balrogs halfway across a level could get dangerous) or the monster being killed other monsters.

Cameron

How do you lure the monsters into the temple?  The monster IA is for them to come after you, so are you the bait?.  Is the temple a specific square, or a room?

Wow, the leaders of the adventurer's guild sure is turning into a bloodthirsty bunch, aren't they? This all has a "hunger games" feel to it.  smile

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#7 2012-10-02 20:02:06

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

murphy wrote:

Wilderness quests aren't that bad, but less fun than the others just because of the sheer size of the map and the tedium of searching for hidden monsters, so I'd think maybe if we figured a way to fix those properties it would help.

Today I made it so the level is smaller.  Also, creatures that multiply, and creatures with the never move flag don't appear on them.

I also like the whole "wilderness level crashing in on the player" idea, where the monsters all get pushed towards the player at a set rate.  The only drawback with lava overflowing the level is that if the player has equipment or spells that make then native to lava, it isn't a challenge.  It might have to be lava walls (or ice glaciers) closing in on the player, pushing the monsters towards the player.

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#8 2012-10-02 20:46:52

Sethos
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Registered: 2010-12-03
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Re: Thoughts on quests

Perhaps you could use a reverse of the arena quest code to have the permawalls crush in slowly. you might pair this with some backwards form of earthquake that tends to give a lot of clear space and just a few walls/rubble, rather than a lot of rubble. that would tend to herd the monsters towards you, and would keep you from ever being truly safe, as an unlucky "Earthquake" could leave you badly exposed.


Just another random thought on quests that I think has been mentioned before - a quest that is all about destroying the level itself.

the level might come pre-mapped, and you need to dig out all the walls directly surrounding each permanent wall "Pillar" in the level. if the level can continue to spawn monsters, it could get pretty hairy while you try to dig around a half dozen or more pillars to bring the level crashing down around their ears.

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#9 2012-10-03 10:48:20

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

Am making the greater vault quest now. The only big decision is how much time to allow the player initially, and how much extra time for each monster killed. 

or the labrynth quests, how about a small labyrinth (maybe 25x50).  On the level are 6-8 summoning traps that are "stuck", and are constantly summoning creatures.  You have to go disarm all of the traps to complete the quest.  Teleport other would have very limited usefulness on a level that small.

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#10 2012-10-03 18:27:59

Sethos
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Re: Thoughts on quests

Methinks that the stuck traps might be a little odd. In that scenario, you would basically be required to haul in a wand/Rod of disarming and zap it once the trap is in LOS. This would become more and more necessary as the levels got deeper, as hacking/blasting your way through would get really dangerous, and that sort of requirement strikes me as dull. I'd have to say that the trap level inspires the same "Blah" feeling for me as well, but that's just my opinion, of course.

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#11 2012-10-03 20:02:16

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

It would be a little harder than that.  In labyrnth levels, you rarely have a LOS longer than a couple squares, so zapping from a distance with a disarming spell isn't possible.  My thought was you would have to fight through some waves of monsters to get close enough to the trap to disarm it.  And the level is small enough that anything teleported away won't be gone long.  Just a thought. 

There has to be some sort of interesting quest to make out of labrynth levels, since it is just a big maze. I think with the wilderness I will have lava and glacier walls closing in on teh player.  Maybe the player has to find and retreive some sort of valuable object before the whole level is destroyed.

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#12 2012-10-04 17:22:04

murphy
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Re: Thoughts on quests

wilderness quest has gone from one extreme to the other ... I never got out of a 10x10 square region in the bottom corner of the map, monsters kept appearing and I never got a moments rest.  Its definitely exciting now, but maybe now it could use a very slight adjustment back in the other direction :-)

Tried my first labyrinth quest and I didnt enjoy it quite like I expected, it took almost 170k turns to clear, for non-spellcaster the last few monsters can be tough to find, by the end I was just tunnelling my own hallways from one end to the other just because its too complex to clear methodically :-(

Just an idea, a labyrinth that fits entirely on the screen might be a bit more manageable.  I found it hard to plan a route through the maze when you have to page up and down, you kind of lose your place visually at the boundaries.

Just so I dont sound like I'm griping too much, I gotta say the variety of quests is great, so is choosing a reward, having a bit more control is a great feeling!

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#13 2012-10-04 18:09:34

camb
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Posts: 708

Re: Thoughts on quests

NPPAngband wrote:

I think with the wilderness I will have lava and glacier walls closing in on teh player.

Hmmm... and water where they meet?

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#14 2012-10-04 18:36:25

Sethos
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Re: Thoughts on quests

no, Boiling mud walls in the middle, of course!

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#15 2012-10-04 19:04:40

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

I should have explained that better.  Wilderness levels can be either forest or ice.  In forest levels, lava walls will spread from the outside in.  On ice levels, glacier walls will come crashing in.

Greater vault quests are almost done.  I should be uploading that tonight or tomorrow morning.

@murphy - yes, I have shrunk labyrith levels.  I temporarily changed wilderness quests back to full size.  Now that all the monsters move wilderness quests go much quicker.  I will work making both of those more interesting when I finish with greater vaults.  Labyrnth levels I want to be very small, with some sort of fixed objective, so they are quick, like arena quests.

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#16 2012-10-24 20:38:54

camb
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Re: Thoughts on quests

I wonder if Greater Vault quests still need a bit of tweaking. I currently take every one that's offered on principle (they are greater vaults after all!) but I'm now reaching the point where I might start declining them, as most are just not worth it.

Out of a couple dozen only one has been one of the real prize-givers (Bubbles). Haven't seen either a Huge or Huge-Modified yet sad

Most tend to be the less rewarding vaults, with only a few items of OOD treasure, so there's not much incentive to do anything but crack the vault open to stick a toe inside, then step out again and wait for the counter to time out, then return to the guild for no quest reward and only a small fame increase sad sad

I also find the countdown a bit nerve-wracking and not really in-theme with the rest of the game.

Possible alternative: forget the timer, let the player kill as many vault monsters as they're willing to, then give quest rewards and fame increase according to the percentage completed. So if the player clears out 80% of the level then returns to the guild, they get a choice of 80% of the quest rewards and receive 80% of the fame bonus (which should be increased to at least equal the fame increase for the other hard quests). If the player returns after only clearing out 10% of the vault they get almost nothing.

Could even give the monsters different weightings based on power, so that killing tougher monsters leads to proportionately better rewards. So an orc might make up 1/1000 of a vault's total kill value, while a Power Wyrm might make up 1/10 of its total kill value.

Cameron

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#17 2012-10-25 11:27:53

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

Maybe I could change it so the higher the player fame, the stronger the vault must be.  I guess that could he measured by the number of good/great items in the vault.

Also, maybe the player could be required to kill a weighted percentage of the monsters (factoring in the strength of each monster. )   them maybe the timer could go away

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#18 2012-10-25 12:09:10

murphy
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Posts: 275

Re: Thoughts on quests

aggregating my last couple of characters, my GV quest stats are something like:

2 - completely cleared ('funnel' and 'butterfly')
6 - cleared more than half
3 - cleared less than half
1 - died

But my stats are probably inflated because I have been passing on GV quests a lot, I'm not going attempt one if (1) don't have ESP, or (2) feels like character isnt strong enough.

I like that the counter can be used to the player's advantage, I know its come in handy when I killed some guys that dropped a lot of treasures but then I couldnt get close enough to pick them up because of severe danger from other monsters.  I haven't had it expire on me unintendedly, in fact its gotten up very high (like 3000) when I cleared 95% of the map but left a handful of monsters that I didnt want to mess with.

BTW I jumped up in excitement when I saw the 'twisted cube' map, that is really cool looking!

Last edited by murphy (2012-10-25 12:19:39)

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#19 2012-10-26 08:21:04

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

What I intend is for the greater vault to be a reward in itself.  The player knows they are about to get a greate vault, so they can come fully loaded and ready for a tough fight.

The timer is to give it a "shopping spree" feel, and to eventually wipe the monsters the player can't kill so the player can take their time going through the monster drops, identifying things, and deciding what to bring back (for example, let the spellcasters drop all their spellbooks so they have more slots to carry back artifacts).

I could add more time to the timer for each monster drop.  Or I could eliminate it and declare the quest a success after the player has killed half the monsters, or something like that.  I think I will definitely make sure players with higher fame get the better greater vaults.

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#20 2012-10-26 16:44:11

Sethos
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Registered: 2010-12-03
Posts: 80

Re: Thoughts on quests

Okay, after playing a few more quest levels:

Labryinth quests:
Very easy quests, I think that the levels need to be 2 or 3 times larger.
I DO like that they still drop some nice consumables like arena quests, but that could create potential for abuse if you don't pick up the parchments and keep the monsters spawning.

as it stands, I hink that the labryinth quests are easier than monster quests - and certainly easier than guardian or pit quests, especially since all of those can become difficult if something ELSE in the level happens to be nasty.

All in all, they are not bad - but very easy and very quick, with the potential to pick up a good number of consumables (got 3 healing potions and 5-6 speed potions @ lv 20).

Also came across a "Regular" Labryinth level (not a quest). that was a lot of fun, but the monsters seemed to be very sparse - and Ringil was lying on the floor @ 1900', Not that I'm complaining, mind you smile - that's my first time ever finding Ringil.

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#21 2012-10-27 08:15:47

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

So is there a consensus that all Labrynth quests are too easy?  It all depends on the monsters you get.  I could change it slightly, but even increase the monster level by 1 or 2, the labrynth quests suddenly become much harder.

The game only makes more monsters/objects when there aren't 10 parchment papers on the level, including held by monsters, on the floor, and in the player's inventory.  So you can't quite scum for good objects that way.  You would have to destroy the parchments to keeep the objects/monsters coming.

There should be several hundred monsters on a regular-sized labrynth level, along with lots of objects.

How often do you all come across a non-quest greater vault level?  Are they too frequent?

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#22 2012-10-27 10:40:59

camb
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Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 708

Re: Thoughts on quests

NPPAngband wrote:

So is there a consensus that all Labrynth quests are too easy?  It all depends on the monsters you get.  I could change it slightly, but even increase the monster level by 1 or 2, the labrynth quests suddenly become much harder.

Maybe a bit easy. An increase of 1 level might be worth trying.

Must admit that I found myself seeing the Labyrinth quests as an easy way to get a quest reward while stocking up on Restore Mana potions (although they can get dangerous when two or more powerful monsters occur in close succession). In the end I found myself enjoying getting back to plain old Pit/Nest quests in the end game, as you get more variety if the occupants are tough and a whole level to play in.

Perhaps make the option of choosing an Arena, Labyrinth or GV quest a little rarer?

NPPAngband wrote:

How often do you all come across a non-quest greater vault level?  Are they too frequent?

Absolutely not! If anything they should be more frequent, especially the better ones.

There are three high-reward greater vaults (Huge, Huge-Modified, Bubbles) and three almost-as-good ones (Divisi, TRIWI, MMD). These make the game for me. I'm disappointed whenever I complete a game without seeing one, but this often happens, it seems that these are less frequent than they used to be (maybe because there are just more vault types now?).

The new Greater Vault quests make it much more likely to see at least one of these vaults over the course of a game. But the downside is that most GV quests are the less interesting vaults that it's not worth clearing out, so you get no good treasure, no quest reward and little fame boost -- pretty much a waste of a quest.

Cameron

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#23 2012-10-27 17:38:03

murphy
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Registered: 2007-03-17
Posts: 275

Re: Thoughts on quests

NPPAngband wrote:

So is there a consensus that all Labrynth quests are too easy?  It all depends on the monsters you get.

Playing a brigand, they were not too hard until around 2500', then they got pretty scary.  But, things might be different for a spellcaster, the way they get more powerful late in the game.

I like the map size the way it is for quest labyrinth levels.  There are also the bigger nonquest labyrinth levels, so hopefully something to make everyone happy :-)

How often do you all come across a non-quest greater vault level?  Are they too frequent?

The aforementioned brigand, who got all the way to morgoth, only saw one nonquest GV level all game.  But, I wasnt using autoscum, maybe that would affect things.

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#24 2012-10-28 20:16:00

NPPAngband
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Re: Thoughts on quests

camb wrote:

There are three high-reward greater vaults (Huge, Huge-Modified, Bubbles) and three almost-as-good ones (Divisi, TRIWI, MMD). These make the game for me. I'm disappointed whenever I complete a game without seeing one, but this often happens, it seems that these are less frequent than they used to be (maybe because there are just more vault types now?).

The new Greater Vault quests make it much more likely to see at least one of these vaults over the course of a game. But the downside is that most GV quests are the less interesting vaults that it's not worth clearing out, so you get no good treasure, no quest reward and little fame boost -- pretty much a waste of a quest.

Cameron

The "weaker" greater vaults are now weeded out by strength.  Each vault is assigned a score, based on the number of guaranteed good and great items.  The weaker vaults have a score of around 200 to 300.  The huge-modified has a score of over 5000.  Over half the vaults have a score under 500.  So if you kill plenty of uniques and complete some quests, you are going to get the better greater vaults every time. 

By the way, if anyone wants to design and submit a powerful greater vault, I will be happy to add it to the game.

I also fixed the bugs discussed here this week, and took alot of the suggestions.  I should have a new version up soon.

So, for the greater vaults, should I put 3 deep granite walls on all sides, so the player can dig a small anit-summoning corridor?  Or should I leave it as-is.?

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#25 2012-10-28 23:18:59

camb
Member
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 708

Re: Thoughts on quests

NPPAngband wrote:

The "weaker" greater vaults are now weeded out by strength.  Each vault is assigned a score, based on the number of guaranteed good and great items.  The weaker vaults have a score of around 200 to 300.  The huge-modified has a score of over 5000.  Over half the vaults have a score under 500.  So if you kill plenty of uniques and complete some quests, you are going to get the better greater vaults every time.

Fantastic!

NPPAngband wrote:

So, for the greater vaults, should I put 3 deep granite walls on all sides, so the player can dig a small anit-summoning corridor?  Or should I leave it as-is.?

Some granite would be good please.

Cameron

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