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Jason
What do you guys think about the idea of having more than just one stairs up to town? You could choose from more than just one place to enter the dungeon. If you guys like that idea, how should it be done? Right now (in Mordor) you just press a button or hotkey and are there. You'd need some way to specify which entrance you'd want to take. Maybe set a ComboBox to the entrance you want? Maybe initially there is only one entrance but as you explore and discover other stairs up they become available to you? Or should we just stick with one entrance?
Wabbit
I think it would make more sense for a "second set of stairs to the city" to be a separate Village/Clearing, rather than the same starting-town, which then gives the opportunity for increasing the capability of the City, without cluttering the main city page.
Jason
QUOTE (Wabbit @ Jun 8 2019, 11:21 AM) *
I think it would make more sense for a "second set of stairs to the city" to be a separate Village/Clearing, rather than the same starting-town, which then gives the opportunity for increasing the capability of the City, without cluttering the main city page.


That's a good idea, I like it! Need to think a lot more about how this second city would be different though..
Nudibranch
As a veteran player, I would not complain about an express route to/from lower levels. In original Mordor, that ended up being teleportation... maybe you could add teleportation buffers! It would automatically deduct 12 SP (or more) for each three levels down/up and let you specify absolute x,y,z coords. Relative x/y/z is just too punitive given that rocking is the only Really Bad Death in the game.
Jason
QUOTE (Nudibranch @ Jun 8 2019, 04:10 PM) *
As a veteran player, I would not complain about an express route to/from lower levels. In original Mordor, that ended up being teleportation... maybe you could add teleportation buffers! It would automatically deduct 12 SP (or more) for each three levels down/up and let you specify absolute x,y,z coords. Relative x/y/z is just too punitive given that rocking is the only Really Bad Death in the game.


Ya, I was planning on having short-cuts down, just haven't fleshed it all out yet.

As for teleportation buffers, something like Lloyd's Beacon? Was kind of planning that as well. That would be a mark/recall system, so need to be where you want the mark to be. Teleportation would be different, of course. I'm getting rid of the coordinates system. You can see from the screenshots there are no (x,y) coordinates to be seen. Teleportation when cast will ask you where you want to try and teleport to, and you click with your mouse on the cell you wish to teleport to (adjusting the level if you wish). I'm going to do away with rocking as well. Instead of instantly dying inside rock, you would "bounce" and be thrown back to somewhere else while taking a good amount of damage, which could kill you. Teleportation, depending on the distance, might have some error factor in where exactly you land, so if there is wall nearby you might try and land there and bounce, so there's risks but isn't not quite as brutal. I'll probably need to refine these ideas a little more but that's the basic idea I have in mind right now.

I may make death a little more costly in general, though I haven't decided on how exactly I want to do it yet. Probably added age mostly but maybe more. Haven't experienced the whole 'complications' thing so I don't know exactly how it all works with Mordor, but from other player's accounts of it, permanent HP loss seems like the worst of it. If you have experience with it I'd love to hear about how it works more.
Nudibranch
I like all the ideas you mention.

Permanent HP loss is the worst of rocking, yes. It's not insurmountable but you need to gain up to 83 levels in your highest guild to get them back. Every other form of dying in the game is almost without consequence, so it's just totally out of proportion.

Actually, the worst thing is rocking yourself on Level 16, which I have done. Your party's irretrievable forever. (I restored from a backup.)
Roland
Transport out of the dungeon could be easily fixed - just remove (or greatly reduce) the one-year aging penalty associated with casting Sanctuary.

I like the idea of bouncing off of rock rather than becoming embedded inside it.

Would the second city be accessible directly from the first city, or would you have to reach it via the dungeon? Would the two cities be differentiated in any important way, or is the point just to have two access points to the dungeon? If the latter, I'm not sure you need a second city. You could just have a choice between stairs (to level 1) or an elevator/chute (directly to, say, level 7).
BLauritson
QUOTE (Roland @ Jun 10 2019, 10:36 PM) *
You could just have a choice between stairs (to level 1) or an elevator/chute (directly to, say, level 7).


This reminds me of a map feature in Might & Magic 7, where there's a teleporter from the early game town to a late game area...but it only activates when you've first travelled through it the other way.

I think a similar notion there as per Roland's suggestion would work well - i.e. something that is only enabled once it has been discovered by mapping level 7. Stops new players from plunging to their death (in admittedly hilarious circumstances) while at the same time providing convenience to more experienced players who want to skip the journey through the easy parts of the dungeon.
Mordion
The original Wizardry had an elevator. You needed a quest item to take it to the bottom.
Jason
QUOTE (Nudibranch @ Jun 9 2019, 11:19 PM) *
I like all the ideas you mention.

Permanent HP loss is the worst of rocking, yes. It's not insurmountable but you need to gain up to 83 levels in your highest guild to get them back. Every other form of dying in the game is almost without consequence, so it's just totally out of proportion.

Actually, the worst thing is rocking yourself on Level 16, which I have done. Your party's irretrievable forever. (I restored from a backup.)


What I'm thinking of doing is making age matter more. Has anyone played normally and actually had their character unusable due to old age? I know it's possible but does it ever realistically happen?

I think aging would be the main disadvantage of dying. You would accumulate aging through normal play slowly, but death would bump it up. Aging attacks and such would be "unnatural aging", which I'm thinking could be mostly reversed, though not completely, through spells and maybe other methods. Aging resistance will also be a thing. Besides risks of permanent death when close to the maximum age, degraded stats would occur earlier and slowly make a character harder and harder to play successfully. Player has a choice to make as to when it's time to retire a character and replace it with a new, younger character. A starting party of characters would probably need to retire at some point. Grinding from scratch normally would be a big hassle, so I'm thinking of ways to short-cut that so it won't be as bad. This is my current line of thought on all this.

QUOTE (Roland @ Jun 10 2019, 04:36 PM) *
Transport out of the dungeon could be easily fixed - just remove (or greatly reduce) the one-year aging penalty associated with casting Sanctuary.

I like the idea of bouncing off of rock rather than becoming embedded inside it.

Would the second city be accessible directly from the first city, or would you have to reach it via the dungeon? Would the two cities be differentiated in any important way, or is the point just to have two access points to the dungeon? If the latter, I'm not sure you need a second city. You could just have a choice between stairs (to level 1) or an elevator/chute (directly to, say, level 7).


Ya, aging from Sanctuary seems silly to me. I mean, ya, maybe you need some kind of penalty, but that doesn't really make much sense. That said, not sure what kind of penalty there should be. smile.gif I don't really want it to be a cheap and easy escape mechanism. Maybe it should be a late game thing.

The second city would need to be different, otherwise what is the point, right? So ya, if I can't think of interesting and compelling differences then probably make it just one city.

QUOTE (BLauritson @ Jun 10 2019, 05:22 PM) *
This reminds me of a map feature in Might & Magic 7, where there's a teleporter from the early game town to a late game area...but it only activates when you've first travelled through it the other way.

I think a similar notion there as per Roland's suggestion would work well - i.e. something that is only enabled once it has been discovered by mapping level 7. Stops new players from plunging to their death (in admittedly hilarious circumstances) while at the same time providing convenience to more experienced players who want to skip the journey through the easy parts of the dungeon.


Ya, that's a great idea. We could do that. I was thinking something kind of similar with the stairs. You'd explore and down on some lower level you find a way back up to unexplored areas of the upper levels and finally discover another stairs up to the surface, either in another town or some place in the main town that no one realized was even there. But once you find it, everyone knows about it now so it's now available. This new entrance would be close to stairs that quickly let you descend down to the lower levels. I kind of like the idea of having inactive teleporters that you can activate too.

QUOTE (Mordion @ Jun 10 2019, 07:13 PM) *
The original Wizardry had an elevator. You needed a quest item to take it to the bottom.


Ya, I seem to remember that elevator, though I didn't know it went to the bottom. Probably never found the quest item. I can't remember how far I got in Wizardry but I still remember some stuff from it, like the out of bounds area, some room that released gas I think? I liked that game but I don't remember why I stopped playing it. Just too many other games to play on the Apple ][+ I guess. smile.gif
Roland
Perhaps Sanctuary should just be a very high level spell. To teleport up from 13 to 1 takes 4 castings of Teleport, costing 48 points total. So make Sanctuary cost 50 or 60 points. Unless your Seeker carefully guards his spell points, he would have to burn a Scroll of Spells to be able to cast Sanctuary. And he would have to be very high level before it was cheap enough to cast.
Wabbit
I feel that a pre-existing Teleporter from City to Depths [even if may be 'unlocked'] takes away from the fact that You are Exploring the Dungeon. - if others have been there before you to create the Teleporter, why do you need to explore?

possible idea: once you have played with a Seeker / Wizard / etc who learns Teleport, be able to 'donate' / Put them to work in the City / 1st level of dungeon as an NPC them pay them to teleport your party to pre-explored coordinates.

Possibly expandable to Healers, who can cast Resist X on your party entering the dungeon etc.
Nudibranch
I have to say I don't see the need for both a dungeon-based teleporter (or stairs) to the deep and a teleport buffer idea. The buffer would come at a price (SP) but not an outrageous one, whereas a free trip to the bottom seems cheap. It's not like it takes forever to just walk the whole way anyway.

If you start working in the idea of NPCs to do teleports etc. - well, you can already do this in original Mordor, such as stationing a healer at the dungeon stairs. Party juggling takes a bit of work, so that's the "price". I never bothered to use a dedicated teleporter in this manner because my giant wasn't using his SP anyway, so he went the whole trip.

Casting resistances is a separate question. I'd allow players to autocast them for free, though maybe after some kind of unlocking achievement (per-character+per-resistance). Manually casting resistances is busywork that doesn't add much to the gameplay.
Jason
Thinking about all this, I've decided that teleport and sanctuary should just be combined into one system really. You'd have a pair of spells, one to mark a location and the other to recall to that location (like sanctuary works in Mordor). Difference is you can only cast the mark spell at special locations, which you'd have to explore and find in the dungeon. How many simultaneous locations you can mark would be based on your spell casting level. When you first learn the spells you'd only have one but you could get more later on, but not a lot. Maybe 3 or 5 max? So this is how you could teleport around the dungeon. You couldn't just arbitrarily teleport to some specific location. Well, I might have a spell for short range teleportation, like on the same level and within a certain range (probably based on your spell casting rank). Maybe up or down 1 level as well.

Like Mordor, you'd have some teleporters that can move you specific destination that you could use once you figure out where they lead to. There's also stairs. Initially stairs won't be the easiest way to get down to lower levels, but I'm thinking you could unlock the second stairs in the city that is in an area that is more favorable to getting down to lower levels quickly, though that's relative. What is lower levels for a while will eventually become not that low really later on, at which point you'd probably rely on the mark/recall spells to get down to some even lower initial location to branch out from on your runs.

Casting spells like resist and healing is going to be a little more flexible and better. Or rather the buffer will be. You'll have a sort of 'auto' option, so activating that buffer could cast several resistances on all members of the party, or at least try until they run out of spell points. This implies chaining spell casting together (or looping from a programming point of view), activating from a single action (like Shift-1). Healing could work this way too, repeating until HP is above 95% or something. Still a lot to think about how all this should work but these are some of my ideas to date.

I do like the idea of having retired characters providing benefits, like casting resistances on a party as they leave town to go into the dungeon. Makes having to retire your first, initial party not quite so painful.

Autocasting resistances for free I don't necessary like, unless it's initially as you leave town. I don't think you should be able to just autocast for free down in the dungeon. Free resistances would come from magic items you equip, once you find them, and you'd need to consider trade-offs (opportunity costs). Resistances from casting spells will cost you SP instead, exactly how much will depend on how many extinguish squares lie across your path.
Mordion
QUOTE (Wabbit @ Jun 12 2019, 08:10 AM) *
I feel that a pre-existing Teleporter from City to Depths [even if may be 'unlocked'] takes away from the fact that You are Exploring the Dungeon. - if others have been there before you to create the Teleporter, why do you need to explore?


The people who dug the mines before hell-spawn invaded made the teleporters. You're exploring the wreckage.
Roland
Will there still be a Displacement spell distinct from Teleport? I most commonly use Displacement in conjunction with Soul Search to return my Seeker/Thief to the party after he blows a teleport trap.
Jason
QUOTE (Roland @ Jun 17 2019, 03:07 PM) *
Will there still be a Displacement spell distinct from Teleport? I most commonly use Displacement in conjunction with Soul Search to return my Seeker/Thief to the party after he blows a teleport trap.


I think it would be nice to have, so yes, though probably won't need it for that. It will be limited in distance and be sort of an advanced displacement spell more or less. I'm thinking teleport traps will only teleport you a relatively short distance away really, so it would be easier to try and find your party again. Soul Search, rather than giving you an exact offset, will just give you the distance away the person is. You'll have to move around and recast it, then try and triangulate where you think the person is. Technically 3 castings in different locations should give you the position. I'll probably include some error factor as well just to make it slightly more challenging, increasing the lower in the dungeon one is, but decreasing as your spell level increases.
Custos84
Is it possible to do one-way opening doors in Mordor? One of the cool aspects of Dark Souls / Bloodborne is taking a long meandering route through dangerous enemies and being rewarded with a door / ladder that takes you back to a familiar area and creates a shortcut for the future.
Mordion
QUOTE (Custos84 @ Sep 3 2019, 07:28 PM) *
Is it possible to do one-way opening doors in Mordor? One of the cool aspects of Dark Souls / Bloodborne is taking a long meandering route through dangerous enemies and being rewarded with a door / ladder that takes you back to a familiar area and creates a shortcut for the future.


Etrian Odyssey has a similar shortcuts that can only be activate from the far side.

Unfortunately, doing such a thing in Mordor is impossible. The data for the walls is one value in-between the squares. Contrast that with the original Wizardry trilogy in which each room had a side of each wall and you could do one way shortcuts. They also had special rooms that required items in your inventory to proceed.

In Ultima III you could mark (brand?) your characters at special spots in the dungeon to permanently unlock various things.
korexus
Not Mordor-like at all, but I've been playing Yoku's Island recently, and it has a mechanic for this, which could be easily added (sparingly) to a Mordor clone.

You'll occasionally come across narrow places that are blocked by a boulder, or slanted obstacle. You can't push the blockage through from this side, but it's trivial to do from the other end.

You could imagine a new obstacle symbol on the map, which can be pushed around corridors, but is restricted by doors, and face-direction squares. (for extra fun, they could be removed by pushing them into a pit, possible removing the pit too.) This would allow you to add a puzzle element to the map, and force people to take a certain route on their first visit.

You would need to be careful that people couldn't destroy their dungeon, by getting obstacles stuck in corners that they need to be able to pass through.

Of course, this sort of approach doesn't fit well with a multi-user design. The simplest option there is 'You need a red key to enter this area'.

It would also be quite cool to have secret doors which can only be accessed from one side. - Even after they've been discovered., forcing people to take a different route on the way down and up.

korexus.
MythrilZenith
Reminds me something of the original Diablo - Every 4 floors there was a new shortcut to town that would open up.
I definitely would be interested in something like that in a Mordor-type game, but you're right in that there may need to be some changes in the types of objects allowed to institute this type of shortcut system - at least in terms of two-way shortcuts that get unlocked.

An easy trick for a one-way shortcut would be to just have a single-destination teleporter, though at the same time if we're putting shortcuts from the bottom of the dungeon to get all the way back to town it DOES kind of limit some of the enjoyable stress of the game - my clearest Mordor memories are always the ones where I got stranded near the bottom of the dungeon with no SP to teleport out and then had to claw my way back - especially times when I randomly hit a chute or teleporter.
Mordion
QUOTE (korexus @ Sep 7 2019, 04:29 PM) *
Not Mordor-like at all, but I've been playing Yoku's Island recently, and it has a mechanic for this, which could be easily added (sparingly) to a Mordor clone.

You'll occasionally come across narrow places that are blocked by a boulder, or slanted obstacle. You can't push the blockage through from this side, but it's trivial to do from the other end.

You could imagine a new obstacle symbol on the map, which can be pushed around corridors, but is restricted by doors, and face-direction squares. (for extra fun, they could be removed by pushing them into a pit, possible removing the pit too.) This would allow you to add a puzzle element to the map, and force people to take a certain route on their first visit.

You would need to be careful that people couldn't destroy their dungeon, by getting obstacles stuck in corners that they need to be able to pass through.

Of course, this sort of approach doesn't fit well with a multi-user design. The simplest option there is 'You need a red key to enter this area'.

It would also be quite cool to have secret doors which can only be accessed from one side. - Even after they've been discovered., forcing people to take a different route on the way down and up.

korexus.


Sounds like a Sokoban/Mordor mashup.
korexus
QUOTE (Mordion @ Sep 8 2019, 12:37 AM) *
Sounds like a Sokoban/Mordor mashup.


Very much so. It could make maps quite interesting, especially if rearranging blocks to get to one area forces you to remove access to another. And it could allow the restrictions to certain areas already mentioned.

I'd play it. It would get gimmicky if over-used though...


korexus.
Mordion
QUOTE (korexus @ Sep 8 2019, 04:00 PM) *
Very much so. It could make maps quite interesting, especially if rearranging blocks to get to one area forces you to remove access to another. And it could allow the restrictions to certain areas already mentioned.

I'd play it. It would get gimmicky if over-used though...


korexus.


Back in high school I was designing a MUD/Mordor hybrid and the map was a 3d grid of cubes of material with walls, floors, ceilings in-between. So a water room would actually be a cube of water on the floor below and no floor on the current floor so you fall down. What I thought was the coolest feature was dirt areas that players could tunnel through. I now realize it wouldn't have worked multiplayer because the whole map would eventually be a lattice of tunnels.

I wonder if there's a way to make a game around tunneling out a dungeon from solid rock. Maybe there's a natural explanation for why M1 has such a weird layout.
korexus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_Fortress ?
Mordion
QUOTE (korexus @ Sep 8 2019, 05:30 PM) *


I was thinking more along the lines of Dungeon Keeper but it would somehow make a Mordor dungeon. Dwarf fortress is too organic looking and expansive.

I keep wondering what kind of economic forces would have caused the Mordor dungeon to be so maze-like. In the real world it would just be a strip mine.
MythrilZenith
QUOTE (Mordion @ Sep 8 2019, 09:31 PM) *
I was thinking more along the lines of Dungeon Keeper but it would somehow make a Mordor dungeon. Dwarf fortress is too organic looking and expansive.

I keep wondering what kind of economic forces would have caused the Mordor dungeon to be so maze-like. In the real world it would just be a strip mine.


I always figured that the upper levels were more structured, more orderly, and that there were probably specific rooms created with different purposes as things went down (being dwarf mines instead of just a human strip-mine, they probably lived down here as well as working). And as you got lower and lower, things got more and more twisted by magic, until by a certain point (I always figured the teleporter between floor 8 and 9) you hit a point where you aren't *really* in the mine anymore, but in a twisted dungeon that took features of the mine and just completely messed with them until you got the chaotic madness that we have today.
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