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Sneak Peek: Loonyland: Titan Tunnels10:21 PM -- Mon March 19, 2007

Same shot again. Someone asked about talents recently, and yes, new Talents are planned. They of course depend on what all the new skills are, since Talents tend to boost up skills. I think 20 new Talents is good, for a nice round 50. A few that help out Grappling, a few related to Thieving things, and some more general ones (inspired by/related to the new magic skills for the most part). You can certainly suggest Talent ideas. One I have already thought about is Cartography - an auto-generated map of the level you're in. That can be quite handy, since they'll be randomly generated. I also think there should be a new 'crafting' one, like Junksmith, Alchemy, and Clockwork. I'm not sure what it should be yet, though. Perhaps you have ideas.

But that's not what we're discussing today! As I said last time, it's time to talk traps, doors, keys, searching, and something or the other about items.

Searching. Let me discuss this first, since traps and secret doors rely on it. One of the talents will be Searching. Every second, the game checks to see if you detect anything invisible near you (within a 3 tile radius or so). Raising the Talent will improve the odds of finding them. So, if you are willing to stand in one spot for hours, you can be guaranteed to find anything hidden in range. But as you raise Searching, it will become much more likely that you will just notice things as you walk along. So let's see what you have a chance to find...

Traps. These are placed totally at random around the level, and presumably there will be special rooms, like vaults, that have a bunch of traps around a big treasure. They are of course invisible unless detected by Searching. There will be a few different types, and they get progressively more dangerous the deeper you go in the dungeon. They do the obvious things: burn you, smash you, stab you, freeze you, and poison you. Perhaps for a twist (and to add something worth dispelling, that monsters could also inflict), there could be traps that curse you in ways - cut your damage in half for 2 minutes, lower all your skills for 2 minutes, stuff like that. If you do detect a trap, you can walk around it or jump over it (maybe some traps trigger even if you are airborne, like a dart trap in the wall). You can of course try to Disarm traps with the appropriate skill, a nice way to get some XP and money (gambling your life on it, of course). Definitely, a couple of the new spells should be able to destroy traps. I would think Stone Spike would be a likely candidate, but it'd be too easy to just toss those down every hallway before you. Having the Burninate explosion destroy them would be much more appropriate - you don't toss out Burninates willy-nilly! Maybe Brambles could 'suppress' traps. If you step on a trap, but your Bramble is also on it, it blocks it from triggering. Just a concept.

Keys & Doors. We'll be reusing the same exact keys as LL2, but they'll work very differently. Now, enemies drop them randomly - they are progressively rarer in the same order of their 'greatness' in LL2 (Snowman most common, Bear rarest). You collect them, and they get used up when used. So doors tend to lock off little vault areas like mentioned above, or sometimes are just at random. You'd never need to go through a door to get to the next level, but it may be blocking a chunk of the level, for no reason. But then again, maybe there's a big treasure behind it... you won't know until you open it! Thieves can of course pick locks as you already heard.

Secret Doors. Sometimes there are secret doors. They look just like walls until you detect them by Searching, when you suddenly realize that they in fact look just like a normal door. You still need a key to open them.

Treasure Chests. Randomly placed, and need keys just like the doors do. Of course, the rarer chests give you better stuff, just like they do in LL2. Of course, the aforementioned vaults would have chests in them too.

Hidden Treasure. Just to make searching more exciting, you will occasionally discover (via Searching) a hidden crack, like the mining cracks. Jump on it to find a little bit of random treasure.

That's about it. A lot of interesting stuff to turn dungeon delving into a virtual trip to the casino. And by the way, in a random game like this, it is actually reasonable to let the player destroy walls to an extent. So that should be possible in certain rare situations (Perhaps again, Burninate is the answer here?). Don't have a bear key? How about blowing the wall down around the door instead? That's something I'd want to limit quite a bit, so you don't just flatten the entire level every time (as happens sometimes in Angband, actually). Perhaps something that requires a valuable and limited item. Still pondering the details, as usual.
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