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RE: CF: Long term experimental ideas

On Wed, 15 Sep 1999, dragonm wrote:

> It will make the dungeon designers' job harder if we decide to do
> that... I'm afraid what will happen is that mapmakers will just completely
> ignore the hidey holes and place generators inside the dungeon rooms
> directly. I don't know how many people will actually be interested to go
> through the trouble of creating safe "hiding areas" for all kinds of player
> races, when they're trying to create some quest.
> ----------------
> Maybe what was a single tile generator becomes a multi-tile conglomoration
> that guarantees the generator isn't visible and that the species it
> generates has at least SOME hole to hide in.  Then it's up to the mapmaker
> to make more involved tunnels accessible only to that race if he wants to.
> I'm sure it could be worked out.
> ----------------

That sounds like an idea... I suppose a multi-tiled generator would guarantee
at least that much room behind the wall as a "hidey hole".

> Hmm, if we do things this way, we're basically allowing minor
> differences from the basic/original dungeon map (which is much more
> reasonable). This way, perhaps even placing of monsters can be restricted --
> only monsters of certain races live in that dungeon, so the wizard can only
> use them, perhaps summoning a handful of other special monsters, but no more
> than that.
> ----------------
> I wouldn't say that.  In theory, a dungeon could be entirely reworked.
> However, it'd take a significant amount of time and effort on the part of
> the Wizard, and the changes would be gradual enough that other players in
> the world could adjust without trauma.  Certainly restricting the presence
> of certain races in a dungeon is an option.  And things like if a Greater
> Demon is present, an Electric Dragon will refuse to live in the dungeon is
> also an option.  The most powerful creatures would also be the most touchy,
> with races on each other's slaying lists being especially unwilling to
> cohabitate.  I don't think it should be impossible to substitute an Electric
> Dragon for a Greater Demon if the Wizard has the power and wants to, though.
> ----------------

Hmm, what's this obsession with Greater Demons? ;-) I must say that I'm not
particularly impressed with them, seeing that two icestorms (not even large
icestorms) from a level 70 wizard is enough to kill a Greater Demon. But
anyway, this is off topic... :-)

> One thought about all of this -- how does the wizard actually go about
> *building* all this stuff and placing all these monsters? I personally
> think it's silly to suddenly transform the player's window into "wizard
> mode" with editing commands, etc., upon becoming a wizard. There should be a
> way to administrate a dungeon that integrates into normal gameplay smoothly.
> ----------------
> I agree entirely.  Even though you're a Wizard, I think you should still be
> _playing_, not fooling around in some distorted version of CrossEdit.  An
> idea has already been proposed that would go a long ways to fix this, among
> other things.  That idea is to significantly enhance the dialog capabilities
> of NPCs.  This extends to not just humanoid NPCs but all of the races,
> including for instance Greater Demons.  So making changes to your dungeon
> would involve a combination of casting spells, talking to "monsters" and
> talking to construction workers, of whatever species.  And of course, any
> one of those characters might be a player, in which case players could
> directly participate in dungeon modifications.  This opens the door for all
> sorts of chicanery.  An evil sort of player might attempt to sabatoge the
> construction efforts of some "good" Wizard, and vice versa.  Or spy out the
> results of that effort by gaining access to the maintenance tunnels.  And of
> course if we allow that sort of thing, we need to allow some mechanism for
> the Wizard to figure out what's going on.  This kind of thing allows for
> more HUMAN interaction (nevermind the possibility that the neither the
> Wizard character nor the construction worker character may be of even
> humanoid species).  Human interaction is what role-playing is all about, so
> opportunities to enhance it should be taken advantage of.

Hmm, this sounds *really* interesting. Perhaps we could even have "dungeon
guilds" which is basically a way for a player to sign up as an "employee" at a
particular dungeon, and he'd have to carry out orders from the dungeon wizard
for a reward (for low-level characters, a livelihood such as a constant supply
of food, for high-level characters other types of bonuses, artifacts, etc.).
Eventually, the player could even succeed the wizard.

But I perceive the implementation of this to be extremely complicated... now,
having human players for the "dungeon crew" would probably work fine, but with
AI monsters, things get a little tough... you'll need an AI that is flexible
enough to handle the ever-changing dungeon: suppose your dungeon has a kobold
servant whom you assigned to carry some stuff from your HQ to an upper dungeon
level. To account for the possibility that some adventurer might be wandering
down your dungeons, you'd want some way of knowing whether that kobold
actually made it to where he's supposed to go. You'd also want to know about
it if an adventurer is seen at a dangerously deep dungeon level, etc.. Now
generalize this scenario to a full-fledged dungeon with all kinds of workers,
with many different tasks, and you have to re-educate them every time you 
change the structure of your dungeon (else they'd get lost on an errand), 
plus you'll have to deal with racial squabbles, etc.. Very complex, intricate
web of communications and dynamic AI programming, etc.. I'm sure everyone has
seen how "dumb" an AI games like C&C clones and dungeon keeper have... well,
they are very powerful already, yet they require constant supervision by a
DK who can see the bird's eye view of the entire dungeon just by scrolling
with the mouse. The AI we need here is one fool-proof enough to be manageable
by a player who is limited by normal gameplay rules, and who probably wants to
go on some quest rather than spend the rest of his existence maintaining a


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