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jwanders
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icon Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (0)  
This could be intended behavior, but while brained, Gentryii won't cross active fire traps. I assume active traps are brain visible obstacles so the standard brain path avoids them, but maybe Gentryii should get a path that crosses them like brained Guards can still cross shallow water?
08-24-2014 at 04:22 AM
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Pinnacle
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (+1)  
This is consistent with the way brains work. If a brain is in the room, at the beginning of the turn, it generates a pathmap, assigning a number to each square (the player's square is 0, all adjacent squares to a square of value n is n+1, monsters choose the lowest-valued square adjacent to them). Since there's only one pathmap, the monster following it can do some fairly dumb things, like snakes trying to slip through diagonals and dying (this particular behavior was the linchpin of a puzzle in JtRH).

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08-24-2014 at 04:04 PM
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Moo
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (0)  
But during the creation of the pathmap, it should consider the squares passable or not for the creature in question, right? So wraithwings will go over pits, seep will go through walls, etc...
And Gentryii would go over firetraps, lit or not. The avoiding of them when brained makes sense for other creatures (who would get killed), but not in this case...
08-24-2014 at 05:24 PM
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skell
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (+1)  
There are separate pathmaps for different kinds of movements - one for wraithwings, one for waterskippers, one for seep, one for guards and one for other monster, more or less. There might be more of them, but you see what I mean.

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08-24-2014 at 08:21 PM
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blorx1
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (0)  
If I remember correctly, I had a chat with TFMurphy about this, and it sounds like it's intended.

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08-24-2014 at 09:08 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (+1)  
Bumping this because it came up in discussion of constructs pathfinding over oremites. I thought it worth getting some thoughts now, since this is when we're arguing over this sort of thing.

My personal view is, I think it would make more sense if brained gentryii could pathfind over active firetraps, but I'm not bothered by it as much as I am with the issue with constructs.

I did a look through room search for rooms that would be affected. There were twenty-nine rooms with brains, gentryii, and firetraps, but many would clearly not be affected, or would only be affected if you did something really weird.

However, twenty-nine rooms is a lot to go over in detail so I won't do that right now. I'll just cover the two rooms I found where this behavior is relevant.

(Here's the room search tool if anyone wants to see the list for themselves.)

Temporal Adventure - Overgrown Ruins - 2 West

Here, the on-off plate toggles firetraps, changing the direction the gentryii moves in. My demo would still work if the firetraps were replaced with toggleable force arrows (west-facing on the west, east-facing on the east).

Unchained Malady - Mechanical Roaches - 1 South

There are two active firetraps the gentryii has to cross, and it won't on its own because of the brain pathmaps. Placing scrolls on them would maintain this behavior with no impact on demos. Force arrows would also work but would have a chance of breaking demos.

[Last edited by Dragon Fogel at 11-30-2020 01:59 AM]
11-25-2020 at 02:06 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (+4)  
So here's a full impact report on what would happen if this were changed. My goal here is not to make a big fuss about changing it, only to note that if it happened, few rooms would be affected.

In a lot of the rooms, it's obvious with a quick glance that there's no possible situation where the firetrap is between the gentryii and the player at all. I'll start with a list of those rooms.

Click here to view the secret text


Another big set of rooms is in Octodecaphobia in the Hold Title Mixup Contest Compilation. These rooms all have the same pattern so I can cover them all at once.

Click here to view the secret text


These two situations already account for 14 of the 29 rooms. The rest have a little more nuance. I'll cover them individually.

Click here to view the secret text


That covers all the rooms aside from the two I noted in my previous post which actually depend on the current behavior. If the final verdict is that we're not changing it, well, I found it interesting to evaluate the impact anyways so I'm not going to be too bothered if it ends up not leading to anything.

[Last edited by Dragon Fogel at 12-02-2020 06:56 PM]
12-02-2020 at 06:55 PM
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TFMurphy
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File: PNI.hold (17.4 KB)
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (+3)  
What I'm getting here is that there's clearly not enough holds with brained gentryii chasing the player through a maze.



Anyways, first off, I want to note that this isn't an issue of traversability. Instead, the context is survivability. Out of all enemies that use the Ground+<x> pathmaps, Guards are the only one that will refuse to move onto active Firetraps even when unbrained. Any other Ground+<x> enemy will happily move over an active firetrap when unbrained.

This doesn't even mean that their death is guaranteed, since firetraps only kill at the end of every full turn: an orb could toggle the firetrap or they could be pushed off the tile before then.

(Small side note: I will note that a Guard or Slayer on a field of active firetraps will stop moving at all since they're surrounded by 'obstacles'. It could be arguable that they might deserve a failsafe that allows them to move through active firetraps if they're already on one and have no other choice, and moving would certainly be better than staying still in this case, even if the chances of them surviving beyond the end of the turn is remote... but that's quite a complicated ruleset to code and figure out, and is beyond the scope of this thread. Leaving them as obstacles is probably fine.)



So, I've mentioned before that the 'meta' rules for brains (as in, the rules that describe how to form the individual rules) are debatable, and that there are already a host of exceptions to the rules. The way brains interact with all entities is a fairly complex topic with rules that the brains follow, as well as rules the individual monsters follow in reacting to the brains' orders.

So long as something isn't completely off-the-wall, very unintuitive or impossible to understand or conceptualize, I'm not overly bothered by individual exceptions. As with the constructs, what concerns me more is what consequences the rules have.




Gentryii are one of the most deadly enemies in the game. There are very few ways to get rid of them permanently; they have no turning delays like Aumtlich or Slayers; they can move in all 8 directions unlike regular serpents.

Their chain (if they have one) can be used as a tool to control their movements, but can just as easily end up cutting off your escape routes. The main vulnerability they possess is that they can still be pushed around like most other enemies, either stunning them or forcing their own chain to block their path.

When brained, they're even more dangerous, because they can now see paths around their own chain. You can still use the standard preference for orthogonal moves when brained against them or push them into dead-ends they can't find their way out of, but overall, they're not something that easy to deal with.



My main reason for liking the current interaction between brained Gentryii and Firetraps is because I found the consequences fun.

I liked that there was a natural element the Gentryii would pathfind around, while dragging their chain through instead of around. I enjoyed being able to push them through and then having them try to find another path to me... but also that I couldn't easily use the firetraps to trap the Gentryii because they'd just move through unbrained instead.



Now, it's true that there would be a way to simulate this still if Gentryii *could* pathfind through active Firetraps. But it's be clunky and trickier to use (and you certainly couldn't toggle it).

So I'd like the default to be interesting to use, so long as the rules governing it is still easy enough to learn and understand.


==========


There is an alternative change that could be made, if Constructs get their 'partial'-obstacle pathmap implemented. We *could* make it so that brained Gentryii treat Active Firetraps as partial obstacles.

This would keep most of the current mechanics, but also allow a Gentryii to pathfind through a barrier of firetraps separating it from the player from afar (rather than rely on unbrained movement which may or may not get it to the player in that case).

The problem is that this would be a bigger exception to the 'meta' rules than we currently have. It's easy to say "brains never pathmap through Active Firetraps". It's another thing to have to justify a rule saying "brains only pathmap through Firetraps when a Gentryii can't see any other way to get to the player". I mean, we can certainly think of narrative reasoning for it to happen, but it's a lot more iffy than the proposal for Constructs/Oremites.


==========


So, in summary, I like how the current ruleset plays and would prefer not to see it change, but don't have a strong objective argument for either ruleset -- best I can offer is that it's not explicitly unintuitive as it currently stands, since it's based on a single exception used by all Ground+<x> enemies.

(Attachment was thrown together in a couple of hours this evening after thinking about it for most of the day, because I wanted to see how certain setups would react, and also share something I enjoyed. Have fun with it.)

[Last edited by TFMurphy at 12-05-2020 09:59 PM : Okay, so it's no longer a "thrown together in a couple of hours" hold. Not bad for two evening's work though.]
12-04-2020 at 01:48 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (0)  
That is a point I hadn't considered - most monsters are capable of moving onto firetraps, they just won't survive it. This is different from constructs and oremites - I consider that to be wrong because the constructs won't move onto oremites on their own, whereas in the case of firetraps, most monsters are entirely capable of moving onto them unbrained - they just won't survive. (Unless they get pushed off by the end of the turn, which requires scripting, as monsters move after all standard entities capable of pushing.)

And it makes sense for firetraps to be an exception to the idea of "brained pathmaps are consistent with what the monster can actually move over" because they're dangerous to most monsters. So the current behavior is just that gentryii behave consistently with the general pathmap rule of "make things move around firetraps", rather than the brain considering their invulnerability.

I think it makes a little more sense for the brain to consider their invulnerability, but I definitely don't feel as strongly about it. If I had found more rooms where it made a difference, or any where changing it would require drastic changes to the room, I probably would consider that alone to be a good enough reason not to change it.

I definitely don't think it makes sense for gentryii to treat firetraps the way seep treat non-wall tiles. In the case of seep, and with your proposal for constructs, we're talking about tiles they can't cross. Here we're talking about tiles that can be crossed without a problem when the gentryii is unbrained. It just doesn't make sense to me to handle one specific monster that way.

I guess we could ask "should all monsters treat firetraps as partial obstacles" but that clearly has much more disruptive potential and doesn't seem worth considering when the game's been out this long.
12-04-2020 at 02:29 AM
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mauvebutterfly
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (0)  
This discussion made me think of something.

Brains are pretty bad about understanding the quirks of the individual monsters they are directing.

It would be kind of funny if a brained construct didn't know that oremites were dangerous, and followed the brain move onto them, resulting in the construct destroying itself.

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12-04-2020 at 01:32 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Brained Gentryii won't cross active fire traps (+2)  
The main monster quirk they're bad at understanding is serpents' orthogonal-only movement.

But they do just fine with telling monsters that can't go in shallow water to go around it, telling wraithwings to go over pits, etc. It even tells monsters to path around tunnels, which theoretically they can cross, they just refuse to unless the player is there. (Interestingly, they won't do it to eat a stalwart. I guess only Beethro tastes delicious enough to risk the dangers of tunnels, which are so great that serpents would sooner shrink themselves to death than face them.)

That's why telling constructs to go through oremites seems off to me, and it especially doesn't fit with telling things to stay off firetraps. Most monsters can move on firetraps, they just won't survive - so telling a monster to move onto a tile that it can't move on and will kill it is very inconsistent with that.

What brains are bad at is understanding things like force arrows and orthosquares and scrolls and weapons. Their general understanding of tile types is actually pretty strong, it's the other stuff that goes on tiles that sometimes confuses them.

Under the current release, there are only two cases where their handling of the tile type is questionable: it gives constructs pathmaps that pass over oremites, and it won't give gentryii pathmaps that cross over firetraps. After bringing up the first, I couldn't help but think it was worth taking another look at the second.

Still, I admit it's less weird. "The brain doesn't account for the ancient invincible monster being invincible so warns it away from firetraps just like it does for everything else" is a lot simpler to understand as an exception than "the brain tells constructs to go through a tile that they won't go over which would kill them if they did, meanwhile it won't tell them to go through firetraps which they otherwise would move over but get killed by".
12-04-2020 at 04:18 PM
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