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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : Secret of the Blank Dungeon (Longer, JtRH-flavored combat hold)
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azb
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File: Secret of the Blank Dungeon Trapdoors Fixed.hold (141.9 KB)
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icon Secret of the Blank Dungeon (+3)  
While the Blank Dungeon was nine levels long, this hold is fifteen levels long, not counting the postmastery level. I made sure to include plenty of checkpoints, and I know there is no backtracking problems between rooms, but leave a suggestion or comment if you find anything else you think I missed, as usual.

Just like the Blank Dungeon was pure puzzles as a tribute to KDD, this hold develops a story and although the majority of the rooms are combat-oriented, there are a few lynchpin-style puzzles here and there too. There are also secret rooms that help advance the plot and a postmastery area, just like JtRH.

Edit: Changed script in Fourteenth Level Entrance; originally "end on room exit" and "turn into monster" were mixed up.

Edit 2: Added extra checkpoints in rooms that were considered problematic.

Edit 3: Removed excess trapdoors in wubbas in certain rooms.

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[Last edited by azb at 03-25-2018 11:21 AM]
03-24-2018 at 02:14 PM
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azb
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icon Re: Secret of the Blank Dungeon (+1)  
I have playtested outside the level editor, and have been able to use checkpoints easily. If you have specific rooms in mind (IE: 9 2N1W), I can fix them, otherwise I cannot see the problem - maybe because I find combat easier than others, and thus my playstyle is on a different wavelength than other people.

Are there widely agreed upon conventions for checkpoint placement, such as not placing them on mimic potions so the player is not stuck? That is reasonable and not dependent on playing style.

Perhaps another one is to avoid having checkpoints only on trapdoors to prevent "one use" checkpoints? In that case, I have added extra checkpoints to Second Level, Seventh Level, Eighth Level, and many other rooms in other levels that use trapdoors.

If there are no conventions, however, the reason I did not "fix" the checkpoints is because there were no specific situations given in the earlier hold except for the ones reported, which I fixed accordingly.

I know other testers, such as Chaco and Insoluble came up with specific examples which I fixed too, but are you perhaps more lynchpin focused personally?

I agree, however, that Ninth Level 2N1W and 1N1W are trouble spots, so I have fixed them accordingly. Thank you for pointing that out.


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[Last edited by azb at 03-24-2018 04:11 PM : Typo: "East" for "West"]
03-24-2018 at 04:09 PM
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Nuntar
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icon Re: Secret of the Blank Dungeon (+1)  
I'm sorry I was out of line with my response. I was having a really bad day for reasons that had nothing to do with your hold.

Thanks for fixing Ninth Level 2N1W. I agree that the problem was mainly that room and not the hold as a whole.

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03-24-2018 at 04:57 PM
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azb
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icon Re: Secret of the Blank Dungeon (+2)  
No problem - I am always willing to take constructive criticism, regardless of the mood it is delivered in! :)

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03-24-2018 at 05:44 PM
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Nuntar
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icon Re: Secret of the Blank Dungeon (+2)  
Okay, let's give this another try :)

First Level

Entrance: Beethro can take the passage to the eastern exit, but there's no room there. In the actual JtRH L1 Entrance, this was prevented with a door that starts closed separating Beethro's and Halph's exits.
1S: Nice linchpin of using the orbs as protection, but there are far more roaches than necessary to make the point.
2S1W, 2S2W: More roaches than necessary here too.
1S2W, 1S3W: These are good rooms (although 1S3W needs checkpoints). Roaches coming from all corners requires some thought, but the rooms are not hard with a good technique.
2W: This seemed way too dense on a first attempt, but wasn't at all hard when I realised that the centre is better for Beethro than a corner.
1N2W: Introduces the trick of standing on a door that Halph will close. Again more roaches than necessary, although maybe the sheer number helps the player find that solution rather than doing the room the slow way!
1N3W: Now this is a really good room -- you have to think about the order of operations to avoid an impossible tunnel situation, and good roach-smiting efficiency also helps. More like this, please!

Second Level

Entrance: On a first attempt, this was really tough, with the Slayer continually getting up close and it being very tricky to avoid him while making progress on the roaches. However, once I realised I should go for the three queens together first, it wasn't hard at all.
1E: Much more like what I'd expect for a first introduction to the Slayer. He is a constant threat, but the player can easily keep him at a distance to take a breather while tackling the next part of the room.
1W: Another really good room; the interesting trapdoor pattern gives the player a lot of choice in how to handle it, with possibilities for cutting off the Slayer that gradually decrease as the player gets towards the last few trapdoors.
2W: Rather nasty. Dropping the trapdoors is a lot of work with not much puzzle; it's not at all easy to work out where to finish to be in a good place for the roach swarm; and if you get to the end and things don't work out well, that can be a lot of work to redo. I would suggest simply cutting down the number of trapdoors here.
2E: This was extremely hard -- I think too hard for a required room at this stage. No matter what order you tackle the queens, the ones you leave for later will spawn a blockade of roaches that makes it very tricky to get in and kill the queens with the Slayer on your tail. The saving grace is that it's possible to trick the Slayer into stepping onto one of the force arrows where the south queens start. (Or was that the intended solution?)
1S: This wasn't too hard, especially once I got far enough in that the Slayer was cut off from me.

Third Level

Entrance: No problems here, simple introduction to wubbas.
1E: Also fairly simple; the roach cages are good places for getting wubbas stuck.
1N1E: Pretty good room, with the linchpin that the NE queen is particularly tricky so you should get to her as quickly as possible.
1N: Surprisingly tough in spite of only having a few wubbas. Again I wonder whether it's necessary to have this many trapdoors to make the room work.
1W, 2E: After a short while in this rooms I was just overwhelmed by the wubba hordes. Have to admit, this has never been my favourite room type. I'm going to leave it here, but I will give this another try when I have some more time.

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03-25-2018 at 12:34 AM
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azb
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icon Re: Secret of the Blank Dungeon (0)  
The excess of roaches on the First Level is intentional, but the lack of checkpoints in certain rooms was not. Fixed!

I reduced the number of trapdoors in Second Level 2W, but left 2E as-is, as the trick is indeed getting the Slayer stuck - it would have been impossible for me otherwise.

I agree that Third Level had excessive wubbas, so I removed plenty in 1W and 2E, and also the last room which you haven't reached yet.


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03-25-2018 at 11:24 AM
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