15 June 2007

Land Mines

In the last few days, I started working at the land mines.
First time I wanted to have land mines in the game was about 4 years ago, but I always had other things to do. In addition to that, some people (like Roja, for example) complained about them not fitting in the game theme.

After doing some research, it seems that the first documented explosive land mines were developed in 1530, which is at the end of the medieval period. That means, they fit the game theme.
Of course, those are the explosive mines. However, devices such as caltrops were used thousands of years ago.

Anyway, originally I just wanted to make a mine that goes boom when you step on it, and hurts the person that does so, and the nearby people. Then I came up with the idea of having proximity mines, which explode when someone is near them.
And when I started implementing them, I started with the data structure that holds them (I always do the structures first, and the code later). And it dawned to me that there are so many other things I can do. For example, I can make wards.

A ward can have multiple uses, such as:
Heal the person that placed it when nearby.
Make invisible players visible, when nearby.
Drain the mana of nearby people (including the caster's mana).
Increase the skill of the caster when nearby.
Decrease the skill of everyone nearby.
And many other cool stuff.

Then we can also have traps, where when you step on them, they will prevent you from moving for a few seconds. Or caltrops, that will damage you and possibly destroy your boots. Or, poisoned caltrops, that will poison you.

And, finally, we can have barricades. They will be temporary walls that can be used for defense or even offence (like trapping someone inside them).

Obviously, there will be some restrictions concerning the and mines and related objects:

1. The person that places them needs to have a certain engineering level, the more lethal/complex the mine, the bigger the level needed. So engineering will be the only skill that is required to actually USE some item, not only manufacture it.
2. They can only be placed in PK maps (not in PK areas, such as arenas).
3. In order to prevent their abuse, the land mines and associated objects will have a limited time, after which they will dissapear. The time will be probably around 10 minutes or so. They will dissapear if the player that placed them leaves the map (including death and disconnection). Most of them will be indiscriminate regarding who they affect. So if the person that placed them is not careful, they will hurt him too.
4. The proximity mines needs to be activated by a remote control device. Otherwise, they would prematurely detonate when the person that placed them moves. In order to activate them, you will need to be pretty close to their location, but outside of their sensitivity radius (you can activate them inside the sensitivity radius, but that might not be a good idea).

The mines will be implemented relatively soon (in a month we should have at least some working kind of mines). But, since they require client support, they will not be in the game until the next client update, which should be around november. However, we will have tests on the test server, for people willing to compile their own client from the CVS. We will annouce such tests, so everyone that can compile (or get acompiled client) can test them.

11 Comments:

Blogger Nyiti (Gabor) said...

and also, there could be dangerous areas where there would be a system of wards, mines, caltrops. Say, if you get past them, you get to a monster, kill it, pick up the protected item, and navigate back through the "security system" of mines and wards. Both the monster and the item would respawn after a while, for someone else to get -- and also, the "security system" could reconfigure itself, or at least change to another pre-designed setting

15/6/07 01:39  
Blogger Nyiti (Gabor) said...

much like an invisible labyrinth, or part of a visible one --- gosh, that would be an exciting challenge to get past one of these!

15/6/07 01:42  
Anonymous heu said...

My opinion is that remote control devices will be terrible for people with high pings like me. (300-400ms)

16/6/07 00:12  
Blogger Nyiti (Gabor) said...

< brainstorm >

what if character's could shapeshift, as a skill?

The shapeshited form would have the advantage that certain properties (mainly those factors which are used in fights) would be very enchanced (only a few, according to shape), but other properties would drop drastically. In a kind of 'special abilities' - 'special handicaps' way. So the shapeshifted form could do certain type of attacks and defenses very well, but could be beaten, if the disadvatages of the form are exploited by the opponent.

The progress of training in the shapeshifting skill would advance along an 'evolution tree', where each leaf of the tree would be some brutal monster, while the inner stages are creatures with overlapping properties of the possible 'leaf monsters' that could be reached from that branch.

A player would be allowed to begin the 'evolution tree' many times, while not losing the ability to shapeshift into the already reached shapes. This would mean that one trains to reach the skill to shapeshift into a "saber-toothed turtle" (which may be 'leaf monster' or not) and then wants to have to ability to shapeshift into a different shape, too. S/he would start training along the evolution tree again, and that would be a seperate thread ('evolution threads'). So s/he will be able to shapeshift into "saber-toothed turtle", and into another creature, the "poison-stinged butterfly" too.

Now the skill level would not be used to determine the type of shapes available to the player, it would be used to determine the speed of progress along the 'evolution tree'.

And now, the act, and training in shapeshifting, where the whole thing connects to the already existing economy, and to the skill system.

This is my idea of it:

The act of shapeshifting would require two conditons:

1* Certain reagents present in the player's inventory;

2a* either the use of a non-tradeable, manufactureable item, which can be used as many times as the player wants

(let's call these now 'X shape stones' where X is the shape it allows -- further notes later)

2b* or, the use of a tradeable item which may be made through another skill (crafting or manufact.), and is good for one use only.


The training process would begin with reading a basic shapeshifting book, which would enable the player to make the first shape stone. The player uses it with the necessary reagents, and enters the shape. S/he may quit the shape by using the stone again.

The player knows the possible branches of the evolution tree, and trains toward one by producing 'shapestone pieces'. The next desired shape will need a certain number of these, PLUS the knowledge acquired from the according book (books may be medium length, and be needed at levels of the evolution tree, not at every stage). The shapestone pieces may be made by the player, using the ingredients (furs, flowers, other stuff, magical essences if it's toward a creature with magical abilities), made while being in the shape. The rate of success in making the shapestone pieces is determined by the level of the shapeshift skill. The ingredients may be collected while in the shape, while not in it, or bought.

Hmmm.. did I cover all the necessary areas?

< / brainstorm >

So that's the idea. Feel free to ignore it. :D

16/6/07 18:04  
Blogger Radu said...

The shape shifting is not a new idea. If you look at the item textures on the client, you will notice some objects that are not used, in the same texture with the summoning stones.

They are for shape shifting. Unfortunately, we do not yet have the time to implement them, but maybe we will, in the future (maybe even this year).

However, it will not be a skill, because it won't be very useful, and I don't like not very useful skills.

Those shape shifting items (totems) will be made by the summoners.

21/6/07 01:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U stole a from Falcon's Eye the best game ever..

22/6/07 17:43  
Blogger Radu said...

I did? Never played (or even heard of that game). Care to elaborate?

26/6/07 00:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So they can only be used in PK maps... I was hoping to maybe use it against monsters. Isn't there a way to use mines or traps in non PK maps, but then they are not triggered by players?

26/6/07 10:06  
Blogger Radu said...

Yes, we might have them be usable outside of PK maps as well, but not affect the players.
We'll have a vote on that, see what the players want.

26/6/07 13:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps "Shapeshifting" could be used to blend in with monsters? Possibly even during global invasions?

It would be a summoners version of invisibility, obviously the effects would have a set timer.

19/7/07 15:46  
Anonymous Bahamut_ZERO said...

I think that the possibility of being able to rig bags with explosives would be nice.

You could plant a mine or other kind of explosive in a bag, and it would explode when plyer tries to pick it up, or it would activate when someone is on top of it, and explode when ythe player tries to move, giving the opportunity of disabling it.

http://www.eternal-lands.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=36907

7/9/07 09:51  

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