Jump to content

anybody else miss pitch black dungeons?


Recommended Posts

In CRPGs of decades past, it was a common for there to be pitch black dungeon areas, where sans light you could not travel without being eaten by a grue.

 

The idea of needing a light source to explore certain areas seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Many argue that it's a useless mechanic: you get a light source or spell, and there you go.  It "adds nothing", in a sense.  Others argue that it does: there's a sense of foreboding and danger from diving into pitch black dungeons where the only light comes from your flickering torch that barely illuminates a few paces in front of you, wondering what dangers the shadows ahead may be hiding.  It can make dungeons feel truly "lost", as if you're the first to discover them in eons.

 

I don't remember any places in PoE1 that were dark - just dim.  In many cases it doesn't make sense, such as a dungeon area in active use by humans, who would presumably illuminate it.  Sometimes it might, such as one inhabited only by spirits and the undead.

 

The underlying mechanic seems to exist: night and day have different illuminations, and light sources from spell and fire effects appear to be handled dynamically.

 

What do you think?  Would you like PoE2 to have underground areas with absolute darkness?

Edited by demeisen
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was surprised that this didn't appear in PoE. It seemed like everything was in place for a dungeon like that. I hope it happens in some game like PoE 2. I think it could be a fun challenge to have less visibility than the mobs for once. If nothing else, being forced to carry torches could emphasize the atmosphere.

Edited by Marky
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always felt this kind of mechanic in games to be more of a gate limiting 'open world exploration' rather than something fun. That being said I'm a huge Pokemon fan, so maybe there is something to it. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was hoping for something like that, but alas the use of lighting seems to have been mostly cosmetic in the final game. That said, I can understand why that particular kind of gameplay doesn't mesh super-well with the Infinity Engine template they adopted, and at least they paid lip service to it in the lead-up to the final area.

 

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they'll go for something like that in an optional dungeon in a sequel or spin-off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm having flash backs to dragon warrior on nes omw to last boss and running outta torches. I swear I used to have the place memorized bc it happened so much lol.

 

On topic, I would love to have that happen. I mean we already have torches in the game, just need to incorporate lighting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always felt this kind of mechanic in games to be more of a gate limiting 'open world exploration' rather than something fun. That being said I'm a huge Pokemon fan, so maybe there is something to it. 

In Pokémon, to light an area, you have to take one of your pokes and teach it a useless move that can't easily be forgotten, forever crippling it.

PoE has no such restriction.

 

I'm not the developer, though. So maybe you see things others can't.

qKz5nVP.png

tumblr_ntb1sfqeVI1rxxgfbo3_400.png                                                         

I stream every Friday at 9pm EST: http://www.twitch.tv/ladaarehn  Currently streaming: KOTOR 2.

 

Pillars of Eternity homebrew tabletop thread: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84662-pillars-of-eternity-homebrew-wip/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I've always felt this kind of mechanic in games to be more of a gate limiting 'open world exploration' rather than something fun. That being said I'm a huge Pokemon fan, so maybe there is something to it. 

In Pokémon, to light an area, you have to take one of your pokes and teach it a useless move that can't easily be forgotten, forever crippling it.

PoE has no such restriction.

 

I'm not the developer, though. So maybe you see things others can't.

 

I meant more along the lines of areas being blocked by rocks, trees, blackouts, etc.. until you find a certain move/item to progress. To your other point of crippling a Pokemon with the Light move. Most games with light mechanics require a torch/flashlight which can also cripple a character. But like I said, I love those games so maybe there is something cool about the 'pitch black dungeon' aspect of games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like this if it wasn't just a difficult maze with darkness.  Navigating a maze in the dark is just systematic and time-consuming.  But if it were like the regular PoE dungeons (still needing to find your way, some dead ends with fights/finds) but with limited visibility within your torchlight circle, it could indeed be atmospheric.

Like anything, it's fine if it's not overdone.

  • Like 3

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of games these days with this type of thing, just not so much in the top down RTWP RPG vein :p.  Personally I could take it or leave it in this kind of game, I don't feel like it particularly adds anything unless you use it as a tool to achieve some kind of dramatic effect.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the idea of the dark, dank dungeon/cave system.  That said, if there are things living in that cave/mine/dungeon, it's not exactly surprising that its dwellers choose to light it up.  But on the flip side, unless they're using some magical means of lighting or have some sort of luminescent thing that glows in the dark, lighting an entire cave with torches would seem to be rather wasteful, since wood doesn't exactly grow underground, and the cave dwellers' supply of combustible materials would likely be limited.  They'd be more likely to only light those areas that NEED to be lit at any given moment so that they could conserve their limited supply of torch "resources".

 

So in the end, there really is some logic behind these dungeon/cave systems being lit.  Unless the cave dwellers can see in the dark, they're going to like their "home" lit as much as any visitors (i.e. the player's party) would like it lit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like the idea of pitch black dungeons in a game like this. I like to see where I am going, and where the enemies are, so that I have a better idea how to approach the next fight tactically. In addition, a part of the enjoyment of these games is looking at the beautiful backgrounds; something only looking at a tiny part of it at a time would remove.

 

I wouldn't mind it in an isometric ARPG like Diablo or its descendants however.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like a pitch black dungeon.

 

It would need to be supported though -- there are torches, but we'd also want spells and items which emit light, or infra/ultravision etc. Perhaps death godlikes use some other sense than sight to "see" and are immune to darkness.

  • Like 2

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It would need to be supported though -- there are torches, but we'd also want spells and items which emit light, or infra/ultravision etc. Perhaps death godlikes use some other sense than sight to "see" and are immune to darkness.

 

There was that floating glow-ball-thing in the early lighting demo. Maybe there could be a spell to create one of those, then you can control it. Like that spell in BG that created the scout-eyeball-whatever thing.

---

We're all doomed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly there could be 800 ways to trivialize that particular facet of gameplay, whether it be floating balls of light that you'd automagically recast after each rest, burning swords or glowing cloaks and I'd still love to see it.

  • Like 2

t50aJUd.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not seeing much point to it, given that torches don't seem to get used up (granted, it's not like I used them outside the first dungeon - maybe "don't seem to get used up in any timeframe that may make the resource-management aspect interesting?").

 

Also, I don't think it meshes well with Pillars' general aesthetics and design philosophy: dungeons are, by designer's decree, places where balanced and fun combat happens, not places where fools venture to risk life and limb for a fortune.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Honestly there could be 800 ways to trivialize that particular facet of gameplay, whether it be floating balls of light that you'd automagically recast after each rest, burning swords or glowing cloaks and I'd still love to see it.

 

I just ... thought ... it looked nice. ... YOU are trivial!

  • Like 1

---

We're all doomed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, how would darkness be functionally different from the fog of war effect?

 

Aesthetics and visual range. In a pitch-black dungeon you'd only be able to see as far as your light source reaches. 

 

This would have significant repercussions on encounter design, as you wouldn't be able to see how many of them lurk in the darkness. You could have enemy parties with light sources too of course.

  • Like 2

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Also, how would darkness be functionally different from the fog of war effect?

 

Aesthetics and visual range. In a pitch-black dungeon you'd only be able to see as far as your light source reaches. 

 

This would have significant repercussions on encounter design, as you wouldn't be able to see how many of them lurk in the darkness. You could have enemy parties with light sources too of course.

 

 

Agreed.

 

However, as I said above, unless the creatures who inhabit the dungeon can see in the dark, they're going to want to have the place lit as well.  So there is a bit of a rationale for having at least some of a dungeon lit.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like the idea of pitch black dungeons in a game like this. I like to see where I am going, and where the enemies are, so that I have a better idea how to approach the next fight tactically. In addition, a part of the enjoyment of these games is looking at the beautiful backgrounds; something only looking at a tiny part of it at a time would remove.

 

I wouldn't mind it in an isometric ARPG like Diablo or its descendants however.

 

Of course, you want to see where you're going.  But to me, that's not the point.  Even above ground, parties travel during the night in the dark.  And frankly, it should be a lot darker at night, even above ground, unless Eora has, let's say, 2 moons and one assumes that one of those moons is always in the night sky.  A bit of a stretch, I think, astronomically speaking, but an explanation even if an imperfect one.

 

The point is, as someone crawling around in the dark, be it in a dungeon or above ground at night, of course you WANT to see where you're going.  But that doesn't mean that you should be able to, at least not without making an effort, like having to carry torches, etc.  This would also open up opportunities for items that allowed the wearer to see in the dark without aid of a torch.  Also, one would think that trying to be stealthy while carrying a torch would be rather difficult. 

 

And another point...  As I've said above twice, unless the inhabitants of a dungeon can see in the dark, one would assume that they want to have the part of the dungeon lit as much as you do.  So it seems that there would be a lot of dungeons that would be lit, simply because the people dwelling there are going to want it illuminated, which of course means that it's nicely lit for you too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point about the overworld is a good one, too - anyone that's been out late at night, away from the major cities or large green houses (seriously, those damn things), would know that night is really, really, really dark, unless there happens to be a full moon and clear skies. A torch or minor light source gives you considerably better vision, but in a very small radius, and as it blinds you, everything outside of it is likely to be pitch black. Meanwhile, you're made visible from miles away.

 

I really hate how in many modern games, there's really no meaningful difference between night and day, and you've got perfect 20/20 vision either way. If Skyrim had proper lightning, you'd have to make camp overnight, and even a small town would stand out as a beacon against the clouds of the night sky.

 

And I love the very thought of coming down a dungeon with my torch, and either it tips off the people down there, or I can see the flickering lights in the distance myself. But more than than, the fact that the enemy would need light sources too, there's the fact that a good many would not need any at all, whether they're spiders or slimes, and it'd just make them so much more horrifying.

 

Makes it so much easier to appreciate the existential horror of living in a pre-industrialization society, where there's something evil just past the reach of your fire, and everything that can see your torch in the distance likely wants to eat you.

 

Not seeing much point to it, given that torches don't seem to get used up (granted, it's not like I used them outside the first dungeon - maybe "don't seem to get used up in any timeframe that may make the resource-management aspect interesting?").

 

Also, I don't think it meshes well with Pillars' general aesthetics and design philosophy: dungeons are, by designer's decree, places where balanced and fun combat happens, not places where fools venture to risk life and limb for a fortune.

Well, first of all, saying that torches don't get used up is a pretty big assumption. In a system employing this, I'd expect torches to get used up, unless they're enchanted. But more importantly, you'd only be able to see as far as the light reaches, and you'd actually need to have ways to carry that light, whether it's carrying a torch in your off-hand (which poses the interesting question as to whether you'll use it for fighting or not; it might get damaged, or snuffed out mid-combat) or having a magic sword or a dedicated spell.

 

And obviously, encounters and dungeons would have to be designed with this in mind - but I absolutely think that entering a dungeon should be done knowing full well that you might be risking life and limb, fortune or not. Hell, we're already risking life and limb fighting monsters, in a narrative sense - I just wish we'd do it in a mechanical sense, too. Honestly, going up against a party our own size should always be a real danger, and I hate how we're slaughtering sometimes entire camps at once, when a stray bullet should be able to put us down.

 

Also, how would darkness be functionally different from the fog of war effect?

The full fog of war disappears after you've discovered that section of the map, and darkness would have to be accounted for and countered. Fog of war just is or isn't.

Edited by Luckmann
  • Like 7

t50aJUd.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...