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Thread: RNG and content generation

  1. #1
    Senior Member KoBeWi's Avatar
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    RNG and content generation

    Probably something unusual here: topic about randomness, but not the RNG rant. Well, there are two types of randomness in this game. First is the pure one that you find in boxes and enemy drops, deciding on your loot and being hated by pretty everyone. Other randomness is the one creating the worlds we explore. The latter will be a topic of this discussion.

    Process of creating game content with algorithms (optionally) based on randomness is called procedural generation. The most important thing is that you just don't throw in some random numbers and expect it to work, because it won't. NEVER use pure randomness to decide on the shape of your content, because it has only chance to work when there's tons of stuff to choose from. Unless you put restrictions on how things can be generated, simple RNG is not a reliable tool to create something, because it can easily generate something boring and repetitive.

    You might remember my topic about how I hate lavafall arena and how it should be banned from this game. What made me create this topic here is that this particular arena is found in this week's rotation 4 times. I have no idea how it works, that there are dungeons absent for few rotations, and this one, which is the worst possible, can appear multiple times. Last week was the first one in few months when this arena didn't appear.

    Now, what I mean, is that algorithm choosing dungeons for Shadow Tower should be reworked. Right now, it's completely random (some arenas might have greater chance to appear, but I'd like to believe that we just all have bad luck for these). Sometimes there are couple same dungeons in a row, some of dungeons are rarely seen. The thing is, it's boring. There are so many dungeons designed, but that potential is wasted because of pure randomness.

    My proposition is that dungeons in Shadow Tower should only appear up to once each week. When you find one arena/dungeon on some floor, it cannot appear on any other floor. I mean, if e.g. spike shadow arena appears on Spike Walker floor 2, no further floors will have this arena, so it appears solely there. This eliminates situations like this lavafall cancer appearing multiple times per full run. To improve it further, when some dungeon/arena appeared last week, it has half the chance to be chosen for current rotation. So if all arenas/dungeons in Shadow Tower have weighted probability to appear equal 100, the ones from last week have only 50. 25 if they appear twice in a row, but resets if they are absent. Thanks to this, Shadow Tower would be much more diverse and we wouldn't be in a situation when some dungeons don't appear for months.

    Aside from Shadow Tower, something similar could be done about regular worlds. Sometimes there are few same dungeons next to each other (I encountered up to 3). Even if there were twice more dungeons than now, there's still possibility for repetitions. As mentioned in the beginning, sheer randomness doesn't produce interesting results. So it would be better if e.g. when a dungeon appears, no same dungeon has chance to appear in a certain radius. More complex would be banning same dungeons next to each other, forcing different one in between them. E.g. when we have dungeons A, B and C, where A and B are mushroom dungeon and C is castle dungeon, and they are lined up in a world, this combination is allowed: A C B, but this not: A B C, because we have two dungeons of the same design neighboring (could be also A C D B, so with 2 dungeons in between, for even better diversity). Radius-based solution is simpler to achieve though and would be enough. Still better than now.

    Well, that's what I wanted to say. Anyone else have something to add? Discuss.
    Also, pls don't bring subjects like gems, loot boxes or MF, because this is not a thread for this. It's about content generation, not loot tables and stuff.

  2. #2
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    I think this is a great idea. While you might still have the instance of having multiple dungeons/levels that are the same near each other it wouldn't happen as often.

    Added to my suggestion consolidation thread as well as I added all the other suggestions in your signature! (Let me know if you would like a link :s )
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  3. #3
    Senior Member KoBeWi's Avatar
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    Ugh, bumping this. I did all ST floors except Hydra. Half of this week's Shadow Tower was the spike/bumper arena. Seriously, is something broken with the generation? Whole DotM floor consists of 3 times the same arena. There are so many cool Shadow Dungeon designs, but some of them appear once a few months, while there are stupid ones that appear EVER SINGLE WEEK, SOMETIMES ON MULTIPLE FLOOS. Really no one else is bothered by this?

    When it comes to world generation, pure randomness is no good in games. It's like making a random code generator and hope that it will result in a good game. It won't. Unless you set some constraints, you could wait years for a good design. Sometimes cool unexpected things happen, but most of the times won't. You have to make cool things happen yourself, with enough variables and blueprints to make it non-repeatable.
    (why am I even writing this... again _)

    btw, spike/bumper arena is the second worst designed arena, just after lavafall one. I have bad memories of enemies bumping endlessly on launchpads with no way to damage them.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Doon's Avatar
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    Likely, Lots of ppl are just rushing through the floors, not caring about the scenery. I am guilty of that sometimes. Tunnel>skull area, tunnel>skull area, over and over in some form or another is desensitizing. Same with arenas.


    The really good ones that compel you to go off the path are the goodies. Those should be the design template for all--at least as a guiding concept. If people still want to rush through it, they can.


    And yes, agreed there should a mechanic that creates variety. After typing all that, I wonder if the easily rushed areas being common is actually on purpose...

    Cubist Colony

  5. #5
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    I think Doon has nailed it. Most people (Myself included) do not normally care about the level that you are going thru unless you are trying to farm the elites for drops. Then it does matter. On Mondays its rush to the end boss. Friday's it's kill everything for drops.

    I really like your idea's for how to make the ST's unique each week. That gets my +1 on it.

    Do we actually have enough different floor designs for 18 different floors every week? I never stopped to count myself as I'm normally just rushing thru in tunnel vision mode. :-)

  6. #6
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    I'm kind of split on the matter. On one hand, my BF would prefer if it was nothing but arenas because he's got a job and typically doesnt want to spend all his time running lengthy dungeon floors. I on the other hand like the dungeons and find the arenas really boring and the drop rates from chests before final boss to be too low and crappy.

    I didnt really seriously think about the rotations until someone in one of my clubs was trying to finish the fishing log and the dungeon floor with water in it didn't spawn for six weeks straight. Up until then I hadn't realized they were randomized. She kept asking about it in live streams and either didnt get an answer or the question just got a shrug.

    I noticed the lobby has all types of liquids now in respond to people being frustrated with not getting the right ST floor to fish in. >.>
    Knight : 22/7.6 Guns : 18/5.9 Fae : 30/8.9 Draco : 30/10.8 Neon : 20/7.9 Barb : 20/6.8 Sage : 19/6.6 Hunt : 30/8.6 Pirate : 30/12.4 Boom : 30/15.2 Tomb : 30/13.8 Lunar : 17/6.9 Rev :17/6.6 Chloro : 30/18.5 Dino : 17/7.2 Vang : 0/0

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