Where are all the floor traps?

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Time4Tea
Posts: 110
Joined: 01 Jan 2020, 00:27

Where are all the floor traps?

Post by Time4Tea » 29 Mar 2020, 12:32

Hey, so this isn't a criticism of OpenMW, but more about the original game in general, but ...

where the heck are all the floor traps? I mean, the game is amazing, but to me this has to be one of the most glaring omissions. I'm talking about the sort of traps where you walk over an unmarked 'pressure plate' type area on the floor and something bad happens, like a spell goes off in your face; a poisoned arrow shoots out of a slit in the wall; a trapdoor opens under your feet and you fall into a slaughterfish-infested pool, etc. It seems there are very few, if any, examples of this anywhere in the game. So, why did the developers not put in more traps (compared to something like Baldur's Gate, which is riddled with them)? Did the ancient dunmer and dwemer make some treaty that they wouldn't lace their strongholds with deadly hidden traps?

It seems even more surprising because I would think it would be pretty easy to implement in the construction set, without having to modify the engine (although, I admit I haven't tried it). There has to be some sort of floor activator object you can place that will fire a script when the player walks over it, to trigger the spell/arrow or whatnot. Then, it wouldn't seem like much of a stretch to script it so that, when the player is within a certain distance, it makes a check against their security skill every 5 seconds or so (or could even be a separate detect traps skill), and if they 'spot' it, make the patch on the floor turn red, so it is visible. It seems to me a few traps like that dotted around some of the tombs and dwemer ruins could have added another layer of gameplay and tension.

But then, they made it so even the dumbest Orc barbarian with an intelligence of 5 and a security skill of 3 knows instinctively when every door or chest has a trap on it, so I guess trap design wasn't exactly Bethesda's forte back then ...

Ah well ... all these probes in my inventory and nothing to use them on ... :lol:

silentthief
Posts: 435
Joined: 18 Apr 2013, 01:20
Location: Currently traversing the Ascadian Isles

Re: Where are all the floor traps?

Post by silentthief » 29 Mar 2020, 15:16

Time4Tea wrote:
29 Mar 2020, 12:32
... the sort of traps where you walk over an unmarked 'pressure plate' type area on the floor and something bad happens, like a spell goes off in your face; a poisoned arrow shoots out of a slit in the wall; a trapdoor opens under your feet and you fall into a slaughterfish-infested pool, etc.
There is a script for this: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Tes3Mod:GetStanding
Its the script used when playing through this bloodmoon quest https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Bloodmoon:Race ... _the_Clock
Time4Tea wrote:
29 Mar 2020, 12:32
So, why did the developers not put in more traps (compared to something like Baldur's Gate, which is riddled with them)? Did the ancient dunmer and dwemer make some treaty that they wouldn't lace their strongholds with deadly hidden traps?
My guess is that they wanted more in the game, but they ran into time constraints. There is the above scripts that allow modmakers to make these kind of things, so Bethesda laid the groundwork for it. This unfortunately is the bane of any studio based developed game. They HAVE to deliver by a set time. They may be able to extend but the investers don't like that. I sometimes daydream of the game that they could have came up with if they were able to put everything in that they could have....
Time4Tea wrote:
29 Mar 2020, 12:32
But then, they made it so even the dumbest Orc barbarian with an intelligence of 5 and a security skill of 3 knows instinctively when every door or chest has a trap on it...
I agree completely. So much so that I had long ago requested Hrnchamd (the programmer of MCP) to enable an option to NOT display the "trapped" notification when looking at something trapped. Since the basis of any character has three branches to choose from, combat, magic, and stealth; I thought that there should be an overhaul to the security/stealth based based characters to make them more viable of an option (and just flush out the security skills a bit). Using TES3CMD, I was able to get a list of every trapped door and container in the base game and two expansion packs, and I was trying to alter how they worked, and make it so that there were other kinds of traps, or even randomly place them. I was removing the trap info from the container and instead put a "trap item" in the container. This would allow the ability to put them into leveled lists (thus making traps appear randomly). The trap item was scripted to be removed upon opening the container, if not detected and it went off - but I wanted to make it so there was a chance that the player could retrieve it if it was found and disarmed. There is a mod made by someone (not sure who at the moment) that gave characters a bear trap kind of item, which would put on the ground an obvious trap on the floor that NPCs which were in attack mode would walk into. I thought if I got that far, that I would have a chance to force them to swap to ranged attacks if the player tried to bait them, but I did not get that far.

The trap item stuff was working well enough with the containers, since I could script adding/removing items, but it did not work for doors. I was thinking that for doors I may have to have a global container which I could track the trap on the door. I wanted to also have a way to use the uses/charges on probes if someone was trying to use a probe when uncertain of whether or not there was a trap, but that is impossible in vanilla MW. I also wanted to make the unused spell into a spell which would detect traps (which kind of undermines the thought of expanding the security/stealth based characters, but I didn't get that done. I did not finish the mod, but I still have the notes and the work I did on it and I would like to finish this eventually.

ST
Last edited by silentthief on 29 Mar 2020, 15:29, edited 1 time in total.
"You like to dance close to the fire, don't you?."

Time4Tea
Posts: 110
Joined: 01 Jan 2020, 00:27

Re: Where are all the floor traps?

Post by Time4Tea » 30 Mar 2020, 14:20

@silentthief thanks for your reply. Yeah, I had guessed it was probably down to time constraints as well. I mean, the project was hugely ambitious as it was, so I guess they couldn't include everything.

That mod you were working on with the randomly-placed 'trapped items' is a really cool idea. It would be a great addition to not know what containers are trapped, unless you have a certain level in the Security skill. I know there is an existing mod here that makes the lock level and trapped status visible only if the relevant skills are high enough. I haven't tried it though.
silentthief wrote:There is a script for this: https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Tes3Mod:GetStanding
Its the script used when playing through this bloodmoon quest https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Bloodmoon:Race ... _the_Clock
Ok, so floor traps could definitely be done with the existing engine. It would be cool to do a mod where I go through and add floor traps to all the dungeons and tombs. Although, it would be a lot of work and I don't have time to even think about it right now (well, I guess I already thought about it .. :) )

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