LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

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LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby Narsham » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:31 pm

In a number of combats, it seems like there's an issue with the game engine not displaying squares of a room. Let's say I burst into a room full of Frost Giants. In some cases, only a few squares around the door will be displayed as explored, although all the Giants throughout the room will appear on the map. Subsequent entry into the room will reveal only the tiles within Light radius, although the walls of the room appear to have torches on them when they come into view. In any event, although the Giants are clearly visible and in LoS (with or without light), they should be eligible targets. For that matter, the game won't let you center a Fireball spell (for example) on a tile you haven't "explored," even if it involves throwing into a large chamber with a clear LoS. House rule, or bug?

I'd find it less annoying if the Darkness spell (and the Blindness condition) interfered in any way with spell targeting. But they don't. The result thus feels like an engine problem, not an in-game judgment call on what can and can't be seen. Since other fights in the game will first "reveal" the entire room before triggering the combat, there's an obvious workaround available.
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LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby crpgnut » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:56 pm

Woah! This is a good point. Maybe Blue guy will be able to patch this so that we don't have illogical darkness in some battles. It's a minor quibble but maybe it's easy to fix. Good catch, dude!
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:03 pm

I noticed this too, but I didn't think the FoW should be revealed, I rather thought I should be able to target a fireball into the darkness as long as it's in range. (I think it was that way in ToEE, also another related problem: in ToEE I could target a fireball against a wall - if you know what I mean - to avoid friendlies being hit, but that's not possible either).
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby Narsham » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:55 pm

The other problem here is that it becomes impossible to ready vs. spell against a caster who is standing on an unrevealed tile, despite that caster being visible and in LoS.

The only solution in these cases is to advance at least one PC to within a few squares of the enemy caster to reveal the appropriate tile, which is obviously going to be bad tactics in most situations. Missile fire is nerfed, as well...

Personally, I'm always in favor of design choices which open up viable and interesting tactical options. One of the things I like so much about KotC is that it makes a number of actions which I hadn't seen as vitally useful in 3.0/3.5 D&D extremely important. Grappling, counterspelling and readying vs. spell are all extremely important in-game, for example, and not just for monsters with improved grab.

Making ordinary darkness and the FoW associated with it more of an obstacle than magical darkness makes the magic less useful. If the game is going to allow targeting of invisible or otherwise obscured enemies, then normal darkness shouldn't prevent the same thing.

Ventilator, I wasn't thinking of the unrevealed tiles as FoW, especially since any tile which has been revealed is always under observation. If you return to a map and there's wandering monsters in place, they can be seen regardless of where your party stands.

Simply revealing each room when an encounter triggers would be the easy solution. Personally, I'd prefer to see the game reveal all tiles in LoS and keep the rest obscured, though I'm not sure there's a practical difference...
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:21 pm

Thanks for the post Narsham. Yes I am aware of this issue - Over mentioned it during testing. There's no easy solution. Unveiling all rooms would be easy if they were all rectangular, but sometimes they are irregular caves. Over suggested unveiling the squares covered by the monsters' line of sight, but that sounds weird to me. VoD is suggesting allowing spells or shooting into veiled squares, perhaps that's the best solution.
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby erkper » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:57 pm

One sneaky workaround I found is to send a party member exploring towards the end of fights. Once the enemy casters are all accounted for and the only thing left is the slow elimination of the enemy meat-shields (orcs, gnolls, or other humanoids mostly) I often send my mage to clear FoW down corridors and even into rooms if there aren't doors blocking access while the knights and cleric melee the enemies to death. This also keeps my magic user from catching any stray missile fire as the fight winds down. This is a good tactic to use before the fights under the Vanecia Temple for example, allowing AoE spells that you otherwise wouldn't use.

But I agree, allowing casting into FoW-blacked areas (as long as you would have LoS) is a good suggestion.
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:01 am

Narsham wrote:The other problem here is that it becomes impossible to ready vs. spell against a caster who is standing on an unrevealed tile, despite that caster being visible and in LoS.

The only solution in these cases is to advance at least one PC to within a few squares of the enemy caster to reveal the appropriate tile, which is obviously going to be bad tactics in most situations. Missile fire is nerfed, as well...

Personally, I'm always in favor of design choices which open up viable and interesting tactical options. One of the things I like so much about KotC is that it makes a number of actions which I hadn't seen as vitally useful in 3.0/3.5 D&D extremely important. Grappling, counterspelling and readying vs. spell are all extremely important in-game, for example, and not just for monsters with improved grab.

Making ordinary darkness and the FoW associated with it more of an obstacle than magical darkness makes the magic less useful. If the game is going to allow targeting of invisible or otherwise obscured enemies, then normal darkness shouldn't prevent the same thing.

Ventilator, I wasn't thinking of the unrevealed tiles as FoW, especially since any tile which has been revealed is always under observation. If you return to a map and there's wandering monsters in place, they can be seen regardless of where your party stands.

Simply revealing each room when an encounter triggers would be the easy solution. Personally, I'd prefer to see the game reveal all tiles in LoS and keep the rest obscured, though I'm not sure there's a practical difference...


Ok I see it's not FoW. I think the main annoyance was that the unreveiled enemies could shoot you and cast spells on you, while you couldn't do the same. So if that would be solved it should suffice.
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby Darthcast » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:22 pm

erkper wrote:One sneaky workaround I found is to send a party member exploring towards the end of fights. Once the enemy casters are all accounted for and the only thing left is the slow elimination of the enemy meat-shields (orcs, gnolls, or other humanoids mostly) I often send my mage to clear FoW down corridors and even into rooms if there aren't doors blocking access while the knights and cleric melee the enemies to death. This also keeps my magic user from catching any stray missile fire as the fight winds down. This is a good tactic to use before the fights under the Vanecia Temple for example, allowing AoE spells that you otherwise wouldn't use.

I also do this sometimes. But I consider it a bug, because I guess you could also "teleport" your party anywhere you want with it, if you explore with your leader instead of a mage etc. (Haven't done it yet, but I'm sure it'd work because the party always seems to be teleported to the leader after the battle)
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Re: LoS/Darkness/Unrevealed tiles

Postby erkper » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:38 pm

Darthcast wrote:I also do this sometimes. But I consider it a bug, because I guess you could also "teleport" your party anywhere you want with it, if you explore with your leader instead of a mage etc. (Haven't done it yet, but I'm sure it'd work because the party always seems to be teleported to the leader after the battle)

Interesting twist. I'm not sure how useful I'd find it, because most of the time I'd rather be at the edge of a room instead of in the middle surrounded by enemies when the fighting starts. (Unless I have lots of Dehydrate spells, lol.) But I might try it just to see how it works. The main advantage to me is just to clear the FoW so you can cast your AoE spells into the whole room.
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