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#1 2014-01-27 12:23:36

SnakeAes
Member
From: SoCal, USA
Registered: 2014-01-23
Posts: 41

Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

I have quickly become quite addicted to The Castle Doctrine. I noticed though that there is not much discussion on the ways in which people approach houses and traps.

A lot of people don't appreciate this type of discussion because they feel that it gives up their competitive edge by giving information to new players. This is partially true. I am a competitive FPS and fighting game player (and to a lesser extent MOBA games like Dota 2) - the CS:GO team I was on won Season 1 of CEVO and I have made top 32 at EVO, which is basically the world's largest fighting game championship. The beautiful thing about those games is that they really highlight how innovative some players can be. What drives innovation? When everyone knows the old tricks.

I am hoping to facilitate some discussion on people's mindsets when they approach houses and traps, as well as easiest, safest, cheapest ways to avoid them. I have had decent success robbing houses with minimal tools thanks to a mix of luck and intuition.

When you are attempting to rob a house (especially when you are just starting), one of the most important things you can remember is that it had to pass self-test.

Most new-ish players don't have the funds and/or know-how to build overwhelmingly complex houses, so that knowledge alone can help you rob most low-end houses. Because you know it had to pass self-test, there is no reason to explore any portion of the house that is unpassable without tools. For example, if a narrow hallway has a pit bull in it with no way to backtrack and get it behind you, don't even bother with that hallway. If the pit bull has already seen you, feed it and be on your merry way.

Granted, commit gates sometimes make this impossible - but the cheapest commit gates (usually electric floors) are easily thwarted with water, and in many houses a saw can also get you out of a tough situation or undo wiring.

---

Onto trap mechanics. Trap mechanics are basically placements of traps specifically intended to trap the player.

Double-Sided Trap Door

This is one I see a lot.

doortrap_zps02b0c2b0.png

The idea is, you don't know what's beyond the door until you open it. When you do, if you are unprepared, you are screwed. Best placement for these is so that your screen doesn't scroll until you enter the door. Ways out of it are:

  • Brick the cat. In some situations chihuahuas are used in a reverse fashion where they walk towards you rather than away from you to hit the switch. If in range, brick the Chihuahua. Cost: 150

  • If you can move at all without setting off the traps, do so, then pour water on the trap to walk back. Cost: 100

  • Saw the wired wall connecting to the electric floor. Some constructions wire the walls on both sides - in this case, use your judgment. If it's easier to saw one and then walk through to a different hall, or saw both and walk out from whence you came. Cost: 400 or 800

  • If you are suspicious (which I would be upon seeing the electric floor before the door), brick the door if you are really paranoid. However, good placement of this trap usually entails it being at the edge of your screen, making it hard to see past it. Cost: 150

Pit Bull Window Trap

Another one I see a lot is the pit bull trap where a pit bull gains line of sight on you through a window, then follows you to a door where the moment you open the door, you die:

pitbulltrap_zps42ce2556.png

The idea behind this one is that, a pit bull cannot pursue you the same move where it makes line of sight with you. So putting the pit-bull directly behind the door deters you, but does not kill you since you are able to walk away. Using this construction, the pit bull makes line of sight first and thus can attack you the moment you open the door. Ways out of it are:

  • Be alert on whether you've seen any windows with a pit bull behind them. If you have, any doors you open are potentially unsafe until that pit bull is taken care of.

  • Bricks can be used to open doors from a safe distance. If you are going to go this route, I HIGHLY suggest you leave one tile between you and the door (don't brick a door standing directly next to it) so that if the dog is on the other side, you have an even number of spaces between you. This way you can club it if absolutely necessary. Cost: 150+

  • If you can reach the window, breaking it can lead the dog out of its hallway where it might be less of a threat. Cost: 150+

Doggie-Door Double Commit Gate

- Thanks to DethBringa for posting about this one and ventuswings for offering a correction!

doggiedoor_zpsc7550f8d.jpg

This trap blocks your exit path unless you are prepared to kill the awaiting pit bull, which will be released no matter which hall you pick. It also requires that you commit to walking through the electrified hallway or at least spend several hundred on water to short out the electric floors. In this specific construction, simply shorting the power source in the hallway wouldn't help as the panic button is also connected to the electric floors and will still provide them with power.

Solutions:

  • Get spooked and leave the house. Cost: 0 (and everything you were carrying in your backpack!)

  • Shoot the pit bull blocking your exit. Cost: 1200

  • Short the electric floors. Cost: 200+

Fire Floor

- Thanks to RockyBst for this one

firefloor_zps7611e2f1.png

Player walks into the house from the right. Up the top, there's open ground (with scary family protections and lots of dogs, maybe an electric door in plain view). Through the door could be anything, maybe even an angry pitbull!
So, because of his initially limited visibility, he takes a step down onto the first grid which doesn't seem to have any power. He sees the third grid around the corner, but figures he's still safe. However when he moves on to the second grid, suddenly the little doggie sees him and gets agitated. If he moves backwards, he gets fried. If he moves right, he gets fried. The only ways out are:

  • Neutralize the dog (meat, brick, gun).

  • Take a saw to the wall ... at which point, obviously, wall dog.

  • Use some wire cutters

So, for $250 you have a basic trap which potentially costs $400 to circumvent. Upgrade the dog to a pitbull, you then have the choice of either drugging him and leaving a landmine in the passage, or spending $1,200 to shoot him.

Leap of Faith

There are two variants of this:

Simpler one (credit to Blip)
leapoffaith-2_zps736132c3.png

I say "simple" in construction only. Several players, including myself, struggled figuring this out.

This exploits players' initial reactions to immediately kill/drug dogs. The player must activate the traps first by stepping on them, then fetch the pit bull by keeping him two spaces away. When you step on the switch again, you deactivate the traps, allowing you to step onto the electric floor safely. Then the next step is the "leap of faith" which causes the dog to step on the switch, powering the trap door and allowing you to safely pass.

Assuming the mechanic is built correctly, there is no inexpensive way around the trap unless you are willing to cut through/torch/explode the walls. The only other way through is to correctly execute the opening of the trap using the dog.

Second variation dubbed Schrödinger's Corpse - thanks to RockyBst:
leapoffaith_zpsa22d119c.png

Reference regarding the name: Schrödinger's Cat - tl;dr version

Read up on precedence on the wiki if you want to understand this one.
The player moves.
Pet movement occurs.
House objects and electronics update.

Meaning you can step on to an electric grid which is powered on, then the pet moves onto a button, then the state of the electric floor (and your Schrödinger charred corpse) is determined.

This works on three levels. At the newbie level, opening the door at the top and seeing the scary pit incites them to turn around and go back the other way, where a cunningly inviting corridor filled with doggy death doors awaits them.
On the intermediate level, the fellow comes along and sees an unpowered trap door. But then he spies the dog, who will move down a tile when he does, hitting the button. So he bravely steps out into empty space, only to land heavily, crushing his legs and dying a lingering death.

Why did he die? Because there isn't actually any power coming into the pit from the dogs side. Instead the power to the trap door is turned on by doing a little magic dance somewhere far, far away in the maze. Oh, and incidentally this trap door works as a double bluff when it has been powered on. Because the even more eagle eyed expert viewers will notice that's a toggle pressure switch (starts on) which the dog is about to step on, which if they're wrong could switch off the power after all...

---

Anyone else know of any commonly seen/used shenanigans and mechanics? I'd ideally like to get a discussion going in which we can almost sort of demystify the game for new and intermediate players.

Last edited by SnakeAes (2014-01-27 19:27:40)


---
勝兵先勝而後求戰,敗兵先戰而後求勝。
"Victorious warriors win first, then go to war; defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win."
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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#2 2014-01-27 12:30:24

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 518
Website

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

One astoundingly successful technique I've used is to get the player to walk past what seems like an innocuous hallway, but one which has dogs. They go around a corner, make eye contact with the dogs through glass, and are then promptly screwed. It takes a little finesse to get the angles set up, but it works. I'll post a screen or something after the contest.

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#3 2014-01-27 12:38:39

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 441

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

One that's become very common nowadays is having a closed door near the entrance and a later part of the trap open the door. Behind the door was a pit bull, which prevents leaving unless you have a gun or dealt with it beforehand.


"I want quotes in my signature too!" -Blip
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 87 Paintings!

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#4 2014-01-27 12:41:59

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 518
Website

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

If you're experienced, that one is way too scary. If I see a door, I'm out. No questions. At a minimum, I'd have to spend about $500 to saw through and put the dog behind the door to sleep and that's a large up front investment.

Something to keep in mind is that it's sometimes more profitable to make a seemingly safe entrance. Make people feel comfortable. You don't want everyone taking 3 steps.

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#5 2014-01-27 12:42:27

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Ohhh, when I started playing I had never heard of that trap. I started using it and now there are a lot of houses with that similar setup... Wonder if I introduced it.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#6 2014-01-27 12:49:40

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

jere wrote:

One astoundingly successful technique I've used is to get the player to walk past what seems like an innocuous hallway, but one which has dogs. They go around a corner, make eye contact with the dogs through glass, and are then promptly screwed. It takes a little finesse to get the angles set up, but it works. I'll post a screen or something after the contest.

Also they'll often use an unpowered electric floor to make the route with the dog in it look unsafe. The first time I encountered this I fell for it and lost a massive house with a lot of money, I didn't think it could be unsafe just walking down a wooden hallway.

DethBringa wrote:

Ohhh, when I started playing I had never heard of that trap. I started using it and now there are a lot of houses with that similar setup... Wonder if I introduced it.

Which one? I think, other than the line of sight to pitbull then door, all of these have been used since V5.

Last edited by colorfusion (2014-01-27 12:52:36)

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#7 2014-01-27 12:49:42

SnakeAes
Member
From: SoCal, USA
Registered: 2014-01-23
Posts: 41

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

I'm not familiar with this one. Is it something like this?

powereddogtrap_zpsa5d09c8b.png

EDIT: Except that those switches would be on.

Last edited by SnakeAes (2014-01-27 12:59:03)


---
勝兵先勝而後求戰,敗兵先戰而後求勝。
"Victorious warriors win first, then go to war; defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win."
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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#8 2014-01-27 12:51:35

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 518
Website

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Also they'll often use an unpowered electric floor to make the route with the dog in it look unsafe. The first time I encountered this I fell for it and lost a massive house with a lot of money, I didn't think it could be unsafe just walking down a wooden hallway.

Yup. That's exactly what I'm doing, except for since having upgraded to trapdoors. Funny enough though a good percentage of people die due to the electric floors, which are obviously going to be deadly.

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#9 2014-01-27 12:58:45

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 441

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

DethBringa wrote:

Ohhh, when I started playing I had never heard of that trap. I started using it and now there are a lot of houses with that similar setup... Wonder if I introduced it.

jere wrote:

If you're experienced, that one is way too scary. If I see a door, I'm out. No questions. At a minimum, I'd have to spend about $500 to saw through and put the dog behind the door to sleep and that's a large up front investment.
Something to keep in mind is that it's sometimes more profitable to make a seemingly safe entrance. Make people feel comfortable. You don't want everyone taking 3 steps.

Well, the pit bull behind a door trap has been used for a long time, probably since v5, but I've just now seen it get a large surge in popularity, and I'm not sure why. But I agree with jere; I never go past an activated powered door unless I'm on a suicide mission.

My favorite trap is, to put in in vague terms: a bunch of hallways to return by, but only one is the same one you entered through. Dogs happen to make this trap both successful and absolutely hilarious to watch people die in.


"I want quotes in my signature too!" -Blip
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 87 Paintings!

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#10 2014-01-27 13:07:45

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Originally I used this: (May be familiar to a lot of people)
3_zpsc9c17737.jpg

Then after my family died I changed to a variant of this:
4_zps6aef682d.jpg



*EDIT* Its supposed to be scary to stop people robbing me tongue

*EDIT 2* Uploaded the new FIXED image with the breaker circuit. Thanks ventuswings for noticing that.


PS... I call it my doggie sandwich. Clocks up mad cash from curious "whats around the bend" people.

Last edited by DethBringa (2014-01-27 19:13:05)


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#11 2014-01-27 13:13:30

Eldrad
Member
Registered: 2014-01-23
Posts: 13

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Huh your changed variant only takes 100 to bypass (after identifying how it works) where as your original took 900. I'd stick with something closer to the original (namely don't let the dog get killed by the electric floor).

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#12 2014-01-27 13:13:58

tayfun
Member
Registered: 2014-01-27
Posts: 17

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

I'm afraid I was the one behind the idea of a house full of dogs behind doors. I've seen many people do it later on.

Then I did the Electric Floor+Sticking Pressure Switch+Power Source trio into every corridor. Evil again, and got quickly copied. big_smile

Now I'm trying something more sinister...

Last edited by tayfun (2014-01-27 13:20:22)

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#13 2014-01-27 13:20:24

SnakeAes
Member
From: SoCal, USA
Registered: 2014-01-23
Posts: 41

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

tayfun wrote:

I'm afraid I was the evil genius behind the idea of a house full of dogs behind doors. I've seen many people do it later on.

Then I did the Electric Floor+Sticking Pressure Switch+Power Source trio into every corridor. Evil again, and got quickly copied. big_smile

Now I'm trying something more sinister...

This is exactly what I hope to achieve with this thread.


---
勝兵先勝而後求戰,敗兵先戰而後求勝。
"Victorious warriors win first, then go to war; defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win."
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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#14 2014-01-27 13:20:57

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

The original variant was a cheap next move, it has evolved a lot since but I don't want to give away too much this close to the end of the contest.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#15 2014-01-27 13:21:10

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

tayfun wrote:

I'm afraid I was the evil genius behind the idea of a house full of dogs behind doors. I've seen many people do it later on.

Then I did the Electric Floor+Sticking Pressure Switch+Power Source trio into every corridor. Evil again, and got quickly copied. big_smile

Now I'm trying something more sinister...

DethBringa wrote:

Originally I used this: (May be familiar to a lot of people)
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/C_gaskell/1_zps5029ed6c.jpg

Then after my family died I changed to a variant of this:
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/C_gaskell/2_zps1eff910b.jpg



*EDIT* Its supposed to be scary to stop people robbing me tongue

These ideas have been around since V5. Pretty neat and effective, although neither of you originally invented them.

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#16 2014-01-27 13:24:26

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 518
Website

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

See, back in my day we didn't need all these fancy shmancy traps because all you did when you went into a house is perform a magic dance and make a sacrifice to the feline god Whiskers. You double checked the blueprint and called it a day. lol

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#17 2014-01-27 13:28:26

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Maybe I helped influence the return of an old idea then. Pretty hard to make something original. Almost all the ideas I have used in all my houses are original ideas that I didn't copy. I just made them all up, but I would say that they were around before I started playing (now that I think about how long the game was around before I started playing).


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#18 2014-01-27 13:30:48

tayfun
Member
Registered: 2014-01-27
Posts: 17

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

colorfusion wrote:

These ideas have been around since V5. Pretty neat and effective, although neither of you originally invented them.


Possible, as I only heard about this game when the contest was announced. Still, last week I don't remember seeing those tricks as often.

My BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER in this game is to underestimate the simple houses.

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#19 2014-01-27 13:34:41

Sconna
Member
Registered: 2014-01-23
Posts: 19

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Abusing the view.
FluxBB bbcode test
Edit1: The extended view is 5 blocks, not 6.

Last edited by Sconna (2014-01-27 13:37:13)

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#20 2014-01-27 13:35:25

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

My biggest mistake was not reading the wiki... I've died to my own traps a few times due to that. Assumption is the mother of all **** up's.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#21 2014-01-27 13:37:00

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

I did a similar screen view abuse with chihuahua electric floor traps. However people could beat it and the cat one with 1 tool.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#22 2014-01-27 13:44:49

okami316
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 8

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Don't know if it's common, but a cheap of making dogs block the exit in a winding hallway is to make it so the dogs make contact after they've gone past a hallway through a window. If they go into the hallway with the dog first then they can get away, but you can prevent some of that by putting something seemingly threatening like the electric grills. The grills don't even have to be powered, as long as they "look" like they're powered. Experienced people will probably think twice going past the window, but it does catch a decent amount of people off guard.

8iVsEXZ.png

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#23 2014-01-27 13:49:07

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

And so many people drug those poor dogs... It's a wonder they are not addicts yet. Maybe that's why they are so grumpy.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#24 2014-01-27 14:19:17

gyuri
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 159

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Blip wrote:

My favorite trap is, to put in in vague terms: a bunch of hallways to return by, but only one is the same one you entered through.

I couldn't quite imagine this, but I've just been in a house that fits the description. It has only one picture (Obviously, a major malfunction). If that one is yours, I see what you mean, this is a nice one.

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#25 2014-01-27 14:21:41

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 518
Website

Re: Meta-Game and Common Trap Mechanics

Those ones are surprisingly tricky. I try to count... 1, 2, 3, 4 Wait. Oh shit. Is 1 where I entered!?!?!?

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