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Trapsin and The Pit - something fishy going on with boss pack spawns


Well-known member
Jul 19, 2017

Back in the old forum I made a thread about Trapsin running The Pit and getting only 1-3 boss packs in level 1. I leveled her to 93 and rerolled the map pretty much after every run and 4 boss packs was the maximum she ever found. I gave up and moved on. @Luhkoh brought up similar findings in his grailing thread so I decided to grab my tinfoil hat I had stored in my cupboard and continue testing. I had just respec'd her into a pdr kick/trap hybrid so I could test the build and at the same time see if I can come up with a hypothesis. Here's what I ended up with:

My hypothesis is that laying traps prevents boss packs from spawning after the first tile.

If I lay traps in The Pit level 1 right away when I see monsters I can't seem to spawn more than 3 boss packs in level 1. If I don't lay traps until I'm on the last tile I end up with 5-7 boss packs in level 1. I've ran a very small sample size of 7 runs without traps and 7 with traps (+ the couple of hundred back when I leveled her to 93) and this pattern repeated itself in every one of those runs.

I'm running without Enigma and If I remember correctly I did many runs with Enigma just teleporting around and not laying traps and couldn't spawn more than 3 pacs back when I was leveling her. I can't verify this though and that's just based on memory.

Now grab your Assassin and go do some Pit runs so we can get to the bottom of the biggest mystery of 2020.
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Huh? That means I shouldn't play a Trapsin in tournaments because I will miss out on boss packs, right? :unsure:

It's starting to look like it :/ J-Dog might be onto something. I've tried 5 runs without using a single trap and never got less than 6 boss packs (6-8). When using traps on the same map, I never got more than 4. Now I'm wondering if there are other problematic skills. Since most traps count as "minions", perhaps we can replicate this with summoning characters? For instance, resummoning a clay golem repeatedly when you enter the Pit. Linear maps should be best candidates for testing because of the way pack upgrade mechanics work.

My guess is @Luhkoh had better results in AT because due to its layout his map will usually upgrade all packs before he drops a single trap. If true, this is more evidence that traps are the culprit.

The more people we get to test this the sooner we will know better :)
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@Grisu I haven't noticed anything abnormal in other areas. I ran with trapsin in Off the Beaten Path Tournament and did mostly Glacial Trail and Drifters Cavern both of which spawned normal amount of boss packs regardless of trap laying rhythm.
Good job making a thread. Like I said in my thread, several people I've talked to not on forum had some varied results. One guy in particular claimed that not laying traps did not help his boss average. But with the SPF's more homogenized mods allowed, their data might not be as relevant as ours. As to the success in AT, as @Albatross mentioned, I thought the same thing. That AT is just less affected by this issue with it's more nonlinear layout and guaranteed boss pack. That very well may still be the case, but I did roll a really quite linear (on the first couple of tiles) AT map and wasn't able to demonstrate the same behavior. If anyone else has some idea of a fairly linear map besides the pit (perhaps both in and outside of act 1) that we can test this on, it might be beneficial as well. The drafter caverns that @J-Dog mentioned also is nonlinear and has many guaranteed champ spawns (as well as evil urns), so I would suspect it would be much less sensitive to this hypothetical issue.

And extremely minor, but in case it's helpful, I might word the hypothesis more like:

Laying a bunch of traps in the first tile prevents non-guaranteed boss packs from spawning in any tiles other than those adjacent to the first tile.

Lol maybe too wordy to be helpful. And in natural gameplay I would think this would result in you being able to spawn bosses on 2 tiles: the first one you encounter a boss on (where you lay your first traps) and the one adjacent to that that you haven't already been through. A potential (slower) workaround could be to teleport past the first boss pack you see and into the next adjacent tile before laying any traps? Just some more food for thought.
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We'll introduce too many unknowns into figuring out a potentially "interesting" bug if we include non-FAM observations into the research.

I've done some AT tests and the results were consistent. On runs where I spammed traps as soon as I entered AT, there was never a boss pack below the red line, besides the fixed chest spawn.

If I only teleported or killed stuff without LS/DS, I found a pack or more below the line when the first 4 segments didn't already exceed the map's limit.


@Luhkoh, regarding your AT example, monsters on adjacent tiles will already be upgraded before you can use any traps. I'd rephrase the hypothesis (because traps don't directly prevent boss spawns) to "Traps increment the upgraded monster counter.".

To break it down for my current AT map:
1) assassin enters AT
2) map is populated with monsters
3) the upgrade algorithm runs on segments "above" the red line (4)
4) lets say 3 groups are upgraded to unique/champion
5) the counter is at 3 and you expect about 2 more packs below the red line
6) you use traps, the counter is incremented to 3 + number of deployed LS/DS, quickly exceeding monumax (8 for AT)
7) there are no more bosses besides the chest spawn

Considering I have a feeling that monster shrines actually increment the counter before being activated, something like this happening with traps doesn't seem all that far-fetched.
I experimented some with the kicker/trapper I recently started for my Horadric Cube Grail project. Her pit map is completely linear. Here are my observations:

  • I never see more than three boss packs in Pit level 1. For two of my runs, I only saw two boss packs.
  • If I place any death sentries, I never see any bosses beyond the first tile.
  • If I place no traps, but I bring a shadow master with me into the pit and she places traps, I never see any bosses beyond the first tile.
  • On one of my runs, I brought the shadow master with me into the pit, and we managed to run to the second tile before she laid any traps! I found two boss packs in that second tile. The SM summoned some death sentries while we battled those second-tile monsters, and then there were no boss packs in the rest of the level.
I would be interested to learn if anyone else can replicate that last observation.

Edit: I'm using vanilla 1.14b (no mods)
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@Albatross Excellent. I'm glad you were able to get consistent results with AT as well. Gives it much more credibility imo. And yes your enumeration of the process is exactly how I imagined it going on in the pits as well, but you explained it much better than me. Great stuff!

Considering I have a feeling that monster shrines actually increment the counter before being activated
What makes you think this? Very interested to hear about that. And while its ofc not out of the question that traps are just counted differently than other summons, I'm assuming this doesn't happen with raise skeleton (and definitely not with revive). Since it's not uncommon for people to run pits with necro where they summon these minions in the first pit tile (well, first not counting entrance).
Because Assassin and Druid came with the expansion I could imagine that their pets are handled differently and so they might reduce spawns whereas the original five classes don't have this problem. It would be interesting to check whether Druid gets the same result with his summons (5xWolf + Creeper + Oak).

With Druid it would not be a big problem since nobody uses Raven to Grizzly anyways and creepers are made obsolete by Phoenix on a Fire Druid.
What makes you think this?

Just a feeling I had on AT maps with a few shrines when two would roll monster. It's really difficult to test and so infrequent it might as well be considered irrelevant, but I just had to mention it here :p

Yeah, I think we can rule out summons (at least necro's, but probably in general, too). I've done several necro Pit runs and spammed golems on the start of some. Didn't notice any difference in spawns, certainly not as drastic as with the assassin.

Edit: By ruling out summons I meant summoning does not increment the counter, but as Swamigoon verified, traps deployed by shadows apparently do.


I tried googling, but didn't find much regarding the game referring to traps as "minions". I'm not sure what that means in code terms, might be different than "summons/pets". The skeleton from Tomb Reaver's reanimate also comes to mind as it's not really a summon. Also very difficult to test so probably not worth the effort.
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Even without using traps or shadows?

How about your trip to the Pit? Though I doubt this should have any effect.
I just tried one more run. I traveled from Outer Cloister waypoint to the pit, and then unsummoned the shadow just before entering. With no shadow and no traps, I encountered five boss packs in The Pit level 1. Only one of those was in the first tile.
I have a wind druid parked outside AT, I'm about to go spam various summons, as he's got points in creepers and a maxed grizzly. So far there has been good spawning behavior (more than the initial packs on the runs I've done), but I also don't cast summons inside AT as a rule. I can record video if necessary.

Well, I did a quick two runs (well, they weren't quick. It was a windy, my gear isn't great, and I was super rusty), and there does not seem to be any problem at all with druid summons and AT. Just to be sure that it wasn't just grizzly, or just sages, or just whatever, I sat on the stairs on the second "stair summon" run and summoned each one 8 or so times. There doesn't seem to be any change at all. So maybe a small "buff" to windy or fire druids in AT? ha, ha, ha... (sad noises)

For the sake of completeness, I cast each of these spells on the stairs at least 8 times on the second run:
Oak Sage
Carrion Vine
Hurricane (in case there was something weird going on)
Hate to necro an old thread, but I don't have an assassin of sufficient gear to test: Do we know if traps also affect bosspack counts in other areas? I'm particularly interested in the WSK. I'm sorta considering a trapper for a long term project, and that would affect my thinking for sure.
Has anyone tried to replicate this with Hydra / Grim Ward?
I'm willing to experiment with grim wards in pit runs. I'm currently doing some LK runs with a berzerker in the Finding the Balance tournament. He happens to be carrying a couple of heart carvers on weapon switch. With other +skills gear, he can use these to cast GW at skill level 12. I'll take a short break in the Pit, to lift some GWs out of corpses and count boss packs. It might help relieve some LK monotony... :)
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