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Shadow
06-23-2009, 02:00 PM
In our next game I would like monsters to work together a bit more than in previous games. I don't really want this to get very complicated though. My goal is that monster X works in some interesting way and monster Y works in a different but still interesting way, but if you mix the two you get something different. Some quick examples: the mage type monster that buffs other nearby monsters or in DoP when you attack a female imp the male imps kind of go berserk and attack in full force (no more hit and run).

What are your ideas?

udm
06-23-2009, 02:15 PM
If you're going for something slower paced and methodical, like PnP RPGs or older cRPGs, it might work, since the player has time to slow down and think. On the other hand, when the game's just a fast rush like DoP, it might not work out that effectively, or even that noticeable

SharpCarlos
06-23-2009, 05:56 PM
Interesting monster pairs or monster abilities:

1) A monster who lays traps or mines or something that damage you if you stumble onto them, and a monster who doesn’t do a lot of damage but has a high chance of doing knock-back.

2) A fire elemental (who GAINS hit points if struck with fire damage), and a monster who shoots fireballs (a dragon?).

3) A fire elemental and an ice elemental. On the one hand, they would probably do lots of damage to each other, on the other hand you have to be careful if you’re trying to pick and choose spells or weapons (like, if you want to throw fire balls at the ice monster, you have to be careful to avoid the fire monster). Actually, elementals in general could also interact with the environment in lots of interesting ways.

4) The classic MMO tank/wizard paradigm: a monster with tons of hit points who’s standing between you and the ranged attacker who’s doing lots of damage.

5) A big scary giant of some kind, and… fleas. As a foe by themselves, the fleas are weak and don’t do much damage, but are irritating (maybe they stun you very briefly). But if they bite the big scary giant, it goes into a rage and becomes a more dangerous foe than normal. Actual fleas might be kind of silly, but maybe some other small animal that bites and swarms. What were those little clouds of things in Diablo II?

6) Heh… Any normal monster, and… a werewolf. If the werewolf bites a normal monster, that monster gets stronger and gains some immunities (for instance, could only be damaged by magic or magic weapons). And maybe killing that werewolf would “cure” all the monsters it’s “turned”. Could do similar things with vampires, ghouls, etc.

7) Now that I think about, would a vampire actually make other monsters weaker when it bites them, while strengthening itself?

And then, of course, there are all the other weird interactions between the monsters mentioned above. Would fleas run (flee?) from a fire elemental, or run into it and die? What would a were-flea look like? Would getting knocked into an ice elemental freeze the player?

Shadow
06-24-2009, 11:24 AM
Lots of cool ideas SharpCarlos.

2) A fire elemental (who GAINS hit points if struck with fire damage), and a monster who shoots fireballs (a dragon?).

3) A fire elemental and an ice elemental. On the one hand, they would probably do lots of damage to each other, on the other hand you have to be careful if you’re trying to pick and choose spells or weapons (like, if you want to throw fire balls at the ice monster, you have to be careful to avoid the fire monster). Actually, elementals in general could also interact with the environment in lots of interesting ways.

I'm planning on some stuff like this. Our elementals should be interesting.

4) The classic MMO tank/wizard paradigm: a monster with tons of hit points who’s standing between you and the ranged attacker who’s doing lots of damage.

Yeah, we have stuff like this, but it is so easy for the player to just run straight by and attack the wizard. This tends to work better for players because of the hate system. There's always the possibility of the warriors getting opportunity or flanking type of attacks, but that's hard to get across to the player in a real-time game.

5) A big scary giant of some kind, and… fleas. As a foe by themselves, the fleas are weak and don’t do much damage, but are irritating (maybe they stun you very briefly). But if they bite the big scary giant, it goes into a rage and becomes a more dangerous foe than normal. Actual fleas might be kind of silly, but maybe some other small animal that bites and swarms. What were those little clouds of things in Diablo II?

That would be pretty funny.

6) Heh… Any normal monster, and… a werewolf. If the werewolf bites a normal monster, that monster gets stronger and gains some immunities (for instance, could only be damaged by magic or magic weapons). And maybe killing that werewolf would “cure” all the monsters it’s “turned”. Could do similar things with vampires, ghouls, etc.

I think I'm going to do something similar to this with zombies.

ShaggyMoose
06-24-2009, 03:28 PM
I would like to see "squad leader" monsters that create better organisation amongst mobs and maybe offer other buffs. Once that monster is killed, it could lead to in-fighting or an all out retreat from the remaining units.

Shadow
06-24-2009, 04:09 PM
I have a plan for something like that (spoiler follows) with zombies and liches. With a lich in control, they are much more focused (usually towards you). Without a lich they might very well attack anything.

torikamal
07-02-2009, 12:18 PM
I think scouts of some kind are a cool idea that aren't used very often. Basically, maybe some miniaturized version of another monster that is quicker, but has very few hit points and won't move to attack you. If he notices you, he'll run off and warn a bigger group of monsters that you are there, so if you see him, you'd want to kill him off really quickly. Especially if you're in an area that requires more sneaking or something.

Then, there are always the "gong" type creatures where they are near a loud drum of some kind and if you kill them before they see you or can get to the gong, they won't set off the alarm. These can be regular creatures of the type. They just happen to be scripted to bang the gong instead of attacking you first.

I also like ideas of quite powerful monsters that won't bother you unless disturbed. They could work quite well strategically because you could have them set to only attack whatever damages them. That way, you probably don't want to use your AOE or start shooting arrows off in every direction when they are around. Also, you could put yourself in the way of another monster, dodge it's attack and the massive monster will get hit and go after that creature.

Also, just having enemies that have a higher "hate" towards each other than the PC are cool. You might try to lure groups towards each other than take them out yourself.

I've also always loved the idea of WTF-style monsters. Something completely random that passes across the screen and that doesn't necessarily interact with the character at all, but they only happen extremely rarely and you just kind of watch in awe as they pass by. I've always felt this adds a grand sense of mystery to games. (the few times I've encountered them anyway). Great lore builders and forum-topic starters. You could maybe have something that could happen--like if you drop an item made of a particular metal, they'll chew it up and pass you some grand item, or maybe just do something weird.

torikamal
07-02-2009, 02:15 PM
A few more ideas popped into my head.

Matriarch Scavenger. A large scavenger that is already at maximum size that instead of getting larger when eating a body, it births a new baby scavenger.

Rust Monster--may have already been on the forums already, here's a slight twist. Will go after metal items (could make it any wearable items for simplicity). If no items on ground, will go after closest creature with item. Can drop items to "distract" creature. Creature will attack enemies with metal items as well. Could be special bag that PC could make through crafting or buy that lets them (1-click) put all items in the bag and carry it around while the creature is there. This would be very interesting if there a ton of rust monsters around, so the PC may choose to wander around these areas with no equipment on, making some previously wussy enemies more dangerous.

Swallower. A monster that can't directly harm the player, but swallows the player when encountered, though it's outside is immune to most forms of damage. Has a symbiotic partnership with little creaturs inside itself that attack, kill, and "send down the gullet" any creature that is swallowed. Could be a great way to find some neat gear as well.

icekrystal10
07-02-2009, 02:32 PM
i like the idea of monsters buffing each other, either healing comrades or bloodlusting each other. i also like monsters who try to warn their friends or get help once they are close to dying.

Dagof
11-08-2009, 11:15 AM
Why not add monsters witch actually moves from area to area like a cave gaint stays in his cave until he gets hungry then he comes out in search for food and another one is like if you can put a monster/human like a necromancer in the game it will be very intresting because then he will search for living things like critters,weaker creaters and even humans to build up his personal undead army

Cadfan
11-08-2009, 11:50 AM
You could do something simple with one of the species that has both brute types and spellcasters types, like the Saurians. Give the spellcaster good damage but really, really low hit points. Then give the brute type kind of low damage, but lots of hit points, and an attack that slows you down or holds you in place for a moment.

That creates an automatic strategy. You want to kill the spellcaster first, because they're easy to kill and do the most damage. But the guards stop you from doing so because they hold you in place and make you fight them instead. You have to figure out how to slip by them and get the spellcaster first.

Shadow
11-09-2009, 09:22 AM
That would be interesting.

keith.lamothe
11-17-2009, 11:40 AM
The "tank the player" problem is tricky as solutions are often annoying because they typically revolve around "forcing" the player to attack the tank mob. Possibilities:

1) track threat/hate for the player like normal and if the player goes after a monster not near the top of their threat list it gives them a debuff (so you can go after the mage but it will hurt)
2) give tank mobs some kind of point-blank-aoe knockback or slowdown to make it physically difficult to get around them. So you can go after the mage if you can get around the enemy formation or have ranged attacks
3) give tank mobs nasty flank/back attacks to make it inadvisable to turn your back on them
4) give tank mobs a passive aura buff that increases the durability of the softy monsters, possibly to the extent that you may as well kill the tanks first to save time

keith.lamothe
11-17-2009, 11:43 AM
As for other teamwork, ambushes could be cool. One monster group appears to be the normal defense around a treasure cache, but another larger and/or more dangerous monster group will pop out of nowhere to ambush when the player goes for the treasure.

In a somewhat similar vein I would like "hunter" monster groups that actively try to find the player, lay traps, set ambushes, rally local monsters, etc... probably too complex to do all that, but something to break the idea that the monsters just wait around to be killed. Of course, DoP already did a pretty good job of breaking that idea.

O'Jorvic
11-20-2009, 05:31 PM
how about monsters that recruit themselves to the party, simply because deep down they like humans.

like a stray warg: they stay with you, give you a bonus of a kind, but unfort. they also pull a lot of monsters or give you a disease.

Shadow
11-21-2009, 12:15 PM
That would be kind of interesting. I don't know how we would do it though without the player instantly killing it.

scragar
11-21-2009, 01:15 PM
That would be kind of interesting. I don't know how we would do it though without the player instantly killing it.

Make it so that the negatives are based on a probability and the creature fights with you, not being able to see if you have the negative as well is a good idea, if there's a creature fighting with you, but you don't know if it has an negative effect on you until after you fight with it then there's an incentive to keep it around until you find out. Might also be nice to make it so the negatives take a while to wear off, if you're going to be affected by the disease when the next few enemies catch up to you is it worth killing the creature so if there are more enemies you'll be at full fighting performance, or leave the creature because after the fight you can kill it without having to prepare for more enemies swarming you.


EDIT: I had a really strange idea last night as well when I was playing disgaea, what about an encroaching creature of some kind, said creature offers some sort of bonus to enemies(or poisons you, or something), and slowly consumes more and more space with it's effect, the area starts off small, but if you don't deal with it then the area grows and the situation becomes worse. If you get attacked by a swam of enemies and the encroaching enemies are nearby which do you deal with first? The immediate threat, or the more dangerous threat that isn't important just yet, but you know will be later on.

O'Jorvic
11-21-2009, 02:32 PM
well, i thought, something like a recruitment quest in DoP, only that the player does not "accept" the quest because it is done automatically. (the monster clicks: recruit so to speak) and is treated like a NPC that gets rescued or escorted in DoP

Cadfan
11-21-2009, 02:42 PM
That would be kind of interesting. I don't know how we would do it though without the player instantly killing it.
You know the quest in DoP where one of the monsters asks you to kill one of its rivals? Maybe you get the monster as a result of or during a quest, so there's a text queue to let you know that this monster is friendly, and the monster can be set as green for friendly.

O'Jorvic
11-22-2009, 06:47 AM
now these friendly monsters lead to:

entire groups of other monsters that actually behave like an army.

you could have 20 monsters of one kind standing together near a campsite,
(some asleep perhaps?) with more monsters of the same kind but lesser lvl scouting the region?

they might be waiting for a boss monster that arrives in 240 seconds to lead them. so we must intercept them and destroy the army.

Cadfan
11-22-2009, 12:12 PM
How about a scout monster that has stealth, and hides in the town and doesn't attack. If it hides successfully for more than a certain amount of time, it has successfully scouted your town and a bunch of monsters launch a town raid?

Like a variant on the DoP thief.

O'Jorvic
11-23-2009, 04:47 AM
could also be a traitor - one of our own people that got bribed.

Shadow
11-23-2009, 11:24 AM
How about a scout monster that has stealth, and hides in the town and doesn't attack. If it hides successfully for more than a certain amount of time, it has successfully scouted your town and a bunch of monsters launch a town raid?

Like a variant on the DoP thief.

We do have scouts that come to town. If they are an invisible type creature they will basically do exactly this.

could also be a traitor - one of our own people that got bribed.

We do have traitors.

Cadfan
11-23-2009, 11:47 AM
We do have scouts that come to town. If they are an invisible type creature they will basically do exactly this.
You mean there will be a consequence for not finding them in a certain time? That's cool. Gives it an extra flavor.

Does DoP do this? I've never failed to kill a scout.

Shadow
11-23-2009, 11:56 AM
Yeah, DoP does a similar thing. DoP isn't as good about telling you the connections between things though. Din will explicitly tell you what trouble the scout causes.