View Full Version : Morale system

07-02-2009, 03:45 PM
Now that the game is in a playable state I'm actually adding new stuff which is much more fun. First up is the morale system.

In Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld, a few of the monsters do have morale, well mostly a lack of, but it's pretty static. The static method does make the monsters more unique. For example the Scree uses hit and run tactics because their morale is pretty low, but in this game I want a mechanic that is more consistent and can interact with the world more.

With the new system, all of the monsters have a base morale that can go up or down based on things they do, things their enemy does, what is around them, and even external events. So back to the Scree. With the new system, they still are pretty much cowards and use hit and run tactics. However, when they are in a large enough pack, they are much braver and go on the full attack and forget about the hit and run stuff. Now if a Chaos Lord comes over and roars, it will scare the crap out of most monsters and all of the Scree are going to run away even with their large group. Even bigger things like Orcs might run from a Chaos Lord. Even a Chaos Lord will run away if you can manage to put enough fear into them some how (although I doubt it).

I haven't added it yet, but there are likely to be some item modifiers and maybe even some skills that impact the monsters' morale.

What do you think? Any cool ideas to use and abuse the new morale stuff?

07-02-2009, 06:59 PM
I think it's a great idea, and sounds like the logical extension of Diablo's little Fallen monsters. They attacked in packs, but would flee when one was killed, regain their courage and attack again. Rinse, repeat.

You could of course extend this with commanders/pack leaders/shaman/whatever by having the monster with some leadership improve his allies' morale, but then causing a pretty serious hit to it when killed. There could even be monsters that are bullied by other types, or more likely to follow some types of monsters and as such gain morale bonuses from their presence. As a generic example, goblins might fight more effectively when orcs are mixing into the fight on their side.

It might even be worth giving bonuses and penalties based on morale too, rather than focusing entirely on behavior. Enemies with great morale are more confident; perhaps they'll be a bit more accurate or they'll hit harder. On the other hand, one suffering from poor morale might be a bit shaky and less capable of hitting or blocking. It's probably not worth making these modifiers dramatic, but just noticeable enough...

07-03-2009, 12:01 PM
Cool ideas. I actually hadn't thought of bonuses or penalties, that could be interesting.

07-03-2009, 01:30 PM
I'm really liking the sound of this, especially with FloodSpectre's "bonuses/penalties" suggestion, and the possibility of item mods and/or skills influencing morale. I can just imagine an "evil wizard" type player-character focusing on "scary" spells that demoralize the enemy, or a fighter equipping himself with lots of "impressive" gear, that will cause weaker enemies to scatter as he marches towards them.

Even if it's not the focus of your build, it still adds an interesting dimension to combat. The Dawn of War series did something like that, where there were certain weapons didn't do much traditional damage, but did a lot of morale damage (and would thus cause enemies to have lower defense and damage output).

07-06-2009, 10:42 AM
Yes definetly like the morale thing. Enemies could also react / fear certain actions / spells that a player does. For example some monsters could be afraid of fire spells.So a fire ball launched into a horde of a certain monster type might cause em to run in all directions.
Or some monsters could gain morale / attack bonus. for example a mele focused monster like the brute could have a slight chance to go in frenzy mode when attacked by a mele character..since a brute monster obviously loves mele fighting running around with two 2handed weaopons in each hand ;) etc

07-07-2009, 12:23 AM
I fourth (or fifth) inclusion of a morale system. It sounds like a (relatively) easy way to add greater depth to battles.

Although I'm not entirely sure how it might work, morale could affect the player as well. Perhaps if there is an enemy type that the character hasn't encountered before, they could have some negatives to it (a "real life" translation of a character not knowing a new enemies battle tactics).

Perhaps a player could increase their morale against specific enemies by reading books, giving books a tangible use (although DoP also had tangible uses). Anytime you can add lore to a game and make it useful in a way as well I'm always in favor of.