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View Full Version : Suggestions to make Epic entertaining and challenging



Junts
10-13-2009, 05:07 PM
Our discussion of all this kind of sidetracked the general epic feedback thread, so I thought I'd just make a place to list ideas that are, or might, be possible within our DDO experiences to make the mobs entertainingly nasty.

1: Casters with better spell selections and more nasty sequencing. Our AI already supports the mob recognizing that spells that are immune/blocked by resistance. Instead of simply switching to another, less effective, attack, lets have some mobs who respond to their best attack (sequences!) being blocked by using dispel magic .. greater dispel, energy drain, finger of death/hold/etc. Lets have casters who pick their spell sequences the way that we players do. Our constantly buffed nature doesn't help that much already in quests like Offering of Blood where the mobs spam greater dispels .. what if they were following those greater dispels with actually harmful spells instead of acid arrows and soundbursts and hold persons? This is all it takes to make enemy casters seriously dangerous.

2: Better use of buffing mobs. The dynamic in enter the kobold where the shamen cast mass deathward, or some of the ranger mobs in Wrath of the Flame that freedom themselves, are excellent. We need mobs that respond to webs by throwing freedoms on each other, that respond to a mob being fingered with a mass deathward. Many of our attacks are powerful because regular mobs don't make good use of their own buffs. Static immunities are a poor method .. the mobs already have access to basic immunity buffs, and they don't even use them. Make 'em smarter! Remember, players almost never carry greater dispel magic; mobs that are simply smart enough to cast the right buffs will make themselves immune to whatever we've chosen to attack them. You don't need to make every gnoll immune to instakills if the gnoll shamen's smart enough to cast mass death ward when the first gnoll gets fingered or energy drained.

3: Give mobs more special attacks. The trog stalkers in shavarath with wounding weaposn are cool, but lets make abilities like Glorious stand's immunity to specials more important. We already have Kai-Teng Fairuza and his assorted weaponry, but very few other mobs have typed weapons of any kind. Give mobs (improved!) destruction weapons and cursespewing weapons. Give them vorpals (if mobs are smart enough to dispel, we might not rebuff .. or be forced to waste an equipment slot on deathblock, even being immune to the ability has a cost), give them stat damage weapons, give them paralyzing weapons. We might be immune to some or all of this some of the time, but its extra stuff to worry about, more buffs to cast, and more things that will work when we get dispelled. mob special attacks in ddo mostly consist of 1d6 elementals added to melee attacks and all the cursed wound abilities. Lets see some more.

4: While I think it would be a mistake to adjust aggro too much (if mobs are smart, we really do need them to be somewhat controllable, after all), there are some mobs out there with really screwball aggro behaviors that could stand to be changed. Some mummies home in on clerics like its going out of style (a good idea), and some mummies stand and/or walk in place for extended periods and don't attack anyone. Bearded devils are some of the biggest offenders, bouncing aggro so mcuh taht they often spend more time teleporting back and forth and running to different party members than they do attacking .. not only is it annoying, but it means they don't actually do that much damage. Bearded devils are 5 times more dangerous solo when they are only able to attack you, because they attack faster and with better to-hits than orthons do .. but in groups, the barbazu are hardly an issue, because they are so busy rotating aggro through 4 people that they don't stay on a target long enough to kill it in many cases. The number of times I've seen a character at 40 hp live because the bearded devil that would have killed them teleported to attack someone else for no reason is just kind of sad, and it makes the mobs far less dangerous than they otherwise would be.

I know not all these suggestions will be easy to do, but I think some of them are (just changing spell selection patterns within the existing spell caster ais) and they'd go a long way to making things more challenging.

Lets see some more, people.

assamite
10-13-2009, 05:13 PM
Our discussion of all this kind of sidetracked the general epic feedback thread, so I thought I'd just make a place to list ideas that are, or might, be possible within our DDO experiences to make the mobs entertainingly nasty.

1: Casters with better spell selections and more nasty sequencing. Our AI already supports the mob recognizing that spells that are immune/blocked by resistance. Instead of simply switching to another, less effective, attack, lets have some mobs who respond to their best attack (sequences!) being blocked by using dispel magic .. greater dispel, energy drain, finger of death/hold/etc. Lets have casters who pick their spell sequences the way that we players do. Our constantly buffed nature doesn't help that much already in quests like Offering of Blood where the mobs spam greater dispels .. what if they were following those greater dispels with actually harmful spells instead of acid arrows and soundbursts and hold persons? This is all it takes to make enemy casters seriously dangerous.

2: Better use of buffing mobs. The dynamic in enter the kobold where the shamen cast mass deathward, or some of the ranger mobs in Wrath of the Flame that freedom themselves, are excellent. We need mobs that respond to webs by throwing freedoms on each other, that respond to a mob being fingered with a mass deathward. Many of our attacks are powerful because regular mobs don't make good use of their own buffs. Static immunities are a poor method .. the mobs already have access to basic immunity buffs, and they don't even use them. Make 'em smarter! Remember, players almost never carry greater dispel magic; mobs that are simply smart enough to cast the right buffs will make themselves immune to whatever we've chosen to attack them. You don't need to make every gnoll immune to instakills if the gnoll shamen's smart enough to cast mass death ward when the first gnoll gets fingered or energy drained.

3: Give mobs more special attacks. The trog stalkers in shavarath with wounding weaposn are cool, but lets make abilities like Glorious stand's immunity to specials more important. We already have Kai-Teng Fairuza and his assorted weaponry, but very few other mobs have typed weapons of any kind. Give mobs (improved!) destruction weapons and cursespewing weapons. Give them vorpals (if mobs are smart enough to dispel, we might not rebuff .. or be forced to waste an equipment slot on deathblock, even being immune to the ability has a cost), give them stat damage weapons, give them paralyzing weapons. We might be immune to some or all of this some of the time, but its extra stuff to worry about, more buffs to cast, and more things that will work when we get dispelled. mob special attacks in ddo mostly consist of 1d6 elementals added to melee attacks and all the cursed wound abilities. Lets see some more.

4: While I think it would be a mistake to adjust aggro too much (if mobs are smart, we really do need them to be somewhat controllable, after all), there are some mobs out there with really screwball aggro behaviors that could stand to be changed. Some mummies home in on clerics like its going out of style (a good idea), and some mummies stand and/or walk in place for extended periods and don't attack anyone. Bearded devils are some of the biggest offenders, bouncing aggro so mcuh taht they often spend more time teleporting back and forth and running to different party members than they do attacking .. not only is it annoying, but it means they don't actually do that much damage. Bearded devils are 5 times more dangerous solo when they are only able to attack you, because they attack faster and with better to-hits than orthons do .. but in groups, the barbazu are hardly an issue, because they are so busy rotating aggro through 4 people that they don't stay on a target long enough to kill it in many cases. The number of times I've seen a character at 40 hp live because the bearded devil that would have killed them teleported to attack someone else for no reason is just kind of sad, and it makes the mobs far less dangerous than they otherwise would be.

I know not all these suggestions will be easy to do, but I think some of them are (just changing spell selection patterns within the existing spell caster ais) and they'd go a long way to making things more challenging.

Lets see some more, people.

/hell ya

shinmade
10-13-2009, 05:40 PM
you make some very interesting suggestions. I just do not see any of this happening until the enemy AI gets a total makeover.

Junts
10-13-2009, 06:11 PM
you make some very interesting suggestions. I just do not see any of this happening until the enemy AI gets a total makeover.


A lot of the ai for this stuff already exists; a mob with multiple attacks will try each one against you and then use the one that works .. to get an example, go in waterworks 1, in the kobold shaman room, kill all but one and stand unbuffed at the chest

if you try and open the chest, youll get interrupted as it alternates magic missile and acid touch on you over and over and over.

If you then cast an acid resistance, after it casts 1-2 more acid touches, it will just spam magic missile at you

If you cast a nightshield, it'll cast one or two more magic missiles, then stop and lob its fire grenade thing like a kobold thrower does, or try some other debuff.

The mobs just take too long to make these decisions and cast too many poor spells in the process to have it be worthwhile .. the mob will come to the conclusion it should spam hold at you when you only fail on a 1 instead of using its damage spell because you have a resistance, or thati t should spam scorching ray because each ray does 34 damage and 4 breaks your resistane, so its hurting you every cast, and you evaded its delayed blast fireball so it wont continue to cast it even though it damaged everyone else around you.

sephiroth1084
10-14-2009, 02:44 AM
I really hope a dev pokes their head in here, though I suspect that these ideas are already on the white board and in development.

One option for a middle ground between immunities and monsters casting buffs could be just granting some monsters the buffs without having to wait for it to get cast. Replace the Shavarath effect with Death Ward, Freedom of Movement, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Good/Law/Chaos, and Lion Heart on everything. Give them a high enough caster level that we won't be dispelling them 100% of the time, and there we go!

Casters will have the option of dealing with the "immunities" by tossing out some Break Enchantments, Greater Dispels and/or Disjunctions, or continue trying to work around them with a narrow band of useful spells. It'd be similar to saves so high that we need to Energy Drain stuff just to land a spell--we can do that, or work with no-save or damage spells.

I do really like seeing monster groups approaching and buffing, but not all the time as that gives us a luxury that they do not get--we can kill the buffer before he has a chance to shore up his (the monsters party's) defenses, while we tend to have our buffs for the whole quest.

Any chance of seeing this get put into action devs?


Oh, another thing tht would be cool, along Junts' line of suggestion, would be to code some mobs to remove debuffs from their allies.

Another option for making enemy spellcasters more dangerous may to just quicken all of their spells, giving them the ability to toss out more spells than we do...so that if an enemy caster wastes an action on removing a debuff, they haven't wasted their whole "turn".

Soulken
10-14-2009, 02:49 AM
Sounds good to me

Junts
10-14-2009, 12:36 PM
Moving up the mob cooldown from 1 spell / 3 sec to 1 / 1 sec on epic would do a lot for making mob casters dangerous.

Better spell selections .. imagine if mobs cast polar ray.

smatt
10-14-2009, 01:16 PM
imagine if mobs cast polar ray.


WITH Glacial assualt :eek: :D

MrCow
10-14-2009, 01:18 PM
WITH Glacial assualt

They don't need glacial assault. Monsters on epic already default to casting most spells as-if maximized and empowered (which at 25d6 damage should put polar ray around doing up to 400 damage).

sirgog
10-14-2009, 10:45 PM
They don't need glacial assault. Monsters on epic already default to casting most spells as-if maximized and empowered (which at 25d6 damage should put polar ray around doing up to 400 damage).

Yeah, remember that whilst players cannot exceed caster level 20 yet, mobs can. Their Polar Rays hit harder than ours do if we do not consider gear.

sephiroth1084
10-15-2009, 12:20 AM
They don't need glacial assault. Monsters on epic already default to casting most spells as-if maximized and empowered (which at 25d6 damage should put polar ray around doing up to 400 damage).

Nasty.

Tyrande
10-15-2009, 09:22 AM
Our discussion of all this kind of sidetracked the general epic feedback thread, so I thought I'd just make a place to list ideas that are, or might, be possible within our DDO experiences to make the mobs entertainingly nasty.

1: Casters with better spell selections and more nasty sequencing. Our AI already supports the mob recognizing that spells that are immune/blocked by resistance. Instead of simply switching to another, less effective, attack, lets have some mobs who respond to their best attack (sequences!) being blocked by using dispel magic .. greater dispel, energy drain, finger of death/hold/etc. Lets have casters who pick their spell sequences the way that we players do. Our constantly buffed nature doesn't help that much already in quests like Offering of Blood where the mobs spam greater dispels .. what if they were following those greater dispels with actually harmful spells instead of acid arrows and soundbursts and hold persons? This is all it takes to make enemy casters seriously dangerous.



While finger of death is an okay player's spell, its not good for monsters because most players have silver flame necklaces or death blocks. Have greater dispel followed by Disjunction and switch FOD to the spell to "Trap the Sou" (enchantment) or "Power Word: Kill" (conjuration) if less than 300HP would make a lot of people crying since its not a death effect. Let the monsters feel the pain of collecting and manufacturing those small dragon shards!
:)