PDA

View Full Version : Phasing Monsters



Kinerd
06-09-2011, 07:36 PM
It is my contention that combat with phasing monsters is a) easier and b) more boring than combat with non-phasing monsters. By "phasing monsters", I am referring to things like Wraiths, Scorpions, Bugbear Assassins, Dream Crawlers, and so on.

Easy

A phased monster cannot hit me. I cannot hit a phased monster; therefore, I have no opportunity cost for not attacking. I can use a healing or restoration potion, ready a combat boost, etc. without compromising my DPS output.

Boring

Doing nothing is boring. If I am fully healed, boosted, etc., I am doing literally nothing until the monster phases back in. This boredom is especially exacerbated with a room full of such creatures.

Because "easy and boring" is not a viable game design strategy, I have prepared a list of solutions for this issue:

1. Remove the phasing abilities entirely.
2. Attach a lengthy cooldown to their use - perhaps 60 seconds. Make the vanish an interesting event rather than a mundane annoyance.
3. Rather than making the phased creature literally invulnerable to (new) attacks, grant them something like 30 DR/-, 70 energy resistance.

ProdigalGuru
06-09-2011, 07:38 PM
They come right back, it's not like you are waiting around for five minutes twiddling your thumbs.

Kinerd
06-09-2011, 07:42 PM
If the only question is a question of scale, I would say that my point stands. They may not be tremendously boring, but they are still boring. Boring is bad.

Acers13
06-09-2011, 07:46 PM
They come right back, it's not like you are waiting around for five minutes twiddling your thumbs.

what about pukka or pukra (one of those names is the one -.-) in the vale of twilight, or the ones in Sleeping dust, they take like a minute to come back and with like full health -.-.

ProdigalGuru
06-09-2011, 07:46 PM
If you get bored after 5-10 seconds, I don't think that is a flaw on Turbine's part.....

Spookyaction
06-09-2011, 10:31 PM
IT is very annoying and does nothing but make quests take longer.

Aeolwind
06-09-2011, 10:45 PM
If you get bored after 5-10 seconds, I don't think that is a flaw on Turbine's part.....

Boring no, annoying as hell yes. When they don't even phase in long enough for you to get 1 hit in, nor hit you once. You can basically ignore phasing mobs completely until everything else is dead and be very little worse for wear for it. They spend more time phased than they do actually doing damage in some cases.

Phase spiders in Necro for example. Virtually harmless. You can't believe that this mechanic is working correctly. Take Jibbers in the cove, he was anemic as a 'boss' mob. He dealt no damage what so ever.

redspecter23
06-09-2011, 11:10 PM
The only ones that really, really annoy me are the Djinns in Running with the Devils and Wizard King. They not only go invincible, but race around the room knocking you down, while you play keepaway from the invincible whirly thing that does an insultingly small amount of damage to you in an annoying fashion. I'm all for critters phasing out for some reason as long as they get back in a reasonable amount of time, but it seems a bit unfair for an invincible mob to be able to attack me while I twiddle my thumbs.

donfilibuster
06-09-2011, 11:35 PM
Because "easy and boring" is not a viable game design strategy, I have prepared a list of solutions for this issue:

1. Remove the phasing abilities entirely.
2. Attach a lengthy cooldown to their use - perhaps 60 seconds. Make the vanish an interesting event rather than a mundane annoyance.
3. Rather than making the phased creature literally invulnerable to (new) attacks, grant them something like 30 DR/-, 70 energy resistance.

/not signed
The suggestions get rid of phasing entirely. If anything there might be bugs that make it not work properly.
e.g. the scorpions glitching, sometimes they don't come up (e.g. the big scorp in xorian cypher) or those cases where scorpions go back and forth repeteadly.
But apart of glitches there's some AI that isn't just about going on and off, they are actually trying to catch you.

The scorpions is an interesting monster, there's indeed some kind of AI involved and looking at it that way makes a bit of sense.
First, they play in groups, they will never be on the ground all at once for a mass kill.
e.g. the bunch of fiendish scorps near the troll rare in the vale or where the ground falls in ADQ, you can't catch all of them at once with a wail.
But after a while you can even predict which scorpion will go into the ground.

If you see two scorps jump out of the ground at the same time, one of them may automatically dig back again before you can attack.
It is not exact, but you can keep an eye and watch, mostly because it is a pain to waste time or sp just to find there's no target.

Likewise phase spiders will never be all at once on screen, it's almost like they are trying to flank you.
But they tend to be weak so it's almost a non issue, you can get them one at a time and shrug off minor wounds.
e.g. in eye of titan and other iq/dd quests, your attention would surely be on the dream reavers.

Second, there's a part of the AI where the scorps actually wait till the best moment to attack.
Sometimes they go hiding and makes it look as if they have glitched.
e.g. in claw of vulkoor, the caster use a fw to grab aggro so everyone else can walk around safe, only to find the scorpions go away.
They are ambushing, and the moment the caster steps down from its perch they spring out.

Maybe we got used to most monsters fight to death? In a game where divines can raise you from death this is a non-issue.
But scorpions are mindless and don't count in coming back from death.

Like real life scorpions they are hunters, and lurkers, and all things dangerous.
Spiders used to be that way in D&D, but our spiders are second to scorpions only because Vulkoor is around and Lolth isn't.

Then there's gaseous form, which is used by bugbears and ogre magi, also vampires had it but they actually use bat swarm instead.
Unlike phasing or burrowing, gaseous form is used by intelligent foes, it isn't a blinking feature like phasing.
They reform elsewhere, heal and sneak back. The goal against these foes is to have more dps.
The ogres really seem to take their time tho, altough it is rather perceived it doesn't take a whole minute really.

Or maybe it is that there's that AI that is trying to catch your back? try moving it around and look defenseless :)
Even Pukru shows up if you turn to fight a spider, if you left one alive.

Wraith's and ghost's etherealness is very much like phasing, is a blinking effect.
In PnP there's even ways to lock them up. In PnP wraiths can be even more insidous.
A wraith or shadow may follow you from a graveyard and trail your party, showing up when you are off guard.

In the end, all these monsters are supposed to be strong by means other than raw power.
They are the hunter, not you, you are the prey. You have to ambush the ambush.
To kill them fast you are supposed to have proper weapons, some dps, and some gang up tactic to kill them one by one.

What would you say if all the wizards had blink? That'd be an overpowered spell in DDO.
Yet is one strong spell in the arcanes repertoire that is not in DDO, along with mirror images.
I hope they don't take these things away, rather bring the missing ones.
Bring on the displacer beast, the night crawlers, etc.

Kushiel
06-09-2011, 11:36 PM
They come right back, it's not like you are waiting around for five minutes twiddling your thumbs.

Situationally a fight against the fading Bugbears, Ogre-Magi, Scorpians and Wraiths that could have been Triumphant (or at least more *fun* fails miserably because just as Manyshot is activated... the foe... fades... away... and stays... incorporeal/submerged/unavailable... while precious... seconds... of a... singular... to the class... special attack... dissipate... and dwindle... into the frustratingly prolonged... cooldown... timer.

A cooldown timer that is a Funbane. Sometimes, I'm quite confident, it is even a Greater Funbane.

And although they *may* "come right back" - they may equally as often "go right away again" - which is the ugly side of what could be an interesting, surprising, tactic available to such potent foes. Instead it is a cheap, plastic gimmick.

The pitfalls of what impact play as an archer are more readily at my recall... but I'd not be surprised to learn of Casters, Cleavers, Sunderers, Trippers who've also been equally as impacted; the cost of a cooldown... or SP that "went to waste" at a critical moment.

I think there is room for these foes to be looked at, and maybe only situationally... but situationally nonetheless, have their own cooldown timers to abilities applied.

ProdigalGuru
06-09-2011, 11:50 PM
Situationally a fight against the fading Bugbears, Ogre-Magi, Scorpians and Wraiths that could have been Triumphant (or at least more *fun* fails miserably because just as Manyshot is activated... the foe... fades... away... and stays... incorporeal/submerged/unavailable... while precious... seconds... of a... singular... to the class... special attack... dissipate... and dwindle... into the frustratingly prolonged... cooldown... timer.

A cooldown timer that is a Funbane. Sometimes, I'm quite confident, it is even a Greater Funbane.

And although they *may* "come right back" - they may equally as often "go right away again" - which is the ugly side of what could be an interesting, surprising, tactic available to such potent foes. Instead it is a cheap, plastic gimmick.

The pitfalls of what impact play as an archer are more readily at my recall... but I'd not be surprised to learn of Casters, Cleavers, Sunderers, Trippers who've also been equally as impacted; the cost of a cooldown... or SP that "went to waste" at a critical moment.

I think there is room for these foes to be looked at, and maybe only situationally... but situationally nonetheless, have their own cooldown timers to abilities applied.

I'm gonna quote you, because you live in Rain City with me, but this is not a direct retort to you.

In a nutshell: None of these mobs are Bosses, so they are not mandatory kills. If they fade out, walk away, they aren't hurting you. Continue on with your business. If they fade back in later, guess what they didn't waste your time because you didn't wait for them.

Helexax
06-10-2011, 12:06 AM
what about pukka or pukra (one of those names is the one -.-) in the vale of twilight, or the ones in Sleeping dust, they take like a minute to come back and with like full health -.-.



The ogre mages? ( i think anyways) I just plant a firewall where they dissapeared, they don't seem to move while regaining HP

Martdon
06-10-2011, 12:26 AM
Having farmed Shadow Knight a lot lately, I have felt the same way. Though, in a room full of the, it is not as big a problem. Many are phased out, but I can still whack a few of them. It's when it is down to one, and it just doesn't want to stay long enough. I think a 60 second cooldown is a little long. Maybe more like a 5 second. Just so I can hit it that last time, when it is just refusing to stay put and die.

Kinerd
06-10-2011, 06:20 PM
In the end, all these monsters are supposed to be strong by means other than raw power.The point is that the ability does not make the monsters stronger - it in fact makes them weaker. If I am fighting an evenly matched troll, it will pound on me until I am dead or it is. If I am fighting an evenly matched wraith, it will (very sportingly) give me extended bouts of time where I can heal myself, re-buff, consider my options, etc. A wraith that has exactly equal AC, to-hit, damage, etc. of a troll is always and necessarily weaker because of its phasing ability. They are objectively less dangerous to my character. They are only more dangerous to the player's patience, and as I have said before, this is not a viable game design strategy.

If the developers want to give Wraiths an automatic hit ability, great! If the developers want to give Scorpions a persistent poison ability, more power to them! These are things that can put my character in danger. Standing around drinking CSW potions because all the scorpions are burrowing is quite literally the exact opposite of dangerous.
In a nutshell: None of these mobs are Bosses, so they are not mandatory kills. If they fade out, walk away, they aren't hurting you. Continue on with your business. If they fade back in later, guess what they didn't waste your time because you didn't wait for them.I think on greater reflection you will find the bolded statement is not true. Many quests have "you must kill all monsters in room X to progress" requirements, for instance Dream Crawlers in portions of the Inspired Quarter.

altrocks
06-10-2011, 06:43 PM
The point is that the ability does not make the monsters stronger - it in fact makes them weaker. If I am fighting an evenly matched troll, it will pound on me until I am dead or it is. If I am fighting an evenly matched wraith, it will (very sportingly) give me extended bouts of time where I can heal myself, re-buff, consider my options, etc. A wraith that has exactly equal AC, to-hit, damage, etc. of a troll is always and necessarily weaker because of its phasing ability. They are objectively less dangerous to my character. They are only more dangerous to the player's patience, and as I have said before, this is not a viable game design strategy.

If the developers want to give Wraiths an automatic hit ability, great! If the developers want to give Scorpions a persistent poison ability, more power to them! These are things that can put my character in danger. Standing around drinking CSW potions because all the scorpions are burrowing is quite literally the exact opposite of dangerous.I think on greater reflection you will find the bolded statement is not true. Many quests have "you must kill all monsters in room X to progress" requirements, for instance Dream Crawlers in portions of the Inspired Quarter.

Also the end boss if the Sentinels chain. I've had him bug out more than once on epic. The ogre mages in Sleeping Dust are also required kills (orange names ones). Scorps are the worst, though. The one in the illusionarium bugs out for twenty seconds at a time. Not exaggerating. This usnt even including bugs from perching casters or rangers. It gets truly silly then.

steelblueskies
06-10-2011, 09:14 PM
These types of mobs are exactly where arcanes are most overpowered compared to melée.
Persistent aoe is simply the best way to reliably and consistently damage phasing/ burrowing mobs that refuse to stay corporeal long enough for a cast or swing animation repeatedly.

To a lesser extent dot effects are gratuitously powerful against them if they can be landed, as for most mobs with this behaviour they continue to take ticks of damage while phased out.(the problem being landing a dot can be very hard when they wig out phasing in and out rapid fire).

Even if it weakened them on a technical basis, I'd like to see their ai change to phase out on get hit only, once they first take damage.

Creatures that do not have the phase out at will like bugbear and ogre magi, can remain as is( although in her cases I would like a fixed phase out duration cap to reduce bugging out).

Also for mobs like baktor in epic devil assault- for the love of god add some sanity checks so they cannot phase/teleport into walls or the floor and get stuck. I don't know how many eda runs have failed because he has teleported right off the map, and gm response is they can either reset the entire wave, or kill him and you get no shrines, AND all the mobs that would have spawned during the wait from the next wave will spawn at once.

Necro2 on a melée focused toon is just a pain.