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View Full Version : Some Ideas to Improve Monster Behavior and Dungeon Alert Mechanics



Tuxedoman96
07-10-2018, 03:28 PM
I'm not sure how much of this could feasibly be introduced/reintroduced to the game, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction. The goal of these suggestions is to give the monsters a more organic feel to them, promote stealth play without being able to inviszerg, and make the Dungeon Alert less likely to completely lock down quests when players are playing the game at a non-zerging pace courtesy of aggro from above and chain aggro from certain dungeon designs. Also, from a questing perspective, it would make sense for the adventure to become progressively harder as you approach the heart of enemy territory. I'm completely open to suggestions, comments, and criticisms, provided they aren't provocative.

1. Monster aggro for stealth presence should involve a PC-centered radius that expands with DA alert lvl. Let's say 60 feet for green, 70 feet for yellow, 90 feet for orange, and 120 for red. That way you can't lose aggro by just popping down into stealth in front of them.

2. DA depends on progress of the quest (which should be known by the Devs since they make the quest) and/or % of monsters or a threshold of monsters killed, whichever is smaller. This means that zerging will still force you into a red alert situation, while stealth play also has a danger of it, but to a lesser extent. You kill more monsters, the DA is higher when activated. You get further along in the quest through stealth or invisibility, and if you make a mistake in your pulls, you will face the consequences. It also makes thematic sense since if you are farther along or have killed more monsters, you'd be viewed by them as a more competent threat.

3. Reapers get their own particular bonuses depending on the type, and are not connected to standard DA. I think the idea of reapers getting bonuses specific to their different types adds both a uniqueness and dangerous aspect to them when a DA triggers. I do think that additionally having the bonuses from normal DA mechanics might unbalance things a bit too much.

4. Reapers have an aggro radius (maybe 25 feet) that makes monsters aggro and zero-in on you when the wraith does, but that particular telepathic monster aggro leaves when they leave the wraith's radius. If the monsters still have visuals, you will of course have aggro regardless. This is because logically speaking the reaper is able to communicate your location, but how can he communicate that from far away (Magic!)? I also think it would make sense for the monsters that they let the big bad reaper handle you.

5. Green and yellow alert requires 4 or more groups aggroed on you (and still alive) within the last 10 minutes. Orange needs 3. Red needs 2. This is going in the opposite direction of the system in place now, I know, but I feel I think it makes sense that if you look like a bad*** that it would take less monsters to consider you a legitimate threat.

6. Crowns should be of increasing strength and number as you get deeper into the quest. For any Evil Overlord, they have the mooks stand watch and keep their more powerful officers near them for security reasons. Although it would be cool if in some quests that is subverted by having a super awesome crowned miniboss in the first fight as the Overlord's attempt to nip the problem (you) in the bud.

7. On elite DA increases should spawn additional crowns. Hopefully not in the group that you're fighting because it doesn't make sense for monsters to randomly gain powers during an encounter. But a non-aggroed monster should become a crown when this happens to compensate. The idea is as you become more of a problem, the boss guy starts sending his powerful officers to deal with you.

8. On Reaper DA increases should spawn wraiths. 1 for green and yellow, 2 for orange and red. These are separate from the random wraith chances we already have. For reasons similar to #7

9. Group size for DA purposes does not need to be standard. In fact, any creature already within 30 feet of each other should be considered a group, regardless of what the normal size is. This one is a little harder to implement I would think. I'm not entirely sure how to go about it, but I'm trying to prevent a whole room (or dungeon) from aggroing because of the aggro radius.

10. Breaking line of sight should make enemies go to last known location (already does that), but without the telepathic aggro. Aggro of last known location lasts for 5 secs on green, 10 secs on yellow, 15 secs on orange and red. Going into stealth forces the monsters into having to use spot to resume aggro, provided they are outside of the PC-centered aggro radius and out of sight when you do it. Doesn't make sense for monsters to be able to pinpoint your exact location when htey can't physically see you.

11. Casters and Ranged should send/summon allies to go to your last known location when they lose sight of you. Doesn't make sense for the caster to personally go get you if his guys don't come back. Not sure if this can be readily coded, but it would definitely make the AI seem more intelligent.

12. When you reach DA, you must wait 10 minutes for the DA to go down one step (and no further). Aggroing a group involved in DA immediately puts you back into that DA. If you kill all the mobs, the DA disappears, but now you have a Death count added for DA purposes. Idea is they know you're there and they want your head, but searching around for you constantly is very resource intensive.

13. For DA, each level gives bonuses and makes monsters more active. at green, maybe a patrol. At yellow, they send dogs with patrols and do wide sweeps. At orange, more mobs patrol and will start searching corners and general hiding places. At red every member of a group except 1 or 2 monsters (which will become it's own group) will start patrolling. Bonuses of course scale with DA level. The idea is that if they don't know where you are they will realistically look for you.

14. Only red alert should give the harrying effect, and in addition give the enemies at that point an ability to CC that they normally wouldn't have (e.g. stun, trip, etc.). (maybe put a self healing penalty for orange). The bonuses for DA are pretty good, but many people who zerg find DA to be more of a hindrance than an actual danger. I'd say that taking away the HAmp; Melee, Ranged, and Spell Power; Armor Class and so on (the things that would help survive red alert groups or take them out quickly) would place a healthy fear towards DA for zerging/avoiding fights. If this is implemented with balances to DA, I think it will be helpful for providing challenge and slowing down zerging without having to rely heavily on a large amount of monsters.

15. Monsters in arena style fights shouldn't be included in DA. We can't escape from most of them (without DDoor or Teleport, but still), and it just leads to frustration despite fighting as we are supposed to. In addition, many of the arena-style fights, at least from the newer quests, feature spawning/respawning monsters. The advent of those monsters when you're trying to take out the boss already adds enough difficulty, IMO.

16. Monsters with an Int of 2 or less should not be sharing aggro. Exception: Summoned creatures and animals that make patrols. Unintelligent creatures can't communicate with intelligent beings (can't really as a spider what he ate for breakfast and expect an intelligible answer). Patrols are different because I would figure that anything patrolling was trained/told/programmed to alert someone when an intruder is spotted.

17. Each end fight should have at least 2 crowns starting out (you know, the Big Bad's retainers and entourage) that have bonuses specific to them. They don't have to be minibosses, but it doesn't make sense to have yourself surrounded by ordinary foot soldiers in the center of your dungeon.

18. As DA increases, random traps spawn in places you haven't been yet, starting at orange alert. Trap dmg and save scaling is 4 above regular traps for orange and 10 above regular for red; DCs are based on the quest lvl (i.e. the scout should have no problems with disabling the traps). This is in part to prevent zerging for most while also making the creatures seem intelligent. Obviously if you are a threat they will be more interested in having you killed before you reach the final fight. Bonus points if you see some monsters (from far away) set up traps due to DA.

19. Not sure how it can be done, but please make the Aggro radius 3-dimensional. That way monsters 100 feet under the ground can't be aggroed.

20. Reapply box breaking aggro mechanics. But have the radius somewhat as a disc (arbitrarily low value for height). Even if I heard something below me, I would have the guys there check it out or just peer over if I can (obviously I know the monsters can't just peer over a ledge). Should be parsed so that the effect only affects monsters in the room. Doesn't make sense for guys all over the dungeon to investigate the drop of a coin in the center of a well.

21. Monsters will investigate the noise only if they hear more sounds within a set time frame, we'll say within 3 secs (if you hear the whisper of a mouse once an hour, do you really need to check on it at that moment?). And only the melee and summoned. Casters and ranged should be too smart for that. Never send out the squishy wizard to check on some rock music. :D

22. Example for Dungeon progression and monster slaying considerations for DA: Green = 10% completion or 5% of mobs killed; yellow = 30% completion or 15% of mobs killed; orange = 50% completion or 40% of the mob killed; red = 75% completion or 60% of the mobs killed. For quests with respawning monsters I would say threshold would be at 15 kills for green, 50 kills for yellow, 100 for orange, 150 for red. The idea is when you first enter a dungeon, you shouldn't automatically be considered a threat. As you can see the requirement for green is a lot less than the others. This is just because by green alert monsters should be aware of you but not really consider you a threat.

23. Respawns should have a 20 second delay on shared aggro (i.e. if a guy reappears he shouldn't be on you from the get go). I hope the code for respawns is at least slightly different from ambushes, otherwise I think monster aggro for all spawning monsters might become warped.

24. Instakilling mobs puts all monsters in the group on alert and causes them to patrol based on DA. If someone suddenly died in my party, you bet my *** I'd find out what happened to him. Still, it doesn't make sense for the monsters to simply stand around when that happens.

25. Place a max distance on ranged atks. I know that this is a magical world, but gravity still exists in it (thank you box-sticking bug =_=). In addition, it would allow ranged characters to shoot monsters from a decent distance away and still get away without the monsters finding them. If I got shot in the back I would probably go in that direction, to possibly find nobody there. And then start a search.

26. Sight aggro and corresponding abilities used against us should depend on race, attire, and actions taken during the battle. If I'm a melee person, I'm going to go after the guy who looks (but might not be) the squishiest - the frail elf in the robes. If that guy isn't casting spells, I'd change over to someone who is. I think having the intimidate be temporary for threat purposes will be helpful (e.g. after 5 secs of paying attention to the dwarf idiot in platemail and a towershield, I resume atks on the caster). Diseases can be used against elves, overrun and ray of enfeeblement against halflings and gnomes, etc.

27. Monsters should be given charm/dominate spells that use our abilities at random (except maybe healing and debuff removal, which our characters would use on them as needed) and switches the targeting of the monsters and the party members. That would make wards against mental compulsions very important while also adding another level of danger for careless players. It would also give an aspect of friendly fire, which provides a whole new perspective on the game. And if the save is made against that then immunity is granted for 1 min.

Igognito
07-11-2018, 08:11 AM
It is so silly when you scorch down like a small army of mobs, and 1 still tries to fight you...

I often enter in an ambush like situation, chaos occurs for a little while and then everything is dead... Not everything, a small little monster escaped the blaze of the aoe spells.
The lucky monster, witnessed the painful in vein death of its fellow monsters... What should it do? Come and pick the adventurer to go meet its friends? Or simply run away?

I would introduce morale mechanics for Normal-Elite difficulties. It would make monsters behave much more realistic. Also, sometimes morale could work against the players... Maybe that little monster that survived ran to the next cluster of its friends.

I also want to point out that invisibility is handled wrongly.

From what I understood some people abused invisibility. After that the devs took measures against invisibility and stealth play.

I think it was a wrong decision that removed a very fun part of the game. Now invisibility and stealth play has ended to be near useless and certainly not fun at all.

Tuxedoman96
07-11-2018, 03:42 PM
Morale seems like an interesting mechanic. Maybe like a randomly generated value of bravery. And morale starts at that value but when it increases or decreases bonuses/penalties are given in increments. Things like having a large group or having crowns in the group or fights taking a long time for adventures would increase morale, so as eventually fights can completely go in favor of the monsters.

Hmm, as for invisibility, the duration could be drastically reduced and a much larger CD could be offered that way people would be more interested in fighting versus waiting it out unless they were pretty stealthy. Then there wouldn't need to be a so many actions taken against invisbility and stealth gameplay. You have maybe only a handful of monsters in a few quest that have tremor or blindsense (or lifesense), instead of tens/hundreds of them. Makes it less frustrating from a stealth perspective while still having you to actually experience the quest in it's full glory. Also means that monsters won't have to have a personal vendetta against invis'd/stealth characters.

Example for invis changes: 6 sec/caster lvl up to 20, no extend. 10 min CD.

Example for invis, mass: 9 sec/caster lvl up to 20, no extend. 10 min CD. Affects CL/4 people (PCs, summons, hirelings, etc.) up to 5. This would make mass invis a little more lucrative if you want to more than just yourself to avoid aggro for a particular fight (say the healer can get it as well). It also means that in a full party you can't all avoid a fight unless someone stays behind. And by the time you get it you can hide 3 entities.

Igognito
07-12-2018, 08:58 AM
Morale seems like an interesting mechanic. Maybe like a randomly generated value of bravery. And morale starts at that value but when it increases or decreases bonuses/penalties are given in increments. Things like having a large group or having crowns in the group or fights taking a long time for adventures would increase morale, so as eventually fights can completely go in favor of the monsters.

Hmm, as for invisibility, the duration could be drastically reduced and a much larger CD could be offered that way people would be more interested in fighting versus waiting it out unless they were pretty stealthy. Then there wouldn't need to be a so many actions taken against invisbility and stealth gameplay. You have maybe only a handful of monsters in a few quest that have tremor or blindsense (or lifesense), instead of tens/hundreds of them. Makes it less frustrating from a stealth perspective while still having you to actually experience the quest in it's full glory. Also means that monsters won't have to have a personal vendetta against invis'd/stealth characters.

Example for invis changes: 6 sec/caster lvl up to 20, no extend. 10 min CD.

Example for invis, mass: 9 sec/caster lvl up to 20, no extend. 10 min CD. Affects CL/4 people (PCs, summons, hirelings, etc.) up to 5. This would make mass invis a little more lucrative if you want to more than just yourself to avoid aggro for a particular fight (say the healer can get it as well). It also means that in a full party you can't all avoid a fight unless someone stays behind. And by the time you get it you can hide 3 entities.

We should make a different thread for invisibility/stealth...

Anyhow, I see no reason why not extend. You pay the cost to get double the time. It wont change it much.

Invisibility should work like you are INVISIBLE not you are pin pointed regardless...
In p&p D&D someone can only pin point you if the roll a listen with a -20!

Furthermore, even if you are pin pointed you can not be targeted! All target based spells should not work vs an invisible target unless the caster can actually see the invisible creature.

We can agree on a middle ground here: 50% chance of working.

Caster mobs, can use see invisibility or something like that if they want...

Anyhow, as invisibility is it is pretty much useless.
I personally use it at wilderness only, I shadow walk invisible to find fast the dungeon entrance. No need to say that I get red DA but shadow walk outruns most things and the 50% miss chance protects me pretty well.

I guess someone that know a dungeon perfectly can use a similar tactic to avoid all fights and finish the dungeon faster. If that is their thing, I do not see why not. Especially on Normal-Hard.

I would suggest the following mechanics for invisibility:

Named monsters automatically see Invisible creatures.
Champions automatically pin point Invisible creatures. (Not see so still 50% miss chance)
All other creatures roll move silently with a -20 to pin point Invisible creatures.
Targeted actions/spells have 50% miss chance.
Reaper champions can have invisibility purge as a debuff!

Depending the difficulty Invisibility affects aggro:
Normal, reduce by -20% agro; hard no effect; elite +20% aggro; Reaper +20% per skull? :-D from r4 and after forget it...
Well this could use as a benefit too... You make invisible the party tank before the battle :-D
Maybe better to work as -50% for normal, -30% for hard, -10% for elite and at 0% for all r. This way it cant be used reversibly either...

Duration is not important as in general when u interact with something invisibility ends.

Latter, I will start a new thread for morale. I will write down some mechanics :-)

Tuxedoman96
07-12-2018, 10:12 AM
We should make a different thread for invisibility/stealth...

Anyhow, I see no reason why not extend. You pay the cost to get double the time. It wont change it much.

Invisibility should work like you are INVISIBLE not you are pin pointed regardless...
In p&p D&D someone can only pin point you if the roll a listen with a -20!

Furthermore, even if you are pin pointed you can not be targeted! All target based spells should not work vs an invisible target unless the caster can actually see the invisible creature.

We can agree on a middle ground here: 50% chance of working.

Caster mobs, can use see invisibility or something like that if they want...

Anyhow, as invisibility is it is pretty much useless.
I personally use it at wilderness only, I shadow walk invisible to find fast the dungeon entrance. No need to say that I get red DA but shadow walk outruns most things and the 50% miss chance protects me pretty well.

I guess someone that know a dungeon perfectly can use a similar tactic to avoid all fights and finish the dungeon faster. If that is their thing, I do not see why not. Especially on Normal-Hard.

I would suggest the following mechanics for invisibility:

Named monsters automatically see Invisible creatures.
Champions automatically pin point Invisible creatures. (Not see so still 50% miss chance)
All other creatures roll move silently with a -20 to pin point Invisible creatures.
Targeted actions/spells have 50% miss chance.
Reaper champions can have invisibility purge as a debuff!

Depending the difficulty Invisibility affects aggro:
Normal, reduce by -20% agro; hard no effect; elite +20% aggro; Reaper +20% per skull? :-D from r4 and after forget it...
Well this could use as a benefit too... You make invisible the party tank before the battle :-D
Maybe better to work as -50% for normal, -30% for hard, -10% for elite and at 0% for all r. This way it cant be used reversibly either...

Duration is not important as in general when u interact with something invisibility ends.

Latter, I will start a new thread for morale. I will write down some mechanics :-)

Interesting ideas, and I would love to join you on your thread when you post it :)

The reason for not extending it is because some quests allow you to travel for quite awhile before you'd be required to break invis. The duration should be quite a bit less than the CD if they want to reduce the time spent around going invisible. I think that the ease of access of invisibility, in addition to the exploits from years ago, forced the Devs to take countermeasures that had the unfortunate consequence of punishing the use of the spell altogether. What I'm trying to do with the suggestions about invis and stelath is hinder that kind of exploitation while making them both useful for most people again.