Your friendly neighborhood monster maker here, just stopping by to say hi and give you all an update on some of the things I’ve been working on.
My first big post was about the stealth and detection updates of last year, but I do a little bit of everything on the systems side, with a focus on making monsters (as opposed to character progression.)
Some other things I’ve worked on include:
· Planning which monsters we make with the artists and leads, and designing how they will work
· Creating monsters and behaviors for The Shadowfell Conspiracy and Menace of the Underdark
· Updating monsters that have been in game for some time (giants, dragons, vampires, and air elementals to name a few)
· Improving certain behaviors such as phasing, grease, and trip
· Fixing bugs with CC states, spinning, and sliding, while improving responsiveness, detection, and other core AI systems (making them harder, better, faster, stronger, and smarter!)
· Making monsters easier to use, including a new way for quest designers to quickly and easily vary their AI per-encounter
· Creating monsters that work together (satyr, harpy, and howler group attacks were just a start)
What do I mean by “updating” older monsters? Here’s a look into just some of the things I do with them:
· Make sure all of their attacks use the newest combat scripts
· Make sure attacks hit the proper number of targets, only the proper targets, and things like knockback can be blocked
· Make sure effects scale in effectiveness for all versions of that monster across levels and difficulties (Like vampire dominate DCS)
· Make sure they face their targets before executing attacks
· Make them perform faster by removing old script systems and calls that aren’t used anymore
· Make them do different things if their target is knocked down
· Make them do different things if they are moving, such as different attacks
· Make them do specific attacks when swinging “blind”
· Make them support special attacks in unique situational conditions
· Tune detect sizes, animation speeds, and timing of hits, effects, sounds, and sometimes adding new ones to improve feedback (air elementals!)
· Give them modern systems such as smart weapon-switching
· Fix movement hitches
· Fix any weird bugs I find (vampires having invisible shields and maces but animating as if they had them!?)
In future posts I think I’ll do some fun behind-the-scenes videos of how we design and put together monsters. For this post though, here’s a fun video of what happens when there’s a bug that causes squirrels to trigger combat music and I decide to flip a couple switches before we fix it : )
Now I get to ask you questions!
Which non-raid-boss monsters in DDO do you find the most memorable and engaging to interact with, and why?
If you think part of the reason for your answer is your class/build/playstyle, please include that!