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  1. #1
    Developer No_Dice's Avatar
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    Talking Let's Talk About Monsters!

    Howdy forumites!

    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!

  2. #2
    Community Member whereispowderedsilve's Avatar
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    Ok, that video is awesome! +1 HAHAAHHAHA! :P! ! !

    Please make sure after we get like 200 replies or so, you stop/drop back in & reply/continue the dialogue.

    Thanks a bunch! Keep up the great work! Cheers! :P! ! !
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  3. #3
    Community Member FuzzyDuck81's Avatar
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    Vaguely creepy yet fun... now all we need are suicide squirrels (like the detonator bats in VoD maybe?) to add some extra craziness to a delerium-type xoriat quest

    As for monsters... anything with interesting or unusual mechanics i find pretty memorable, like the drow priestesses sacrificing allies, or the necromancers raising the dead, since it adds extra tactical thought to an encounter, rust monsters having that "oo WF are made of noms!" mechanic is fun & I also think we need more Quells, to make the divines go ****y.
    I don't mean to come across as unsympathetic - but I am, so I do.

  4. #4
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    Why Beholders, You just never know what your going to get. and you can always roll a 1.

    But I may have to think that squirrels are moving up on my list after that vid..+1

    Last edited by CavernDragon; 12-19-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Heya No_Dice

    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post
    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!
    *Memorable*... well... beholders... they're total *b-tards* that cause me fear. I have not yet worked out how to take them down without spell absorption and getting neg leveled when there's a pack of them. I do like them because they don't typically have a lot of hp, can be affected by stat draining str and they do cause me to stop and think for a sec.

    The mechanic with the slavers is kinda fun - trying to find them when they're invised and kill them without killing slaves.

    Those Abashais flying around Chrono are kind of fun - it's fun having to have something where you need to have a ranged weapon or a way of taking them down and they're fairly vicious in their attacks plus typically there are a ton of mobs running around below.
    Last edited by MeliCat; 12-19-2013 at 01:51 PM. Reason: grammar
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  6. #6
    Community Member Munkenmo's Avatar
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    TIL : Squirrels are a serious threat to DDO devs.

    solution - Godmode.

  7. #7

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    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!


    Killer squirrels!

    As a guy that plays mage-killers (Monks), I'll start with my personal favorite: Beholders.

    By just saying that name I'm sure I just caused half of the readers to pee in their armor and robes a little bit. No matter who or what you are, these multi-eyed beach balls of doom always give you pause. It's why we don't see throngs of players partying up for "Invaders!" (and I'd love to have a camera to watch those that do!).

    Thankfully, a prepared Monk just stuns these things, envelopes them in lovely jade stone, or returns the favor of disintegration with a solid Touch of Death or Quivering Palm strike.

    On the plus side, when a party starts clicking up their Shards of Xoriat and rolls up an army of allied beholders, you know that quest is going to get real, fast.
    Last edited by Spencerian; 12-19-2013 at 01:40 PM. Reason: typo
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  8. #8
    Community Member brian14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post
    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 : )
    Goes right with this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNu_kqxqbew
    "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

    "Of course it is. Are YOU going to question beholder's artistic sense?"

  9. #9
    Community Member Chaimberland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post



    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!
    Yaulthoon from In The Flesh is very memorable. Its a hard boss fight and I like how he talks trash through out the entire quest. Makes killing him in the end very satisfying.

  10. #10
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    Default OMG that is Hilarious.

    OK now that was a hilarious video. I cannot think at the moment about the question, because that video is now the most memorable for me! Will return later after the hilarity wears off or gets de-buffed.

  11. #11
    Hopeless Romantic dunklezhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post
    Howdy forumites!

    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!

    Howdy!

    Gah, if I have to pick just one I have to say beholder, but if I can say two then mimic too. The random craziness of the mimic I absolutely love, but the first time you encounter beholders they are scary. Almost certainly the first time you met one in game, you died. Probably the next few times too. Hell sometimes they still kill me, and I know how to fight them now.

    You'll notice they're both extremely iconic. So maybe it's not a fair fight. Other than that, my favorite monster to "interact" with is Fred. Or other illythids, but mostly of course we just kill them. But they have such a... unique take on life

    Damn. Another really iconic one.

    Um... Dunno then, honestly. Wraiths were pretty damn awesome-scary when i first ran into them I can tell you that. AAAAH!!! I don't have ghost touch! What is it doing! It's draining me it's draining me! What's it's draining OMG CONSTITUTION RUN AWAAAAAAY

    Yeah. I could go on. Orthon's and Devils were terrifying the first time because they teleported and that was scary. Then someone danced an orthon. Instantly they became the coolest monster in the game, bar none.

    In terms of monster NPCs: Brawnpits. I love that guy.
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  12. #12
    Community Member Miow's Avatar
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    No DA with 50 squirrels after you lol

  13. #13
    Community Member brian14's Avatar
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    Most engaging to interact? I would say kobold union workers. Keeping them alive can be... memorable... especially in Colossal Crystals. Seriously, Colossal Crystals is one of the few quests (ok, challenges) where there is enough randomness to force you to think, but not so much you can fail through absolutely no fault of your own. As for the enemy mobs whose interaction is most memorable, I would say Lieutenants of Shavarath in Shroud part 2. I cannot think of another fight in DDO which requires same degree of cooperation.

    My favorite monsters to fight are vampires and medusae. Both practically ooze contempt for player characters, which makes killing them so much more satisfying. Green dragon in "Don't Drink the Water" has that too. Driders in the Underdark come close, but their ridiculous death animation spoils the effect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaimberland View Post
    Yaulthoon from In The Flesh is very memorable. Its a hard boss fight and I like how he talks trash through out the entire quest. Makes killing him in the end very satisfying.
    You are right. That one too!
    "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

    "Of course it is. Are YOU going to question beholder's artistic sense?"

  14. #14
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    Oh I like driders as well. While their trip attack is a pain you do have warning and a couple of seconds if you pay attention. And when they invis and then appear elsewhere, if you're paying attention you know roughly where. Their trip attack occasionally means they're higher up in the killing order in a group of mobs rather than a caster. I like that they have big hitboxes too cause after that trip attack killing them is satisfying.

    Wandering around heroic GH I'm reminded what a pain bards are - again its nice to have a target other than a wiz or divine to go for first because they're more of a pain.

    I like that even kobolds in the harbour who are ranged characters if you pain attention you can avoid their thrown attack. I wish more new people would realise that - they're used to games where it's going to hit you no matter what, but if you shift out of the way in time here it will miss you.

    edit: oh and glaberzus in the demonweb. being thrown up in the air... wheeee! so much fun not necessarily a disablling attack but gives you time to either regroup or range. haven't spent enough time working out if I can see the signal before he does that attack so I could avoid it on a strictly in-your-face-melee.


    No_Dice... I have a question I've been curious about for ages, why is it with the Lord of Blades I can hit him but I can (usually accidentally) walk right through him?
    Last edited by MeliCat; 12-19-2013 at 02:04 PM.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post
    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 : )
    Dude, you so totally have to make a rare encounter out of the attack of the rabid squirrels. PLEASE!!!!

  16. #16
    The Hatchery SisAmethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post
    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!
    Hi,

    well *memorable* are several.

    1. As I started playing, the Ogre at the end of The Kobolds' New Ringleader which utterly destroyed half the party with his triple attack after he stomped out of the door.
    Reason: For a new player, without gear and no experience this is one of the first enemies with such a multiple attack and as such a deadly enemy

    2. Next in rank where the Beholders and the Marut in The Jungle of Khyber
    Reason you never know what kind of beam will hit you and the cleric has no chance to heal you in the anti magic aura.
    For a first time player the Marut itself is a colossus and need special weapons to be beaten and itself may stun you.

    3. Lady Malicia in Under the Big Top as well as the Drow Priestes in the Underdark
    Reason: Malicia uses your allies against you while the Drow Priests just perform a blood sacrifice, which both are nice twist,
    * We have collectable bags, hell even hireling folders, but can I have that 6-pack for my potions please?
    * Having already a past life on the dieng EU servers, I rerolled here and started from scratch as I like the game and the community, so lets see what awaits me here

  17. #17
    Community Member RavenAmazing's Avatar
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    I love the monsters that incite an emotion.

    The Beholders. Turning a corner and discovering one is still a frightfull experience, to say the least. Conquering one is the best part of a quest.

    Deathjump spiders. By far the scariest and most realistic spider I have encountered in any game. I get creeped out just typing this. No spider in DDo has that effect, with exception to the sneaked Crimsonfoots, but once they break sneak, just a normal cartoon spider. Deathjumps are heart attack material.

    The Hags and Corrupted Dryads. I did the Lost Villiager the other day, I opened the dialogue and was all set to escort her to the gate for the easy reward and, dang if she didn't turn into a Hag. Made me jump out of the chair.

    The "hidden" Skeleton giants of Gianthold. Seeing one all curled up, just waiting for the trigger is enough to make one stop cold, go into sneak and look around to see what is coming at you next.

    The Dragons. Any Dragon. Great artwork, nice AI and movement. I especially like the new one in the Kings Forest. I could't remember the name if you paid me, but that is a good looking Dragon.
    I remember the first time I killed the Baby in Mired. We were all new and didn't know about the Mama. I was just excited to finally have the chance to fight a dragon. Once the Mama appeared, I just realized we killed her baby. Had a profound effect, that did.

    It was the Dragon in Miseries Peak that sold me on this game to begin with, just watching it run underneath the ice sheet.

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  18. #18
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    · Make sure attacks hit the proper number of targets, only the proper targets, and things like knockback can be blocked
    I think you should relook at things that can knockback, currently it seems like its a constnat effect even when their attack misses. gets rather annoying fighting giants that swing a sword, miss you, yet still manage to knock you back since it usually makes me waste actions by being too far from the target. if they would've hit me I can see, but if they outright miss their knockback shouldnt trigger.


    Which non-raid-boss monsters in DDO do you find the most memorable and engaging to interact with, and why?

    Yaulthoon is probably the most memorable one, mostly because his quest chain is entertaining, and the end fight against him made pugs utter chaos.

    Malicia was another, finding devils having an active role in interacting and interfering with relationships between houses and such was an interesting storyline

    Sinvala too, for her to appear and the intensity of the fight between her and hte rest of the quest was memorable. pretty much guaranteed a wipe on the first time people ran the quest.

  19. #19
    Community Member Spoonwelder's Avatar
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    Favorite - non-boss.....well the one in POP counts so I am gonna say Marliths....6 swords of doom, knockdown, tailwhip.....dangerous and beautiful.

    Least favorite - I know you didn't ask but the though went through my head - not a singular mob but a mobclass/AI type.....That is any monster that will allow me to hit it 3-4 times then move 5 feet away turn back to me and try to use some ranged attack. The move is such a short distance that it has nominal tactical advantage but invariably it will be when I use my special attacks. If someone is toe-to-toe with you you either man up and strike back OR you run and don't stop OR you run behind your beefy colleagues but you don't just slide away and turn hoping I haven't followed. Now we would all hate if the AI chose option 2 (run away), so make them change their tactics and go with the other options - hide behind your meatshields or shift to close combat (rangers swing your bow, mages use touch attacks or CC type options(or things like burning hands with short range) I may hate getting danced but it is the right tactical choice for a mage - either that or 'teleport' away like orthons/devils if they have the ability).
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  20. #20
    Community Member Satyriasys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Dice View Post

    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!
    LOL Those are some angry squirrels.

    My vote would be Rust Monster. In today's game where everyone zergs at 100 mph pace and most mobs offer no real challenge, the Rust Monster is the only mob I see give players pause and instill fear.

    You didn't ask what creatures we would like to see added but I'm going to tell you anyway.

    Goblins
    Thri-Kreen - They could really have their own pack of quests.
    Umber Hulks and Hook Horrors - They could be added to the Underdark as well as new quests.
    Owl Bears - should really be added to the King's Forest.
    Last edited by Satyriasys; 12-19-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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