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Old March 29, 2017, 18:43   #11
Nomad
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Here's a list of pre-level-20 monsters that I think are particularly poorly-differentiated or unmemorable
Potential experiment: comment all of these monsters out in monster.txt, play the game with no further changes, see what it's like.
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Old March 29, 2017, 18:57   #12
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So we do want monsters that are essentially just upgrades of the standard group melee monster. Ideally we can differentiate these, but even if we don't, it's still mostly ok. We should probably shuffle things around to look something like:

yeeks - levels 1-5, orfax at 3, boldor at 5. Master yeek at 5, can be the first "summoning" monster.
kobolds - levels 4-9, mughash and large kobold at 8.
orcs - levels 8-20, Rework (remove) many orc uniques. Uruks are at 18, highest orc uniques are at 20.
Ogres - levels 18-23, Lukkuk at 20.
Trolls - levels 22-30 rework water troll, and some of the higher level trolls. 3 hobbit trolls at 28 or so, Rogrog at 30 (or removed).

Levels can be fudged somewhat. After this the major group monsters no longer fit in neat categories. Rather you have groups of giants, undead, demons, etc that span all the way up to the end.
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Old March 29, 2017, 19:12   #13
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Differentiate yeeks as being weak, with the only special yeeks being Orfax, Boldor, and the Master Yeek, and their only special abilities being summoning and...thievery, maybe?

Differentiate kobolds as having different classes rather than races, so you have kobold, kobold archer, kobold shaman, large kobold, and the uniques.

Differentiate orcs by having them use group tactics, maybe? If one orc sees you, the rest wake up, and orcs in a given group won't stray far from the rest unless they're terrified. Not sure how this would work with orc pits though. Orcs should also be the first group monster smart enough to open/break down doors.

Differentiate ogres...hm, tricky. By giving them mixed-composition groups, so you usually end up facing casters protected by melee units, maybe? Ogre Mages are by far the most notable ogre in the game. I'd also be fine with just nixing ogres entirely; they're not AFAIK canon and are kind of awkward in-game, being slightly burlier orcs without archery.

I think trolls should be single powerful monsters, rather than group monsters. The lore usually has them this way. Give them orcs (or ogres, if they stay in) as escorts.
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Old March 29, 2017, 19:18   #14
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Rather you have groups of giants, undead, demons, etc that span all the way up to the end.
I'd actually quite like to see all of the groups of monsters that have an associated 'slay' spread out across more of the dungeon levels, so that weapons of Slay X have utility throughout. Currently Slay Orc is junk after a certain point and Slay Giant/Troll is useless in the early levels before they appear.

(Or perhaps a tidier solution is to combine all three of those slays into one, so you have six major categories, Animal, Demon, Dragon, Evil, Undead and Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-Humanoids.)
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Old March 29, 2017, 19:29   #15
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(Or perhaps a tidier solution is to combine all three of those slays into one, so you have six major categories, Animal, Demon, Dragon, Evil, Undead and Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-Humanoids.)
Something evocative of how Morgoth made them by twisting the creations of the other Valar, maybe? A catch-all orc/troll/giant slayer could potentially be useful...not that giants are canonical but oh well.
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Old March 29, 2017, 20:02   #16
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Something evocative of how Morgoth made them by twisting the creations of the other Valar, maybe? A catch-all orc/troll/giant slayer could potentially be useful...not that giants are canonical but oh well.
You could maybe ditch ogres as a separate class of monster and make 'ogre' the collective slay category.
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Old March 29, 2017, 20:13   #17
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I don't mind groups of trolls. I think giants could be tougher and moved deeper. Not sure about ogres.

Some of the animals could be differentiated by where they are placed. Examples: rattlesnakes and pythons are ambush predators, so place them next to doors or in rubble.
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Old March 29, 2017, 20:53   #18
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Some of the animals could be differentiated by where they are placed. Examples: rattlesnakes and pythons are ambush predators, so place them next to doors or in rubble.
Actually an 'ambush' behaviour would be a great flag to add for certain types of monsters. Make them stay stationary and invisible (except to magical detection) until the player steps into an adjacent square, whereupon they become visible and wake up. There are quite a few monsters that would work for, like scorpions, solitary spiders, thieves, bats, maybe birds and harpies?

(Also, on an unrelated note, it just occurred to me that thematically, harpies should probably shriek and/or have the "wail:terrify" attack, which would give them more of a unique niche. Wikipedia says they steal food as well, so they could have eat_food too.)

There are actually a bunch of existing behaviours/attacks that are fairly underutilised and could be spread around the monster list a bit. There are currently only four monsters with the eat_food flag and two with eat_light, and only four with hallucination attacks. There's room for a weak early wall-eater, as well - maybe a type of worm that eats through walls but is easier to kill than an Umber Hulk.

It would be nice to have a weaker version of item-stealing as well, where the monster takes your stuff but doesn't teleport away with it. Birds could steal items, and some of the jellies/oozes (good motivation to make you stick around to battle gelatinous cubes and the like).
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Old March 29, 2017, 21:17   #19
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Well, there are 'roosts' in Sil, which aren't quite as bad as webs, but still pretty dangerous. Being blinded by a monster with erratic motion and high evasion is a problem.
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Old March 29, 2017, 21:27   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
Actually an 'ambush' behaviour would be a great flag to add for certain types of monsters. Make them stay stationary and invisible (except to magical detection) until the player steps into an adjacent square, whereupon they become visible and wake up. There are quite a few monsters that would work for, like scorpions, solitary spiders, thieves, bats, maybe birds and harpies?

(Also, on an unrelated note, it just occurred to me that thematically, harpies should probably shriek and/or have the "wail:terrify" attack, which would give them more of a unique niche. Wikipedia says they steal food as well, so they could have eat_food too.)

There are actually a bunch of existing behaviours/attacks that are fairly underutilised and could be spread around the monster list a bit. There are currently only four monsters with the eat_food flag and two with eat_light, and only four with hallucination attacks. There's room for a weak early wall-eater, as well - maybe a type of worm that eats through walls but is easier to kill than an Umber Hulk.

It would be nice to have a weaker version of item-stealing as well, where the monster takes your stuff but doesn't teleport away with it. Birds could steal items, and some of the jellies/oozes (good motivation to make you stick around to battle gelatinous cubes and the like).
The monkeys in Brogue raise my blood pressure every time (item stealers). Doesn't seem too weird to have Smeagol and Wormtongue steal items as well.

A few other ideas-
*An early fast but weak stunner (nighthawk or falcon or something)
*Monsters who increase speed if they've moved in the same direction more than X moves in a row (quadrupeds, maybe knights). This would make running away down a long corridor a lot more exciting!
*A monster that always runs away (maybe something with a good drop)
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