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Old September 21, 2012, 07:43   #21
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by Oramin View Post
The fact that they choose not to enter LoS actually makes Hounds (including Time) fairly easy to dispose of if you're using a spellcaster. Simply pick your favorite ball-type spell and cast it in a square adjacent to the Hounds. They'll just sit there while you destroy them.
This is one of my peeves on current monster AI.

Suggestion 1: if pack monster gets damaged it forgets the "group behavior" and charges at you.

Suggestion 2: if you stay long enough in LoS range of pack monsters they again forget the "group behavior" and charge at you (no resting at corridor corner with gazillion hounds just waiting to get killed at room next to you).
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Old September 21, 2012, 08:01   #22
LostTemplar
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At least in FA I often farm time hounds for exp (lure one by one into corridor and kill in one round). Btw Tindalos things are a nightmare, especially for mages. They see you out of detection range (actually exactly at detection range, but unless you detect every turn you are likely to run into entire pack), and have pass_wall (so impossible to lure one by one and hard to be hit by ranged attacks). Probably second most annoying monster in FA (after unmagic storm).

Any other hounds are actually free exp in corridor. I admit, that hounds may kill if you teleport into them, etc., but they are also easy to kill, and give high exp (at least in FA).

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Suggestion 1: if pack monster gets damaged it forgets the "group behavior" and charges at you.
Oh, I forgot, that FA already have better AI for packs. It also charge if @ is badly hurt.
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Old September 21, 2012, 08:35   #23
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
Oh, I forgot, that FA already have better AI for packs. It also charge if @ is badly hurt.
I think this one is true for vanilla also. If your HP is low the pack behavior changes and they attack you.
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Old September 21, 2012, 14:36   #24
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Pack monsters will also come after you sometimes if they are injured. I think they have to be injured, in a hallway, and have LoS to the player to do that.

Derakon: I don't agree with hounds making a navigation problem. This could be true for the earlier hounds, but not for the level 50+ ones, excepting ethereal. Mostly because packs of hounds can be trivially removed with _destruction. At a point where I'm capable of taking them on, I almost certainly have a source of destruction. And then, it's much better to destruct because killing them is incredibly tedious, reasonably dangerous, and they have no drops.

I have two problems with hounds. One is that I feel they are overpowered, the other is that they are tedious and annoying. It's ok to have the occasional tedious monster to deal with, and it's ok to have some overpowered monsters. But a pack of hounds are essentially on every level, even with the reduced frequency. I wind up spending way too much time dealing with them until I get destruction.
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Old September 21, 2012, 15:12   #25
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Using destruction has its own risks, of taking out other things that you care about. And of course you use up your destruction charges. I don't usually have lots of spare staves of destruction lying around in case my current one blows up, and I save all my scrolls for the last fight.

I think it's pretty clear that we have pretty much opposite opinions on this particular enemy. As for hounds in general, IMO they make an interesting challenge. Sure they don't drop anything, but again, they're there to make getting to the more lucrative parts of the dungeon more difficult. And how are they overpowered? An individual hound is weak; it's only in groups that they pose a significant threat. So find a way to isolate them from their packs before trying to fight them.
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Old September 21, 2012, 15:21   #26
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I think it's pretty clear that we have pretty much opposite opinions on this particular enemy. As for hounds in general, IMO they make an interesting challenge. Sure they don't drop anything, but again, they're there to make getting to the more lucrative parts of the dungeon more difficult.
Only true if they were actually guarding those lucrative parts of the dungeon. Since monsters are placed randomly, they're often just guarding nothing and serve as a roadblock to basic exploration.

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And how are they overpowered?
Descend stairs into dark room filled with hounds, die after your first move. This happens to me at least once a game (edit: not the dying part, most of the time it's a weaker form of hound that doesn't outright kill me). I guess I could play connected stairs and scum floors until I land in a corridor with walls surrounding me, but that's not fun at all.

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An individual hound is weak; it's only in groups that they pose a significant threat. So find a way to isolate them from their packs before trying to fight them.
Sure, you can do this. And maybe it's even interesting if you're trying to get to that item you see lying on the floor. But it'd still be interesting and challenging if there were 5 hounds or 10. There doesn't need to be 24 (average number for pack size). Then it's just boring. I'd rather leave and find another floor where the hounds aren't there.

I've already essentially decided what I want to do with hounds and pack animals in general. The only question is whether the changes stay on my personal branch/variant or get pulled into v4.

Last edited by fizzix; September 21, 2012 at 16:27.
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Old September 21, 2012, 15:40   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I've already essentially decided what I want to do with hounds and pack animals in general. The only question is whether the changes stay on my personal branch/variant or get pulled into v4.
I'd support smaller packs in v4 - this could be offset by having slightly more monsters generated, to ensure that levels don't feel empty. There's room for a lot of other experimentation in v4 too - I particularly like your specified-escorts idea (enchantresses with dragons, rangers with dogs etc.). Much more like the monster ecosystems found in S/Un/etc.
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