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Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat #352743
02/06/08 04:09 PM
02/06/08 04:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 6
Point Offline OP
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Point  Offline OP
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In DD we comonly had our relatively-low vitality hero with a virtually infinite supply of healing potions take it on ultra-high vitality bosses who have never heard of healing potions in a world where they're abundant.

Why the unequal tratment of PC vs NPC? From a player's IC point of view it's strange that enemy mages (even though Black ring members or whatever) sport thirty+ times your warrior's max level health. And that they've aparently never heard of healing spells/ health potions. We get to see this in many RPG games: low HP, high attack, healing vs high HP, lower attack, unlimited mana. We mostly ignore this because we know the purpose it serves, but its not very realistic (if I may apply that term to a fantasy game). The high HP type of boss would make for an excellent dragon... but a mage?

It is all meant to make the battles more balanced and entertaining. On the one hand boss battles need to be long to be fun as defeating your archnemessis in 1,7 seconds is NOT fulfilling. On the other hand regular mobs need to be dealt with quickly to demonstrate the but-kickin' awesomeness of our character, but the player shouldn't be able to completely ignore them either. Hence the DD's system: mobs have low stats (though not necessarily HP; we don't want them to look weak, do we?) and no healing potions (so that they can be dealt with quickly). Bosses have high HP (high HP=longer combat + they accentuate the mighty appearance and all) and no healing potions (if they had unlimited healing like the player, fighting them would be pointless). The players HP is relatively low because boss-like HP would make them ignore regular mobs like flies and drain the last drop of interest from fighting even large armies of them. And boss fights wouldn't be much more interesting.

From the developers' point of view giving bosses lower health (even if the rest of the stats like atk, def, weapons and armor are a bit better than the player's ) and a few health potions is a bad idea. First of all it allows the bosses to be slain in a few blows (just like they can currently slay us in a few blows) because the AI misjudged when it needed to take another potion. This also makes it hard for the game to guess when a bad guy who "has to" live through the encounter needs to flee. Furthermore the player would normally know that he or she won the battle simply for having a larger potion stock, eliminating any sense of accomplishment. Increasing the player's HP similarly seems bad because currently the main challenge of combat is pressing the "drink potion" button quickly enough not to be killed by incoming attacks, all the while managing to attack yourself and not wasting to many of your potions.

The above isn't to say, though, that normal-health bosses couldn't work out. There are all sorts of tricks they could use to stay alive longer, health potions being just a complementary one. They could teleport around the battleground, become invisible, cloak themself (cannot be auto-targeted in a mob-filled area...), use mirror images or shadow doubles... Or MAYBE (if we do need the old battle format) they would just have an incredibley strong forcefield kept up by the numerous strategically placed crystals in the room (or by their demon familiars?). Then they would flee after you've broken enough of the crystals. (If a player with the right intell would sneak in and sabotage the crystals on the night before the mage's return... then he'd have done the risky work before the battle already. And the dark citadell should be able function with one general less anyway.)

I believe that after limiting the (high-level human) boss HP, frequent potion gulping durring battles could then be limited, too. If drinking a potion would take time and be interruptable, then taking on entire armies of evil by yourself in one go would finally become a bad idea. Further, the players would need to rely on the same kind of tricks as the bosses if they are to survive against them. More interesting then drinking potions, that's for sure. There are also other fun combat elements. In dealing with mobs one needs to prioritize which enemies to take out first. Dodging arrows is also fun, if not realistic. And then there are the "hide,run,slow and blast" type tactics and guessing which ability to use against which oponent. Boss fights would also demand more of this ability swaping if the boss would change their attack and defense element every once in a while to fare better against the player's resistances and attacks.

Your thoughts?

Re: Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat [Re: Point] #352745
02/06/08 04:20 PM
02/06/08 04:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 5,124
Where time stands still
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Ubereil Offline
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Where time stands still
 Originally Posted By: Point
It is all meant to make the battles more balanced and entertaining. On the one hand boss battles need to be long to be fun as defeating your archnemessis in 1,7 seconds is NOT fulfilling.


Well, I did that in DD with my mage... \:D

‹bereil


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Re: Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat [Re: Ubereil] #352753
02/06/08 07:10 PM
02/06/08 07:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,541
London, England
Elliot_Kane Offline
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Long boss battles are good, but then the boss battles in DD were pretty long, IMO. A low HP boss with better use of health potions sounds great in theory, I agree, but there's always going to be some sneaky player who works out how to take them down very fast. There's also one other problem - a boss that is healing cannot also be attacking at the same time, so that the boss battle may be longer but in many ways it becomes less dangerous. I can't think of that as a good thing.

To me, boss battles can be long or medium length, but the real defining quality is that they should be dangerous. The mark of a good boss battle is how many times you die before getting it right. 4-5 times is a good battle, IMO!

A long fight in and of itself has no merit, to me.

Welcome to the forum, BTW \:\)


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Re: Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat [Re: Ubereil] #352756
02/06/08 08:14 PM
02/06/08 08:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 864
Belgium
isorun Offline
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isorun  Offline
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Belgium
What about limiting the amount of potions we can use in a certain time span?
The Witcher uses an Intoxication system, drinking potions raises the Intoxication level. Stronger potions have a higher Intoxication level. This would limit the amount of potions one could use during a battle.

Spellcasting Bosses could have healing spells, but those would have to have either a high mana cost, so they can't cast it repeatedly or a long casting time, so the PC can try to interupt the spell.(the mana cost/casting time would also have effect on the PC's own healing spells, so the player can't heal himself continously either)

 Quote:
From the developers' point of view giving bosses lower health (even if the rest of the stats like atk, def, weapons and armor are a bit better than the player's ) and a few health potions is a bad idea. First of all it allows the bosses to be slain in a few blows (just like they can currently slay us in a few blows) because the AI misjudged when it needed to take another potion.


Improving the AI seems the only option here. It would be fun to fight an enemy who actually uses health potions, as long as he can't use them indefinetly ofcours.


Re: Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat [Re: isorun] #352759
03/06/08 12:05 AM
03/06/08 12:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 112
Belgium
lepel Offline
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lepel  Offline
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Belgium
I liked the way it was done in Guild wars, although it needs to be tweaked for single player usage.
In guild wars you had no potions. Every class had some kind of healing spell. (vampiric attack, just a normal healing spell, an enchantment spell that healed you based on the mana used, hex spells that heal you by succesfully casting them on an opponent, ...)
There are so many options for that.
Normally there was no HP recovery but if you avoided combat for a while you would slowly build up HP recovery that heals you faster and faster every few seconds untill you reach full health.
There were also vampiric weapons that slowly drained health but you regained health with every succesfull hit.

Simply put, I don't like potions very much.


There is no spoon !
Re: Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat [Re: lepel] #352765
03/06/08 02:10 PM
03/06/08 02:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 114
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SirChronos Offline
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SirChronos  Offline
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Well, in an MMORPG I've played, they gave weaker bosses a high level heal which no player had. It made them harder to kill since you needed to outdamage the heals. They were also given the ability to teleport under certain circumstances, meaning newer, riskier techniques were required to kill them. I don't really agree with the teleporting idea, since it's annoying having to search for a boss all over again. A healing spell really didn't turn things around. It simply made it harder for less skilled players.

I would suggest what has already been said, some sort of cloaking skill would be nice. Perhaps more ranged bosses, or some damaging skills they can use. Attacks with status effects are a pain too ;P

In DD I felt that the amount of boss HP was rather too much...I would suggest a sort of timer on potions, since spamming potions just means you can take on anything which doesn't killed you in one or two hits (depending on attack speed). The delay would also apply to bosses. I would put a limit on which potions they have though. I think restoring a boss to full HP instantly is sort of ridiculous. Then again, it could be a sacrifice skill used by slaves. You'd simply have to stop the boss summoning his slaves or destroy whatever is creating them.

Last edited by SirChronos; 03/06/08 02:13 PM.
Re: Potions, Enemy Balancing and Common Combat [Re: SirChronos] #352770
03/06/08 04:22 PM
03/06/08 04:22 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 24
Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Tottel Offline
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Tottel  Offline
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Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
 Originally Posted By: SirChronos
Well, in an MMORPG I've played, they gave weaker bosses a high level heal which no player had. It made them harder to kill since you needed to outdamage the heals. They were also given the ability to teleport under certain circumstances, meaning newer, riskier techniques were required to kill them. I don't really agree with the teleporting idea, since it's annoying having to search for a boss all over again. A healing spell really didn't turn things around. It simply made it harder for less skilled players.

...

In DD I felt that the amount of boss HP was rather too much...I would suggest a sort of timer on potions, since spamming potions just means you can take on anything which doesn't killed you in one or two hits (depending on attack speed).

...


I agree.. I don't really like the idea either of a boss teleporting himself constantly.
As for the potions, and healing.. give the boss an inventory and mana.. does he run out of potions? ok no more potions for him.. does he run out of mana.. no more healing spells.. simple \:\)


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