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How difficult are overworld mobs expected to be?

One trend in modern MMOs that I'm really not a fan of is overworld mobs being incredibly underpowered. In most games today, you can just run right through any number of mobs as you're traveling without any worries, or if you do want to fight, you can singlehandedly stack up every mob in the area and blow them all to smithereens at once with powerful AoEs. I miss the days when you actually had to carefully work your way past mobs or where some areas simply required a group to travel through at all. What is the plan for regular mob difficulty in Ashes of Creation? Are we going to be like gods next to them, or will we have to actually acknowledge their existence?

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    VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    How would you specifically like to see mob difficulty be in the open world? Are there mobs you'd like to group up and AoE down, or are you wanting difficulty akin to recently major title game releases?
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    ShoelidShoelid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I agree. Lost Ark and New World didn't hold my attention because nothing was a challenge in the first 10 hours of gameplay. My immersion drops hard once I realize that I can just run though everything. This is why the Daze mechanic in WoW is a good thing. It causes people to pay attention to the monsters they run past.

    Alpha 1 was somewhere between Classic WoW and Modern WoW. Alpha 1 had zero balance in mind, but I think it was clear enough that they didn't want something piss easy. A lot of the people in Intrepid come from older games, so they'll probably have older philosophies when it comes to something like this.
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    Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Vaknar wrote: »
    How would you specifically like to see mob difficulty be in the open world? Are there mobs you'd like to group up and AoE down, or are you wanting difficulty akin to recently major title game releases?

    Gimme that akin to major title release
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    Vaknar wrote: »
    How would you specifically like to see mob difficulty be in the open world? Are there mobs you'd like to group up and AoE down, or are you wanting difficulty akin to recently major title game releases?
    I would like mob difficulty to be designed so that an average player cannot win against more than 2-3 mobs of same level, 4-5 maximum if they are very very skilled and have some better gear for their respective level.

    As far as elite mobs are concerned, only skilled players can solo them. Provided the mob is of same level as the player.

    Reasons:
    - This would make roaming around more of an active gameplay then engaging autorun and doing something on the side.
    - I would play rogue. So this makes going around mobs undetected exciting, knowing that a screw-up would be costly time-wise. Similarly, this would make players of any class stick to their classes strengths to achieve the desired output.
    - Even as a group it wouldn't be viable to just collect every mob in the area and kill them at once because resources on the tank and healer (provided the group has both) would be limited while leveling.
    - Give the mobs various passive movement related annoying abilities which have a 25% chance of being applied when attacking someone and 10% chance of it leading to dismounting. For example: Earth elementals would have stun, Water elementals would have slow, Fire elementals would have fear, Lightning elementals can cause paralysis and Wind elementals can pull their targets towards themselves. Not only for elementals but other types of mobs too. Like beasts can cause bleeding effects thereby reducing the movement speed of the mount/player. The numbers are arbitrarily chosen.
    - The purpose of having these abilities is to make it so players cant just run with the mobs attacking them and sometimes they get dismounted and have to then clear an area before they can move on.
    "Suffer in silence"
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    I would like areas in world that are known to be extremely difficult (next to impossible without a large group and careful planning) to defeat the mobs, but can be navigated passed safely if done carefully/stealthily.

    Somewhere where gatherers only have the option to stealthily gather to avoid interactions, knowing that any PvP that starts in the area may draw attention from a mob that would be able to take out both parties.
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    Since Steven has lineage 2 as one of his inspirations I'm sure we will see all sorts of mobs mechanics and diversity. There might also be areas with progressively harder mobs as you go deeper. Also since the game is focused around groups there will be lots of areas that require group farming.
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    clone63clone63 Member
    edited March 2022
    I'd like to some mobs be represented in somewhat equal ability to player's. A generic bad guy of the same level should be challenge in that if you just club/shoot each other without any moves/buffs, you'd basically be evenly matched. Of course I'm a conscious human player, and most AI are undead, animals, monsters etc so they should have a very predictable or autonomous combat structure and thus not tooo hard to beat. Perhaps humanoid AI's could be a little more varied in skill set, or at least more likely to behave troublesome-ly: Go for help right away, use an item... maybe something effective against your class, if they're able..
    Thus attacking 2 of the same mob should be doable if you can get the jump on them, or if you should happen to slam into them unprepared, you might need a consumable/potion/big CD move... 3-4 would take some serious work, or a friend. 5+ should be a group deal.
    This makes the numbers feel more logical... fighting slightly lower level mobs, sounding and being the 'safer' thing to do, that kinda makes sense if you're trying not to be killed.. I'm not going to "farm leather" by risking my life fighting something nearly as strong as me for each piece.
    It always seemed weird when you could take on tons of mobs at your own level easily .. so they're 43 and I'm 43...?? guess.. not?
    And conversely, if you're feeling saucy in your sunday best expensive gear and potioned up, you could take on something that otherwise would be stronger than you.
    That all being said, not all enemies should be the same difficulty for every class. You'd actually feel some distinction and encourage community if you need to get help from other players sometimes, or at least have to take on some expense in certain items or diversy yourself.. or be a more effective force against some things - so you might actually see like.. more hunters fighting things in the woods, or clerics at gravesites .. or whatever.
    An air elemental might hard to defeat for a melee/non-magic user since they're mostly just weapon attacks.
    A bard might have a really tough go against mechanizatoins or golems or something that don't hear music.

    What I'm really getting is.. challenging with some diversity
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    make certain areas have hella difficult units that are near impossible to deal with solo
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    XenraXenra Member
    Seems like many will want challenging creatures to face yet there comes to a point of risk/reward if one class is vastly disadvantaged over being ambushed or juggling opportunistic/cowardly pvpers then it could de-incentivize types of gameplay pursuits. Maybe even say if like a ranger or summoner are to squishy if a rogue or warrior jumps them as they are fighting these moderately challenging outdoor mobs it could further skew class representation or demotivate players. If someone doesn't feel like their time is rewarding (getting resources taken from them/overall play to tedious to partake) then I would be worried about nodes becoming stagnant or just server numbers dwindling. Thats not to say mobs should be a push over but to an extent if everything is a threat then I can see many feeling to weak or not enjoying their experience. People like feeling strong, and I think people like to have a possible fighting chance if a pvp junky tries to ambush them in the field.
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    CawwCaww Member
    I need a Level 1 zone to massage my ego, please don't rob me of my self-esteem...
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    Xenra wrote: »
    Seems like many will want challenging creatures to face yet there comes to a point of risk/reward if one class is vastly disadvantaged over being ambushed or juggling opportunistic/cowardly pvpers then it could de-incentivize types of gameplay pursuits. Maybe even say if like a ranger or summoner are to squishy if a rogue or warrior jumps them as they are fighting these moderately challenging outdoor mobs it could further skew class representation or demotivate players. If someone doesn't feel like their time is rewarding (getting resources taken from them/overall play to tedious to partake) then I would be worried about nodes becoming stagnant or just server numbers dwindling. Thats not to say mobs should be a push over but to an extent if everything is a threat then I can see many feeling to weak or not enjoying their experience. People like feeling strong, and I think people like to have a possible fighting chance if a pvp junky tries to ambush them in the field.

    This is a good point. I think the best balance is to not make every overworld area so difficult that it's practically impossible to traverse solo, but to have a good mix. There should be areas where the mobs are very tough and very hard to avoid, but also areas where they're tough but spread out, and also areas where they're not all that tough, etc.

    So for instance, if there are important resources that someone wants to gather, maybe some of those can be found in the areas where mobs aren't too tough, and then some can also be found in the areas where the mobs are very tough and hard to avoid. A player could then go to the easier area, but they're probably less likely to find resources that haven't already been exhausted and more likely to find enemies trying to PvP them, but then they have the alternative of working slowly through tough mobs, but the resources probably won't be exhausted and enemy PvPers would have to work through those mobs to attack the player, as well.
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    ShoelidShoelid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Vaknar wrote: »
    How would you specifically like to see mob difficulty be in the open world? Are there mobs you'd like to group up and AoE down, or are you wanting difficulty akin to recently major title game releases?

    I really enjoyed leveling in Classic WoW because of the difficulty. That's not to say it was particularly hard. I would say it was just difficult enough that you can't just roll through everything. Difficult enough that I didn't get bored, but easy enough that it wasn't tiring. There was a sort of minigame around managing resources like CDs and mana. That minigame meant that you could smash through most monsters you find, but you're incentivized to be frugal. At least near the later levels, the difficulty was optional.

    In early levels, you're equal to maybe 2 monsters, but you only have a couple abilities to use. As a result, a new player has to pay attention, but doesn't have much of an opportunity to mess up. It's not hard, but you have to pay a little bit of attention.

    To me, that's really important. The game should set the expectation early that you have to pay attention. The moment a more advanced player realizes that they don't have to try hard to succeed is the moment they stop caring.

    Some people want to AoE groups of mobs, and some people want to fight a few big dudes. I want to fight lots of medium dudes 1v1. I think all of these things can exist in the same game.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    On a scale of BDO (gather them up and mow them down) to FFXI (not understanding your at-level single enemy is almost surely death on a non-soloer job) I'd normally hope for a middle ground where the mobs are in small clusters and you have to deal with that part, as part of the tactics. This would also allow for making areas that are easier simply by having the enemies be much more solitary in those spots, and give the feeling of 'this other area is dangerous because the enemies work together'.

    Basically, what we already saw in Alpha-1 and other signs of the game's design direction, is good, to me. What I'm concerned about is the lack of actual tactical decision-making once players can group up, since the enemies don't have anything like the 'Tactical Points' from the FFXI side. The rate of their special attacks and abilities therefore doesn't currently 'respond' to player actions, and even if it did so based on how many players were engaged with it or on its 'hate list', it would still lack a lot of the nuance of that.

    I'm not sure Ashes NEEDS that system, but without it, I feel I'd have to ask for enemies to be even harder than they are now, because otherwise they'll do patterned things that a group or strong soloer can work around easily, and it'd eventually lose my interest and I'd find myself drifting back to FF since I'd no longer be experiencing the level of engagement from there without a drastic increase in the amount of PvP I would probably be participating in.

    By contrast, grouping up enemies to AoE them down feels like it leads to bad design spaces, and in BDO I'm not really enjoying the battle, the entire thing is moreso 'how can I repeat this sequence of actions perfectly every 2-4 minutes'. Even against their bosses, the same thing happens, which is where my perception of 'this is what happens when the game has no TP' comes from.

    Really great AI would also be a solution to this which would probably make either groups or singles good, but really great AI is 'expensive' compared to TP-gauge (or equivalent) based AI, in my experience.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I have long advocated for a random 30% of the monsters to have no leash. Make people think about what they are doing vs mindlessly running around.
    I don't think any elite mob should ever be soloable unless you are 10+ levels above it. This is supposed to be an MMO and group play should be the focus.

    Areas that are soloable should also be a thing but the main focus should be group play, even half a normal party of 8 should be encouraged vs solo.

    Something else older game had that has been lost to time is the zone boss roaming around that requires a full max level group to kill. Think Fel Reaver but with a larger roaming area. I heard this was a thing in EQ with a dragon. EQ also had a Ranger boss that protected the animals in a zone. If you left that animals alone she left you alone. Then there were quests to kill the animals making her mad at you and she would hunt you down.

    Having enemies that are smart enough to LOS the player behind a tree or wall. Having enemies that use interrupts and stuns when they see a really long cast. Maybe have them call for help. Nothing worse then killing a mob and their friend is ten feet away and watches it happen waiting their turn.
    Having they mobs use a little bit of tactics forcing the players to consider and be engaged in what they are doing. If I can watch a podcast/Netflix/Hulu while playing means the complete lack of engagement on my part and the game is weak. I should need to pay attention vs raiding and watching the other screen at the same time.

    Far to many games out in the last few years are more of an interactive movie with almost no interaction on the players part. Make this stuff a challenge like the old days. If I want to watch a movie I'll go do that instead of playing a you can almost choose your own adventure game that requires zero brain activity.
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
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    Personally I don’t mind overland mobs becoming trash mobs for solo players at a point, but fresh out the gate players should be forced to use their class effectively to progress in the game’s overland content.

    A lvl50 Divinely geared warrior that’s beaten every dungeon on the hardest difficulty possible should be able to smash a pack of low level mobs near town, and should be able to defeat a high level areas of enemies out in the wilds with effort by themselves given enough time.

    What I never want to see is a lvl10 venturing into the deep forest and not being smacked upside the head by the lvl25 enemies in it.

    The overland solo content has to be difficult enough to:
    1) push players into grouping and helping each other
    2) make players feel like leveling and gear is important
    3) make players learn the classes they’re playing

    A good overland leads to good group experiences because everyone will have had to learn how to play during the questing and exploring process.
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    Vaknar wrote: »
    How would you specifically like to see mob difficulty be in the open world? Are there mobs you'd like to group up and AoE down, or are you wanting difficulty akin to recently major title game releases?

    There should just be mob variety to such a degree that there will be mobs more suitable for AOE and others that will be more favourable for a single-target/cleave focus.

    I think that for a suitably powered/geared character for a certain area i.e. i am a lv 10 wearing levelling gear in a level 10 zone, I want to have a fair time vs a single average enemy, two I could manage but might need to put in a bit more skill, and 3+ will require proper planning, positioning and gameplay.

    There could be weaker mobs that come in clusters which are more AoE-vulnerable i.e. low armour, lower health pulls but perhaps still high damage proportionally, glass cannons.

    --

    Like others have said, add some actual weight to elite mobs or high density mob areas where it's encouraged to group up to challenge the content.

    To give a game comparison, classic WoW - pulling additional open world mobs could be life and death. Retail WoW, you can usually just group up a bunch of mobs and aoe them down or even combo single mobs down with ease. I think there should be a middle ground here like the above example where it's not as slow as classic WoW levelling, but it should still be challenging without *mandating* the majority of encounters be more inclined to groups.

    I don't think all of levelling should be designed for groups - but that each area should have areas that favour groups, and some that, not necessarily don't favour groups, but are designed to be solo-able.
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    I have long advocated for a random 30% of the monsters to have no leash. Make people think about what they are doing vs mindlessly running around.
    I don't think any elite mob should ever be soloable unless you are 10+ levels above it. This is supposed to be an MMO and group play should be the focus.

    Areas that are soloable should also be a thing but the main focus should be group play, even half a normal party of 8 should be encouraged vs solo.

    Something else older game had that has been lost to time is the zone boss roaming around that requires a full max level group to kill. Think Fel Reaver but with a larger roaming area. I heard this was a thing in EQ with a dragon. EQ also had a Ranger boss that protected the animals in a zone. If you left that animals alone she left you alone. Then there were quests to kill the animals making her mad at you and she would hunt you down.

    Having enemies that are smart enough to LOS the player behind a tree or wall. Having enemies that use interrupts and stuns when they see a really long cast. Maybe have them call for help. Nothing worse then killing a mob and their friend is ten feet away and watches it happen waiting their turn.
    Having they mobs use a little bit of tactics forcing the players to consider and be engaged in what they are doing. If I can watch a podcast/Netflix/Hulu while playing means the complete lack of engagement on my part and the game is weak. I should need to pay attention vs raiding and watching the other screen at the same time.

    Far to many games out in the last few years are more of an interactive movie with almost no interaction on the players part. Make this stuff a challenge like the old days. If I want to watch a movie I'll go do that instead of playing a you can almost choose your own adventure game that requires zero brain activity.

    I relate to this strongly. In WoW It always felt really boring to level and to PvE in general because I could do it while watching a movie on my second screen. It didn't offer a challenge. It didn't offer any reason for me to pay attention. It didn't offer any reason for me to play with other people. The only parts of the game where this changed were some very specific parts of dungeons and raids. Emphasis on the word "parts". The rest of the dungeon was just fodder waiting to be pulled and destroyed by a group of people who were watching movies on their second screen.

    And like OP mentioned - nothing is so bad as attacking an NPC and having other NPCs in close proximity have absolutely zero reaction to this.
    Even level 1 boars should have reactions. Some groups of boars could gang up and try to stampede you which if it hits you would do a lot of damage and stun you. Other groups of boars would just start running away from you and migrate to a different place thus making that place more densely populated with boars, bolstering their confidence to fight because of their huge pack and increasing the chance they'll decide to stampede you and fight you as a group rather than runnning away thus creating a need for a group to come and farm that. That would also be preventable if players ran around in groups because then players could decide to attack all the boars at once, each player focusing on his own boar thus not letting them run away and regroup into something that even a full group would experience hardship in handling or not letting them group up and stampede you as a single player.
    There has to be elements in the game that make you have to think before engaging a NPC. Is it a humanoid? If so then it might be able to scream and call for many others in a far away distance to come to it's aid or reinforce the location. Then it'd be wise to let the assassin take care of the front door guards. If you don't have an assassin then it would be wise to be able to burst those guards fast before they can scream and the gate gets locked. If you don't manage to do that then you'll have to knock down the gate and deal with a big number of densely grouped up mobs waiting for you on the other side. If you fucked up and you can't deal with that then you should split your group in teams of two and search for other areas from which to enter simultaniously in order to split the enemy. Is it an animal? Ok are there other animals of it's type close it? It's alone? Great! This is a great opportunity to attack a lone straggler.

    Yes this whole thing will make farming slow but honestly I don't think anyone enjoys farming as a whole. it's again one of those processes you do while watching a movie on your second screen.
    Smart AI, variety in playout of PvE combat and challenging NPCs would truly make it so you'd need to be part of a group and farming would actually be an act worthy of mentioning and honoring. Because lets face it it's not very interesting if your node got leveled by 5 or 10 guys who spent 1 week watching movies and as a side-task farmed mobs. It's very interesting if your node got leveled by 5, 10 or more groups of players who put effort into hunting down animals, destroying humanoid outposts and quarries in order to mine and steal their resources.
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