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📝Dev Discussion #57 - Respawn Times 👹

RoshenRoshen Moderator, Member, Staff
edited December 2023 in General Discussion

Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion - Respawn Times

How predictable do you like the spawn rate for general and rare mobs in open-world, dungeons, and raid settings?

Which games do you feel have done this well, and what did you feel was good about respawn times for mobs?


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    edited October 2023
    General mobs should have timers depending on their difficulty. The easier it is to kill the mobs, the faster it should respawn. Easiest mobs would most likely be solo content and solo content should support as many people as you want for proper balancing.

    Hardcore/party mobs should have a longer respawn, because they should spend most of the group's resources (mana/hp/buffs).

    Rare mobs should be ~12h imo. Bosses should be at 24+-1h. Rare/epic bosses at a variety of respawns from 2days up to 2 weeks.

    Don't care for differences between open world and dungeons, cause those should usually be separated by difficulty and I already expressed my preferences there.

    As for other games that I liked respawns in - L2 :)
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    LashingLashing Member
    edited October 2023
    Depends on the expected time to kill and how many players a mob is intended to reward. A solo or duo tier mob should have a respawn time to reflect 1 or 2 people killing mobs so they will have only a short downtime. This would discourage a large group from mass killing solo mobs. They would be waiting around longer than actually farming mobs and it would be less efficient. I disagree with the concept that easy=faster respawn due to the gameplay it creates. The game should be encouraging people to group up and do harder content. Easy mobs mass respawning is directly opposed to that. Personally I am totally fine with a farming spot meant for solo players only being able to sustain 3 or 4 people continuously killing mobs. You should encourage people to group up by making solo play inefficient. You should always want to move up to more efficient content

    If they keep having to stop for respawns it means they are more likely to move on to other group focused content instead

    Use this scaling all the way up. Larger time to kill = higher exp gains assuming correct party size. A mob should have a cap on total exp it can reward based on expected player count meant to kill it as well to discourage people forming mass groups. So if 40 people kill a mob meant for 1 person they receive 1/40th the exp and loot for 1 person.

    This way you can balance respawn times to always feel like you are not waiting around forever but will discourage people doing content too easy for them due to efficiency.

    As for rare mobs it should be random on both location and on time. I do not really like situations were you camp a very specific spot and you always know an exact respawn time. Dungeon bosses could use objectives scattered in the dungeon to "unlock" a spawn. Objectives could be randomly placed to spread out parties and encourage exploration as they trigger a spawn event. Combine that with some random location and time based spawns and you could fill out a dungeon nicely with normal mobs being able to drop some of the boss loot so they never feel like you wasted your time going in.

    Could go with dynamic quest objectives instead of massively increasing respawn rates. If players have a quest to clear out a cave of spiders but a lot of people are clearing out spiders. Reduce the kill amount needed to 5 instead of 20. This is also a more logical outcome of that type of quest.

    Ideas for if land management score is highly important:
    For general animal mobs in the open world I like the idea that the more you kill the lower the land management score causing the animals to respawn slower. However they respawn stronger and higher level. (Survival of the fittest kicking in). This means eventually those bears you were farming are mini raid bosses with amazing loot. However every time you kill one you tank the land score more. Meaning people will try to stop you. Mayors could implement policy to lower the level of the bears to discourage poaching. Eventually it could culminate into a raid boss level bear that have amazing potential for short term reward. However it would be significantly more damaging to the land score in the long term. People in the area would want to fight off people from other areas to prevent them from poaching that final bear until the land score recovers. There would be a ton of social consequences in this push and pull dynamic for respawns and land score.
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    edited October 2023
    I think it should depend on the specific mob. If it's a boss or a high level enemy, it should take longer for them to respawn. Regular bosses, maybe once every 20-30 minutes or so like ESO. Elite bosses, maybe once every 3h etc like GW2.

    Regular low levels mobs could have.a respawn time of a few minutes.
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    Gaul_Gaul_ Member
    edited October 2023

    Intrepid should embrace the predicate system for events in order to create unpredictable timers for super rare mobs.

    For example, a white stag that appears in the Riverlands once in a 48-72 hour window. Before it spawns, it checks to make sure the nearest node is village or lower. If not, then the stag does not spawn and the respawn timer is reset to the next 48-72 hour window. If you gave this creature 10 different spawn locations out of line of sight of each other, then you have now created a very rare mob.

    Do not underestimate the willingness of players to reverse engineer spawn locations, timers, and predicates in order to determine exactly how a rare spawn functions. If a rare is valuable then groups of players will camp long hours for weeks to determine the pattern.

    Reducing the available time for a rare is a good option as well. Some rares in WoW, for example, are available for less than 15 minutes (or even 5 minutes).

    By providing long timers with large spawn windows, many spawn locations, and adding more opaque conditions like predicates from the event system, Intrepid has an opportunity to keep rares rare.

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    While i agree with general take of - The harder to kill the longer the respawn time, I think there should be a way to increase the spawn rates if the players in the area Will it, with items from professions or some kind of permit from owner of the surrounding node. {Does not always need to be the case.}

    It is different to fight over a spot, then to afk/wait for themobs to spawn.
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    I like an unpredictable schedule for spawning. It keeps thing from becoming repetitive. That said, the rarer/elite the mob, the more unpredictable spawning should be. Basic mobs should only have a small window of variability. Bosses should have a larger window of spawning variability. It would be cool if roaming world bosses (Tumok), had different locations they spawned in. Same goes for rare mobs. I really like Gaul’s suggestion on rare mobs.
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    I think respawn time should take in consideration if the mobs are located in a area that meant to transitional or static for the players.

    If we're in an in-between area (corridor, hallway, balcony, narrow mountain path, ...) the respawns should be slow enough that a group heading for a more static location has time to proceed from one encounter to the next without worrying too much about respawns on their back. Patrols and roamers are different thing though.

    At an open area or static farming location, respawn should be fast enough to keep a group occupied and on their toes. Ideally there should be a "safe spot" so players can go afk, this could be either a permanent safe spot or one where the respawn is longer and time to clear short.

    As for rare spawns. No clue hehe, never been a big draw for me.

    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
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    FantmxFantmx Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I have two main points.

    1) Spawners should be set to fluctuate based on player density and rarity. I shouldn't be overwhelmed or underwhelmed.

    2) Don't be one of those games that makes quest mobs incredibly hard to find and rare to spawn.

    As a third point, the land management system is still a thing right? This question I assume wouldn't apply here? Because that could change answers quite a lot.
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    SongcallerSongcaller Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 2023
    The respawn rate in a1 was ridiculously fast for some mobs. Needs to be toned down somewhat. Other than that, fast respawns for horde modes, slow respawns for rare bosses, fast respawn for quest mobs and timed respawns for world bosses/raid bosses.
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    LeukaelLeukael Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 2023
    The way I see respawn is all monsters should have a baseline for respawn with a static bonus or penalty based on the two following factors;
    1.) The difficulty/avg. level of the monsters in the area should impact respawn timer and
    2.) individually any monsters out of step with the average could have their timer shortened or lengthened (so grunts respawn a little faster and bosses and specials/commanders a little slower.) This would be more static and predictable (ex. "grunts have respawned the elites/bosses will be spawning soon.")

    Next, I would like modifiers that create a more random but also logical and "living" or responsive element. Think of the following as modifiers that are rolled bonuses or penalties where the above is more static bonuses/penalties.

    Activity in the Immediate Area
    If there was a full or majority clear the respawn timer is slowed down a bit. If there is only a small or partial clear the timer would be faster. This is more based in the dungeon, camp, or very local area. (ex. replenishing the ranks is faster when there are fewer to replace)

    Activity in the Node
    If this node has a lot of activity then the environment should reflect this and have timers shortened. It also logically supports the meeting of demand aspect of the player base and the why people congregate there. (ex. If these creatures couldn't keep up with the activity in the node they wouldn't be here!)

    Event/Rare Spawn in the Node
    Rare spawns (think champion of a monster type) could impact respawn timers as well to shorten or lengthen based on context (ex. is it a champion of the monster type rallying to their cause to hasten respawns and does it slow down respawns of their enemies which they are laying waste to?) Rares or other unique creatures I believe you already probably have a system for but I would say you could exaggerate all of the prior outlined modifiers to respawn to create less predictability (hence why they are rare is because they are less predictable and often spawning.)

    Those are my initial thoughts. I like for the respawn timers to be somewhat predictable in terms of general timeframe to respawn, but that there is some variance in exactly when that is informed by logical and observable elements in the environment. It follows the theme of nodes and their responsiveness too. So it will help bring the nodes to life while creating something somewhat intuitive but still random.

    The above ideas don't speak to respawn times and only to how they are modified. The respawn base time should be set by the answer to "how long does it take for who you intend to clear it to take plus a little time for the human element?" That is what the base time for respawn should be.

    Hope this is clear enough. If anyone has any questions on this please feel free to reply and I'll be happy to clarify. Also, would just love to hear thoughts/feedback on the ideas.
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    LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    RNG spawn timers always! in a game with open world pvp we can not have spawns based on timers, it needs to be RNG
    Recrutamento aberto - Nosso Site: Clique aqui
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    prymortalprymortal Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited October 2023
    Farming & Leveling areas need short respawns, especially at & around release of content/s. I'd say no more than 5mins as the levels get up.
    Important thing to keep in mind with farming respawns: If there is nothing to do, there is no reason to play. If its the same thing to grid away at (currency, mobs, top tier only used drop), same deal. That is why we all left other games.

    Rare monsters great question not one that I can give a serious suggestion or answer without knowing Much more on the subject, from drop rate, location, level, night spawn/day spawn, difficulty difference & how many players it Realistically takes to kill (not how many can zerg or get luck due to OP skills).

    So taking Farming, Leveling & rare monsters into account, also since its harder to take player count on tile into account because nodes will not give you a realistic idea of population for the area due to lack of fast travel & flying mounts, you'd be better off looking into specifically: Area differences to decide on adjusting respawn rates. But as for "How Long" once again NEED MORE INFO!

    Boss monsters is easier gotta remember you have peak hours & 24h players not just US in US, EU in EU & OCE in OCE so just like guild PVP events they cant just be in "Peak times" 24h spawn. Thankfully Unreal Engine has a solution for this, Random float in range - 16H to 72H

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    On top of what is already been said, I would add 3-5 almost impossible to kill boses that roam the entire map that respawn only once a week. I am talking Shadow of the Colossus sized bosses that can be climbed on. (Giant, dragon, sea monster) A creature so big it would leave a mark on environment for a week, just so you can create some permanence in the world.
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    VyrilVyril Member
    edited October 2023
    I had started a similar topic on this a little while back.

    Here's a small excerpt. I have fleshed out my stance a bit more through the post, but in general this would be expanded on for FINAL / WORLD bosses.
    If dungeons are designed well, you should have at least 4 floors to a dungeon. T1, T2, T3 and T4.

    T1: ~30 - 60 min
    T2: ~60 - 2hrs
    T3: ~2 - 6 hrs
    T4: ~6 - 12 hrs

    On top of that you can have multiple wings to each floor, with different spawn rates and difficulties.

    I think most people are pigeon holing a boss to be this EPIC fight, when they can be general challenges with varying degree of difficulties and loot qualities. These fights just take more time to accomplish leading way for other groups to enter the areas.

    Until you hit T4 they can be semi-grindable bosses. T4 is more of a Raid encounter, and not all dungeons would have a T4, and node levels could play a part in that.

    In the end, there just needs to be multiple tiers of bosses and many of them, with corresponding loot quality, boss difficulty, and respawn timers. (Named, Elite, Mini, Mid-Raid, Elite Raid Boss etc)

    I enjoy grinding dungeons / open world content that have those smaller but, required materials. Specifically in smaller groups 5-12 persons.

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    Yenn0war wrote: »
    On top of what is already been said, I would add 3-5 almost impossible to kill boses that roam the entire map that respawn only once a week. I am talking Shadow of the Colossus sized bosses that can be climbed on. (Giant, dragon, sea monster) A creature so big it would leave a mark on environment for a week, just so you can create some permanence in the world.

    I really like having massive, roaming bosses too, but I’m concerned that approaches into “scope creep” territory.
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    SonicXplosionSonicXplosion Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 2023
    Some respawn timer related irks that I'd say I have:
    1. Being able to map out a rotation of X amount of camps so that you can infinitely go from camp 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> 1 and repeat. I think if that ever becomes a valid use of time, then the designers have failed at some stage.
    2. Having respawns too rapid such that some of them are back before you even finish an encounter. This is ok-ish if you are trying to kill something that you really shouldnt be able to, and are veeery slowly chipping away at it (level 15 group trying to kill level 30 mob), but not if its encounters around your level.

    In general, I probably want random-ish respawn timers, with the timers increasing if they are killed shortly after spawning. (similar to the gatherable + land management system)

    For important mobs/bosses, I think it would be ideal if there was some sort of in-game representation to give a 'general' idea of when they might respawn, such as when a tree is fully grown, or when a fire stops burning, etc.
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    LeukaelLeukael Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited October 2023
    Yenn0war wrote: »
    On top of what is already been said, I would add 3-5 almost impossible to kill boses that roam the entire map that respawn only once a week. I am talking Shadow of the Colossus sized bosses that can be climbed on. (Giant, dragon, sea monster) A creature so big it would leave a mark on environment for a week, just so you can create some permanence in the world.

    I like the idea of some sort of impact on the environment but I wonder if it couldn't be atmospheric like a sound, weather element, or maybe even impact on resources? (wildlife critters dying and being subsisted on prompts lower spawn rate, etc.)

    I think from a design perspective permanence would need to be very deliberate as node progression can range widely. So maybe something like a giant that defaces a poi that will stand the test of time (mountain or great tree) would be available to mark their spawning event.
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    Imoxator wrote: »
    Yenn0war wrote: »
    On top of what is already been said, I would add 3-5 almost impossible to kill boses that roam the entire map that respawn only once a week. I am talking Shadow of the Colossus sized bosses that can be climbed on. (Giant, dragon, sea monster) A creature so big it would leave a mark on environment for a week, just so you can create some permanence in the world.

    I really like having massive, roaming bosses too, but I’m concerned that approaches into “scope creep” territory.

    Yeah, just my wishful thinking. Maybe once the game is released and its fully fleshed out.
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    zegopharozegopharo Member, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited October 2023
    Mabinogi had an interesting system for general mobs found in the open world. To start, you would see just enough mobs in an area to suggest that you can find them there. If you start killing them, the server would spawn additional enemies, I think up to triple the density, with a fairly fast respawn rate; fast enough that you could one-shot everything and never run out of targets if alone, though there were much larger areas that could support more. Then once enemies were no longer killed in the area, the server would scale back the density over time. Occasionally, if areas are left alone long enough (some estimates I found were at 4hrs+), an "Ancient" version of a mob could spawn, which had their own drop table but had 10x the stats (and were visually bigger than their normal counterparts). Obviously you weren't likely to find these in popular areas, but you could run into some running between towns or in the outskirts. This kind of dynamic spawning system I don't think is used often enough, as it would help keep server resources to where they're needed most, while still encouraging awareness in your surroundings.

    What we'd get is an open-world mob spawning system that scales to player activity (to a point), and a kind of "rare" mob spawning system that requires some exploration to find but is not so rare as to be like winning the lottery yet is still relatively random, while minimizing resources required by the server for unoccupied areas and by your mob workforce for unique rare enemies. I think it's a good base of a system that can be later tweaked as needed or desired, but only for monsters. If we're talking hunting game, this won't work.

    I expect dungeons to be the most common kind of group content we'll run, so respawns should be tied to the length of time expected to complete the dungeon, maybe about half as much if there is a teleport out at the end. Rare encounters here should be rarer than out in the open world, I feel. Guild Wars 2 has some non-instanced minidungeons I could point to as reference, but I think the respawns take just a bit too long.

    Raids I feel should be very predictable in spawn times. Coordinating between large(r) groups of players is going to take time, and a random raid spawn is not going to give that process any favors. Leave the rarity to the end rewards.
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    FantmxFantmx Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    With some further thought this question really should be broken into several different parts.

    1) Rare mobs - I agree these should obviously be less frequent spawns and more random in timing and location. I think of rare mobs as Named Mobs from games like EQ. Some you might try to camp for and some just pop up after some predicate is is triggered. They should be sought after but not necessary need to be camped. It makes random encounters more fun. I would potentially exclude these from land management unless the parent species they belong to no longer exists.

    2) Boss mobs - These I would say are on their own tier. They are expected and known to be a part of an area and often present after some task is completed. I do not think these should change in location. I also don't think they should be on a timer. I think they should spawn once a predicate has been triggered, independent of player density or time.

    2) Common mobs - Common does not mean worthless. These are your typical animals and NPC in various ruins and dungeons. They still drop valuable items that are used in the world. These I think should spawn as I mentioned above based on player density. They are what make the world feel alive. Land management would start to come into play for animal mobs. I understand that there might be a desire to reduce overall spawns in order to encourage player vs player for spawns. However too low of a population will make the world dead.

    3) Quest mobs - For quests mobs that are essential to a storyline progression then make these spawn when the player has got to the step it is needed. Don't make these hard to find or quit. If we have a difficult quest that is not central to story progression then I could see these being more rare and hard to find. I would promote these being more random in time and location.

    4) Land management - This is a complex topic that I have not really seen enough of to make clear opinions on with regards to respawn rate. I assume this rate would change as animals get killed more or less often.
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    5-10 hours seems sufficient. Rare world bosses maybe once a week.
    Honestly I think it's something you can play around with, depending on server pop and what not.
    Going to short is the only issue, because then it isn't special.
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    My only MMORPG experience is with Original EverQuest, a couple of decades ago, so it is hard for me to say what the proper rates should be.

    But I would prefer it if static camping was not very good, and instead, one might hunt along a route of potential spawns.

    Static Camps would feel better to me if they were more like ambush spots that might pay off big, or not at all.

    I would like to feel more like a Hunter, and less like a Mass Murderer.

    But then, I don't really know what I am talking about.

    Balanz, son of Anz
    Abuser of BBCodes
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    I'm not particular about the respawn time so much as the placement. I think concerning time, those before me brought up good points.

    However, I think we should have to hunt mobs. We could be sitting in the same spot for hours waiting on a particular mob only to realize after a player finished their grinding that the mobs won't respawn ontop of a player...

    Normally. Or maybe they will spawn a distance away randomly and prgress to a settling spot?
    MY Own NIckle Co-operates with an EYE. -Mīonikoī.
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    nonameftwnonameftw Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited October 2023
    Raid Bosses should be predictable.
    Rare mobs should have more than one category imo. There should be mobs with a predictable longer respawn time and others that are really rare with a completely random respawn timer depending on their rarity. Maybe even some rare mobs with randomly increasing spawn timer the more they have been killed overall on the server. To the degree that a spawn timer could grow to multiple years.

    But overall I think it should just take effort/risk not luck for opportunities for rewards. Meaning that manual spawning a mob tied to quests/items should be preferred rather than just completely random luck.

    When it comes to normal mob spawn rates: They should be dynamic. Meaning that a faster a mob gets killed after respawn the lower the respawn timer. This should have a drastic deminishing return effect if it is done by the same player but none when it is done by a different player.
    “Imagination is the only weapon in the war with reality.”
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    akabearakabear Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited October 2023
    How predictable do you like the spawn rate for general and rare mobs in open-world, dungeons, and raid settings?
    • Spawn rates should be variable regardless of general or rare.
    • Mobs that service the needs to players within close proximity to a node city will need to be very carefully regulated or players will become non-committal to a node zone

    For bosses, I would much prefer a range of time than a set time.

    Regular Raid Bosses
    • 6-12hr Low tier
    • 12-24hr Mid Tier
    • 24 - 56hr High Tier

    Highest Tier
    • 3-7 days Low
    • 7-14 days Med
    • 30-45 days High
    • 90 days - Grand of all - with a countdown timer

    • Complete random

    • Timer

    Which games do you feel have done this well, and what did you feel was good about respawn times for mobs?
    • Most MMORPGs do it well.
    • For Major Bosses, I think L2 had it right with a minimum and maximum respawn times and considerable time between especially for the major contested bosses.
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    TeylouneTeyloune Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I think that making it easy for players to know the exact respawn times of rare creatures and bosses should be avoided. When players can easily access precise respawn information, it leads to the creation of external tools where players update timers to track when a creature was defeated and when it will respawn.

    This, in turn, diminishes the thrill of stumbling upon a rare creature or boss in the game world. What could have been a fortunate and exciting encounter is reduced to the mundane task of consulting external websites and keeping an eye on timers.

    Predictable respawn timers transform gameplay into a mechanical and formulaic experience. Players are encouraged to optimize their playtime based on these timers, which, in essence, takes away from the sense of exploration and adventure that the game may be intended to provide.

    The increased dependence on external sources for respawn information can erode the sense of community within the game. Players are less likely to engage in in-game social interactions, share their experiences, or form meaningful connections, as they are focused on tracking timers externally.
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    1. Predictable part: "time after the last death". Defines quantity of reward instances.
    2. Unpredictable part: "time of random spawn window". Defines the maximum duration of the additional PvP before the spawn happens.
    3. Server prime time rule: yes/no. Defines if the battle is designed to gather maximum players or not.

    General mob:
    1. 2m.
    2. 5s.
    3. No.

    Legendary boss:
    1. 5d.
    2. 2h.
    3. Yes.
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    VoeltzVoeltz Member
    edited October 2023
    I think respawn times should be in a time range with rare mobs and bosses taking longer. Since we're on the subject, I'm more concerned with where they spawn. Mobs should spawn within large zones but away from players in random spots within that zone. This makes it so players can't sit in the same spot for hours grinding the same mobs due to the respawn never changing. It's a very boring way to play a game, but people will do it if it's found to be a more efficient way of leveling. I would rather see players moving around a bit to find specific mobs or find other things to do. It should be encouraged and beneficial to explore the world. With that potentiality brings other challenges/obstacles like terrain, more difficult mobs or other competing players that want the same mobs as you. Don't let people meta the fun out of the game so easily.
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    I would like to double up on what @NiKr said. Especially about normal and epic bosses. Their longer respawn time and their drops made those very competetive and rewarding. In other words, just a respawn time makes a boss or an epic boss a memorable and meaningful world event in itself. 12h + 24 random or 24h + 6 random or even 12h + 12 random (to be honest anything works) for normal bosses and 2 days - 2/3 weeks for epic bosses.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Unpredictable unless it's quest related.
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