Dev Discussion #20 - NPC Behavior

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  • PliniusPlinius Member
    edited July 20
    I feel like for NPC battles, the NPC needs to have refreshing mechanics that match the level of the quest. High level quests need more complicate/unpredictable moves and reactions, while lower levels need tutorial levels of fights, slower mechanics so that people to learn. But the key here is to make NPCs challenging and fun to fight at later levels, maybe even strong to the point of being too hard to do it alone.
    A mistake that other MMOs do is that at some point, dailies, world bosses become so monotonous that you participate without even looking at the screen.
    So in my opinion, interesting variance needs to be on high level NPCs, something to match up your skill and level.
    Sometimes people might think its annoying and too hard, but at some point, it will get annoying on how easy it is and that a person will think - What's the point?
  • It will fully depend on what type of NPC's we are talking about here and their standard "difficulty level setting".

    "Normal" world unfriendly vs natural NPC
    As the NPC should by nature be aggressive, I don't want to say that it should be doing more damage because essentially that is not really "fun" but in a way it should be different attacking an NPC that also wants to attack us back versus an NPC that is neutral. While talking about different types of NPC's, I would like to see NPC's fold into different categories. The saying "if it quacks like a duck it's probably a duck" is quite fitting here. If I am fighting a big bear, I should kind of already anticipate that it should have "annoying" abilities such as stuns, big frontal attacks and such. While if I am fighting something more agile like a panther, I should anticipate that it will put bleeds on me. The whole idea of "bears" and "cats" is just an example and I have seen how creative you guys are in terms of coming up with new creatures, but I would adore to see some kind of categorization at least when it comes to world NPC's.

    The same idea is behind randomizing abilities. If it fits the category of the NPC to have more randomized abilities, it will be more than fine, especially since world NPC's should be easier to kill, as they are more common, versus a world boss or some sort of a zone boss.


    Rares & Zone Bosses
    These types of NPC's should reflect on their bigger health pools and perhaps even have one-shottable (but avoidable!) abilities. These being randomized or having such a low cooldown so that they are almost spam-able by the NPC is more annoying than "difficultly fun". I would here too love to see categorization of many NPC's. If it looks like a dragon, it probably will do a frontal breath and swipe with its tail. Recognizing these creatures allows you guys to make them more difficult while still falling into "fun" rather than "annoying".


    Bosses
    As in many games, bosses tend to have a lot of one-shottable mechanics and therefore recognizing a pattern while progressing a boss is very important. For me, it's much more fun seeing as little randomization as possible when it comes to bosses, because if there is randomness, the bad luck might stack up. Let's say that you're tanking a boss and it has a timed frontal attack that you must soak (because if you turn the boss it will turn with you). But at the same time the boss has a random triple melee attack ability which can happen at any time. It's not fun for the tank or the healers if you're depending on luck to not have the triple melee attack ability happen directly after the frontal attack, it's rather just annoying, instead making the frontal attack not avoidable, however making the boss focus in one direction and cleaving those triple melee attacks is much better as the tank can just soak the frontal and then avoid the triple attack ability.


    Conclusion / Summary
    It matters much more to have less RNG abilities the higher up in the difficulty ladder you go and it depends on how avoidable the abilities that are randomized are. The easier something is to kill, the less annoying randomization becomes.
  • Randomised enemies would be pretty awesome. Oh so very often do you encounter a new zone and you see 20+ copy and paste npc enemies that you mindlessly press a few buttons to kill them.

    Would be nice to see npc's doing meaningful things that reflect what creature they are and their environment.
  • cozminskycozminsky Member
    edited July 20
    I'd split these in 4 categories:

    1. regular trash mobs - nobody cares, just kill it, loot it, carry on, also probably not worth it performance wise to have many agents of the same type behaving different way each time.

    2. city npc's, vendors etc - nobody cares, just submit the quest/do the shopping, leave

    3. elite mobs - these are the more interesting content, something that should be a challenge, it would be great if the would have different decision trees so PvE players can have something refreshing while leveling rather than grinding the same mobs over and over. Since we go the "holy trinity way", it would be great if such a mob would have 3 decision trees (one for each type of oponent) and would roll one each time it's engaged, either solo or by a group, this way each player could have a challenging and interesting combat each time when 1v1'ing the mob or in small groups of players while exploring the world.

    4. bosses - Steven already mentioned that they will have different decision trees based on player performances in the dungeons, just propagate it downwards to elite mobs in the open world (if there are such)
  • SeloSelo Member
    edited July 20
    Aslong as the boss dont use a random attack that makes your raid wipe
    Thats just annoying

    NPCs in general should have a "everyday" life, its boring if they just stand there
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  • I love when you pull a set of mobs and each time they are a little different bag of mix nuts and work together. ESO did this well. One time there is a healer, another time they are all Ranged Casters and AoE will get you nowhere. If they could add mix behavior into that mix as well, that could be killer fun.
  • SarevokSarevok Member
    edited July 20
    NPC pathing could be both predictable and unpredictable. NPC combat should be unpredictable to an extent. Even Player characters can be predictable sometimes.

    Only example I can simply give is you are charged with killing a bandit lord in his camp in the forest. While traveling to his camp you may see hostile wildlife unpredictably pathing around, possibly attacking neutral wildlife, bandits or players that get to close. Upon arriving to said camp you might see predictable bandits pathing/patrolling an area or standing guard over entry points. Maybe a bandit watchtower near crude palisade walls watching over an area ready to sound the alarm if you venture too close. Give hostile NPCs skills but let the mobs react however they want within reason. If you aggro a patrol and run away far enough let the bandit patrol laugh and jeer at your expense thinking you’re a coward as they return back to their posts or continue their patrol.

    The more you make NPCs feel alive the deeper we get sucked in to the game and what’s happening around us. It doesn’t have to be Assassin’s Creed or Metal Gear Solid but if you get close players will notice and appreciate the challenge.
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  • Imo each mob should feel unique. If I'm fighting a giant scorpion I want it to scuttle to the side to try to flank me. If I'm fighting a lumbering bull I want it to charge me and I have to dodge out of the way. I don't just want it to agro and run straight at me and just use the same three different attack animations over and over again. A lot of MMOs just plonk a bunch of mobs in a map that have different attacks but ultimately they just hack and slash you till they die.

    The more movement the better!

    Also stacking mobs looks so bad, having collision on mob units just looks so much better. (As long as they do not treadmill into eachother)
  • I am new and a first timer to the whole interaction directly with the developers of any amazing world game to explore, which appears to be everything any MMo needed to be with so much value in playing through and in the world you all make. Thank you for developing this amazing adventure.
    What about this if I am fighting an NPc and they are classified in a certain type of enemy category like race, class, magic or not, creature or bipedal, which have a set list of moves like myself. That alter between in a randomized fashion it would be nice to see a more realistic NPc function when fighting rather than stand there let me attack you constant. Yet, I don't want to see randomly generated dodge from my blade or spell that is clearly meant to hit... um but love everything to do with this world being created, can't wait to journey to all the corners and underwater worlds/dungeons that are already unfathomable in size... any ways rambling just my thoughts, I might be way off the target....
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  • I think when NPCs move about with various "mechanics" or "tactics" it leads to more enjoyable fights as it is not the same battle over and over again. Also I think one thing that I enjoy is when NPCs move around and interact with one another instead of just standing in one place. Give them some more life and immersion for the player.

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  • AardvarkAardvark Member
    Would be interesting to see a rogue npc train like 10 mobs to your group vanish to drop aggro so you are stuck with all the mobs and then reappear and attack your group with the mobs
  • BotagarBotagar Member
    Hello~!

    I'll comment only on general mobs behavior.

    Instead of attempting to spell out what mechanics I would like to see, I'll describe some of the interaction I've had with a game where I though PvE was done really well in some aspects... in Darkfall (yes, that full loot, no safe zone PVP game).

    Near most beginning areas you would fight the classic weak goblins and such, but their behavior was challenging (for new players) because when a goblin got low on health, it would run into the depths of the camp where there were other goblins. On their own, a goblin could be taken on 1 on 1, but you'd get overwhelmed very quickly 3 on 1. The goblins would however roam and patrol their "village" so there were opportunities to catch them outside. I had alot of fun planning and timing when I would attack a lone goblin and part of the balance was "do i be greedy and attempt to take it down sooner but closer to the village or wait patiently to give myself more time to take it down".

    Later into the game, the mid to top tier "normal" mobs were HARD. They had a huge health pool, hit hard and had a variety of skills. It was not possible to solo these mobs. The fun here was coming up with strategies utilizing terrain, body blocking, healing and aggro management to take down 1 of these mobs. There would usually be pretty rare materials dropped from these so they were worth it if you could get a co-ordinated group together.
    An example were the earth elementals. The technique there was we would attempt to get 4-5 players with shields to box a single earth ele whilst we had a healer healing the current tank getting hit. The dps would then have to then position themselves above the group somehow to hit the EE from above (as the game had friendly fire).
    If we failed to to box in an EE in time and it took out our healer(s), we couldn't take it on until they came back. There definitely was that sense of risk vs reward there (not to mention the possibility of gankers).

    Take from these stories what you will 😊
  • akabearakabear Member, Pioneer
    edited July 21
    For prolonged and sustained game play, especially grinding or working to increase your level by PvE, then reasonable NPC behavior consistency is useful.

    For more unique mobs, ones with low density / population / occurance then sure unique behavior is good.

    For bosses, I have always found that players like a challenge but also work towards learning the behavior "patterns" to perfect the raid/kill.. so although more challenging, there again is reasonable consistency.

    Things I would like to see
    - mobs that interact with each other to some degree with a living ecology / ecosystem.
    - mobs that will propagate a sub-species with higher loot or xp or reward if X mob in the region is culled to a certain level for a sustained period of time
    - some mobs / npc behavour that is unique to the player or unique to the type of group that encounters it.
    ie agressive if xyz group, passive if abc group, or scarce if fgh grouping.
    - mobs that react to day/night
    - mobs that become prolific or scarce depending on the gathering of X local resource (regulated by rules by a mayor)
    - rare mobs that can loot you and hold that loot until killed
    - trackable rare mobs by skill ie hunter seeing tracks that others cannot see..
    - random mobs that cause all players locally to drop everything to chase and kill
    - random mob like in Lineage 2 that spawns randomly and drops an overpowered weapon.. but marks you on the map for all to see.. if you use it, you can power level, you die you lose it, you cannot log off while in possession of it.. and it disappears only to reappear perhaps a week or month later.
    - mobs that with different levels of proximity agression
    - mobs with different distances / time they stay agressive.. no challenge that knowing all mobs will only chase you for 15 seconds or 100 game meters.
    - mobs that become more agressive if you have X in your inventory (ie carrying goods from one town to another bypassing the caravan system)

    Just some rambings!
  • RiverRiver Member
    I think at the beginning having one ability per mob is fine. Once its later on adding on more abilities would feel better. Having patterns like using certain abilities against range or melee would be interesting. Having spells or actions tied to maybe grouping up or boss/rare proximity would be interesting as well.

    Behavior should be deterministic, though. Having an random opener, midfight and execute/last stand action is fine as long as it adheres to those categories.
  • NamilNamil Member
    Personally I feel like boss encounters should have a static formula which they stick to depending on the difficulty level of the boss, however of course there should still be dynamic elements that can change to throw off players whether that be movement or environmental hindrance caused by the boss.

    Bosses should be challenging enough so that they are difficult to defeat without having to rely on randomness, players should have the ability to learn boss phases and mechanics and also be able to expect when to have to face these mechanics. Too much randomness causes fight encounters to go from 'I have this encounter down and I can manage this' to 'This is frustrating and there wasn't anything I could do prevent my death'.

    However, standard world monsters and creatures should have a relative degree of randomness and ability to create dynamic fights. Typically the difficulty from these monsters won't come from numbers so adding randomness is a good way of adding difficulty and taking away some monotony from having to kill various amounts of these monsters. One thing I always hated in World of Warcraft was that you'd always expect some world monsters to cast the same spell upon starting the fight so you'd always save an interrupt or damage mitigation spell for it and even more frustrating was that some types of monsters would always use a flee mechanic where they would run away upon reaching a certain % of health every single time. However if a monster only had a chance to flee and didn't always do it at the same point every single time, I think it's something I could genuinely enjoy because it adds a dynamic where you need to quickly dispatch the enemy before alerting others.

    In conclusion, randomness should vary depending on the type/status of enemy you're facing in my opinion but is definitely a very good method to create engaging combat.
  • I think any variance is good, so long as it makes sense for the npc in question. A human running and yelling for help, Or maybe a wolf retreating at first, until they meet up with the pack and turn when they have the numbers for example. So long as we can figure it out and it fits with the creature, it's good.
  • Namil wrote: »
    Personally I feel like boss encounters should have a static formula which they stick to depending on the difficulty level of the boss, however of course there should still be dynamic elements that can change to throw off players whether that be movement or environmental hindrance caused by the boss.

    Bosses should be challenging enough so that they are difficult to defeat without having to rely on randomness, players should have the ability to learn boss phases and mechanics and also be able to expect when to have to face these mechanics. Too much randomness causes fight encounters to go from 'I have this encounter down and I can manage this' to 'This is frustrating and there wasn't anything I could do prevent my death'.

    However, standard world monsters and creatures should have a relative degree of randomness and ability to create dynamic fights. Typically the difficulty from these monsters won't come from numbers so adding randomness is a good way of adding difficulty and taking away some monotony from having to kill various amounts of these monsters. One thing I always hated in World of Warcraft was that you'd always expect some world monsters to cast the same spell upon starting the fight so you'd always save an interrupt or damage mitigation spell for it and even more frustrating was that some types of monsters would always use a flee mechanic where they would run away upon reaching a certain % of health every single time. However if a monster only had a chance to flee and didn't always do it at the same point every single time, I think it's something I could genuinely enjoy because it adds a dynamic where you need to quickly dispatch the enemy before alerting others.

    In conclusion, randomness should vary depending on the type/status of enemy you're facing in my opinion but is definitely a very good method to create engaging combat.

    I agree, I feel like monsters being unpredictable is good when its not a boss.
  • Is randomized behavior in NPCs you are fighting desirable?

    When fighting difficult raid bosses:
    - They could have some variance in their attacks.
    - The outcome of the fight should not be determined by bad luck.
    - (Pseudo)random players can be selected at target of special mechanic.
    - They should not have mechanics that cannot be completed at the same time happening at the same time. Example: a mechanic that requires players to move to middle of the arena should never happen at the same time that another random mechanic causes middle of the arena to be unaccessable.

    When fighting against weaker opponents, for example bandits:
    - They should not always use the same skills in same order.
    - They should always start the fight in relevant way. running close and doing a weak basic attack is not a good start. Using a block skill to engage is not a good start. Charging in with a stun or opening with high damage ranged skill is a good start.
    - They can have more randomness than big bosses.
  • AilouroAilouro Member
    The line between interesting variance and unpredictable annoyance for me would be the link between NPC behaviour and their character given to us.

    Take 3 examples:

    -> Neutral NPCs
    -> Monsters
    -> Human enemies

    Outside of combat, all three families should be doing things related to their given "character". A bandit shouldn't be roaring like a dragon. This does seem self-explanatory but even if in the long term it appears boring, that's just how it is. A majority of our actions do follow repetition and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    I think the way to introduce interesting variance outside of combat is in regards to environmental factors. Rain, snow, heat and wind for some things to mention.
    Seeing humanoids/humans seeking shelter would be amazing. Seeing amphibian/aquatic type creatures be fine with it and come out more in frequency would be awesome. It'd make the world feel so alive.

    Inside of combat, the interesting variance should be to the damage done and again the environmental factors.
    Seeing humans/humanoid creatures that have an aversion to wet/heat just as we would therefore making their abilities more on the counter-side or cautiousness whereas on regular days they have a standard combat behaviour tree they follow would be great.

    It's always been an annoyance of mine when you see creatures in MMORPGs and other games alike take insane amounts of damage or lose a large chunk of health in a much faster amount of time due to more highly skilled members just fight on like normal, and then hey you wait for phase 2 if they have one.
    There should be 2 reactions, cautiousness or increased aggressiveness. If this fit in with a tier system of how it ranks "performance" with the environmental factors as a foundation, I think it'd remain simplistic and not overly complicated but just enough to be immersive.

    Conclusion: environment matters

    Thank you for reading, if you made it to this point.
  • JezvinJezvin Member
    It highly depends on the situation.

    If the NPC is involved in a situation where PvP is the goal of the players than the more randomness the better, something like guards of a caravan attacking random targets or given a random group of abilities it will use. (there should still be tells)

    If the NPC is designed to be a PvE goal(like getting loot and such) the less randomness the better, PvE encounters are far more enjoyable when you can learn and master the fight. It also allows you to make it less forgiving of players mistakes.

    I want to stress the goal of the NPC in relation to the players, because open world PvE bosses and monsters will be involved in PvP but they should not be random because their primary purpose is for PvE. PvP is unpredictable and reactive environment were learning possibilities and being able to react to the given situation is enjoyable, vs PvE where pure mastery and understanding of the encounter to be able to preform at the top level is enjoyable.
  • Variance in NPC combat is a must, the more the better! But only for non-common NPCs Such as Bosses or Special/Rare/Elite monster in a sense to make them more challenging and less trivialized by previous knowledge.
  • grisugrisu Member
    In my opinion in depends on the situation. A mob is not always a mob, sometimes it's THE mob.

    I think for normal npc enemies the line between not "knowing" whether it's random or not is the best.
    One of the few things that genuinely impressed me and caught my eyes in testing Amazons New World were certain ghost enemies and animals.
    Sometimes they would come straight at you, but sometimes they circled you in their individual ways, ghosts disappearing and reappearing further to a side, bears intimidating you. I couldn't discern a definitive pattern even after defeating a good bunch of each. I "knew" it was to some degree random, but it didn't feel random or unnecessary convoluted just to show of.
    So if they still have it, I would suggest that as a pointer for general AI behaviour.

    Bosses, well bosses are another topic. I personally am used to very predictable boss patterns.
    At x % he does that.
    Every 30 seconds this happens.
    First she does this, after it comes that.

    There have been random elements in it, like bombs being placed on players, or some form of aoe on the ground, but in general I personally am mostly familiar with such bosses.

    I am not opposed to randomness, I encourage it, but it has to be well told.
    If I fight in a half active vulcano and the ground can burst open truly randomly, then I need at least a few seconds of warning of some kind. I wouldn't even be opposed for it to be unavoidable due to how several spawn near each other, but then it can't be lethal on the outer edge for example.

    If I am in an ice temple and I need to hammer icicles from the ceiling to drop on the boss but they are falling randomly, I always need to have enough time to get him there (assuming I have him placed well in the middle or something) it can be tight considering communication and reaction times and if you are to slow that's how it is, that's the training part.It just has to be doable every single time considering a certain skill level. I think that's the line that separates truly random and frustratingly annoying from truly random and challenging.

    It has to be told well. A boss that truly randomly dishes out fatal/ hard dishing attacks are probably left to specific encounters that do not rely on a boss constantly auto attacking between his special moves so everyone is more or less free to do what they want while keeping an eye out for those strong spells.
    I had a topic about boss mechanics up that tried to, just for the heck of it, imagine bosses that do not rely on being defeated by reducing their hp to 0. That might be a direction to look into for more random AI behaviour.
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  • I found this question challenging as I come from the prospective of somebody who plays for the end game. Although complex mechanics are rewarding to complete mechanics like this often can create a situation where content is not friendly to new players and gear drops become far more rare as completing the content required to receive said gear becomes more challenging. Nothing is more frustrating from the prospective of an Endgamer than do the same content for the 12th time that day and having wiped to the same mechanic because people in this particular group haven't learned it yet.

    From other snipets (somebody correct me if I am wrong) I have heard that their is an intent to have craftable gear on par with raid drops and assuming that this is balanced appropriately I can see this issue not being as big of a deal. Assuming that is the case I would prefer a game with a wide variety of npc randomness. Assign the proportion of randomness based on level of enemy so that higher level enemies are more complicated.
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  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member
    The more the better, especially if multiple mobs are present. Just dont have the same three look like a carbon copy of each other. I know it's more work but way better for immersion.
  • AardvarkAardvark Member
    More than anything ...if you have 10 humanoid mobs that can see each other and are a tribe or something you should not be able to pull just 2...if they other 8 can litereally see you attacking their friends the other 8 should come runnig.
  • So to start, let me just say that I have just recently found about about Ashes of Creation from the Asmongold, summit and lazy peon videos. I have been playing MMOs since 2004 with World of Warcraft being my first MMO RPG. Iv'e been a hardcore MMO game, a fanatic you might say. I have to say that this game looks INCREDIBLE so far and the progress that is being made and has been made in such a short amount of time. From steven to the rest of the dev team I have seen so far, you all seem to be incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and really committed so releasing an amazing game that we MMORPG players have been waiting and asking for for so long. This is not just another scam kick starter game taking advantage of the desire of MMO players waiting and hoping and prayer for the next big MMO to rival World of Warcraft. I just want to say to everyone at Intrepid, you guys are doing AMAZING work and WE ALL LOVE YOU. If you can pull this off you have to potential to make something GREAT that will blow everyones socks off. From the mechanics and systems and combat system and all the other systems you have that work with each other and they all interconnect and work with each other and its mostly ALL PLAYER driven is absolutely incredible and youre taking a very player focused stand and really committing to making a great game. Now with all that said let me get to my response to the question :smile: Randomized NPC behavior and mechanics is very deseriable. It adds an extra layer and depth to fighting monsters and making your class more interesting to play and much more fun while youre grinding and leveling up as apposed to a mob just auto attacking you and not doing mechanics. However they cant happen to often. If I want to pull a lot of mobs at once to AOE them down the mobs constantly using randomized mechanics constantly could be annoying, but the keyword is CONSTANTLY. If you find a good balance of when these mechanics trigger it would be great and very interesting and fun when youre questing and just leveling up. However when you are in end game and doing the high end game content, some randomness in mobs mechanics and especially bosses should be limited. Maybe not for trash mobs its not a big deal but definitely for bosses. For bosses I believe the mechanics should be constant and telegraphed well so players can learn and understand the fight. Maybe the order in which he does those mechanics could be random, but over all I believe bosses need to keep a level of consistency. I am fully aboard the hype train for this game and I will continue to post of the forums and be a part of this community. I absolutely cannot wait to play this game, and hopefully everyone at the studio will read this and everyone elses posts or at least as much as you all can!
  • BebssBebss Member
    edited July 22
    As someone that's relatively new to MMORPG's and has only played WoW seriously for a little over 3 years now I might not have the most experience for randomized NPC combat behavior but I'll give it a shot.

    WoW seems to have some of the most extreme gaps in PvE difficulty. The raids/dungeons on the higher difficulties can be quite unforgiving and offer little to no room for error on the players part. Then you have the World PvE where the mobs just stand there maybe cast a couple abilities which really doesn't matter if you stop them or not(they'll probably die before said cast/ability depending on how geared your character is...), you smack your buttons and just autopilot kill mob after mob till you're done with w/e quest you need to complete.

    So on one side we have these PvE scenarios that require complete focus mechanically with near perfect dps rotations to down said encounter before an enrage or one shot mechanic occurs. The other side is a mindless button mash with no risk of dying.

    Now both of these NPC's have near zero randomness involved with their combat behavior. With the raids/dungeons that require near perfect play it isn't that bad since having a layer of randomness might become frustrating. I think it could be beneficial to have some randomness ESPECIALLY once said bosses are on farm and the initial challenge of learning those new bosses is lost. I feel like it would have to be done very, very carefully to add randomness to these kinds situations. Will AoC have bosses that require near perfect play from the players to succeed? If yes then the randomness would have to be minor changes. For example maybe a boss starts thrashing about doing AoE damage the raid like usual, but with an added effect of the environment/space starts falling apart and now you have less room to work with. Maybe a boss senses its going to lose and calls for back up and now you have to deal with some adds and the boss at the same time. Personally I think it would be better and add to the longevity of raids/dungeons but the randomness would have to be done carefully.

    Now for the World NPC's that just fall over as I mindlessly weigh into them, this is where I think randomness can really shine. I can't imagine many negatives from this since it will make these easier fights more engaging and less monotonous. There isn't that same pressure you get from failing in a raid/dungeon and then possibly causing the group to wipe due to a random mechanic you haven't seen before, here the worst that happens is you die and that's it.

    TLDR: Yes overall I think random combat behavior would be good but it would need to be done carefully.
  • What I would love for npcs to do is realize the flow of battle. In wow only low level mobs and leveling areas have mobs that run away when their health gets low. Think of the troggs in Dun Morogh or Gnolls in redridge. So say for example you are fighting a bandit group. They are well organized and difficult to deal with as a group. If you take out the commander the rest should either rush or run away. If their health reaches 25%ish they should either enrage and change up their fighting to that of someone attempting to live (all or nothing means) or attempt to run away from the player to regroup with the rest of their group.
  • JamationJamation Member
    For fights there are two main things I look for if the fight doesn't follow a linear path and has a little more variety: Physical location and attack tells.

    Physical location: Interesting variance could be it moves around the player trying to get behind it with a lung, or past a blockade with a charge. Unpredictable annoyance is when a mob gets caught in an endless loop of charging or lunging and just constantly runs around. Even worse still if it runs around and gets caught on something and just glitchily wiggles around.

    Attack Tells: If there is about to be an AoE or movement of some kind I always prefer that there is some sort of tell. This doesn't need to be anything obvious like a giant glowing circle on the ground, but could be something like a goat putting it's head down to charge, a dragons chest expanding before a fire blast, a golem lifting it's left arm for a swing that hits everything within range on its left side. It gets annoying when those types of moves just happen instantly, or so quickly it's near impossible to avoid, and when you're dead you just kind of shrug your shoulders because there was nothing you could do.

    Basically, randomized behavior is desirable if it does not impede the flow of battle and still allows player actions to matter.
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