Enemies and their AI

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Enemies and their AI

Post by AlexFricke on Thu May 07, 2015 7:40 pm

Enemy design and how we want them to behave.
Implementation discussion should happen in the Tech forum.
(This post should be edited and kept up to date with the latest concepts.)


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Re: Enemies and their AI

Post by ThomasB on Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:41 pm

Here are some thoughts I had about some enemies we could prototype. I broke them up into different stats that should be pretty self-explanatory, but I'll define them here:

Health: does this enemy take a lot of hits/damage to die, or very little?
Damage: how much damage does this enemy inflict on the players on average?
Speed: this one is a bit more vague, but it generally refers to the enemy's mobility on the battlefield. How easy is it to get away from or kite?
Behavior: what does this enemy do when left to its own devices?
Abilities: Does this enemy have any special abilities?

Name: Hunter
Description: a ranged opponent that throws spears and ensnares its foes.
Health: Low
Damage: Average
Speed: Average
Behavior: seek foe with highest health and ensnare; throw spears at foes in range; ensnare and retreat if foe gets too close.
   - Ensnare: Throw a net at a foe, leaving them free to attack but unable to move. An ensnared foe is trapped    for 10 seconds, unless an ally cuts the net with a melee attack. This ability would have a short cooldown before it could be used again.
Potential: This enemy could also stay in the background and intermittently lay traps around the battlefield, relying on shock troops to distract the players as they make the terrain more dangerous.

Why I think it stands out: This would be a sort of 'freeze tag' enemy. Players might have great ranged capabilities, in which case this foe won't be much of a challenge, but for those players who are more focused on melee will find that they'll need their allies to help them out when ensnared.

Ensnaring is not the same as being stunned, and I think the distinction is very important. Stunned is a state where you can't do anything. Ensnared is a state where you can still do everything you normally can - you just can't move (you can still rotate though!). This means that a player isn't sitting around doing nothing while ensnared - in fact we could make ensnared players higher target priorities for enemies, meaning that they get swarmed unless their allies offer some aid. On that note, this dynamic greatly reinforces our cooptional thang; do you rush to the aid of your companion, or do you let them stew a little while you mop up some easy kills now that the competition is 'preoccupied?' The timer ensures that a player cannot be trapped for too long if their allies are neglectful.

Name: Zealot
Description: an insane and explosive orc that has been twisted by dark magic.
Health: Average
Damage: Very High
Speed: Average
Behavior: seek and destroy player with golden pumpkin.
   - Detonate: Blow up in an explosion of flames, dealing huge AOE damage. This ability triggers when within a certain proximity of Goldie.

Why I think it stands out: This will be our keep away/hot potato enemy. I think it's great to have something that gives a player the incentive to throw the pumpkin for purely selfish reasons. And what better way to do it than the classic 'it's your problem now!' technique? It also builds huge anticipation. What are those glowy-looking orcs - OH GOD YOU TAKE IT! Imagine the chaos of trying to flock these baddies to anyone but you, players constantly throwing GP back and forth in a mad flurry of panic.

Something I've been thinking about is what the other players can do to this foe. If it is immune to everything except its own self detonation, it would definitely make tensions run high as players fight to create a sacrificial lamb. But I'm not a huge fan of this. A guaranteed death each time these enemies appears feels a little cheap, especially if it feels somewhat random because someone just happened to throw the GP at you at the wrong time. If the foe could take damage from other players, my worry is that they wouldn't be threatening enough to be an issue. However, with that said, if you think someone is being a GP hog, maybe you repay them by just letting the Zealots slip by you. Hmm. That could be interesting.

Name: Golden Orc
Description: a powerful orc blessed with invincibility.
Health: High
Damage: High
Speed: Average
Behavior: seek closest foe and use melee attack.
   - Invincibility: this orc cannot be damaged by conventional magic/weapon attacks and it is immune to most magical effects, unless the attacker is Goldie.

Why I think it stands out: A good way to help Goldie feel powerful and needed, and a great way to make other players envious of the power and want it for themselves.

Name: Forge Master
Description: a huge, lumbering orc that is more metal than flesh, with a glowing forge on its back and a giant hammer.
Health: Very High
Damage: High
Speed: Slow
Behavior: seek closest foe and use melee attack; use Tremor if two or more foes are close together at a certain range; use Smash if two or more foes are within close range.
   - Tremor: Cleave the ground, creating a shockwave of damage that travels in a line. Decent cooldown.
   - Smash: Smash the ground, creating a radius of damage and knockback around the Forge Master.
   - Heavy Armor: Any damage received is greatly reduced. If the GP is passed over/through this unit, its armor temporarily breaks, allowing it to take full damage for a short time.

Why I think it stands out: This would be an enemy that would promote the use of teamwork and pumpkin sharing. He's kind of a basket ball hoop: you need to pass the GP through him to weaken him. It should definitely be possible to kill him without that tactic, but it should be much easier by fracturing his armor.


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