Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: Achillies on September 29, 2011, 12:05:59 PM

Title: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Achillies on September 29, 2011, 12:05:59 PM
Hello,

Generally, I'm loving the game. However one thing that is really really getting on my wick is the fact that I can clear a room of respawn points. Open a door to another room, find it's a dead end and then less than 10 seconds later walk back through the same door to find all the respawn points back again.

For me it's a bit of a 'what's the point?!' I can cope with no reward for destroying minor enemies and spawn points but for the respawn points themselves to come back just from changing from one room to another and so soon. Well it's more than just slightly annoying!

Hope you consider this feedback. I'm sure you are going to have much success with AVWW. It's much better than I thought even at this stage!

Cheers

Anthony
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 12:15:31 PM
There's been much discussion about spawn points -- the respawning of them is based on the fact that if you're re-trodding places you've already been and there's no monsters, then the game is boring.  You're just wandering around.  Not that there is a huge amount of backtracking, and you do have an interesting point on the length of time thing.  It's possible we might need to make it so that it takes a bit longer; right now you have about a 10 second window to come back before they respawn.

There's also the issue with boss rooms, where people could run out of a room, heal, and then come back in and take advantage of that.  So with boss rooms I really think it needs to stay working the way it does to prevent the exploits that are otherwise inevitable.  But for NON boss rooms... well, one way to go is that in building interiors not have them respawn at all.  That would differentiate interiors more from undergrounds and exteriors, anyway, and would probably solve most of your frustrations because "only going into rooms briefly" is pretty much something that only happens with interiors if you're using the map... I'd think.

Thoughts?  I'm particularly interested in thoughts from folks with frustrations like yours on this issue, because trying to balance it from both ends is important and I need your perspective.  Knowing the above on what else I'm also trying to accomplish with the mechanic in general, what do you think?  I'm leaning toward just making a simple change so that non-boss-room interiors don't ever respawn their monster nests and leaving it at that.

By the by, drops from trash mobs are coming. :)

Thanks for the kind words on the game!
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Achillies on September 29, 2011, 12:25:01 PM
Thanks for your quick response!

I was talking about interiors you are correct. I'm ok with the respawn points coming back after say 5-10 mins. That would mean if you are in a particularly big environment then it's possible you would re-tread the same path after that amount of time, and it's feasible for you to encounter mobs again after that time. Fine with underground or other locals respawning at a different rate. It would make each area have it's own feel, and that would be awesome!
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: BobTheJanitor on September 29, 2011, 12:33:38 PM
I think making them non-respawning except for boss rooms would at least be a step in the right direction. At the level I'm at, at least, destroying one with fire touch takes a pretty huge time investment. Often I don't see the point to doing it in the first place, but I like the option in case future changes necessitate it.

On a totally different tangent, if the point of monsters is to make it more interesting to traverse areas without just feeling like you're running through the big empty, perhaps another option would be to have many fewer but much stronger monsters, rather than the rather minor annoyances that they are currently. That way instead of there being a bunch of trash that you constantly jump over, you instead simply have the constant threat of a big bad coming down and smashing you, which builds interesting tension even if you never actually see it.

That just gave me another interesting idea. You could have a building with nothing in it except a boss that follows this logic and stalks you from room to room. Maybe he's the only thing in the whole building. Maybe the point is to find his spawner and destroy it, which then makes him vulnerable to attack. And then once you kill him you can get access to his cache of items secreted away in the building. Maybe add sound effects when he's nearby, and if he sees you he chases you for a few rooms until you give him the slip. Of course that would require adding in the ability for monsters to chase you across room transitions, which I know I've seen suggested elsewhere already. But that's a way that you could make empty room travel interesting without needing to have lots of little baddies around to get in the way.

Any way, as usual I'm wandering off on flights of fancy in answer to a simple question. No respawning spawners, good idea.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Achillies on September 29, 2011, 12:36:56 PM
Great ideas Bob...

Particularly the big bad mobs rather than lots of little ones. Variety is good... Some areas with lots, others with less bigger ones. each leads to there own strategy. I like it lots...
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 12:39:11 PM
You bet, a lot of variety of things are coming.  I suppose we can just make it only respawn monster spawners in boss rooms and see how that goes.  Then people feel like they are accomplishing something, too.

And in terms of having "big bad" stuff that stalks you in general, that would be interesting to do and would keep the tension there, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: TechSY730 on September 29, 2011, 12:45:04 PM
You bet, a lot of variety of things are coming.  I suppose we can just make it only respawn monster spawners in boss rooms and see how that goes.  Then people feel like they are accomplishing something, too.

And in terms of having "big bad" stuff that stalks you in general, that would be interesting to do and would keep the tension there, that's for sure.

But wouldn't that mean anywhere that isn't a boss room/area you could clear out forever, and have the empty wasteland that you were trying to avoid?

Wait, didn't you mention that the monster spawner "death state" is not persisted, so once you get far enough away such that the area is no longer being kept track of in RAM, it would come back whenever you come back around to that area?
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: L00cK on September 29, 2011, 12:51:03 PM
how about the spawnpoints come back after u end ur current turn in the strategic map.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 01:03:50 PM
But wouldn't that mean anywhere that isn't a boss room/area you could clear out forever, and have the empty wasteland that you were trying to avoid?

Yeah, that's what would happen.  But players are already able to level all the objects and trees, so that's really going to happen anyway.  And there's rarely a reason to return to someplace if you've killed all the monsters there, anyway, thanks to warp scrolls.  So warp scrolls have really made a lot of this stuff with monsters being absent not as much of a worry as it otherwise would have been.  I think the satisfaction that folks would get out of being able to permanently "save" an area would be worth the wasteland effect, the more I think about it.

Wait, didn't you mention that the monster spawner "death state" is not persisted, so once you get far enough away such that the area is no longer being kept track of in RAM, it would come back whenever you come back around to that area?

It is persisted, it just creates new ones if there are fewer than there should be when you next load it off disk.

how about the spawnpoints come back after u end ur current turn in the strategic map.

That could work, but I think then that gives a disincentive to turn turns.  And in multiplayer, if someone is playing the strategic mode while others are running around exploring, then that could be really frustrating with your monsters spawners coming back constantly because of what someone else is doing in a settlement far away. :)
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Terraziel on September 29, 2011, 01:08:39 PM
There's been much discussion about spawn points -- the respawning of them is based on the fact that if you're re-trodding places you've already been and there's no monsters, then the game is boring.  You're just wandering around.  Not that there is a huge amount of backtracking, and you do have an interesting point on the length of time thing.  It's possible we might need to make it so that it takes a bit longer; right now you have about a 10 second window to come back before they respawn.

Why not just replace indoor spawn points with X monsters (depending on room size), so instead of a small room containing 2 spawn points it just contains 2 monsters, which would be much less irritating to clear out, to combat the boredom angle I'd say the obvious time to reset spawns (based on my suggested model) would be on leaving the building.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 01:14:32 PM
Hmm, for building interiors that could indeed be an interesting way to go.  Just monsters, but no monster spawners.  And then leave the monsters spawners alone elsewhere.  I think I'll try that as a first step.

EDIT: Although, actually, that would cause a lot of troubles with serialization and such, which I'd rather not get into.  I think I'll stick with the monster spawners not respawning except in boss rooms, actually.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Dizzard on September 29, 2011, 01:16:02 PM
the respawning of them is based on the fact that if you're re-trodding places you've already been and there's no monsters, then the game is boring

Would killing enemies so very much weaker than yourself be fun though? (Most of the time I'm trying to conserve my magic so I'm not killing monsters wily nilly) It seems more like an annoyance when they no longer offer a challenge.

Maybe it could be based on the clock and not just moving from one screen to another though. Something along the lines of the spawner is gone for a week or maybe a bit less like a day or so (ingame time) and then after that it comes back.

EDIT: Actually, I was thinking about it and it likely would be boring just because there's nothing moving around....it would be barren. Although you could always replace evil monsters with friendly animals/creatures once the level between the enemies and you becomes so great that there's no longer a threat. Then you could interact with them in a different way (like train them as some sort of pet companion system or catch them to use on your farm for greater produce)

Yeah I'm heading off on a big tangent here. :p
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on September 29, 2011, 01:46:05 PM
I think perhaps the ideal, but probably vastly more complicated, solution would be to eventually make it so buildings would re-populate with enemies coming in from the outside, out of boss rooms, or perhaps even the occasional "nest room". That way the buildings would repopulate but the enemies would be taking a reasonably predictable route to get to the room they want to hang out in. This would make things like traps more useful in keeping rooms clear for longer when needed and open up more opportunity to interact with the enemies in general.

I'm guessing that would probably be a real long shot as to whether it would be feasible or not, but it would be super-wicked-awesome-cool.  :P
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 29, 2011, 01:56:44 PM
I'm relatively easy on the issue at the moment.

Once mobs get micro drops it'll shake the whole thing up again, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: orzelek on September 29, 2011, 01:58:20 PM
With current respawning policy thrash has one point - cost you health or time and mana.

Considering amount of building exploring you need to do (potions? not mentioning books) it's a simple choice depending on two things:
- time on hand - if you are in hurry you ignore trash completely
- which type of potions you have more - you chose to use resource you have most

I'm not entirely sure that adding smallish rewards for trash will change this tactic much. Making them not respawn would mean that it killing trash would be viable for rooms you know you'll need to travel through few times. Or in mazes/evil rooms when there is a reason to actually explore those.

I find buildings with small rooms very valuable now - you can go in, search rooms and go out with loot without much hassle and with small resource costs. You need to explore larger ones only if you actually want to look for something like books.

One more tangent not covered here is that monster spawners are now guaranteed in every room - this doesn't make them more interesting. A bit of randomness could be more fun. Especially with both other changes which would mean that trash is there or not and killing it can give you something small for the effort and it won't respawn.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Tayrtahn on September 29, 2011, 02:03:47 PM
Looking at other games for examples: in the Metroid series, most monsters spawn once per room. They also sometimes drop health and ammo pickups. All the enemies in a room respawn every time the player enters the room. In the Metroid Prime series, enemies only respawn if the player has traveled at least two rooms away (when the room is dropped from memory).

I see two notable things in this example:
 - Enemies only respawn at player-controlled times.
 - There is an incentive for the player to kill basic enemies.

I'm not sure whether the "spawn once per room visit" setup would work for AVWW or not. It might be worth trying! The spawners wouldn't even need to be visible to the player or be destructible. This would give the player a sense of satisfaction as they clear out a room, and it would keep the room interesting if the player returns to it later. I can see maze rooms being much more enjoyable with this system, as the player would feel like he has really cleared out portions of the maze and made progress. It might be appropriate to make normal enemies a bit tougher with this system, as the player will have to deal with fewer of them. Having more spawners in each room would also be a possibility.

There would obvious be problems with boss fights... perhaps special spawners could be used in these rooms to provide a constant supply of enemies while the boss is alive and revert to normal spawners after it is defeated.

The other big issue I can think of is the tendency for enemies to pile up in pits and the bottom of the map, and to kill themselves off in water and and other hazards. Metroid solves this by having many enemies stand in one place until they notice the player, and by having some basic cliff-avoiding logic on the enemies that do move. I don't know how viable "don't walk off cliffs" AI is in AVWW's engine, but it could be a simple solution to the problem.


The high rates of health and ammo pickup makes enemies a bit more fun in these games, but it's not directly applicable to AVWW. The Metroid games don't have the health/magic potion system, so the player is more reliant on hunting down regular enemies to heal. AVWW doesn't seem to be trying for that kind of system, so the drop would have to be much less frequent, or not related to the properties that potions/scrolls affect. Frequent drops of something that the player would want a lot of could make fighting through hordes of basic enemies a lot more fun! Many games use XP in this way, but we don't want that here. Others have small amounts of currency drop from monsters, which also gives some meaning and progression to fighting the hordes. Maybe something like Consciousness Shards would be a good choice - it would give players a reason to get out and fight, but there wouldn't be a huge gain from farming. Making enemies only respawn when entering a room would also help prevent farming. Making higher-level enemies drop greater numbers of shards would encourage players to venture into more dangerous areas. This would certainly require a dramatic change in the quantities of shards required for various actions, and the existing shard drops found in dungeons would have to give more shards to still be worth something.


Whew! There's a lot of things to think about with this. From all of the complaints about enemy spawners, pesky enemies, players avoiding enemies, and so forth, it seems like this system might be in need of a serious rethinking and overhaul. Players are going to be spending most of their time fighting basic enemies - let's make it a fun as we can!

EDIT: My suggestion, in brief: Spawners should be invisible and indestructible. They spawn one monster each when the player enters the room. There may be more spawners in each room. Enemies do not respawn when killed. Boss rooms use special spawners that behave like normal spawners do now. Enemies are smart enough to avoid walking off of cliffs, and may be slightly stronger or have more health. Enemies drop small amounts of consciousness shards and occasional small health/magic pickups when killed.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on September 29, 2011, 02:15:35 PM
One more tangent not covered here is that monster spawners are now guaranteed in every room - this doesn't make them more interesting. A bit of randomness could be more fun. Especially with both other changes which would mean that trash is there or not and killing it can give you something small for the effort and it won't respawn.

I don't think they are guaranteed in every room. Intentional or not, I've run into a few rooms that weren't destroyed but didn't come with a spawner despite having a pickup inside, but it's definitely very rare to see a room without at least one.

I think you are right though. The fact that there is a spawner in the vast majority of rooms doesn't really help that much and it would probably be more interesting if some of them didn't have any.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: brianc on September 29, 2011, 02:28:07 PM
Hmm, for building interiors that could indeed be an interesting way to go.  Just monsters, but no monster spawners.  And then leave the monsters spawners alone elsewhere.  I think I'll try that as a first step.

EDIT: Although, actually, that would cause a lot of troubles with serialization and such, which I'd rather not get into.  I think I'll stick with the monster spawners not respawning except in boss rooms, actually.

Really?  I actually thought the exact opposite would make a lot more sense, I think I even suggested it somewhere on here.  If respawners were destroyed permanently areas would get very very boring, I love just simply jumping over weak enemies and dodging them, I couldn't imagine holding the arrow down to reach different areas.  Now, in regards to boss rooms, I believe destroying monster spawners would be very strategic but they should respawn when a room is left so that people do not exploit boss rooms.  I also couldn't think of a reason to go back to a boss room so I find it strange that they would respawn there exclusively since it would almost never have any bearing on the game.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: TechSY730 on September 29, 2011, 03:05:58 PM
Hmm, before we get much further on this topic, it seems like a more fundamental question needs to be addressed.
What role in the game are "non boss" enemies supposed in play?
In traditional games with RPG elements, their main purpose is grind fodder, either for exp, vendor trash, money, or whatnot. Their purpose as obstacles tends to play a very small role as the game goes on, because players just get so good at killing normal enemies (so long as they don't blindly rush into over-leveled areas)
Of course, one of the goals of this game is to avoid grind. So, now what purpose do the "normal enemies" serve?

I think before we can discuss how, how often, and the nature of how they should spawn, we need to know what role in the game they are supposed to play.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: brianc on September 29, 2011, 03:18:26 PM
^^^^ Exactly, I like the idea of minor drops, maybe rather than potions something along the line of instantaneous health/mana pickups?  Say you are level twenty running through a level one area full of baddies.  You have the incentive to either avoid or kill them or both and this keeps the early areas alive in a sense because things never feel mundane but if these enemies were to drop a level one potion it would essentially be trash and waste inventory space.  If they dropped a little green or blue orb occasionally that equals the strength of the expected potion level but is instantaneous I think people would have less of an issue wasting mana or time on the creeps.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 03:20:35 PM
Okay, goodness.  Guys, I need to get some work done, so just brief notes:

1. Non-boss enemies are the obstacles you have to get past to get where you are going.  That's it.  There's also some "bubble wrap popping" satisfaction to killing or avoiding them, but that's it.  Basically the same as Zelda or Metroid here.

2. Monster spawners are presently the only way to have enemies in a chunk, because we're not saving the enemies when you save the chunk to disk.  I guess that could change, but we'd found it more interesting for enemies to reset each time you come in.  This decision was made long ago, before it was even a top-down game, though.

3. Monsters fall off cliffs because that way you get more interesting monster coverage.  Given that there are a lot of little platforms, and not monsters on each one, having monsters move vertically like you do is important for there to actually be monsters throughout a lot of the level.  We don't want to try to put monsters at a linear distance from one another throughout the level, because having clumps and sparsities is a lot more interesting and unpredictable.

4. Monsters die in water (and the water exists) to make them spawn more monsters and come after you a different way.  Kind of the pachinko (sp?) effect, haha.

5. Right now it's a bug that monsters aren't jumping out of non-water-filled pits more.  They are technically able to do so, they just aren't bothering to.

6. And I'm not sure how many times I can say that minor drops are already planned and coming. ;)
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 29, 2011, 03:21:52 PM
Note: whilst I was writing this, Chris responded - so it's a little redundant now! (Ninjas!)  :)

If they're Metroidvania-like, then it's about always presenting interesting obstacles to overcome. This one weaves up and down; that one jumps out unexpectedly; this other one is tough and crawls slowly; that other one jumps about and shoots things. They're more an extension of the level itself than anything. Metroid especially.

Zelda enemies are similar. Some run at you. Some throw bombs. Some fly round in circles. Some have hard faces. That sort of thing. You have to pick the best weapons at your disposal and use just the right tactics to overcome them.

And sure, as you get stronger they become more trivial. But not until after they've given you a sense of accomplishment for learning how to best defeat them.

---

Anyway, that was just an interesting aside on the topic of interesting enemies. I think Valley's going the right way - the rhinos are a personal favourite of mine - and more variety will help to break everything up and make it more interesting. Especially as enemy types start to become more affiliated with certain regions and whatnot, giving everywhere a very particular character to its gameplay.

I think that since standard enemies are going to gain drops of some sort in the near future, I'm reserving judgement on the core topic here until that happens.

Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Tayrtahn on September 29, 2011, 03:44:04 PM
I think there's some real value in the feeling of clearing a room of enemies, even if only temporarily. You can see this in the fact that players are taking the time to blast every spawner in a room, and how strongly people pushed for destructible spawners in the first place.

I'm really liking the idea of "enemies spawn once per room" as a possible new system. When I'm playing Metroid or Zelda for example, I find that I usually take the time to kill every enemy in a room, at least the first time I pass through it. It really adds to the feeling of fully exploring and looting a room. Having the enemies reappear when the player returns prevents the room from feeling dead and empty.

It shouldn't cause any problems with serializing the room data - it's just a change to the runtime behavior of spawners. You don't need to save any data about the enemies currently in the room, just keep track of the spawner locations (which I think you're already doing).
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Terraziel on September 29, 2011, 04:03:00 PM
Surely drops are going to make monster spawning even more of an issue? in that unless the drops are entirely meaningless then you have essentially given people an infinite supply of them. I'm going to assume that there will sufficient enemy variation that spawn camping will be beneficial.

As to functional issues with my suggestion of switching spawners for monsters, the modder in me says (in that i'm used to coming up with oblique ways to get what I want), can you not just make the spawners self destruct after spawning a certain amount of enemies, which would obviously be functionally the same
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: BobTheJanitor on September 29, 2011, 04:07:08 PM
At the moment, as I understand it, the plan is for them only to drop small, instant use mana and HP items. So camping a spawner for items becomes pointless unless you just want a really boring way to fill up your mana/HP.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Terraziel on September 29, 2011, 04:18:49 PM
At the moment, as I understand it, the plan is for them only to drop small, instant use mana and HP items. So camping a spawner for items becomes pointless unless you just want a really boring way to fill up your mana/HP.

I feel like i'm going off topic but still....

That would fall into the meaningless category then, rather diablo 3 health orbs something to encourage, and enable, you to keep going. Though my initial thought is to question the sense of having enemies drop mana in game where barring one spell you Have to spend mana to get it.

That said is there a reason for having no melee combat?
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 04:28:52 PM
There's going to be some other less-trivial-but-still-miniscule drops from enemies, too.  But yes, generally speaking there's no substantial reward from the small enemies because we don't want people to ever feel like it's a good idea to farm them.  Rather, we want to give the feeling that you got a little something back for actually engaging them rather than just jumping over them.  Which, of course, you won't always be able to avoid all enemies by jumping anyhow (not that you can now, but still).

That said is there a reason for having no melee combat?

Yes: we don't want to do the art for it, and every fantasy game has melee combat.  We want this to be all-magic aside from some little items you can make and throw at the outfitter, or traps that you can do there, etc.  Why do the same that everyone else does?  I'm not going to a checklist of "here's all the components of generic fantasy game #347," heh. ;)
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: BobTheJanitor on September 29, 2011, 04:30:03 PM
Edit: Ninja'd by Chris! Shouldn't you be off coding something? :P

I feel like i'm going off topic but still....

That would fall into the meaningless category then, rather diablo 3 health orbs something to encourage, and enable, you to keep going. Though my initial thought is to question the sense of having enemies drop mana in game where barring one spell you Have to spend mana to get it.

That said is there a reason for having no melee combat?

Never fear going off topic. It's the standard of these forums.

It is somewhat meaningless, yes, but it's a step up from them dropping nothing at all. At least killing them doesn't feel like a total waste now.

And no melee is because that involves sprite work for melee attacks, which has to be repeated for every single character in the game. Right now fire touch is your melee attack, in that it is melee range and has no MP cost.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Achillies on September 29, 2011, 05:09:43 PM
Wow I see a post of mine has stimulated a lot of debate...

I guess it's good to be having this kind of debate now rather than later.

Just encountered my first boss tower, and on the whole handled it well. There's something about this game that makes me keep coming back and back and back over the course of the day since I've had Beta access, that can only be a good thing. Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 29, 2011, 08:07:35 PM
The spawners have way too much health right now for their destructible nature to make any practical difference in game terms, I feel.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 29, 2011, 09:12:26 PM
The spawners have way too much health right now for their destructible nature to make any practical difference in game terms, I feel.

Death Touch!  They go down quite fast then.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Tayrtahn on September 30, 2011, 02:22:23 AM
There seem to be two main mentalities players have when approaching the enemies: the "I need to clear out this entire room" approach and the "I'm going to save mana and dodge my way across the room" approach. I'd say most of us do a mix of both, with some people favoring one and some people favoring the other.

Some people are just not going to be entirely satisfied until the room has been cleared. People want to be able to "complete" a room before moving on to the next one. There's a sense of accomplishment in that, and some gamers really thrive on it. It's also good for players who like a somewhat slower, more exploration-focused style of play, and thus want to clear out spawners as they go so that they don't feel rushed by the constant onslaught of enemies. Now that enemy spawners can be destroyed, these players are going to feel compelled to take the time to clear them out as they go through a room. This is a boring and tedious activity, and many players will get frustrated and grudgingly change their playstyle. It's probably not going to ruin the experience for many people, but they would probably have more fun if they were able to play the way they wanted.

So why not let them? Would anything really be lost from the game if spawners worked on a "spawn once on each room entry" basis?

Players who want the satisfaction of clearing a room before moving on would be able to do so and enjoy it. Players who don't care about clearing a room, and prefer to strategically dodge past the enemies to save resources would have the same experience they have now - since they're not killing the enemies anyway, it wouldn't matter whether or not the enemies came back after death.



Let's look at an example of a very simple and common situation.

http://i.imgur.com/qLalI.jpg

Assume everything works as it does now. We have a player, an item the player wants, an enemy that wants to kill the player, and an enemy spawner. Here's what I imagine the two extreme player mentalities would do:

Player A - Hop over the approaching enemy and grab the item. Wait a moment, then hop over the enemy again and exit the room. Practical and efficient. Nothing wrong with that.

Player B - Attack and kill the enemy, then grab the item. Out of a desire to feel that the room has been "cleared", run over to the enemy spawner and spend several seconds blasting it until it is destroyed. A somewhat more practical player might instead kill the enemy, grab the item, and quickly leave the room before another spawns. Either way, this is not ideal for this player.


Now let's imagine that the enemy spawner isn't there, just the lone enemy. How does each player approach the room now.

Player A - Hop over the approaching enemy and grab the item. Wait a moment, then hop over the enemy again and exit the room. This experience is unchanged and still enjoyable.

Player B - Attack and kill the enemy, then grab the item. Take another look around the room to make sure that nothing has been missed, then leave through the door. Now we have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for this player.



To be clear, I do not think that the room should remain clear into the future. Should either player decide to return to this room later, they would find that the enemy has returned, and they can then choose how to deal with it again. And I suspect that many players will actually tend to dodge the enemy on later visits. This is how I play games like Zelda and Metroid - the first time I enter a room, I take the time to fully explore the area, smash every crate, and kill every enemy. When I pass through the room again later on, I'm happy to ignore many of the enemies, as I have already mentally mapped the room; it has been "cleared" in my mind, even though there is now a fresh supply of enemies in it. But without being able to clear it out on that first visit, I would not have as enjoyable of an experience.

And again, none of this applies to boss rooms, which can justifiably feature an endless stream of lesser enemies to contribute to the fight.


So, my proposal again: Make enemy spawners invincible and invisible, but have them only spawn one enemy when the player enters the room. The spawner is then deactivated until the next time the player enters the room, at which point the room is repopulated with a fresh batch of enemies.

If that seems like too dramatic of a change, here's an alternative: Leave everything the way it is now, but let enemy spawners be destroyed by a single melee attack (but they still regenerate when the area is reloaded). I'm having a hard time thinking of a downside to this!
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: arcee on September 30, 2011, 02:48:52 AM
There are certainly other playstyles - for example I often jump or melee enemies, but some I like to fireball to knock them out of the way - nonlethal, and costs MP, but less so than killing would.  If monsters are giving me a particular trouble (more common with skelebot dwarves and/or boss rooms) I take out the spawners.  If the spawners were too much weaker I'd be killing them all the time.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 30, 2011, 03:15:39 AM
The spawners have way too much health right now for their destructible nature to make any practical difference in game terms, I feel.

Death Touch!  They go down quite fast then.

I knew you were going to say that!

I don't have it yet, nor have I been given the option to learn it, let alone craft it.

Which means that the ability to practically clear out monster spawners is presently tied to the number of spellcrafting books one finds (and a random element?), plus the materials for the spell itself. I'm not necessarily averse to that idea - that clearing spawners is only a viable tactic one you've worked for it - but I wasn't sure that's what you were going for?
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: eRe4s3r on September 30, 2011, 03:57:04 AM
Ok i admit i didn't read anything beyond x4000's first reply.

The reason is simple, theres an so easy superior absolute awesome way to FIX this that i figured someone else must have mentioned it already. Judging from the discussion over 3 pages, i'd say this is not so.

Now here it is..

Notice that time passes when you are in a region
Notice that strategic turns pass more time but only outside of regions

Currently, only strategic turns have an effect ...

Which leads us straight to - set the regeneration of monsters and spawners, and objects generally to something related to the in-region time-of-day - best would be 6 or 12 hours, or depending on your mood, 3 days (Oblivion Zone regeneration default)

Step 2 - Tell us the in-region time in some way, maybe even with item requirement (a watch!)
Step 3 - Give us ability to advance time in a region (WAIT command) (Spell) (Item = Bed/Tent)
Actual step 3 - Make level transitions in a region cost time (5 to 10 minutes each) | Traveling on the overmap costs time as well (3 hours per tile) or something.

Problem solved, everyone happy. ;P
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 30, 2011, 09:23:25 AM
A couple of notes, briefly:

1. I am planning on removing monster spawners indoors and just having monsters.

2. Telling time and re-spawning after a certain amount of time has passed since you left the room is easy.  I'm not sure there's a lot of value to it, though, because the idea of clearing out rooms permanently has some appeal to many folks (myself included, if I think about it), and we're already trying to minimize backtracking in the first place.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: TechSY730 on September 30, 2011, 09:37:15 AM
Wait, will monster spawners outdoors never respawn now? No matter how long it has been or how far away you have traveled?
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 30, 2011, 09:39:24 AM
Wait, will monster spawners outdoors never respawn now? No matter how long it has been or how far away you have traveled?

At the moment: yes, that is correct, they never respawn.  If that turns out to be a problem, we can later use our "rapid aging" methods to make it respawn them only if the chunk has been dormant for a certain amount of time.  Thus far I'm not certain that will be needed, despite my prior fears.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 30, 2011, 09:56:22 AM
Even with my newly-acquired death touch, I still think they have too much health! Sure, they go down easy but it eats an entire magic bar in the process!
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: TechSY730 on September 30, 2011, 10:02:31 AM
Wait, will monster spawners outdoors never respawn now? No matter how long it has been or how far away you have traveled?

At the moment: yes, that is correct, they never respawn.  If that turns out to be a problem, we can later use our "rapid aging" methods to make it respawn them only if the chunk has been dormant for a certain amount of time.  Thus far I'm not certain that will be needed, despite my prior fears.

Hmm, that is a good point. Many players (myself included) will do a depth first search style exploration. Meaning once they pass a monster spawner outdoors, they will almost never need to pass it again. Thus, in the outdoors, even if an area has been "wiped out", most players will very rarely return to that area. And thus it becomes an almost non issue.

Now indoors, where the layout is much more complex, making backtracking often needed. This is a more interesting issue.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 30, 2011, 10:08:06 AM
Even with my newly-acquired death touch, I still think they have too much health! Sure, they go down easy but it eats an entire magic bar in the process!

Well... I'm open to feedback on this, but I don't really want them to be something that gets destroyed just because you pass it, if you know what I mean.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: BobTheJanitor on September 30, 2011, 10:17:01 AM
I think their HP is a bit high. Since they've become destroyable, I have yet to actually bother to destroy one. I don't have death touch, so I'm only plinking away with fire touch, but it looks like it would take one to two minutes of just mindlessly holding down the attack button before I could kill one of these. I agree that they shouldn't just die in two hits either, but there should be some happy medium in there somewhere. On the other hand, I'm in the camp that's more interested in concepts for making monsters rewarding to kill rather than ways to get rid of spawners, so I don't have as much skin in this game.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: OobleckTheGreen on September 30, 2011, 11:03:51 AM
I think their HP is a bit high. Since they've become destroyable, I have yet to actually bother to destroy one. I don't have death touch, so I'm only plinking away with fire touch, but it looks like it would take one to two minutes of just mindlessly holding down the attack button before I could kill one of these. I agree that they shouldn't just die in two hits either, but there should be some happy medium in there somewhere. On the other hand, I'm in the camp that's more interested in concepts for making monsters rewarding to kill rather than ways to get rid of spawners, so I don't have as much skin in this game.

I heartily agree with this sentiment. I don't really get anything from destroying (or not) the spawners and can't see spending too much time thinking about them. I think making the regular monsters more rewarding to kill just makes sense. What that reward might be could be the subject of quite a debate, I would imagine.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: stblr on September 30, 2011, 11:04:15 AM
A couple of notes, briefly:

1. I am planning on removing monster spawners indoors and just having monsters.

2. Telling time and re-spawning after a certain amount of time has passed since you left the room is easy.  I'm not sure there's a lot of value to it, though, because the idea of clearing out rooms permanently has some appeal to many folks (myself included, if I think about it), and we're already trying to minimize backtracking in the first place.

Just throwing in my support for the first point. I'm one of those players who would rather destroy all the enemies in a room and then explore it at my leisure. Spawn points are sort of my personal bane. But I do like the idea of allowing them outdoors, because outdoors already somewhat enforce running through and trying to get where you need to go (usually an indoor location) as quickly as possible.

I'd also like to see outdoor spawners permanently gone if the player decides to destroy them. To that end, their current large max health is a good thing because they shouldn't be trivial to destroy permanently. But allowing them to be permanently destroyed allows me to create "safe" regions if I choose that can act as sort of homes away from home.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 30, 2011, 11:12:05 AM
I'll tone down their max health a bit.  75% sound good?

I'd also like to see outdoor spawners permanently gone if the player decides to destroy them. To that end, their current large max health is a good thing because they shouldn't be trivial to destroy permanently. But allowing them to be permanently destroyed allows me to create "safe" regions if I choose that can act as sort of homes away from home.

That's already been there since yesterday! ;)
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: stblr on September 30, 2011, 11:13:12 AM
I'll tone down their max health a bit.  75% sound good?

I'd also like to see outdoor spawners permanently gone if the player decides to destroy them. To that end, their current large max health is a good thing because they shouldn't be trivial to destroy permanently. But allowing them to be permanently destroyed allows me to create "safe" regions if I choose that can act as sort of homes away from home.

That's already been there since yesterday! ;)

Oh sorry, I didn't have a chance to play last night. Can't wait to get home and try it out!
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 30, 2011, 11:14:25 AM
No worries!
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 30, 2011, 12:06:17 PM
I'll tone down their max health a bit.  75% sound good?


I was going to say 50%.

(Make it 68% and you've got yourself a deal.  ;))
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: Yuugi on September 30, 2011, 12:33:26 PM
Actually, what about normal rooms not having spawners, instead spawning monsters (away from where you entered) whenever you enter a chunk that you haven't visited in a while, but they don't keep respawning right into your face.

Whereas bossrooms do have spawners, which get destroyed when the boss dies?

That'd be the more diablo-ey approach I've sene mentioned elsewhere on the forums.

And that'd give killing the normal mobs -some- point as well, as they'd at least leave you alone for a while.

Not sure if that might make things too easy, though. Hmm.
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: c4sc4 on September 30, 2011, 04:52:36 PM
I'll tone down their max health a bit.  75% sound good?


I was going to say 50%.

(Make it 68% and you've got yourself a deal.  ;))

Hahaha, I was wondering where the 68% came from in the release notes, it seemed like such an arbitrary number.

EDIT: Why do I keep leaving off suffixes?
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: x4000 on September 30, 2011, 05:03:12 PM
:)
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: zebramatt on September 30, 2011, 06:16:37 PM
 ;)
Title: Re: Spawn points - respawning
Post by: BobTheJanitor on September 30, 2011, 06:51:54 PM
Get a room!