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 Debuffs CAN work in Xen : Discussion 
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 am
Posts: 267
Can't participate in the green only board (pls make a pass on green status EJ), so I will rattle off some ideas for enemy/area designs and some debuffs that could work for different reasons.

Weigh pros & cons, spitball a bit, and maybe we can come to find some cool ideas to alleviate the dispel frustration from the latest update. Looks like EJ has nerfed the chance of dispel and that's great, but it being there at all is an issue. I can see some areas where it could work out, but they are not many. You'd need to heavily rework how buffs work before it would be alright to include IMO. Probably the best solution you could possibly do is just give enemies a weapon that dispels on hit, like fragor axes. I can't see Contra Magicus working on any enemy in the game (other than to break invis) with the way everything is balanced around self buffs right now.

Personally, I am with EJ that adding debuffs to monsters and areas could be cool. Unfortunately it just so happens that for his first attempt he picked two of the most oppressive effects, but hey that's alright. New thing, just a test, all good. Experimenting is great and you can't hate the guy trying something new even if it was a miss this time. Iteration is better than stagnation.

Now, let's talk about some ways to change up the way you play in cool ways that doesn't involve dispelling your buffs and getting floored by calvaria and adepts alike. Here are some examples of debuffs in games. A lot of us will already know these, but listing them out might be beneficial to get the neurons firing for people who are not turbo nerds like myself and others.

Debuffs can include but are not limited to :

▷ Negative Effects
Gameplay : Requires the player maintain a minimum level of upkeep to stay alive while playing
Examples of Damage over Time include:
• Poison (Lingering long term damage, Shadow damage, curable)
• Bleed (Short term damage, received from melee hits, Physical damage, not curable)
• Lava (Sustained small damage, location based, Magical damage, can be resisted)
• Drowning (Sustained %total HP damage, location based, mitigated entirely via learned skill)
• Suppressed Output/Input (Damage done and/or healing taken reduced for a short time)

▷ "Soft" Crowd-control
Gameplay : Player control is limited temporarily adding moments of vulnerability if not managed.
Examples of "Soft" Crowd-control include:
• Slow (Player movement is decreased variably by a percentage of base movement speed)
• Snare (Player movement is restricted for a short time, can continue to act while snared i.e. "root")
• Blind (Player vision is obstructed, either graphically via darkening the screen or as chance to miss attacks or fail spells i.e Stupify)
• Silence (Player spell casting is restricted for a short period of time, can attack physically)
• Disarm (Player attacks are restricted for a short period of time, can cast spells)

▷ "Hard" Crowd-control
Gameplay : Player Control is completely stopped temporarily, adding moments of lethality if not avoided or mitigated.
Examples of "Hard" Crowd-control include:
• Stun (All actions and movement are disabled momentarily i.e. freeze, bash, etc)
• Stasis (All actions and movement are disabled INCLUDING harmful effects)
• Forced Action (Actions are not non-voluntary for a short time. Can include a number of effects in other games taunt, polymorph, charm, physically moved, fear, etc. i.e. Stomp is a miniature version of this in Xen)

I've listed these to get the creative juices flowing. For every one of these effects, there is an enemy in the game that can use them in different ways if you design them and place them in the right spots.

I think Xenimus uses some of these (and stopped using some for some reason such as poison, stupify, etc) but not nearly enough. The introduction of some affects without proper counters (the root spell in Cron's) are much too frustrating without having some way to fight back against the effects besides guzzling potions especially if the area also happens to be naturally difficulty via numbers alone. For every new effect you give monsters, you have to give at least one class access to that same effect and a different class a way to deal with that effect. That's how you make an engaging system.

If you add in a root, add in a way to get OUT of the root or deal with it in some way. A button to push, an amulet to wear, a buff to maintain, ANYTHING. Creativity is the name of the game. I realize some debuffs had been phased out based on old designs (poison vs. ring of contra-venom) but there's nothing stopping those things from existing if the game supports having those things. It makes sense, it adds to the world building, makes the players make choices with builds and playstyles. Overall pretty good things for a video game.

For every poison, you want the player to have access to an antidote. If you do nothing but give monsters lethality without accounting for it via in-game tools or gameplay options, you're just stomping players into the dirt and that's just not fun. Often referred to as "kiss-curse" design, you want to have areas in the game that cause friction for the player AND also have some means for the player to apply their own lubricant so that it feels good to overcome the additional challenge. It is possible to do this without just cranking up damage numbers or slapping contra magicus on enemies. It's possible to move Xenimus to a game where you have more interesting variety of enemies and ways to play, it's just getting these things in the game so they can be toyed with as opposed to shelving the mechanics forever.

So, given some of these examples what kind of enemies and areas can you come up with for Xenimus?
Here's some I can rattle off the top off my head just to get a discussion started:

✧ Wolves or assassins that add a stacking bleed if you take too many hits
✧ Floor traps that freeze/snare you (no more bomb floor pls)
✧ Hunting areas with pits where enemies will push you around if they collide with your character
✧ Lava areas where the damage taken from lava increases over time, have pools or water around to reset the effect
✧ Water areas where you have to return to land every so often to prevent fatigue (slow, hp drain, etc)
✧ Ice monsters that slow when they hit you
✧ Sand creatures that blind you occasionally so you sometimes miss
✧ Dark areas that disable night vision so you play in the dark, find torches for safety
✧ Scorpion enemies that use ranged poison and keep a distance to avoid melee attackers
✧ Wall or Pole traps that shoot missiles that apply debuffs or deal damage.
*Agredei/Arrows are more engaging that unavoidable things.
✧ Paladin/cleric enemies that heal themselves/others.
*There are loads of evil enemies in the game but no good enemies for the evil players. Why not?
✧ Spells that heal over time to counteract the different types of damage incoming.
✧ Shield spells to prevent instances of damage or increase effective HP.
✧ Bosses that interact with the rooms they are in as mechanics, instead of just having multiple HP bars of health to chew through.
✧ Suicide enemies that explode when they reach you.
✧ Chicken enemies that breath fire!
✧ An underground labyrinth where trolls and ogres have made their own towns that you can raid.
✧ Dungeon where you collect pieces of a key and combine to open a chest after you've got all the bits.
✧ A living forest where the shrubs and trees come alive and attack you!
✧ Etc, forever.

All of these things and more are possible and debuffs could play a part in making them more interesting than face value.
It all comes down to being creative and using all of the tools in the belt to make them as cool as possible. There are like a hundred unused enemy models and dozens of spell effects that aren't used. Make a use for them and ship it. If it doesn't work, change it. Game making stuff!

Anyway, there's my long post for the month. Like, comment, discuss.

Last edited by epicchase on Wed May 11, 2022 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wed May 11, 2022 9:23 pm

Joined: Tue May 11, 2021 3:45 am
Posts: 13
They don't call him epic for nothing!

Wed May 11, 2022 11:33 pm

Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:47 am
Posts: 45
it’s enough as it is. Why would you want to implement something to the game that is only going to be annoying while playing? Out of all the ideas you could have spent a hour writing about, that was what you managed to come up with? Like really? How about thinking of a addition that is actually fun and exciting?

I’m just speaking for myself, there is nothing enticing about that idea, at all.

Mon May 16, 2022 10:49 am

Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:22 pm
Posts: 279
There's a reason why you aren't green, and probably the same reason everyone is disagreeing with your post. Reflect inwards. Stop acting like you have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

Tue May 17, 2022 10:23 pm

Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 am
Posts: 267
Thanks for the discussion fellas.

Pleasure as always.

Wed May 18, 2022 12:10 am
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