Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interesting

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Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interesting

Post by Joel » Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:35 pm

I'm int he middle of filling my act 2-6 with monsters ... and I just foudn that well ... I have almost onyl melee/caster monsters with 0 variety nro originality ebside their look.

This is sucky :|

so what kind of special effect/skill/proc can I put ont hose level 10-40 monsters to make them fun and not easy to defeat ??
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Post by Xenast » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:35 pm

Well, monprop is always good for adding variety.

One example is to take a melee monster, raise its attack rating, lower its damage, and give it a chance to cast skill on hitting like decrepify. This makes the monster play a diffrent role.

You have 1 that does good damage, slightly lower AR.
Then you have 1 that still damages, just a bit less, but has its main function as hampering your stats
Then for a third throw in a caster or ranged monsters, and you have a nice mix for an area

Works better then vanilla, where you have a Zombie and Skeleton that are essentially the same minus slightly variations.

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Post by Sir Xavius » Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:01 pm

One thing i've always wanted to do is make different monsters (in a group of the same kind) attack in different ways by using different AIs and different skills.

For example, in Act 1 some of the Fallen demons attack with their little sword (as normal), other fall back and throw, say, exploding potions, while others bide their time then charge you with Bash or something similar. I also wanted to make the Fallen Shaman look like the rest of the Fallen so you couldn't tell which one was causing you so much torment.

Go with these ideas!! :D

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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by snowknight » Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:11 pm

Here are a few thoughts.

Rabies - This is named after a real world disease, so why can't enemy animals use it? This has an added quality of being potentially more dangerous to summoners than standard melee/casters.

Charge-up effects (maul, tiger strike, etc.) - Granted, an ai probably can't make the most out of these, but they create variation in what a monster can do. *wonders how brutal a multishot, third-charged Claws of Thunder would be*

Warcries - Monsters yeilding something like Battle Cry can become a major pain to non-magic users. The other warcries could be used to give allied monsters a significant boost in damage and resilience.

Leap/Leap Attack - Stun every player/minion in range while other monsters (preferably ranged) attack the players. :twisted: On a not so evil note, this might be a good way to have bird-type enemies attack players on the other side of the river.

Radiance - A concept I thought of after reading about cranium rats in Infinitum. Basically, using monequip, ever monster has a random aura. On its own, that aura isn't enough to cause problems. But a non-boss monster pack weilding fanat, conviction, and all three holy attack auras, OUCH! May be a good place for the Fallen AI.

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Post by RicFaith » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:44 am

A bit more.

Chain lightning/LF style melee/ranged attacks - Something to make the zookeepers worried. Without any pets or hirelings, these just hit you once anyway.

Kill skill that 'enraged' comrades, so you kill one and you fight a pack of enraged critters. like a Battle Cry on death

Find a way to use Thief on a weak monster. Well i don't know how bugged it is now, but Lord De Seis was definitely worlds harder back then.

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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by marhawkman » Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:58 am

Make regular monsters that are summoners...
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Post by Brother Laz » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:30 am

· Powerful death-skills to discourage AoE spamming.
· AoE attacks like firewall to discourage minion zergs.
· 'Pet' monsters, grouped with others, that do less damage but have an aura or cast a curse. [has been mentioned already, and is also the role of that one shadowpriest minion]
· Some sort of charge or rush attack or self-speed-buff. They may do little damage, but you can't kite them and receive 0 damage.
· Fallen one AI and anything that runs away sucks at those levels.
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Phrozen Heart » Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:56 pm

snowknight";p="228059" wrote:Radiance - A concept I thought of after reading about cranium rats in Infinitum. Basically, using monequip, ever monster has a random aura. On its own, that aura isn't enough to cause problems. But a non-boss monster pack weilding fanat, conviction, and all three holy attack auras, OUCH! May be a good place for the Fallen AI.
Along the cranium rat idea you could have each monster with a weak missile skill (low level lightning?) but then have an invisible aura between them that synergizes the crap out of it when a number get together?

How about multi-tiered monsters? For instance you fight a zakarum zealot which on death spawns a corporeal undead monster (zombie or skeleton probably) which has different strengths/weaknesses then on it's death have it spawn a non-corporeal undead (wraith, ghost or whatever) again with different abilities. If you made monsters tougher as the chain progresses, some players may end up trying NOT to kill the original monster in order to avoid "releasing" it's vengeful spirit ;)
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Post by Brother Laz » Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:54 pm

Phrozen" wrote:some players may end up trying NOT to kill the original monster in order to avoid "releasing" it's vengeful spirit
In M_2, frog demons turn into a prince on death, which spams 10 frost novas in rapid succession. When you kill one of these, if you don't run away, all 10 novas will hit you and you die. This is more dangerous than a living frog. ;)

However, at lower levels, if you aren't able to kill the monsters at the end of the chain, you may have to park them to progress, and then they may sneak up on you from behind. On the other hand, if the final monsters are beatable, the first ones would be too easy... it's a sort of normal-champion-boss situation that cannot be balanced.

It is good at high levels though, to discourage AoE spamming... but at lower levels, you don't have the luxury of spell choices. What if your three minions decide to kill three different skeletons and three oblivion knights pop out?

The idea of monster chains is very good in itself, so good in fact that I just decided to steal it, but only from level 10 onwards IMO...
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by marhawkman » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:54 am

Phrozen Heart";p="228583" wrote:
snowknight";p="228059" wrote:Radiance - A concept I thought of after reading about cranium rats in Infinitum. Basically, using monequip, ever monster has a random aura. On its own, that aura isn't enough to cause problems. But a non-boss monster pack weilding fanat, conviction, and all three holy attack auras, OUCH! May be a good place for the Fallen AI.
Along the cranium rat idea you could have each monster with a weak missile skill (low level lightning?) but then have an invisible aura between them that synergizes the crap out of it when a number get together?
I don't like this idea. Missile packs are painful enough as is. In Vanilla the burning archers in Lut Gholeins sewers are a real pain if there's 12 or more of them in one spot. Yeah lowering the initial damage makes it a bit less of a problem but I've had situations pop up where I couldn't enter the area to kill them without losing half my health.... If you INCREASE the damage that makes for insta-kills.

EDIT: Or you could make it so that they get a minor boost. Halve the initial damage and have it increase by 5-10% for each other monster in the pack.
Last edited by marhawkman on Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Phrozen Heart » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:08 am

marhawkman";p="228686" wrote:EDIT: Or you could make it so that they get a minor boost. Halve the initial damage and have it increase by 5-10% for each other monster in the pack.
Isn't that what I said? Of course you wouldn't start out/increase too powerfully ;)
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by marhawkman » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:14 am

You said "synergizes the crap out of it". It seemed kinda like they'd triple the damage if too many got together.
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Phrozen Heart » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:26 am

marhawkman";p="228692" wrote:You said "synergizes the crap out of it". It seemed kinda like they'd triple the damage if too many got together.
I guess that's just a matter of interpretation ;) 50% base with 5% synergy per monster doubles the damage with a simple group of 10 :D
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by marhawkman » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:35 am

Huh? When I did the math in Calculator, it gave me 85.51%.

Of course this was computed using the cumulative method rather than simply adding the +5% things together.

5% *10=50% and 50+50% gives you 75%.....
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Phrozen Heart » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:00 am

marhawkman";p="228698" wrote:Huh? When I did the math in Calculator, it gave me 85.51%.

Of course this was computed using the cumulative method rather than simply adding the +5% things together.

5% *10=50% and 50+50% gives you 75%.....
This is straying seriously off topic but using a base percentile implies you have a base value to start with or the 50% has no meaning whatsoever. Take 100% as the original skill (let's saying "fireball") so the skill would start at 50% of the standard fireball damage with 5% of the standard fireball damage per extra monster thus giving 100% after ten monsters which my Calculator says is double 50%.

Essentially I made a suggestion which you misinterpretted and proceeded pick holes in as some form of petty oneupmanship. Please refrain from doing so in future and I strongly suggest you don't respond to this directly or Joel's topic will end up being locked.

Now back to the subject in hand...
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by snowknight » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:17 am

Hey Phrozen, don't you mean 10%? (10% * 10 = 100% or double damage) :) I like your idea, but I'm woried about the auras. I know that for players, auras are heavily restricted. Oh well, another thing to play with. :D

Here are a few more ideas.

Blade Armor - Use this to give a nice supplemental damage source to a monster. Might also be a cool look for a mech monster.

Haunt - Seen this one in a few console rpgs. Basically a ghost haunts a player doing random damage every so often. It's permament so visiting a healer won't help unless the healer is also an exorcist. For D2, how permament it is depends upon how much work you want to do. ;)

Support Allies - One monster has an aura that gives a powerful boost to other monsters, but none to monster that has the aura.

Ok, so those last two aren't the most original ideas, but they're not in d2. :)

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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Phrozen Heart » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:35 am

snowknight";p="228706" wrote:Hey Phrozen, don't you mean 10%? (10% * 10 = 100% or double damage) :) I like your idea, but I'm woried about the auras.
eg.
  • Player Skill A does 100 points of magic damage.
  • Monster A's version the skill only does 50 points (50% of the base).
  • Another monster A comes into range which bumps the damage to 55 points (50% + 5% of the player skill)
  • Nine more of Monster A come into range (50%+5%+(5%*9)) making the damage 100 which is double where it started.
They were just random numbers that got picked apart for no reason. I agree I did make a mistake with the number of monsters being 10 as I guess I meant the base monster PLUS 10 more :oops: ;)
snowknight";p="228706" wrote:Haunt - Seen this one in a few console rpgs. Basically a ghost haunts a player doing random damage every so often. It's permament so visiting a healer won't help unless the healer is also an exorcist. For D2, how permament it is depends upon how much work you want to do. ;)
I like this one :) Perhaps an (almost) unlimited time curse so you have to go back to the healer in town?
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by mishy23 » Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:24 am

1) Have a couple similiar monsters appear but have different ai groups that do different things. For example in one area in act2 have 3 different types of sand raiders, they all look alike, one acts like normal, another one is using an AI for say a bighead, and the third one has an AI with a projectile attack like quillrat, imp or archer.
Then have groups be very small (1 even), but have a large density, so the groups that you meet will be combinations of all three types.
It will keep things interesting.

2)New skills, properties and effects for monsters, monprops is so easy and fun to use, get-hit and death skills are great, as are wide range bonueses,
like give a group of monsters +0% - +200% faster run walk, and watch the different speeded monsters attack.
Missile attacks are the one thing that can increase the difficulty in this game to a reasonable level. And even out the balance between classes somewhat.
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Post by Doombreed-x » Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:49 pm

Brother Laz";p="228556" wrote:· Powerful death-skills to discourage AoE spamming.
· AoE attacks like firewall to discourage minion zergs.
· 'Pet' monsters, grouped with others, that do less damage but have an aura or cast a curse. [has been mentioned already, and is also the role of that one shadowpriest minion]
· Some sort of charge or rush attack or self-speed-buff. They may do little damage, but you can't kite them and receive 0 damage.
· Fallen one AI and anything that runs away sucks at those levels.
I sorta use these ideas via monequip.txt. Any humanoid monster in my mod gets a rare ring or weapon or something, so we get lots of variety between the packs. The best is to use that appearance conversion tutorial and make some monsters look like something else... just keep everything inside the txt's aligned so that the ai's still work properly. :)
Last edited by Doombreed-x on Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Brother Laz » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:55 am

mishy23";p="231533" wrote:Missile attacks are the one thing that can increase the difficulty in this game to a reasonable level. And even out the balance between classes somewhat.
Wrong. The problems with regular LoD are that it's so easy to avoid the monsters, you don't even notice you've been hit other than the fact that your life drops, and the monsters swing so slowly that you can easily outrun their attack.

· Slow down the characters so they can't just run rings around the monsters and avoid them entirely [you could also speed up the monsters to match the characters, but this could get silly with FRW equipment]. I suggest increasing the walk speed a tad and greatly boosting stamina drain, so you can't run all the time and have to walk.

· Greatly increase hit recovery length in animdata.d2. Like double or triple it. Three frames of hit recovery is the same as no hit recovery at all. This means when you start taking damage from melee monsters, you can easily run away and heal back the damage before they put you in danger. A minimum of 10-15 frames of hit recovery after FHR items is needed to make monster packs a danger without having to turn them into one-second kills.

· Increase monster attack speed, either via animdata.d2 or in monprop.txt. Ever seen a balrog swing? Nobody will just stand there and watch the sword grow closer and closer to their character, they just run half a screen away and blast the balrog while it is in swing recovery. The same applies to many other melee monsters: dark lancers, lightning dogs, minions, pretty much every monster except melee succubi and Duriel. An attack speed of 8-12 frames would be ideal. [Compare to the 10-15 frame hit recovery speed above: better get some armor to decrease their chance to hit so you don't get stunlocked by a single monster. This encourages using defense rating instead of just piling on +hp and leech items and tanking it]

· Leech is very overpowered, mostly because characters do so much more damage than monsters. Rebalance them and you can get away with much more leech without unbalancing the game. [You may end up with the opposite situation in which 50% leech is underpowered, but it's still better than the '5% leech + BotD = immunity' nonsense in CLoD]

· Likewise, remove or nerf rejuvenation potions. Infinite instant full heals equal infinite lives. Perhaps make all potions work over [a long] time? Minor healing potions 10% of your life per second over 10 seconds, giant healing potions 20% of your life per second over 5 seconds? This should make all of them useful, without allowing the player to stand there, tank everything and chain drink potions.
Last edited by Brother Laz on Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SilverShadowHell » Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:09 pm

Give big monsters knockback and/or stun ( for summons and hireling:D )
Making casters use skills like maniacs cn be very interesting.
The Domm Mage's in act 4, they are the most interesting foes in vanilla LoD, how about some mages that teleport use freezing attacks and firewall ( Priestes The Fury Within comes to mind ) How about novas and making them like some character builts, multi missile attacks, double throw and stuff or you can even give them a chance on attack like a 15% chance to cast lvl 8 FO on attack, special auras and enchantments with retaliation are great
Fighters can have a decent block rate, evasion, multi hit like attacks, ignore targets defense and stuff, or giving you a state on hit ( like a plague ) that makes your max live to be half as big, giving archers ( in act 2 ) a strafe like attack, a lot of summoners.
And my favorite, the suicidal ones, they come explode and they spwn a bone prison on top of you, you try to break it and get cuset by Iron Maiden or Blood Mana ( depending of wath you are mage or fighter ).
The real secret is to make monsters work together like a real army ( mages slow you with some cold skills, melee foes knockback and stun you while archers... hmmm... kill you) :twisted: ;) :mrgreen:
This will force you to make you char versatile, powerfull and requires you to be a bitt carefull ( hope you die first time when trying to reach such a diverse pack :mrgreen: ).
Last edited by SilverShadowHell on Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Brother Laz » Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:34 am

It's hammer time.
SilverShadowHell";p="232218" wrote:mages that teleport use freezing attacks and firewall ( Priestes The Fury Within comes to mind )
Neat, so melee fighters cannot reach them due to teleport and being chilled and have to stand in 20 firewalls while fighting them. In the meantime, ranged characters can just fire area effect spells and ignore the cold spells, ignore the teleport and if they have minions, ignore the firewalls.
How about novas and making them like some character builts, multi missile attacks, double throw and stuff or you can even give them a chance on attack like a 15% chance to cast lvl 8 FO on attack,
More damage =/= harder monsters, just more one-hit kills. Also, cold skills on melee attack again punish melee characters without doing much for ranged characters.
special auras and enchantments with retaliation are great
Oh yes, iron maiden in CLoD is so much fun, with being cursed in mid-zeal and dying without being able to do anything about it and all. Again, ranged characters can ignore thorns and iron maiden.
Fighters can have a decent block rate, evasion, multi hit like attacks, ignore targets defense and stuff, or giving you a state on hit ( like a plague ) that makes your max live to be half as big
Uh, ignore target's defense is something that has no place on any physical damage monster. This only makes defense even more useless than it already is. And that curse is an all time favourite to see on a cursed extra strong might enchanted minotaur pack.
And my favorite, the suicidal ones, they come explode and they spwn a bone prison on top of you, you try to break it and get cuset by Iron Maiden or Blood Mana ( depending of wath you are mage or fighter ).
Uh, brilliant. :( So you have to break a few hundred bone prisons on a level with minions and overseers; die instantly if you are a fighter [they already do more damage than their own life, times 5 by IM... mega gib], face the annoyance of having to drink a healing potion if you are a mage [that's all BM does, a slight drain in hit points], and archers have no trouble. Also, having the bone prison choose between IM and BM is not possible. [succubi choose between defense curse and blood mana]
The real secret is to make monsters work together like a real army ( mages slow you with some cold skills, melee foes knockback and stun you while archers... hmmm... kill you) :twisted: ;) :mrgreen:
This will force you to make you char versatile, powerfull and requires you to be a bitt carefull ( hope you die first time when trying to reach such a diverse pack :mrgreen: ).
Yes indeed, because it is totally impossible for a melee character to deal with such a mixed pack. Cold skills uttely suck to be hit with [in M_2 I had to decrease the cold length of disfigured cold bolts to all of 5 frames, due to their runaway behaviour. It's hard to chase them when you're moving slower than a molten boulder!].

Anyway, the melee characters are nicely chilled by the mages and stunlocked by your melee enemies while the archers indeed kill them. Casters? Being chilled makes no difference, they can summon tanks or chill those melee monsters to a crawl [cold damage rendering things near immobile works both ways!], or both [druid], then spam area effect attacks like meteor or volcano on the mages and archers.
Last edited by Brother Laz on Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SilverShadowHell » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:46 pm

What about increasing Blood Mana effect to match that of Iron Maiden or lowering Iron Maiden to the same power as Blood Mana.
I'm not saying to make it impossible but very hard and seems like archers and mages are the most "protected" from this method but you can always trow in a mage with drain mana and slow missiles.
Ok this is not for low lvl monsters, if made corectly you can make a char have 10x HP, MANA, ATT, DEF and DMG, place him in one of this packs with all atributes at half but these modifications and you die.
Butt one of these modifications here and there will make the monster more interesting.
Oh, and I made molten boulder move twice as fast :mrgreen:
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Post by Phrozen Heart » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:56 pm

This is probably more Laz's area but what about a monprop using a skill/itemstat similiar to chilling armor that attacks only ranged opponents? Either that or simple 100% gethit-skill monprops that shoot missiles that detonate with elemental AoE or even a ranged stun of sorts. Cheesy, cheap but fairly effective.
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Re: Monsters Gallery : How to make early monsters interestin

Post by Doombreed-x » Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:03 am

I have to agree with Laz pretty much completely here; that and he's my newest hero for actually saying hammer time. :P

There have been way too many situations where as a caster I just froze things and ran away, otherwise I'd have died. I like to see area freezing on melee chars more because it lets them deal with packs more favourably, but even then you have to be careful. I think the best example I have is that I gave paladins a stun nova. It starts at about 1 sec, and ends at about 4.5, but it has a 30 second delay, so you can't use any other skills that have delays or this one for 30 seconds afterwards. Granted, they can still use zeal; so it's more difficult to balance than at first glance. I'm still working on it, but I do think this'll work. The hard part is hitting the archers and mages.

With special thanks to Hygiliak, I have a new skill working that creates a ring around the caster and damages things touched by that ring, but not inside it. I'm planning on using this not only for one of my character skills, but variations on monsters as well, to try and force archers and casters closer or out of range. Again this might take quite some balancing, but I think it'll be more than worth the effort.

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