Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I haven't had much time this week, but here's some old thoughts on tethering creatures in MMOs.

I like trains (even when I hate them ), and like that realization that I only thought I lost my pursuer. But I'd like to see more involved, in regards to tethering, than I've seen in past games.

  • Distance. The obvious condition. No creature should chase the player around the whole world, and creatures should have varying distances each is willing to go.
  • Focus. Some creatures should be more distractable from their pursuit than others. Some should chase anyone who crosses their pursuit. Some should be distracted only by players who attack them. And some should be completely indistractable, being overcome by insane bloodlust or solid purpose.
  • Barriers. A creature may not like mountainous terrain, water, or something else, and so will stop at that boundary. The boundary might be magic, psychic, by training or otherwise non-physical. The point is that many creatures should have comfort zones and doubt zones. Some won't leave their comfort zone. Some increasingly think of turning back as they gain distance from it. Also, attitudes might change dependent on where they are. If a creature has been lured to an area that increases its anxiety, it might become more or less effective in combat. It may become stronger or it may become sloppy.
  • Guards. Some guardian creatures should be lurable, while others are not. The creature may only leave its post for a limited time or limited distance (in this case, the creature is still watching the player, just not following).
  • Fear. Most creatures have a sense of odds. Only some will give chase when vastly outnumbered. Make them aware of how many of their allies are joined in the chase. And make them aware of the proximity of players without needing to be attacked or the players needing to be grouped. The group of players it is approaching may not be hostile, but how would it know that?
  • Sprinting. Some creatures could be capable of sprinting, as players often are. Some might be able to get one last attack or two in quickly, but their natural movement speed is much slower than the players; so if the player can survive a couple attacks when fleeing, he'll quickly be out of the creature's range. Sprinting can also work the other way, adding an interesting dynamic. Some creatures may be difficult to kill, not because they're difficult to fight, but because they are good at making an escape when low. I imagine this could result in some fun and interesting player group strategizing.
  • Fatigue and perception. The creature chases; the player runs; the creature sees that the player is a fast runner, so gives up right away. This allows for player types which excel at escape (like rogues). Maybe running a creature a bit and wearing down its fatigue will make it an easier fight.

Anyway, nothing much here really. I just wanted to get something up that would take an hour.

1 comment:

  1. Permalinked =p

    Nice to see someone getting back to the basics.


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