Hunting AI overhaul

DiogenDiogen Member, Immortal Posts: 160 Immortal
edited September 7 in Aetolia Development
Diogen said:


Hello everyone!

I'm really excited to announce a big change has been made to several hunting areas in the game which, in essence, improves the AI of the mobiles players fight to make hunting more interesting and challenging. This is a first step into improving our PVE.

You will begin to more frequently encounter denizens that have behaviors beyond attacking you until you are dead; though, they will still do that! Efforts so far have been focused on three areas which will serve as live trials in order for us to adjust the difficulty and rewards appropriately. Once a comfortable balance has been found, more areas will begin to be worked on.

As of this post, these three areas have had their AI redesigned:

Tcanna Island
Torturers' Caverns
Drakuum

The AI for these denizens have been split into several archetypes and assigned appropriately depending on the type of mobile. For example, you may find that a turtle is weighted to have a 'defender' archetype wherein it uses defensive abilities that should be dealt with accordingly. You should be able to get a very vague feel for the behavior of one of these redesigned denizens via PROBE.

There are currently 11 primary archetypes that will be used for behaviors, all which can be mixed and matched in any amount and variation to create further, advanced archetypes. In addition to this, most all of the archetypes are being designed in such a way that they have stat checks to encourage a more diverse spread of strengths/weaknesses among the statpacks and player classes.

Some examples for a few archetypes:

Berserker: goes berserk, easier to pacify if higher INT.
Mender: tries to heal allies, easier to interrupt with higher DEX.
Defender: defensive stance, easier to remove guard if higher STR.

You can see more, complete details about the system and standard archetypes currently released in HELP HUNTING.

Probably most importantly, the increase in difficulty will come with rewards. The denizens in every revamped area have chances to drop loot which contain relics that combine into rare, new and unique style scrolls, vox iterators, flairs, minipets, and more.

Please keep in mind, since the infrastructure is already in place, new archetypes are convenient to add and existing ones very easily modified. That being said, everything will be closely monitored to ensure it's doing more good than bad.

As this is a large transition, we can expect to see a plethora of bugs, inconsistencies, unintentional difficulty spikes and other balance issues. We hope to resolve them as quickly as they come up so please make intensive use of the BUG and IDEA commands.


----------------------------------------
Let me know what you guys think. Questions, comments, fears, whatever. Obviously, I can't talk about things like the development cycle (but @Tiur can and I'm sure he'll pop in) or drop rates.

There's a lot of stuff I didn't want to cover in the post because it would have went on for ages, but I think it and HELP HUNTING covers the basics.

This is basically an infrastructure wherein we can sneak in simple or complex behaviors to mobs. I know none of the NPCs are going to be doing your calculus homework; but I feel it's a step forwards and I hope you'll agree.

SatomiVashAnteheIshinTeaniAloli

Comments

  • VashVash Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    I have only fought a few apparitions at this point. I think they were Counterers as I received one message about it but sadly I killed the poor thing with my next attack. I am probably too high level to really experience them as intended as that was the only difference I noticed in 6 fights. Not sure what the proc rate is supposed to be but it seems like you would want it to trigger on every battle.

    I love the idea so I will keep exploring and seeing how it works out!
    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
  • KodazaKodaza Los AngelesMember Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
    Torturer's is considerably lower level than the other test areas. Was that chosen on purpose? Has the effective level of Torturer's risen with these changes?
  • DiogenDiogen Member, Immortal Posts: 160 Immortal
    Yeah, it was on purpose. I wanted new players to get a chance to see that kind of thing ASAP, because they probably can't take on places like Tcanna for awhile.

    I would say it has risen a bit, but the AI on the mobs there is tuned relatively low; I doubt it'd be anything to give an endgamer trouble.

    Right now I think the main testing ground for a lot of our players is on Tcanna, so I hope to work on getting that right first. Tcanna was a good place to do this in my opinion because it was full of mobiles that didn't have any behaviors at all.

    IshinTeani
  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
    So after testing this in Tcanna, this actually isn't all that bad. It still doesn't really remove any of the 'bash til dead' bit, but it does provide some form of semi-active or modifications to a bashing script... especially if its in defender status.

    I like it. A little awkward, but I'll give a +3 points for creativity and interest. Plus the xp bonuses for the creatures with these statuses are nice.

    Diogen
  • DiogenDiogen Member, Immortal Posts: 160 Immortal
    edited September 11
    I just realized I didn't post about what the rewards that dropped are, and that was kind of the whole point of making this forum thread. Whoops.

    Here are the rewards. They have a chance to drop per-area right now. They come in relic pieces so you'll have to assemble them and will automatically be put into your inventory if you get a drop.

    Torturers Caverns: - a stiff technique scroll (all classes) - a sad vox iterator - a skeletal minipet cage [a skeletal fish] - a bony pelt (Werecroc) Drakuum: - a ghostly flair - a haunting vox iterator - a ghostly minipet cage [a wandering spirit pup] - a dark pelt (Wereraven) Tcanna Island: - a monkeyish technique scroll (all classes) - a seabreeze vox iterator - an islander minipet cage [a little leopard cub] - an islander pelt (Werewolf, Werebear, Werecroc, Wereraven)

    Vash
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 225 ✭✭✭
    edited September 11
    @Diogen Is there a certain number of pieces needed per? And how do we know if we found one? Will they show in RELIC PIECES?

  • DiogenDiogen Member, Immortal Posts: 160 Immortal
    edited September 11
    @Satomi you'll get a drop message and they'll show up in RELIC PIECES.

    Also, please let me know what you guys think of the difficulty, especially Drakuum/Tcanna. Mob stats are a lot more variable now, as are their behaviors, so please let me know here or in-game if you think something is too powerful or too easy - your opinions matter.

    Right now for stats in Tcanna I'm seeing that about half the deaths for the month in the area are densely attributed across the past few days during the changes. Of course much of this is due to a spike in interest and learning mechanics, I think things on the difficulty front are looking OK (maybe too high? We're not all @Rhyot !) but I'm interested to hear from more players about how the overhaul is feeling.

    edit: Sorry @Satomi . The relic pieces required for each reward range from 2 to 4.

  • AloliAloli Member Posts: 12 ✭✭
    What is the drop rate for these items?
  • VashVash Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    I have only played around in Drakuum doing about 4 full clears so far. My general feedback is other than a few close calls from crits and needing to counter defender I have not really had to change any of my bashing style. I still just stand there and hit it until it dies. Then again I am a >100 player with multiple artifacts so the area is not really tuned for me thus I am not the best judge of balance.

    I will say that even before the changes Tcanna felt like way too much of a risk to bother with. Things like bruiser, berserker, bloody, and counterer only makes that even more true now. I have never enjoyed having to do hit and run bashing and some of those mobs would probably just one hit kill me on a crit. I am also, in theory, playing one of the tankier classes (archivist) so I can only imagine how fun that would be for others.

    This is my current feedback on the abilities I have seen so far:

    Ambusher: N/A - Is this something that only spawns on aggressive mobs?
    Berserker: N/A - I suspect I just kill the mobs before this can trigger
    Bloody: N/A - I have never seen a message that looks like this
    Bruiser: The spike damage this can give off is rather scary.
    Counterer: The few times I have seen this I ended up killing the mob on the next attack.
    Defender: Initially this was the most interesting type to fight against as if you just kept blindly attacking you would not make much progress. At the same time with the clear message you receive when this triggers it is rather simple to just update your bashing scripts to send the correct command. As a result if you have the STR to counter this is a no-impact ability and if you do not have the STR this becomes next to impossible.
    Healer: With the current proc rate on this I did not really see any impact. As at most I would see one heal attempt in a fight. I was not keeping exact records but they did not seem to take significantly longer to kill. So this had very little impact on the fight.
    Mender N/A - I avoid teaming mobs when possible, this seems like it would make such fights a huge risk though. Trying to find the healer in the middle of a fight so you can focus on it first seems very challenging.
    Punisher: N/A - I never shield while bashing (I always run instead, is that a mistake?).
    Tricky: N/A - Then again I am currently using the nexus client and it's built in targeting/room display so unless this ability also messes with the GMCP messages I am never going to notice it.
    Stunner: N/A - I could see this being nasty though I have fought "normal" mobs that stun and blackout so this is not really anything new.
    Wary: N/A - No idea what this one does
    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
    Diogen
  • RazmaelRazmael Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,063 admin
    Aloli said:

    What is the drop rate for these items?


    Drop chance is low enough that it'll take you a while to get all the pieces you need, but also high enough that a couple of pieces are already floating around the market ;)
    DiogenKerocAloli
  • VashVash Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    Finally got a counter attack to trigger!

    19:46:33.931 A blackened darkwalker lashes out with a sudden counter attack!

    19:46:33.931 Health Lost: 29, unblockable, none


    I realize that if you make this value too high it would be rather dangerous but this seems rather low to me.

    It is unclear to me how you are supposed to overpower a counter attack. Do I need to attack first? Is it just an automatic check and I don't need to do anything special?

    Is there any random component to the checks?
    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
    From what I've gathered, its a check on you as a character. The higher your strength, the more likely you are to stop the counter attack.

    Think of it like D&D. Your strength is 12 and their AC is 21, so you need to roll at least a 9 to beat them. You don't get the 9, you miss. Now, if your strength is 19, you only need to roll a 2 to hit. Much more likely. (Yeah, I just went full nerd)

    Diogen
  • DiogenDiogen Member, Immortal Posts: 160 Immortal
    edited September 11
    Vash said:

    Finally got a counter attack to trigger!

    19:46:33.931 A blackened darkwalker lashes out with a sudden counter attack!

    19:46:33.931 Health Lost: 29, unblockable, none


    I realize that if you make this value too high it would be rather dangerous but this seems rather low to me.

    It is unclear to me how you are supposed to overpower a counter attack. Do I need to attack first? Is it just an automatic check and I don't need to do anything special?

    Is there any random component to the checks?
    It works how Rhyot said basically, right now. Also, when a mobile counters it's supposed to deal all the damage done to it during the countering phase back to its target. Sounds like you found a bug, @Vash ! I'll investigate.

    edit: Hmm. Seems only part of the damage is showing on Health Lost. It's actually still doing its full damage, you just won't see it. If you look at your log, you'll see that your health actually dropped a lot more than 29. We'll look into it.

  • VashVash Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    Rhyot said:

    (Yeah, I just went full nerd)

    THAC0 was not even mentioned once.

    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
    Ishin
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 280 admin
    @Vash Minipet combat, should it ever exist, will use Thaco0 now
    VashIshin
  • RunasRunas Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    Yeah darkwalker counterattack was kinda hard on me as an INT based class with low STR, I was getting smacked around in Drakuum...
    SIDE NOTE: I want a Spirit Pup. That is all.
    The Divine voice of Tiur echoes in your head, "You know better than that. Bad."
    A telekinetic newspaper swats your nose.
  • KelliaraKelliara Member Posts: 469 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 12
    Runas said:

    Yeah darkwalker counterattack was kinda hard on me as an INT based class with low STR, I was getting smacked around in Drakuum...
    SIDE NOTE: I want a Spirit Pup. That is all.

    Can't you just...like...not attack for a few seconds?

    Or TOUCH SHIELD when the thing fires up for a counter-attack?
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Chibi-Kelli by @Eleanor.
    Vash
  • VashVash Member Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    Kelliara said:


    Can't you just...like...not attack for a few seconds?

    Or TOUCH SHIELD when the thing fires up for a counter-attack?

    What is this crazy "don't just spam your attack like a mob" advice?
    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 225 ✭✭✭
    edited September 13
    Some of them punch through shields and still do damage, anyway.

    A blackened darkwalker charges suddenly into you, painfully shattering your defenses!
    Health Lost: 1802, magic, none
    [Source]: Affliction: STUN
    Your magical shield is violently shattered under the forced duress.
    [Source]: Info: -DEF- SHIELDED
    As your shield shatters, a four-pointed star of the Priesthood absorbs the residual energy and heals you.

  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
    @Kelliara This is all speculation and based on my experience of Tcanna: if its a counter-attack mob and you have hit it, it WILL hit you back. Some of the counter attacks I've received were labeled as (element)/unblockable. The only way is to have high STR or kill it before the counter goes off. Even when I ran it still seemed to hit me even when I came back.

    @Diogen I don't know if maybe I just have bad RNG or what's going on, but I've ran through Tcanna something like 15 times now and haven't had a single item drop at all. Is it bugged or am I just unlucky??

  • DiogenDiogen Member, Immortal Posts: 160 Immortal
    edited September 13
    If you do any damage to a counterer mob while it is prepping a counter-attack, it will counter attack for that damage, period. The only surefire way to not receive any counter damage is to not attack it. The STR check to interrupt is just if you aren't worried about the counter or have faith in your luck. If it is dealing damage to you when it is not attacked during its counter phase, please BUG it.

    EDIT: Also, a counterer hitting a shield if you make a mistake should now clear counter damage, but will not stop punisher attacks. I forgot to mention that mobs should unload their counter damage after a few seconds, so if you run after hitting it during counter that would also be another way.

    @Satomi that is a punisher archetype; it will do that attack against a shielded player instead of hammering/bouncing off shield.

    @Rhyot I can't really talk about exact drop-rates as I said in the initial post but I would suggest reading what @Razmael said. They are not intended to be super common drops, but they are intended to drop. I am sure if we don't see sufficient pieces circulating in a month or so we will consider altering the chance. Right now some are floating around, so don't worry, they exist and drop.

    TL;DR, it is working you're just unlucky.

    Post edited by Diogen on

    VashRhyotRunasAxius
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