First a short progress report: Release v2.3 is getting close. I will probably try out a new release procedure this time: One or two weeks before the official release of v2.3 I will put out a beta/test version here on the webpage to collect bugs and feedback about the new mechanics before the official release.
Since there’s no reward for killing monsters, it is often a good idea to just avoid fights altogether. This makes monsters that are slower than you quite uninteresting unless they have a ranged attack or are in your way. Since your speed may vary, any monster except the very fast ones can be slower than you.
A common tactic against slow monsters is to kite them. Kiting a monster means that you attack, move away, attack, move away etc until the monster is defeated. This tactic is quite simple, boring and provides no challenge, so I try to minimise its usefulness.
Even monsters with the same speed as you are also quite avoidable as you can walk around them and go to the stairs without them getting a chance to hurt you.
Attacks of Opportunity
To make slow monsters more threatening and more difficult to kite, I have introduced attacks of opportunity (inspired by D&D and Incursion). If you move away from an adjacent monster, it gets an automatic, free, non-blockable melee attack on against you called an attack of opportunity.You also get an attack of opportunity against adjacent monsters moving away from you.
The in-game explanation is that you have to turn around, face the other direction to leave melee. The game-play reason is that it should be harder to just walk past or avoid monsters.
Attacks of opportunities both have a graphical effect and are slown clearly in the message log, so you soon get a feel for how they work.
This change has a big impact on gameplay and makes the game more challenging. In particular, once you engage in melee it will be hard to disengage before you kill the opponent. If the opponent is at least as fast as you, you won’t be able to retreat since the monster will get an opportunity attack (for free) and then follow you.
If you are surrounded by more than one monster and try to retreat, each of those monsters will get an attack of opportunity on you. This together with the flanking mechanic makes it very dangerous to be surrounded.
On the flipside, you will now more quickly dispose of fleeing monsters by getting a free attack when they attempt to move away from you.
In order for you to get used to the new system, I have introduced a prompt that asks if you if you really want to disengage from melee combat if you move away from an adjacent monster. This is very helpful in the beginning, but can be turned off via an option once you learn it.
There are also occations where you don’t want to make an attack of opportunity against a monster even though you could. For example: if the attack of opportunity would knock a monster out on a square that would be in the way for you. In such occations (and the game is quite good at seeing when it is relevant) you will get prompted if you actually want to take the opportunity.