Attacks of Opportunity

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.

Slow Monsters

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.

Consequences

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.

Prompts

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.

The game will warn you if you try to move away from an adjacent monster

The game will warn you if you try to move away from an adjacent monster

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.

 

Comments

  1. Hm, I’m very interested to try this. It sounds as a cool nerf to kiting, but also that it will make retreating from any combat nigh-impossible, pretty much forcing the player to guess whether they can survive the fight before it even begins and then either push through, die, or use a teleport consumable. That puts a real emphasis on player experience and gut feeling about each particular fight.

    BTW, will panicked monsters kill themselves trying to retreat from the player?

    1. > it will make retreating from any combat nigh-impossible, pretty much forcing the player to guess whether they can survive the fight before it even begins

      This is a very valid point, it might make the game too difficult for beginners. A softer version might be to not make the attack of opportunity free, but that introduces other potential problems.

      > BTW, will panicked monsters kill themselves trying to retreat from the player?

      Monsters will try to flee and that will give you a free blow. The blow might kill it, but if it doesn’t it is your decision whether to follow the monster or not.

  2. What about a warning if a restoration potion could kill you? ๐Ÿ˜€ (because there was some +maxlife effect and the character is in that extra life range. it is kinda hard to remember this.)

    1. Yeah, it has been suggested before and I really don’t intend that to be a “gotcha”. In fact it would be better to even forbid you to drink or use such an item (just like it is forbidden to unequip items that could kill you).

      We’ll see if it makes it to v2.3 or not, there will be a test version out in a few days.

      1. You know, a monster with a restoring attack in the late game would be immensely dangerous… Maybe just a really weak creature that can deal it with low melee chance… A worm perhaps…

        Interestingly, the exact same enemy would, in the early game, be quite inconsequential for most runs.

        And if you managed to play your cards right, you could make really powerful use of it if you get slowed/diseased/poisoned/nauseus/really-badly-weakened-to-an-element…

        1. Yes, I have been thinking about having some late game monster having a restoring attack actually!

          > Interestingly, the exact same enemy would, in the early game, be quite inconsequential for most runs.

          It could maybe be an early monster that a late-game monster could summon…

  3. Poison or something similar could be interesting with this. And knockback. If poison had two values, a speed and a total damage, then you could add really dangerous poisons too. And then poison resistance could be more interesting. And I think 100% poison resistance should be rare at monsters if you make this attack of opportunity change. But generally knockback will be more interesting now.

    I think it is generally a problem, acid, poison, and electricity resistance isn’t important as a player stat now. And acid and poison will be even weaker now.

    1. Hm.. now I don’t quite follow. How do you mean poison relates to attacks of opportunity?

      > I think it is generally a problem, acid, poison, and electricity resistance isnโ€™t important as a player stat now. And acid and poison will be even weaker now.

      How come?

      1. 1. Because poison can be used as a hit and run thing. Now this won’t be that simple, because of attack of opportunity. So it will be more challenging to kill with poison. You need other tricks to make it work. This could be a way of stealth character build, with some new items. Blindness on a weapon. Or poison potion on knockback item. Or blink. But I think you should remove some poison resistance from monsters to make this work. There are way too many 100%. I think 100% should be super rare.

        2. The reworked poison and acid are even a smaller threat than it was. And even now, i don’t think they are really dangerous. I rarely have problem with them. Same for electricity. I don’t think these protections are important. I prefer the other three.

        1. > 1. Because poison can be used as a hit and run thing.

          Ah, I see. The reason for the rework of poison was to make it less of a hit and run tactic anyway. As compensation I have increased sources of poison so they are more threatening.

          So you can now see poison as a strong element that many monsters are immune to, but can work really well for animals and humanoids.

          > 2. The reworked poison and acid are even a smaller threat than it was.

          Ok, that is also true. However, resistances in general are quite a lot more useful and reliable now than before (posted about it a few weeks ago) so any source of resistance will protect you better, especially against high damage.

          I agree elec and acid resistance are usually not so important right now. Since they are rare elements I think it might be reasonable to buff sources of acid and elec damage as well (as I did with poison).

  4. And: what about to make oil remove rust from a random rust item. Now it is hard to remove it from a non weapon.

    1. If oil changes it will be on a selected item, not random. Right now it uses the (C)oating command, that’s why it is only on the weapon. It will probably remain that way (the gameplay explanation is that it is not enough oil to coat other equipment than a weapon which is typically smaller).

  5. Can monsters move while im at an other level or they stay where they were? I lost a SUPER crazy game…………

    Other small things:
    To enchant 24 bone arrows costs 1440 sounds way too much.
    The waraxe might need some buff. (sry for the lots of small comments, i played some games and these things happened :))

    1. > Can monsters move while im at an other level or they stay where they were?

      They stay where they are when you are on another level. The explanation for the acid blob you found out I saw in the other comment (it followed you unheard while you were on dungeon 3).

      > To enchant 24 bone arrows costs 1440 sounds way too much.

      Agreed, for some reason they have a very high base price.

      > The waraxe might need some buff.

      Yeah, either that or lower price, thank you.

  6. This is the lost game. I was slowed but had quite lots of life, so i thought that i go down to level 4 a bit. But there were an alligator next to the stairs… jeeez… and just then i realized i cant go back because it is a twisty stairs, but i managed to win that fight but only 3 life left. Instead of resting i moved backed to level 3, and this is what i saw. An acidic blob!!! hmmmmmm. How? Soo crazy.
    https://imgur.com/a/Q0QW0

    1. And this is the solution. I checked the map:
      https://imgur.com/a/7jEmp

      And it looks like the acid blob is a new creature from last rest, it was born in the room behind the green stairs up room. And i got slowed in the icy area in a fight, and from there i moved to the direction of the twisty stairs down. and the acid blob must heard me and it started to follow me, and it has a low noise so i wasn’t able to hear it. and because of the slow, it was able to follow me all the way to the stairs secretly. jeeeez… if i saw it earlier i could have killed it without a problem.

      1. Wow, that’s unlucky, but it was an interesting story!

        Twisty stairs are so dangerous (especially that deep) so that it might be worth resting to get rid of slow… I saw you had quite a lot of food.

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