Mob No more monstergeddon!

Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by ChristBorn, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. ChristBorn

    ChristBorn Big Damn Hero

    Explanation: This really comes down to atmosphere and pacing. I would love to have realistic animals to add richness to the atmosphere, but even if it's just a bit of a tweak, the atmosphere needs fixed.

    Problem: 2/3 mobs trying to kill you makes hostile mobs annoying and time consuming, not challenging or fun. Certainly not realistic.

    Problem: Infinitely spawning, non-persistent mobs remove the feeling that a player is able to influence the planetary environment.

    Opinion: Call me crazy, but I want the animals in Starbound to act like animals. I also want animals in Starbound to be finite resources on a planet unless properly farmed.
    1. An animal should have hunger. An animal that's hungry should eat either plants or herbivores or the player. That means attacking, having the attacked animal drop meat, and having the hungry animal pick up the meat. It also means players could loot hungry animal kills with the right timing.
    2. An animal should have a place it calls home. An animal should defend its home, attacking other animals or players or NPC's it finds there. Even if that's an area of (relatively) flat terrain some radius in size. If the animal is trapped away from its original place, it should redefine its area to one it can get to.
    3. An animal should learn what's going to attack it. Animals should defend themselves by running away from potential pain, either having seen another animal hurt or having been hurt themselves. This would mean predators chasing prey across planet surfaces without the player's involvement. Aggressive animals might also learn that a player doesn't harm animals, then attack that player, thinking it an herbivore (then probably never attack that player ever again if the player defends him/her self). If you kill one shlorp in a herd, all other rendered shlorps should flee from you. If a schlorp flees from you, it should re-broadcast the "flee from player" boolean to all schlorps on screen, even ones who weren't present for the initial attack.
    4. An animal should have a personal space. If an animal can't escape a threat, it should turn and fight if a threat gets close enough.
    5. An animal should not spawn from nowhere. If I make laps around the planet and kill everything without regard for hostility, there should be no animals left on the surface. If I beam down and go left and there's a herd of wharfstaches, when I beam down and go left again, there should be the same herd of wharfstaches, not a pair of carnivorous glorb flies.
    6. An animal should be driven to reproduce. Animals should definitely reproduce, especially when in captivity, provided there's appropriate genders available and access to food and such. What with starving to death and being hunted a thing, this makes sense.
    Suggestion: Make animals spawn as part of the terrain, with behavior on whether to stay on "their" part of the terrain or graze, hang out with others of their own kind or be territorial. The above suggestions would require balance-work to keep from making whole planets extinct from, say, one too many predators, so in the interim--

    Easier Suggestion: Tweak the ratios on mob hostility. Right now most mobs attack the player. In reality, most everything would stay away from a dangerous human-sized predator. Herbivores should be more prevalent than carnivores, and herbivores survive more easily by running away (at least on earth) than getting into fights. I want to feel like I'm wandering on an alien planet, not into a monster apocalypse. When something comes along that can kill you and wants to, it should be a surprise. A player should flee, frantically trying to find a safe place to open their inventory so they can get their weapon out because for hours of building and/or mining, nothing was trying to kill them.
    Barazen and Derpislav like this.
  2. Bizarre Monkey

    Bizarre Monkey Big Damn Hero

    I think this is very likely to be considered when we get a bit further along in the Beta. The idea and basis for it is pretty cool and it would help with the immersion. Though I'm inclined to disagree with you on multiple mobs at once, currently that can be very fun if you are good at combat (which is basically saying, having decent enough weapons and defensive maneuvers to outmaneuver them).

    Let's see them implement the current combat changes and see how it pans out from there. Making monsters finite isn't particularly easy from the perspective of word generation, though it's possible they could just have a maximum number based on planet size and biome type/density, then once they are all killed off no more spawn. Later I'm sure breeding could be implemented for farming purposes.
  3. Necryel

    Necryel Pangalactic Porcupine

    Making monsters finite is a bad idea. One could theoretically just sap a planets on the surface until it doesn't spawn anything anymore and now have free reign to mine and loot in peace without any risks of attack while in the depths. This would defeat the purpose of risk in the lower depths because you would have killed to total allowable spawns for that planet up top where everything is easy. Also, consider that you are traveling ina straightline witha background which depicts a vast landscape. the idea that you could concievably enounter every living creature in a single sliver of an entire planet is absurd. You travel east and west, the monster will come fill in the available territory from the norrth and south. it is easir to circum navigate a planet in a straight line, but to say you've been EVERYWHERE is ludacris. So no, making monsters finite results in too much abuse where monster are easiest and can result in a lifeless planet with no risks other than envirlonmentl hazards, all of whic are easily eliminated or avoided.
  4. blargsnarf

    blargsnarf Pangalactic Porcupine

    That's the point, though. If you can kill enough creatures to basically exterminate life on the planet, how is that imbalanced? Oh no, now the guy who killed 500 monsters on this planet wont have to kill another 30 monsters while mining!

    Also, who said exterminating life on the planet would kill everything in the caves? Just have different spawning grounds per planet, problem solved.
  5. Bizarre Monkey

    Bizarre Monkey Big Damn Hero

    The map loops, as in, if you go far enough to the East or West you return to where you started, so technically you do circle the whole planet, planet's are just really small. Also the way I see it is that based on terrain you could have a maximum number of monsters spawn, then since it is based on Terrain per planet you could dfeinitely wipe everything out on the surface and still have to fully clear the caves and underground to entirely kill a planet's ecosystem.

    What that should do, though! Is make the planet more dangerous, like trees would all wither and die and acid rain would be common. The Water would become polluted without animals to filter it, et-cetera. I think there should be a price for causing extinction. That way a planet would still be dangerous, just not in the same ways. It would also give your actions impact.
    Cliff474 likes this.
  6. Necryel

    Necryel Pangalactic Porcupine

    again, circumnavigating in a straight line does not constitiue exploring the enitre surface. Yes, it loops, that's my point you travel around in a circle like travelling the equator. But just because I when the entire leng of the equator doesn't ment I coverded all the surface of the earth with my steps. And that's what I'm getting at. Even if you killed everything in a an entire wildlife reserve, creatures from the surrounding areas would soon arrive to occupy the available territoy. in the case of the game, all the creatures living back their in that expansive background will soon come in to take the place of everything you killed while traversing the equator. Making the monsters finite is unrealistic given that element. So again, making the spawns finite in any degree is actualy detracting from any sense of immersion or realism. One individual cannot possibly expect to kill off all life one a planet, just its surface or even in just one regoin. without the use of some massively lethal or destructive technology. and again, it removes the challenge of the game. No on the other hand, I am not opposed to rewarding players for reaching particular milestones in kill counts with some kind of vanity items, trophies, abilities, or bonus as a result of say....100,000 kills or more, but that would be another discussion.

    The other problem is that currently your suggestion of making the weather more hazardous becomes moot once you head underground. And as for the water becoming toxic, I think just about everyone has figured out how to dry up toxic water, lava, or any other liquid with the use of gravel or fine sand. So as I pointed out earlier, environmental hazards are eazily eliminated or avoided all to gether and thus do not pose a significant enough threat to replace that posed by actual monsters roaming around.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  7. Bizarre Monkey

    Bizarre Monkey Big Damn Hero

    I think you're probably applying too much stake in the game's intended depth of realism. Like, maybe have respawns in a game month or something, but again, this is essentially just overthinking an ecosystem when what the OP mainly wants is to not have to kill 500 mobs each time he/she visits a planet. It's not that complicated.
    Questioning realism in a game like Starbound means you may as well be attempting to eat soup with a fork. If you're attempting to rationalize the desire to actually clear a planet from a realistic standpoint rather than a gameplay one, then that's your deal. Gameplay comes before realism, and there's no fun to fighting more than 300 of the same thing you've already killed fifty+ times before.
    Until you brought this up, I'd never considered it, there's a difference between realism and immersion, a game can still be immersive without forcing itself being realistic. A game can also be realistic without immersion. Immersion is measured by how much the game sucks you in with atmosphere and worldbuilding, whilst realism is simply how "true to life" an object is. Most games that aim for realism are boring, and starbound of it's many genres is classed under fantasy. So the argument that lack of realism would cripple immersion is absurd.
    I dunno! Hitler did a pretty good job! Jokes aside, for the most part hostiles are mammals or creatures not built to be a dominant species. However since doing so is such a flagrant representation of the captialist white man, that's why I suggest climate change.
    We're fighting underdeveloped native's with dart guns as imperialists with rocket launchers, we are vastly more well equipped, also there's a difference between challenge and monotony. Fighting 500 of the same thing is never a challenge, that's grinding. Excessive grinding is not fun.
    That could be done by way of achievements, or "Challenges", I still think the OP's idea is good and the strawman argument of realism or taking away challenge both have fallen flat, because realism isn't achieved without sacrifice, and Starbound is a fantasy game. In the same vain, you are blatantly ignoring the starkly obvious reality that challenge is not equal to monotony, and what the OP is describing would largely reduce monotony, it would not take away challenge.

    That's the point, besides the underground is already dangerous without monsters sprawling, to add-- clearing the entire underground would be virtually impossible without obliterating most of the surface anyway.
    >Not just laying a dirt path over it and saving yourself the effort.
    You'd still face the threat on each planet you visit, by the time you'd have done clearing up the monsters populace you'd probably have looted the planets chests and would just do a bit of mining. And because it bares repeating: Monsters aren't as dangerous or threatening after you've killed them 50 bloody times.

    Your vastly confusing the monotony of grinding with a sense of danger. If you are able to clear out a planet's populace al a Jack Noir, then you aren't facing things which could really be seen as a danger to your existence anymore, are you?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  8. Necryel

    Necryel Pangalactic Porcupine

    Here you lay out the entire solution to your goal of not having to deal with montsers: Simply use the very natural blocks your excavating to construct a barrier around you and voila!. monster free mining. lining a simple tunnel an dividing it into small chambers with cheap sliding or wooden doors will create spaces too small for mosters to spawn in and thus keep you free from attack with little to no effort. Walling off branches of tunnel you'v cleared or have no interesting in digging any further, and occassional putting in door so you can make it from your warp-in point to you're current digging project under a roof of blocks. Small enough chambers and monsters won't spawn, and in the case of really tiny monsters, the tunnel makes it impossible for them to dogde or jump around and giving you easy shots with a ranged weapon should any nuisance manage to spawn in your private little freeway. Your objective achieve with minimal resources and minimal effort. All without making monsters finite.
  9. Bizarre Monkey

    Bizarre Monkey Big Damn Hero

    That was a mildly clever way to pick one part of my argument to which didn't entirely invalidate everything you debated previously and turning it in your favor, not that it would work. Because...
    A.) I don't want to have to make monster zoos every time I mine you obtuse dipshit.
    B.) What the fuck is so hard about appreciating the difference between challenge and monotony. Laying down monster Zoos is monotonous, as is killing over 500 of them, you're looping your own circles now.
    C.) It would also be nice if killing enough monsters would win you the power struggle, a little reward for being forced to kill five-hundred of the same thing? This isn't complicated.

    Let's just take this to the board.

    Pros of this change:
    -Full clearing planets feels rewarding, as if you've done your task to annihilate the guffawing shits who jump on every stray motherfucker who looks at them funny.
    -Once a part of a planet is full cleared, you can do other parts of game play, like farming, tree chopping, mining without getting shanked by some pissant who wanted that lumber for sustenance or other less... survival related purposes.
    -You can be a Capitalist Pig Dog, which is great.
    -See the planned feature "Orbital Strikes that annihilate the surface of a planet." Source
    -Will encourage you to explore more Planets if you want to get your farm on, but you can establish bases on each without worrying about the frisky inhabitants going apeshit with your entryways in case you left thats side hatch open.

    Cons of this change.
    -You're gonna need enough coal to go to a couple other Planets in your sector so you can farm those hardened monsters plates that are used currently in the grand total of 2 (TWO) items in the entire sodding game. Neither of which are even needed for progression.
    -You can't keep fighting until the stars start dying. (You can always mod back in the monotony if it means so frikken much to ya.)

    Feel free to add to this, I'm just pulling from what I can remember.
  10. Necryel

    Necryel Pangalactic Porcupine

    1: Your issue as you've defined it is: Not wishing to fight creatures over and over on a given planet every an area goes on an off screen, and the drag of having to fight the same monsters over and over again. Your Solution: eliminate the monsters all together by making them a finite resource to the given planet/biome/region.
    Your Balance or Cons to monster-monster free mining:
    Cons are that we have to travel to do something completely unnecessary, Oh and that you don't have to fight monsters forever. Wait now, so your goal is actually one of your cons....and my arguments are circular?

    2: A monster Zoo is not at all what I'm talking about and is infact the complete opposite of my solution. Rather than caging monsters, you make a secure pathway. This is incredibly easy, and the only materials you would be required to carry are torches,and doors. torches are something you would most likely be carrying anyways, so that just leaves a supply of doors as being the only real extra effort you've had to fput forward so far. As far as the tunnel itself, any and all materials you mine are suitable and you're accumulating them as you go anyways and using them in this manner would free up inventory space. If building a roof over you it too much work, just dig your tunnels five spaces high to fit the doors and thus limit your roof building as much as possible.

    3: This is far less monotonous than the fighting because unlike the fighting you only have to build your tunnel's roof once and barring meteors, it stays. and again, if you limit your tunnel to door hiehg then simply remembering to put up a door behind every so often is just like remembering to dump your accumulation of excess blocks you pick up while mining, or repairing your pickaxe/drill while digging through tougher blocks.

    4: You have completely misunderstood the planned features and their implications, let's look at what you're referring to shall we?
    Let look at that last part more closely and see what that actually means, hmm?
    removing the entire first layer of a planet and leave behind a lifeless surface: This is more than simply eliminating all monsters on the surface, this eliminates EVERYTHING above, on, and in the surface of the planet, all ores, villages, dungeons, blocks, items, treasure chests and anything else that you have not already collected or found is simply wiped out. YOU LOSE any chance of ever finding it because it is obliterated. This also includes anything you have built and left there on the planet's surface as well, so if you leave a rare sword in your base and then squeegee the skin off the planet, that sword is gone too. Not only that, but now the lower layer that is left ontop, is now subject to all weather conditions from the planet. Oh, and the monsters below the surface still remain to come and fight you.
    There you have a balance, wipe away the surface and lose everything that you could have still gotten from it. Your con has significance and that significance affects whether or not you choose to do specific actions. Under your proposal you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, no real consequence of any significance or that wasn't already the goal of your actions. Hence, in my opinion, you take away the challenge.

    5: You want a feeling of accomplishment okay, here's some ideas you blatantly over looked instead: Upon reaching a significant milestone in kill count you gain either an item with unique abilities to make fighting easier, or some kind of permanent buff to both reward and signify you skill and the amount of time you've spent fighting the unspeakable horrors of so many planets.

    6: The game by it's philosophy rewards players for their diligence, persistence, and creativity in solving problems that are essentially a matter of convenience. Those willing to put in the effort , the brains, and the time can have tremendous ease and advantages they've CREATED for themselves; rather than just looking for a quick gimme, how about consider putting in the effort to get such great benefits by solving the problem creatively.

    7: Entire new mechanics are normally difficult to implement and really should only be considered when there is not already an easily accomplished method of achieving the desired function, action, or goal already in place for the player to take advantage of. As making a simple tunnel and choking it off with doors, creates for you a means of semi-permanent, near monster-free mining with little added effort or difficulty there is no need for entirely new mechanic just because you think doing something is beneath you as a player. You don't wanna fight monsters: make a wall, end of story. Don't make monsters finite just because you don't wanna have to deal with them and the problems/annoyances they cause.
    Furthermore the introduction of any new mechanic or even any kind of benefit with substantial significance must have a difficulty in achieving, cost, or downside that is of equal significance and substance. Monster-free mining is an ENORMOUS benefit, allowing you to let your guard down, not have to worry about carrying around healing items, or any chance of unpredictable loss of money from death that combat brings. This let's you relax, and frees up inventory which can be used to get more stuff at one time. One inventory space doesn't seem like a lot, but when things can stack to 1000, a single space of inventory is benefit especially when the ability to sell to merchants is implemented. Such benefits are of tremendous value and can have huge effect on how you play the game. To balance that you need to make sure the the risks, costs, or consequences have an equal impact. and I'm sorry, but simply having worse weather on the surface when you spend most of your time underground is not something of equal consequence, nor is having to travel to more worlds just to do something that is as you have so eloquently put is not even needed for progression and thus completely optional. Never mind the fact that coal is easily made from wood which comes from trees which can be farmed, so no real consequence from a fuel stand point either. Oh, and having monster-free mining cannot be its own consequence. If I have my piece of cake and I eat it, I shouldn't just be given more cake.

    8: Since you're so concerned about Tedium and trying to reduce it, I point out that mining itself is the single most tedious activity in the entire game. The annoying sound of the pickaxe or drill, coupled with the rhythmical POP of a 3 X 3 groups of blocks over and over and over again..... In truth, the periodic spawning of a monster by having it drop in from above or wander into view from off screen while your digging away at a wall to get that Rubium ore in the chamber you've already cleared actually breaks up that monotony that you're so obsessed with eliminating. Making the creature finite would prevent that from happening and actually make mining even more tedious and monotonous than it already is. Right now I have to consider my supply of healing item, how far I've mined, the difficulty of those creatures I've faced and how much trouble I'll get either going up to surface AND in coming back down here. Not to mention watching my back while I mine. Take away the monsters and all that will keep me company is the sound of my drill, blocks popping, and worrying about when I have dump those 11,000 blocks of obsidian that have piled up in my inventory. Therefore, make monsters have finite spawning totals in any degree would simply add to the tedium and monotony you so vehemently abhor.

    9: Finally, I would like to point out, if you are really so maleffected by having to fight monsters and just can't deal with them, you can simply go and get/or create a mod to make all monsters passive and thus eliminate the need for combat except when you absolutely want to.
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
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