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Dealing with wandering monsters

October 19, 2009

   We've spent a lot of time on making some design changes recently. We want a living world where monsters don't pop back into existence after being killed. On top of that we don't want players forced into a typical level grinding situation where they stand around killing the same things over and over. To keep this from happening we have been working on the wilderness monster system. This includes how monsters inhabit these lands.

To make the game even better we have recently redesigned the tool that manages the large wilderness portions of the world. We improved the design to make the monsters in the world both interesting, dynamic and changing.

The wilderness areas of the Reflected Worlds deploy NPCs (monsters) by giving them tasks and goals and then turning them loose to achieve those results. Those monsters can make choices based on what happens to them as they go about their tasks.

When NPCs are killed by Players they will replenish in that area over time, but not by popping back into existence. Instead, new monsters (or mobs) will move into the area. These new monsters have their own agendas and goals, and they will soon begin making their way into an available area to start their tasks.

For example they might be a Raiding party of Recreated... sent out of No-Man's-Land to enter the Citadel lands in search of free people to kill so that they can drag their bodies back to be used to make more of the Recreated.

They will have a target, like a particular town, village, farm, fort, etc., and head with purpose for that area. If they reach their goal they will try to take the free folk (NPCs), kill some and retreat with their bodies.

Players may come upon this mob of raiders on their way to or from their goal. But... should the player not run into them directly, they may still cross their trail. This is a visible and traceable set of foot prints. Depending on the player's skill level in tracking, they will know varying amount of detail about the tracks they cross, and can choose to follow them to the Recreated raiding party, if they wish.

Conversely, the raiding party might cross the player (and group) tracks and decide to alter their path to follow and attack the PCs. Thus, whether you run directly into your opponents, track down your prey, or become their prey, you may have to deal with this raiding party.

All of the mobs and individual monsters out there have agendas, and can make decisions to change those agendas as they interact with the presence of the players.

On this note, we also created two new classes of monsters for the game, the Dark Spawn and the Dark Defiled. We'll go into greater detail about these new classes of creatures, how they are created and what they are up to in the war between the Demons, the Citadel and Morphael.

But for now, the new designs for them are very evil, nasty and downright disgusting in some cases.

On other areas, lots of Level Building is being progressed on the game side. Work on the design of the Adventure creation tool has been completed.

There have been further delays on the Enact Event Tool, but we hope to get the issues with it resolved soon.

In art there has been a lot of progress on Dynamic object creation as we cut down the lists created by the Level Building team. New NPCs have also been added to the game, and work on key NPCs continues.

We are hoping to get a big push in the next few months to get us to the next major milestone, more on that in future updates.

 

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