Enemy encounter dilema

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Soulrender, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    Hi, I was recently thinking about my enemy encounters and what I come up at first looked unique and I didn't see that in any
    RPG Maker games (regardless of version), but let's get to the point.

    I created in my database a large set of enemies and troops counted from 1 to 8

    - 1x Spider
    - 2x Spiders
    - 3x Spiders
    - 4x Spiders
    - 5x Spiders
    - 6x Spiders
    - 7x Spiders
    - 8x Spiders

    and so on for other enemies.

    I made a short event that generates random number between 1 and 8 and depending what
    number is generated that amount of troops will appear in battle, but I'm starting thinking it's a bad idea.
    What do you think about that?
     
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  2. xoferew

    xoferew Veteran Veteran

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    It might make gameplay more fun if you weighted those random numbers, like a smaller troop is more likely for a lower level party or a party low on HP, but a large troop is still possible? Or are you trying to avoid that?
     
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  3. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    I'm starting thinking it's just silly idea, however while I was in bathroom I came up with an idea to change that random number from 1 to current party members count.
     
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  4. xoferew

    xoferew Veteran Veteran

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    I think variety and suspense are good (yikes, how big a nest of spiders did I step in this time?!) as long as the party isn't going to be wiped out on the regular. On the other end you don't want a leveled up player to be constantly annoyed that the map exploration is being interrupted to swat a single spider ...This reminds me to work on my spider sprites so I don't have to keep using RTP chicken as a placeholder. ^_^
     
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  5. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    Oh! I got perfect solution!
    I modify it to limit enemies troops to max value of current count of party members as I mentioned it earlier and I limit it to 1
    where this will be needed. Therefore player won't expect or figure out how many troops he encounter.
    Hmm, maybe also include a luck trait in that generator (better luck = greater probability generating low number of troops per battle)

    Thanks @xoferew :)

    PS: Random encounters are totally out - I don't use them :D
     
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  6. xoferew

    xoferew Veteran Veteran

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    Sounds good! Only thing that occurs about tying it to luck is the player may be trying to collect a bunch of the drop item for some purpose and they are hoping for nice efficient large troops.
     
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  7. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    For added flavor, you could mix in stronger versions of said enemies to the mix. In this way, you could fight a single weak one, two weak,one weak and one strong all the way up to the party count number of all stronger ones.
     
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  8. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    What I do is make a list of encounters with different enemies and lay-outs, but are all fairly equal in difficulty, and randomise between those in an area. Or, if there are some weaker encounters, place them earlier on in the area, while stronger encounters have a bigger chance of appearing in the later parts of the area.
     
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  9. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    First thing, in my game more than 4 enemies is bad. Because the battle is going to be dragged. If I roll 1 to 8 numbers of enemies, the time spent in battle is inconsistent. One encounter enemy can be done quicker, but 8 encounters, is going to be dragging. Granted, you can just use AoE, but you still couldn't help but seeing the animation for each of them attacking you. Not to mention the difficulty spike between 1 and 8 enemies. So I limit my game encounter to 2 ~ 4 enemies. One enemy in the troop is for a boss battle or mini-boss.

    I categorize the enemy based on their "class", for example, a beast class, a spirit class, and so on.
    I create a troop based on those classes. For example, in troop A, it has two beast and one spirit.
    After deciding the class, I use swap enemy so it will be swapped according to those classes.
    For example, 2 beast class enemies get swapped then you get wolf and bear, one spirit class get swapped and you get wisp or ghost.
     
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  10. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I can't see the world in which this is good (even at the "up to party members count" level, but especially at the 1-8 randomization). There are two major reasons why:

    1) Balance: If an enemy party is fun and challenging at 2 enemies, it's going to be downright impossible at 7 enemies. If an enemy party is fun and challenging at 8 enemies, it will be a worthless non-challenge at 3 enemies. Putting aside AoEs, if the party can take down 1 enemy per turn before they attack, a battle with 3 enemies would get 2 + 1 = 3 hits in., whereas 7 enemies would get 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 21 hits in, meaning that an RNG pull merely (about) twice as large will mean you take seven times as much damage! Design your troops so that each one is fun and challenging. If some are a bit easier or harder (especially for certain styles of party composition!), that's fine, but randomness like 2 Spiders vs. 8 Spiders is never a good swing.

    2) Tactics: One of the most fun things about battle tactics is figuring out which enemies are a threat, which enemies rely on other enemies, and which enemies you can leave alone until the later stages of the battle. Figuring out where to focus your fire is one of the things that allows RPG battles to be strategic, rather than a simple clash of stats. On the other hand, if your enemy party is 6 spiders, you can focus fire on a spider... or on a spider... OR you can go for a spider. :p It doesn't leave a lot of room for decision-making.
     
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  11. xoferew

    xoferew Veteran Veteran

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    I know spiders were just an example enemy but you could have individual enemies consisting of one, two, or three spiders, with slightly more HP etc. the more spiders there are. Then if a battle had between three and five spider swarm troops it would visually be between three and fifteen spiders. That would work for anything small and swarmy. If your spiders are ten feet tall then never mind. ^_^
     
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  12. DJK1NG_Gaming

    DJK1NG_Gaming Villager Member

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    There one way to handle the amount of monsters in a troop to have a good balance.
    It all depends on the monster itself.
    For example.
    Goblin or Slime encounter - Since these are usually the weakest monsters in RPG. They should have 2-5 in each Troop.
    Not only that it also depends on EXP gained.

    Does a powerful monster like a Behemoth need other monsters to help or fight in a group? No and since its the most powerful base monster it will naturally give the most EXP. Defeating it is rewarding but it's also could mean GameOver.

    The amount of monsters in a troop depends on two things. The monsters themselves and the EXP gained.
    Do they give enough EXP for the next boss to ensure a balanced difficulty? Are the monster themselves
    territorial? Do they fight in numbers or alone? Simply adding monsters to a troop just because isn't gonna work.

    Monster Design is very very important just as much as Boss Design.
     
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  13. Black Pagan

    Black Pagan Veteran Veteran

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    Here are some Ideas :

    - Mix and Match Enemies
    (If you can't think of Multiple enemies, Make Elite Variants of same Enemy by altering their Stats, Size, Hue etc)

    - Plan an Exact Number of Troops for each Region / Map for the whole Game
    (Example : 5 Troop Encounters per Region / Map, If you have 5 Regions in Game, that's already 5 x 5 = 25 Unique Encounters !!!)

    2 Spiders
    2 Spider + (1 Spider Hidden that Appears after Turn 3)
    3 Spiders + (2 Spiders Hidden that Appear after Turn 5)
    1 Spider + 1 Elite Spider
    6 Spiders

    - Balance the Encounters based on Difficulty
    (Example : 3 Easy Encounters, 1 Moderate Encounter, 1 Hard Encounter)

    - Shuffle up the Balance depending on the Region. So if you were in the Forest, You would have more Easy Encounters compared to being in a Swamp Map which would have more Moderate Encounters.

    - Test Play every Individual Encounter 3 times and see if you like it ! Many times you over-estimate or under-estimate the strength of Enemy and end up causing imbalance.
     
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  14. KoldBlood

    KoldBlood Innovation from Limitation Veteran

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    This is actually pretty similar to the encounter system I'm currently using in my game. What I did was actually mix up the troops a bit instead of just increasing the number of the same enemy type.

    For example, rather than this:

    x1 Spider
    x2 Spider
    x3 Spider
    Etc...

    Its more like this:

    x1 Spider, x2 Wolf
    x1 Spider, x1 Bandit, x1 Wolf
    x2 Bandit, x1 Wolf
    Etc...

    I think keeps the encounters more interesting for the player rather than fighting a varying number of the same enemy over and over. Plus, it lets you mix and match enemies for some interesting battle setups that can require the player to stay on their toes.

    My only complaint about it would be the obnoxious amount of back-end work it creates for you as the developer since you are pretty much required to keep a VERY tidy troop database or you need to do some in depth planning in order to avoid having to redo the entirety of the troop database and make updates for every encounter on every map affected when you inevitably decide to add or remove a troop to an older set of encounters (this has already happened to me more than I care to admit).

    I'll also point out that doing it my way you may also potentially have to create way more troops depending on how much you want to control what enemies actually appear and in what formations. Just something to keep in mind.
     
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  15. lianderson

    lianderson Veteran Veteran

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    For the last couple of years, I've been using 3 troops to handle tens of thousands of fight combinations. It requires complex eventing, but if you want details, let me know.
     
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