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=Dev, Balance= Monster Mash!

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4/13/2010 13:23:21   
Lord Barrius

I think it's been a while since we've had a DN involving some balance discussion, so it's probably about that time, eh?

I'd first like to note that, through careful consideration of player opinions over the past few weeks, I will be lowering monster offense by a significant margin (to the point where you'll probably see the difference). I'm doing this for several reasons, not the least of which is that I want to keep the game fun and interesting rather than making things too difficult for everybody to enjoy. The game shouldn't become too tedious or difficult, and I've no desire to deter people from enjoying new releases by giving them monsters a bit too challenging for them. You'll start seeing monsters that use this new lower-damage standard in the next release.

Now I know some of you thought the monsters were fine as they were, and I know you will lament the loss of such foes. That's why I'm going to tweak design work somewhat on my end of the spectrum. Thus far I've only introduced two types of monster: "normal" and "bosses". Normal monsters were, well, normal. Bosses tended to have double the HP, double the offense, or some mixture of the two in order to make the difference between the two more clearly defined. This has been pretty much the only classification of monsters so far. They're either bosses or not.

We're going to discuss a second type of classification that I haven't quite finished work on, but I think it might help to satisfy those who don't like all monsters being way too easy. The idea behind this concept is to build some monsters stronger than other monsters in order to keep things interesting in combat (so as not to fling a bunch of weaklings at you all the time). These monsters, tentatively termed as "elite" monsters, would be somewhat improved over normal monsters and probably have better rewards. The tricky thing is, we haven't decided what sort of benefit to give to an "elite" to make them different from normal monsters without it working out to be almost identical to raising the monster's level. So I'd like to hear from those who like tougher monsters: what sort of benefits do you think an "elite" monster should have over a "normal" one?

My other point of discussion today is regarding the last feedback thread I made. I asked you, the players, to compile a list of monsters that needed a little more beef in their diet, and you responded with a very long list indeed! I was a bit surprised at some of the results, which I'm still going through. There were some foes that I never would have guessed people wanted to see more of. Here's a list of the most popular ones that I plan to start working on right away:
  • Sea Fiend
  • Aquus
  • The Legendary Warriors (Twilight Dweller, Reverendwyrm, and Solar Boy)
  • Pumpkin Golem
  • Behemoth
  • Mawler
With any luck, you'll start noticing changes in the above monsters over the next few weeks. But if not that quick, I will at least try to get some of these monsters changed relatively soon.

I was shocked to see the Sea Fiend so highly requested. But I suppose it makes a lot of sense. Here we have a monster who went on a rampage on the high seas....and has since then vanished into thin air! The guy's like a Lorian Godzilla, how do you lose track of something that big? It all seemed very odd to me. It seems almost unfair to boost his stats knowing he only shows up in that one spot.

That got me thinking. Lore is so full of villains like this. Villains who show up maybe once or twice, cause a small ruckus, and then fade into the darkness forever. Some bad guys just don't seem to capture the limelight like the big baddies. Maybe they're weak. Maybe they didn't scheme well enough on their own. Maybe they're simply bad at being villains. But they deserve their own time to shine, don't you think? Are there any villains out there that you really adore who seem to have faded into obscurity? I want you to think back through AQ's vast history of super-villains, and try to pick out some of the lesser known (and perhaps less dangerous) villains who would love a chance to shine on the big stage.

Think about the Sinister Seven. Those were some of the baddest of the bad, all teamed up together, and they proved a serious threat to Lore. Just imagine the sheer terror significant threat mild concern that would result from a team of villains that virtually nobody is afraid of! Why, such a force would surely send entire families young children baby Frogzards into a panic across Lore!

I'd love to hear what you have to say on this subject. I have schemes in mind, and if there's anything I adore more than scheming, it's scheming with the help of the player base. What could be more fun than content you help to create, right? :P
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