NPC Age


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    Hey, everyone. So, while I was watching a video recently about gameplay, I caught that the plan is to cause NPC enemies to age and for their stats and loot drops to be reflected by their specific age, with the best drops coming from younger enemies who would have correspondingly higher stats, while older enemies would be easier opponents and also have less impressive loot. Well, I personally thought this was a really unique and impressive idea that could possibly be expanded upon a great deal--one which seems like it might have the potential to make everyday gameplay much more exciting and less predictable if done correctly.

    So, anyway, after hearing about this, a couple of ideas popped into my head and I thought I'd just unload them here to see what everyone thinks.

    Firstly, then, what if, instead of it being the case that once a creature spawned, it continually degraded as it aged, it rather was the case that it actually continued to get stronger up until a specific stage of its life, at which point, it finally began to deteriorate until its eventual death. This (at least the dying naturally aspect) would prevent certain areas, which perhaps are not that commonly trafficked, from having too great a population of old, crusty NPCs with valueless (or at any rate, less valuable) loot drops, which would be sure to keep things interesting for wandering adventurers and the like. Furthermore, by causing the best loots drops to fall most frequently (or only) at the peak of a bell curve, you add an interesting element to the process of farming items: no longer is obtaining the best loot merely about camping a spawn religiously; you now have to have a real sense for timing, or, and perhaps more interestingly, a bit of luck. This may also encourage more active exploration in search of the stronger enemies, as it may be desirable to allow a newly spawned enemy to live until it has reached it's full potential.

    Secondly, I thought it would be rather interesting if, as NPCs aged, they perhaps acquired different skills and styles of fighting--for example: if a younger enemy perhaps had more evasive skills or the ability to call for aid. This could potentially add quite an interesting dynamic to every fight insofar as you never really know what you're getting into. Today will I find a bunch of sly, old goblins at the goblin camp setting traps? Or will I find young ones that call others to their aid and disappear and back-stab me? Will I find ones at their peak -- bold and aggressive? Of course, I'm sure it would be a pretty large undertaking to do all that, but...I think it would be interesting none-the-less.

    Thoughts?


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    It's a really interesting idea, but I don't know if it will be implemented. There was already a discussion to know if the citizens of a village will grow and become older, and the answer was "No", so I don't think it will be implemented for ennemies. I don't have much knowledge in programming, but I don't think it will be easy to do, especially for a small team like Dynamight ^^
    But talking about your idea, why older ennemies have less valuable loots ? They are old, so they lived a lot of adventures, so they can have collected some nice loot ^^ And it depend of the race, but olders can be harder to fight, being old doesnt mean you're decrepit ^^


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    seems odd that it's younger mobs with better loot because if you're farming an area then you're naturally killing younger creatures.

    seems to me the older mobs should have better loot and higher stats. they should be 'earning exp over a lifetime' and getting more loot (but really it's just crafting materials) over time too.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    young mobs - strong but naive, tend to be more aggressive, bigger agro range, follow you for longer distance before going back

    middle age mobs - strong, more wise, more tactical, better AI, balanced agro

    old mobs - bit weaker, but advanced AI, most tactical, playing defensively


  • TF#7 - AMBASSADOR

    I really like this idea, especially when it comes to more magical creatures. Dragons for instance, generally get stronger as they age. It would be a balancing act with spawn rates and farming though, but I like the idea that people would have to balance that.

    As far as creatures gaining different abilities as they grow, that could also play into the knowledge system. Maybe there's a skill we can only learn by fighting an elder of a certain species since that's one of the ways to learn about new skills.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I love the idea of NPCs gaining strength, wisdom, tactical skill, and loot as they age... to a point, and then beginning to feel time's effects on their physical abilities. Very realistic and adds to immersive experience.

    In most stories, an ancient dragon, village shaman, or elemental/demon is more formidable & cunning than their youthful counterparts, even if they are less physically strong.

    Different species of NPC would begin to experience decrepitude at different ages, of course. Elementals and golems, I'd imagine, might take centuries to reach their declining years (and decline very slowly) while a village shaman would have a more human lifespan and range of ability. Roll die-20 for Alzheimer's check? 😜


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Gothix said in NPC Age:

    young mobs - strong but naive, tend to be more aggressive, bigger agro range, follow you for longer distance before going back

    middle age mobs - strong, more wise, more tactical, better AI, balanced agro

    old mobs - bit weaker, but advanced AI, most tactical, playing defensively

    old doesn't mean weak. many 40 year olds can beat 20 year olds. there's a video on a old giraffe that kills a young one. it wasn't about strength but experience. it happens in other animals too. i'm not talking about 'old age' like the last 15-10% of an animals life.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I'm used to Might and Magic's age system (and it's been a while, so maybe I don't remember all the steps!):

    • Young Behemoth: pretty easy kill
    • Mature Behemoth: not too bad
    • Old Behemoth: now it's getting hard
    • Ancient Behemoth: run for your life 😛

  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Roccandil said in NPC Age:

    I'm used to Might and Magic's age system (and it's been a while, so maybe I don't remember all the steps!):

    • Young Behemoth: pretty easy kill
    • Mature Behemoth: not too bad
    • Old Behemoth: now it's getting hard
    • Ancient Behemoth: run for your life 😛

    i'm thinking more in terms of Eve Online asteroid system. The asteroids gain resources the longer they're alive. you can mine them, leave 1+ and they'll regrow. or you can harvest it all and another type of resource may spawn. it's generally better to keep the valuable asteroids.

    NPCs will mostly drop material so i'd think letting them mature would mean more resources per kill but you're deciding between now or later. i do like the idea that their stats increase the longer they're alive. maybe have a small chance for one to upgrade ranks until it's a boss.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    this seems like a really interesting idea. i reckon maybe have some 'rare drops' that you can only get if you kill a monster in its very last like 5% of its lifetime... thatd give the 'gotta collect em all' players something to really strategise for or hope to get lucky with.

    My opinion on enemy strength is that they should gain damage up till probably 60% of life cap, and become more and more tactical and harder to out-skill up till about 85% of their life peak, while degrading in power for the last 30% of their life.

    So enemies would be hardest by far to kill at around 60-75% of their lifetime, but their drops would also have the highest grade at that point (better leather or meat for wolves or silj for spiders), unless it is say snake venom if they introduce snakes, coz the younger a snake is, the more potent their venon is (not sure if spiders r the same).

    Then of course on the other hand, the older mobs would have aged hides and stuff, which could have a different use... maybe to craft lower tier gear or gear specialised for aomething different to the higher grade leather?


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Xzait said in NPC Age:

    , coz the younger a snake is, the more potent their venon is

    that's false:

    But the fact of the matter is that baby venomous snakes are not more venomous than their parents. In fact, quite the opposite is true in a great many snake species; adults have far more virulent venom than the young snakes. sauce

    I like the idea that naturally aged hide being used for different thing or different qualities or offering different stats. this lets a group of animals age naturally or the player can age the hide.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Jetah said in NPC Age:

    @Xzait said in NPC Age:

    , coz the younger a snake is, the more potent their venon is

    that's false:

    But the fact of the matter is that baby venomous snakes are not more venomous than their parents. In fact, quite the opposite is true in a great many snake species; adults have far more virulent venom than the young snakes. sauce

    I like the idea that naturally aged hide being used for different thing or different qualities or offering different stats. this lets a group of animals age naturally or the player can age the hide.

    you clearly missed the entire section on neonate venomous snake species... here in Australia, almost all snakes are more deadly when they are young. It's a hell of a lot more risky to kill a baby snake here than an adult one.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    bouncing off what i said earlier, with the difference in age playing a part, the knowledge system could play a part in that too. at first, you cant tell the difference between the age of something, they all look the same regardless... but as you get to know the species better, you gradually notice small changes and so on. it would take many sprites for the devs tho to do properly... so i would expect if they do implement anything like this, it will be very much part of the full release or some kind of expansion later on. I can't imagine it would be easy to code either, with sprites be player based, instead of world based...


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Jetah said in NPC Age:

    @Xzait said in NPC Age:

    , coz the younger a snake is, the more potent their venon is

    that's false:

    But the fact of the matter is that baby venomous snakes are not more venomous than their parents. In fact, quite the opposite is true in a great many snake species; adults have far more virulent venom than the young snakes. sauce

    I like the idea that naturally aged hide being used for different thing or different qualities or offering different stats. this lets a group of animals age naturally or the player can age the hide.

    Also venom thing is partially true, not because a young snake is more venomous, like you said that's false,

    a young snake struggle to control how much it injects, so it overkills things

    a adult snake gives you a smaller dose, although more potent,

    a young snake is far more likely to kill you faster

    Wonder if using a wither type spell (necromancy) could effect hides or burning freezing a animal to death could effect its hide/meat


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Maybe when bitten and poisoned, you need an antidote, but antidote can only be made from snake of certain age, and same type that bit you.

    If you do not find such snake in certain period of time (give it some more liberal timer, because we don't want too hardcore setting for this) you will die, and drop your stuff.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @FaustianSoul

    I think they could add more interesting gameplay if they made creatures & loot weak initially then grow strong & then get weak again.
    This would force players make the hard decision on when to kill the creatures before another player did.

    If they are strong to begin with, it is easy to simply kill them & then time the respawn.
    Vise verse for being weak initially except players would learn to camp before the final growth phase.


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