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.