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Author Topic: Suggestion - Solo vs. Coop & Plausible Enemy Scaling  (Read 1239 times)

Sern

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Suggestion - Solo vs. Coop & Plausible Enemy Scaling
« on: August 13, 2015, 05:58:44 pm »
The following is in regard to the enemy AI difficulty variations depending upon solo play vs. cooperative as well as scaling during character progression.

My hope is that enemies in the world will scale appropriately, plausibly, and without combat or immersion being too awkward with the changes in enemy capability. Might I suggest that rather than simply making enemies stronger to compensate there is, instead, a greater emphasis on adding a greater number of encounters and/or enemies per fight to provide that feeling of being a bit overwhelmed rather than whacking on the same enemy that unrealistically refuses to die simply due to an overinflated health pool.

Also it would be really nice to see enemies that don't just engage in combat differently and have varying combat abilities but also those which utilize widely varying strategy and tactics during engagements forcing the player to evaluate their opposition and dynamically alter their approach (or retreat) on the fly.

There definitely should be a feeling that, under certain circumstances, an opponent is simply too cunning or powerful to face at a particular time. You must retreat to survive but once better prepared the fight would be on more even terms. Players such as myself become too bored and the world begins to break down in immersion when you feel like there's no opponent out there you have to be truly afraid of, even once you near end-game. I've noticed this in many games for me and it's a difficult balance. Once you achieve a certain level of ability where you fear almost nothing, what's the point? At the same time, you want to provide the player with a feeling of progress whether it be through physical, mental, or magical prowess, or through weapons and gear.

P.S. - Please don't go the route of what Skyrim did with combat difficulties. Yes, I really enjoyed that game. I played just over 1k hours of it but it was not without its faults. Increasing difficulty merely gave HP and defense buffs to enemies. It did not transition AI to more challenging combat routines. It was the same AI combat routines, just harder to kill for an unexplainable reason (lore wise). Completely immersion breaking. When I increase AI difficulty I want them to employ different and more challenging strategy and tactics against me in battle, not become demi-gods that must be stabbed or whacked dozens of times to take down. I know this requires extensive programming to differentiate AI behaviors but I believe it will be worth it if this is deemed a reasonably achievable goal given your time and budget.

Thanks to anyone who took the time to read.

Gheeyom

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Re: Suggestion - Solo vs. Coop & Plausible Enemy Scaling
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 10:13:54 am »
The most cost effective solution for us to improve difficulty is not only to buff stats, but to also increase the number of enemies in encounters. However, having a super developed AI that would adapt convincingly to up to 4 players at once is a challenge that would be really hard to accomplish with our current constraints. The difficulty will probably not come from how cunning they are, but simply because a single character simply can't be good in every circumstances. Even a maxed out character should have difficulties in a variety of scenarios for which he is not specialized, which will force him to expand more resources to succeed.

For the record, I agree that the way Skyrim handled difficulty was ridiculous. However, an increase in endurance makes sense since two players focusing their fire would take down the enemies way too easily if we don't. On the other hand, if something gets too easy in coop, it simply means you can afford to venture to more difficult areas of the game that would normally be hardly accessible for the level of your character. That's one of the beautiful sides of not leveling the difficulty to you ;)
We seriously need more alexandrite in our games.

 

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