monster idea: mastermind


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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 22:19

monster idea: mastermind

One thing that makes mid-late play in crawl a bit samey is that once you've gotten your +9 endgame weapon, there's rarely any reason to switch anymore or mix it up with wands, spells, inferior artifacts, etc.

To break up the pattern and add an incentive to slay monsters in another style, I'd like to propose an intelligent monster, which for lack of a better name I'll call a Mastermind, who has the ability to adapt to the player's repeated moves due to its high intelligence. The Mastermind gains a a defensive bonus (like corrosion in reverse) escalating for each attack attempt of the same type (same weapon, same spell, same wand, same god ability, potentially same spell school?) By your fifth axe swing, the has figured out your pattern and has devised a way to counter it with almost guaranteed success, so it's time to switch to a wand or a different weapon class to bring it down.

For fairness's sake, the effect would have to wear off after a few hundred turns as by then the Mastermind has become fascinated with other dungeon phenomena and forgotten its analysis of your fighting style.

Another Mastermind offensive feature might be the ability to analyze your resistances (it presses xv on its keyboard) and pick an attack element to which you are most vulnerable.
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Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 22:24

Re: monster idea: mastermind

god I'd love to carry like 5 different weapons just to kill one monster

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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 22:32

Re: monster idea: mastermind

The exact number is a matter of balance. Five weapons would be excessive, but one is too few -- I'm thinking two weapons (or two damage-dealing methods) would be about right. Imagine if the first weapon type on average allowed you to get it down to like 1/3 health, but you needed to switch it up somehow to land the final blow.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 22:53

Re: monster idea: mastermind

I don't mean to be a fly in the ointment, but a monster like this is one that I would:
1. Run from and never fight b/c of how tedious it would be to kill it
2. Get its health down as low as possible with my weapon, then kite till weapon does damage again

Either one of those does not result in a scenario that seems very fun to me tbh.
I appreciate your effort to come up with something new and interesting, but I'm not sure this is the best way to tackle it
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Temple Termagant

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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 22:57

Re: monster idea: mastermind

Corrosion used to mean you needed an extra throwaway weapon so that your main weapon didn't get fucked over since it was permanent, but they changed it to become temporary. And even now, a Hydra can screw over your long blades/axe user if you don't plan ahead specifically for hydras.

Adding another mechanic like this seems to just overcomplicate things even further, requiring even more extra killdudes for one monster, and possibly even requiring you to train another skill (depending on how necessary switching is and how late the monster appears), which some races just can't afford. It's a neat idea, but in practice it'll probably just feel like another hassle.

Plus, knowing dcss players, everyone's just gonna run from it.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 06:30

Re: monster idea: mastermind

Personally, I kill most critters with some form of ranged attack, plus some form of melee range attack, so I almost always have at least 2 killdudes to use, often I have a smattering of attack wands as backup (Presuming they don't comprise my primary ranged attack) As long as we are free to switch back to the first one if the second killdudes starts getting less effective, this wouldn't change "what I have to carry" much at all (It might change how much attention I had to pay to the combat)

Personally, I'd do this as "Increasing evasion against that specific attack" so it was possible still possible to kill with only one killdudes, just not efficient, If it were me creating this.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 14:30

Re: monster idea: mastermind

This will get in the way of my tabbing, which I heartily disapprove of. Would you have a force_more message when you've used up all your attacks against this monster, or would you just let the player keep swinging away pointlessly? With enough weapon skill and damage, could I break through its defense even after 5 swings or whatever? Am I the only one who doesn't want to press tabX5, ', tabX5, '...?
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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 14:32

Re: monster idea: mastermind

I was thinking it would still be possible, but inefficient, to kill it with the original method, but since it's dangerous, you'd want to neutralize it faster by switching it up...
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Joined: Tuesday, 31st March 2015, 20:34

Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 16:39

Re: monster idea: mastermind

Well, it sounds like almost a late version of hydras, if you just keep swinging mindlessly you can end up in trouble, although it doesn't sound like you intend for this monster to become more powerful offensively at the same time. So it's not as if there's no precedent. That said... I hate hydras...

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