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Should there be an 'iconic' enemy like Minecraft's Creeper?


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For now, enemy variations is quite limiting, but due to the game still in development, it's completely understandable.

Devs could take inspiration and just copy the Minecraft creeper, give it a unique design, and make it a highly rare and dangerous threat. But as much as I would like a highly dangerous enemy with a explosion attack, it's quite an uninspiring mob. Especially if the ability can be abused to blast ores you don't have the tool tier to break.

What other enemy, with a unique ability, could fit being in the game? With the themes about time this game has, it'll be cool to have an enemy with an ability based on it.

Edited by Native Copper Bits
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The thing that made the Creeper iconic is a combination of various factors.

  • It's completely deformed. It was created when Notch wanted to make a pig but increased the body height instead of the length by accident. The result looked so silly that he decided to keep it. It's essentially a walking... errr... phallic symbol. If you know what I mean.
  • Its weirdly evil-yet-sad face. It kind of just needs a hug, right? Except that's the one thing you really don't want to do...
  • The jumpscare factor. Their steps are silent, their texture blends into grassy plains, and they are coded specifically to use cover - for example sometimes stopping behind trees waiting for the player to pass by. And then, their entire attack is one single loud and spectacular moment.

All of this works out to create a creature which is not just memorable for its own sake, but also supremely watchable. As in: the Creeper is iconic specifically because the Creeper is fun for the audience on a livestream or Youtube video. The host can make jokes about how they look; the viewer can usually spot the Creeper approaching while the host is distracted by gameplay and commenting and misses it; the host gets hilariously jumpscared and the viewer laughs about them; and so on and so forth.

Being watchable is actually a major part of viral marketing and game popularity nowadays. A bad game can rise to popularity purely because of how interesting it is for people to watch it get livestreamed. Take Phasmophobia, for example. It was one dude's hobby project, clicked together from free assets, poorly animated, buggy, very limited content... he made it for himself and his friends primarily, and once said that if he sold 200 copies he'd have been thrilled. And then someone streamed it and it absolutely exploded. Because even in the sorry state it was in during the first release, Phasmophobia was incredibly watchable. It became so popular and sold so much that the author was able to hire multiple other people to work on the game, and it has greatly improved since.

So instead of thinking in the limited scope of "should there be an iconic creature", perhaps the question that should be asked is much more general: how watchable is Vintage Story at the moment? What can be done to improve this? And how do such changes influence the atmosphere of the game? Because I sure don't want a walking dong in VS, no matter how funny it might be... :P

 

Edited by Streetwind
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  • 3 weeks later...

Perhaps the drifter(s) and locusts should occupy different places in the world. Drifters are at sea level and above, brought in by temporal rifts. Maybe the different levels of rift severity determine what types of drifters will be showing up. Low nights might have mostly T1 and a few T2 drifters, all the way to an apocalyptic rift event where ~10% are the T5 drifters. Locusts are within caves, and especially with their skittering movement and glowing eyes and abdomens they can make for some freaky moments seen off in the dark. 

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2 hours ago, Omega Haxors said:

C'mon this is the kind of question you'd expect from an executive trying to maximize sales...

Yeah, better question would be "Does the game need more of more creative monsters?" and the answer is a resounding YES. I mean, with how hard spelunking is, you could play for days before meeting anything else but a drifter and the occasional wolf. There should be dark forest non-beast enemies, there should be shallow cave monsters, there should be deep water monsters etc...

Edited by Jan Hošek
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Another thing that makes Minecraft's Creeper interesting is that it can destroy your creations. Sometimes it's just an unsightly hole in your lawn, sometimes it's the wall of the palace you've spent hours on, sometimes it's your entire livestock pen.

Vintage Story's in-game lore talks about a rot that consumes everything, so it would make sense to have an enemy that can destroy/corrupt/rot blocks around it. If it rots things with some kind of passive aura, you would have to deal with it quickly. If it rots things with some sort of attack, you would have to deal with it carefully, or better yet avoid it. It takes a fair amount of time to acquire resources and build things in Vintage Story, so an enemy like that could be really devastating and scary. Imagine watching your 3rd generation sheep rot away into mush because a certain enemy got into your pen and you couldn't deal with it properly.

Then again that might be too devastating and hurt the overall player experience. Sticking with the rot idea, it could be a weak slime monster that doesn't hurt the environment, with attacks that do very little health damage but do extreme damage to your armor, clothing, and weapon durability.

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On 2/10/2022 at 5:03 AM, Jan Hošek said:

Yeah, better question would be "Does the game need more of more creative monsters?" and the answer is a resounding YES. I mean, with how hard spelunking is, you could play for days before meeting anything else but a drifter and the occasional wolf. There should be dark forest non-beast enemies, there should be shallow cave monsters, there should be deep water monsters etc...

Personally, I'm not in favor of more enemy types. I would prefer more environmental challenges (thirst, a more expansive temperature system, making farming and animal husbandry a bit less OP in terms of flooding you with food, maybe some more wellness modifiers like mood or sanity, stuff like that). Having to spend more time fighting stuff and/or avoiding stuff that wants to fight me would not be a change I would enjoy.....

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Not a big fan. I wouldn't mind a little more monster diversity, but there's very little upside to battling monsters other than to keep them from eating your face. I'd much rather the time be spent on other aspects of the game. If one really likes battling iconic monsters, there are already plenty of games for that.

15 hours ago, Philtre said:

thirst, a more expansive temperature system, making farming and animal husbandry a bit less OP in terms of flooding you with food, maybe some more wellness modifiers like mood or sanity,

Some of these have the potential to become very grindy. As mentioned in another current thread, carrying food everywhere is already taking up some valuable inventory slots. I'm guessing that's more from not establishing dedicated forward camps and survival caches, and doing everything in your base, though. I can't see that taking up another few slots to carry a cup and a couple waterskins would improve the game experience.

I agree that food might do with some rebalancing, but there's already a steep learning curve, and it just seems wrong for n00bs to die of hunger while having the survival handbook open reading about how to cook food. If one wanted to nerf food production, you are almost going to have to boost the effectiveness of food at the low end of the satiation bar. Which may not be a bad idea anyway. When you are very hungry, a few berries and a carrot should go a long way, while if you are already full, it mostly just passes through...

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4 minutes ago, Thorfinn said:

Not a big fan. I wouldn't mind a little more monster diversity, but there's very little upside to battling monsters other than to keep them from eating your face. I'd much rather the time be spent on other aspects of the game. If one really likes battling iconic monsters, there are already plenty of games for that.

Some of these have the potential to become very grindy. As mentioned in another current thread, carrying food everywhere is already taking up some valuable inventory slots. I'm guessing that's more from not establishing dedicated forward camps and survival caches, and doing everything in your base, though. I can't see that taking up another few slots to carry a cup and a couple waterskins would improve the game experience.

I agree that food might do with some rebalancing, but there's already a steep learning curve, and it just seems wrong for n00bs to die of hunger while having the survival handbook open reading about how to cook food. If one wanted to nerf food production, you are almost going to have to boost the effectiveness of food at the low end of the satiation bar. Which may not be a bad idea anyway. When you are very hungry, a few berries and a carrot should go a long way, while if you are already full, it mostly just passes through...

Nerf food production, make food better, make starvation kill you in weeks instead of days, and add the ability to gain/lose weight so it affects your combat and movement stats. 
This game excels at doing things with precision, care, and forethought. Nutrition should be no different, and nutrition should feed back into combat at the bare minimum, and other systems if we can swing it. One wolf should be able to get me enough meat to last for days, not a single meal - but it should also be able to kill me if I'm stupid about fighting it (which they do, lol). 

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5 hours ago, Thorfinn said:

I agree that food might do with some rebalancing, but there's already a steep learning curve, and it just seems wrong for n00bs to die of hunger while having the survival handbook open reading about how to cook food. If one wanted to nerf food production, you are almost going to have to boost the effectiveness of food at the low end of the satiation bar.

I'm thinking more about the huge amount of food that you can produce from farms and animal husbandry. It's ridiculously easy to produce more food than you can ever eat.

5 hours ago, l33tmaan said:

One wolf should be able to get me enough meat to last for days, not a single meal - but it should also be able to kill me if I'm stupid about fighting it (which they do, lol). 

I agree that from a realistic point of view, large animals should produce huge amounts of food. However, it should also take a day or so for one person to skin, butcher, and process a large carcass for preservation (salting, smoking, drying, whatever), and animal respawn rates would need to be tweaked to cause long-term population crashes if over-hunted, while domestic animal reproduction rates would need to be lowered waaaay down (possibly by vastly extending the amount of time it takes babies to grow up).

Basically, in a realistic setting, large-game hunting, as well as butchering domestic animals, should be something that happens a few times a year, takes planning and preparation, and requires a substantial time investment to deal with the carcasses before they spoil. I'm not sure that such a system would fit with this particular game, though.

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I think I'd like it if more things were adjusted for yearly scale instead of monthly or whatever things are at now. Getting big grain harvests and bagging giant sacks of meat a few times a year sounds more fun than doing it all the time.
But that's a discussion for a different topic.

Edited by l33tmaan
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On 2/11/2022 at 3:40 PM, Philtre said:

Personally, I'm not in favor of more enemy types. I would prefer more environmental challenges (thirst, a more expansive temperature system, making farming and animal husbandry a bit less OP in terms of flooding you with food, maybe some more wellness modifiers like mood or sanity, stuff like that). Having to spend more time fighting stuff and/or avoiding stuff that wants to fight me would not be a change I would enjoy.....

Sanity fur sure fits the lovecraftian theme of the game and should definitely be considered.

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10 hours ago, Native Copper Bits said:

Temporal Stability is basically already a sanity meter.

But it's based almost entirely on physical location, which means it's very easy to manage (and very annoying - how many lovely build spots have you had to pass up because they weren't stable? :D )

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On 2/13/2022 at 12:21 AM, Native Copper Bits said:

Temporal Stability is basically already a sanity meter. Temporal Stability should also have more effects, depending on its level.

I've heard this a lot, but I do not find anything that links temporal stability to sanity.  Yes, the world goes wonky when termporal stability gets low, but given that critters appear in the world when that happens I wouldn't call it a break in sanity.  Seems like other things are happening.  Perhaps the next update will shed some light on temporal stability and rifts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The problem with wanting an 'iconic monster' is that this kind of thing can only be engineered so far.  Mostly, it has to happen by accident.  There would have to be a creature that the community grabs onto.  Creating a thing like that mostly happens on accident.

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On 3/9/2022 at 2:22 AM, Vinter Nacht said:

The problem with wanting an 'iconic monster' is that this kind of thing can only be engineered so far.  Mostly, it has to happen by accident.  There would have to be a creature that the community grabs onto.  Creating a thing like that mostly happens on accident.

Pretty much. Rater thinking on how to make it. It will happen and be decided by the players anyway which mob is tormenting them.

And I already guess one that is being the iconic around the game.

It's the wolf. 

 

Edited by setne550
  • Wolf Bait 2
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On 2/14/2022 at 8:18 PM, Maelstrom said:

I've heard this a lot, but I do not find anything that links temporal stability to sanity.  Yes, the world goes wonky when termporal stability gets low, but given that critters appear in the world when that happens I wouldn't call it a break in sanity.  Seems like other things are happening.  Perhaps the next update will shed some light on temporal stability and rifts.

If stability would be physical, it would affect mobs and npcs in the same way as it does player characters, which it doesn't. animals and traders don't care for stability, monsters are only attacking players and no animal seems to even only notice them, the stability meter is a player character based one, different players will have a different amount left and low stability causes player characters to take damage when near walls, which might be because they're harming themselves trying to get away from the confinement.

2 hours ago, setne550 said:

Pretty much. Rater thinking on how to make it. It will happen and be decided by the players anyway which mob is tormenting them.

And I already one that is being the iconic around the game.

It's the wolf.

The wolves only are a menace early game, and even then they rarely are something that torments players (apart from the newest ones). You can easily outrun and outwit them in vintage story, people even farm known wolf spawning spots, as they are a more than only decent source of hide, meat and fat. You can easily manipulate the spawning algorithm to not spawn more of them in a certain area by keeping some in a lit hole... and they behave as stupid and atypical as in most other survival games, hence not iconic.

Hence no comparison to the creeper which is a menace even for seasoned players, which has only drops useful in mid- to endgame, can not reliably be prevented from spawning as long as other mobs should still spawn, can destroy your build if you don't take them out carefully...

Edited by Hal13
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  • 1 month later...

Been playing a mod that removed surface drifters and added various types of thugs, bandits, bowmen and brigands while keeping the underground drifters and locust, well, underground. it keeps theme with the malefactor lore, which has always intrigued me.

although the mod is rough, it really really changed how the game felt, and shifted early priorities around quick. shelter was suddenly paramount, and exploring was now actually dangerous, and armor was actually more of a reasonable idea than before. Now I'm not knocking the drifters, but now that they all throw rocks with sniper precision, I don't really think they are even as ominous as they used to be, when they would slogg around, then just sprint at you. now they are just obnoxious. 

But as far as iconic? I think that there could easily be some sort of floating ball of rot and jagged rusted metal that would spit some kinda vile rot that would spread, and if left unchecked, would consume blocks. Matches the lore, keeps the theme, has a ranged attack so the drifters don't need one (I really think the rock throwing is simply not fun at all), and could be in different tiers like the drifters. the rot would have some tangible lasting impact after temporal storms as you circle your property cleaning the rot, and sorting matters out, rather than storms just coming with a visual effect, increased spawns, and leaving a mob of rock-throwing nuisances. 

course, I'm just spitballin' here from the coffee table, maybe I don't see the whole picture of the game's scope.

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None of us know what's really going on in the world.  The best we have, currently (until 1.18 story element comes out), is what's in the journal about rot and the current temporal shattering of the world.  Given the Lovecraftian theme specifically mentioned, reading Mr. Lovecraft may shed some light on what we may see in the future.  Based on my recent reading of Lovecraft's work, I think future story elements and digital threats will be different than what has been theorized.

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