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Terrible enemies

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What do you dislike most about combat enemies in general shooter/slasher gaming? After playing Fallout 3, I came up with a few annoying things to avoid in my own game: 1. Most enemies are like mechanical snipers. You can sprint across the street, and still have every third shot from a 10mm machine gun nail you from two blocks away. They need more human-like flaws in their aiming abilities. 2. Enemies are too tough. Not too challenging, just too difficult to hurt. I often find myself spraying 20 bullets into someone's face before they finally kill over. There's nothing fun about that for me. I've personally never had a problem with a game because of enemies dying too quickly when I shot them in the face. Has anyone else? 3. Dumping realism for gameplay balance. This kind of ties into 2, but this is big for me. There's something very annoying to me about pointing a mini-gun and spraying 100 bullets into a dude wearing leather armor just to have him keep coming at me, undramatized by the barrage of bullets streaming into his organs. In the real world, an armored crab would drop instantly with one shot from a 10mm pistol to the face. In the game, it can take up to 20 or 30 shots. Does it really improve gameplay to do this sort of thing? For me, it just makes the game world confusing and difficult to understand. You never feel like you know what's going to happen until you actually try it (and see it fail miserably). I could go on, but I'll wait to see if anyone else can add something. Is there anything about combat enemies that you would like to see avoided in future games? If possible, mention an improvement to the problem. Anything goes, from RTS enemies to shooters to RPG battles.

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I agree. But I do wonder about one thing. How about the amount of damage your own player can sustain? It's crazy in most games, the amount of hits you can take before going down. I think they just decided to balance out the enemies ability to take damage to the players. If you could only take a couple hits before biting the dust, the game would get boring pretty quick.

I'm not sure what the solution is. It seems they just decided that more shots flying around equals more action.

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Enemies that stop dropping loot before or as soon as you become able to kill them. Enemies that are impossible to kill solo, or have loot that cannot be dropped solo. Enemies that are the wrong difficulty for their physical location in the game.

Enemies that swarm or call for help are probably one of the main causes of unexpected death in MMOs. This does not mean that swarming enemies are bad, they add nice variety, but the player's fighting abilities or the way the combat stats and equations work need to be balanced with extra care so that a swarm of smaller enemies and one larger enemy take equal amounts of time and mana/stamina to kill, do equal amounts of damage, and drop equal amounts of loot (per their level). Enemies that are more aggressive toward lower level players and less aggressive to higher level ones are irritating all around, but it works pretty nicely to have the opposite dynamic.

If an enemy has the ability to paralyze the player, they should not be able to use it frequently or have it be too long-lasting, and the player should be able to do _something_, just not all of their usual action choices.

One thing that is generally underused is enemies that run away, and must be outwitted or outmaneuvered and killed for some valuable drop.

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I agree with your statements and I too felt the same way about fallout3, i think the best way they should have gone is more enemies which die quicker,

you have more to enemies deal with = player being able to take more hits

there are more enemies to kill = more action

the enemies die easier - so the games more satisfying and feels more responsive.

One thing that annoyed the hell out of me, you use the mini gun and have to wait a few seconds for the thing to start spinning and shooting, if you get hit the mini gun stops and you have to "charge" it again, however the person your shooting at doesn't seem stunned by any hits at all and hence can keep shooting you causing this whole horrible cycle over and over.

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Quote:
Original post by BlackSeeds
I agree with your statements and I too felt the same way about fallout3, i think the best way they should have gone is more enemies which die quicker,

I agree 100%. If Fallout 3 was balanced slightly different here and there, this would have been the perfect solution. It would definitely make the VATS system more engaging.

Quote:
you have more to enemies deal with = player being able to take more hits

If the enemies behaved and aimed more realistically, and reacted to powerful impacts more realistically, the player wouldn't need to be as unrealistically tough to match up. I mostly played the game in real time, so maybe it wasn't as bad with the VATS system.

Cover works pretty well in the game, but if you just pop your head out for 1.2 seconds, someone who isn't even turned your way will snap around and blast you before you can even see what's going on. It's these little things that really screw you over. The enemy behaving more like a programmed machine than a person.

Quote:
there are more enemies to kill = more action

Since the alternative is pointing at a single target and pounding the trigger until their weight doubles with bullets, I would have to agree.

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I also am not too keen on the enemies that can take a million bullets before keeling over. I do, however, realize that balancing a game with encounters involving a larger number of enemies that there are so many variables to consider and there's no way Fallout 3 would have been released on time.

Same goes for players who die really quick. How do you balance that over 30+ hours worth of game without making any section too difficult or easy? In a standard FPS it's much easier to balance than in a game like Fallout.

The part about Fallout that I really didn't like was that you needed to stock a billion stimpaks ("health potions") that you could use willy nilly, instead of having regenerating health and using stimpaks for emergency healing in battle. There was no real point to fighting as stimpaks were so numerous and cheap to buy that a single enemy encounter had no importance.

Back on topic of bullet sponge enemies... I don't mind so much if it's a huge super powerful enemy, but then again I prefer if there's a strategy beyond "pump it full of bullets" required to kill it.

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I was a fan of Far Cry because all of the mercenaries would die by one head shot. Later in the game they threw a wrench in it with the mutants, but I really liked the start. I also liked painkiller, even if it was a little mindless. If there was more intelligent AI that game could really be golden.

I would like to know why so many games opt for the bullet sponge enemies. It seems like a really bad idea to me, but I figure that they aren't stupid so they must be doing it for a reason.

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Another problem, somewhat related to the "100 shots to the head before they die" problem, is that you can pump the enemy full of 99 bullets with no discernable difference in their behaviour. Then one more bullet and they're dead.

(I haven't played Fallout 3, so I don't know if that happens there, but it's pretty common).

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Quote:
Original post by dashurc
I also am not too keen on the enemies that can take a million bullets before keeling over. I do, however, realize that balancing a game with encounters involving a larger number of enemies that there are so many variables to consider and there's no way Fallout 3 would have been released on time.

I love the enemy taunts, how they run away when you really mess them up, and how they scavenge downed NPCs' weapons, but otherwise, they don't really do anything that looks very smart during battle. I can't think of much that would need to change to add one or two extra enemies at a time while making them all a little weaker.

Quote:
Same goes for players who die really quick. How do you balance that over 30+ hours worth of game without making any section too difficult or easy? In a standard FPS it's much easier to balance than in a game like Fallout.

Like I said, taking away some of the AI's unfair behavior would tip the weight into the player's favor. Less bullets making direct impact means less toughness needed to survive the fight.

In the real world, it wouldn't be unheard of for a gang member to aim an automatic weapon to fire 33 bullets and only hit the target once or twice, if at all. Especially if the target is moving quickly. There are a lot of negative factors that go into it. Stress, adrenaline, drugs, the fear of death, taking a life, weapon recoil, etc. Fallout 3 characters don't seem to be bothered by anything. They just aim and kill like neat little mechanical soldiers.

Wouldn't it be neat if characters actually had to shoot up something to behave the way they do now in the game?
"Oh hell, he just hit some jet, take cover!"

And finally, it could be as simple as giving the player some extra armor. If the player walks onto the battlefield prepared to fight 50 enemies, he's probably going to come dressed heavier than any one of them.

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I haven't played F3, but I agree, a lot more work needs to be done on the AI, even if its longer case statements and some edge cases aren't caught, as long as the majority of situations react appropriately has to be better than none at all.

I forget what games they were but I did play a few FPSs a long time ago where you slowed down when you took damage... and so did the AI. It was much more like it.

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