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Kest

Stubborn instead of Challenging

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I've been considering adding a secondary type of enemy to my RPG that doesn't really pose a challenge to the player, but is hopefully still fun to fight and destroy. I don't want to replace challenging enemies with stubborn enemies, I'm just considering having some of both. I'm wondering if I'm just strange for enjoying this type of enemy. And if so, I need to reconsider this. A few of the enemy's most obvious traits: + Unkillable or replicated. Either they can recover from battle with the player, or they can be easily replaced. A hive of insect-like characters, for instance, or a horde of zombies. Characters who would seem to live long lives (but then die in battle) probably wouldn't work as well. + Trivial aggression. The reason they want to destroy the player seems absurd or trivial to the player. For example, the insect characters might just want to eat him. Or another enemy might want to kill him for possessing certain knowledge (something he can do nothing about). Whatever the reason, it's far from something worth dying for. + Arrogant and determined. They can't figure out how someone as pathetic as the player is able to defeat them, and they're far too proud to give up. They won't stop until the player is defeated, even if it means self annihilation. They'll taunt and threaten the player persistently, even as they don't stand a chance. I might be leaving something out, but I think that sums them up. I've fought this type of enemy many times in many games, but I'm not sure how many of them were designed to be this way on purpose. These traits are what I believe to be the main reasons I enjoyed fighting them. Even though I can recognize some of these traits, I'm still having a difficult time understanding why it's fun to fight them. Is it just fun to prove a point? What do you think? Given that a game's combat is fun, and that other enemies will present a challenge, can this type of enemy also be fun to fight, even though they pose little to no challenge?

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I think I would need to have the satisfaction of beating an arrogant enemy down. If it didn't ever feel like a total beat down because he got up too fast then I wouldn't enjoy it. If I could eventually pseudo defeat him with a good beating then I would enjoy the punching bag very much. The more he taunts, the more arrogant, the more annoying, the more of a punching bag he is to me and the more I need to give it a good beating.

Thinking about how enemies act and how I interact with them, I think that is the only way I would enjoy that sort of enemy. Insects might work, but only as fodder for cool explosions.

This sort of fight though is something I could get tired of very quickly, I see it more as something the player should be aware of and can seek out if they are in the mood to go beat something but can avoid if, in their current mood, they would just find it annoying and bothersome.

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This could also serve as comic relief - think of Team Rocket in the Pokemon shows, where they are so incredibly persistent to the point that they make themselves appear humorous.

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Requires alternate reactions/outcomes for confrontations.


Running away/avoidance

Crawling away/ cringing

Defensive actions with little offensive effect (blocking/stalling/moving to a defensive position)


Clear Demonstrations other than hack/slash. (ie- long taunting sequences)

Calling for allies to come and help (running towards them)

Communicating messages instead of simply attacking.

Breaking points with change of behavior (at different thresholds)

Alternate actiosn -- attampting to run behind player or trip them, throw stuff at them, etc...

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Something that I forgot to mention is that combat is real-time, and would be rather quick and furious when facing sub-par opponents. For imagination purposes, just consider the combat to be like any typical non-RPG shooter. The stubborn enemies are meant to be easy to fight, but fun to destroy.

I think combat speed is an important thing to consider. I doubt many people would enjoy fighting weak or stupid opponents in a highly meticulous turn based strategy game, regardless of how fun they are to put in their place.

In a way, the Grunts in Halo are very close, if only they had a lot more confidence, and belittled the player instead of drowning him in reverence.

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(Warning: links go to TV Tropes, the wiki about elements in media. If you haven't been exposed to the site yet or haven't been there recently, be forewarned that the Wiki effect is strong with this one; head there and be prepared to lose several hours clicking links).

If you're talking about standard Mooks, then fighting them can be fun. Infuse your mooks with a load of personality and be prepared to tweak the system and it will work well.

The danger is that some of your statement seem to suggest you're leaning towards the trope named "Goddamned Bats", which as the trope page explains is significantly less fun. Avoid.

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
If you're talking about standard Mooks, then fighting them can be fun. Infuse your mooks with a load of personality and be prepared to tweak the system and it will work well.

That's an interesting article. They don't seem to have a category of mook whose design is soly to enhance the fun of beating them into the ground. Otherwise, that would be what I'm getting at.

Quote:
The danger is that some of your statement seem to suggest you're leaning towards the trope named "Goddamned Bats", which as the trope page explains is significantly less fun. Avoid.

That states "It's almost always an enemy that takes a long time to defeat or requires a highly inconvenient tactic, often both", so that's not what I'm considering. Like I said, the Grunts in Halo come close. They're not very inconvenient. You can almost run over them. However, they're kind of cute, and they don't beg for a beating like the type of enemy I'm suggesting.

Also, Goddamned Bats seems to suggest a type of enemy that doesn't provide any useful benefit to the player. Killing the stubborn enemies I'm referring to would serve the same purpose as killing challenging enemies. They wouldn't just get in the way.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
...they don't beg for a beating like the type of enemy I'm suggesting.


I think the issue with the Grunts is that they're too cute sounding and they run funny. I think the player is supposed to almost feel bad for killing them since they're so pathetic in a way.

"There's something about your face that makes me want to knock your teeth in." - I don't really know the process for achieving this goal, but why not model the difficulty of the grunts around something that just pisses you off to look at. Something really ugly.

Other than that I guess a weak enemy that talks shit in numbers would provide incentive to (and satisfaction with) laying a beatdown on them.

Sometimes it's good to mix up challenge with pure domination. Especially if your character is supposed to be super powerful, or some ultimate warrior. It makes you feel bad-ass.

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