Jump to content
  • Advertisement
_zax

XP for Feared/Enraged/Calmed enemies?

Recommended Posts

Assuming that I have spell system with Fear (run in random direction), Enrage (attack random target), Calm (stop attacking) and other AI related effects already implemented.

Does it make sense to award player XP for actions made by/on enemies affected by these effects from game design perspective? If so, then would it make more sense to reward player for kills made ON feared/enraged/calmed enemies or kills made BY enraged (calm and fear would be off then) enemies? I'm really curious on your opinions guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Both awarding and not awarding make perfect sense from game design perspective depending on what you want to achieve. Do you want the player to take advantage of these mechanics? Awarding might make the player want to take advantage of them. Not awarding may also make the player want to use them because it might still be advantageous to reach a greater goal. But not awarding may force the player to find another way to get more xp which can be good if you want to push the player in a certain direction.

In all of the possible cases, the main subject is the player. The saying goes you can't see the forest for the trees. Asking friends to test a game is usually one of the most inspiring things I can do to improve my designs. You can also post a demo here if you wish to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would take a look at the XP system at first.

If the system gives XP for different kinds of approaches and actions, it would be a good idea to give some extra XP for those harder to perform actions.

If the system gives XP for kills only (as it often is), I would refrain from giving bonus XP for such actions.

This is because if the player realizes that he gets more XP by toying with his enemies, he will try to juggle them in these states and milk more XP out of every enemy. If the bonus is neglectable, it would be ok, but then why bother with going for those actions?

Can your players grind monsters for XP? Are there a limited amount of enemies? Is the amount of XP gained getting less with every level the player rises?

These questions have to be seen in context of the entire XP system.

Situation A : A player likes to quickly play through games by just killing enemies and rushing the story. Since he does not use these extra actions, he receives less XP than other players and slowly falls behind in level. When he reaches later stages, he appears to be underleveled and either has to grind enemies to gain enough XP to progress or he has to give up if he can not grind.

Situation B : A player likes to grind and milk enemies for as much XP as possible. He spends a lot of time killing enemies in the most efficient way with extra actions that reward him more XP. He takes a lot of time to progress but the farther he gets, the easier it gets as well since he gains a lot more XP than other players. When he reaches later stages, he might be frustrated that everything is easy and nothing poses a challenge anymore. He also might be happy to find nothing a challenge since he likes the story. That is variable depending on the player and type of game.

Situation C : You have a usual player who progresses in a normal pace and accidentally uses those extra skills a lot more/not enough because it makes battles much easier/harder or longer/shorter. If he uses the skills too much, he will get overleveled. If he uses the skills not enough, he gets underleveled. Finding a balance between those two extremes is really hard if you have a lot of factors for XP.

I personally like to see different approaches give a bit extra but I usually don't like bonus XP for such actions.

In your case I would recommend giving bonus in a different way like reputation bonus with different factions (e.g. making enemies attack each other causes other people to be more afraid of the player or if he uses a lot of calm spells, others tend to be more friendly with the player).

If you have other systems that can be used to reward the player, try to make the impact seem important but not be important.

Think of those rewards like loot boxes, they are fun as long as they are cosmetic or very minor bonuses, but the bigger the bonus, the worse the impact on the game.

 

TLDR: You should reward those actions to give the player more meaning to his choices but you should be aware that they might cause an imbalance in whatever system you use to reward the player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to give a definite answer without more context.  However, I am generally in favor of experience systems that reward the player for completing quests or encounters, not for killing individual monsters.  Let's say there are three orcs blocking the road up ahead.  Let's say that this encounter is worth 90 xp.  So, just give the player 90 xp for completing the encounter.  This could mean:

  • Killing the orcs.
  • Scaring the orcs off.
  • Sneaking past the orcs.
  • Convincing the orcs to let you pass in peace.
  • Causing the orcs to kill each other.
  • Waiting for the orcs to leave.
  • Taking another route that leads around the orcs.

This approach gives the player the most freedom in how to approach the encounter without favoring or punishing any particular solution.  In other words, the player is free to deal with the game (what to do about the orcs) without worrying to much about the meta-game (how to maximize xp).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for your suggestions guys! The XP comes from quests + some tiny amounts from killing, so nothing innovative here.

On 5/7/2018 at 11:27 AM, SeelenGeier said:

Situation A : A player likes to quickly play through games by just killing enemies and rushing the story. Since he does not use these extra actions, he receives less XP than other players and slowly falls behind in level. When he reaches later stages, he appears to be underleveled and either has to grind enemies to gain enough XP to progress or he has to give up if he can not grind.

Situation B : A player likes to grind and milk enemies for as much XP as possible. He spends a lot of time killing enemies in the most efficient way with extra actions that reward him more XP. He takes a lot of time to progress but the farther he gets, the easier it gets as well since he gains a lot more XP than other players. When he reaches later stages, he might be frustrated that everything is easy and nothing poses a challenge anymore. He also might be happy to find nothing a challenge since he likes the story. That is variable depending on the player and type of game.

Situation C : You have a usual player who progresses in a normal pace and accidentally uses those extra skills a lot more/not enough because it makes battles much easier/harder or longer/shorter. If he uses the skills too much, he will get overleveled. If he uses the skills not enough, he gets underleveled. Finding a balance between those two extremes is really hard if you have a lot of factors for XP.

I think this might be wrong, you wouldn't gain any bonus XP because either you kill the mob yourself or your enraged target kills it. In other hand if we don't reward these actions the player would actually lose XP by using them (mobs killing other mobs).

So the dilemma is how to not discourage players from using these effects (because it makes them lose XP) and not overdoing it by rewarding them for something that doesn't make sense. I haven't seen any games giving XP for kills from Feared mobs personally, but saw some players requesting it, thus the question. Also where is the barrier, these are "crowd control" effects, so why not to also reward roots and slows with full XP? What's your opinion guys? Which effects are OK to give XP and which aren't? Are mind controls and fury/enrage effects exclusive?

@ a light breeze I know, personally I like your solution the most, but 1) it might be too late now, 2) majority of players "must" see the XP flying from mobs, so called MMO mentality I suppose...

Edited by _zax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/07/2018 at 11:27 AM, SeelenGeier said:

I would take a look at the XP system at first. 

Game time and x ammount enimies could be the anomalies, the player and enimies will constantly be in any of these modes throughout the game, therefor the ammount of game time and number of enimies will determine the ammount of bonus xp awarded to the player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XPs are rewards. You don't reward someone for using an ability or methodology. You reward someone for completion of a task, or for overcoming an obstacle.

If you define what those tasks are (to successfully pacify an enemy vs to actually kill an enemy) then the question of what approach your players use becomes moot - and really, if you're providing your players with tools and abilities, then shouldn't be penalised or discouraged from using them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/7/2018 at 12:48 PM, a light breeze said:

It's hard to give a definite answer without more context.  However, I am generally in favor of experience systems that reward the player for completing quests or encounters, not for killing individual monsters.  Let's say there are three orcs blocking the road up ahead.  Let's say that this encounter is worth 90 xp.  So, just give the player 90 xp for completing the encounter. 

This approach gives the player the most freedom in how to approach the encounter without favoring or punishing any particular solution.  In other words, the player is free to deal with the game (what to do about the orcs) without worrying to much about the meta-game (how to maximize xp).

It also leaves the programmer free to deal with the game without worrying too much about the metagame: the guarantee that any successful course of action gives the same amount of XP means that there is no risk of the player progressing past the orc encounter with too much or too little experience.

It's still possible to spend excessive amounts of resources to overcome the orcs, but providing means to recover resources (e.g. allowing the player to assault orc archers to collect their arrows) is easier than dealing with abnormal experience levels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!