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Oct. 26, 2010: Larger Random Encounter Roll-Out

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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:57 pm

I've been doing a lot of work with the code from CEP's "Sparky Spawner" system, and I've got everything pretty much ironed out. I've got a method for quickly adding more randomized encounters to areas, so today I went through and added/changed encounters in many areas (working my way through the alphabet, I'm ready to start on the Ns).

This means that many encounters will become more random...
...not always spawning 100% of the time and/or
...not always spawning the same creatures in the same locations and/or
...some spawns are now time-dependant (for instance, vampires will spawn only at night outddors) and/or
...some encounters will be chosen from "random encounter tables" for variety...
and...
...creatures will appear more scattered in areas instead of just "clumps" and
...creatures will wander around more in their areas

Smile

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Post by daveyeisley Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:28 pm

Sounds great Smile

I look forward to this in the outdoor areas mostly. Some spots, it may be good to leave as they are (ie. beholder tunnels, boss fights, etc).
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:25 pm

Some old-style triggered encounters will remain in the game...some even in areas I'm adding randomness.

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Post by MannyJabrielle Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:35 am

Ran into a number of vermin/wildlife spawns last night. Like it much actually.

The one thing I didn't like so much though was in that small macedone gate area, my dragon went after the rats along with the horse dealer, and when the dealer got caught in a breathweapon spray, he went hostile. The area was small enough that I couldn't see what was happening and tell the dragon to stand it's ground fast enough to prevent the faction problems.

Putting hostiles in any area with friendly NPCs is always problematic faction-wise for players, especially those with followers/familiars/animalcompanions/summons that have AoEs which the player can't control directly.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:34 am

Thanks for the feedback. I thought the rats I put in the "city/town animals" mix were the non-hostile ones. I'll have to fix that.

Although, a little dragon going after rats makes me think the dragon might have just been hungry. Smile

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Post by daveyeisley Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:04 pm

LOL.

I like the mechanics used for the boatman in the Dark Realm. He is neutral, and even if caught in one of my or an enemies AOE's, it doesnt change his reaction. Maybe NPC's that are placed in areas with hostiles could all use this mechanic to prevent faction issues?
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Post by RustyDios Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:12 pm

Does this system include the random goats found in calithia's eastern gold ward bazzaar?

Because that was a shock to see a herd of goats walking by!

I'm sure they were goats.. or maybe I was hallucinating...
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:46 pm

RustyDios wrote:Does this system include the random goats found in calithia's eastern gold ward bazzaar?

Because that was a shock to see a herd of goats walking by!

I'm sure they were goats.. or maybe I was hallucinating...
Yes. Smile Goats are sometimes found in cities.

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Post by Christopher Robin R2 Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:21 am

Just to add what I've experienced so far. The ants don't seem to have changed any, but the goblins have.

So I walk into the goblin cave with my Wizard 3/Palemaster 1, my ice mephit familiar, and a dire badger. Instantly, I am accosted by something like 15 to 20 goblins. Thankfully, I am invisible, and my mephit has damage resistance. I think the badger may have died once, but I just re-summoned it.

As I further explore the caves, I am astounded by the fact that I only encounter a few goblins at all. (Several non-hostile large bats around, though). Goblins spawn maybe once (again) on this floor, perhaps three of them. As I move to the second floor, two goblins attack as soon as I enter, and there's a new "Cave Goblin Female" around the corner. She was worth a LOT more XP than the normal ones.

I finally am taken down by... I'm not sure what it was. It was a small group, but had some powerful guys in it. It said "Cave Goblin" something, so I think it was new. Must of got lucky with a magic weapon to take out my mephit.
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Post by Gwydion669 Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:56 pm

Love the random encounters.

It maybe might (just perhaps) could use a bit of tweaking in civilized or semi-civilized areas, however.

Over the course of the past five hours, the dwarf female which talks about home construction was taken out by an orc scout, Farmer John (?) - some salesman at a crossroads who carried a signet ring and a staff with the two-weapon feat - was eaten by two half-ogres, the vampire goods merchant was chopped up by a bandit chieftain, and I think a jewler was eaten by an ankheg (not sure where on that one ... I had been teleported to a desert and was trying to hoof it back to the vale -- "almost" made it, too Sad).

Perhaps adjust such areas to experience weaker encounters like a wolf or a goblin or two. Or provide them with some mercenary muscle to handle such encounters.

My mage is a good guy who tried to help 'em out, but he doesn't deal the kind of damage to take out the bad guys before the NPC merchants bit the dust.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:02 pm

Thanks for the suggestions/feedback.

Oh, and all quarterstaves now grant the two-weapon fighting feat (as a temporary item property) for the wielder, since in Aenea they've been changed to double-ended weapons. Handy info if you just like the look of a staff and wanted them to behave more like the double-ended weapons that should be. Smile

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Post by Christopher Robin R2 Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:03 am

I can say difficulty is up. Going onto the north road from the Vale, today, I ran into maybe 6 goblins, 2 monstrous bats, and a couple of orc advance scouts.

Thankfully, not all at once, but all spawned in that area. And those orcs were kinda tough.

And in the goblin caves... I found out what killed me last time. Goblin Cave Berserker. Argh, those are nasty. Cut right through like three dire badgers, and my ice mephit. And even after I took him down, I still had a Shaman and a couple of regular goblins left. I died again.

Man, those PM levels didn't do me any good. Maybe I should stick to killing ants.
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Post by MannyJabrielle Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:07 am

heh, I find PM levels don't start to rock until the last 3 pre-epic class levels and/or the epic PM levels Smile
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Post by daveyeisley Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:25 pm

Yeah, when your character is low level overall, many of the prestige classes are less than steller to invest in for the simple fact that most of the prestige classes power is "backloaded", meaning you wont see the real significant power/effectiveness payoffs for the level investment until after the 5th level or so. I've been down that road with a few characters, and gotten frustrated at this simple but not immediately obvious issue.

My advice would be if you can catch one of us Dms online, we can let you re-level the PC and you can wait on the PM levels until your character has some solid foundation in base class to give the caster levels and spell slots to deal with some of the tougher spawns more effectively.
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Post by Elhanan Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:57 pm

I like having variety especially in the low lvls. However, just in wandering the roads and areas close to the Vale has provided 4 deaths thus far; most while in +1 Full Plate reward armor, at that.

The Gnolls are understandable, as are bandits, but the vermin like rabid mice are ripping me to shreds, and while visiting in the Fishhead Tavern with everyone too drunk to aid me. The good news is that the trip back from death leads back to the Vale, so delivering liquor is indeed quicker!

I may pull out an Epic PC for some vengeance later today.
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Post by Amethyst347 Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:20 am

I've recently found that, with lower level PCs, venturing out of the Vale is very nearly suicidal. There's bears. Gnolls. Gaggles of goblins. Bandit Chiefs. Oh my! However with higher level PCs the spawns are kinda pathetic (not just because I'm stronger and can manage them, but it's actually silly stuff like one rabid mouse or something). It's almost like whatever calculates the spawns is backwards... scratch
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