Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Feature Request: Custom Mobs (with pics)
making your own NPCs groups in the Foundry

Background:
Coming from a Dungeons and Dragons background, I loved creating my own custom encounters for players to experience. While we'll never have total control or scripting over NPC groups in STO, it would be cool to at least change what abilities they have or items they use.

This would allow us to create unique groups that we could share with others content authors, allowing for not only more diversity but also some fun design from a gameplay standpoint. Let's explore this idea a bit:
Idea:
You'd load up a tab called NPC Groups.
(=| click here to see mock-up in Foundry |=)
From here, you'd be greeted by an interface allowing you to create custom space or ground mobs.

It'd be rather simple:
  • You create NPC ranks for your alien NPC Group
  • Template mobs will pull from appropriate ranks (i.e. Captain x1, Ensign x3 mob will pull randomly from ones you created)
  • Drag and drop abilities and/or items balanced for that rank of NPC
  • Drag and drop costumes for alien appearances
(=| click here to see mock-up in Foundry |=)
Potential Uses:
  • Creating Custom encounters in your missions
  • Fleshing out Exploration Clusters
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-09-2011, 08:58 PM
/Signed

Love the idea!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-09-2011, 09:19 PM
definitely. yes please.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-10-2011, 01:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecto View Post
/Signed

Love the idea!
Quote:
Originally Posted by pr1983 View Post
definitely. yes please.
What could be improved?
(i.e showing nested lists underneath selected items/abilities? etc.?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-10-2011, 01:35 PM
Tsk tsk tsk... Darren Darren Darren... don't you know this is the slippery road to Exploit Town? "Population almost everyone"

Not that I dislike the feature. I love the idea and would support it, with one little condition... customized NPC enemies are going to be worth exactly 0 XP/SP and drop no rewards. I truly think anything else would lead to chaos just like things went crazy when Paragon Studios had to nerf their own UGC tool-set so the exploits won't be as severe as they were.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-10-2011, 04:21 PM
I fail to see how this can be used for exploiting, or how the current foundry can either....you want to make a bunch of mobs with no plot to kill endlessly?

Klingons call that empire defense grinding.

Want to make a map where you only have to scan some things and do no combat in order to finish the mission?

Welcome to exploration clusters.

The simple solution is to do what the original neverwinter nights did and create item values, a mob cannot have a high ability or loot table unless it has a high level, and lock it in.
If a player wants to customize a mob, then the mission becomes a level restricted misson, basically the more powers he adds to it the higher rank it can be, and the difficulty increases as well.

Farming items or mobs in this way is fine by me, it's what we do in game anyways.

I see the foundry as the next evolution in MMO's it is a way to tell a story and entertain fellow players. The playerbase of STO is not the playerbase of other MMOS, we don't have massive endgame raiding, we solo much more because of BOFFS,

The loot drop is controlled by the game, not the player, just as it currently is. While it's frustrating to kill a boss type enemy in sto and get a hypno as a reward, it's part of the random loot drop system

So far I have seen little to confirm the fear that players are going to take the foundry and just make garbage item farm missions,
the tool set requires too much effort compared to the current methods to do this in game, and second the community pumping out missions seems much more concerned with things like branching dialogue and triggers, tools needed to tell better stories.

I like the poster's idea, and I'd add that eventually a spore like alien creator with scaling parts and bodies would make for some real alien exploration.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-10-2011, 05:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Startruck View Post
I fail to see how this can be used for exploiting, or how the current foundry can either....you want to make a bunch of mobs with no plot to kill endlessly?
The moment you allow people to create an NPC with a certain setup of gear/abilities/weapons, you open up the simplest exploit, setting up powerful NPC's with lots of HP that have weak gear/abilities/weapons and thus are easier to defeat than the normal version of the same in-game NPC. Worse yet, the setup itself could add vulnerabilities to certain weapon-types that would make the NPC even easier to deal with. Then pack a map with a bunch of enemy spawns and reap the rewards as they all fall down. That is essentially what a lot of the City of Heroes / Villains UGC maps were and the CoH/V community wasn't happy when Paragon Studios got upset over all the rampant exploits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Startruck View Post
The loot drop is controlled by the game, not the player, just as it currently is. While it's frustrating to kill a boss type enemy in sto and get a hypno as a reward, it's part of the random loot drop system
That's what people said in City of Heroes / Villains. All those for this belittled the exploiter/grinder mentality. I mean, it's enough to see how many people were flailing at the Fountain for free rewards. Those flailing officers simply didn't take the crap l00t they were offered the first time and kept flailing till they got something better... well, guess what, people will experiment with Foundry NPC customizing till the get the best l00t for the easiest effort and then the map will be published and I wouldn't be surprised if months after that people wouldn't be happy to hear Cryptic has to investigate accounts that were using missions that are now considered proven exploits.

That's why I'm all for the idea, as long as we get nothing for fighting custom-made NPC's.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-11-2011, 08:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfPit View Post
The moment you allow people to create an NPC with a certain setup of gear/abilities/weapons, you open up the simplest exploit, setting up powerful NPC's with lots of HP that have weak gear/abilities/weapons and thus are easier to defeat than the normal version of the same in-game NPC. Worse yet, the setup itself could add vulnerabilities to certain weapon-types that would make the NPC even easier to deal with. Then pack a map with a bunch of enemy spawns and reap the rewards as they all fall down. That is essentially what a lot of the City of Heroes / Villains UGC maps were and the CoH/V community wasn't happy when Paragon Studios got upset over all the rampant exploits.


This is why items and abilities need to have a level value that increases the mob difficulty. the more powers/weapons /gear you add the more hp and damage it needs to die, just because city of heroes did a crappy job of scaling and handling custom NPC's doesn't automatically imply the foundry will as well, in fact the fact were discussing it right now means the chances are higher it won't.

That's what people said in City of Heroes / Villains. All those for this belittled the exploiter/grinder mentality. I mean, it's enough to see how many people were flailing at the Fountain for free rewards. Those flailing officers simply didn't take the crap l00t they were offered the first time and kept flailing till they got something better... well, guess what, people will experiment with Foundry NPC customizing till the get the best l00t for the easiest effort and then the map will be published and I wouldn't be surprised if months after that people wouldn't be happy to hear Cryptic has to investigate accounts that were using missions that are now considered proven exploits.

Again, city of heroes isn't the only game in town that deals with user generated content, and the glaring exploits you encountered with the architect are unfortunate, but it's not like a developer is sitting there thinking "hey lets make a user generated content system and then make sure we copy city of heroes's easily exploited system."


That's why I'm all for the idea, as long as we get nothing for fighting custom-made NPC's.

the problem is we have a whole faction that is dying for pve content, and the foundry is the likely way it will arrive. Klingons are going to need the system to level and gear up, and removing xp and rewards from the system will ruin that.

No one wants expoilts, not the players, not the devs. as long as there is a slow, thought out process there won't be any, and when they do crop up they will get caught and re-thought. Neverwinter Nights had a robust online community that was entirely built on UCG, and it worked, in fact the servers were on the user end and the non hack/item restriction gameworlds were some of the best gaming I've ever seen until I began checking out the foundry.

This is why items and abilities need to have a level value that increases the mob difficulty. the more powers/weapons /gear you add the more hp and damage it needs to die, just because city of heroes did a crappy job of scaling and handling custom NPC's doesn't automatically imply the foundry will as well, in fact the fact were discussing it right now means the chances are higher it won't.

city of heroes isn't the only game in town that deals with user generated content, and the glaring exploits you encountered with the architect are unfortunate, but it's not like a developer is sitting there thinking "hey lets make a user generated content system and then make sure we copy city of heroes's easily exploited system."


as to solving the problem with no xp or loot..

the problem is we have a whole faction that is dying for pve content, and the foundry is the likely way it will arrive. Klingons are going to need the system to level and gear up, and removing xp and rewards from the system will ruin that.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-11-2011, 10:19 AM
I consciously took into account exploitng while designing this image.

The only things you can change are:
  • Shields
  • Armor
  • Abilities
  • Weapons
on an NPC encounter.

The idea is that you have predefined templates for mobs (i.e. a captain, two lieutenants, and a scaling # of ensigns) and all you do is plug in what items or abilities them use.

You are not touching the following directly:
  • adjusting SP
  • adjusting DMG
  • adjusting Heals
  • adjusting drop rates
  • or anything of that nature

Bear in mind that individuals are always worth minimal SP (1-2 on average).

This is not City of Heroes or City of Villains where enemies are worth grinding.

You are not raising the SP value of an NPC by any combination of stats: they will always be worth the 1-3 SP that they always are in-game (always). Anyone who has played the game long enough realises that grinding mobs doesn't mean "mad" SP/XP. STO isn't designed around that model, hence we have flexibility here without exploitation.

In STO, the only mob grinds worth anything are ones that come with a mission wrapper (i.e. Defend the XXX Sector Block, Exploration). THose are missions that are grinded not mobs (since the mobs themselves don't offer many SP).

QED
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-11-2011, 05:31 PM
OK, so as authors, you suggest we should be able to customize Shields, Armor, Abilities and Weapons. What happens then when a map is filled with very closely packed spawns that are confined by walls so that a player can expose/exploit them with AoE's and rinse-repeat? Didn't you just give us the ability and therefore the reason to grind NPC combatants now? Especially if they're all worth 1-3 SP's anyway? Slaughterhouse missions... you know?
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