Daelo: “I want to try an experiment.”
Daelo: “We’ve been making a number of dungeons where we all dogpile them, doing bosses and sections separately. Instead, I want to try having everyone create spawn an entire dungeon on their own.”
Others: “That sounds fun.”
Daelo: “Great. Paul, you’ll be doing Slave Pens. Geoff, Steam Vaults. Joe, start on Auchindoun Undead side.”
Me: “Oh, what should I do?”
Daelo: “Take a first pass at the Underbog.”
And away I went. I spent the next couple days doing patrol paths, swarms of creatures, then spent the remainder of the next day setting up flying formations of sporebats that did loops de loops around the map, and finished it off with a cave filled with Silithid which looked vaguely like this:
I proudly grabbed Scott the next day to show him what I had wrought.
Spawning in Two Parts
What is good pull composition?
- Non-standard 5-pull
- Composition: heavily melee
- One long-range unit, 2 high-damage dual wielders, one two-handed slower attacker
- Shape – linear
- Variance – none, units remain static
- Tanky warrior – on point, clear shoulder-pads indicate higher hit points
- Hunter – good use of animation to break silhouette and indicate fragility
- Dual Wielders – hunches
- Two-handed warrior – weapon causes shape to break from the rest of the pack
- Color drain – too much red between the characters and environment causes the individuals to be lost
- Armor/weapon pop – to compensate for the above issue, the designer uses strongly contrasting colored armor and weapons to help the stand out
- Unclear target order
- In WoW, ranged units tend to be more fragile than melee units.
- Typically, you want to disable risky characters who bring CC while you kill the healers or vice-versa.
- Normally, you focus those first, however, the exception to that is generally Hunters
- (Hunters in the player’s mind usually stack extra armor and are tough to deal with)
- Thus, it muddies the player’s instant decision making upon looking at the group.
- Similarly, its unclear if the two-handed sword guys are more or less dangerous than the dual-wielding axe guys.
- Unclear ability expectations
- This is endemic to WoW, but creatures in WoW can pretty much have any ability. Holding a sword doesn’t tell you much. Even being a Wolf doesn’t mean you’ll have the same behaviour as other wolves.
- Minimal optimizations
- Sometimes you can improve your clear rate on a dungeon by separating, splitting or waiting for a patroller to walk a way
Here on Maulgar, Geoff Goodman made the major, dangerous creatures larger, while the accompanying units have dramatically different color and weapons. If you’re familiar with the Warcraft world at the time, the weapons and garb communicated roughly the same class that was associated with each monster. (Drunkard??, Priest, Warrior, Warlock, Mage)
This made the colors and shapes a bit more memorable. The unique names also helps a bit.