If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

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If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by MoonStalkeR » Jul 30th, 2015, 01:22

Post ideas for hypothetically improving Blood's monsters and weapons. They don't have to be restricted to the engine's limitations--just consider what would be different in your idealized vision of Blood. This includes both cosmetic and behavioral changes.

Why do I believe there's room for improvement in the first place? Compared to cultists, most of Blood's monsters pose a very low level of threat. Many of them are nearly harmless in melee range as long as the player simply evades their feeble attempts to bite or scratch him. The time constraints in Blood's development and cut content also means that Monolith had more good plans in mind besides what made it into the final product.

-------------------------

Gargoyle
- Unused sprites for the gargoyle are part of a soaring animation, possibly for an attack or a more natural looking animation for long flights. To make the gargoyle a more formidable enemy, it can have a mode whereby it tries to attack the player by swooping in on him with its talons. Having hitpoints lower than 50% would reduce the gargoyle to its vanilla behavior.

Image

- Awakening from statue form in earlier Blood versions was transitional and animated rather than instantaneous as it is now. From what I understand it was probably removed to due to how vulnerable the gargoyle was left during the transformation. I still think the animation looked well done, and maybe it could work better were it quicker.

Stone Gargoyle
- Smaller and 75% weaker variant that can be placed more frequently in maps.
- The player can simply lure the stone gargoyle into close range where it becomes nearly harmless. It should be given the opportunity to use its ranged attack in more situations, or perhaps even be restricted to that attack alone. The ranged attack is currently too lethal, crumbling the player and his spirit armor effortlessly, its damage should be halved... I've tried facing the stone gargoyle "fairly" at a distance a few times and there is somewhat of a pattern to its eye attack that can be predicted, but evading it still remains a tricky dance that I haven't mastered. I should mention that it's easy to block with DUAL VOLTAGE TESLA CANNONS.

Gill beast
- One of the few dangerous non-cabal enemies that probably wouldn't benefit from upgrading. Facing the gill beast in its natural element is already a risky test of reflex. On land, it may be slow but it's still more dangerous than a zombie. Only quirk is the way they always fall sideways on death begins looking weird after multiple kills. There are unused backwards-falling frames in Blood, and adding them for more variety may be an improvement
- Completed gib effects

Image

Hell hound
- As it stands, hell hounds are not dangerous unless they catch the player off-guard. The firebreath is too focused and unidirectional to have a chance at scathing an agile player, but that may be compensated with an improved bite. Could be upgraded with a jumping bite attack that triggers once player gets too close for fire breath.
- Completed gib effects

Bloated butcher
- The "dead weight", but not a dangerous foe at all. Puke attack may work better if it acts more like the pod's projectiles with splash damage and low velocity.
- Make thrown cleaver faster and fix the immunity to it granted by crouching
- Unique animation for burning death such as the one found in the alpha. The regular one is just a resized "burning dude" that doesn't t fit the butcher's image that well, in my opinion.

Image

Phantasm
- Make projectiles homing?
- Less predictable scythe attack, something like the Quake knight's continuous slash-and-charge until flinching from damage.

Spiders
- Ability to descend from webs
- Ability to climb walls and ceilings
- Green-yellow blood
- Jumping bite?

Cerberus
- The guardian of the gates of madness, a huge monster with two vicious maws and napalm breath just needs to be approached up-close and personal for it to become another harmless ammo sponge. Restricting cerberi to the napalm breath as their sole attack should make them fearsome enough.

Beast
- The beast is an interesting enemy that behaves like a beefed-up arch-vile from Doom. But all the player needs to do is maneuver close enough so the beast can't utilize the stomp and resorts to clumsy swipes with its claws. From that point, it's just circle-strafe and shotgun. Removing the melee attack would make it very dangerous, but the stomp will have to be nerfed to become slower as it's currently overpowered, along with reducing the beast's hitpoints and raising the painchance threshold.

Bone eel
- In Blood, the bone eel just instantly dies from the air exposure when it tries to follow the player and surfaces as a result. Sprites from the alpha suggest that this creature was not supposed to be so haplessly vulnerable to the environment.

Image

--------------------

As for the inevitable downside, pitchforking many upper-tier monsters would become impractical which would interfere with some gameplay mechanics and level progression, but I feel the trade-off is worth it due to the fact that so many of them are not a danger at close range, and this is one of Blood's few flaws.

On the bright side, it would encourage the player to seek more ammo, search for secrets, try out new weapons and strategies, etc. and Blood's dangers will not be limited to the cabal. It will mean more ways the player will get hurt in, and that means paying attention to fire and spirit armor along with an incentive to search for it.

Zombies should probably stay the way they are since there needs to be a cannon fodder class that doesn't demand ammunition. Rats are already enough of a nuisance for an underequiped player, especially since their biting attack is faster than that of other creatures. I didn't bother with choking hands either as they are already a wholesome enemy.
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by Krypto » Jul 30th, 2015, 04:51

Well I actually have a secret list for a gameplay mod which adds 1 new weapon, item and enemy to each respective current form but I'm not sharing it :P

The concept is similar to OMGwpns and monsters for Doom: http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/OMG_Weapons! ... onsters%29
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by Krypto » Jul 30th, 2015, 05:27

My thoughts on the actual thread contents:

@Gargoyle: I feel the swooping attack animation could be made into a secondary attack with the swooping making up a homing effect, by contrast it's current melee form is easy to avoid given enough space and no distractions occur. Perhaps this could replace the feeble bone throwing attack which does 1% damage and instantly immobolizes the Gargoyle being stationary fodder for a dynamite bundle.

I to appreciate the Gargoyle statue animation but it's only pure speculation that they removed it due to making them vulnerable, it could work with the right tic/timer value used.

@Stone Gargoyle: Yeah it's an imbalanced mess, fires far too fast to avoid the gaze attack which rapes you every time if hit, remove the crouch glitch and don't make it slow to a complete crawl when trying to melee. Weaker variant sounds cool.

@Gill Beast: Don't know why mappers place them on land sometimes completely useless with the crouch glitch unless their in a claustrophobic area, should be given a spitting attack on land to compensate for their slow speed. Not sure why they didn't use the already made backwards dying frames.

@Hellhound: Jumping bite attack is great for replacing the current melee attack which is slow and coded poorly as you can easily take advantage of it immbolizing them by staying close as they attack to slow and their bite is hard to hit you.

@Bloated Butcher: I like the projectile vomit turning into a splash based particle definitely makes it more effective, faster cleavers is good, sadface at the burning animation not being used :(

@Phantasm: Homing projectiles is gud, secondary slashing attack like Quake's Knight is gud.

@Cereberus: His close range napalm breath seems broken, it barely fires and is constantly interrupted at the slightest hit, looks like he's firing out a petty aerosol can spray, this can definitely be improved as you can stay close and immobolize him in the same fashion as the Stone Gargoyle.

@Beast: I like the Beast how it is, without the melee attack it would be overpowered and annoying to fight, you'd be fucked without cover and it's already the fastest land based enemy, already takes a ton of ammo to kill.

@Bone Eel: The spikes should harm the player on contact and it should move much faster, maybe having a second bone spitting attack as well.
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by MoonStalkeR » Aug 12th, 2015, 03:16

Some other general adjustments

- Underwater gore: Floating bodies and realistic bleeding, ala Powerslave.

- Bullet trails, Shadow Warrior style

- Different art for underwater explosions

- Optional enemy patrol routes, which could enhance non-linear level progression and add more opportunities to devise traps.

- Diving suit should last longer. Disable player from deactivating it manually to extend its life.
Krypto wrote:@Gargoyle: I feel the swooping attack animation could be made into a secondary attack with the swooping making up a homing effect, by contrast it's current melee form is easy to avoid given enough space and no distractions occur. Perhaps this could replace the feeble bone throwing attack which does 1% damage and instantly immobolizes the Gargoyle being stationary fodder for a dynamite bundle.
The gargoyle you described sounds simplified for the better. Reminds me of Quake's fiend, except that it would be airborne. Gargoyles are the closest thing to Blood's "mascot", and players shouldn't be perceiving them as mere pieces of meat that take some extra firepower to kill, but rather as a formidable threat that requires coordination to survive unscathed. Do you think flame/flares should still disable the gargoyle from attacking?
Krypto wrote:@Beast: I like the Beast how it is, without the melee attack it would be overpowered and annoying to fight, you'd be fucked without cover and it's already the fastest land based enemy, already takes a ton of ammo to kill.
What if the beast's movement speed and vitality were sacrificed for the upgrade? The stomp attack, if it were lengthened with the swinging arm animation being used for channeling, would be less overpowered. It would become an arch-vile without the ability to resurrect fallen monsters, but it wouldn't feel cheap nor would facing it feel like bug exploitation.

Also, the alpha beast morph made sense.

Image

In the final version, the cultist's torso transforms into the beast's head:

Image

Some thoughts on weapons:

Flare gun
- Flares should produce a burning noise when they are on an enemy, as in Blood II.
- There are sprites for additional ammo variants, but who knows how they would fit in? Faster rate of burning, different burst pattern for secondary fire mode, blinding, etc. Not the easiest thing to speculate about.

Napalm launcher
- I feel there is an overabundance of fuel for the napalm launcher in Blood's campaign. It obsoletes TNT in many situations by annihilating dangerous groups of enemies in a pinch, and with much greater range. That combined with the large ammo pool makes for an overpowered weapon. Before the NL is procured, the flare gun's alt fire serves as the player's "backup nuke", able to swiftly incinerate the well-positioned cultist ambush that nearly killed you. The flare gun is more balanced because the player has to sacrifice a large part of a useful ammo pool in exchange for this highly destructive attack. With all of that in mind, the only minor adjustment I can think of is halving the amount of ammo given by NL pickups and gasoline cans.

Spray can
- A weapon that does not find many uses, and if the bloated butcher were upgraded, it would become even less relevant. The spray can should be made more effective against small enemies like rats and spiders. Flames that are faster and disperse with distance or as they hit walls/floors would make it easier to burn small, crawling targets, and possibly clear out tight spaces or corners.

Tesla cannon
- The most potent gun in the game should have visuals to match while it discharges. An electric muzzle flash is a must, and the projectiles imbued with effects like trails, glow, etc.

Life leech
- Low usefulness in single player. Increasing its effectiveness against groups by adding a small blast radius to each fireball impact might remedy that. There is of course the option of returning the leeching ability but that may be too overpowered, and it would also mean removing the wielder's ability to use his own life as ammo.
For secondary attack, a shockwave like the one Blood II's life leech features may open additional roles. It should not be too powerful and instead serve as a useful escape mechanism that makes surrounding enemies flinch. Sentry turrets would be better off as separate inventory items, in my opinion.
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by Daedolon » Aug 15th, 2015, 10:24

Great ideas for something that could be a "non-official official patch by fans" (ugh) for something like BuildSharp.
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by Krypto » Aug 15th, 2015, 15:32

Jarmo approves, happy face.
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by MoonStalkeR » Aug 30th, 2015, 01:15

On second thought, I think the choking hands should have an easier time grasping the player's throat. While moving or jumping erratically, it's easy to slip through a swarm of hands without harm because they need point-blank range to attack. A slightly increased range of attack would let go of their need for such positioning. There are sprites of a grasping animation that can rarely be seen during gameplay, which could constitute a jumping attack.

A more agile hand should lose the permanent chokehold ability on Extra Crispy. I remember how it was impossible to remove the hands once they began choking in the versions of Blood at any difficulty setting. My most feared enemy back then - crawling game overs.

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<Boilerplate> Thing is MoonStalkeR: You seem to be suffering from schizphernia, which the MoonStalkeR personality is your base one, Mobius is the aggressive personality, Krypto is the depressive personality, Nautalus is the pervert personality, etc

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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by Krypto » Aug 30th, 2015, 08:55

Dat Beast Alpha transformation is lulzy because his robe isn't torn in the process but instead melds to form brown skin :\ Which goes against the traditional Werewolf transformation process, however I do agree the animation sprites are more logical.

Flare gun burning impact sound is logical and helpful since it's not clear whether you hit an enemy from a fair distance as you can only use the Cultists spamming quotes non-stop otherwise as an auditory indicator.

The Incinerator is a necessary weapon as their isn't any equivalent long ranged missile based attack which can quickly eradicate a group of dangerous enemies as TNT takes precious seconds to prime and aim correctly. It does make other weapons obsolete due to it's over abundance in ammo but perhaps this reduction could be combined with requiring more then '1' token of ammo to fire so you can't spam and over rely on it. On that note I never use the alternative fire despite being an awesome room clearer as I tend to forget xD

The irony with the Aerosol Can is it pails in comparison to the Tommy gun in killing spiders and rats in the blink of an eye, wheir as the residual burning effect takes longer to put them down. However the secondary mode is the best weapon for setting groups on fire in an instant and can be used efficiently in that regard.

The Life Leech becomes redundant since it only shows up in E4 and you have an abundance of explosive ammunition to begin with, I find it to be an effecive weapon in killing groups and can decimate Cultists instantly in that regard but takes an extra shot for Butchers or Gargoyles. The funny thing about the Sentry mode is it still fires even if you run out of ammunition and can be abused since from my observation it's rate of fire depends on an enemy's distance from the staff, as it is prone to go into hyper rage and spam projectiles.

Choking hands should have a bar indicator on screen to show how close you are to shaking them off because it isn't apparent at all other than hammering the 'Use' key and even then I have no idea how the game calculates the timing and force needed to shake them off. If you stop hitting 'Use' for a split second I assume it resets the whole process, wheir as hitting it furiously gives you a higher chance of removing them quickly.

Also I think they should have stuck with Tchernobog in v1.0 where it takes 70-75 Napalm shots to kill him on Extra Crispy xD since the amount of health he has lives up to his name for being a daunting end boss.
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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by Tofu » Oct 16th, 2015, 20:23

I'd fix all the crouching exploits. Allow gargoyles to hurt you when crouched, allow ghosts to hurt you when crouched, make fat guy's and ghost's projectiles move towards you when crouched. Also I'd prevent Caleb from being able to simply crouch and have enemies like zombies walk over him. It makes them useless, I'd make it so that enemies act like a wall to Caleb, though he'd still be able to jump over them. Also I'd make gargoyle's throw attacks more powerful because it's like getting a splinter at best.

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Re: If you could change the way monsters and weapons behave

Post by MoonStalkeR » Sep 12th, 2017, 19:05

I recently read Monolith's development commentary on Blood's monsters for the first time, and it's interesting how they had already planned to include many of the features we brought up here before we even read any of it.
My comments added.

The following notice is meant to open a discussion on what the monsters can
dish out as well as take.

==============================================================
THE CULTIST

Jay: I like the AI, but these guys are a little too tough. I see them being
about as tough as an Imp in Doom, taken down by a well placed shot from a
single barrel of the shotgun. We know how much damage they should do since
they use the same weapons as the player. I think they throw off a little too
much ammo right now. I think they should have an equal chance of dropping a
few bullets or nothing at all, and then drop a lot of ammo less frequently,
and finally drop an actual weapon least frequently of all.

Peter: The shotgun cultists are really tough. The ones you level designers
have been placing behind every door have been blasting my brains out without
mercy. I agree that they should be a little easier to kill.

==============================================================
AXE ZOMBIE

Jay: Since this guy doesn't have a ranged attack he should be able to reach
the player. He should probably be able to take both barrels (Kevin takes both
barrels) of the shotgun dead on before he falls, and he should run pretty fast
(faster than he runs now). I'd like to see the getting back up thing put in
soon so we can play around with how to do that. I think it should be random,
say a third of the time or so his head pops off.

Peter: If we speed up his movement, we'll also need to modify his sequence.
Right now, he looks like he's skating if we increase his speed.

==============================================================
EARTH ZOMBIE

Jay: Is the only difference the fact that this joker comes up out of the
ground? I thought we were going to have it do some different stuff?

==============================================================
FAT ZOMBIE

Jay: The Fat Zombie should be able to take about the same amount of damage as
the Axe Zombie, but since he is so slow we should give him a distance attack.
I think the puke idea is cool, but he should projectile puke in a limited arc
with a max range (like the tnt sticks but with maybe a little less range). It
would be cool if the puke smoked when it hit whatever it's target is (or even
just the ground). I like the idea of him throwing off a hellhand every now
and then.

==============================================================
GARGOYLE

Jay: This guy should be as tough as nails. He should be about a little
tougher than Doom's cacodemon, but not as tough as a Baron, and do comparable
damage (maybe a little more damage than he does now).

==============================================================
STONE GARGOYLE

Jay: I think this guy should take even more damage than the regular Gargoyle.
We were talking about having him be immune to certain weapons as well. I
think if we are going to make him that different from the regular gargoyle he
should look different somehow. Maybe if he had a greyish tinge to him or was
completely grey, otherwise he shouldn't be different than a normal gargoyle.
I'd also like to see him throw something different to make him more powerful,
like the trademark ball of energy that does more damage than the bone.

Peter: The stone gargoyle should already be using the gray palookup. Isn't
it working? Note: unique palookups can NOT be used in fog levels.

==============================================================
HELL HOUND

Jay: A little weaker than a Cacodemon. He should be able to take some
damage, but not like what the gargoyle can. I don't remember what he is
supposed to do attack-wise.

==============================================================
PHANTASM

Jay: I think his health is just about right. What weapons will effect him
and when?

==============================================================
GILLBEAST

==============================================================
BONE EEL

==============================================================
HELLHAND

==============================================================
BAT

==============================================================
RAT

==============================================================
SPIDERS

Jay: I don't think we should go overboard with the pallette look-ups here.
I've always kind of thought games that used Pallette look-ups for new
characters were kind of cheap. We don't really do that since our pallette
look-ups are mainly to distinguish a slightly different version of an already
existing character, but I think we can still take it too far. What are the
different spider types supposed to do? I think the big mother spider should
be huge, I mean the size of the Hell Hound or even a little bigger. That
would truly be a frightening sight. Please! Make it so!

Peter: I'm not sure if the sizes of the spiders in MapEdit accurately
reflects their size in the game. Anyone?

==============================================================
SKELETONS

I'd like to see a skeleton creature, kind of like a mini-Tchernobog devotee,
but not Tchernobog. This thing would be a good size and would be about as
tough as a Baron in Doom, throwing powerful balls of energy. When he gets
shot bone fragments would fly off, possibly even damaging the player a little.
I know it will never happen, but it's what I want, oh well.

Peter: Blood II.

==============================================================
CERBERUS

==============================================================
TCHERNOBOG
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