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Quake Gameplay Potential...
Very interesting discussion in the GA thread, worthy of it's own discussion thread I think, for archive and research purposes.

There seem to be several viewpoints floating around, which I'll badly paraphrase...

Quake gameplay is the same as it always was (kill monsters find exit) and thus is boring and not really worth bothering with.

Quake gameplay is the same as it always was but that's it's appeal and it's still great fun.

Quake gameplay is the same as it always was and thus it needs to rely on mods and extra monsters and features to remain fresh and interesting.

Quake gameplay has evolved and improved enough (with or without those enhancements) to still remain worthwhile.

etc etc.

I don't think any of these perspectives can be shown to be right or wrong - mostly they seem to be the depth with which you look at gameplay and gaming in general. I.e. Quake gameplay might seem exactly the same as always when looked at on broad kill monster exit map terms, but looked at on narrower terms the refinement in monster placing, gameflow, surprises, balance etc etc that modern mappers have achieved could be seem as quite progressive.

I haven't argued much so far but as a big Quake fan I am interested in Quake gameplay, how it has progressed, and how far it can progress (with or without enhancements). Thus I think the ideas would be worth more exploration. More thoughts in a mo...
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ah ok, i see what you were going for. 
One Mechanic 
I like a lot is when enemies or bosses leave attacks on the floor, temporarily closing down the playfield. This could be combined with a directional weakpoint (say 25 degrees to the front) to make the boss playable in both SP and coop.

Delay timed scatter attacks aka airstrikes and area attacks work well as also since they don't necessarily aim at anyone.

My ideal is to change the mechanics as little as possible depending on the game mode - so more health or COOP only mechanics (Cthon with an extra button) are things I'd try and avoid. 
 
temporarily closing down the playfield

yeah, i like this too.

it's a mechanic that shows up often in WoW. ironically, it's usually regarded as the easiest mechanic in WoW.
still, it works very well in fast paced quake combat. 
Easy 
Like cheap? I'm not a WOW player so don't know how it works very well.

To be honest I've seen it best used in the recent crop of 3D mario games - back to the arcade but with the third dimension allowing skillful players to avoid it.

I'm looking into atm for some Quake stuff, hopefully it'll work out well, but as always making pools of stuff as opposed to a map tat adapts to the boss (eg. sinking brushes) can be expensive in time (to do) and resources (to use). 
Easy 
as in simple to do. there's a glowy thing on the floor, don't walk into it.

probably why it works well in quake. it's visually obvious with a straight forward penalty.

there's a few other mechanics i haven't tried yet like requiring the player to defeat 2 monsters at the same time, or they resurrect. or the opposite, 50% damage is transferred to another monster in a pair so they both die at once. 
 
Are you talking about more of a modified boss already in quake/quoth or like a ground-up boss? 
So It's Overused Then? 
And yeah, that should be good for Quake - most obvious being lava, which tells the player right away - don't touch it.

Reminds me of the trog ball attack - which would pull the player to its centre before fragging them. It was actually fairly easy to escape from, but the effect made any player pretty much kark it with panic, trying to get free.

For the clones - got another one that (when finished) will spawn mirror images of itself at reduced health an without all of its abilities. Not quite the same idea but thought I'd throw it out there. 
 
Or a powerful homing attack (e.g. Chthon ball) that requires the player it's aimed at to run/dodge and the others to shoot the missile in order to save their mate and be able to proceed the attack. 
 
neg: interesting, but i don't know how you could get it to work in both SP and MP.

if you provide an out in SP to avoid the chthon ball, other players in MP will just let you use the SP out. you'd have to specifically disallow the SP out in MP and then you've got a mechanic that behaves different, which is ok, but not great. :( 
 
I meant it more as an attack the boss uses only in coop mode. If that's possible.. 
 
oh yeah, the coding side of it is quite simple. you just check if a var 'coop' is set to 1.

mechanics that are different in sp and mp are ok, i guess. in WoW, you can opt to run a dungeon in a 'heroic mode' and bosses and mobs are significantly harder with different abilities. a fair comparison if you were doing alternate mechanics for q1sp/q1coop.

for me, that's more of a plan b. ideally, the mechanic should somehow scale with the players on it's own without requiring alternate abilities.

the key then, i would say, is focusing on the players and not the monster's attacks. or at the very least, giving it an attack like a chain lightning that is technically active in SP mode, but you would just never see it unless a monster was nearby. and then that might even be a viable strategy to take out extra monsters. 
Huh 
just was thinking of this...

it might be interesting to give the player access to an infinite supply of quads and pents.

then have the boss have the ability to 'steal' the powerup off you and use it himself.

would be an interesting risk/reward where grabbing a quad would let you take him down real quickly, but at the risk of being on shotted.

pent would be more annoying though... it would just take longer to kill. 
That Was Done 
...in one of Tronyn's episodes I think...

You had to grab the pwoerups before the boss or he took you to pieces. 
 
no, the boss has the ability to absorb the powerup off of you. you would have the option to not pick up the item and take him out the long way, or risk picking it up and then have him absorb it a little later and one shot you.

of course, if you were amazing at dodging whatever attacks it had, then you'd be home free. 
 
If the boss had a homing attack, launched an attack at each player simultaneously and each hiding spaces was only big enough for one player, that would at least make things more stressful with more players? Might work? 
Hm 
That's interesting. Maybe allow multiple quads - each one affects you both, so if you're very fast you can pick up all 6 (?) and one shot the boss - but one hit from him and you're splattered as well. 
 
might be cool, but i wouldn't want to change how the quad damage functions.

maybe make a new powerup that can have a cumulative effect and use that instead. 
Mwh 
i kind of like that. the thought of all those players scrambling for the same cover makes me smile. :P~~ 
I Wonder... 
what it would be like if a boss was balanced around it fighting another monster (or monsters) while it fought you?

say you made a gimmick monster like the one i talked about where you have to kill both at once or they return to full health. or even an anti-boss monster that has special abilities solely for fighting the boss.

a special aggro system would need to be written for the boss to handle this type of combat of course, and the 'helping' monsters would need a special ai as well, so they would go back to attacking the boss after being attacked by the player (so that one missed shot wouldn't mess up the whole thing).

then you could either weaken or remove the monster in coop without affecting the boss itself. if the helping monster was accomplishing a role, it would let you know what other players need to do in coop when it is not present. 
Threat 
I'm 'working' on my own progs, and was thinking about implementing something like threat from WoW for coop. It obviously wouldn't be as complex (it's not complex to begin with, but I can't think of another adjective) as threat in WoW. Any thoughts? 
What A Coincidence 
that idea was already being discussed. I should have read before posting. 
 
i've done this for an unreleased coop mod.

it didn't function exactly like WoW's threat, mostly in that it wasn't cumulative.

in WoW, threat is a number that always goes up.
in quake, this doesn't make much sense because multiple players aren't going to engage a monster all at once, one may start and another player may join in later.

so you need a system that will allow for random players jumping in, yet it can't be too finicky such that a player can fire just one shotgun blast and pull aggro off another player who's been firing nails for the last 6 seconds.

what i ended up doing was having threat decay over time based on a few factors such as distance to the player, time since the monster was last able to attack and visibility of the player.
monsters with melee had special modifiers for melee range so that if you walked near a melee monster who was fighting another player at range, he would change to you. 
Yeah 
I've played with this sort of thing but haven't yet arrived at an adequate 'anger' meter for monsters. I was trying to use it for scaling attacks and combining too few variables.

Health (being low on), attacks received recently and skill level. This could be applied to each player, or even all potential targets to define not only the attack used and its relative strength, but who to attack.

Means rewriting a large part of ai.qc though.

I can imagine a finished version allowing the coder (or mapper in the case of our NPC's) a personality profile that would control its fighting style.

Probably overkill, but it would allow for more complex behaviours, like retreating. 
 
I was thinking of doing this: if the player gets within a certain viewing distance, the monster gets aggro'd by the player. That would give the player some threat, lets say +1, with the player starting with 0. Then if the player starts attacking the player, add some more threat, +x. If the player doesn't attack, and runs away, the monster does what they do now, and if they can't catch the player, they go 'home' and reset threat to 0.

If you have multiple monsters, they can pull each other, attacking whoever has the most threat. I'll think this over more tomorrow. 
 
i came to the conclusion that it's really not necessary.

first of all, most monsters never live long enough for threat to matter.

second, since there are no classes (and thus, no tanks vs dps) there's really no need to worry about who is being attacked.

the only important thing is to create an intelligent system to prevent ping ponging monsters when being attacked by more than 1 player.

after that, a simple secondary targetting system to spice things up every once in a while is all that's needed.

the only place where i'd see a true aggro system being worth it is for a boss fight. in that case, you should be designing the boss around the aggro system, and not the other way around. 
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