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Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 17 Apr 2021, 19:09
by Mister_Prophet
This one is fairly simple. I'm collecting data for the campaign and because so many of the levels are wilderness, ruin, or other "exposure" type settings I thought it might be helpful (and possibly fun) to list our grievances concerning the Unreal critter bestiary. What people say may help us modify or even approach usage of certain creatures to make them more interesting to deal with. These are the low runt, animal type of enemies that have inhabited Unreal since 1998 and all the community packs since. So, who do you dislike or generally find useless/annoying to fight? What's the type of enemy that will show up in a mappack and make you go, "Ugh, this thing..."

For the sake of removing obvious answers, I will not be adding certain flock pawns such as the Biterfish. I also will not be listing any critter types that are uncommonly used or are already being significantly modified from their original type in Savage Land to make discussion on how they were in Unreal moot.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 17 Apr 2021, 20:07
by Xanious
flies, just on the principle that they're just worse manta

Honestly none of these enemies I actually find annoying, mappers severely underutilize a lot of pawns outside of skaarj i feel and pest pawns are no exception.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 17 Apr 2021, 21:48
by ividyon
IMO Flies are one of the few pawns that make you actively swap weapons for something that will easy take care of them. Also, they're fairly underutilized by custom maps. So I wouldn't really want them deleted.

Not voting on the poll since, indeed, I find all these critters good and wouldn't really exclude any.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 17 Apr 2021, 22:09
by UB_
Pupae need to be used with care. They should be part of an endgame Skaarj lair scenario, not part of invading troops like the typical Skaarj/Krall or territorial nuisance like Spinners or U2's Araknids. And Pupae being around would make sense if a Queen is around and she's the one giving orders, so I doubt she'll send her children elsewhere.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 18 Apr 2021, 03:16
by Mister_Prophet
ividyon wrote:IMO Flies are one of the few pawns that make you actively swap weapons for something that will easy take care of them. Also, they're fairly underutilized by custom maps. So I wouldn't really want them deleted.

Not voting on the poll since, indeed, I find all these critters good and wouldn't really exclude any.


Sorry if it wasn't clear, but this certainly is NOT an attempt to veto any enemies from appearing in the pack. My intentions are to do the opposite, it is more that I'm fishing for info on how people tend to react or deal with these guys. For instance, your comment on switching guns to engage a fly is interesting. Stuff like that helps. :tup:

UB_ wrote:Pupae need to be used with care. They should be part of an endgame Skaarj lair scenario, not part of invading troops like the typical Skaarj/Krall or territorial nuisance like Spinners or U2's Araknids. And Pupae being around would make sense if a Queen is around and she's the one giving orders, so I doubt she'll send her children elsewhere.


Just to take an excerpt from the Savage Survival Guide included with the Demo:


Savage Survival Guide wrote:Skaarj Pupa: The pupae generated by a Skaarj Queen come in two known varieties; those meant to become Skaarj and those simply bred as drones. It is the latter we will discuss in this section, primarily because any skyborn living on Na Pali at the date of this writing will be dealing with drones if unlucky enough to stumble into a den of Skaarj brood.
With no Queen to wean them, drones will never grow into adult Skaarj and will live out their days as feral creatures. In the hive, they would have been generated to protect their mother when summoned and otherwise aid in secreting the tunnels of her domain. Now, Skaarj use them to “infest” locales, be it by flushing them through sewage causeways or insertion through ducts and other low places. More directly, drones are used in this manner to flood skyborn bases or other locations Skaarj forces are aiming to raid. It is because their appearance inside and outside active Skaarj strongholds is so unpredictable that it cannot be stressed enough the importance minding one’s surroundings when traversing the dark. Flares, and other light sources can save your life when moving through unseen and unexplored quarters...


In better detail, the Na Pali seen in Savage Land takes place quite a while after the events of the main game and there are no legitimate "Skaarj brood" left on the planet, meaning that Skaarj numbers are quite finite.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 18 Apr 2021, 03:22
by ividyon
Hum, in that case I guess I find the Devilfish least interesting? They don't really seem to provide much in gameplay. They're mostly throwaway critters tossed into very, very big bodies of water, where there's hardly ever a chance they will catch up to you and become a real nuisance. They're essentially just a subtraction from your ammo counter, since they are slow targets that come at you in a straight line and take no effort to dispatch.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 18 Apr 2021, 16:11
by Mister_Prophet
The Devilfish are very limited, this is true. Their usage in Unreal, RTNP, and community levels at large have been fairly limited to the sort of minor threat that you have described. I do think that is an issue with Unreal levels and underwater maps in general, where either players were given a kind of break with combat or the approach to water sections was just not as sophisticated as other examples of level design. Perhaps only the Slith truly counts as a genuine danger there. It will be interesting to see how we can improve Devilfish sightings. My general rule with flooded levels in Savage Land is to make water traversal as optional as possible, but if they are searched they will have no less depth than other sections of the map. I'd rather players have to engage dangerous fish preferably out of exploratory reasons than mandatory ones.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 18 Apr 2021, 16:22
by ividyon
I would find an AI interesting which makes them move much faster, but makes them kind of circle/spiral around you as they approach, instead of taking a straight line, randomly deciding during that spiraling/circling approach to go straight for you, in an unpredictable way. Especially if they then swarm you in a circle, that could end up making them very interesting. That sounds like quite the AI challenge to pull off, however.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 19 Apr 2021, 19:11
by Mister_Prophet
Just an update. Our discussion (Ivi's comments on Devilfish in particular) prompted Alcapowned to dabble a bit on the Devilfish code to mess around with its movement. He posted a video on discord, which I'll share for the forum people.



It still needs some work, since the fish can bump upward if it collides with another pawn or hits some BSP surfaces too fast, but I've tested it in some Savage Land water areas and at the very least the Devilfish is very unpredictable this way. Just shows what a little bit of adjustment can do.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 26 Apr 2021, 08:17
by evilgrins
Overall, these little 2-legged reptiles that're like pirahna with feet: Predators.
Image

Other than those, GoPostal made Siamese Cats. They don't really do much of anything, just walk around, meow, and make a horrible screeching sound when they die.

Re: Most Hated Critters (and why) Poll

Posted: 27 Apr 2021, 03:05
by Mister_Prophet
ah the Predator. What to do about the Predators...

Firestorm gave them a pretty fair shake. I may want to try to emulate that best as I can. That's a big question mark though. They might be the only enemy that I don't have a clear idea on how to use.