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  1. #1

    Random vs scripted pve game mechanics

    Hey guys,

    I came back to wow recently to prepare for Shadowlands which I would like to play.

    I was playing some bfa dungeons and raids.

    And as we all know PvE encounters are scripted.
    For example

    Boss 1, is going to use ability A in 30 seconds
    ability B in 45 seconds
    again ability A in another 30 seconds
    ability C in 2 mins
    ability B in another 45 seconds.

    So we have addons like Deadly boss mods or BigWigs etc to show us countdown when these abilities happen.

    But what if we instead had bosses which would use abilites at little bit more random timers ?
    In order to create more challenge in the game.

    For example

    Boss 1, is going to use ability A in 10-30 seconds
    ability B in 30-55 seconds
    again ability A in another 10-30 seconds
    ability C in 1.30-2:30 mins
    ability B in another 30-55 seconds.

    Or what if for example adds group which spawn during bosses would each time spawn different mobs ?

    I think boss like inquistor guy in Vault of Wardens he always spawned different add group in random order (not 100% sure about this, maybe it was the same order)
    Or in Violet hold dungeon you always get different boss out of the pool, even though the dungeon was too easy, because of no mythic plus

    I think it could make the pve encounters a lot more fun and challenging if its more random rather then scripted.

    I know in Tower of Torghast they add random enemies you face each time. This is nice.

    At first there was only one difficulty of dungeons and raids.
    Then they added heroic more dungeons, later raids.
    They they added mythic dungeons and raids. After that mythic plus affixes.

    Players always improved and catch up even with mythic plus

    I dont know perhaps this could be another way to make the game more challenging

  2. #2
    Randomness doesnt make it more challenging, just more difficult to measure failure.

    No one likes failing at an encounter because 'random thing' happened instead of 'other random thing'.

  3. #3
    I wouldn't mind it in 5-mans or single player content. Not in raids though. Raiding is mostly about coordination and tactics to counter the bosses mechanics. If they gonna add more RNG to it, because there is RNG already on a minor scale, there is a big chance that leads to frustration because of others. It will put more strain on relations between players. Also, adding RNG to things tend to introduce lots more RNG bullshit moments. I think raiding currently has a good mix of RNG and scripting.

  4. #4
    It would have to be less punishing mechanics I think as lots of casual raiders rely on "knowing". Even in mythic raiders it's quite hard to find people who can think on their feet and can recover a failure in a chain.
    I could work if mechanics were very well projected tho.

    Downside would be that inevitably you would get "dead" pulls. You get those now too at very high end, but with random mechanic timers/random mechanics being in the fight it would just outright create some easy pulls and others would create really hard pulls. Balancing that would be a nightmare and could probably make the fights overall easier to counter that.

    Having random bosses appearing would be just that. You have to do a different set of mechanics. Also some of them would be easier too. As long as that is the same boss for everyone on that week it should not be a problem. (everyone=regions/factions/realms). If someone get's an easy boss and others get hard boss it would be annoying.

  5. #5
    They've tried random occurring mechanics before. Issues that pop up are when mechanics are too powerful, so especially when these mechanics overlap and occur on unlucky targets (like healers), you can result in no-win situations where suddenly all at once on the same global a healer or tank or someone critical gets blasted by two mechanics at once that can't be dealt with at the same time either because of tuning or because of how the mechanics are designed (need to be in two places at once, etc.). Suffice it to say, people don't like dying to things beyond their control. Having periods be more measured and something you can prepare for is also kind of necessary for specs like Discipline to work. If specs that require set-up, especially some tanks and healers considering reworks in SL like Holy Paladin needing Holy Power could potentially be in a rough spot if they couldn't generate the resources needed to deal with randomly occurring mechanics. The random mechanics then would have to be so trivial that it effectively removes all skill to interact with them because of things like resources classes have a limited capacity to generate or save or spend.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Squigglyo View Post
    Randomness doesnt make it more challenging, just more difficult to measure failure.

    No one likes failing at an encounter because 'random thing' happened instead of 'other random thing'.
    Yes but you couldnt use that argument anymore. Because you should count with all random things now

    Quote Originally Posted by erifwodahs View Post
    It would have to be less punishing mechanics I think as lots of casual raiders rely on "knowing". Even in mythic raiders it's quite hard to find people who can think on their feet and can recover a failure in a chain.
    I could work if mechanics were very well projected tho.

    Downside would be that inevitably you would get "dead" pulls. You get those now too at very high end, but with random mechanic timers/random mechanics being in the fight it would just outright create some easy pulls and others would create really hard pulls. Balancing that would be a nightmare and could probably make the fights overall easier to counter that.

    Having random bosses appearing would be just that. You have to do a different set of mechanics. Also some of them would be easier too. As long as that is the same boss for everyone on that week it should not be a problem. (everyone=regions/factions/realms). If someone get's an easy boss and others get hard boss it would be annoying.
    Well obviously for casual on LFR Normal difficulties this would not be implented and even if it was, it would still be very easy for them.

    I thought about the idea for dead pulls. That sometimes you would wipe because it didnt happen the easier way for you.
    But in mythic plus when its timed you wouldnt wipe.

    But even then for my game style I would prefer if its more challenging this way.

  7. #7
    Wouldn't mind having more reactionary abilities happen a bit more randomly but no major things because they could overlap with stuff, making the encounter impossible or trivial depending on RNG. Small things though which doesn't force movement, cds or positioning in a way that could jeopardize the whole raid. It's a nice flavour.

    Or the encounter could have some limiters in place to prevent overlaping. I'm sure a complete random ability encounter could be fun and balanced if done right (albeit difficult to do so).
    Well met!
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    Man even if Blizzard gave players bars of gold, they would complain that they were too heavy.

  8. #8
    Seems like an alright idea and enjoyed how you mentioned the inquisitor boss in vault would be random. Thing is for me that bigwigs and dbm would adjust for that and we’d be back to square 1 again.

  9. #9
    Herald of the Titans Jazzhands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadrak View Post
    Hey guys,

    I came back to wow recently to prepare for Shadowlands which I would like to play.

    I was playing some bfa dungeons and raids.

    And as we all know PvE encounters are scripted.
    For example

    Boss 1, is going to use ability A in 30 seconds
    ability B in 45 seconds
    again ability A in another 30 seconds
    ability C in 2 mins
    ability B in another 45 seconds.

    So we have addons like Deadly boss mods or BigWigs etc to show us countdown when these abilities happen.

    But what if we instead had bosses which would use abilites at little bit more random timers ?
    In order to create more challenge in the game.

    For example

    Boss 1, is going to use ability A in 10-30 seconds
    ability B in 30-55 seconds
    again ability A in another 10-30 seconds
    ability C in 1.30-2:30 mins
    ability B in another 30-55 seconds.

    Or what if for example adds group which spawn during bosses would each time spawn different mobs ?

    I think boss like inquistor guy in Vault of Wardens he always spawned different add group in random order (not 100% sure about this, maybe it was the same order)
    Or in Violet hold dungeon you always get different boss out of the pool, even though the dungeon was too easy, because of no mythic plus

    I think it could make the pve encounters a lot more fun and challenging if its more random rather then scripted.

    I know in Tower of Torghast they add random enemies you face each time. This is nice.

    At first there was only one difficulty of dungeons and raids.
    Then they added heroic more dungeons, later raids.
    They they added mythic dungeons and raids. After that mythic plus affixes.

    Players always improved and catch up even with mythic plus

    I dont know perhaps this could be another way to make the game more challenging
    It would likely limit ability potential, certain overlaps could easily push fights to be much harder than intended.

    Being predictable doesn't make things easy, just look at any mythic guild that isn't pushing for world first and developing their own strats. And on that same coin, during the world first race where things are razor thin certain overlaps would essentially be instant wipes. Not fun to end a fight 9 minutes in because of something entirely out of players control.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzhands View Post
    It would likely limit ability potential, certain overlaps could easily push fights to be much harder than intended.

    Being predictable doesn't make things easy, just look at any mythic guild that isn't pushing for world first and developing their own strats. And on that same coin, during the world first race where things are razor thin certain overlaps would essentially be instant wipes. Not fun to end a fight 9 minutes in because of something entirely out of players control.
    Ok but random doesnt mean its sudden, it could be that players get 5 second warning for example that something specific gonna happen, but until then you wouldnt know if its going to be A B C or D ability just one of these.

    For example you would see cast of some boss "Shadow volley" ability which would last 2 or 5 seconds. But until then you wouldnt know
    if its shadow volley, shadow bolt, shadow nova etc etc.

    And you wouldnt know if its gonna happen at 10 seconds into the fight 30 seconds or 2 mins you would just get that 5 seconds warning.
    Last edited by Wadrak; 2020-10-29 at 10:18 AM.

  11. #11
    The game is hard enough for most people without this kind of thing.

    Although I'm also pretty sure that there are cases like you described in the game right now. Some bosses have ability cooldowns, rather than fixed ability usage times, so sometimes multiple things can happen and you have to pay attention. Might be mixing that up with another expansion though.

  12. #12
    Pure randomness is poor design. Controlled RNG can be good design. Rogue-like games that are fun lean towards the latter, the poorer ones lean hard towards the former. You can have enjoyable bosses and dungeons with proper toss-up design and failure states programmed out of it so they never happen. I do wish we had more dynamic dungeons where paths, enemies and bosses get changed about.

    However this also requires the game to teach players harder mechanics to make such things more interesting. WoW could take a page out of FF14's book and use mechanic markers way more often so that it could be properly designed around.

  13. #13
    Herald of the Titans Jazzhands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadrak View Post
    Ok but random doesnt mean its sudden, it could be that players get 5 second warning for example that something specific gonna happen, but until then you wouldnt know if its going to be A B C or D ability just one of these.

    For example you would see cast of some boss "Shadow volley" ability which would last 2 or 5 seconds. But until then you wouldnt know
    if its shadow volley, shadow bolt, shadow nova etc etc.

    And you wouldnt know if its gonna happen at 10 seconds into the fight 30 seconds or 2 mins you would just get that 5 seconds warning.
    Still changes nothing about what I said. And on that same idea, certain line ups can also make a fight significantly easier, which can once again cause issues. Fights should be consistent in difficulty across attempts, no one would enjoy a fight that relies on RNG lining up perfectly to win, and that's how pretty much all progression would be, because there will always be a certain way for things to line up that will be easier than others.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Wadrak View Post
    Ok but random doesnt mean its sudden, it could be that players get 5 second warning for example that something specific gonna happen, but until then you wouldnt know if its going to be A B C or D ability just one of these.

    For example you would see cast of some boss "Shadow volley" ability which would last 2 or 5 seconds. But until then you wouldnt know
    if its shadow volley, shadow bolt, shadow nova etc etc.

    And you wouldnt know if its gonna happen at 10 seconds into the fight 30 seconds or 2 mins you would just get that 5 seconds warning.

    This makes no sense? The whole point of knowing which/when an ability is coming is taking the necessary preparation. Based on what ability is coming next, you might need to:

    - Save a personal/group/healing/movement/defensive cooldown
    - Group up / Spread out
    - move to melee / run away from boss

    You can't do any of these if you don't know which ability is coming next or when. This type of randomness is not fun and would only bring frustration.

  15. #15
    I am Murloc! Lord Pebbleton's Avatar
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    I am a hardcore fan of scripting to the point that I get instantly frustrated in PvP because players behave following their own plan (obviously). I love measuring my skills against a pattern, even if it's an excruciatingly difficult one to master.

    I am 100% on board with partial random events, such as not knowing who will be specifically targeted by X ability, something we already have on-game now.

    But extremely random things like abilities happening at wonky times and unexpected mechanics all over? No. Never.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Wadrak View Post
    Hey guys,

    I came back to wow recently to prepare for Shadowlands which I would like to play.

    I was playing some bfa dungeons and raids.

    And as we all know PvE encounters are scripted.
    For example

    Boss 1, is going to use ability A in 30 seconds
    ability B in 45 seconds
    again ability A in another 30 seconds
    ability C in 2 mins
    ability B in another 45 seconds.

    So we have addons like Deadly boss mods or BigWigs etc to show us countdown when these abilities happen.

    But what if we instead had bosses which would use abilites at little bit more random timers ?
    In order to create more challenge in the game.

    For example

    Boss 1, is going to use ability A in 10-30 seconds
    ability B in 30-55 seconds
    again ability A in another 10-30 seconds
    ability C in 1.30-2:30 mins
    ability B in another 30-55 seconds.

    Or what if for example adds group which spawn during bosses would each time spawn different mobs ?

    I think boss like inquistor guy in Vault of Wardens he always spawned different add group in random order (not 100% sure about this, maybe it was the same order)
    Or in Violet hold dungeon you always get different boss out of the pool, even though the dungeon was too easy, because of no mythic plus

    I think it could make the pve encounters a lot more fun and challenging if its more random rather then scripted.

    I know in Tower of Torghast they add random enemies you face each time. This is nice.

    At first there was only one difficulty of dungeons and raids.
    Then they added heroic more dungeons, later raids.
    They they added mythic dungeons and raids. After that mythic plus affixes.

    Players always improved and catch up even with mythic plus

    I dont know perhaps this could be another way to make the game more challenging
    While nice in theory randomness in practice constrains elaborateness, i find it makes the game more uniform rather than less so.

    But i do agree that ways to make pve more ...engaging would certainly be welcome, personally i would look at trying to involve some sortbof semi-complex AI more often. That allows for more genuine interaction between players and the world, without needing to fall back to uniformity for the sake of random variation.

    There are downsides to this too of course, interesting AI is notoriously hard to create and certainly requires more effort than scripted events, and it's a lot more prone to breaking.

    Additionally some players seem to not fare well to things that are not 100% predictable without being truly random, i.e. pvp, so some of them may take issue with that sort of pve as well.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzhands View Post
    Still changes nothing about what I said. And on that same idea, certain line ups can also make a fight significantly easier, which can once again cause issues. Fights should be consistent in difficulty across attempts, no one would enjoy a fight that relies on RNG lining up perfectly to win, and that's how pretty much all progression would be, because there will always be a certain way for things to line up that will be easier than others.
    Well since you wouldnt know what RNG you gonna get you couldnt stack classes for it.

    And yes perhaps it would make it easier for some guilds then others if they got perfect RNG.

    But if its for greater good and makes the game more fun and challenging then I would prefer that.

    Because race for world first, realm first etc is nice. But in practice this wouldnt affect it that much.
    And its only small part of the game which would affect few players.

    Quote Originally Posted by faithbane View Post
    This makes no sense? The whole point of knowing which/when an ability is coming is taking the necessary preparation. Based on what ability is coming next, you might need to:

    - Save a personal/group/healing/movement/defensive cooldown
    - Group up / Spread out
    - move to melee / run away from boss

    You can't do any of these if you don't know which ability is coming next or when. This type of randomness is not fun and would only bring frustration.
    It means you have to react quick to unknown ability. Which creates more challenge.
    If you know whats coming because you done encounter before its like:

    Ah yees this is coming now ... zzzzzzz ... oh yes this ... zzzzzzz ... now this move there .... zzzzzzzzz

    If you didnt know what happen you would have to keep your attention high and be ready for more possiblities.

  18. #18
    I find scripted to be better, you can always script better mechanics and can eventually down the boss after practice and cooperation so its accessible to everyone, adding in randomness makes things hectic.

    Its like dark souls games you can tell what the boss is going to do after enough practice and failure and finally killing the boss feels amazing, but cheap souls ripoff games that throw in hectic mechanics just feel frustrating.

  19. #19
    Hard pass.

    Because then you beating the encounter is decided not by planning and organisation, but by getting lucky and have that ability that would have killed you not go off. It's no longer a question of getting of phase 3 within 3 casts by dropping a healer or doing more DPS to beat it within 3 minutes, and now a case of hoping that it doesn't cast it quickly enough to kill you.

  20. #20
    I wish random was better.. but it's not. It leads players to believe that every error was randomness and people don't improve as quickly. Also, unless abilities are equal in strength people will always just wait for the stars aligning for the kill.

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