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Heijoushin

Society for the Promotion of Trash Mob Welfare

Trash mobs  

123 members have voted

  1. 1. How should Trash Mobs be handled in PoE2?

    • No trash mobs. Just boss & scripted encounters
      4
    • Only a small amount of trash mobs
      53
    • Same as PoE1 is fine
      61
    • Moaar! I ha' not yet wet m'blade!!
      5


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Gentlemen, I notice a worrying trend in RPG society. Recently, I hear a lot of talk about decreasing or removing trash mobs. “Don’t waste my time”, I hear you say, “Give us scripted encounters!” or “I’m an important man. I have better things to do with my time than killing Xaurips.”

 

However, yesterday, I played Tides of Numenara, a game that takes this idea to its extreme conclusion: the complete elimination of trash mobs. And gentlemen, it was a sad state of affairs.

  • Basically, trash mobs teach the player how to play. To test out new skills, and to see what works. If a boss battle is the first time you’re put behind the wheel of your character, don't you feel a little unprepared? In Tides, I permanently feel like “Wait! Don’t hit me! I’m not ready yet!”
  • If you’ve designed your combat system well, killing trash mobs should be fun! I mean, look at Icewind Dale. The whole game is about killing trash mobs and its awesome! Since when did this become a chore?
  • Trash mobs are just average Joes trying to make a living. They have families to feed. Don’t put them out of work. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PunchClockVillain)

 

Thank you for listening.

Edited by Heijoushin
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It depends on the type of game, but for a big, exploration-focused RPG, I think POE had about the right number. I don't want to constantly be attacked by bears and bandits, but as you say, a reasonable number of trash mobs help players figure out systems and get a handle on new abilities or companions. They also make exploration more fun. I'm sure there are people whose idea of a fun couple of hours playing a game is stealthing through woods filled with non-hostile animals in the hopes of finding a jewel hidden in a tree or a cache of weapons, but I think that for most people, adding a couple of combat encounters to an area will spice things up a bit.

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Honestly, I think PoE could have done away with 1/4 - 1/3 of it's encounters. I would much rather more intresting encounters, than the same enemy formation over and over. The tedium is most egregious in the Endless Paths, the Battery in WM1, sewers underneath Defiance Bay, the entirety of Cragholdt, and any cave

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  • Basically, trash mobs teach the player how to play. To test out new skills, and to see what works. If a boss battle is the first time you’re put behind the wheel of your character, don't you feel a little unprepared? In Tides, I permanently feel like “Wait! Don’t hit me! I’m not ready yet!”

 

You just answered your own question; trash mobs have some values at the beginning of games which diminishes as the game wears on and the player gets more skilled.  At upper levels, one can incorporate new skills with a half or quarter of the trash as at lower levels.

 

Cheers,

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Honestly, I think PoE could have done away with 1/4 - 1/3 of it's encounters. I would much rather more intresting encounters, than the same enemy formation over and over. The tedium is most egregious in the Endless Paths, the Battery in WM1, sewers underneath Defiance Bay, the entirety of Cragholdt, and any cave

 

Fair enough. Those areas were a drag at times. Then again, perhaps a 15-level dungeon was destined to feel like a drag a some point.

 

You just answered your own question; trash mobs have some values at the beginning of games which diminishes as the game wears on and the player gets more skilled.  At upper levels, one can incorporate new skills with a half or quarter of the trash as at lower levels.

 

Cheers,

 

So you're suggesting that we only need trash mobs at lower levels? I could sort of get behind this, but then I could also see players complaining about later dungeons feeling "empty".

 

Cheers

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I thought POE did a pretty good job with trash mobs, but yeah, even I'll admit that Od Nua was a slog. I noticed Obsidian capped the voyage in Deadfire at 10 stops, and I'm guessing that was a wise decision. A few of the levels in Od Nua felt like they were there mostly because the backers had been guaranteed them.

 

I could imagine a game that both reduced trash mobs at the higher levels and didn't have empty feeling dungeons. I think the key would be to put most of the dungeon crawling and open field wandering in the early and middle parts of the game, then have the last part of the game focus on main plot relevant content and only have a few dungeons. That tends to make for better pacing but also tends to irritate people who dislike linearity, so there's a tradeoff whichever choice a designer makes.

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PoE 1 had a good amount of trash mobs, it never felt tedious... well... just WM II, that expassion was pretty monotonous, with trash mobs being stronger than bosses... good thing that the end was really good.

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A dungeon / area doesn't need trash mobs to not feel empty.

A few more carefully crafted encounters combined with non-combat points of interest can do that.

I agree that having some trash-mobs is a good idea - I thought PoE was mostly OK there, but some areas got a bit full (like laguefath central).

So I'd vote for slightly less than PoE trash mobs, replacing some of those with more meaningful / non-trash encounters, but not eliminating them completely.

Edited by Silent Winter
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I think some as dungeon or exploration challenges can be fun, and as curry said helps you learn combat. On the other hand if they are truly trash they don't prepare you well for boss fights and scripted encounters where there will be traps or other tactical obstacles. Personally I'd say a little trash and a decent amount of designed encounters would be fun.


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Have to agree with the OP here. If anything I want more trash than PoE 1. Not a lot more mind you. Somewhere between vanilla PoE 1 and WM2 level of trash, like maybe 10-15% more trash than PoE 1 would be my ideal level.

 

To me, half the fun of these games is testing out my builds and combat viability, somehow less trash would make this feel less satisfying to me. Let me feel like a god once I've gained a few levels and gear and what-not owning some trash packs. I'm not proposing that we turn the game into IWD2, I still want the story, I just also want to pwn some xaurip butt!

 

In conclusion: "Butt-Kicking! For Goodness!"

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Honestly, I think PoE could have done away with 1/4 - 1/3 of it's encounters. I would much rather more intresting encounters, than the same enemy formation over and over. The tedium is most egregious in the Endless Paths, the Battery in WM1, sewers underneath Defiance Bay, the entirety of Cragholdt, and any cave

 

Fair enough. Those areas were a drag at times. Then again, perhaps a 15-level dungeon was destined to feel like a drag a some point.

 

You just answered your own question; trash mobs have some values at the beginning of games which diminishes as the game wears on and the player gets more skilled.  At upper levels, one can incorporate new skills with a half or quarter of the trash as at lower levels.

 

Cheers,

 

So you're suggesting that we only need trash mobs at lower levels? I could sort of get behind this, but then I could also see players complaining about later dungeons feeling "empty".

 

Cheers

 

More of a sliding scale;

 

Lower levels could be 5 to 1 Trash to Set piece encounters

 

Mid levels 3 to 1

 

Upper levels 2 to 1

 

One of the things that feels great in games like this is when you get to really unload everything in a single fight; and when that is necessary to get through the encounter.  At upper levels, that type of encounter design lends to the feeling of characters being powerful.  That is why trash mobs tend seem more tedious at end game; they just serve as an unnecessary distraction/ resource drain (that and wanting to get on with the story).  I would rather have fewer, more complex fights; especially as the game gets towards its latter stages and the plot starts taking on more importance.

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I was posting in my idiot way over on Somethingawful about how PoE 2 was going to "get rid of trash mobs" and Josh Sawyer posted to correct me and point out that he had not said they would be getting rid of trash mobs entirely and that there would very likely be *some* trash mob encounters in PoE 2. 

 

So never fear, they aren't goin away entirely.

 

edit, here's quote:

 


[video type=youtube]KCei15pifO8
 
I don't think I've ever said "no trash mob fights".  We will still have some small mobs and patrollers for a) pacing and b) chaos in other encounters.
It's still 8 hours right now, but we also have a wait option that is separate from resting.  You can wait up to a full day at a time.

 

source: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3807509&userid=17931&perpage=40&pagenumber=3#post469310895

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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I was posting in my idiot way over on Somethingawful about how PoE 2 was going to "get rid of trash mobs" and Josh Sawyer posted to correct me and point out that he had not said they would be getting rid of trash mobs entirely and that there would very likely be *some* trash mob encounters in PoE 2. 

 

So never fear, they aren't goin away entirely.

 

edit, here's quote:

 

[video type=youtube]KCei15pifO8
 
I don't think I've ever said "no trash mob fights".  We will still have some small mobs and patrollers for a) pacing and b) chaos in other encounters.
It's still 8 hours right now, but we also have a wait option that is separate from resting.  You can wait up to a full day at a time.

 

source: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3807509&userid=17931&perpage=40&pagenumber=3#post469310895

Hmmm I'm not sure I even like decreasing the trash mobs, let alone removing them. This isn't Tides of Numenera or Planescape: Torment, The game needs significant combat, otherwise whats the point of agonising over optimising character builds. Unless every encounter is a boss fight, then I don't know how they can achieve this without a significant (read meaningful) amount of trash.

Edited by Koth
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Hmmm I'm not sure I even like decreasing the trash mobs, let alone removing them. This isn't Tides of Numenera or Planescape: Torment, The game needs significant combat, otherwise whats the point of agonising over optimising character builds. Unless every encounter is a boss fight, then I don't know how they can achieve this without a significant (read meaningful) amount of trash.

 

 

 

 

Well, there are multiple kinds of fights that aren't "Trash."

 

The first is of course boss fights.

 

Second is plot-related fights ("oh no! Lord Badguy's Minions are kidnapping Imoen. . again!") 

 

Third, and this is where they could really expand, is mechanically and strategically interesting fights. 

 

When I think "trash mob fights," I think fights like the ones filling Sun in Shadow -- just walk down the path to a clearing and Yet Another Big Ball of Shadows To Fight, etc. No new challenge, no bosses, just not interesting -- their only purpose is just to be  a speed bump in between real challenges.

 

Compare with, say, White March. Most of the fights in White March had really interesting and complex challenges. The one I keep pointing to is the one inside the foundry where there are some spirits across a bridge and you either have to send troops around a loop, or fight using long-range attacks, to take them out. That sort of thing isn't a boss fight, but it isn't a "trash mob" fight either -- it's interesting and a new challenge. That's what I want to see more of in PoE 2.

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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Hmmm I'm not sure I even like decreasing the trash mobs, let alone removing them. This isn't Tides of Numenera or Planescape: Torment, The game needs significant combat, otherwise whats the point of agonising over optimising character builds. Unless every encounter is a boss fight, then I don't know how they can achieve this without a significant (read meaningful) amount of trash.

 

 

 

 

Well, there are multiple kinds of fights that aren't "Trash."

 

The first is of course boss fights.

 

Second is plot-related fights ("oh no! Lord Badguy's Minions are kidnapping Imoen. . again!") 

 

Third, and this is where they could really expand, is mechanically and strategically interesting fights. 

 

When I think "trash mob fights," I think fights like the ones filling Sun in Shadow -- just walk down the path to a clearing and Yet Another Big Ball of Shadows To Fight, etc. No new challenge, no bosses, just not interesting -- their only purpose is just to be  a speed bump in between real challenges.

 

Compare with, say, White March. Most of the fights in White March had really interesting and complex challenges. The one I keep pointing to is the one inside the foundry where there are some spirits across a bridge and you either have to send troops around a loop, or fight using long-range attacks, to take them out. That sort of thing isn't a boss fight, but it isn't a "trash mob" fight either -- it's interesting and a new challenge. That's what I want to see more of in PoE 2.

 

Ok then maybe we're (I'm) quibbling over terminology.

 

Call it "Trash" or call it "Mechanically and Strategically Interesting", I just don't want to feel like I'm wandering around on a sparsely populated map just to see the sights and look at the (no doubt breathtaking) visuals.

 

Sure, give me a challenge fighting bosses and what-not, but to quote my post above, also let me occasionally feel like a god once I've gained a few levels and gear by owning some random trash mechanically and strategically interesting mobs :grin: 

Edited by Koth

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Koth, thanks for playing the villain on this thread!!! It's boring if everyone agrees!

Technically you're the villain as you raised the issue. I just happen to agree with you. I'm more like the moxxy outspoken sidekick / henchman  ;)

Edited by Koth
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What purpose will a Barbarian and AoE in general have without thrash mobs?

 

Gibs are fun as well.

 

A fight you go for early in the game might pose difficult, but at a later stage it's trash.

 

I think trash mobs need some touching up though... an encounter against a necromancer who keeps summoning the dead. The dead being trash, but they come in hordes making that a difficulty on its own (Battle Brothers).

 

Squads of Xaurips, with various Alphas that could make/buff(aura) the measly Xaurip act as a Champion. Take out the Alpha, they become regular again.

 

Many solutions exists, probably, to make trash mobs more flexible. To both exist within the realm of "This is a cakewalk" if you manage to complete a condition, and "No it isn't" if you don't.

Edited by Osvir

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pure selfish pov: am gonna be playing the beta for likely dozens of hours, so as to trash mobs, we says, "feh!"

 

true trash mobs is utter unnecessary, even as a teaching vehicle. is no reason for any combat encounter to be devoid o' unique tactical challenges.  peoples don't learn by simple repeating same action ad nauseum; needs be increase and variation o' challenge to stimulate learning.  this ain't a muscle-memory exercise such as throwing a curveball. steady increase and change. is also no narrative excuse for mind numbing repetitive encounters as the developers and writers have complete control o' the narrative.  if the developers cannot come up with reason for absence o' trash mobs, then we weep for their lack o' creativity.

 

is no reason for genuine trash mobs, but we expect 'em to continue to be staple.  such encounters pad game hours, which is gonna continue be a game measure discussed by fans and pundits beyond release o' poe2 or any other crpg current in development.  additional, such encounters has become integral to the curiously constant broken crpg economies-- need some way to provide players money and 1007, yes? most daunting for developers is the reality o' such encounters being expected, and player expectations is not only unavoidable but also impossible to fully satisfy as this thread should illustrate.

 

gonna get poe2 trash mobs regardless o' necessity or benefit.  as such we would plead for obsidian to make the best o' such inevitability and both minimize and vary.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"Is no reason for for genuine trash mobs"... the reason is called fun. Just because you don't find it fun doesn't mean that others don't. The key of course, like everything, is moderation / frequency. I don't propose that the game is littered with trash (pun intended), but similarly I would be saddened to see a game without it either...

Edited by Koth
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true trash mobs is utter unnecessary, even as a teaching vehicle. is no reason for any combat encounter to be devoid o' unique tactical challenges.  peoples don't learn by simple repeating same action ad nauseum; needs be increase and variation o' challenge to stimulate learning.

This, basically. Trash mobs are those that pose no interesting challenge, not those that don't have a dialogue.

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true trash mobs is utter unnecessary, even as a teaching vehicle. is no reason for any combat encounter to be devoid o' unique tactical challenges.  peoples don't learn by simple repeating same action ad nauseum; needs be increase and variation o' challenge to stimulate learning.

This, basically. Trash mobs are those that pose no interesting challenge, not those that don't have a dialogue.

 

Which is exactly the problem that i have regarding this topic. The issue is that ambient / common mobs are not interesting enough imo (regarding abilities / tactical minigames). Looking at trolls or basilisks in the BG series provides an interesting example in how trash *can* be made more interesting.

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It needs balance and that's difficult. Sometimes it's pure fun to obliterate some ****y bandits and stuff - but if it's too much it's just boring & tedious. A good example are those fampyrs in lvl 8 of the EPs. All the encounters are the same. The first one is OK, the second... why not? And then it starts to get annoying.

Same with some Lagufaeth encounters.

 

In the late game a lot of people just put the game on fast mode, select the whole party and point & click on each enemy - one after the other - until all are dead. No buffing, no casting, just run and hit. That's not the optimal approach, but it's the fastest way (in real time) to success. That's a clear sign that those encounters are de trop.

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What's interesting is if there will be overall a significant decrease in combat encounters with most of trash mobs taken out or if the amount of combat stays more or less the same with trash mobs getting replaced by uniquely placed tactical encounters. If it's the latter, I'm all on board with reducing the trash mobs, if it's the former I'm not so sure. PoE is a combat heavy game and I like it that way. I build my characters and party for combat effectiveness and I want lots of opportunities to test them. Combat is fun, even against trash mobs, if it's not really that same after same again slog. That can really become tedious. At the very least you need to have a bunch of dudes you can steamroll every now and again to make you feel how powerful you have become.

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Hmmm I'm not sure I even like decreasing the trash mobs, let alone removing them. This isn't Tides of Numenera or Planescape: Torment, The game needs significant combat, otherwise whats the point of agonising over optimising character builds. Unless every encounter is a boss fight, then I don't know how they can achieve this without a significant (read meaningful) amount of trash.

 

 

 

 

Well, there are multiple kinds of fights that aren't "Trash."

 

The first is of course boss fights.

 

Second is plot-related fights ("oh no! Lord Badguy's Minions are kidnapping Imoen. . again!") 

 

Third, and this is where they could really expand, is mechanically and strategically interesting fights. 

 

When I think "trash mob fights," I think fights like the ones filling Sun in Shadow -- just walk down the path to a clearing and Yet Another Big Ball of Shadows To Fight, etc. No new challenge, no bosses, just not interesting -- their only purpose is just to be  a speed bump in between real challenges.

 

Compare with, say, White March. Most of the fights in White March had really interesting and complex challenges. The one I keep pointing to is the one inside the foundry where there are some spirits across a bridge and you either have to send troops around a loop, or fight using long-range attacks, to take them out. That sort of thing isn't a boss fight, but it isn't a "trash mob" fight either -- it's interesting and a new challenge. That's what I want to see more of in PoE 2.

 

I have to agree with this.

In PoE1 I got bored of fighting the same groups of enemies again and again. I almost had to force myself to continue to finish the game.

I think that WM1+2 were much better regarding encounter design.

I have played IWD1, but I never finished it. Not because it was too hard but because I got bored from doing the same things again and again. I own IWD2, but I never started it.

 

A very good example for encounter design is the alpha of D:OS2. There is lots of combat, but each encounter is designed carefully. It makes sense that those enemies are there, they have a reason to fight you and their positioning is also good. Some ambush you, some talk to you before attacking and sometimes you can avoid combat if you can talk well or have the right item. There are no groups of enemies who are just standing around, waiting to be killed by you.

 

On a scale, where PST is on one side and IWD on the other, I strongly prefer PST. If I have the choice between the two extremes, an adventure without combat like monkey island and a combat only game like an arcade shooter, I take the adventure any time. Most RPGs are somewhere between these extremes, but please do not force me to die of boredom by letting me fight tons of goblins xaurips, just because the dungoen would feel so empty without. In that case, the dungeon would have a bad design.

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