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General Approach for Boss Scaling


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Read some through this and there is never a real consensus about the whole thing, but I understand the sentiment of wanting to scale bosses. While simply scaling boss health based on how many players are around at any given time alone would suck, it also doesn't need to be convoluted to make proper scaling method work either, which a lot of the suggestions here appear to fall under.

There's a simpler, yet more effective, clever and more player-informative approach you could take with boss power scaling. Note power, not exactly health.

We already have 2 versions of Toadstool, which are specifically activated by the player to give better rewards. This could be done automatically in a way, so the more players are around, the more powerful version of a boss spawns. But if you really wanted to fight a more powerful version all on your own to test your limits, you could... drop a dummy to be detected by the boss as a player to spawn as a stronger version. Once the boss spawns with a set amount of health however, it will not be adjusted further and the drops you can get will be locked to that difficulty level.

So how would bosses be made stronger dynamically then? Throughout the fight, attack or healing frequency could be increased if the amount of players in the area differs. Maybe the health spawn would depend on how many players were there to start the fight, but the attack frequencies would scale based on the amount of players that are nearby with varying stages. To make the fight flow to your advantage and not have the frequency of healing and attack disrupted, all players would need to be in a general vicinity, maybe within a 10-tile radius from the boss. Any further and the boss would lower its attack frequency, and the moment a player joins in the area, the attack frequency would go up by a bit. Cooperation then is key to avoiding getting hit and getting into the fight properly, and I don't even think you would ever need a single boss to have more than 30,000 hp at the most powerful level if you do it right.

Some indication for each major boss could be made to tell the player beforehand that they are fighting a harder boss as well as during so the attack frequency can be anticipated more. This could be done by having the boss change their visuals slightly in some ways. For health scaling, there could be 3 versions, one balanced for 1 to 2 players, second for 3 to 4 players and the last for 5 or more.

And incentive to fight harder versions? Well...

* Level 1: Drop one or two of the unique boss drops. This version should be relatively easy for all bosses. Even as low as 5000 health for most major bosses (per stage, if it's a stage type fight). This could be easier versions of all/most of the current bosses, besides giants, since their current forms are rather weak already.

* Level 2: Drop all of the boss drops, maybe 1 or 2 blueprints of those drops too. This would reflect the difficulty of most current raid bosses with high health pools.

* Level 3: Drop all of the boss drops as well as all of the blueprints for every drop. This way a party of players can fight the toughest version of the boss together to make it easier and at least 1 player would have the ability to craft more of the drops so each player can have one. Besides something like the Crab King, 

Off the top of my head, Bee Queen and Fuel Weaver come to mind. Their drops can be acquired, but not crafted (besides the bundling wrap blueprint). Weakest version of Fuel Weaver for example, could drop 2 out of its 3 drops, while the full version would drop all 3 along with 3 blueprints, one for each item, with a fair cost. If the bone armor and bone helmet could be deconstructed into fossil fragments, for example, maybe the blueprints would allow you to craft the bone helmet and bone armor with those as well, even if you still require to go to the Pseudo Science Station after reading the blueprint to do so, if that's technically possible to implement. If not, even crafting anywhere seems fine after a tough fight like that.

Keep in mind, that the attack and heal frequency needs to still be balanced such that the more players, the more effective it is to beat the boss, not equal, not more challenging than if you were to fight an equal powered boss on your own. That way, having more players will be beneficial to you regardless so long as the other players don't die too much. For example, if you can do 60dps while fighting max difficulty boss solo, with 2 players, even if the frequency of attacks increases, if both players are equally prepared could dash out 90dps total, so the fight would end slightly faster and you would still get the set number of drops.

Some of the bosses don't need to follow this balancing method if they are to be considered "Mini Bosses". A few existing ones could already fall under the Mini Boss category technically if made more frequent and weaker, in my opinion the Malbatross and Bee Queen would be better as mini bosses (going against what I said just a moment ago of how it could be made into a major boss instead), like the Spider Queen or the Tree Guard, especially since we have way more major bosses at the moment anyway.

You can then apply these general technical principles not only for any current bosses, but also any future ones, if new ones are to be made.

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