What are some archetypes for non-boss enemies?

What archetypes do you use for the standard mooks in your game? Some examples include:

-Swarmer: Low HP, low damage, but come in large groups
-Fighter: Moderate HP and damage, uses physical attacks with maybe a strong attack occasionally mixed in
-Elemental Mage: Mostly spams spells of a single element, possibly some status magic mixed in there
-Mini-miniboss: High HP and fought alone, they may follow simple patterns or have one single gimmick
-Buffer: Buffs other monsters but has limited damage capabilities

Xenoblade / Old MMO Style Quests

How do you guys feel about these types of quests? Quests that are just simple "Kill 10 Dudes" or "Collect 20 Bear Asses" and the like. They have simple objectives and little to no story. I was thinking about using them in my game, here are some pros and cons I came up with:

  • They are relatively easy to make, compared to a sidequest that might need it's own dungeon and special characters or something. It also means I can add a lot of them without too much effort.

  • I'm planning on using touch encounters, and these types of quests give the player some encouragement to kill at least X monsters on a given map, making it easier to tune EXP.

  • In my opinion, they're more fun than just grinding random mobs if the player wants to grind.

  • They can become very boring and bland very fast. Many players may avoid them on principle. It can leave the party underpowered if they avoid all of them.

  • They tend to not be very memorable.

  • The player may feel like they're a chore to do. If their party ends up to underpowered due to skipping too many encounters they might just quit instead of completing quests.

So what would you guys prefer?

Touch Encounters and EXP

For those of you using touch encounter systems, how do you balance it in regards to player EXP? In one of my previous projects this is something I really struggled with, not knowing how many monsters the player is going to fight. I ended up balancing my EXP curve around the player skipping ~90% of fights which made it really easy to end up over-leveled. It's one of the reasons I went back to random encounters--it's far easier to figure out how much the player will fight as players don't tend to escape battles by default. So how do you guys determine how much the player should fight per map?

Roguelike Design: Should I remove leveling?

I'm gearing up to start implementing actual enemies in my game so I decided to give my battle mechanics another pass over. It dawned on me that I didn't actually need XP/leveling. With the way my game is designed currently, it's impossible to back-track or do any grinding. It's also pretty much impossible to end up overleveled/underleveled. Monster levels grow at roughly the same rate as the player do and there's no stealth/escape mechanic. Leveling currently only increase stats. It used to be more important for character progression when my game was a bit more open but since I've redesigned other mechanics the non-stat benefits leveling used to provide were either cut or rolled into different systems.

I've been brainstoriming advantages/disadvantages and this is what I've come up with so far:


  • Smaller numbers. Right now in order to make leveling feel satisfying the power gained from leveling is exponential (roughly 11% - 5% boost each level). A max level character is roughly 10x more powerful than a level 1 character. Throw in gear and additional abilities and this easily can become 20x-30x stronger than a level 1 character. An end-game unique might end up with HP in the five to six digits range. If I cut leveling it becomes a much more manageable 2x-3x difference.

  • Lower stats means early-game unique items with unique effects would be much easier to use in the end-game.

  • Easier to fine-tune monsters since I don't need to worry about scaling.


  • Characters become more gear dependent. Currently attributes are split roughly 50/50 between base stats and gear. Without leveling it might end up something more like 35/65. I would possibly have to add some sort of RNG protection.

  • Possibly less enemy variety. With my current system I can scale up any monster to whatever level I want. While a max-level rat might not be too threatening due to their simple skillset, something like a difficult mid-game unique could pose a pretty big threat if scaled up to a max-level party. Monsters would have a level range so that simplistic enemies wouldn't be encountered late and complicated monsters wouldn't be found too early. Although without leveling the difference between mid-game and late-game wouldn't be as big either. This would take a lot of play-testing to figure out.

Any thoughts? Should I leave things as is, add more mechanics to leveling, or pull the trigger?

My First Foray Into Pixel Art

So I'm working on a new project and want to create all the art myself. It's a roguelike, so there won't be any animated sprites (mostly for my own sanity).

These are player dolls. I know the legs are terrible, and the arms don't quite look right.

A couple of ability icons.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Game Maker Studio Standard Free Until 3/2/14

Going in Blind and Preparing for Combat

I'm sure this has happened to all of us before. You're playing a game and start a boss fight. The boss opens with Firagajagajada, so you immediately reload your save file so you can equip your fire resistance gear. Doing this is annoying, especially if it happens with every fight. While your locale can sometimes give hints to what types of monsters you'll be fighting, it isn't always applicable to everything the party can prepare for. For example, the player will know to equip ice resistant gear for the ice cave, but how will they know what status effects the monsters inflict?

The point is that the player has to prepare for fights they know nothing about, and when they do figure out what they need, it often means annoyingly reloading an earlier save file. How could this issue be resolved? Do you just flat-out tell the player what enemies they'll be fighting? Or do you just throw a Game Over screen at them for not properly preparing for the fight?

EDIT: This should be in Game Design & Theory, whoops.

Is the defense stat reduntant?

Do we really need an actual defense stat in games? To me, it seems slightly redundant along side elemental resistances. There isn't much of a difference between a +defense buff and a +physical resistance buff. They both do the same task of reducing damage taken, and they both do it nearly the exact same way (flat damage reduction), so why have both?

Path of Exile

Any players out there? For those who don't know, the game is basically Diablo 2 + FF7's materia system + FF10's sphere grid. It's currently in closed beta, but they give out keys every 5 minutes and there always tons of giveaways going on.

I've been playing the beta. It's enjoyable so far but quite grindy. The amount of character builds you can make though is pretty staggering and I love random drops.

Craze's EXP / Gold Boost Script

I'm having some issues with his script. If I use the notetags to modify EXP or Gold, the amount earned resets to zero regardless of what values I use. It's probably an issue with the script, can anyone fix it for me? I'd ask him myself, but he hasn't visited the site in awhile. - Script Download Link
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