The first part of the day I continued testing the combat system cookiemonger and I will be using in our RPG Maker VX project, Desiderata. I enjoy a good level grind now and again (it’s restful activity), but there’s more to the game than grinding experience, and I want monster tactics to reflect that inasmuch as I can.

The first thought is that when the monster’s health is below about fifty percent, there’s an increased chance of it fleeing, especially in the case of animals and semi-intelligent beasts. That forces a certain amount of strategy if the player wants experience (or loot) rather than just chasing the monster away (which leaves them with nothing).

Second is this idea of a “cap” of sorts, to the amount of levels a player can get from the monsters of the area. If the player is too a high a level for the area (or even individual monsters), the monsters may flee outright, sensing greater danger from the party than they’re willing to chance. This is actually based on an experience…

Fallout 2

And really, who *wouldn’t* run from a guy like this?

I forget if I ever mentioned my brush with the Fallout 2 anti-cheating code on this blog. I discovered when I used a stat-tweaking program to max out my character’s stats, all the enemies in the game would run away from me. Considering the turn-based nature of the game, this made every fight drag on forever.

Also, it’s no fun shooting at the back of a fleeing opponent.

I learned a valuable lesson from that – to play fair (actually, I figured out I could max out my skills and achieve basically the same results without repercussion, but the lesson was still learned), and also how fleeing enemies change the nature of the game. You are suddenly presented with the choice to pursue, or let them go.

Now, RPG Maker VX won’t easily allow the pursuit of specific enemies, but having them trying to flee from battle will change the way a player fights, I think. There may be more searching for trapping methods (slow and stop, for instance), and using powerful effects to kill enemies as quickly as possible.

A player is also saddled with the implications of attacking an enemy who won’t fight back. Some players might respond to this, while other may let it go over their heads. Do they rise to the challenge of pursuing the fleeing foe, or do they take the higher ground and let them go, moving on to more “appropriate” challenges?

See what I mean about it being a game-changer?

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