A roguelike developer's diary.
I give up. Have your vote.
Note that obviously it should vary by type of monster; some simply will not or can not surrender.
Did you just surrender?
If you want this to have a real impact, it should be a rare occurrence. And, while having a constant consequence might dilute the moral significance of the event, in order to preserve some sense of "truth" to the event, it would be appropriate for these rare occurrences to also rarely have some sort of benefit *or* drawback from acting either way.(For example, occasionally a monster surrenders. Sometimes if you choose to let it go it takes the opportunity to attack, either now or later. Sometimes the monster has a valuable item it is protecting (which you will gain if you slay it). Sometimes if you show mercy, the monster later becomes a valuable ally.)Having this sort of (again: rare) outcome makes the choice seem more meaningful because it makes each event feel individually significant—even if in the long run, the benefits and drawbacks of either moral choice even out.
Surrendering is little bit related to this thing: can all the weak (compared to player) creatures just not be hostile and run away when they'll see the player?If you have to do this surrender stuff in the right way - you will have to implement some serious AI reasoning, not just condition checking and randomizing.What are my points:If the creature has some valuable thing and it was told you can't get it - it will fight to kill you, no matter if it will survive.If the creature is a part of gathering or swarm of some kind - it will not surrender.If the creature has some serious wounds (and that is the only case), nothing to defend really, and any kind of intelligence - it will surrender sometimes, it just have to reason if it can beat you at a particular moment and situation (company etc.), or maybe surrendering will save its life. If it is faster (or nearly as fast as PC) it can do something to slow down PC's movement and run away instead.However the subject is in fact very interesting, its complex implementation can push roguelike genre to another dimension - from heroic fantasy D&D stuff to some serious thinking, planning, maybe with used-to-be-monsters "social egineering", terrorism, subversive attempts (like killing rat leader will make all rats panic) or whatever you can imagine.
Lukasz: One of the biggest design challenges with monsters running away is it makes for a very boring game...
I suggest different behaviours depending on the supposed monster's ingelligence.Very stupid monsters like gelatinous cubes should never stop attacking (unless charmed or something)Monsters with the average intelligence of a dog should just try to run away if badly hurt. This should not happen every time; otherwise the game could quickly became a "hunt me these running away lizards". Idea: A cornered monster should get some bonus.Only the most intelligent enemies (i.e. kobolds?) should attempt to beg for mercy. Again, this should occur only rarely. And they could also try to run away (not very often). They should be able to ponder "this guy runs faster than me, so I should not try to run away" or "if I run away from this archer I risk to be pierced" and resolve to beg instead.
I ticked all the boxes - I think each option is viable for some monsters.
Andrew - keeping up with off-topic (sorry if this is trolling) if you're really a hero - whole world looks like really boring place. Since some serious PC heroism level - all the weak creatures were just slowing play and making it *more* boring. Hope you get it - there is no joy when killing 10 000-th weak creature, you just care of HP. And you go deeper as fast as you can for the interesting things.However - I think that surrendering is really stunning idea! BTW - offtopic again, just to eat things with mouth wide open - there are some real-world creatures one can dominate - like dogs - this is in fact an act of surrendering and considering one as a dog's "alpha male". So maybe "taming" some mid-IQ hostile creatures would be possible this way?
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