For example, coming up against a granite golem in warcraft 3, I know exactly how to deal with that.
have a sliding scale for creep levels. So a mud golem can be any level from 1-12 ...
You highlighted a problem with sliding monster scales in your post - difficulty in quickly identifying threat level for what should be a familiar foe.
i.e. you run into a granite golem and you know how to deal with it ... or do you? It could be a walkover or a nightmare depending on it's relative position in the power scale.
I understand your point. level 20 granite I can get to know
. level 30 granite I don't know.
One of the things I dislike about fixing creep stats, is that we can get to know every creature a little too well, and there's nothing new in the game. Just the same old monsters.
I thought it would be nice to have standard creep classes, but a sliding scale of power levels of each one. It adds that little bit of variety to their design.
Since the dungeon is always going to be filled with creeps of similar level to the player anyway, I don't think levels really matter that much, because they're never going to be much of an issue.
If I'm level 10, the golem will be level 10.
If I'm level 20, the golem will be level 20.
So both feels much the same. Although, both golems have the same magics, which may be relatively less potent at higher levels. [*]
If I'm level 10, and the golem is level 12.
Then I know it's a slightly harder version of the 'familiar' unit. I need to be more cautious dealing with it.
Otherwise we'd have to invent half a dozen units for every power level, which would run into the hundreds, and you'd only ever see a mud golem on levels 1 and 2, and never again.
[*] What this will create is a feeling of having mastered a particular creep class as you've met it at levels 10-20, and by level 20, although the creep stats are matched to the player, it's magics/special abilities are too weak to give itself any advantage during the conflict. This is where a new creep class (the next up the golem family, for example) will provide a newer challenge, because it's magics will be stronger and matched to the player again. To the player this new unit should hopefully feel
slightly different to it's sibling, which is how it should be. However, tactics required to deal with it will most likely be somewhat similar throughout the entire golem family.
I kind of liked diablo's approach to reusing monsters - you'd get a bunch at a set level, then a gap, then they would show up again with a visible difference at a higher level, then a gap, and so on - set groups rather than sliding scales.
Possible... As I said at the beginning, I'm not a fan of rpg games, so my design opinion is probably not the best.
unless the level is used as an absolute guide to power (i.e. a level 12 x is equal to a level 12 y is equal to a level 12 z) and monster type is just an indication of attack and defense types.
I happen to like that idea. I think creep class should be more about attack and defense types, as in how to deal with it, rather than power used to deal with it. Like a golem may be slower but stronger than a skeleton warrior. So to survive the golem you have to strike and pull back, strike and pull back, otherwise you'll get flattened. To survive the skeleton, you can't outrun it, because it its too fast and strong, so there's no chance of defeating it with pulling tactics. But if you just stand there relentlessly hitting it, and being hit back by it, it will easily topple because it is relatively low on hitpoints.
I think the development plan should be:
- prototype map specification.
- build the map reader.
- declare unit arrays, and their stats.
- character creation / loading routines
- graphics renderer.
- declare item types and their abilities.
- declare unit inventory and stats enhancment from item types/abilities.
- declare active weapon/tool/item.
- player character movement.
- unit interaction.
- creep AI
- creep design
- automated map designer
- eye candy