Precision Pulling

I can excuse having the archer pull. The arrow is silent, and orcs yell all the time, so no one notices anything when Grok’thar bellows and goes rushing down the hallway. He’s just like that. The same for when you bean an ogre: he may have been knocked silly, but shuffling about and drooling is normal for him. I can even buy the sniper rifle pull, because I assume a silencer.

My Sonic Defender pulls by screaming. Literally. Her attacks are Scream, Howl, and Shout. The guy five feet away does not notice anything. Once I got Screech, I could stun someone in the middle of a group, scream him to “arrest,” and then start on his friends before they notice. Let’s suspend disbelief a little further: you can focus sound waves similar to the way lasers focus light, so maybe someone nearby would hear nothing from a well-focused sonic attack.

What about the guy with the fireballs? When my Ice Blaster chucks a head-sized block of jagged ice at your friend, do you not even notice its hitting the ground? What if I pull a torso-sized chunk of concrete from the ground and knock someone across the room? “Bob’s running off down that hallway again for no good reason. Grok’thar, did you leave this concrete here?” Does anyone see the pitched battle with grenades and flamethrowers on the other side of the room?

At least my Psychic Blasts make sense for that. Only how does he know where to run when someone punches him in the brain? Maybe only the target can see the psychic bolt coming. City of Heroes has properly recognized that psychic power manifests itself in glowing pinkness.

: Zubon

6 thoughts on “Precision Pulling”

  1. Every once in a while I toy with design ideas for an MMOG with line-of-sight aggro. It gets ugly fast; in the real world, what happens is one person sees you, sounds the alarm, and the entire frakking ‘instance’ (quest, dungeon, orc fort, mission) trains onto you at once.

    Now, that’s not actually unplayable, if the game is balanced for it, but it’s not a series of encounters the way that most gamers are used to thinking about such things. It’s one big fight and then all the bad guys are *cough* arrested and you can search the place at your leisure.

    Outside, it turns out that movement speeds and aggro radii are pretty tightly bound. A world with line-of-sight aggro is a big, big world and it takes a long time to get anywhere.

  2. I’ve always appreciated the concept of fire spells and other flashy displays of power being high aggro.

    Unfortunately I can’t recall when it’s ever been implemented that way. =/

    I love careful pulls and a complex (yet logical) aggro system. I mourn how those systems are being replaced by scripted encounters.

  3. Some single player games allow you to pull by throwing a stone at the ground. One of the guards will say something like “I think I heard something. I’ll go and check it out just in case” before wandering over alone. It seems to me that a similar mechanic would be implementable in mmorpgs.

  4. People get 3rd degree burns and sudden frozen feet all the time when playing with chemicals/magic/death/demons from another dimension. Sometimes fireballs just come hurling from the darkness. You only need 1 minion to go check it out. Sometimes only 1 person hears a “Yo’ mama so fat that when she jumped for joy, she got stuck!” taunt and so he must go to beat up whoever the other people didn’t hear.

    Its simple =D

  5. Maybe you scream above or below the range of human hearing. I’m a big fan of teleport foe for believable precision pulling.

  6. Meanwhile the NPC’s are thinking “It’s pretty unrealistic that those hero guys never die – burn them, flail their flesh, and their back in five minutes…”

    It’s always only a problem when the other guy is unrealistic…

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