"Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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Echo
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"Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Echo » Jun 18 2016, 12:13

I was thinking yesterday about the difficulty in MM6-7-8 to figure out how to make MM8 more exciting and make it feel rewarding to grind up a strong, well-equipped team.

And I realized that IMO what would really help would be proper bosses. I know there are some bosses in these games but honestly? I usually don't even notice their presence. They're like all other mobs around, perhaps with more HP.

In MM6, the Devil Queen is a complete joke due to blasters.
In MM7 there's Tolberti/Robert who are a big challenge, but only for complete scrubs who always fight only in turn based and don't use cleric (me, first time around :-D ).
In MM8, is there anything? I have no idea, some Jeric dragon hunter or whatnot, fodder like everything around.

It would be really cool if there were mean real tough bastards added that would have to be killed for victory (no option to skip them by running/invisibility). Perhaps more than 1 boss in the place, give them different skills, different resistances, make wands worth carrying, powerful potions useable. Long fights requiring some ingenuity.

And the mechanism from BDJ's mod that causes spawning of monsters upon leaving the area/reloading would do great for the final fight. Say, in MM8, apply it to Escaton's Palace, Castles of Elements in the Planes, and the Jails in the Plane-Between-Planes. Combine that with increased spawn rates, and those areas could actually become challenging.

Sadly, I'd have no clue how to make it happen, it probably requires some tougher shenanigans, programming and using of those cool utilities from GrayFace I'm too scrubby to comprehend. But I thought I'd leave my musing here, as a perhaps-future-wishlist of sorts/encouragement to discuss :tongue:

tl;dr
Boss monster packs, with much stronger skills, HP, resistances. Longer, harder, and NOTICEABLE boss fights. Town Portal/Beacon/Loading punishable by additional spawns as per BDJ's gauntlet, just more evilly. Need to use tactics (for example rush and kill monsters casting dispel magic to use buffs, or try to maul those with biggest damage/stoning/killing, smart mix of real vs turn based combat). Make Wands and strong Potions worthwhile.

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Xfing » Jun 18 2016, 18:13

MM6 was super hard due to lots of monsters having unblockable insta-death. In MM7 many monsters had insta-death, which was now blockable, but it was compensated for by some monster attack effects, for example dragons broke your equipment simply by attacking. Even this no longer happens in MM8, since monsters that do break your weapons are easy. If MM8 were to have a nice boss, it would need to hit super hard and have insta-eradication. Did anyone in MM8 even have it? I've played the crap outta that game and I can't remember for the life of me.

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Echo » Jun 18 2016, 18:21

No, it doesn't. I've added all those things into my mini-mod I've created. Wyverns had instant death and I noticed that cyclopes could paralyze you, but I don't recall them ever coming close enough to do either :D

Things I found weren't present in MM8 and that I readded were: Eradication, Unconsciousness, Dispel Magic, Dragon Breath, Aging, Meteor Shower, Break Item, Drunk. Maybe something else I'm forgetting too, unsure.

But MM6 can still be steamrolled in 30minutes or so just by avoiding every fight ever, which is why I'd love actual boss fights that cannot be cheesed with invisibility or fast running :P I don't know how to do that. Though making spawns bigger helps - for instance I had real issues getting Markham's vase in my last playthrough because of a crusader block. Sure made the game more interesting, fun and challenging.

My favorite part is MM8, because I like the visuals of it the most (and MM6 for its size and difficulty, but I wish I could play MM6 on MM8's engine and graphics :D Alchemy, skill limits by promotion, all those goodies). But last time I played it I made the spawns much bigger and it still wasn't all that hard to be honest. Which is why now I made this modification that makes some cheese strats impossible to use, but it still has nothing on a proper boss fight, because I can't modify boss monsters and there are none (I think) in the actual endgame. Which makes me a sad panda. I'd love to make endgame dungeons real challenge (but not a grind through 10000 HP monsters). Which is why I'm talking boss fights :)

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Xfing » Jun 18 2016, 20:47

I agree about MM8's visuals. They feel the most modern and streamlined out of the bunch, and combined with the simplification of gameplay and removing most of the early series RPG tropes in favor of realism, it definitely makes MM8 feel he most modern. Hell, the only way to increase stats in MM8 were barrels, not even altars were there.

MM6 is full retro in terms of mechanics, and emulates MM III-V quite well in that regard. It's not that the textures are uglier than in MM8, but their choice still feels retro for some reason. MM7 is almost like 8 in both regards - many aspects of the gameplay are simplified, and the end effect reminds more of MM8 than 6, but luckily it keeps some of the difficulty plus some minor retro flavors that 8 misses, such as drunkenness, perma stat boost altars etc. I think that indeed - these exploration elements must have started aging, which was already beginning to be understood by the designers in MM7 (alchemy overhaul, +50 black potions instead of having to visit places to get that bonus). The altars were still in 7, but got the kick in 8 finally, with barrels and black potions getting sole responsibility for increasing stats. Simpler? Definitely? More enjoyable? Not in a retro way, possibly so for a gamer of more modern tastes.

As for the graphics, the overworld appearance in 7 is definitely modern, just like MM8 and less so like 6, but the textures themselves are ugly and bland (except the ones from the Lincoln, those were sweet!) Just compare the beautiful saturated hue of the sand in MM8 with the one from MM7 and Shadowspire's badass gray with Deyja's uninspired tan. MM8 definitely wins in this regard, most of exterior and even the majority of interior textures are plain prettier in 8 than they are in 7.

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Echo » Jun 18 2016, 22:58

I actually loved the exploration of MM6, it's one of the things I miss the most in MM8. The areas are smaller, dungeons are tiny in comparison, can't even get properly lost :( The altars were fun too, imo, I mean, you didn't HAVE to find them. But you COULD, and when you did, you got rewarded. In open-world games exploration should be beneficial I think, it adds a lot of fun. I wish MM8 had bigger areas, the game feels over too fast.

I wonder if it's really retro though? Look at TES series. You can play those games for 3 months without even touching the main quest. Finding hidden stuff, boosts, and whatnot. It gets especially fun with the mods that stop the world from leveling with the player so you can come upon strong loot (and strong monsters).

I hated MM7 textures. Blaaaaand is definitely the word. I remade them and combined them with Chinese sprites and roads here, if you wish: http://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/10/14593 Just skip the icons.lod file from there. It had some unfinished portrait frames in those files afair. Old stuff, but I think the textures and sprites look much better :)

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Arret » Jun 19 2016, 19:05

Shrines would have been more appropriate in MM7 simply because of how much longer it takes to finish the game (mainly due to training). I can't remember the last time it took me 11 months to finish MM6.

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Xfing » Jun 22 2016, 11:51

To be honest, all the game needs in terms of bosses:
- double the damage of the unique dragons, give them insta death on hit and weapon/armor break on hit too
- give old loeb 4000 hp, Ilsingore 3000 and Yaardrake 3500
- give Blackwell Cooper double HP and give his attacks some effect, like insanity, curse or insta-unconsciousness

Do something analogous with all other unique monsters :D

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Re: "Boss fights" in MM6-7-8

Postby Echo » Jun 22 2016, 14:28

Yeah, it'd be something (not quite what it could be, but something that can be modded easily, in theory), but I've no idea where the stats for unique monsters are kept for MM8 :( Though I'd reaaaally like that anti-load, anti-TP mechanic added to the boss areas :D


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