the Forge (Classic Diablo)- by KingOfPain
Caves: Monster AI and Layout Analysis - by Cyrene
Ok, I almost always play rogues, and have always hated caves. Period. No narrow hallways, no good doorways, lots of open space, lots of nasty monsters. I would rather play hell on any diff than caves. Still, hell/caves is where the exp is, and I have been on a power gaming trip lately working on my 5@50 squad. Also, my CAT loves to hunt pw in caves. After a zillion hours of play in caves, then, I started to (belatedly) notice a few things. This post will concern itself with part 1 of monster ai, caves optical allusions, and a special attitude adjustment head-banger.
Note the absence of spit. And they are too dumb to open doors. These pooches are pretty much screwed. Occasionally, one will drop back a 3rd square and lob some spit. This is annoying, but much better than taking on a quick attack through the gate while others spit at you. Lets look at another example.
Here I came around this corner, and found a pack of 5-6 spitters. Instead of falling back, I opened the highlighted door and rushed down the narrow corral. Now I have six dogs milling around with no offense. Does anyone else predict firewall practice?
Something else about this layout caught my eye. As this is dlvl 10, and the Poison Spitters mean my good old buddy PW is around, I decided to combine missions and exploit this optical illusion to kill PW for the borement of the masses 8-).
I went and found and
fetched PW and his jolly crew of expectoraters to almost the same spot.
Then I dropped my armor to prove a point. You see the dog in front of
me is doing nothing, not moving, not spitting. PW is the bright square
just behind doggy a. Why dont they attack? Look closely one rank
north/12 oclock. See the half of a fence section? Well, there are
no half sections in Diablo. That is a logical solid wall. The fence actually
starts at the post. The dog is in the square with the pseudo-fence/rock,
I am one square south. It cannot see me, Yet, for me, the game lets me
see him. Poor doggie. Heres another shot that I lit up to illustrate
Casting directly in front of me, the FW on the back row lights PW up (thanks Charis and KoP for showing me how to cast this). I skip a row with the visible dog in it, then cast another on the next row closer to me to show how the game is treating that half fence square. Solid, eh?
This is one way to wipe out PW and his pack in Hell/Hell with no armor and no physical weapons .
That covers caves
monster ai and optical illusions part one.
How about a bonus topic? Here is headbanging in caves, part 1.
Red screen about to come, you say? Actually, no, I am near invulnerable here. I rounded up a couple of rooms of nasties after I saw this sweet spot just to get this picture. In all other level types (church, cats, hell) you always want to face a mob with the small end of the funnel in front of you to cut down the number of simultaneous attackers and the wide end behind you for retreats. Look at this, though. Even with a mixed melee/ranged level in hell/caves, I have only 2 monsters against me. The toad demon directly in front and the spitter at my 6 oclock who is in the danger spit zone and is about to open up. Still, there is a direct (though blocked) path to me, so he will only spit about 4 times then start wandering around. Right now I could plink or slash this crowd down one by one with only a couple of pots spent on defense. OTOH, when you have a bunch of friends over, a barbecue is always nice
the sauce. (Thanks again Charis and KoP Note also how being on a spit
makes roasting yourself virtually impossible). Did I do that?
The picture on the right illustrates just that...a hole in the wall that I can walk through and shoot through but the monsters do not see. Note the targeted Obsidian Lord is walking *away* from me. Hehehe
This is a lousy screenshot to explain why, though, due to the angle. A better example is the pic below. Note that the dogs in PW's pack are in range, yet the spits are being blocked by the virtual wall. OTOH, I can see and shoot through it perfectly, as you can tell by the bodies and gold on the ground.
effect is caused (this is all theory from here on out) by the way the
game treats out- croppings in caves. The"point" that I am standing
by covers all but one "sub-square" of the "square"
I am in. Magical
Still to be tested
is the effect of virtual walls on player spell effects. I know it blocks
area spells, like FW. I've never tested other spells much, as I usually
only use this tactic in IM, and in IM I don't have the spells or mana
to play around 8-). I did do a brief test in cats one night (with Simba,
iirc, who politely stood by while I flirted with disaster playing with
Deathspit's mob testing projectile vs Fireball blocking by a Cats virtual
wall). In that case, it seemed
Note also that this
kind of spot is useless against storm riders, as their AI says "If
you know where the hero is but can't reach them directly, mill around
and try to find a direct route." Half the pack would move up and
attack from the front while the other half of