I have a few issues with the current threat system:
- Invisible to the player. Since each monster contains their own player to threat mapping, I can't simply flood the player's hud (and bandwidth) with the monster's current threat levels.
- Ability's threat reward is very inconsistent based on when you cast the ability. Currently, it's optimal to cast threat replenishing abilities right when the monsters spawned (instead at the end of battle). New monsters that just spawned will always have default threat. This often causes wasted threat potential when abilities are casted when no monsters are around.
- Very difficult to balance. There are many factors that makes the current threat system difficult to balance. I'll have to run a local debug build to read threat values from monsters, and the reasons mentioned earlier in this list adds to the complexity when testing.
The system I propose is to have more of a global threat system. Each player will have one threat value, and their experience is multiplied by that threat value regardless which monster they attack. This leads to multiple benefits such as:
- I can display a single numeric value of the threat value on the hud (probably under the adrenaline).
- Reduces the need to cast abilities at an optimal time since threat can be gained against monsters that didn't even spawn yet.
- This can lead to other threat mechanics. For example, the player's maximum threat can be gained by the class.
- This can make abilities clear in how much threat they will replenish. I can add their threat gain rates in their descriptions, and the player can see how much their threat increases when utilizing those abilities.
The down side behind this new system (other than it'll require work and multiple iterations to rebalance the abilities):
- Threat will need to diminish over time so abilities casted at the beginning of the game doesn't affect threat at the end of game.
- I cannot have abilities give threat to individual monsters. Abilities such as Sacrifice and Paladin's perk currently only gives threat to the related monster(s). I'll have to change their mechanics or balance those abilities' threat rewards if I were to implement this new system.
From my brief brainstorm session, here are some other threat mechanics I can add with this new threat system:
- Sustaining abilities (such as when a spirit is alive), will reduce the rate at which your threat decreases.
- Certain minor/passive abilities could suspend threat from diminishing diminish instead of increasing threat. I was thinking this could go in something like the Paladin's perk. This would prevent players from farming a bunch of threat just from taking damage, but any previously accumulated threat will remain longer when the Paladin is in combat.
- The threat min and max values can be adjusted based on class. I don't think I'll be adjusting the min values though.
This is currently in design and proposition phase. I won't be implementing this for the next updates, but it may be something that could be added later if you are in favor of this new system over the old system. What are your thoughts? Please vote in the poll.