My Favourite MonstieMay 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Posted in General | 2 Comments
Tags: fallen earth, game design, stopping to admire the view
Running ‘round killing stuff is a staple part of most MMOs. Whether it’s as part of a quest, part of self-defence whilst travelling from Point A to Point B, or just for fun and profit, there are plenty of monsties around.
Sometimes a monster manages to elevate itself above the commons, to rise up from the morass, to stand out and shout towards the very heavens; “I am here, and I am special”. Well, it does for me anyway.
In the original Everquest, it was lions. Just as I’m settled into the long, long wait for mana and health to replenish, up pops a lion (from out of nowhere) and bites me. It’s thoroughly grey to me, and hitting it once is enough to start it running for cover, but not enough to kill it. So the dratted thing runs off, is really annoying to chase down, and when it feels brave enough (usually when it has just enough health for me to not one-shot it) it comes back and bites me again. Of course, I could just pop a spell in it’s fat ares, but of course that just uses up some mana that I’m trying to replenish.
I still hate those lions. With a passion that few will understand. Annoying, niggly gits.
In Lord of the Rings Online, it’s goblins. It’s as if someone tattooed All Goblins Must Be Pwned on the monitor when I’m playing. They way they move, the things they say, the way they look; everything just makes me want to destroy them. And yes, I will go out of my way to kill them. And then /dance over their digital corpses.
Now there is a new candidate in the Hawley MMO Hall of Infamy; the Hermit Crab.
Fallen Earth has some weird squacky monsties, such as the various types of mutants and giant insects. But right now, in Sector 1, the Hermit Crib is the winner.
Just look at it. That’s a big nasty lobster/crab thing, using an old crt monitor or a bin as a shell. And my geography is a little weak; how far is the Grand Canyon from any large body of water?
Never mind. They just look wonderful. There’s a wonderful sense of humour and imagination involved in the way they look, which makes me giggle whenever they’re near.
Of course, whenever they’re near, they’re attacking me. They have an aggro-range that’s roughly the size of a Sector, so if they can see you, then they’re scuttling towards you in Attack Pattern CLAAAAW! They also like the taste of horse; my horse has inadvertently ended up tanking for me when the Hermit Crab equivalent of a Spar Gang (I’m afraid you have to be English to get that reference completely. Sorry) descends on me (from a few game miles away).
And then there’s the loot that you can harvest from them. Crab Meat is only to be expected, but then there’s a cornucopia of scrap metals, as well as the generic animal possibilities of Tainted Meat and Weak Biochemicals. They’re just wonderfully random to harvest, as if they’re the Kinder Egg of monsties.
Just without the chocolate.
I love Hermit Crabs. They make me smile, even when they’re attempting to eat my face. Or my horse’s face. They hit Fabulous on the Hawley Scale of Fabulousness; they’re a sign of a well-developed sense of humour and imagination amongst the creators of the game, as well as a willingness to do something a little wackier than most. And the best thing about them is that their inclusion in the game world doesn’t seem forced. They seem to belong as part of the natural flora and fauna of the game world.