Creature Aggression (Game Mechanics)

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Mechanics This document is about game mechanics.

Game Mechanics

Creatures in SWG use a complex system to detect the presence of potential enemies. Once a target is detected, a number of processes execute to determine if the creature should attack the target or not. The process of target detection and creature response are explained under the following categories:

  • Awareness Checks
  • Approach Trigger Events

Awareness Checks

The ability for a creature to detect another target depends on a number of factors:

  • The Target's distance from the creature
  • The detecting creature being a stalker
  • The target's posture
  • The target's movement speed
  • The usage of mask scent or camouflage
  • Being in combat with the target
  • Presence of collidible objects

Note: There are no known formulas for detection chances.

The distance of a target from the creature is the initial trigger for creature behaviors. At 128 meters, creatures with stalking behavior will have a chance to chase after potential targets. Target's with mask scent or camouflage counter this behavior and stalking behavior cannot be initiated by creatures against targets with these effects up. Stalking behavior is not necessarily actual detection but resembles real-world hunter-prey where the hunting animal is following the scent of the potential prey, although not necessarily having spotted the prey item yet. The goal of stalking is to get the creature within awareness and detection range of the target. Non stalking and stalking creatures begin actual target detection checks at 64 meters. Whenever a target enters the detection range of creatures, the system begins an awareness check cycle where at every cycle, the target's current posture, movement speed and distance are calculated into an detection response chance by the creature. Target's with mask scent or camouflage utilize their own roll check at this stage. Successful passing of the mask scent or camouflage will override any awareness checks against the target. If the creature passes the detection chance then the target's presence is made aware to the creature and awareness triggers begin. When a creature becomes aware of a target within its awareness range, the creature indicates their knowledge of the target through a flytext question mark "?"

Note: The presence of collidible objects between a target and a creature creates a blind spot for the creature. Targets behind collidible objects are not able to be detected.

Distance affects on awareness -

The closer a target is to the creature, the greater the chances that the creature will be made aware of the target. A creature's awareness increases significantly against targets that are at 40 meters or closer to them.

Posture affects on awareness -

The three types of posture of a target will have great effects on the detection chances of the creature. Standing posture provides the least chance to the target in its check against a creature's awareness; Kneeling provides a lesser chance to the target and Prone posture provides the best chances to the target.

Movement speed affects on awareness -

The movement speed of the target offers a penalty against its check with a creature's awareness. The slower that the target is moving, the higher its chances of remaining undetected. Stationary targets have the best chance of remaining hidden while targets that are walking, running, mounted or using vehicles have higher chances.

Being in Combat -

If the target has initiated an attack on the creature then this will automatically trigger awareness of the target, however aggression will not be triggered until the creature has detected the target. Creatures in combat will initiate patrolling behavior and roam around trying to detect their attacker.

Approach Trigger Events

Whenever an npc, creature or player enters within a 64 meter range of a creature and the creature passes an initial awareness check, several events may be triggered depending on the creature:

  •  ! - Detection
  • \|/ - Fight or Flight Response


Once the creature has passed an awareness check, it will then use the same awareness mechanics to perform a detection roll at every cycle. The purpose of the detection check is to find the actual location of the target. Creatures cannot respond to aggression until they have actually detected the target first. If the creature passes this roll then the target is detected and the creature may then begin its fight or flight response to the potential threat. When a creature successfully detects a target it will react and signal with an exclamation mark "!" Creatures are also automatically given detection on a target if any one of the surrounding lair mates spots a target or if a Scout creature from the lair alarms the lair mates after being attacked. Unaggressive and timid MOBs will stand and look at the target, but may quickly decide to take action. A target's chance of being detected increases significantly if the target is at 40 meters or less from the creature. Target's that initiate combat against a creature dramatically increase their detection chances. Target's will also be automatically be detected after a given amount of time if they have initiated combat against a creature, although they may still be detected normally through distance/posture checks. The exact timing is unknown but its possibly within a fixed time of the attack (perhaps 20 seconds). Target's will also automatically be detected if they inflict a bleed on the creature or if they miss the creature twice in a row while using the Concealed Shot ability. Target detection can be overridden by using mask scent or camouflage or the use of the conceal shot ability. If a target leaves the awareness range of a creature, and then re-enters then the process resets and begins again. If a creature has had aggressive actions taken against it and detects the target, then the target is immediately aggroed and pursued.

Fight or Flight Response

Upon detecting a target, the creature will then initiate another roll to determine what it's response will be. Non aggressive creatures will choose from a number of responses (dependant on the type of creature) ranging from bluff charging the target to actually fleeing the target's immediate presence. Pack creatures will automatically go to the aid and defense of similar social group creatures that are under attack by the target. Aggressive creatures may engage in charges and/or then begin a check to determine if they will actively attack the spotted target. The chance for a creature to immediately begin combat with the detected target is determined by the creature's ferocity. A higher ferocity increases the chance that a creature will become aggressive against the detected target in range. An aggression check cycle is started which uses the creature's ferocity value to determine the chance that it will then begin attacking provided that the target remains in a detected state. The closer a detected target is to the creature, the higher the chances are that the creature will perform some kind of response (bluff charge, fleeing, aggression). Whenever a creature is involved in a fight or flight response it will issue a unique alarm signal "\\|/"

Note: During Pre-cu, if a creature target was already damage by a player and the player escaped combat and came back within 64 meters of the target, then the creature was given enhanced awareness of the player and detection chances. This dramatically increased the re-aggro rate.

Formulas Needed

  • Awareness check cycles using target's distance, posture, movement speed and combat state as variables
  • Detection check cycles using target's distance, posture, movement speed and combat state as variables
  • Aggression check cycles using creature's ferocity and target's distance as variables
  • Non aggressive creature Flight response / bluff charge check cycles using target's distance as variables

Source References

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