As you probably know, the next major version of Airships is going to introduce NPC monsters like dragons and giant sky krakens. I'm now implementing this menagerie, and it occurred to me that I should also ask for suggestions from the audience. :)
So what kind of monsters am I looking for? Ones that look cool, have cool special abilities, or (this in particular) requires an unusual strategy to defeat. A major point with these monsters is adding more variety to combat, and making players come up with new, weird ship designs to defeat them.
An important thing to consider is that the monsters need to be either able to fly, or have some convincing way of attacking aerial targets. Otherwise they are trivially defeated by airships.
The usual caveats apply: no guarantee that anything you suggest will appear, no guarantee of credit or any other compensation for your ideas.
Air Lord, Engineering Corps
Since your adding tentacled monsters, a cuttlefish-like enemy that's squishier compared to the krakens but can become untargetable/invisible for a few seconds would be an interesting addition.
(And terrify airship crew with the fact that at any given moment there might be a huge invisible monster nearby to smash the ship Sunless Sea style)
What monsters do you already have planned so far?
Planned so far: aerial krakens, dragons, giant owls, giant spiders, fleshcrackers, pirates.
An enemy with a "cloaking device" could definitely be interesting...
As strange as it sounds, zombie plague.
Essentially, at random a sailor in one of your ships will contract the zombie plague. At this point you are loaded into the battle map, and get to watch as this crew member infects and possibly "eats" other crew members.
Zombies have a much lower chance of being hit due to the headshot side of things and are moderately slower.(Crew member react to zombies as they would react to marines. Except with a fear factor)
And you can get creepy mutated variations that can jump onto other ships.
Just my two cents.
Suspendium hornet nests:
Does nothing but float around, but if aggravated by gunfire it spawns swarms of head-sized hornets that will quickly invade the offending vehicles and kill crew members.
Mainframes(They should probably be given a more creative name):
Large flying suspendium automatons with a medium forward facing cannon, they have two metal arms protruding from their front with large hunks of metal shielding on the 'forearm' used for protection and to bash away enemies that get too close.
On a side note relating to the second one and for lore purposes I'd like to pitch the idea of autonomous machines outlasting their creators in Airships, kinda like the Sentinels and the Forerunners from Halo.
It would also allow us to bend the law of checking to see if a technology only existed in a certain time period.
I imagine the Mainframes would exist as border guards for the now non-existent borders left behind by some advanced nation/race/whatever in Airships but that's just me throwing an idea out there.
Giant spiders to tussle with your legged landships.
Ooh, I like the mainframes idea. I have a fondness for steampunk/clockpunk AIs.
Oh, and suspendium bees are gonna be a thing, I forgot to list them. See this teaser image for floathoney:
I think we should have more crew responses for the monster update with new criteria relating to the new monsters.
(for example a crewman might say "NOT THE BEES!!" when killed by a suspendium wasp)
I realized no one asked this.
What types of dragons are you going to be adding in? (I LOVE DRAGONS!!!)
Like wyverns, Asian lung(long dragons with 4 legs,not wings), western dragons (4 legs 2 wings) European dragons (like a wyvern but breathes fire or something)?
Also are they going to have breath weapons? If so what are their breath weapons going to be fire, susideum (like the cannons)?
If you like steampunk will you be adding in robotic dragons? Would they shoot steam, have smaller dragons (like air marines) boarding or acting like drones? Or would they just be like regulars but robotic.
Also I know this is not a suggestion for a monster but will be able to capture and train/augment/armor them?
Sorry for asking so many questions but i'm really excited!
Mostly ham dragons. Their primary attack will be ham.
Literal ham dragons?
The more I look at this image the more I realize this should be in the game.
That is an amazing image.
I feel some sort of long-armed giant or robot that just swats smaller airships and clambers onto and possibly eats larger ones wouldn't go amiss.
Commander, Engineering Corps
How about a sarlacc-type monster? It would appear on larger Suspendium islands and function like a vertical version of the squid, latching onto and dragging down smaller ships that fly too close.
Clueboe's idea makes me think we need giant barnacle like creatures that will latch onto airships from islands and weigh them down.
I like Firebird's idea, something that doesn't kill, but still hinders.
There should be semi-mechanized creatures like squids with steel armor and cannons.
Maybe some sort of science experiment gone wrong?
I saw these on youtube. A literal airship and 2 mech creatures.
I had an idea for giant suspendium crabs, huge crab-like monstrosities that use giant suspendium plates as their shells to keep them from collapsing on themselves.
They would have very powerful claws that could smash, toss or crush low altitude airships and land vehicles while being able to shed small parts of their shells and send them off as big chunks of suspendium hurtling towards flying vehicles.
I think Suspendium crabs could be territorial creatures that don't care for eating airship crew, just smashing anything that is big and mobile, and could look like normal mountains in the battle setup making it hard to tell if one might show up in battle.
Perhaps air pirates could use hollowed-out squid carcasses as hulls for their ship.
Hee, you should put that picture onto the Steam artwork tab.
As someone said on the kraken blog, if there's a giant squid, there should be a giant air whale!
A sperm whale. No, not that kind.
Suspendium pufferfish, hose bloated fish. They are rather peaceful, but are explosive due to the unstable nature of suspendium. They would appear in a small group during airship battles against AI, or maybe even multiplayer. They float around spread across the map, they act like mines. They move slowly up and down, but don't actively hunt you down, and explode upon collision dealing lots of blast damage.
Moby Dick please! A GIANT floating white sperm whale that can eat whole ships in 1 bite and leave (small ships, like 200 to 400) , or even just take a bite, the old bite and run!
I TOTALLY agree that Moby Dick would be AWESOME! It's classic and fits so well with the theme. Wasn't Ham Dragons a band? How about a giant Cthulhu? He could use his call to cause blast damage to all ships in combat with a percentage to blow crew out of their ships.
giant siege worms! It causes earthquakes and stuns the crew of ships by using an extremely powerful sound wave that also temporarily stuns crew and deal medium to heavy module damage. After killing 3 you would gain the technology to build sonic boom generator cannons and gain the ability to stun and heavily disable airships.
I have a monster related question what about the dragon heraldry? Could it let you start with the dragon rider tech? They are gonna be expensive anyway (I mean spider-legs are expensive as well) so that could be balance.
Think suspendium bees could be a good thing when defeated?
Say the bees are smart enough animals to be tamed (via aerial combat of course), and tame suspendium hives can increase the profit generated by cities through selling suspendium jelly as well as defend against any invaders.
Wild suspendium bees will just ignore people and harvest gaint flowers.
Suspendium wasps on the other hand exist as well and have a less than nice relationship with humans (as predators who's main food source is to pillage cities for people/livestock to eat).
Yep, the dragon heraldry does start you out with the dragon rider tech. :) And while you can't tame Suspendium bees, defeating a hive does give you a cash windfall from the honey.
Danget, I hope you do consider adding solitary Suspendium wasps, though.
Basically acting as a very fast moving and hard hitting enemy that stings your ships to pieces.
Also re-reading your post on how monsters come into the game, are fleshcracker clanks going to be a thing? You mentioned mad science.
Yep. So right now there are two types of monster nests implemented: dragons and giant spiders. Some other things that are firmly on the todo list:
Create them? Holy crap that gave me an idea, do you mean they build them in combat? because they totally should just have a factory that continually creates them until destroyed!
OMG! I LOVE EVERYTHING about this sentence, "Mad scientists that create fleshcracker clanks"! I cannot wait to get my hands on the next update!
Er, what ARE fleshcracker clanks anyway?
In a nutshell, robots designed to board ships and eat people (as a terror weapon).
Ah, so basically, Mech spiders?
Wait did Zark say cultists?
Summoning ham dragons no doubt.
(Zark please make ham dragons a 1/200 chance to replace normal dragon encounters, it would be so great)
Firebird11 - monsters will be fully moddable, so hamdragons will be well within reach.
And yes, Cultists:
(Note oglaf.com is very NSFW in general, this is one of the few comics that aren't.)
Even being very religiously inclined, that's a hilarious comic :)
Needless to say, the cults will steer well clear of any symbols or names related to actual religions.
I am... really not a fan of that trope where a writer puts in an "evil cult" that just so happens to look a lot like a real religion the writer dislikes. Or the related practice of having a "cult" that is supposedly a splinter sect of a real religion that just so happens to do terrible things traditionally ascribed to the religion itself.
They could be Neo Nazis right? That's not a religion. At least I hope it's not.
I don't blame you Zark for wanting to tread lightly on the subject of religion.Looking forward to all of the cool features, such as cultists & monsters, coming in future devs!
That's actually a pretty good idea Zarkonnen, that way your not unintentionally conditioning people to dislike other groups. It's not like your ever going to turn people into murderers, but it does make people seem to think being an -censored/ rear- is OK to them. Yay psychology!
(see: current modern warfare/COD games, they use anybody but america/especially Muslims as the generic enemy last time I checked)
(revisits his old copy of COD) Yep that's pretty much it.
Hmmm, what about a cult that worships machines? Or a cult that considers them "the devils work?"
I just picture a cult that considers machinery holly and considers it a privilege to have a limb cut off and replaced with a robotic appendage.
Swarms of suspendium squids, 50-100 little squids moving freakishly fast... straight through your airship. After breaking through the front they will fly straight toward the other end (through walls, engines, ammo stores, etc.) Grabbing every crew member they come across, lifting them into the air, and eating them.
Giant suspendium golems would also be a neat black magic sorcerer/monster hybrid enemy that has no ranged attack, but is so tall it doesn't need one and can just punch airships right out of the sky.
When shooting the suspendium golem shards would break off of it and become airship-seeking projectiles for attacking super high altitude airships and very maneuverable ones.
A reward for killing it could be golem wall panels, which give airships the same retaliation shard ability.
Ah, theflub, you've read about Humboldt Squid then? :D
Alright... How about some sort of rogue clockwork AI that captures ships for its own purposes?
And also some sort of Sandworm type monster, just cause, well, it's awesome!
Death Mist, a huge collection of dark coloured microorganisms that looks like a dark fog, it eats through wooden airships and sailors alike with brutal efficiency.
It is attracted to airships. For the ship surrounded by them they would dramatically reduce accuracy, only take damage from flamethrowers and do damage over time to ship walls, components and airsailors!
Killing this blight could give you Death Mist Bombs, a type of bomb bay that spawns death mist on enemies.
Sounds... great actually!
Just realized we're missing something important.
We need sea creatures to be blights as well (we have some on the campaign map don't we?).
We won't even need water, a sea creature encounter would be an encounter with a huge enemy with no terrain.
For example a 'sea dragon' blight (or something) would be the head/neck of a giant dragon and the body would be 'underwater' (off screen and unhittable).
You kill it by attacking the above water face/neck, this means these monsters would be freaking huge ones.
Revelation brought to you by an offhand comment made by OfficialStuff+, a guy who's been playing/reviewing airships for a very long time now. We should add a flag that's a '+' symbol named 'generican' or something for him, he's contributed lots to the popularity of Airships.
I somewhat I agree with firebird on the flag thing. Officialstuffplus WAS the way I learned about the game anyway. And, firebird, could I build on your idea of sea monster blights? How about if we give submarines the ability to target the lower end of the monster?
The ideas are put on the forum for the purpose of being expanded.
Also, torpedoooeeez... And this could be implemented now, even before water and other things, sea monsters, I mean.
OfficialStuffPlus was also the way I found out about Airships.
Honestly, we could simply rename aerial torpedoes"torpedoes" give them a slightly different sprite, make it a Sea vessel only weapon,and,BAM,we have normal torpedoes.
Anyways, I still haven't seen the elusive ham dragon yet.
If it were to be a monster you can fight I want it to be able to lure hungry air sailors out of the windows of their airships with it's ham breath attack, causing them to fall to their death.
At which point it turns from a flying succulent piece of ham into it's true form as a horrifying rotten flesh beast and flies off with their corpses to it's nest and turns them into more disfigured flesh monsters!
(Wow that sounds horrifying, even moreso than the evil black magic thing. Makes sirens seem lovely.)
Hey Zarkonnen did you ever decide to do anything with the Mainframes idea earlier in this topic? I'd really love to see that now, especially with fighter like things planned.
..And to see what kind of horrifying ancient robots you can come up with to torture poor air sailors.
They could be a type of flying enemy that actually patrols between two blight areas on the map and intercepts anything that goes near by.
Yeah, I definitely like that idea... Mind you, I like just about every idea on this forum ^_^
The Ham Dragon will be day 1 DLC, obviously.
^This was the best thing that was ever written on this forum^
Giant Moth: A giant moth monster that spawns in groups of 6-8 that repeatedly circles and rams airships until either the ship or the creature is destroyed.
The moths attack during normal nighttime battles and will go after the ships with the most illumination (gunfire, fire, etc contribute to a ship's illumination, but it goes down over time).
I couldn't help make up some mock descriptions for them:
Giving phototactic a whole new meaning, be sure to keep the lights out when the fluttering of mega moths can be heard if you want to avoid your airship being shoved to pieces.
While not intentionally harmful, mega moths are blindly attracted to airship lights and have a nasty habit of ramming into them in droves much like their smaller counterparts' attraction to house lamps.
Seems kinda cool...
By the way Zarkonnen, did you ever read/consider that comment we made about OfficialStuffPlus from earlier?
He's probably considering it...
"A mechanical monstrosity designed to bring the most battle-hardened nations to their knees, Shipcracker Clanks are devastating in combat at all ranges and angles. If you hope to destroy this terror you better bring the largest army you can muster and hope for the best."
Hulking multi-limb Shipcracker Clanks are one of the strongest opponents in the game, towering at over half the battle map height.
Their tentacle-like bashing arms go for ship modules down the middle instead of crew. Effectively splitting ships in half at short ranges.
Other armaments include Repeating rocket launchers, super heavy Gatling guns, a sniper rifle and a large grappling tether 'tongue'.
Shipcracker Clanks only appear one at a time, and only if two superpower factions remain on the campaign map.
I feel a proper super clanker is a must now that I've seen the current ones. What do you guys think?
Image found on DeviantArt by this artist: http://burnintaco.deviantart.com/art/Origins-Giant-Robot-464709341
Yes. Just yes.
I think it has to be said that the current rendition of the fleshcracker's grabbing arm is a bit too obvious as a re-skinned squid arm.
The final version should likely have 6 to 10 segments and be more reliant on rotating joints than the muscle-segment-flexing that made sense for an organic being. Giant hulks of metal just don't undulate in a smooth manner like that.
EDIT: Unless, you want to make up a lore excuse like it actually really is a severed Sky Kraken tentacle reanimated and grafted to the mechanical body. But even that is being a bit blunt.
Hmm, good point. I'll see how well it works to have fewer, longer segments.
Basically, Giant demonic wolves that are summoned by cultists. They can breathe fire and maul ships by ripping them apart.
"Air cannibals are equally one of the least well armed and most feared opponents in the outskirts. Don't underestimate them and never let them get close to your ships." -Strategist's compendium of the outlands.
Cannibals are very straightforward in airship combat, so much so that they use their ships directly as ramming and boarding weapons and foregoing the whole shooting phase, the designs come equipped with many decks and short range grappling hooks.
Air Cannibals are extremely fast and have a high jump but in boarding combat they are weak melee units, as a human-only diet tends make one a bit weak. Malnutrition's OK though, as it only makes their horde more ferocious.
Veteran Air Cannibal leaders are stronger boarding units. They wander enemy ships during combat and kidnap downed opponents, delivering them to the prison room on the cannibal ship so you won't get them to a medbay anytime soon after boarding.
They'd probably look something like these guys from Kenshi:
Give them a floating box with a steering wheel and your good to go!
Oooh, Cultists! Will our robe clad initiates be aesthetically inspired by Crowley or Lovecraft or someone else? Will they inhale suspendium dust or put it in their eyes so they can attain enlightenment, or so that they can fly eternal, glimmering and teal? Will spooky ghost ships haunt the skies? Will tentacled shoggoths terrorize the countryside?
Pregnant. Wolf. Spider.
Okay, that is rather disgusting and makes me want to puke. On the other hand: Yes, it woud be morbidly plesant to see something like this in game.
Perhaps it could work along the same lines as the bees, only that it either happens once the "host" is dead, or like when you try to shake pepper out of a pepper shaker (as it takes damage, more spew out).
Oh! I had an idea for a monster! It'd be an automated battleship, that used similar technology to the mech spiders or flesh crackers to just pilot a whole ship. However, rather than a mad scientist creation doing what it's supposed to, the ship would be written as something an -empire- was trying out that rebelled.
Oh no! The spider got squashed! You need to mention that kind of cruelty vs animals! :/
Whoops. I'll have to keep that in mind D:
If it's only one giant ship, would it be possible to have it act like an airship that is inbound on something the entire time? This way you could have a giant ship flying around the map, endlessly terrorising nations.
Has anyone noticed were still missing the kraken, turtledoves, and cultists? And what about Mainframes, ship cracker clanks, air nomads, and giant owls?
I feel so confused as to where they have gone...
Most if not all of these are planned for v9.4. :)
ooh, i haven't heard of these until now, awesome :)
Add a magicarp as an easter egg. Killing it would give 1000 credits.