Expert Expansion: Bringing Expert Mode AI Changes into Early and Mid-Hardmode

Discussion in 'NPCs & Enemies' started by Fortanono, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Fortanono

    Fortanono Retinazer

    So, right now, Expert Mode's changes end at Skeletron and begin again at Fishron and the Lunatic Cultist. I think we need a lot more than that. So, here are the changes I would make to bosses in Expert Mode of Hardmode.

    I. Meat Walls

    The problems don't just start at Hardmode, but in pre-HM there's still a boss that needs stuff: The Wall of Flesh. It's the same fight, basically, and there's so much creative stuff to be done in this fight both with how it plays with the 2D game layout, and the fact it's the last boss you'll face in pre-Hardmode. So, let's figure some stuff out.

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    Boss: Wall of Flesh
    Fight Changes: The first half of the fight, you won't notice too much of a change. However, the Wall now only has the amount of health it had in Normal mode, 8000, and there's another peculiar bit to the fight. A ball of flesh. The Ball of Flesh, which looks like a WoF mask the size of a Skeletron head, is quite an additional foe. For the first part of the fight, it's invincible, and basically follows closely above you like a raven stalking its prey. You basically can't outrun it. At times, it will stop in place and vomit a barrage of 5-10 Leeches in a cone below it, but you have time to escape it before that happens. After which, it immediately returns to following you. You then kill the Wall itself, and are greeted with the message:

    Wall of Flesh has been defeated?

    But the Ball is still after you. It becomes much more erratic and does not track you anymore, much like a Skeletron head or Eye of Cthulhu. It fires a ton of lasers at you, sometimes targeted and sometimes in 16 directions around it, while continuing to vomit leeches. This phase has 3000 health. Once defeated, you get the message:

    Wall of Flesh has re-awoken!

    But... o brother, this time it's going the other direction! With 5200 health, the new wall has no Hungry but continues to vomit Leeches and shoot lasers. And it moves incredibly fast. This is the Wall's revenge. Don't let it reach the end.

    TL;DR:
    You fight the new WoF in three ways, the first being the same as normal except with a Ball of Flesh minion to give you trouble. After the Wall is killed, you have to kill the Ball, and then the Wall comes supercharging you from the direction it hadn't been going originally.

    II. Mecha Mayhem

    So, Hardmode's a thing now, and you gotta fight some mechs. Except now, the mechanical bosses are a bit more linear. You can fight them in any order, but some are much, much harder than others. In this suggestion, the mech progression goes: Skeletron Prime, Destroyer, Twins. Skeletron Prime is the easiest because, well, it's a lot like a fight you've done before. The other two are just loaded with tricks.

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    Boss: Skeletron Prime
    Added Debuffs to Fight: Broken Armor (Vice), Bleeding (Saw)
    Fight Changes: This fight works almost exactly like the Skeletron fight in Expert. So basically, you kill both its arms, and then it shoots homing skulls. I say "both" because, well, the Prime Cannon and Prime Laser are invincible, and so you can only and only need to take down the Vice and Saw. So, very similar fight, but a reprise of the current strongest Expert Mode fight. Idea being to get you warmed up for what's to come.

    TL;DR:
    It's not that long this time. You'll want this for the other segments, but just wait on this one.

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    Boss: Destroyer
    Added Debuffs to Fight: Ichor (new ichor attack), Slow (direct contact with worm)
    Fight Changes: We don't have a Crimson counterpart to this, now do we? But do we necessarily need one though? I suggest that it basically become a Crimson counterpart to itself. You see, a worm boss battle like this one will never be hard unless you make these things immune to penetration, which has not been seen amongst any worms as far as I know. So, my plan is to add a Brain counterpart to the fight with the worm counterpart.

    At 80,000 health, a Destroyer Core comes out. 40 of the segments, whether they have probes or not, disappear and turn into Orbital Probes, while the remaining segments with probes in them turn orange and fire ichor at you. These orange segments will not fly out and become regular probes like in the rest of the fight. Orbital Probes work like the BoC's Creepers, and they shoot lasers at you while surrounding the Destroyer Core, which has 10,000 health and can teleport. Kill them to damage the core, and then kill the Core to damage the worm. Once the worm is vulnerable (albeit shorter), the orange probes turn red again and can continue to be released. Once the Destroyer reaches 40,000 health, another Core comes out, reducing the destroyer by 40 segments total and starting the ichor and probe stuff again. Kill the Core again to kill the worm finally, once and for all.

    TL;DR: Make the Destroyer release a mech Brain type minion when reaching certain levels of health; you have to kill these 'cores' to be able to damage the worm proper again. The Destroyer shoots ichor while you fight the cores.

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    Boss: The Twins
    Added Debuffs to Fight: N/A
    Fight Changes: Like in Skeletron and Skeletron Prime, you have to kill the parts in order. In this case, you fight Spaz before Ret, and have to kill him first. After killing Spazmatism, though, things get a tad crazy. Basically, Spazmatism does not disappear when killed, but rather, it becomes a metal husk and is basically swung around by Retinazer as a flail (think Eggman's wrecking ball from the Sonic games). He swings like a pendulum, slowly, back and forth, all the while releasing sparks of cursed Molotov-style flames.

    While that is happening, Retinazer goes into second form immediately when Spaz is killed and starts swinging, so he starts firing a ton of lasers faster than even in Normal mode. Sometimes, the guy even shoots out a barrage of lasers in a cone from its blaster. But what does he do at half health? Well, he becomes his third phase, and a Phantasmal Deathray-style short range laser is involved in this phase. So... lots and lots of chaos. I truly expect this to be the Skeletron of Hardmode bosses in this plan.

    TL;DR: You have to kill Spaz first before damaging Ret. Once Spaz is dead, Ret becomes second form, fires a ton of lasers at you, and gains a solid red laser in a new third form at half health. All the while, he is using Spaz's dead corpse as a bludgeoney boi that spews cursed fire.

    III. The Plant, the Golem and the Dragon

    This will be the final segment of the idea, because they changed things about Duke Fishron and Lunatic Cultist, and I don't believe in giving normal-mode players a watered down version of the final boss, even though for other bosses it's fine. So let's begin.

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    Boss: Plantera
    Added Debuffs to Fight: Venom (thorn balls)
    Fight Changes: I feel like some bosses should have complete overhauls and some shouldn't, and I feel like Plantera is one of the bosses that shouldn't. I just feel like she should gain one new feature to the battle, much like the Lunatic's Ancient Dooms or EoC's rapid charge. So, look at what I say about this fight in that lens.

    When Plantera reaches half health in Phase 2, it summons three Children of Plantera from the sides of the screen, which are basically mini-first phase Planteras. These things grab onto features of the terrain, like Plantera herself, and shoots green seeds at you that inflict Poison. You don't have to pay attention to these, but they're there anyway to make you annoyed.

    TL;DR: More plants.

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    Boss: Golem
    Added Debuffs to Fight: On Fire! (light attacks), Weak (fists)
    Fight Changes: After Golem's body is defeated, you have to kill its head. The head basically flies around really fast, like Duke Fishron does in third phase, but much, much smaller. It alternates between four attacks:

    1. It shoots lasers like is normally does.
    2. It shoots 8 waves of energy in all cardinal directions, and 4 faster firing lasers in the four main cardinal directions. So the effect is that these lasers fly out further than the waves.
    3. It shoots homing rings of fire at you like the skulls in the Skeletron fight. They pass through blocks but can be destroyed.
    4. It shoots bouncing fireballs that lie on the ground Molotov style.

    Kill this phase to win the fight.

    TL;DR: A whole new third phase to the fight with just the head and a bunch of new attacks.

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    Boss: Betsy
    Added Debuffs to Fight: Shadowflame, Withered Armor, Withered Weapon (new land curse attack)
    Fight Changes: Keep in mind I have never fought OOA past tier 1, never had the need to. So, my idea is based on a DD2 attack titled "Curse Land" and not what would actually fit the fight. Not sure if it's the way to go, but whatever.

    Betsy can fire a shadow fireball that turns any grass it touches deep purple, more so than the Corruption. This is temporary and not going to stay after the fight. This land will inflict Shadowflame and a random Withered debuff when touched. A direct hit from the fireball results in Martian Saucer-level pwnage and all three debuffs. Cheesing it with no grass around is fine, but a lot won't think of that.

    What do you think?
     
    neoselket and MinerTurtle45 like this.
  2. Lord Garak

    Lord Garak Retinazer

    Besides Golem these bosses already have significant changes, and I don't agree with pointlessly gating the mechs. Completely altering fights isn't the way to improve expert mode.
     
  3. neoselket

    neoselket Ice Queen

    Very cool and creative, although i feel that this would better fit a mod than vanilla.
     
    temery2383 likes this.
  4. Fortanono

    Fortanono Retinazer

    Fair. I guess I made a big point of saying they're a bit linear, but to be honest the only thing you could get that'd help you from the mechs would be the Megashark and maybe Hallowed gear. Most of the powerful weapons are available mech or no mech, and so your strategy on the whole of Hardmode won't change much IMO.

    Also, what would you prefer to see in Expert Mode? Just the increased stats we have now? Or do you want like 1-2 new attacks? I can see both points, but.
     
    temery2383 likes this.
  5. Sigma90

    Sigma90 Brain of Cthulhu

    I: Wall of Flesh
    I quite like the idea of it re-awakening and coming back from the other direction! That feels like a good Expert mode difference. I'm more iffy on the Ball of Flesh... not sure if it fits in well. Adding lasers is probably a no because lasers are hardmode boss things. For incredibly fast, I assume it should still be possible to outrun it with some good boots?

    II: Mech Bosses
    Added debuffs to Skele Prime is sensible. It gives the hands a bit of variety. Though perhaps the damage inflicted should be reduced a little to compensate. Perhaps another change I'd consider is that Prime's head is completely invincible until all hands are destroyed.
    Retinazer getting a charged laser like the UFO or Moon Lord is probably a good idea. Its current lasers are very inaccurate. Something that deals heavy damage would make Retinazer more of a threat. Of course, the laser could still be blocked by blocks. Rather than having Retinazer use Spazmatism as a bludgeon, just have one eye use the other eye as a bludgeon after either eye is defeated. They're still connected by a tendril, so the dead eye can be swung around as (literal) dead weight.

    III: After mech bosses
    No further comments.

    Edit: As mentioned by Fortanono below, WoF already has lasers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  6. Fortanono

    Fortanono Retinazer

    Lasers already exist in the WoF fight. It was 1.1, devs wanted a consistent theme I guess. :p
    I see your point about the Ball though. I'll see what I could do with that. Was more meant as a gateway to the other half of the fight, cause making it physically switch directions without actually being a burden would be difficult.
    Bludgeon: Good thought too, although I'm having trouble picturing how Ret would have any attacks other than being swung in that state. Spaz kinda leaks cursed flames.
     
    Sigma90 likes this.