Why Don't NPC Casters Fizzle Spells?

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Allworth, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. Allworth Elder

    I've been playing EverQuest off and on since April of 1999. One thing I've noticed is how NPC casters seem to walk between the raindrops. NPCs and especially NPC casters play by different rules it seems. That's understandable to a point to make up for the lack of NPC artificial intelligence versus the natural intelligence of a player. Fair enough.

    I've always wondered why NPC casters never fizzle spells as their PC counterparts do. I've never seen a NPC caster experience a collapsed gate spell either.

    I've always thought that NPC casters are somewhat overpowered, due to the fact that they can only be interrupted by PC stuns and bash if you are lucky.

    It's worth remembering that melee NPC mobs do in fact miss occasionally their melee attacks like their PC counterparts. I think having NPC caster mobs fizzle and gate collapse occasionally would help facilitate more consistency, immersion, and fairness between PC and NPCs. If it's good enough for NPC melee mobs, it should be good enough for NPC caster mobs.

    I'm not sure how hard it would be for the developers to implement but it sure would be nice for them to code in a chance to fizzle percentages fizzle for NPC spell casters and chance to collapse gate NPC gate casters.

    Thanks for listening!
  2. Jaylnn Gnomish Bog Jogger

    I don’t really have an opinion about it. But does that mean you would support them using focus effects, and have the ability to crit?

    The counterpart of melee missing would be resisting spells
  3. Jhenna_BB Proudly Prestigious Pointed Purveyor of Pincusions

    Mob casters power is absolutely castrated compared to what a like level players ability to cast is. Just ask any player than was around at the time of the original release for Shadows of Luclin. It was terrifying. Quite by accident at expansion launch, caster mobs did cast the same spells as players and it was like every mob had harm touch but from a spell gem. All you did was die (if you could even log in due to server instability at the time).
    Wyre Wintermute likes this.
  4. Act of Valor The Newest Member

    I fondly remember The Kly in Dalnir that would proc ice comet from its melee attacks. Spells used to be terrifying.
    Andarriel and Allworth like this.
  5. Allworth Elder

    Yes, I would support NPC mobs having focus effects but only if they have equipped the focus items and they are droppable as loot on the NPC in question. Also, there are many NPC mobs that use the weapons that they drop including weapons that proc.

    Actually, both PCs and NPCs cast spells that can be resisted by the target of the spell. So spell resists are already equitable. What is not equitable is that only spells cast be PCs have the chance of fizzling but NPCs never fizzle.
  6. Spacemonkey555 Journeyman

    You want npc/pc equity? So you want to lose 50% of the time? They’d come at you in parties of 4-6 minimum and ignore tanks to kill the cc and healers first? Maybe gate should just take them out of play entirely, I mean what percentage of pc gate casts take them out of combat and yet leave them in the same zone? Every single pull you’d be tashed, malod, snared and slowed and ds removed by reverse ds, while the npcs are running around at bard speed trying to tag more pcs to bring back to their spawn. Every time they kill you they take 1-3 of your best items? Level 115 mobs coming to your newbie zone and farming you when you’re leveling up your lowbie and looting all your tradeskill drops?

    Do you really want equity? Seems like a silly thing to ask for, they’re made to present a minor challenge and give rewards, not actually be equal to players.

    Imagine pulling a mob, and it just flops, drops off ext target and stands back up. Party finally moves to mob and starts beating on it, so it uses an invulnerability and takes off running before snare can land. Party gives chase and rounds a corner to find 54 mobs waiting. Oops, you’re a raid target, and you weren’t pulling them, they were pulling you.
  7. Act of Valor The Newest Member

    Haha, that's a great way of explaining it.
    Tweakfour17, Andarriel and Windance like this.
  8. Windance Augur


    Best post of the week!
  9. Jaylnn Gnomish Bog Jogger


    Spell resists of player vs NPC are not even close to being equitable..... NPCs have unbelievably low resists vs what a player has. Anything out of super old expansions where a player has not gotten high resists yet, will resist near every Spell "cast" by an NPC. The non spell (generally non cast time) spells of an npc have resist modifiers put to them. So it is not the same thing.

    To make it equitable, every npc would need near 1k resists, and would then gut PC casters.

    So you would also support the ability for npcs to use their burn discs/aa/glyphs?
  10. Dre. Augur

    My merc fizzles.

    NPC casters are pretty overpowered. They basically have the same hp, ac and melee damage output as their melee bretheren. In fact, if there's anything "easier" about them it's when they decide to cast spells that don't land instead of just smacking you for half of your health with their bare fists.
    Fenthen and Allworth like this.
  11. Wulfhere Augur

    :D That's been happening for decades starting on Rallos Zek. It's called a PvP server. Haha! those were fun times.

    There was also a few weeks, circa 2000, where players could log in as random level 1 to 10 NPC in a random zone. Then you could fight any PC or other NPC. Killing other NPC gave experience and loot. When your monster was killed the game kicked you back to character select. If a PC killed you then they got all the loot you might have gotten in the minutes or hours that you roamed Norrath. I remember how truly scared those level 5 PC characters were when every orc pawn in West Freeport hunted them down. They never knew if the next rat was another player or not. Was it walking towards me on the sly? Was it moving at a run for no reason? Why is that skeleton killing bats? Did it just level up!? Is that goblin shaman buffing everything? Oh No!!

    It was so overwhelming that high level players had to come to the newbie zones to protect those leveling. It was like a zombie apocalypse. That game play experiment ended after a few short weeks because there was too much grief being handed out by hoards of player monsters. I think DBG should make this an annual Halloween event. It was wild fun.
  12. Allworth Elder

    I never said I wanted full equity between NPCs and PCs. You're making a strawman argument with the intent of making my question seem unreasonable and now this thread has been hijacked by nitpicking contrarians that like to argue for the sake of arguing which seems to be what constitutes entertainment on these forums. I'm not going to take the bait in a PC vs. NPC debate and go down a rabbit hole. If you want to have a debate on PC vs NPC power, please make another thread.

    All I did was to ask the question: why is it that only PCs fizzle spells and NPCs never fizzle spells?

    There has to be a modicum of behavioral equity and consistency between PCs and NPCs or the world stops making sense, immersion is eroded and people stop suspending their disbelief. Since both PCs and NPCs can miss their melee attacks, it is not unreasonable to think that both PCs and NPCs casters can also fizzle spells.

    To my knowledge, in 22 years nobody has ever asked that question. I believe it was an oversight in the original DikuMUD code that the developers just forgot to think about.
  13. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    I am pretty sure it is intentional just as you won't see them impacted by other casting mechanics that players have. An example is NPC's can channel spells through a lot of things that a player never could.
  14. Dre. Augur

    Cast/melee through walls, walk through locked doors. Warp.
  15. Wulfhere Augur

    I don't loose my sense of immersion from all that. Nor summoning mobs either. It's the lack of fizzling that ruins it! :D
    Stymie likes this.
  16. Allworth Elder


    Thanks for the bump!

    By they way, I never said there aren't worse examples of immersion breaking nonsense in EverQuest. :)

    Summoning mobs is probably the biggest offender of them all. It originally started as a GM command "You have been summoned by the gods..." and some enterprising dev figured it would be cool to give to all deities. Then another dev who was probably pressed for time figured we could have more mobs summon as a way to discourage soloing (Brad and the devs truly hated soloing back then...I wonder what those devs would think of mercs...hmmm) and make encounters more challenging. So now we have animals that magically talk when they summon you: "You shall not evade me Timmy!" etc.

    Other examples are mobs that manage to successfully cast heal and gate while 80 people are attacking it. Mobs that warp onto you. Mobs that heal and buff through walls. Mobs that open doors by themselves as someone just mentioned. Non healer mobs that heal to full health in a few seconds after no player is on their hate list. Mob corpses that speak after they are dead. Mobs that remember all 80 people that attacked them. Mobs who can see can't see invis but after you attacked them can see you if you invis after fleeing. Zones where the laws of physics stop working and prohibit levitation for no good reason. Water zones that allow ice and fire spells to be cast.

    Did I mention sit agro? Don't get me started on that one.
  17. Gialana Augur

    I don't pay attention to npc cast messages, but is it possible we just have the fizzle messages filtered out? Or does the game just not tell us when an npc fizzles?

    If npcs don't fizzle, then changing that behavior would only have whatever effect the programmers decide.

    They could put a pause before the npc casts another spell.

    They could call the random number generator again to see if the npc casts another spell and what spell that is. This would require more processing power, even if imperceptible. Also, this could result in more damage output by the npc if they decide to melee unless other changes are made.

    They could have the npc immediately recast the same spell. Since the calculations take place server-side, I expect a fizzling npc would cast a spell, fizzle, and recast in the span of a few milliseconds. If that's the case, then the only practical effect would be that we could see a fizzle message, and the cost would be some (I don't know how much) amount of server performance.

    Past a certain level, players fizzle seldomly unless their discipline skill is far behind. I don't see why a developer would take time to program an npc to cast a spell that it doesn't have the discipline to cast.

    So, if npcs truly don't fizzle, then I expect the answer to your question is that it wouldn't make a difference except requiring more processing time.
  18. kizant Augur

    It wouldn't be very immersive to me if NPCs could fizzle.
  19. Andarriel Everquest player since 2000

    NPC's dont fizzle because they need a edge vs PC's i mean most the time there probably going up against a group of players! I say make them fizzle but also make them able to just go for the healer's and crowd control people first fair trade! Seems to me some people just wanna make the npcs weaker than they are. Nothing wrong with them not fizzling spells.

    Andarriel
  20. Accipiter Old Timer

    I don't care if NPCs can fizzle, but I dislike how so many of their spells are insta-cast. You can pull from max distance on a snaring mob (looking at you Overthere), run immediately, and still get nailed by the spell. Some old school spells like Gate and CH still have a cast time.