ranged: drolebombs ( projectile splash )
The basic concept for this bizarre monster is to provide Quake’s bestiary with a ‘blunt’ version of the shambler – large and tough, with a strong melee attack and projectile-splash instead of hitscan for its ranged attack. Its health and attacks place it a bit below the shambler but above the death brigade. Like a vore, but fast.
Since debuting the drole in Chapters, we have rapidly come to the conclusion that we allowed the drole to become too powerful. We try, but summoning Lovecraftian monsters affects even our grip on reality. So the speed at which the drole-bombs travel has been slightly reduced, and the damage inflicted by the tentacles in melee has been substantially reduced.
Never let it be said that we don’t have our players’ best interests at heart, even if that heart is cold, dripping and attached to the wall with a spike.
The most complex piece of the drole’s behaviour is drole-rage.
When a drole is wounded below 350 health it roars in a distinctive way and becomes enraged. This causes two important changes in its behaviour:
Attack preference – before becoming enraged, the drole is predominantly, though not exclusively, range oriented. It will advance at a fast walk towards the player and shoot frequently. On reaching melee it will attack with double-swipes of each pair of tentacles, alternating left and right at a reasonable rate.
When it becomes enraged, the drole’s emphasis shifts from ranged to melee. It will charge the player, strafing and shooting less as it closes the distance; within a short distance, it will just charge.
On reaching melee, it will pummel the player with its tentacles in an attempt to kill the arrogant bastard as fast as fucking possible. Note that once engaged in melee, droles are relentless; they continue to advance, unlike shamblers, so the old ‘shambler dance’ tactic of provoking a melee attack then backing off is harder to execute against droles.
This behavious is integral to all droles; it cannot be disabled.
Drolejump – this uses the trigger_drolejump entity. It is identical to a trigger_monsterjump but only affects droles and only when they are enraged. With it, an enraged drole can be made to leap off a surface to charge the player. A drole can actually be placed in your map completely inside a trigger_drolejump and it will not be affected by it until enraged.
Good setups for this involve stationing droles as sentries on walkways or guard platforms from which they can bombard the player below with their ranged attacks. Once sufficiently wounded by the player’s retaliation, their rage will trigger them to jump off their vantage points to charge across open ground.
Being dependant on the placing of trigger_drolejumps, this behaviour is at the mapper’s discretion.
Just as wielding the LG against a shambler is a case of ‘fight lightning with lightning’, the best way to combat a drole is to use projectile-splash against projectile-splash. Unlike shamblers, droles suffer normal damage from explosives. The RL allows the player to kill a drole quickly while maintaining their distance, thus increasing the opportunity to dodge its bombs. The GL is similar, but obviously has useful gameplay implications if the drole begins on an elevated surface.
Nail weapons usually provide a more involved combat, with more chance of the drole reaching melee range even across larger rooms.
Fighting a drole with shotguns is like trying to halt a charging rhino with a mallet.