ranged: lightning ( tracking hitscan )
Flying, long ranged snipers. They are slow moving, and prefer to stay high up, away from the player.
Although gaunts will always fly to patrol or attack, they can be placed perched on the ground while standing guard. Set the key
"perch" "1" on a gaunt to enable this.
The lightning, although hitscan, does in fact trail slightly behind the player, so a strafing player can fight a gaunt in a wide open area with no cover without taking any damage, if they are careful. They also play their hooting idle sounds with a much lower attenuation than other monsters. It can be a great atmosphere tool. However, should you not want that, then simply spawn them silently in when they are needed.
The gaunt was originally conceived to fill the role of ‘larger flying monster’. They now do this by two main properties above the scrag: health and persistance of ranged attack. As necros notes above, the lighting is not nearly as powerful as the shambler’s and players learn this quickly. The slow, langorous speed at which they flap through the air also mitigates their power. What makes the lightning powerful is the duration for which it fires and its hitscan nature: gaunts can damage the player from very far away or, preferably, very high up. Distance is the key to making gaunts dangerous, be it horizontal or vertical. This doesn’t mean they can’t appear indoors, but they prefer to remain above and aloof. Their high health means they will always live long enough to present some threat to the player.
With the emphasis on distance, fighting gaunts with shotguns is boring. NG and SNG are good because, although the nails travel fast, they are not hitscan and with more than one gaunt around ammo is going to run out sooner rather than later. The RL is an easier weapon to wield because it is more or less desigend to knock large, slow targets at a distance, but its slower ROF also gives gaunts a little more time to retaliate with hitscan. The LG and GL are so limited by range they are rarely effective against gaunts. The PG, with it’s faster ROF and travel speed, is pretty much the ideal for players to take gaunts out of their airspace.
Anyone with a good memory may recall the special ability the gaunt was originally to have, the gauntdrop. This has not been abandoned but the highly unusual nature of the behaviour demands that we implement it as rigourously as possible. It is not available in this version of Quoth, but when it appears in a later update it will not cause incompatability. Any appearance of the gaunts in current release maps will continue to work.