Monday, January 22, 2007

On Taunts

Some time ago, when thinking of the problems inherent to the implementation of the warrior's Taunt skill in World of Warcraft (namely, that it doesn't work on player characters), I had an epiphany of sort. I thought, what if the taunt was modified to not force a player to attack the taunter, but instead to be a special case of a debuff?

The envisioned taunt would have the same effect on PCs and NPCs alike: it would give penalties to the taunted, with decreased chances to hit with melee and ranged attack, chances to fizzle spells and the like, unless the target is attacking the person who is taunting (easily identified by their flashing in red). So, against an NPC, the taunt would have sensibly the same effect of forcing the NPC to attack the target, with the added bonus of debuffing if they decide not to. The taunt, however, now becomes useful in PvP, as a way to save a friend from certain death (or just annoying the enemy with another debuff).

The debuff way also adds some sense or realism to the game, since losing concentration is the result you expect to see from being taunted. And of course, for our healing friends, there are ways to protect oneself from taunting; a good, disciplined character (imagine a monk) wouldn't be fazed by such cheap tricks, so it's another game dynamic to consider.

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