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Xenoslayers Pipedream

Hello everyone!

Morgan here, if you didn't know already, and I've been dreaming up what I'd love to see added to and modified with the recent Xenoslayers update. I've come up with a new skillset surrounding Xenoslayers, which I've dubbed Xenology, that compliments the release and adds more complexity and functionality to it.

My vision for Xenoslayers is to make it purely an end game PvE experience. These are challenging encounters intended to be bested by multiple people, akin to a raid boss from an MMO. A good example of this was the recent Winterflame quest and the mechanics you had to utilize to defeat the monster.

My lore flavouring for Fantom Laboratories is that they are heavily into bio-engineering weapons and selling them to the highest bidder, however, designing intelligent and dangerous creatures means they often break out, requiring them to be dealt with. They are also interested in any powerful creatures that have evolved naturally, as this assists them in their research.

We already have a list of passive abilities that a Xeno can spawn with and I think these are a great start. On spawn, they receive two of these, which mixes up the encounter and adds more challenge to them. You can see them through PROBE and the current list are as follows:

* poisonous - they will reduce all healing effectiveness on their target
* vengeful - they will retaliate after each hit, reflecting a portion of the taken damage
* toxic - they will afflict with a group of balance slowing affs
* berserking - the more wounded they are, the more damage and attack speed they gain
* elusive - they will have a chance to dodge your attacks (like the DODGE talent)
* ravenous - they will heal for a portion of the damage they deal

While I believe this is a good start, it does not leave much interaction. At present, a group of people can just switch on their bashing scripts and win. I wish to change this through also granting creatures special abilities that alter the mechanics of a fight. These will be telegraphed but will not be interruptable using class skills. My examples are as follows:

- The xeno has evolved icy powers and will encase a target in a block of ice. The target will be shattered and instantly slain if allies do not attack the ice block and break them out in time.

- The xeno has evolved venomous powers and will poison a target, heavily reducing their damage and inflicting a powerful damage over time. They must search the area for the antidote and consume it.

- The xeno has evolved powerful psionic abilities and will instill paranoia in you. A version of you will appear and you must kill it to break the connection.

These are obviously just something I've conjured up and they will require tweaks and balance adjustments, as will the new skillset I've designed. My initial thought to how to advance in the skillset is a mix of an upfront lesson cost as well as time invested. A lesson cost provides a potential income boost for IRE while time invested, such as successful Xeno slayings, provides progression.

Without further ado, here is my mock up of the Xenology skillset complete with AB files. They are earned from top to bottom as you advance the set.

------------------------------< Abilities in Xenology >--------------------------------
Ability              Info                                               Lessons      
Evaluation           What makes them tick?                              --
Xenotracking         Stalk your target.                                 --
AdvancedWarning      Gain a headstart on your prey.                     --
Field Researcher
Lure                 This'll get their attention.                       --
Flashbang            Shock and awe!                                     --
Deterrent            What's that smell?                                 --
BattleHardened       What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.          --
Project Leader
Containment          Wanted: Dead or alive.                             --
Mad Scientist
Genetics             Now we go even further beyond.                     --

-- EVALUATION (Xenology) ------------------------------------------------------
Through your education in Xenology, you have learned to identify attributes of 
creatures through evaluation. EVALUATE <target> to see a list of strengths, 
weaknesses and other useful information, expanding as your knowledge and rank of 
Xenology increases.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Initiate
Command:                XENO EVALUATE <target>

(This skill will be used on all biological enemies to show their resistances. 
On Xenohunt targets specifically, it will be expanded to also detail their damage 
weaknesses, their randomly assigned Xenohunt modifiers and any abilities they may 
perform. Information obtained is increased as you advance through the skillset.)

-- XENOTRACKING (Xenology) ----------------------------------------------------
Your knowledge of Fantom Laboratories experiments allows you to follow trails left 
by the escaped Xenos to pinpoint their exact location in an area. XENO TRACK will 
show you the direction you must travel in to find your target, if one exists in 
the area.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Initiate
Command:                XENO TRACK

-- ADVANCEDWARNING (Xenology) -------------------------------------------------
Fantom Laboratories appreciate your efforts in subduing their escaped experiments 
and now offer an advanced alert so you can better continue with your aid. They 
track the trajectory of the Xeno and predict where it is headed. With this ability 
toggled on, you will receive a message 5 minutes before the conflict channel alert 
appears, showing the region of space the Xeno will eventually arrive at.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Initiate
Command:                XENO WARNING (ON/OFF)

-- LURE (Xenology) ------------------------------------------------------------
You've been trusted to use some of the latest technology Fantom Laboratories designed 
to control and combat their experiments. When activated, this device emits the same 
light show and klaxon sounds that preceeded a hearty amount of cattle prodding when 
the Xeno was in captivity, so it is sure to draw their ire.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Field Researcher
Command:                XENO LURE

(This ability will taunt a Xeno into focusing you as a target for the next 10 seconds. 
The xeno is immune to other lures during this time. Has a reduced chance to work on 
regular enemies.)

-- FLASHBANG (Xenology) -------------------------------------------------------
A compact explosive device that emits a high pitched sound and a flood of light on the 
frequencies and spectrum that only the heavily modified Xeno experiments can detect. 
This disorientates them briefly and interrupts what they were doing.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Field Researcher
Command:                XENO FLASHBANG

(This ability will interrupt a special attack and prevent the Xeno from attempting it 
again for 10 seconds. Has a 30 second immunity to further flashbangs from all players.)

-- DETERRENT (Xenology) -------------------------------------------------------
Sometimes, you don't want to be quite the delicious meal you appear to be. By spraying 
this unique formulae over yourself, you will become less appealing to wildlife for a 
period of time. Normally aggressive monsters will hesitate for five seconds before 
attacking you.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Field Researcher
Command:                XENO DETERRENT

-- BATTLEHARDENED (Xenology) -------------------------------------------------------
Your frequent encounters with the rogue Xenos have toughened you up to everything they 
can throw at you. You passively receive less damage from their attacks and abilities.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Field Researcher

-- CONTAINMENT (Xenology) -------------------------------------------------------
A lot of funding has gone into creating this creature and even though a rampaging 
genetically enhanced Xeno is bad for PR and needs to be stopped, it is worth a lot 
more if you manage to capture it alive. On reaching a certain health threshold, you 
can dose the Xeno with tranquilizers then contain it. Be warned that this infuriates 
the target and it will fight more ferociously until fully subdued.
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Project Leader
Command:                XENO CONTAIN

(An option to make the fights harder but it also increases the rewards. A captured 
Xeno may escape again in the future but have additional abilities due to further 
experimentation or as evolution from the fight.)

-- GENETICS (Xenology) -------------------------------------------------------
You've reached the top of your field and as a reward for capturing and returning 
a live specimen, you have officially adopted it and can tinker with its genetic 
makeup. You can give your creation a nickname and add an ability of your choosing 
to its arsenal. Of course, it has escaped once before...
Skill:                  Xenology
Group:                  Mad Scientist
Command:                XENO GENETICS <options>

(The idea here is to allow people a bit of fun in naming future experiments. A named 
experiment will obviously be a harder fight and will be a fight to the death, no capture 
allowed, but awards increased rewards. Abilities to be added could either be an additional 
modifier such as the two that roll on current spawns, or we could expand the options available.)

Now that you've had the chance to sample the skillset in full, my intention is to add some quality of life to parts of the game, such as ignoring aggressive mobs for a brief time or the ability to taunt effectively, all in an easily accessible general skill available to all.

I have also wanted to include skills that allow you to better control and direct a fight with a Xeno, through the use of taunts, interrupts and knowledge of what a Xeno is capable of.

Finally, I wanted to add a bit of an option for player fun. Who doesn't want to name and design their own murderous beast and watch it devour your enemies? Or just design something so you can take it on?

This is my personal fan project, my vision of what I would love to see come from Xenoslayers, brought on from the little hints in the initial Announce post that more was to come. I am completely open to discussion regarding these ideas, post your complaints and constructive criticisms, your own ideas, and just perhaps we can fashion something that grabs Ilyos' eye and makes it into the final product.


  • So, what's not to like about all that? I love it.

    I think at the moment the xeno monsters need to be more challenging. I think there should be a range of defensive special abilities they can randomly get in addition to the offensive ones:
    1. crit immunity
    2. faster healing
    3. faster subsys healing*
    4. faster affliction curing*
    5. active CC
    6. active healing (at HP thresholds)
    7. extra maxhealth
    8. extra resistances

    First of, the *note
    • Boss mobs to take subsys damage at same rate as PCs (i.e. not 4x).
    • Not sure if they currently are immune or just heal subsys insanely fast, but:
    • Boss mobs without a special ability, to heal subsys and affs faster than a single PC, but not a lot faster.

    This would mean that killing a creature with massive health, subsys and aff curing, would require CRITS.
    Killing a boss with resistances, crit immunity and faster healing, would probably require coordinated attacks on it's subsystems.
    The combination of their offensive abilities would mean a different strategy is required to kill them.

    Regardless of the strategy used, a best case scenario for a party of 3 strong players should be about a 2 minute fight. As opposed to 20 seconds.

  • I love all of those ideas. I agree with the sentiment of "2 minute fight for 3 strong players" as it means the monster isn't just going to burst you down in five seconds either. Damage immunities and resistances is a cool addition to switch it up and force people to vary their attack patterns. And I especially like the idea of having to tie subsystems and afflictions into it too. 
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