Standard Encounter

Deus Ex, a robot who the player must either sneak past or defeat in a standard encounter (image source)

Description

You see an enemy. You fight it. The standard encounter is the basic fight in which the PCs and enemies meet and engage each other. If the player opens a portal or rounds a corner to a room full of enemies, or initiates the combat through dialogue, the distance of engaging will be short. If the enemies can be seen from down a linear path or other lengthy stretch, the distance will be longer. The encounter is not an ambush, a boss, or anything else special, at least not in the beginning. However, reinforcements may appear, and they may appear in the form of an ambush or even a boss. Every game has standard encounters.

Variables and Affordances

  • Enemy Type: the type of enemy faced in the encounter

Examples

In Worked Examples

Standard encounters are quite common, and frequently occur in conjunction with other level design patterns such as the chokepoint. A standard encounter may also evolve into a different encounter type, through the inclusion of reinforcements or the appearance of a boss.

Quest-Level Relationships

It is important to note that, while standard encounters frequently occur while the player is on a quest line, they are not necessarily part of the quest. For example, a quest that requires the player to retrieve an item from a far-away location might involve the player defeating many standard encounters, but since the standard encounters are not a directly required action in fulfilling the quest, they are not related to the quest. The following are situations in which a standard encounter may be directly related to a quest of the following patterns:

  • Contextualizing Quests. To introduce the player to the standard battle mechanics of the game.
  • Fetch Objective. Many fetch quests require players to first kill a standard enemy and then take a certain piece of loot it drops.
  • Defend. The player will often have to defend their quest giver from standard enemies.
  • Quest Tied Item. In order to obtain quest-tied items, the player may need to kill the enemies that hold these items.
  • Kill Quest. In order to fulfill the quota for a Kill quest, the player must engage in the correct amount of standard encounters with the specific enemy for the quest.
patterns/standard_encounter.txt ยท Last modified: 2011/06/17 01:00 by Gillian Smith
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