As well as all of those, there are also a myriad of ad hoc amusements that can enliven a dull session or brighten a gloomy day's grinding. Long ago I posted about my predilection for encouraging enemies to make pretty patterns when they die. I still do that.
When I wrote that post I made some indication that it would be the first in a series called "Simple Pleasures". Well, here's the second in that series - just five years later!
Simple Pleasure No. 2 - Getting Creatures To Fight Each Other
This is something I used to do a lot. It was an intrinsic part of the gameplay in EverQuest back at the turn of the century, when "splitting a camp" was an essential skill for any soloist. You did it because you had to but I also used to do it for fun.
There were several classes with specific abilities that allowed them to mess with the heads of monsters (and, for quite a while before it got changed, other players). Enchanters and bards were the prime culprits with their ability to "charm" just about anything. You and I might have a number of let's call them 'creative' ideas on the possibilities that mind control would offer but in Norrath the only option was basically to have your guy fight the other guy.
Other classes could charm specific types of creature- Druids got animals, Magicians elementals, Necromancers undead and so on. It was a high-stakes game because the charms were prone to break early and unexpectedly and most creatures tended to resent being used as unwitting attack dogs. Still, it could be a lot of fun while it lasted, at least until you woke up your bind spot with a couple of hours xp to make up.
|I don't have many pictures of things fighting each other - I do have this perfect ring of corpses though!|
Necromancers, Shadowknights and most especially Monks had something even more amusing - Feign Death. The plains of Karana and the swamps of Kunark were littered with human and iksar monks who'd "fallen to the ground" as they tried to train up their skill but once perfected they were a
There were bad monks and even nastier necros, who made it a practice to flop down at the feet of people they didn't like, leaving a train of slavering orcs hot for blood - anyone's blood. Less controversially and antisocially it was possible to set whole gangs of monsters at each other's throats by dragging one lot into the camp of another that weren't on the best of terms with the first. Then you'd drop to the ground and let them sort out their differences in the traditional manner.
I didn't do much of that in EQ but I made a hobby of it for a long time in Vanguard - at least until some po-faced killjoy at SOE changed the rules. My Raki Disciple was a kind of monk in away, although far superior to any monk class any entry in the official EQ franchise ever had. He could FD with the best of them and for months I satisfied both my explorer's curiosity and my childish sense of humor by running into dungeons and falling over.
What happened in Vanguard at that time was that when an angry goblin found himself suddenly without a target he'd transfer his hate to whatever was standing next to him. Didn't matter if it was his clan leader or his long-suffering wolf. My Raki would run around a room until everything in it was chasing him then hit the ground and lie there laughing as the whole lot of them engaged in a battle royale to the finish.
|Hmm... I wonder what the rules are going to be like on New Telon?|
I seem to remember I also benefited from the xp from all those deaths and if so, even though it wasn't why I was doing it, it explains why someone decided it had to stop. Shame. Like many of the odd, probably unintended sideshows in the first and second wave of MMORPGs - giving weapons to monsters was another - it added so much to the gaiety of nations.
As time went on and the games, arguably, became more professional. so these little wrinkles were ironed out. It's with great pleasure, then, that I'm able to confirm that I've found it's possible to get some things in GW2 to fight others.
I only noticed it the other day but Mrs Bhagpuss tells me it's not new. I was aware, of course, that many things in Tyria like to fight other things. That's an excellent piece of scene-setting that all MMOs should have. Wolves anywhere will leap on rabbits and one-shot them. Grawl hunt moas in Everfrost.
There's a moose and a raptor that roam near the walls of Garrison on our borderland that fight to the death every time they meet. I watch them often from the battlements. They're evenly matched and the outcome is uncertain. Someone should run a book.
What I hadn't realized until recently is that, by a judicious use of dodging and timing, it's possible to train creatures that don't have an innate animosity onto each other and get them to fight. If the creature chasing you has an attack that misses you as you dodge and you can line it up to hit something else then it's like ducking in a bar fight. The guy that gets hit with the chair isn't best pleased.
I've only just begun to experiment with this. I need to try it with someone who can stealth and see how that goes. I'll report back when I have more evidence. Maybe in around five years from now...