Let's talk about Dogmen

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Let's talk about Dogmen

ITT: We discuss dogmen & their impact on the game. Here are my talking points:

1) Why dogmen? Why not werewolves? From the name, I can only deduce that they are some kind of mutant creation. Is there story lore to support the genesis of said beings?

2) Why are there so damned many? There seems to be an inordinate amount of them in the wilds. Are they breeding in litters? Are there dogWOMEN with 6 breasts that we're not seeing? Or is the term "dogmen" meant to indicate a specific genus, rather than gender?

3) Why do we meet them in solo? I'm assuming it's because one is generally enough to do the job. However, will we ever encounter tribes or packs of these things? Will we find a lost village of dogmen, roasting humans on a spit, with little puppychildren running around yipping & chewing on human ears?

4) Are they overpowered for the game? Their claw damage is quite impressive, to say the least. They do both piercing (1.2) and bashing (0.2) damage. Their claws are superior to any melee weapon a human might wield. Yet they are still inferior to the mighty power of gunpowder. Of course, gunpowder's might is questionable, with ammunition so hard to come by.

"Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed." - Mark Twain

I did actually meet a pair of dogmen once. I could never run far enough away from both at the same time to make a successful retreat. Ultimately I got slowly cut to ribbons as I tried to crawl away and died of bleeding in the lungs. Pretty harrowing stuff.

I think 2) and 4) can be forgiven for now due to the early stage in development. There may well be other varieties later on, and maybe more weapons and equipment that make them feasible and profitable to fight when you're kitted out enough. This is what I'm hoping anyway. I want me a dogman pelt outfit to strike fear into the hearts of looters everywhere! Also to help with getting that maybe a rocket launcher? Dogman sized bear traps perhaps? Get on it Dan :p

I was very disappointed the first time i killed a dogman just to find they didn't leave a pelt behind, if i can have squirrel gloves i want a dogfur hat!

SPOILER

Spoiler: Highlight to view
If you have trapping and use the trapping skill in the recipe when you skin a dogman, you'll get a dogman fur coat.

Some things I've learned about dogmen:

OCCURANCE: 1d2 dogmen may appear at any encounter.

TERRAIN: Any. Dogmen will generally either hide in forests or sheds by day (somehow locking themselves in with their doggy claws), and prowl by night. However, you can pretty much expect dogmen out of f**king nowhere anytime, on a regular basis.

TACTICS: Dogmen will pursue the closest human & run them down, then move to the next. They're not fussy about their targets. They will head straight into combat, ignoring terrain-based cover. They will circle their prey & make use of the cover of night, making it nearly impossible to engage them in the dark. Their primary attack method is their claws, which will tear through clothing & flesh to leave greivous wounds, bleeding, and cause extreme pain. One hit is enough to cause debilatating injury, and more than two hits are a death sentence unless you are extremely tough or lucky. Dogmen are nimble, and can engage you while prone, often tackling you to the ground & leaving you helpless to fend off their attacks.

SUGGESTED STRATEGIES:
1) Always keep yourself hydrated & your immunity up. Take the time to boil water & proactively drink tannin tea if possible on a daily basis. This will reduce the chance of sickness & fatigue, which are signs that the dogmen will look for in order to identify you as prey.

2) Never travel or scrounge at night without light. You might think that your chances of being detected while holding a light are higher, but you would be wrong. YOur clumsy QWOP body will fall over anything & everthing you find if you are not carrying a light, standing near a campfire, or wearing "Ze Goggles." Dogmen know when you're blind & helpless, and will take vicious advantage of it.

3) Arm yourself with a gun & ammunition. A rifle will take away the dogman's ability to overwhelm you in melee combat, and your chances of surviving an engagement go up dramatically.

4) Never engage a dogman in a fair fight. It takes more hits to drop a dogman than a tough, strong human, so the odds are stacked against you before you begin.

5) If you must engage one in a melee battle, your only really effective weapon is the cleaver.

6) Your only effective tactic is to constantly fall back to cover, dodge, and withdrawl until you can lead said dogman into a trap & attept to catch him off guard.

7) Don't attempt to take him down with leg sweeps, tackles, & head butts. If you've ever wrestled with an 80 pound dog, you know firsthand how futile those actions are.

8) The only two ways you should ever open up an attack salvo are by trapping or throwing obstructions in front of him, hoping to wound him or knock him down. Once down, you go to to work curbstomping him into submission, and then dispatch him with extreme prejuduce. IF he shows signs of lift, fall back, rinse, and repeat.

9) The impulse to run is strong when facing a dogman. It's a sound plan when you have no other options. However, be aware that you are QWOP, and will therefore have a mathematically significant chance of falling on your face in any circumstance. It's better to slowly withdraw using cover than a blind retreat. Keep in mind that wolves are pursuit predators, and will often run down weaker prey. Dogmen are robust beings who do not tire or succumb to weakness the way that QWOP-like humans do.

SUGGESTED IDEAS FOR FUTURE IMPLEMENTATION

- If the idea of dogmen is to threaten players with certain death early in the game, then they are working as intended. I sense this is the case, which is why I phrased it that way.

- Personally, I think the damage index for the dogmen is a bit redonkulous. Even if you eliminate the piercing damage of their claws, reducing their attacks to simple punches, they can mess you up with concussions & internal bleeding in short order. I think it would be sufficient if their damage index was in line with a cleaver, rather than a railroad spike mounted to the end of sledge hammer.

- If dogmen are in every locked shed, then we should have the option to lock their doggy butts back in there when we retreat. They can't operate locks with fricking claws, so clearly they will be delayed long enough to escape.

_ We should be able to salvage their bodies for dogman hide & claws. Of course, any dogmen who see us wearing dogman hide should immediately drop what they're doing & come to see us about it.

"Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed." - Mark Twain

I appreciate your tactics guide on fighting the dogmen, though I have found that killing them with a crowbar or cleaver isn't alll that much harder than killing bandits or raiders. As far as your comment about ignoring the use of leg sweeps and head-butts I have found those to be paramount in getting the dog down so I can kick it three or four times in a row. Never have I ever used the hide behind cover option and unless your rifle is scoped taking shots without ranged skill is a waste of a round. Oh yeah I typically use the melee skill so this might have something to do with it. Cheers

All your post seems pretty informative, a good read.

Slightly disagree with 9 though. My first impulse when i come across any encounter with scavengers and especially dogmen is to run (well, after i'd played through a few times and realised how hard the odds are stacked against a player when fighting. Especially dogmen!) And i find the chances of falling over pretty slim, even when sprinting on difficult terrain. Especially if you can sprint away and get a couple of movements spaces between you and the enemy, even if you fall over and get up, enemies usually still aren't close enough to hit you. In the dark with a blind retreat i've had more luck getting away than running into dogmen, and once out of combat just pick a direction and keep moving till the sun comes up. From playing so far, the odds certainly seem more in favour of players making a blind retreat, rather than going head to head or moving back in a control fashion vs dogmen in the dark.

I agree mostly except in point 5, i have found a great utility for monkey wrench, crushing dog heads (and don't forget the almighty kick).
And i have to say i had once threatenned a dog out of a fight but you need to be strong, tough, athletic and melee to do that i think...

I agree that I would like to see some possibility to take the dogmens fur or eat them maybe... and they are tough but I can tell you that I did one shot them with a rifle and without the range skill. So with the right weapon they can be handled.

Ooh, I answered another thread because I thought it was asking these questions. I'm happy to share lore info. Well, cryptically "share," anyway :)

1 - Why dogmen, and not werewolves?

Mostly because Michigan folklore includes dogmen, and not werewolves. One thing you'll find, if NEO Scavenger develops long enough, is that local folklore and myth play a big part in it. Michigan has its dogmen, New York may have wendigo, Texas may have chupacabra.

The world of NEO Scavenger is rife with supernatural activity, and humankind is the underdog (snicker). And if I can make them both supernatural and plausible at the same time, all the better (i.e. if there's a Mulder and a Scully explanation, I'm happy).

Where they come from is a bit of a spoiler, though :)

2 - Why are there so many?

As Spreezy correctly guesses, this is more due to the beta phase than actual lore. I wanted a few creature types to harass the player, and I wanted at least one of them to be supernatural, to set the correct expectations.

In the future, they'll probably be less common, and more regional. With other creatures and characters making up the difference.

3 - Why are they always solo?

That's an engine limitation at the moment. Some day, I'd like to setup a system for spawning creatures in appropriate groupings and regions.

Dogmen will probably not be a civilization like you describe, though :)

4 - Are they overpowered?

They are powerful, I'll admit. However, as mentioned above, they're not meant to ultimately be everywhere. They're the thing you poop your pants for when you see them. I wanted something in the game to represent a real threat (besides survival), so they're there as a sort of upper bound. (Well, not the upper bound, but the one people run into most often) ;)

5 - Will there be dogmen skinning/meat?

If I get my way, yes!

6 - Will there be more tools for fighting them?

Again, yes! I would love to sit down for a few days, drawing art for chainsaws, makeshift spears, handguns, lawnmower machetes, and chain flails. I just have to do my homework before the fun.

7 - Do they do too much damage?

If they become less common, no. Otherwise, they may need tweaking. I'm hoping to do the former once there's more to play with in the game.

8 - Can you lock a dogman in a shed?

No. If you can get into a locked shed with a crowbar and strength, they can get out. :)

It's a pretty different take on post apocalypse, this thing I'm picturing. Not quite Fallout nor Stalker. I was a big Rifts and Shadowrun player back in the day, so fans of those settings will see some similarities.

My hope, however, is that I can avoid the munchkin/bonkers escalation that happened in Rifts, and keep it a bit more low-key and plausible. Like if one of the X-Files editors got a hold of the settings and made them just plausible enough to be casting doubt in your mind. Or if Ridley Scott and James Cameron compromised on a middle ground between Blade Runner and Aliens, with some Lovecraft sprinkled in to keep humanity down.

As you can see, realism is still pretty important to me. The metabolic and physical simulations in NEO Scavenger were deliberate, and I want a world that feels real and logical. I just also want fun stuff to play with in there too :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Footnote to this thread - I noticed in the last release that Dogman claws got nerfed down a little bit. They're more in line with what one would get from a really good melee weapon.

So thanks for that!

"Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed." - Mark Twain

Hey Dan,

I know you're working on Random Encounters at the moment so it would be pretty cool to run across the biolab where the dog men were created and read some lore on them and scientists notes. Or if you are playing up the supernatural aspect it would be cool to run across a government facility out in the boonies underground that had notes etc on them similar to scientists notes and also some dictation on why the government kept them secret from the people and HOW they did. Just a thought. Ohhh. Also there could be some sort of government office concerned with this in the Mega City. Maybe even a quest for it?

~DAMN YOU NEO SCAVENGER!

I'm still voting for Lost City of the Dogmen.

"Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed." - Mark Twain

Maybe not with Dogmen, but I would love to see that sort of thing happen with something. Maybe have some kind of creature that shows up a lot at lower levels, even less effective than a bandit, that you can kill and skin and harvest for meat, but it turns out they have a whole culture going on somewhere and you've been eating sentient beings. Just to mess with the poor players.

Lost City of Squirrels?

But seriously, I really like your idea Lokath, fits post-apocalyptic survival theme perfectly.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I don't think they are too tough, granted I run away if I don't have a gun, but if you do, 5 bullets normally do them in, I've managed to kill them in two shots a bunch of times.

Personally if I was faced with a 7-9 foot tall dog-monster that stands on two legs, I wouldn't want to try and take it on with a monkey wrench or crowbar anyway! =)

"Personally if I was faced with a 7-9 foot tall dog-monster that stands on two legs, I wouldn't want to try and take it on with a monkey wrench or crowbar anyway! =)"
why not its just a really big hungry powerful man eating dog whats the big deal

IMAGE(http://www.darkwoodgame.com/sigs/darkwood_sig_600x120.jpg)
Official Trained Dogman

I would love to see Dogmen fights leave corpses behind.
Necklace from their teeth anyone? :D

Dogman hoodie?
Ofc there is always "Eaux de Dogman™", a fragrance for the stealthy, discerning survivalist.

Right now, I honestly feel they pop up a bit too frequently for the difficulty they present. Rather than tone them down, I'd rather them be slightly rarer to encounter. They're not really "first level enemies" as they stand, but I like the idea of facing very hard foes early game occasionally to ramp up the fear factor... I love the "oh crap!" feeling of stumbling across one and the urge to flee (counterpointed with later being well-armed and healthy and thinking "finally I can take these things!"). Having them in every other storage shed (locked in?!) and chasing me all over the map isn't so much fun, however.

Regardless, I would *really* like to be able to "loot" dead Dogmen! They're such a challenge to fight that I feel there should be a reward for defeating one in combat. At the very least, I'd like a "Dogman Pelt" item ("dropped" by Dogmen only if you have the Trapping skill?) that you can make a clothing out of like Squirrel Pelts (but requiring fewer of them) and that is a decent trade item too.

I also like the previous suggestion of being able to (random chance?) take their teeth too, for making a "Dogman-Tooth Necklace" that trades for a nice price... and makes for awesome "bragging rights" to wear! (we need more "accessories", IMO, and this would be an awesome lore-friendly one).

Finally, it annoyed me a bit that I can't EAT a Dogman (fair's fair!); IMO, a dead Dogman should drop "Dogman Meat" that can be cooked like Squirrel Meat. A truly starving person isn't going to get squeamish about some semi-humanoid dog, IMO, and if the game later reveals a greater sentience or humanoid origin to the Dogmen down the track... awesome! All the better for freaking out a player who's been ignorantly eating them the whole time! :)

(in terms of new graphics needed, I'm more than happy with slight "recolours" for things like pelts and meat, with only the teeth and the necklace needing entirely new items?)

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

I'm not sure what it is, but the Dogmen seem EXCEPTIONALLY harder in the beta than they did in the demo. Demo wise, I was able to escape and live for almost three days, in the beta, they're much more numerous, I can't escape, and my average survival time has been three hours so far. ;_;

Nearly every one (or is it every one?) I've encountered has been Strong and Tough, do a lot of damage and are very hard to escape/outrun. It makes it a bit annoying, I agree. I'd rather them be less frequent so they maintain the fear factor but don't wipe you out right at the start. The idea of the first Dogman encounter at the Cryo Facility being a "teaser" for something scary you know will reappear later might even be better than just stepping outside and facing another one almost right away so soon.

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

Hello!
If you dig the news and forum a little you might find some information very to your liking. It was already stated that dogmen will be occurring regional, somewhere in northern part of the map, in future builds of the game. And there will be other, more manageable enemies introduced probably, to take their place.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

That's awesome news... they felt like NEOScavenger's answer to Deathclaws but rather overpowered for the first random enemy! :)

Saving them for later is a good move, with weaker enemies to start off with. I wonder, though, if the occasional lone wandering (wounded?) Dogman popping up now and then unexpectedly would be a "nice" surprise! :)

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

During my best run so far, i was awoken in the middle of the night by a dogman... i died of a heart attack!

Well, from what i have experienced from Dogmen, they are tough but i have killed 3 of their kinds, ate their flesh and got a free coat to be used as a fancy, yet thick armor *lol*. But i retried when 1 ambushed me while sleeping which was a hell of a situation. You could kill them using a hardened spear or broad spear in Early Games. Trapping Skill is also good for damaging them pretty hard sometimes.

I would also suggest for us to make like a Dogmen Talisman/necklace, Dogmen-made weapons and a dogmen hood which it could look badass with the dogmen coat!

MTF