This is an idea that I think would let us use Monstrology to make combats more unique and interesting. Not only in the Monstrodome, but in PVE as well. If an enemy that we can extract with Monstrology has cheats, then they should be able to use those cheats when they're helping us! Or in the Monstrodome, which was designed specifically for player content.

I am fully aware that this has problems if you just open the floodgates with this, so I will try to address the big issue, infinite loops.

A simple infinite loop could be created by fighting Vizier Rafaj (a minor boss in Mirage) and summoning a copy of him. This boss has a cheat where if you cast a blade, he will give himself a blade. The loop would be like this:

  • You cast a blade.
  • The enemy Rafaj cheats a blade onto himself.
  • Your own Rafaj cheats a blade onto himself.
  • Oh, what's that? A blade? Don't mind the enemy Rafaj casting another blade onto himself.
  • Hey, that was a blade! Your Rafaj needs to blade himself for that!
  • This continues forever.

A simple (I think) fix to this would be something I am going to refer to as a "Cheat Chain." This would be a system that starts each time an action takes place (provided there isn't already a Cheat Chain in place), and tracks what each reactionary cheat is a response to. If a cheat is responding to something it had already responded to during this action, the Cheat Chain will prevent this cheat from firing off. If we go back to the previous example of the two Vizier Rafajs, one good, the other evil, the cheat would play out like this:

  • You cast a blade. This begins the Cheat Chain.
  • The enemy Rafaj cheats a blade onto himself.
  • Your Rafaj notices this, and also blades himself. This is fine, as your Rafaj has not cheated yet during this chain.
  • The enemy Rafaj will cheat yet another blade onto himself for this. The first time he cheated, was in response to you casting a blade. He hasn't responded to your Rafaj until now.
  • Your Rafaj would have cheated a second blade here, but the Cheat Chain kicks in. Your Rafaj has already responded to the enemy Rafaj cheating a blade onto himself. The sequence of events that kicked off because you casted one blade will conclude now. This is also the end of the current Cheat Chain.

You may be asking yourself, "Why make it so complicated? Why not make it so cheats don't trigger other cheats at all?" Well, that takes the fun out of it! Thinking about other bosses and how they could interact with the one you're up against would be pretty cool. You could even pick a Monstrology Boss that effectively counters the cheats of the one you need to defeat. What if, instead of summoning Vizier Rafaj, we summon Sir Blackwater? Yeah, it's overkill, but he still makes for a great counter. Since Blackwater has an anti-blade cheat, things will play out like this:

  • You cast a blade. The Cheat Chain begins.
  • Vizier Rafaj cheats a blade onto himself.
  • Sir Blackwater will not allow this to stand. He cheats Disarm on Vizier Rafaj. The end.

The only other issue is that some cheating bosses would be so good that they would make combat too easy, but to be honest, this would not make battles easier than they are if you have a great team that can just win the battle by turn 4 or whatever. I should still mention bosses that would actually be overpowered, or perceived to be that way. If I forgot anyone worth mentioning, let me know.

  • Argus Hollowsoul (summons Exploding Embers, which do 10k Meteors when they reach 4 pips): This one looks pretty nasty (especially for Fire wizards who can blade it up), but there is a point where enemies can take out the Embers with AoE damage before it can even attack. Still, you could maybe reduce this to like 5k-7.5k or something if it's that big of a deal.
  • Belloq (1500 Ra if he was undamaged during the last turn): This looks broken, but I think it's fine actually. After he gets started, the enemies will most likely do a good job at damaging him constantly. Plus, he has low health for a boss, so in particularly tough battles he will go down quickly.
  • Jabberwock (constant high-damage Meteors): This one is interesting, because the Jabberwock also has a cheat that makes him easier to defeat. This would create a trade-off where he is stronger in the second arc, but dies really fast despite his beefy health in the third arc. I think this is also fine.
  • The Pendragon (20k Dragon Dot): Ok, this is actually broken. If you're a Fire wizard, you can Detonate this for a huge amount of damage. You also can use Wildfyre, Fireblade, and Fuels to make this even stronger. And then there's Incindiate on top of all of that. Fire benefits from this way too much. Still, this is a fun interaction. I'd like for this to exist, maybe just nerf the DoT down to, maybe, 10k instead.
  • Malistaire the Undying & Germ Ghosts (can't die): Well, they can die now (maybe not Malistaire depending on exactly how his cheat works). That's a shame. Minions that can't die have proven to not be an issue.
  • Sir Greggor (huge health, 75% intercept): Makes it a lot harder for you to die. This should also be fine. Sir Greggor would make for a very rewarding minion, being a tough boss fight himself, that increases your survivability by a ton with anti-trap utilities to boot.
  • Prince Viggor (fills the place with minions): He goes from a meh summon to pretty neat. Fills the battlefield for you and provides quite a bit of support.
  • Renegade Druid (prevents you from dying, fills the place with minions): It's a better version of Sir Greggor and Prince Viggor. Instead of taking significantly less damage, you just take no damage. And these minions are much more dangerous than the ones Prince Viggor summons. This is another boss I think would be too good. Maybe when he's inevitably nerfed?
  • The Devourer (eats enemies): Flat-out removing an enemy from battle for a few rounds is perfectly fine, it's just that I think this boss is still really buggy? Like, what if it never spits out the enemy it ate? The battle would become unwinnable.