The generic untrained mook or the experienced veteran? This question is always there in games for both the enemy and the player. This is no different for Dungeon of the Endless, with it’s collection of heroes and monsters the player will encounter on their runs.
As mentioned in my previous post, healing and leveling up is achieved through the use of Food, with the cost of both scaling up with the heroes’ level. As with normal RPGs with each new character level comes increased stats and new abilities. Three main categories for heroes exist: Crew, Prisoners, and Natives.
Crew and Prisoners focus on “quality” defensive and offensive roles respectively, and leveling is mid to high cost for them. Native focus on the “quantity” side, having low costs and being generally lackluster until they’re at higher levels, which then they can fill a number of jobs instead of focusing on one role.
Sometimes when encountering a hero in the dungeon, hiring them doesn’t necessarily mean better chances of success, as more heroes potentially means splitting up healing. This is emphasized in situations when they might be spread throughout the floor, dividing up not only the player’s Food stock, but also their attention.
When it comes to enemies in games, there are two extremes of having endless amounts of weak monsters overwhelming the player, or bosses which can just as easily (and more quickly) kill the player. Most games, DotE included, fall somewhere in the middle leaning one way or the other. The hardest part of creating enemy difficulty is probably finding the right balance of the number of mobs and how they individually work. DotE plays it safe with having the player combat groups of skilled enemies.
Floor 1 starts you off with the waves of enemies being a handful of weakling bugs or crystals, but slowly escalates into larger groups of more specialized module-destroyers or hero-killers and then into small armies of some mixture of them all. There’s even the popular “summoner” enemy in DotE, carrying out their task by breaking down doors to call in more waves.
The “quality” enemies in games really sort of force players to prioritize and strategize when it comes to handling groups of enemies, focusing on those that buff or heal other monsters before taking on the smaller one. “Quantity” throws players in for a tedious grindfest of players going through the motions of killing the same monster over and over again, which eventually leads to player boredom. That’s not to say using only special enemies will prevent boredom or easy difficulties, but each game has to determine it’s own way of doing things, and DotE does its thing well.