What do you think of weak points?

What do you think of enemies with weak points?

I think weak points help focus you on specific things. Like Dracula needs to be hit in the head, a bunch of bloodborne enemies are weaker in the head, many FPS enemies get wrecked by headshots. When you have weak points it can add an element of risk versus reward, time and space your attack well to get bonus damage, or maybe not get damage at all. Weakpoints can put you in harm’s way more, like how to get the most damage on shmup bosses, like touhou bosses that have tiny hitboxes, you need to stay directly beneath them, or close to them, which exposes you to more projectiles.

Weak points can even be used as an optional difficulty thing, like in Megaman ZX, where hitting the enemy weak points will take the boss down faster, but also hurt your grade and consequently the power of the biometal you receive. Some bosses in that games have weak points positioned that are very hard to avoid.

Weak points can be used as a constraint, like Dracula’s Head or Duke’s Dear Freja from Dark Souls 2. There’s a few different ways to hit each of the weak points on these bosses, but if you’re off then you get no damage. In Duke’s Dear Freja’s case, your sword will bounce off the other part of the enemy, even if you would have hit the weak point. This was fun with a greatsword.

The thing to avoid is making the constraints on the weak points so restrictive that they can only be damaged 1 way. This is when you get to Zelda style boss design. To avoid this I’d say, have ways to damage the boss that aren’t the weak point if the weak point isn’t always exposed, or have the weak point always be exposed, or expose itself irregularly during phases where the player also is doing other things. The point is to make the player question whether they can get damage right now, and how much damage they can get right now. This makes it an interesting choice.

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