Behold the terrifying giant spiders from the pre-alpha “castle zone”!
Hideous! They can inject deadly venom right through your armor. Fear them! Next, behold the giant spider after it’s been lit up by a fire mage:
There’s a spider that’s having a bad day! And now, behold that most horrid of beasts, the Giant Fire Spider!
Yeah. Fire Spiders look exactly like ordinary giant spiders that happen to be on fire.
How can you tell them apart? Well, fire spiders can spit fireballs at you, so that will be a big clue.
I’d intended to make the fire spider red, but I can’t find a way to do it that doesn’t end up using an extra copy of the spider texture in video memory. (Technically speaking what I mean is that materials with shared textures but different diffuse colors seem to each require separate copies of the textures… disappointing.) I’m not by any means a 3D expert, and it’s actually been pretty hard to find useful advice for intermediate/advanced Unity optimization.
That’s why you should also watch out for fey panthers. They show up in later zones, and they look exactly like regular panthers, but they will seriously kill you. You can tell the difference by how they can heal themselves, and by how they murder you really fast.
I hope to have time to make all these things better. But there’s so much polish required for an MMO that I can’t realistically expect everything to be as good as I want. I mean, the game is inarguably better for having fire spiders in it than not. They’re fun to fight. So that’s the cut-off for whether they go in the game or not.
Graphical excellence is probably always going to be out of my reach anyway: it’s an indie MMO made by a programmer/designer. (Note the lack of “artist” in those credentials.) My only goal with the graphics is to not be embarrassingly bad to the point that it ruins immersion or damages player adoption rates.
Also, watch out for psychic mantises. They’re very similar to regular giant mantises, but they can make your head explode.
EDIT: thanks to some commenters pointing out my error, fire spiders are now kinda reddish (and on fire). Fey panthers are greenish and easier to spot. And psychic mantises… still look exactly like regular mantises. Their chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear. No, fear and surprise.