You're an adventurer, and you've joined up with other adventurers
to take on a difficult challenge. The thing is, everyone's picked up the habit of standing around in a tight group. You're doing this to make it easier for healers
to reach everyone and maybe pick up a Status Buff
aura or two. But the enemy has noticed this and decided to do something about it.
A Party Punishment Power turns standing in a group from a benefit into a liability. This could involve:
- an attack with an area of effect component.
- an attack that "chains": after hitting the first party member, it will hit a second that's within a certain range of the first, and then a third in range of the second, and so on for a number of repetitions.
- placing a status effect on one or more characters that causes damage or other debilitating effects to any other party members in a certain range, forcing the afflicted to run away from the party before they kill everyone. A particularly nasty variant has the status effect spread to anyone it hits.
In every case, spreading everyone out will reduce the potential damage of the attack, but make it harder to cover everyone. Note that not all
area of effect attacks are Party Punishment Powers: if a point blank (centered on the user) or ground targeted area of effect attack is telegraphed, it's possible for the entire group to avoid the attack by moving out of the way without spreading out.
Commonly used by MMORPG bosses, though the occasional mook
might have one. Also appears in RTS games, possibly as a deterrent to the Zerg Rush
. If the attack is the status effect variant and causes the afflicted to explode, it's Why Am I Ticking?
- Starcraft's Science Vessel can use Irradiate on enemy units, causing damage to them and any nearby units until the afflicted unit dies.
- Warcraft III's Farseer hero can cast Chain Lightning, a chain attack that hits up to five enemies.
- World of Warcraft:
- The Shaman's has Chain Lightning like the Farseer in Warcraft III. Watch out for it in PVP.
- The infamus Corrupted Blood debuff from Hakkar the Soulflayer is a prime example of the spreading debuff variant. When players found a way to carry the infection through the Boss Fight, they spread it all over the world, making it nearly impossible for low level players to surive being in cities or towns. Inspired the Zombie Infestation event.
- C'Thun's Eye Beam and Sir Zeliek's Holy Wrath are unusual chain attacks: they increase in power with every bounce and only stop when there are no more party members in range that have not been hit.
- Thaddius's Polarity Shift randomly gives each party member a positive or negative charge. Standing near players with the same charge gives a damage buff, while players with the opposite charge (or no charge at all) causes damage, with both effects increasing in potency with the number of players in range.
- Fallout 3's Broken Steel DLC includes a level 30 perk called "Nuclear Anomaly". A player with this perk has a chance of suddenly releasing massive amounts of radiation, affecting friend and foe alike, when their health drops below a certain point.