As you all know a few non MMO games tried to replace health bars without much success.
Both for PvE and PVP, being able to see them turns the combat into a statistical thing. It is even worse when you are able to know the exact amount of hit points.
The consequence is players tweaks their macros like formula one engines, removing any stress and hazard form the equation.
Still I think we need 2 systems embedded.
1) Give a precise feedback to player of the actual status of his character.
2) Give only a general feedback of the enemy status.
With the first one, the actual health bar system would not be changed. So the player still has the control of his character.
For opponents the bars would be replaced with general status icons/colors/txt. For example it could be Healthy, Lighly Damaged, Moderately Damaged, Seriously Damaged, Dead.
This would make combat and particularly PvP more appealing and challenging.
Still, there’s the question for allies and group mates. Maybe something in between would work, not sure.
What do you think?