Hit points (health) are used in nearly every game to date. RPG's, FPS, RTS, in all of them you have a certain amount of hit points and when you run out, you die. Their history goes back all the way to the invention of dungeons & dragons, as a system to prevent players to be one-shotted by an unlucky dice roll. Now I was wondering, why are we still using a system that was invented for a turn-based tabletop game in our modern, next-gen online computer games? Why does hit points remain that popular? Doesn't there exist no better, more realistic and more fun system?
So I was thinking and I thought of another system, I'm not sure whether it was never used before, but I think it could be very fun when implemented right and it could actually offer a more natural feel of the game. The basic idea is simple: whenever you enter combat with an enemy, there is a bar with a marker on it. At the beginning, the marker is in the middle of the bar. When you make a move against your opponent, the marker will move in his direction, representing that you have gained an advantage over him. An advantage could be anything like an opening in his defences, a move he didn't expect to a succesful hit on some body part. Most of these advantages are temporary, so you'll have to make use of them fast before they disappear. The ultimate goal is to push the marker all the way to the other side, allowing you to disarm your opponent (or silence him, if he's some kind of magic-user). Important to this system is that dodging and blocking attacks is active, since it directly helps in winning the fight.
Accompagning this system, there could be three main combat stats: focus, concentration and energy.
Focus is the defensive stat, representing your character's ability to anticipate and dodge or block incoming attacks. However, every time you do get hit, your focus stat is lowered temporary. This to prevent battles to be never-ending.
Concentration is the most offensive stat, higher concentration will allow you to attack faster.
Energy is also an offensive stat, but in a different way. Higher energy will allow you to use more powerful attacks. Your energy goes down a little every time you use an ability.
Of course, there should be a lot of attacks that can increase or decrease these stats to make a rich and varied gameplay.
I hope a similar system will be used sometime in a game because I think it will offer very intense and long battles, especially in an evenly matched fight. So, let me know what you think about my ideas, and what kind of combat system you'd like in a game.