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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Let's rethink Hit Points.

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114 posts found
  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

9/24/13 12:57:08 PM#61
Originally posted by Draemos
Originally posted by Electro057

You know what I think should happen? You get hit fatally.....you die, end of story. Character deleted, do not pass go, do not collect 100 exp, please start over from the beginning. You get a punctured lung, or a severed artery? You slowly start to die on a timer and when you die, you're dead....You get 10 minutes to perform CPR on the bloke and after 7-10 they have a negative intellect score from permanent brain damage, from now on you literally have to carry them, change their armor, and wipe their ass. 

How much fun would that be?! 

Gemstone also does this with fatal critical injuries to specific body parts.  It's not much fun, as you allude,  it's a lot of bullshit instant death mechanics that are largely unavoidable.  Granted the penalties aren't quite so harsh, you have to earn your stats back... And ass wiping is more to the effect of cleaning their lifeless corpse of all fatal wounds so they don't bleed out again when you Rez them.

 

The 10 minute limitation and the dragging their dead body around is fairly accurate though,

 

 

I really liked Gemstones injury/death mechanics.

 

 

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

9/24/13 1:13:26 PM#62

I think there is alot of room (and advantages) for a more sophisticated damage and injury model in a game. However you have to have a target audience that actualy ENJOYS a more sophisticated style of game. Alot of players today are simply interested (and conditioned) to mindlessly mash 1-4 buttons until they recieve a prize. Those players aren't going to enjoy or appreciate anything that requires them to put more thought into thier gaming or slows down thier prize aquisition.....and that's fine, it's a complex world sometimes all we want is a bit of mindless mayhem.

However, I do enjoy a more sophisticated style of gaming then that upon occasion.....and I think there is at least some audience for it, even if it might be a niche. I'd very much enjoy having to decide between the benefits of using a mace over a rapier based upon my opponents armor....or having to deal with the tactical implications of limited mobility due to a leg injury, or being only able to use one arm, etc. It adds a level of depth to the strategy and tactics one needs to pursue in any given combat because conditions can suddenly change and you would need to adapt to deal with that.

Again though....you need a game that is targeted at the right audience for that......because as much as some of us might enjoy that, there are certainly others who wouldn't.

 

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/24/13 4:06:20 PM#63
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

 

However, I do enjoy a more sophisticated style of gaming then that upon occasion.....and I think there is at least some audience for it, even if it might be a niche.

I play point & click adventures, and puzzle games if i want to think. I play turn based combat games if i want sophisticated combat.

Action combat needs to have a few tactical option, but there is no need for over-complication. Something like Diablo 3, or Marvel Heroes will be fine. You can't think too much when there are 20 mobs rushing you, and another 10 flinging arrows at you.

  tupodawg999

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 623

9/25/13 1:23:47 AM#64

A general system needs to cover a very different creatures

- giant beetle: easy to hit, high armor, high mass (standard hp), critical organs? (lower secondary hp pool)

- dragons: hard to hit while moving, easy to hit (in theory) when on the ground (with a fear check to attack?), very high armor, high mass, critical hit HP pool?

- giant: easy to hit (fear check?), variable armor, high mass

- spider: dodges, low armor, variable mass

- rats: hard to hit, low armor, low mass

- humanoids: all variable

 

When you look at it like that rather than as just humanoid vs humanoid or mech vs mech then i think it shows how splitting up the combat into try to attack, try to hit, try to penetrate armor, try to damage, makes sense. The standard HP number rolls them all together. In a computer game the rolls can still all happen at once. The underlying aspects simply effect player tactics.

e.g. Dragon

fear check to attack: 1+ ranged, 6+ melee

to hit: 1+ stationary (ground), 2+ moving (ground), 6+ flying

penetrate armor: 9+

HP: 48 mass HP, 12 critical HP

 

You can already see from that what dragon fighting tactics and gear might be. If you start by looking at the different creatures and how to model them in a non-generic way the fighting system builds itself.

  onlinenow25

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/07
Posts: 281

9/25/13 1:51:51 AM#65
Originally posted by jesad

Sure, you can look at it as we are all just moving electrical impulses through biological synapses in order to achieve a chemical reaction that makes us believe that we are feeling some kind of pleasure, and you would be absolutely right.

But where is the fun in that?

As for what you said about Mech Warrior that actually sounds pretty interesting and engaging.  It sounds like it works based on the type of game it is a 3rd person shooter with a greater degree of just clicking to shoot and twitch based combat.  But from how I interpreted the OP he was referencing the change be towards a more human like character which creates a larger problem considering we as humans are quick to identify something that is not a human or human like trait hence why it does not seem weird in a game like Mech Warrior to have an injuries.

As to talking about simplifying expression and brain function, breaking every aspect of everything we do was not the point of my post, it was simply my supporting argument to explain why I came up with my opinion around HP in video games and PnP games.

 

I will admit the first couple questions might have come off offensive after reading it again.  I apologize. 

 

As we are in a MMO website I assumed that the notion for the different HP system was for a MMO.  It is why I said what I said.  In the end people will brake down every aspect of the game till it is just numbers so they can min-max their character.   Its the nature of RPGs in general because a majority of skill in the game is not actual twitch based it is knowledge based and having exact numbers is what people will end up searching for and finding.

 

The novelty of what ever other system is set in place will be just that a novelty that will ware off and become stale.  To me a MMO can't revolve around a single combat aspect, and I feel is what would be required for a sort of injury based HP system to work.  But again its still just a HP system with your character able to be injured and express it before death.  Its very similar to motion controls on consoles.  It was a novelty that lasted for a short time.  Yes Xbone is trying to force it on everyone but that is for a different discussion.

 

The whole point of my post was to express why a different HP system isn't the answer to making a MMO have higher complexity and fun factor, which is I assume would the reason to try and change HP.

 

 

  onlinenow25

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/07
Posts: 281

9/25/13 1:52:54 AM#66
Originally posted by tupodawg999

A general system needs to cover a very different creatures

- giant beetle: easy to hit, high armor, high mass (standard hp), critical organs? (lower secondary hp pool)

- dragons: hard to hit while moving, easy to hit (in theory) when on the ground (with a fear check to attack?), very high armor, high mass, critical hit HP pool?

- giant: easy to hit (fear check?), variable armor, high mass

- spider: dodges, low armor, variable mass

- rats: hard to hit, low armor, low mass

- humanoids: all variable

 

When you look at it like that rather than as just humanoid vs humanoid or mech vs mech then i think it shows how splitting up the combat into try to attack, try to hit, try to penetrate armor, try to damage, makes sense. The standard HP number rolls them all together. In a computer game the rolls can still all happen at once. The underlying aspects simply effect player tactics.

e.g. Dragon

fear check to attack: 1+ ranged, 6+ melee

to hit: 1+ stationary (ground), 2+ moving (ground), 6+ flying

penetrate armor: 9+

HP: 48 mass HP, 12 critical HP

 

You can already see from that what dragon fighting tactics and gear might be. If you start by looking at the different creatures and how to model them in a non-generic way the fighting system builds itself.

Almost sounds like Monster Hunter.

  TheCrow2k

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 956

9/25/13 2:19:14 AM#67
Locational damage is the way to go & obviously a first simpler step is to have 6 hit zones, 2 legs, 2 arms, body & head.

From there complexity comes to game design. If its tab targetting the offering ability to select a specific target area at Lower % chance to hit is an option, or maybe critical hits randomly damage a specific zone with skills or feats you can get to influence which zone is most likely to hit.

Then there is effects on enemies, hit on fighters left hand disables shield for example, incapacitating a casters arm may result in spells requiring 2 hands to cast being unavailable or a hit on one hand interupting a 2 handed spell.

Aim targetting gets really complicated with hitzones due to latency.
  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1117

9/25/13 2:21:24 AM#68
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by 5Luck
Originally posted by maplestone

You need a way for players to know if they are winning or losing. I've tried a lot of ideas for replacing hp with some other inventory of injuries, but all I've learned from it is the more complexity there is, the less players like it.

Rolemaster taught us that 30 years ago, didn't it? (No offense to RM fans; but RM1 still stands out in my mind as the game that crushed any desire to embrace complexity entirely for the sake of being complex).

"See arcane chart Z21, subsection B on page 213 of an entirely different book."

"Warning: Resolving a critical check can involve consulting up to 13 charts in 4 different books, and estimated time 73 minutes."

We always called it 'Chartmaster'!   But they did have some seriously beautiful maps.

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  tupodawg999

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 623

9/25/13 3:16:40 AM#69
Originally posted by onlinenow25
Originally posted by tupodawg999

A general system needs to cover a very different creatures

- giant beetle: easy to hit, high armor, high mass (standard hp), critical organs? (lower secondary hp pool)

- dragons: hard to hit while moving, easy to hit (in theory) when on the ground (with a fear check to attack?), very high armor, high mass, critical hit HP pool?

- giant: easy to hit (fear check?), variable armor, high mass

- spider: dodges, low armor, variable mass

- rats: hard to hit, low armor, low mass

- humanoids: all variable

 

When you look at it like that rather than as just humanoid vs humanoid or mech vs mech then i think it shows how splitting up the combat into try to attack, try to hit, try to penetrate armor, try to damage, makes sense. The standard HP number rolls them all together. In a computer game the rolls can still all happen at once. The underlying aspects simply effect player tactics.

e.g. Dragon

fear check to attack: 1+ ranged, 6+ melee

to hit: 1+ stationary (ground), 2+ moving (ground), 6+ flying

penetrate armor: 9+

HP: 48 mass HP, 12 critical HP

 

You can already see from that what dragon fighting tactics and gear might be. If you start by looking at the different creatures and how to model them in a non-generic way the fighting system builds itself.

Almost sounds like Monster Hunter.

Monster Hunter is a good example of a game that makes fighting each mob different.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

9/25/13 1:08:14 PM#70
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

 

However, I do enjoy a more sophisticated style of gaming then that upon occasion.....and I think there is at least some audience for it, even if it might be a niche.

I play point & click adventures, and puzzle games if i want to think. I play turn based combat games if i want sophisticated combat.

Action combat needs to have a few tactical option, but there is no need for over-complication. Something like Diablo 3, or Marvel Heroes will be fine. You can't think too much when there are 20 mobs rushing you, and another 10 flinging arrows at you.

Obviously pacing is a factor and the game needs to whether it's giving the player more information then he can handle to make meaningfull decisions upon. However, I don't think that precludes a greater level of sophistication in the injury/damage system. Look at something like World of Tanks Online where armor has penetration values vs different types of ammo and you don't just do general damage to a tank but also can damage or destroy specific sub-sytems (guns, tracks, loaders, optics, engine, gyrostabilzers, etc) which have differing effects on the vehicles performance. Same thing with something like WWII Online or the old Starfleet Battles Online games. There is also the potential of not simply stuff that you do IN the encounter but things you do BEFORE the encounter to prepare (like choosing different armor or weapons when you expect specific types of opposition).

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/25/13 3:06:29 PM#71
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
 

Obviously pacing is a factor and the game needs to whether it's giving the player more information then he can handle to make meaningfull decisions upon. However, I don't think that precludes a greater level of sophistication in the injury/damage system. Look at something like World of Tanks Online where armor has penetration values vs different types of ammo and you don't just do general damage to a tank but also can damage or destroy specific sub-sytems (guns, tracks, loaders, optics, engine, gyrostabilzers, etc) which have differing effects on the vehicles performance. Same thing with something like WWII Online or the old Starfleet Battles Online games. There is also the potential of not simply stuff that you do IN the encounter but things you do BEFORE the encounter to prepare (like choosing different armor or weapons when you expect specific types of opposition).

 

Many ARPG also have a non-trivial meta game. In D3, you can spend as much time as you want to optimize gear, and choose your skills, but once that is done, you have limited options when you fight.

WoT is more or less the same. All these armor & values does not matter when you are just aiming and firing. It matters BEFORE you go into battle.

 

  Mendel

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 643

 
OP  9/26/13 9:43:54 AM#72

The conversation has turned to armor -- that's fine.  Hit points and armor are frequently tied together in games.  Both are defensive aspects of a character -- the pool of life and material protection.

Another defensive tactic traditionally tied to the classic D&D Hit Points abstraction mechanism are the autonomous reactions to avoid the damage -- ducking, dodging, moving an arm out of the way, leaning back, etc.  This kept the original D&D combat system to a single die roll to resolve the combat (hit or miss) and a second, weapon-based roll to determine the injury (damage).  But there appear to be (at least) three distinct factors going on here -- the actions of the defensive target (including involuntary dodging and defensive tactics), the amount of force deflected by the protection and the degree of injury inflicted.

This distinction breaks down into a hit probability, a penetration probability and a damage assessment.   Does the attack connect with the target's body?  How much force is transferred to the target?  What are the repercussions for te target?  D&D chose to fold these three basic questions into 2 abstractions 'To Hit' and 'Hit Points', for reasons I feel were entirely about playability.  Later, less successful games tried to add separate 'Penetrate' check, which never seemed to gain favor, partly because the added die roll seemed to drag the combat out too long.

Part of D&D's Hit Points mechanism included an increase of Hit Points when a new level was reached.   Some part of this increase was rationalized as an increased ability to dodge the attacks.  This automatic increase is the first step towards Mudflation, and it's been in the industry from the beginning.  PnP games, followed by CRPGs and later, MMORPGs compounded the Mudflation problem by adding items with 'bonus HPs', partly justified by the same rationale -- an increased intangible ability to avoid a damaging situation and to 'roll with the punch'.  Ultimately, Hit Points becomes the driving factor of the MMORPG character.   Equipment choices are made to maximize the Hit Point total, new content is added to provide a challenge for the more resilient characters, which drops even better equipment (more Hit Points) which cycles forever without developers committed to preventing this.

For me, the D&D Hit Point system seemed to work best when all characters had between 20 and 40 hit points total.   More than that, and battles simply dragged on and became dice rolling festivals; fewer resulted in brutally fast deaths and lots of obscure medieval polearms sticking out of wizard's corpses.

In a manual system, it is important to minimize the number of computations and die rolls to keep the game flowing.  But with a computer handing all the math and random number generation, I think it should be advantageous for an MMORPG to rethink and renovate some of the fundamental aspects of the RP gaming systems.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  ReallyNow10

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/11/10
Posts: 1665

Don't give us stories. Give us worlds and we will make our own stories.

9/26/13 9:57:11 AM#73

You could have movement and  fighting effectiveness be a percentage of your hit point health.  This could represent being more wounded = being weaker, less effective.

At 90% hit points = 90% effectiveness.

At 10% hit points = 10% effectiveness.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

9/26/13 10:01:37 AM#74
Originally posted by Mendel
Originally posted by ChicagoCub
What we need to do is "unthink" hit points.

I love this statement.  Evolution comes from change, and change frequently comes from rethinking old conventions. 

But...you're re-thinking a convention that was already re-thought (several dozen times) back in the 80s. And pretty much every year since.

So we're re-thinking the re-thinking of the constantly re-thought convention?

Some people really like critical systems, descriptive wound locations, the whole ball of wax. And computers are, indeed, really good as simulating that sort of thing, when called upon to do so. Just like they're really good at graphical depictions, extra blood-splatter, ripping out the opponent's spine and waving it around.

OTOH critical systems generally lean (to a large degree) on RNG deaths, which players tend to find distasteful to be on the receiving end of. Whatever happened to crowd control? Great good fun when you're dealing it, not so much when you're the stun=locked guy.

RNG deaths are a skill-reduction. "OMG lucky roll!"

But in the end, there's a pretty binary state between dead and alive (players also are not big fans of "maimed", in general). Everything else is just flavor-text and colorful graphics, right?

And here I am, ten years later, nibbling at the flaws in Gemstone's combat system. Heh. Oh Smite and Warden, how I've wronged thee.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Mendel

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 643

 
OP  9/26/13 10:37:27 AM#75
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Mendel
Originally posted by ChicagoCub
What we need to do is "unthink" hit points.

I love this statement.  Evolution comes from change, and change frequently comes from rethinking old conventions. 

But...you're re-thinking a convention that was already re-thought (several dozen times) back in the 80s. And pretty much every year since.

So we're re-thinking the re-thinking of the constantly re-thought convention?

<snip>

All the various attempts at rethinking this issue were still in the era of manual combat resolution.  None were ultimately successful in the long-term.   By the time computers were incorporated into the genre, via CRPGs and MMORPGs, the Hit Point convention was firmly in place.  They adopted the prevailing PnP conventions and translated these directly to computers.

But I think a systemic revision of the Hit Points abstraction without the dice-bound playability restrictions could give the MMORPG genre a boost.  So, it takes 17 random numbers used in 30 formula to resolve a combat, computers can do this fast enough to build a workable complex system that is essentially unplayable in the PnP world.   Maybe it falls back to the Hit Points convention as the best abstraction for computerized gaming, but maybe there's other solutions that work better for the computer.  It's definitely an opportunity for innovation and revolutionary (rather than evolutionary) change.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

9/26/13 10:46:25 AM#76
Originally posted by Mendel
But I think a systemic revision of the Hit Points abstraction without the dice-bound playability restrictions could give the MMORPG genre a boost.

Instead you run into a restriction based on graphical playability. How man health-bars or sheild-units can a player watch and grasp in real time? Can you react to "your right limb just turned red" before "your whole doll just turned red"?

A couple of orders of magnitude faster than PnP games, faster than MUDs...yes,  of course we require some compression of information delivery.

When is the last time any of you saw a damage indicator (paper doll) more complicated than head, legs, torso? Have you even stopped to consider why they aren't terribly more complicated that that?

Every played a game that required you to keep track of multiple shields? They exist, even in FPS. Any of them remembered as "classics"?

I can play SFB in turn-based, on paper, checking off my little hit boxes and losing another photon torpedo, thinking about which way I want to turn my starship and where to move that still lets me deal more than I receive. Ooh, if I move there I'm out-of-arc for his drones, but he'll have another phaser bank on me...hmm. But one combat resolution can take several hours.

Think I can track all of that information and make good decisions at 3600 times the speed?

Your enemy isn't hit points. Your enemy is "combat that moves quicker than a crawl".

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Siug

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/02/12
Posts: 1025

9/26/13 10:53:30 AM#77
What's wrong with HP in the first place? If someone comes out with better system then it will replace the current one. Until then it's pointless to design square shaped wheels just to use different wheels.
  Mendel

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 643

 
OP  9/26/13 11:18:29 AM#78
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Mendel
But I think a systemic revision of the Hit Points abstraction without the dice-bound playability restrictions could give the MMORPG genre a boost.

Instead you run into a restriction based on graphical playability. How man health-bars or sheild-units can a player watch and grasp in real time? Can you react to "your right limb just turned red" before "your whole doll just turned red"?

A couple of orders of magnitude faster than PnP games, faster than MUDs...yes,  of course we require some compression of information delivery.

When is the last time any of you saw a damage indicator (paper doll) more complicated than head, legs, torso? Have you even stopped to consider why they aren't terribly more complicated that that?

Every played a game that required you to keep track of multiple shields? They exist, even in FPS. Any of them remembered as "classics"?

I can play SFB in turn-based, on paper, checking off my little hit boxes and losing another photon torpedo, thinking about which way I want to turn my starship and where to move that still lets me deal more than I receive. Ooh, if I move there I'm out-of-arc for his drones, but he'll have another phaser bank on me...hmm. But one combat resolution can take several hours.

Think I can track all of that information and make good decisions at 3600 times the speed?

Your enemy isn't hit points. Your enemy is "combat that moves quicker than a crawl".

I do not deny that the idea of presentation of the abstraction is an important piece of this puzzle.  But the presentation isn't the abstraction.

I think an important part of the abstraction is how much of the details of the abstraction method the player really needs to know and how to convey that information to the player (the presentation).  Ideally, a players health should tell them when to act (run, heal, surrender, go into a defensive shell, continue attacking, etc.).  A simple stop light can convey that information.   Tie the individual colors to the possibility than another hit will incapacitate them, make the thresholds user adjustable, and that's all the information a player might want.  A game could display the information as a single overall indicator or per each hit location on a paper doll.  The presentation is a part of the User Interface, not the abstraction itself.

The presentation layer can hide the inner working of the abstraction.  With Hit Points, the numeric value is both the abstraction and the presentation.   But, as I stated before, this convention is designed to be playable at the tabletop, and the abstraction is necessarily simplistic.  Making a more robust abstraction can provide a more meaningful representation of the body and allows a more interesting set of combat results.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  theAsna

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 303

9/26/13 12:18:10 PM#79
Originally posted by Mendel

The gaming industry has used the same basic methods for abstracting conflict resolution for so long now that the fundamental gaming aspect has gotten stale.  Weapon damage is resolved by random numbers and spell damage with bigger random numbers each whittling away on a target's (both mobs and players) pool of increasing silly HPs.  Healers (and potions and regeneration effects) rapidly try to replenish that pool of HPs before the pool reaches 0.  Additionally, there are all too many games that bestow Hit Points from items, further increasing the totals of characters and is a root cause of mudflation.  At some point, this abstraction will need to evolve; hit points can't be the best (and only) way to simulate the human body.

Hit points abstract a person's ability to continue fighting coupled with defenses.  It doesn't abstract pain, nor bruises, nor broken bones, nor cut tissue, nor pulled muscles, nor internal injuries or any other side effect of one object hitting flesh and bone.   Hit points are not very good at dealing with lasting effects such as burns or poisons or lack of use.  Try throwing a ball with a broken wrist, or kicking a ball with a twisted ankle, you might be able to accomplish the task, but it will not be as sharp or accurate as an unhindered effort.  The basic hit point system is now dated and MMORPGs need another way to abstract the human's ability to retain life.

Hit points were used to create a single number in a dice-driven pen-and-paper gaming environment.  But with computers, is there really a need to boil everything down to a single number anymore?   Why not an alive/dead abstraction with separate pain tolerance levels (abstractions) for each area of the body?  Or various, constant pools of health points associated with each hit location?  Or fatality percentages for each hit location?

Changes to this basic Hit Point abstraction has ripple effects throughout the entire game system.  Combat, natural healing, magical healing, combat magics and other affects use or manipulate these values within the game world.  I've tried making several non-HP-based systems.   I've not gotten it good enough to be satisfied with, and I've been trying for almost 25 years now.

It's not an easy mechanism to replace, but I think it is time that MMORPGs break its reliance on this RP tradition.  And I believe that the next big challenge for MMORPGs is to find a better model for the human body than the Hit Point model.

Your ideas and opinions are welcome.

 

I know a 30 year old CRPG where they had the traditional hit-points system and combined it with a body part mechanic. There were 6 body parts (head, left arm, right arm, torso, left leg & right leg).

If someone got injured in combat then the hit points pool was lowered by a randomly determined amount. Additionally there was a chance that some body part was damaged (e.g. lightly injured, broken, very seriously damaged/gone).

You controlled a party of 6 characters and combat was rather menu driven (no real time moving around the map and stuff). Combat options were determined by certain skills (attack skills, ranged weapon skills, defending skills, etc.) and a character's health had some impact as well. For the sake of simplicity the game assumes that every character was a right handed person. If the right hand was broken or gone then no attacking and spellcasting was possible. If the legs were broken/gone then the character was easier to hit by monsters. If the head was injured then the character could become unconscious. Etc. Certain attack options had increased chances of injuring body parts instead of inflicting high hit-points damage.

Thus there was always a danger that your party members could be knocked out / killed before the hit-points reached 0. 

 

Dunno how good such a system would work in an MMO.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

9/26/13 12:40:44 PM#80
Originally posted by Mendel

The presentation layer can hide the inner working of the abstraction.  With Hit Points, the numeric value is both the abstraction and the presentation.   But, as I stated before, this convention is designed to be playable at the tabletop, and the abstraction is necessarily simplistic.  Making a more robust abstraction can provide a more meaningful representation of the body and allows a more interesting set of combat results.

The abstraction isn't "hiding" anything. It is simplifying defense (which in FPS and MMOs tends to result in you concentrating upon the offensive choices, instead. Not inferior, just different.

Your visual cortex is kept busy tracking movement and making decisions about positioning (somethng that takes place at a much lower rate, or even not-at-all in MUD, PnP). Tracking 'shields' or armor rating adds more complexity, but if the movement/reaction processing is absorbing enough 'brainpower', there is an upper limit.

Would a game ticking at 1/10th speed (but with great big most-of-the-graphic-real-estate paper dolls representing complex defenses, and relatively little offensive complexity) satisfy? It might, for a thinking-man's chess sort of combat simulation. Certainly worked for Mech Warrior, back in the day.

Don't think it would make much of an MMO, however--but feel free to design something unique.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

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