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The red orb of health is a throwback to diablo 1, and i have an improvement on it i think players will enjoy immensley that would be simple to incorperate to the game.
From all the videos ive seen thus far, which is quite a few, something stands out to me. The truth is that when you immerse a player into a world where things are exciting and not static, you can actually hear the glee in the voices of the video makers. I think players have somewhat overcome the requirement to mechanize the game down to a statfest and crave a little more immersion in their mmo.
Since GW2 is supposedly big on breaking the mold, please consider the following suggestion.
We will take away that little red ball and replace it with a little red heart. It doesnt have to look like a real human heart, but it does have to beat like one. Rather than display how many hitpoints you have, it would simply beat faster. If you took enough damage you would drop to the ground as they have already implemented. This idea originated in the TRS-80 game" Dungeons of Dageroth" and it was awesome then (well over 20 years ago) and would be awesome now.
this mechanism has a few advantages.
1) it takes your mind off the stats and allows more immersion to tbe added to the game at very low development cost.
2) You never know when youll drop, and the benifits of this mechanism cannot be underestimated. You will have an idea of when, but not know exactly when, and this factor of the unknown will produce anxiety/excitement ( the good kind) when you are "low on health", which translates into more fun for players and less mechanical dissection. Since everyone in GW2 is largely responsible for healing themselves, i think it would be a great boon to the immersion factor.
a little unknown can go a long way to making things exciting and my opinion is to always show things graphically instead of statistically whenever possible.