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I have always thought that overexposure to the "numbers" is somewhat detrimental to the actual gameplay, for the simple reason that the use of the numbers would sways you to play the games in efficient, but less fun, ways to get ahead. This may happen either consiously or subconsiously. "the exp is no good here", "this group is too slow", "i can do better solo".
We all do it. We all evaluate the numbers to the best of our ability and find the easiest route. If quests are the easiest route well do that. If dungeons are well do that.
So i wonder.. given out nature..what is it that we should be seeing in our games and what shouldnt we be seeing?
heres what i have come up with:
We should not see this, but it should not be completely invisible either. The visibility of levelling will lead to negatively efficient gameplay which i believe should be avoided. I think the best method is to have it in a notification type method where you are let know when youve achieved a major or minor milestone. We should not know exactly how much "exp" a mob gives, and we should not know "how much we need to level" Neither of these constructs are needed to play the game, and will only succeed in making the game a lesson in efficiency. Overall i think it takes aways more than it adds to the gameplay experience.
We should see this and it should be completely visible. This is one area where being able to see the stats and its effect on the bottom line can produce positive gameplay. The flexibility to make your character a certain way and to micromanage the details is required here. You cant eliminate all the stats from a game and i think this is the best place to focus the micromanagement of them. Micromanagement of a character can produce signifigant extra gameplay through expirimentation and thus would be a positive motivator in the game.
This information should be available but not during your gaming session. I believe having it available during your game session leads to negative gameplay where people will choose to elevate stats often rather than perform as a team. I do think though that there should be a "recapp" and "review" function where you can evaluate your gameplay "after the fact" and this should include video and statistics, but done in an evaluation format. Like watching football videos of opposing teams prior to or after a game.
Im on the fence with this one, but i think i would rather not see combat damage in the game. I would like to know when i scored a critical hit. I dont think piles of numbers floating over everything particularly adds anything tothe game, but i also dont feel they take away anything either. I would leave it personal preference.
Hitpoints and mana
I believe that these should be very vague and not have exact numbers. I dont see anything wrong with knowing the stats of it ( i have 5000 mana and 6000 hitpoints) but i dont believe you should get a countdown in combat. You should have a vaghue idea as there is gameplay in the vague idea when you are low on health or mana. You will get some "good anxiety" when you get low, and that translates into an improved gameplay experience. Not knowing exactly when you will die or run dry will produce a better emotional response and a less mechanical one.
feel free to discuss.