Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Let's rethink Hit Points.

135

Comments

  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    OP, your system of hit location has been implemented before...not only PnP games, but computer games as well. The game I'm speaking of specifically is Battletech.  Hit locations, with each area able to sustain certain amounts of damage before critical components fail. Occasionally a lucky shot will bypass all HP and damage a critical component directly.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!  I knew it.  Took a while though.  I would have thought more people would have thought of this right away.

    Here's my idea, after giving it a bit of thought though.

    Change the H.U.D. doll into some metaphysical representation of the individual and then explain through instruction that this is supposed to be the characters mental picture of themselves.  Call it their "Self-Image" or "Ego" or something stupid like that so that it fits and then repurpose Bitching Betty into Conscientious Kevin/Clara (depending on the chosen sex of the player), and instead of having that voice be this repetitive "Warning!  Warning!" Robbie the Robot sounding woman, make it sound like an inner thought like the voice that goes "Damn!" in your head when you stub your toe.  Only this voice will say "Ouch, my leg!" when you get hit in the leg.  This will call your attention to your Self-Image or Ego or whatever in the same fashion as Betty does in a mech, and now you have a mech-like hud for a fantasy game environment.

    Expand on this by having poison introduce a creeping graphic that spreads from the point of injection to the rest of the body.  Acid deteriorating parts of the doll.  Heck, once you have it up there you could do all kinds of stuff, including the things you already want to do like address movement and actions after damage has taken place.

    Is that affects or effects?  I never know.  I felt like Porky Pig on those last four words.

     

    (afterthought) of course you could screw everything I said about the paperdoll Self-Image/Ego thing and have all of this damage be graphically represented on the toon but for some reason I think that would end up being a resource nightmare.

    image
  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DrCokePepsi

     


    Originally posted by onlinenow25
    Not to kill a discussion but is this really being debated?

     

    Have none of you done any programming?  And do you guys understand that language is just a bunch of symbols/artifacts of humans putting meaning behind these symbols/artifacts?  Do you also understand that no matter what symbol is used to represent a numerical value that that does not change it from holding a numerical value?  

     

    Example:  Say you have two cookies.  No matter what you call 'two' you still have that same number of cookies.  You could call the number of cookies Blarg, but you still have Blarg cookies.   Hopefully this makes sense.

     

    A program revolves around numbers and equations, as such no matter what is done visually everything calculated is done by numbers.  So no matter how complex of a system you come up with you will never be able to escape the fact that everything boils down to how much damage you do, and how much health/life what ever you want to call it you have.

     

    Even in games like Street Fighter where its skill based, there are still numbers.  Characters still have different HP values and damage values for attacks.  Nothing escapes Damage and HP/Health when its a computer game, or heck even a PnP game because no matter what you end up calling it its still just Health/HP and damage done/taken which are numerical values you represent change.

     

    If the foundation of understanding what is happening in an imaginary setting is done through symbols there is no way to get around putting some sort of symbol to define it.  As such because its a value that increases and decreases its going to be a number no matter what kind of symbol you use to call it something else. 

     

    Example.  Pizza = 100.   Fat Fist = 50.   Pizza - Fat Fist = Fat Fist.   Pizza and Fat Fist are there to represent two numerical values.  No matter what they are called you end up with a numerical value symbolized in a different form, in this case words, yet they still hold the same meaning if the equation was 100 - 50 = 50. 

     

    Hence no matter what is done you will not and can not escape the fact that damage and health are representations of change which hold a numerical value, and changing the name/symbole of the numerical value will not change it from being a numerical value.

     

     


    First of all, insulting. I myself am semi-rounded in coding, but nobody else should need to know anything coding related.

     

    And second of all, obviously we all know that it boils down to some numerical value, we're talking about the way that numerical value is represented, whether it's multiple limbs taking damage, one single hp bar, or some other form of indication. We know that.

    Get off your high throne of intelligence, you insulted people for no legitimate reason.

    Dude thank you for that.  I actually wrote three different responses saying similar things before I finally worked out the restraint to resist the troll.  Glad to see someone else step to it though.  I concur.

    image
  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon

    I think that in addition to the mechwarrior/battletech/fallout system you could also implement an Eve Online layering that would provide both an armor layer of protection as well as a flesh layer.

    In Eve you have armor and shields and both can be worked on and improved.  In an MMO you would have armor and body, both which should be able to be worked on and improved.  Of course the body not so much, but we all know that a boxer can take a punch a lot better than someone who has never been in a fight if for no reason than awareness of what is coming alone.  Likewise their are things like pain thresholds, layers of muscle and/or fat, and all kinds of things to be considered where body conditioning is concerned.

    Armor, of course would traditionally do what armor does only, as someone else suggested, could be breached and possibly destroyed with enough damage.

    One shotting someone should only ever happen using a system like this in the most extreme of cases.  Over use of that particular kind of attack would really be detrimental to the entire point of going through all of this.

    A well armored well conditioned person should at least have the chance to bleed out.  It's the heroic way. ;)

     

    Thinking about all of this critically though, as soon as you implement something like this you are going to have the old aimbot problem, so that might be something to think about.

    image
  • OziiusOziius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,388Member Uncommon

    I personally don't want too much reality in my fantasy game. I see what you're saying... But think about it. Would a new system be fun? Think about a game now like FF, Gw2, wow, etc. would you really want broken limbs and what now every time another player bashed you with a giant piece of metal on a stick?  Would you really want diminished breathing capacity every time a rogue stabs you in the back?

     

    Too much reality would would absolutely ruin these games. I mean, you're talking about games wherein, folks shoot fireballs from their hands and can bring people back to life. Reality should take a back seat. I'm good with HP as it is. 

  • ShauneepeakShauneepeak Biddeford, MEPosts: 421Member

    While not as complex as some would probably want an easy to implement way to handle armour simply have the stats degrade along with the armours condition and actually make it difficult to repair instead of got to X armour mender and pay X amount of $ they could still leave that in but maybe only have menders able to repair armour up to a certain %. Same could apply for weapons also haven't played Fallout in like a year but doesn't the Fallout system already have everything I just said? So we really just need more games with the Fallout system for me to be thoroughly happy at least.

     

    A true Fallout MMO would be so amazing. I cheered IRL when Marcus Beer actually said this in one of Gametrailers more recent Invisible Wall episodes I believe it was.

  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by onlinenow25
    Originally posted by DrCokePepsi

     


    Originally posted by onlinenow25
    Not to kill a discussion but is this really being debated?

     

    Have none of you done any programming?  And do you guys understand that language is just a bunch of symbols/artifacts of humans putting meaning behind these symbols/artifacts?  Do you also understand that no matter what symbol is used to represent a numerical value that that does not change it from holding a numerical value?  

     

    Example:  Say you have two cookies.  No matter what you call 'two' you still have that same number of cookies.  You could call the number of cookies Blarg, but you still have Blarg cookies.   Hopefully this makes sense.

     

    A program revolves around numbers and equations, as such no matter what is done visually everything calculated is done by numbers.  So no matter how complex of a system you come up with you will never be able to escape the fact that everything boils down to how much damage you do, and how much health/life what ever you want to call it you have.

     

    Even in games like Street Fighter where its skill based, there are still numbers.  Characters still have different HP values and damage values for attacks.  Nothing escapes Damage and HP/Health when its a computer game, or heck even a PnP game because no matter what you end up calling it its still just Health/HP and damage done/taken which are numerical values you represent change.

     

    If the foundation of understanding what is happening in an imaginary setting is done through symbols there is no way to get around putting some sort of symbol to define it.  As such because its a value that increases and decreases its going to be a number no matter what kind of symbol you use to call it something else. 

     

    Example.  Pizza = 100.   Fat Fist = 50.   Pizza - Fat Fist = Fat Fist.   Pizza and Fat Fist are there to represent two numerical values.  No matter what they are called you end up with a numerical value symbolized in a different form, in this case words, yet they still hold the same meaning if the equation was 100 - 50 = 50. 

     

    Hence no matter what is done you will not and can not escape the fact that damage and health are representations of change which hold a numerical value, and changing the name/symbole of the numerical value will not change it from being a numerical value.

     

     


    First of all, insulting. I myself am semi-rounded in coding, but nobody else should need to know anything coding related.

     

    And second of all, obviously we all know that it boils down to some numerical value, we're talking about the way that numerical value is represented, whether it's multiple limbs taking damage, one single hp bar, or some other form of indication. We know that.

    Get off your high throne of intelligence, you insulted people for no legitimate reason.

    What about my post was insulting?

     

    Next if you read everything you would understand why the veil or representation you are trying to put over HP will never give it a new meaningful feeling.  

     

    Have you ever played a game that tried to enact some sort of realism with injuries?  I have, there was an old mod for Quake 3 Arena called Navy Seals.  It went back and forth from the injuries being a major annoyance to being nothing at all.  It wasn't possible to find a real true balance, some changes were as minor as a second on bandage timers, or single digit changes to slower movement speeds from getting shot in the legs.  Time and time again it was either an annoyance or nothing at all.  Not to mention for when it was an annoyance, it was all about the first shot.  

     

    You could also go try out DayZ because that is such an amazing game am I right?  Because getting knocked out with a tranq for 15 to 20 mins of real time makes it feel so much more realistic right?

     

    You can't expect to feel any sort of complex realism  damage system when getting hit in a video game when we still don't even have peripheral vision in FPS games.

    Edit:  To the poster above me.  Do you actually feel any sort of realistic attachment when playing MechWarrior?  Do you ever get mad, frustrated or become a sitting duck waiting to die because your weapons got destroyed?  I haven't played Mech Warrior Online and don't really plan to but I remember back to earlier Mech Warrior games, it was pretty annoying to have your weapons system be shot out because of bad luck and then sit there waiting for the NPCs to blow you up because you have no way to repair it ( ya that old Mech Warrior with no online play).

    Actually the way that Mechwarrior is set up adds what I and other players feel is a totally more engaging aspect to combat as you must actually turn or shield your damaged parts away from combat in order to not end up being that sitting duck.

    Likewise from the attackers perspective it provides a whole additional purpose to aiming and to smaller, less armored, faster mechs because, like gnats, they can run around their larger, more armored enemies, shooting them in the legs until they slow them down or make them fall as long as that big guy doesn't get a hold of them before they manage to get that done.

    As for the whole numbers thing.  I think we all know that on an atomic level there is not difference between a human being and the nightstand, but that on a creative level we also realize that it is the organization of such atoms that turns what would be a pretty boring reality to live in more like the exciting, unique world that we actually do live in.

    We know what the deal is, we are, or at least are trying to be, the masters of the layers of bullshit that keeps life, and MMO's interesting is all.  That is why your stern reduction of what I feel is a totally entertaining and engaging exercise in brainstorming comes off as insulting.

    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?

    image
  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    You're not going to get rid of hit points from a computer game.  You can move the numbers around, add more / less of them, try harder to hide them or call them something else but they will always be there.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member
    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.

     

     

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    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.

     

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    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.

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon

    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.

  • onlinenow25onlinenow25 San Diego, CAPosts: 275Member
    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.

     

     

  • onlinenow25onlinenow25 San Diego, CAPosts: 275Member
    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.

  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Adelaide, AKPosts: 953Member
    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.
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,414Member Uncommon
    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.

  • tupodawg999tupodawg999 LondonPosts: 724Member Uncommon
    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.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member
    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).

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    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.

     

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 924Member Uncommon

    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.

  • ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Pile It High Town, LAPosts: 2,010Member Common

    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.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    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.

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 924Member Uncommon
    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.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    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.

  • SiugSiug TallinnPosts: 1,236Member Uncommon
    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.
  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 924Member Uncommon
    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.

Sign In or Register to comment.