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Does Permadeth make sense without chunking?


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I'm not sure I got things right: if I didn't, please, mods, just grant this topic a painless and merciful death.

 

So, even with permadeath activated, I fear we are going to face this kind of scenario:

Our Fighter, we'll call him Rocky, has, let's say, 100 stamina and 100 health. Rocky is currently facing the Draconic Dragon of Dragonness, who hits our poor fighter straight in his handsomely symnetrical mug with the full force of its Nefariously Bad Breath of Fiery Fire.

Now, in BG2, at least from core difficulty on, that would mean a discrete tear for late Rocky (or a snigger "Rotten luck, he was barely 96 hp away from surviving that one").

If I got things right, in PoE, as long as Rocky has full health, he gets a maximum of 100 stamina and 25 health damage, he keels over, and, as long as his companions can finish the fight, he'll be perfectly fine, minus the 25 health (because once you go down you cannot be targeted and you cannot take damage, am I right?).

 

If things turned out this way, well, that would remove an important element of tension from BG2 and so on, which came from the risk of losing permanently a character in combat even if he/she entered combat with full health (like when a thief appeared suddenly behind Viconia). That would make permadeath more an exercise in managing bedrolls and inn reservations, since if I have care to enter combat with full health the actual chances of permadeath are practically zero: instead of the risk of chunking, 0 stamina practically earns you a free Sphere of Oitluke until the end of combat. Would it be feasible to add the option of having downed characters still targettable by enemies and taking damage from area of effect spells? Or, failing that, the option of having 0 stamina equal permadeath? Health would still play an important role in representing the Iimpossibility of taking bumps fight after fight without long term repercussions.

 

Unless I got it all wrong, that is.

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Hello. I would like to introduce you to some spiders. When they bite you, you're petrified. That means that they'll still be targeting you, and all subsequent damage will come directly out of your health, bypassing stamina, four times faster than normal, and you will have lousy defenses.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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That sounds great to me. But is it limited to poison/petrify special mechanics? My doubt is: if I enter combat with 100 health and 100 stamina, will I need an attack worth 400 'normal' damage (after DT and resistences) in order to actually die? And if it is merely 396 damage, I will just fall down with 0 stamina and 1 health left and be invulnerable until the end of combat?

Edited by frapillo80
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If damage that exceeds stamina is directly applied to health, you'd only need 175 damage to die.

 

I think there are two important questions that need to be answered first.

 

1) are downed characters really save from harm

 

2) what happens to "excess" damage(i.e. damage that exceeds current stamina)

Edited by Azrael Ultima
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If downed characters keep taking damage and are targettable by enemies, then perfect.

Otherwise, even if excess damage is applied to health with a 1:1 proportion, we can have scenarios like this:

Paladin is left with 1 stamina and 75.25 health (for simplicity, let's assume he entered the fight with full health and did not recover any stamina during the fight)

He can die in combat only by taking 76.25 damage or more in a single hit (after DT/protections, which means the original damage needs to be even higher). If he takes anything less, he's just effectively SphereofOtiluked safely until the end of the fight. If this is the case, apart from the lack of nail-biting tension, it can even lead to exploits like not healing a character's stamina and letting him go down on purpose and become invulnerable, in order to save more of his health. In BG2, if you have 1 hp left, 11 damage or more and you are permadead already.

 

P.S. Great, I am only now noticing the 'Permadeth' in the topic title. I cannot edit that, can I?

Edited by frapillo80
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That sounds great to me. But is it limited to poison/petrify special mechanics? My doubt is: if I enter combat with 100 health and 100 stamina, will I need an attack worth 400 'normal' damage (after DT and resistences) in order to actually die? And if it is merely 396 damage, I will just fall down with 0 stamina and 1 health left and be invulnerable until the end of combat?

No, 100 damage. It goes from health, not stamina.

 

Trust me, those spiders are badass.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Just throwing in my $0.02 that the currently existing exploit of "let's let this guy fall so he'll not lose any more health" needs to be fixed. Wounds when knocked unconscious, extra health loss, enemies attacking downed characters... Something needs to be done there.

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Just throwing in my $0.02 that the currently existing exploit of "let's let this guy fall so he'll not lose any more health" needs to be fixed. Wounds when knocked unconscious, extra health loss, enemies attacking downed characters... Something needs to be done there.

 

Does it? Isn't an intelligent enemy going to focus their attacks on the party members that are still hitting back? If they (the enemy) don't win the battle, then those downed party members aren't going to matter to them anyway.

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Of course. That's why I was wishing for the option of "downed characters still targettable by enemies", I'd never wish for every single mob to gang up on poor downed Rocky every time like a pack of starving pitbulls. Maybe, to keep coding simple, it could be linked to intelligence/perception: high int/per, high chance of switching to the next priority; low int/per/frenzied/etc, high chance of keep wailing on poor Rocky for a bit. This way the player as well, as long as he knows enough about the mob, can have a rough idea of what is likely to happen to Rocky's picassian face.

Edited by frapillo80
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Not necessarily, a frenzied barbarian would probably not, and a lion even less so.

True, if perhaps infrequent. So it should really be a part of the AI scripting.

Agree 100% - I should've said that in my original post, my bad. Yeah - certain enemy types (especially wild animals) should keep attacking after you go down sometimes. Would add interesting tactical considerations ("Save Bob! He's down and the lion's eating him!") and completely fix the screwed up healing incentives that currently plague the game. Letting a character go down would be bad, period. Which is as it should be.

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Which is where the Fighter could get one of his much needed offensive/tactical additions: something like charging past fallen Bob and shouldering a lion a bit further away, with the fighter ending up in the spot between Bob and the lion. Would also make the Guardian ability/talent more tactically relevant.

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^Good idea.

'Defend the Helpless' / 'Courageous Stand' / 'Over MyBob's DeadUnconscious Body' - sounds like a good fighter ability to me - take the place of a companion who's getting pounded (whether they're on the ground already or just really low on endurance/health.

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Could add something along the line of "if you take more than your max stamina of damage in 1 hit you're chunkified" to higher difficulties? (for example, dnd has this massive damage rule where if you take over 50dmg in a hit you have to save or die, regardless of your current health)

 

How is health tied to stamina actualy (assuming the 1:1 ration they're doing in the future). If my character has 50 hp on 20 stamina, and gets hit for 30 dmg, he's now unconscious with 20hp? Or unconcious with 30 (since he only took 20 to stamina)?

 

My view is that enemy AI should not be able to target downed characters (besides some special cases maybe as others have mentioned, just to spice it up). If you get hit bay aoe or something obviously you take damage, but I think it would look weird to have enemies apparently aware that they're going to die and martyr themselves just to troll the player.

 

If you wanna have being unconscious penalized more (isn't there something that you're dead in 1hit if you fall unconscious and get up after combat?) you could add some dying mechanic. Like slowly losing hp or something (I saw dnd expanded these things a bit through the editions even). Would put more pressure on hp if you're making mistakes and I think the increased health they're doing for longer adventuring days can take some bleeding.

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I don't think it would be any weirder than an enemy keeping hitting a paralized/petrified/knocked down character. And not all enemies shoul do it, maybe only the dumbest/frenzied/beastlier ones (and with a partially random chance of it happening). But right now the 0 stamina Sphere of Otiluke opens the door to any kind of cheese, and changing only the AoF only changes things a bit against casters, or when you mismanage your own spells. We'd still have four lions playing cards while waiting for your careless companion who failed his stealth check and got savaged to get up so they can get another swipe (or slam-dunk) at him, rinse and repeat.

The dying mechanic has a similar effect to an enemy attacking your health while you are down, but while your companions can distract/paralyze/interrupt/knockdown/kill the offending enemy, what can you do in combat with the dying mechanism, since nothing can heal health apart from resting? Then your only option is to kill everybody very quickly, which limits your options much more than enemies targetting the fallen (which, of course, still gives you the option to kill everybody real quick to save your fallen companion).

 

And invulnerability-when-down could still be active in Easy or Normal mode, or (even better), be a separate option like permadeath. It's not a thing I think the devs should thrust upon every player.

Edited by frapillo80
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Does it? Isn't an intelligent enemy going to focus their attacks on the party members that are still hitting back? If they (the enemy) don't win the battle, then those downed party members aren't going to matter to them anyway.

Don't forget area attacks. There's no good reason why an unconcious character would be immune to dragon mouthstink, even if he isn't the primary target.

 

And an intelligent enemy that percieves the downed target as the greatest threat would likely attempt to finish him off ASAP.

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Tbh I'd be ok with any solution that solved the "better to let them fall than to heal them" problem. But I haven't seen any suggestions that really make sense other than bleedout or enemies (sometimes) attacking the fallen. And of the two, enemies attacking the fallen is less punitive because it lets you do something about it. Would improve the experience considerably IMO.

Edited by Matt516
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I guess a "0 stamina just kills you" option would be a dirty quick fix, although it would render a part of the stamina-health mechanics pointless. But even that would be better than the 0 stamina exploits, IMO.

Expecially with the current trash mobs, I mean: I already know I am not getting anything out of the figh; I'm going to lose some precious health even in the best case; if by chance two lions gang up on my mage and he's about to go down, well, for sure I'm not going to heal his stamina only for him to lose even more precious health in a meaningless fight. I think during quest fights I would feel somewhat less tempted, but still.

 

Priest's Withdraw could of course target fallen companions, although without stamina recover in this case, and maybe with some general fine-tuning.

Edited by frapillo80
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Im all for having some enemies have a "frenzied" enough nature to just keep hitting the downed characters while having other more "rational" enemies focus on the ones that arent unconcious.

After all, an enemy cant be sure the downed character isnt dead.

 

Of course, this would mean you would place a far bigger priority on "fenzied" enemies as they can actually kill your characters. Sorta like how in XCOM you brain goes into panic mode when you spot a chryssalid and you redirect all your firepower to it even if theres a Muton right next to you.

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Why should an enemy not try to finish someone off, making sure he stays down ? I would argue a seasoned fighter would not take the risk of someone getting up again, because this might lead to his demise. According to Historical medieval martial arts, as far as I know, this was done.

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