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PrimeHydra

Shouldn't Health and Endurance Be Switched?

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Now, now, hear me out.
 

When I see my character's portrait fill up with red, that says health to me. Having played the IE games as well as the backer beta, I can say without a doubt that anyone coming from those games is going to be disoriented. "Endurance? WTF is that?"

 

Well, they'll have to learn, as far as combat is concerned, it's really your health. When it reaches zero, you're out of it.  That secondary bar? That's your actual health. Do you see the potential for confusion?

 

In RPGs, health is the resource that keeps you in the fight. There is simply no reason to change this for the sake of having a two-tiered system. Any secondary system should be just that, secondary. In the current build, what's called "health" is really a secondary "wounds" system (I want to call it "endurance" because it depends on resting), while what is called "endurance" is, for all intents and purposes, your health.

 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a deal breaker. I had never picked up D&D before Baldur's Gate 2, and I had to learn about this "THAC0" thing; without really understanding it, I just had to know that lower armor numbers were better. Fine. Some game systems are quirky. But while BG and friends had to be true to Dungeons and Dragons--replete with oddities--Obsidian gets to do whatever they want. There is no reason this can't be both intuitive and tactical.

 

I'm not asking for complexity to be removed, so take your "you're not hardcore" flames elsewhere.  I'm asking them to refactor some terminology.

 

It doesn't make sense that healing spells affect endurance, but to restore your health, you rest, an activity associated with restoring fatigue. How can priest spells make you feel peppy but are powerless against rended limbs? There's magical sleep for that. I get that gameplay trumps simulation--when the gameplay makes sense.

 

Switch the strings "Health" and "Endurance" in all UI text and suddenly the systems click.

 

Mostly. The remaining issue is of character "death". Not the falling-down "knocked out" when your portrait turns red, but the "true death" as Vampire Bill would say. "Endurance" doesn't quite fit this. So, what to do?

  • Let the portrait represent "Health". Your actual health. When it runs out, you're maimed or dead depending on whether you have "Death" enabled. Increase health accordingly, so that it's no easier to die now than it was before this change. Restore health using the same spells/abilities/potions we already have for Endurance, or by resting. And--this last bit is optional--let resting restore a limited amount of health. I liked how in the IE games, if your character was hurt badly, they'd need to visit a temple, quaff a potion or get some clerical attention--unless you want to rest a few times. This part is debatable; the terminology change is the key point.
  • Let the secondary, little green bar next to your portrait represent "Endurance" or "Fatigue". It depletes over time as you travel and exert yourself (use abilities etc), not when you take damage. It is a limit on the "adventuring day", basically a more granular stamina system. When the green bar depletes, your characters become tired and start accumulating penalties. Restore fatigue by resting.

 

With these changes:

  • Health works as it always has in RPGs throughout the ages, and portraits reflect health like they did in the IE games. Everything makes intuitive sense.
  • Endurance (Fatigue) determines when you (should) rest. It's a natural delimiter on the adventuring day, only loosely tied to how much you've fought.
Edited by PrimeHydra
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I think it would make more sense if the current Health pool healed the Endurance pool, rather than both of them being dealt damage at the same time. They would need to be renamed, but it would make more sense and be more intuitive (more like D&D 4E Healing surges, except fully granular). Josh does love Darklands though so ... they may not change anything.

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:shrugs: different games use different terminology I for one think there are much better things for OE to be focusing on at this stage of development - I have no real issue to the current terminology nor the way it works.


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:shrugs: different games use different terminology I for one think there are much better things for OE to be focusing on at this stage of development - I have no real issue to the current terminology nor the way it works.

 

That's not much of an argument--they could as well have called endurance "marklar", but that's OK because different games use different terminology?

 

99% of RPGs--if I may guesstimate--call it health, HP, hit points, or life. "Endurance" is not synonymous with these.

 

Making the system more intuitive would not be a huge investment in time. I agree that there are more important matters, but in terms of effort vs. improvement this is low-hanging fruit.

 

If this system always made sense to you, that's great, but I suspect you're in the minority. I'm picturing someone coming to PoE without having touched the beta, but perhaps having played the hell out of the IE games--the games that PoE models its UI and systems around very closely. They will find health/endurance awkward in its current state.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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I wouldn't say it closely models it's UI or it's systems around the IE games, UI design is not close enough :p

Edited by Sensuki

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Why does there have to be an argument to leave it as it has been designed instead of changing it just because it doesn't use the same terminology as other games for similar functions?

 

People who play RPGs are pretty smart - I suspect they will be able to figure it out... :p


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Why does there have to be an argument to leave it as it has been designed instead of changing it just because it doesn't use the same terminology as other games for similar functions?

It's not about the terminology, it's about communicating the right thing to the player. When your portrait fills up with red vs. when the little bar to the left depletes and you die "for real". The terminology is just a means of communication.

 

People who play RPGs are pretty smart - I suspect they will be able to figure it out... :p

Again, that's not a reason to not try and make a system clearer. If my company released quirky and inconsistent UIs because our customers are intelligent (they are) and can figure it out (they do), would that be OK?

 

UI and naming conventions in games, as with any software, should only be broken when it makes sense to do so. They certainly shouldn't stay confusing just because one tester didn't mind. I'm hardly the first beta backer to suggest that endurance as health (and health as endurance) doesn't make sense.

 

What makes the current system better than one that mirrors the IE games, one that uses endurance as fatigue/stamina (gaming synonyms for endurance)?

Edited by PrimeHydra

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I think my solution is more intuitive, because once you run out of Health/Healing points you'd only have your remaining Endurance left (what's in the portrait) and wouldn't be able to heal any further.

 

The talents that give an active health heal ability should just be changed to give those characters more health instead. Kinda like the D&D Toughness feat(s).

 

Health healing is p. dumb and trivializes the health system.

Edited by Sensuki

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I will just reiterate my previous argument to keep it alive: just remove one of the two. Instead replace it wil wounds/injury system if it really has to be there. That would be more intuitive. Dragon age did it and it did not suck there.

 

I totally think that they are superfluous. It's not even really "complexity" or at least in a meaningful sense of the word. It does not interact mechanically with anything else (Health can't be healed anyway). There is nothing that is not reproduced in a purely "endurance" system (or whatever they are calling it now) which is unique to a Health + endurance system.  It is just an addition which has really no purpose other than its own existance. This is bad design right there!


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Yes it did. Wounds/Injuries were trivial in Dragon Age.

 

Oh by the way, this game has wounds and injuries - they're mostly related to failing checks in Scripted Interactions though.

Edited by Sensuki

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Yes it did. Wounds/Injuries were trivial in Dragon Age.

 

Oh by the way, this game has wounds and injuries - they're mostly related to failing checks in Scripted Interactions though.

Well then don't trivialize it duh.

 

The problem in Dragon age was (as it is in PoE ironically) that it was too damn easy to recuperate.


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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The wounds that you get from Scripted Interactions can only be recovered by resting. They're introduced in the prologue - remember that Heodan gets a wound from being hit by an Axe and wants to rest, but Calisca does not - etc.

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The wounds that you get from Scripted Interactions can only be recovered by resting. They're introduced in the prologue - remember that Heodan gets a wound from being hit by an Axe and wants to rest, but Calisca does not - etc.

 

The entire problem is that they can be recovered easily by resting; which is not a hard thing to do. Now consider two scenarios:

 

1) Resting supplies are sufficiently avaialble: In that case resting would be ideal thing to do all the time, as it magically cures you, making resting practically equivalent to NWN/NWN2/IE games.

2) Resting supplies are rare: In that case you'd just go to the Inn everytime you can, which magically cures you, instead of roughing through with situations where you might suffer permadeath. Thus you'd save all the resting supplies for later when you can't.

 

The problem is that either case is trivial solution to attrition. The entire point is that attrition is thus pointless.

 

The best solution is of course to make it harder to cure yourself of severe injuries, which would require magical assistance.

 

An injury system avoids this route of magical healing. It could mean that when you are injured YOU MUST wait for a particular amount of time before you go back to full usefulness. This might make you send the poor guy back to the inn for a long term rest continuing without a full party. This is NOW in the non trivial terretory.

 

On the other hand, if magical healing is allowed, it could be made non trivial by making it hard to pull off i.e. with resource cost.


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Well at least on Hard, you only get two sets of camping supplies. I preferred the previous system where you could only rest at set locations tbh but whatevs.

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Here's a novel idea, how about we have health and...now hear me out...more health. Scrap endurance/stamina.

Edited by Sarex
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Here's a novel idea, how about we have health and...now hear me out...more health. Scrap endurance/stamina.

That works, too!

 

I don't mind a fatigue system, but it's currently disconnected (as far as I can tell) from your endurance (or your health, which should be endurance).

 

It's hard to even call it a "system"--basically, your characters get the "sleepy eye" when they haven't rested in a while. Baldur's Gate had this. The fatigue bar could serve to make this element more fine-grained. They'd still indicate when your characters need rest.  Something like

 

25% Fatigue left: -5% movement and damage

10% Fatigue left: -10% movement and damage

5% Fatigue left: -15: movement and damge

0% Fatigue (completely depleted): -20% movement and damage.

 

Those numbers could be tweaked; you get the idea.

 

Then it's like, your party is actually weary. Their endurance is drained.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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Why does there have to be an argument to leave it as it has been designed instead of changing it just because it doesn't use the same terminology as other games for similar functions?

It's not about the terminology, it's about communicating the right thing to the player. When your portrait fills up with red vs. when the little bar to the left depletes and you die "for real". The terminology is just a means of communication.

 

People who play RPGs are pretty smart - I suspect they will be able to figure it out... :p

Again, that's not a reason to not try and make a system clearer. If my company released quirky and inconsistent UIs because our customers are intelligent (they are) and can figure it out (they do), would that be OK?

 

UI and naming conventions in games, as with any software, should only be broken when it makes sense to do so. They certainly shouldn't stay confusing just because one tester didn't mind. I'm hardly the first beta backer to suggest that endurance as health (and health as endurance) doesn't make sense.

 

What makes the current system better than one that mirrors the IE games, one that uses endurance as fatigue/stamina (gaming synonyms for endurance)?

 

 

I am so tired of hearing about how this or that should be done like the IE games or DA or Monopoly for Chickens...


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It should be like the IE games.

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I am so tired of hearing about how this or that should be done like the IE games or DA or Monopoly for Chickens...

 

 

But it's genius! Who wouldn't want chicken cards?

 

 

 

20131019_092337.jpg

 

 

 

We should obviously gain a Punkin Patch when leveling. No XP for Cow Tipping = DEGENERATE GAMEPLAY

Edited by PrimeHydra

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Spiritual successor does not equal clone - if Ford announced they were releasing a spiritual successor to the Edsel would you expect to find the same instrument panel an AM only radio, wide whitewall tires and a hood ornament?

 

PE was never meant to be a mix of the old IE game mechanics with a new storyline it was meant to be a new and exciting isometric party based game with interesting companions that made you think of the old IE games as you made your way through the adventure -

 

no one ever promised that every or even ANY mechanic would be the same or even similar.

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I wonder if they *could* use the IE mechanics, since it's licensed, although I seem to recall the Cap'n saying that the old 2nd edition rules or some equivalent are a kind of open license now or something like that.  They'd get no end of grief if they simply put together a game with the carbon copy ruleset.  I think the idea of stamina and health sounds like fun, and it didn't cause me any grief when I played it in Darklands years ago.  It's just a learning curve thing.  The complexity won't be an issue for most folks.  Making sure that it doesn't become a micromanaging tedium issue will be a bigger problem, but it's already well ahead of Darklands in that regard.  I loved Darklands and have been singing its praises since before the IE games were even made, but there was a lot of tedious stuff in there, including irritable alchemists with whom you needed to speak and who would randomly grow angry with you, kick you out of their shops, and then refuse to speak to you for days.  Please, dear Lord, don't put anything like *that* in PoE!

 

EDIT:  And the next time someone pulls out the ol' "You weren't a hardcore IE game fan!"  I'm going to respond with one word:  alignment!  :shudders:

Edited by Cantousent

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But you weren't a hardcore IE game fan! :p

 

alignment sux

Edited by Sensuki
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I want to be challenged by the encounters, not the games mechanics, so I wouldn't mind to just regen to full Health after every fight. "Attrition" is just another way to make fights harder. Not a single mook in the game will be below 100% capabilities when we encounter them (full Health, full spells, full skills/abilities). If the only way to make encounters dangerous is if my party is at 1/4 capability because I just fought 3 other mobs then that's a boring campaign, imo.

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I want to be challenged by the encounters, not the games mechanics, so I wouldn't mind to just regen to full Health after every fight. "Attrition" is just another way to make fights harder. Not a single mook in the game will be below 100% capabilities when we encounter them (full Health, full spells, full skills/abilities). If the only way to make encounters dangerous is if my party is at 1/4 capability because I just fought 3 other mobs then that's a boring campaign, imo.

That's a good point, maybe health (or whatever it ends up being called) should completely regenerate on rest.  Resting is more limited than in the IE games, after all.

 

That was just an aside in my OP, though--how do you feel about endurance and health as they exist, and as they are named?


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Not a single mook in the game will be below 100% capabilities when we encounter them (full Health, full spells, full skills/abilities). If the only way to make encounters dangerous is if my party is at 1/4 capability because I just fought 3 other mobs then that's a boring campaign, imo.

I actually don't mind attrition.  It works well in table top RPGs.  However, I have to hand it to you, my gifted friend, I never really though about it in a CRPG perspective.  Sometimes, in the table top setting, some of the bad guys have effects from other things that have happened, such as fights or other long term status effects.  Having some of that going on in the game world makes it feel more 'lived in.'  They should do that with CRPGs more.  I mean, bad guys have a life outside of trying to kill us.  Sometimes they try to kill each other or somebody else tries to kill them.  Have attrition cut both ways from time to time.  Some games do it, but I've thought of it as part of the set encounter instead of more or philosophical idea behind a dynamic world in a CRPG.  It's natural in pen and paper, so why not on the computer?


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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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