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Original IE Mechanics: Health and Death, no endurance

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The original IE games, such as Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, implemented a strictly health=live, no health=death mechanic. In these rpgs you are fighting monsters who crush and shred your flesh with tooth and claw, spellcasting wizards who with arcane energy can immolate or rip the life right out of you, duelling brigands and orcs with maces and iron swords. You suffer injuries of the flesh, represented by health. Perhaps the most exhilarating and horrifying aspect of the original games, was the character portrait that would fill up with crimson, from their neck up, as they their bodies were being torn apart by demons and werewolves, and then.... death. A black and white portrait, all colour drained from their normally lively faces.

 

Why then, would we have Endurance? You are fighting to the death with monsters and other humans. You do not simply fall unconscious when crushed by the fist of an Iron Golem, you are not simply knocked out after a Beholder casts Finger of Death. You die.

 

I believe that Pillars of Eternity would benefit from this mechanic, not just for realism, but for the feeling of despair and revenge after each of your party's portraits fill up (not down)  with red, accompanied by their agonized sounds as they are dealt damage, ending with a black and white portrait.

 

not to sound too morbid :p

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For whatever reason, the devs decided the setting would not have Healing or Resurrection ( :shrugz:). So they had to come up with an alternative to death or those 8 companions, and the PC, wouldnt be around long.

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This was one of those, lets change it for the sake of changing it moments in PoE. I didn't like the system when I heard about it and I still don't like it. It brings 0 gameplay to PoE.

 

edit: congrats on 4k gfted1

Edited by Sarex
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edit: congrats on 4k gfted1

Heh, I didn't even notice. And it only took me almost 11 years. :lol:

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image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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I'm fairly confident that the reasoning was along the following lines:

  • If healing is allowed via spells, then encounters will have to be balanced with the assumption that the player will have in-combat healing.  Assuming that these spells are limited to one class, it would "imbalance" the classes (contradicting a design goal).
  • Many IE players always reload from a save when someone dies rather than using resurrection magic, rendering these spells moot.  This is especially true at low levels (where this game takes place), when a dead character means playing inventory tetris to get the body and equipment into inventory, walking back to the template, and paying the fee -- a big hassle compared to simply reloading the game.
  • If players don't heal to 100% when combat ends then balancing the game becomes far more difficult -- some players will rest after every encounter (no matter how hard you make this) while others will only rest when seriously damaged.  This variation in playstyles makes it harder to balance / day abilities and "rest spamming" is considered to be the "wrong way to play the game" by a number of people.  By automatically healing everyone reduces this variation, simplifying balancing.

 

From a lore point of view, the presence of resurrection magic introduces complexities that are almost invariably ignored in role-playing games.  For example, it seems it would be more or less impossible to actually assassinate anyone with significant wealth -- given the presence of resurrection magic, you would expect most wills to reads "Anyone (other than my killer) who resurrects me gets 10% of my estate".  Given that the primary "gimmick" (a thing that distinguishes it from all the other fantasy settings) is the importance of souls, this kind of issues would be more prominent than it is in other settings -- eliminating resurrection magic avoids the problem.

 

Your mileage, of course, may vary, and I'm not in any way affiliated with Obisidan. :)

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I like the endurance/health mechanic. I.e., I didn't find death in the IE games scary. Instead, I found it dull and tedious. All death meant was a reload, and that was prompted by even a single party member going down (until I was high level enough to have Raise Dead.)

 

I prefer P:E's system where only a TPW is a reload, and with strategic cost for getting knocked out. That makes winning a tough fight only barely both feasible and rewarding, and therefore the fights that much more exciting.

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For whatever reason, the devs decided the setting would not have Healing or Resurrection ( :shrugz:). So they had to come up with an alternative to death or those 8 companions, and the PC, wouldnt be around long.

 

Thematically, I can understand that, though. It solves a whole slew of plot-associated questions that crop up in a high-fantasy setting. No resurrection and no teleportation are pretty much staples of newer settings in order to make them internally consistent.

 

That being said, the whole "Pass out when beaten over the head enough and then be ignored by the enemies"-system is weaksauce. It's been rubbish since the first game I saw with it and it's still rubbish today. It makes it perfectly reasonable to just throw someone away, knowing that they'll die, send your companions on tactical suicide missions, and breaks immersion something fierce when you see everyone dust themselves off afterwards and just keep walking.

Edited by Luckmann
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I also prefer the new system actually. The mechanic of dragging a corpse (well, it's not that either, it's just the character mysteriously enters the Twilight Zone until he's resurrected again) to a priest to get it resurrected is not something that is particularly interesting in my opinion and at times actually dull enough that it would make me reach for the re-load button. If there were additional mechanics tied to this it may have been interesting but what it usually meant was loss of some gold and gain of boring playtime.

I can miss the flavor of it, the fact that it can feel extra dangeros and deadly so to speak but I don't think the pay-off is worth it.

 

I'm not sure whether PoE will hit a good balance but I'm extremely glad they're trying to for a new system. And I'm *extremely* glad that resurrection is done away with, that stuff always retardifies a lot of aspects within the setting.

Edited by Starwars

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I don't really see much of a difference other then making for a sort of fatigue system since you will have to rest after x fights as damage accumulates.

 

Both are very gamey concepts since you can both get a finger chopped off and die, but you can also suffer massive wounds and live in real life so neither really gets realism points here.

 

You being out of the fight at 0 endurance doesn't simply mean that you fell unconscious.

It means that you are suffering grave injuries and need help with them from a friend after the battle.

All health systems in games I can think of are abstractions.

 

If I have understood it correctly you will be able to heal with spells and potions endurance just not health.

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I agree with Sarex it's one of the many bad decisions that were made when designing this game.

 

They've spent a lot of time messing with it and I'm still not sure it's right TBH...could have just used the tried and true health system but wheels are square in many areas of the game so I don't even....

 

(at the very best it's an un-intuitive system that new and old people alike are going to be like wut?)

 

Athletics still the "Fatigue" skill? and bleh stuff like that.

Edited by GreyFox
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I liked the idea, and have done since the beginning I have to admit. That said personally in my home brew system which is somewhat similar, I have necromantic magic limited to time consuming rituals and therefore my party must rest and conduct long and tiring magics to heal wounds, and similarly serious injuries, up to raising the recently deceased whom are not too mutilated. It also requires life or lifespan to fuel, so a Necromancer can either harvest souls from battles (or other sources,) or use the patients or his own mortal span to power healing. Obviously the soul gathering is extremely frowned upon, as is the class.

 

Still I think Poes system is workable, and i've never played a system that pleases me entirely.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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be it light or heavy, you dont go into battle without armor and most attacks will have to get through it to hurt you. getting hit by sledgehammer while wearing full plate will take the breath out of you but will not break your bones or tear off your flesh. receiving several hits will have an impact to  your health, but it will probably knock you unconscious before doing any permanent damage

if you notice one of the fights in the stream, the heavily armored fighter was getting hit, he was losing stamina, but his health was barely touched. the unarmored wizard, lost almost 90% of his hp along with 100% of his stamina and was knocked out when he was attacked. another character with light armor, lost more than 50% of his hp along with all his stamina and went KO in a single fight

also, on the "leaving the KO'd guy alone in the middle of a fight" complaint, that is quite normal. you dont bother to finish off a downed enemy while under attack by his allies. he cant do anything to you, so you can safely ignore him until the threat is gone and finish him off later. to use an example from a fighter plane game: when you break off somebody's wing you dont keep chasing and shooting him all the way to the ground to make sure he wont get back... he cant! the moment his wing came off, he was out of the fight and even if he somehow manages to keep enough control to keep his plane in the air, he cant fight anymore so you just ignore him and deal with whoever can actually fight

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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if you notice one of the fights in the stream, the heavily armored fighter was getting hit, he was losing stamina, but his health was barely touched. the unarmored wizard, lost almost 90% of his hp along with 100% of his stamina and was knocked out when he was attacked.

This has nothing to do with the armor system. It's all class. Different classes have different ratios of endurance to health, with fighters much more robust than wizards.


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Well, I have yet to try the PoE system, so I cannot recall on that.

Do wounded people getting up get penalties? I liked that aspect of the Drakensang games... of course they cheapened it by making the injuries go away by simply using bandages, of which I usually hauled 1000+ around since they were everywhere.

 

What I can say is that "character dead" meant in 90% of the cases reload for me in the IE-games (with 100% for 'chuncky character death').


^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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When adding companion mods to other games I would set the companions as essential which meant they could be KOed but not killed.  So the PoE system is not new to me.  In the IE games I used both reload and resurrect when a companion I wanted was killed.    The PoE system may work very well since in a battle it would be difficult to know if a knockd down person was dead or not and you would be more concerned with something attacking you or other companions.

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 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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To reply to teknoman2, if you are fighting monsters, who don't think like humans, they will simply kill you. They won't be like "ok, I've knocked him unconscious, i'll finish him off after me and my other werewolf buddies have dealt with his companions", they'll just rip you apart, hence the immersion breaking aspect of 'falling unconscious after losing stamina when fighting vicious monsters'-system.

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To reply to teknoman2, if you are fighting monsters, who don't think like humans, they will simply kill you. They won't be like "ok, I've knocked him unconscious, i'll finish him off after me and my other werewolf buddies have dealt with his companions", they'll just rip you apart, hence the immersion breaking aspect of 'falling unconscious after losing stamina when fighting vicious monsters'-system.

Actually you are attributing high level reasoning to monsters here, and it make no sense. I doubt a creature would continue chewing on my unconscious body while the monk is pummeling on its head.

 

Also, immersion argument in a CRPG is the last bastion of the desperate. If you think it is lame, just remove any character that drops unconscious. Problem solved and your immersion is preserved.

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I like what Obsidian is doing with this game, they are not copying and paste from IE games. They are making new stuff, it's risky but more risky is do the same thing as old games.

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Yes i know, my english sux.

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To reply to teknoman2, if you are fighting monsters, who don't think like humans, they will simply kill you. They won't be like "ok, I've knocked him unconscious, i'll finish him off after me and my other werewolf buddies have dealt with his companions", they'll just rip you apart, hence the immersion breaking aspect of 'falling unconscious after losing stamina when fighting vicious monsters'-system.

have you ever watched an animal documentary? pack animals act as packs. by instinct they assign threat levels to what is around and deal with the highest level first. if a pack member is in danger they will ignore lower level threats in favor of helping that member (and injured enemies are the lowest level threats)


The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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I don't get why people are upset about this. It's pretty much the same system, the only difference is that you can't abuse Reload/Healing/Rest for every fight, isn't it ?
I mean yeah it's annoying to see the characters just stand back again after the fight ends like nothing happened, but I'll trade realism for gameplay any time of the day baby.

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Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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I don't get why people are upset about this. It's pretty much the same system, the only difference is that you can't abuse Reload/Healing/Rest for every fight, isn't it ?

I mean yeah it's annoying to see the characters just stand back again after the fight ends like nothing happened, but I'll trade realism for gameplay any time of the day baby.

well said

that is the difference between a game and a simulator. the game needs coherence and believeability in it's story, characters, world and so on, but the gameplay has no need to be "realistic"... it needs to be practical for it's purpose within the game.

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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To reply to teknoman2, if you are fighting monsters, who don't think like humans, they will simply kill you. They won't be like "ok, I've knocked him unconscious, i'll finish him off after me and my other werewolf buddies have dealt with his companions", they'll just rip you apart, hence the immersion breaking aspect of 'falling unconscious after losing stamina when fighting vicious monsters'-system.

I've heard this a lot but it's simply not true. Playing dead is a useful (viable enough to be an evolutionary imperative in some species) tactic for survival against certain larger, stronger animals that attack out of territorial and not predatory instinct. Most animals would be very much more likely to focus on the active theat and not the unconscious lump.

 

And I'm general:

Out of all the beefs with PoE this is the one I understand least. How is this any less immersion breaking than the idea of someone dying and being brought back to life? As has been said, this system of logic means that essentially any death in the narrative is reversible and meaningless.

 

It doesn't change gameplay. It isn't any more immersion breading than the alternative. It just refuses to let people come back from the dead... which seems like a pretty solid idea.

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Characters knocked down unconscious and rising up as soon as the last enemy in sight is defeated is not realistic and somewhat breaks immersion. But it's still a lot more plausible than the party having access to an infinite time warp mechanism allowing them to set waypoints in time (saving the game) and travelling back to any of these waypoints at any time (reloading). I think the main advantage of the former is to dramatically cut down on the number of times you'll resort to the latter in ordinary gameplay, and that's a great thing.

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