Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
lostzac

Hitpoints Outdated ?

This topic is 3652 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Just wanted to bounce this off people to see what they think.... I have never been a fan of Hitpoints, it's not that I do not understand the use, I just think no matter what level you are you get whacked on a few times with a sword you should feel it or be going down...it lacks a certain realism. (I know some would argue realism has no place in Video Games)... I am working on this for a system to my game... The player would have a body point system based on their stats (Health Endurance, Strength)...This point system could increase in small amounts depending on the skills the player has chosen (Toughness, and the like) but overall would be very low and would not raise just because you have earned a new level of experience... These points would be divided to the major pares of the body (Chest Arms ect ect) So lets say you have 50 body points, your chest may have 15 points, Each Arm 10 until all the points are divided. Minus any new skills you have learned this would stay the same through out the game...Your Armor would act as a buffer to these... so if I am wearing chain mail, i would have will say for sake of arguments 20 armor points defending my chest... Combat would basically work like this...(I am still ruffing it out, so bare with me) First we would take in considerations if you could even hit your opponent...This is done by looking at your offensive attack rank vrs there defensive attack rank, and a die roll (which symbolizes the random luck that happens every once in a while) if your attack is stronger then their defense then you score a hit...simple enough Then the engine would take in consideration your attacking strength, and the weapon and make of the weapon vre thier armor rating on the part of the body targeted. to figure damage... the damage would be subtracted from the Armor rating first, and a small proportion would be taking by the body points, the greater damage the armor has the more damage the body takes... I am thinking this way if your low barbarian whos walking around with nothing but a loin cloth on, gets whacked with a battle axe, does not matter which level he is hes gonna feel it after the first blow...where your Knight who was smart enough to invest into plate mail is gonna take a few shots before hes howling out in pain... Now i realize an issue may occur in balance in game play as those who can and do wear armor are going to have a significant advantage in close combat (which in all reality should be)...I am thinking the way to balance that is by giving them advantages to ranged combat and fleeing skills equivalent to a character who specializes in close in fighting at same level.... In the end the game would come down to which skills you mastered and choose then a die roll and better hit points.... Any Ideas to help me flesh this out more ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
Any Ideas to help me flesh this out more ?

You are not actually getting rid of the Hit Points concept, but instead making it more complex. The question is not about realism vs gameplay, but one of complexity vs ease of use.

If the rest of your game is complex, then this added complexity could be too much for the players. If the rest of your game is simple enough, then this would not create too much complexity.

I tend to use a rule of thumb in these instances: The Human mind can only consider a maximum of 7 things when making a decision. This includes other events outside of the actual decision itself (ie the next situation that is coming up, and the situation just left). This means that the players can practically only handle around 5 factors at a time. For decision that need to be made quickly, you will probably want to only have 3 (or 4 at most) factors.

So lest look at your system:
Factors:
1) Skill: What skill does the opponent and player have in their defences. If the player has some choice over how the points are distributed between the locations, then this would count as an other factor, but as you haven't stated this, I am assuming that the distribution is pre-set.

2) Location: Different locations have different hit points and potentially different armours.

3) To Hit: You need to know and factor in how hard it is to hit your opponent.

4) Weapon vs Armour: There is the factor of the weapon vs the armour type to consider

5) Damage to Armour: As damage to the armour changes the effectiveness of the attack this is another facto that the player has to consider.

Ok, we have hit 5 factors here. It is a lot, but not overwhelming. However, if the player has to make these decisions quickly (ie a real time combat system), then this might be too much for a new player to handle and even challenge a veteran player.

Dropping the hit locations (or making the location hit randomly determined), then this only reduces the complexity to 4 factors. An improvement, but it does bring it into the realm of a challenge for an average player while not making it trivial for a veteran player.

However, if you are using a turn based system, then that 5 factors is not excessive at all. Although it is probably as high as you would want it (challenging for average players, and still non trivial for veteran players).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for that input.. I am thinking turn based combat..as I tend to like a little more strategy...The Hit Boxes would be random, maybe with a skill that would increase that chance of hitting certain targets...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I try and make these decisions game based. Discrete hit points are great for quick arcade games, continuous hit points work well for jrpg type games.

Lately first person shooters, on the console at least, have started using a regeneration system. If you get too much damage in a certain amount of time you die, but a while of not getting hit causes your health to regenerate. Even more interesting this is often not communicated through a hud, only sound and graphics.

I'm a big fan of incorporating health into a gameplay mechanic, but only if it doesn't take away too much from the game. I don't like frustrating interfaces like pausing the game and looking at a heartbeat monitor to see what your health is. The way I intend to show health in my 3rd person shooter is through the character on screen and their animation. If they are near death it will be obvious - they will be stumbling and dragging their leg (if hurt) or holding their arm (if hurt) and bleeding.

In the same vein I'm not a fan of health packs. I would have a slow regeneration but you can sit down when not in immediate danger and tend to your wounds. They won't fix themselves straight away but they do get better fast if you fix them up.

I don't like inconveniencing the player, but I do like realism and tension.

So yes, I think hit-points are outdated if you don't think of any other option. Take your game mechanic and think about what style of health system would work the best. Look at other games, but don't think they show all that is possible. Perhaps you arrive at hit-points anyway - at least you've considered the alternatives.

I guess you're asking from an rpg perspective, but I hope this adds to the thread anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lostzac
...I just think no matter what level you are you get whacked on a few times with a sword you should feel it or be going down...it lacks a certain realism.


I remember hearing somewhere about hit points representing both physical health and a character's ability to avoid being hit. You could say that a player with 100 hit points could still be killed by a single sword strike, but he is five times better at dodging than a character with 20 hit points. You could probably come up with other reasons to suit your game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I implemented something similar to what you described in my game. It uses a mortality system. Each body part has its own hit points, and a mortality rating. For example, the head and chest have a mortality rating of 100, while a foot has a mortality rating of 5. The percentage of missing hitpoints for each part is multiplied with its mortality rating and subtracted from the character's "hit points".

So if a foot is 50% dead, the character will be down by 2.5 hit points. If the chest is also half dead, the character is down by 52.5 hit points. When the character is down by 100 hit points, they become incapacitated. There are also individual effects for each part being completely destroyed. Taking out someone's foot will cause them to limp, while destroying their shoulder will penalize their offense.

Depending on an NPC's abilities, some injuries can cause them to just pass out. The player character is excluded from that type of effect though. Once a specific part with low or medium mortality (such as a foot or hand) is completely dead on a player character, having that part attacked does nothing to harm them, other than cause stun effects.

It is an RPG, and the character's health points do not increase through leveling. But some armor skills reduce the amount of damage by a small amount. With all of this complexity, I still have the ability to show a simple linear number as the player's health, as well as the ability to show all of the specific details in medical displays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Usually when someone gets hit by an attack, he/she is substantially wounded. Like the OP said, it's not realistic to get hit 50 times and bounce back like pinata ready for more. If you split up the hit point system so that each body part is damaged individually, you still haven't gotten rid of your problem. You made it harder to work with though.

So put yourself in the character's shoes. A man just lunged at you with a broadsword. You have a sword in your hand. What should you do? Bare your chest so he hits your armor? Or maybe... block the attack with your sword?

In essence, a more realistic system would consist of minimal physical damage to the characters as they fight, most of the damage being absorbed by blocking and dodging. So rather than increasing a player's defense or hit points, you increase his/her agility with the sword or strength to be able to retaliate against a strong hit.

Determining when an enemy has finally been worn down can be measured by an energy guage, which feeds all the other skills and techniques used in battle. Heck, you can even give the sword a durability meter.

Although this system sounds new, it really isn't at all. It is the hit point system applied to a different entity so as to increase realism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had heard that Hitpoints represent the characters ability and such as well...but I think there is a better way of doing it then using such a broad bar to cover all, I realize you can not cover all the details of a single combat move into a game, there'd be way to many calculations to consider.. I just think that breaking the actual combat into 3 systems...The Ability to Hit (Skills & Fatigue & Enviroment), the ability to defend (Skills & Fatigue & Environment), and the Damage System (Body Endurance + Armor) would make for a better turn based combat system...

Like I said I am still fleshing the ideas out, and thanks for a lot of the great input...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by lostzac
it lacks a certain realism. (I know some would argue realism has no place in Video Games)...

You've recited this, but you haven't explored or internalized it. What makes your system fun, and how?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!