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TheBuzzSaw

using one meter for both health and special abilities

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In most RPGs, you have two distinct meters in combat: "health" and "mana" (each given some dictionary variation depending on the game). The idea is that you burn up mana to use special abilities and reduce the enemy health as fast as possible. I am attempting a different approach. I am setting mana aside for another aspect of the game (more magic-focused). Instead, I would like to use health as the source for physical special attacks. The idea here is that you have to use abilities more wisely. Rather than just burn your mana pool until it is empty, you have to carefully select what would be wise to use at that moment in combat. I would offset this dynamic by making health regenerate at a decent rate (it would not be very fun coming away from a fight with less health even though you took no damage). I am toying with certain interesting dynamics with this system. For instance, two warriors are fighting. One takes a defensive stance as the other burns all his health attempting crazy specials, and then the defender strikes a few finishing blows because he know the other guy wasted all his energy on specials that did very little damage. There would be a lot more risk/reward assessment instead of (as I said before) just milking mana for all it's worth and then resorting to basic attacks. Thoughts on this? Ways to make it better? Ways to balance it and make it fun?

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Betrayal at Krondor did this with its magic, you would expend your health to cast spells, and the power of your spells depended on how much of your health you put into them. It didn't have any regeneration during combat either.

I thought it worked fairly well. It does mean that if you get damaged, then that starts limiting your options fast (not necessarily a bad thing, means you need to keep your caster protected).

Any sort of healing ability becomes effectively free (well if it takes more health than it restores to you its useless).

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I think a "constitution" meter would be more appropriate; taking damage and using special attacks would burn the meter. As the meter got lower, an opposing player has a better chance of striking a critical or non-blockable attack. This would reflect a player becoming tired or exhausted in combat by using attacks.

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Original post by TheBuzzSaw
I would offset this dynamic by making health regenerate at a decent rate (it would not be very fun coming away from a fight with less health even though you took no damage).


One very small modification might be to keep a track of how health was lost (through damage or spellcasting) and only regenerate the portion that was lost from spell casting. Damage would have to be healed by potions/medkits etc. or physical damage restore more slowly. This could be represented on the healthbar with use of transparency for the 'fast recoverable' health.

I've had a few beers, I hope that makes some sort of sense!

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Maybe vitality meter with negative and positive sides?

|----- -1 ----- 0 ----- +1 -----|

On positive side player is alive and can use normal magic and physical stats.
On negative side player is dead and can use undead magic and etheral stats.
Near zero or at zero player stops existing and can`t continue.

Trick is to go over zero barrier with speed.
And if you wish you might reverse vitality
regeneration direction, player leeks all times
vitality and it tryes to go to zero and player
must take actions witch move vitality away from zero.

/Tyrian

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Original post by andur
Any sort of healing ability becomes effectively free (well if it takes more health than it restores to you its useless).


Under this system, I would likely do away with any kind of healing abilities. If anything, certain types of gear would accelerate the regeneration process, but I would try to shy away from the idea that I can just back off, turbo-boost my health, and dive back in. I should have to run/stall long enough for regeneration to kick in (or retreat altogether).

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I recommend Health done by Special attacks usage be replenishable.

Example would be --

================================ health bars
============-------------------- health bar with replenishable
=======---------- health bar damaged with replnishable

have all attacks that damage replenishables do double damage and normal damage for blocked attacks (or some sort of multiple). With this, you can expend all your damage and not be completely at the mercy of the other player. With good dodging, you are able to come back and still be a potential threat instead of just being scared out of your life for your rashness.

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could actually work pretty well with regenerating health (offering icentive to level up for faster regen speeds) it would take some balancing and certain players may dislike having to give up thier "save best special for when thier about to die" tactics in place of a new one.

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Quote:
Original post by TheBuzzSaw
Quote:
Original post by andur
Any sort of healing ability becomes effectively free (well if it takes more health than it restores to you its useless).


Under this system, I would likely do away with any kind of healing abilities. If anything, certain types of gear would accelerate the regeneration process, but I would try to shy away from the idea that I can just back off, turbo-boost my health, and dive back in. I should have to run/stall long enough for regeneration to kick in (or retreat altogether).


Cutting healing could allow you to focus on more interesting aspects of the gameplay, such as creative ways of dealing damage or preempting attacks with appropriate defenses. I've been working on a game that uses a single health/mana bar and came to the same conclusion about healing.

Another example of this mechanic is SubSpace. It's generally an action game and much of the skill relies on subtle maneuvering and timing/accuracy of attacks.

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