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[Auto-regenerating health] care is for communists

RichardTauberRichardTauber KvltRegistered User regular
I really like auto-regenerating health in games. The lack of running around looking for health makes games more enjoyable for me. I can certainly see how different approaches is appropriate for different games, a survival horror game with auto-regenerating health would perhaps be less scary. But fuck it. Running around shooting left and right and murdering the last bad guy with one percent health left is a whole fucking lot more fun when it doesn't mean using up the last medkit.

Posts

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    ...ok?

    subedii on
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    I too am anti-healthpack

    Just Cause 2 would have been improved immensely if healthpacks weren't a thing

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Modern gamers are completely spoiled by health. Back in the old days, a single shot would cause you to immediately explode, and the games were better for it.

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  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    I don't mind medpacks so much. It depends on the game.

    I had no problem with medpacks in F.E.A.R. or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or various other games who's names are also acronyms.

    Didn't mind 'em in Bioshock or Metro 2033 either. They were pretty boss in Left 4 Dead.

    I actually freakin' miss 'em in Borderlands 2.

    RT800 on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    I clicked on this thread with hopes that it was going to be a goddamn incredible academic look into health regen systems in games. Instead, I just have to comment flaccidly on health systems.

    So, I'm not strictly opposed to any sort of system at its face value. It all depends on the other systems present in the game and inherent / varying difficulties. I like to think that health regeneration or recuperation are things the industry have nailed down so well that it's hard to fuck up. Like it's one of the few things that doesn't get fucked up. Which is saying a lot, because sometimes shit like title screens get fucked up. I'm sure there exists examples, but I cannot remember anyone discussing any games in the last decade where health and how you recover has been a thing.

    Oblivion had an annoying regeneration flaw. Health recovery worked via immediate application or regeneration. For the life of me though, I could never figure out whatever benefit there was meant to be had with the game's regen-over-time effects. It was literally shit like 1 hit point per second recovered, and the spells capped at, what, a minute if you custom-made one? In that minute of time, you could cast an instant-heal for more and recover the mana spent. I guess there's one goofy thing done wrong, but it was easily avoided and alternatives supplied.

    Another system fuckup is games where you can equip an item and heal by standing still. I understand they want to balance that shit out to prevent people from healing too fast in a boss fight, but is it really all that hard to program the item to heal faster the longer you're standing still? Some games give such reliance on these items that it's like, well, time to walk away from the game for five minutes while I stand still with nothing happening. They know people are going to do that, so you may as well not waste their time. At 15 and 30 seconds straight of standing still, ramp that shit up again and again-again.

    Okay I lied, regening health has fuck ups in the industry afterall. The princess is in another castle. The end.

    RichardTauber
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    You know what game had a terrible health recovery system?

    Dead Rising.

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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    To me if we're talking health recovery it's about genres:

    MMO's I like strong out of health regen similar to how SWTOR was at launch, so I don't have to stop between packs to heal unless it was a hard fight, keeps the game flowing better that way.

    Shooters I've always liked semi-regenerating health, because I feel the feeling of 'low health' urgency is a good one to have in your games, but having it so the game can save with 5% HP is not because at that point it's a fucking joke.

  • RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    I just don't really miss running around trying to find a healthpack in games like Duke Nukem 3D. Been playing the newest Deus Ex and there have been numerous times where my stealthy plans have gone wrong and ended in a bloodbath. Afterwards I just shake my headwounds and multiple bullet holes off and try to stab the next guy with my armblades

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    To me if we're talking health recovery it's about genres:

    MMO's I like strong out of health regen similar to how SWTOR was at launch, so I don't have to stop between packs to heal unless it was a hard fight, keeps the game flowing better that way.

    Shooters I've always liked semi-regenerating health, because I feel the feeling of 'low health' urgency is a good one to have in your games, but having it so the game can save with 5% HP is not because at that point it's a fucking joke.

    I loved EverQuest. I think it took like 30-60 minutes to regen your entire mana bar as a Wizard, at least at launch. Then they introduced the Enchanter skill Clarity which made mana regen much quicker "a breeze flows swiftly through your mind" or some such. So you spent a lot of time as a non-enchanter just looking for an enchanter to buff you with Clarity. In the end, you probably ended up spending the same fucking amount of time you would have if you just plopped down and went to go get lunch or something.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    You know what game had a terrible health recovery system?

    Dead Rising.

    Um, no. It's the most realistic. For instance, the last time someone bit me I just ate a pizza and the bite immediately healed. Very realistic.

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  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    The main purpose of regenerating health is to provide players with a precisely-targeted difficulty from setpiece to setpiece. The developer knows exactly how much damage a player can take, and so doesn't have to worry about them being forced to reload an earlier save or restart the level, which would be a particular issue with console games that generally do not have robust saving systems. The goal is for players to never get stuck in an unwinnable (or nearly so) situation, because usually players are going to be incredibly annoyed by it.

    On the flip-side, regenerating health does have a tendency to reduce the cohesiveness of a game, in the sense that each of these setpieces then become essentially unrelated. A player can't construct a narrative of their gameplay through a level, because Setpiece 1 is wholly unrelated to Setpiece 2. If your health didn't regenerate, it may be "I fucked up at the start, but cautious play saw me claw my way back to full health by the end of the level". Obviously, the negatives of healthpack-hunting are also present, and generally a game like this should also strive to restrict backtracking, to maintain the flow of the game. Additionally, without regenerating health, it's important for a game to be possible in the 1hp situation: all damage should be avoidable with reasonable effort.

    Off the top of my head, a theoretical example of how I feel non-regenating health would work well: in a game similar to Deus Ex, provide healing upon performing stealth kills. Because stealth kills would require you to be undetected and thus not shot, you can recover from a 1hp situation by being sneaky in the next encounter. Because there are no health packs sitting around, backtracking is discouraged (though leaving some meatsacks walking around to regenerate health on is a potential issue).

    Overall, I'd say that a well-crafted non-regenerating health system would provide for a superior experience. However, regenerating health is much easier to not fuck up, so when it comes to your Calls of Duties, they're probably preferable.

    ZombiemamboDrake
  • RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    But if I want to play Deus Ex using only shotguns and gep guns, Deus Ex is precisely the kind of game that should let me. I suppose there are ways around that as well. Such as allowing some form of auto-regeneration at the cost of something else. The cohesiveness of games are often lost upon me, though. The limitations of the medium are still quite apparent and effect the design of games.

  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    This is Obama's gaming industry.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Regenerating health by itself isn't necessarily bad. But the cover humping raspberry jab messes modern games have devolved it to are silly at best. I actually kinda liked halo's health pack and regenerating shield mechanic as a good compromise

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Health is just an allegory. The cover -> regenerate mechanic is more realistic than jumping around collecting health packs because that's what wounded people do: They retreat and regroup. It's just another way of trying to mold the player experience along a more tactical and realistic path.

    Halo (at least up to Halo 3) was not a game that concerned itself even remotely with realism.

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  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Regenerating health is a good system, it's just unfortunate most games make it look ridiculous. Being shot in the face can be cured by resting behind a chest high wall for ten seconds. Who knew?

    Assassin's Creed 1 handled it best I think. Health regenerates slooowly during a fight, and regenerates to full instantly upon escaping or winning a battle. If you fail a fight, it's because you're inexperienced with the combat, not because the game made a mistake.

    Visually, you do not see swords chop Altair in half, poke through his spine, or gallons of blood spew into to air every time he is hit. Taking 'damage' is represented only by his armor taking glancing blows or getting punched or thrown. It's only the final attack that "kills" you by getting past your guard.

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  • skeldareskeldare Gresham, ORRegistered User regular
    Resident Evil 6's combination of partial regenerating health and herb healing is probably my favorite.

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  • ZephiranZephiran Registered User regular
    Ever since Xenoblade, I'm definitely sold on auto-regenerating health in RPGs during downtime in combat. That kind of setup is just so well suited to long bouts of trekking in intriguing environments. It's a feature that has its place in the world.

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  • curly haired boycurly haired boy Your Friendly Neighborhood Torgue Dealer Registered User regular
    health regen allows for a lot of different playstyles, so i enjoy it.

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  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Chug potions.
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Health is just an allegory. The cover -> regenerate mechanic is more realistic than jumping around collecting health packs because that's what wounded people do: They retreat and regroup. It's just another way of trying to mold the player experience along a more tactical and realistic path.

    Halo (at least up to Halo 3) was not a game that concerned itself even remotely with realism.

    I do this regardless of what the game wants. I don't even have to lose any health first, if I'm not sure what's happening.

  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    My favorite health system I've seen so far is Space Marine's. You have a health bar that does not recharge on its own and if that drops to 0 then you die (though you can recharge some health by doing the risky execution attacks), but you don't take any actual health damage unless your shield bar drops to zero, and the shield bar works exactly like regenerating health in most games. So you never have to worry about a bunch of minor nicks building up over time to kill you, but you also don't have the "about to die->full health->about to die->full health" thing that makes most shooters seem dumb and trivial to me.

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  • Mr.SunshineMr.Sunshine Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Drez wrote: »
    Health is just an allegory. The cover -> regenerate mechanic is more realistic than jumping around collecting health packs because that's what wounded people do: They retreat and regroup. It's just another way of trying to mold the player experience along a more tactical and realistic path.

    Halo (at least up to Halo 3) was not a game that concerned itself even remotely with realism.

    Most actually fall on the ground and yell for a medic or near death.

    My "modern military shooter guy" being to take a rocket to the face, hide behind some cover, and regenerate his upper-torso is pretty much the only tactic to employ... and no closer to realistic than having 10 health, under heavy fire and having to scrounge around for a health pack or bottle to gain back "X Life Number".

    I do have to say that I enjoy games(First Person Shooters that is.) that tell me "No, sitting on your ass is not going to bring you from the brink of death. Learn to not take my missiles to your face." more than health-regen.

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  • POKÉMON MASTER WT SHERMANPOKÉMON MASTER WT SHERMAN i can make this march and i will make georgia howlRegistered User regular
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    My favorite health system I've seen so far is Space Marine's. You have a health bar that does not recharge on its own and if that drops to 0 then you die (though you can recharge some health by doing the risky execution attacks), but you don't take any actual health damage unless your shield bar drops to zero, and the shield bar works exactly like regenerating health in most games. So you never have to worry about a bunch of minor nicks building up over time to kill you, but you also don't have the "about to die->full health->about to die->full health" thing that makes most shooters seem dumb and trivial to me.
    This is exactly what Halo CE (and I think Reach) did. I don't know if that was the first implementation of the concept but it was the first time I'd seen it.

    I still don't know whether I prefer this or just having one health meter that empties and recharges. I've never given it a lot of thought. You're right that it adds a bit of weight to the combat, but it can be a pain in the ass to struggle through a fight because you passed a checkpoint with one blip of health.

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  • OpposingFarceOpposingFarce Registered User regular
    Assassin's Creed 1 handled it best I think. Health regenerates slooowly during a fight, and regenerates to full instantly upon escaping or winning a battle. If you fail a fight, it's because you're inexperienced with the combat, not because the game made a mistake.

    Visually, you do not see swords chop Altair in half, poke through his spine, or gallons of blood spew into to air every time he is hit. Taking 'damage' is represented only by his armor taking glancing blows or getting punched or thrown. It's only the final attack that "kills" you by getting past your guard.

    This, basically this. Best way to do it. Health represents your character's "luck". Assassin's Creed has done a good job, I hear 3 takes health to a different area though.

    I also love 'gated' health bars, where your health has different sections which regenerate until that section is empty. Seen in Far Cry 2, Red Faction 2, and some others I can't remember.

  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Far Cry 2's health system was excellent. Especially since, even though your character shrugs it off, you receive some absolutely horrific wounds if your health drops into the red.

  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    I think Dark Souls had a great healing mechanic, in that it gave you limited charges of healing that refreshed whenever you reached a bonfire (checkpoint), and took just long enough to cast that it was dangerous to use in battle, but not so long that it was impossible.

  • Pereza0Pereza0 Registered User regular
    Health is all about the genre.

    Having limited health makes it more valuable and creates more tension, having regenerating health is fun because you can get as hit as much as you want as long as you know when to stop an rest a little.

    One thing that I haven't seen done much or well (other than in roguelikes where there is dismemberment), would be low health taking a heavy toll on your character, and not just bloodied screen and heavy breathing but having to crawl around because you've had your nerves severed.

    Like in real life, once you go below 5% it shouldn't make a big difference whether if its 3% of 0%. Having a dude at 1% walking around like nothing, and getting killed by a fly or magically resuscitating after getting a health pack is something I dont enjoy

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    That's usually handled with ailments and crippled bodyparts, instead.

  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    That's usually handled with ailments and crippled bodyparts, instead.

    That's a system that goes very wrong very easily. My most recent experience with it is actually revisiting Vagrant Story last month. Simply put, damaging bodyparts of enemies doesn't kick in fast enough to matter. In fact, same goes with the character you play as, despite it affecting you more quickly than enemies.

    It's something in Fallout 3 as well but I can't remember how it worked there.

    Having parts of your body be damaged has to be quickly applicable, but something avoidable with skill. It has to matter if it happens, but it can't spell automatic doom.

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Then there's a pokemon with Speed and Attack dropping together with current HP.
    I think there were soldiers in Valkyria Chronicles who started sucking if they were injured, too.

  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    Fallout's body part damage kicked in way too slowly on enemies relative to their HP for things to matter, and was only relevant to you early on before you had medkits out the ass. Only jumping from about 10-15 feet mattered, and that magically always snapped both your legs.

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  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    I think FEAR is one of the best games to address these concepts. It has health packs and health regen. It allows you to carry a nice big stack of health kits, so you don't have to spend time backtracking to that health pack you think you remember leaving back there somewhere. It also will regen your health back up to 25HP (out of 100.)

    I think there's a lot to like about this approach. Mixing the systems together really kept the action moving in FEAR and being able to carry all those kits encouraged me to play very aggressively while maintaining a focus on precise execution. So you can get those intense, high pressure moments in big set piece fights, but never get stuck with a save that leaves you with 3HP.

  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    I enoy hybrid systems where you have like, 4 layers of health, and once a layer is lost, its gone, but it will regen fully if it has anything in it. This way you will always have at least one full layer of health, but you have lasting ramifications from area to area where you have lost a layer or two of your health.

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