Following the last question on stat systems: Would you prefer to play in a game where all the numbers are shown to you, or one where the numbers are hidden and values have to be inferred through experience, or some middle ground mix of numbers and inferences?
Several games in their Alphas or early Beta stages have toyed with removing numbers. If I remember correctly, EverQuest did this. You either “miss”ed or “hit” when fighting, and there are life bars, and there are descriptions for stats like “strong as an ox” or “slightly slow and dim-witted”. But in the end, and I believe usually from player/tester pressure, they put the numbers back in so that we can see that we hit for 8 points of damage and that we have 73 hit points remaining and that our strength is 18 and our intelligence is 9.
I’ve often thought I’d enjoy playing a game without the numbers, even though I’ve not played one like that yet outside the pen & paper gaming group on Saturdays. Mostly, its just because I’ve come to dislike the culture of numbers in games, where people judge you on your stats instead of your ability to play. It’s something I would like to try.
How about you? What system would you prefer?