Tag Archive for Survey

Survey: Question Number Three

In most MMO games today, your character has lots of hit points and you get hit a few dozen times before you go down. In pen & paper systems, your character tends to have lower hit points and depends largely on misses, blocking and resists to survive; getting hit a couple or three times can put you in the dirt. So the question is, which system would you prefer to play in, one where you have hundreds or thousands of hit points and get hit for small amounts often and large amounts infrequently, or one where you have dozens of hit points and get missed mostly and hits are more critical in nature?

To a degree, playing in a large number system is more… calming. I get hit and I shrug it off. I have 5,000 hit points and the monster I’m fighting only hits for 50, so I can get hit 100 times before I fall. Mathematically, it allows for a steady, normalized, progression of damage that leads to character death. With the occasional spike of spell damage to keep you on your toes. However, like other things, I’m a bit tired of this system because it is so prevalent.

The other method is more tense. Miss, miss, miss, block, dodge, miss, dodge, miss, block, HIT! Crap! I just lost half my hit points! Miss, miss, block, miss, block, block, dodge, miss, miss, dodge, HIT! Almost dead! Not gonna make it! Block, block, dodge, miss, dodge, miss, miss, miss, miss, dodge, block, enemy falls over dead. Whew! I made it!

I don’t know. It just seems to me that if it worked that second way, I’d care more, I’d be less tempted to do some AFK fighting. What do you think?

Survey: Question Number Two

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?