Author Topic: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive  (Read 12408 times)

Offline Winge

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 11:34:52 PM »
You could make it take an action (like First Aid in ADOM).

Rite of Repair?
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 11:44:33 PM »
Aha, yes, a "heal" spell :) Probably capped at healing the amount of the last hit.  Or maybe just always heals the last hit, and the variable is the number of times you can do it per mission (like stealth).

It could also have two variables (number of charges, and max healed) but I tried that with stealth (total & consecutive) and the first regen implementation (amount & window-length) and didn't feel that the "you need two stats for this one mechanic to work" really worked well feel-wise.

I guess my main concerns with the above "heal spell" idea is that it would:

1) Either not scale up very much as the game went on (bad, we want progression) or get waaaaay more powerful late game because 1 charge heals one hit regardless (semi-bad, we don't want runaway progression). 
- Of course, maybe that just agitates towards having "max healed" be the variable and have number-of-uses-per-mission be static (or perhaps based on some other stat, like how sentries and mines now key off trap skill for their secondary variable).

2) Be kind of tiresome if you had a ton of charges because you'd have to remember to hit the heal button after the last hit of every fight. 
- Of course, that would also be basically solved by a switch to having the "max healed" be the variable and have number-of-uses-per-mission be static.  And not even increasing with some other variable, really.  If you only get 5 heals per mission you probably won't feel like you're having to mash the heal button overly often.


Ok, so, new main proposed mechanic ;)

"Repair"
- Given in values maybe 1/2 the magnitude of +shields.
- If you have any repair, you can use it as an ability up to 5 times per mission (for that exo)
- On use, heals you by your repair value or the damage done by the last hit to you, whichever is _less_.  Can't be used if you already repaired since your last hit.


So, my questions:

1) Would you enjoy using such an ability, speccing for it, etc?

2) Do you like it more than the current Regen mechanic?
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2013, 11:45:33 PM »
You could make it take an action (like First Aid in ADOM).

Rite of Repair?
Litanies to the Machine Spirit would make a lot of sense here, what with how incredibly buggy and cantankerous most of the bots are.  Alas copyright...
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Offline GrimerX

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2013, 12:41:40 AM »
For me, having an active 'repair' mechanic/button would be more enjoyable than the now-mostly-hidden repair mechanic.

I also think it opens more possibilities post-v1.

As for the exact mechanic, I would still prefer two attributes:
1) Number of repairs (I agree it should be hard to get more than a few; have an idea of the max you want near endgame and target that.  Your suggestion of 5 sounds reasonable).  This way my first 'heal' is a pretty big deal to get, etc.
Maybe this comes through scarcity, maybe through only getting repair boost on one specific equipment type (and the boost limited to +2 -- or +1 for standard exos, +2 for epic, for example), maybe there is a max-stack for that attribute.

2) Amount of repairs.  Making it a % of shields/+shields or "% of current damage" makes sense here, I like that idea.  Should scale well (as you suggest) and easy to understand.

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« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 12:43:16 AM by GrimerX »

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2013, 12:43:24 AM »
I do not like this new mechanic, at all.

It seems like more micro, and more complexity, in an attempt to reduce complexity.

Seems pointless to me in a meta sense, and more aggravating in a gameplay sense.
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Offline Gemzo

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2013, 01:33:40 AM »
I personally like the current mechanic, perhaps we could have it (just toned down somewhat) in addition to a repair action of sorts.

If I were to suggest how to implement repair... Well, I'd go a sort of first aid way. Rather, the damage you've taken is kept track of. Over time, the game forgets a portion of the damage (and it becomes permanent). The longer it has been since the last hit, the faster remembered damage will decay. If you take another hit while you have unrepaired damage, a portion of the damage from prior hits becomes permanent, and then the new damage is added on to the previous remembered damage. The actual repair action would remember all/a portion of(?) your remembered damage. Maybe the assault exo should repair 100%, and others 70% or some other value. The action should probably take 2 turns, to make it especially risky to use in the middle of combat (although honestly, it'd be pointlessly annoying to have to use it after every battle you took a hit in...regen is probably a better mechanic overall). On top of that, you probably shouldn't be able to use it during stealth...

Typing this out had made me think, maybe we should have to switch out the exo that is to be repaired. The line of logic being, they warp out of the action to receive field repairs in a safe location. The problem with this is that, it wouldn't make sense that you couldn't eventually wait until it's fully repaired. Which, of course, wouldn't really be a good thing for gameplay.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 01:36:38 AM by Gemzo »

Offline Misery

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2013, 02:04:11 AM »
I do not like this new mechanic, at all.

It seems like more micro, and more complexity, in an attempt to reduce complexity.

Seems pointless to me in a meta sense, and more aggravating in a gameplay sense.

Here's the thing about it though:  More "micro" is not necessarily a bad thing here, particularly considering what difficulty the player is on.  And considering the genre even more.

Look at Normal and Easy.  On those difficulties, there are many abilities and things that can be completely and totally ignored, and the player can still win without too much trouble, as is the intent of those modes.   Things that can be ignored entirely include sentries, mines, viruses (though you might use it on very rare occaisions to bring down doombots or pantherbots), and overload, as well as certain entire weapons.  They're just not necessary on those difficulties, and many players may not know really what to do with them, or may just not bother.   Adding this heal thing might give them something else to "activate" every now and then and feel like they're taking more of an active part.   And this is important in game design;  this sort of concept is one of the major reasons why I tend to rail against the idea of simplifying gameplay at all in most cases.  The less "active" the player is, the easier it is for them to get bored, or in this case, the more likely they are to think there isnt enough to the game.  And even this ability can mostly be ignored on those difficulties if you're popping most things before they can enter firing range, which is pretty easy.

And if you're playing on the higher difficulties.... you'll be activating abilities left and right as it is, and adding more options that you can use is NOT a bad idea there.   And heck, it sounds less irritating then the current implemenation.  Currently when I need to use regen (which is very important on expert), I will finish off the enemy bot, and then waddle stupidly back and forth for a few turns, or hit the spacebar over and over.  It's annoying to do and just seems kinda stupid every single time.  On top of that, the game itself is deciding when to activate this.  Having something that I can CHOOSE when to activate could be much more effective and interesting.

Also, I dont think this mechanic is meant to reduce gameplay complexity:  I'm pretty sure the idea is to reduce the complexity of the player UNDERSTANDING it and knowing just when/how it's working.  Gameplay complexity in a game like this is rarely a bad thing.  Genre fans will expect it.  But complexity of even explaining the mechanic in question to the player IS a bad thing, always.

Finally, if you cant use the mechanic that many times in one match, you wont be activating it that often, and it wont punctuate the battles and exploration much at all.

That's not to say the idea isnt without problems.  This one sounds hard to balance out;  it'd need to be a pretty heavy heal to match the capabilities of what the current regen does, if you give it too few actions.


But I can see this idea working out well overall if it can be done right.  It might mess up some current saves though.

Offline khadgar

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2013, 02:18:20 AM »
Preface: I didn't read any of the replies in this thread, so maybe this was already suggested.

I would take cues for regen from fighting games, at least in visual representation. In certain fighting games, when your health is damaged, part of the loss is permenant, but part will be able to recover as long as that bot is in reserve. To denote the amount of health that will recover versus what is permenantly lost, the health bar shows a slightly dimmer, different lookig segment appended to the end of the bar showing how much will eventually be regenerated.

This picture probably will explain it better. In that image, you can see all the character's health bars (yellow). Then, at the end of the yellow segments, you can see a red segment, denoting health they don't currently have, btu will eventually have if no further damage is taken. Finally, there is the black segment, or permanent depleted health.

I think if how much health was going to be regenerated at any given time was visually shown somehow, it would be a lot more usable no matter how it worked under the hood.

Here is a stupid ms-paint mockup i made of how this could look. On the left is how health bars look now, and on the right is three different styles of how they might look if you showed regen. I'm sure y'all could make something better.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2013, 02:18:43 AM »
It seems like more micro, and more complexity, in an attempt to reduce complexity.
More micro, sure. 

More complexity?  Compared to the current system with the regen window?  Honestly I think a heal spell is _way_ simpler than the current model.

And fwiw, as Misery said, this isn't specifically an attempt to reduce complexity.  Rather, I want the interface to give the player correct and adequate information about whatever mechanic we go with.  Personally, I think doing that with the current mechanic would involve too much info (it would basically need to just directly show you the 5 numbers in the regen window, with something like 4 or 5 sentences of explanation in a tooltip).  On the other hand "heals up to X damage from the last hit you took" is just about all the info this other one would need.


@Misery: on complexity reduction in general, I do try to avoid rendering a design "degenerate" (in the geometric sense of doing something like removing all depth from a cube or all height from a square... you just don't have the original thing anymore, even if you try to call it "a square with 0 height").  On the other hand, I also try to remove complexity whose "fun payoff" (for lack of a better term) is just too small for the amount of complexity involved.  But when I do that I also try to replace it with something else that has a better payoff ratio.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2013, 05:14:45 AM »
Ok, so, new main proposed mechanic ;)

"Repair"
- Given in values maybe 1/2 the magnitude of +shields.
- If you have any repair, you can use it as an ability up to 5 times per mission (for that exo)
- On use, heals you by your repair value or the damage done by the last hit to you, whichever is _less_.  Can't be used if you already repaired since your last hit.

So, my questions:

1) Would you enjoy using such an ability, speccing for it, etc?
2) Do you like it more than the current Regen mechanic?
Yes and Yes. The current mechanic is really too opaque for my taste (and I enjoy pushing buttons ;D).

I do not like this new mechanic, at all.

It seems like more micro, and more complexity, in an attempt to reduce complexity.

Seems pointless to me in a meta sense, and more aggravating in a gameplay sense.

Here's the thing about it though:  More "micro" is not necessarily a bad thing here, particularly considering what difficulty the player is on.  And considering the genre even more.

Look at Normal and Easy.  On those difficulties, there are many abilities and things that can be completely and totally ignored, and the player can still win without too much trouble, as is the intent of those modes.   Things that can be ignored entirely include sentries, mines, viruses (though you might use it on very rare occaisions to bring down doombots or pantherbots), and overload, as well as certain entire weapons.  They're just not necessary on those difficulties, and many players may not know really what to do with them, or may just not bother.   Adding this heal thing might give them something else to "activate" every now and then and feel like they're taking more of an active part.   And this is important in game design;  this sort of concept is one of the major reasons why I tend to rail against the idea of simplifying gameplay at all in most cases.  The less "active" the player is, the easier it is for them to get bored, or in this case, the more likely they are to think there isnt enough to the game.  And even this ability can mostly be ignored on those difficulties if you're popping most things before they can enter firing range, which is pretty easy.

And if you're playing on the higher difficulties.... you'll be activating abilities left and right as it is, and adding more options that you can use is NOT a bad idea there.   And heck, it sounds less irritating then the current implemenation.  Currently when I need to use regen (which is very important on expert), I will finish off the enemy bot, and then waddle stupidly back and forth for a few turns, or hit the spacebar over and over.  It's annoying to do and just seems kinda stupid every single time.  On top of that, the game itself is deciding when to activate this.  Having something that I can CHOOSE when to activate could be much more effective and interesting.

Also, I dont think this mechanic is meant to reduce gameplay complexity:  I'm pretty sure the idea is to reduce the complexity of the player UNDERSTANDING it and knowing just when/how it's working.  Gameplay complexity in a game like this is rarely a bad thing.  Genre fans will expect it.  But complexity of even explaining the mechanic in question to the player IS a bad thing, always.

Finally, if you cant use the mechanic that many times in one match, you wont be activating it that often, and it wont punctuate the battles and exploration much at all.

That's not to say the idea isnt without problems.  This one sounds hard to balance out;  it'd need to be a pretty heavy heal to match the capabilities of what the current regen does, if you give it too few actions.

But I can see this idea working out well overall if it can be done right.  It might mess up some current saves though.
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Offline Gemzo

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2013, 05:33:04 AM »
It seems like more micro, and more complexity, in an attempt to reduce complexity.
More micro, sure. 

More complexity?  Compared to the current system with the regen window?  Honestly I think a heal spell is _way_ simpler than the current model.

And fwiw, as Misery said, this isn't specifically an attempt to reduce complexity.  Rather, I want the interface to give the player correct and adequate information about whatever mechanic we go with.  Personally, I think doing that with the current mechanic would involve too much info (it would basically need to just directly show you the 5 numbers in the regen window, with something like 4 or 5 sentences of explanation in a tooltip).  On the other hand "heals up to X damage from the last hit you took" is just about all the info this other one would need.

I think Khadgar's suggestion about fighting game style health bars would work great to represent health that can be regenerated if no more hits are taken. Perhaps show how much health can be regained in 1 turn as well as your potential health after the 5 turns, but really that should be all that needs to be represented, right?

Offline Tridus

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2013, 06:15:52 AM »
Personally, I like that it's got a turn limit. If I happen to take 200 damage from a single nasty hit (say I hit myself with my own shotgun, which has absolutely never happened...), it's not fun to encourage me to spend 15 turns going in circles to regenerate it.
Right, so I think keeping a 5-turn or 10-turn limit to the number of pulses it can throw at a single hit is a good idea

Or alternatively it could just be given a single pulse, and we could ratchet up the numbers accordingly.

Honestly that seems simplest to me :)  But simple may not always be the priority.  Thoughts?

A single turn pulse is probably too fast for me, there's less chance of being attacked by another bot if all you have to wait for is one turn and you're fully healed.

I also don't like the "heal" spell, mostly because of the last shot idea. That makes regeneration a very swingy thing to have: either you're getting hit for big but survivable numbers in one shot and it's great, or you're getting hit by smaller numbers and it's terrible.

Damage reduction already has that mechanic going for it (in reverse, smaller hits are better). A reversed version is kinda blah.

I still like my first suggestion. :)

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2013, 09:25:23 AM »
Couldn't we just have something simpler. Tales of Maj'Eyal has a pretty simple regen system as I recall.

What about making things work similarly to the stealth mechanic. Just have a total pool of regen points. Player activates regen at will. Exo regenerates at a rate depending on regen stat per turn.

Yes, I know that this involves waiting around to repair your bot, but as long as the player is in control of when to activate regen or not it's not that big a deal. I'll just survey the surroundings, activate heal and then stop whenever I feel I've healed sufficiently. The good thing about having this active heal is that I can put my bot into "tank mode". OK, tough boss coming up, let's pre-activate some regen to increase survivability. It just seems simpler and more tactical. I think this is pretty much what you have in Maj'Eyal although I'm a bit hazy on the details. Additionally, I'd like more buttons to actively have to think about pressing as Misery points out. Fun micro-management.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2013, 09:40:47 AM »


I think Khadgar's suggestion about fighting game style health bars would work great to represent health that can be regenerated if no more hits are taken. Perhaps show how much health can be regained in 1 turn as well as your potential health after the 5 turns, but really that should be all that needs to be represented, right?

I think visually this would be good to help with the UI in showing how healing is done. On the first hit, the full value of regen would show, greater hits will show the bar alter accordingly.


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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Reworking Regen to be more intuitive
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2013, 09:47:31 AM »

I also don't like the "heal" spell, mostly because of the last shot idea. That makes regeneration a very swingy thing to have: either you're getting hit for big but survivable numbers in one shot and it's great, or you're getting hit by smaller numbers and it's terrible.


From a gameplay perspective, yes, this is part of my dislike. There will still be plenty of potential ways to "game" the system, so it is hardly any better then the current situation. It is just a whole new set of variables to .

Part of the reason this is being removed to make things more transparent, but in practice it makes things more annoying. What is the strategic value of such a heal spell, aside from cleaner UI? It is not any simplier, because now you are approaching bot battles with the goal of either A) Not getting hit at all, or B) Of slaughtering as many bots per "spell". Not any simplier then the current model of A) Not getting hit at all or B) Engaging bots where you can tank them more. And it is certainly more micro heavy. The fact other elements of the game involve micro does not make it any more acceptable, if anything, it makes it less so.

I am not all convinced this will make the game any better from the current system aside from UI, and there are already other ways presented for that. And even then, a slightly better UI simply because it puts in more micro is a terrible trade-off.

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