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109. Re: More Big Picture Details Nov 9, 2012, 23:16 Jerykk
Regenerating health (never seen regenerating ammo, outside of Borderlands, which has requires you to make a sacrifice to get) doesn't diminish challenge. It doesn't diminish threat or urgency. When your screen is flashing, everything is blinking, you still get that need to perform. People act like any time your health is low you can just hide - it often doesn't work like that because, if you're near a place to hide, you aren't near a firefight. If you're in a firefight there's nowhere to hide.

Eh? In 99% of shooters I've played, there is always cover available during firefights. This is pretty much mandatory for any game that uses regenerating health (except Tribes Ascend). In BL2, there is always cover around.

And that's basically the root of the problem. If there's cover nearby and I know I can completely regenerate my health as often as I want, I really don't care about getting hit unless I'm on the verge of death. Take the following scenario which is often found in shooters:

1) I enter a room and there are two enemies on the other side.
2) I take cover.
3) The enemies take turns popping out of cover and firing at me, so there's always at least one guy firing at me.

How I approach this situation is completely different based on the health system. If I have regenerating health, I will just stand up and kill whoever is exposed first. I'll take a a bunch of hits but it doesn't matter because I can just take cover and heal. I just repeat this until all enemies are dead because I can heal as many times as I want. Conversely, if I had a finite health system, I'd have to be much more strategic. I'd have to pay more attention to the AI and my surroundings and then figure out a way to flank them so I can minimize risk and create openings. Taking hits is a serious matter because it has long-term repercussions. Taking 80 damage now means I'll probably die in one hit the next time I expose myself.

Tribes is another good example of how significant the difference between finite and regenerating health systems are. In Tribes 1 and 2, you replenished health by using health kits, of which you could carry one at a time and only heal a certain amount. In Tribes: Ascend, you have regenerating health. Here are some examples of how this affects gameplay:

T1/T2 - Heavies sitting on the flag could only take so much damage before they'd have to leave the flag to heal. Leaving the flag exposed is bad so teammates had to either toss him health kits or use the repair gun on him. Finite health encouraged teamwork.

T:A - Heavies sitting on the flag only need to survive any given attack. Once the attack is over, they regenerate all their health. No teamwork necessary.

T1/T2 - Cappers disc/grenade-jump to give themselves significant momentum boosts as they approach the flag, allowing them to grab at extremely high speeds. However, when they do grab, their health is going to be low and they'll have no way of healing. This balances the risk and reward of disc/grenade-jumping.

T:A - Cappers still disc/grenade jump to gain momentum but now they can fully regenerate their health before reaching the flag. Risk is negated while reward remains intact, upsetting the balance of the mechanic.

T1/T2 - Heavies on offense plow their way into the enemy base and camp the enemy generator. This effectively cripples the other team until they can kill him. Thankfully, the heavy has no way of healing so the team can just whittle him down and kill him more quickly.

T:A - Heavies can still camp generators except now they completely heal after every attack. This makes killing them much harder and more time-consuming, leaving the base crippled for a much longer duration.

This comment was edited on Nov 9, 2012, 23:32.
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