Moo Tang Clan: QOTD: I nearly died

Friday, May 27, 2011

QOTD: I nearly died

"When people tell stories about their greatest moments, they often revolve around nearly dying. In games, what's really special for people is not, 'I killed the bad guy and I was perfect', it's, 'I nearly died, but I just managed to kill the bad guy.' How do we set out specifically to give them those experiences? That's a great challenge for us as game makers."

-- Brian Fleming, via The seduction secrets of video game designers

Guild Wars 2, with their downed, defeated, and rally mechanics, looks to be making a smart move. In contrast WoW's battle rezz (in various forms) seems to have missed the point - you are dead, a red smear on the landscape, and btw quite possibly by some mechanic that wiped out 50% of your health in one hit.

A little idea to toss into the mix - make damage and health work on a reverse logarithmic scale. The big nasty blows at the start of the fight when you're full of pep and bluster will knock 5%, 10% or more off your health, but the same blow when you're nearly dead only knocks off 1% or 2%. It might take 10 hits to get you down to 10%, then another 10 hits to get you down to 1%, and finally 10 more knock down drag 'em out hits to finally put you down. Down, but not defeated of course ;-)

It's all smoke an mirrors, but it'll work in the same way that players like having a 200% bonus for rested XP vs a 50% penalty for unrested XP.

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