Gaming Damage Effects

Another “If’n I designed an MMO” post.

Yesterday, I said exhaustion should affect damage. After checking my notes, no – or at least not for gaming.

The current model for MMOs is basically that you operate at 100% for all damage levels above “Dead”. Believe it or not that’s basically a valid model for HEROES, and so I’ll leave it.

See, here’s the way things go in real life (simplified). You start taking damage, and barring something like a leg being blown off (or broken) you either ignore it or focus on it. If you focus on it – even if it’s just a scratch – you stop. You’re done. If you ignore it then barring the aforementioned leg you just keep going. Heroes – real life heroes – just ignore more than anyone else. That’s not to say they don’t notice it and aren’t concerned about it, they just “pass a willpower check” and keep going.

If I were modeling a “reality” game I’d have the aforementioned willpower check. Every time you take damage you roll against willpower modified by the proportion of damage you’ve taken AND (here’s where the other comment came to play) how exhausted you are. If I were making everyone live with being non-heroes, I’d force the check on them. If I’m running a table-top RPG I consider making such a check on them if it makes the story flow better.

For MMO heroes, no willpower check.

This does not mean exhaustion is ignored. No, I think it needs incorporated as well. World of Warcraft does fine doing this for everyone but warriors, and while I understand why they did what they did it makes a counter-intuitive situation. Warriors never tire unless they pause. sigh.

An exhaustion track running separately from a damage track and a resources track works, at least nominally. Let the warrior start with lots of energy and burn it off just like everyone else – energy management makes more sense than grinding till you can build enough “special” points.

FWIW, I can think of ‘intellectual’ players who would like an MMO that shuts down a leg or an arm, remaining till it’s healed. The modeling (both effect and graphic) would be a royal pain, and I’m not sure most players would like the result; so I’ll refrain from my “If’n I were in charge of the design” concept.

Sliding in my typical digression… one of the reasons I’m doing this particular bit is that one of the things I’m trying to write actually gelled. Over 45000 words and a plot that actually WORKS, but it’s time to make it internally consistent. The biggest pain has been magic. Yes, magic isn’t real so who cares, but… I have this quirk that insists it needs to work, somehow, in a coherent and, well, scientific fashion even if it IS “make a wish and WOW!!!” So you get some of the splash as part of my posting.


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