Lukas Kristjanson on healing and gameplay in DA:I [post from the BSN]
“A lot of people are picturing trying to play DAO/2 with no heals. Of course that wouldn’t work, those games weren’t balanced for that. But how well were they balanced with heals, really? I’m not a numbers guy, but I like a good fight. And here’s what made it make sense for me.
There’s a very simple reason why this is a good decision, and it’s also why the balance in DAO/2 was all over the map. It’s in the question “How many health points does a player have?” Because we need to know this before we can design an encounter and know how balanced it is.
So, how many HP? Well, we’d hope it starts with “somewhere between the minimum for a mage and the max for a warrior, varied based on party makeup.” Okay, good place to start. That’s a real number. We can build encounters that do somewhere within that range of total damage + effects.
Now add in healing. How many HP does the player have? “Somewhere between the minimum for a mage and the max for a warrior, plus somewhere between the minimum and maximum number of healing spells/potions and between the min/max of their mana/potions.”
Okay, how much HP is that exactly? Since potions restore mana, and potions also restored HP, the actual number of potential HP was somewhere between the minimum for a mage and the total amount of gold you had available to spend on potions. And the later in the game it was, the more the top reached astronomical numbers. And so the greatest power the player had in previous games was not any one of their abilities, it was the ability to make the number of HP impossible to estimate.
And to counter effectively infinite HP, “balance” meant we needed to hit the player with far more potential damage than their characters could withstand, and do it all but instantly. In effect, replacing HP damage (unknown limits) with death/resurrection (known limits). Or we had to stop them from chaining potions, meaning more enemies that put them to sleep or confused them, or otherwise made the player not able to take action. Alpha strikes and crowd control, neither of which were tactics that were fun to face again and again, because they “balanced” by removing actions, by removing control.
Now in Inquisition, by reducing healing, by actually defining HP to a range that can have real numbers in it, we can better balance encounters. And no, players can’t rely on chaining potions. So what do they get instead?
Abilities/gear/choices that actually have an effect on the battle that is greater than infinite health on your belt. And because your greatest ability isn’t chugging potions, we need less effects that shut you down. You spend more time in control of your characters making more varied decisions to have a greater effect on the flow of the battle. You have regen from spells and potions and gear. You have effects you can craft that grant health on enemy deaths. You have damage mitigation through abilities and buffs and crafting. Limiting health and balancing enemies accordingly makes more tactical choices viable while keeping the challenge.
Does this make it more difficult? On Nightmare, Well, you asked for a challenge, and you’ll have one that you can overcome in many more viable ways than previously possible.
But what about Easy? Well, last weekend, on Easy/Casual, starting the game with a mage and me not saying a word, my seven year old played for two hours that included many battles, including rifts and beating the crap out of a low level Pride demon. No party wipes. I covered his ears once.
I think you’ll be fine.”
captainallegra replied to your post “captainallegra replied to your photo: “Me and dalish-defender’s…”
YEP. Everyone needs That Person Who Kills The Bugs in their lives, because it is definitely not me omg (And you did tag me, so of course I saw it! Sorry it was so late, though!)
Certainly not my Inquisitor, that’s for sure. She despises insignificant insects, both the actual creatures and people who want to cause trouble to the Inquisition.
(I honestly didn’t think you’d notice… Well, at least now you know that we see Josephine as someone we can rely on. Be it taking care of actual insect variety pests or actual political pests)
I’m just kinda laughing because I’m not sure what geeky asian sounds like but I’m American and now you have a Southern Accent. I deem your voice just fine and don’t worry about it.
Okay… XD But don’t laugh at my derp voice when i finally get round to making them.
if you don’t think this carries an important message about our society then you are what is wrong with human society today
And this is why when you see a post empowering and uplifting black women, do not invade it with “don’t you mean all women.” No, because this is not the reality of “all women.”
I’m sure your voice is just peachy fine. I mean, it’s not the tenor of the voice but what comes out that matters.
I sound like geeky asian with the american accent.
I’m not even from America. It’s weird and whiny sounding.
I’m kinda worried my voice sounds… weird. I mean, you don’t want to hear someone play a game and have a crap voice commenting on it. Right?
commanderfunky and a few other people know what I sound like. I don’t know if I sound annoying to them.