Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

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Havelok_
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Havelok_ » June 12th, 2016, 11:12 pm

prodigydancer wrote:
Havelok_ wrote:It makes the game more accessible for new players
Yeah, let's dumb it down for the mainstream crowd. Nevermind that casuals will never play this game anyway.
Accessibility is good game design. Balance and fair difficulty progression is good game design. Keeping as close to possible to a Tabletop ruleset without considering either of these things is not good game design.
Switching to HP means you must rework everything related to combat: stats, skills, items and encounter design. Many things need to be redesigned from scratch and then thoroughly tested. Of course, less than a year from release it's simply impossible.
They have likely had this change in the back of their minds for some time. Now that the game is content complete, they came to the realization that they cannot keep the pools as they are. This was largely due to beta feedback, which consists of people who are, as you say, the farthest thing from casual players imaginable. As far as "impossible" is concerned, since there are so few combat encounters in the game and the fact that it makes up a rather small portion of the gameplay means that it is far from an impossible task to rebalance said encounters with this new stat. And as they have already mentioned, it makes said balance *easier* to perform, not more difficult.
Finally, why even adopt an RP ruleset that you aren't going to use anyway? I'm not such a huge fan of Numenera, but you can't change basic rules and claim it's still the same ruleset.
The developers of this game were far more interested in the *setting* of Numenera, rather than its parent ruleset, the cypher system. The ruleset implementation was a giant question mark since the very beginning of development. No one knew how well it would translate into video game format, what things would need to be changed and how drastically. The Cypher system is heavily GM dependent, and without a GM, some things simply do not work well. What things do and do not work well without GM intrusions were to be discovered via playtesting. The playtesting has shown that the death spiral mechanic present in core cypher system rules does not translate well into video game format.

Finally, punishing a player for not understanding the core mechanics of the game might be something the old infinity engine games did, but it does not mean this particular feature of those games should be preserved. The purpose of this game is to tell a story, and the mechanics should aid in that endeavor, not stand in the way by being unnecessarily obtuse and punishing.

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Aramintai
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Aramintai » June 13th, 2016, 12:36 am

I like that health now is a separate pool and I don't really care that it breaks the original ruleset. None of the licensed video games that I know of used a 1:1 ruleset interpretation, they all had it modified to suit specific gameplay needs.
Personally, I find it more comprehensible than trying to figure out why my character should drop dead from exhausting his stat pools. The only thing that can be done to make it more like the original is to equal the health pool to stat pools total, but if it's gonna stay different I won't complain. Also, I'm not sure whether it's a bug or a feature but even when characters have exhausted their stat pools they can still use them in effort menu to some degree. If it's a feature then it should be explained better, because now I barely see a reason to sleep.
And finally, thanks, devs, for changing pools colors to better looking ones, I wasn't a big fan of screaming pink/yellow/orange.
Image

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Salmanasar » June 13th, 2016, 1:42 am

Aramintai wrote:I like that health now is a separate pool and I don't really care that it breaks the original ruleset. None of the licensed video games that I know of used a 1:1 ruleset interpretation, they all had it modified to suit specific gameplay needs.
problem is that drooping idea of "Pools=HP" also means that you're thorwing out many other aspects of the ruleset - different enemy attacks damaging different pools, or "loosing one pool only partially affect your combat abilities". Yes, whole system could lead into "death circle", but that should be streamlined by balance pass. The biggest problem with first (and tbh ongoing) iteration(s) is that player feels that he MUST use pools everytime when he sees effort popup - not because he realy need to use it, but because other games forced you to win every skill check to get the best result (especially in conversations, but it also applies to the battle).

I think that this case is simillar to the new prologue section - instead of adding proper tips and tutorial a'la WL2, inxile is throwing everything out and hopes that everything will be good now.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kilobug » June 13th, 2016, 2:44 am

Salmanasar wrote:problem is that drooping idea of "Pools=HP" also means that you're thorwing out many other aspects of the ruleset - different enemy attacks damaging different pools, or "loosing one pool only partially affect your combat abilities".
Well, that's why I asked about how special attacks and the damage track are handled now. It's possible that you have an added "health" stat, most attacks take out the health stat, but have special attacks (poisons, mental attacks, ...) damage the Pool in addition or instead of the Health, and regain some form of damage track that give you penalties when one or more of the Pools are empty (voluntarily or due to special damage). You need some changes to those mechanisms, but you don't need to completely throw them out. But I've no idea how they actually did it.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Salmanasar » June 13th, 2016, 3:27 am

kilobug wrote:Well, that's why I asked about how special attacks and the damage track are handled now. It's possible that you have an added "health" stat, most attacks take out the health stat, but have special attacks (poisons, mental attacks, ...) damage the Pool in addition or instead of the Health
Well, it might be true, but doesnt that mean that system is now even more complicated for newcomers than before? And very RNG'y too, because sometimes you'll take a lot of pool dmg because of AI special attack spam, and sometimes it wont pick special attack even once.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by prodigydancer » June 13th, 2016, 7:26 am

Havelok_ wrote:Accessibility is good game design.
/facepalm

That's why we can't have nice things anymore. Need to face the reality: actual CRPGs are a thing of the past, true gamers are a dying breed, and I guess it's time for us - the few remaining dinosaurs - to stop caring.

Dear inXile, why don't you add quest compass while you're at it? It's what your backers really want, after all...

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by -Archangel- » June 13th, 2016, 8:28 am

prodigydancer wrote:
Havelok_ wrote:Accessibility is good game design.
/facepalm

That's why we can't have nice things anymore. Need to face the reality: actual CRPGs are a thing of the past, true gamers are a dying breed, and I guess it's time for us - the few remaining dinosaurs - to stop caring.

Dear inXile, why don't you add quest compass while you're at it? It's what your backers really want, after all...
No, that would be too complex still with the amount of conversations that TToN will have. I suggest they add best choice icon in all conversations that will bring players the most WIN(tm).
Or better yet, why don't they reduce all conversations to 4 options, hmm? It let Fallout 4 sell millions! Inxile will be rich! Rich I tell ya!

If I expected these big changes were going to be made I don't think I would have given extra 30$ to get TToN during BT4 kickstarter. Frack.
I cannot do much, but if the finished product ends up loosely based on Numenera I am also done with Inxile.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kilobug » June 13th, 2016, 8:44 am

prodigydancer wrote:
Havelok_ wrote:Accessibility is good game design.
/facepalm

That's why we can't have nice things anymore. Need to face the reality: actual CRPGs are a thing of the past, true gamers are a dying breed, and I guess it's time for us - the few remaining dinosaurs - to stop caring.

Dear inXile, why don't you add quest compass while you're at it? It's what your backers really want, after all...
It's not like it's binary, either we go all the way towards making the game accessible to every causal gamer who is too lazy/tired/in a hurry to read some text, or we don't take any step at all towards making the game more accessible to people who didn't play IE games, didn't read Numenéra corebook and didn't play Numenéra pen and paper.

The "health = Pool" thing is confusing for many people not used to Numenéra, that's a negative aspect of it. It's not necessarily a blocker, if it does allow more interesting gameplay, or better immersion, or more tormenty-feel, then it should be kept. But it's a trade-off, and denying that complexity/confusing is a negative aspect doesn't help.

I don't *know* if that move was wise or unwise, I didn't play the beta, and I'm not a game designer. But it's a case of trade-off, with valid reasons both ways, and calling "treasons" or "let's just add quest compass" is not helping.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Avestus » June 13th, 2016, 9:01 am

While I'm not strongly opposite to this decision, I dislike it. "HP == Pools" was interesting and fit the setting. Bland HP is kind of meh. It's not like i'll be doing a lot of combat anyway, but still I personally would've liked to have the old system.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by prodigydancer » June 13th, 2016, 9:58 am

It doesn't really matter what we'll say here - they won't revert the change anyway.

Seriously speaking, I don't even believe that HP are what the majority would approve. Remember how RTwP vs. TB was resolved by a vote? Well, health system is more important than mere combat presentation (RTwP is less discrete and harder to control but in the end of the day it's not that different from gridless AP-based TB). In-game it's quite literally a matter of life and death - and they just changed it in a fingersnap. No discussion, no vote, nothing.

I think I understand now why Kevin Saunders had to leave.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kilobug » June 13th, 2016, 11:00 am

HarveyV wrote:So basically, you're not smart enough to figure out that doing things that are physically, mentally, and energetically taxing to you might kill you if you don't stop and take a break? What? What? What?
Well, actually, no. You can try as hard as you wish to solve riddles, shoot arrows in the bull of a target, and arm-wrestle with someone strong, you won't drop dead (unless perhaps you've a very serious heart conditions or something similar).

Actually, if I were to GM a Numenéra game, I would home rule that the last point of each pool can't be spent willingly (to activate a power or as Effort) but only taken through damage, because it's just unrealistic to kill yourself (or seriously impair yourself) that way.

For the rest of your condescending and exaggerated remarks, I prefer to not answer.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kilobug » June 13th, 2016, 11:06 am

prodigydancer wrote:No discussion, no vote, nothing.
Since when is a art a democracy ? That's not how it works. InXile are game designers and developers, it's their job. They have a creative vision that they follow the best they can, using their own experience at designing and making games. By backing the KS we gave them the ability to follow that artistic vision. We have no say over what they do, as long as they don't break any hard promise (like making the game a first-person shooter). The whole point of KS is to grant more freedom to the creators to follow their artistic vision, free from the pressure of publishers, not to replace it with another kind.

Asking backers for ideas and feedback is one thing - more people will have more idea, and even professionals can overlook something. But saying they don't have the ultimate decision power, that we should have it, is completely defeating the whole point of crowd funding, and highly unrealistic.
prodigydancer wrote:I think I understand now why Kevin Saunders had to leave.
I seriously doubt it has anything to do with something like Health, or even a core disagreement with the rest of the team.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Naharavensari » June 14th, 2016, 3:04 am

Everybody is getting really worked up over a health pool. I've run probably 8 or 9 cypher system campaigns. I love it. Probably too much, but having a health pool doesn't somehow destroy EVERYTHING of value in system.

Honestly, if I were to nitpick I'd complain about how cyphers are implemented. But, health pool, I couldn't care less about.

Sure, I get that seems like they are taking an elegant system and mucking it up. However, when you change format oftentimes elements need to be altered to fit it.

There aren't any GM intrusions so far. That's pretty major way to gain xp in pnp. There isn't any spending xp for making it go away either. You don't get to pick your race. You don't get all the same descriptors. Things simply change.

Yes, it is unbalanced. This is in beta. If you see that then report it. Explain why it is unbalanced. Try to help them correct the issue.

As far as being upset because their 'dumbing' annoys me. I have no idea why as gamers that we are supposed to 'elite' and 'exclusive'. That 'casuals' ruin everything, because their stupid.

I don't believe that is why they made the decision. But, why must we hate on people who want to enjoy things we enjoy? I really don't understand.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by prodigydancer » June 14th, 2016, 7:03 am

Naharavensari wrote:But, why must we hate on people who want to enjoy things we enjoy? I really don't understand.
Nobody hates on anyone. There are plenty of casual-friendly games out there, including RPGs. To name a few of the newer ones: Skyrim, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fallout 4.

However, there are also people who do not enjoy dumbed down games. Why cannot we get what we want once in a while? We don't say that TToN should be a tactical combat sim. Numenera is a pretty lightweight ruleset as it is - why water it down even more?

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kaiman » June 14th, 2016, 7:49 am

prodigydancer wrote:However, there are also people who do not enjoy dumbed down games. Why cannot we get what we want once in a while?
I second that.

While I cannot really give a qualified comment regarding the change, as I did not play either of the beta versions, my gut feeling is that this is quite a drastic deviation from fundamental aspect of the Numenera ruleset. Personally, I was looking forward to something different than the prevalent D&D inspired mechanics, so I am a little disappointed.

However, looking through the previous comments, I don't think there are any real compelling arguments for doing away with health. Whining and ranting certainly won't help to change inXiles mind. OTOH, I also don't think that the addition of a stat like health will suddenly transform TToN into a "casual" game. It may take away some of the quirkiness that could be expected from a Torment game, however. PS:T did it by deviating from the standard D&D rules, but since Numenera's rules are anything but standard in my book, deviating from them in this specific case does not really help.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by anonymous6059 » June 14th, 2016, 8:25 am

The Health bar isn't a bad Idea. I've actually spent sometime playing Numenera and I still don't mind the change. I do find it strange that they felt they had to do this though. Numenera isn't the most difficult ruleset imaginable by any means. So I can see how it is disappointing for a lot of players. They made the change because a great number of gamers refuse to take the time to learn the fundamentals of the ruleset. I'm fairly certain that they received a overwhelming amount of feedback complaining about how confused and lost they were with combat mechanics. That basically forced Inxile's hand. Is that fair to the minority of players that do understand the rules? Beats me. I'm not going to say that's our call. Altogether the change doesn't seem to be bad. I'm sure they can balance it and make having edge and using effort very important still.

Does anyone know how a PC moves down the Damage track? How exactly does impairment and debilitation work now with the health bar?

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by prodigydancer » June 14th, 2016, 9:28 am

anonymous6059 wrote:They made the change because a great number of gamers refuse to take the time to learn the fundamentals of the ruleset.
There are more elegant or at least less discriminatory ways to deal with that. The most straightforward approach would be to add a so-called story mode. Every playable character has 10x points in every pool while in combat and 90% chance to one-shot any enemy. Problem solved, everybody happy.

Yet they deliberately chose the way they knew would make people who really cared, people who wanted to experience Numenera as it was meant to be most unhappy. They will never admit it but this move is their "f... you" to actual gamers. We're used to it. The industry hates us because we're demanding, because we ask tough questions, because we ridicule bad design. The industry hates us and spits on us at every opportunity. And inXile is no different from the rest, it turns out.

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Post by anonymous6059 » June 14th, 2016, 10:07 am

prodigydancer wrote:
anonymous6059 wrote:They made the change because a great number of gamers refuse to take the time to learn the fundamentals of the ruleset.
There are more elegant or at least less discriminatory ways to deal with that. The most straightforward approach would be to add a so-called story mode. Every playable character has 10x points in every pool while in combat and 90% chance to one-shot any enemy. Problem solved, everybody happy.

Yet they deliberately chose the way they knew would make people who really cared, people who wanted to experience Numenera as it was meant to be most unhappy. They will never admit it but this move is their "f... you" to actual gamers. We're used to it. The industry hates us because we're demanding, because we ask tough questions, because we ridicule bad design. The industry hates us and spits on us at every opportunity. And inXile is no different from the rest, it turns out.
I can't deny anything you're saying though I do feel it is a bit hostile. I understand why though and you have the right to be pissed. I don't know a great deal about "Story mode" but I think I've seen what you're suggesting a few times. Only problem I see with that is players are to lazy to take the time to play the "Story mode". If they aren't willing to google "Cypher Rules" what makes you think they will play a special training mode? I don't really blame the developers any more then I blame the players. I'm starting to feel that the average IQ of most Gamers has dropped in the past few decades.

I'll even admit the first time I tried the Beta I wasn't familiar with the Cypher rules yet. I even went as far as leaving feedback about something I didn't understand (involving the Cypher rules). So I take part of the blame here myself unfortunately. However, afterwards I spent sometime on Roll20 and reading over the Numenera rules. Hell, I've been GMing the Cypher System now for almost 2 months. So when the Beta update came I was Ready! Then, yeah they had done away with it which did upset me a little, but then again I am part of the reason why it changed I guess.

So I will say that it is a little confusing for someone who isn't used to the Cypher System. Does that mean they should of changed it? I don't think I can personally say. I've kind of stood on both sides of the fence. From where I'm standing now I'd say they should be as orthodox to Numenera as possible. From where I started I'd say this was a good move.

Sorry, again Inxile if I'm part of the reason you made this change. ::hangs head in shame:: :(

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Salmanasar » June 14th, 2016, 10:16 am

HarveyV wrote:
Aramintai wrote: Accessibility is good game design.


Oh my god, it's like you don't even like RPGs.
He is right.. and at the same time, he isnt. Accessibility IS good thing. BUT it DOESNT mean that that "polls=hp" need to go. Accessibility can be achived by many ways, for example by making GOOD tutorial and proper tips during loading screens. Something that torment beta lacks off. Hell, tips at this moment do the opposite, like suggesting you that you NEED to spent effort in almost every turn, instead of saving it for challenging ones or critical final blow.

Ok, i understand - Colin&Co tries to teach us about every game aspect trough storytelling, but as we see, it doesnt work. Not in every case. Old attuning to the tides crisis section is the best example. Current iteration is even worse at teaching you how unique battlesystem works. This game BEGS for proper tutorials. We already have some menus (like choosing our sex), one popup more doesnt change anything. It will make the game more accessible for newcomers without drastic changes to the core systems. Without them, even current iteration with HP is confusing as hell, like that effort menu.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by sear » June 14th, 2016, 10:19 am

HarveyV wrote:They literally and factually said they added the health pool system because idiots might end up going into encounters unprepared.

That is what casuals do. They are stupid and don't take their time or learn the mechanics, and die. Duh.
I think you may be misinterpreting what I said. ;) The intent was not to "dumb down" the game for "casuals". It was primarily to allow us to balance combat better. Numenera is a system built for the tabletop and while it has some great elements, our goal is still ultimately to do a Torment CRPG and not a 1:1 tabletop simulation.

Without a human GM tuning each situation, stat pools doubling as health introduced a ton of variance in character builds and capability levels that made it extremely difficult to balance encounters, DTs, items, etc. across the entire game. With health we have a more consistent reference point for balancing encounters, and resource management is still an extremely important part of exploration/conversation gameplay as well as for combat abilities.

You are welcome to extrapolate what that means for the game, or discuss how that relates to the spirit of Numenera if you wish. But I just want to get it out there that accessibility to some nebulous idiotic mass audience was not a factor.

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