The Alternative Regenerating Health Model - ARHM
There's no doubt that the regenerating health model is a point of contention within the FPS world. Certainly, it's no more pronounced than in a sequel to a game famed for its emphasis on forcing the player to adapt to only having a limited amount of resources - especially the all important medi-kit. What I propose here is an alternative, incorporating health-regeneration, options for further upgrade, an implementation of location based damage, and most of all, the return of the medi-bot.
Here are the major design mechanics I propose:
Limited Health Regeneration
My model: Max Payne. Gasp as you may, harking back to the nightmare of quicksaving required to progress in the game, it had a fundementally interesting, perhaps slightly innovative and entirely overlooked function - a tiny amount of health regeneration at all times; perhaps in the realm of 25%. You could be on deaths door, Max limping about as he got himself together, and you would have just enough health to make it through to the next set of painkillers. I will emphasise, I am one of these guys who nervously makes their way around levels trying to retain full ammo and health at all times, but once I forced myself through (going mad with quicksaving), I discovered this was actually a very fun way of playing it.
What does this mean for the ARHM? Well I propose DE3 implements an (upgradable) limited, or partial health recharge. At the start of the game, your mechanical architecture is capable of a limited self-repair. Perhaps in the realm of 1/4-1/3 recharge. To reach full health, you need to find a medi-bot.
Location Based Damage
This is probably the riskiest suggestion for my proposal - I get the idea that developers don't like it based on the potential for *gasp* too much complexity.
I propose that Location Based Damage is reimplemented into the series. In to my model, there is a chance of taking damage to specific body parts that may or may not do a certain amount of damage to them - basically ala' Deus Ex. Each location has a specific effect on the player - get hit in the head and you become concussed - perhaps the player's vision could blur or even black out for example. Being hit in the arms obviously reduces strength/accuracy. Being hit in the legs would cause increasing amounts of limping/reduction in speed.
The Limited Recharge augmentation can at first not heal these wounds at first. Leading me onto...
The Regeneration Augmentation
This works entirely under the assumption that the Mechanical-Augmentions will work similarily to Deus Ex 1 and 2's. You pick a mod, you fit it, you can upgrade it. I propose 4 stages for the ARHM
- Stage 1 - Limited Health Recharge : The body is capable of steming blood flow and applying splints to shattered bones until the operative is able to reach a qualified surgeon or medical unit
- Stage 2 - Improved Health Regeneration: The body is capable of repairing up to 50% of the wounds inflicted, as well as allowing it to return limbs to a damaged but usable status
- Stage 3 - Exceptional Health Regeneration: The body can repair itself to the point of complete health, though extensive limb damage is not fully repairable
- Stage 4 - Full Body Regeneration: The body is capable of full health recharge, full limb recharge and also improves damage allocation, dissipating damage around the body
These are the basics of the ARHM. I also propose the following:
As mentioned before, Medi-Bots are for the first 2 levels of health augmention, the only way of restoring full health and limb damage. Furthermore, I would suggest it be possible to be able to hack a Medi-Bot so that it follows the player around.
Possibly, each level of augmention could allow the player to apply a "Stimpack" that drains biomod energy (should it be implemented)
The basic level of augmentation could have a single "stimpack" function, restoring a certain amount of health, but having a long recharge - say 1-2 minutes.
The second level of augmention simply has 2 of these stimpacks.
The third level of augmention allows the operative to "overcharge" to 150% health.
The fourth level of augmention allows the operative to "overcharge" to 200% health.
Admittedly, this is a very rough idea, basically thought up over the space of about 30 minutes after responding to a thread elsewhere discussing regenerating health in FPS games.
What I do think it does, is add a level of complexity to a controversial but necessary game mechanic (avoiding damn quickloading all the time!) that Deus Ex deserves. It's also designed with the Deus Ex context in mind. You're a Cyborg, you should have some pretty hefty augmentations. This one would allow the play who wants to go in guns blazing to do so - to basically become a human tank of sorts - just as the game's setting suggests Mechanical Augmentations could do.
It also allows the player who doesn't want to "that invincible feel" that health regeneration in other games apparently gives to avoid it. It's entirely optional. Perhaps installing it could prohibit the use of another, particularly stealth orientated augmention?
I'm hoping this thread doesn't flag under the deluge of rants and raves, since I think it is worthy of some detailed consideration. And I hope that some how this reaches the developers for some consideration, no matter how limited that may be. In fact, sod that, I hope that the team already has some interesting ideas in mind for making the regenerating health an interesting mechanic in Deus Ex 3.
Thanks for reading my admittedly expansive post, and if anyone has any further ideas, it would be great to see them in here.