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What health system is best for guerilla combat

I'm not a game designer, but I do like doing game design thought experiments.

My latest thought experiment is how I would design a hardcore open-world FPS RPG. I'm considering what type of health what type of system would be best conducive to a mobile, fast-paced, brutal combat system that focuses on guerilla warfare.

I am considering two options:

Option 1: Armour & Health

  • This is similar to Halo's shield system
  • Players have both health and armour. Armour is overlayed over your health. When you take damage it reduces your armour first then your health when your armour is depleted.
  • Your armour regenerates if you go a few seconds without taking damage.
  • You must use a medkit to recover your health. You can only recover a limited amount of medkits at a time and you can find them in the environment
  • There are different armour types: Light, Medium and Heavy. Heavier Armour types offer more protection but hinder your movement.
  • Comments:
    • Pro: It allows for an armour system, which adds depth to the game, and fulfils the expectations players would likely expect from this type of game.
    • Pro: Players always start each fight with full armour, making fights fair.
    • Pro: It allows players to briefly take damage without lasting consequences, making players more likely to take risks.
    • Con: There are no lasting consequences for taking damage when you have armour.
    • Con: It could slow down game-play by encouraging players to take cover and wait whenever they lose their armour points.
    • Con: There is no logical justification for why armour points regenerate.
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Option 2: Healing Animations

  • You can press a button to heal.
  • If you have a medkit you will use it, using a medkit is quick and fully restores your health. You can only carry a limited amount of medkits at a time, you can also find them in the environment.
  • If you don't have a medkit you will perform a self-heal. It comes with a slow and brutal animation, and it only restores you to half health.
  • Comments:
    • Pro: The animations of slow heals emphasize the brutality of the gameworld.
    • Pro: Healing becomes a strategic decision.
    • Pro: Players will start each fight with at least half health, making each fight fair.
    • Pro: Taking damage always has consequences.
    • Con: There is no consequence-free way to take damage, this may slow down gameplay by encouraging players to be more cautious.

Thanks for reading, what do you think?

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