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 Why Medkits Out-of-Combat?
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Awesome Fred
 Saturday, February 19 2011 @ 07:47 PM UTC (Read 4527 times)  
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More accurately, why are medkits not usable in combat, only out of combat?

Is it the way it was in Legend of the Green Dragon and CMJ didn't think it should be changed? Or did he specifically choose for it to be out of combat only?

If so, did he do so to make combat more challenging? Does he think healing items in combat trivializes combat? Does it trivialize the money sink of the hospital? Etc, etc.



When I first played, I thought it was a good game design choice to prevent medkits from being used in combat. That way, you used Medkits only when you could, but you had to be smart about when you went into combat and when you didn't. As I play though, I hardly use Medkits because I use the healing of the Chemical Pack to trivialize the hospital bill. Take note that the Chempack is the only of the 5 implants that provide healing. And I realized that Medkits would be a lot more relevant and would accumulate in the eBoy stocks a lot less if they were much more frequently used.

What would make them much more useful? Well, for starters, they're 20 and 60 HP for the small and large respectively. I have 850ish health. Teh Dave has similar health. Jakell has 4300+ health. That is a lot of medkits for players like us to heal up between fights, much more costly than the Hospital bill. Therefore, until the price of medkits goes way down, they are all-around bad choices of healing to high-health players besides traveling between outposts.

The main factor I see now is combat healing. Since the Chempack exists, health regen and health leech equipment exists, and clan buffs heal, the idea of combat healing being too strong doesn't seem to be a concern in this game. If it's not a concern, the medkit shouldn't be problem in combat either. Players can buy loads of medkits and stock their bandoliers, and pull out heals if they suddenly get attacked by the Magpie or just start getting into low health zones. It's more of an interesting combat choice when you can heal in combat than when you can't.

I understand fully the idea that restricting options can lead to interesting decision-making, but it is just as likely that it can lead to no decision-making. And in the specific case of Medkits not being able to heal you in combat, I think this restriction makes the entire item less relevant and combat would rather be more fun when you can heal in it.

Beyond that, Requisition Acquisition is incredibly easy at higher levels, and having another Req sink in the game--the medkits, which are tied to player economy and Human players--would overall make the game more interesting and more fun.

Thoughts?


 
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Maniak
 Saturday, February 19 2011 @ 08:09 PM UTC  
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You know what's even worse? 3 small healthkits are cheaper than one large.

*click* *click* *click*


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Silcatra
 Saturday, February 19 2011 @ 08:24 PM UTC  
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See, I always thought it made sense that medkits weren't usable in combat. How would that work?

"Please, random jungle monster, quit killing me for a round so I can use a bandaid, thanks. Time out...time in!"

I don't think they'd do it.

I find medkits most useful when traveling. If you're way out on the edges of the map and run into a string of monsters, you stand a better chance of making it to a hospital tent if you're carrying a couple to give you that little extra edge.


 
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Maniak
 Saturday, February 19 2011 @ 08:35 PM UTC  
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Normal combat:
Hit - get hit.

Healing in combat:
Heal - get hit.

Makes perfect sense to me.


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Matthew
 Saturday, February 19 2011 @ 08:51 PM UTC  
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Flavor text can justify a lot.

"Taking advantage of a pause in the combat, you dart a step backwards, fumbling with your medkit before slapping a bit of hastily-unrolled gauze around a particularly grievous wound on your arm. Back to the fight!"

Or something. It's the same logic that lets Jokers catch a few req coins every round.

edit: I also approve of this idea because right now, as a Joker, my bandolier is pretty much worthless to me. I'm not gonna to bother carrying bombs if they're just gonna transform overnight, and one-shots are a bit too expensive to just keep around, and also too precious to just waste on some whim. If medkits were usable in combat, hell yes I'd stuff my bandolier with them when on a Joker run. And probably still do it on a not-Joker run along with some bombs.


 
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Reverb
 Saturday, February 19 2011 @ 11:51 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Flavor text can justify a lot.

"Taking advantage of a pause in the combat, you dart a step backwards, fumbling with your medkit before slapping a bit of hastily-unrolled gauze around a particularly grievous wound on your arm. Back to the fight!"

Or something. It's the same logic that lets Jokers catch a few req coins every round.



No, what makes Jokers able to catch a few coins every round is the fact they're JOKERS. However, bandaging up in a fight, that would be plain rude!


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
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Awesome Fred
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 05:44 AM UTC  
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So, in other words, Midgets should be able to bandage in combat? Wink


 
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Reverb
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 07:23 AM UTC  
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They'd be so disposed, yes. However, Midget medical care probably takes more HP than it saves...


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
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Silcatra
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 03:23 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Reverb

Quote by: Matthew

Flavor text can justify a lot.

"Taking advantage of a pause in the combat, you dart a step backwards, fumbling with your medkit before slapping a bit of hastily-unrolled gauze around a particularly grievous wound on your arm. Back to the fight!"

Or something. It's the same logic that lets Jokers catch a few req coins every round.



No, what makes Jokers able to catch a few coins every round is the fact they're JOKERS. However, bandaging up in a fight, that would be plain rude!



Not to mention, in logical terms, making some flashy parry while catching a coin or two (definitely Jokerish, there) only takes one hand and a fraction of a second. Unwinding a bandage or opening a band-aid, and putting it on securely enough to do any good takes two hands and a good couple of seconds...seconds that any enemy would use to try and send you to the Failboat. And you're going to be distracted while something's trying to kill you, so you'll be very unlikely to apply a bandage in any fashion that's likely to do any good.

I will stick with my hearts cards.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 04:21 PM UTC  
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I do believe this would also tip the balance heavily in favor of midgets, because of the nature of midget rage.


 
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LadyRavenSkye
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 05:40 PM UTC  
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Well, maybe this could make way for a new eBoy's item?
Anti-Bacterial spray.
Doesn't take more than a few seconds to spray it on, and its effects could last a few rounds while the burning wears off, healing 10-whatever points a round.


 
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Reverb
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 05:49 PM UTC  
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Improbable MedKit (You Have Been Warned)

chances of the following effects, usable in battle only;
heal self 20/30/40 points.
heal enemy 20/30 points.
overheat (medium damage to user)
Transmutate (medkit turns into random eBoy item)
Stasis field (FAILboated, but with req and exp intact.)
DOOOOOOOOM (... do i have to explain this one?


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
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Iriana
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 10:18 PM UTC  
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On a not-entirely-related note, I've always thought it'd be nice if a medkit would heal a percentage of your maximum health, instead of a fixed point value. That's the way the Hospital Tent works, after all.


 
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Matthew
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 11:03 PM UTC  
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You could also argue that pulling the pin on a grenade and tossing it takes way too long and that a monster would clearly be able to hit and interrupt you. And that using a one-shot-teleporter out of combat should also be impossible, because it takes a full second to decide what outpost you want to go to and press the button!

Coarse insults should also not be allowed. "You grin cheerfully at your enemy, and let loose a casual slur." That takes time! Precious time that we do not have!

vv Yes, that's the joke.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 11:08 PM UTC  
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for some reason, I don't think it takes as long to rip a pin out of a grenade as it does to clean and dress a wound.

by about 10 minutes.


 
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Awesome Fred
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 11:37 PM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

for some reason, I don't think it takes as long to rip a pin out of a grenade as it does to clean and dress a wound.

by about 10 minutes.



So we can retcon Medkits. Change their picture, change their description, change their name. The healing inventory item is now a Health Vial, a plastic container that holds cocktail of various painkillers and stimulants that activate and accelerate your clotting factors and cell duplication to dangerous, carcinogenic levels. Break it open, down the contents, and feel your wounds mend nearly instantly.

Might I remind you that we have Stimulants in the Chempack, healing in the Clan Aura, and Life Support Systems in the armor. The issue is not what the item is, but that there be an item that people can buy to heal in combat, for more money sinks, item relevance, and tactical decision making.

Edit:

Also, I think that the health items should most definitely heal by percentage of max health. The HP range in this game is enormous and it makes no sense to give the item a flat number or number range.


 
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Reverb
 Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 11:48 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+FredAlso, I think that the health items should most definitely heal by percentage of max health. The HP range in this game is enormous and it makes no sense to give the item a flat number or number range.[/p]


What, you didn't expect it to get harder later on?
Sure, i'll swear at that Moose popping up when i'm lugging ten thousand pounds of stone from the mountain on a dk5 run when it flattens me.. but, well, thats a part of the game. "Can i risk walking outside" is a rather important question, that starts getting a lot less critical when you are able to heal at a time of your choosing during battles. (Which is one of the reasons the Chem pack is a popular implant)


"Censure acquits the Raven, but pursues the Dove." "So, that means i'm -always- innocent, right?"
 
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Chimental
 Monday, February 21 2011 @ 12:02 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+Fred


So we can retcon Medkits. Change their picture, change their description, change their name.



Mister George Lucas, ladies and gentleman.

I really don't have much to say as I barely use said kits, just wanted to make that bad joke. Toodles.


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Awesome Fred
 Monday, February 21 2011 @ 12:24 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Reverb

Quote by: Awesome+FredAlso, I think that the health items should most definitely heal by percentage of max health. The HP range in this game is enormous and it makes no sense to give the item a flat number or number range.



What, you didn't expect it to get harder later on?
Sure, i'll swear at that Moose popping up when i'm lugging ten thousand pounds of stone from the mountain on a dk5 run when it flattens me.. but, well, thats a part of the game. "Can i risk walking outside" is a rather important question, that starts getting a lot less critical when you are able to heal at a time of your choosing during battles. (Which is one of the reasons the Chem pack is a popular implant)[/p][/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

That's part of my point. I'm saying that while I did use to believe that it was good that not being able to heal during combat influences decisions like, "Should I risk walking out with this much stone?", I find that combat itself trends towards being stale because you don't have that option, that element of decision-making. Furthermore, medkits cost money and would require bandolier space--there can be factors that mean in-combat healing doesn't trivialize encounters. Right now, they're sitting at 2200+ Small Medkits at each of most outposts, and 1200+ of Large Medkits. They're actually cheaper and more plentiful than Nicotine Gums, and they're an unlimited resource that can come into existence by humans. If the healing items are buffed into something a lot more desirable to use, the higher demand lowers the supply, which raises the price, which gives Rookies a better income (which is not a bad idea, it's not like you're overflowing with wealth at the beginning).

As far as not expecting the game to get harder, this is not a question of difficulty. You do not gain any significant boost from 60 health if you have 1200 max health and are getting hit for 30 damage per round on average. This is a question about bring items into relevancy. The reason we have so many medkits in each outpost is not purely because of supply crates and rookie council office choices. It's a lack of demand.

We can rebalance the game's difficulty by numbers later. But we need the mechanics to be fun and engaging to the player first and foremost.

You're absolutely right that "Should I risk walking out with this much stone?" looks like a great choice for a player to make. A lot of this game's appeal is making decisions that you know have random outcomes. It's a casino world in here. But I'm going to say that this question won't have to go away if you give players the option of putting Medkits in their bandolier for combat healing. After all, we do have the Chempack and I still die in the current game state with 5 tons of stones in my pack as I walk along the world map.

EDIT:


Chimental, that comparison is making me feel bad. Cry


 
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dizzyizzy
 Monday, February 21 2011 @ 12:50 AM UTC  
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how to justify it in flavor text is beside the point, really. Go for a retcon. (And maybe we can turn all the weapons into flashlights, too. Wink )

I still think this will cause severe balance issues with midgets.


 
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