Dev Diary: Health and Healing

4 January, 2018

Good day survivors. The holiday season is beyond us and everyone is back to work, busy working on the on the next update for Judgement, and ultimately the final version of the game.

This article is the first in a new segment of developer diaries, where we hope to give you insight into upcoming features, changes, and mechanics. Each time we will try to explain our design process and decision making, and we are looking forward to reading your feedback.

Today, I'm going to talk about survivor health and healing.

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History of Healing in Judgment

In the past, an injured task force without any decent source of healing was forced to return to the camp for healing. This is not necessarily bad – going back to the camp after every few missions to replenish and recover sounds good, but doing so after every serious battle is bothersome. So, we introduced some more field healing options and capped how many times they can be used per combat, to make sure they can’t be exploited. The result was that players would ‘farm’ biomes by going into them, healing, and leaving. This became an even bigger issue as we introduced more and more non-consumable healing abilities, such as the Physician skill and the Holy Armor heal ability.

We had to stop that exploit, and did so by introducing a limit – you can’t heal yourself for more HP than you had when the battle started. This, however, had the misfortune of being unintuitive and not at all transparent and caused a lot of frustration and confusion. We also knew we wanted healing abilities to be more powerful, less mundane and more important. So, we went back to the drawing board and came up with the concept of permanent versus temporary damage.

Upcoming Changes

As of the upcoming Update 15, during combat, survivors will suffer damage and use healing as in previous versions, however, now most of the damage they suffer will be temporary damage. Temporary damage can be healed by combat abilities and is automatically restored at the end of every battle.

A small percent of the damage, however, will be permanent damage. Permanent damage will not be restored during combat, and will not be automatically healed after combat. Instead, it can only be recovered by rest or by using medicine at the infirmary.

As you can see, the health bars are modified to show temporary and permanent damage separately. This system has the advantage of being immediately clear and intuitive but also opens the door for more strategic depth. Some possibilities include unique rituals that quickly recover permanent damage and dangerous enemies that do more lasting harm.

Finally, players can send their task forces deep into enemy territory and be able to enjoy several missions before they must turn back since most of the damage will be healed between battles.