Monday, 3 November 2014

Back to Our Darker Purpose

I started playing Our Darker Purpose again. This game definitely has some things going against it from my perspective, but I really do like it a lot. I was watching a bit of youtube video of someone who is much better than me playing it, but his analysis of items and perks was pretty lacklustre, so I thought I might as well write some stuff since that's what I do.

So if you wanted to read a criticism of someone you don't know's perk-weighting heuristics about a game you don't play, you've come to the right place. More incredibly, I basically agree with what he said, and really I only take issue with the fact that a comment he made at the end revealed that he believes what he believes for the wrong reasons. This has got to be very important.

The particular comment was that life perks are not very good. In Our Darker Purpose each time you level up you get to choose between two perks. There are three perks on the list that give a flat 50 life with no other effect. You begin the game with 100 life, so 50 might seem like a lot, but the youtuber in question said that these perks weren't very good, and he was right.

In most RPGs increasing your health is very good and often its even priority one for people interested in endgame play. What are the factors that make health so good?
  1. Getting one-shotted or stun-locked out. If you can take more than your maximum health from a single attack or can be stunned long enough to lose your maximum health while not in control, you are living in a constant binary alive/dead state. This is not desirable for long term survival. Having enough health to live through an attack gives you leeway to increase your mistakes allowable from zero to more than zero.
  2. Avoid overhealing. If you can get healed for a huge fraction of your maximum health at a time, then more health means less healing waste.
  3. Starting fight as maximum. In many RPGs you are always going to heal up to full using some essentially renewable resource before each dungeon, boss, or fight. The lifespan of your lifepool is much shorter, so you use maximum life over and over.
What makes Our Darker Purpose different? Nothing does enough damage to one-shot you. Overhealing is something you can almost always avoid. You don't get restored to full health. Maximum health allows you to carry more health from one floor to the next if you are at full, but for the most part it's just health.

In Our Darker Purpose you have to see your life total over the course of the entire game. You start the game with 100 life and three drinking boxes which restore 20 each. That's 160 life to work with. You can get more in various ways, but each time you gain life you add that to the total life for the game and each time you get hit you subtract it off. There are no resets until the game is over.

So when the youtuber said that health perks aren't great, I tend to agree. Having 50 more life to play the game with is a good thing, but it doesn't compare favourably with most other perks like doing 20 more damage or moving faster. But then he said something that was very wrong. He said that maybe if you had a Doctor's Note it would be worth it because it would require fewer juice boxes to heal up again.

It really doesn't matter how many juice boxes it requires to heal up that 50 life, because it's still gone once it's gone. If your juice box value is up to 50 then you can recover that 50 life for just one box, but that's still one fewer box to spend in the rest of the game. It's gone and you aren't getting it back. Juice box value is unaffected by your life total, so unless it gets up to the point where you are going to have overhealing problems, a high juice box value does not make the 50 life perk better.

Of course there are perks that are just plain bad, so generally I would say that I take a life-up perk once a game. It's not the worst, it's just not really very good. But that has nothing to do with whether you have or have not found a Doctor's Note.

No comments:

Post a Comment