Companion Healing (Game Design Post)
07 May | 10:00 am

We have always planned a fairly elaborate system of healing mechanics but when creating 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland', we first focused on getting the main features ready and implemented a more streamlined, placeholder set of healing rules.

Out with the Old

The PotW system simply had you use a relatively valuable resource - medical supplies - to fully heal one Companion at a time during camp. This is not only too 'gamey' but also very obtuse and not what we intended for the game or the setting.

The old healing system did have hidden statuses, however they were not used for anything really:

  • Hurt: Received after losing 50% Vitality, limits Maximum VIT to 80% until removed.
  • Wounded: Received after Downed, limits Maximum VIT to 60% until removed.
  • Mortally Wounded: Received after falling Out of Action, limits Maximum VIT to 30% until removed.

In spite of these elaborate statuses, healing remained the same: the use of a medical supplies item healed Companions up to their Maximum VIT right away.

In with the New

When Crew Combat was added, we implemented an elaborate system that was used to heal up your wounded Crew and Companions at the end of each skirmish. It was based on rolls stemming from the Healing Perk. Now that we decided to rework Companion healing, we basically use the same principles for natural healing.

During camping, you roll for natural healing for each Companion that is not at Maximum VIT. The heal roll chance comes together from the following factors:

  • Major impact from Heal Perk levels (from Companions, the vagrus, gear, etc.)
  • Minor impact from Herb Lore Perk levels
  • Major impact from settlement accommodation if any (second or third Rest tiers only)
  • Major impact from taking it slow with the comitatus (spending less MPs before camping)
  • And most importantly: from medical supplies (item) if you choose to use them

Even without many impacting factors, Companions recover VIT more often than not, except if the natural healing roll is a Critical Failure and in that case can even lose VIT but only until it reaches 1, so Companions can not die but their condition can worsen.

The statuses from the old system still exist, and if a Companion reaches the temporary limit (for example, 60% of Maximum VIT when Wounded), a successful natural healing roll removes the current status and applies the next 'higher' one (for example, a Wounded Companion then becomes Hurt). A Critical Success results in a two-stage jump.

Medical Supplies

Using Medical supplies provides a huge advantage, as it removes the status even if the Companion has not reached the associated temporary VIT limit. It also increases the chance of status improvement and VIT recovery greatly.

Previously, one full healing required one medical supplies item with a 100% result. Now, there is a chance on the result and hence these healing items can be lost or retained based on a chance with each usage. Normally, this depends on the roll, like treating a Wounded with a success roll has a 10% chance to use up the item, while rolling a fail increases that chance to 20%, and so on.

We implemented the natural healing part already but left the Event heal option in too for the time being, at least until the changes on the Camp UI can be implemented, allowing the players to decide on the usage of medical supplies each time they strike camp. This new system is much better-suited to what we were planning from the beginning, and is also more fair, although healing will be slower and so you'll have to think twice before jumping into combat too soon.

The Lost Pilgrims Team


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