Apologies for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I covered all the things said to me. Thanks for this discussion, guys!
I think that you should be able to get into a rhythm: If I shoot a space pirate with 2 normal power beams and 1 charge shot, they will die.
Rhythm can be good, but I don't think it should be there to stay. Perhaps you handle a certain wave or cluster of enemies with a certain rhythm, but then the next group with a new rhythm.
I never said it was OK to have an undogable attack, those are real dumb. But apart from that, your basically saying that all games should be designed as one-hit-wonders. I'd be pretty frustrated playing Zelda if taking 1 hit meant a game over.
No where did I say all games should be anything. In this part, I was trying to defend games having fewer hitpoints as valid ways of increasing challenge. However, that doesn't mean a game should be that hard. Even using the right methods, it's possible to do things wrong (similar to having too much of a good thing, like dying from drinking too much water).
No it's different. Having one enemy with extended HP just makes the battle longer. But having more of the same enemy will/can make the situation drastically different.
Fair enough. I'll grant that adding enemies can lead to different gameplay (even though, for me in the example given, I just fought the Knuts one at a time, so it wasn't significantly different), but it's not necessarily more concentrated of a challenge just by adding more enemies. For example, in Assassin's Creed
, you can easily enough fight through ten or twenty men because they all only attack you one at a time. Or if a horde of zombies in some game have you cornered, but you can just shoot them down as they come, then it's mostly a task of endurance. So I'll agree with your point assuming that adding more enemies equates to more of you being threatened, not just a certain part of you being threatened more. Like, now your front and back are threatened, instead of your front twice. Does that make sense?
Since attacking is obviously the most "intelligent" choice [...] Personally, I always make sure that my enemies will attack when they have a good chance of hitting the player
Three things here: Firstly, you need to choose between "attacking is the most intelligent choice" and "attacking when they have a chance of success is the most intelligent choice." I think you'll agree with me that it's the latter, but that means simply attacking it not
obviously the more intelligent choice.
Secondly, let's assume that the enemy in question always has a good chance of success, so it's always a good idea for it to be attacking. Now let's assume it's been given a poor old shooter to use, so it spends a lot of down-time in-between its attacks. If it's truly better to be attacking, then the smartest thing would be to constantly be attacking, with no let-up. It would be "smarter" to get a gun with a higher rate of fire so that its attacking would be nigh on constant. That's what I meant about rate-of-fire.
Thirdly, this depends entirely on how and when the enemy is opening itself up to be attacked. If it's someone in an FPS who has to expose himself to fire at you, then it's not helping his cause to always be out in the open. Ideally, he's out sporadically, and only long enough to line up a shot and fire. Then there are enemies who are invulnerable while attacking, only opening up when they let up for a breather. It makes sense for that enemy to be attacking as much as it can.
The same to you:
I'm going to respectfully disagree. Sorry in advance for tearing everything apart. Feel free to discuss my arguments as you please.
This is a sweeping statement to make, and hence doesn't cover many situations. For example with highly realistic or atmospheric games, there often should/need not be any indication of how many hits are required - enemies would, in reality, vary in health; applying a graphic is unrealistic; even if it was realistic, letting the player know can ruin the element of fear or surprise.
Games where you can't tell about how many hits you'll need have been designed poorly.
In a "realistic" game, the concept of health and hit-points is mostly bizarre. I think, if a game like Uncharted
was actually trying to be real, then shots to the chest would incapacitate enemies, and shots to limbs would render those body parts useless and cause the enemy to be in pain and shock. No, the video-game notion of health can't realistically be applied to situations like that.
However, I'll maintain that, if I can't knock down an enemy in two to four shots, it should at least look like my attacks are getting through to him. And there should be some sort of logical following, such as enemy B being X percent the size and armor amount of enemy A means enemy B should take about X percent as much to kill as enemy A. It's when there's no sort of visual indication or internal logic that the player no longer understands what he's doing or feels like what he's doing has an effect.
But maybe some of these things are done intentionally. Maybe it is, as you say, for the element of fear or surprise, or other atmospheric condition. That's fine and dandy, but then this is no longer a discussion about implementing difficulty
[...] but this completely ignores that games are often designed to evoke emotion, and of those the fear of loss can be created by showing the player that they are never invulnerable to the dangers of the world, regardless of their skill.
Same thing as above.