There were threads (on reddit and on forum) about HP visibility, about how/why the player should see the HP of enemies (or their body-parts).
PP should not know a lot about the enemy by default, so the UI should not show the player the hp/details of enemies (and their limbs), at least not before tech/interrogation/autopsy/etc.
- Adds to the atmosphere, conveys the horror of the soldiers, when they are just shooting and shooting the enemy without knowing when will it be dead, the fear of the unknown.
- Makes capturing enemies (or at the very least, their bodies) intact higher priority (instead of just blowing everything up with explosives), as you need them to gain more and more accurate information, not just to defeat the Virus, but to have higher chance of success during missions.
- Possible for enemies to “play dead”, just lying after getting shot and waiting for your soldiers to get close for a surprise attack. Possible because the player doesn’t know if the enemy can survive that much damage or not.
- Makes the initial learning curve steeper, players who watch/read reviews/videos will have knowledge about what to expect from enemies (even more with finite-ammo, you can’t just shoot everything until it doesn’t move next turn, even harder with “dead-faking” enemies), but new players may find this “too strange” compared to the other (mainstream) similar games (FiraXCOM or other squad-based tactical games).
- Player knowledge will make the idea “less effective”, if you know from a previous playthrough that X enemy will have Y hp, even with hundreds of mutations, sooner or later you will remember (some/most of) them, effectively “researching/etc.” without the risk, so with time you will not just be better at managing your strategy and tactics, but gain knowledge about the enemy you should not know based on lore. (And my inner min-maxer screams at the idea of researching something [ “wasting” time/resource] I knew already.)
Some extra thoughts:
- Making it Optional (or “Second Wave”), the player decides if he wants to play with HP visible by default or not:
Balancing the tech-progress will be hard, you either take those techs away from those who didn’t opt-in or have other “rewards” for researching the techs, but then there is no “big decision” to make for opt-in players, you will do those techs anyway for the “rewards” (be that item, next tech or w/e) and not because you want to know more about the enemies.
- “Modern Roguelite-approach” (FTL, Sunless Sea, etc.), you “unlock” the hp/detail of certain enemy/mutation, and then you can (optionally) get the researched HP/details from previous runs (like “Import hints from previous games?” in Game Dev Tycoon) every time you start a new run.
This is kind of accepting that the player will know these details after researching it once, and integrating it into the game, while giving something to “work for” to the “achievement-hunters”, unlocking everything (all enemies and mutations) is something I don’t expect to do fast, in only a few playthrough, if we really have so many mutations (though RNG can make an achievement like this annoying, I doubt there are so many players working for 100% to cause big problems).
More problematic is how to explain this in lore. I can head-canon it “gift from the past”, PP has a long history, we can’t know what exactly they researched, it should be possible to have certain insight into mutated enemies, but potentially ALL of them? Even the ones which were triggered by your playstyle, which may require modern technology (firearms, drones)? Gaining the knowledge can be tied to a (not random) mission or interaction, but the problem remains, from where did the knowledge come?
So… What is your opinion, how would you like to play, how would you implement this, if at all?