Regenerating Shield, Static Health
is great from a designer's perspective, because they don't need to worry about players screwing themselves over by draining their health and being unable to handle the next challenge. The downside is some players (and designers) complain it makes things too easy. What to do? Why not have both regular Hit Points and Regenerating Health?
Enter the Regenerating Shield, Static Health
system. In addition to your health, you have some kind of regenerating shield that protects you from a certain amount of damage. When the shield is drained, your health becomes vulnerable.
Especially common in Space Sims, since the obvious implementation of Deflector Shields
in game terms requires it.
of both Regenerating Health
and Multiple Life Bars
. Contrast Mana Shield
, where the shield's power source usually regenerates slower
than health does.
Spaceflight Video Games
- The Wing Commander series.
- The X-Wing and Tie Fighter series, though if you're hit hard enough you'll have to take time to recharge your shields. In addition you have to manage power between shield regeneration, laser recharge, and engine thrust. If you're playing as the Empire though, your standard craft usually doesn't come with any shields to begin with, so tough luck there.
- EVE Online
- Averted in Escape Velocity and EV Override, where both armor and shields regenerated. Once armor was done regenerating, then the shields started to recharge. Played straight in EV Nova (with the exception of Polaris ships), which keeps track of shields and armor separately.
- Freelancer. Note, however, that there are hazards such as radiation or corrosive Space Clouds that can attack your hull through your shield.
- Freespace. Neither the Terrans nor the Vasudans start out with shields in the first game, however; they're eventually reverse-engineered from Shivan technology.
- X-Universe - Shields regenerate fairly quickly on small craft, slowly on large craft. The ship's hull does not regenerate, and the only way to repair it is to dock at a shipyard and pay loads of money to get it fixed - or in Terran Conflict and later games, climb out and use your spacesuit's repair laser to fix it up.
- Space Pirates and Zombies, though armor can also recover, but that requires surplus crew members and is generally slower.
- Gratuitous Space Battles has a few variations, and also distinguishes between absorbed attacks (which do damage) and reflected attacks (which do no damage) for both shields and armor. Some shields and armor are better or worse at reflection or absorption at the cost or benefit to some other quality. All shields have the innate ability to regenerate, but there is an item that allows armor to regenerate as well.
- Independence War is more of an aversion compared to the above examples, because the Deflector Shields are very limited (one on top and one on bottom, each can only track one ship, both leave the ship's rear exposed to prevent interference with the engines) and hull integrity has Gradual Regeneration.
- Tachyon: The Fringe
- In Tyrian, the player's ship determines the amount of non-regenerating armor, while the type of shield generator installed determines the strength of regenerating shields.
- Evochron. However, it's possible to get full-on Regenerating Health (albeit very slow regeneration) by installing a repair system onto your ship's equipment slots.
- Ships and stations in Star Ruler have up to three health bars: health, armor, and shields. The first two do not regenerate, while shields do regenerate, though health and armor can be regenerated by installing certain subsystems or repaired by nearby allied ships mounting repair equipment.
- FTL: Faster Than Light. Players can divert power to and from shields, allowing them to control how many layers of the shield regenerates. The Zoltan Shield also provides ships with a Static Shield layer on top of the other two default layers.
- The Last Federation. Like in FTL: Faster Than Light, player can divert more energy to the ships shields.
- Video Game/Transcendence
Non-Space Sim Video Game examples
- Ace Online plays this perfectly straight. Left alone, shields will eventually regenerate enough. Energy however, will not. That being said, Shield regeneration is slow enough such that immediately replenishing it with kits or heals is preferable than sitting it out, especially in wars.
- Alpha Protocol called this Endurance; better armor added only to your Endurance, not to your Health.
- Borderlands. There are even shields that also regenerate your health.
- Borderlands 2 does away with most of the health regeneration shields, instead giving most classes some form of active or passive health regen ability. There are shield manufacturers that provide below average protection while increasing health (Pangolin) or the opposite (Anshin).
- The Wizards from Cursed Treasure have a regenerating forcefield that soaks up damage.
- Destroy All Humans!
- Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4, being set in reasonably realistic settings, invert this with body armor, which is depleted as the player takes damage and is eventually discarded, versus health, which regenerates (to a point) after taking damage.note
- Halo: Combat Evolved. This was switched to full-on Regenerating Health in Halo 2 and Halo 3, while Halo 3: ODST, and (naturally) Halo Anniversary use the original system. Halo: Reach uses a balance of the two.
- Essentially, the Halo series has two bars: One for health, and the other for shields (which regenerates after a few seconds, provided you don't get hit). Once the shield is drained, damage affects health, although a powerful enough attack can kill even when the shield isn't completely drained. In Halo CE and ODST, health can only be replenished with health packs. In all the others, health regenerates, though only to a certain degree in Reach. The health bar is also hidden in 2 and 3.
- Mass Effect 1 plays this straight, though with certain armor upgrades you can regenerate health over time as well. (Additionally, a Soldier-class Shepard, Ashley, and Wrex all have passive health regeneration from the start.) Certain ammo upgrades and powers can also bypass shields.
- In Mass Effect 2, Shepard and company regenerate both shields and health. Enemies can have some combination of armor, shield, or barriers (each affected by different abilities) protecting a bar of health. For most enemies, the shields and barriers don't regenerate.
- Mass Effect 3 plays this trope straight. Your health is segmented into five parts, and damage to your health will only regenerate up to the last undepleted part. You need to use Medi-Gel to restore the depleted segments.
- The trope is also played straight for the enemies. Armor bars replace health bars, while shields or barriers protect health or armor and can partially regenerate if the enemy doesn't get hit for a while.
- Payday The Heist uses this. The amount of total armor you have decreases as you lose health, though there are bonuses you can unlock that increase how much protection armor offers.
- The sequel uses conventional regenerating armour and static health, though it also has a 'dodge' mechanic where shots that hit you can be ignored anyway. You have two options - Light Armor: run really fast and stealth better and even dodge a few bullets, but you're essentially dead if someone sneaks up on you or is part of a large firing squad, which is a frequent occurrence, or Heavy Armor: more health and much more shielding, but a slower, more easily-spotted tanker. However, the skillsets can change this up - there are now skills that regenerate health, skills that increase the speed of the regenerating shields, skills that restore some shields with a headshot, perks that make your shield even faster at regenerating but weaker overall, etc.
- Sword of the Stars uses this — damaged or destroyed sections and turrets can't be repaired until combat is over, but shields can recover when knocked out.
- In StarCraft, the Protoss units have shields, but no way of recovering health unless you have friendly Terran medics heal your troops. Starcraft II adds the ability for SCVs to repair friendly Protoss mechanical units, though once again you need a Terran player on your side.
- The 2012 SSX game inverts this any time you wear power armor. Your armor's durability doesn't regenerate, but once it's depleted, damage goes to your health, which does regenerate.
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has the same, with regenerating 'armour' and non-regenerating health.
- X-Men: Destiny: The enemy bosses Cameron Hodge and Bastion have regenerating shields.
- Inverted in the case of the Mammoth Tank in Command & Conquer: Renegade, which can regenerate its normal "health" fully, but its armor meter can only be repaired by use of a repair gun. This is supposed to mimic the unit's ability to heal back to half-health on its own in the main series.
- Anno 2070: Shields work like this, but the only way to get a shield is to equip a unit with an appropriate item, which has to charge itself up after activation. At the same time, you could equip them with self-repair items, which repair at about the same rate. And the shields are rather small, too (standard shield items have a value of 50 or 80, compared to 350 to 800 HP on ships).
- Time Shift has this feature similar to Halo; shields regenerate once you're not taking hits and are behind suitable cover. Given that the game is rather fast-paced and the AI is quite aggressive, it's essential to use your time-bending powers to help you recharge your depleted shields. It's also a unusual example since you have a whopping 1 point of health, meaning that taking any kind of damage will kill you instantly if your shields are at 0%.
- Master of Orion 2: Ships' shields regenerate in a few combat rounds, while armor and hull do not - unless you're the Meklars, who can repair their ships in combat.
- The Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death first person shooter by Rebellion used a regenerating shield over static health system, although it's hard to notice because your shield is actually very weak and only protects against 2 or 3 bullet hits; fortunately, your health is very robust and can take quite a lot of hits before you die.
- The space-sim/FPS hybrid Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter used a regenerating shield static health system very similar to Halo. The shield is rather weak, while your health can take a reasonable number of hits.
- Star Wars: Republic Commando had this. The shield was pretty weak and could only block a few hits before failing, while your health likewise could be completely drained by a handful of blaster bolts. Fortunately, your squadmates could revive you whenever you were downed.
- PlanetSide 2 has all the foot soldiers wearing personal energy shields. The shields can absorb a relatively small amount of damage, and take about ten seconds to begin regeneration once out of combat. Health does not (normally) regenerate, and must be healed by a medic's medigun or through his area-of-effect healing equipment; however, possession of a Biolab facility grants very slow regeneration, and the Regeneration Implant restores health outside of combat, but must be sustained by implant chargers. MAX armor does not have any shields, and only has armor - meaning that they only way they can be "healed" is by an engineer's repair tool.
- The original Planetside has shields on its vehicles, but they only regenerate (extremely slowly) when in a facility's sphere of influence. Soldiers could install the Personal Shield implant, which did grant a sort of regenerating shield - albeit extremely slowly, as the shield was powered by the soldier's stamina and thus the only way to regenerate it was to shut down the shield entirely.
- Gungrave uses a shield and health gauge. A little variation is that there are no health packs in a stage. Healing is done by racking up as much destruction ("Jackpot") as possible with your Demolition Shots.
- The Darkness 2 used this in a manner similar to Mass Effect 3. You had 4 segments of health, and damage would only regenerate up to the end of the last segment. To restore the depleted segments, you needed to eat the hearts of dead enemies.
- Played straight in Nexus: The Jupiter Incident with most ships. However, once Angel absorbs a Mechanoid, the Angelwing can slowly regenerate armor.
- Shortly into Bioshock Infinite, Booker drinks a tonic that gives him a regenerating magnetic shield that at the start can protect him from about half as much damage as he can take without it. When you grab an upgrade tonic you have a choice of increasing it, your actual health, or your maximum vigor.
- Implied to be used by the citizens of Columbia, since some of them can survive headshots with a sniper rifle. But for some reason, it don't regenerate. Booker's the only one whose overshield regenerates in a short amount of time; Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Rosiland Lutece didn't think Booker could survive drinking her version of the tonic.
- Star Siege and its predecessor, EarthSiege, feature HERCULAN mechs which carry regenerating shields. Punching through the shields allows you to target specific subsystems, such as the hips or arms.
- DUST 514, like its parent game EVE Online, plays this straight normally with both dropsuits and vehicles. It's also possible to equip modules to allow armor to regenerate, but it still won't regenerate as fast as your shields.
- The Tenno of Warframe (and some enemies) have this as well, with the shield and health amounts varying based on the base frame, its rank, and the mods installed. There is also armour as a special layer over health, which reduces incoming damage but doesn't function as an additional life bar. Mods can increase the max health and shield capacities, plus the rate at which shields regenerate, and armour level. Health (and Energy) do not regenerate by default - though Aura mods can provide passive health/energy regen.
- Emperor: Battle for Dune: House Ordos' vehicles have awesome regenerative sheilding but otherwise static health, leading to One-Hit-Point Wonder shenanigans.
- Veigues: Tactical Gladiator has a shield that regenerates quite steadily, and, when shields run out, Subsystem Damage that does not.
- The first Section8 game had regenerating shields and static health (health could only be restored by manually using the repair tool (which used up an equipment slot), or relying on teammates or supply depots to heal you). The sequel switched to a simpler system with both regenerating shields and regenerating health.
- Path of Exile: Health does not regenerate without certain passives or equipped items. Energy shield, the defense provided by Intelligence-based armors, acts like an extra layer of health and fully regenerates over a few seconds when the character has gone six seconds (or less depending on skill choices) without taking damage.
- Starship Troopers: Your armor regenerates over time, but you still need Med Kits to restore your health.
- In Titanfall, Titans have something like this, though unlike most examples the shield does not absorb all incoming damage, only some of it. Pilots avert this, however, having straight-up Regenerating Health.
- In the Programming Game RoboWar, shields didn't actually regenerate; in fact, they deteriorated, at a rate depending on the robot's shield hardware. However, shields could be replenished from energy, which regenerated at a constant rate, unlike damage, which could not be restored at all.
- Sins of a Solar Empire actually gives you regenerating shields on top of regenerating health, although the rate of self-repair on your ships is much slower than the shield regeneration.
- Starfleet Battles
- Old TSR games
- The 1st Edition of Gamma World had technological force shields that could absorb a specific amount of damage before going down, and whatever they were protecting took no damage until this happened. They returned to full strength at the beginning of the next melee turn.
- In the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (which was based on Gamma World), the police robots' force shields regenerate at a rate of 1 Hit Point per combat round.
- Big Eyes, Small Mouth. When force fields took more damage than they could resist they lost a level of effect. The damage was regenerated at a rate of 1 level per round, but only while the field was turned off.
- Pre-Saga edition Star Wars RPG had it in form of Vitality (quickly regenerating, representing the character's ability to avoid severe injury) and Wounds (the character's real meaty hit points, hard to restore).
- The Imperial Titans, Ork Gargants and Eldar Revenants of Warhammer40000 have power fields that must be removed by anti-tank weapons before the walker itself can be damaged. Each turn, there is a chance that some or all of the power fields are restored.
- In Battle Fleet Gothic, most ships have a number of shields that must be disabled before the hull can be damaged. Notably, the current number of shields left is not recorded mathematically - special markers are placed for every shield dropped, and each reduces the shields of ships it's touching. You regenerate your shields by... moving away from them. Even more, the markers persist for a time, making them a hazard for the shields of any ship that enters them.