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Regenerating 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.

Sub-Trope of both Regenerating Health and Multiple Life Bars.

Examples of Regenerating Shield Static Health include:


Spaceflight Video Games

  • Allegiance
  • 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 repair them before they'll work again. In addition, you have to manage power between them, your engines, and your cannons. And, as per Imperial protocol, very few craft available to you in the latter game even have shields.
  • 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.
  • Free Space. 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
  • Space Pirates and Zombies, though armor can also recover, but that requires surplus crew members and is generally slower.
  • Gratuitous Space Battles
  • 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


Non-Space Sim Video Game examples

  • 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.
  • The Wizards from Cursed Treasure have a regenerating forcefield that soaks up damage.
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Halo: Combat Evolved. This was switched to full-on Regenerating Health in Halo 2 and Halo 3, while Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and (naturally) Halo Anniversary use the original system.
    • 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.
  • Mass Effect 1, although in Mass Effect 2, Shepard and his teammates can recover both over time.
    • In Mass Effect 1, certain ammo upgrades and powers could deal damage directly to health.
    • It gets complicated in Mass Effect 2. Most enemies have a bar of armor, shield, or barrier (each affected by different abilities) protecting a bar of health. Unusual enemies can have three or more bars, and some have no health bar at all. Abilities that stun or immobilize foes only work once their health bar is exposed, and will not work on foes without health bars.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Starcraft, but only for the Protoss faction. They're the only ones who have shields at all.
  • The latest 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.
  • The player's ship in Tyrian determines the amount of non-regenerating armor, while the type of shield generator installed determines the strength of regenerating shields.
  • 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 and 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).
  • TimeShift 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.
  • 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.


Tabletop Games

  • Star Fleet 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).
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