Faith Crit! The past and present of “One Knife 999”

If it’s a brother, come and kill me!

The term “crit” may be the first or even the first basic game term that mass players have come into contact with. Different from the derivation of the game meaning of old terms such as “equipment” and “skill”, “crit” is a new term born from the concept of the game, and then derived from the traditional language meaning.

Such a special term for games, its life experience also runs through the history of game development with mathematics as the core of the system.


Dungeons and Dragons seems to be an inescapable bend in the history of the game, but the amazing thing is that this time we avoided it. In the same year that Dungeons and Dragons was first published (1974), a TRPG titled Empire of the Petal Throne was published in fifty copies by the designer’s private print that year, and the following year, It was released in a print box by TSR, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons at the time.

This TRPG, which mixes magic, prehistoric culture, Mesoamerican culture, and sci-fi, has many advanced and novel designs, such as the dispatch system – sending system characters to obtain resources at a certain cost; title growth system – from ordinary people to clan leaders , the work that the player has to do also changes as the title grows; Daily Skills – no other resource costs, only fixed daily use of the ability.

And the first crit system of TRPG combat is also introduced in this game. In the attack, the player executes a twenty-sided dice, and when he gets “20”, he triggers a “crit” with double damage, and then rolls it again, and when he gets “19” or “20”, he triggers a “one-hit kill” Kill Attack”. On top of this, in the background setting of “Empire: Throne of Petals”, the gods who think like ordinary people will also give players “divine intervention”, which is also a probability-triggered opportunity to repeat actions. It is not difficult to see that the designer has a soft spot for “accidents”.

Empire: Throne of Petals Box Edition, available at Amazon, $280

In the comments of later generations, this game is always regarded as the work of TSR as an experiment of Dungeons and Dragons, but the original author and fans obviously do not like this title. To be unfair, the influence of the above-mentioned characteristic systems in the game field covers a variety of types, and the game system of Dungeons and Dragons (the first generation) seems to have a lot of limited influence, more like undertaking traditional military Wargame, inspired the “transition work” of CRPG.

Eh? Speaking of wargames…


To put it one-sidedly, we can regard the TRPG in its infancy as a “player-original map” that summarizes the traditional wargame rules and adds to the role-playing system after literary processing, just like DOTA is to War 3. So what about the actual work of these “maps”?

Like many Industrial Revolution-era inventions, the traditional wargames in this article were born out of war. It originated in Prussia in the 18th and 19th centuries and was originally just a variant of chess, adding modern arms and changing terrain to an enlarged square chessboard.

At the beginning of the 19th century, European martial arts were abundant, but they were basically monopolized by a man named Napoleon. The Prussian aristocrats chose to lie down. An idle military aristocrat presented to the king a cabinet of intricate porcelain wargames he had developed, which already contained perfect scales, diverse terrains and formations. However, this kind of military chess is obviously too expensive, and after losing the chess board, there is no perfect fighting rule to replace the rule of eating the child, causing it to become a script killing that needs to be improvised.

About a decade after the game came out, when Emperor Napoleon was no longer in glory, Prussian soldiers were rekindled with enthusiasm. The son of the little aristocrat carried forward his father’s project. He introduced the concept of “life value” of the arms, relying on the developed printing technology to implement a large-scale accurate map that should be brushed, and introduced the concept of “referee” (host) , and most importantly, the introduction of dice.


The dice based on the rules of engraving, you can simply treat the left and right columns as distance and damage

Each of the five dice in the game is used to simulate the battle results of different arms and different numbers of people at different distances, and there are many results that cause more than normal damage. However, the terrain conditions, the ratio of the number of people and the priority of the attack distance are determined. Even if the referee rolls the dice for you to stay on the side of high damage, your army status may not be able to bear it. After all, the rules of war chess are specialized for military deductions. Of course, high damage must be based on superb tactical premise. The randomness provided by dice is not born for surprises, but is introduced to simulate the randomness of battlefields. In modern ancestors, we have seen the predecessor and original intention of the crit system.


Back to modern times, after the introduction of the crit system in “Empire: Throne of Petals”, countless players have been fascinated by it. Compared with the mutual fight that simply floats on a fixed value, the instant hit with a high magnification and even a second kill result makes the game battle no longer a monotonous data exchange. Despite persistent concerns about the impact of the crit system on the game’s balance, many designers have made crit a part of the game in the player’s voice.

In the initial stage of development, the designers’ article on crit is still similar to the original intention of its originator – to increase the accident through an independent random judgment, simulating the positive accident situation such as hitting the enemy’s weakness in the battle, and our party exceeding the goal. , to enhance the realism and immersion of the game. When reading the development history of some board games, we can always hear about the complex critical strike system of the game “Rolemaster”. By arranging and combining these two major mechanisms, we can get five thunders like a drizzle, and we can also get a beheading that turns fleshy inside and out.

The design of this critical strike system is hard not to remind people of Diablo. I especially remember when I was a child playing Diablo 2, the super decompression after jumping attack was puffy. Monsters that have been critly killed in different ways will either turn into meat sauce, or become crushed ice, or become coke; at the same time, monsters that do not die because of this will encounter negative attributes such as freezing and burning.

Flesh and blood

Since it was born for simulation, other than the crit that hits the weak point, there should naturally be a missed hit. This miss case was born earlier than the crit, which is logically easy to understand. When it comes to misses, we may have high blood pressure scenes in CRPGs that enthusiastically wield two knives but keep reminding “decision failure” in the message window; or “no hits” after the passionate spike skills in JRPGs.

Whether it is a CRPG or a JRPG, the effects that affect the hit rate are often based on the “Agility” attribute. But in the past JRPGs, we rarely saw a separate crit attribute, mostly fixed crit rate and crit damage, in exchange for bonuses with special skills and effects. Such as the “Sniper” feature in Pokémon, the “Shan Lan Wrestling” skill, etc. Due to the fixed background setting of player characters in JRPG and the copywriting with a high sense of presence in battle, the sense of realism is further enhanced.

There’s even a chaotic state of beating yourself up

The original intention of this immersive feeling eventually grew into a real “vital attack”.

The “headshot” in shooting games may be more important than the “shooting” in shooting games. In most shooting games, the traditional crit system makes way for the player’s operation, and there are no longer a few dice to serve you (although we can still see the weird design of “Fallout 3”), and key shots such as headshots have become players. technical embodiment. When playing CS 1.6, each cause of death will report your bullet rate for each part. In many stand-alone shooting games such as “Medal of Honor”, different enemy reactions caused by broken legs, broken hands, and egg explosions are a major feature of the game.

In “007: Golden Eye”, headshots are not instant kills, but multiple damage

However, the mechanism of the crit did not disappear because the original intention of “realism” was gradually simulated by the increasing technology.

On top of the crit system, the “lucky value” of characters can play a role in battle, and equipment and skills have the design dimension of crit rate/crit damage. The change in the training content in the game caused by this is far from being as simple as “data column +2”, because after the 1% crit rate is triggered, the “attack power” is much higher than the growth of 1%, then the character training It is no longer as simple as “meat shield adds HP defense, output adds attack agility and magic power”. The game has not yet entered the combat stage where crit strikes really play a role, and the expansion of its training system has enriched the game as a whole. This makes many games with RPG elements still cherish the crit system.

However, at this moment, the concerns faced when the crit system was invented arises – crit really, does affect the balance of the game. In MOBA games, players can take out penetrating flow, critical strike flow, special effect flow, etc. according to the hero’s characteristics, because most of the critical strikes are limited to be triggered on flat A, and the equipment attributes are also fixed. In the MMORPG and Diablo-like games that focus on training, the double-explosion value always becomes the training panel with the highest priority, because multiplication is always more effective than addition.

In DNF, players even pursue a 100% crit rate, which makes the existence of basic values ​​very weak.

This kind of problem is difficult to solve. If the “noble” attribute of the dual-explosive panel is successfully balanced, the training experience of the game will definitely be improved. But this requires the game’s numerical system to be established in a highly scientific mathematical model, and it is necessary to ensure that the subsequent updates of the game avoid numerical expansion. If the former can still be achieved by being bald, then the latter is against the development of online games – leaving the value, then only artists are left to attract players to spend energy and financial resources on new content.


But then again, we probably don’t care about that.

In ordinary days, accidental accidents such as “crit” due to probability are thorns that disrupt life; but when you become an adventurer, hero, hero, mentor, commander, Nephalem, Pokémon master, the strongest When the conspirators embark on the journey, the crit will become multiple proofs of your training, proficiency, and luck at the end.

The consistent challenge and the refreshing feeling of mowing are equal experiences, enjoy the positive growth brought about by the hard work in the game, and use “One Knife 999” to justify the great identity of the protagonist, isn’t it exciting?

At the same time when the big guys smashed the junction with useless people bare buttocks, I brushed all the attributes to 40 at the gate of Gale Fortress, took two great swords, and repeatedly taught the ignorant man at the gate of Nimgford. Anyway, the captain began to chop all the way to become crazy. At that time, my data overflow seemed to be very ruthless.

Perhaps the crit carries more things than we imagined. The essence of this mechanism of exchanging uninteresting data into a stimulating decision process may be one of the game goals in the player’s soul: “Embrace the extraordinary”. At the end of the game when critical strikes become the norm, when we end the journey with a full screen of damage, will we shed tears for this extraordinary story that has grown from nothing to the strongest in the world?

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