There’s something I’ve noticed browsing MMO sites and forums, and that is some players want certain options, or not, based on a feeling of avoiding risk, even if they would prefer the game to have said option, they will not take that path if it means more frustration in the end. Sometimes they feel it is unfair to have this function as optional to a player-base or something they feel is completely necessary to attain to be more competitive and powerful.
Let’s take permanent death for example. There is no doubt a minority of players that would like to see this implemented in more games. As harsh as it may be I could care less if they implemented it or not, as long as I am not forced to use it. But the issue at hand is really that even if it was just a check box option when creating a character, those that want permanent death would rarely take the option if presented as optional in the same server as those who don’t use it. It is not financially feasible for a company to have just a single server for this option as it is just a minority that would use, if they even would after some time passes in a game’s lifetime.
Basically the mentality is why I should force myself to use something to penalize myself for whatever reason when others do not. I think development studios can include such features as an option, but the way many games are created or designed; having a permanent death penalty option would mean making the content easier for those players. Otherwise, they would die way too often and wouldn’t use the feature anyways. It would be an open PvPer’s nightmare to have a permanent death. It just creates a situation where people could make mistakes, and outside force could stop you in your tracks, or be griefed into pure frustration.
The other example of this comes from the F2P business model. There are F2P titles out there that don’t sell power to the higher level players if you assume that Health/Mana potions don’t count as combat gameplay altering. I feel many players do, and in some F2P games I would as well if those items could not be gained through other means. The loudest outcry for such items comes from the more PvP focused players and rarely from the PvE focused players. Don’t the players that use the potions use them because they need that extra boost to win?
The basis here is that when the player duels another to find they have extra potions it makes the job of killing that other player much more difficult. But are players not asking for more of a challenge? Would facing a tough player opponent not be a challenge?
In any case, I do see these situations all the time. I would never play a game with permanent death, nor would I play a game where power can be bought at max level leaving the other players far behind. Potions I don’t mind as they are usually a small hurdle to overcome. And if you are a good player extra potions won’t make a difference. Basically we have these games or possible game designs where the player is presented with an optional function and some players cannot help themselves but take the less risky path if presented with one.