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News & Features Discussion  » General: Who Fears Perma-Death?

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104 posts found
  RajCaj

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 684

1/05/12 9:39:27 AM#21
Originally posted by lizardbones

I have always been motivated by the death of my characters in any game because death = failure. I don't need to have a perma-death mechanic to goad me into trying to not die. I just don't want to do it. Of course, I've seen players who have the opposite mentality too...death as a quick travel mechanic for instance.

I've never been able to get past the idea of character death as nothing more than a way to pinch more quarters out of the players' pockets. This probably comes from playing games in the arcade. If you didn't play a game you were naturally good at, you wasted a lot of quarters. You'd waste a lot of quarters anyway, finding all the different ways your avatar could bite the dust.

Fast forward to present day and I still get that impression with MMORPG. A death penalty is just a way for the game companies to waste the players' time and get some more quarters. However, if the character's death made sense in the context of the game and the death penalty (even perma-death) made sense in the context of the overall game, there's no reason it shouldn't be in there.

I have to disagree with death penalties being just a waist of time for the players.

 

I've played games from both ends of the spectrum.  Ultima Online was a full loot Free For All PvP game.  If you died in combat, to the victor goes the spoils.  If you died in Faction combat, you also incurred a temporary stat loss.

In World of Warcraft, if you died in a PvP Scenario (Battlegrounds), your ghost appeared at a graveyard and had to only wait for a timer to respawn with ALL your gear & Full Health / Mana.  I think the durability loss was even reduced when dieing in PvP.

 

I can't begin to tell you how DIFFERENT the performance level of the general playerbase was in those two games.  Someone who was considered "average" in Ultima Online displayed WAY more situation awareness & knowledge about their toon (and others) than compared to WOW.

 

Case in Point......

The Battleground Scenarios in WOW are VERY straight forward.  It's simple....you work to complete certian objectives in the game to earn your team more points than other other guys.  Random killing doesn't really help your team win, yet the vast majority of the people participating in BGs do nothing but randomly attack anything and anyone in the opposite faction.

 

I've seen players completely by pass the objectives just to chase down some random enemy in some random field....only to lose the objective.

I've seen players run into large groups of 5-10 enemies SOLO, only to get burned down before they could get a single attack off......only to rez up and do it ALL OVER AGAIN.

I've been in Battlegrounds where there was TWO paths to the objective.  One path had the entire enemy force sitting there waiting to waist people at a bottle neck in the road, and the other road lead around the enemy force to the objective.  After repeated calls in chat to TAKE THE UNDEFENDED ROAD....they repeatedly poured into the occupied road to their death...rince repeat, rince repeat.

It defies all logic, yet they do it anyway.  Why?  Because there is no mechanic in the game to force these gamers to critically evaluate the situation and figure out how to do it better.  No harm, no foul.

 

Striking the right balance of death penalties is a fine line.....but there are just as many consequences to having NO death penalty as there is to having TOO much of one.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

1/05/12 9:41:01 AM#22
Originally posted by bill4747

While the CONCEPT of permadeath is great, and it adds danger and excitement, there are three big reasons I would prefer not to have it in a game I am playing.

In 1998, I spent six hours in my (virtual) office talking to a very long-term player who'd perma-deathed her own "main" through carelessness.  In Gemstone at the time, you needed "deeds" to survive death and be resurrected; basically an insurance policy that meant the goddess in charge of life and death would notice your plea to be saved and restore your soul to your body.  Without it, death was permanent.  She'd careless forgotten to "stock up" (kind of a regular ritual in GS) on deeds, and did not notice when she used up the last one.

She was hysterical.  A GS character could represent a decade or more of investment in that single character, and in a heavy RP-focused world with a long long level cap, you had plenty of time to become extraordinarily attached. 

By the end of the night, many hours later, she'd come to accept that part of her life, years of love,  was now gone for good.

I never in my career as a GM (about seven years) had a more miserable time.  Really, emotionally draining, and you (as a GM) couldn't do a single thing to really help, just listen and commiserate until she exhausted herself sobbing it out.

 

Permadeath should never be considered for any gaming situation that doesn't involve some waiver-signing, (or many virtual clickthroughs, "I Agree" special sub-contract) and an entirely seperate server.

But for the right kind of challenge junkies, I can see it being the right answer.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1073

1/05/12 9:58:13 AM#23

As a number of folks have pointed out, there are technical difficulties with Perma-death (internet inconsistancy, bugs, exploits, etc).

 

From the developer side, does permadeath add more depth (and players) than it causes problems?  Developers have pretty much voted against it for years.

 

But hey, Paradox's Salem MMO is going to feature Perma-death, so knock yourself out.   Will also be interesting to see how WoD develops along those lines.  If it ever comes out.

 

(The 'Delete Your Character When You Die' concept is pretty amusing, though)

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  User Deleted
1/05/12 10:07:08 AM#24

The reason why perma death works in certain games (mainly roguelikes) are 1.) these games are usually pretty short and 2.) the dungeons, while persistant (with a few exeptions like e.g. Angband) are always completely new generated once your old charter has died and you start a new one from scratch. Without that you would be bored to death after a while going the same levels and seeing the same environment over and over again each time you die. The OP mentioned Wizardry which had IIRC a so called *optional* iron man mode. Though I liked Wizardry a lot I never played it in this mode due to the aforementioned reason. I still play 'Linley's Dungeon Crawl' though and I *never* cheat its perma death, cause roguelikes simply make no sense without that.




I strongly doubt that a randomly generated Environment will ever work in MMOs, even not in single player games with sophisticated graphics. But this is what I'ld consider an indispensible requirement for perma death in any games.




Other then that I wholeheartedly agree with the OP in that modern MMOs should come back to stronger death penalties again. Btw, one of the most interesting penalty systems is that of Asheron's Call IMO.





 

  Ceridith

Novice Member

Joined: 11/24/09
Posts: 3001

The more you hype an upcoming game in your mind, the more it will fail to meet your expectations.

1/05/12 10:14:12 AM#25

Death penalties I am okay with so long as it's reasonable.

The problem with perma-death on the other hand, is connection issues and bugs. I use to be into playing perma-death games, until my connection would inexplicably drop or I'd encounter a game bug that would end up getting my character killed with no way for me to avoid it. After losing countless hours worth of time due to things beyond my control, I've vehemently avoided games with perma-death.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10556

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

1/05/12 10:28:28 AM#26


Originally posted by RajCaj


Originally posted by lizardbones
I have always been motivated by the death of my characters in any game because death = failure. I don't need to have a perma-death mechanic to goad me into trying to not die. I just don't want to do it. Of course, I've seen players who have the opposite mentality too...death as a quick travel mechanic for instance.

I've never been able to get past the idea of character death as nothing more than a way to pinch more quarters out of the players' pockets. This probably comes from playing games in the arcade. If you didn't play a game you were naturally good at, you wasted a lot of quarters. You'd waste a lot of quarters anyway, finding all the different ways your avatar could bite the dust.

Fast forward to present day and I still get that impression with MMORPG. A death penalty is just a way for the game companies to waste the players' time and get some more quarters. However, if the character's death made sense in the context of the game and the death penalty (even perma-death) made sense in the context of the overall game, there's no reason it shouldn't be in there.


I have to disagree with death penalties being just a waist of time for the players.
 
I've played games from both ends of the spectrum.  Ultima Online was a full loot Free For All PvP game.  If you died in combat, to the victor goes the spoils.  If you died in Faction combat, you also incurred a temporary stat loss.
In World of Warcraft, if you died in a PvP Scenario (Battlegrounds), your ghost appeared at a graveyard and had to only wait for a timer to respawn with ALL your gear & Full Health / Mana.  I think the durability loss was even reduced when dieing in PvP.
 
I can't begin to tell you how DIFFERENT the performance level of the general playerbase was in those two games.  Someone who was considered "average" in Ultima Online displayed WAY more situation awareness & knowledge about their toon (and others) than compared to WOW.
 
Case in Point......
The Battleground Scenarios in WOW are VERY straight forward.  It's simple....you work to complete certian objectives in the game to earn your team more points than other other guys.  Random killing doesn't really help your team win, yet the vast majority of the people participating in BGs do nothing but randomly attack anything and anyone in the opposite faction.
 
I've seen players completely by pass the objectives just to chase down some random enemy in some random field....only to lose the objective.
I've seen players run into large groups of 5-10 enemies SOLO, only to get burned down before they could get a single attack off......only to rez up and do it ALL OVER AGAIN.
I've been in Battlegrounds where there was TWO paths to the objective.  One path had the entire enemy force sitting there waiting to waist people at a bottle neck in the road, and the other road lead around the enemy force to the objective.  After repeated calls in chat to TAKE THE UNDEFENDED ROAD....they repeatedly poured into the occupied road to their death...rince repeat, rince repeat.
It defies all logic, yet they do it anyway.  Why?  Because there is no mechanic in the game to force these gamers to critically evaluate the situation and figure out how to do it better.  No harm, no foul.
 
Striking the right balance of death penalties is a fine line.....but there are just as many consequences to having NO death penalty as there is to having TOO much of one.



Only players who want a harsh death penalty (perma-death) are going to start playing a game with one. Everyone else will either not play the game to begin with, or quickly leave once they realize it's there. Players focused on goals in UO because that's the kind of players they were, not because of the death penalty or loot mechanics. A harsh death penalty or perma-death will not magically make players 'better' at the game they're playing. Adding a harsh death penalty or perma-death is not a magic bullet.

If the death penalty make sense in the context of the game, then it's a good one, regardless of how harsh it is. WoW's death penalty (time spent not playing) makes sense. In UO, having a full loot death mechanic made sense. In Salem having a perma-death for characters, where your next character can inherit something from the dead character makes sense (I assume, I'd have to play it to be sure).

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  VideoJockey

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/01/04
Posts: 187

1/05/12 10:43:03 AM#27

Jumpgate was my fist MMO, and it has something close to perma-death: you get a small insurance payout for your ship and gear, but the gear and cargo are gone. All of it. Including hard to get items like artifacts.

But that (and the arcade-style space combat) made it so exciting. I was not very good at PVP, so getting caught in neutral space with my artifacts onboard was terrifying. My heart rate would spike and I'd start sweating when another dot would appear on my radar and in most cases I'd run like hell back to faction space.

I think permadeath is a good game mechanic, provided it doesn't take 200 hours to level a toon and that your toon is protected from max-level griefers in the process. (Being owned by another player close to your level is just fine, though.)

  Lille7

Novice Member

Joined: 12/08/08
Posts: 303

1/05/12 10:46:07 AM#28

I could maybe play a permadeath MMO, but that depends more on other game mechanics than it does the permadeath itself. I believe pretty much any kind of deathpenalty on the scale from no penalty at all to permadeath-full-loss-of-everything could work if the rest of the game supports it. Eve Onlines death penalty works great in that game, but would be horrible in World of Warcraft, because the rest of the game isnt't designed for such a system.

  FreedomBlade

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/06
Posts: 300

Let put an end to the endless shitty EQ clones once and for all. Click on my Siggy!

1/05/12 11:32:20 AM#29

Full loot and stat loss is the way to go. Darkfall, Mortal Online, Roma Victor all had/have this right.

  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

1/05/12 11:34:29 AM#30

Actually, yes, I do fear death. But only in one game, and it's not 'technically' an MMO. The original Guild Wars has a harsh death penalty, you lose a stacking 15% to your health AND mana everytime you die, and when most skills are 5-15 mana each and you're a class with 25 capped mana, that hurts. There have been many occasions where I've pulled mobs incorrectly, or got ambushed, and now I'm unable to complete the map because my stats have sunk so low that everything one-hits me. Then, I get to start over from scratch, essentially like a waypoint in a single player game where you only get to save at the beginning of the stage and, if you die, you have to do it all over.


But there's no other online game where I fear death, and to be honest, I'm quite okay with that. Fearing death may be the holy grail to some, but for me it has only lead to bad experiences. Because people are afraid to die, they'll only take the most uber geared people with them, they'll only bring the meta-game builds and classes, they'll only play with people they've known for a long time, they berate every little mistake, they rage quit if they die, they blame the healer for their retarded mistakes, and generally act all kinds of assholiness. So, no...I don't mind that the days of harsh death penalties have fallen by the wayside.


"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  melton80

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/11
Posts: 56

1/05/12 11:58:20 AM#31

 I've never feared Perma Death cause i won't play any game that has that feature in it in the first place, it is one of the dumbest features any game can ever put in and is a population killer since 90% of the gaming community isn't gonna play a game for 5-6 months then all of a sudden die and lose all that time and have to start over.


  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16610

1/05/12 12:08:48 PM#32

Permadeath only really works in smaller lan games where you have a game master as well that can rez anyone killed due to technical issues.

I dunno how many times I got killed due to lag, and even though my PC is pretty reliable compared to most it could still freeze up or bluescreen while I play. At sometimes my net ain't 100% reliable either.

Getting a character killed due to a technical issue would get me and most other players to quit the game, what could be more annoying?

The pen and paper RPGs I play do have perma death and it is fine there because noone ever got killed for those reasons there but a windows computer and the net just ain't stable enough to support it.

So I don't fear permadeath in itself, but technical issues just don't make it an option in a MMO right now, maybe in 5 to 10 years or if you use a Linux client at least and have a really great net.

  77lolmac77

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 498

1/05/12 12:09:09 PM#33

any game with Full Loot


makes things A LOT more exciting


  Mr.Wizard

Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/06
Posts: 245

1/05/12 12:18:30 PM#34

Strange that I don't see anyone mention the permadeath you had in pre-CU SWG. All work of getting the Jedi * POOF* gone. That must have made quite a few people mad xD


  dragnsmoke

Novice Member

Joined: 7/31/03
Posts: 18

1/05/12 1:04:35 PM#35

I've wanted to see a perma-death game for a long time. Even Lord of the Rings Online was originally supposed to have perma-death until the title was sold and the new studio was not willing to take the risk. I think the idea is daunting and I would have my fears about it too, but I think if you build a game around the idea that death is permanent, you create a different game dynamic. People aren't going to play it like they play MMO's today. People play MMO's today with the current consequences in mind, which are little to none. I feel like if I were going into a game knowing perma-death was a part of it, I would play it differently and know to not get too attached to a character if I am willing to take risks with him. I think the game would also have to cater to the idea of it. I think the game would have to be much less grind and much more experience. You would have to remove the idea of levels, or at least remove the ability to see other people's levels, so that just in real life, you don't really know what you're going up against and weigh out the consequences should the person you are attacking be much stronger than you. You would have to make it much easier to get a character to a good fun playable point so that you can get out and experience things quicker rather than grinding for a year to be high enough level to walk safely through areas. My overall thought is that I like the idea of perma-death, so long as the game is built around the idea. You couldn't just throw perma-death into a cookie cutter MMO as it exists today.

  CyanK

Novice Member

Joined: 9/10/11
Posts: 20

1/05/12 1:50:27 PM#36

Permadeath, no...


A system like EQ though, naked corpse runs through hostile territory with an xp penalty for each death.... now that I'm in favor of. 


Add in a loot system similiar to that of EVE where a few randomly selected pieces of your equipment drop when killed in PvP... glorious.


EQ is really the only game of the dozens of MMO's that I've played that would make me truly upset after getting killed by something, not just because I lost some xp, but because it would sometimes take an hour just to get back to the place where you died, let alone recover your corpse.


In fact come to think of it the ease and speed of travel in MMO's today is a problem just as large as the inconsequential death penalties. They make these massive virtual worlds that you can get practically anywhere in with less than 15 minutes travel time.


 


  divmax

Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/05
Posts: 107

1/05/12 2:32:35 PM#37

Originally posted by WhySoShort




Originally posted by dodsfall




I can't think of any game that blocks you from permadeath if you want to play that way.








 








If you really want permadeath, simply delete your character  when you die and re-roll.











 




Brilliant.





 


I really hate this attitude. Well done, you completely missed the reason why games have rules and why rules make games fun.


  orsonstfu

Novice Member

Joined: 2/12/08
Posts: 205

1/05/12 2:36:17 PM#38

I dont feel as if perma-death is worth the realism it adds to a game. The long term longevity of it wouldn't be worth the consequences.

 

Fully Lootable corpses sure, but you have to make it so it doesnt take much to get going again. Kinda like old school UO handled it - crafters made some of the best stuff and most of the time you didn't wear your best stuff - you wore good stuff instead.

  GrayGhost79

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4888

1/05/12 2:47:03 PM#39
Originally posted by orsonstfu

I dont feel as if perma-death is worth the realism it adds to a game. The long term longevity of it wouldn't be worth the consequences.

 

Fully Lootable corpses sure, but you have to make it so it doesnt take much to get going again. Kinda like old school UO handled it - crafters made some of the best stuff and most of the time you didn't wear your best stuff - you wore good stuff instead.

A compromise here would be to add perma death as a penalty for reds. In most games going red is simply an inconvienece, make it so that if a red player is killed it's a perma death. 

This would keep the ganking down because there would be an actual penalty associated with randomly killing others. Imagine UO without Trammel but with this feature. People wouldn't be cryting out about how they got ganked and complaining that the game was to harsh, they'd be crying out for blood. Might bring some popularity to FFA PvP.

 

"He killed me and took my stuff, so I came back and deleted his toon Muah haa haa haaaaa." 

 

  EverSkelly

Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/04
Posts: 338

1/05/12 3:23:51 PM#40

I would love to see perma-death in todays mmorpgs. But it has to be done right.

Character should have lots of HP and dying should only be possible if being extremely careless.

Every mmorpg could make one server with perma-death ruleset. I believe there would be enough people willing to try it. It really adds to the excitement, especially when you're bored with your usual mmo activities.

If they started doing it, it could evolve into much more popular type of gameplay, because players would share their experiences, wishes, possible improvements with game developers.

It shouldn't be very harsh. It could be done right.

People are afraid of what they don't understand.

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