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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » FFA Permadeath PvP, how would it effect the social dynamic?

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Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/12
Posts: 42

OP  10/04/12 1:09:55 AM#1

I've always wanted to see a MMORPG with a FFA PvP realm with permadeath. That is, any player can attack any other player at any time, and unless guards/police can actually see what is going on, the player can get away with murder (or perhaps NPCs if they see or hear it can call for guards/police to intervene and kill the attacking player).

In such a system, you'd have the most accurate real-life scenario if how PvP would work. I mean of course in real life, you can attack any person at any time, but doing so has permanent consequences. If you kill someone, you can be put to death in some countries, or risk life imprisonment, so murder is a huge deal, not to mention of course, the moral consequences of doing such evil actions, but the point is, there's nothing actually preventing you from randomly killing someone, the reason people don't, is because they aren't evil, crazy, and they can be punished for it.

In a MMORPG where you can not even attack other players under many circumstances, this feels very artificial and a bad system. Rather than have punishments for attacking innocent players, they simply prevent it from happening at all. Now, in a system of FFA PvP, killing someone with no or a minor death penalty isn't a big deal. In WoW for example, if you get ganked by someone, you just release your spirit and run back to your corpse, no big deal.

If however, you added perma-death, and the ability to loot a player for everything on their person, it would fundamentally change the dynamics of the game. Killing someone now would actually mean something, it wouldn't just be an annoying ganker, but a lethal ganker, who could permanently change your progress in the game with one decision.

Not only that, with true FFA PvP, any player could attack you at any time. A player could go berserk and just unleash a powerful AoE spell, killing every low level player in a capital city, even if they were quickly cut-down by the guards and killed themselves.

To me it would be fascinating to see such a concept practiced out. With permadeath, people would naturally be more cautious and more likely to work together for mutual protection. With FFA PvP, however, there would always be the possibility of someone in your group going rogue, and killing the rest of his party and stealing all their items in cold blood.

That's a true to life version of events. It always bothered me that people had a problem with "ninja looters", when in reality, if you took 40 or 5 random people and had them explore a real life cave, and you found and killed a monster, and found a treasure chest full of gold and jewels, there would be a chance that someone in that group would turn on them out of sheer greed, killing them, and taking the loot for himself.

This is played over time and again in movies, whenever there's a bunch of money to be had, there's often trouble. Now how would this be for a MMORPG? Killing a low level wouldn't be a big deal, as they wouldn't have invested much into their character, but killing someone at max level, who managed to spend several years alive, with a long history? That would mean something.

Imagine investing six months into a character, only to be killed in cold blood by a traitor in your raid, permanently ending your career. To me, that would be fascinating. Yes, griefers would be present on this realm, but I know for a fact it would change how people viewed gankers.

Gankers would no doubt gain a very negative reputation, something beyond anything in non-permadeath games, as choosing to kill someone, means you fully know that you are undoing someone's progress permanently, that carries much more weight than just killing someone and they can run back to their corpse.

So what would you think of this realm type? It would be much more realistic, and could be a fascinating social study, seeing how people behave in an enviornment with dire consequences.

Could it not work in inverse? Someone who was unstable and attacked a group, could easily be cut down by the entire group, as people like that would be despised. It would be fascinating, regardless, and quite a lot of fun.

  User Deleted
10/04/12 1:15:20 AM#2


Seriously, DayZ.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1132

10/04/12 1:18:02 AM#3

There will be no social dynamic. People will lean towards killing on sight just to be safe unless you know them/talk to them on teamspeak.


Just like DayZ.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13409

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

10/04/12 1:35:27 AM#4
NA Closed Beta of Wizardry Online starts soon. Sign up and find out.

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6015

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

10/04/12 2:03:25 AM#5
Stranger danger would have a whole new meaning. Pick up groups would die. Also, harsh death penalty and ganking goes hand in hand. Hardly anyone would engage in a "fair fight" or any fight for that matter if they are not sure they'll win.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/03/09
Posts: 1839

10/04/12 2:26:11 AM#6

While a game like that will never happen, I've been asking for it for years now. I hate FFA PvP in its current form, because players as a whole just turn into bandits, waylaying every person they think they can kill and get away with it. I like PvP in MMO's to mimmick real life, meaning you avoid hurting and killing other players unless you're at war, or they've done something serious to deserve it.

Mimmicking real life consequences for being a murderer would be awesome. Hopefully, people will be more civil in the game and refrain from killing everyone. To avoid NPC's and etc attacking you, you only attack those people that your guild is at war with.

I envision a sandbox game with FFA PvP catering to all types of players, but where players have the intelligence, creativity, and vision to create empires, instead of gangs and roving bands of bandits, which is all I see in FFA PvP games. Imagine a guild of several hundred people, owning a castle, lands surrounding it, and the guild leader is the King. Imagine having councils, generals, and an army. Imagine having organized battles against your foes. Yet, all we get is 20 or less people running around ganking people, or worse, a few rotten people ganking newbs in the starting areas.

I hoped Darkfall and Mortal Online would fulfill my vision of a sandbox game, but from what I saw, it wasn't a real sandbox. They were just playgrounds for E-Bullies to push around those weaker than them and take their stuff. 

No thanks.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4543

10/04/12 2:36:20 AM#7

Why leave it up to the NPC to police the world..

You could get the players to police the place.. I remember when Darkfall first came out, everyone would be out and about killing mbos in dungeons and so on. If a red was spotted you would instantly get people posting in race chat where the red guy was and everyone would turn up to chase him off or kill him..


The early days of Darkfall where some of the best ive had in gaming. ITs a shame there was so many exploits that game people a massive headstart and then forced other people to macro to keep up.

If there was a way for AV to have remvoed exploits and stopped macroing it would have been an even better game.


As for Perma death, im not a massive fan myself as part of a mmorpg for me is my character and the development of said character. I usually like to just play the one character and hardly ever run alts unless there is a need to. So starting a new character every time i got killed would probally annoy me a bit.. Also people would be a lot mre defensive and would shoot first instead of taking a risk that your a nice guy..

Now i guess it could be fun if none rigth but i cant think of a way of doing it right :)


My 3D models


Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/04/12 3:20:01 AM#8
It makes for a fantastic social game in Salem, and a fantastic killing ground in MMOs like Dayz.
  User Deleted
10/04/12 4:06:11 AM#9
Originally posted by Quirhid
Stranger danger would have a whole new meaning. Pick up groups would die. Also, harsh death penalty and ganking goes hand in hand. Hardly anyone would engage in a "fair fight" or any fight for that matter if they are not sure they'll win.

I am loathe to hazard a guess as to any change without knowing the exact mechanics (as even the little details can make a massive impact), but I would suspect that the above is about right.


Bit off topic, but I have yet to see an mmo in which the majority are actively looking for, or actively engaged in a fair fight in pvp (beit in open world or in arenas/instances) anyway. But that's for another time and another debate no doubt.



Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 1098

10/04/12 12:45:42 PM#10
Originally posted by strangewizard


If however, you added perma-death, and the ability to loot a player for everything on their person, it would fundamentally change the dynamics of the game. Killing someone now would actually mean something

No. It. Would. Not.

There's this maddeningly persistent idea that a permadeath system could cause people to treat death and murder as they do in real life. There's no precedent for it, and no logic behind it.

It is wrong to kill a person. It is not wrong to kill a character in a video game, especially if the whole point of the game is to go around killing people. So none of the usual tropes that apply to death in real life and in fiction—mourning, vengeance, fear of dying—can apply to an MMO character's death. Killing is nothing like real killing. It's closer to stealing. Except, no, it's not even that! We put systems into place to discourage people from stealing from one another; if we could wipe it out entirely, we would. But a FFA permadeath MMO puts it right on the front of the box as the best feature of the entire game: kill and be killed by anyone at any time, full loot your enemies and make them start over at level 1! It's the entire draw of the game.

Killing and stealing are wrong and you're not supposed to do them. Killing in a game, even one with permadeath, can never have the same effect on the virtual society because it is not something that you're not supposed to do.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 2430

Whatever you do, do NOT speak ill of Asheron's Call 2...

10/04/12 12:47:32 PM#11
That would be SUPER hard to pull off I think. How could anyone trust anyone else? Unless it is a personal friend from the real world or something, and even some of my friends would jack my toon for the hell of it because for the most part they are jackasses...

That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6280

10/04/12 2:03:00 PM#12

Well I can tell you one thing.  There would much less fighting than you might think.


The reason GW2 or DAOC need non-perma death is to keep the fight constantly going.  With perma-death you have to weight every fight and risk everything.  Also certain very good people would get a reputation (assuming skill is important in the game) where many people would avoid fights or come at them with a gang.


There would be very few fair fights, an ass ton of political maneuvering, and much less fights than most PvP games.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

10/04/12 2:17:32 PM#13

Originally posted by strangewizard

I've always wanted to see a MMORPG with a FFA PvP realm with permadeath. ...

So what would you think of this realm type? It would be much more realistic, and could be a fascinating social study, seeing how people behave in an enviornment with dire consequences. ...

If the existing permadeath MMORPGs are any indication (and I believe they are) then people will use throw-away characters to do the griefing and ganking. Both Haven & Hearth and Salem (the only existing MMORPGs with permadeath I know of) are both extremely alt-heavy.

Especially the competitive people in these games don't have 1 character, they have 4 or 5 or even more specialist characters instead: a hunter, 2 fighters, a trader, a gatherer, a farmer, a crafter, etc. Then they use one character for "criminal" acts - if things go bad and that character is killed they lose almost nothing. In the existing permadeath games there are no "dire consequences" like you write.

That's why your scenario with real life examples doesn't work: in real life you don't have multiple accounts with an army of alts ...

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6388

10/04/12 4:05:51 PM#14
Originally posted by aRtFuLThinG

There will be no social dynamic. People will lean towards killing on sight just to be safe unless you know them/talk to them on teamspeak.


Just like DayZ.



its makes the community into a no trust zone unless guild/RL Friends.


thats not fun for PvE honestly.


this is why Darkfall's PvE is ruined, because you have to be in a PvE guild to do PvE or else you may never get to exprience it, because you cant pug when others dont trust you.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1132

10/04/12 5:33:15 PM#15
Originally posted by nate1980

While a game like that will never happen, I've been asking for it for years now.

Play DayZ


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/26/12
Posts: 2149

10/04/12 6:25:39 PM#16

Since I've played Salem extensively (not any longer due to it being too time-absorbing; cant play the 4 hours per day needed), which is a FFA RPG with Permadeath with only one minor town as safe zone, I can share my view.


That game had limited teleportation, you could only teleport safely from your camp to the city Boston and back. What happened was that most of the trading was done in Boston and so was most socializing with strangers inside the game.

However, as soon as people were outside of the safe zone, Boston, they would not trust each other the slightiest because of the risk of permadeath. Only the careless would not keep their distance from other players. People kept their eye on their radar to keep distance in case a stranger appears on the radar.


Instead of trust, people sought having leverage instead. I.e. if you fuck me, I will fuck you bad as well.  This could be done in many ways, such as tarnishing forum and ingame reputation, having enough money to hire an assassin to get revenge for you, leaking information, etc. This is most important inside a player town inself: you need leverage in case someone goes rogue. It goes without saying that a large part of the gameplay is mindgames and outsmarting the other players.  Spies, alts, etc are all used to get leverage.


The game is not so much about reflexes and grinding as it is about thinking out good systems to get what you want and protect yourself. Since the "opponents" are humans, I can imagine that people enjoy this form of "mindbattles"; AI would be far more predictable and boring in that sense.


Due to the unsafe nature outside of Boston and the sandboxy nature: people were inclined to make trade threads in forum. That way if those traders scam, their forum reputation would go down which would affect them economically, but for the very same reason the forum traders can ask non-forum traders to put their money and items first.


Since stats are hidden and all clothing is currently cosmetic, you couldn't even know if the noob-looking person you just met is a real noob or a very strong character in disguise. Again: mindgames :).




Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/05
Posts: 137

10/10/12 8:57:23 AM#17

THis could be made with ultima online pirate servers.

1-Allow pvp everywhere (dont know if server owners can change that, if not just remove the places where pvp is not possible).

2-Put permadeath in the game.


This could be made as a test to see how it FFA PVP + permadeath would work. And also how permadeath would work in a pre-made game (well in this case will be more like, how ffa pvp with permadeath, works in a pre made game).


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Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7157

10/10/12 10:48:21 AM#18
Originally posted by Loktofeit
NA Closed Beta of Wizardry Online starts soon. Sign up and find out.

We all know that game will be a gank fest.  Any game with such a dynamic would be a gank fest, which would mean a very small playerbase.  I think you would soon tire of it, it would not be near as much fun as you think.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/24/07
Posts: 291


10/10/12 10:54:05 AM#19

dude have you played mortal online yet shit is hard core  pvp

and its not purma death but its  close you loose all your shit or can

and it is all player made gear acept for some crappy gear from a few vendors

 the crafting system is  great but the comunity blows

they dont take kind to new players and they run in grps  so unless you take chances a lot  be prepaired to loose your shit


Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

10/10/12 10:59:23 AM#20
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
Originally posted by Quirhid
Stranger danger would have a whole new meaning. Pick up groups would die. Also, harsh death penalty and ganking goes hand in hand. Hardly anyone would engage in a "fair fight" or any fight for that matter if they are not sure they'll win.

I am loathe to hazard a guess as to any change without knowing the exact mechanics (as even the little details can make a massive impact), but I would suspect that the above is about right.


Bit off topic, but I have yet to see an mmo in which the majority are actively looking for, or actively engaged in a fair fight in pvp (beit in open world or in arenas/instances) anyway. But that's for another time and another debate no doubt.


uh? What about all those who play in arena. Arena is all about fair fights.

And how about LOL?

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