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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why characters need a life cycle

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76 posts found
  snapfusion

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/11
Posts: 976

2/25/13 9:35:20 PM#21
All I see is more and more people coming up with ideas for games that are slowly eroding the foundation of why I started playing games in the first place.  I have a game for you to play its called your real life, go live it stop trying to induce the short comings of reality and mortality into the word of fantasy.
  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

2/25/13 9:46:32 PM#22
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Dihoru

Perma-death could work but only in an open world pvp game where actions have consequences, you may kill someone but if that someone has allot of friends you're not gonna be long for this world either, such and such. Makes the game actually worth playing in a serious sense and not just some kiddy game where if you die you do a corpse run and have to pay 10 copper to repair your orange gear of +12 (months wasted getting it).

 

Perma-death works pretty well in Diablo 3. It is neither open world, nor pvp. Heck, it is not even a MMO.

 

So you use a non-mmo as an example of what will work for an mmo?

 

Um, no.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7982

2/25/13 9:48:29 PM#23
Original idea? If so good job man.
  xpowderx

Novice Member

Joined: 10/09/05
Posts: 4311

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Richard Feynman, Nobel-prize-winning physicist

2/25/13 9:50:48 PM#24

I like this post. Very cool ideas indeed!

I imagine that character who developed through his lifetimes with prestige, honor and power! Who is now at last on his last life! A sole King in his own right. Who now subjugates those around him. Who can no longer risk. Who sits on his pedestal in his guild hall with friends and allies in his final days.  His last Glorious adventure! To be remembered by those around him and more at his last breath!

Alas, life renewed.... A beginning of new things, young and foolhearty.... the memories of old are just that. A new world, a new cycle begins... To seek that which was lost... To conquer again, to rise the ranks of power and fully encompass the world! Where his name brings fear among the mightiest of opponents... Wise, and hearty, and thoughtful!

This lifetime will be different! I shall be King of Kings, my friends and allies shall be the strongest in the world!

Thus my reign begins!!!!!

MUST WATCH: http://vimeo.com/105072944

  infiniti70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/11
Posts: 61

 
OP  2/25/13 10:02:14 PM#25

Thanks you two.

Not sure how original it is, but the idea was simply that with each encounter in an MMo we risk death. Some of the best times I have had are in epic fights, some I won, some I lost. What if you stretched that encounter over a long period, like a life time. The ebbs and flows of a good encounter over a lifetime?

When we die in an encounter, no one frets over the lost progression of losing the fight. We do not care that we have to start the fight anew, just that the struggle of the encounter is fufilling and entertaining.

Also, yes the RP features of this type of game would be something, "The king is dead, long live the King!"

  Axehilt

Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7282

2/25/13 10:35:19 PM#26
Originally posted by infiniti70

Why does it need to be for nothing? Many players like EVE (as another poster brought up), does losing your ship mean you have nothing? I have already discussed zones changing over time, could be from weather, player content, so on. You say 10 hours...you really planning to die 100 times in 10 hours?

The primary content of any good MMO is going to be the players themselves, without change to this content a game can not be dynamic imo. You may feel scaling encounters or random spawning events are dynamic, I don't. Changing economic conditions, power swings, having to change your playstyle from one life to the next is dynamic. For example:

During a first life you obtain property and wealth, upon death you will your property to yourself as heir. Now you have property and money to start but are too weak to protect it, so you rent it to a more powerful player or hire guards to defend it. Either way you are not starting off the way you did the first time. Maybe you will everything to the church and your next toon starts with high reputation and that opens up early content not available through previous lifes. Not here to write a game, just here to give examples of progression following you and adding to dynamic content.

True need for diversity would occur. What reason do I have to become a weaponsmith when there are 1000 maxed out players spaming LFW?  Even a new player would have hope he could be amoung the few to be able to make something, even if it is only for a while until rejoins the circle of life. 

"Why does it need to be for nothing?" is the root of the problem.  That's the question players are going to ask, and one which is not answered by your list of "advantages" (most of which can be accomplished in other ways, without mangling progression.)

No I'm not planning to die 100 times in 10 hours.  I'm trying to discuss the Very Bad version of an idea (deleting 10 hours of progression) instead of the Absolutely Unthinkably Bad version of an idea (deleting 1,000s of hours of progression.)  Although your example here makes it sound like the fake-permadeath of EVE where you don't really lose much (which is very different from the aging mechanic you described in the OP.  One is optional and the player controls the risk.  The other is just the game deleting player progression.)

You have a specific bar for what you consider acceptably dynamic gameplay, however that doesn't make those other forms of dynamic content not dynamic. They're still dynamic, they're just not dynamic enough for you. Dynamic content is good, and a greater dynamic tends to be better.  But again, you can have extremely dynamic gameplay without removing progression, so this is all rather moot.

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7982

2/25/13 10:49:18 PM#27
Originally posted by infiniti70

Thanks you two.

Not sure how original it is, but the idea was simply that with each encounter in an MMo we risk death. Some of the best times I have had are in epic fights, some I won, some I lost. What if you stretched that encounter over a long period, like a life time. The ebbs and flows of a good encounter over a lifetime?

When we die in an encounter, no one frets over the lost progression of losing the fight. We do not care that we have to start the fight anew, just that the struggle of the encounter is fufilling and entertaining.

Also, yes the RP features of this type of game would be something, "The king is dead, long live the King!"

The idea of a Lifespan is what I like. I'm not sure about death being the mechanic though.

  infiniti70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/11
Posts: 61

 
OP  2/25/13 11:14:52 PM#28

Axe, not here to argue with anyone, but think of it this way. A player goes on a raid, spends 4 hours and wipes on final boss. What happens? They lose all that progression and if they want to kill that boss will start again. Maybe they picked up a piece of gear or two along the way, given them a chance to exceed their previous effort. If they wipe again, they start anew, maybe a little closer. Regardless, all progression is lost each time they wipe, but a litlle bit carrys over each time.

Would the raid be made better if they could never wipe? Just keep popping up until they inevitably won? Of course not, that is boring. Think of a life span as one long raid, with the ability to have a little carry over each time.

 

 

  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4963

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

2/25/13 11:58:44 PM#29

Repeating content is often not very fun.  On an alt, with a new way to do things, that can be different enough to be considered possibly new content.  A new area is definately new content.

Today's games allready have enough mindless repetition with end-game.  Why would you purposefully put in repetition in the early game.

Great I"m level 1 again, I get to do it all again.  No thanks.

edit - I start over often enough as it is because I screwed up or wanted something a bit different, being forced to do it on top of all that just turns me off.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  PsiKahn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/26/12
Posts: 124

2/26/13 9:44:43 AM#30
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Repeating content is often not very fun.  On an alt, with a new way to do things, that can be different enough to be considered possibly new content.  A new area is definately new content.

Today's games allready have enough mindless repetition with end-game.  Why would you purposefully put in repetition in the early game.

Great I"m level 1 again, I get to do it all again.  No thanks.

edit - I start over often enough as it is because I screwed up or wanted something a bit different, being forced to do it on top of all that just turns me off.

I agree that strict repetition of content would not make a lot of sense, and that's why you couldn't simply graft a PD concept onto an existing MMO.  But I do think it could work in a highly non-linear game where a character can have a lasting impact on the world.  Let's also not forget that nothing can eliminate player skill; you will be a better, wiser player after each character, and I think it would be right for such a game to appropriately reward the wisdom that comes with player experience through its mechanics.

  Killsmallchi

Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/08
Posts: 279

Don't be simple

2/26/13 9:51:08 AM#31
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

It does not lead to detachment from characters, it leads to attachment to death and a inate sense of fear and wonder. Now you emerged, now you care if you die, that is true attachment.

What leads to a detachment from character is running him into a mob of goblins, dying, coming back to life, rinse and repeat 40 million times. That just makes your character seem in tangible.

Death is real, and it is coming. You always need a negative to understand a positive. You need ugly for there to be beauty. You need dirty for there to be clean. And you need to know what death is, before you can truely live.

  infiniti70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/11
Posts: 61

 
OP  2/26/13 10:25:40 AM#32

It seams that the 2 biggest objections are 1) loss progression 2) replaying conent.

I believe long term progression is still there when you can carry over some things to your next life. Reputation, some wealth, housing,... Think of it more as progressing your family name. For Game of Throne fans, progressing House Stark or Lannister. It is not about that one singular life cycle, but progressing your house.

This also works to solve replaying the same content. As your house gains reputation, wealth, or whatever, new fresh content opens up. A NPC who had nothing to say to you before, tells you a secret the next time through. Mobs that were KOS, now allow you to pass or show you a secret tunnel.

Sure these things can be done in any MMO, but a life cycle gives the game a better flow than a high level charachter running through old zones and trash mobs...it is just more immersive this way. With a new life cycle comes new challenge, the world continues to be dangerous.

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2580

2/26/13 10:27:42 AM#33
Originally posted by infiniti70

If a charachter had a life span in game, an MMO would offer a much richer experience and would solve many of the problems of todays MMO.

1. Risk vs Reward - If a charachter lost 1% of thier toons exsistance for every death for example, then each player's progression will ultimately end at 100 deaths. Suddenly the world is dangerous again.

2. Casual vs hardcore gamer - This concept works for both. It would be entirely possible for the casual gamer to be one of the most powerful on their server. The Hardcore gamer may reach power quicker, but is also more likely to die an early death. So wether you are the turtle or the hare, the same level of accomplishment is obtainable. Log on for half an hour gain some progression, log off....maybe 9 months later you are the elite of your path and in rare company.

3. End game vs dynamic game play - Take less development in end game and focus more on world alteration. Imagine at the end of a life returning to "starting areas" only to find the entire area is different then when you first traveled through. As players play, their actions affect the world around them, thriving settlements are now ghost towns, roads over grown. No two lives would be the same.

4. Guilds/Clans - Would rise and fall organically. A strong guild could lose their leadership to death, a master metal worker to death. A guild has always been the sum of their members, but what would happen if their two best soldiers died?  The world would not be a stale, but ever changing.

5. True need for class/path diversity - With lose of life, comes a true need for healers, crafters, scouts, politics,.... With death a crafters come a real need to apprentice replacements, a healer is needed to prolong life. Imagine being the only Grandmaster weaponsmith in your area instead of everyone being one after 1 month? "yeah we had a weaponmsmith who could make that, but he died last week. Try the town down south, heard they had a guy."

6. True accomplishment - How much disovery, power, fame can I earn in my lifetime? Isn't a ticking clock the highest form of motivation. With some sort of acheivment system, a players life takes on true meaning. Ever play on a new server and get excited about being a sever first either solo or guild? I have and it is truely a great feeling, never to be felt again after a month. What if you could set new individual or guild records continually?

7. Solo vs group play - This is similar to casual vs hardcore. Regardless of your playstyle the risk will match the reward, without a race to a stale end game, your progression is your own. You will always be behind and ahead of your peers.

8. No useless zones - How many times do we see a starting zone packed for a month or two only to become a bunch of quest giving NPCs with no one to talk to? There would not be a need for "new players" to keep areas thriving, there would already be a circular mechanic of fresh adventures. As mentioned, by the time a player lives out one life, it is quite possible the world he remembered the first time through is completey altered...always offering "fresh content." Even a progressed player would enjoy revisiting where he started helping mentor a friend new to the game.

9. Community - Would receive a huge boost. Imagine a vet asking a newby where something is or for help progressing because the world he knew was gone? Crafting would mean something even at a very low level because of a new need for gear. This would bridge the vets to the newcomers instead of the core vs the noobs. Add to the fact the world is dangerous again, and there is a persistant need to help each other out.

So there are my reasons why toons need a lifespan to take MMOs to the next level. Something like this with an heir system (to keep your house or maybe add some form of continual improvement to the game)., and I think an MMO would have a good chance at a healthy population of gamers for more than a 6 month run. A game that would challnge and entertain for years.

So what would be the draw backs to this?

See any other benefits?

Does this form of MMO remind you of a game you have played?

 

 

 There is a game like that - it is called RL!!! Sorry don't want sanything that real in a game I play.

 

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  Adamantine

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3406

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

2/26/13 10:37:02 AM#34

Err.

Why would we need "life cycles" for characters ? All the reasons the OP gives are completely riddiculous and obviously wrong.

The result of life cycles of characters is more treadmill gaming. Its the exact same category as ideas like permanent item decay etc - we have something that we think has to go on, so introduce a mechanism that it may go on. Except there simply has nothing to go on in the first place !

Games are for fun, not for making some kind of simulation. For having fun, humans need challenges. Introducing treadmill gaming - repetitive elements you have to just repeat over and over and over - means killing the fun of games. Thats not a way to keep the most intelligent lifeform on the planet occupied.

Whats the result of character aging ? People have to restart their characters all the time. So whats the additional challenge ? Zip. People will have to see the same lowlevel content again and again and again. If they want to or not.

 

  L0C0Man

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/30/09
Posts: 971

2/26/13 10:47:54 AM#35
I'm sure the idea would be appealing to many.... But for me it's just a game I wouldn't play in the first place. I've already die a lot in games as it is, I'd hate it if it means my character is gone (even if it's for the 100th time). My internet connection can be unstable from time to time, I'd have to keep hoping that it doesn't go bad anytime I engage an enemy, or that the power doesn't go off, or that the baby doesn't suddenly wake up crying, and so on.

What can men do against such reckless hate?

  Axehilt

Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7282

2/26/13 12:05:02 PM#36
Originally posted by infiniti70

Axe, not here to argue with anyone, but think of it this way. A player goes on a raid, spends 4 hours and wipes on final boss. What happens? They lose all that progression and if they want to kill that boss will start again. Maybe they picked up a piece of gear or two along the way, given them a chance to exceed their previous effort. If they wipe again, they start anew, maybe a little closer. Regardless, all progression is lost each time they wipe, but a litlle bit carrys over each time.

Would the raid be made better if they could never wipe? Just keep popping up until they inevitably won? Of course not, that is boring. Think of a life span as one long raid, with the ability to have a little carry over each time.

I prefer the term "discussion" to argument.  Unless you are only interested in listening to positive praise which ignores the games people generally enjoy.

My original post stated that less than 6 hours of deleted progression is completely acceptable.  Your example in the OP was that of a long-progression game (implying more than 6 hours), while your example in this post is less than 6 hours.

(And 6 hours, specifically, is just an arbitrary number for the sake of discussion.  It's more of a gradual spectrum of acceptability where even games which delete 6 hours of progression are super rare, and typically just unusually long rounds of a game like Faster Than Light or Nethack.)

Repeating little bits of progression near the top is simply more acceptable than repeating the entire 6+ hour experience due to a mistake (or even 100 mistakes; or due to character-aging).

I'd wager it relates to how when we screw up in real life we're not forced to attend grade school all over again and start completely from the beginning -- instead, we repeat the job we failed at until we get it right and advance.

  Kaneth

Elite Member

Joined: 8/19/07
Posts: 1733

2/26/13 12:22:49 PM#37
Originally posted by infiniti70

It seams that the 2 biggest objections are 1) loss progression 2) replaying conent.

I believe long term progression is still there when you can carry over some things to your next life. Reputation, some wealth, housing,... Think of it more as progressing your family name. For Game of Throne fans, progressing House Stark or Lannister. It is not about that one singular life cycle, but progressing your house.

This also works to solve replaying the same content. As your house gains reputation, wealth, or whatever, new fresh content opens up. A NPC who had nothing to say to you before, tells you a secret the next time through. Mobs that were KOS, now allow you to pass or show you a secret tunnel.

Sure these things can be done in any MMO, but a life cycle gives the game a better flow than a high level charachter running through old zones and trash mobs...it is just more immersive this way. With a new life cycle comes new challenge, the world continues to be dangerous.

This is similar to how I feel as well. If my characters were just a piece of a bigger pie that was my overall character progression. The House or Family Name idea is a great one. If you were able to attain certain benefits on the singular character that partially remained after death. Wealth is a big one, but that could be a matter of having to bank your wealth or risk losing it upon death.

If my original character was a warrior type, who was also a master blacksmith. My next character should have some inherent benefit to blacksmithing (aka was an apprentice), so my jumping off point wouldn't be as far behind. You could even have a function where if you chose to not be a blacksmith on the next character, your third character would receive even less benefit from the blacksmithing, until you effectively lost that benefit all together (until you make another master blacksmith).

I imagine that after a few months of practice, your characters could last a very long time, but that risk would still be there. With the proper system, where it doesn't feel like you are completely starting over each time, "perma-death" might make for an interesting mechanic.

  Lovely_Laly

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 736

game is also real

2/26/13 12:29:58 PM#38

start over and over? how boring...

no thanks I guess

try before buy, even if it's a game to avoid bad surprises.
Worst surprises for me: Aion, GW2

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/26/13 1:20:49 PM#39

"Life cycle" implies a character that can die from old age. Slow down and lose effectiveness from a lifetime of battle-scarring, or just plain past-your-prime.

Pretty sure there aren't many players looking for that. Some of us are busy experiencing it.

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.

  birdycephon

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 1327

Not Safe For Woona (NSFW)

2/26/13 1:31:20 PM#40
I think this idea is genious.
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