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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Heavy experience loss on death leads to easy gameplay

17 posts found
  Scalpless

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1330

 
OP  9/28/13 5:16:48 PM#1

Let's assume you lose n hours' worth of XP every time you die. In that case, the average interval between your deaths must be over n hours for you to progress at all. In my opinion, if I don't die at least once per hour, the game I'm playing is too easy. On the other hand, if dying only costs you a little XP or nothing at all, the game can be as difficult as it needs to be, because you'll still be able to progress if it kills you brutally again and again.

Improving your skill at the game will make you die less, of course, but the fact remains that the game you're playing must be designed around player deaths being few and far between.

  StonesDK

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 1840

9/28/13 5:28:16 PM#2

Not sure I agree with what you are writing.

You are forgetting risk vs reward. You can't go all black and white saying the game is too easy if you don't die x amount of times during x amount of hours. Using vanilla EQ as an example, you calculated the risk vs potential gain. If you didn't like dying then you stuck to areas that were easy but if you felt ballsy then you went for more high risk targets which also yielded better payoff.

The game was as easy or hard depending on where you went and what you did. That was then though. MMOs don't really have risk anymore at all, generally speaking

 

XP loss is an archaic timesink to prevent you from reaching your goals too fast, thus making you subscribed longer. It was never implemented to add any meaning to a game

  Kilrain

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/03
Posts: 499

9/28/13 5:32:26 PM#3
Originally posted by Scalpless

Let's assume you lose n hours' worth of XP every time you die. In that case, the average interval between your deaths must be over n hours for you to progress at all. In my opinion, if I don't die at least once per hour, the game I'm playing is too easy. On the other hand, if dying only costs you a little XP or nothing at all, the game can be as difficult as it needs to be, because you'll still be able to progress if it kills you brutally again and again.

Improving your skill at the game will make you die less, of course, but the fact remains that the game you're playing must be designed around player deaths being few and far between.

If it's difficult and you lose XP, you tend to THINK MORE instead of blindly going at it until you succeed. EQ1 had some strategy required combat. It was rewarding.

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  Alders

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/10
Posts: 1730

I cannot fiddle but I can make a great state of a small city.

9/28/13 5:37:03 PM#4

Exp loss shouldn't be the only deterrent to playing better.  It should part of a greater risk vs. reward system for sure though.

If i rush and pull too early i not only risk losing exp but also the time i spent getting to the spot i am and the camp or rare mob I'm after.

  DamonVile

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

9/28/13 5:38:20 PM#5

What if I die once a day and you die once an hr...then they change it so I die once an hour....would you still be able to play ?

Everyone should die once an hour is pretty arbitrary when deciding the dificulty lvl of a game. If it's skill based at all, how often people die is going to vary a lot.

  Drakephire

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/02/13
Posts: 381

9/28/13 5:48:54 PM#6
Originally posted by Scalpless

Let's assume you lose n hours' worth of XP every time you die. In that case, the average interval between your deaths must be over n hours for you to progress at all. In my opinion, if I don't die at least once per hour, the game I'm playing is too easy. On the other hand, if dying only costs you a little XP or nothing at all, the game can be as difficult as it needs to be, because you'll still be able to progress if it kills you brutally again and again.

Improving your skill at the game will make you die less, of course, but the fact remains that the game you're playing must be designed around player deaths being few and far between.

 

Really it boils down to a philosophical outlook. Say it takes an average player 1 hour to level in EQ1 whilst attacking a medium difficulty MOB without dying. That same time sink could be created for the average player in a low penalty game by utilizing a very difficult MOB. In this latter situation, the player might attempt multiple strategies before learning the skill to take down the MOB.

 

The heavy penalty game views failure as a penalty and to be avoided, whilst the second scenario values learning through trial and error.  Ask any entrepreneur of a successful startup, and you will see that the second scenario of being unafraid of failing is the true road to success.  The former scenario breeds caution and is not conducive to skill-building.

 

In short, I agree with you OP.

  crack_fox

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 402

9/28/13 5:52:27 PM#7
I don't think 'severe' death penalties will be returning any time soon, and I'm not sure how I'd feel about it if they did. However, when players start using death as another form of quick travel then it really has gone beyond trivial. 
  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5932

9/28/13 5:55:47 PM#8

I sort of see what the OP is saying, but I don't quite see it that way. I see heavy penalties encouraging "playing it safe" and that it promotes a group zerg mentality (safety in numbers).

Since my first game had heavy penalties I've always been the kind to try and avoid defeat out of principle. Even gold penalties, which most consider very light, can add up, but mostly it's the principle. I do like to push things, but I also consider dying once an hour at a minimum, in any game, to be playing poorly on my part. If I'm experienced enough I know the limitations of my class and my group. It's okay to push skill limits, but going beyond that isn't my way of playing.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Kilrain

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/03
Posts: 499

9/28/13 6:04:55 PM#9

In the end it doesn't/shouldn't matter how much you die or how hard it is to keep from dying. I can play a game and never die and it doesn't affect my outlook on the difficulty of the game at all. What does is how hard or how much strategy is involved in succeeding or advancing. If I don't die in a difficult fight it doesn't make the fight less difficult, it means I didn't just sit there like an idiot hoping for things to turn around.

deathPenalty != easierFights

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  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10882

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

9/28/13 6:21:17 PM#10


Originally posted by Scalpless
Let's assume you lose n hours' worth of XP every time you die. In that case, the average interval between your deaths must be over n hours for you to progress at all. In my opinion, if I don't die at least once per hour, the game I'm playing is too easy. On the other hand, if dying only costs you a little XP or nothing at all, the game can be as difficult as it needs to be, because you'll still be able to progress if it kills you brutally again and again.

Improving your skill at the game will make you die less, of course, but the fact remains that the game you're playing must be designed around player deaths being few and far between.




Gamasutra has an article on something very similar to what you're talking about. There is a balance between "fun" and "work" when it comes to challenge in a game.

There is the question of how players perceive the death penalty itself. Suppose you have two games, and the players' progression is comparable in both games. In one game the players are penalized in some noticeable way for dying, and in the other game they are not. Whether or not the death mechanics of either game are successful is pretty much down to the preferences of the players. Do the players prefer the death penalty or do the players prefer to not have a death penalty, even though the progression in both games is nearly the same?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  yangdude

Novice Member

Joined: 5/15/12
Posts: 67

9/28/13 6:41:40 PM#11

Perfect World has a system where you lose xp if you die.  At say level 20 if you die, by killing a few mobs or doing one quest, you'd make your xp back  If you are level 100 and you died, you'd lose the equivalent of a few months worth of questing xp.  What they then added as a coin sink I guess are protection stones to the cash shop, which can be purchased to protect you from losing xp.

 

I actually agree that there should be some penalty for dieing, and as said, rewards should then be increased for the risk.  Its too easy in GW2 to just rush in, smack a boss a few times, die, res back to nearest waypoint and go attack the boss again, with basically no penalty  - you still get full rewards when the boss is dead.

 

At level 100 in PW the rewards for killing mobs are basically nothing, so of course, no one kills them or does those higher level quests - this is one killer for PW the fact that the whole world is empty because quests/grinding at higher levels give no rewards at all.

 

 

  crack_fox

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 402

9/28/13 7:06:57 PM#12
Originally posted by Drakephire

Really it boils down to a philosophical outlook. Say it takes an average player 1 hour to level in EQ1 whilst attacking a medium difficulty MOB without dying. That same time sink could be created for the average player in a low penalty game by utilizing a very difficult MOB. In this latter situation, the player might attempt multiple strategies before learning the skill to take down the MOB.

 The heavy penalty game views failure as a penalty and to be avoided, whilst the second scenario values learning through trial and error.  Ask any entrepreneur of a successful startup, and you will see that the second scenario of being unafraid of failing is the true road to success.  The former scenario breeds caution and is not conducive to skill-building. 

A fear of failure may be a hindrance in business, but it provides excitement in a game. The second scenario you outline implies that there is a single strategy or formula for success in the encounter. The player merely needs to keep trying until they figure it out. That's an approach that I can enjoy in games in certain forms - e.g. the ornate puzzles you might find in a Tomb Raider game. But in the context of combat in an MMO, I find it unrewarding and monotonous. I would rather go in cautiously, keep an eye on my escape route, and figure out my own strategy for success that utilizes the unique strengths of my class. There is fun to be had in barely escaping with your life when things go pear-shaped, and the thrill is magnified when the price of failure is not trivial. 

 

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 775

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

9/29/13 1:35:41 AM#13
I didn't understand the main post. So ima just go off the title and say, No. I loose a lot of experience dying all the time in dead frontier (enough that I can't get past the first low ceiling for leveling). And, that game is hard as hell for me.

  Lustmord

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/21/05
Posts: 1094

9/29/13 1:45:44 AM#14
Originally posted by Scalpless

Let's assume you lose n hours' worth of XP every time you die. In that case, the average interval between your deaths must be over n hours for you to progress at all. In my opinion, if I don't die at least once per hour, the game I'm playing is too easy. On the other hand, if dying only costs you a little XP or nothing at all, the game can be as difficult as it needs to be, because you'll still be able to progress if it kills you brutally again and again.

Improving your skill at the game will make you die less, of course, but the fact remains that the game you're playing must be designed around player deaths being few and far between.

 

How EQ1 did it, the lower level you are, the more frequently you died. As you gained levels, you gained in character power and personal experience, and death became a rare thing outside of raiding- but the penalty increased by the nature of leveling.

  Burdoc101

Novice Member

Joined: 9/29/12
Posts: 280

9/29/13 1:46:13 AM#15
Originally posted by StonesDK

Not sure I agree with what you are writing.

You are forgetting risk vs reward. You can't go all black and white saying the game is too easy if you don't die x amount of times during x amount of hours. Using vanilla EQ as an example, you calculated the risk vs potential gain. If you didn't like dying then you stuck to areas that were easy but if you felt ballsy then you went for more high risk targets which also yielded better payoff.

The game was as easy or hard depending on where you went and what you did. That was then though. MMOs don't really have risk anymore at all, generally speaking

 

XP loss is an archaic timesink to prevent you from reaching your goals too fast, thus making you subscribed longer. It was never implemented to add any meaning to a game

Agreed, but players created meaning behind it. Check out this recently created thread just talking about vanilla EQ 1. http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/397203/The-requiem-of-the-DING-.html

  Xthos

Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2650

9/29/13 1:57:45 AM#16

Sounds a little like circular logic, and someone could post exactly the opposite, because it is all opinion based.

 

I have always found that with little to no penalty, death means nothing, people use it as a free 'teleport', or you have a higher majority that do not have good player mechanics, because they don't 'need' to.  That is opinion based, but it is what I have seen overall.  Does it mean that it has to be like this?  No.

 

EQ1 had generally 15-30 minute penalties, depending on level/class, some could cut it down to less, if they had a good solo class.  It was enough though to encourage good gameplay, imo.  Sure you could still do stupid things, and they made it easier later to summon/rez yourself.

 

This topic is something that no one can 'prove' imo....It will just go round and round, I prefer at least a 10-15 minute penalty myself, I think if you are dying all the time, you are trying to do too much and hitting your head against a brick wall, and in the course of doing so, you have made death worthless as a penalty as a counter to the death every hour argument. 

  A.Blackloch

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/21/07
Posts: 840

"Choke on the smoke from my quill."

9/29/13 2:04:31 AM#17

Heavy experience loss leads towards teamplay, not easy gameplay. And no one ever dies THAT much, that it could be count as "archaic timesink to prevent you from reaching your goals too fast, thus making you subscribed longer." After dying enough, even the dumbest gamer figures out he can't do this alone and finds a friend to deal with the issue.

Best example is on the good old Neverwinter Nights 1&2 persistent servers. Die and you go in fugue realm. You can wait there for someone to find your corpse and resurrect/heal you with no penalties. Or you can talk your way out of fugue with gatekeeper, deamon, angel, whatever - and you lose exp but get sent back in the realm of living.

That is very working system and makes you plan your moves in game.