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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » DEATH: The Single Most Important Design Decision

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89 posts found
  aRtFuLThinG

Novice Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1000

1/28/14 7:02:23 PM#41
Originally posted by seacow1g

You're focusing on semantics.

Semantics is everything, especially the fact that you are talking about game design decisions since every little thing affects the playability of a game;  And saying that, as your title suggests, "death is the single MOST important design decision" - it is not actually. There are a lot of other more important decisions, such as story-arc, quest design, arts design, combat/contest engine and mechanic, etc.

 

This is not to mention that not all "failures" in the progress of a player in a game necessarily can be represented by "death" or "penalty" either, which from what I can see seems to be what you are implying.

 

For example, crafting has no penalty - losing mats in a fail attempt even if there is such a thing is NOT a penalty. It is more the cost of doing business. Or in building and management games, not getting the best whatever (mats/npc assistant/town or infrastructure design/whatever) is NOT a penalty, it just means you do less well with what you got. HOWEVER not of those above necessarily means the game is less fun than game/part of games that has penalty. It all just depends on the player themselves of what they like and prefer.

 

And player opinions/population is a lot more diverse than you seem to imply.

 

 

 

  Mtibbs1989

Elite Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 2230

1/28/14 7:05:52 PM#42
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by seacow1g

 

I'm glad you bring those up because they illustrate an important point: The harder you make the challenge, the shorter you can make the iteration time. The more time you're likely to spend repeating the challenge the less time you need to spend getting back to it each time you fail. This is an important concept in game design. But there's a flaw to this design too, the less the iteration time between each attempt the less intense and unique each attempt feels until you beat it (because by design it has to be attempted many many times). This design has its own limitations. High challenge/low iteration designs must be scripted, somewhat linear and with low variability between attempts. I want us to think of a better death system.

Says who. I am merely pointing out that no DP (i.e. short iteration time) can still co-exist with high challenge. There are plenty of people playing low MPs where the challenge is not hard, but the iteration time is the same.

Given how popular the game is, i would say this works. Just have short iteration time, and be done. Works in Diablo series, work in FPS, works in WoW .....

Already said this....short iteration time works in those games but then they have to have "hard" encounters that are scripted, somewhat linear and each attempt plays out almost exactly the same. It's basically a "dance" you have to learn to progress. It works, but it can be done better and I'm all for better. What if you didn't have to repeat it many times AND has short iteration time? Well that's just simply what's called an "easy game". It is picked up, consumed quickly and thrown aside for something new without ever really touching the player.

 So you want to be punished in these 'linear' games so that they can be 'harder' in return? I'm starting to think you don't know what you're talking about.

 Do you want randomization in combat so that everything isn't simply a dance? That's quite feasible with effort. However, finding a developer willing enough to design boss A.I. to fight based off of randomized attack would be pretty hard. I do admit an unreadable opponent is the hardest opponent.


Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17961

1/28/14 7:16:32 PM#43
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by seacow1g

 

I'm glad you bring those up because they illustrate an important point: The harder you make the challenge, the shorter you can make the iteration time. The more time you're likely to spend repeating the challenge the less time you need to spend getting back to it each time you fail. This is an important concept in game design. But there's a flaw to this design too, the less the iteration time between each attempt the less intense and unique each attempt feels until you beat it (because by design it has to be attempted many many times). This design has its own limitations. High challenge/low iteration designs must be scripted, somewhat linear and with low variability between attempts. I want us to think of a better death system.

Says who. I am merely pointing out that no DP (i.e. short iteration time) can still co-exist with high challenge. There are plenty of people playing low MPs where the challenge is not hard, but the iteration time is the same.

Given how popular the game is, i would say this works. Just have short iteration time, and be done. Works in Diablo series, work in FPS, works in WoW .....

Already said this....short iteration time works in those games but then they have to have "hard" encounters that are scripted, somewhat linear and each attempt plays out almost exactly the same. It's basically a "dance" you have to learn to progress. It works, but it can be done better and I'm all for better. What if you didn't have to repeat it many times AND has short iteration time? Well that's just simply what's called an "easy game". It is picked up, consumed quickly and thrown aside for something new without ever really touching the player.

What are you talking about?

D3 elite and champ pack encounters are totally randomly including the special powers of the "boss". In fact, this will be taken further in their new "random dungeon" mode in the expansion.

Granted you can go back to the same one after you die, but you can also quit and fight a new encounter with similar difficulties, but completely randomly generated.

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 7:17:19 PM#44
Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
 

  Possibility beyond what? You're over thinking this topic. Of course you don't want the player to never die. But over thinking the death system beyond dying and respawning is just punishing the player for playing your game and failing. A simple respawn system is perfect for any game so long as there's enough challenge within the game.

Is it really that simple? Please just take a moment and actually think about designing some games. Think of some scenarios. I'll give you a couple to get you thinking, but rather than try to find flaws in mine I challenge you to think of scenarios of your own where similar problems may be applicable:

 

1) You want to have PvP but you don't want players running at eachother mindlessly spamming spells until one dies. You want people to pick their battles, organize, flank, prepare for engagements. You don't  want engagements to essentially often be decided by which side has the most players (ie the zerg effect). You want players to care about each death (both their own and their team mates) because it lowers the chances of their side winning. What kind of death system encourages players to play like this? Is this system designed for an instanced zone or a persistent world? Can you think of one that works in both?

 

2) You want to make parts of the world meaningful to visit, explore and adventure. How do you incentivize the player? What makes the journey special? Can everyone do it? How much effort does it take? What's your reward for doing it?  Is a reward even a reward if there's no risk or effort involved? Now design a death system in a game that has some parts of the gameworld easily accessible and meaningless and some of them highly rewarding (no instances, everyone should be able to go there at the same time but only a few succeed) that is not exploitable to make the highly rewarding areas easy to get to.

  SirPKsAlot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/13
Posts: 224

1/28/14 7:20:38 PM#45
Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.


Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 7:27:22 PM#46
Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

Hardcore mode assumes that your game is instanced, unless you have "hardcore servers" which would keep your population divided. I want to find a system that allows hardcore and casual to coexist and benefit eachother in a persistent world that has hardcore and casual challenges that is not exploitable by zerging. How do we do that? Need a new death system.

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3431

1/28/14 7:27:56 PM#47
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by seacow1g
You're underthinking it. Simulations of combat in games is totally underepresenting the experience. Oftentimes you don't feel the exhilaration, fear, anxiety, comradery etc that comes with real combat. Now granted the real life experience is terrible and not at all enjoyable but I do think games could do more to make us feel the experience more intensely. What is holding these kinds of games back? Death. The current systems make your attachment to the experience too shallow. Permadeath would make the game unfun/unplayable. We need something better.

 

Games are for entertainment, not to faithful representing the actual combat experience. In fact, there is no actual combat experience of throwing fireball, and freezing beams. So what if combat in games is "underrepresenting the experience".

Current systems work for me. I don't see any value (for me) to change death systems.

 

Exactly.  If someone wants an accurate representation of the actual combat experience, go join the military and get into a war. That's about as realistic as it gets.

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  SirPKsAlot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/13
Posts: 224

1/28/14 7:33:56 PM#48
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

Hardcore mode assumes that your game is instanced, unless you have "hardcore servers" which would keep your population divided. I want to find a system that allows hardcore and casual to coexist and benefit eachother in a persistent world that has hardcore and casual challenges that is not exploitable by zerging. How do we do that? Need a new death system.

Okay how about if the MMO lets you control a party of 3 characters, and when one of your party members dies they are perma-dead. You can buy new party members in towns (and customize their appearance/skills) so that you always have party members, but there's the possibility of losing one you grow attached to (and was levelled a bit higher than your other party members)


Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

  pharone1

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/06
Posts: 42

1/28/14 7:41:54 PM#49
Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

I do believe that when you had to go recover your corpse to get your stuff back in Everquest, death did feel more imposing.  I like the idea of rolling a hardcore character and having my stuff pass to my next character if I die, but that would only be doable if the number of levels maximum were not very high.

 

 

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 7:42:08 PM#50
Originally posted by Cephus404
 

Exactly.  If someone wants an accurate representation of the actual combat experience, go join the military and get into a war. That's about as realistic as it gets.

So your saying there's nothing in between the careless unorganized running amok in Call of Duty and real war? Dying is a terrible thing. Real life can be terrible. That's why we play games. But tell me, what do you think is more satisfying? Beating someone to death in a street fight, beating someone in a boxing match (where you clearly outclass him but no one is seriously injured), beating someone in a match of street fighter (the video game)? My guess is the most elated feeling is winning the boxing match.

 

Now granted a videogame has no physicality to it so it can never approach the great (or terrible) feelings of a real life experience. But we oftentimes do make the experience too shallow with our choices in "death/failure" mechanics. For better games we should be striving for that sweet spot, where the player feels that there's so much at stake when really there's nothing to lose at all (except your time of course...but thats what entertainment is for).

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 7:46:50 PM#51
Originally posted by pharone1
Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

I do believe that when you had to go recover your corpse to get your stuff back in Everquest, death did feel more imposing.  I like the idea of rolling a hardcore character and having my stuff pass to my next character if I die, but that would only be doable if the number of levels maximum were not very high.

 

 

Ya you're talking about hard content and punishing death (in the form of losing something when you fail) but shorter iteration time (time to get back to where you were due to low number of levels) to prevent people from quitting. Darkfall has the opposite approach, you can have all your stuff lost on death but you keep your experience/skills etc. It gains shorter iteration time though because they make the gear generally worthless and easier to retrieve (or keep multiple sets of).

  Zorgo

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2157

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

1/28/14 7:48:17 PM#52
Originally posted by seacow1g

You're underthinking it. Simulations of combat in games is totally underepresenting the experience. Oftentimes you don't feel the exhilaration, fear, anxiety, comradery etc that comes with real combat. Now granted the real life experience is terrible and not at all enjoyable but I do think games could do more to make us feel the experience more intensely. What is holding these kinds of games back? Death. The current systems make your attachment to the experience too shallow. Permadeath would make the game unfun/unplayable. We need something better.

 

Before posting, take a moment to think about how death affects all the other systems in your favorite games. How implementing a different death system would change them etc. Death is something you typically don't think about much but it's a huge hurdle from a design perspective and one that has implications on almost every other feature in the game.

I'd venture to say you are also underthinking it.

'Death' is a mechanic of the game. A mechanic designed to create incentive for the player. Further, a mechanic designed to create an incentive through 'punishment'. 

Why in the world would we limit our games to one single punitive incentive to live? And why would 15 years after the fact we would expect our games to be stagnated on that one mechanic?

If you want to think deeper about it - demand that games create a variety of incentives to live. Punishment through death can be one of course - but if you really think about it, so many years and so many mmo's later there should be a plethora of varying incentives to avoid death. It's baffling to me that our only two choices are 'harsh death penalty' or 'no death penalty'.

What about loot gets better if you don't die? What about, you don't lose anything, but if you wipe in the dungeon, the bosses increase in strength - feeding off your failure? What about perks and honors for having a statistically low number of deaths? 

Imagine a game which had a thousand different options for you to weigh before you decided you can go in all leeroy jenkins or whether you need to hold back and use caution? 

But.....if you really really want to think that the only thing that truly motivates us as players is fearing a punitive death, well - I see a broader picture.

I am of course not saying, things are fine as they are; I'm saying that while we should respect the mechanics of the past, I'd rather look to the future.

To me, 'death penalty' mentality is stuck in a box from 1999 and I submit, you should try thinking outside of it.

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 7:52:13 PM#53
Originally posted by Zorgo
Originally posted by seacow1g

You're underthinking it. Simulations of combat in games is totally underepresenting the experience. Oftentimes you don't feel the exhilaration, fear, anxiety, comradery etc that comes with real combat. Now granted the real life experience is terrible and not at all enjoyable but I do think games could do more to make us feel the experience more intensely. What is holding these kinds of games back? Death. The current systems make your attachment to the experience too shallow. Permadeath would make the game unfun/unplayable. We need something better.

 

Before posting, take a moment to think about how death affects all the other systems in your favorite games. How implementing a different death system would change them etc. Death is something you typically don't think about much but it's a huge hurdle from a design perspective and one that has implications on almost every other feature in the game.

I'd venture to say you are also underthinking it.

'Death' is a mechanic of the game. A mechanic designed to create incentive for the player. Further, a mechanic designed to create an incentive through 'punishment'. 

Why in the world would we limit our games to one single punitive incentive to live? And why would 15 years after the fact we would expect our games to be stagnated on that one mechanic?

If you want to think deeper about it - demand that games create a variety of incentives to live. Punishment through death can be one of course - but if you really think about it, so many years and so many mmo's later there should be a plethora of varying incentives to avoid death. It's baffling to me that our only two choices are 'harsh death penalty' or 'no death penalty'.

What about loot gets better if you don't die? What about, you don't lose anything, but if you wipe in the dungeon, the bosses increase in strength - feeding off your failure? What about perks and honors for having a statistically low number of deaths? 

Imagine a game which had a thousand different options for you to weigh before you decided you can go in all leeroy jenkins or whether you need to hold back and use caution? 

But.....if you really really want to think that the only thing that truly motivates us as players is fearing a punitive death, well - I see a broader picture.

I am of course not saying, things are fine as they are; I'm saying that while we should respect the mechanics of the past, I'd rather look to the future.

To me, 'death penalty' mentality is stuck in a box from 1999 and I submit, you should try thinking outside of it.

I like you.

  Mtibbs1989

Elite Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 2230

1/28/14 8:31:22 PM#54
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
 

  Possibility beyond what? You're over thinking this topic. Of course you don't want the player to never die. But over thinking the death system beyond dying and respawning is just punishing the player for playing your game and failing. A simple respawn system is perfect for any game so long as there's enough challenge within the game.

Is it really that simple? Please just take a moment and actually think about designing some games. Think of some scenarios. I'll give you a couple to get you thinking, but rather than try to find flaws in mine I challenge you to think of scenarios of your own where similar problems may be applicable:

 

1) You want to have PvP but you don't want players running at eachother mindlessly spamming spells until one dies. You want people to pick their battles, organize, flank, prepare for engagements. You don't  want engagements to essentially often be decided by which side has the most players (ie the zerg effect). You want players to care about each death (both their own and their team mates) because it lowers the chances of their side winning. What kind of death system encourages players to play like this? Is this system designed for an instanced zone or a persistent world? Can you think of one that works in both?

 Back it up a bit buddy, we're not talking zerging. That's a completely different problem all its own. Zerging has to do with the flaws in the developers design of their PvP system. If you centralize all the action into one single point or in very short distances of course you'll have zerging going on. You need to design systems to stop that.

Warhammer Online did quite a good job at keeping the death system to a minimum. You spawn at your zone's pvp entry point and then you enter the battlefield. However where they fell flat was to disperse the zerg mentality as it was too easy to win by capturing the very straight forward points-of-interest(s).

 Unfortunately war is never fair and zerging will always happen. 

2) You want to make parts of the world meaningful to visit, explore and adventure. How do you incentivize the player? What makes the journey special? Can everyone do it? How much effort does it take? What's your reward for doing it?  Is a reward even a reward if there's no risk or effort involved? Now design a death system in a game that has some parts of the gameworld easily accessible and meaningless and some of them highly rewarding (no instances, everyone should be able to go there at the same time but only a few succeed) that is not exploitable to make the highly rewarding areas easy to get to.

 Unfortunately for those who aren't good at video games. They'd find it hard to complete one if I had any say in it's outcome. I don't believe everyone's a winner. So if there's a portion of content that you can't beat in-order to progress. You're going to have to get better. I'm not going to penalize the player with a death system because they're trying. That'd be utterly stupid. I'd allow them to keep having at it. But it'll be their skill and willpower that'll allow them to progress through my game.

  How do I add incentives for players to explore? I'll give bonuses to their character. Maybe uncovering a secret location that requires fighting an intense boss, complex puzzle, or jumping puzzle that unlocks bonus stats, unique trinkets or gear, and or skills. Once someone starts to explore and get more rewards for exploring the more that player will want to find even more secrets and challenges. Do I need to add death penalties to this? No, not at all. Sure, you can die to that intense boss fight requiring you to run back to that hidden location. But if you're doing a jumping puzzle one might simply just fall and have to start over from scratch. A complex puzzle doesn't have to result in someone dying if they can't complete a puzzle. Although I could think of some pretty outrageous ways of dying in a game if you do fail at completing a puzzle.

 You're kind of getting off topic now. None of the stuff  you're talking about has anything to do about the death penalty system. You're just trying to force death on every aspect of the game and it doesn't have to be that way as long as the game's challenging.

 

 


Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 8:46:36 PM#55
Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
 

  Possibility beyond what? You're over thinking this topic. Of course you don't want the player to never die. But over thinking the death system beyond dying and respawning is just punishing the player for playing your game and failing. A simple respawn system is perfect for any game so long as there's enough challenge within the game.

Is it really that simple? Please just take a moment and actually think about designing some games. Think of some scenarios. I'll give you a couple to get you thinking, but rather than try to find flaws in mine I challenge you to think of scenarios of your own where similar problems may be applicable:

 

1) You want to have PvP but you don't want players running at eachother mindlessly spamming spells until one dies. You want people to pick their battles, organize, flank, prepare for engagements. You don't  want engagements to essentially often be decided by which side has the most players (ie the zerg effect). You want players to care about each death (both their own and their team mates) because it lowers the chances of their side winning. What kind of death system encourages players to play like this? Is this system designed for an instanced zone or a persistent world? Can you think of one that works in both?

 Back it up a bit buddy, we're not talking zerging. That's a completely different problem all its own. Zerging has to do with the flaws in the developers design of their PvP system. If you centralize all the action into one single point or in very short distances of course you'll have zerging going on. You need to design systems to stop that.

Warhammer Online did quite a good job at keeping the death system to a minimum. You spawn at your zone's pvp entry point and then you enter the battlefield. However where they fell flat was to disperse the zerg mentality as it was too easy to win by capturing the very straight forward points-of-interest(s).

 Unfortunately war is never fair and zerging will always happen. 

2) You want to make parts of the world meaningful to visit, explore and adventure. How do you incentivize the player? What makes the journey special? Can everyone do it? How much effort does it take? What's your reward for doing it?  Is a reward even a reward if there's no risk or effort involved? Now design a death system in a game that has some parts of the gameworld easily accessible and meaningless and some of them highly rewarding (no instances, everyone should be able to go there at the same time but only a few succeed) that is not exploitable to make the highly rewarding areas easy to get to.

 Unfortunately for those who aren't good at video games. They'd find it hard to complete one if I had any say in it's outcome. I don't believe everyone's a winner. So if there's a portion of content that you can't beat in-order to progress. You're going to have to get better. I'm not going to penalize the player with a death system because they're trying. That'd be utterly stupid. I'd allow them to keep having at it. But it'll be their skill and willpower that'll allow them to progress through my game.

  How do I add incentives for players to explore? I'll give bonuses to their character. Maybe uncovering a secret location that requires fighting an intense boss, complex puzzle, or jumping puzzle that unlocks bonus stats, unique trinkets or gear, and or skills. Once someone starts to explore and get more rewards for exploring the more that player will want to find even more secrets and challenges. Do I need to add death penalties to this? No, not at all. Sure, you can die to that intense boss fight requiring you to run back to that hidden location. But if you're doing a jumping puzzle one might simply just fall and have to start over from scratch. A complex puzzle doesn't have to result in someone dying if they can't complete a puzzle. Although I could think of some pretty outrageous ways of dying in a game if you do fail at completing a puzzle.

 You're kind of getting off topic now. None of the stuff  you're talking about has anything to do about the death penalty system. You're just trying to force death on every aspect of the game and it doesn't have to be that way as long as the game's challenging.

 

 

And now we get to the source of your problem. You can't see how death systems relate to these issues. If you understood it you'd understand why I think it's so important.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5373

I dare you to pin a label on me.

1/28/14 8:48:34 PM#56
Like many posters have already said: its not death, its the combat.

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

  seacow1g

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  1/28/14 8:51:15 PM#57
Originally posted by Quirhid
Like many posters have already said: its not death, its the combat.

Its not the combat, we approach the combat the way we do because of the death system. Different fail system means a different approach to combat.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5373

I dare you to pin a label on me.

1/28/14 8:55:49 PM#58
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by Quirhid
Like many posters have already said: its not death, its the combat.

Its not the combat, we approach the combat the way we do because of the death system. Different fail system means a different approach to combat.

Even the harshest death penalties won't save a bad combat system, but a good combat system is common to almost all good games.

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

  Mtibbs1989

Elite Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 2230

1/28/14 8:59:18 PM#59
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
 

  Possibility beyond what? You're over thinking this topic. Of course you don't want the player to never die. But over thinking the death system beyond dying and respawning is just punishing the player for playing your game and failing. A simple respawn system is perfect for any game so long as there's enough challenge within the game.

Is it really that simple? Please just take a moment and actually think about designing some games. Think of some scenarios. I'll give you a couple to get you thinking, but rather than try to find flaws in mine I challenge you to think of scenarios of your own where similar problems may be applicable:

 

1) You want to have PvP but you don't want players running at eachother mindlessly spamming spells until one dies. You want people to pick their battles, organize, flank, prepare for engagements. You don't  want engagements to essentially often be decided by which side has the most players (ie the zerg effect). You want players to care about each death (both their own and their team mates) because it lowers the chances of their side winning. What kind of death system encourages players to play like this? Is this system designed for an instanced zone or a persistent world? Can you think of one that works in both?

 Back it up a bit buddy, we're not talking zerging. That's a completely different problem all its own. Zerging has to do with the flaws in the developers design of their PvP system. If you centralize all the action into one single point or in very short distances of course you'll have zerging going on. You need to design systems to stop that.

Warhammer Online did quite a good job at keeping the death system to a minimum. You spawn at your zone's pvp entry point and then you enter the battlefield. However where they fell flat was to disperse the zerg mentality as it was too easy to win by capturing the very straight forward points-of-interest(s).

 Unfortunately war is never fair and zerging will always happen. 

2) You want to make parts of the world meaningful to visit, explore and adventure. How do you incentivize the player? What makes the journey special? Can everyone do it? How much effort does it take? What's your reward for doing it?  Is a reward even a reward if there's no risk or effort involved? Now design a death system in a game that has some parts of the gameworld easily accessible and meaningless and some of them highly rewarding (no instances, everyone should be able to go there at the same time but only a few succeed) that is not exploitable to make the highly rewarding areas easy to get to.

 Unfortunately for those who aren't good at video games. They'd find it hard to complete one if I had any say in it's outcome. I don't believe everyone's a winner. So if there's a portion of content that you can't beat in-order to progress. You're going to have to get better. I'm not going to penalize the player with a death system because they're trying. That'd be utterly stupid. I'd allow them to keep having at it. But it'll be their skill and willpower that'll allow them to progress through my game.

  How do I add incentives for players to explore? I'll give bonuses to their character. Maybe uncovering a secret location that requires fighting an intense boss, complex puzzle, or jumping puzzle that unlocks bonus stats, unique trinkets or gear, and or skills. Once someone starts to explore and get more rewards for exploring the more that player will want to find even more secrets and challenges. Do I need to add death penalties to this? No, not at all. Sure, you can die to that intense boss fight requiring you to run back to that hidden location. But if you're doing a jumping puzzle one might simply just fall and have to start over from scratch. A complex puzzle doesn't have to result in someone dying if they can't complete a puzzle. Although I could think of some pretty outrageous ways of dying in a game if you do fail at completing a puzzle.

 You're kind of getting off topic now. None of the stuff  you're talking about has anything to do about the death penalty system. You're just trying to force death on every aspect of the game and it doesn't have to be that way as long as the game's challenging.

 

 

And now we get to the source of your problem. You can't see how death systems relate to these issues. If you understood it you'd understand why I think it's so important.

 Source of my problem? There's no problem in my way of design. Zerging is problem all it's own and if you can't think of anyway to stop the process of it occuring other than punishing the player with death penalties then you've failed to properly design the PvP system to begin with.

 There are other ways around only death as an outcome. I believe you're stuck in a one track mindset thinking, 'death needs to happen at every turn' when it obviously doesn't. Your problem is that you can't think of designing anything without pounding the player with constant penalties. Can't the content be hard enough for the player prior to that? If they've failed already why would you continue to up the anti? Do you simply want to watch the player squirm? They've obviously failed getting to that point.

 You want a boss to become less of a  'dance'. simple, develop an algorithm(s) that bosses will use to become less predictable during a fight. That'll require a lot more time and effort but it'll get the job done. 


Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.

  SirPKsAlot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/13
Posts: 224

1/28/14 9:01:26 PM#60
I like Battlefield's death system where when you die you can respawn as a new class right next to a squadmate.


Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

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