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Developer Journals: The Death Realm

By Guest Writer on March 16, 2006

The Death Realm
In their 10th developer journal, Luke looks at what happens when a main dies

You awaken in a daze; you look around the cavern and think to yourself “This is not where I was.” In front of you is a strange looking creature with evil eyes, yet you feel he is no threat. He smiles at you: “Welcome, to the Death Realm.”

Perhaps you overestimated your last opponent, you recall the final blow, but you do not recall anything after that. “What zone is this?” you say. You wait a moment, “Hello??” No answer. You think to yourself “I was in the middle of a Siege a moment ago, my Guild needs me!”

The Death Realm: A Main’s Nightmare

The Death Realm is an instanced zone a Main player traverses through upon death, to set upon travels and challenges to regain their soul, and to regain another chance at life. As a main, you are 100% Guaranteed to go to the Death Realm when you die. However, we do not recommend dieing in the death realm, for if a Main’s soul dies within the Death Realm, their soul is lost forever, as is their Main. A Main that dies within this realm will experience the ultimate of deaths, Permadeath. The Death Realm addresses certain concerns with permadeath, such as no fault death’s caused by such elements as lag, power failures, emergencies, etc. However, as with most things in life, we encourage those of you daring enough to play a Main, to make the most of the second chance, because death within the Death Realm does not give opportunities for consideration of any no fault death’s. It is permanent.

The Death Realm will be your own personal Instance, your Soul’s judgment, in the gameworld. The levels designed for the Death Realm will have a very deathly feel to them, and will very greatly. You might find yourself in the middle of a Desert, or at the bottom of a cave. But should you return to the Death Realm for any reason, you will find there is definitely 1 factor that will not change: You are alone.

This realm is so separated from the regular gameworld that you find you cannot even chat with people outside the Realm. You must stand this trial completely on your own. Taking only with you what you’ve learnt while playing, your skills, and your drive to regain your Soul to rejoin the rest of your fellow players. A task you can only accomplish alone. But this very special instance will not stay the same. Like many things in The Chronicle, the Death Realm is completely dynamic. When you enter this realm, it will be a completely dynamic difficulty based on your personal skill level. So although you might have the InGame skill to accomplish the Death Realm’s task, you might have to adapt your playing style if you are used to having a counterpart around. Or do you?

The Death Realm challenges become more difficult as a Main becomes more powerful and knowledgeable. At first appearance to a new Main player, the Death Realm might appear as nothing more than a distraction, but as you advance in Level, what seemed at first as a distraction will require all your attention to even have a chance at making it out alive. Players will die in the Death Realm, and the higher level you become, the greater chance at death you will have. It is not recommended that mid to high level players take their chances with the death realm, because you will not like them.

You will also have the ability during certain Death Realm experiences to allow other Mains to come into your Death Realm, and “assist” you. This might help you to save yourself from uncertain death, should they elect the risk to help save you. Although, in sharing with your safe return, they will also share your fate, should you fail. For if you fail the task in the Death Realm, you, and your party, will all perish permanently. So know who you are helping, as their permadeath might drag you with them. And once you enter the Death Realm, there is only 1 way out.

Now, this inherently brings up questions about the Player VS Player and land control ramifications. Mains were then, and are still, fully lootable. The biggest difference is now, instead of standing over the fallen foes dead body and collecting your prize, it will be done differently. When you defeat a main in battle, the system will record who defeated the main. When the main goes to the Death Realm, and fails, all of his items will then be transferred to a personal Vault with the Death Dealer.

The Death Dealer is a special Non-Player Character who collects the lost items from fallen Mains within the Death Realm. This special Merchant is bound to hold the items you rightfully earned for a certain period of time. However, even NPCs in The Chronicle loose their patience eventually, whether it be holding your loot, or waiting for you to complete a Quest. And those items from the vanquished foe, that you fought so hard to defeat, might show up for sale. After all, we’d hate for your hard earned items to go to waste.

- Luke D. Peterfreund, Rapid Reality's Community Manager

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