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Is Death Necessary?


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#1 ibsen

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 06:03 AM

Every MMOG on the market today treats

#2 Taenuarhew

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:14 AM

EVE online. You can die in PVP if you mess up and can't get away, but npcs won't actually kill you, only destroy your ship. If you do die you best have a clone of yourself ready for your soul to transfer into (which cost a good amount of money), otherwise, game over.

Although I personally could buy about 450 clones of myself, I've only ever used one clone, and lost 8 ships, and that was because I felt like being silly and murdered myself in order to save myself from traveling 40 jumps.

At one point in UO my dread lord had gone 6 months without dying, then I died for mistakenly teleporting to a town bank. Like a total newb.

In DDO on the other hand you do go to -10 before you actually die, which happens a lot due to the beefed up monsters.

There are also several games in the works which have permadeath, and if I'm not mistaken the origonal horizons by 'our' David had permadeath planed.


If it takes 2-3 deaths to kill one monster in a game, death is done wrong.
The risk of death in a game like EVE or UO would run a tingle down my spine, it is something to be afraid of. In other games where death is an every day thing, it gives you the feeling that you're raming your head against a stone wall and just waiting for the wall to break. There really should be major down sides to death, but not make it easy to die. Otherwise death becomes just another part of the grind, and no one likes to feel like they are grinding.

#3 Magus

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 05:58 PM

death is very important in games. if there was no death what would be the challenge in the game? and plus what if they wanted to add some sort of player vs player mini game? you would fight and fight unless they used fatigue(witch i hate) to make it so if you get to tired you would be knocked out. so in my opinion death is needed in any game.

#4 Taenuarhew

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 07:33 PM

death is very important in games. if there was no death what would be the challenge in the game? and plus what if they wanted to add some sort of player vs player mini game? you would fight and fight unless they used fatigue(witch i hate) to make it so if you get to tired you would be knocked out. so in my opinion death is needed in any game.


Umm He's not saying to make it so you can't die. He's talking about permadeath, like what would happen if you walked out of your house right now and got hit by a mac truck going 60 miles per hour, you wouldn't just respawn at the local church and go back home. You might reincarnate if such a thing exists, but your current self would be good and dead, and even if you reincarnated you'd be starting off from scratch.

Now that feature would make it MUCH more challenging not less, the issue most people bring up is 'lag caused deaths' but that's why games which offer permadeath give you a few chances to come back before you actually bite the big one. While full of debate it

#5 Magus

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:17 PM

............oh i miss understood. sorry:(

#6 OnyxBMW

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:27 PM

Well, permadeath itself is a risky feature due to the very nature of MMORPG's and them involving the internet.

In single player games perma-death is easy to accomplish because if you die, you die, it's your fault.

However, in MMO's, the problem can be a hundred different reasons beyond making a mistake.

The number one reason? Latency.

If I have a ping of a mere 200, it can mean the difference between life and death. if I have a lag spike, I can die in an encounter because I cannot react. Perhaps theres a freak lightning storm that blows the power or my ISP decides that when I'm fighting this ultra-hard dragon that they should do a hardware upgrade.

During all of those events. I die. I'm dead. There is NOTHING I could have done differently because they were all events beyond my control. It was not a stupidity of my own fault, it was not an error of judgement. It was not me getting ganked by 10 rogues 50 times my level. It was a random occurence on the web that everyone faces at least once in every MMO. THAT is why they don't have perma-death in most MMO's. The random nature of the internet makes perma-death a very risky business and difficult to work with.

You'd be pissed if your character got deleted because you decided to attempt to take something a level higher than you, were winning, but then got a lag spike that lasted for 5 seconds and got you killed.

It just isn't fun, and doesn't really add much to the game...

#7 Taenuarhew

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:43 PM

It's all a matter of opinion actually. I've spent enough time on dial up to understand latency, and giving people multiple chances is generally enough. The idea isn't about people having more to lose; that's just an added effect. The idea is to avoid the stagnation of high level characters.

I'd be willing to give a perma death based game a try, even if I were on dial up. And one player games have their own bugs or your computer issues, I

#8 Fox

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:07 PM

The original SWG design had permadeath for jedi. You would first unlock a jedi character slot by playing your regular character. You could then create a new character in the new slot and it'd be vulnerable to permadeath (although there was a little leniency -- the first two deaths they would "miraculously escape" and then the third death would be for real). You would still have the slot unlocked to make a new character with and try again, but your dead guy was gone forever. If they became a jedi master before dying you got to keep them as a blue ghost able to talk to people but not actually interact with the world, but for all intents and purposes the character was gone.

By the time the first jedi showed up in-game they weakened the penalty a bit and before long they completely eliminated it, but that's all neither here nor there as the game has gone down the tubes since release.

I don't think the mass market is ready for universal permadeath unless the entire design is radically different from what's out there right now, but as a special "extra-hard" mode like the original SWG jedi design it has a lot of benefits. More power in exchange for a great deal more risk. Several months into release in SWG when I saw the first jedi on my server take out a lightsaber at our player city out in the desert was one of the biggest "wow" moments I've ever had in a MMORPG, but now due to all the changes you see constant lightsaber street fights from the moment you log in.

#9 Taenuarhew

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:50 PM

Several months into release in SWG when I saw the first jedi on my server take out a lightsaber at our player city out in the desert was one of the biggest "wow" moments I've ever had in a MMORPG,


That brings back a few memories from other games, makes me wish I had been there too.

#10 Retina

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 08:00 PM

Unfortunately, to have true permadeath means there is no way to come back by any means. Clones in EVE mean it doesn't have permadeath because you can prevent it.

This is a really touchy subject for a lot of people. However, permadeath exists in quite a few MUDs and that didn't stop people from playing.

Richard Bartle has written on this subject and since he did MUD1, his opinions on game design carry quite a bit of weight. His book is an excellent read on online game design. I actually consider it required reading even if you just play these games. Yes, it's that good. Quite a bit of the discussions here are covered there as well. Permadeath being a major one.

One idea that CoH/CoV used was not to explicitly label what happened when you hit 0 HP. They simply called it being defeated, but the player decides for themselves what that means. Some say you're killed, some say your knocked out. I liked that. It let you personalize that part of the experience.

#11 S0ulb0und

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 03:21 AM

one important fact to starting over when u die. PEOPLE WON'T WANT TO START OVER AFTER DEVOTING YEARS OF TRAINING. lets say you work on this game for a couple years and everyone in the game knows who you are character wise. people who just started a week ago sit tand think to themselves i want to be as good as s0ulb0und! and then poof one day you lag. all that work is gone. people across the game looked at you and said thats where i want my character to be at. u spent hours a day maybe gave up some pretty good chances to hook up with friends or more serious things i dont know how yall live so i wont make examples. anyway u missed those chances and probably wont come across them again. all just to have it all fail miserbaly and have a feeling u wasted all that time when u could have taken those chances.

#12 S0ulb0und

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 03:55 AM

srry if someone has already pointed this out but i was looking around the site and found this "How does the CRUSADE death system work?
We firmly believe that the worst thing you can do is "steal" from a player's experience. For this reason, we are not adopting any "loss" mechanisms for death that would result in anything more than minor monetary and time delay adjustments.
"

#13 Zianix

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:44 AM

I think Death is very important... not permanent tho, and not with a big penalty.

#14 snikch13

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 10:33 AM

Death has to cost something... Something more than WoW, and something less insane than EQ. WoW is nothing to die in, and EQ was crazy, a lvl 60 could feasibly lose everything down to lvl 1, and because of this it was possible to never reach the end-game.

I think EVE Online has a good concept. Two aspects of the in-game character exist. The player's ship and the players avatar. Upon "death" the player's ship is destroyed and the player is left in a "pod". If the ship was insured there is little "pain" involved in this aspect of player death, just time in purchasing, refitting, etc.

The pod which holds the player's avatar is however destroyable as well. Game NPC's will not attack a player pod. The pod is extremely slow, very low armor, 0 cargo space and 0 weapons. So using a pod to finish a mission/quest is impossible and abuse is little to none regarding this fact. In a PvE scenario the player's pod is 100% safe. The pod is often destroyed in PvP however, as players can choose to target and open fire on the destroyable pod.

Pod destruction kills the player's avatar, which is the aspect of the character which hold all skills, experience, etc. If the player has not invested in a clone advanced enough to hold the players current skills, exp, etc they will lose those abilities. Additionally, a clone is stored in a specific starbase, generally where the player chose to buy the clone. So pod-death, or getting "pod-killed" in EVE is a highly PAINFUL and time consuming experience. In the end however, with proper investment, even pod-death causes no serious loss of time-investment.

This two tier type of death system is very effective at providing a sense of real danger when leaving the security of empire/carebear spece. Death by npc/pvp is a very real threat and can be quite painful (near perma-death) under the right circumstances. Given enough forethought and investment however, the long term affects can be minimized, while not at all reducing the impact of death.

#15 Syndic

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 07:38 PM

I guess death comes down to how long do you want the player playing. Nothing has caused more groups to break up, raids to end or players to logout than a death system that is a pain to recover from.

After playing VG which introduced a death system like the original EQ without the ability to delevel (if you lost xp enough to loose a level you went into debt instead) I would say it is very harsh.

The worst part wasn't the lose of XP though it was going back to get the tombstone, which you are now not equipt to get becuase all your gear is on it.

Maybe I've been treated too nicely over the last couple of years with games that have lightened the death penalty, but I must admit I enjoyed those games alot more. It's a game you want people to enjoy it not get frustrated with it.

You want a death system that makes it so the player doesn't want to die but not too harsh that the player gives up if they do.

#16 Tharon

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:26 AM

I would implement permanent death as a chooseble option where a player can decide if he wants to kill the boss/mastermind behind a monsterspawn(or did you think the zombies come out on their own ? NO, it's Umbrella Corp. ) with a heroic final blow and die in the process. Might be a nice idea for people who have to stop playing because of real life reasons or decided to give up on the char after playing it to max level. And as a reward they could get a statue in the hall off fame or something.

#17 Dificeman

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:55 PM

I personally like the way SWG handled death pre-NGE. there were cloning stations. If you set a Clone @ where you were death didnt hurt you much. You might need to repair a little of your stuff (you spawned a clone station regardless if you had a clone set there or not full geared). If yu did not set a clone near you then you items took a bigger hit and you risked the possibly of having an artificail limb pu ton which gave a slight neg stat till you got it removed at a medical bay. Now granted this is more of a medi evil theme fantasy then star wars. But I think something similair is sill able ot be implimented. I have read what the developers take is on death , but /shrug still have my own opinion about it. While I will not flame or bash anyone for thier opinions about death I believe if you make death mean nothing then it will eb exactly that nothing. People will not care at all if they die and it can then become a ze tactic for taking out harder encounters. Death should mean something to me, but it should not be extremely tedious. Like I said I think SWG out of all the MMO's I have played dealt with it the best.

#18 Grimmway

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:32 AM

Guildwars has little death penalty.. just a run to get back to where you were.

Wow has some penalty.

EQ1 has bad penalty - steals XP and can de-level.

What's a good fit overall?

GW is fun, but there is no fear of death. With that, zerging can work.

EQ1 - love it or hate it, it's hugely successful in spite of it's design flaws. Of course, the 96% xp Ressurection helps too.


How bout a new paradigm? Levels are permanent. XP progress toward your next level can be lost. (all/some/none)

Grimmway

#19 DeLang

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:57 AM

We firmly believe that the worst thing you can do is "steal" from a player's experience. For this reason, we are not adopting any "loss" mechanisms for death that would result in anything more than minor monetary and time delay adjustments.


I like this idea very much and am hoping Alaganon follows through on it.

XP loss of any amount = less motivation to continue playing/subscribing for me. This is especially true if your group wipes because 1 person makes an innocent goof. Who wants to have their progress penalized because someone else in the party was human and dropped the ball? I prefer a more forgiving system which encourages me to get back into the fun after death, not feel like I've lost hours of progress because the inevitable happened. Keep the fun going, please!

For those that want a "loss mechanism" for death, let them turn off their own xp for 30-60 minutes or so, or give them a game option to enable xp loss upon death.

#20 Syndic

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:40 PM

We'll what the new FAQ says about death. Many games use a debt system rather than lose now - same thing, different beast really.

Death system is a malleable thing and I'm sure Beta testing will give the devs the chance to try several things out should they wish.

EQ2 has changed it's death system about 4 times.




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