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Idea for Perma-Death

BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

Ok, I'm laying a permadeath system down on paper and I just want some opinions.


Permadeath is always kinda taboo but I think I may have worked out some decent concepts.


 


Here is some background:

  • Sandbox setting with open world and progression is skill based

  • Gameplay is based around territory & resource control, building structures & crafting, government, and conquest

  • FFA PVP with very stiff penalties for killing players and sieging territories that are of positive alignment

  • Alignment will be impacted much more for killing a player than simply attacking or incapacitating them

  • Character skills increase quickly and are restricted by a Hard Skill Cap (cap is UO and MO style)

  • Characters age from 16 to 100 years of age and game time is much faster than real time (only if permadeath is implemented)

Here is my idea for permadeath in this world:


 


Server Rules:

  • Each account gets 1 surname (family name) per server

  • Each Surname may have 5 character slots (family members)

  • New characters may be created at any time but start with 0 skill points

  • Surnames link characters by territory, items, and some skills

  • Only 1 territory may be owned by a surname (your family characters will share this territory)

  • All characters have access to one anothers storage and properties (So not all of a player's possessions are lost upon death)

  • Characters can obtain an NPC spouse and rear a child (requires 1 character slot)

  • A character slot occupied by a child will “grow” over time to the age of 16 years (allowing players to grow a backup for themselves, much like an EVE clone)

Handling Death:

  • A character reduced to 0 Hit Points becomes incapacitated and may be revived by another player at any time or self-revived after 5 minutes

  • A character killed after incapacitation has 30 minutes to be resuscitated (resuscitating a character requires related skill points)

  • If character is not resuscitated within 30 minutes or reaches 100 years of age then that character is dead and is removed from the server (opens a character slot)

  • That character is then recorded in a family history book for stats and tracking (perhaps a family tomb?)

  • If this character previously reared a child then that child may be chosen as a playable character that starts at age 16 with a percent of its parent’s skill points based on the child’s age or “growth” period.
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Comments

  • AmeristAmerist Tempe, AZMember Posts: 30 Uncommon

    So, more or less Geneology Online the MMO?

    I actually find the idea extremely intriguing. It opens up the possibility of family lands, clan allegences, family heirlooms, and the like to have actual in game meaning. ξ

  • BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

    And it goes with the idea that a castle/nation/empire is not built by a single generation.

    Thinking about it, it's not so much a permadeath system as it is a way to actually make a beliveable death/resurection mechanic. You're appearance and first name changes, you may lose some skill points and the items you had on you but you can keep playing without rage quiting.

     

    Also, you could make obtaining a "suitable" spouce a game or reward in itself. The better your mate the better your child's skill point percentage bonus becomes. (Like clone quality in EVE)

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Montreal, QCMember Posts: 1,803

    i like that idea, kind of fun!

    so you would have 5 character slots, being brothers, and each brother can have a child etc... (like a clone in eve)

    like poster above said, you can even start clans and alliances to control territories, 

    just a few things you should think about (if you havent)

    1. will NPC be able to "death blow" after incapacitation?

    2. what about death due to lagg or client crash or internet disconect, or power outage? (this is the main problem with Perma Death)

    3 i am assuming your economy will have to be 100% player made, no rare swords drops no raids for gear etc. i would hate to loose the sword i have been grinding on a raid for over a month, but i would not mind losing something i can find on the market quite easely (like eve or Darkfall) since everything is player made. 

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  • BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

    Originally posted by Squal'Zell

    i like that idea, kind of fun!
    so you would have 5 character slots, being brothers, and each brother can have a child etc... (like a clone in eve)
    The number is debatable. You could perhapse tag them as cousin or uncle or whatever. A child would consume a character slot. So making alts is allowed but they take up slots that could be used to "backup" a character instead. I'd want that child slot at character selection to show a baby, then a toddler, then a teen, and so on as it grows up with game time. Also I'd like the child to be an in game item, you have to offer it shelter and keep the place stocked wth food, etc. Some micromanaging of your "back up".
    like poster above said, you can even start clans and alliances to control territories, 
    That would be cool. However, I'd want to make sure a character could join their own guild or whatever, just liek alts can in other games. Brothers aren't always on the same team or do the same things in life. However a surname should somewhat link characters by allignment (family reputation). So you cant play your evil character and then just switch to your good one.
    just a few things you should think about (if you havent)
    1. will NPC be able to "death blow" after incapacitation?
    Ehhhh, probably not. Maybe certain ones or certain scenarios. But that would kinda suck.
    2. what about death due to lagg or client crash or internet disconect, or power outage? (this is the main problem with Perma Death)
    You would be incapped not dead. You self rez in 5 mins. The incap timer counts up not down.
    3 i am assuming your economy will have to be 100% player made, no rare swords drops no raids for gear etc. i would hate to loose the sword i have been grinding on a raid for over a month, but i would not mind losing something i can find on the market quite easely (like eve or Darkfall) since everything is player made. 
    Yeah. No uber raid items. I'd base items around realism and decay. A sword is a sword, you probably have 50 of them in your families clan hall. Your sword arm is another story...

    Thanks for all the feedback.

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Montreal, QCMember Posts: 1,803

    Originally posted by Belight


    Originally posted by Squal'Zell


    i like that idea, kind of fun!
    just a few things you should think about (if you havent)
    1. will NPC be able to "death blow" after incapacitation?
    Ehhhh, probably not. Maybe certain ones or certain scenarios. But that would kinda suck.
    Where is the challenge ? knowing that you can't die if you are out pve, or within those 5 mintues a random passerby pvp just deathblows you on the spot?
    2. what about death due to lagg or client crash or internet disconect, or power outage? (this is the main problem with Perma Death)
    You would be incapped not dead. You self rez in 5 mins. The incap timer counts up not down.
    what about pvp? a duel to the death or a large scale pvp war?
    3 i am assuming your economy will have to be 100% player made, no rare swords drops no raids for gear etc. i would hate to loose the sword i have been grinding on a raid for over a month, but i would not mind losing something i can find on the market quite easely (like eve or Darkfall) since everything is player made. 
     Your sword arm is another story...
    be carefull on that, or you might end up with trunk people (sry if i am not politically correct) that just sit on a chair all day.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    np just playing devil;s advocate

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  • TalinguardTalinguard Winchester, VAMember Posts: 676 Common

    Chech out the first incarnation of the MMO Mourning.  They had something very similar.  The game was an epic flop, but like all epic flops, it had it's good points....

    Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  • BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

    Originally posted by Squal'Zell


    Originally posted by Belight



    Originally posted by Squal'Zell


    i like that idea, kind of fun!
    just a few things you should think about (if you havent)
    1. will NPC be able to "death blow" after incapacitation?
    Ehhhh, probably not. Maybe certain ones or certain scenarios. But that would kinda suck.
    Where is the challenge ? knowing that you can't die if you are out pve, or within those 5 mintues a random passerby pvp just deathblows you on the spot?
    You're probably right. I dunno, I haven't fully thought that far, that's why this thread will be handy!
    2. what about death due to lagg or client crash or internet disconect, or power outage? (this is the main problem with Perma Death)
    You would be incapped not dead. You self rez in 5 mins. The incap timer counts up not down.
    what about pvp? a duel to the death or a large scale pvp war?
    I think if a player incaps someone they take a decent allignment penalty, they can then partial loot the player for another decent alignment penalty. If you kill a player you get the maximum penalty. I would want it to be rare. However there would be different flags for different scenarios that effect penalty to alignment. But that's another discussion. 
    3 i am assuming your economy will have to be 100% player made, no rare swords drops no raids for gear etc. i would hate to loose the sword i have been grinding on a raid for over a month, but i would not mind losing something i can find on the market quite easely (like eve or Darkfall) since everything is player made. 
     Your sword arm is another story...
    be carefull on that, or you might end up with trunk people (sry if i am not politically correct) that just sit on a chair all day.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    np just playing devil;s advocate

    words

  • santimiarsantimiar Pinesdale, MTMember Posts: 129

    I had considered this idea, and had even went on with the idea that the child you are rearing will gain the skills of both parents, but not to the same level as the parents.

    Let say the father (player), has a spouse (female NPC) with a child. The father is a master swordsman, while the mother is a master archer. The child will have both skills at an intermediate level, so that when player eventually takes over the child due to death of the father, they will be able to branch off and do different skills.

    This also means that choosing a spouse will have to be considered based on what skill the spouse have.

  • Nerf09Nerf09 Phoenix, AZMember Posts: 2,953 Common

    Originally posted by Belight


    Ok, I'm laying a permadeath system down on paper and I just want some opinions.

    Permadeath is always kinda taboo but I think I may have worked out some decent concepts.

     

    Here is some background:


    Sandbox setting with open world and progression is skill based

    Gameplay is based around territory & resource control, building structures & crafting, government, and conquest

    FFA PVP with very stiff penalties for killing players and sieging territories that are of positive alignment

    Alignment will be impacted much more for killing a player than simply attacking or incapacitating them

    Character skills increase quickly and are restricted by a Hard Skill Cap (cap is UO and MO style)

    Characters age from 16 to 100 years of age and game time is much faster than real time (only if permadeath is implemented)


    Here is my idea for permadeath in this world:

     

    Server Rules:


    Each account gets 1 surname (family name) per server

    Each Surname may have 5 character slots (family members)

    New characters may be created at any time but start with 0 skill points

    Surnames link characters by territory, items, and some skills

    Only 1 territory may be owned by a surname (your family characters will share this territory)

    All characters have access to one anothers storage and properties (So not all of a player's possessions are lost upon death)

    Characters can obtain an NPC spouse and rear a child (requires 1 character slot)

    A character slot occupied by a child will “grow” over time to the age of 16 years (allowing players to grow a backup for themselves, much like an EVE clone)


    Handling Death:


    A character reduced to 0 Hit Points becomes incapacitated and may be revived by another player at any time or self-revived after 5 minutes

    A character killed after incapacitation has 30 minutes to be resuscitated (resuscitating a character requires related skill points)

    If character is not resuscitated within 30 minutes or reaches 100 years of age then that character is dead and is removed from the server (opens a character slot)

    That character is then recorded in a family history book for stats and tracking (perhaps a family tomb?)

    If this character previously reared a child then that child may be chosen as a playable character that starts at age 16 with a percent of its parent’s skill points based on the child’s age or “growth” period.

    Sounds like a fancy way of giving somoene 5 lives.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONMember Posts: 3,099 Uncommon

    I'm surprised nobody has come up with a game based on "your character has died, you may create a new character or insert a quarter to resume from where you died"

    (I'm not asking for one, it's just interesting that it hasn't happened)

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONMember Posts: 3,099 Uncommon

    Concerning the actual idea posted ...

    I like the idea of immortal surnames vs mortal character names.

    Revival that depends on whether or not you have a network of party members around seems to merely punish solo players or players who simply find themselves alone one day.  It reminds of some of the reasons why the "run back to your corpse" mechanics of UO fell out of favour.

    In a game with permadeath, it is important to avoid creating emotional breakpoints - when one character dies, you need to give the player something that makes them immediately feel invested in the new character.  I might suggest some immediate buff/level-up on one of the alts-in-training when the active character dies.

    You might want to think about how lineages and intermarraige between accounts could become a major social mechanic (even a genetics system could generate a character's stats from a genetics mechanic in the background, although that risks turning the game into a eugenics sim).

  • galliard1981galliard1981 warszawaMember Posts: 256

    generally idea is neat but i am afraid too many players will be attached to their first superhero

    game is supposed to be RPG. you plan to take it away in favour of some long time strategy game

    anyways general concept is nice but u need to specify if your game is paytoplay or free with itemshop. this has huge impact on solving permadeath. if its f2p u need items in cash shop that save from permadying (lke in shayia or shaiya)

    if its p2p, progression needs to be faster than most mmos (like in diablo 2, pro player could regain lvl85 in 2-3 days)

    or, there could be only slight % of permadeath in case of droppng health to 0. you know, those avatars are supposed to be heroes and that dont die easily

     

    regards and good luck

    Playing: Rohan
    Played (from best to worst): Shadowbane, Guild Wars, Shayia, Age of Conan, Warhammer, Runes of Magic, Rappelz, Archlord, Knight online, King of Kings, Kal online, Last chaos

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Montreal, QCMember Posts: 1,803

    Originally posted by galliard1981

    generally idea is neat but i am afraid too many players will be attached to their first superhero
    game is supposed to be RPG. you plan to take it away in favour of some long time strategy game
    anyways general concept is nice but u need to specify if your game is paytoplay or free with itemshop. this has huge impact on solving permadeath. if its f2p u need items in cash shop that save from permadying (lke in shayia or shaiya)
    if its p2p, progression needs to be faster than most mmos (like in diablo 2, pro player could regain lvl85 in 2-3 days)
    or, there could be only slight % of permadeath in case of droppng health to 0. you know, those avatars are supposed to be heroes and that dont die easily
     
    regards and good luck

    agree with all your post except for the past paragraph,

    well its more a clarification. i think the incapacitation vs death is what you are reffering in your % of permadeath

    and then you have the supposed to be heroes. SWG (pre-cu of course) what made the game great is not that you where the hero, but you where MAKING your name in history. you are a nobody, just like everyone else and you work your way into fame by your actions and your reputation in game.

    if you are the hero just like everyone else, there is nothing to work towards to make you great and known in the game world. so yes, incapacitation, and death may occur and it should be common. and your family name i hooked to your account and you keep pretty much anything except what was in your body at the time of death (unless regained by your "son" "cousin" "wife" "friend" "guild member" getting it frmo your body)

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  • BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

    Yes, I imagine a more realistic game (not hero based) where characters make their family name famous, not necessarily their own.

    Character progression would be fast, while the slow long term progression would come from land ownership, building/crafting, trade, and politics.

     

    As far as the payment models.... Well, hell if I know. I just started dreaming up my own MMOs and putting them on paper recently. I assume my ideas would be based around a monthly payment model... But personally I try not to think about money when designing it's core mechanics.

  • tinuelletinuelle bergenMember Posts: 344 Uncommon

    F2P perma-death with cash shop ressurection is the future :)

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  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Montreal, QCMember Posts: 1,803

    Originally posted by tinuelle

    F2P perma-death with cash shop ressurection is the future :)

    YES the real permadeath, you die and your acount gets suspended indefinitively unless yuo buy the

    resurection stone 59,99$USD

    LOL

     

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  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCMember Posts: 3,275

    There is zero way for permadeath to be a good mechanic for an MMO.  It has been debated to death but honestly your player base would be so small that just the electric bill for your one server in your basement would be a stretch.  

  • Squal'ZellSqual'Zell Montreal, QCMember Posts: 1,803

    Originally posted by parrotpholk

    There is zero way for permadeath to be a good mechanic for an MMO.  It has been debated to death but honestly your player base would be so small that just the electric bill for your one server in your basement would be a stretch.  

    aint that the fucking truth...

     

    sad really

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  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Cambridge, MAMember Posts: 802 Uncommon

    Permadeath can work as long as it's an option of a game.

    If you're making a stand alone game with permadeath in it, it will fail no matter how good it is. But a fun thing to do is to take one server of a game and label it the hardcore-permadeath server. That way you'll have a viable game with an ultrasmall and intense permadeath community.

    I used to play diablo 2 hardcore server (PK and duel . . . never any hacks) the community is phenomenal. What made diablo 2 work is that you could save and exit at any time in the game giving yourself an instant transport which would allow you to get out of certain situations.

    I like the novelty of your ideas but the surname thing just seems onerous to me. If i were instituting permadeath in a game it would be its own server, it would have an instant teleportation spell to port you to town if stuff gets hazy with 6 hour timer.

    Another idea I had was something I call semi-permadeath.

    Your character has 100 lives (or 25 or whatever). Each time you die you lose a life. If you fall to zero lives your char is dead. A person who has never died has access to special halos and titles and there's a ladder for those who never died. Then there's a 90+ life club (or whatever number), once you fall below a certain amount of lives you just become normal without any special halos or titles.

    Nice to have ideas but permadeath can never work as the mainstay of any game. It must be a small offshoot. I think in diablo the numbers were like 90% played softcore and 10% played hardcore. If not 95/5 who knows. But the community in a permadeath or hardcore server is amazing.

    Cryomatrix

  • Permadeath is a favorite idea of mine as it solves many problems that plauge mmo's. But I suggest that it's kept simple: you die you enter the spirit world and wander the earth in search of rebirth. What this rebirth works off of I don't know but when it happens you start over. In a skill based system it could be a simple process of acquiring skills (maybe all at once in rerolling your character). you reenter the world with no one knowing you and no equipment and that's a fun part of finding your way back to whatever you want to do. Players will want to keep their life.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXMember Posts: 3,400 Uncommon

    I like the idea of creating an entire family.  I never have liked the idea of being some kind of hero in a game.  I'd rather just be a normal person that has to fight for thier life or family.  DAoC had this feeling for me.  I wasn't much of a hero, but part of an army,  this is where most online pvp games go wrong imho.

  • grimm6thgrimm6th Overland Park, KSMember Posts: 973

    Originally posted by jeddak

    Permadeath is a favorite idea of mine as it solves many problems that plauge mmo's. But I suggest that it's kept simple: you die you enter the spirit world and wander the earth in search of rebirth. What this rebirth works off of I don't know but when it happens you start over. In a skill based system it could be a simple process of acquiring skills (maybe all at once in rerolling your character). you reenter the world with no one knowing you and no equipment and that's a fun part of finding your way back to whatever you want to do. Players will want to keep their life.

    smells like a death run.

    I used to TL;DR, but then I took a bullet point to the footnote.

  • Plasuma!!!Plasuma!!! Albuquerque, NMMember Posts: 1,872

    I've recently been tossing around an idea that specifically revolves around splitting the game in two layers to accommodate some level of a "perma-death".

    The top layer of the world is barren and naturally dangerous, with all kinds of deadly living and environmental hazards to avoid. The lower layer of the world is resource rich and relatively calm. Users in the top layer would work together and only fight for sport or on terms of black and white, while users on the lower layer could do just about anything they want to anyone so long as they are prepared for the consequences.

    The two layers are connected, but the only way for a user to interact with the lower layer would be to activate a special mode, which is only temporary and requires some time or effort to build up. The perma-death would apply to the lower layer where there is micro-progress, but not to the top layer, so the user still has some kind of macro-progress that they can maintain.

    I was thinking of a setting, something like a spirit world for the top layer and a physical world for the lower layer. Read on for details, otherwise feel free to ignore or use the idea for something else.

     

     

     

     

    In the spiritual world, it's a PvE endeavor - users band together to survive the natural horrors that live there. However, they need resources to build better stuff and do more than merely survive. Users would find resources in the physical world, which is bountiful but still limited. Other incentives for gathering resources for the spirit world could be an arena or strict factional PvP (ie: heaven vs. hell) and territory control.

    There are two resources here: energy, which is used for "special abilities" and invading the physical world, and experience, which is required to craft things from physical resources. Both energy and experience can be collected by fighting off hazards. Experience can be collected more efficiently by engaging in arena or factional PvP, but that will often require the use of special abilities. Energy can be collected more efficiently from hazards in claimed allied territories, but taking territories will require experience to, say, craft fortifications - and there may be some factional opposition.

    Combat and that sort of toe-to-toe competition is a given. How the mechanics work is entirely up to what technologies are available for the project or what the goal of the design is, ie: what genre it appeals to if applicable.

    Crafting is how users advance their characters. In crafting, they make tools that they can equip on their spiritselves to do more of one thing or different things. So crafting can augment or grant special abilities, stats, etc.

    Factions could be your standard fare red vs. blue. Arena battles might be sport-like games such as capture the flag or mini-conquest, open world PvP would revolve around territory control.

    Death or defeat in the spirit world should carry only a slight penalty. Maybe just respawn sickness or a minor loss of some spirit resource like experience or energy.

     

     

    The physical world is where free-for-all PvP would take place. As spirits, users would somehow gain enough energy in their realm that they could "invade" the physical world and take control of a random non-player character, or puppet, which resides there. They can stay there as that puppet for however long they like, and even bounce back and forth at will, but when their character dies (which is vulnerable at nearly all times, even while they are not playing it), they are jettisoned back to the spirit world until they decide to build up the energy to try and take over another puppet.

    There is a certain limit to the number of puppets in the physical world, as determined by technological constraints, but the world should never run out of them. They spawn infinitely, and how that happens is up in the air. They could be children of posessed families, which would enforce some interesting connections between users that are, say, father and son while still competing for resources. That gets things complicated, but it's a possibility.

    While possessing a puppet, they can try to collect high-value physical resources and port them back to their realm for crafting needs. There are infinite resources in the physical world, but some are better than others and take time to procure or manifest in the world, so there's a constant struggle to obtain them before others do. Because everyone needs these resources for crafting, and porting them isn't instant, there is a great incentive to kill others' puppets in order to take what they've collected or prevent them from outing their puppet to others as a witch.

    Collected resources are slowly faded into the spirit world over time as long as they are on the user's puppet. Rare resources take longer than more common ones. To speed up the process, users can make their puppets perform a ritual that will send all their collected resources back to their realm upon completion. This ritual is very obvious and takes a little time to complete, thus doing so in public will immediately make the user an obvious and easy target to other users, and the NPC puppets will assume it is witchcraft.

    Resources are collected... somehow - staring at nodes, probably. Maybe walking around in specific locales like mines and caves, or digging up dirt and hacking at trees with some kind of density map defining the concentrations of randomly rolled resources as a guide. Common physical resources might also be collected by doing things for some of the townspuppets, IE: quests that are being done routinely by NPCs and everyone else.

    By now, it's probably obvious that the goal for the player should be first and foremost to blend in and be mundane as possible. Users with new puppets should be able to blend in just fine, as they always spawn in populated establishments and most NPC puppets have busy lives, running and jumping everywhere and performing their duties - actually, it would be nice if players could be allowed to make convincing NPCs without inhibiting their ability to collect resources, so that's a big polish point. The puppets have their own societies with laws: witchcraft, killing, even assault, are crimes which they will punish with death, so one would have to be discrete about when and where they take out their enemies or perform their rituals, and even more wary of users with puppets in high positions, for they could start a witch hunt. They key to survival around here is to be paranoid of everything, but without appearing so.

     

     

     

    The controlled puppets can be outfitted and upgraded to enter more profitable areas, but this makes them more obvious to other users if they are found out of their element. The puppets can also be used to perform other rituals or spells that improve their abilities, but this will make NPC puppets wary of them. Some users may decide to join up with other users and roam about as gangs of murderous and thieving witches and warlocks or live peaceful lives together in a prosperous resource collecting commune, while others may choose to find roaming groups of NPC puppets that look similar to theirs, in order to protect themselves from such predators and remain in reach of the law (which will let them use towns as safe places to log out, since the law enforcement is very powerful there).

    Combat isn't the focus in this part of the game, but whatever is used in the spirit world could also be applied here in some way - more incentives for crafting and all that.

    Crafting isn't too meaningful here. Users can only craft useful items in their spirit world, and anything they do that resembles crafting in the physical world is either to get a different kind of resource to take home or to make an effort to blend into puppet society a little better.

    There are no factional ties in the physical world and no official means of identifying whether or not a puppet is an NPC or a user (so no floating names).

    Death in the physical world means that all the stuff that the user had in the physical world is lost. It can be found later if they know where they died or where they had stuff stored when they return to the world, but it is unlikely since they are assigned a random puppet in a different place after each death, and their killers (if any) likely took everything for themselves.

    How often or even how does death happen? That's where I hope some creativity could be employed - this world is about espionage, collection, and survival: freak "accidents", blackmailing / betrayal, assassination, and etc. would hopefully be possibilities, at least more likely of a possibility than somebody just being beaten to death with a stick.

    How often it happens is a matter of how much there is to explore. If there isn't a lot to build up to and one three-or-six-hour session can pretty much show a user all there is to see and do in this realm, death might be pretty common (and the energy cost for getting a puppet might be low), if stuff takes a long time to explore, death shouldn't happen too often since it's definitely going to stretch across multiple sessions.

     

     

    The design is left loose and open at this point for the possibility of exploring the details: more kinds of interactivity (such as non-combat alternatives and user bonding), creative special ability and hazard ideas, how puppets interact, crafting and combat mechanics, etc.

  • xS0u1zxxS0u1zx Keswick, ONMember Posts: 209

    Originally posted by Plasuma!!!

    I've recently been tossing around an idea that specifically revolves around splitting the game in two layers to accommodate some level of a "perma-death".
    The top layer of the world is barren and naturally dangerous, with all kinds of deadly living and environmental hazards to avoid. The lower layer of the world is resource rich and relatively calm. Users in the top layer would work together and only fight for sport or on terms of black and white, while users on the lower layer could do just about anything they want to anyone so long as they are prepared for the consequences.
    The two layers are connected, but the only way for a user to interact with the lower layer would be to activate a special mode, which is only temporary and requires some time or effort to build up. The perma-death would apply to the lower layer where there is micro-progress, but not to the top layer, so the user still has some kind of macro-progress that they can maintain.
    I was thinking of a setting, something like a spirit world for the top layer and a physical world for the lower layer. Read on for details, otherwise feel free to ignore or use the idea for something else.
     
     
     
     
    In the spiritual world, it's a PvE endeavor - users band together to survive the natural horrors that live there. However, they need resources to build better stuff and do more than merely survive. Users would find resources in the physical world, which is bountiful but still limited. Other incentives for gathering resources for the spirit world could be an arena or strict factional PvP (ie: heaven vs. hell) and territory control.
    There are two resources here: energy, which is used for "special abilities" and invading the physical world, and experience, which is required to craft things from physical resources. Both energy and experience can be collected by fighting off hazards. Experience can be collected more efficiently by engaging in arena or factional PvP, but that will often require the use of special abilities. Energy can be collected more efficiently from hazards in claimed allied territories, but taking territories will require experience to, say, craft fortifications - and there may be some factional opposition.
    Combat and that sort of toe-to-toe competition is a given. How the mechanics work is entirely up to what technologies are available for the project or what the goal of the design is, ie: what genre it appeals to if applicable.
    Crafting is how users advance their characters. In crafting, they make tools that they can equip on their spiritselves to do more of one thing or different things. So crafting can augment or grant special abilities, stats, etc.
    Factions could be your standard fare red vs. blue. Arena battles might be sport-like games such as capture the flag or mini-conquest, open world PvP would revolve around territory control.
    Death or defeat in the spirit world should carry only a slight penalty. Maybe just respawn sickness or a minor loss of some spirit resource like experience or energy.
     
     
    The physical world is where free-for-all PvP would take place. As spirits, users would somehow gain enough energy in their realm that they could "invade" the physical world and take control of a random non-player character, or puppet, which resides there. They can stay there as that puppet for however long they like, and even bounce back and forth at will, but when their character dies (which is vulnerable at nearly all times, even while they are not playing it), they are jettisoned back to the spirit world until they decide to build up the energy to try and take over another puppet.
    There is a certain limit to the number of puppets in the physical world, as determined by technological constraints, but the world should never run out of them. They spawn infinitely, and how that happens is up in the air. They could be children of posessed families, which would enforce some interesting connections between users that are, say, father and son while still competing for resources. That gets things complicated, but it's a possibility.
    While possessing a puppet, they can try to collect high-value physical resources and port them back to their realm for crafting needs. There are infinite resources in the physical world, but some are better than others and take time to procure or manifest in the world, so there's a constant struggle to obtain them before others do. Because everyone needs these resources for crafting, and porting them isn't instant, there is a great incentive to kill others' puppets in order to take what they've collected or prevent them from outing their puppet to others as a witch.
    The goal for the player should be first and foremost to blend in and be mundane as possible. Users with new puppets should be able to blend in just fine, as they always spawn in populated establishments and most NPC puppets have busy lives, running and jumping everywhere and performing their duties - actually, it would be nice if players could be allowed to make convincing NPCs without inhibiting their ability to collect resources, so that's a big polish point. The puppets have their own societies with laws: witchcraft, killing, even assault, are crimes which they will punish with death, so one would have to be discrete about when and where they take out their enemies or perform their rituals, and even more wary of users with puppets in high positions, for they could start a witch hunt. They key to survival around here is to be paranoid of everything, but without appearing so.
    Resources are collected... somehow - staring at nodes, probably. Maybe walking around in specific locales like mines and caves, or digging up dirt and hacking at trees with some kind of density map defining the concentrations of randomly rolled resources as a guide. Common physical resources might also be collected by doing things for some of the townspuppets, IE: quests that are being done routinely by NPCs and everyone else.
    Collected resources are slowly faded into the spirit world over time as long as they are on the user's puppet. Rare resources take longer than more common ones. To speed up the process, users can make their puppets perform a ritual that will send all their collected resources back to their realm upon completion. This ritual is very obvious and takes a little time to complete, thus doing so in public will immediately make the user an obvious and easy target to other users, and the NPC puppets will assume it is witchcraft.
    The controlled puppets can be outfitted and upgraded to enter more profitable areas, but this makes them more obvious to other users if they are found out of their element. The puppets can also be used to perform other rituals or spells that improve their abilities, but this will make NPC puppets wary of them. Some users may decide to join up with other users and roam about as gangs of murderous and thieving witches and warlocks or live peaceful lives together in a prosperous resource collecting commune, while others may choose to find roaming groups of NPC puppets that look similar to theirs, in order to protect themselves from such predators and remain in reach of the law (which will let them use towns as safe places to log out, since the law enforcement is very powerful there).
    Combat isn't the focus in this part of the game, but whatever is used in the spirit world could also be applied here in some way - more incentives for crafting and all that.
    Crafting isn't too meaningful here. Users can only craft useful items in their spirit world, and anything they do that resembles crafting in the physical world is either to get a different kind of resource to take home or to make an effort to blend into puppet society a little better.
    There are no factional ties in the physical world and no official means of identifying whether or not a puppet is an NPC or a user (so no floating names).
    Death in the physical world means that all the stuff that the user had in the physical world is lost. It can be found later if they know where they died or where they had stuff stored when they return to the world, but it is unlikely since they are assigned a random puppet in a different place after each death, and their killers (if any) likely took everything for themselves.
    How often or even how does death happen? That's where I hope some creativity could be employed - this world is about espionage, collection, and survival: freak "accidents", blackmailing / betrayal, assassination, and etc. would hopefully be possibilities, at least more likely of a possibility than somebody just being beaten to death with a stick.
    How often it happens is a matter of how much there is to explore. If there isn't a lot to build up to and one three-or-six-hour session can pretty much show a user all there is to see and do in this realm, death might be pretty common (and the energy cost for getting a puppet might be low), if stuff takes a long time to explore, death shouldn't happen too often since it's definitely going to stretch across multiple sessions.
     
     
    The design is left loose and open at this point for the possibility of exploring the details: more kinds of interactivity (such as non-combat alternatives and user bonding), creative special ability and hazard ideas, how puppets interact, crafting and combat mechanics, etc.

    After managing to read through all that.   The idea of perma-death is well... That it's permenant.

     

    If you can play a spirit in the sense you explain, then it is the spirit that is your main character and thus cannot die.  Making it just like every other game where your toon is immortal.   Yes the NPC toons you speak of die, but that is not your main character, it is a puppet.  It's like...  I'll use world of warcraft's warlock class that can enslave demons, just because they die doesn't imply permenant death.    Basically even the npc's that were enslaved will eventually respawn for the next spirit to possess them in your game.

    It's an interesting idea you have, but in no way permenant.

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  • Plasuma!!!Plasuma!!! Albuquerque, NMMember Posts: 1,872

    Originally posted by xS0u1zx



    After managing to read through all that.   The idea of perma-death is well... That it's permenant.
     
    If you can play a spirit in the sense you explain, then it is the spirit that is your main character and thus cannot die.  Making it just like every other game where your toon is immortal.   Yes the NPC toons you speak of die, but that is not your main character, it is a puppet.  It's like...  I'll use world of warcraft's warlock class that can enslave demons, just because they die doesn't imply permenant death.    Basically even the npc's that were enslaved will eventually respawn for the next spirit to possess them in your game.
    It's an interesting idea you have, but in no way permenant.

    Wow, you read damn fast.

     

    It is as you say, the user is immortal. However, there is some potential for the puppet to have just as much value as any toon. Outfitting them probably takes time (a lot of time, if you want), and any large time investment that can be lost permanently is just the same as a perma-death.

    Think of it like somebody who spends a massive amount of ISK outfitting their ship in EVE. Losing it won't hurt them, it will devastate them - even though they still have their character's progress saved.

     

    The trick is to sneak in some kind of giant potential loss to give the ups and downs more definition, but without the down making the player depressed enough to quit.

    Although I'm pretty sure it's not a bad idea to allow some players to treat puppets as pets. It's not like everyone who plays the game will want to role-play the farmer's wife.

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