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Why characters need a life cycle

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  • PsiKahnPsiKahn Woodside, NYPosts: 126Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    Originally posted by infiniti70

    I also feel it could bridge the community. Instead of the Elite hanging around raiding all day and calling others noobs, there would be a need to have a organic flow in members of a guild. Today's noob could be a guilds master crafter for a duration (like an apprenticship).

    The fragmentation and noob-calling has more to do with how much a game rewards skill and how reliant players are on one another (and also the sizes of communities interacting with each other.)  Even in a game where players are constantly resetting back to level 1, if a veteran can level 2x as fast as a noob, the noob is still going to be called out.   In a game where skill strongly factors into accomplishment, a noob is going to be called out.  In a very large game, a noob is going to be called out.

    So yeah, there are a ton of ways to control how much of this name-calling goes on, but none of them are related to what you're proposing (you could improve any of the factors without involving a life cycle)

    You're right that perma-death won't eliminate this problem, and nothing will completely eliminate it.  I think there are design choices that can mitigate this to a certain extent, and community-focused gameplay and highly incentivizing cooperation between players of varying skills are among them.  At the very least, PD does give you a way to meaningfully retaliate against people who are irritating you, even if you have to call on your weenie friends to gang up on them :).

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite

    "Life cycle" implies a character that can die from old age. Slow down and lose effectiveness from a lifetime of battle-scarring, or just plain past-your-prime.

    Pretty sure there aren't many players looking for that. Some of us are busy experiencing it.

    I would laugh my ass off if the game told me, "Your character is now incontinent, kill 20 orcs for adult diapers".

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • RoughshodRoughshod Kansas City, MOPosts: 16Member

    + 1 to the OP. I think you outlined a lot of good reasons for a game with permadeath.

    I've been following a game that hopes to start full development soon called Trials of  Ascension - I've had a few months to ponder permadeath because of that. I have come up with mostly the same conclusions as the OP, it took me a while to really get on board. That game has life counters, so you get a certain # of deaths before you're deleted.

    I don't think a game like this is for everyone, not saying we should recode your current game and add in permadeath regardless of if you want it or not. I really only have one point of discussion to add for the benefit of trying permadeath on a sandbox MMO:

    It is different, and leads to different play style. Why not give a serious game like this a chance on the market? The throngs of MMO players gnash their teeth on here daily about how every new MMO is "exactly the same" or "just another clone." Why then immediately harpoon a significantly different game mechanic that a niche audience would enjoy?

    I hear a lot of older gamers mention Dragon Realms - it was possible to permadie in that game. It didn't happen all the time by what I have heard, but it did happen. Star Citizen just announced a permadeath feature, although with the set up of the game, it is hardly worthy mention. Basically you can lose your character name and point score (?) but nothing else - no loss of progress, skills, assets, credits (money?), or anything else.

     

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I contrinue to be surprised that in this cash-shop era, nobody has returned to the arcade model: pay 25 cents per life with a limited window of opportunity to continue rather than restart from the beginning.

    I don't personally want this model back, I'm just surprised it hasn't happened.

  • IldefonseIldefonse WellingtonPosts: 8Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

  • General_Dru-ZodGeneral_Dru-Zod Unknown, CAPosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by Ildefonse
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

    The mindset of gamers in todays MMO setting envision the worst possible outcome.. which causes detachment from their characters and ultimately fatalism.

    Its quite sad

    image

  • OndriaOndria Arlington, WAPosts: 2Member
    Originally posted by Ildefonse
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

    I have to agree with you there. I don't want to lose my character so I sit back and take stock of my situation before blindly running into rooms.

    I feel all the more awesome when I manage to clear an act because of the perma-death tickling the back of my brain as well.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Ildefonse
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

    Nothing of the sort. Likely you have a tendency towards gambling. That's all it is.

    I agree with Exposed, for perma death to work the characters would have to be more of the "throw-away"-type. You die, you pickup a new one.

     

    Also: Welcome back Axehilt.

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

  • gangstersheepgangstersheep Castaic, CAPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Ildefonse
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

    Nothing of the sort. Likely you have a tendency towards gambling. That's all it is.

    I agree with Exposed, for perma death to work the characters would have to be more of the "throw-away"-type. You die, you pickup a new one.

     

    Also: Welcome back Axehilt.

    It's simply a matter of opinion then, Quirhid, because I disagree with you completely. That's just based on my experience with this kind of system. Do you have experience or are you assuming what it would be like? Enough games don't have perma-death, and obviously some people like it, so there's nothing to argue here. More games with perma-death please.

     

    About Diablo 2. People can say it was easy to level, which it was, but aquiring the best gear was not easy. I lost a character on hardcore after playing on him for almost an entire year regularly. It was awful.. but I made another hardcore character after a little while.. I love that sort of thing. It's so much more fun to play like that to me. Anyways, that was not a throw away character and it still "worked". Best time of my gaming life that was... By far the best. 

  • acidbloodacidblood melbournePosts: 266Member Uncommon

    Possibly already brought up, but you would need a good mentor / sidekick system (like CoH / CoV), so that friends could continue to play together no matter their levels.

    And yeah you would also need a good 'heir' system so that progress could be made.. or at least not all lost when you 'died', e.g. a master smiths' heir has basic smithing skills, a high level mages heir starts with more spells. And the game would definitely need to be sandbox, or at least about 100,000,000 times more dynamic than GW2.

    It is an interesting idea though... and I always thought a good system for 'hero' classes (which would be more specialised version of the base class (mage > pyromancer > fire elemental > ifrit) would be to have to reset your character back to level 1 (but you maintain some of the benefits of being a higher level like ability variety, downscaled gear, mount, etc.)

  • TorkazTorkaz Kenosha, AKPosts: 91Member Uncommon
    The eventual perma death is something Id be interested in.  I actually like perma death, assuming my death doesnt happen from lag or something...
  • phumbabaphumbaba kuopioPosts: 138Member

    I like a lot of the ideas in this thread. My only true experience in perma-death is from diablo 2, but I do remember quite fondly the times of truly caring, observing and making decisions. The whole immersion was on a completely different level.. (I admit that time has sugarcoated my memories and a lot of this is just nostalgia, but for me that increase in immersion is real)

    However, in a true persistent world with multiple people and social interactions, I have been very hesitant to even try perma-death. Why? For the reasons already mentioned above. Now let's assume that I would really love to enhance the immersion and thus want to implement a form of carebear perma-death: a compromise. The start point would naturally be the heir system. Some aspects I would take into account are

    - Allow all characters record both account achievements and character achievements separately

    - Characters perma-dead become "ancestors". Ability to keep the name is important for many.

    - Based on class/skill setup and progression in previous lives, you get a head start which increases a bit per ancestor levels

    - Ancestors can provide something extra too so that they do not feel completely gone. In my best scenario, they would affect character progression and percieved story/lore. Another option would be to implement a give and take: choose (from a list) a varying buff and a debuff that affect the whole account.

    How much would this water down the added immersion and what are the differences between death, carebear perma-death and death by lag/bug, are something I don't really know.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Ildefonse
    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

    I'm curious-would you feel the same about a "permadeath" system that included critical hits?

    (I.E. any combat whatsoever includes a small but completely and unavoidably random risk of instant death?)

    You're just testing how long until binomial probability catches up to you.

    Not very dissimilar to death-via-random-disconnect, really, except you're wagering on the dice catching up to you, rather than the reliability of your ISP.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • AkulasAkulas GoldcoastPosts: 1,617Member Uncommon
    Don't like the idea but maybe reborn or an offspring system where your kid gets your stats so you don't really die. I'd rather keep my character but not against an aging system where if you die you get old and you can die randomly if you get too old but there is ways to stay young.

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  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member

    Still do not like the term perma death, as it implies that all of the progression is lost. It is just a different progression focusing on the longer term "House".  I think of it as a long raid, but instead of a dungeon, it is the entire world. It would just have to have enough carry over to make the gamers feel they are progressing, opening new content, and each life cycle has a lasting effect on the world.

    What do we gain from a raid dungeon: Loot, faction, and  achievment, then we move on to the next raid, or repeat.

    Carry over this:

    House/land/keep - Real property

    Recipie book - So next life cycle has a crafting headstart and does not need to "discover" same recipies

    Heritage item - Family heirloom, can be any one item.

    Money - With a good economy won't be exagerated and should take multiple generations to become rich.

    Mount - Although believe mounts should also age and need to be replaced

    Reputaion - If content is driven by multi factional reputation, this adds an entirely different way to progress and unlock content.

    Reading ToA, they have some nice concepts (really like Magic being a very difficult path and dangerous one. But where they try to bring back the feeling of making death count, they fail to make the life lived worth anything after death. This will keep the casual gamer away, promote griefing since it will not have any consequense for the long term. Where as in my idea where reputaion carrys over, actions have a persistant place in the game play. Also as mentioned before, every player would have a chance at being the top tier of their path regardless of how often they play, it will just depend on how well they play.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Ondria
    Originally posted by Ildefonse
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    On the contrary... I feel 100x more attached to my Diablo 3 hardcore character than to my normal character.

    Death adds meaning and consequences, it makes the whole gameplay more meaningful. You WILL bond with your character. 

    I have to agree with you there. I don't want to lose my character so I sit back and take stock of my situation before blindly running into rooms.

    I feel all the more awesome when I manage to clear an act because of the perma-death tickling the back of my brain as well.

    Didn't that make you too timid? I want to rush into a room and see what the mobs can do, and if i can think & react on my feet.

    In fact, that is why i don't play hardcore D3, but only "softcore" and i push what MP i can do (just try MP8 last night with a keep 2 white-mob run ... needs more dps to do it effciiently but fun nevertheless).

    However, i can see why hardcore appeals to some .. and kudos for Blizz to include perma-death option.

  • PsiKahnPsiKahn Woodside, NYPosts: 126Member
    Originally posted by infiniti70

     

    Reading ToA, they have some nice concepts (really like Magic being a very difficult path and dangerous one. But where they try to bring back the feeling of making death count, they fail to make the life lived worth anything after death. This will keep the casual gamer away, promote griefing since it will not have any consequense for the long term. Where as in my idea where reputaion carrys over, actions have a persistant place in the game play. Also as mentioned before, every player would have a chance at being the top tier of their path regardless of how often they play, it will just depend on how well they play.

    There are lot of interesting ideas in this thread about versions of PD, but I don't agree that the design of ToA makes life not worth living.  It's all about actually having in impact in the world.  Discovering an innovation, , constructing an structure in your settlement, reppelling an insurgency, crafting a masterwork item, doing things people will remember.  Plus you don't have to give up your player reputation on your new character.  Moreover, it's not difficult to transfer over things likes items once you're on your last life, you just need a trusted friend to hang onto 'em.  You can do the same thing with an innovation theoretically... teach it to a friend and have them teach it back to you when they're at the right level, though you'll have let the cat out of the bag (they could go teach it to 15 other people).  Characters do also have reputation in settlements, though it doesn't carry over across death, so there are consequences for griefing - you will be put on a kill-on-sight list by any guards or players from that settlement.

    Anyways, not to derail the conversation here, I just do think that ToA is the best going bet for someone who's interested in this style of play.  It's certainly not the only way to mess around with these mechanics though.

  • RashmeindRashmeind Los Angeles, CAPosts: 18Member

    There was a very similar thread going on for the game "ArcheAge" which many think will fall for the very reason that death holds no consequence!  I mean, without death, what is "achievement" anyways?  If you never die, then your choices don't really matter because you're not choosing whether to do something butwhen.  Bring back the sacrifice and tension to MMOs and you'll also bring back the tight communities and camaraderie that made players feel like brave pioneers.  I miss that brave pioneer feeling.  The one where you're scared (you'd be stupid not to be) but confident that you're equipped with the skill and guild mates to overcome whatever the challenge might be.  Maybe that's why there are so many MMO tourists.. people only like the thrill at the beginning when they're "the first" to slay the proverbial dragon, not relying on min/maxing or some sort of guide.  And then once that thrill of heading into the unknown is done, so are the tourists. 

    (http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/perma-death-thread-on-mmorpg.1007/)

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon

    Already have a life cycle, They are young ie lvl 1, Travel through to their old, Ie cap.

    Then they die, ie "end game" where they run instances in some never ending hell.

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  • TalgenTalgen Reading, PAPosts: 400Member

    Certainly an interesting concept and one I hope that gets explored.  I would have the alteration of 'generations' - say at a specific level you can go out and find 'love' , make a baby, and perhaps give it a single trait that carriers on your 'family name', as the generations continues, the traits or more develpoed and refined allowing you to pick a more honed trait, or a new one.  Perhaps if you wait, and gamble at surviving longer, to have a child, you are allowed to increase the number of traits you can pass on.

    And maybe, so it doesn't seem like a total loss if you happen to die before spawning.  You are allowed to create a new character but restricted to 2-3 generations back, giving you more reason to play cautiously/smartly for the first 3 generations of your bloodline...  

     

    Meh just thinking out loud.

  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member
    Originally posted by Rashmeind

    There was a very similar thread going on for the game "ArcheAge" which many think will fall for the very reason that death holds no consequence!  I mean, without death, what is "achievement" anyways?  If you never die, then your choices don't really matter because you're not choosing whether to do something butwhen.  Bring back the sacrifice and tension to MMOs and you'll also bring back the tight communities and camaraderie that made players feel like brave pioneers.  I miss that brave pioneer feeling.  The one where you're scared (you'd be stupid not to be) but confident that you're equipped with the skill and guild mates to overcome whatever the challenge might be.  Maybe that's why there are so many MMO tourists.. people only like the thrill at the beginning when they're "the first" to slay the proverbial dragon, not relying on min/maxing or some sort of guide.  And then once that thrill of heading into the unknown is done, so are the tourists. 

    (http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/perma-death-thread-on-mmorpg.1007/)

    I am not talking perma death, but rather a deeper progression where a gamer is really playing their "bloodline" (like the term used by another poster) where we would progress honor, glory, wealth, and power for our house instead of a single toon.

    A life cycle becomes one long adventure, ultimately ending in a score. Gamers can take different paths for their house then what we get with a single charachter. The most famous member of their house, the most loved, loathed, so forth and so on. All the while houses rising and falling only to rise again.

    I think devs could introduce all kinds of different progressions as well as content. Marriage...until death does us part, could be an alligience of sorts for a life cycle. A dynamic event such as a crusade for 4th generation or higher houses (as a way to boost glory or standing with church). Garner a certain amount of glory for each of 3 generations and get a squire (NPC pet), stuff like that.

    Perma death, just like endgame, is just a treadmill and limits the depth in which a gamer can play the game.  Live one life as a merchant (wealth) another as a pirate (dishoner, glory, and wealth) or live several lives as a Pirate and become the Dread Pirate Roberts (Princess Bride reference). Point being that each life progresses your house in different ways.

    I would just like to see a game that offers deeper progression and different paths than just ending up with the "best build" and gear. Life cycles with the deeper progression of bloodlines is just an idea of how to present that.

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    CK2 MMO fuck yeah!

     

    On a more serious note, there are ways to incorporate permadeath. But its not going to be popular. I discussed some methods of utilizing optional permadeath when I was here long ago discussing a game idea.

     

    Basically your character has a certain level of power nomrally. By suiciding your character you could achieve several incredibly powerful effects and you would get an epithet with a name and bonus powers associated with the death spell you cast thus making your new character more powerful and it persisted over multiple deaths and grew based on the spells you cast with your life force each time you died.

    Of course you lost for a significant amount of time the weaker but steadier power of having a high level character. And since my game had what was essentially permadeath for the whole server, since it was a giant PvE RTSish MMO, the choice between saccing to save something like a town vs just retreating somewhere else was actually relevant.

    I would hesitate to add non-optional permadeath to an MMO even if it was a game that was already focsed on more oldschool and non-mainstream gameplay, which my game ideas tend to be.

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member
    Originally posted by infiniti70
    Originally posted by Rashmeind

    There was a very similar thread going on for the game "ArcheAge" which many think will fall for the very reason that death holds no consequence!  I mean, without death, what is "achievement" anyways?  If you never die, then your choices don't really matter because you're not choosing whether to do something butwhen.  Bring back the sacrifice and tension to MMOs and you'll also bring back the tight communities and camaraderie that made players feel like brave pioneers.  I miss that brave pioneer feeling.  The one where you're scared (you'd be stupid not to be) but confident that you're equipped with the skill and guild mates to overcome whatever the challenge might be.  Maybe that's why there are so many MMO tourists.. people only like the thrill at the beginning when they're "the first" to slay the proverbial dragon, not relying on min/maxing or some sort of guide.  And then once that thrill of heading into the unknown is done, so are the tourists. 

    (http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/perma-death-thread-on-mmorpg.1007/)

    I am not talking perma death, but rather a deeper progression where a gamer is really playing their "bloodline" (like the term used by another poster) where we would progress honor, glory, wealth, and power for our house instead of a single toon.

    A life cycle becomes one long adventure, ultimately ending in a score. Gamers can take different paths for their house then what we get with a single charachter. The most famous member of their house, the most loved, loathed, so forth and so on. All the while houses rising and falling only to rise again.

    I think devs could introduce all kinds of different progressions as well as content. Marriage...until death does us part, could be an alligience of sorts for a life cycle. A dynamic event such as a crusade for 4th generation or higher houses (as a way to boost glory or standing with church). Garner a certain amount of glory for each of 3 generations and get a squire (NPC pet), stuff like that.

    Perma death, just like endgame, is just a treadmill and limits the depth in which a gamer can play the game.  Live one life as a merchant (wealth) another as a pirate (dishoner, glory, and wealth) or live several lives as a Pirate and become the Dread Pirate Roberts (Princess Bride reference). Point being that each life progresses your house in different ways.

    I would just like to see a game that offers deeper progression and different paths than just ending up with the "best build" and gear. Life cycles with the deeper progression of bloodlines is just an idea of how to present that.

    Seriously though, are you totally unaware of a game called Crusader Kings 2 that totally does this, just not as an MMO?

  • SephirosoSephiroso Marietta, GAPosts: 1,160Member Uncommon

    Your ideas sound interesting i'll give you that, but what you fail to see is that it wouldn't work in an MMORPG. It could definitely have promise in a console game or pc game, but not an mmo. In order for MMO's to be truly successful there needs to be a good endgame plan in place, and i'm not talking about GW2's many initial box sales-type successful where yea, they sold millions, but how many people quit once they saw 'endgame'?

     

    You claim endgame is tried and tested and its time to move on but thats where you're wrong. Putting sole focus on endgame isn't the right path which alot of game devs do but that doesn't mean endgame itself is bad. It's a neccessity almost. People(read: the masses) want one thing first and foremost, Power. They want to see themselves becoming stronger, and the main way of doing that is to fight stronger foes. There's an allure to taking down some titanic boss or demi-god strong humanoid boss that takes 10-40 people to kill because it proves your character's strength.

     

    What you suggest, sounds like it'd work in a SRPG, maybe even an MMOSRPG, it'd be the first of its kind, but for a MMORPG, it would crash and burn.

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  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member
    Originally posted by Cuathon
    Originally posted by infiniti70
     

    Seriously though, are you totally unaware of a game called Crusader Kings 2 that totally does this, just not as an MMO?

    No. Going to look up now...

    Nice! See take this and add in an MMO community, dynamic content, PvP element, and player added content and you have a pretty nice game to play. An ever evolving world...hell, the franchise is already in place.

     

     

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