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DEATH: The Single Most Important Design Decision

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  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    nah .. the OP is over-thinking this.

    I play games for combat, and if the combat is fun, how to do dead is not that important. In fact, most games have it right .. just re-start a a close-by checkpoint.

     

     I completely agree, the OP is definitely running around in circles out in left field on this one. Yes death penalty system is does add to the game; but I don't think it's remotely close to the most important game mechanic. Honestly they need to add loss of exp to the game and de-leveling.

     However, I believe the most important mechanic in a game is a very high level cap with a lot of character development and progression. Once you've hit max level there's really nothing else to strive for. Progression and character development keep players going and dying in these games hinder a players efforts to progress. It allows a player to try hard and think of a good solution in order to refrain from dying.

     That's why games like Diablo 2 have been about to live on for so long and it's also a clear reason as to why Diablo 3 fell short on it's release as well. Blizzard has recognized that players need more progression to continue and they compensated for the lack of level cap in comparison of their older title by adding a new leveling system for character development within Diablo 3.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    Considering some of the most fun I've had in games where in games that had no death penalty what-so-ever I don't think death is the most important issue. Failing for me always has a bigger impact than any negative from actually dieing and having to go back or lose something will. 

    The fact that I didn't win drives me to try again. A really harsh death penalty will keep me from doing dumb things but sometimes that's part of the fun, but I wouldn't say it's the most important thing in the game.

  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    nah .. the OP is over-thinking this.

    I play games for combat, and if the combat is fun, how to do dead is not that important. In fact, most games have it right .. just re-start a a close-by checkpoint.

     

     I completely agree, the OP is definitely running around in circles out in left field on this one. Yes death penalty system is does add to the game; but I don't think it's remotely close to the most important game mechanic. Honestly they need to add loss of exp to the game and de-leveling.

     However, I believe the most important mechanic in a game is a very high level cap with a lot of character development and progression. Once you've hit max level there's really nothing else to strive for. Progression and character development keep players going and dying in these games hinder a players efforts to progress. It allows a player to try hard and think of a good solution in order to refrain from dying.

     That's why games like Diablo 2 have been about to live on for so long and it's also a clear reason as to why Diablo 3 fell short on it's release as well. Blizzard has recognized that players need more progression to continue and they compensated for the lack of level cap in comparison of their older title by adding a new leveling system for character development.

    I find it ironic that you call Death systems not very important and then talk about things upon which the Death mechanic plays a vital role. High level cap vs Low level cap. What's the difference? Pacing. I could give a game 10 levels and it takes 10 years to get to level 10 and I could give a game 10000 levels and it take 10 days to get there. The level cap is meaningless, what matters is how long does it take to reach "the end" because essentially all levels are is linear gating systems for our progression through the experience. Now what determines your pace? What determines the intensity with which you experience that progression? What determines how you learn and improve? You guessed it...death systems.

    Sure you could make it so someone has to kill 1000000 boars to progress a level (in which case they would never have to be killed, it would just be boring) or they would have to learn an intricate and strategic boss fight to progress a level (in which case they would have to go through attempt-fail scenarios). Designing a better death system is definitely the MOST important issue to making better games. With a better death system you can innovate the way the genre plays out entirely.

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  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    Considering some of the most fun I've had in games where in games that had no death penalty what-so-ever I don't think death is the most important issue. Failing for me always has a bigger impact than any negative from actually dieing and having to go back or lose something will. 

    The fact that I didn't win drives me to try again. A really harsh death penalty will keep me from doing dumb things but sometimes that's part of the fun, but I wouldn't say it's the most important thing in the game.

    You're mistaking DEATH i.e. attempt-fail systems with death penalties. Death penalties ARE an attempt-fail system but not ALL attempt-fail systems are death penalty system. The point of this thread is to incite thoughts about a BETTER system (outside of the box thinking) so it's necessary to not get stuck on a particular iteration of this design concept.

    image
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    nah .. the OP is over-thinking this.

    I play games for combat, and if the combat is fun, how to do dead is not that important. In fact, most games have it right .. just re-start a a close-by checkpoint.

     

     I completely agree, the OP is definitely running around in circles out in left field on this one. Yes death penalty system is does add to the game; but I don't think it's remotely close to the most important game mechanic. Honestly they need to add loss of exp to the game and de-leveling.

     However, I believe the most important mechanic in a game is a very high level cap with a lot of character development and progression. Once you've hit max level there's really nothing else to strive for. Progression and character development keep players going and dying in these games hinder a players efforts to progress. It allows a player to try hard and think of a good solution in order to refrain from dying.

     That's why games like Diablo 2 have been about to live on for so long and it's also a clear reason as to why Diablo 3 fell short on it's release as well. Blizzard has recognized that players need more progression to continue and they compensated for the lack of level cap in comparison of their older title by adding a new leveling system for character development.

    I find it ironic that you call Death systems not very important and then talk about things upon which the Death mechanic plays a vital role. High level cap vs Low level cap. What's the difference? Pacing. I could give a game 10 levels and it takes 10 years to get to level 10 and I could give a game 10000 levels and it take 10 days to get there. The level cap is meaningless, what matters is how long does it take to reach "the end" because essentially all levels are is linear gating systems for our progression through the experience. Now what determines your pace? What determines the intensity with which you experience that progression? What determines how you learn and improve? You guessed it...death systems.

    Sure you could make it so someone has to kill 1000000 boars to progress a level (in which case they would never have to be killed, it would just be boring) or they would have to learn an intricate and strategic boss fight to progress a level (in which case they would have to go through attempt-fail scenarios). Designing a better death system is definitely the MOST important issue to making better games. With a better death system you can innovate the way the genre plays out entirely.

     I didn't say it was vital at all. It's a mechanic that should be there in the game. But dying shouldn't be the most vital part of a game at all. The death system(s) simply add to the overall experience. The most vital systems in a game should be the combat, crafting, character progression, exploration, and gear not in that order. 

     The level cap is merely an example of character progression. However, I should have generalized as so 'character progression'; skills, spells, stat points, and leveling. Sure you can put only 10 levels in a game. Kind of bland and leaves not much room for development or you can spread a character's development to 100-200+ levels and give them much more possibilities to improve their character.

     From your perspective you're saying that death is the single most important system. Could you imagine if that was the main focus of the game? Not the combat, not the gear, not the leveling, not even exploration? Just over the top death penalties. 

     A death penalty system merely tacks on a punishment for failure. For example losing exp, lower stats, broken gear, corpse runs, or even perma-death. The death system doesn't really go beyond that and why should it? It shouldn't be the core mechanic of the game.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
     

     I didn't say it was vital at all. It's a mechanic that should be there in the game. But dying shouldn't be the most vital part of a game at all. The death systemI(s) simply add to the overall experience. The most vital systems in a game should be the combat, crafting, character progression, and gear. 

     From your perspective you're saying that death is the single most important system. Could you imagine if that was the main focus of the game? Not the combat, not the gear, not the leveling, not even exploration? Just over the top death penalties. 

    No no no you misunderstand me. The most vital part of the game? Hell no. Death systems in of themselves don't add any enjoyment to the experience nor on their own a great game make. My statement was simple and should be taken literally as written: the most important DESIGN DECISION. Why is it so important? Cause it affects how we consume and what we take out of all the activities we love in games. Death/attempt-fail systems affect how combat feels, how character progression feels, how the acquisition, replacement (and possible losing) of gear feels, how exploration feels etc. It affects all of it. Whereas each of these features can be pretty standalone. You can have awesome combat design and crappy gear design, you can have great exploration and crappy combat, you can have great of all of those designs except character progression (and I can name alot of contemporary games that do that). But if you have a badly designed attempt-fail system you sour all of those elements of the game in one fell swoop. Similarly, design a better system and you can make everything else better as well.

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  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    Considering some of the most fun I've had in games where in games that had no death penalty what-so-ever I don't think death is the most important issue. Failing for me always has a bigger impact than any negative from actually dieing and having to go back or lose something will. 

    The fact that I didn't win drives me to try again. A really harsh death penalty will keep me from doing dumb things but sometimes that's part of the fun, but I wouldn't say it's the most important thing in the game.

    You're mistaking DEATH i.e. attempt-fail systems with death penalties. Death penalties ARE an attempt-fail system but not ALL attempt-fail systems are death penalty system. The point of this thread is to incite thoughts about a BETTER system (outside of the box thinking) so it's necessary to not get stuck on a particular iteration of this design concept.

    To me it sounds like you're misusing the word death?  Any death system would have to take place AFTER you fail at the combat system and run out of life/health. yes ?

    Most of the ppl that have responded have said the combat or game play system is what's important to them. When you run out of health for any reason...they don't really care what happens next as long as you can get back to the game play/combat.

    So I guess I really don't understand how death can be all that important when people clearly just want to get back to playing the game. Maybe you'r eon to something but I don't seem to be able to see it.

  • aRtFuLThinGaRtFuLThinG MelbournePosts: 1,133Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dibdabs
    Originally posted by seacow1g

    You're underthinking it. Simulations of combat in games is totally underepresenting the experience. Oftentimes you don't feel the exhilaration, fear, anxiety, comradery etc that comes with real combat. 

    You see, you're under a number of illusions here.  Firstly, just because I grasp what you mean doesn't mean I consider it rational.  Secondly, you will NEVER simulate combat in a game to the point where it feels like "real combat" and trying to explain your point of view in these terms is plain bonkers.  How my pixels die on my computer screen is beyond trivial, and as someone earlier pointed out, you are way, WAY overthinking this.  

    ^ This.

     

    Not only that, I think OP was also under the assumption that death is important part of the gaming experience to gamers in general (ie. assumption that this opinion holds for most players). Truth is it does not, and death does not.

     

    If it was so, games such as SimCity or Football Manager would've never become popular, because you can't die in it, it is just about creating and managing things. However statistic says otherwise.

     

    As another poster mentioned death in games was only meant to represent "failure" experience, nothing more. That's why in some MMOs (such as lotro or swtor) the are not even called death, but "defeated" or simply "failed".  Simulation of death has proved to often times been less than necessary in some games.

     

    It all depends on the game or what genre of game that it is.

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
     

     I didn't say it was vital at all. It's a mechanic that should be there in the game. But dying shouldn't be the most vital part of a game at all. The death systemI(s) simply add to the overall experience. The most vital systems in a game should be the combat, crafting, character progression, and gear. 

     From your perspective you're saying that death is the single most important system. Could you imagine if that was the main focus of the game? Not the combat, not the gear, not the leveling, not even exploration? Just over the top death penalties. 

    No no no you misunderstand me. The most vital part of the game? Hell no. Death systems in of themselves don't add any enjoyment to the experience nor on their own a great game make. My statement was simple and should be taken literally as written: the most important DESIGN DECISION. Why is it so important? Cause it affects how we consume and what we take out of all the activities we love in games. Death/attempt-fail systems affect how combat feels, how character progression feels, how the acquisition, replacement (and possible losing) of gear feels, how exploration feels etc. It affects all of it. Whereas each of these features can be pretty standalone. You can have awesome combat design and crappy gear design, you can have great exploration and crappy combat, you can have great of all of those designs except character progression (and I can name alot of contemporary games that do that). But if you have a badly designed attempt-fail system you sour all of those elements of the game in one fell swoop. Similarly, design a better system and you can make everything else better as well.

     I've added to my previous post btw.

    The Single Most Important Design Decision

     Your titles says exactly that. It's the single most important design decision aka most vital part of a game. Honestly death systems are extremely simple to implement. They're simply tacked on if the developer wants the player to cringe more every time they die.

     Sure you can make death 'easier' by simply respawning a player near their spot or not giving them penalties for doing so or you as the developer can make it as 'hard' as possible by adding longer corpse runs and more penalties from dying. But that's not the single most important design decision in the game.

     Hear me out on this one.

     Imagine I've developed a game for you. In this game there is really no penalty for dying other than respawning at  the beginning. The game as a large hallway where at first everything is incredibly easy. The monsters die with minimal effort. As you continue your progress through this long hallway the monsters become stronger, smarter, and hit harder.

     You start dying more often; but no worries there's no death penalties just a requirement to run back to your previous location and continue where you left off. As you start to muscle your way into this place it gets more difficult the monsters are becoming incredibly intelligent and are now dodging your attacks and taking cover. But you can no longer muscle your way through them. This forces you to think about your actions. Requiring you manipulate the monsters by forming strategies to single out individual monsters so that you can progress further into the hallway.

     You don't need to punish the player if they've fail. A simple mechanic is all I need. I don't need to tax the durability on armor, no need for negative status effects with countdown timers, or even perma-death. You simply need to just run back to your previous location and attempt to progress. The game itself would be challenging enough.

     

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by aRtFuLThinG
    Originally posted by Dibdabs
    Originally posted by seacow1g

    You're underthinking it. Simulations of combat in games is totally underepresenting the experience. Oftentimes you don't feel the exhilaration, fear, anxiety, comradery etc that comes with real combat. 

    You see, you're under a number of illusions here.  Firstly, just because I grasp what you mean doesn't mean I consider it rational.  Secondly, you will NEVER simulate combat in a game to the point where it feels like "real combat" and trying to explain your point of view in these terms is plain bonkers.  How my pixels die on my computer screen is beyond trivial, and as someone earlier pointed out, you are way, WAY overthinking this.  

    ^ This.

     

    Not only that, I think OP was also under the assumption that death is important part of the gaming experience to gamers in general (ie. assumption that this opinion holds for most players). Truth is it does not, and death does not.

     

    If it was so, games such as SimCity or Football Manager would've never become popular, because you can't die in it, it is just about creating and managing things. However statistic says otherwise.

     

    As another poster mentioned death in games was only meant to represent "failure" experience, nothing more. That's why in some MMOs (such as lotro or swtor) the are not even called death, but "defeated" or simply "failed".  Simulation of death has proved to often times been less than necessary in some games.

     

    It all depends on the game or what genre of game that it is.

    I wrote in my original post that death and attempt-fail are the same thing. A simulation of death at its core is a failure mechanic. The reason I wrote DEATH in the title is because not everyone can understand in a glace what Fail systems refers to, but death in a game is something everyone understands. You're focusing on semantics. How a game handles failure on the part of the player is important in every game and significantly affects the type of experience you get out of it. There's no one best type of experience for everyone, but there are definitely limitations that current systems put on MMO design. Finding a better system allows for a whole new range of possibilities for future games.

     

    I'd like to liken (though please don't take this too literally) this to the effect that the discovery of the internet had on computers. It expanded the possibilities of the machine more than anyone could've ever imagined. I think that a better attempt-fail design can do similar things for games (because its effect on how we play our games is so far-reaching).

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  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
     

     I've added to my previous post btw.

    The Single Most Important Design Decision

     Your titles says exactly that. It's the single most important design decision aka most vital part of a game. Honestly death systems are extremely simple to implement. They're simply tacked on if the developer wants the player to cringe more every time they die.

     Sure you can make death 'easier' by simply repawning a player near their spot or not giving them penalties for doing so or you as the developer can make it as hard as possible by adding longer corpse runs and more penalties from dying. But that's not the single most important design decision in the game.

    You're thinking about this wrong. Your mind is stuck on the possibilities that exist without trying to consider the possibilities beyond. If you want to understand what I'm talking about. Write down a list of things you'd like in an MMORPG that are not being done (or are not being done within the same game) and then try to figure out a way for all these systems to work with eachother. Write down as well the kinds of feelings you want to invoke in the players of the game with these designs. You will find that a significant roadblock to things that aren't being done in games is the way existing games address failure.  That's why it's so important. Because if you want all these awesome features to work, you need a sound death system to tie it all together in a rewarding, meaningful and enjoyable experience.

    image
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by seacow1g

     

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

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

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

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
     

     I've added to my previous post btw.

    The Single Most Important Design Decision

     Your titles says exactly that. It's the single most important design decision aka most vital part of a game. Honestly death systems are extremely simple to implement. They're simply tacked on if the developer wants the player to cringe more every time they die.

     Sure you can make death 'easier' by simply repawning a player near their spot or not giving them penalties for doing so or you as the developer can make it as hard as possible by adding longer corpse runs and more penalties from dying. But that's not the single most important design decision in the game.

    You're thinking about this wrong. Your mind is stuck on the possibilities that exist without trying to consider the possibilities beyond. If you want to understand what I'm talking about. Write down a list of things you'd like in an MMORPG that are not being done (or are not being done within the same game) and then try to figure out a way for all these systems to work with eachother. Write down as well the kinds of feelings you want to invoke in the players of the game with these designs. You will find that a significant roadblock to things that aren't being done in games is the way existing games address failure.  That's why it's so important. Because if you want all these awesome features to work, you need a sound death system to tie it all together in a rewarding, meaningful and enjoyable experience.

      Possibility beyond what? You're over thinking this topic. You obviously want a player to be challenged but making the content harder for them due to failure isn't a good solution. But over thinking the death system beyond dying and respawning is just punishing the player for playing your game and failing. A simple respawn system is perfect for any game so long as there's enough challenge within the game.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by seacow1g

     

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

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

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

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

    image
  • aRtFuLThinGaRtFuLThinG MelbournePosts: 1,133Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by seacow1g

    You're focusing on semantics.

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by seacow1g

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by seacow1g

     

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

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

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

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

    What are you talking about?

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

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

  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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  • SirPKsAlotSirPKsAlot bagong silangPosts: 224Member
    Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

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    Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
    Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

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

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  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    You're underthinking it. Simulations of combat in games is totally underepresenting the experience. Oftentimes you don't feel the exhilaration, fear, anxiety, comradery etc that comes with real combat. Now granted the real life experience is terrible and not at all enjoyable but I do think games could do more to make us feel the experience more intensely. What is holding these kinds of games back? Death. The current systems make your attachment to the experience too shallow. Permadeath would make the game unfun/unplayable. We need something better.

     

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

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

     

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

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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  • SirPKsAlotSirPKsAlot bagong silangPosts: 224Member
    Originally posted by seacow1g
    Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
    Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

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

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

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    Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin

  • pharone1pharone1 Irving, TXPosts: 33Member
    Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
    Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

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

     

     

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  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by Cephus404
     

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

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

     

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

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  • seacow1gseacow1g Savannah, GAPosts: 254Member
    Originally posted by pharone1
    Originally posted by SirPKsAlot
    Hardcore mode is the only way to take death seriously. If you want to feel fear of death in an MMO, roll a hardcore character. Alternatively, developers could let your hardcore character's gear roll over to a new character upon death. Or something.

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

     

     

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

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