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I like the perma-death idea for the same reasons most already mentioned, it does however create a huge amount of problems not yet solved and probably impossible to solve. Let me just name a few that i have been thinking about how to solve.
The most obvious problem is the grind. Leveling up from 1 over and over on the same quests and mobs will get old really fast. One example for that is AoC with just one starting area, Tortage. Even creating an alt there seems to be a chore after you done it 2-3 times. It's a bad example since most games have different starting areas but in a perma-death game you should not be able to switch races. Dying as an Orc and comming back as a Dwarf just seems wrong.
Having established that you can't have quests, it has to be grinding the same mobs over and over again. Not really that appealing either.
Identification with your character. This goes both ways for yourself and others. If you die as Joe and come back as Peter it will just be confusing. If you come back with the same name then it is simply a character whipe. Not really meaningfull at all and as mentioned you can already do that 'manually'.
It would need a very good 'family' system where your family name identifies you and your achievements can be handed down to your 'offspring'. This opens a whole new can of worms however. Possible scenarios would be to pass on some skills, attributes, armor, weapons and items but that is basically creating twinks and has to be carefully watched and limited or it becomes a real problem.
Another idea would be to have a multiple class system. If you die as a Ranger and your 'offspring' decides to be a Warrior you can multi-class and select skills from both classes. If this is limited to the skills/attributes you had when you died it could be an interesting system. What i mean by that is that if you died a level 5 Ranger you will not have access to the level 6 Ranger skills if your warrior turns level 6.
Could even go so far as to be able to combine all available classes/skills at some point. This still has to be limited by level or some other system so you can only select 1 skill per level from every class you ever played.
The other issue i see is how to reward players for a meaningfull death. It will be nearly impossible for the game engine to detect what a meaningfull death is. If there are set parameters, for example you healed someone beeing attacked and you die and he survives it WILL be exploited. There simply can't be rewards for dying except whatever the guild decides should be honored and be rewarded. This could of cause work in a more RP oriented environment.
These are just off the top of my head, discuss!
Originally posted by Axehilt Originally posted by MikeJTHas anyone heard of any system that is remotely like this?
Yeah, COX. The system really isn't complex at all.
Complete a mission and a dialog line about that mission gets tracked by the MMO. When your character is near Townsfolk, they choose one of the dialog lines to say (more recent dialog lines get said more frequently.) Like, "I'm sure glad Doctor Fallout cleared out that Fifth Column base!"
The dialog is awesome and helps the immersion of the game, but doesn't make your actions feel like they have particularly lasting impact.
Lasting impact is tough to do in an MMO because the more frequent you make something the less players will feel it matters. And the more important you make something, the harder it is to have a massive amount of players doing it. In a non-massive game it'd be easy and we could do momentuous things all day long and be fine, but when you have hundreds of people on a server all at once it's trickier.
Well I think making NPC's discuss your actions would only be the first part of a larger AI system that gives players actions meaning.
Whilst players would hear tales of deeds, those tales would also spread out, get intermingled with other peoples deeds, and possibly even end up being heard by higher levels of government.
For example, if two people wore similiar clothing and armor, and both did heroic deeds around the same region, and neither bothered to stop to talk to villages after that heroic deed, then their stories would become intermingled, and you wouldn't hear about 'player x did this' and 'player y did this', but you would hear 'a mysterious warrior did this and that'.
So you would hear these legends emerging across the game world. This would even influence the way players played the game. For example, if you hear about 'a great swordsman' who's been going around doing good deeds, you might seek him out to train with him, or challenge him to a duel (not to the death, just a friendly match). It might turn out however, that this 'great swordsman' is actually you, and 10 other people who wear similiar armour to you. After all, a full set of plate, a sword and a sheild wouldn't exactly be a 'unique' thing.
It would only be when you start putting a crest on your sheild or cuirass that you would really be differentiated from those other warriors.
That's the other thing that would be great - the NPC's should recognise different crests - and the game should allow for emblem and crest customisation (like the system in a new game coming up - APB).
But talk is just talk. Hearing NPC's talk about players deeds is only one thing that would be necessary. I really think that a permadeath game would have to mean the end of the instance. If you want players actions to have lasting results, then you can't have instances in the main game world. If a player does something, and then 2 hours later it's just back the way it was before, then there's no lasting effect.
So really, what you need, is a gameworld that is robust enough to handle player interaction. You need the world to be big enough, relative to the number of players, that without a combined effort, nothing can be completely eliminated from the game world. Without sufficient size, the game world would become stagnant, and newer players wouldn't have anything to do (and possibly experienced players with higher level characters).
For example, if one player goes out and decides to go around killing every wolf he sees, this shouldn't be enough for the entire wolf population to get eliminated. The game would be big enough, and the wolf population big enough, to recover from the effects of the actions of multiple people. The AI would have to 'learn' that certain areas are too dangerous, and move on to other areas. Wolves would have to run if they got sufficiently injured, not just fight to the death like in most games (I don't think a wolf would fight to the death in reality, either). I would even go as far as to say that the NPC government might make it 'illegal' to kill wolves if their population gets too low, with the rationale that, for example, they keep rabbit populations down, and rabbits are a major problem for farmers.
Even after introducing a big enough game world for the game not to become stagnant, there still needs to be something to feed conflict, that is significantly robust that to stop that conflict becomes an epic challenge that no single player could ever do by themselves.
Being a 'massively multiplayer online game', this challenge would need to be a 'massively multplayer orientated goal'. Infact, there would have to be multiple sources of conflict that can rise up periodically, and be near impossible to completely eliminated. The 'endgame' content would essentially need a concerted effort of all players to achieve.
Examples could include things like a distant continent with a mysterious people who periodically try to invade the mainland of the gameworld. To completely eliminate them, players would need to sail across the high seas and invade their continent in an armarda of warships. Alternatively, there could be another dimension from which creatures periodically enter the game world in small numbers, which is uneventful, but occasionally open up portals to the main dimensions and pour through enmass. The players can travel to that dimension and completely destroy it, but it would require mass armies to do so.
Then on top of all of that, the game needs a way of enabling players to achieve absolutely epic quests. For example, quests that would require more man power than every single player on the server could provide. Players need to be able to establish armies, and command them to acheive epic goals.
Finally... players need to be able to partake in decisions which effect the gameworld, that aren't purely combat based. For example, a player might be able to establish trade routes which become mutually beneficial to all people along that trade route. Different areas need to have different absolute and relative advantage in different areas of production, and by minimising opportunity costs in any one region, the player might be able to do something like improve living standards of the people of the land.
I think perhaps permadeath would contribute to less emphasis on gear progression. What would be the point of spending days farming for a new sword if it disappears the moment you die? Why level at all? Perhaps it could bring the community closer together as nobody would want to venture out alone.
But then again, if you had open PvP and Permadeath, it would not make the game any more meaningful. You'd just have a bunch of level 1's running around zerging everything probably. Might as well play FPS multipalyer in that case, imo.
Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.
The attraction of permadeath is the challenge of excelling in a setting where most fail.
It is tantamount proof that one is a better gamer.
PD (as you describe it, in a hypothetical game) would be extremely fun/rewarding. Regretfully, MMO developers just cannot think outside the box. They keep looking at how to make a game look/play like WoW w/o getting sued by Blizzard.
Originally posted by shukes33 Myself i would love it..even more now after playing Darkfall.As long as you could keep some kind of history of your characters achievments..maybe a family hierloom that gets passed down to your next character...maybe a higher resistance to disease's due to a heredital passdown from your fathers constant battles against the dark magic of the necromantic mage attacking his home town for years. Maybe a handed down sword. That way it would even encourage heroic acts.Just an idea! Of course the longer your character survived the better the hierloom/skill/spell/whatever. this would encourage people to try not to die too.
That's an innovative idea that I've never heard. Of course there would have to be counter-measures to insure that people aren't committing suicide in order to build their final character somehow.
I suppose I like the perma-death idea because it basically makes it impossible to create raid eccentric games like WoW where you have to raid for 10 hours in hopes of getting a peice of armor or something lol. For example, if perma death is a possibility then exploration of the world would be taking pretty seriously. You wouldn't just run through everything willy nilly. I liked UO in the beginning where I felt afraid to stray too far from my house if I wasn't familar with the area because I had no idea what I may find. I just don't know if games can be created like this anymore with the player base that is seen in todays MMORPGs. I honestly think an idea like perma death is long gone.
"Lag seems to be a major concern for a lot of people who've been discussing this topic. I think the first thing that a game with permadeath would have to have is a system whereby..."
Lag-type concerns are definitely the biggest stumbling block with me but that is partly due to starting mmorpgs a long time ago and giving up on the "delete char on death" idea with Everquest back when i'd get a lag death at least once a day. It doesn't happen so much now the web connections are better so I haven't really noticed how often it happens nowadays. IIRC the problems now often come from other players i.e the game starts to chunder when there's a lot of players nearby. This leads indirectly to the main point really, which is the game needs to be designed around PD.
One aspect is the network coding and avoiding player customization, graphics (or whatever it is) outweighing the avoidance of game lags. Another aspect would be making it so there were tactics that would make it much harder to die if you were playing ultra-safe.
One example would be that getting to 0 hp made you unconscious and not dead and a mob needed to actually finish you off once you were unconscious. If you were soloing then they would but if you were teamed up your team-mate could pull the mob off you. So if you were grouped you'd only die if you were unconscious and the rest of your group all died or ran away. If just one of your group managed to kill the mob(s) then you'd heal up.
An alternative might be "defensive stance" type skills where you got a big bonus to defense in exchange for a big penalty to attack. This would also be more of a group thing for situations where you were in trouble and could go defensive hoping the rest of the group could get the mob off you in time.
On top of game mechanics you'd see player created tactics of basically treating anything potentially life-threatening like a raid e.g village quest where a giant rat got into a field and there'd be /OOC 22 players LFM to kill level 4 rat in east field.
"I have always wanted something along these lines as well. I also have always wanted an aging system, eventually my character will die of old age unless of course he is an elf..."
"It's a bad example since most games have different starting areas but in a perma-death game you should not be able to switch races. Dying as an Orc and comming back as a Dwarf just seems wrong."
I was tinkering with a design like this (without combat PD) but there was aging. Basically a human would get one RL year before dying, hobbits, 18 months, dwarves 2 years and elves would be immortal. I was going to make it so you could only start as a human and it would need game-earned "fate points" to unlock the other races. If a player and had enough points to unlock the next higher race they'd have a choice between re-starting as their previous race and getting an inheritance from the previous character or starting as the new race.
I was going to split it between good and evil sides though so you'd only progress through your side's races - i was thinking for ebils you'd start as some kind of scabby goblin who only had 3 months and then upgrade through full goblin, orc and then uruk. The final race might be an immortal nazgul or dark elf or something but that would obviously depend on the mythos you were using.
"The most obvious problem is the grind. Leveling up from 1 over and over on the same quests and mobs will get old really fast."
"Possible scenarios would be to pass on some skills, attributes, armor, weapons and items but that is basically creating twinks and has to be carefully watched and limited or it becomes a real problem."
I think these two things could balance out, especially if the game tried to set the base difficulty at "too hard". Say, level 6 is the first milestone where you get some kind of "fate point" and getting to level 6 the first time was quite a struggle, but then that first fate point could buy your second character an advantage that made getting to 6 a lot easier.
"Another idea would be to have a multiple class system. If you die as a Ranger and your 'offspring' decides to be a Warrior you can multi-class and select skills from both classes. If this is limited to the skills/attributes you had when you died it could be an interesting system. What i mean by that is that if you died a level 5 Ranger you will not have access to the level 6 Ranger skills if your warrior turns level 6"
Another take on that idea could be that the list of advantages you could pick for the new character after a death would include some related to the class/skills of the previous character - so the options might be stat bonuses, some generic starting advantages like "natural haggler" or "fast reflexes" and/or some specific advantages based on the class of the previous char.
"What if you had apprentices or henchmen. They group with you like a pet and level up with you. When you died you took over one of the apprentices which became your main, and you started a new apprentice. The apprentice can pick up stuff you dropped and knows your bank account etc. So it's not exactly perma death under current game mechanics but still a more significant penalty than current games. If there was a wipe and you all died, you'd err on the carebear side, and allow a res for the lowest level apprentice, or whatever."
Or just make it so you could leave one behind as insurance. If you didn't and they all died then you'd lose everything.
One advantage of a system like this is you'd get a lot of churn so you wouldn't have the endgame problem of loads of people at max level moaning about being bored.
Originally posted by Samuraisword The attraction of permadeath is the challenge of excelling in a setting where most fail.It is tantamount proof that one is a better gamer.
That is epic phail MMO design.
If 99% of your players are failing, you won't have many subscribers to serve for long.
The WHOLE POINT of MMORPG is to let people ... everyone of them .. feeling that they are achieving something. It is entertaining. An illusion is suffice. You don't have to make it real (and it is not real anyway).
Originally posted by nariusseldon Originally posted by Samuraisword The attraction of permadeath is the challenge of excelling in a setting where most fail.It is tantamount proof that one is a better gamer.
I always thought being a gamer meant playing games to have fun, not trying to be the "best".
Take yer best and !
Give me fun anysay.
That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!
not everyone has the same idea of "fun".
Personally I LIKE realistic games...the more realism, the better.
Originally posted by Wharg0ul Originally posted by nariusseldon Originally posted by Samuraisword The attraction of permadeath is the challenge of excelling in a setting where most fail.It is tantamount proof that one is a better gamer.
Get serious Ghoul! If you want realism against another person, then get out and play real sports!
Games are not about " realism".
Like the man said, it's never gonna fly in an MMO so just get over it and move on.
FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!
Perma-death in a game would give the "hardcore" a place to actually prove themselves worthy of that title.
Originally posted by SamuraiswordThe attraction of permadeath is the challenge of excelling in a setting where most fail.It is tantamount proof that one is a better gamer.
So wait, someone is a better gamer because they want permadeath? Ridiculous.
By the way, griefing most certainly would happen in a permadeath MMO. If you keep in mind that a permadeath MMO would probably be "skill" based and not level based you would just have a bunch of low skill asshats running around ganking.
Or, in a different change of pace, what about a new character who just decides to run a train against a person. Even if the games mechanics don't work like EQ for agro if the player just died at that persons feet the mobs would, obviously, go over to the other player. (And if they didn't it certainly wouldn't be realistic).
There really is a ton of greifing potential in a permadeath MMO. You really are kidding yourself, as well, if you think it would be otherwise.
People would have something to gain too. I mean you'd have a friend make a new character, train a person and then you pick up that persons gear. Rinse and repeat. It'd be havoc, pretty much.
The only kind of permadeath I could get around is a mix. I actually had an idea much like one of the first posters in this thread, where only certain areas would be permadeath enabled. Pretty much it would be the case as where when you traveled further away from the main world the less of a chance you would have to be "saved" by a wandering cleric. You could always have a healer go with you, but of course if both of you died and no one was around to save you you'd be SOL. It'd give the attraction of adventure for those players who wanted it.
I would love a game with permadeath if someone could come up with a gameplay system where this would be fun.
So far, I have yet to see a suggestion that even comes close. I've seen a lot of mini-solutions (heirlooms, new characters retain old level, etc.), but all of those are presumably embedded in the same old MMO-genre. You'd still end up spending half your time at the character creation screen, especially if PVP was involved.
I think it would have to be something revolutionary, i.e. a fundamental change in the way an MMO works and the way a character is developed for this to work in a meaningful way.
____________________________________________im to lazy too use grammar or punctuation good