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Death Systems in MMORPGs

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Previous WuXia Discussions: - The Quest for the Perfect PvP+ System - Magic and the Elements - Skills and Attributes Does death invalidate life? No, it defines it, and in this way gives life value. Death is a tricky thing especially in MMORPGs, because players expect the rewards for their efforts to be permanent. If too harsh of a penalty is implemented, players will become discouraged and lose their hard work. On the other hand, if the penalty does not exist or is too light, players will be running around throwing the lives of their characters away as if they were nothing (bad). A good system of death is essential to an MMORPG, and it is a huge factor in the overall appeal of a game to players. Here is my sketched outline of a system of death. As usual its pretty out there, but hopefully it can get some more discussion going. I'd also like to talk about other innovative death systems like the one found in Realms of Krel. Check that out, here: http://www.realmsofkrel.com/death.html
Quote:
Death Death is not permanent in WuXia. How a Character Dies During a combat, when a character’s health reaches 0% the character becomes unconscious and is disabled. At this point the character begins to bleed, (10%/END) every 10 seconds. Once a character bleeds to -10% health, then death is triggered. During the period while a character bleeds, the character may be attacked or healed by others. Judgment To put a larger focus on death without penalizing characters too much, a heaven and hell system may be implemented. This works with a "judgment system", which is basically a passive alignment system that has no affect on gameplay until a character dies. - A judgment rating begins at the value of 0, and is governed by actions in PvP, GM-quest rewards, and organization affiliations - Players sent to hell are forced to play mini-games successfully or suffer temporary penalties upon revival - Players sent to heaven get to go shopping in unique stores - Players must stay in heaven/hell for at least an hour (player may log off) - Heaven/hell are game world zones where players can exist simultaneously - This system gives consequences to 'evil' players without basically crotch-blocking them during actual play (also implements the don’t-get-caught mentality) - The judgment system is not visible during normal play, its a passive attribute that only the server and prominent religious characters can see - A player receives other penalties as well as being sent to heaven/hell for death - After a character the mandatory time in heaven/hell, the character is then reincarnated and his/her 'judgment rating' is reset by 80%. Penalties for Death Aside from going through the judgment process after death, a player suffers a permanent 1% penalty to all skills and loses all equipment. All time points are lost and none are gained during a stay in hell. Transcendence The transcendence system works in conjunction with the Judgment System. The premise is that when a player's judgment rating passes a certain threshold (negative or positive) then the player becomes "transcendent" of the judgment. - Transcendence triggers when a judgment rating surpasses ±500 - Bonus. For certain actions, transcendent characters are awarded a 15% bonus. - Auras. Transcendent characters have auras which are clearly visible. - On death, transcendent characters do not go to heaven/hell, but their judgment rating is moderated by 20% and if it goes under the threshold they are no longer transcendent. - Instead of being sent to heaven/hell, transcendent characters reincarnate (with the same penalties as normal death) in alternate planes - Transcendent characters can travel to these alternate planes through certain world areas at will. - Alternate planes for transcendent characters are like islands of alternate existences, and can be built upon by players. - The transcendent threshold is VERY high, a death without a transcendent threshold resets the judgment rating by 80%, making transcendence extremely hard to attain.
[Edited by - PinFX on September 21, 2004 10:56:15 AM]

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dood, you just make it so peole die and get killed forever. so then you dont go to hell you make a new guy

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interesting ideas...
especially the heaven/hell/transcendence thing, although they're pretty specific to a quite religious based mmo.

about the unconciousness, I was surprised to see that when I read your post, becaused we agreed using a similar system with my team a few weeks ago :)
actually, it's not exactly handled the same way, but the principle is the same.

you don't have any negative health. 0 still means dead, but when you fall below a given treshold (it depends on the character stats/attributes), you fall unconcious, and your life passively goes down (relatively slowly), it can be represented as a blood lost as you pictured it. below another treshold (still undefined, depends on the character's stats too), you will be waked up by the pain, but your life level still goes down if you do nothing about it. when you reach 0, you die.

we considered using a similar approach to yours, but it seemed better and clearer to us to do it that way, as the unconciousness limit depends on the character's stats, if you are really tough and strong minded, you will be able to stay concious longer, but it will also mean that when falling unconcious, you won't last as long as if you falled unconcious sooner. (that's not the case with your approach, although you can tweak it to behave that way, it seemed to us more or less like a hack, well it's a matter of taste anyway ;))



what I like with the idea of adding unconciousness to the characters (in a general way, not only players, but any living creature, mobs too), is that it adds a whole load of interesting gameplay possibilities.

- it's nice for friendly duels, and fights. a fight isn't "won" when the opponent dies, but when he/she/it falls unconcious. you can still finish him off if you like, but you have the choice to keep him alive, and still win the fight.
- you can defeat a mob, but leave him alive (I'm not sure this would be done very often though :D), and some kind of special mobs (not simple goblins or whatever crap, but special mobs like a big great dragon) can remember you didn't finish him off, and thank you later, or want to take revenge.
- it can also be a way to get pets, or something more or less like pets. (if you defeat a creature and gain its respect, it'll obey you, with some moderation perhaps depending on the type of creature, on your stats, on how you defeated it, etc..)


and about the death penalties, we have a slightly different approach, more like wow's death. when you die your spirit goes out of your body to the nearest cemetary, and you have to re-integrate your body yourself, and evolve in a different, changed in many ways, environment (you're more or less in ghost form), and you have access to special quests.

it has some similarities with your hell/heaven approach too.

Quote:
Penalties for Death

Aside from going through the judgment process after death, a player suffers a permanent 1% penalty to all skills and loses all equipment. All time points are lost and none are gained during a stay in hell.


we don't loose directly any equipment or skills, the inventory stays unchanged on your body, but other players can search your body and get your stuff. (it introduces a whole load of gameplay problems, I'm aware of that), and about skills, it depends what happens to your body.

we don't have a real "XP/level" notion, instead, the "level" is computed from the total skills points you have, only to give the players an clearer idea of their global skill.
it's clearer to see "lvl 25" than: "skill 12681.5" :D
(and more importantly, doesn't completely disorient players coming from previous MMOs, altough nothing is directly based on the level any more, no "skill will be unlocked when you reach level 20" any more...)

by total skill points, I mean the summ of all your skill points, even the ones you didn't use to gain/improve skills yet...

well, this skill level gets affected directly by local skills changes.
so when you die, nothing changes (in fact, you should still gain skill, you know you made a mistake, otherwise you wouldn't have died, so you could gain experience in some way...), BUT, the penalty comes from your body damages. when you reincarnate, you have to spend experience points to "repair" in some way your damaged body. if you have no more body (swallowed by a nasty troll %)), you'll have a big penalty. if it's only slightly damaged, you'll have a small penalty.
if you have unused skill points, these will be consumed, if there isn't enough of them, or none, the remaining skill points will be taken away from your skills (witch skills isn't determined yet, as we have a localized damage system, it will probably depend on what body parts have been damaged).

this also introduces new gameplay aspects. that can be very annoying to the victim of course, but everything more or less is..
you could hound on somebody you just killed and completely destroy its corpse, or only specific parts to lower him on some areas. (again this will probably lead to abuses, I don't know, what do you think?)

and I really like your transcendent concept, although tightly bound to a religious game background.

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mmh, just read the description of Realms of Krel's death systems on the page you linked... very interesting approach to permadeath. it doesn't make it sound so bad and frustrating after all... in fact it makes it more or less needed to be able to reach very high levels in skills. this could be quite a cool way to introduce natural character death when it gets too old...

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Original post by PinFX
Penalties for Death

Aside from going through the judgment process after death, a player suffers a permanent 1% penalty to all skills and loses all equipment. All time points are lost and none are gained during a stay in hell.


What if the character is carrying the super ubersword of insta-death or something, which took them forever to get. Suddenly, they die. No more sword. I don't know about you, but this would piss me off.

I read the link you gave, and I have to agree that their death system looks good. Children inheriting your items is a good thing. However, from what I read, it makes it benificial to use your second best weapon, while leaving your best weapon in the personal vault. I think that to make this better, if your body lie there for a while, the child gets what was on your body. A patrol man or guard came across your body, and gave your possesions to the child... or something.

Also, I haven't read anything about your game, so I'm wondering, "what are 'time points'?"

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btw, about player death and body damage, we had a discussion with my teammates the other day about being able to take away character's body parts for crafting (yes, I know, this sounds weired :D)

but for example, you could need a piece of barbarian skin, and elf mage teeth and some other stuff to craft a special spell (or an enchanted weapon, whatever...).

even if it's quite a strange idea, that might lead to killing sprees for body parts (and strongly encourage pvp in a weired manner), I thought I'd just throw it in there (not feeling like creating a new thread just for this...)

also, I saw you created some sort of thread series about your mmo gamedesign... are you planning on making one about crafting?

we also had a quick thought about gaining animal ressources (dragon skin to make a shield/armor, werewolf skin/teeth for whatever else, etc...), and not simply having the whole thing dropping off as simple loot. you'll have to get it off yourself, and the quality of the final product will not only depend on your skill to skin/extract those body parts, but also on how you killed the animal. if you used a massive golem 1-ton granite axe to kill a sheep, you obviously won't have the same wool quality as if you used a bow and a small arrow or a knife...
anyway, nothing really original that's just some random thoughts :)

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Original post by sBibi
btw, about player death and body damage, we had a discussion with my teammates the other day about being able to take away character's body parts for crafting (yes, I know, this sounds weired :D)

but for example, you could need a piece of barbarian skin, and elf mage teeth and some other stuff to craft a special spell (or an enchanted weapon, whatever...).

even if it's quite a strange idea, that might lead to killing sprees for body parts (and strongly encourage pvp in a weired manner), I thought I'd just throw it in there (not feeling like creating a new thread just for this...)

also, I saw you created some sort of thread series about your mmo gamedesign... are you planning on making one about crafting?

we also had a quick thought about gaining animal ressources (dragon skin to make a shield/armor, werewolf skin/teeth for whatever else, etc...), and not simply having the whole thing dropping off as simple loot. you'll have to get it off yourself, and the quality of the final product will not only depend on your skill to skin/extract those body parts, but also on how you killed the animal. if you used a massive golem 1-ton granite axe to kill a sheep, you obviously won't have the same wool quality as if you used a bow and a small arrow or a knife...
anyway, nothing really original that's just some random thoughts :)


lol. Deep evil voice: "I have come for your teeth."

That does look like a good idea though. Combined with childhood, you could do some interesting voodoo stuff...

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What if the character is carrying the super ubersword of insta-death or something, which took them forever to get. Suddenly, they die. No more sword. I don't know about you, but this would piss me off.


clearly, this wouldn't happen in a system where the inventory stays in place on the body, no just vanishes in void.
you can have a couple of friends stay and watch after your body until you reincarnate, or take your inventory for you, if you really don't want to loose anything, or hunt down whoever took your stuff... or pay someone to do it for you (ie headhunters)

Nathaniel Hammen> lol, yes :D we had a long laugh while discussing this ^^
EDIT: btw, this would be really useful for necromancers

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Original post by sBibi
Quote:
What if the character is carrying the super ubersword of insta-death or something, which took them forever to get. Suddenly, they die. No more sword. I don't know about you, but this would piss me off.


clearly, this wouldn't happen in a system where the inventory stays in place on the body, no just vanishes in void.
you can have a couple of friends stay and watch after your body until you reincarnate, or take your inventory for you, if you really don't want to loose anything, or hunt down whoever took your stuff... (cf headhunters)


Of course! I'm an idiot. Plus, anything that promotes teamwork in an MMO is a good thing.

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