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Iron Chef Carnage

Long respanwn time to encourage self-preservation?

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Death in most combat-oriented video games is a small matter, at most a fifteen-second delay before you can rejoin the fray. I've been reading the "No tactical thought" and other threads, and am wondering what the reaction might be to an MMO where "death" results in a crushingly long (like 72 hours) "respawn time". With that sort of dynamic, it could be entirely possible for a guild to be literally wiped out and taken out of play for a protracted period. What I'm envisioning is a good excuse for players to surrender in combat and to flee from combat and to behave in-character in awkward circumstances where dying and respawning at the nearest town is currently the most appealing option. If you could continue to level your guy's physical attributes while working as a slave, would that be enough to convince players to serve their in-game enemies without becoming fed up? If getting turned into a zombie gave you a choice between eating the brains of the living to keep "alive" or just starving and waiting three days to respawn as a human (and the eating of brains gave you XP that carried over and continued to level your toon in the long run) would players embrace their shambling avatar's unique needs? Lost in the desert, and knowing that it'd be days before they'd get to play again if they die, will people crawl toward a mirage instead of just falling on their sword and teleporting to the nearest church?

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
wondering what the reaction might be to an MMO where "death" results in a crushingly long (like 72 hours) "respawn time".

My first thought about that is "nobody likes to lose". Immortality helps soften many issues with MMO games, like griefing or dying because of a glitch. If someone lost a weekend of playing because of lag, they'd go to another game.

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
What I'm envisioning is a good excuse for players to surrender in combat and to flee from combat and to behave in-character in awkward circumstances where dying and respawning at the nearest town is currently the most appealing option.

I think you imagine the reaction of a mature player. The way I see nine tenths of the MMO population, they'd die and spend 72 hours whining in the forums that it was hax/lag/blackout/epileptic seizure and that they required to be able to reenter the game.

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
If you could continue to level your guy's physical attributes while working as a slave, would that be enough to convince players to serve their in-game enemies without becoming fed up?

This would be really very dangerous for a game company. If a parent discovers through the news their fifteen year old daughter is a slave to a group of guys in a game of the internets, the four lawyers of the apocalypse would come.

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
If getting turned into a zombie gave you a choice between eating the brains of the living to keep "alive" or just starving and waiting three days to respawn as a human (and the eating of brains gave you XP that carried over and continued to level your toon in the long run) would players embrace their shambling avatar's unique needs? Lost in the desert, and knowing that it'd be days before they'd get to play again if they die, will people crawl toward a mirage instead of just falling on their sword and teleporting to the nearest church?

These are good ideas, and they are closer to feasible. Whatever lets the player keep playing can work; a dark death world, running around in spirit form, turning into some kind of undead creature... As long as it doesn't last long and doesn't cripple the character.

I've found the same problem when directing pen&paper rpg games. stronger consequences for death seemed a good way of fighting stupid behavior. However what it produced was less or unhappy players for the next game.


With all of this I must say that if anyone manages to get something like this to work, it would make a great game.

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Death in most combat-oriented video games is a small matter, at most a fifteen-second delay before you can rejoin the fray. I've been reading the "No tactical thought" and other threads, and am wondering what the reaction might be to an MMO where "death" results in a crushingly long (like 72 hours) "respawn time".

Ouch. That is crushingly long. I think that the humiliation of being caught off guard or underestimating your opponent and the long walk back to your corpse is enough of a punishment. 72 hours (3 days) is way, way too long. Can you imagine someone saying, "Oh well. I died, I'll exit this game and re-run it in 3 days." I think that 30 minutes is appropriate if you're bent on a time-based punishment.

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With that sort of dynamic, it could be entirely possible for a guild to be literally wiped out and taken out of play for a protracted period.

If you could prevent the creation of of alts/toons so that a guild can be wiped out would be very interesting. However, billing should take into account days (if still using the 72 hours thing) where someone can't play otherwise there will be irate people paying monthly that can't log in.

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If you could continue to level your guy's physical attributes while working as a slave, would that be enough to convince players to serve their in-game enemies without becoming fed up?

No. I want to be the hero. I play MMOs to feel like a hero and to experience adventure. I don't think that there is any kind of incentive that would make me watch my character slave away.

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I believe a stat punishment could be a little less harsh, though it might work should the player be allowed multiple "charactors". if this would be the case, it would encourage the use of multiple charactors and slow down the typical MMORPG process a bit (which might actualy keep a player interested longer). 72 hours is a bit much though, even with THIS requirement, I would say 24 hours would be sufficient. _OR_ perhaps this is a requirement only on a PVP server, and the person can switch to non-pvp play with that charactor for a while. Or perhaps you have a combo PvP server marking particular players non-pvp. IE 24 hour ban on player killing and getting killed by a player if you die.

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I swear to god, I will slap the next amateur game designer who thinks that punishing players more makes games more fun. It doesn't. It just turns players from selfless heroes into flinching statisticians.

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A girl utterly crushed stare into long distance: It was just an accident, it was only five seconds. Why?

Then again if girls would cry, or hit gamepad just because of that, they need to work on theirs stability. ^_^

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I disagree with this for the reasons already given but I believe some line of this thinking has merit. If we take a similar approach to prey, where death transported you to a spirit world where you had to regain your lost health and mana that would be interesting. With the right game I believe an action packed clawing your way from hell would be a interesting take on respawn. I'm not sure about the specifics but if the escape from hell was very tense and emotionally draining (but fun) it would provide a nice counterpoint to the normal game structure and provide sufficent motivation not to die. Other players may enjoy this hell experience and purposely get themselves killed - that's okay too.

Actually the whole game could be played on three levels, earth, heaven and hell. I've always liked the Constantine (movie + comic?) universe.

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Well, a 72-hours-punishment for letting your char dying is indeed a bit hard.

I really like the idea umbrae suggested. The method of Prey would be fun.
Or what about this: The player dies. Now he has a choice. He can rewalk on earth 30seconds later, but with a disease which makes him weaker for like 1Hour. Or he can respawn as a sort of ghoul/undead/mob for a certain time and wander the world in order to eat other non-dead-players. For each player he eats, he will recover e.g. some health or get a bonus stat over time when he reborns.
:)

Most MMO's already have the idea with the dead-disease. But I think, they implement it still not hard enough. Like in WoW. The player dies, respawn and has like 10 minutes long reduced attributes. Boaf. Just the time he needs to get to the nearest mob-place. So the player don't realy care if his character dies. :/

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I'm going to go against the flow and say that I think such a game could work well. Although "not punishing players" sounds reasonable, the fact is that almost every game has some degree of punishment for failure. The only question is how much. And that degree of punishment seems to be proportional to the way in which people play the game. Some games have worked well where death effectively means character deletion. While some gamers recoil at the very idea of this, I remember a time when 99% of games didn't even have save facility, and we still had fun. There's definitely scope for trying different things here.

I think the following caveats would have to be borne in mind:

- you can't aim at 'the general game playing population'. You'd need more mature players who appreciate they are playing a more cautious game.

- you need to justify the more cautious gameplay in such a way that makes that tension enjoyable. In a game like Thief for example, it made sense that you were somewhat weak compared to everybody else, stealth was the name of the day, and that playing cautiously made sense. When killed you'd lose all progress on that level (back to your last manual save, that is).

- consider what the player is going to do during that downtime. Are they just going to go to a different game? Are they going to create a new character on your game? What's going to make them want to log on again in 72hrs?

- are you always able to give people a real option other than dying? Many games don't allow you to flee all that easily, or avoid deadly confrontations. Some make certain disadvantages so negative that you may as well die. It's true that maybe they will wander in the desert for days instead of just killing themselves, but can you guarantee that they'll feel elated when they finally reach safety? Can you guarantee that they will in fact reach safety, or do you just succeed in wasting the time of many players this way?

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The idea could work, but it shouldn't apply for general gameplay. Special evnts, and certain areas would be sufficent. For instance two clans could go to war, and set a length of the war say 48 hours. During that period no memebers of those clans respawn after being killed. Percentage of surviving clan members would go into calcuating which clan one the war.

Also certain dangerous areas could be marked with respawn delays, that player would be warned about on entry. So the player would know that by entering the forbidden desert they will have to wait 24 hours to respawn.

What might also be very interesting is if certain enemies inflicted soul corruption effects on characters. If you are killed by a zombie you have 30% of becoming a zombie.

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