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Kudgel

Death penalty and respawn

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Hello, I'm trying to design, for fun I must admit, a videogame set in a somewhat persistent and online world. Think Phantasy Star Online, that's my main source of inspiration. Here's what leads to my question : in my design, players can travel the world using their own airship, a friend's airship or "travel" airships from various cities (with fixed destinations). They enter the fields and/or dungeons by first discovering them on the world map and then selecting the zone on a menu. By example : I'm in my airship and I see, not too far, a strange egg floating. I approach from it and when I'm near enough, I can trigger an action which will pop up said menu. ::: Mysterious egg ::: Description : ??? Zone - Lvl 10-15 Zone - Lvl 50-60 I can choose which zone to enter, regardless of my level. The level indicates the difficulty of the zone, which will have different monster spawns / loot. My question is (finally!), how should I handle the death penalty and the respawn in such a game? Up to 4 players can form a party. I thought maybe when your HP reaches "0", you fall on the ground, unconscious, and after a while you get up with 1 HP. But if you don't want to wait, because let's say you don't have any potions / teammates left, should you (1) respawn in your airship or (2) respawn in the nearest unlocked city? Should the character lose experience or money? Like I said, my main source of inspiration is PSO. In this game (i'm not counting PSU), when you die, your body fall on the floor and your "spirit" glows on top of it. You can be revived or you can warp back to the city. But in PSO, there's only one city per episode, so that's not the same. Personally, I hate losing too much stuff when I die, and I don't want to discourage newbies or frustrate the others. Maybe I could apply some kind of formula? By example, the higher your level, the more you lose from your death. Something I'm totally against is downleveing, that's ridiculous. "You lost a level!" haha. Any opinion is welcome. In other words, I'm searching for the best solutions as far as death penalty and respawn are concerned. ^_^ I might as well apply what I think is good, but your input will greatly help!

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If the game is party based, *I* always wanted to see a choice for respawn. So you die (die meaning have 0 health), and then your corpse (or unconscious body) lies on the ground. After 10 seconds the option arises to respawn. If you click this, you can either respawn at the beginning of the level or at your home city (a safe place). You don't have to click the button & respawn, though, you can wait so your teammates can revive you via a ressurect, potion (item), or any other means. If you do this, though, I'd make many kinds of characters have a revive type spell (ability), especially since you only allow 4 players to group together, this way groups will be able to choose different classes more freely, not needing a priest/cleric whatever. As for experience loss/money, it depends on your game. If you die at the hands of an enemy, I say you shouldn't lose anything, but at the hands of another player, maybe some exp. loss & all/half/some of your money & items.

You could also allow a five minute wait, and then you get up, too. Or have an item that you can carry that automatically revives you after X minutes. Maybe better items that revive you quicker.

So, to conclude, you have 3 ways of reviving from death. Teammate revives you (via spell or item), you can choose to respawn somewhere, and carry an item that auto-revives you after a set time, based on item. Hope that helps you out.

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Quote:
Original post by Dekasa
If the game is party based, *I* always wanted to see a choice for respawn. So you die (die meaning have 0 health), and then your corpse (or unconscious body) lies on the ground. After 10 seconds the option arises to respawn. If you click this, you can either respawn at the beginning of the level or at your home city (a safe place). You don't have to click the button & respawn, though, you can wait so your teammates can revive you via a ressurect, potion (item), or any other means. If you do this, though, I'd make many kinds of characters have a revive type spell (ability), especially since you only allow 4 players to group together, this way groups will be able to choose different classes more freely, not needing a priest/cleric whatever. As for experience loss/money, it depends on your game. If you die at the hands of an enemy, I say you shouldn't lose anything, but at the hands of another player, maybe some exp. loss & all/half/some of your money & items.

You could also allow a five minute wait, and then you get up, too. Or have an item that you can carry that automatically revives you after X minutes. Maybe better items that revive you quicker.

So, to conclude, you have 3 ways of reviving from death. Teammate revives you (via spell or item), you can choose to respawn somewhere, and carry an item that auto-revives you after a set time, based on item. Hope that helps you out.


Yea, these are clearly paths I could experiment playing with. Yesterday, I sat down and took the time to think about it and came with some little ideas I could implement into the design process. First, the death penalty shouldn't come at the expense of fun, what I mean is, I don't want this part of the game to be frustrating, but on the other hand I want players to fear death. When you die, here's what happens ;

Phase 1 : your character falls on the floor, unconscious. He has "0" HP.
Phase 2 : when he dies, the character "unlocks" a random death malediction which lasts 10 minutes.
(A) Cash malediction : money dropped from monsters -50%
(B) Experience malediction : xp gained -50%
(C) Performances malediction : basic stats lose 25% of their efficiency
Phase 3 : player is given the choice to warp back to its home CITY, or to its AIRSHIP (if he has one!)
Phase 4 : after a while, the character gets up with one HP, let's say two minutes.

If a character dies within the 10 minutes timeframe, the malediction time stacks. By example, if I die and I get the xp malediction and I die again after 5 minutes, the malediction grows to 5 minutes (time remaining) + 10 minutes = 15 minutes. That way, people will be aware that if they die, the malediction will grow stronger.

Also, another thing to consider : in my game, dying can provoke the spawn of a rare monster called the Soul Devourer. It has a 1/325 spawn rate when *any* character dies in *any* zone. These monsters eat the souls wandering between the world of the Deads and the world of the Living. They will attack every character within the dead body. They can be killed, although they are kinda strong. If the Soul Devourer manage to get to your body and "eat" your soul, your character is permanently lost. Up to four Soul Devourers can spawn at a given time, because there can be up to 4 deaths in a single party. I thought maybe I could put a higher spawn rate so players fear them even more...something like 1/32, or why not, make them spawn each time a character dies but just don't call them rare. I could delete the malediction concept and you would have to fight these monsters when you are reborn...could be cool.

As for the respawn, I think I'll stick to the nearest unlocked city or an airship if the player has one. These are safe zones, well the airship isn't but you get the idea.

edit : the home city idea is great. It remembers me of World of Warcraft, but I think it could work. Even if I borrow some things from this game, mine is totally different. Thanks for the advice.

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