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Heaven

Non-Permanent Perma-Death

12 posts in this topic

I like the idea of perma-death in a game. However I also like the idea of as many workable/realistic gameplay options as possible. Let's say my Persistent Single Player Game has as a possibility the death of the player's character (Fred). Once dead the player can no longer use that character to play the game. I mean, Fred's dead right? Heh.

BUT!

What if the player had another character (Bob) in this persistent world? What if that player now had some options:

1) Bob manages to travel to the site of Fred's death, pick up Fred's body, and return to a town. Bob saw a sign over one of the buildings in town, "Healer". For a price Bob can have Fred RESURRECTED! Depending on how long it's been since Fred has been dead, Fred will awake with varying degrees of impairment (some possibly permanent?).

2) Bob is a healer! He manages to travel to the site of Fred's death, casts a resurrect spell on Fred, then has Fred follow him back to a town. Bob quits the game and restarts as Fred (who is now alive if you weren't paying attention). Fred, depending on how long it took Bob to get to him (and possibly how good Bob is at resurrecting), will suffer varying degrees of impairment.

3) Bob gets to where Fred died (that sneaky Bob - he used OOC information!) but Fred's body is GONE! Fortunately Bob is a Ranger and uses his Tracking Skill whereupon he discovers that a band of Orcs has visited the area and headed off That Way. Bob heads off in pursuit of Fred's corpse, tracks the vile spawn to an Orc Cave, mercilessly disposes of every living creature in the Cave (good thing for Fred he's dead, right?) and finds Fred's corpse! Next see options #1 and/or #2 above.

4) ...and finds Fred's corpse, which has been chewed to bits by nearby Giant Rats. Ok Fred really is Perma-Dead this time.

Those several come to mind. Of course there are plenty more, but you get the idea:

What if Perma-Death wasn't IMMEDIATELY permanent? What if there were options to allay it? Delay it? Aha....

5) Bob is the player's Evil Necromancer. He travels to the site of Fred's death and causes Fred to be animated as a Zombie. The player can now resume the game with Fred...as a Zombie. See above on varying degrees of impairment, but multiply by 10x.

6) Fred was killed by a vampire. Fred's player discovers that upon starting up the game X hours later that he can resume the game as Fred...as a Vampire! Fred will now benefit from varying degrees of enhancement but will also suffer from your typical Vampiric Banes.

7) Fred was killed by a werewolf. See #6.

So yeah, you probably really get the idea now right?

What do you think? Do you think this would increase the Potential Enjoyment Factor of a game? Or hopelessly and/or needlessly complicate it? I think it would work just as well in a multiplayer environment.

Take care.
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It's an interesting concept. There's been a lot of discussion on these topics lately. One potential failing that I see is: Fred dies deep in a high level dungeon. Bob goes to get him. Bob dies too... because it's a high level dungeon. Then Jim goes to get them. He dies too. etc, etc.
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Sounds interesting, but -please- don't call it permadeath.

Permadeath = no, absolutly no chance to get your char back (= Bye bye ! Game over ! Be more careful next time ! Start over again !).
Standard death = when dying, invest X hours of time to get him back.

You have a standard death variation with a quite high number of hours for investment, that's ok.

A similar discussion about hybrid "permadeath" is over [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/623536-idea-for-a-hybrid-version-of-permadeath/"]here[/url].
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This reminds me of a mod I made for Oblivion some years ago.

If the player died, he would 'respawn' at the nearest cities Inn. He would wake up in a bed with the following:

1. A popup would say "You vaguely remember falling in the midst of battle. If it were not for the passing Guard who stumbled upon your almost lifeless body, you would have been left for dead. He dragged you back to this Inn".

2. A random chance based on certain characteristics of your player would determine if you lost any items or gold. You could potentially lose almost everything you had apart from unique or quest related items. A popup would say "During the time you were unconcious, passing thieves stole X amount of X".

If items were gone, they were gone for good and you'd have to try and find new versions of them. I found it to be an enjoyable mod, but sometimes it was annoying too if I was in a very difficult area and had spent a long time getting there. I actually cheated a few times to bypass it because I didn't want to be taken away from where I'd gotten to.
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[quote name='Heaven' timestamp='1335494123' post='4935268']
Do you think this would increase the Potential Enjoyment Factor of a game?
[/quote]

By itself ? Not really. Depends on the rest of the game.

There have been many games with similar mechanics.
There was a recent roguelike i believe, seven...something, where you play as a member of a family, and if you die you switch over to the next member.
There was, of course, Omikron, where if you died, you took control of the first person to touch your corpse.
There is Demise, where you could get yourself killed or potentially obliterated, and if you wanted your characters back - you had to create new characters and go pick up the corpses to resurrect in town, or grind until they learned some high level magic.
There was that recent console game, where if you died - you could tell someone a code, which they entered on their end, and then go on to save your characters.

[quote name='Heaven' timestamp='1335494123' post='4935268']
He travels to the site of Fred's death and causes Fred to be animated as a Zombie. The player can now resume the game with Fred...as a Zombie.
[/quote]
I am quite sure there have been more than one roguelike with characters than could go on after death as undead. Cant think of the names at the moment.
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[quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1335500888' post='4935287']
It's an interesting concept. There's been a lot of discussion on these topics lately. One potential failing that I see is: Fred dies deep in a high level dungeon. Bob goes to get him. Bob dies too... because it's a high level dungeon. Then Jim goes to get them. He dies too. etc, etc.
[/quote]

Maurgrub goes down and reanimates them all as mindless zombies. Maurgrub beats the Dragon.
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[quote]However I also like the idea of as many workable/realistic gameplay options as possible.[/quote]
Giving a player many options isn't always a good thing. A game needs to be able to reward the player for playing the right way and punish the player for playing the wrong way. Permadeath is simply a way to punish the player for playing carelessly.

That aside, if you want to have a less severe punishment for the player, the system you propose is a little cumbersome. There are nuances like "What happens if while fred is dead and the player tries to get to fred as bob, another player tries to resurrect fred?" and "What happens if bob dies as well? Do you need a Sally to get them back?". Instead of this you can simply respawn the player in the form of a spirit, just like in WoW. Or you can give the player three 'lives' - the same mechanic as in platformer games - which will allow the player to resurrect three times before a permadeath occures.
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Resurrection is a possible means of preventing permadeath, but I feel it is going to wind up only benefiting hardcore players in the first place, and alienating your casual userbase.

I once saw a method that worked well: inheritance. Once your character died, you could inherit their legacy with your next character. You would keep a portion of their experience points and if you could get to their body, their items. This worked very well for an mmo I used to play.

My game has a sort of permadeath, but you have to enter the permadeath metagame servers to access it. I plan on breaking my sandbox game up into multiple servers, each with different rules. One is pvp, one pve, one pvevp, and one is hardcore mode (no-rules pvp permadeath.) Since our world has an end goal, when the map is conquered by the players, the world gets rebooted and all old player data is offloaded to the pvp or hardcore servers. These servers are all connected, and can be traveled to and from using map edges, but certain players are restricted from travel back to the pve server. Only players from the same reboot of the world can go back after leaving the pve server, meaning old characters are stuck on the pvp server.

Pvp server resets offload their userbase to the hardcore server after the age ends, and players on the hardcore server will permanently die when they die without any karma.

Karma is lost with muders, theft, and vandalism. Players who engage in pvp actions with members with a higher karmic score with themselves outside of their territory will eventually lose all their karma and be permanently killed.
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So is it still permadeath if your character dies and can manipulate things from the afterlife? Because technically that's having your cake and eating it too.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1335645359' post='4935668']
So is it still permadeath if your character dies and can manipulate things from the afterlife? Because technically that's having your cake and eating it too.
[/quote]If you can manipulate things from the afterlife are you really dead? I remember that in Ultima Online that when your character died you turned into a ghost and about all you could do is talk (assuming the people listening had the "spirit speak" skill toggled so they could understand you) and go through portals.
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I think stat loss is easier form of punishment to balance.

If multiplayer I like when the player runs out of life, they collapse and start bleeding out. If another player come by, they can resurrect or gank, if they gank, you re-roll but can spec 75% of the stats/attributes you had, but you come back as a descendant of the original character. If your name was bob, now it's bob II, bob III, etc to bob XXXXVII lol if you die a lot.

As mentioned before, what happens with your system if you have 10 dead characters? It might work out, if instead of reviving the character you gained some of it's experience from the corpse, maybe salvage some stuff, but remain with the new character until it dies. Then if you died on 10 diff chars that you'd spent some time on, as you progress in the game you'll get back to them and get a little bonus for going back.



[quote name='hunterrose12' timestamp='1335796917' post='4936092']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1335645359' post='4935668']
So is it still permadeath if your character dies and can manipulate things from the afterlife? Because technically that's having your cake and eating it too.
[/quote]If you can manipulate things from the afterlife are you really dead? I remember that in Ultima Online that when your character died you turned into a ghost and about all you could do is talk (assuming the people listening had the "spirit speak" skill toggled so they could understand you) and go through portals.
[/quote]

Yes as a ghost you had very limited abilities. It was neat that you could toggle being visible for a res, or invisible to stalk people without them knowing, although you did show up if someone used the tracking skill, they could tell you were following them. But other than that you couldn't use any menus or anything. Edited by lmbarns
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Interesting thing about players getting punished with perma-loss/death is that general population of casual players whine so much that the devs end up undoing what ever harsh gameplay style they originally set. If 80% of your playerbase is unhappy or feels it's too harsh, the subscription rates go down the crapper. That's why most player-punishment scenarios get muted over time OR until everyone runs around with neon dye tubs and are flying around on purple unicorns...lol Edited by hunterrose12
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This has been done in a game called i believe dragonrealms, its a character based mud online text game, when you died you would need someone to drag you back to a certain place where healers would rez you, and you would lose some amount of skills. But it was a game where you could advance any skill you like by using it repeatedly. If you did not get rez in a certain time you would rot and your items would appear on the ground for others to take.
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