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With Permadeath

Discussion in 'MMO(RP)G / Online Discussion' started by Damned Registrations, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Damned Registrations Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

    Damned Registrations
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    Are there any? I always thought it would make for a very cool world, where high level players weren't just losers who grinded forever, but actually had the skill/luck/allies to survive. Not to mention all the cool stories you could have of people dying to save the rest of the party, which would actually mean something, and similiar scenarios.
     
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  2. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    I believe it would be too "inaccessible" these days.

    Yeah, awesome too.
     
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  3. rpgcodexusername Arcane

    rpgcodexusername
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    what if someone tosses a grenade at you and everyone dies?

    what if some of your party dies and your combined strength isnt enough to defeat foes in later encounters?
     
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  4. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
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    yep. that's what they're saying alright:)

    Yep...that's what's so good about it. Survival requires a combination of skill, luck and diplomacy and having to start new characters regularly is the norm for most players. Those who learn to survive and thrive do so by having good judgment about what they can tackle, having the sense to flee when necessary and skll to win elsewhere, rather than having a cry just because you get beaten by a better equipped opponent (grenade example) or lose because of inadequate team support (your 2nd example).
     
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  5. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Re: yep. that's what they're saying alright:)

    Still, griefers should be banned on sight, it'd be fucking frustrating to have your character killed not in combat or ambush, but because some moron decided that making a character, buying a granade for all his starting money, then blowing up in the crowd helps him fill the void in his pointless life.

    I'm rather disgusted by MMO's in general, but permadeath would definitely be a step in the right direction. It'd also remove the runaway leveling and add some stability to the gameworld.
     
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  6. Solohk Scholar

    Solohk
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    I'd love to see a permadeath MMO. It would have to be designed from the ground up around that concept though.

    For one, I think you'd have to get rid of the ridiculous power curve that almost all MMO's have. I'm thinking that you'd start out as a proficient soldier, and your exp would only grant you a bit of versatility, and a little higher proficiency.

    Just imagine how important alliances and wars would become. Mercenary guilds could actually exist for the sole reason of removing risk from a warring guild. Battles would become very important. Getting ambushed and losing your most skilled characters would be a big deal. Planning and tactics would be exceedingly important. Hell, you'd actually see tactical retreats as well.

    Such a game would never be mainstream, but if done correctly, it could attract a die hard following.
     
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  7. Balor Arcane

    Balor
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    There are MUDs with permadeath. Some of the are rather popular. And, of course, hardcore.
     
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  8. Virtz Educated

    Virtz
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    It's actually an MMOFPS, but Face of Mankind sorta has perma-death. That is, the only things you have to lose are money, equipment and standing in your faction (and possibly name, though I've never actually died permamently in it) and even that can be rather easily avoided by buying yourself some clones. Besides that, combat was quite easy to run away from if you had no desire to fight (ultimately it sucked) and money was quite easy to earn from your faction (dull as it may have been).

    Another MMO I recall having perma-death advertised was something called Sociotron or something like that. Issue is that the whole damn game was focused on erotica (and had crap Poser-like pre-rendered graphics) and I've never played it. Another issue is that I recall people saying the perma-kill was heavily punished in-game, so it was kind of a suicide bomb.

    Wurm Online also featured a form of perma-death. Once a player became a champion of some god, they could only die up to 3 times, after which their character was dead forever, but had some statue or something in the world, I think. The benefit of actually being a champion was the ability to enchant items, destroy the enemy altar and some other things I never really cared about.

    As far as I'm concerned, best way to make perma-death fun/tolerable would be by providing many methods of avoiding death and/or being able to live on after death in one form or another (and maybe providing some creative ways of dying). Make people go unconscious rather than immediately die, make high favour with some god a worthwhile benefit, let the necros resurrect their comrades as liches (or other undead beings), let the greater mages enchant themselves so that they later return as spirits able to possess lesser (dumber) beings, let people enchant amulets with a teleportation spell that'd be able to dump them in a random place once a day, etc.. Of course, I can't imagine any form of perma-death attracting the mainstream, but not every MMO aims at having thousands of players.
     
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  9. Vidken Novice

    Vidken
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    Trials of Ascension was going to have permadeath, but surprise! It couldn't get the funding to continue development. The developers said that wasn't the reason why they couldn't secure funding, but I'm too cynical to accept that considering how much woefully uninspired cookie-cutter trash easily hooks enough publishers to finish projects.
     
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  10. Nael Arcane

    Nael
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    If you bothered to read my post in your original post I mentioned a few.
     
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  11. Damned Registrations Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

    Damned Registrations
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    I actually made that post after this one, byut thanks anyways. :P I figured I'd have a better chance of hearing about specific games if I posted here, since a lot of the guys in deign discussion loathe MMORPGs, but I wanted to, you know, discuss the concept itself too, preferably with more than the scant few who reside here.
     
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  12. Nael Arcane

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    OIC. Well, ironically enough it's probably that change from having pretty strict consequences for death in MMOs that was commonplace "back in the day" (mid 90s) that appeals more to most people here. Today's crop of MMOs unfortunately is a munchkin's market, but people still play Everquest (the first one mind you ;)) and Meridian 59. In my opinion those games showed where MMOs could go in terms of challenge and requiring players to truly work together, but I guess if you're paying a monthly fee to build up this character people are greatly opposed to the idea of losing months worth of gear and whatnot for one slip up. It's happened to me before, and yes it was fairly traumatic. I still went on with my life after breaking my keyboard in half over my knee and chucking my mouse down the hallway of my dorm. It was cathartic. But ya know what? I kept playing the game and came back and built up my character to become even more powerful than before, and I definitely learned a valuable lesson about the game. I still have very powerful memories of those games because of instances like that, and to me that's what makes a game exciting, challenging, and memorable. Something that's definitely missing in 90% of the titles out there today.

    EDIT:
    Read this and understand why MMOs are dead to me (and most Codexers). It's because douchebags like this guy. I'll give you a good quote to chew on from it if you don't feel like reading his rambling bitchfest:

     
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  13. Human Shield Augur

    Human Shield
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    MMOs are just single player games with a coop mode now. You get to show off your achivements (SP games have this now) and have to restart the level if you die. And for some reason idiots pay a monthly fee to do this.
     
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  14. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    I played WoW for some time but never understood what hooked most players so. The only times it was fun was in the beginning, and when I played together with friends. The grinding became boring pretty quickly though.

    I had a lot more fun with Ultima Online, where player killers roamed the world and kicked the fucking asses of n00bs who dared to travel into these areas, and then looted their bodies. Without a party you were dead meat when you met some of the more malevolent players.
     
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  15. kfsone Novice

    kfsone
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    Erh, take your own medicine perhaps. "Read this", clearly you didn't. Vanguard was being pitched as "The WoW Killer", and I ranted on that premise. It had ceased touting itself as the return to the pure role-playing MMORPG and had sidled into the saddle of generic MMOs that tack "RPG" on the end because "that's what you call a game with elves in it isn't it?" and want at least a million players.

    But I won't deny, either, that when I'm outright gaming - like I would be if I was playing a WoW-clone - then "death penalty" is not something I want to be hearing about. I cut my gaming teeth playing permadeath PVP games in the early 80s, so I'm no carebear -- until I get my gaming hat on.

    To me, the MMOGs like Vanguard and WoW are non-linear interactive entertainment. If I had to start from chapter 1 every time I didn't see the next dumb plot twist in a Harry Potter book I'd never have finished any of them.

    For most people - in an MMOG - permadeath doesn't make sense - it means repeating content I've already consumed, it separates me from my group, it wasn't even my fault! The cat puked and when I looked back around I'd died! And it destroys or decimates my stash.

    Even back in MUD1 people would get tired of having to do the first 3 levels again and would set up a macro to run as many of the fixed quests as possible as soon as the game reset.

    Of course, to a role player the big issues with permadeath are foundational to making it interesting: levelling up a new character.

    If your characters are going to have unique accomplishments, that means creating an awful lot of unique content with a very short lifetime; if they don't have unique accomplishments then your average gamer is going to have a very short span of interest. You could take the Hackmaster approach to making it interesting by randomizing most of the player's attributes each time, but that flies in the face of the trend of largely eliminating stats in MMOs these days.

    Personally, I suggest you weigh your own appetite for permadeath by finding a decent RPG and applying permadeath rules to your characters - if you die, back to the main menu and roll a new character. I was only able to go 5 characters in Oblivion before deciding I just wanted to play thru the game.
     
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  16. Atrokkus Erudite

    Atrokkus
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    Diablo 2 has permadeath, if you play on hardcore realms, closed server. And yes, I'm listing D2 here as a MMO because it really is one, especially since there is hardly any roleplaying in any other MMORPGs so i guess it's only fair to put D2 in the same basket, as it's all about grinding.

    But yeah , anyone willing to play an online game in a real hardcore way willl have to explore teh good ole' world of MUDs. Armageddon mud is what i recommend -- it's extremely RP-heavy and has permadeath and generally very volatile and dangerous environment. Great atmosphere. But ya, it requires you to read, sorry about that.
     
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  17. Nael Arcane

    Nael
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    Yes I suppose you're right. That's why I selected a quote that I specifically responded to for what I saw as douchebaggery in your blogomuffin. Whatever.

    Funny. I see you wearing a hat that says "Leisure". Gaming denotes challenge and competition. Happy Fun Time Zerg Party MMO is not challenging nor competitive. From what I read, what you prefer is a cheap, and easy thrill. That's fine. I enjoy playing a game from time to time that I can jump right into and spend an hour or less on a night. But I'm not gonna fucking pay a montly fee for that type of game when there is plenty of free shit out there that doesn't even require purchasing, let alone "leasing"

    Case in point. You are depending on some static bullshit way of taking in the experience of playing something "massively" multiplayer. Again. MMO's without well developed PvP are nothing short of a scam, and personally an MMO without harsh penalties for making mistakes are carebear whether they are PvP intensive or not. Fighting for a title in front of your name is queer, and european.

    Like I mentioned in another thread you have to look for more focused examples of multiplayer roleplaying like Atrokkus mentioned, Diablo 2 or NWN 1/2. There's alot of really interesting ways that have been developed in these games for handling penalties for death or whatever. Having been a GM on a PvP server in Everquest 1 however I can tell you that the petition requests were never ending due to the stiff penalty for dying. Especially if your corpse was left sitting under a level 80 mob. It's a sign of the times I suppose that people expect some sort of insurance against disaster even in a video game. That's why developers should be expected to provide ways of mitigating these risks (corpse summoning spells that require expensive reagents), or ways to avoid this situation from happening altogether.

    Again, this is where the challenge comes in. If your only penalty for stupdity is to make you sit around and wait for 10 minutes, they're only encouraging an unhealthy smoking habit. If you wanna make a mistake mean something, but not force your character to lose anything, then lock that character out of the game for a day.

    Now I've played MMORPGs so I know how easy it is to die in these games especially if you're surrounded by Assholes. Two things to think about:

    1) Don't surround yourself by Assholes. Something that's hard to do in today's MMORPGs, I know. But don't do it. Just cancel your subscription, switch to a different server, or switch to a different faction if all you can seem to find are Assholes, but you are still genuinely interested in the game. Seriously though, just cancel your subscription. You could be using that money to put food on the table of a poor Canadian family.

    2) The precedent that was set for PC vs MOB interactions in Everquest 1 was a Judas Kiss for the genre, IMO. Almost every MMORPG I have ever played follows a very similiar model to what I found in EQ1, and to say it is flawed is to say that this whole rant is pointless. Late in it's life however, the developers figured out how to give players the tools to skillfully avoid corpse-pulling Hell. Unfortunately the people that enjoyed the cybersex, but not the challenging nature of the game itself joined the massive focus groups Blizzard paid for to figure out what these wasteaways were looking for in a game.

    WoW was the gaming industry's first gay child.

    Permadeath nothing. I am talking about risk/reward. Something the MMO community has forgotten about because it, like every form of media has become a generalized attempt to appeal to folks that like pretty colors over challenging themselves and others. You go right on ahead and enjoy your Chuck Norris jokes, gnome on orc cyberporn, munchkin wonderland.

    PS-While we may be diametrically opposed on the topic of risk/reward in MMORPGs I welcome you to the Codex. Keep your butthole tight around here though.
     
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  18. kfsone Novice

    kfsone
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    You're very right on the first part: wearing a hat that says "Leisure". I consider myself something of a conniseur of headgear, and I like to wear whatever is most apropriate to a particular audience.

    The fact that you disagree that Gaming <=> Leisure would put you at odds with vast majority of Gamers. For the vast majority of people who play computer games, what they seek is entertainment.

    Most people don't want challenge or competition from their Gaming they want entertainment and pass-times. Challenge and competition require investment that most people aren't really interested in expending into a game.

    Pre-WoW MMORPGs fret over Risk vs Reward and get locked into a spiral of dumbing down because their established customer base bleeds away over time and the base of potential new customers is made up largely of people who want less challenge. Put another way, if they want to take a bite out of the other slice of pie, they have to take it with cream and sugar. And its a big pie - as WoW demonstrated.

    That's why as, as popular as Chess, Backgammon or Go are, more people play Monopoly or Twister; why online games are full of macro systems, cheats, guide books, and guys playing female characters that perform a jump every 2 seconds.

    So if a company is looking to develop an MMO solely as a means to big bucks, they probably want to develop something as close to Simon-Says as possible and dispense with the legacy of MMORPGs like EverQuest and DnDO.

    What you term as "Gaming" is a specific niche of Gaming that I think just isn't being served by anything right now. Several game developers have proven that you can get a respectable userbase - quarter of a million players - if you persue the challenge and competiton angle, but its really hard to get funding just now.

    The trouble right now is that the big money sees an SPG scale market with a recurring income - they can spend $40 million and have a beautiful game with sales within an order of magnitude of console development to pay the initial cost PLUS at least 18 months of subs to ice the cake! Its going to be very hard to persuade them to invest in something targetting an EQ2-size or smaller market.

    It can (and should) be done - it just needs the developers to have a well rounded and solid design before they seek out funding and perhaps we'll finally see a genuine RPG MMORPG at last.

    But - do we really need an "MMO" RPG? You and I probably wouldn't enjoy sharing the same world space and why should my presence rain on your parade? Is the Diablo/Guild Wars model not a better model for potential online RPG developers?

    I honestly couldn't see myself playing a Hackmaster MMO, but Hackmaster online? That I can play with my buddies without meeting Leeroy Jenkins' fourth cousin thrice removed? That I can see.

    To my mind, bring on more of the ORPGs - let Blizzard and EA have their Massively games, and ideally stop tagging them as RPGs. That'd be like calling "Smallville" "Superman" when really its "That Dawson's Creek period of Clark Kent's life that he once dreamed over while in a kryptnoite induced coma".

    "MMORPG" players hate to lose. They want to be observers with just enough control that they can decide what chapter to see, decide whether Harry Potter should have a pink wand or a broomstick shaped like a dildo. That's the Mass market in Massively.

    You're clearly not an MMORPG player. Wear the badge proudly. Me, I can enjoy a good game and I can enjoy an MMORPG game, depending on the phase of the moon and the heft of Thor's hammer and I don't have a problem with anyone preferring either or anything in-between - to each his own.

    If expressing some insight into how to sell MMORPGs to the masses ranks me as "douchebag" then I'll gladly accept the honorific as readily as I accept "asshat" when a bunny-hopping weenie slams me for airing opinions akin to yours when I find games like LotRO stale and uninteresting: a game that begged to be developed as an RPG but instead threw everything away to suck on the Massive teat.
     
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  19. kfsone Novice

    kfsone
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    I think "perma death" and "massively" is a problem - I really don't think there is any good way to do the both, if you use "massively" the way the industry wields it these days. I would hesitate from labelling D2 as "Massively" for the same reason I wouldn't label Guild Wars as massively. I think Massively is the way of entertainment/leisure gaming, while Multi/Co-op is the way for hardcore and RPG gaming. Massively is just a buzzword right now, and like any buzzword, I would therefore consider it mutable. Someone is going to come along and definitely own it by force of numbers.

    Massively typically engenders a persistant world, and that really is a problem for perma death. Consider ShadowBane, where it was essentially possible to destroy someones home, salt the earth it was built on and so perma-death the player - all while he's offline.

    As cool as that might sound it screams "tiny market" to someone looking to try and make more money than Blizzard (which, incidentally, I am not, or I wouldn't be working for WWII Online).
     
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