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The Consequences of Death

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hannar, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Hannar

    Hannar Editor EQNexus Moderator

    Maclypse makes his first featured contribution to the site outside of his role in our Pickup Groups and starts the conversation off at where it usually ends: death. Take a look at his opinion on the state of MMORPG death design currently and then let's get down to business discussing where EQN needs to have us taking our dirt naps.
  2. Hannar

    Hannar Editor EQNexus Moderator

    For my own thoughts: I am not sure I could play a game again where there is a risk I could absolutely lose everything that I worked for over months and possibly years because of one bad decision (or someone else's bad decision). However, I do not mind the idea of losing levels (I don't think it will happen again -- well, not in EQN since there are levels), and I do not mind the idea of a stiff death penalty. I do think real consequences, although inconvenient, do add weight to a player's decisions, the manner in which we treat one another, and the investment we have in making sure everything runs smoothly.

    In both EQ and EQII these days, I don't mind dying at all. I would prefer not to, much in the same way I would prefer not to run out of inventory space or forget to buy food and drink from a vendor. It's an inconvenience, but something I can rectify really quickly without any real thought or consequence. I don't feel too bad when a group member dies, because I know they really aren't out anything significant either.

    I am a firm believer that, as much as it really sucks to have a bad gaming session and log off feeling disappointed, it's 100% impossible to have the extreme emotional attachment that many of us do to EverQuest in a game where there is no real risk. Without all of the bad days, the failed groups, the really crappy players that we come across, there is nothing to throw into sharp relief the quality of those legendary days, the amazing pickup groups, or the outstanding players who really know their class.

    Death in MMORPG's is as stale as every other idea that EQN has already turned on its side, so hopefully they do bring a few new ideas along when they are ready to discuss it.
    Thrasher, Laughter, Khrey and 3 others like this.
  3. Asdar

    Asdar Active Member

    I thought EQ death penalty was perfect, and I hope EQN will have something meaningful.

    It couldn't work the same way because there's no XP, but maybe gear loss if you can't get your body back. Points loss might work, but if points cost real money I'm not sure that'd go over big. Still, I like the idea of points loss and gear loss if you can't get your body back and recover it.

    That gets hard if the dungeon you were in closed back up because it was procedural. It could be something like total loot upon death where the mobs take your stuff unless your group can kill them and take it back for you. That's not as bad as people from EQ think because gear is bound to be less valued simply because there's more of it.

    I guess given what information we have I'd be fore AI looting your stuff and a point loss.

    /duck to avoid rocks and garbage
    Tyrann27, Khrey and Meiune like this.
  4. Dunhyrde

    Dunhyrde Active Member

    If guys like Georgeson are going to tout a dynamic where everything I do has consequences and nearly every walking monster and NPC will remember me through the enhanced AI they've implemented, then I need to take the info they've given me so far and assume that the consequences of death will not be light.

    Why have that much riding on a system that tracks my interaction with everything in the game world while having anything but a weak penalization system for death?

    They're telling us that our actions in game have REAL meaning in terms of how our character develops over time and if this is something they are really trying to have us as players focus on, then I just have to believe that, above any other game I've played online, I'll have to manage my character more closely than I would in a game where I know my actions will have zero effect on any future outcomes.

    I don't know how they plan on handling death - but my own personal opinion would be that NPCs react differently to players who die often... as in.. not offering certain quests because the NPC may believe my reputation for being foolhardy and careless is enough for them to refrain from offering access to that quest until I die a little less often over time.

    Let's not forget the easy ways to discourage death through expensive repairs and XP loss - but how is that going to work since we don't earn XP to begin with?

    No idea... all I know is that it has to hurt, and should not be taken lightly.
    Jeff, Fingers and Ashlian like this.
  5. Dunhyrde

    Dunhyrde Active Member

    Thinking back at what I just wrote - I'd like to see a system in place that penalizes faction upon death.

    Let's say I've been working on raising my faction with Merchants of Rivervale for a few weeks and I've been killing hordes of Teir'Dal to improve it.

    One night, I'm out killing Inkies and BAM! they've had enough of my shit and they go get some badass Dragoon to come take me out. I'm a little cocky and decide to stick around and see what this blueberry tinged freak can bring.

    Unfortunately, I have my ass handed to me and I collapse into a heap of humble pie.

    Upon death, I lose a percentage of the Merchants of Rivervale faction I've been building for weeks and the Badasses of Neriak gains faction for putting me in my place.

    So, not only have I lost Merchants of Rivervale faction - I've made Badasses of Neriak a bit more powerful allowing them the luxury of dropping me like a bad habit.

    ... that's the kind of give and take death system I wouldn't mind seeing. You die and make things harder for yourself and in the process, help whomever it is that kicked your ass along the way.
    Voraga, Jackyll, Kairo and 2 others like this.
  6. Fingers

    Fingers Active Member

    I'm not really convinced by any of the arguments put forward for severe death penalties - there are other ways of making content challenging.

    I played UO before the insurance system and I'm pretty certain all this does is prevent players wearing their most prized items.

    Although I never played Everquest 1 and so never experienced losing levels, I did play Everquest 2 and saw the impact experience debt had on others. While playing I met a large group of people I became quite fond of who spent most of their time hanging around, bored - because experience debt had robbed them of the desire to play and especially anything that involved risk.

    Having experienced the levels of general rudeness, impatience and in some cases out-and-out nastiness in group over the years, I shudder to think what kind of behaviour severe death penalties on wipes would arouse. I wouldn't want to put anyone through that because it involves more than mere disappointment or failure in progressing.

    I would prefer a world that is truly difficult, that rewards risk taking and doesn't punish players when things don't go according to plan.

    Whilst at the time these things did not bother me - they were part of the respective games and seemed normal to me, so I didn't question them - I do think they were unnecessary, as leveling up was a long and arduous task with or without it (I'm talking specifically about experience debt in this instance).

    I know there are many people out there that long to see severe death penalties but I just can't relate to their reasoning where previous penalties are concerned. They offer nothing of value.

    With regard to difficult corpse retrieval I remember it well, but, again, can only write from my EQ2 experience of it. Now this was something I valued. And yes I have numerous fond memories of epic adventures in themselves that arose from untimely deaths.

    Perhaps my fondest memory was as a Templar being taken to the Ruins of Varsoon for the first time. I was several levels lower than my friends and died. I recall dying repeatedly trying to recover my corpse and eventually a plan was drawn up to rescue it which involved a bard. It was the most amazing adventure and the time it took to accomplish it was more than adequate compensation for my death.

    I recall other such occasions, where retrieval was torturous and time consuming. On some occasions I went to bed disappointed that an evening had been spent paying the price for a momentary lapse in judgement or sheer carelessness. But what an adventure.

    Also I'm not sure we can say that death penalties have become too trivial when you consider the types of games that have been released over the years, particularly those that focus on endgame content courtesy of raiding. I don't think it's relevant in these cases - in Wow you wipe you don't progress... Another night spent without trophies and the possibility other guilds might overtake you.

    Having said all this I do recognise there is some value in making the consequence of dying sufficient enough to make a player pause for thought before making his/her next move - but for me it's about finding a balance that will achieve this level of caution without killing off completely the adventurous spirit that likes to take risks.

    SOE have hinted that there is going to be a penalty on death and I'm hoping they can come up with something creative that is a little more involved than what I always considered as little more than a means of increasing content longevity. In an ever changing world do we need that?

    Whatever they come up with, be it something new or the antiquated systems of yesteryear, it will not deter me playing.
    Galya, Dino, Findarato and 2 others like this.
  7. Sordes

    Sordes New Member

    This is a tough subject. While I still to this day adore EQ1 and my experiences there I just don't see the majority of the people playing these games today agreeing with this view. I'm not saying that I disagree with it, as I lived it and I would live it again.

    Dying and then the fear of losing your stuff, or not making it back to your corpse was something that was seriously always on your mind. I used to kite solo stuff all over the place and it was rather nerve racking if I came close to death knowing I would have that run and need to dodge all these mobs in an attempt to get my stuff back. It made exploring on your own actually quite dangerous and I got quite a sense of accomplishment doing these things and knowing I did not die in the process. Many a Necro and Rogue saved my Druid's corpse numerous numerous times.

    I am totally agreed however that death in any game after that never bothered me. Degradation to armor? No big deal when you have repair kits and repair bots a plenty. Experience debt, it's more of an annoyance than anything else. That just never bothered me and never actually stopped me from playing as you still gained experience anyway. The death penalty in any of the games I played other then EQ/EQ2 (and I played many many MMO's) was so non existent I honestly don't even remember what they were.

    I have to admit I didn't like Shard collecting in the beginning of EQ2... Which was actually the name of the guild I was in on Unrest Server ( Shard Collectors ).

    Anyway there has to be a happy medium somewhere. I want to fear death. I want it to mean something. I want a challenge and part of making things challenging is fearing the consequences of failure. It also gets people to really learn how to play to avoid that failure and avoid those consequences.
  8. seanidor

    seanidor Well-Known Member

    I'd be quite happy if they brought back the EQ1 death penalty; it wouldn't be as punishing as before because a lot has changed since then. They will most likely make it so we can bind to places much easier reducing the amount of time to run back. They also have leeloo dallas multi-class so if your whole group ends up dieing, you guys are bound to have at least one person who can help to easily recover the bodies. There would be at least one person who could either summon the bodies, go invisible, feign death, stealth, and/or many more things thanks to the multi-class system.

    If they were to make binding as easy as like Minecraft, where you just rest at a bed wherever you plop one down, I don't think the death penalty would be that bad at all. What did you guys think of dieing in Minecraft? In MC all of your stuff fell to the ground and disappeared in less than 30 minutes. That penalty is a lot worse than dieing in EQ1; you had a whole week to get a corpse that people could even help you get by dragging/summoning and you even made great friends to boot.

    The death system in Dark Souls was pretty good, it's a shame they couldn't do something like that. If you died, all of the souls you collected would drop to the ground where you died. You had to run back to get them before you died a second time; after the 2nd time they would disappear.

    Souls were pretty important in that game since they were used as experience to level up, money to buy from vendors, and you even needed souls to upgrade gear once you got the materials too. Maybe one way to make the system "similar" in EQN would be to only drop your experience, inventory items, and money when you die but you still keep everything equipped.

    Since they said that we can decide on which class to level up, I'm guessing we do get experience after all. If we actually do have experience then it really should be able to drop. They should probably keep the rot timer to a week since people are so lazy.

    Since there are probably going to be far more conveniences like easy binding and multi-classes, so almost every person will have access to safe corpse recovery, it should probably only take like 10 to 15 minutes to recover or even less. If they can bind easily and make sure to take precautions like in Minecraft, it should be stupidly fast.

    This might be a tiny bit rude but if people still can't handle that short of a recovery by either being too lazy or using the excuse that they don't have time for it, then they really should be looking for a different game.

    If the developers cave in to all the lazy gamers asking for an insignificant death penalty, I doubt I will even bother playing for more than a couple months like all the other MMO's. It would only be a matter of time before they give in to all the other requests again, causing yet another EQ to be ruined.
  9. Fantomex

    Fantomex Head of Social Media Nexus Moderator

    I think elements of the old system would be good. But having a job, wife and a second kid on the way with a current 11 month old, I don't see how I would be able to do corpse runs. They did make the game challenging and made you second guess everything you did but I don't see myself having the time to do that level of intensity anymore. Perhaps leave in item decay along with experience loss, but the corpse runs won't work for me anymore.
    Korym, Dino, Thrasher and 1 other person like this.
  10. Grimjakk

    Grimjakk New Member

    In standard EQ no one could loot your corpse except for you... unless you specifically gave them permission to do so.

    PvP rules were a bit different.
  11. Hip Uncle Z

    Hip Uncle Z New Member

    I don't want crazy corpse runs, or severe penalties for learning anymore. I'm in my 30's now, I want something new; that encourages me to play smarter... not longer.

    Something that doesn't get to the point where I'm losing progress, while trying to accomplish something.
    kichwas and Ashlian like this.
  12. Kagbum Bumcheese

    Kagbum Bumcheese New Member

    So then Hip Uncle, you don't want consequences when you die then? Or something insignificant that you can continue on easily? Not poking, just curious. As far as I see it, the only way to make people play smart is to make an actual consequence that has meaning... usually those aren't the most fun things, but in my opinion are very necessary. I want to feel somewhat upset if I die. Most games now I would die on purpose so I could get back to my spawn point faster, or just magically teleport back to where I died within minutes.
    Jeff likes this.
  13. braxkedren

    braxkedren New Member

    I think the XP loss should remain like it was in original Eq with diminishing returns on time related to original death. That way you die repeatedly trying to get your stuff back but it wont delevel you too much.

    I like loosing the gear. Give us a "cloud storage" type of bag for "dead runs" so we can gear ourselves to go get our old stuff. Or have a Magister at the respawn locations that you can only see after dying (through a death buff) that you can get some mage created gear that lasts for a short amount of time so you can get your old stuff back.

    I'm looking forward to dying actually making players want to play better and not just zerg content and possibly lose everything they have.
  14. Maclypse

    Maclypse <Insert Witty Comment> EQNexus Writer

    I"m glad to see that most people agree with what was my main point: make it meaningful. I don't want to have someone else walk by and take all of my stuff, that was just an extreme example. But as others here have stated, death shouldn't be a positive element to the game. It should be harsh. I should absolutely dread it. I want to have a reason to play smart, and others to do the same. As I stated in the article, this is not the sole community building aspect of a game, but it's definitely one of them. Groups who don't want to die, tend to communicate to make sure everyone is on the same page.
    Galya likes this.
  15. Crowned Evil

    Crowned Evil Active Member

    some items become a part of you. with the attempt to kill power creep, items might be with you for quite some time.

    i can see some seer npc being able to get 2-6 items from your corpse instantly (via your connection to them) for a decent sized fee. of course no further attmept to use that seer or any others would allow you to retrieve further items in this manner, for that corpse.

    this way making a corpse run would not leave you unarmed.

    exploring is not brave or adventurous if you know you can get back safe and sound.

    knowing a creatures den was dangerous but seeing all the dead bodies around it.

    special feelings and sights not to be had without a death penality.
  16. Hip Uncle Z

    Hip Uncle Z New Member

    You kind of just read what you wanted to out of my post.
  17. Fingers

    Fingers Active Member

    I like this idea, although I really haven't a clue how faction will work.

    But let's assume each faction has an ongoing knowledge of your deeds, misdeeds and failures then it could be a very good way of going about penalties on death in a very interesting way.

    Using story bricks would it be possible to allow faction based npcs to mock your failures, to scorn or express disappointment with you? It would be pretty cool if that were the case.

    How about in addition to losing face and progress with a faction, faction rep is expressed by way of hidden buffs, with death adversely affecting them? Enough deaths and the buff becomes a debuff, salvaged only by rebuilding rep. In this example you're not penalised by an across the board penalty but one specific to the factions involved. So you've lost rep with Merchants of Rivervale, affecting not only the nature of their communications with you, but also your ability to carry out any combat related activities in their favour.

    It sounds like it could get very messy if relationships between one faction and another are thrown into the mix, your failure potentially affecting not just one faction but others in how they perceive you - but I do love the idea. And of course how well it all works would be dependent on factions knowing the cause of your death.

    Off topic: Wouldn't it be cool if your reputation with some was so bad that you could find yourself alone or in group on the receiving end of an attack by Assassins at any given time, but not so frequent for it to be annoying.
    Dygz and Ashlian like this.
  18. Dunhyrde

    Dunhyrde Active Member

    The developers mentioned something that was interesting about emergent AI - and that is what got me thinking about the Merchants of Rivervale and Badasses of Neriak scenario I provided.

    They mentioned that if you kill enough orcs in an area, they may at some point get pissed off enough to push back with larger numbers or summon a great hero to aid them. What is the trigger for this? What is the tipping point to cause the AI to determine that orcs in a given area are sick of getting pushed around?

    I'm thinking that for every player the orcs kill, for every zone or area they occupy - they themselves earn faction and once a specific NPC/mob faction hits a certain threshold, then events are triggered.

    On the other hand, for every orc you kill, and every zone or area you evict the orcs from, they lose faction and once that hits a certain threshold, the orcs fire back with greater numbers or badasses.

    Georgeson mentioned something to the effect of every object in game has a way to keep track of what you've done - faction of everything I guess.

    I'd hope that they tie a way to make death something the players want to avoid - but at the same time, make it meaningful in some way to the AI so that the orc chief who killed you earns faction for Orcs of Highhold. Let the NPCs and mobs benefit in some way from killing me and if Orcs of Highhold earn enough faction by killing players and occupying territory, then they too should be able to grow in power - making it even more difficult for players to confront and evict them from the land they occupy.
    Dino likes this.
  19. Hip Uncle Z

    Hip Uncle Z New Member

    I wonder if Storybricks can talk about that. I think it's their field in EQN, right?
  20. Fingers

    Fingers Active Member

    This would be an interesting way of releasing raid material into the world.

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