| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (67)

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:14AM Gigglefart said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I used to think FFXI's Death penalty was bad. Reduced HP and Mana with a XP loss that was around 10% of that lvl. It was common to de-lvl when dieing just after you had lvled up. I also believe that there was code built in that sought out that recent lvl up ... LOL

if Recent lvl
Then MOB aggro and Strength +20%.. LOL

It did serve a purpose in that it really taught you to be a better player which was great. Especially in a game that was so centric on Grouping. One did not endanger the group as much as one might say in WoW with a LEEEERRRROOOYYY JEEENNNNKKKIINNNSS move.. (I had to get it out there). hahaha

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:17AM Agozyen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I kind of liked having to run back to my corpse in EQ back in the day. I remember wiping in Plane of Fear on night and getting my rez with seconds left on my rez timer.

Now though they have the option of summoning your corpse to you so you can get your gear easily, but you still need the rez.

I think damaged gear and a short debuff like EQ2 has is good enough

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:36AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I want to feel like I could lose something by being killed. It's that risk that gives me that genuine adrenaline rush that I have only felt in EVE online up to this point.

Most people will be flailing their arms and screaming about how the game would suck if they could lose their epic gear that took them months to get. But you have to consider that for a death penalty like that to work in a game like WoW you would have to shift the focus of the gameplay away from loot and onto something else. You would have to totally redesign the game from the ground up. I feel that it could work amazingly well, but most people see a question like this and think "Would I want to play WoW if I could lose my gear when I die?" and the answer is obviously no.


Long story short: more than just the death penalty would have to change for it to work but I would love to see it done right!

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:52AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Agreed that when people scoff at things like losing gear at death a lot of the time these days it's because they're just plastering the idea onto WoW in their minds. That isn't to say that people can't legitimately dislike it, but the situation really isn't so black and white.

When equipment is easily lost it changes the value of equipment and creates an entirely new dynamic. You don't go run around irresponsibly with your rare sword you worked so long to get, and in fact you're more hesitant to grind for one piece of equipment you may lose in the blink of the eye. But really it's the same logic behind why you don't wear your nicest jewelry, flaunt it around, and then decide to take a stroll through a dark alley at 3 am. It just shifts the focus of the game to other things. The rare sword becomes a luxury, not a necessity, and in a way becomes both more and less valuable.
Reply

Posted: Mar 6th 2010 8:56PM RaPhiKi said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I second the risk in Eve. When my roomate says whay I still play Eve. I tell them that you're alot of hard work on the line if you lose your ship bigger than a frigate. Also, It warms me heart when I just killed someone's shipsthey would have taken 3 weeks to grind. Their grief is more real LOL!
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:34AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
As someone who really enjoys exploring the game worlds, harsher death penalties really add another element of excitement to it. When you're at risk of losing hard earned experience, de-leveling, or losing equipment outright you're a lot more hesitant to cross through that forest with monsters 10 levels higher than you. That hesitation isn't in games with really light death penalties.

On the other hand of course for something like WoW so focused on end-game raiding you can't do that. The game expects you to die a lot, and the goals are entirely different. So individual death penalties are almost non-existent. And while repair bills do scale, the other half of the penalty, the corpse run, is actually continuing to be be de-valued as the game world shrinks with faster mounts and ways to get around.

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:36AM Seth78 said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I'll never understand why some people enjoy being penalized in a game. Never.

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:40AM Joshua Przygocki said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It would be kinda stupid if we just popped back out of our corpse after a few seconds with everything just fine, it would ruin the purpose of healers, and the game would be ridiculously easy.
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:41AM Bartlebe said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's called risk vs reward, Seth.

It creates a dynamic in which earning the reward is fun because you undertook a certain amount of risk. It's the basis of all good stories, movies, games and entertainment.

If you want no risk vs reward dynamic maybe you're investing in the wrong hobby.
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:50AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's not because we enjoy being penalized, it's because it makes it real.

You've got something to lose, and it makes you put more thought into your actions. Using EVE Online as an example, if I am fighting in a battle the winner is the fleet left standing at the end. If I am killed and I have another ship ready then I can rejoin the battle, but I have to get their first and if the battle was in enemy territory then I probably won't make it back there in time.

Take this same idea of two sides fighting a battle in another game like WoW or WAR and the winner is the first team to meet some arbitrary objective or have the highest number of kills/points/flags/whatever by the end of a set time.

That's not a war, that's a team sport. There is room for both, obviously (and I certainly play and enjoy both), but the harsher "death penalty" is what makes the first example possible without it being artificially imposed as in the second example.
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 9:43AM SgtBaker said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Risk/Reward is what makes it fun.

Every game has this, though in most cases it's not quite as undisguised as it's in EVE and Darkfall. In WoW it's manifested by boss fights, gear/reputation checks and levels.

Having a constant god-mode where you one-shot everything and clear whatever objective without any problems does not make a fun challenge.
Reply

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 12:53AM Seth78 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Don't get me wrong guys, I'm not saying there shouldn't be *any* death penalty, I just don't understand the desire to be penalized (and in some cases, harshly). I have played several MMO's starting with EQ, and am now playing WoW. I think WoW's penalty is just right. Remember, these are games, and games are meant to be fun. Losing several weeks of advancement on wipes isn't fun (especially when it's due to buggy content/disconnects/whatever is out of a players control). Just my 2 cp :)
Reply

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 7:20AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Here's an idea...
Keep a 2 and 1/2 pound Engineer hammer next to your computer and every time you die in game whack one of your fingers with it.
If the pain is insufficient... When you die in game... Whack yourself in the head with it.
Reply

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 7:46AM SkuzBukit said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
See that's probably where the oldskool mindset & the more recent newskool one clash.

Oldskool = give me a world to lose myself in & be immersed in, which naturally means that a meaningful death-penalty creates a multitude of different emotions & situations. EQ's used to mean you had to depend on getting some assistance from others to ease the pain, which was just 1 of many facets the game had that engendered a more cohesive community, & that shouldn't be underestimated once you "zoom out" to see the larger picture.

Newskool = "it's a game" I want 10-60 minutes of fun with no impediments to that fun, much like going to an arcade & pumping a few quarters in a slot, instead of having your high score on the machine's screen you have an avatar with which to display your "score".

Newskool makes up the bigger part of the genre now, instant gratification junkies that aren't that bothered about roleplaying, lore, immersion. The good side is that as a result of their much lower threshold for poor quality that polish on MMO's is having it's bar raised by that expectation, truth is that MMO's are a lot less polished than console/single player games as a rule & them getting a kick up the ass so to speak is a good thing for oldskool gamers too.

So death penalties are more important to those seeking immersion & just an unnecessary pain in the ass to those not as interested in immersion is my conclusion.

Personally I preferred EQ's for the community "side-effect" it had, it only became untenable in the game due to it's level-based design creating a top-heavy game so older content became abandoned & empty over time.

Darkfall's wouldn't be so hot in a game driven as much by items as WoW & EQ were, because over time the power of your character became more & more about your gear & less about the naked dude wearing it, & sometimes that gear was earned via years of progression raiding to have that kind of time investment vulnerable to a 5-30 second PvP bout just doesn't sit well at all, gear in a full loot PvP game can't be THAT valuable without being a dis-incentive to PvP at all.
Reply

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 7:20PM Kalex716 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'll never understand why anyone could ever equate something that happens to them in a videogame as a penalty.
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:43AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's easy to see how MMO's have changed over the years, things have become easier and more friendly to the average player and I think thats a good thing in the long run.

My first MMO was SWG:pre cu and while the death penalty for a non jedi character wasn't too bad they did have some fundamentally good mechanics that enabled death to be used as a social interaction tool. If you die, after three incapacitations, you would get black bars in your HAM(health action mind). Luckily there were always trainee medics and dancers to sort that stuff out and I think thats what is missing from MMO's today, forced interaction.

Whats the point of playing an MMO if you're just going to solo it?

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 9:24PM Addfwyn said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
"What the point of an MMO if you're just going to solo it"

Because you're never truly solo. I may prefer doing most of the things in an MMO by myself and not actively partying, but I am constantly interacting with others whenever I visit an auction house in WoW, the market in Eve, or whatever other game.

Just because you aren't partying, doesn't mean the game isn't multiplayer still. I like living in a vibrant online world with a real economy and affect by players. I just don't necessarily always want to be grouping to do it.
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:42AM Minofan said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm with Seth.

However; I can understand why death penalties are good for developers - less content as levelling can be slowed/reverse, less landscape as force re-running of same ground, less itemization as players perpetually maintaing what they already have, less narrative as personal investment focus on risk/reward rather than story, etc.

So I understand how they are good for MMO developers in all those ways, just not how they are supposed to be good for me.

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 9:28AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
People want death penalties for the same reason people don't play every game on easy or casual mode. People want a challenge. For a lot people there's little excitement when you know that you're gonna die you'll just pop right back so it doesn't matter.

And debuffs and armor damage are an annoying form of death penalty, it adds no risk or excitement, its just annoying. Everquest and EVE did it right, having to navigate through dangerous areas to get your equipment or having your friends help you recover it, or being able to loose the shiny loots you got earlier adds a feeling of risk to the game.
Reply

Posted: Feb 27th 2010 8:53AM Pitt said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think some armor damage, say 10-20% thats costs money to repair and a debuff that lasts for say 30 mins, that can be cured by certain classes is penalty enough for dying in most fantasy games.

Eve Online is a totally different kettle of fish, and it's death mechanic suits the game perfectly. It's very tense going into the unknown with a chance to lose your ship and mods.

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW