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Reader Comments (96)

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 7:58PM Krelian said

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@DarkWalker

I say this with respect, but even though i don't know you, i hate you, from the bottom of my heart.

You are the reason why MMOs suck now, and are moving away from what once made them great.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 9:45PM j3w3l said

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@Digestivo
indeed, it does tend to create a more immersive environment as well as fostering attachment to your character
one quote i heard that relates is "without risk reward is meaningless". forgot where thats from

people are vehemently against even basic risk practices now such as item durability, i don't see it getting any better in fact the direction gw2 is taking seems that death doesn't even matter bar enduring a cutscene
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 2:54PM antagonistyahoocom said

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Harsh penalties may increase immersion, but it certainly decreases gameplay.

With permadeath, you could never have encounters as difficult as, say, WoW's heroic modes.

I think a good alternative to permadeath is simply to decease the emphasis on gear, and allow player looting. Plenty harsh enough.

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 3:32PM (Unverified) said

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@antagonistyahoocom
Not entirely true. Players in DDO have proven that permadeath (albeit player enforced permadeath) characters can take on raids tuned for normal players. This shows that you can have difficult encounters with permadeath consequences.

Personally, I've never enjoyed hardmodes that much (particularly when taken in the same vein as this article). The only risk is banging your head against the wall in frustration, and the rewards barely compensate for that personal injury. :D
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 4:39PM DarkWalker said

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@(Unverified)

But then, players would basically spend a lot more time planning and growing their strength, and way less time actually doing the challenges. They would basically spend time in boring (to me, at least) things so the risk of doing the content was at the bare minimum.

It's why I HATE LotRO's Undying achievement. For some reason, I can't keep playing a character if I lose it, so I go through those first 20 levels as if I was playing a perma-death game. And I HATE it from the bottom of my heart, since it mandates not taking any risks, not testing my limits. It's a completely opposite play style compared to my usual, reckless solo play style.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 2:59PM Space Cobra said

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I get what you are saying here, even though I prefer the casual side of things.

I think one good point you did bring up is consequences for specific player killing, namely, consequences to those that target players 20 or more levels below them. I can think of a few such in-game things, but what about something that *really* hurt? Of course, you kinda run into a...I don't know how to put it nicely, "Sadistic circle/Catch-22" because one *could* think that attacking lowbies is risky and your article promotes risk (and also mentions some reward for that risk). I can see some particular players do it for certain reasons, either proving their hardcoreness or some in-game unforeseen benefit.

Players come in all shapes and sizes and personalities, so it's hard to figure a good balance. I will state that I am pretty sure the majority of players prefer PvE and lite/no-consequences and that is based on looking at sub numbers of many MMOs compared to the small selection of PvP FFA ones and their sub numbers. But you are not asking for that, you want a challenge and something that gets your adrenaline pumping and gives you rewards/consequences.

In this market, what with f2p gaining popularity and such, I don't see a triple AAA title by a big studio producing such a title. I do see a possible niche market to cater to that some small-Indie studio can fill...and IF successful, you may get the big studios interested. So, really, you gotta support your small/Indie productions, even if the graphics aren't "all that" and the game is rather clunky. I think there are certain barriers other than FFA PvP that prevent players from getting involved with EvE, at least for me (Mega-Corps, Trading, Mine-Grinding, Corp-Back-Stabbing, etc.). I am not belittling those, but different folks/different strokes. Some people just want to battle without the politics, some want mainly the politics, and some are in-between. You seem, like many, that want the battle and "action" aspects, which I can relate to, too. The thing is making such a game and, really, I see opportunity for a studio that can "do it right" and maintain a stable player base. You also must consider "class-balancing", which is an art in itself. What with Class Nerfs and all, this can turn players off. The thing is, especially in a PvP title, such balancing is never ending, even after launch, and woe betide if you introduce a new class!

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 3:08PM Carolina said

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I'd love to see a game where the consequence for going to the ultimate violence (to simply kill what is in your way) had a much bigger consequence, but only if there were other things to do in the game and other ways to play your character.

PvE thinking, that would mean that I'd be able to complete a kill 10 rats quest by hiring someone else, or by being a very good liar, or by convincing the NPC that killing 10 rats is not the solution to its problems, but to buy these nice traps I can craft is the better way to solve the issue.

As for PvP, different kinds of weapon damage could be implemented, such as stamina drains where you don't really die, just faint and then get robbed. And by killing someone cold blood, you could have "witnesses" consequences such as in Oblivion, and well, you should be stained with blood until a bath and a clothes change was made as post consequence for killing. Or would you be at ease with a person covered in blood by your side in a shop? Even if it was a pig's blood, it is blood and I bet nobody would like to serve you anything in a restaurant looking like that.

I don't think "permadeath" as a good choice, I prefer to think of consequences of dying and killing. Recovery systems could be implemented, and while you don't lose the character, you'll have to stay safe for a while. But who knows, maybe looking hurt and broken could make some NPCs at the temple pity on you and let you have a couple of days of free meals?

My point is: there are MANY different options that games are not exploring about good and bad consequences of combat in games. And I keep wishing that combat was not the only thing an MMORPG has to offer.

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 3:36PM Vgk said

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@Carolina I disagree with you on that, having the occasional quest in which you can persuade a guy that X shouldn't be done or have X be able to be done in multiple ways some of which may include non-combat mechanics would be fine but not in every other quest, having it occasionally is fine but it would just get tiresome and boring to have that mechanic in repeatedly.

Uhh no, 90% of these games have you in a setting of war and conflict, if a great hero or war veteran goes into your store having just taken a small respite from the front lines are you really going to care that he has a few drops of enemy blood on him? Having to wash off after killing someone also wouldn't be that great of a consequence because it isn't really punishing you it's just adding a pointless boring thing to the game and is punishing you for SUCCESSFULLY killing an opposing player. You shouldn't have to do some trivial task as 'punishment' for having beat a player in PvP combat, you should get punished for having been defeated not for being victorious and having some of his blood on you.

Perma death is too extreme I agree, maybe something like semi-lootable corpses would work better in which you loot a small amount of money say .5% of what the player has on him, he loses it you gain it and some random misc items (ex: if he's an alchemist and botanist you also get some random herbs/potions
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 4:29PM Carolina said

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@Vgk But that is the point, I'd like killing to have some consequences other then "yay, you won!" or "boo you lost". You should also stink after a bloodbath battle. But this is me wishful thinking of MMO*RPGs*, and not just MMOs in general.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 3:10PM (Unverified) said

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Brilliant, and right on the money. World of Darkness will have permadeath and I want to check that out. I don't know if I want a permadeath in most MMOs, but harsher penalties should be there. In my mind "dieing" should never be a tactic for gameplay. Easy DP encourages running objectives instead of fighting your way through, it encourages poor tactics that wouldn't be otherwise considered. If you die, you should take a hurt for it. Most MMOs allow you to rez with no penalty, and then now we are even seeing a trend towards MMOs that allow you rez right next to where you die. You don't even have to waste time running back to your body. No item loss, no debuff, no coin loss, maybe a little armor damage but that's it! EQ had item loss, XP loss, etc and it was brilliant for it. So yea divide MMOs into categories: Casual MMO, Moderate MMO, Hardcore MMO. Divide the DP between them, Casual none, or virtually none. Moderate a DP that is semi harsh, but not overly punitive. Hardcore means very punitive and maybe even permadeath as an option. I would love it. I would still play casual MMOs from time to time, but it would give me something to invest in. It would also eliminate the "Hey I got the most uber armor in the game and hit cap in less than a month" which drives me nuts.

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 4:42PM HiroProtagonist7 said

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@(Unverified)
Where'd you read that about WoD? Cool if true
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 5:00PM PacketBurner said

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@(Unverified)

I thought they balked on that one i'm afraid, although could be wrong.
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Posted: Aug 12th 2011 5:59AM Ref Minor said

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@(Unverified)

Lol permadeath in a vampire themed game might not mean what you think
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 3:12PM fallwind said

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My issue is that increased risk leads to decreased risk-taking.

I played Eve for just over three months, in that time I lost exactly one ship. I followed the "don't fly what you can't afford to lose" rule, as a result I only ever got to try a frigate and the cheapest of cruisers. I never DARED take on more than a few rats with my cruiser and would usually either bail or call on a friend to come make sure I had overwhelming firepower.

Not once did I ever feel the "thrill" of risk... I felt the mundaneness of always having the advantage. I may not have had IDKFA on, but I made damn sure that I had such an advantage that I may as well have been in god-mode before I ever fired a shot.

Too much risk/consequence leads players to be too cautious, and that makes for gameplay that is far more dull than no risk/consequence.

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 7:24PM Fabius Bile said

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@fallwind this x100. specially when applied to PvP.

for many of us the reward of PvP is the action itself.

if I have to ponder for 10 minutes if I should engage or run with the tail between my legs (and 9 times out of 10 if I decided to engage, the other guy will be the one to run away) the only thing you are killing is the fun
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 8:07PM Krelian said

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@fallwind

Upvoted for IDKFA
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Posted: Jul 19th 2011 3:16PM Link064 said

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While I can see where you are coming from with regards to consequence, you seem to be forgetting that a lot of the time, the consequence is that they are taking the most valuable thing anyone can have: time. If you were to advocate them to take something more, what would it be? Real life money?

The only greater consequences, one of which you are advocating (permadeath), are all directly related to losing time. When you suffer permadeath, what is the real consequence? Loss of time. Nearly everything you earned on your first (now dead) character can be regained (with the exception of perhaps unique achievements or items gained during time-sensitive events) over time. Sure, your character might have been wearing full T27, but who cares? You can grind it out again, it'll just take some time. You could even have you old characters name still. Just delete the old one and make a new one with the same name.

So, while it may sound nice to have MORE consequences, it would be inaccurate to say that there are none since they are already taking from you what you are asking only in a lesser degree. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to look for alternative ways of penalizing players than taking more of their time.

As per the risk + reward = greater persistence argument, I don't really feel like further polarizing risk and reward increases the "persistency" of the world. It only makes players risk adverse, which makes people much more boring. There is a point where, no matter how great the reward, if people feel the risk is too great then they will not attempt it. There are certainly better ways to make a world more persistent without introducing greater penalties for attempting anything. Penalties serve a purpose, but it is not to make the player feel as though they are somehow more in the world.

Additionally, full permanence may actually be harmful to a game. Games are built upon the idea that you can succeed as long as you try. What if, after passing a certain point, you can no longer succeed no matter what you do? What if the game doesn't let you know this? What if failure was guaranteed from the beginning? While a Sisyphean game might hold your attention for a short span, you will eventually lose interest and leave.

Consider, if you will, the old "choose your own adventure" books. If you were physically required to put the book down and never look at it again after making a bad decision, would you try another one of their books? What if it happened again? Eventually, you would either run out of material to attempt or become frustrated and give up. Permanence, in this instance, would be a very, very bad thing.

Anyway, I've rambled too long about this. Just my 2ยข

Posted: Jul 19th 2011 4:27PM Floop the Squirrel said

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@Link064

If your time is so precious, why do you waste it in MMOs ? :P

And a corpse run takes a minute or two.. I wouldn't call that "expensive"
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Posted: Jul 20th 2011 10:49AM Transientmind said

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@Floop the Squirrel

Yeah, but imagine if you got killed by Arthas and WoW told you, "Permadeath! I hope you enjoy Goldshire!"

Then you'd have to level again.

If I had to stare down the barrel of doing durotar, the barrens, stranglethorn, blackrock, all of the burning crusade, then all of wrath again, just for another shot at Arthas...
Well. I'd tell him he can have the world and when he's ready to raze Kalimdor he'll find my naked toon dancing on a mailbox in Orgrimmar waiting for my sub to run out.
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Posted: Jul 20th 2011 11:24AM Floop the Squirrel said

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@Transientmind

Oh, I never said permadeath is the way to go.

The thing is, yes, time is valuable to the ones that have precious little to spare. However, Link's post came across as "time is the only thing you can take away. then why take away too much?"

Maybe i misread it the first time (sleep deprivation is a bitch) , but that's what i've taken from it. The idea is that death penalties are a very fine line too walk. Yes, huge death penalties are bad as they discourage risking things. No death penalties, or pathetic ones, like in Rift, on the other hand take away from the actual challenge of the game...

As i said, it's a fine line to walk.
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