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Old 10-06-2007, 10:15 AM   #1
Fifi
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How many muds have permadeath?

By permadeath, I mean real permadeath. You die- game over. The end. Finita la musica. How does permadeath alter the way people play?
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Two of the JTS games have permadeath. (The third, well, you're dead when the game starts, so permadeath is rather redundant.)

How does it affect players? Well, it makes them think twice about getting into life and death situations. It makes them think maybe three or four times before taking on a life or death situation against vastly superior numbers. And it gives a lot of gravitas to someone's sacrifice when they put themselves in a heroic dying-for-other-people scene.

We do offer some ways around dying. The first is the common sense that should come standard with every player. The other: Luck cards. Players who do a lot of RPing earn points to spend on things like luck cards, which can be used to "buy" themselves out of certain death. When the cards run out, of course, that's the end of the show.

The loss still stings, but we try to make sure players know from Day 1 that death for their characters is guaranteed someday (especially now that the current incarnation of OS will close next June). It's up to them - and their interactions with others - to determine how soon that death comes.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:52 AM   #3
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

How many muds have permadeath? That's pretty difficult to find out, but not a whole lot. To me, there are two kinds of permadeath:


1) True permadeath: if you die in any way, you're gone. Pretty rare, only the RPI muds and a few others have this. The purpose of this style of death is to make the game as realistic as possible, and to make sure that the players truly do as their character would if they were a living, breathing individual. It's easy to take nonsensical risks if dying means you have to spend an hour getting the xp points back; if it means a terminate loss of said character, the player is much more likely to stay in-character and act realistically.

2) "Soft" permadeath: it's possible to permanently lose the character, but it's not as simple as "death = bye". It might let you die a certain amount of times before the character finally ends, or you might need to die without a specific item on you, or in a particular way. Muds that have systems like these are often roleplay-enforced without taking the step to become a true RPI mud.


What does permadeath do for a game? As I mentioned above, it promotes realistic roleplay. Permadeath generally does not belong on a mud where roleplay is not the focus, although it could be there as a game difficulty similar to Diablo2's "hardcore" mode. Actions and consequences become a lot more real and interesting when a mistake could cost you months or years of work, and it makes it so much easier for the player to feel the real fear of death. Most purist roleplayers will not consider a game without permadeath to be a true roleplaying game.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I personally meant to question to pertain solely to true permadeath. But then I didn't think of soft permadeath as permadeath. Is it?
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

If it's possible to completely lose a character due to in-game circumstances (not such things as punishment from staff), the game has permadeath. That's my opinion. A system like Brody's is what I'd consider soft permadeath, while muds such as Armageddon and Shadows of Isildur have true permadeath.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
If it's possible to completely lose a character due to in-game circumstances (not such things as punishment from staff), the game has permadeath. That's my opinion. A system like Brody's is what I'd consider soft permadeath, while muds such as Armageddon and Shadows of Isildur have true permadeath.
Erm - it's possible to completely lose a character on OS due to in-game circumstances. If a player hasn't earned any luck cards, they're dead. Nothing soft about it. No consent required - yer dead. The luck cards just offer a representation of a player's investment of RP Reward Points to try and keep the character alive a little longer.

So, maybe the best way to describe it is permadeath with a (temporarily) open grave.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Well, it's just a conflict of opinion. I don't consider it true permadeath if you can somehow avoid losing a dead character by, for example, having a "luck card". Permadeath yes, but I'll call it soft.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Well, it's just a conflict of opinion. I don't consider it true permadeath if you can somehow avoid losing a dead character by, for example, having a "luck card". Permadeath yes, but I'll call it soft.
Worth agreeing to disagree on this one. I just see it as having as chance to dodge death. But, for example, during a recent planetside battle during the Phyrrian war, we had one character (newly apped) with no luck cards. He died. Permanently. We had others who had cards, used them to cheat death for a while, and then, when the cards ran out, died. Permanently.

I don't think it's soft. I just think it's cinematic. You're still possibly going to die, it just might be drawn out a little more.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

The strange thing is, I find the opposite of what is reported and expected to be true. I played a game where there was no permadeath, and there was xp and levels. And people stuck to the safe places - unwilling to risk their xp and equipment. Now I play a permadeath game, and people live lives filled with hardship and danger. Not reckless, but with risks.

Odd, huh?
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:29 AM   #10
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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The strange thing is, I find the opposite of what is reported and expected to be true. I played a game where there was no permadeath, and there was xp and levels. And people stuck to the safe places - unwilling to risk their xp and equipment. Now I play a permadeath game, and people live lives filled with hardship and danger. Not reckless, but with risks.

Odd, huh?
Well, it depends a lot on how the game is designed. A game might be relatively easy with a focus on grinding moreso than risky battles. Some games reward time spent where others reward risks survived. A mud such as Armageddon is built specifically to portray an extremely dangerous world, so even though it has permadeath, people are going to live risky lives simply because that's how the game works.


Quote:
Worth agreeing to disagree on this one. I just see it as having as chance to dodge death. But, for example, during a recent planetside battle during the Phyrrian war, we had one character (newly apped) with no luck cards. He died. Permanently. We had others who had cards, used them to cheat death for a while, and then, when the cards ran out, died. Permanently.

I don't think it's soft. I just think it's cinematic. You're still possibly going to die, it just might be drawn out a little more.
Agreed to disagree.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:49 AM   #11
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

since you're asking for *true permadeath* which is unfamiliar and not necessarily important term for mudders..

once i've been playing an horror game called Clive Barker's Undying..i said to myself '' if you die, game is OVER'' .this decision made my experience with the game much more exciting. i only played it alone, only at nights with candles scattered around my room.

i never died but got sick of my bad habit of saving again again (i obviously needed to set another rule regarding this saving issue) and couldn't help myself to keep playing. the game's atmosphere was just too brilliant and vibrant for me to maintain my welfare.

well, this is true permadeath..you can set this rule yourself for any mud you like but it's not reasonable in games those involve other PCs with other rules..

(you have your account there in most RPIs and can use your knowledge you have had with previous characters.)
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:04 PM   #12
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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By permadeath, I mean real permadeath. You die- game over. The end. Finita la musica. How does permadeath alter the way people play?
New Worlds has permadeath, but it does not happen to everyone, so you might call it "soft", and the game is different depending on where you start your character. Nevertheless, the real question was how does permadeath affect a character?

I'll answer it this way: Based on playing permadeath muds myself and discussion with those that have played both styles, I've found when people say "Hash Permadeath is true Intensive Roleplay," I say "pffft, because players that play on fully permadeath muds still know all their 'buddies" when they restart and go and rp with them regardless of whether they have a "new character" or not. It is exactly the same on a mud that you don't have permadeath, but lose knowledge of characters on death: Your friends also come help you regear, get coins, and you get back into the "group" you play with.

So, in short, there is no difference between a permadeath mud and a mud that has alternative methods of negativity on death, when it comes to social interaction or group power. The players still find their buddies and play with them.

However, when it comes to exploring or adventuring, permadeath or not permadeath, the real question is "how harsh is death?" And the harsher the death, the more timid the player is to explore.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:16 PM   #13
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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New Worlds has permadeath, but it does not happen to everyone, so you might call it "soft", and the game is different depending on where you start your character. Nevertheless, the real question was how does permadeath affect a character?

I'll answer it this way: Based on playing permadeath muds myself and discussion with those that have played both styles, I've found when people say "Hash Permadeath is true Intensive Roleplay," I say "pffft, because players that play on fully permadeath muds still know all their 'buddies" when they restart and go and rp with them regardless of whether they have a "new character" or not. It is exactly the same on a mud that you don't have permadeath, but lose knowledge of characters on death: Your friends also come help you regear, get coins, and you get back into the "group" you play with.

So, in short, there is no difference between a permadeath mud and a mud that has alternative methods of negativity on death, when it comes to social interaction or group power. The players still find their buddies and play with them.

However, when it comes to exploring or adventuring, permadeath or not permadeath, the real question is "how harsh is death?" And the harsher the death, the more timid the player is to explore.
Depends on the style of game and what's involved in getting a character.

For example, some RPI games aren't about gear or levels, they're about developing and building a character. So, you might spend weeks or even months just planning out a character concept to put it into a world where that character could be wiped out. I've known many a player who developed an attachment to their characters under those kinds of circumstances and when they lost the character, it wasn't as easy as running through chargen again with a new character just to be with their pals once more. Running through again may mean re-investing in an entirely new concept, submitting a fresh bio/application, and hoping for the best.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:42 PM   #14
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

We instituted permadeath into Advent, but I was actually originally against it. However my staff were fairly adamant for it so I wanted to give it a try.

Come to find out, I think it has enriched the MUD greatly (and we're only in Alpha testing). We've been open for Alpha testing for just over a year (Our 1 year anniversary was October 2nd), and we've had a small handful of deaths (I'm thinking maybe 10 in the last year total) from PK. But they were significant deaths, with much meaning behind them, and it helped create even more RP.

Because we put ourselves in the mindset of the players constantly, we've wanted to develop ways that permadeath would not deter people from playing the game. As such, we've recently implemented a way that people who have gained the most RPP (Roleplay Points that are rewarded by staff and automated for consistently good RP), are given the ability to advance their character fairly far during creation, rather than having to level up again.

If they've already proven themselves as good roleplayers, we decided it is better to reward them by not having them have to level their next alt as much at all. This will also allow them to create "troublesome" characters that will most likely have a short existence, and not have to worry about "advancing skills all over again."

We just don't see the need to put as much emphasis on advancing skills. We'd rather it be on roleplay and customization. So this works well with a permadeath system. I can't imagine not having one now
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:05 AM   #15
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Talking Re: How many muds have permadeath?

It's possible to wind up permadead on LS, but you have to kinda work at it. You start with 30 lives and are deleted if you lose all of them; you can buy more with gold. So it's unusual and generally a sign of large amounts of carelessness for this to happen.

The main exception to all that is Yog-Sothoth, who, if you're a ghost in his presence, will start eating your lives.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:10 AM   #16
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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New Worlds has permadeath, but it does not happen to everyone, so you might call it "soft", and the game is different depending on where you start your character. Nevertheless, the real question was how does permadeath affect a character?

I'll answer it this way: Based on playing permadeath muds myself and discussion with those that have played both styles, I've found when people say "Hash Permadeath is true Intensive Roleplay," I say "pffft, because players that play on fully permadeath muds still know all their 'buddies" when they restart and go and rp with them regardless of whether they have a "new character" or not. It is exactly the same on a mud that you don't have permadeath, but lose knowledge of characters on death: Your friends also come help you regear, get coins, and you get back into the "group" you play with.

So, in short, there is no difference between a permadeath mud and a mud that has alternative methods of negativity on death, when it comes to social interaction or group power. The players still find their buddies and play with them.

However, when it comes to exploring or adventuring, permadeath or not permadeath, the real question is "how harsh is death?" And the harsher the death, the more timid the player is to explore.
Well, I have had the opposite experience. The mud where I play, which has what I consider true permadeath (one death = the end, no exceptions or chance of avoidance), the issue you describe where buddies just get together again after a death has never been a noticeable problem. Of course it's not unheard of that a player ends up playing with the same gang as they did with a previous character, but if it's done in a manner that makes it obvious that they did it for OOC reasons, and without the proper in-character approach, the staff will typically take note and reprimend the player for it. Most players, upon losing a character, choose to play a completely different character in another area specifically to avoid ending up with the same associates, in the same plotlines, or in the same clan. There's a gigantic difference between permadeath and no permadeath, I find your statement to be in complete conflict with what I've experienced through years of mudding. I'll venture to claim that permadeath is usually the biggest differentiating factor between any two given muds; no other single property will set two games more apart than whether or not death means the loss of your character.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 AM   #17
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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It's possible to wind up permadead on LS, but you have to kinda work at it. You start with 30 lives and are deleted if you lose all of them; you can buy more with gold. So it's unusual and generally a sign of large amounts of carelessness for this to happen.

The main exception to all that is Yog-Sothoth, who, if you're a ghost in his presence, will start eating your lives.
While permanently dead, that's not really what I meant by permadeath. I mean death as an immediate and realistic conclusion.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:37 AM   #18
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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I'll venture to claim that permadeath is usually the biggest differentiating factor between any two given muds; no other single property will set two games more apart than whether or not death means the loss of your character.
I disagree. RP enforced vs. Hack/slash, is a MUCH bigger difference. Though I will say that some games claim rp enforced but have 13 year olds running around talking about Halo 3 and Xbox mid game. I see hardly any difference in player action in perma vs resurrected death.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:28 AM   #19
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I definitely don't knock permadeath, and I don't have a gripe with persistant characters through death either. Honestly, I feel that both is a risk/reward type of thing, and I don't think one is much better than the other when talking outside the scope of a specific game. Permadeath doesn't make anyone play more "realistically" than a non-peramdeath game with harsh penalties or even undesireable death penalties. The game designs that create unrealistic play are games like WoW where you will die in order to get somewhere faster or other games where you can use death as a quick teleport. That, however, is game design choice.

On our game, death is harsh. If a character chooses to die, everyone in the game knows that they're making a huge sacrifice, and sometimes, you just don't come back from it. You VERY rarely see anyone doing something that they know will result in death without a great deal of RP to back it up because it results in months and sometimes years of work.

I've been parts of permadeath games where the character is designed to die from the beginning. That's RP, but it's not exactly always realistic. It tells a story, and sometimes, it tells a GREAT story. It doesn't necessarily mean that it ALWAYS tells a good story or that it's always good RP.

In ANY game I play, permadeath or not, I always try to survive, and if I can survive, then I always try to excel. Depending on the game design, I will usually be cautious and diplomatic until I am able to begin manipulating things my way. This is consistant for me in permadeath or non-permadeath games. I'm thankful to a good friend who convinced me to try permadeath games, but my love will always be persistant character play with a serious death penalty. Above all, I look for RP enforced games. I find that to be the biggest sticking point for me in looking for a MUD regardless of there being permadeath or not.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:56 AM   #20
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

To me, it's not as much about whether or not players take greater risks or try harder to survive. On roleplaying muds, permadeath serves as a means to enhance roleplay. There are many things you can't really do, or won't get much out of doing, if death is just a setback. How are you going to roleplay an assassination if the target, upon being killed, just returns with some coded penalties? Or how do you explain what happened when he is revived by the use of an OOC reward? How many player-established plots will have very awkward endings or fade out on the drawing board when faced with the obstacle of non-permanent death?

It ultimately boils down to the game's theme. Muds that aim for complete realism and focus entirely on roleplay just won't work without full, no-exception permadeath. If there's a way around dying, well then you usually don't get all-out roleplay where the players are completely in-character at all times. I don't mind games that consider themselves "roleplaying enforced" while having such things as free-for-all OOC channels, non-permadeath, or experience/levels. It's the game developer's choice, and it's entirely a matter of personal opinion whether or not it's the best type of game. I've just never seen a mud with anything but my interpretation of true permadeath, or with any of the above qualities (levels, gossip channels etc.), that could give me the true roleplaying experience.

When I evaluate a roleplaying mud for its quality of roleplay, one of the main deciding factors is its death system. Nothing scores higher than simple one-strike-out permadeath, just as a level/class-less system is the most realistic. The more out-of-character aspects that you factor in, the less focus there will be on roleplaying, whether it's the developers' decision or a result of a playerbase who has trouble immersing completely with their characters and the game world.
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