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Old 04-11-2008, 04:56 PM   #1
Blay
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Death

Are there any muds out here at all that don't have huge death penalties? I'm all for losing a small bit upon death, but losing so much discourages participation in pk. I'm looking for one that doesn't require loss of entire levels and all equipment your character has aquired. As always, RP is huge with me. However, if I can't properly RP PK because of huge death losses, I'm not going to bother. Any suggestions would be very helpful.


Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:16 PM   #2
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Re: Death

Ironically, the MUD of my previous post, Evaryn is quite gentle with death.. you can have a certain amount of visits to the lands of death with no penalty.. and if GM's are online, they tend to step in and stop you getting penalties, along with some godly advice :-)
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Death

I'm confused. Aren't almost all stock muds lenient with death?
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: Death

That depends on what you call lenient. I don't really want to play a game where I lose all the equipment my character bought with every death. If all equipment is found in the game through killing mobs or completing quests without characters purchasing it, it isn't so bad. I can deal with equipment loss if that is the case. Otherwise, I'm simply not interested.


Thanks MudMann. I may give that one a try. It can be so hard to find quality muds as of late. Or, I should say muds that fit my personal preferences.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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Re: Death

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Originally Posted by Delerak View Post
I'm confused. Aren't almost all stock muds lenient with death?
Funny you would say this, because I thought something similar. It seems to me that the trend in gaming these days is almost meaningless death. In games like WoW and City of Heroes, it is pretty much a teleport spell back to your bind point.

Unfortunately, players seem to be demanding low-penalty death, and then they wonder why the games they play have lost some of their emotional impact.

I don't believe in permadeath (for a variety of reasons I won't go into here so I don't derail things in that direction), but I do prefer games where death matters and is a significant setback. Otherwise, advancement is nothing but a time commitment with no connection to skill at all.
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:56 AM   #6
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Re: Death

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if I can't properly RP PK because of huge death losses, I'm not going to bother.

I agree with Threshold, and personally found the above statement rather ironic. Now, I understand, and sometimes greatly enjoy, the fun of playing a game that has little death penalty. But I also feel it's pretty hard to RP death without there being a moderate penalty for death.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:42 AM   #7
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Re: Death

The whole minor death penalty thing and peoples preference for it is the whole reason that WoW stole the market from Everquest. Death should carry consequences, but why cant those consequence be fun.. or at least not heartbreaking? You dont have to steal levels, xp and the like to promote good RP or teach someone a lesson. I do get the impression that overall, and especially with the more intense RP MUD@s, everyone seems to have forgotten that a MUD is a game, and supposed to be fun.

But when that consequence is having to recreate days or weeks of hard work.. to be blunt I dont want that kind of emotional attachment, as the only emotions are frustration, anger, upset and a feeling that you just wasted a lot of time. Especially (and this has happened to me) death occurred as a result of disconnects.

Someone dies, give em a solid hour or more of randomised death effects (a'la'Threshold as an example.. makes for some nice RP opps) and the loss of items should be more than enough punishment. But when I have to go out there.. and grind the same areas again and again to get back my XP and levels and when those areas are limited, and frequently over hunted, it slows things down even more.

I suppose in MUDs where levels and power is secondary to the RP, its not that big a deal, but overall one of the reasons I have started to drift from MUD's is I didnt want the upset caused by dying as it could potentially ruin a day.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Death

The only games I know of, that don't incur -some- significant loss (either equipment, levels, experience, or permanent death), are games where there is no combat code, and games where PK is strictly against the rules. Of course if PK is against the rules, but combat is coded, there's nothing preventing the exact same penalties if you get killed by some mob-critter somewhere. So I don't see why you'd make a fuss about PK resulting in penalties, but not find it necessary to mention you also don't want non-PK deaths to result in the same penalties.

Basically, you can count on either losing SOMETHING significant when your character gets killed by a fellow character, -or- you can play a mud that forbids/cannot accommodate PK.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
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Re: Death

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Originally Posted by MudMann View Post
The whole minor death penalty thing and peoples preference for it is the whole reason that WoW stole the market from Everquest. Death should carry consequences, but why cant those consequence be fun.. or at least not heartbreaking? You dont have to steal levels, xp and the like to promote good RP or teach someone a lesson. I do get the impression that overall, and especially with the more intense RP MUD@s, everyone seems to have forgotten that a MUD is a game, and supposed to be fun.

But when that consequence is having to recreate days or weeks of hard work.. to be blunt I dont want that kind of emotional attachment, as the only emotions are frustration, anger, upset and a feeling that you just wasted a lot of time. Especially (and this has happened to me) death occurred as a result of disconnects.

Someone dies, give em a solid hour or more of randomised death effects (a'la'Threshold as an example.. makes for some nice RP opps) and the loss of items should be more than enough punishment. But when I have to go out there.. and grind the same areas again and again to get back my XP and levels and when those areas are limited, and frequently over hunted, it slows things down even more.

I suppose in MUDs where levels and power is secondary to the RP, its not that big a deal, but overall one of the reasons I have started to drift from MUD's is I didnt want the upset caused by dying as it could potentially ruin a day.
I couldn't have said any of that better myself. Yes, there should be some sort of down side to dying in a RP based MUD. However, as a player, I don't want to spend tons of time trying to get back to where I was to begin with. Most RP muds are centered around some sort of conflict. Whether that conflict is wars that characters fight to the death or political struggles, conflict itself is what keeps muds interesting. When a player has to go through the trouble of avoiding pk conflict because of the ridiculous consequence they'll have to deal with afterwards, it takes a lot away from where they could take that character RP-wise. It pretty much stifles a lot of RP. You remove conflict from a game and I guarantee you'll see one of two things. Players will go to RP extremes in order to catch a tiny glimpse of excitement (ruining their characters in the process) or the mud will simply stop growing.

He's absolutely right though. Muds are games. Games are supposed to present challenge along with fun/entertainment. When it gets to the point that you're frustrated more than having fun, it's time to find another hobby.

As for the bolded part, you mentioned drifting from muds. I'm not that experienced with the gaming community aside from putting a few years into one particular mud. The rest is basically lost on me. Have you found something better? If so, send me a quick message about it!
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: Death

I hear what many of you are saying, and I can sympathize. Please don't take any of my ranting and theorizing as anything personal. I am speaking about players in general, and some trends that I think are harmful to MMOs and MUD.

I think the growing trend of players wanting death that doesn't hurt is actually hurting their overall gameplay experience. Most players do not really take the time to analyze their overall experience. I can understand why, since that isn't their job. They want to play and have fun, and that's fine. But the problem is they look at the feeling they have at a single instant, and tend to make excessive generalizations for the whole game based on that short term feeling.

If dying in a game has the power to "ruin your day", then WOW, that game has clearly connected to you in a very powerful way. Conversely, think about how incredibly exciting a win by the skin of your teeth is in such a game. In WoW, winning with 5% hp left is a big fat "so what." Dying wouldn't have really mattered anyway. But in a game where you lose a level, or lose even 10% of your total xp when you die, well suddenly that close victory means something. When the battle is over, and your pulse is racing, and you have beads of sweat on your brow, you actually realize the game was creating a meaningful experience.

Unfortunately, I don't see this trend reversing. Far too many players only look at the extreme short term. They only look at the "wahhh I died and now I have to work to get it back." The fact that they even call it work is evidence of an extremely warped sense about what it means to PLAY a game. So I think those of us who look at the overall gaming experience from a macro standpoint are destined to be disappointed. But in the end, it is everyone who suffers. Everyone who much later ponders "gee, these MMOs/MUDs just don't seem to have the same oomph as they did a long time ago. I guess the games just aren't as good any more." No, the games are better. But overwhelming, short sighted player demands are a significant factor making them seem worse.

It reminds me of an excellent article by Dr. Richard Bartle titled, Why Virtual Worlds are Designed By Newbies - No, Really!.

Quote:
Virtual worlds are being designed by know-nothing newbies, and there's not a damned thing anyone can do about it. I don't mean newbie designers, I mean newbie players - first timers. They're dictating design through a twisted "survival of the not-quite-fittest" form of natural selection that will lead to a long-term decay in quality, guaranteed. If you think some of today's offerings are garbage, just you wait…
I can understand why people THINK a minor death "penalty" is a good thing. I understand why they THINK it is more fun. But I firmly believe that in the long run, it dumbs down and numbs the game such that the overall experience is less. The peaks can only be as high as the valleys are low.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:54 PM   #11
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Re: Death

I didn't mean to offend in any way if I did and I do admit to knowing next to nothing about how to run one of these games. All I know is how I feel, as a player. And you should also keep in mind that I only posted my own opinions. I'm sure that other players differ from myself greatly. Having said that, I personally believe there could be some sort of middle ground to find a fix that isn't too frustrating on players and one that also caters to those who run the games themselves. To me, I still get that feeling of nervousness when participating in any pk. Though, I don't think it has anything to do with the consequences. It centers around pride for me. Most muds have some sort of skills or announcements that show character deaths. Showing up on the wrong side of that has always been what got me “all worked up”.


I do think that death should have some kind of a negative effect. Otherwise, there would be no way to regulate the 12 year olds who get their kicks out of causing trouble. But there -has- to be another way to go about it. Having players be forced to hack-n-slash their way into regaining lost xp and equipment in these games is annoying. Having to do it once in order to get a character up to a high enough level to participate in pk is enough and can actually be fun when a player is new to the game. Anything that is highly repetitive and adds to frustrations isn't generally a good thing for a game about entertainment.


This is just my opinion though. I'm sure most of you know more about it than I do.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:00 PM   #12
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Re: Death

I think what it has come down to with me is that I have spent 11 years playing various muds (over 10 differnet ones for various period, Threshold being up there with the best of them), invested a lot of money in muds, and more time than I care to add up.. and everytime a whole weekend or longer was lost due to death of a character on those MUD's with serious death penalties, it thoroughly ruined my day and affect my mood IRL. Emotional attachment yes, but not a good thing. Add to that that my most nasty deaths were disconnect caused and I am sure some will understand why this was especially painful.

At what point does it become that in a RP game we dont take any risks as we dont want to pay the high price of a death. I could never play a permadeath mud as I would not dare grow attached to a character knowing they could be gone forever with one PC lockup.

Sounds a lot like.. hmmm.. real life? I dont take risks there either, but muds are escapism. Well maybe an extreme example, but I think my point is valid. When a death make you realise just how much time could be wasted / will be needed to get back if you die.. the MUD starts to become less of a game.

I dont think a MUD that already has harsh penalties for death should take a softly softly approach, but I think any game with a serious death penalty should take into consideration one thing.. how long is the player going to have to play to get back what he lost at any given level... if the answer to that is "just as long as it took in the first place maybe longer" I think its too long. I am sure I wont be the only player that starts to drift away from the serious RP muds.. and that is a shame as that is generally where the real quality lies.

Do MUD's creators not want to cater even slightly for the new generation of players who dont want to waste time after dying? or have they all just accepted that they (MUDS) will never be popular again and just cater for those who already play and accept serious death penalties?

Myself, I now play Interactive Fiction (I love test basd games) and WoW (though this is waning due to the young player base.. lets hope Age of Conan lives up to the hype), and I am having real fun again.. games are now relaxing once more.

But I miss muds, but cant let them affect my RL mood anymore, hence, I dabble but never more than a few hours per week, and never on any one MUD for too long.

What a ramble.. sorry folks
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:25 PM   #13
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Re: Death

Using a standard level / xp based MUD as a template, penalties of a death that I would have been happy with are

1) Loss of a high % XP gained since gaining a level (based on some time at this level forumula) but no loss of levels! but no xp loss if killed by a player (assuming PK is unrestricted)
2) Rp Death illness for an hour or so (Threshold has this nicely covered, though the wrath of the gods is a pain in the ass)
3) Dropping of all equipment with the corpse naturally (PK or not)
4) Slow recovery time with healing spells / potions not working until you have naturally regained all stats so you have to really sit and ponder your death.
5) Serious 'mental' (Int, Wisdom, mana, inability to talk) penalties caused if you see your own corpse due to shock (and to prevent running back to your corpse)

now those penalties are harsh enough to teach a lesson, but at least the player does not have to get levels back which is a cruel punishment.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:15 PM   #14
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Re: Death

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Originally Posted by Blay View Post
To me, I still get that feeling of nervousness when participating in any pk. Though, I don't think it has anything to do with the consequences. It centers around pride for me. Most muds have some sort of skills or announcements that show character deaths. Showing up on the wrong side of that has always been what got me “all worked up”.
But that IS the consequence - the hit to your pride. That is why PK deaths rarely need any kind of level loss or other penalty to still have an emotional impact. The sheer fact of losing to another living, breathing player is harsh enough. And the joy of beating one is exciting enough even without the danger of losing a level or a big chunk of xp.

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and everytime a whole weekend or longer was lost due to death of a character on those MUD's with serious death penalties, it thoroughly ruined my day and affect my mood IRL.
(tongue-in-cheek tone here)

When you died, did a probe come out of the computer, inject itself into your brain, and remove all memories of the fun you had that weekend playing the character? Did it literally remove the FUN you had from your overall emotional state, and replace it with a belief that you spent the weekend pulling weeds or some other dreary chore?

If not, then how can you say you "lost" the weekend of play? You didn't lose anything. You lost some xp, a level, or something of that nature, but the actual play you had over that weekend was still experienced and still enjoyed. If the only reason you played that weekend was to increase your points, then you may as well have been playing Progress Quest.

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When a death make you realise just how much time could be wasted / will be needed to get back if you die.. the MUD starts to become less of a game.
How is it wasted? Do you enjoy playing the mud for the sake of itself or not? If you do not enjoy the process of playing, then something has gone wrong with the game long before you died.

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I dont think a MUD that already has harsh penalties for death should take a softly softly approach, but I think any game with a serious death penalty should take into consideration one thing.. how long is the player going to have to play to get back what he lost at any given level...
They have it back instantly, because the reason to play a game is to enjoy playing it. If you enjoy playing it, then you never have to "get back" anything.

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Do MUD's creators not want to cater even slightly for the new generation of players who dont want to waste time after dying? or have they all just accepted that they (MUDS) will never be popular again and just cater for those who already play and accept serious death penalties?
Oh, I don't think that is a problem. It is very clear that MUD creators are massively catering to this new generation of players that want death to be almost meaningless.

When I first started playing MUDs, the typical death penalty was that you lost half of all experience you EVER EARNED. This would often mean a loss of 5-10 levels (or more) at a time. Knowing that, do you still think MUD creators are not affected by the continual "dumbing down effect" of new players wanting less and less penalties from death?

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But I miss muds, but cant let them affect my RL mood anymore, hence, I dabble but never more than a few hours per week, and never on any one MUD for too long.
This is what I was getting at in my post. Tons of people say they miss MUDs, but then they seem to expect MUDs to stop being what made them exciting. They play WoW, get bored with it, play other games or MUDs, and then try to get the developers to make those games more like WoW. Then the developers listen, and the game becomes boring (for the same reason WoW got boring). You can't out-WoW WoW. WoW is good at what it does. Trying to make a MUD that does the same thing is a losing proposition. For players, trying to make every new game you play more like the last one you played is not going to result in more fun for you. There is a reason you stopped playing that other game, so don't lobby to make your new game like the old one.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:14 AM   #15
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Re: Death

I offer this possibility:

The game(s) you're playing put such an emphasis on equipment gain, that when you lose it through death, it ends up being more of a loss than the fact that your character just got killed. Who gives a flying fart about the character, you have no attachment to it. You DO, however have an attachment to the equipment. Which is really strange, if you think about it.

If reaching social status among your fellow players is measured by how many exp points or skill ranks in specific skills you gain, and if death results in the loss of exp points or skills, then of -course- you will be frustrated at having to "re-do" all that spam hunting or power crafting to gain them all back. But in my mind, it's just a bad match for you. You shouldn't be playing games where experience points, skills, and equipment are the focus of the game. Maybe try a game where the character development is the focus. And that way, when you lose a character to death, it won't be frustrating. It'll be sad, it'll be shocking, it'll be head-banging-against-the-wall annoyed. But there will be no frustration in having to "do over" because you won't be allowed to do the SAME character over anyway. You'll have the chance to make a new one, with different skills, different equipment, different goals, different stats, different personality, different friends, in a different starting location, having different adventures and getting involved in different plotlines.

In summary, if your experience with MUDs shows you that they exist to make you go "through the grind" to "advance," and you don't like having to go through the grind to advance, then you should stop playing games that make you go through the grind to advance. There are lots of games that don't revolve around min-maxing.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:17 AM   #16
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Re: Death

This thread, while interesting, reminds me of the Simpson's episode where Bart gets knocked back to remedial school and is with Ralph and a bunch of slow kids. The teacher stands up and says, alright students, let's play musical chairs. The 8 kids stand around 14 chairs and the music plays and then stops. They all sit down and Bart says, "Hey, there are way too many chairs." And the teacher says, "That's right! You're All Winners!"
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:31 AM   #17
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Re: Death

Hey look, I was only trying to help. While this thread started out as a genuine question, I thought that it would make for a good discussion. I keep reading threads containing complaints about how these muds aren't growing, etc. I'd figure that you all would be interested in a player's point of view. Needless to say, I'm only one player, but some other players still share my thoughts about the subject.

No need to compare the level of frustration to something as silly as implying that I meant no one should "lose". That isn't what I meant and I think you knew that.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:29 PM   #18
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Re: Death

Didn't mean to offend you Blay. Was just an observation of the posts on this thread that sounded comical to me. I did say the thread was interesting though and I do believe everyone is always interested in what players have to say.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:31 PM   #19
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Re: Death

This would seem to be a good search engine option distinguishing games with no death penalty, light death penalty, heavy death penalty, and permanent death itself. Of course, the exact nature of these terms would no doubt be debated and argued over with a few dishonest games choosing whichever option seemed most favorable to attracting players regardless of the accuracy to their game but that's possible, and present, with almost every search option.

In response to the original poster's request, I can think of several though they're not games I'd recommend as they're all H&S, with little or no role-play.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:41 PM   #20
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Re: Death

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This would seem to be a good search engine option distinguishing games with no death penalty, light death penalty, heavy death penalty, and permanent death itself.
Permanent death I could see, but I fear the others might be too subjective.
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