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Old 04-28-2008, 11:29 PM   #101
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by LoD View Post
The more dialog produced in this thread, the more I become acutely aware that much of this boils down to personal preference and goals. We all play games for different reasons, not just MUDs, but everything. Some people enjoy the thrill of victory, others are content merely to enjoy the company of others, while other still find reward simply in the physical or mental exercise encompassed by the entire process. I enjoy perma-death MUDs because it feels like a raw and dangerous world -- one in which the accomplishments feel harder won, the survival feels harder earned, and the encounters carry an excitement that I've not found in any non-permadeath game to date.
Yes, I can understand that completely. Permadeath creates a certain type of gameplay that attracts certain players. Why they are attracted is completely understandable. At the same time, permadeath can turn off certain players and detracts from what that person may be trying to roleplay. It neither inherently promotes more roleplaying nor does it inherently detract from roleplaying. It is just a game design mechanic that appeals to several people.

Diablo II had a permadeath mode called Hardcore where people would compete heavily to outlast everyone else while trying to progress as far as they could as fast as they could. There was definitely a more tense and "on the edge" feel to playing on the Hardcore server. You couldn't really just level in peace because you got one death, and you were done with that character. Playing involved way more running away and screaming at your computer than on the regular servers.

This is what I feel that many hardcore proponents of permadeath in muds are describing, and it's something I understand completely since I did mess around a lot on Hardcore mode. It's just something that I don't necessarily like when I roleplay because I feel that it doesn't allow me to get involved with my character in the manner which I enjoy. I actually don't feel like my decisions matter as much because, likely, I'm going to get slaughtered by another player who just decided my character was a waste of space. And because mechanics still exist, I pretty much have no chance as a new player if someone takes offense to my existence immmediately.

So, the OP asked how permadeath affects players on muds, and I think we can see that it affects players in vastly different ways. Permadeath on a PK, unenforced RP mud would be thoroughly enjoyable to me whereas permadeath on an RP-enforced mud would not be for the reasons I've listed.

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I understand how those qualities would be offensive or frustrating to other players, but it doesn't lessen my personal enjoyment of that system and the many negatives and positives it carries.
Yes, it can be frustrating, but it's easily remedied for people who find it furstrating. We simply don't play permadeath muds, or we play a good permadeath mud and spend less time than we normally would building our character background.

There's definitely enough muds out there to appeal to all sorts of different people, and there's a lot of people out there who enjoy both permadeath and pendeath. I simply can't buy the idea that one is inherently better than the other for RP purposes, but it can be better for a specific roleplayer looking for a specific way to play.

Last edited by Milawe : 04-28-2008 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:31 PM   #102
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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The more dialog produced in this thread, the more I become acutely aware that much of this boils down to personal preference and goals. We all play games for different reasons, not just MUDs, but everything.
I think that is right on the money. Personal preferences and perspective are everything. Thank god there is more than 1 type of MUD. This is still one area where MUDs do have an advantage over graphical MMOs. There is a lot more variety in in the MUD world than there is in the MMO world.


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I enjoy perma-death MUDs because it feels like a raw and dangerous world -- one in which the accomplishments feel harder won, the survival feels harder earned, and the encounters carry an excitement that I've not found in any non-permadeath game to date.
It is funny you say this, because these are some of the exact same reasons I prefer non-permadeath muds. For me, it is far more dangerous and "raw" when I know that the enemy I make today could haunt me as a nemesis for years and years to come. I will not have an "easy" (imho) resolution of the conflict by killing him (or dying myself and starting over). Knowing that insulting the wrong people or doing something the general populace deems heretical could haunt me for years and years makes the world seem vibrant and dangerous, and it makes me realize how seriously I must take my actions and my words. I know I have to stay on my toes, because there will be no easy escape from any situation. There is no easy out. Like Imhotep from "The Mummy" says: Death is only the beginning.

And in a conflict, victory will never be absolute. Even if I win, I know that my defeated foe is lurking in the background, biding his or her time for an opportunity to get revenge. This can go back and forth many times over the years, deepening the conflict and the hatred. Any time I am triumphant over this foe (not just in PK, but in any competitive situation in the game), the joy is magnified enormously. And the thought of losing to this foe becomes more and more painful to even imagine, since the relationship has developed so deeply.

There are pros and cons to each style of play, and there are areas where each is more intense. I am glad there are games for both styles of play and both preferences.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:41 PM   #103
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I quite like permanent death myself and began work on a tbaMUD based game on which I had permdeath implemented and max level was 18 (whole mud was more or less D&D based). I never ended up getting it off the ground and most people that saw it were pretty adamant in telling me they believed it'd never attract players due to it being permdeath. I'm not sure if I necessarily agree with that though. I believe fewer players like permdeath than dislike it, but since there are fewer permdeath muds and it is such a niche category it'd seem that such games would have somewhat of an installed playerbase.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:43 PM   #104
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Actually, given that example, the permadeath mud will create more "issues staying IC." Because what if that person you mugged and killed is so bitter, they make a new character, build themselves up, and then go kill you. That is HUGELY OOC. At least in a non permadeath mud, their efforts to seek out revenge are still 100% IC.
I rarely see this type of behavior, so I cannot really agree to it being a regular enough problem to make for a realistic example of the downfalls, or conversely the benefits, of a permadeath or non-permadeath system.

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Mina and Disillusionist have already made this point, but I think it is such a good one I am going to reiterate it. I think relying on realism can actually be a pretty bad crutch. I mean how much of a stretch is it to RP things that are similar to reality? Not that hard, honestly. The more different a game world is from our RL reality just ramps up the challenge, RP wise.
I don't buy into the argument that realism is a crutch as a blanket statement. This seems to generally be applied to people you are criticizing as shallow (not poor) role-players, who support or cling to concepts that are closely related to their own world so that the gap between themselves and their characters is nil. Embracing elements of reality in order to facilitate interaction and enhance RP is entirely possible.

Why is it, do you think, that so many MUDs and other game worlds support humanoid characters? If the assertion that "The larger the separation from reality, the greater the RP challenge." holds true, wouldn't we see nothing but atypical and unique race concepts that contain completely alien and foreign anatomy, appearance, movement, thought processes, value systems, moral beliefs, and so on? The notion that you have so perfectly represented the spectrum of mundane roles within low fantasy, Earth-similar environments that you require challenges in order to achieve higher levels of RP satisfaction smacks of arrogance.

I don't think that's what you meant to imply, but do you really believe that realism is so terrible a thing?

Perhaps a topic for another thread.

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But you did indeed compare permadeath to dying in real life. That is explicitly what you did.
You seem to want to critique the color of the dish rather than comment on the flavor. My intent was to demonstrate how the threat of permanent death as a consequence compared to nearly any other consequence that does not result in the permanent death or severe limitation of one's character has an impact on how a person makes decisions regarding their character. If you disagree with that statement, then let's work from there rather than further muddying the issue.

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When everyone dies and just starts over, and the point of the game is just roleplay anyway, dying just isn't as big of a deal anymore.
Dying is a big deal to the people whom attach a value to that character. You obviously feel that the distance between the player and character is shallow indeed to feel that the death of one character and the beginning of another is akin to a casual formality while waiting to engage in RP sessions. The characters are works of art, not place holders. They are the canvas to many of us, an opportunity to create a unique and expressive work through days, weeks, months, and years of effort.

To even imply that switching from one canvas to another would be trivial because we're really just here to enjoy painting is callous. You may not attribute any great worth the product created by years of someone's effort, but many people do. And, for them, the creation of a new character is not a simple or carefree endeavor, and neither is introducing that character back into a world they knew as a different person.

I was going to respond to the rest of the points, but I believe our experiences and ideals are so different that it wouldn't be a worthwhile endeavor -- at least not on this subject.

Thanks for the responses.

-LoD
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:51 PM   #105
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Something that gets overlooked a bit in this discussion is that although non-perma-death muds don't support -automatic- character deletion upon character death, they certainly don't prohibit it. More than once, I've allowed a character to die and stay dead where the mechanics didn't force it, simply because the character's story, or my wishes, did.

In that sense, non-perma-death muds are slightly misrepresented here, although no one has suggested they are perma-death-prohibited.

It's not my preference to have immortal characters that drives me more often to non-permas, it's my preference for more authorial control to my characters' stories. Despite some misrepresentations of my need for 'simplicity', I don't prefer such a choice for its simplicity. I prefer it because I can guarantee the time needed for more complex story issues. In worlds where death loses its sting somewhat, I grant that it's more challenging to keep a character in fear of -something-, but that's what RP is about. What should not be inferred is that I have some cavalier attitude about my characters dying, even when it's less impactful than in mechanically-forced situations. No matter what world you play in, dying is generally A Bad Thing, or at least, highly annoying. I played for ten or eleven years in a mud that had an afterdeath underworld that needed to be navigated (with random movement of the mob that sends you back, and random placement in a massive maze) to return to the living, after which time, phys stats were greatly handicapped, as was general health, spellcasting and even normal walking endurance. Although this generally didn't amount to more than a half-hour setback (depending on how far one reincorporated from the death site where your held items dropped), I venture to say that it took about as long as most RPIs require to roll a character, sans character approval lag.

You're absolutely right that it comes down to preference. I guess I just get rankled when elitists presume that their preference is superior. I didn't get that from your posts, and I -do- get what you're saying, LoD. I can understand and have experienced the adrenal rush of death at every corner. I've also experienced the jaded yawn of it.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:54 PM   #106
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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LoD's patience is withering? Come on now, you can do it LoD! Succeed where I have failed so many times.
It isn't about patience, but about recognizing differences. Threshold has his ideals and beliefs on how a MUD benefits or suffers at the hands of many factors, but our opinions vary so greatly that it's simply best for both parties to agree to disagree. We can both agree that we enjoy the games we play, and that should be enough for both of us -- there's no need to further convince him of my beliefs nor me of his.

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Old 04-29-2008, 12:28 AM   #107
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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The characters are works of art, not place holders.
Well I never said characters are place holders. But they are in fact vehicles for actual players to express themselves creatively. They are a means to an end. Further, how long can you stare at the exact same work of art? Or how long can you work on the exact same piece of art?

It only took Michelangelo 4 years to paint the Sistine Chapel, and that was mainly due to the fact that he had to LEARN how to paint frescoes, weather, technical difficulties, and his patron frequently going off to war or hovering on death's door:

Michelangelo - The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

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It took him a bit over four years, from July of 1508 to October of 1512. Michelangelo got off to a slow start, not having painted frescoes before. He intended to (and did) work in buon fresco, the most difficult method, and one which only true masters undertook. In addition to having to learn everything about the medium itself and making initial blunders in that area, he also had to learn some wickedly hard techniques in perspective. (Consider that his figures look "correct" on curved surfaces, viewed from nearly 60 feet below.)

However, ultimately it wasn't Michelangelo's fault that the ceiling took four years. (Once he got the hang of things, he painted like a man on fire!) The work suffered numerous setbacks, such as mold and miserable, damp weather that disallowed plaster curing. A primary cause of downtime occurred when Julius was off waging a war, or ill to the point that Last Rites were administered. The ceiling project, and any hope Michelangelo had of being paid, were both frequently in jeopardy while Julius was absent or near death. Small wonder that the artist complained so often and bitterly about the project, really.
Are you telling me a character on an AFS mud is more a work of art than that?

I don't think a player who dies on an AFS mud loses anywhere near as much as someone would if they permanently died on a really good hack-n-slash mud. When everyone is facing permadeath, and people are dying and remaking all the time, it is just another part of the world. It becomes no big deal really, and in a lot of cases it is the easiest escape from a difficult situation. I know this from my own experience playing permadeath muds, and from talking to people who play them.

But I get into that more in the thread over here, so I won't go off on that subject in this thread any further.

For me, I get less emotionally attached to a character that can be destroyed at any random person's whim than one I can potentially keep forever. Knowing that the end of a character is at someone else's control, rather than my own, makes it hard for me to consider that a worthwhile investment. In fact, maybe right there is one of the major reasons the emotional effect differs for people. People like myself, knowing a character can die permanently, automatically put up a bit of a barrier between themself and their character (emotionally). So their own opinions about the permadeath feature are like a self fulfilling prophecy. Other people (perhaps like you), throw caution to the wind and let yourself get totally emotionally invested in the character. So when the character dies, it is heart wrenching, since you let yourself get fully invested emotionally.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:12 AM   #108
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Well I never said characters are place holders. But they are in fact vehicles for actual players to express themselves creatively. They are a means to an end. Further, how long can you stare at the exact same work of art? Or how long can you work on the exact same piece of art?
I admit the comment that each character is a canvas, a work of art, struck me as a bit overstated, although I do get the gist of the idea. I could easily point to the series of art pieces I've been doing for the last month as an example. Some pieces, you really get into, and some, you do simply to feed the family (or the artistic compulsion), and I'm not egotistical enough to present each and every one of them as a masterpiece, especially when I know the one I'm doing now absolutely has to be finished at some point.
In that regard, perma-death is kind of like the high school art teacher that yanks the brush out of your hand and barks, "Time's up!"

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For me, I get less emotionally attached to a character that can be destroyed at any random person's whim than one I can potentially keep forever. Knowing that the end of a character is at someone else's control, rather than my own, makes it hard for me to consider that a worthwhile investment.
While I can't completely agree with the second sentence, the first is a simple matter of human nature. Genuine depth and complexity usually only comes over time, in the vast majority of cases. It would take a powerfully persuasive person to convince me that a huge amount of emotional investment is spent on each and every character that gets rolled for a perma. Far more credible is that the emotional investment is to the world itself, the stream of characters, the larger canvas, likening the series much more to the Sistine chapel. I've no doubt at all that Michelangelo invested some time and affection into each vignette or element of the fresco, but he moved on, and one might even argue that he spent perhaps a little less of his creative currency, since the entire piece was derivative of a pre-published work.

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In fact, maybe right there is one of the major reasons the emotional effect differs for people. People like myself, knowing a character can die permanently, automatically put up a bit of a barrier between themself and their character (emotionally). So their own opinions about the permadeath feature are like a self fulfilling prophecy. Other people (perhaps like you), throw caution to the wind and let yourself get totally emotionally invested in the character. So when the character dies, it is heart wrenching, since you let yourself get fully invested emotionally.
I'll admit, decades ago, that was very true of me, although the character generation process was much more time-consuming, and the dealer of death was a DM that also happened to be a friend who had to stick around after the game (or needed a ride home from me), and was far less likely to inflict a meaningless death on one of my characters. Since then, I've refined my detachment skills, because the last thing I would want to be again is that guy who goes to work or to his family all depressed or angry over something that happened in a game. By 'refinement' now, I mean that I no more bring my RP to work than I would talk about my job in an RPG, so perhaps a companion term would be 'separation', but there is also the element of detachment. As an actor on a stage, I can empathize with my character, but unless I'm doing improv at Second City, that character's fate is scripted, and no John Wilkes Booth (death) is going to "Sic Semper Tyrannis!" all over my craft.
I'm not obtuse to the notion that such surprises and turns of fate can make a roleplaying event more dramatic, intense or otherwise precious. I would be hard pressed to believe that over time, repeating that same process didn't form some callouses on even the most emotionally invested players' empathic synapses. People become jaded to the commonplace.

To belabor the point, neither feature set delineates superior roleplayers into camps of 'good RPER's and 'inferior RPers', and no credible person is saying that. Some people paint frescoes, and some paint portraits. Arguing that one skillset or feature set is better than the other is rather like arguing that the Sistine Chapel ceiling is better than the Mona Lisa. Inevitably, what the viewer of such artworks brings to the table is just as important as what the artist put on the canvas, and criticizing or belittling that synergy is an exercise in elitism. Attempting to make someone feel inferior while they're staring at (or in this case, painting) a Mona Lisa, simply because one has painted (or viewed) the Sistine Chapel might explain the real-life rivalry between Leonardo and Michelangelo, but it does nothing for 'proving the case of why one is better than the other'.
I thank those who haven't stooped to it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #109
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I was going to pose this question on the other permadeath thread, but I think it more appropriate here. Since the permadeath arguments have started, I've done a bit of research on the topic in order to insure that the permadeath on NW is what the roleplayers really want.

After talking to some players that have come from AFS's (is that the new term, Arm style muds?) that rarely is a player actually permed if they have had the character for over a year. In other words, if you have a long time character the Admins will give you a "pass" as it were, so you don't have to restart.

I cannot verify or deny this claim as I played less than 6 months and only on two AFS's and my characters died many times and every time. So I ask, what is your experience? Is this true? Do you ever see anyone losing a character to permadeath after playing it for a few years and do you notice the Admins giving the player a "pass" if they are a long time player?

This brings on a follow on question. What is the good of Permadeath if the only people dying are the newbies? On this question I did notice this in my time on AFS's the only ones that did die were new players. I'm sure there may be the case of long time players dying but I would imagine this is a rarity.

Last edited by Newworlds : 04-29-2008 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:31 PM   #110
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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I admit the comment that each character is a canvas, a work of art, struck me as a bit overstated, although I do get the gist of the idea. I could easily point to the series of art pieces I've been doing for the last month as an example. Some pieces, you really get into, and some, you do simply to feed the family (or the artistic compulsion), and I'm not egotistical enough to present each and every one of them as a masterpiece, especially when I know the one I'm doing now absolutely has to be finished at some point.
In that regard, perma-death is kind of like the high school art teacher that yanks the brush out of your hand and barks, "Time's up!"
Dead-on. No pun intended.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:34 PM   #111
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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I was going to pose this question on the other permadeath thread, but I think it more appropriate here. Since the permadeath arguments have started, I've done a bit of research on the topic in order to insure that the permadeath on NW is what the roleplayers really want.

After talking to some players that have come from AFS's (is that the new term, Arm style muds?) that rarely is a player actually permed if they have had the character for over a year. In other words, if you have a long time character the Admins will give you a "pass" as it were, so you don't have to restart.

I cannot verify or deny this claim as I played less than 6 months and only on two AFS's and my characters died many times and every time. So I ask, what is your experience? Is this true? Do you ever see anyone losing a character to permadeath after playing it for a few years and do you notice the Admins giving the player a "pass" if they are a long time player?

This brings on a follow on question. What is the good of Permadeath if the only people dying are the newbies? On this question I did notice this in my time on AFS's the only ones that did die were new players. I'm sure there may be the case of long time players dying but I would imagine this is a rarity.
That pretty much destroys the balance of power in a mud, and could potentially make for a world ruled by a small group of very powerful players.

OTOH, I've said before that creating a good character and then having to make up another one because you slipped on a banana peel really sucks.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:42 PM   #112
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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I cannot verify or deny this claim as I played less than 6 months and only on two AFS's and my characters died many times and every time. So I ask, what is your experience? Is this true? Do you ever see anyone losing a character to permadeath after playing it for a few years and do you notice the Admins giving the player a "pass" if they are a long time player?
My experience has been that everyone is mortal to the same degree, and that the only factors that contribute to the longevity of one character are those that apply to them all. Some of those factors would be:
  • Political Affiliation. Allying with a strong in-game political entity can provide you with protection, resources, and assistance in being successful. Access to guards (PC or NPC) and relatively secure compounds coupled with the relatively protection of cities protected by general criminal code can certainly provide someone with a better chance of overall survival.
  • Low Risk Exposure. Keeping your character confined to protected areas and/or public places won't always save them from attack, but it will often deter many would-be attackers from engaging.
  • Diplomatic Personality. Keeping your big mouth shut and having a diplomatic approach may not always be an IC option for everyone based on their character's personality, but it can be a good way not to get yourself in a whole lot of trouble. Knowing who the important people not to offend is a step in the right direction toward making sure you don't easily make enemies.
  • Keeping a Low Profile. If you're in the spotlight, you get a lot of attention. Attention can be good and bad, depending on the people who are watching you. If you keep a lower profile, it's easier to fly under the radar of powerful or maniacal people.
These are just a few ways to affect the longevity of a given character, but sometimes there are just unknown variables that you cannot control. I've played many many characters over my time, and I've had characters that lived for 3 RL years, 2 RL years, 1 RL year -- but none of them were ever spared or immune to dangers. Each of them had encountered and survived at least one life threatening experience (some of them had experienced many) during their tenure and it was sometimes just the roll of the dice that saved you that day.

I rarely player kill with my character concepts, but I did have a character for whom it made sense and he was involved in the killings of more PC's than all of my previous and current characters combined. While moving through his motions, I never felt that the Imm Staff were assisting or protecting any of the PC's that I hunted or attacked -- including several that were high-profile and long-lived characters. I also never felt as if I was personally discouraged or disuaded from pursuing those events by the Imm Staff.

Ultimately, based on the death of my own long-lived characters -- I don't really think that it much matters how long your character has survived when it comes to death. Mine were always as mortal as everyone else's when their number was finally up. I've just been lucky and learned from my years of playing how to avoid risky situations. I've also matured a bit as a player and don't subscribe to idiotic choices born out of boredom that would likely increase my chances of dying.

My guess is that most long-lived players have learned enough about the environment and their position within it to avoid "silly" or "stupid" deaths. However, no matter how good you are, you can't avoid the dynamic gameplay of other players forever -- no more than a marble glued to a bowl can avoid being struck by loose marbles rolling around. It happens, and while there are factors every player can control on how easy or difficult it is for them to die -- I've never really considered the Staff as a part of that equation.

-LoD
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #113
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I was going to pose this question on the other permadeath thread, but I think it more appropriate here. Since the permadeath arguments have started, I've done a bit of research on the topic in order to insure that the permadeath on NW is what the roleplayers really want.

After talking to some players that have come from AFS's (is that the new term, Arm style muds?) that rarely is a player actually permed if they have had the character for over a year. In other words, if you have a long time character the Admins will give you a "pass" as it were, so you don't have to restart.

I cannot verify or deny this claim as I played less than 6 months and only on two AFS's and my characters died many times and every time. So I ask, what is your experience? Is this true? Do you ever see anyone losing a character to permadeath after playing it for a few years and do you notice the Admins giving the player a "pass" if they are a long time player?

This brings on a follow on question. What is the good of Permadeath if the only people dying are the newbies? On this question I did notice this in my time on AFS's the only ones that did die were new players. I'm sure there may be the case of long time players dying but I would imagine this is a rarity.
First of all, I can only speak for Armageddon, because that's the main mud with which I have enough experience and information. The only time that a rez (resurrection) is granted on Armageddon is when the death was the result of some bug or bad piece of code. I've seen numerous beloved, powerful, long-lived, PCs whose players are well liked by staff die in the dumbest and most inconsequential ways without any discussion of rez. It stinks at times because these PCs may be involved in multiple world-spanning plots that fizzle and die due to the deaths. The temptation is always there, but adherence to staff policy keeps it from becoming a practice.

Also, I don't want to demean your knowledge of RPIs in the least, but you do seem to have quite a few misconceptions about the games. I notice that the misconception you speak of here is often the type of information that disgruntled RPI players throw around as the reason they don't like the games or the reason they hate the staff. Time after time, I've seen this accusation leveled against staff of Armageddon (that they play favorites and grant rezzes to their favorite players and long lived players). I've seen this as a player, and I've see it from the staff side. Almost every time this accusation is leveled, the accuser's view of things is incomplete and distorted.

My point is that it sounds like you're getting much of your information about RPIs from people who might not truly offer you an accurate view.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:40 PM   #114
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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First of all, I can only speak for Armageddon, because that's the main mud with which I have enough experience and information. The only time that a rez (resurrection) is granted on Armageddon is when the death was the result of some bug or bad piece of code. I've seen numerous beloved, powerful, long-lived, PCs whose players are well liked by staff die in the dumbest and most inconsequential ways without any discussion of rez. It stinks at times because these PCs may be involved in multiple world-spanning plots that fizzle and die due to the deaths. The temptation is always there, but adherence to staff policy keeps it from becoming a practice.
A grand reason why I think Permadeath squelches RP much more than it adds to it. I agree with a form of Permadeath but not 100% permadeath.

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My point is that it sounds like you're getting much of your information about RPIs from people who might not truly offer you an accurate view.
This could be very true. Many players that leave games have a warped sense of reality.
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:34 PM   #115
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Reading over this thread, I had a thought, and to me it seems like a rather obvious one: when we're talking about permadeath and how it affects RP, what we may really be discussing is immersion, and how immersed we tend to become in our characters in roleplaying MUDs.

I would submit that players who prefer permadeath prefer to become much more immersed in their characters and create a more solid barrier between the character's experiences/knowledge in the virtual world, and their experiences/knowledge about the game in the real world as a player.

Note before you start gearing up to argue me that here I'm not considering more/less immersion as promoting better/worse RP, I'm simply talking about boundaries between the player and the role they play.

The posters here who post that they dislike permadeath say that it means less to them, since you can create another character and continue roleplaying right away. The posters saying they prefer permadeath say it means much more to them, because when their character dies, they will never have the same role they had. The permadeath group is placing much more weight on an individual character and their story, which can't be recreated in the game once lost. The latter group instead is viewing roleplaying more in the context of the game, seeing it as easily transferred and replaceable from character to character.

Players who don't prefer permadeath often say that they're more scared of creating a nemesis who can fight them in the game for years to come down the road without absolute resolution of conflict. Players who do prefer it say they're more scared of creating a nemesis who can kill their character and end their story forever. Again, I think the fundamental difference in the viewpoints is that players who prefer permadeath are immersed down to their character level such as they disassociate the game from the story their character is a part of. To them, how the story ends is much more important than to a non-permadeath player, who would simply say "Well, I'll reroll and start a new one."

For me, coming from a permadeath perspective, a lot of the arguments against it don't have much traction with me. I've had characters I've lost who I simply can't recreate, because the other characters they shared their story with are gone, the world conditions have changed, I've changed as a player, and so on. For me, when a character dies and I move to a new role, the way I play the game changes. I do my best to avoid linking up too closely with characters my previous character was close to, I try to play in different areas, and so on. I would much rather be immersed in a new character and a new life than let OOC influences impact how I play. I know not all players are like that, not even all players on permadeath muds are like that. But by and large, I think it is a preferred level of immersion, whether you are playing the game as a character, or playing as a player who plays characters.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:30 PM   #116
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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The posters here who post that they dislike permadeath say that it means less to them, since you can create another character and continue roleplaying right away. The posters saying they prefer permadeath say it means much more to them, because when their character dies, they will never have the same role they had. The permadeath group is placing much more weight on an individual character and their story, which can't be recreated in the game once lost. The latter group instead is viewing roleplaying more in the context of the game, seeing it as easily transferred and replaceable from character to character.
Well, not all of us are saying that. Some of us are saying that we erect a barrier between ourselves and our permadeath characters because we have no idea when our character development could get destroyed by some random player who has decided to take a hating to our character. Thus, the character becomes less immersive for us because we can't fully engage. Permadeath isn't really what is the problem. The problem becomes the people who play on permadeath muds and become a real risk to our characters through no choice of our own. For some, the senseless death of a character by another player within 45 minutes of creation is just a speed bump. For some of us who like to invest a lot of time into our character's background find that as a game stopper unless we decide to distance ourselves from the character in the first place. Once that distancing takes place, the entire world and gameplay experience becomes less immersive.

Last edited by Milawe : 05-01-2008 at 05:31 PM. Reason: P.S. It really gets my goat that immersive isn't a word. It should be!
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:42 PM   #117
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Immersive is a word. It is listed in all the online dictionaries I've checked, and even has an entry in the wikipedia "answers" site.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:56 PM   #118
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Well, not all of us are saying that. Some of us are saying that we erect a barrier between ourselves and our permadeath characters because we have no idea when our character development could get destroyed by some random player who has decided to take a hating to our character. Thus, the character becomes less immersive for us because we can't fully engage. Permadeath isn't really what is the problem. The problem becomes the people who play on permadeath muds and become a real risk to our characters through no choice of our own. For some, the senseless death of a character by another player within 45 minutes of creation is just a speed bump. For some of us who like to invest a lot of time into our character's background find that as a game stopper unless we decide to distance ourselves from the character in the first place. Once that distancing takes place, the entire world and gameplay experience becomes less immersive.
It's that very attitude though that keeps you from becoming immersed in the roleplay at an RPI. If you go into it thinking negatively then yes, you're probably going to have a negative outcome. Thinking that a player (not a character?) would take a disliking to you and simply kill you is a ludicrous way of thought about an RPI mud.

You're the type of player I wouldn't want at my mud anyways, I won't speak for RPI muds in general but I myself am not looking for players who have that "out-of-character" attitude about the game in general.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:45 PM   #119
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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You're the type of player I wouldn't want at my mud anyways, I won't speak for RPI muds in general but I myself am not looking for players who have that "out-of-character" attitude about the game in general.
Good luck playing with yourself then. Mina (and I've seen her roleplay on two different muds) is a fantastic roleplayer. You would be very privileged to have her as part of your playerbase. Stick to the topic not the poster.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #120
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I can't imagine wanting to play a mud adminned by such a callous attitude to a reasonable statement.

Poster A believes and has experienced that their stories are meaningful, deep, rich, and a lot of other good things because their character didn't die a meaningless random death. They bring a host of reasonable evidence, including adult judgement, feedback from other players, common sense, that perma-death doesn't suit their very reasonable standard of high-quality roleplay.

Poster B says that their personal preference is for players that lack that attitude.

We're talking about a single feature. Both have some highly desirable merits. Both have some easily demonstrable drawbacks.

It. Really. IS. That. Simple.

I don't know how hard I would have to try to be so entirely narrow-minded for the sake of maintaining controversy for its own sake. I can't imagine what payoff I would experience in doing so.

Aha. It's a DC/Marvel thing.

DC is better, because dead heroes stay dead.
Marvel is worse, because they don't always.

No...wait. Superman died and came back, so that's not true. I'd better try and come up with some way to 'prove' one is better than the other, so people will abandon one and flock to the other, behind the banner of my clearly superior judgement and leadership, recognizing at last that I indeed am The Voice Of One Crying in the Wilderness for the Betterment of RP.

Okay, everyone, after my interview with Microsoft, meet me and mom and dad's house. We'll show those guys.

Y'know what? I'm convinced. People who prefer permadeath and AFS style MUDs are not only better roleplayers, they're advanced life forms, homo superior. I thank the patience and tolerance of those life forms for clearly showing an inferior the error of his ways. Caveat: I'm inferior, so it takes me longer to recognize superiority.

I thank all who have shown me the ligh-----[Post terminated before a beautiful and moving homage because the writer was killed by a freak fall from his computer chair.]
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