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Old 03-09-2010, 01:38 PM   #61
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

I don't think the fact that there are hidden numbers makes anything less immersive. Quantification is, without a doubt, the easiest specific means to measure the growth of anything.

And note that I did say that meta-gaming still happens. It just happens less when you discourage it and cast a veil over its specific mechanics. I don't think that meta-gaming is inherently bad - on some games, it's great. Obviously, meta-gaming can be harmful on an RPI where OOC can destroy IC plots or immersion. The less players are tracking and obsessing over their characters' skill-levels, the better - that is the philosophy. It certainly isn't appropriate for all other styles of games.

This thread is de-railing a bit, though, from its intended topic of permanent death. I'll stop here on this sidebar.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:15 PM   #62
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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It's funny to see the good old Arm Admin attitude hasn't changed in the slightest.
I don't see how that's an attitude. If you don't like having your characters die, you probably won't like permadeath. That seems to be self-evident.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:49 PM   #63
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

Permadeath is stupid on a roleplay game except for extreme roleplaying reasons. It destroys all of the roleplay around a character and future roleplay involving the death.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:28 PM   #64
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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Permadeath is stupid on a roleplay game except for extreme roleplaying reasons. It destroys all of the roleplay around a character and future roleplay involving the death.
And other people think that because permanent death is "on the table", it makes the roleplay around a character's life and their death even better/more realistic. It's really just about your tastes.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:47 PM   #65
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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Permadeath is stupid on a roleplay game except for extreme roleplaying reasons. It destroys all of the roleplay around a character and future roleplay involving the death.
Actually it generates plenty of RP involving the death, just not for the character who died. For games without permadeath, does death really even factor into RP after a while? If it's just like sneezing, you do it and might do it again sometime if the circumstances are right, does it still retain any impact upon which people will dwell and consider? No doubt to some it does but to others it might just be the same as having to put your coat back on before going out into the chilly winter weather. Its impact becomes muted and overlooked because there's no permanency about it.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:26 PM   #66
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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Actually it generates plenty of RP involving the death, just not for the character who died. For games without permadeath, does death really even factor into RP after a while? If it's just like sneezing, you do it and might do it again sometime if the circumstances are right, does it still retain any impact upon which people will dwell and consider? No doubt to some it does but to others it might just be the same as having to put your coat back on before going out into the chilly winter weather. Its impact becomes muted and overlooked because there's no permanency about it.
I'm not sure about other games, but in NWA death is a very important aspect whether it be permadeath or resurrected. Most, if not all players (as it is a requirement) handle death in a serious fashion. Some go so far as to have funerals and buriels and religious events.

In some instances I can agree with Anjanis, in that nearly every permadeath tends to have have less weight and importantance and/or roleplay attached to it versus resurrected death.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:20 PM   #67
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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I'm not sure about other games, but in NWA death is a very important aspect whether it be permadeath or resurrected. Most, if not all players (as it is a requirement) handle death in a serious fashion. Some go so far as to have funerals and buriels and religious events.

In some instances I can agree with Anjanis, in that nearly every permadeath tends to have have less weight and importantance and/or roleplay attached to it versus resurrected death.
I don't know about that. As an admin that interacted for hours a day with characters on both SOI and Atonement, I put the most heart of anything I do into the moments/time before a character's death to give them a chance to say their final words, think their final thoughts, remember their past - and otherwise find some resolution. On Atonement, you can die from genetic mutative infection from some of the monsters. It's a slow disease (with various, but not certain means to treat it) that not only does end up killing off characters - it gives them the time to resolve things, creates roleplay centered around the other characters who are watching them "turn" and allows them a chance to play at madness or courageous suicide and other heavy-hitting subject matter. Funerals, the loss of a mentor, a leader, a lover, a father - these are all elements of roleplay that all of us can relate to in some very personal way. Self-sacrifice, cowardice, fear ... there are so many really potent forces that are either unlocked or amplified when permanent death is on the table. I'm not advocating that it is the only way to manage a good roleplaying-focused MUD, but I definitely think that it is the catalyst for some of the most beautiful roleplay that I've ever seen.

Don't be so fast to snub a philosophy so different from your own. It is unbelievable how much heart players invest in the lives and deaths of their characters on RPI MUDs. It may be more or less true depending on who your Roleplaying Administrators are, or what your setting is, but it is always there and always important on an RPI.

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Old 03-10-2010, 02:30 PM   #68
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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I don't know about that. As an admin that interacted for hours a day with characters on both SOI and Atonement, I put the most heart of anything I do into the moments/time before a character's death to give them a chance to say their final words, think their final thoughts, remember their past - and otherwise find some resolution.
What are you saying? That death is extended out in slow motion for reaction or closure? This sounds silly to me if you are getting your head chopped off by a quillotine (a possible action in NWA) you have the roleplay before and up to the point of the head rolling, but it seems very strange that you would have a few minutes of blood fountaining out of your neck to discuss closure. Or am I missing something and you end up in the after life to deal with your death prior to recreating?

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On Atonement, you can die from genetic mutative infection from some of the monsters. It's a slow disease (with various, but not certain means to treat it) that not only does end up killing off characters - it gives them the time to resolve things, creates roleplay centered around the other characters who are watching them "turn" and allows them a chance to play at madness or courageous suicide and other heavy-hitting subject matter.
This seems like a bad idea for permadeath as you will invariably get twinks running around breaking roleplay to act very ooc'ish since they know they are gone anyway. It is one of the reasons suicidal roleplay as well as maniacal murderous roleplay is controlled on NWA, hence rules on PK to force roleplay as part of it. Tends to weed out the junior rpers, underagers, and twinks.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:18 PM   #69
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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What are you saying? That death is extended out in slow motion for reaction or closure? This sounds silly to me if you are getting your head chopped off by a quillotine (a possible action in NWA) you have the roleplay before and up to the point of the head rolling, but it seems very strange that you would have a few minutes of blood fountaining out of your neck to discuss closure. Or am I missing something and you end up in the after life to deal with your death prior to recreating?


This seems like a bad idea for permadeath as you will invariably get twinks running around breaking roleplay to act very ooc'ish since they know they are gone anyway. It is one of the reasons suicidal roleplay as well as maniacal murderous roleplay is controlled on NWA, hence rules on PK to force roleplay as part of it. Tends to weed out the junior rpers, underagers, and twinks.
Weird. Hasn't happened even once on Atonement. Tends to work out beautifully.

It's a little hard to explain our approach to death scenes. It's unique to every situation, and I use a variety of methods to give people a chance to really enjoy their last minutes with a given character. I can't be there for every death, but the players are naturally good themselves at finding resolution themselves in most circumstances.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:07 PM   #70
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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What are you saying? That death is extended out in slow motion for reaction or closure? This sounds silly to me if you are getting your head chopped off by a quillotine (a possible action in NWA) you have the roleplay before and up to the point of the head rolling, but it seems very strange that you would have a few minutes of blood fountaining out of your neck to discuss closure. Or am I missing something and you end up in the after life to deal with your death prior to recreating?
I think his point is that the person being executed (or PK'd) would get an opportunity to say some last words, maybe address the executioner, talk to the crowd if it's a public execution, etc... prior to the actual killing. Whereas on a traditional hack-and-slash mud (and I'm not saying that your mud is one of these, just making a distinction), the person would just be killed without any regard for any potential for roleplay surrounding the death scene.

This is actually a point of discussion that often comes up on permadeath games (and I'm sure other RP games as well). How to manage this from a player perspective. If your character (and the player) really really wants to kill someone, it might not be advantageous to draw out their death scene. The person might find a way to escape, summon help, communicate the details of their death, etc... So on one hand you're trying to achieve the goals of your PC effectively, on the other hand, you want to give the person a good death. This often comes up in people bitching about the fact that they were just killed without any roleplay surrounding the death. This is usually countered by the killer saying, "I'd tried to kill that PC before and gave them roleplay to do it, and every time they took advantage of the situation and spammed flee." It's a Catch-22 for both parties, unfortunately, because they have competing goals while both enjoying the shared goal of wanting to have good roleplay.

There has been discussion on a variety of ways to balance out these competing factors. One thing that's been proposed (no idea whether it's ever been implemented) is to have a point of time between the drop to 0 hps or fatally wounded where the PC is considered dying and beyond the point of rescue. This would allow the PC to gasp out those last words or curse or make some emote prior to dying.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #71
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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There has been discussion on a variety of ways to balance out these competing factors. One thing that's been proposed (no idea whether it's ever been implemented) is to have a point of time between the drop to 0 hps or fatally wounded where the PC is considered dying and beyond the point of rescue. This would allow the PC to gasp out those last words or curse or make some emote prior to dying.
Exactly. This is just one of the ways that you can give people the opportunity to make the most of a death scene. My overall point is that death scenes are potent, the events leading up to death are potent, the aftermath of a character's death is potent. It is such an undeniably real part of life that affects us all in profound ways: our outlook on good decision making, our fear of death, our belief in something after death, the stigma against the finality of the act murder, coming to terms with grief involving a loved one's passing, self-sacrifice or cowardice. Even if not every death is entirely satisfactory, players are very rarely entirely satisfied. Never-the-less, you can strive for satisfaction with a permanent death system, while still making use of possibly the most realistic constant that exists in both fiction and real life -- Death.

I'm not trying to advocate that every roleplaying-focused MUD should have permanent death; I, personally, believe that the possibilities and play that stems from the feature far outweigh the negatives. There are a lot of people on both sides of the fence, and it is probably the most stark contrast between "RPIs" and Roleplaying-Enforced games without permanent death.

It is strange, though, that there is so much animosity directed towards the feature. There are so many different kinds of games, you have to wonder why such offense would be taken over something that is extremely common in even RPGs dating back before the birth of MUDs.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:52 PM   #72
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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It is strange, though, that there is so much animosity directed towards the feature. There are so many different kinds of games, you have to wonder why such offense would be taken over something that is extremely common in even RPGs dating back before the birth of MUDs.
I would think most of that animosity is caused by rankings in players. Even in "levelless" systems the players who live the longest likely will continue to do so, due to rankings in skills, equipment, social status, etc.

The other side would be spending a year or more on a character only to lose all that time and work to a banana peel.

It is the reason NWA has both perma and resurrected death. Permadeath only used in circumstances that truly warrant it. Yes, the banana peel is there, but likely the player that slipped on it is either relatively new, or roleplayed themselves into a place where permadeath is knocking on the door and they slipped on the peel on the way out.

I think taking the best of both worlds seems to benefit the most (in our game, probably not every game) for valid and quality roleplay.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:27 PM   #73
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

Even the most powerful characters in an RPI can be defeated by other characters by various means (just as in real life). There really is less of the OOC social element of determining who the most powerful character is. Without the ability to see the skill levels of your character or other characters, the only means that you have to determine their ability comparatively is through seeing them in action (something that is not a good litmus test in the short run), or through their reputation. As an admin who -can- see the stats of characters, I know very well that some of the most storied, long-lived and respected combatant characters on Shadows of Isildur were certainly over-rated from the standpoint of statistics.

This is probably very similar to legends in real life combat histories. Never-the-less, our own community accepts and prefers permanent death. The animosity seems to come from outside of the community; it is possible that those who are vehemently against it had negative experiences themselves. I think that you could assume that not every player, though, has the same experience.

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I think taking the best of both worlds seems to benefit the most (in our game, probably not every game) for valid and quality roleplay.
I do agree. For some games, the combination of permanent death and resurrection makes sense, because it was designed to. I do appreciate that New Worlds at least attempts to approach resurrection, which is so very often an immersion-breaking factor in many other roleplaying-focused games.

It would certainly be awful and take away much of the purpose of Atonement, as a counter-example, which is heavy in the themes of survival and horror. Perhaps I am more morbid than others, for loving to contribute to and be a part of the roleplay that stems from the death of a character; I just happen to think, from my experiences, that it oftentimes brings out the very best in players and story-telling.

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Old 03-11-2010, 12:38 PM   #74
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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Even the most powerful characters in an RPI can be defeated by other characters by various means (just as in real life). There really is less of the OOC social element of determining who the most powerful character is...I know very well that some of the most storied, long-lived and respected combatant characters on Shadows of Isildur were certainly over-rated from the standpoint of statistics.
This is almost exactly the same in NWA in that many weaker characters are toted as much more powerful because of the way they handle themselves. While a player may know his own stats, others certainly do not and it makes for good posturing (even comically) in social settings .

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Perhaps I am more morbid than others, for loving to contribute to and be a part of the roleplay that stems from the death of a character
I'm curious if some of your players get offended by you involving yourself so heavily in their roleplay or do they enjoy the interference/assistance?

In NWA the staff normally stays out of the player's way in terms of following them or controlling their RP. Only in the broadest sense, with specific storyline, or very important reasons would the staff get involved or add to a person's roleplay as we've found the players like the control themselves. We use a lot of INPC's (interactive non playing characters) like nobles, orcs, dogs, etc., run by staff to enhance odd occurances.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #75
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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This is almost exactly the same in NWA in that many weaker characters are toted as much more powerful because of the way they handle themselves. While a player may know his own stats, others certainly do not and it makes for good posturing (even comically) in social settings .

I'm curious if some of your players get offended by you involving yourself so heavily in their roleplay or do they enjoy the interference/assistance?

In NWA the staff normally stays out of the player's way in terms of following them or controlling their RP. Only in the broadest sense, with specific storyline, or very important reasons would the staff get involved or add to a person's roleplay as we've found the players like the control themselves. We use a lot of INPC's (interactive non playing characters) like nobles, orcs, dogs, etc., run by staff to enhance odd occurances.

I can tell you that on Armageddon (when I staffed actively at least), the players really wanted that sort of interaction. Most individual staff members would be running a variety of plotlines involving their clans and groups of players. Staffers were usually responsible for playing a variety of NPCs, providing room echoes/atmosphere, and things of that nature. Probably one of the neatest parts of Armageddon (and other games like it) is that it's often hard, from a player's perspective, to know when you're interacting with another player or something animated by a staff member. You don't know if your "boss" in a clan is a staff-run NPC or a player-run PC. You don't know if that thug tracking your PC through the alleys is a PC or NPC. On Armageddon, the most common staff member is titled "Storyteller" and that's pretty much their job. Create stories, provide back up for players who are trying to create stories, and tie various plots together when possible with gentle nudges.

I know that there was a recent push on Armageddon, from what I can gather on the discussion boards at least, to try to push the players to generate more plots and have more control over the game world. It was felt that they're often too reliant on staff members to keep things moving. The players, on the other hand, complained that they felt like it was impossible to make anything happen without the staff stepping in and changing things. The desire was to balance the two out to empower the players to initiate plots and have the staff make the world react accordingly.

Anyway, back to your first question: as a player (before staffing) on Armageddon, I completely popped wood every time a staffer would get involved in what I was doing. Absolutely loved it.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #76
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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I can tell you that on Armageddon (when I staffed actively at least), the players really wanted that sort of interaction. Most individual staff members would be running a variety of plotlines involving their clans and groups of players. Staffers were usually responsible for playing a variety of NPCs, providing room echoes/atmosphere, and things of that nature. Probably one of the neatest parts of Armageddon (and other games like it) is that it's often hard, from a player's perspective, to know when you're interacting with another player or something animated by a staff member. You don't know if your "boss" in a clan is a staff-run NPC or a player-run PC. You don't know if that thug tracking your PC through the alleys is a PC or NPC. On Armageddon, the most common staff member is titled "Storyteller" and that's pretty much their job. Create stories, provide back up for players who are trying to create stories, and tie various plots together when possible with gentle nudges.

I know that there was a recent push on Armageddon, from what I can gather on the discussion boards at least, to try to push the players to generate more plots and have more control over the game world. It was felt that they're often too reliant on staff members to keep things moving. The players, on the other hand, complained that they felt like it was impossible to make anything happen without the staff stepping in and changing things. The desire was to balance the two out to empower the players to initiate plots and have the staff make the world react accordingly.

Anyway, back to your first question: as a player (before staffing) on Armageddon, I completely popped wood every time a staffer would get involved in what I was doing. Absolutely loved it.
This has been my experience as both a player and staff-member on Shadows of Isildur and Atonement; players love intricate plots, whether created by other players or storytelling admins. It takes very careful design on the side of the storyteller to craft plots that are open-ended to allow players to affect and shape them with their characters' actions.

My absolute favorite element of an RPI is that it is designed to make character actions important - cause&effect, consequences for actions, a world that is able to be shaped by the players. On Atonement, for instance, we opened ALPHA with characters that were suffering from amnesia, floating in space on a ship shared by a mutant race of aliens that have the ability to infect and turn characters into "zombies" (for lack of a better word). The current political structure of the entire game, its clans, its customs, its laws and law-enforcement and economy ... it has all been created from the ground-up by the player characters. The staff support them as necessary and play NPCs and run the storylines that the players involve themselves in, but the face of the game has been created fundamentally through the roleplay of the players.

And they do seem to love it.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:32 PM   #77
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

Atonement is very cool, and I enjoy the atmosphere there, it accomplishes the dark, creepy feeling that it is supposed to and the RP environment is very nice. But that is neither here nor there.

In reguards to the original post, and to explain a few things from my side of the RPE v RPI spectrum as pertaining to permadeath. I think that there is resurrected death, like in my mud, it tends to make higher end world changing rp, vs permadeath. Permadeath has a tendency to kill off high end complex role-play, unless you just manage to live long enough to do a lot of things. Whereas with resurrection you have a chance to keep going with a storyline, and put a whole lot more emphasis on your character and try to get those larger than life storylines that exist in legends. It also allows the person to be able to choose when to die and can roleplay it that way and prepare for it. In our mud, and others like it that I have played, age is also a factor. If your character hits the 'average max age for that race' then you will be old and die off.

Course', I am just speaking from experience, I know if I played a perma-death mud, well other than Atonement, I would not put a whole lot of thought into my storyline as I know the character will likely die off for some reason. It is not really a good thing when you see the 'best' role-play from a player that is about to die, it should be great role-play all the time.

I also put a lot of effort into characters I play, I want a backstory, personality, in-depth description, everything to make the character as real as possible, if I had perma-death then there would not be as much motivation to do so. I know I would be annoyed if I put in a ton of time to create a character just to be killed off in a month.

But this is just my opinion, ultimately it is about what MUDs you 'grew up playing' versus what other people enjoy.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:29 PM   #78
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

I think that what I get from all these recent replies is that the administrative style of a particular roleplay game is really more important than whether it is perma-death or not. The arguments for having one or the other or even having both all make sense as long as they are enforced by the history of the world, consistant administration, and storyline. There are players who are excellent roleplayers who prefer permadeath, and I know a ton of players who are equally excellent roleplayers who do not like permadeath. Then there are people who really have no preference as long as excellent roleplay opportunities exist.

Luckily, there's some pretty awesome games for all those players.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:21 AM   #79
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
I think that what I get from all these recent replies is that the administrative style of a particular roleplay game is really more important than whether it is perma-death or not. The arguments for having one or the other or even having both all make sense as long as they are enforced by the history of the world, consistant administration, and storyline. There are players who are excellent roleplayers who prefer permadeath, and I know a ton of players who are equally excellent roleplayers who do not like permadeath. Then there are people who really have no preference as long as excellent roleplay opportunities exist.

Luckily, there's some pretty awesome games for all those players.
That is also what I gather from this. And it is why I tend not to give a rats left butt cheek about RPE vs RPI. Ultimately it comes down to just roleplay. There is no such thing as one is better than the other, it is all a matter of preference. I just don't like it when people put one or the other down, because it tends to divide the community, as it has already done. Roleplay is roleplay no matter where or how it is done, it is all -EXACTLY- the same. The only difference is the engine behind it.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:54 AM   #80
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Re: What types of games are impacted the most by permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Aermyn View Post
That is also what I gather from this. And it is why I tend not to give a rats left butt cheek about RPE vs RPI. Ultimately it comes down to just roleplay. There is no such thing as one is better than the other, it is all a matter of preference. I just don't like it when people put one or the other down, because it tends to divide the community, as it has already done. Roleplay is roleplay no matter where or how it is done, it is all -EXACTLY- the same. The only difference is the engine behind it.
I will agree with Milawe as well, because she mostly make sense in her posts, however, I will disagree with the idea that everyone has to get along to not divide the community. Good solid respectful arguments for or against something breeds innovation and progressive quality. To simply say "you are all winners" is a passive complacent fantasy land that lends itself to mediocrity.

However, to simply "put something down" just because you don't like it or use it is ignorant.
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