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Old 04-02-2003, 11:50 PM   #1
karlan
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I have seen discussions before about methods for handling character death in games, ranging from a simple recall to somewhere, to a full blown permanent death.

This could be posted in the coders section, but it has larger scope than that, there are more issues than just the mechanics behind a death system, there is an administration and roleplaying element as well.

I am interested in how others have handled death in their MU*s

PLEASE!!!! do not turn this solely into an argument about rp vs pk muds, (feel free to discuss it, but try to stay with the death thing ). The only reason I mention this is that I have seen discussions like this deteriorate based on things like "I play a RP only mud, so we don't have death, and the idea is just stupid". Voice your opinion/idea, just dont lose track of the topic. (ps I have seen similar things from a pk POV too, so I am not picking on rp'ers)
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Old 04-03-2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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One idea I had relies on the concept of rebirth, same character, different body. When a player is killed, take some xp of them (and a level if that is required), make some minor changes to their stats, reset their known stats (who knows them, not who they know), remove any associations (clan, guild, whatever you want to call it) including warrants and such, then rename the character and put them back in the world.

This gives scope for a rp'er to maintain their mannerisms and allows others to "relearn" who they are (of course they could just tell, but that is only if you don't want to do any rp), they are a "new"ish person in the world, with similar physical characteristics and knowledge, but the world does not know them.
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Old 04-03-2003, 04:49 AM   #3
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Exclamation

When a character of mine dies, I will roleplay an injury she has sustained; a limp or broken arm, maybe a large flesh wound, to show that something has actually happened.
To explain the "death", my character believes it is a kind of trial before the ancients that we have on the game. If it is your time to go, then you will be taken off into.. Wherever it is you go.

OOCly however, you will just recall with 1hp and no equipment, as that's still in your body but can be retrieved.
The game I play is played by both hack'n'slash types and roleplayers, I'd class myself as the latter.

I think where the flaw comes with non-permanent deaths on games is where you get the "You are DEAD!" message..
How can you be dead if you've suddenly appeared at your recall point? I know nothing about coding but I'm sure it can't be that hard to change into a message that's more appropriate, for instance "You have fallen. The Ancients grant you mercy."

Just a thought.
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Old 04-03-2003, 05:32 AM   #4
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One idea I had relies on the concept of rebirth, same character, different body. When a player is killed, take some xp of them (and a level if that is required), make some minor changes to their stats, reset their known stats (who knows them, not who they know), remove any associations (clan, guild, whatever you want to call it) including warrants and such, then rename the character and put them back in the world.
I did something similar. Whenever a character earned an experience point, they would also earn a soul point. If they died, they would have to go through character generation again, but they would begin with a number of starting exp (to spend on training) based on a portion of their soul points - and as soul points never go down, each time you came back you would always be at least as strong as you had been in your previous life. Other stuff such as class, equipment, IC name, knowledge of other characters, etc, would all be stripped away, but at least players still felt they had an investment in the mud. It worked quite well, IMO, providing the main advantages of permadeath without the downsides.

In the new mud I'm working on, however, the characters are gods, so it's not really an issue - if they are killed, they simply reform back in their own plane of existence.
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Old 04-03-2003, 05:15 PM   #5
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I never fancied perm death myself much, so we don't have that our mud. The thought of losing a char you may have put months of work into because of a bad link at the wrong moment... *shudder*

So in our mud dying just costs a lot of exp... and money... and possibly the stuff in your corpse, unless you manage to retrieve it.

However, with a theme like ours, the resurrection after dying can at least be handled in a reasonably logical way. Our theme is Time Travel, and the story is, that some enterprising entrepreneurs took control of the Time warps and set up a Travel Agency, to exploit... *cough*... I mean HELP the Time Tourists. So when you die, the Agency just revives you at an hour slightly prior to the moment you died. (For a hefty fee, of course, after all, these people have to show a profit to their share holders).

We even have a nifty feature called The Crypt of the Craven, where people from the Travel Agency offer to retrieve your corpse, should you die in a very dangerous and/or remote place, or if you're just downright lazy. Of course, they charge you an outrageous price for the services, but what do you expect? There are no free meals in the world...
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Old 04-06-2003, 09:35 PM   #6
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Arrow

Having had a look over the couple of replies it seems that a view on death depends on the type of world, I like to play on muds with a hostile environment. I probably hasn't helped when I pk that I do get attached to my characters, and so tend to retreat (I prefer to call it this, rather than flee because often it is not just an outright "runaway!", I try and fall back to a better position, and take out horses or support while I retreat, stop, kill a horse, retreat.... and so on)

Since I tend to hold my characters life highly, I try to keep them alive, but with an appropriate system (ie not just losing your char for good) I think a death, where THAT character is gone from the world, but part of him lives on, would be acceptable, although any reputation and fame earned (admittedly not much, since he does tend to runaway and live than fight gloriously to the death ) would be lost, with careful rolplay I could recreate his mannerisms, and hopefully others might start to recognise him reborn. (Like I said above, I could just tell them, but that would be stupid)
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Old 04-07-2003, 06:17 AM   #7
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In Live Role Play character death is permenant - but on the other hand it's quite hard to actually die (unless someone really sets out to kill you it takes around 10 minutes to bleed to death, during which time a healer can pick you up).

I think that works well for that sort of co-operative group combat RP-intensive environment.

On Zebedee on the other hand we do not have permadeath. We are not talking months of playing time, we are talking years. We have active characters with several hundred days of playing time (ok, most of the ones that old have idled for some of it) that are 5 or more years old.

We just cannot justify permenantly taking away something people have put that much time into.

Instead when you die you lose 1/3rd of your xp (which normally amounts to one level unless you have huge amounts of xp stored up) and one off each stat.

If you get a cleric to resurrect you then you have a chance to keep some or all of the stats. Otherwise you can come back to life as listed - restored to life by the gods.

Of course necromancers work slightly differently, their guildmaster brings them back as a zombie/wraith/etc and they have to serve him for a bit before he brings them fully back to life (although we have seen some people actually play up levels as either a zombie or a wraith)
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Old 04-07-2003, 08:59 AM   #8
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Idea of karlan sounds quite cool. ofc thats for more rp muds. In zeb i dont want to lost 3 years old character :) i got lots of memories from it: geting kicked out of uni, then kicked out of job. all cos that addictivness :P
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Old 04-07-2003, 09:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
We just cannot justify permenantly taking away something people have put that much time into.
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Instead when you die you lose 1/3rd of your xp (which normally amounts to one level unless you have huge amounts of xp stored up) and one off each stat.
The above two statements are mutually exclusive.
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ April 07 2003,08:36)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
We just cannot justify permenantly taking away something people have put that much time into.
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Instead when you die you lose 1/3rd of your xp (which normally amounts to one level unless you have huge amounts of xp stored up) and one off each stat.
The above two statements are mutually exclusive.
You are taking it out of context a bit, it is not also clear from that post if the damage is permanent.

Question to Enigma: can they somehow regain stats for sure, or its question of luck and if fail their gone for good? If it is luck based, then they can suffer permanent damage (just not death).
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Old 04-08-2003, 03:07 AM   #11
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enigma:
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Originally Posted by
We just cannot justify permenantly taking away something people have put that much time into.
enigma:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Of course necromancers work slightly differently, their guildmaster brings them back as a zombie/wraith/etc and they have to serve him for a bit before he brings them fully back to life (although we have seen some people actually play up levels as either a zombie or a wraith)
Perhaps I am misunderstanding but isn't the necromancer stuff similar to being reborn as I mentioned above? or does everyone go back to their original char eventually? If they are brought back as a wraith, what do they keep of their old char while in that form? It sounds like a complex, but very interesting setup.
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Old 04-08-2003, 07:41 AM   #12
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i will answer in place of enigma.

when u die in zebedee u become ghost and lose 1/3 of exp thats permanent. + when u pray to come back to life you lose 1 point form each stat too. if you are ressurected as a ghost u have a chance to keep stats. ofc you can get lost stats back by investing xp into them. necromancers turn into zombies or wraiths or liches after death and have to work their way to revive.
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Old 04-08-2003, 09:01 AM   #13
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The point is you still have to EARN that exp again - thus it is just as "permanent" as losing a character (which could also be rebuilt with exp), just not as severe.

The real advantage of permadeath IMO is the side-affects of the realism it introduces - if you assassinate the king, you don't have to worry about him reappearing naked a few minutes later and ordering your execution. Thus permadeath helps prevent stagnation - rulers can be overthrown, rebels can be executed, and loose ends can be tied up whenever necessary. The major disadvantage of permadeath, though, is that it destroys the hard work a player has put in.

But when you have a half-way house, you lose the benefits of true permadeath, while retaining the problems. Not only does the king come back - but he also comes back in a really bad mood, because he's just lost a "level".

This is why I went for the approach I used, whereby the character itself can be lost, while the time spent is not. The player is able to reconstruct a brand new character, and reallocate the points earned in previous games. So the king can be assassinated, and that character will never come back - but the player of the late king is able to create an equally powerful new character. They lose their status and social standing (which provides an incentive to stay alive) but don't lose any of the statistical development they've done.
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Old 04-08-2003, 09:50 AM   #14
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Yes, i understand your point Kavir, and its quite nice. Tho not maybe for our mud but i hope some new coder will use this approach instead of permadeath in his brand new mud :)
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