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Death, respawning, and penalty

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Doctor Tyche
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Death, respawning, and penalty

Spent some time recently listening to industry experts discussing the most morbid of topics, death. To be specific, in-game death. I got a lot of interesting ideas from the discussion, but it made me curious, how do you all feel about death penalties in various games? Which ones did you like? Which ones did you dislike?

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Lothic
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Like most things death

Like most things death penalties in games need to be balanced to be reasonable. Make it too "painless" and people will just kill themselves at the drop of a hat for pointless/trivial/griefing reasons or worse, to exploit some scenario that actually makes it more advantageous to die than to live. Make it too "painful" and people will become too timid to risk anything because dying is too annoying or time consuming to recover from.

CoH actually handled it fairly well with the basic "hospital run". TBH, by the end of CoH's lifetime there were so many of ways to "resurrect" players on the spot that death was becoming arguably too easy to "live" through.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Doctor Tyche
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Interesting element about the

Interesting element about the hospital run from CoH is the inspiration vendor they had sitting there. In effect that gave you the ability to also power up for the fight that just did you in. So, you were penalized for the run back, but also given the tools to overcome the challenge.

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Lothic
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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

Interesting element about the hospital run from CoH is the inspiration vendor they had sitting there. In effect that gave you the ability to also power up for the fight that just did you in. So, you were penalized for the run back, but also given the tools to overcome the challenge.

Yeah that's a good point. Basically a death penalty should make you "take a breath" to think about what you did wrong so that you can learn from the "mistake" and avoid doing it again. People shouldn't be dying multiple times in the same place because then there's something arguably wrong with the situation that's causing otherwise competent players to die over-and-over again. I realize that most players only die "multiple times" when fighting big end-game bosses and at those points it might be legitimate to let those tough situations remain in the game. But when players seem to be dying a lot at the same point in some random non-critical lower level mission then that might indicate something that would need to be adjusted by the Devs.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Huckleberry
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The discussion we had on this

The discussion we had on this topic for Everquest Next was immense. Alas that game never made it to fruition.
EDIT: Link here: (https://forums.daybreakgames.com/everquestnext/index.php?threads/there-are-many-ways-death-could-work-in-mmos.90/) note over 330 pages!!!

In a fantasy setting, however, you are given some options that may not be appropriate in a sci-fi setting like CoT; and vice versa. For example, the concept of resurrection is applicable to a fantasy setting while the concept of a high-tech hospital is applicable to CoT.

There are two main compromises that need to be made:
The first is How steep to make the penalty. Too little penalty and death becomes cheap and maybe even an attractive option to bypass difficult content. Too much penalty and the content becomes unattractive.

The second compromise is the nature of the penalty. Game professionals know that everything is an expression of (player's)time vs (real world)money. So no matter the penalty it can be expressed as a time penalty upon the player or a (real world) money penalty upon the player. Let's stay away from discussing real world money penalties for now.

What is a time penalty? Experience loss is a time penalty. A fee in in-game currency is a time penalty. A long hospital run is a time penalty. All of these penalties can be recuperated with a minor investment in a player's time. An inventory item that gives instant recovery is also a time penalty, because playtime is required to either find one or purchase one with earned IGC. (it can also be a real-world money penalty if instant recovery items can be purchased from the cash shop, but I said I wouldn't discuss real world money penalties, didn't I)

But my favorite time penalty would be a mini-game to revive.

Here's what I would propose in our modern setting:

Every character has a first aid kit as part of his or her inherent equipment. This can not be traded away. When a character gets knocked out of combat, they enter a mini-game where they see their injuries and have to use their first-aid kit to fix themselves. The first aid kit could have mystical or technical components, or both. Since we could have dead characters, space aliens, and other biologies, we can't assume that every character is a typical human, so the minigame has to be applicable to all of the above. So the minigame has to abstractly represent the loss of health and consciousness and the struggle to recover both. So maybe we have a paperdoll outline of your character leaking 'life energy' like beans out of a beanbag. The minigame lets you use various tools from your first aid kit to stop the flow of 'beans' and also to refill your beanbag with more beans, depending on the tools.
Character roles should get some say in this, too. So if another character comes upon your incapacitated character, the other character should be able to assist you in the minigame. And if the other character is a healer, their efforts should be more efficient somehow. Either they have better tools in their first aid kit or they have additional capabilities they can bring to the mini-game. This allows revival during battle by anyone, but preferably the healers.

If all your beans leave your beanbag, you lose consciousness and are eventually found by a good samaritan and transported to a hospital. So even if you rage quit and refuse to attempt to revive yourself, you will still get back into the game world, but only after the beans have run out, which should take about 10 seconds with no first aid slowing down the losses. In any case, attempting to give first aid to yourself should not only be a fun activity, but it should take less time than a hospital run.

Having the mini game means you can actually have one or two major hospitals in town vice a number of spawn points all over the place.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

Interdictor
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In trying to think of the

In trying to think of the "Death Penalties" that I most DISLIKE - it has to be the "corpse run" - because it very often ends up being an effort in frustration as whatever killed my full-strength avatar, now kills my naked streaker madly diving for his gear on the ground.

On the other hand - I think of a game I occasionally play nowadays - Star Trek Online. Beyond a wait of a few seconds I'm not sure there is a death penalty in the game (beyond the voluntary "wound/ship damage" system). Kind of makes death an "oh well" experience - you just reappear a few meters away (or kilometers if in space) and back at it.

In CoH, you had XP debt. I thought that this was just fine - it didn't directly take anything away from you, but it slowed down your further advancement a bit. It penalized you without being INVASIVE. There was also the Hospital run, though after we gained the ability to craft certain inspirations to make wakies and such, I found this was a bit less prevalent. That said I have seen people voluntarily "HOSP" it in order to re-stock their inspirations for themselves and others during a particularly long/brutal mission. So in some regards, like Doctor Tyche said, this was sometimes viewed as an opportunity - there was an inspirational silver lining to the dark cloud of defeat, if you will.

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I really didn't notice the

I really didn't notice the death penalty in City of Heroes, I had the morbid desire to do all the missions with one character and max out my contacts. In fact for my play style it was a reward.
Later it became the standard. In any balanced game the death penalty is something I overlook. I am still making progress which means for my level my character is more powerful than others.
So in that case the death penalty could be the sadomasochistic reward.

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1) I think CoH should be

1) Lothic's point about a "balanced" penalty is very important. If it is totally trivial it is meaningless. If it is too harsh or time-consuming it reduces fun and gameplay flow and becomes a bummer.

2) I think CoH should be used as the standard, not just because this is a spiritual successor, but because it was just a really well done "defeat" system.

3) I HATE (hate hate hate) corpse run, time out, lock out, etc. Only exception was the capture/breakout mechanic in CoH. I found that fun and feel like it was under utilized, and I'd like to see it in CoT.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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I think the key element is to

As others have pointed out, I think the key element is to avoid making the death penalty a mere, minor road bump. The death penalty should be sufficiently severe to prevent it from being a more attractive, or even viable, option. So long as that is achieved, there is no reason to attempt to make the penalty severe.

Doctor Tyche wrote:

Interesting element about the hospital run from CoH is the inspiration vendor they had sitting there. In effect that gave you the ability to also power up for the fight that just did you in. So, you were penalized for the run back, but also given the tools to overcome the challenge.

This does provide the means to give the players an option. They can choose to a) revive at the hospital to obtain the tools they may need to overcome the obstacle or b) revive at a clinic (or the like) that is closer but does not provide the benefit of obtaining inspirations or the like. Rather like the choice some isometric games provide of reviving at the start of a dungeon / zone for no cost or closer - even at the same place - for an increasingly high cost.

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Interdictor
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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

3) I HATE (hate hate hate) corpse run, time out, lock out, etc. Only exception was the capture/breakout mechanic in CoH. I found that fun and feel like it was under utilized, and I'd like to see it in CoT.

Yes, time-out/lock-out drive me nuts as well. "The punishment for playing the game is not being able to play the game!" Crazy.

Oh - one other death penalty that I don't like - ones that involve combat penalties being applied to your character for "x amount of time" or until "y condition is met" after defeat. That has the potential of setting up the classic "death spiral". Again you discourage the player from further playing the game for fear of getting his "injured/crippled" character killed again, thus maintaining or increasing the penalties.

At least in CoH the XP penalty made you WANT to continue playing the game to get rid of that debt/further advance. EAGER to do so in fact. The Hospital travel time was a time sink, but even there you were still playing the game instead of being "put in a corner" and being told you had to stop for a while.

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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

At least in CoH the XP penalty made you WANT to continue playing the game to get rid of that debt/further advance. EAGER to do so in fact. The Hospital travel time was a time sink, but even there you were still playing the game instead of being "put in a corner" and being told you had to stop for a while.

You hit on something that bears repeating. I've heard some game designers and some players state that they dislike steep death penalties because it could cause people to lose heart, rage quit, or otherwise decide to log off. My response to those comments is that everyone has their own threshold of pain and patience. Sometimes the same person could have more and sometimes less depending on mood, amount of sleep, amount of social interaction they have with friends in game, etc.

So as a designer you can never know what will or what will not cause someone to decide to log off. The goal should rather provide something that causes people to log back in... the next day perhaps, if not later the same day.

The idea here is that rather than paying so much attention to the risk side of the equation, provide emphasis on the rewards side of the equation so that when a player weighs risk against reward, they want to keep trying. Even if it is at some later time.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

Lothic
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

You hit on something that bears repeating. I've heard some game designers and some players state that they dislike steep death penalties because it could cause people to lose heart, rage quit, or otherwise decide to log off. My response to those comments is that everyone has their own threshold of pain and patience. Sometimes the same person could have more and sometimes less depending on mood, amount of sleep, amount of social interaction they have with friends in game, etc.
So as a designer you can never know what will or what will not cause someone to decide to log off. The goal should rather provide something that causes people to log back in... the next day perhaps, if not later the same day.
The idea here is that rather than paying so much attention to the risk side of the equation, provide emphasis on the rewards side of the equation so that when a player weighs risk against reward, they want to keep trying. Even if it is at some later time.

As long as there are things that control/mitigate the effect of multiple death penalties like a Debt Cap or Patrol XP then the actual "penalty" for a single death can be rather significant. What I mean is as long as there's a bottom limit to how far a player can get "hurt" by multiple deaths then the game shouldn't make the impact of each individual death too easy. Hopefully that makes some amount of sense.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Redlynne
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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

how do you all feel about death penalties in various games? Which ones did you like? Which ones did you dislike?

City of Heroes did the whole "pick your Revive method" from using Powers to "wakies" to the Hospital. The fact that you could GIVE "wakies" to other Players after they'd faceplanted was extremely important. Later, we could "make wakies" for outselves even after being Defeated, so long as we had the right types of Inspirations to work with and combine. The entire Team Spirit made possible by "wakies" is a critical thing to recreate in City of Titans.

The Debt system was also a very good compromise, since it didn't subtract from anything you ALREADY HAD ... but rather penalized FUTURE EARNINGS. In effect, Debt Slowed You Down ... but not in a way that was Combat Meaningful, only in an XP/INF (and later, Prestige for SGs) sort of way.

Star Trek Online uses a progressively increasing "time out" system, which starts at 15 seconds of waiting and then if you keep getting Defeated "too quickly" will start increasing the length of the "time outs" you keep earning. The persistent Debuff penalty is extremely minor (-1% to -2% per injury) for each one, but with sufficient Proofs Of Insanity can stack up towards being something meaningful (after a couple dozen Defeats have been earned). Can be countered 1:1 with the appropriate Item (there are 3 grades for ground and space) so if you dedicate a scant few inventory slots, even on higher difficulty levels you can avoid being permanently Debuffed. All of the injury Debuffs can be cleared at "safe zones" with a Medical Doctor or a Ship Repair Engineer for zero IGC, using a convenient Heal All/Repair All button. Normal mode features no injuries at all, for people (like me) who play Carebear.

Tabula Rasa did things in a somewhat interesting fashion. If I remember (it was over 8 years ago now) they had what amounted to a "wakie" item you could use for fallen comrades, but they also did the Hospital teleport. When you woke up in the hospital, all of your gear would have been damaged, so you needed to do a quick Repair All before heading back out onto the battlefield if you didn't want to leave the Hospital Debuffed. This could get rather ... interesting ... when doing Control Point Assaults and Defenses, since being defeated during an Assault (outside, trying to get in) you'd have the trip back from the Hospital to make so travel time could be an issue because the Assault wouldn't stop while you were "away" from it (although the tide could turn against your allies in your absence). During Defenses, the Control Point would almost always have a Hospital inside the boundary walls that you could Rez at and get right back to defending the compound from the attackers, although some Control Points DIDN'T have this feature, which made them harder to defend against more aggressive NPC Assaults (the PCs were ALWAYS outnumbered for these, making for Target Rich Environments).

The most annoying thing about the World of Warcraft "corpse run" was the sheer distances that could be involved, where you might need to move around at an unmounted (i.e. SLOW) speed. I think the worst "corpse run" I ever had to do was one where the nearest graveyard was outside Ironforge across the mountains from where I'd croaked. I had to "run" the entire way back around on an almost 10 minute hike to get back to my corpse. That was painful! But it also enforced and instilled the notion that getting Defeated was a PAINFUL thing to be avoided, and not just a token speed bump to be ignored as the most trivial of inconveniences.


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With my level 50 brute I

With my level 50 brute I ended up having two self-rez one from the Willpower Resurgence and another was a reward for long time membership. Then add the Wakies death in CoH became very minor issue.

The Hospital run was a worthy penity with the XP debt as well. Heck I remember using the Hospital death train to level up and get fresh enhances.

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Dofus had a mechanic I liked.

Dofus had a mechanic I liked. So long as at least one person in a party survived the battle, all party members revived at the end of combat. In this case, dying spent 'energy' and if your energy ever went to zero then and only then did you actually die. You body was marked by a tombstone and you became a ghost. As a ghost you could navigate the world to find a special statue to become corporeal again. There was no reason to go back to your tombstone unless you wanted to go back to where you left off.

Oberin allowed other people to loot your corpse while you were a ghost. Interestingly, while you were a ghost in that game you could talk, but other people would only see ooOOooOO, which was all kinds of comical. Clerics had the ability to speak with ghosts, however, which made that pretty cool. It was always a good idea to party with friends who could guard your corpse until you got back. In a game like CoT without gear to worry about, I wonder if this would even be applicable.

SWTOR and Archeage use a stacking penalty to resurrection timeout. After your first resurrection, if you die again in the next 10 minutes, your rez timer starts stacking. Then if you die again, within 10 minutes, you get another stack of rez timeout. If you keep dying, you could have to wait up to 3 minutes or more to rez. While I don't like timeouts, I do like how the penalty stacks for rapid repeated deaths, thus providing a barrier for people using death as a means to travel through tough areas.

Age of Conan applies a performance penalty upon death. Like Interdictor said, however, this could just beget a failure spiral as you become less and less capable of surviving the content that killed you in the first place. AoC avoids this by allowing you to remove your death penalty by clicking on your own tombstone.

I like how both Guild Wars 2 and Blade and Soul put you in a limited action state upon reaching 0 hit points. In both games you can move very slowly and perform extremely limited actions. GW2 lets you try to attack someone and if you kill them you instantly revive. Both games allow you to perform an interruptible action to restore yourself, so it is in your interest to try to crawl out of battle first. Both games also allow other people to help you revive. And both games have a more permanent death if your attempts at revival fail, at which point you return to a spawn point and your gear is damaged. Overall these games make death a frenetic attempt to capture victory from defeat, which I find very rewarding.

Damaged gear seems to be a common thread across almost all MMOs. Would that be even applicable to CoT? Would be perhaps have damaged enhancements?

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

Redlynne
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Took a stroll down memory

Took a stroll down memory lane and found THIS from ... uh ... two years ago ...

Redlynne wrote:

Scott Jackson wrote:
I think Cinnder's second level of "why" is still a good one to ask. Perhaps there are some character concepts that rely on self-defeat or on being defeated as a battle tactic, or at least the appearance of defeat, to fully express that character's powers or behavior - and we need to consider that villainy is a valid state for characters in CoT. Does CoT wish to serve these players? If so, what is the best way to serve them? Perhaps a self-destruct that has no death penalty or respawn delay? A tertiary power that allows one to play dead? A power that allows someone to "take one for the team", and come back automatically after the fight? I could see many ways to provide options for the players to express some unusual but still worthwhile concepts.
Then in that case ... let's game this out. Heck, we'll even use City of Heroes as a touchstone reference point that many of us have experience with.
So ... Powers vs Inspirations vs Hospital vs Base. Those were really the four choices (well, three and half really) you had to recover from a Defeat.
When it comes to rezzing, what could you get out of a Power that you couldn't get out of an Inspiration that you couldn't get out of a Hospital trip or a SG Base Medical Room? Everyone, feel free to add on things I'll probably miss here.
Power (pros)Additional effects beyond just rez (too numerous to list)
"Immediate" Rez (not counting Animation Time for Power)
Sometimes granted Debt Protection against additional Defeat(s) for X seconds after use
Some were AoE allowing multiple rez of large groups of Allies (famous Oil Slick use for Howling Twilight on Hamidon Raid stunning Back Alley Brawler)
Could be slotted as a Set Mule for Invention Set Bonuses
Convenient to use
Power (cons)Uses a Power slot
Potential cost in enhancement slots to make "effective" or otherwise useful
Recharge time limited repeat useInspiration (pros)Cheap
Easy to use
Requires no "investment" on the part of the build to acquire
Could be "manufactured" AFTER Defeat by combining 3 other Inspirations into a Wakie
Could be traded to other Players for their use
No repeat use timer
Common loot drop
Debt Protection against immediate repeat Defeat
Convenient to use
Inspiration (cons)Self only (mitigated by trading)
One use per
Uses an Inventory slot for Inspirations
Impairment upon use (temporary debuffs)Hospital (pros)Full Green Bar/Full Blue Bar
"Free" (aside from Debt)
NPC vendor inside building selling Inspirations if you needed to stock up or dump inventory
Hospital (cons)Travel back to location of Defeat (time sink)Base Medical (pros)Partial Green Bar/Partial Blue Bar
"Free" (aside from Debt)
Spawns you inside your SG Base, which is useful for Base Raids and can give easy access to Base Teleporters
SG Base resources are available (Temp Powers, Storage, etc.)
Base Medical (cons)Travel back to location of Defeat (time sink)
Prestige cost of building facilitiesThe thing that stands out for me from this recitation is ... that Powers really weren't all that much better than use of a Wakie or simply going to the Hospital. Part of the reason for that, in my opinion was because XP Debt was assessed upon Defeat ... rather than my personal choice of being assessed upon Rez.
Uhn ... huhn ... you start to see the subtlety of the difference there? See what I did?
Because here's the interesting thing. If you assess a Death Penalty upon Rez instead of upon Defeat ... that then gives you room to assess different Death Penalty schemes based upon which method is used to get back up!
So say for instance you use a Power to achieve a Rez ... and in the City of Heroes context there is NO Death Penalty if you Rez using a Power. Everyone "cool" with that idea? Note that in order for this to happen, somebody somewhere ... whether it be yourself or someone else ... needs to INVEST in a Power that can be used to Rez. AND ... use of a Power would not be subject to a Lockout Timer, so you can Rez using a Power, either your own or someone else's at any time.
Then you've got "Wakie" Inspirations and use of the Hospital.
So what if you could use a Wakie Inspiration at any time ... but if you're going to Hospital then you have to wait for a Lockout Timer to count down (that 15 seconds I keep talking about). You can justify it as being it takes a little while for the Hospital to signal lock onto you if you need some lore to back things up for the necessary Teleport to respawn you in the Hospital. "Beam me up, I'm dead" and the whole "Getting a lock on you now, sir" response.
I'm thinking that use of Wakies and the Hospital ought to both impose Debt Penalties, which ... again ... in the City of Heroes terms was XP Debt. The difference is that Wakies were effectively an "in place" Rez, while use of the Hospital was not. In that context it was "fair" for Wakies to offer temporary Debt Protection against repeated Defeats in "too short a time span" after trying to get up, so you didn't get "burned" by trying to stand up too fast after falling.
SG Base Medical Rooms were essentially an idea to limit zoning after a Defeat during Base Raids. As such, the SG Base Medical facilities were always inferior to a Zone Hospital because of the "convenience" factor (which, sadly, was never properly realized).

Key thing I want to take from this post is that City of Heroes imposed its penalty upon Defeat ... and I'm thinking that a much more powerful idea would be to assess any sort of penalty upon method/choice of revival ... whether that be by Power, "wakie" or Hospital of some sort. That then lets the penalty be "tailored" more towards the circumstances, with use of a Revival Power offering the lowest possible penalty of all (up to and including No Penalty at all!).


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Redlynne
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Here's another post from that

Here's another post from that same thread a little further on where I tried mixing a lockout timer with an IGC sink in a sort of "pick your poison" kind of way that worked on a sliding scale ...

Redlynne wrote:

Two great tastes that go great together ...
Let's take the Pay Currency idea and the Hospital Timer idea and put them together.
The instant that you're defeated, you have to pay the full cost in Currency.
If you wait out the timer on the Hospital Countdown, the service is "free" because you've already paid in "time wasted" rather than in "currency wasted" for improved service.
Players at the Level Cap have the currency/timer costs of a Hospital trip increased (I like simply "doubled").
Net effects:
If you can pay, there's no wait time.
If you can't pay, you have to wait.
And as the countdown timer ticks away, the currency cost of a Hospital trip decreases linearly, so you get a rolling number representing the currency cost for the service from moment to moment. Players get to pick for themselves which is less painful for them to lose ... currency resources or time resources. That way you don't have a One Size Fits All solution, but rather a sliding scale to accommodate differing circumstances and wealth levels.
Note that any currency paid for this service would be removed from the in-game economy, which would help fight ... but not on its own solve ... the threat of hyperinflation of in-game currency.


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Redlynne
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Other things to think about

Other things to think about from days of yore ...

Redlynne wrote:

Cyclops wrote:
Leveling slower is far preferable to the loss of a level.
This only remains true until reaching the Level Cap ... at which point "leveling slower" becomes functionally meaningless.


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Redlynne
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One of the other ideas I had

One of the other ideas I had back in the days of yore (which my Search Fu is now too weak to find among all the things I've said in these forums) would be to mix the Alignment system and the Hospital network together.

Basic notion is that rather than having a Hospital in each neighborhood/district of the city as a "local" rez point for that area, instead you've got different "Hospital services" congruent with the different Alignments and that when it comes time to Hospital after a Defeat you have to pick which Hospital you go to. This then has implications for needing to get back to wherever you got Defeated, since you'd essentially be picking from 3 Hospitals based on your Alignment ... and it would be up to the Player to know "which one is closest" to them for the shortest trip back.

Note that such an Alignment based system of Hospital services means that each of the Hospitals can be thematically different ... anything from a sterile scientific facility (i.e. the typical hospital setting) to some sort of cloning tank setup to a "mobile meat wagon" kind of "chop shop" inspired by Doctor Vahzilok to a "funeral home" from which the bodies keep going missing (because they keep getting up and running off) ... and so on. That way, when you Hospital you aren't always going to a tech facility using a teleporter and both the Lore and the Art Teams can have fun with and play around with differing thematics for how to present this Necessary Service in different ways.


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I want to stress why I think

I want to stress why I think any kind of timer penalty is a bad choice. As I said before, every penalty in a game can be distilled into a time penalty upon the player. So if you are going to penalize a player's time, at least make it an entertaining use of that time.
For example, if you penalize a player 30 seconds for dying. That is 30 seconds the player is having no fun, not playing the game. However, if you penalize the player 1% exp loss, or 1000inf, then however long the player has to play to regain that loss is the penalty. The key difference is that this is actual playing time, having fun consuming content instead of just stewing in impatience watching everyone else play the game.

Cyclops's quote above in Redlynn's post is a really good point. What kind of penalty is experience loss to a max level character. Reputation loss, however, is a pretty good alternative I think.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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I think another death penalty

I think another death penalty we could definitely have in this game would be overhearing NPCs in the world talking about how you got your button kicked by so-and-so. That would be so horrible in such a good way. You walk up to an NPC to buy an enhancement or get a mission, and the NPC says, "Hey, aren't you the hero who got sent to the hospital by Junkyard Dawg?" or "Having trouble with those Scorpions, huh?"

That is a penalty has nothing to do with penalizing a players time. It hits players where it hurts: their pride. I would support that.

Just as long as NPCs also congratulate characters for their accomplishments as well. You gotta make players feel heroic or villainous if they deserve it, too.

Edit: Kind of like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7BIp9kwJz0

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

For example, if you penalize a player 30 seconds for dying. That is 30 seconds the player is having no fun, not playing the game. However, if you penalize the player 1% exp loss, or 1000inf, then however long the player has to play to regain that loss is the penalty. The key difference is that this is actual playing time, having fun consuming content instead of just stewing in impatience watching everyone else play the game.

+1

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Just to pick up on

Just to pick up on Huckleberry and run with the ... er ... sidekick avatar ... um ...

One of the "it's all connected" proposals I've offered elsewhere is basically "Victory Metrics That Reset Upon Defeat" ... or what might otherwise be considered Temp Badges depending on how you want to look at it.

You have Defeated {integer variable} {insert NPC Group here} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group}.

Point being that when you get Defeated by one of the Skulls, this badge "resets" to zero and you have to build it back up again. You have to "get your mojo back" relative to that specific NPC Group. Basic underlying premise being that the more NPCs of a particular Group that you Defeat without being Defeated yourself by them the more formidable/fearsome your Reputation with that Group would then become, since you're trashing more and more of them without succumbing to their efforts.

Now ... what could you do with that?

Well ... glad you asked ...

As a Developer, you could "gate" all kinds of content behind "You Must Be This Awesome Against This Group" requiring the {integer variable} to pass any number of thresholds before moving on to the next step. Heck, this could even be done as a way to deal with all of those "Go. Hunt. Kill Skuls." Street Sweeper requirements that a lot of Task Forces began with (go defeat 150 Rikti) ... except that in this case, all that would be required is for someone (anyone) on the Team to meet the threshold of having Defeated (oh, let's say) 100 Rikti without having been Defeated by Rikti in order to complete the first Mission. And best of all, you'd get to KEEP YOUR SCORE after the story arc was finished, provided that you weren't Defeated during it.

Ah ... but when you are Defeated ... sorry, your "score" against that NPC Group just got reset to zero, and they aren't as "afraid" of you anymore, and other competing NPC Groups aren't going to be as quick (or as eager) to "hire your services" to go after the bunch that just kicked you back to the Hospital.

So taking a page note from Huckleberry, penalizing a PC's social standing as an Undefeated would certainly seem to be fair game. This would essentially make these metrics something that could be keyed into the Alignment system for even more nuance and variation of possible requirements. Are you Honorable and Violent and have you Defeated 100 Tsoo without being Defeated by the Tsoo yet? Well in that case, The Family would like to have a word with you, since they have a "job" that needs doing, you see ... and it sounds like it's right up your alley, so ...

That sort of thing.
Note that in this case, what the Death Penalty I'm suggesting consists of amounts to a "foreclosing of opportunities" until additional content has been played ... which is more in line with the old structuring of Debt in City of Heroes, in that it's something you can work off over time (with sufficient persistence).

And yes, as Huckleberry rightly notes, it would hit PLAYERS (as opposed to Characters!) right where it hurts ... their Bragging Rights ... since these metrics would be visible to anyone along with Bio info (probably on its own Tab).


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So, would you have the 'Kill

So, would you have the 'Kill Skuls' badge taken away, because of a subsequent bad run on the RNG? What about a character with 'Rise of the Phoenix', for whom temporary defeat is part of their power mechanics?

It might be better to take performance in the whole mission into account. Then the contact can say, "I heard the Demons almost got you, but you pulled it together and took them out. Good Job!" Or, if a character was defeated and didn't complete a mission, then they might get taunted and asked when they were going to get back at the enemy.

If there were a defeat-count mechanism and the possibility of losing rank by being defeated in turn, I would structure it as a ladder. One might lose recent gains on the defeat-count, but not the whole status. I don't see one loss trumping a thousand victories.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

As a Developer, you could "gate" all kinds of content behind "You Must Be This Awesome Against This Group" requiring the {integer variable} to pass any number of thresholds before moving on to the next step. Heck, this could even be done as a way to deal with all of those "Go. Hunt. Kill Skuls." Street Sweeper requirements that a lot of Task Forces began with (go defeat 150 Rikti) ... except that in this case, all that would be required is for someone (anyone) on the Team to meet the threshold of having Defeated (oh, let's say) 100 Rikti without having been Defeated by Rikti in order to complete the first Mission. And best of all, you'd get to KEEP YOUR SCORE after the story arc was finished, provided that you weren't Defeated during it.
Ah ... but when you are Defeated ... sorry, your "score" against that NPC Group just got reset to zero, and they aren't as "afraid" of you anymore, and other competing NPC Groups aren't going to be as quick (or as eager) to "hire your services" to go after the bunch that just kicked you back to the Hospital.

Note that in this case, what the Death Penalty I'm suggesting consists of amounts to a "foreclosing of opportunities" until additional content has been played ... which is more in line with the old structuring of Debt in City of Heroes, in that it's something you can work off over time (with sufficient persistence).

I really like this. As far as death penalties go, this is really thoughtful. I'm not sure I would bring it all the way back to zero though. There should probably be gates, like levels or tiers and you would lose a tier maybe if you get defeated. Because if someone was up to 10,000 enemies defeated, the player would probably not want to even try any more content against that group for fear of losing six months of effort. On the other hand, it would certainly separate the true heroes from the image-centered glory hounds, that's for sure.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

So, would you have the 'Kill Skuls' badge taken away, because of a subsequent bad run on the RNG?

/em stunned

I'm not even sure where to begin with what you're saying. This sounds awfully close to "I should never (have to) lose because of the RNG" which is just ... um ... kind of missing the point at a very fundamental level.

Look, the way that City of Heroes did it is that it counted things in one direction and one direction only for its Defeat Badges ... UP. Once you met the requirement for the Badge, you earned it and it couldn't ever be taken away from you. It was basically yours forever. City of Titans can do that too if it wants to (and I'm kind of presuming it will).

Paragraph mark.
Different conversation.

But City of Titans could ALSO do something different ... which is have a viewable metric which shows how LONG of a run of success you've had against a particular Foe NPC Group. This wouldn't be a Have vs Have Not situation like City of Heroes did with their Badges. No, instead this would be a rolling tally. A "kill" counter if you will ... that only keeps climbing for as long as that particular group canNOT successfully Defeat you. Defeat 101 Skulls and it will show that you've Defeated 101 Skulls without being Defeated yourself. It's a COUNTER. And yes, I'm quite sure that dumpster fire diving Tankers will be able to make it do something like this ...

But the point is that the "progress" on this metric ... this Undefeated "kills" counter ... can be reset to zero *IF* that specific group manages to Defeat you ... thus "ending your run" (or reign of terror, if you prefer) against that particular group.

Just set up enough of these to cover every single Foe NPC Group in the game and send the Players on their merry way.

Heck, for TRUE Bragging Rights™ you could even set up a "global" counter that shows how many Foes (of any and ALL Groups!) that you have Defeated since the last time you yourself were Defeated. Think of it as the "Hardcore" Counter if it helps, since it would get reset to zero every time you get Defeated by ANY Foe (PC or NPC?). It would, of course, be just for PURE Bragging Rights with no Game Mechanical purpose whatsoever (meaning no gating of content tied to it) and would be useful only for showing to other Players ... in a "I've fought this many enemies and NEVER LOST" kind of way.

Fireheart wrote:

What about a character with 'Rise of the Phoenix', for whom temporary defeat is part of their power mechanics?

They faceplanted. THEY WERE DEFEATED. The ... semantics ... of this point are not in dispute.

The difference would be that such a character could return to the fight without needing to use a Hospital or a Wakie. It would be an "instant" (or at least, animation speed fast) resumption of the fight that Defeated the PC, and depending on the Power used could result in serious Buffing of the PC and/or serious Debuffing of the Foe NPCs. It would simply mean that they could re-engage much faster using a Power than using one of the other options.

So as far as the "Defeated {X} {NPC Group} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group}" counter is concerned, the character was still Defeated, which by the plain english reading means Reset To Zero for that counter.

Now, if you take the OTHER idea I've been pushing of choosing the "Debt Penalty" severity based on the method of Getting Back Up, you could rig it such that using a Power to revive yourself would incur little (to no?) Debt at all against future XP/IGC earnings, while use of a Wakie would incur some, and use of a Hospital (as the ultimate fallback) would cost the most.

Fireheart wrote:

It might be better to take performance in the whole mission into account.

Uh ... okay? Um ... how? Uh ... why?

If you had a human acting as GM for a game, that's easy. Reading Klingon For a pre-programmed computer game, with all of it's myriad structural complexities (especially when taking, quote, "the whole mission into account" unquote) ... that's hard.

Fireheart wrote:

If there were a defeat-count mechanism and the possibility of losing rank by being defeated in turn, I would structure it as a ladder. One might lose recent gains on the defeat-count, but not the whole status. I don't see one loss trumping a thousand victories.

What you're basically asking for here is that if you've got the Defeated 1000 Skulls Badge, which never goes away, you want that to in turn give you "protection" against having your "Defeated {X} {NPC Group} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group}" counter ever getting returned to zero ... because ... um ... you're going to have to help me here, because I can't think of a good reason for that to work like that (especially not with that wording).


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Redlynne
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

I really like this. As far as death penalties go, this is really thoughtful. I'm not sure I would bring it all the way back to zero though. There should probably be gates, like levels or tiers and you would lose a tier maybe if you get defeated. Because if someone was up to 10,000 enemies defeated, the player would probably not want to even try any more content against that group for fear of losing six months of effort. On the other hand, it would certainly separate the true heroes from the image-centered glory hounds, that's for sure.

We make every pretense of competency around here. ^_~

I'm afraid I'm going to have to be somewhat adamant about the "do it this way" on the reset to zero upon Defeat idea. It's not about levels or tiers or stuff like that ... it's about Body Counts since the last time YOU LOST TO THEM.

How many Freakshow can you Defeat without being Defeated yourself by the Freakshow?
How many Malta can you Defeat without being Defeated yourself by Malta?
How many Longbow can you Defeat without being Defeated yourself by Longbow?

It's an UNDEFEATED "run" counter against Foe NPC Groups. It stores and shows integer values. It makes "public" your ongoing "record of victories with NO Defeats" BY YOU against each of the Foe NPC Groups ... with one counter for each NPC Group.

This isn't something where you get "graded on a curve" because you already Defeated 1000 Skulls a year ago, so you only lose 90% of your current "kill" count from now on instead of 100% of it because ... uh ... h4xx0r reasons?

As for the 10,000 enemies Defeated ... that was the original requirement for the Rikti Monkeys Defeat Badge. Yes, it was set to require the Defeat of 10,000 Rikti Monkeys. Can you say grind? I don't know of ANYBODY who was able to grind out that particular Badge without being Defeated at least once by Rikti ... even if only going to Monkey Island in north Peregrine Island.

My point is that these "kill counters" ought to be thought of as Easy Come/Easy Go ... but for those who get upset with themselves when they lose a really high count, there are only two things to say. You only have yourself to blame, for putting yourself into that situation in the first place (so decision history by the Player matters) ... and ... in order to get it back, all you have to is Keep Playing and not get Defeated ... and if you've done that once, you can do it again (can't you?).

But yes, that's kind of the point. The more you have to LOSE, the more careful you should be about guarding yourself against that Loss ... right? Which then gets back to the whole You Only Have Yourself To Blame ultimate answer. The Buck Stops With The Player and all that.

Everybody loves accountability ... when it's for SOMEONE ELSE to live up to ... and HATE IT when it applies to themselves. This is no different, in that regard.

If you want to rack up an absurdly high Undefeated Count ... then don't do things that will lead to your Defeat. Duh. Don't be reckless, for starters. Duh. Having a high Undefeated Count will "say something" about you and HOW YOU PLAY, since it takes work to build, and it can be easy to lose ... but you can still build it back up again.

The real measure of being a Hero isn't never failing ... it's what you do to keep going AFTER you've failed. It's having the courage to not give up, even in the face of Defeat. Yeah, "high scores" and records are nice to have, but at the end of the day, what really matters most is persistence in the face of adversity ... not temper tantrums when everything doesn't go your way.

So yeah ... something to be proud of, but when it's lost, it's something that will wound the PLAYER'S Pride far more than it will game mechanically impact the capacity of the Character to keep on playing. So it "hurts" where it needs to in order to act as a deterrent against reckless/stupid behavior when playing.


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Redlynne
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Fireheart ... just had a

Fireheart ... just had a supplementary thought circling back to your point.

If we have both the Defeat {X} of {NPC Group} Badges, just like City of Heroes did ... AND ... also have the "Undefeated" counters like I'm talking about here ... one thing that could certainly be done for content gating would be an IF-OR-THEN check against those two parameters.

IF
Defeat Badge vs Foe Group earned = {boolean true}
OR
You have Defeated {integer variable} {insert NPC Group here} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group} > {pick integer number}
THEN
Gated content is made available to PC(s)

That could certainly work if doing a dual track system like that, where meeting either requirement would be acceptable.

Or if you want an even more complicated expression of that basic logic ...

IF

  • Defeat Badge vs Foe Group earned = {boolean true} AND You have Defeated {integer variable} {insert NPC Group here} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group} > {pick integer number}

OR

  • Defeat Badge vs Foe Group earned = {boolean false} AND You have Defeated {integer variable} {insert NPC Group here} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group} > {pick different integer number}

THEN

  • Gated content is made available to PC(s)


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So, you would have me taunted

So, you would have me taunted for my loss, even though my career record shows I have defeated ten/hundred/thousand/million of a given enemy. Because I fought and held aggro until my team defeated the enemy, but, unfortunately, I slipped and got taken down before they could heal me. Then the team rezzed me and we finished cleaning out the nest of enemies and saved the day. But, since I didn't obsessively fight to stay undefeated, I shall suffer being shamed by civilians.

Nope, I volunteer not to play that game. That makes defeat too significant.

Personal defeat in the service of party survival is part of the job of being a hero. What you're describing is more appropriate for a gladiator, or a street-sweeping soloist, not for a team player.

The idea of gating some content behind a defeat-X does make some sense. Conversely, gating some content behind a defeatED-X also makes sense, depending on the content. You do realize this means every character requires a running tally for every faction?

Be Well!
Fireheart

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The law of unintended

The law of unintended consequences may kick in with this idea causing a certain sector of the player base to put too much stock in bragging rights for their kill counts. In order to artificially inflate their counts, they set their mission difficulty to blue or green or grey and in effect take absolutely no risk in order to obtain and maintain their counts. Nothing quite like teaming up with someone with high kill counts and zoning into a mission where everything cons grey. So ... what do they really have to brag about?

As a player, their kill counts tell me nothing. They could be scared little cowards that refuse to risk anything or they may be exceptional players. I imagine my first thought would be that they risked nothing for their counts.

I would much rather play with someone that fights on the constant edge of defeat and rises victorious even in defeat than to play with a coward who only cares for their kill metric.

Nice idea but it may well produce nothing more than a false metric of success.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Nope, I volunteer not to play that game. That makes defeat too significant.

And here we go ... can't have anything that imposes any penalties of any kind whatsoever for any reason ... especially if your character "loses" in combat by being Defeated. Because that wasn't the Player's fault for getting themselves into that situation! Oh no ... never! Responsibility for one's actions must be denied at all times when losing!

I'm reminded of the speech by George C Scott at the beginning of the movie Patton ... that no one ever won by dying for their country, but rather by making their opponents die for theirs (yes I'm paraphrasing for reasons of profanity in the clip and this is a family forum).

Look, Defeat is supposed to be something you WANT to avoid. If you don't have motivations to avoid it then your entire behavior set for what Defeat MEANS changes, especially if you're intent on making Defeat as meaningless as possible to the point that you never have to Learn From Your Mistakes.

"Life IS PAIN, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you something."
- The Man In Black, The Princess Bride

Fireheart wrote:

Personal defeat in the service of party survival is part of the job of being a hero. What you're describing is more appropriate for a gladiator, or a street-sweeping soloist, not for a team player.

I'm hard pressed to bring anyone to mind who thinks that faceplanting, particularly REPEATED faceplanting, makes for a particularly effective victory strategy. Indeed, the only thing that comes to mind for that in a City of Heroes context would be what was known as Vengeance Bait ... in which a Teammate was more valuable "dead" than they were alive (and kicking). Note that this circumstance does not speak well of someone who contributes more by "dying" (repeatedly) than by staying alive and helping.

To be helpful, I think you've got that backwards. Faceplanting is hardly ever considered "heroic" ... and is usually considered either a mistake, a result of a foolish set of choices, or both. Yes, I understand the notion of Heroic Sacrifice, but I'm not talking about Martyrdom as a strategy for success. Most gamers I know would look at a character who repeatedly engages in Martyrdom as their preferred strategy of engagement as basically "doing it wrong" from the get go. That sort of thing gets filed under the "Dead does zero DPS" heading of brilliant ideas. What's worse is when somebody dives in and gets over their head and then drags everyone else down with them. You know, like this ...

Fireheart wrote:

The idea of gating some content behind a defeat-X does make some sense. Conversely, gating some content behind a defeatED-X also makes sense, depending on the content. You do realize this means every character requires a running tally for every faction?

I figured that was abundantly clear from the get go. I also know that the game is going to be running on computers ... that can, like, remember math and spreadsheets and ... stuff ... for us. So I'm really not seeing the objection you've got here as being terribly meaningful.

Now, that said, I do think it would be a mistake to gate ALL content behind such requirements. If that's your point, I'll certainly agree that going that way lies madness. All I'm saying is that if you're going to have branching paths for things, and we already know there are going to be branching paths, then you need to have a way to discern who is allowed to have access to the "optional" paths to do things. What are the "alternate" ways to complete the content? How do you make sure that the game offers choices and isn't just a One Size Fits All?

My answer is that you make some things conditional upon completion of Other Things. What other things? Well, it depends ... and is really up to the Content Designer. The requirements could be placed high, so as to keep the content somewhat exclusive/thematic, or can be placed low, so as to make the content as widely available as possible.

Fireheart wrote:

Nope, I volunteer not to play that game. That makes defeat too significant.

I'm calling your bluff.

What if the number of members you had to Defeat without being Defeated yourself was 1 to meet the threshold for a content gate? Would that still be "too significant" for you? Would you still volunteer not to play that game? Is it reasonable to assert that defeating a mere ONE member of a Foe NPC Group without losing to them is too onerous a hurdle to jump over?

If that's not too burdensome ... then why not?

I'm not being snarky here. I'm wanting to point out the logical extremes of the position you've staked out.

Now ... if Defeating 1 NPC without being Defeated yourself is not overly burdensome ... then what would be?
5?
10?
15?
20?
30?
40?
50?
100?
150?
200?

I'm not asking this rhetorically. This is a Know Your Audience (or in this case, Know Your Gamers) kind of thing. It's about finding where the "pain point(s)" can be found, and understanding that the thresholds for different people is going to be different, because People are different. Ideally, you want the "pain point" to be low but not SO LOW as to be negligible or silly. Why? Because Players love to be able to successfully get past hurdles, and the harder it is to get over a challenge, the greater the sense of accomplishment when you can and do succeed (finally). Conversely, you don't want to set the "pain point" so high that people get frustrated and give up before succeeding, or worst case scenario succumb to Learned Helplessness after repeatedly failing.

So there's going to be a "Goldilocks Zone" for this sort of thing where it can be a hurdle to clear but also something that CAN be cleared without needing to resort to specialized builds or specific mixes of PCs (such as 1 Tank, 1 Healer, 3 DPS) in order to clear the challenge. Remember, the classic condition for getting people to keep playing games is the "bitter, bitter, sweet" pattern that can feed the desire to put up with present adversity in order to reach for future success.

You're telling me there can't (or at least, shouldn't) be ANY "bitter" at all!

And I'm telling you that "eating your vegetables" (so to speak) won't be bad for you, and that it will ultimately lead to a higher quality of "common" gamer playing the game as a result. I mean, I like Instant Gratification too ... but you can't have an entire game be nothing BUT Instant Gratification. There's got to be some Delayed Gratification too in order to give people things to work towards in order to motivate them. Just don't make the Delay so great that the Gratification is typically out of reach.


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Redlynne
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Nyxz wrote:
Nyxz wrote:

The law of unintended consequences may kick in with this idea causing a certain sector of the player base to put too much stock in bragging rights for their kill counts. In order to artificially inflate their counts, they set their mission difficulty to blue or green or grey and in effect take absolutely no risk in order to obtain and maintain their counts. Nothing quite like teaming up with someone with high kill counts and zoning into a mission where everything cons grey. So ... what do they really have to brag about?

As a player, their kill counts tell me nothing. They could be scared little cowards that refuse to risk anything or they may be exceptional players. I imagine my first thought would be that they risked nothing for their counts.

I would much rather play with someone that fights on the constant edge of defeat and rises victorious even in defeat than to play with a coward who only cares for their kill metric.

Nice idea but it may well produce nothing more than a false metric of success.

This is true. We all know what happens when a place like a Forum keeps a tally of the number of Posts that someone has made. There's always going to be someone who posts more noise than signal simply to game the system and pump up their post count, rather than engaging in useful conversation that adds value to discussions. You are indeed correct that the same type of behavior could potentially take place with this idea too. It's just the nature of the beast when dealing with tally counts of any kind. There's always going to be someone who is trying to go for the most while actually doing the least. That's just Human Nature.

Heck, I could easily make an argument that AFK Powerleveling is effectively the same thing, from a behavioral standpoint.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

I'm calling your bluff.
What if the number of members you had to Defeat without being Defeated yourself was 1 to meet the threshold for a content gate?

It seems to me, that we're looking at this issue from very different angles.

You've proposed a feature and you are defending your suggestion.

I'm looking at being Penalized for something that, if one is pushing the limits, or if a Teammate is not fully on the ball, happens at least once a night. One slips below the threshold and falls to the ground. In a moment, one can use an Awaken, or resurrection power to get back up, so it's not a huge deal. You get up and you go back to work. Not everyone can count on 'No Get Hitsu'. If I'm temporarily defeated by bluebolts or crazy pools of fire, I don't usually mind. I don't scream at whoever is supposed to be 'healing' because they were busy attacking, instead. I know that in a minute they'll be over to Rez me.

You want to add a feature that 'takes away' from a character's progress. One that subjects them to social abuse from 'people' who were not There, not in the situation, and who have no idea what was going on, when the character 'failed' to live up to their expectations. Your feature ignores whether the character recovered from their 'failure' and continued to a successful conclusion.

But I never said that the basic feature of having a defeatX counter was Bad! I just didn't like the way you suggested implementing it.

Your 'Life is Pain' lesson is not something I need underlined by a game. I know it fully well, thank you.

Instead, let's discuss ways in which a character can suffer temporary defeat, without having a large 'take away', please.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

And here we go ... can't have anything that imposes any penalties of any kind whatsoever for any reason ... especially if your character "loses" in combat by being Defeated. Because that wasn't the Player's fault for getting themselves into that situation! Oh no ... never! Responsibility for one's actions must be denied at all times when losing!
I'm reminded of the speech by George C Scott at the beginning of the movie Patton ... that no one ever won by dying for their country, but rather by making their opponents die for theirs (yes I'm paraphrasing for reasons of profanity in the clip and this is a family forum).
Look, Defeat is supposed to be something you WANT to avoid. If you don't have motivations to avoid it then your entire behavior set for what Defeat MEANS changes, especially if you're intent on making Defeat as meaningless as possible to the point that you never have to Learn From Your Mistakes.
"Life IS PAIN, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you something."
- The Man In Black, The Princess Bride

Perhaps expressed badly but I'm pretty sure that what Fireheart is trying to say is that putting content behind an "undefeated counter" will skew playstyle incentives significantly into one single playstyle, mainly hit-and-run since it will minimize the risk of defeat. Racking up a 1000, 10 000 kills or whatever is needed for the highest tier to then being treated like a nobody because of one single defeat just doesn't look fair to me, and probably most others.

I don't think that making it a condition of either defeat-counter or grand-total is such a good idea either since everyone will get there eventually and thus defeats (for this purpose) will only be "significant" to the more impatient players. If content would be locked behind any such mechanics then I think a kill-death ratio one would be a better choice since it better represent ones overall "performance" in this regard. This makes it so that defeats is still something you want to avoid but one single one or even a few will most likely not pose a significant "burden" on your ability to do content.

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I had a character meant to be

I had a character meant to be defeated. He was a classic Glass Canon. A fellow called Ensign Fodder or Camron Fodder a Star Trek redshirt. I had like 6 different death scenes sayings keyboard for his defeat. Going from "This... Is...*dramatic pose* The... End...AGH" to "Curses I knew being a redshirt was bad!"

My playstyle for him was to be the sacrifice for Vengeance Bait, comic relief, and just all around having fun. So should I suffer for having a character designed to be a heavy damage dealer and be someone who would die by a bug bite? I knew other players who also had characters who were similarly made. Perma Debt characters did exist, as well as other vengeance bait characters.

Having some "Undefeated" content automatically locked me out just because I saw an "Oh my God they Killed Kenny... I mean me!" moment? One that could give my team some Vengeance boost?

My Warshade tactic was another where sometimes I used my "Death" as a battle tactic using Stygian Return then Stygian Circle finishing it off with Black Dwarf often turned me into a killing god.

There are two examples of a character where dying is part of the player tactic. Now having the game respond via comments or foe Taunts I like. The "Hey {$Playername} how does it feel to be {$NPCNAME}'s personal punching bag" "Oh look it's {$playername}, guess he wasn't as hurt as bad as I heard." Content being locked out because I didn't hit a key power at a key time not so much.

How many times did Spiderman get beaten only to come back with a tactic to outwit his foes? Heck, it's part of his character that his Rogue Gallary is stronger and faster than him.

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There is no way I could

There is no way I could possibly defend a point as well as Redlynn did in post #31 without sounding like a pompous ass. That was erudite, snarky, brilliant and an all-around pleasure to read. I think I'm in love.

But seriously, I think there is still room for compromise that can turn this into a win-win. There has to be a way to accommodate the occasional death due to teammate stupidity. Because that would create bad feelings and pointing fingers where there really should be 'let's make this a teaching moment.'

First, you should only get credit for defeating enemies your level or higher. That means only enemies that can put up a challenge. This will keep the most blatant posers away.

Second, your counter should not go to zero if the following two criteria are met:
1) Any enemies that are engaged in battle with you when you went down do not survive the battle, and
2) you are resurrected before the battle is over. In other words, the TEAM defeated the enemy without being defeated, and by extension, so did you. This reinforces team behavior and thinking rather than a collection of individuals. Will there be griefers who deliberately bring others' counters to zero by baiting too many enemies and refusing to rez? Yes, there probably will. But there will also be plenty of teams who will attempt to keep the last enemy alive until they rez their fallen comrade; and I think that is the kind of social connection and care that makes MMO game communities stronger. I would want to reward a team that thinks of each other in that way. I think we will see far more of the latter than the former.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

Redlynne
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

There is no way I could possibly defend a point as well as Redlynne did in post #31 without sounding like a pompous ass. That was erudite, snarky, brilliant and an all-around pleasure to read. I think I'm in love.

Oh dear. I think I've done it now.

You *do* know that I'm a bad influence on people, right?

Huckleberry wrote:

But seriously, I think there is still room for compromise that can turn this into a win-win. There has to be a way to accommodate the occasional death due to teammate stupidity. Because that would create bad feelings and pointing fingers where there really should be 'let's make this a teaching moment.'

As a Game Designer, you want to build the Incentive Structure around "teaching" the Player to Play Better.

Huckleberry wrote:

First, you should only get credit for defeating enemies your level or higher. That means only enemies that can put up a challenge. This will keep the most blatant posers away.

Perfectly reasonable suggestion. It certainly takes care of the problem of having Level 50s hunting Greys in Atlas Park to pad out their counters (as an extreme example).

Huckleberry wrote:

Second, your counter should not go to zero if the following two criteria are met:
1) Any enemies that are engaged in battle with you when you went down do not survive the battle, and
2) you are resurrected before the battle is over. In other words, the TEAM defeated the enemy without being defeated, and by extension, so did you. This reinforces team behavior and thinking rather than a collection of individuals. Will there be griefers who deliberately bring others' counters to zero by baiting too many enemies and refusing to rez? Yes, there probably will. But there will also be plenty of teams who will attempt to keep the last enemy alive until they rez their fallen comrade; and I think that is the kind of social connection and care that makes MMO game communities stronger. I would want to reward a team that thinks of each other in that way. I think we will see far more of the latter than the former.

The way I'd structure that one, game mechanically if going that route, would be to delay the Reset To Zero. As has been pointed out, as an opening bid (that's right, an opening "bid" on the notion) I structured it exactly the same way that Debt was structured in City of Heroes ... that the penalty was applied On Defeat. However, at the same time, in this thread, I've also been advocating for doing something different in City of Titans ... namely delaying the application of a Defeat Penalty until choosing a method to Revive from having faceplanted.

So let's do a peanut butter + chocolate here.

  • You have Defeated {integer variable} {insert NPC Group here} without being Defeated by {same NPC Group}

Let's "tweak" the definition of the second "Defeated" in that sentence to be more forgiving.

Instead of the reset to zero happening Upon Faceplant ... instead have the reset to zero condition happen upon ... Hospital Revive.
Why?
Because a Hospital trip involves both being defeated (the faceplant) and a RETREAT from the battle so as to be revived in a "safe zone" away from the Foe NPCs who Defeated you. Note also, that in the context of doing this in a Circle of Thorns or 5th Column Mission Instance could result in "going to prison" rather than returning to the Hospital.

The simplest thing to do here would be to include a verification window alerting the Player that if they exercise this option, then they will be assessed a Death Penalty because they chose this option followed by a Do You Accept? (Y/N)

After that, it then becomes relatively simply to "preserve" your Defeat counter by just not assessing a counter reset penalty if you use a Power to Revive. It would be the "cat" equivalent of a "I meant to do that" after messing up. Using a Power to revive would then "count as a mulligan" for that specific faceplant, because you got back up again without retreating to a Hospital thanks to use of a Power. This then allows Fireheart's objection to be sustained, thus making "martyrdom" a possible path to success without being penalized on the counter.

Which then leaves Wakies to deal with.
Now, given that we don't have firm commitments on how Wakies are going to be meant to operate in City of Titans, this situation is going to have to be a lot more fluid just because fewer data points are nailed down yet. To put things in City of Heroes terms, I could easily see Large Wakies as having no counter reset penalty when used, so as to give them primacy ... at which point it becomes a question of what to do with the Medium and Small Wakies. Since their functional purpose is to Revive In Place (without retreating to a Hospital), the argument could be made (and I'm sure someone will) that the size of the Wakie Inspiration used should have no bearing on the Reset To Zero function. So it becomes something of an "in between" where it starts getting hard to split the difference without resorting to the hated Random Number Generator so as to impose a RISK of Loss rather than a certainty of Loss (or not). That would then become its own "pain point" as to whether or not Players would want to risk that choice when no other options are available. And as already mentioned, we know that Wakies are going to be a "thing" in City of Titans, but we don't know yet how they're going to be structured, so a lot of what I'm saying here is just speculation in a vacuum because the necessary underpinnings aren't yet finalized and publicized.

But that would certainly be the way to reach for the compromise alternative that Huckleberry alludes to and which Fireheart is advocating for. Change WHEN the Reset To Zero happens, such that it is the result of an affirmative CHOICE the Player gets to make AFTER having been Defeated, rather than a result of choices the Player made PRIOR to being Defeated ... and structure it such that use of Revive Powers offer a "mulligan" against loss of accrued record, while use of a Hospital will definitely Reset To Zero. After that, it starts coming down to a question of Team Wipe? (Y/N) regardless of the size of the Team, whether it be 1 or 8.

Note also that restructuring things this way would not only make possible but also "invigorate" the Community Spirit of helping out other Players you pass by on the street. It would create a sort of Pay It Forward for the kinds of Good Samaritan acts that we always looked forward to in City of Heroes ... what I always thought of as Drive-By Buffing for PCs you'd never met before and would probably never meet again. Having that kind of "reward" for being able to help others would be something valuable which could infuse many parts of the community-at-large, such that PCs are more likely to view each other as partners and allies, rather than competitors, lending more of a We're All In This Together sort of Friendly Play atmosphere which seems to be so rare in other games these days.


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While I understand why the

While I understand why the counter reset would wait for the decision how/when to rez rather than at faceplant; I also want to emphasize there should be no enemy survivors who can go back to their hideout or to the press and blab about how they knocked you out. No amount of in situ resurrecting will be able to counter the fact that you let the bad guys get away because you were drinking gutter water.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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My two cents is that CoH did

My two cents is that CoH did it really well with rez powers and exp debt. There was a death penalty, and not one you could just shrug off by spending a little change, and death wasn't something you could just mash a mini-game and get over. Rez powers were a big deal (self-rez ones more so) but not super rare. The death penalty was enough that you didn't want to suffer it needlessly, but not so much that it made you timid. It didn't take away what you already earned, there was no money or exp penalty, it just slowed down your exp gain for a bit. While we could argue over details all day, I think the core system worked well.

So yes, I think CoH did death and resurrection (the rez powers, the limitations, the spawning from hospitals, the rez inspirations) well. However, some degree of innate team rez may not go amiss (maybe a once every ten minutes out of combat ally rez?) as long as it doesn't become too common UNLESS someone specifically stacks to maximize Resurrection abilities. That's an odd specialization, but... if someone wants to do it, I won't stop them.

Ultimately, in my opinion Shadow of Mordor is too heard on death (although, it's not a MMO so the comparison is skewed), and Guild Wars 2 is too easy on death, but if you ripped the death and exp debt system straight from CoH I would be happy as a clam. I'm not against building on it, of course.

One note: PLEASE no death mini-games. They tend to either be so easy that they may as well not be there, or so hard that they make respawning less aggravating than doing them. That said, I'm strongly biased against mini-games in all forms, but I feel that no one should be forced into a mini-game unless that's the kind of thing the game is based around.

Under Construction...

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*smile*

*smile*
I'm hardly a martyr, but I have been there when the team did everything right, but somebody still faceplanted. I most-often played Tankers and so, most often it was me who went down, because it's my job to soak up the aggro and not let those buggers get at My Squshies!

Be Well!
Fireheart

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OMG I completely forgot

OMG I completely forgot about Wizardry Online.

That was a fun game that made death permanent. Yeah. Talk about a steep death penalty. But what ruined it for me was the randomness of it. At each level above 1, your chance to revive went down significantly. In order to prevent this you could give offerings at the temple to raise your chances back up. The cost in offerings was expensive and it was impractical if not impossible to keep your revival chance at 100% after gaining several levels. What it all boiled down to was that your character's chance of persisting as a character was up to a single roll of the die. If you failed to revive, that was it. Game over, start a new character.

And did I mention that the game was 100% PvP. Yeah, you could get ganked in town by a stealthed assassin. And with permanent death, that made for a very frustrating game.

I like the concept of permanent death. It made dungeons a far more exciting affair, and you really learned to rely on your friends. But since corpses were lootable, you had to always keep an eye on your 'friends' just in case, also. It was a unique experience I'm glad I had a chance to play.

But I did not like that at level 12, after making as many offerings as I could I got my revival chance up to 85%, that also meant that I had a 15% chance to lose my character. I would have rather had the 100% chance of losing the character upon death rather than the uncertainty of holding out for a good die roll. That put way too much fate in chance.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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Of course, instead of

Of course, instead of penalizing XP, you could just make the PC forget things... like the name of their cat or how to get in the SG base without setting off the security...

Kind of parallel to this discussion but not exactly a "death penalty" is something that Elder Scrolls Online does: if you get killed fighting some monster, whether in the open field or in a dungeon instance, as soon as all the PCs that have aggroed the monster(s) have faceplanted, leaving them with nothing to fight, the monsters immediately jog back to their start points and restore their HP/MP/whatever to full. This prevents the "I and my ten clones will defeat you!" pseudo-strategy.

Regarding the defeat-count mechanism mentioned by Redlynne and Huckleberry, rather than making it an overly simplistic counter with two events:

  • defeat a mob: count = count + 1
  • defeated by mob: count = 0
  • count ≥ threshold: get reward or access

instead use a sliding reputation scale, where the "counter" can be bumped in either direction by various things:

  • defeat a minion: count = count + 1
  • defeat a lieutenant: count = count + 4
  • defeat a boss: count = count + 10
  • defeat an elite boss: count = count + 40
  • defeated by a minion: count = count - 1000
  • defeated by a lieutenant: count = count - 500
  • defeated by a boss: count = count - 150
  • defeated by an elite boss: count = count - 40
  • part of a team: scale credit or penalty by team size
  • count ≥ 1000: mobs fear you, what they say changes, more eager to attack (He killed Kenny!)
  • count ≥ 20000: content unlocked, mobs less eager to attack without overwhelming advantage
  • count = 50000 (cap): title unlocked
  • count ≤ -1000: mobs mock you, extra eager to attack (I'm bored; let's mess him up. He's easy!)
  • count ≤ -20000: mobs pity you, less eager to attack you if they outnumber you (Yeah, we tag Goodwill stores and club baby seals, but we're not that evil)
  • count = -50000 (cap): mobs bump into you and knock you down for jollies but otherwise ignore you unless you attack

This totally puts the hurt on pride, like Huckleberry pointed out.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

1) Lothic's point about a "balanced" penalty is very important. If it is totally trivial it is meaningless. If it is too harsh or time-consuming it reduces fun and gameplay flow and becomes a bummer.
2) I think CoH should be used as the standard, not just because this is a spiritual successor, but because it was just a really well done "defeat" system.
3) I HATE (hate hate hate) corpse run, time out, lock out, etc. Only exception was the capture/breakout mechanic in CoH. I found that fun and feel like it was under utilized, and I'd like to see it in CoT.

Having read the entire thread I agree with Empyrean on all these points. The hospital runs and the XP debt made suffering defeat a tangible thing to deal with. I remember hating to take the extra few seconds to buy inspirations from the hospital vendor because I wanted to get back to the fight.

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I'll repeat the question I

I'll repeat the question I posed almost 2 years ago on this topic: why is any game-mechanic penalty for defeat needed at all? I see a lot of arguments that presume defeat means one is playing "wrong" or "poorly" but there is no evidence to sustain that argument. Many have pointed out that they had character concepts that included defeat as part of their design, and we know our old City had some powers that were designed to be used in conjunction with defeat (of self or teammates). As long as a character's defeat doesn't cause a team wipe (thus impinging upon the fun of those who would rather not be defeated) why should those players be penalised for playing the way they want to?

I knew a bunch of players in the old City for whom the occurrence of defeat was penalty enough. Call it a psychological penalty, if you will. I can't seem to find it now, but I thought for a while MWM was saying that this would be the primary penalty for defeat in CoT, which showed me they really understood the game experience they are trying to re-create.

Having said that, I wouldn't mind the penalties of travel to hospital and xp debt as we had in our old City. But I wouldn't want to see anything more severe. I think an essential part of capturing the superheroic feeling is for the game to encourage defeated players to jump back into the fray, just as heroes (or villains) do in the comics and films. The last thing I'd think we would want is any sort of penalty that discouraged this sort of behaviour.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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I think this topic would be

I think this topic would be great to hear what the MWM team thought's on this are.

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But this section of the forum

But this section of the forum and this particular thread are about the Devs asking Us questions, not for them to make revelations. We're telling them about the 'death penalties' and 'recovery mechanics' that we have experienced and discussing what we like and don't like about being the ones that get defeated, as opposed to 'doing unto others'.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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I think part of it is the

I think part of it is the genre. Defeat has a different meaning in a Superhero game than it does in other genres--which is why CoH called it "defeat" and not "death". That wasn't just to keep the rating down.

Being defeated, but then getting back up and into the fight and eventually triumphing, is part of the Superhero story. So, defeat isn't a "bad" thing in this genre, but rather an important part of the ethos and story.

And this is coming from a guy who took defeat personally in CoH. I tried flat-out never to be defeated. And I don't mean by setting it on -1x1. I most often ran at +4x8.

But it was fun, because, when I was defeated, all I could think was, "oh, they're gonna regret that" (can we build regret into the AI :P?).

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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In response to Empyrean and

In response to Empyrean and Cinnder, I think penalties are absolutely required. We don't need to rehash the whole goldilocks zone of reward versus risk and the association that has with satisfaction and enjoyment. That is old ground and acknowledged as a given. However, we can discuss the nature of the penalty.

The loss of a good thing is a penalty as much as the imposition of a bad thing. Losing pride, losing the no-hitter in the ninth inning, losing something that you know you could have gotten otherwise is a penalty. Not everyone is, and I would wager to say very few people who play the game are, as self-motivated as Empyrean says he was.

So what else can be considered the loss of a good thing? In DCUO the penalty of death is minimal, but I want not to die because I always try for the achievement for accomplishing the content without getting knocked out. And if I do get knocked out, I sometimes abandon the quest just so I can try it again without dying. Why? because of that achievement.

Give me something to earn at the end of the stick, and I will try for it until I get it. Give me a switch when I falter and eventually I'll stop trying.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

Redlynne
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Here's an even simpler

Here's an even simpler thought.

Instanced Missions offer IGC and XP as rewards for the completion of the Mission.

On first Defeat inside the Mission, your character "loses" the IGC bonus award at Mission Turn In.
On second Defeat inside the Mission, your character "loses" the XP bonus award at Mission Turn In.
On all subsequent Defeats inside the Mission, your character Gains DEBT as per City of Heroes.

In none of these cases are you losing something you've already earned ... but are instead losing out on something you otherwise would have earned if you hadn't been Defeated.


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I wasn't clear.

I wasn't clear.

I wasn't arguing against a penalty, just against a penalty that slows the pace of gameplay and fun. Actually, defeat as a setback of some kind is exactly what I was arguing as iconic in the Superhero genre. The trip to the hospital and debt in CoH were good examples.

Huck, both you and Red have good points and ideas. And Red's graduated penalty is interesting. As long as a penalty doesn't make it no fun (subjective, I know), or, worse, literally impossible to play (like "time out" or "lock out") I think defeat as a setback that you then go on to triumph over through further play, is absolutely in harmony with the genre. As long as it is not too draconian (again, subjective).

Over all, however, I would argue for a "milder" penalty like the hosp trip and debt in CoH.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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What about if Mission

What about if Mission Complete bonuses could be voted to the resurrecter? Or any other party-member to acknowledge a 'Five Minutes of Awesome' bonus?

Be Well!
Fireheart

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I came to CoH from SWG. I

I came to CoH from SWG. I thought the penalties in CoH were a slap on the wrist by comparison to pre-WoW-ified SWG. If you went to the clone center you incurred semi-permanent "wounds" which lowered your hit points until you got healed by a doctor/combat medic or logged out for a sufficient amount of time in a hospital. Repeated defeats resulted in more and more of your hit points being blacked out. I remember seeing some people walking around with an almost completely back health bar.

I like the idea of having different results based on which method you use to get back in the fight.

Talk of the classic superhero trope of rallying after an initial defeat got me thinking, what if, when we used our own reserves to get ourselves back into the fight, we got a buff which lasted a minute or two... enough to finish the fight and then be followed by a longer crash debuff. If we are rezzed by a player with a power to do so, we are just back at it; no buff no crash. If we decide to use a hospital then the trip back would be its own penalty. An xp debt could also be tacked on to any or all of these.

Redlynne
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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

What about if Mission Complete bonuses could be voted to the resurrecter? Or any other party-member to acknowledge a 'Five Minutes of Awesome' bonus?

Works great in a world where everyone is honest and "plays nice" with people. In a world with Griefers ... potential pitfalls open up. In a world of mutli-boxing AFK Powerlevelers ... um ...

To be honest, the sort of thing you're talking about ought to be kept (imho) strictly in the Social Rewards area of the dynamics of gameplay, rather than being something that the Game Mechanics themselves need to recognize, honor and reward. That way, "the game doesn't care" but the people who play it do.


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One of Huckleberry's threads

One of Huckleberry's threads triggered a variation on the death penalty debate.

In CoX, we were eventually allowed to select our mission difficulty as far as con level and numbers. What if we could choose our death penalty in the same way? Increasing the penalty to whatever level we wanted to risk, with the ultimate choice of a true ironman death. Now working on Clone No. 13.

Increased risks. Increased rewards.

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Nyxz wrote:
Nyxz wrote:

One of Huckleberry's threads triggered a variation on the death penalty debate.
In CoX, we were eventually allowed to select our mission difficulty as far as con level and numbers. What if we could choose our death penalty in the same way? Increasing the penalty to whatever level we wanted to risk, with the ultimate choice of a true ironman death. Now working on Clone No. 13.
Increased risks. Increased rewards.

Having a "selectable" death penalty is an interesting idea but that could introduce a weird new set of problems in teaming situations. What happens if a person "accidentally" joins a hardcore Ironman team without fully realizing/understanding what that means? They could have their favorite character wiped in an instant and much crying would ensue.

I'm not against having Ironman options in games like CoT. I'm just not sure that settings like that should ever be "optional" for an entire team. In fact if you want to play Ironman style that probably ought to be a permanent decision you make during individual character creation and not something you could choose to turn on or off at will. What's the point of having a "toggleable" Ironman setting other than to exploit situations you're pretty sure you won't die in and then "play it safe" when you're not so sure?

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For me the "Ironman" rules

For me the "Ironman" rules should be relegated to a separate server. Think of something like the rikti events or zombie events. If you are playing on a general server under those rules you could potentially find yourself in a very dangerous situation because you happened to log into the game at the wrong moment and wrong spot and lose your character.

I suppose another way to integrate the Ironman setting would be to have it toggle off XP and/or story progression, IE you can't progress unless you are playing by Ironman rules. I'd say you'd probably need to attach a 30 second timeout to it so that you can't turn it off just before you die. This provides some flexibility to the player as they can now join a PUG for fun without worrying about "accidentally" losing their character.

Getting back to the OP. As has been discussed in other threads. There are a ton of different ideas about how to handle death in MMOs and I think the best solution would be to start out pretty strict in initial testing and then dial it back to a firm "punishment" for launch. Or even try a few different things in test to see which one scales easiest or fits the game the best. This is one of those things that is really easy to push in one direction and really difficult to pull back. It's also important to consider that as players progress that firm punishment will weaken naturally as players build wealth and reserves and skill. So something that might seem pretty tough at launch could be a minor annoyance a year or two later.

I do like the idea of tying the difficulty slider to the punishment in one way or another. Either a separate slider or tying it directly to the difficulty slider. It would be interesting to see an implementation of that in practice to see how it works.

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Nyxz wrote:
Nyxz wrote:

What if we could choose our death penalty in the same way? Increasing the penalty to whatever level we wanted to risk, with the ultimate choice of a true ironman death. Now working on Clone No. 13.
Increased risks. Increased rewards.

I like it. But as Lothic mentioned, I think being able to toggle it on and off and having to work it out with grouping mechanics does limit the feasibility.

However, I am all for setting up an ironman server instead. Send the rewards through the roof, but once your character is knocked out, if you don't get a combat rez, you are dead.
Dofus did this, and calls it their Heroic server. (coincidence?) Survivors in that world have definite bragging rights. It has led to a tribal behavior where people tend not to do anything solo, and groups would gank other characters who are caught soloing, but this also has the consequence of building tighter communities.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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As far as the death penalties

As far as the death penalties difficulty; I was specifically envisioning them as character specific and not team wide. Primarily because that would be a personal choice. As far as pure ironman goes; that would need to be a selectable difficulty at character creation.

Then there's the carebear ironman option, where your character can stave off death if the character revives themself within 30 secs after defeat. Note: This would be limited to self revives since they would be in a "death" state. In CoX, no one had any resurrection powers; only the power to revive defeated comrades.

I don't see it as ever being in game as far as ironman modes go, but it would interesting to be able to select your effective death penalty difficulty.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

I do like the idea of tying the difficulty slider to the punishment in one way or another. Either a separate slider or tying it directly to the difficulty slider. It would be interesting to see an implementation of that in practice to see how it works.

+1 to this.

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Nyxz wrote:
Nyxz wrote:

I don't see it as ever being in game as far as ironman modes go, but it would interesting to be able to select your effective death penalty difficulty.

Yeah having selectable death penalties would be fine using the "difficulty settings" concept you suggested before as long as you completely divorced the Ironman idea from that. Ironman might still be worth considering as long as it's restricted to character creation and/or being completely isolated to an Iroman-only server as others have mentioned.

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Rigel wrote:
Rigel wrote:

Talk of the classic superhero trope of rallying after an initial defeat got me thinking, what if, when we used our own reserves to get ourselves back into the fight, we got a buff which lasted a minute or two... enough to finish the fight and then be followed by a longer crash debuff. If we are rezzed by a player with a power to do so, we are just back at it; no buff no crash. If we decide to use a hospital then the trip back would be its own penalty. An xp debt could also be tacked on to any or all of these.

This sounds ideal to me. Add in the temp-power Resurrection Device, with an effect similar to teammate rez and we're covered.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

I suppose another way to integrate the Ironman setting would be to have it toggle off XP and/or story progression, IE you can't progress unless you are playing by Ironman rules. I'd say you'd probably need to attach a 30 second timeout to it so that you can't turn it off just before you die. This provides some flexibility to the player as they can now join a PUG for fun without worrying about "accidentally" losing their character.

There's no need for timeouts or anything like that if you want to play this way. Remember the Hero Corps Field Analyst NPCs? You know, the ones you GO TO in order to change your Difficulty Settings? Right. The only way you can change your "Ironman" Setting would be to go to one of these NPCs in person and actively change your settings. Problem of switching "on the fly" to avoid penalties SOLVED.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

There's no need for timeouts or anything like that if you want to play this way. Remember the Hero Corps Field Analyst NPCs? You know, the ones you GO TO in order to change your Difficulty Settings? Right. The only way you can change your "Ironman" Setting would be to go to one of these NPCs in person and actively change your settings. Problem of switching "on the fly" to avoid penalties SOLVED.

I think the thread more or less concluded that the general idea of having a "toggleable" Ironman setting was problematic to begin with regardless of it having a timer or not. That sort of thing (for it to have any lasting "fatalistic" significance) should either be a permanent choice during character creation or relegated to a dedicated server.

Now again if we completely divorce the classic "perma-death" Ironman concept from the Hero Corps Field Analyst system then it seems reasonable to allow people to change how they want to handle different types/degrees of "death penalties" through that system.

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I won't stand on a podium and

I won't stand on a podium and try to sell an idea, but I can provide my opinion on multiple types of death penalties, and what I think worked and why, and vice versa.

Worked:
- XP Debt: Promoted play, rather than punished play. Slowed rather than stopped.
- Hospital/graveyard runs: opportunity to recoup, and restock on pots/insps
- Incapacitation over death: opportunity to recover, pull yourself back from the brink; "near misses". E.g.: The Division
- Gear damage: An easily measurable indicator of when things went wrong, and hurts your pocket in an economy. Can also be a currency sink
- Stacking timed debuff/penalty: immediate feedback discouraging careless or bad play
- Wakies: co-operative, team play. Expanded options. Allowed more continuity in play. Less dependency on ressers.

Didn't work:
- XP Debt: Only truly effective at lower levels. Could be cleared all too easily in group content of reasonable difficulty. Became meaningless.
- Inf loss: No economy, no loss
- Graveyard/ hospital runs: "Corpse run" content by maintaining a constant train of returning dead people, preventing content resets while whittling enemies down. In CoH, travel powers meant this was a minor annoyance rather than a deterrent. In other games, waypoints render this somewhat meaningless
- Death mini-games: Boss or AoE would inevitably kill you properly anyway, so you just wasted time on most content. E.g.: Guild Wars 2
- Ghosting: Corpse can be stuck in terrain, under boss and makes reviving = +1 death. Promotes running away in "tense" situations so at least you die in a place where you can easily res. Puts undue pressure on team ressers, who are often also healers or buffers to leave a fight early, rather than try for that heroic save
- Wakies: dying in a bad spot is the same as for "ghosting". Seemed less prevalent in CoH; possibly because you could just use another
- Gear damage: At some point on that one TF your gear dies, you can't repair, and then you can't complete because no gear means you're basically a 2-year old. Someone always forget to repair and then you have to exit the instance and requeue.
- Stacking timed debuff/penalty: Negative feedback; ruins fun and limits playstyle options. Also = spiral of death
- Achievement or other measurement tracking your "Success Factor": Leads to artificial exclusion from parties attempting content because of the perception that you need to be at least 'x' in order to be successful. The most obvious and well known version of this is the Gear Score metric tracked by WoW, but I've specifically seen achievement-based variants of this as well, even in CoH. The type of metric doesn't really matter; if it's seen as a measure of success, it will lead to this kind of "elitist" or exclusionary behaviour. Can also lead to "mule" characters.
- level/XP loss: players adopt "no risk" or "least risk" mentality to attempting content. I've seen this lead to very antisocial behaviour.

That's all I can think of for now.

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A note on gear damage: There

A note on gear damage: There's really two ways for it to go; either 'it's a huge money sink and that makes you scared' or 'it's so small a money sink you don't care.' I'm not going to say it can't be dome well, but I suspect it would be incredibly difficult. Plus, a big thing about CoH was that you didn't have 'gear' in the traditional sense, but enhancements on powers. How would that work with a gear damage system?

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The point is rather moot -

The point is rather moot - if I recall correctly the devs said there will be no "gear damage" in COT. Now - I'm not sure if the boosts/enhancements will degrade over time/level like they did in CoH, nor do I know how advancement will work - but we won't be losing/breaking our stuff when we faceplant.

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They asked for everything we

They asked for everything we'd come across and what we liked/ didn't. So, I listed it all, even things that are not relevant to CoT in their previously implemented state. I'm sure the creative lot at MWM can come up with alternative interpretations.

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Hmm...

Hmm...

I'm the odd man out, as usual.

When it comes to death/defeat penalties, I'm an "all or nothing" kind of guy. Either implement permadeath or nothing.

The CoH twofold death penalty always annoyed me. The hospital run with its very minor loss of time at higher levels was not bad, but when the only hospital is back at base or in another zone the hospital run became a huge inconvenience that felt meaningless and extraneous. When implemented in conjunction with the Mission Architect it became downright silly. The entire concept of XP debt I have always felt was ludicrous, and possibly downright sadistic, especially in the early game when Blasters never, ever had 0 debt. Corpse runs such as those featured in WoW are absolutely the worst form of death penalty imaginable. I cringe whenever I read some player in a forum talking about how much they love corpse runs. Masochism is an ugly thing.

A superhero game is an entirely different paradigm than a fantasy game. Permadeath in a superhero game would be very difficult to implement from the perspective of storytelling. Superheros don't die, that's kind of the whole point of their existence. They remind us that even in defeat, we can rise from the ashes and try again. Defeat does need to be acknowledged, but why do we assume it needs to be punished? It's a game. Why not simply have a safe zone just inside the door of every mission, or at a "hospital" when street sweeping. When defeated, the player's character is offered a choice, "recover at the entrance or end the mission". The player's choice results in either a failed mission or being transported to the safe zone just inside the mission door with all of their current progress preserved. If the player chooses, "end the mission", then they are dropped back outside the mission door with a "failed mission, better luck next time" message. Defeat is thus acknowledged but not punished and the player chooses how to continue the game.

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Defeat does need to be acknowledged, but why do we assume it needs to be punished? It's a game.

All in all Greyhawk's post reminds me that MWM has stated that some missions may include elements that change how the mission / story progresses, in the sense that a "defeat" (whatever form it may take) will prompt a different result from a "success". E.g. A "defeat" might result in the villain escaping and resulting in a different next mission, possibly with the villain in a stronger position, than a "success".

For the rest, I sort of agree. As I've written earlier, I feel that the death penalty shouldn't go beyond preventing death from being used as some kind of advantage or to become any kind of viable tactic.

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Defeat does need to be acknowledged, but why do we assume it needs to be punished? It's a game.

Darth Fez wrote:

As I've written earlier, I feel that the death penalty shouldn't go beyond preventing death from being used as some kind of advantage or to become any kind of viable tactic.

I suppose it boils down to what your definition of "punishment" is. I would agree that having a corpse run for this game is probably well into the overtly overkill range but on the other hand if the consequences of death are too insignificant then people might be encouraged to play in tactically stupid ways (Leeroy Jenkins anyone?) and die every 10 seconds because, heck, why not?

So the fine line needs to exist where death penalties are just annoying enough that we're MOTIVATED to avoid dying constantly but not annoying enough to get seriously bummed out by it when it does happen. This is why we assume it needs to be punished... at least to SOME degree.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

... on the other hand if the consequences of death are too insignificant then people might be encouraged to play in tactically stupid ways (Leeroy Jenkins anyone?) and die every 10 seconds because, heck, why not?

That is a question worth answering. Heck, why not, indeed? All else being equal, why is there a need to police these people into playing differently?

If the death penalty is sufficiently severe that it might prompt someone to change their play style in order to avoid the penalty, is it really going to make them change how they play or is it going to make them leave the game? I think that, at best, for every player who is pushed into changing their play style so that they die less frequently there will be one player who leaves because they're frustrated.

Rather rely on the devs to create a mechanic that punishes players into changing we should rely on the community to help and inform those players. Let the player decide if they want to change rather than have the game decide it for them.

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Fez, you just wrote:

Fez, you just wrote:

Darth Fez wrote:

All else being equal, why is there a need to police these people into playing differently?
If the death penalty is sufficiently severe that it might prompt someone to change their play style in order to avoid the penalty, is it really going to make them change how they play or is it going to make them leave the game? I think that, at best, for every player who is pushed into changing their play style so that they die less frequently there will be one player who leaves because they're frustrated.
Rather rely on the devs to create a mechanic that punishes players into changing we should rely on the community to help and inform those players. Let the player decide if they want to change rather than have the game decide it for them.

But in the post before you wrote:

Darth Fez wrote:

I feel that the death penalty shouldn't go beyond preventing death from being used as some kind of advantage or to become any kind of viable tactic.

Fez, it appears as if you have changed your stance. Did you, or am I misreading something?

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Lothic wrote:
... on the other hand if the consequences of death are too insignificant then people might be encouraged to play in tactically stupid ways (Leeroy Jenkins anyone?) and die every 10 seconds because, heck, why not?
That is a question worth answering. Heck, why not, indeed? All else being equal, why is there a need to police these people into playing differently?
If the death penalty is sufficiently severe that it might prompt someone to change their play style in order to avoid the penalty, is it really going to make them change how they play or is it going to make them leave the game? I think that, at best, for every player who is pushed into changing their play style so that they die less frequently there will be one player who leaves because they're frustrated.
Rather rely on the devs to create a mechanic that punishes players into changing we should rely on the community to help and inform those players. Let the player decide if they want to change rather than have the game decide it for them.

Frankly I'd rather have a random player leave the game because they might be "too annoyed" by a death penalty than to be stuck with people on a team who just keep killing themselves and ruining the gameplay for everyone else just because they think it's funny to die every 10 seconds with essentially no consequences. I'm more willing to play a game that enforces a certain minimum "playstyle" through its in-game implementation of a REASONABLE death penalty than to rely on the player community to "inform" people they shouldn't be asshats while teaming. I realize that might sound harsh at first glance, but it isn't really when you think about it for a minute. *shrugs*

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Frankly I'd rather have a random player leave the game because they might be "too annoyed" by a death penalty than to be stuck with people on a team who just keep killing themselves and ruining the gameplay for everyone else just because they think it's funny to die every 10 seconds with essentially no consequences. I'm more willing to play a game that enforces a certain minimum "playstyle" through its in-game implementation of a REASONABLE death penalty than to rely on the player community to "inform" people they shouldn't be asshats while teaming. I realize that might sound harsh at first glance, but it isn't really when you think about it for a minute. *shrugs*

Frankly, I remember leaving such players to their downgraded status as over glorified floor inspectors. Perhaps it would be possible as part of the defeat penalty to disable being able to earn any xp (inf) while in the defeated state. After all, what do you really learn from licking the sewer floor? If you stop earning xp because your team is tired of rezzing you, you might learn to stop suiciding every 10 secs with no purpose.

How many times in CoH did we have teammates that refused rezzes because they were close to dinging. If you are not currently contributing to defeating the adversaries, you shouldn't be able to earn ANY xp. (It would be nice if they could apply this mechanic to moochers and those that go AFK due to RL necessities.)

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Nyxz wrote:
Nyxz wrote:

How many times in CoH did we have teammates that refused rezzes because they were close to dinging. If you are not currently contributing to defeating the adversaries, you shouldn't be able to earn ANY xp. (It would be nice if they could apply this mechanic to moochers and those that go AFK due to RL necessities.)

I remember this. It felt awesome to have an XP rez in combat! But even so, I do agree with you that maybe it shouldn't happen. I think I prefer the pain of haveing almost-dinged before dying to give me that extra incentive not to die. That extra pain vs pleasure swing contributes to making games addictive. I want the game to make me want to throw the keyboard. Not out of frustration, but because I care enough to feel that strongly. If I did it out of frustration, or if I didn't care, I'd stop playing. That's the difference.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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Huckleberry: You may be

Huckleberry: You may be misinterpreting my meaning. I believe that any penalty (to use the word loosely) should only prevent dying from being a superior tactic to normal play. I.e. It should not be possible to get through certain content more easily by deliberately dying to secure an advantage. If they keep dying because they're trying to beat the enemies to death with their face, well...

Lothic wrote:

... than to be stuck with people on a team who just keep killing themselves and ruining the gameplay for everyone else just because they think it's funny to die every 10 seconds with essentially no consequences.

I'm not sure that there is any mechanic that the devs can introduce that would solve the problem of you perceiving yourself to be stuck in such a situation, or on such a team. You can step up and talk to such people or you can quit the team, or you can choose to be "stuck" on that team. Expressing the desire for the devs to introduce sanctions to act as some kind of metagame fly swatter, to deal with a subset of players you'd rather not deal with, is as eloquent a reason as I can imagine to avoid doing so.

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Nyxz wrote:
Nyxz wrote:

Frankly, I remember leaving such players to their downgraded status as over glorified floor inspectors. Perhaps it would be possible as part of the defeat penalty to disable being able to earn any xp (inf) while in the defeated state. After all, what do you really learn from licking the sewer floor? If you stop earning xp because your team is tired of rezzing you, you might learn to stop suiciding every 10 secs with no purpose.
How many times in CoH did we have teammates that refused rezzes because they were close to dinging. If you are not currently contributing to defeating the adversaries, you shouldn't be able to earn ANY xp. (It would be nice if they could apply this mechanic to moochers and those that go AFK due to RL necessities.)

Huckleberry wrote:

I remember this. It felt awesome to have an XP rez in combat! But even so, I do agree with you that maybe it shouldn't happen. I think I prefer the pain of haveing almost-dinged before dying to give me that extra incentive not to die. That extra pain vs pleasure swing contributes to making games addictive. I want the game to make me want to throw the keyboard. Not out of frustration, but because I care enough to feel that strongly. If I did it out of frustration, or if I didn't care, I'd stop playing. That's the difference.

Simplest thing that I can think of to do in this case, so as to allow for "both" would be to reduce XP gain to 1/10th normal while Defeated (in other words, "worse" than accepting Debt and resuming play). That way, the DING! of receiving all types of Inspirations at once (including a Wakie) can still happen, so Revive on Ding! would still be possible, but doing that will in effect "forfeit" more than you would gain by getting back into the fight. This then aligns the incentives with the desired behavior, and also makes this a particularly poor Power Leveling strategy.


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Now that i think about, I

Now that i think about, I like the idea of imposing a penalty, if you quit a TF, intentionally.

Not sure what the penalty should be, but as long as it's adequate enough (whatever it is),
to appease the remaining TF members, would be good. ;D

ex:
- Can't start a new TF for 10 minutes
- or, Incur Defeat XP. (2-3 deaths worth?)
- etc...

Nothing very harsh, just a nudge, to make someone reconsider quitting twice. ;)

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

I suppose it boils down to what your definition of "punishment" is. I would agree that having a corpse run for this game is probably well into the overtly overkill range but on the other hand if the consequences of death are too insignificant then people might be encouraged to play in tactically stupid ways (Leeroy Jenkins anyone?) and die every 10 seconds because, heck, why not?
So the fine line needs to exist where death penalties are just annoying enough that we're MOTIVATED to avoid dying constantly but not annoying enough to get seriously bummed out by it when it does happen. This is why we assume it needs to be punished... at least to SOME degree.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Leroy Jenkins. It's a game. If the Leroy Jenkins of the world get a kick out of being defeated over and over again, what's the harm?

If they are in my SG/Clan/League (whatever we're going to call it), then perhaps from time to time all of us gently (yes, gently. I have no patience for bullies) work to persuade Leroy Jenkins to understand TPO (time, place, occasion) and how it applies to their personal version of masochistic behavior.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Frankly I'd rather have a random player leave the game because they might be "too annoyed" by a death penalty than to be stuck with people on a team who just keep killing themselves and ruining the gameplay for everyone else just because they think it's funny to die every 10 seconds with essentially no consequences. I'm more willing to play a game that enforces a certain minimum "playstyle" through its in-game implementation of a REASONABLE death penalty than to rely on the player community to "inform" people they shouldn't be asshats while teaming. I realize that might sound harsh at first glance, but it isn't really when you think about it for a minute. *shrugs*

Just don't team with that individual. Let them find someone more tolerant to team with. Like me. I'd be happy to have them tag along. I'm sure there will be many opportunities to use their propensity for self-destruction as a tactical advantage.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Expressing the desire for the devs to introduce sanctions to act as some kind of metagame fly swatter, to deal with a subset of players you'd rather not deal with, is as eloquent a reason as I can imagine to avoid doing so.

To a very great extent, I agree. Too many games are specifically structured (or modified over time) to encourage a single style of gameplay. Chess is chess. It is the individual player who decides how the game is played. Why should a MMORPG spend so much time and effort creating hardcoded rulesets to inhibit players from playing the game in accordance with their own preferences?

There are, of course, a few exceptions:

1. Secondary market sales of IGC and/or items and/or accounts should not be tolerated on a public server.
2. Bullying, harassment of other players, stalking, name calling, and so on, should not be tolerated on a public server.
3. High-level PvP players purposely attacking low-level PvP players or non-PvP players is a form of bullying and should not be tolerated on a public server.
4. Stealing other player's items, altering gameplay through non-sanctioned add-ons, altering the source code of the public server or of a game client connected to the public server, selling the game as your own work independent of MWM, profiting off of a private server, etc. Naturally nothing along those lines should be tolerated.

But forcing players into PvP, punishing poorly skilled players for frequent defeats, not allowing adult players to remove profanity filters, preventing highly skilled players from doing Task Forces on their own, enforcing a minimal team count at critical points in a storyline, and such? I don't see any rational grounds for forcing people to play the game a certain way, as long as they are not interfering with those who prefer a different playstyle.

Team play is great fun, but some people prefer to solo, so don't punish the solo players.
PvP is great fun for some people, but a complete nightmare for others, so insure it is never required.
Cheaters and exploiters destroy a community in the blink of an eye, so they need permanent bans enforced against them at every opportunity.

But using the defeat penalty to discourage players who find defeat hilarious? What's the point? All this does is limit the ability of poorly skilled players to enjoy the game.

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Well said, Darth Fez and

Well said, Darth Fez and Greyhawk! That's what I was getting at.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

To a very great extent, I agree. Too many games are specifically structured (or modified over time) to encourage a single style of gameplay. Chess is chess. It is the individual player who decides how the game is played. Why should a MMORPG spend so much time and effort creating hardcoded rulesets to inhibit players from playing the game in accordance with their own preferences?

You're right. Chess is Chess. Bishops can only move diagonally and rooks can only move vertically and horizontally. I believe that game has hard-coded rules that force players to play a certain way. What you are proposing is that players should be able to move thier rooks diagonally because they don't want to play the same way others play. The rule of the game are the rules of the game, and it is the limits those rules impose upon the player that makes Chess as complex as it is and makes it as popular as it is.

Likewise, in order to maximise the enjoyment of this game for the average player, we expect the developers will impose a death penalty in such a way that players won't use death to grief other players or take advantage of the death mechanic to accomplish what otherwise would require other skills.

Greyhawk wrote:

There are, of course, a few exceptions:
1. Secondary market sales of IGC and/or items and/or accounts should not be tolerated on a public server.

Why? I've know players that use this to put themselves through school. They don't use bots, they just play the game.

Greyhawk wrote:

2. Bullying, harassment of other players, stalking, name calling, and so on, should not be tolerated on a public server.

Don't disagree with you there, but where do you draw the line between griefing and harassment? Penalty free death can be used as a specific griefing tactic when you are in a team with players having an argument. I've seen it plenty of times where a player will purposely wipe a party just to make a point. How much more prevalent will it be when there are no repurcussions to the griefing player?

Greyhawk wrote:

3. High-level PvP players purposely attacking low-level PvP players or non-PvP players is a form of bullying and should not be tolerated on a public server.

That is certainly your opinion, but isn't this rule also forcing a playstyle upon others? Are you saying your preferred playstyle has a higher calling than a PvPer's preferred playstyle. There are plenty of games that allow high on low PvP as part of their design. Suck it up and become stronger is the answer most people respond with.

Greyhawk wrote:

4. Stealing other player's items, altering gameplay through non-sanctioned add-ons, altering the source code of the public server or of a game client connected to the public server, selling the game as your own work independent of MWM, profiting off of a private server, etc. Naturally nothing along those lines should be tolerated.
>

That stuff is just illegal. And there are laws and rules that ensure people play well together in the real world. I am sure there are criminals and anarchists out there who oppose those rules as hampering their playstyle/lifestyle. Should we penalize them for it?

Now don't get me wrong. I agree that every one of your four examples is behavior I also find undesireable in a game I want to play. But I also want to point out that death without penalty is also undesireable in a game I want to play. I want the rules that say players should not want to be defeated. I want the playstyle that results when players play a game that penalizes defeat. I want my bishops to only move diagonally.
Not because I am forcing my playstyle upon others, but because I know that the game that results will be better (read: more rewarding, and more conducive to players playing it for years) than the game that will result without a death penalty.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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In SWTOR there are two ways

In SWTOR there are two ways to come back from the dead (3 including player resurrection, but the game is so sparse anymore that this rarely comes up). 1) hospital run, which can be a pretty harsh penalty if you are in a new area (and if you want to progress you always are) because the nearest hospital may be several kilometers away through hostile territory. 2) pay RMC for a resurrection probe (these are awarded to subbed players for free) which have an increasing activation delay I think after 3 consecutive deaths the delay is 5 minutes or more. Upon resurrection by the probe the player has 10 second of invis/immunity which is broken if a player attacks, then they have some fraction of health to recover.

I think this is something that skirts the edge of the pay-to-win line, when offered for RMC. Especially in the case of SWTOR because they can provide a huge time saving advantage to players far from a hospital. In COT I don't see it providing a huge advantage, given everyone is provided a travel power and "hostile territory" in COH at least was a bit of a misnomer when using most travel powers. Would you buy this "temp power" for stars? IGC? Does it break the game? Is it Pay to win? How would you modify it to fit COT? Would something like this be of interest to players? Why do I have sooo many questions?

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Without a death penalty death

Without a death penalty death itself becomes meaningless and would thus be effectively pointless to have in the first place.

Depending on how it's done death penalties could introduce a bit of realism for the specific "universe" of the game.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

You're right. Chess is Chess. Bishops can only move diagonally and rooks can only move vertically and horizontally. I believe that game has hard-coded rules that force players to play a certain way. What you are proposing is that players should be able to move thier rooks diagonally because they don't want to play the same way others play.

No. What I'm proposing is that players not be forced to open with Queen's Knight to Nc3. The hardcoded rules of a MMORPG determine how powersets evolve, how damage is allocated, how fast a player moves between locations, damage done by falls, etc. Why should hardcoded rules enforce 3-person teams in the middle of a storyline, 8-person task forces, 40-person raids, etc.? Why should a defeat penalty result in loss of progress or an IGC fine (another form of lost progress) simply because the player's reactions are slowed by age, their vision is narrowed by heavy bifocals, or they've had one too many cocktails?

Doing so limits playstyles, driving away paying customers, in a dying market. Quite frankly, from my perspective, it's simply foolish.

Huckleberry wrote:

Likewise, in order to maximise the enjoyment of this game for the average player,

The single fastest way to defeat one's own defense is through generalization. Can you define, "average player" in a way that does not exclude me?

Huckleberry wrote:

... we expect the developers will impose a death penalty in such a way that players won't use death to grief other players or take advantage of the death mechanic to accomplish what otherwise would require other skills.

I have seen many kinds of griefing and bullying in my time, but I have never seen defeat used as a griefing tool in a manner that could not be eliminated simply by removing the player from the team. There is nothing wrong with removing uncooperative players from a team. If you are not the team leader and a player is not skilled enough to suit you, form your own team.

Enforcing elitist play through hardcoded rules has killed more MMORPGs than I care to even remember. A MMORPG is not a Battle Arena and should not be expected to play like one.

Huckleberry wrote:

(A quote from me about prohibiting the Secondary Market)
Why? I've know players that use this to put themselves through school. They don't use bots, they just play the game.

Secondary Market sales of any kind are a form of cheating. They provide an unfair advantage from outside the game by allowing players to gain access to ingame rewards they have not earned through gameplay. Period. For me, this point is non-negotiable.

A Chess player is not allowed to purchase a third Knight or a second Queen. A MMORPG player should not be allowed to purchase better enhancements or extra IGC. Purchasers and sellers should BOTH be banned.

That has been my opinion for over twenty years. It's never going to change.

The one exception I am willing to make is if those items are sold through an ingame store by the MMORPG publisher. Then, and only then, access to additional resources is part of the game environment. I still do not like the way it allows some players to simply buy their way to faster gameplay, but at least it is the game publisher and the game creators who are receiving the revenue.

Huckleberry wrote:

... where do you draw the line between griefing and harassment? Penalty free death can be used as a specific griefing tactic when you are in a team with players having an argument. I've seen it plenty of times where a player will purposely wipe a party just to make a point. How much more prevalent will it be when there are no repurcussions to the griefing player?

I have not seen a player use their character's personal defeat to wipe a party since I stopped playing Lineage II. In most games that use instanced missions (such as this one), enemy NPCs will not target an entire team after defeating one member. If they did, then every time a CoH tank fell in combat the entire team would have fallen, especially in boss fights.

Enemy NPCs that blindly target an entire team are no longer a feature of any modern MMORPG that I personally know of.

Huckleberry wrote:

Now don't get me wrong. I agree that every one of your four examples is behavior I also find undesireable in a game I want to play. But I also want to point out that death without penalty is also undesireable in a game I want to play. I want the rules that say players should not want to be defeated. I want the playstyle that results when players play a game that penalizes defeat. I want my bishops to only move diagonally.
Not because I am forcing my playstyle upon others, but because I know that the game that results will be better (read: more rewarding, and more conducive to players playing it for years) than the game that will result without a death penalty.

And on this point we will have to agree to disagree. In my opinion, the only thing a death penalty does is either punish poorly skilled players or inconvenience an experienced player caught by surprise. Not every character has equal survivability. Not every character is a Tank. Some characters are simply going to be weaker and suffer more defeats than others by the very nature of their skillsets. Whether a Pawn or a Queen, every chess piece is removed from the board upon defeat and not allowed to return (under most rulesets). One of the reasons MMORPGs have been hemorrhaging players while other forms of online gaming are rapidly expanding is because too many design teams are spending their time thinking up overly complicated ways to reward elite players and drive off everyone else. Death/defeat penalties are one of their favorite tools in this quest to reward the top 1% of their playerbase while forcing the rest of us to play Candy Krush.

The Pawn is easier to defeat than the Queen, but both receive the same result upon defeat. The Pawn's playability is not determined by an additional debt burden, a loss of functionality, or a loss of reward every time it is sacrificed. It's playability and tactical role are both determined solely by the rules governing it's movement. All I am saying is that MMORPGs need to learn from the simplicity of Chess. The rules of Chess fit on a single sheet of typed paper. The complexity that results make it one of the most popular games in the world, both online and off.

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

No. What I'm proposing is that players not be forced to open with Queen's Knight to Nc3. The hardcoded rules of a MMORPG determine how powersets evolve, how damage is allocated, how fast a player moves between locations, damage done by falls, etc. Why should hardcoded rules enforce 3-person teams in the middle of a storyline, 8-person task forces, 40-person raids, etc.? Why should a defeat penalty result in loss of progress or an IGC fine (another form of lost progress) simply because the player's reactions are slowed by age, their vision is narrowed by heavy bifocals, or they've had one too many cocktails?
Doing so limits playstyles, driving away paying customers, in a dying market. Quite frankly, from my perspective, it's simply foolish.

Edit: My original response did not reflect the respect I have for the other contributors to this thread and these forums. Please accept my apology if you feel I responded disrespectfully. I have edited it to be more in line with how I want myself to be.

@Greyhawk I can see in your response to my response that you thought I was seriously arguing against your four exceptions. I had a point I was trying to make and after reading through it with fresh eyes I see I was too subtle in my delivery.

In my last paragraphs I admit that I didn't disagree with your four exceptions and I would also like to see those enforced, so you didn't need to provide further justifications. In fact, my whole argument revolved around the justifications being immaterial. The whole reason I rebutted them was to show you that you were applying your own rules to force players to play a certain way, no matter how justified your reasons. I was too subtle.

What I was attempting to say, was that death penalty to me is just as justified. Not because it is my playstyle, but because it changes the very nature of the game, how it is played, and how it will be enjoyed on a fundamental level. I admit this point was less than clear with the delivery I gave.

You also state that the death penalty should not punish players who are too old, blind or drunk to play without failing. And it appears as if you extrapolate that applying a death penalty is thus a conspiracy of the elitists.
If you are too old, drunk and blind to play a cooperative game without failing, then maybe you are too old, blind and too drunk to play the cooperative game. This statement doesn't make me an elitist. We had to take my grandfather's driving privileges away for the same reasons, and that doesn't make me an elitist driver. There are games for people who are slow, visually impired and/ or inebriated. A cooperative game in which a team's survival depends on each member being a reliable member of the team may not be the best game for someone suffering from those symptoms. This game will also have solo content, and honetly will also have people like me who would be happy to play with the less skilled members of our community (if I knew they were trying hard and not just exhibiting a lack of care)
Sure some people take the game more seriously than others, but just because some people aren't elite does not give you license to make their content more difficult because you are too drunk. Each player owes it to the other members of his or her team to try their hardest. Without a death penalty, there won't even be that incentive.

I have teamed with a lot of people who are not very skilled and who make mistakes. That never affected my enjoyment of the game because I take more enjoyment out of accomplishing the objectives with people when it is a challenge. I beam with pride when I get to see the learning curve manifest and we learn the battle together, learn our weaknesses and how to make our strengths work. Easy runs through content that is supposed to be difficult get boring and make me lose interest. Give me challenge. Give me pain. But give me rewards, too. It is the rewards that make the pain worth bearing and the pain makes the rewards all that sweeter.

I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

...Why should a defeat penalty result in loss of progress or an IGC fine (another form of lost progress) simply because the player's reactions are slowed by age, their vision is narrowed by heavy bifocals, or they've had one too many cocktails?

Or in some cases a player that is slowed by age, AND their vision is narrowed by heavy bifocals, AND they've had one too many cocktails? Disclaimer I'm right on the edge of needing bifocals which is probably reflective of my status on all 3.

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It goes without saying, we're

It goes without saying, we're taking notes on this thread.

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

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Given that the good Doctor

Given that the good Doctor started this thread with a request for comments, I'm not at all surprised the Devs are taking notes.

I've experienced many forms of defeat in different games. Corpse runs, in their various forms, are the worst. Ideally, I'd like to see defeat and revivification like this.

Scale of Defeat: Active -> Downed (still able to take minimal actions) -> Defeated

Scale of Return: Self Heal -> Other Player Heal (while Downed) -> Self Revive -> Other Player Revive -> Temporary Device Revive -> Hospital Revive

Hospital Revive has a cost. Experience, IGC, Time -> Might be 'incomplete', leaving the character with restricted ability, IF the full cost is not paid. Might be a Visible effect, like defaced costume? If one arrives in the Hospital a second time, while not completely healed, then it costs 'extra'?

Hospital (may) sells Temporary Device(s). Defibrillator? Chemical Cocktail? 'Wand of Return'? Other effects?

May be non-full-hospital locations, closer to mission-site, M.A.S.H or Med-Station, where cost/effectiveness differs from Hospital? Base might have scaling Hospital section?

Hospital may have different sections (or 'skins'/themes), specializing in different styles of medicine, which a Character might choose as default? Science, Magic, Alternative, Steampunk, Alien?

Essentially, I'd like to have multiple options, particularly on the scale of 'return'.

Be Well!
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Steampunk Hospital. Is a guy

*snorts* Steampunk Hospital. Is a guy named Larry with a brazing torch and a spool of plumber's solder sitting next to a rack of copper pipe in the basement.

I don't think the Hospital should return you to a partial/incomplete state. It should return you to full health/capability though the IGC and/or XP cost may be higher. A field revive not restoring full health or applying a revive sickness is the same time penalty though it's easy to negate when you have a healer handy or maybe some reserves that can be converted into health/stamina.

In terms of penalties. Player powers should result in the lowest "costs" (highest amount of recovered health shortest revival sickness and lowest xp and/or igc cost) while reserves or temp powers or purchased powers should be higher. To encourage teaming and players taking dedicated revive powers.

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