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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:

Dead as in 'deleted' dead? Or dead as in 'hang around in deadville until you get bored of waiting to come back as a zombie, then walk towards the (/dev/null) light'? Or dead as in 'cross over the river styx, wait in line to see the God of Death, and be judged for your next life (i.e., create a new character based on your past achievements)' dead?


Dead as in being flagged dead. You are severed from your corpse and all the commands that would require a body. I expect I'll have the character hover over the body for a bit for effect and then suck them into a void for dead characters.

KaVir wrote:

Quote:
Necromancy[12] - this is a temporary raise dead spell that requires a corpse. After so many turns it wears off and the person raised buys the farm again.


Does the original player get to play their raised corpse, or is it NPC controlled? If the former, what's the incentive for them to hang around while dead?


Yes the player is alive in every sense and in full control. I don't expect that they would hang around unless there's some reasonable expectation of getting raised. If they aren't online at the time, I'll treat them the same as linkdead characters, removing them from play.

KaVir wrote:

Quote:
Not to be confused with Zombie which can be done on player corpses as well.


A player-controlled zombie, or an NPC? Is the zombie permanent, or durational? Can


The spell caster controls the zombie. It has a limited duration and will revert to a corpse.

KaVir wrote:

Quote:
Hide Soul[18] - The wizard's soul is transferred from their body to any object in the game. Their body becomes a corpse. While in the object the wizard can roam the game in ethereal form and attempt to take over a lower level creature or player. That body becomes the wizard's new one, the owner dying. If the object containing the soul is destroyed well the wizard is dead.


What's the incentive to do this? Can PCs die of old age? Or is the spell fast enough that it could be thrown off as a last resort when it's obvious you're about to lose a fight? What sort of defence can a lower-level player put up against such an attack (and how can they fight back)? Is it possible for a possessed PC to get an exorcism, or is their soul immediately cast out the moment the wizard takes them over? Does the spell only last until the wizard takes over a new body, or does it continue (allowing them to jump back to the object if killed in their new body)?


Players can die of old age. Time is relative as age is incremented by the duration of whatever action they perform. Yes it could be thrown as a last resort, however the object has to be in touching range so if in combat the item would be in immediate peril. The target has to make a saving roll, and there's a cost to the wizard for each attempt. The spell lasts until they find a new body or the object is destroyed. Once they are in the body the soul leaves the object.

KaVir wrote:

Quote:
Reincarnate[20] - This allows the wizard or anyone else they want to be reincarnated in a new body. One has to have a body on hand though ready for use. This is the most powerful spell in the game currently.


This would imply that pfiles are not simply deleted upon death, then. So what does the dead PC do while dead?


They don't do much while dead. Maybe reminisce with other dead.

I will have an account system so character creation/management will be done there. If you delete your account your characters get deleted. As far as system management and namespace pollution goes, I haven't thought much about it yet.
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Somatic Apoptosis



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, I would just like to add my thoughts about how I plan to handle death on the MUD which I am designing/coding (from scratch).

It is a fantasy themed MUD, and the storyline there has developed in such a way so that all this makes sense... sorry, but have to convey some of my MUD to you...

The civilized part of the world has a structure of primary cities, with increasingly smaller outposts radiating from there. Surrounding this area is a heavily guarded wall, designed to keep the multitudes of naturally occuring monsters from attacking the interior cities, as all of the monsters of consequence have been illiminated from the interior of the wall. [according to the storyline, the wall is occasionally moved outwards, but this happens infrequently now due to political reasons, and the number of troops needed to hold an ever increasing border] In addition, there is another major city nestled in the mountains far outside the protection of the wall, as well as a nomadic civilization on the relatively safe open plains to the SW. The area inside the wall is mainly temperate forest, the rest being the beginnings of a delta opening up to sea, and a the low altitude beginning of a mountain chain.

The game is designed to be oriented towards high-end players, with almost every area having something to offer them... low and mid level characters begin in the safety zone of the major cities as they learn the basics of fighting, and questing. They branch outwards, deal with more important matters in the smaller cities, and fight more dangerous monsters closer to the wall. They also level faster then what is typical to other MUDs, as while they have areas tailored just for them, it is really all geared towards getting them ready for high end content.

High end content typically takes place outside of the wall, in the dangerous underground, or in the form of playing politics in the major cities.

In cities, lower level characters can not start fights. Guards tend to respond to fights by breaking them up, jailing participants, and engaging antagonists.

Death inside of the wall are handled by the local, city-state-employeed magic users, who use their abilities to locate and retrieve severely injured/KO'd/dead citizens (who are below max level). If possible they retrieve the corpse by walking to you and carrying whatever pieces are left of you back to within the city walls and repairing your body before trying to return your consciousness. If they can not walk to you, they use a lengthy ritual to teleport you back and then begin the repairs. Obviously either process takes a while, so death is something to be avoided. They do, however, provide these services for free.

Additionally, you loose a set % off of all your stats, a number which goes down in time. Repetitive deaths in a short'ish time period increase both the penalty and its duration each time.

Also, there is a fairly wide margin between where you are KO'd and dead, and you do have a chance to recover normally. Also, if severely injured you can feign death... and possibly escape, after they have left you alone. (assuming they bought it)

Deaths outside of the wall, and for those who are max level, are nastier. You are teleported back to the main city by a group of powerful mages who are not sure who they are retrieving, only that it is someone cosmically important.

Also, due to the more stressful nature of the long distant corpse retrieval teleportation, a portion of your stats are reduced via a % amount for a time period, but the rest remain drained until you build them back up. This process takes much less time. Successive deaths become more punishing quicker.

They do, however, charge a steep fee. This fee is based off of your reputation (well known, for good or ill, makes it costlier), the functional quality of your equipment, and how many pieces of you they had to teleport back. There is an extra fee if they had to pull you out of something's stomach (or large portions of your body are destroyed), as well as a chance that some of your gear will be left behind. Fees become increasingly higher the more regular your deaths are.

Should you be unable or unwilling to pay their fee they will have some leniance. Should your debts get to high they will start demanding money, warning you of the consequences, and eventually sending mercenaries to hunt you down... mercenaries who become more powerful, and more cunning, as your debt increases.

These mercenaries will try to subdue you, if they suceed they take you back to the main city where you are jailed and forced to work off your debt (for the rest of your life) if you were an elsewise decent citizen. You might be executed if you were not. Of course, if you refuse to surrender, the mercenaries might just kill you on the spot, and loot your corpse to help cover their own expenses...

Those are the only forms of perma death (life imprisonment, execution, beheaded by debt-collectors), outside of RP-induced death.

You could always have a party member try to restore you to life, but this is something which can not be attempted in battle. It requires repairing your body /fully/ before attempting to reattach your consciousness, which is very laborous, especially when your have detached limbs.

Long term negative effects are rare and usually fairly specific, and can often be avoided if handled very carefully, with a well prepared party. For example, a boss might give you a lasting sickness, turn severed limbs to dust, or use a particularly evil spell which leaves a visible scar... but a well prepared party will be able to prevent being infected/have the antidote on hand, have a precastable spell which causes severed limbs to be near instantly regrown, or purify a target so that while the evil spell still gnaws at their mind, it is mitigated enough so that no scars are left.

In other words, losing an arm permenantly is possible, but its also possible to avoid it... but difficult, if your fighting a boss known for cutting off arms.
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Alexander Tau



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been reading posts here for a while and most are either so old I do not feel like responding, or the topics have been covered rather well already. But on this one I have a slant that has not really been covered.

My games always have a role playing side to them, not pure RP games in the sense of poses but rather traditional hard-coded Muds that are played RP style.

Because of that it has always bothered me that 'death' is not the horrible end of life thing that it should be. The fear of death is a powerful force that most games really lack. The solution is usually to take exp or equipment when a player dies but I think this is somewhat unfair.

The basic formula for Muds is Time=Advancement. The more you play the farther you get. But as you advance the amount of time it takes to gain a level or a new skill increases as well. What I have seen quite often is a loss of a level or two. Compare the time required to gain level 50 against the time it takes to gain level 10 and you get a rather large difference.

So my solution is to make Death equal time out of the game, usually on the order of an hour.

This accomplishes a couple of things, it takes your character out of action for a while (thus simulating permadeath to a degree, you will not be able to return to help your friend finish the quest or battle of the moment) and hits most players right where they live - they cannot play for a bit.

Generally once they have experienced this sort of death I find that most players work really hard to avoid it in the future. It makes death seem like well... death.



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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander Tau wrote:
So my solution is to make Death equal time out of the game, usually on the order of an hour.


I suspect you'll find that most players will find themselves a 'backup mud' for when they're dead. While hunting for backup muds they may even find one they prefer, and not come back...
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Somatic Apoptosis



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
Alexander Tau wrote:
So my solution is to make Death equal time out of the game, usually on the order of an hour.


I suspect you'll find that most players will find themselves a 'backup mud' for when they're dead. While hunting for backup muds they may even find one they prefer, and not come back...


Exactly what I was thinking KaVir, to the point that Ive been contimplating things I can add which are interesting, if only for a short time, and have them do them whilst they are dead. (ie, while waiting for a corpse retrieval, and while their body is being stitched back together)
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander Tau wrote:

My games always have a role playing side to them, not pure RP games in the sense of poses but rather traditional hard-coded Muds that are played RP style.

Because of that it has always bothered me that 'death' is not the horrible end of life thing that it should be. The fear of death is a powerful force that most games really lack.


I guess that's one of the ideas behind those RPI muds. They do permadeath.

Although most role-playing games I've played also have permadeath. I can't say that I played one that didn't. Although the term is rarely used there because there was never temporary death. It's just death. Unless of course it's some sort of WoD theme or other where you might have different sorts of death or undeath. Wink

Timeouts sound more like punishment. Better to let the character just die and allow the player to recreate immediately. Or at least multiplay other characters.
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Alexander Tau



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I suspect you'll find that most players will find themselves a 'backup mud' for when they're dead. While hunting for backup muds they may even find one they prefer, and not come back...


Never had that sort of problem and I have used this concept on 3 different Muds.

Most players will admit that they would rather be out of the game for a short time than loose exp, stats, or equipment. And they always have agreed that it made them work a lot harder to avoid being killed.

I am not saying this is the 'best' way, that is a very subjective thing, I am only offering it up as an alternative to those who might be interested.


Quote:

I guess that's one of the ideas behind those RPI muds. They do permadeath.


Sure but only with the player's consent. That is a whole different sort of play than than the games I make. In a normal hard-coded Mud style of game things are a bit different.

Punishment? I suppose you could look at it that way. It is supposed to hurt and yet be fair to both high and low level players. What is the worst thing that can happen to a player? The ultimate punishment is banishment from the game, death is a little taste of that.



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Tyche



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander Tau wrote:

Quote:

I guess that's one of the ideas behind those RPI muds. They do permadeath.


Sure but only with the player's consent.


No, it's my understanding that RPI games are NOT consent based. Please see the discussion in the RP forum here. I don't play them for that reason and a few others. They are for the most part hardcoded Diku Mud derivatives, Armageddon, Harshlands, SoI, etc. The antithesis of consensual role-playing found on many Mushes.

The reason I mention RPI, is that sounds what you describe, i.e. hard-coded resolution systems. The philosophy is more RP simulationist than game-oriented though, which is why death as permanent is looked on as favorable. Obviously the three I mention above are fairly successful doing what they do.
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KaVir



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander Tau wrote:
Most players will admit that they would rather be out of the game for a short time than loose exp, stats, or equipment. And they always have agreed that it made them work a lot harder to avoid being killed.


That may well be the case, but you know what they say about death and taxes...People will die. And when that happens, if they can't play your mud, they'll find somewhere else to play. They're not going to sit at their keyboard, fingers poised, waiting for their hour to finish.

The same thing happens to me when I'm watching TV - the commercials come on, so I start channel hopping, find something else which looks good, and end up watching that instead. And commercials only last a few minutes!

Why not give them some things to do in the afterlife, while waiting for resurrection (retain access to public channels and various minigames)? Or at the very least, provide some strong incentive for them to play an alt...

Regarding RPIs: As Tyche points out, it's handled through code. I believe some require justification for killing, although that's done after the fact.
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Alexander Tau



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Why not give them some things to do in the afterlife, while waiting for resurrection (retain access to public channels and various minigames)? Or at the very least, provide some strong incentive for them to play an alt...


With permission, which is usually granted if the person involved has even decient RP skills, people in my games are allowed to run multiple characters so that is quite often one option. While dead most people shift to OOC and spend the time chatting on those channels. So I did not mean to imply they were simply stuck sitting with nothing whatsoever to do during their hour of death.


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Jimorie



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Alexander Tau's approach is an interesting one. But I also think that the objection raised by KaVir is valid.

Anyway, I remember reading about one MUD that used a system that could be considered similar. (I don't remember what MUD it was and I don't remember where I read it.) When a character died on this MUD, he was transported to some hell-like dimension where he had to fight his way through deathly dangers in order to come back to life.

I was thinking this would sum up to something similar of what Alexander Tau was aiming for - the character would be gone from the real game world for some time while he battled his way back to life. But the player would still have to keep his mind on the game, or his character would remain dead.
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Kaz



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for an alternative suggestion:

At one time, I considered (and tested the concept of - it worked!) building a Neverwinter Nights module with the Soul Reaver death mechanic. Upon death, the character would be drawn to a similar place in a zone that is analagous to the zone of death, perhaps with minor differences, and set points at which the character can come back to life.

Most of the time in Soul Reaver 2, this just meant that, when you were killed, you just had to backtrack to a resurrection point, but this could be used to solve some puzzles. For example, there was a platform that was taller in the Death zone than it was in the Life zone, and you could use this fact to reach an area that was inaccessible during Life.

This could be used in a similar way in a mud that is suitably themed - You're blocked by a portcullis in Life, so you kill yourself, and the portcullis is not there in Death, and then the challenge becomes finding a suitable resurrection point.
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Alexander Tau



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I think Alexander Tau's approach is an interesting one. But I also think that the objection raised by KaVir is valid.


No form of Death is ever going to make everyone, or even most people, happy, players are just like that.

The idea of having to battle your way back to life is not a bad one, I suppose if you loose a fight you will go back to the start. But at the same time this could be frustrating if you have a player that cannot get past the challenges. I think balancing this properly would be quite difficult.

And for my kind of Game it would not work because not everyone is a combat focused character.

For me the goal is to make people afraid to Die, to hate Death with a passion so they feel real fear when it approaches. This is not easy to do when they know they are not really going to die forever. To see a player running for their life makes the effort to set-up this sort of Death well worth it.

No game is ever going to please everyone, and to even attempt to do so means you will end up with a game that pleases no one.


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KaVir



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander Tau wrote:
The idea of having to battle your way back to life is not a bad one, I suppose if you loose a fight you will go back to the start. But at the same time this could be frustrating if you have a player that cannot get past the challenges. I think balancing this properly would be quite difficult.

And for my kind of Game it would not work because not everyone is a combat focused character.


Skills in death don't have to reflect skills in life. In fact it might even be beneficial to base the "land of the dead" combat system purely on player skill, as it would avoid having to modify it for each and every person.

If you want some character-oriented modifiers for combat, you could instead apply attributes such as "Innocence" (starts high, goes down as your character progresses, so that more powerful characters need greater player skill to get past the challenges), "Karma" (goes up for "nice" things such as helping other players, goes down for "bad" things such as player killing/stealing) and "Fate" (the Fates don't like people who cheat death too often).
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Tyche



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can think of number of ways different design goals affect death mechanics. Trying to implement two or more different design goals creates tension.

Alexander Tau wrote:

And for my kind of Game it would not work because not everyone is a combat focused character.
...
For me the goal is to make people afraid to Die, to hate Death with a passion so they feel real fear when it approaches. This is not easy to do when they know they are not really going to die forever. To see a player running for their life makes the effort to set-up this sort of Death well worth it.


In the first case I quote above, there's the tension between having a mud which implements both a hack-n-slash combat game and a role-playing game. The adage 'live by the sword, die by the sword' tends to become 'live by any role, well you still die by the sword sucker'. That you have people playing non-combat roles on a game like mayor, tailor, butcher, beggar, etc. sort of makes the combat death mechanic moot for them in many themes as it's hard to maintain a sense of thematic constency. Unless... you exempt those roles from the combat game or you adopt a theme to explain why butchers, bakers and candlestick makers are regularly slaughtered by warrior, theif and wizard players who are playing the combat game. (It's no accident that Armageddon, Harshlands, Dark Sun all have similar themes... harsh rough survivalist-style worlds were life is dangerous and cheap.)

In the second case, there's the tension again between a hack-n-slash combat game and a role-playing game. Are you trying to instill fear of death into the players or their characters? If players are role-playing they are assumably role-playing their character's fear of death and courage in the face of combat. If they are playing the combat game then game position lossage (be that stats, equipment, levels, time penalty or loss of game piece) affects them as players not as characters. It's the IC fear of death versus the OOC fear of death mechanic.
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