Friday, November 25, 2005

Where Do You Go To My Lovely

Kinda weird that one of the first things I've found myself mulling over when thinking about "what goes into a good MMO" was the question of what happens to your toon when it 'dies'.

This was sparked off by Nate's - The Disappeared

Okay, we're all familiar with the idea that sometimes, because you made a dumb decision, or as you put it "That chuffing great monster lag warped and ate my head... where WERE you guys???", and we end up either on a corpse run or magically reincarnated in the hospital.

What if death in games was permanent? Would we be so prepared to take on the improbable? I guess there has to be some sort of mechanism to allow the player back ingame or they are going to take their membership elsewhere. Fair enough, but I do think there should be consequences to choices and that the corpse run or a spell in the sick bay is the games way of telling you that

b) That was a really, really stupid thing to do...
c) Look, you are part of a TEAM, start playing like one.

What if...

Your character has a limited number of lives and, with each death, that count goes down and their artwork is modified to show they have wounds, scars and are getting older?

Managing to avoid death for a period ingame, say a week so that the weekend warriors have time to 'recharge' then you start to gain lives back. On the other hand, you go mental over the weekend, die more than n times, well, PermaDeath beckons.

Give the player enough prompts so that they know what they are getting themselves into. Maybe the spectre of the Grim Reaper coming closer and closer and just telling them "Oi, muppet, die another n times and you are all mine..."?

What happens when PermaDeath hits, as surely it must do one day? Where do you go to? Back to the character creation screen to be reincarnated as your toons long lost brother who has a fixed amount of time to make the ultimate corpse run? Pick up the remains of ther dead kin and 'inherit' their worldy goods? Or does your toon wander off into some spirit realm where they can see the world and intereact with a limited number of items but can only communicate with 'believers'.

In a SW world they might become a blue glowy. Able to pass on information from beyond... That and maybe do a bit of table rapping in the cantina to freak the afk dancers out, lol.

Hmm. That's got me wondering about the idea of a 'belief' system in MMO's...

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