As I mentioned earlier, I want to experiment with variable death penalties, where players can choose how punitive they want it to be. This lets players who want a “scarier” game have one, without forcing it on people. I don’t expect most players to use these harsher death penalties (I probably won’t myself!), but I think a fair number of people would like this feature, based on comments from earlier blog posts.
There are rewards for choosing to make it more punitive, but the rewards aren’t intended to fully compensate for the penalty (otherwise that would become the “right” way to play and people would feel pushed into doing it). Instead, the rewards are just a perk. The real point is that the game is more dangerous for you, so you aren’t bored. And also bragging rights: your death penalty will show up when people view you.
So I brainstormed a list and I’m going to implement them for the next pre alpha. To make it easy to test them, you’ll be able to change your death penalty in town at any time, for free. (But in the final game, switching involves a quest of some sort, probably on a timer.)
The problem is, I have too many penalties! I don’t want to overwhelm people with choices; I think 4 is the max. So here’s my list, but note that I don’t have room for all of them. What do you think of these, and would you use any of them?
Normal Penalty: when you die, you are sent back to the zone’s graveyard.
Casual Mode: when you die, if it’s your first death in an hour, you respawn right where you were. If you’ve already died too recently, you are sent back to the zone’s graveyard like normal. You earn -10% XP from killing monsters.
Hardcore Mode: when you die, you are sent back to the zone’s graveyard. Approximately 25% of your belongings don’t come with you, however. They remain in a special box at the scene of your death. If you click the box within the next 2-3 hours, you get your stuff back. You earn +5% XP from killing monsters.
Extreme Mode: when you die, ALL of your stuff goes into a box at your death site, and you are sent back to the graveyard. You earn +8% XP from killing monsters.
Ultra-Extreme Mode: when you die, all your stuff goes into a box, PLUS one of your active combat skills is permanently lowered by 1-10 points (randomly chosen). You earn +12% XP from killing monsters.
PermaDeath Mode: when you die, you can’t respawn. Your items explode out in a shower so that other people nearby can pick them up. You can continue to log in and chat as a corpse (useful for e.g. organizing guild transitions), but you’ll always remain a corpse at the spot you died. (With possible “bribery option”: I will un-die you if you send me $50 via PayPal. Your stuff will still be gone, though.) You earn +15% XP from killing monsters.
So there you have it. Way too many options, got to remove 2 or 3 of these. What are your thoughts?