Moo Tang Clan: Permadeath vs twinking

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Permadeath vs twinking

If you had a friendly guild that could fully twink out any new character you roll, even helping out with power-leveling and such, would that soften the blow of permadeath?


Rebecca said...

It would soften it, but I'd have to wonder where they were getting that gear from.

Actually, I think it'd either still be annoying, or soften it so much that the game got boring; permadeath is a challenge in this hypothetical (...or real - MAngband?) game, and twinking - friends providing gear, powerlevelling - effectively removes that challenge. If you're the kind of player who enjoys a challenge like permadeath, the game would be that much more dull.
You could still make challenges like 'with all this gear, how far can I get on my own at level 1 before I die?', or 'naked, but high level, how long until something kills me?', but to me those have less impact than permadeath and the avoidance of it.

Garumoo said...

Aye. It's a round-about way of introducing the idea of leveling a group or community (eg. a guild) as opposed to leveling the individual character.

Thus, there would still be worthwhile gains available, making adventuring meaningful and not pointless. Its just that the benefits accrue to the group instead of the individual.

The group could be a guild, or it could be a small NPC faction (eg. a village, mining colony, or tribe) you've allied yourself to.

In the design I have in mind, individual character development (ie. leveling) might account for 40% of a top tier character's power, with gear and buffs and boons available from their guild/village/tribe accounting for the other 60%.

I also believe that any game which does include perma-death needs to also provide additional gradations of "encounter failure". That is, it should be possible to fail without necessarily being struck completely dead. As simple as getting knocked unconscious, for example. Living in a world where the only "learning moments" are the ones where you get killed is not fun.

Rebecca said...

I hadn't look at it like that. If it's actually part of the game, as opposed to subverting some of the intended challenge, then it does seem better to me.
So players there would have three ways of becoming more powerful - advancing their character, advancing their guild, and improving their own skill at playing the game?

How does 'getting knocked unconscious' differ from other MMOs? Needing someone to recover you? Or do some enemies actually finish you off, and as such are much riskier targets than something that ignores you so long as you're not an immediate threat any more?

Garumoo said...

Could be. Game mechanics could also be introduced such that players could drag your barely alive body away from the field of battle, where you might have a chance to recover ... taking longer than what a quick res and insta-heal would be. Something like a 2 min time out.

Heck, you might even revive in time of your own accord, but be so traumatized that you can only move slowly, can't fight at all, and best crawl away.