Archive for February 3rd, 2009

A Lineage of Losing

Every so often, someone gets the idea in their head that “permadeath” is something that should be in an MMO, usually to make it more “hardcore” or to make people “respect the world” in some way.  I tend to think that this idea is just kicking people in the head for making mistakes, so it’s not something that I’d ever actually want in a game.

Still, I have toyed with generational game design, mostly in the context of my cyclic world that gets hit every so often with a server wipe in the form of a periodic apocalypse.  Permadeath for everyone is part of that design, but it’s only death to that “age” of characters, not the player’s progress.  It’s also not a DIKU lineage design, where a powerful character might have months or years of investment involved, and permadeath would be a kick in the teeth and stolen lunch money.

I think that’s the sticking point:  permadeath for characters, persistence of player progress.  How do we make that distinction while making the game interesting in itself? (more…)

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