Playing The Lord of the Rings Online™ Volume 1: Shadows of Angmar™ this weekend, I was reminded that it has a soft death penalty but one that still encourages you to stop playing the game. When you die, you take item damage and get dread. Dread reduces your hit points (“morale”), reduces the effectiveness of healing on you, and increases damage to you; if you have too much dread, you may cower and be unable to act. For reasons we can discuss another time, Turbine seems big on giving any significant boss a dread aura, and the biggest ones dispel hope (the counter to dread). Which, for the record, is not fun.
The dread lasts for ten minutes and is worse in later zones. It does not stack. If you get a rez, you do not get dread. Minstrels can clear one person’s dread every ten minutes.
Dread basically encourages you to stop doing whatever you were doing for ten minutes. If you failed the first time, your odds are worse with fewer hit points and more incoming damage. If you had a lag spike or got an odd add while fighting, ha ha, better luck next time, take the debuff anyway. There is no healer to cure your dread. That long-timer, single-target Minstrel ability is the only dread cure in the game. You just wait. When you have a team wipe, the rezer typically takes the dread hit and runs back to rez folks, but then you wait anyway because you do not want to fight whatever just wiped you while someone has dread. This increases downtime, solo or in groups. Which, for the record, is not fun.
But at least it is 10 real minutes. You can log off and go play something else.