Meaningless Permadeath

A Valley Without Wind has permadeath. A character dies once and s/he is gone. And then you get a new character with all the same inventory, upgrades, etc. So…

: Zubon

I’m told that there was some progress lost in the launch version of the game. Now you just respawn as a new character and head back to the mission.

8 thoughts on “Meaningless Permadeath”

  1. A long time ago when we were working on a RP-heavy MUD that had perma-death. It was always tricky to balance wanting to encouraging players to restart anew. They’ve just lost their character that they’ve worked hard on, with all the backstory. Now they need to start over. May be they won’t start over. May be, they will give up and just quit.

    We had to deal with griefers too. High level players whose idea of fun is to terrorize and murder the new players. Even with introduced morality penalties that weighs heavily in their (character’s) soul. There’s always another way to perma-off someone elses’ character, knock them out. Drag them into somewhere dangerous with wandering monsters.

    Players obviously try to minimize the effect of perma-death, they’d drag and hide a chest in some unknown part of a cavern, and store excess equipment there. Creators just turn a blind eye. It’s a necessary evil.

    I’ve always wanted to somehow, give players some bonus from their previous life to the new character they are creating. Kind of like a New Game+ mode. Take some of the experience or level to ease you getting back into the groove of things.

    There is only so many times you can permanently die before you say screw this game.

  2. Hmm sounds … wierd. Maybe I’ll give it a look-see. At least Wizardry Online has a chance of you losing everything (actually only if you are incredibly unprepared and unlucky). The balance is that your “soul” level (which gives you exp boost to particular levels and lets you equip better gear) is forever retained which makes any future endeavours of a new character easier despite permadeath of an old one.

  3. I wonder if the main issue is with what we use for “progress”.

    Progress in every MMO today is levels, stats, and gear.

    But what if your progress was in accomplishing something in the world, discovering story, or exploration? Essentially, if you left a legacy behind, an impact on the world that everyone could see, then it wouldn’t matter so much if you died.

    It’d still be sad to leave behind a character you invested a lot of emotion into, but your legacy could remain. Not in gear or stats for the next one, but in the changes in the world.

    Just saying, that’d be my style of permadeath.

    1. As someone prone to roleplay (even if it’s just in my head, lol), I might feel a lot better about starting a new character if I knew she could one day see the evidence of Character the First’s life and deeds in her world. That allows for a sort of trans-generational rp that is sort of appealing.

    2. From a TTRPG perspective this is much worse. We’ve had character death, but it’s been so meaningful and story based that the death itself was an adventure. In MMOs you can die because of lag, griefing, playing when you should be sleeping, etc. Your death will not be epic.

      So which would you rather replace? Numbers or unique stories? I’d personally rather replace Tier 3-graded Alt #4 than my one character who received a rose from a developer.

      1. That’s interesting. The DM might not let you die until a satisfying, epic, and beautiful moment within the campaign’s storyline. But you make a good point — unless there’s some sort of “Story Manager” within a digital game, I doubt death would ever be a plot point, but rather a lack of skill or an accident.

        But you’re right Ravious. I think that whenever story is involved heavily, the continuity of your character is more important than experiencing many short stories via multiple characters.

  4. That’s just weird. I am guessing there is some indicator that shows if the character has died. I played permadeath in D&D Online and that community uses the honor system because no one has any way of knowing if someone has died or not unless there is a witness (unless it has changed.) The system you mention would at least would give the Permadeath community a way to verify if someone had ever died or not. For those not into that kind of thing, the game progresses as usual. That seems to be a good way to handle the issue for both types of players. Permadeath is not for everyone for sure.

    Many players who play permadeath also play the game the other way too. They rez their characters and play just like everyone else from there on out with that character. They then reroll a new permadeath character and start at level one. Some permadeath guilds will excuse a death for game snags, if that can be confirmed, as another example when true permadeath is a bit extreme. Permadeath guilds each have their own extensive rule set they use which can vary considerably. To prohibit a rez of a character for any reaons is a bit extreme and imposes one rule set on all guilds which would not be kindly taken to.

    It sounds more like they are offering some support for the permadeath community by allowing each guild to work within their own established rules without negatively impacting other players.

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