Death advice, “Be more careful” or less lazy

Blue poster Taepsilum has given some advice to those who die frequently, to “be more careful” when your character dies in a weird place (post).

“The death of a character should be something important, the death penalty is there to make sure players don’t disregard it, in my opinion it’s actually already too easy and too fast to resurrect.

It’s because of the penalty and the lost time when doing a corpse run, that players will be more cautious about their character.

If you decide to resurrect at the spirit healer, it’s because either your character died in a very weird place (and you should be more careful), or you just don’t want to corpse run.

I think we should all be glad that there’s no experience loss as death penalty, that would probably be a bit too harsh, but I do think we need something to keep death from being meaningless.

We’re always open to good and new ideas of what that might be; as long as it’s not “removal of the death penalty”, feel free to chip in ;)

In context it might be fine, as he is discussing overall approaches to death penalties in games. I disagree with his attitude expressed though. As a player I’ve seen many locations that were an absolute bastard to get back to when dead, and putting that down to the player rubs me a little the wrong way. Are we careless or lazy? Hard to answer without accepting that as a premise.

Are players better at avoiding death in Eve which has harsher penalties?

Probably. I would expect them to be more risk adverse, more careful in planning, more viscous when fighting, and more cunning in their structure of assets and activity.

What does that say about the feel of the games in terms of style and flavour of the experience?

I don’t think World of Warcraft should even be considering a more visceral death penalty given the rest of its flavour. Wiping on raid bosses, pvp battle, and trying to push game limits with solo’ing and Challenge modes is core in the game. That style says that dying will be part of your total experience, and penalising players for playing the game as designed is bloody silly.

The range of penalties might be a scale from permanent character death with total gear loss, through to not even running back to your body. The debate for WoW is really about how to match the style of the game to the penalty itself, so that the overall pace and experience is consistent. Total character death makes no sense in a game where death is not meant to be permanent or rare due to the mechanics of design.

The comment that we should be happy that there is no XP penalty is rubbish.

The lack of death XP penalty was one of the factors which I liked when I started playing Warcraft, and if XP penalties had been present in the game I might not have taken to it as much. Telling us to “be thankful that its not worse” is not the way to begin a discussion inviting new ideas, but a great way to make sure you get the feedback you’re willing to hear – your own opinions rehashed as already stated. Maybe he was having a bad day?

spirit-healer

Interesting opinionated message, delivered oddly. Then again, perhaps its a shitty thing to rant about it on a blog too. Frequently bloggers say stuff that is harsh, crappy, or misinformed, and the Blues don’t call us out.

And I am actually pleased to see an opinionated response. I’d prefer more rants and blunt posts if that meant we’d also get more insight into the background thoughts. Yes, that contradicts my criticism of his comms style, and that is the point: we are used to a very polished and professional set of answers from Blues, so this is out of character. Had the character of their commentary been “from the hip” for a few years it would not have stood out at all.

Overall I’d like Blizzard to let Taepsilum off-the-leash more, as I think we’d get down to some really accurate and interesting perspectives on how the game could be, or might have been.

My 2c on the actual suggestion is: I think the loss of time to run back to your body is enough of a penalty. I don’t die very often in the open world, and each time it gives me the irrits. It is a waste of time that I don’t have. Yes I’m careful, very careful in fact so it happens rarely in open world. On raid bosses its all the time, as designed and expected.

Some ideas for other options apart from what we have now for death penalties:

  • Flip the 10 minutes of sickness around a bit, so that it starts low and short; and ramps up in both impact to the character and duration the more times you die. A small penalty for the first for a few minutes, then keep stacking that buff. It means people cannot use character death to game via repeat deaths.
  • If flying is not an option (for whatever reason) in the complex and difficult zones, then what about a huge jump? Change the gravity of a character so they are playing at 1/4th G.
  • stay away from penalties that remove the effort that somebody has built. i.e. huge gold expenses, taking away gear, and all that other “hardcore mode” stuff just means that a silly mistake not only costs time, but also pushes you backwards in the game.
  • what about allowing out of combat res from member of your own party? That means folks might hook up for dailies more, to get/avoid the harsh.

Happy killing, and dying. Scrub.