Friday, 27 January 2012

Death in Pathfinder Online - An MMO save game!

Although I have not been blogging recently, I have not stopped keeping my eye on the MMO scene thanks to &

One of the games that has caught my eye is Pathfinder Online, which has some very interesting approaches to MMO creation which I will save for another day.
Today however, I would am going to talk about their approach to character death in game.

The proposed system

In pathfinder online, as it stands (which is on a drawing board at this point), is that when you die, you have to get back to you body after resurrecting at a predetermined location to get back the inventory items you had on you. Otherwise they remain on the corpse and a random section of it is up for grabs by others.

You don't loose your equipped gear

This is what I think will set it apart from other more harsh systems; to still be able to carry on! I have tried games like Darkfall or EVE:Online were you loose everything you currently have upon death, where you need to either have spent time before, or now need to spend time, getting your stuff together again which may take time if it was unexpected.
Carefully mining with Warp Stab's to avoid being ganked!
Coupling the sting of defeat with the "salt in the wound" of having to spend what resources you have left on ships/gear is a lot to swallow. It might seem weak to some people, but when you only have a finite amount of time to play, its hard to justify spending an hour rearming something you had taken from you, rightly or wrongly.

Just like a save game

Okay, so I die, I loose the ore I was mining and maybe a few nice items I looted from goblins I was slaying on the way. But I can continue on with little or no fuss, there is no need to go after my corpse, which will also reduce corpse camping dramatically. I don't have to go get my body because that armour I forged with months of my time is still on my shoulders, not laying on the ground.
Just like in Skyrim, I go back to my save point and get a chance to try the same thing again (hopefully better this time) and I can continue. Which frankly works brilliantly and that game is probably my favourite game of the year so clearly the idea of trying again without benefiting from your death works well!

Immersion impact
My brave high-elf cleric doesn't have to
worry about consequences of death!

Okay I agree that its not very immersive for your armour to some how transfer through your soul or whatever magical transition takes place to bring you back to life. That said I don't live in the world of my MMO, so I can't devote all my time and effort to rebuilding and rearming for another fight that will inevitably come. 

Others have used the age old, if its not 100% looting FFAPVP then its not a sandbox, but I am convinced that is not so. There are other things that need to go along side this to make the game great, mobs need to be more intelligent and have a wider range of moves that need to be countered by different tactics, not just keep smashing until it dies.

The idea of randomly looting a PVP killed corpse might not seem fair, but why should PVP kills give 100% loot when PVE invariably doesn't allow players to loot 100% of the items on the monster. Frostmourne 100% drop anyone?


So to save me from the, at times debilitating, fallout from being killed I think its a great idea! It also allows adds consequence to death that some games don't have much of.
I would also recommend everyone keep their eye on Goblinworks blog. This game is going to be something interesting!

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