|DendasGarrett Goblin Squad Member|
My 2 Cents... if anyone cares to read.
Resurrection and Fast Travel.
The purpose of these two features is convenience for the players. However, neither of them have a basis in reality, and they have only the slightest of basis in Pathfinder RPG. Due to this, these features sacrifice a player's immersion into the game and suspends of belief, for convenience. My goal is to keep the player's immersion and suspense of belief while also making it convenient for the player.
Resurrections: This is a necessity for any MMO. Perma-death might be fun to play with in other games, but for MMOs player's put too much time into a character for them to be able to permanently die. However, the current generation of MMOs have simplified resurrections so that they now have no effect on the players. While this can be a huge convenience for the player, it breaks their immersion in the game. It also has a secondary effect of removing the fear of death; winning fights has become less for one's life, and more of avoiding the slight inconvenience of death.
How then do we keep all three in the feature; a healthy fear of death, convenience, and immersion?
My suggestion is a temple based, pay-as-you-go, multi-tiered resurrection system (its not as complicated as it sounds.) The bases of the system are the temples. Just as in Pathfinder RPG, when you need a resurrection you head to the temples. In the online game, a Clerical NPC will be available from whom you can buy resurrections (for the sake of argument, lets say you start the game with one freebie.) So, lets say on your first outing you are maimed and killed by a pack of wolves, bad luck. You are then presented with a map of resurrection points you have bought. Being a new player you one have the one. Once resurrected, you are urged to buy at least one more in a prompt.
As your travels take you further away from the starting areasyou can purchase more resurrections at local temples (the same process as soulbounding in other MMOs). These temples are spread throughout the game, but become more scares as you enter higher leveled territories, and the more remote the location, the more pricey the resurrections. I would imagine the temple would also be player-built structures once player-settlements start popping up.
The resurrections are also tiered, meaning there will be options for buying cheaper or more expensive resurrections. The cheap resurrections are for emergency use only; these will give you penalties to your stats for X hours, and leave behind up to 20% of your non-equipped gear (equipped gear always comes back with you). The middle tier of resurrections are standard; you come back with very few penalties, and only up to 10% of your gear is left behind. The upper tier resurrections cost much more than the others (which can get very expensive in remote locations), but you come back with no penalties and all of your gear.
This gives options for people who don't mind loosing some loot, and for those for whom loosing loot is a deal-breaker.
Each time you die you are prompted with a resurrection screen that shows the closest resurrection you have bought. So if you have only ever bought 2 of them at the starting area and never died, then traveled half way across the world only to die, guess where you are resurrecting.
"But Mr. Garrett, what if I don't have the money to buy one, or forget to do so when I die?"
Well, the cheaper tier will be very affordable, but worst case scenario you can always be resurrected for free (or possibly on debt) in one of the main 3 NPC towns, however, you may not like the results.
"But doesn't this make the Cleric class too powerful since they can be a substitute for resurrections for their teammates?"
Yes, but hopefully it will entice more players to play healers :P
Fast Travel: Unlike resurrections, this feature is not a requirement, only a much sought after feature. Once again the goal here is to keep player immersion while also keeping the feature's convenience. IMO nothing breaks the immersion in a game like hoping on a horse or flying steed and instantly appearing many miles away. I understand the need for the feature, since players will want to team-up with friends who may be on the other side of the map, or possibly need to travel back to town to sell some items before logging off in a few minutes, but the feature can be implemented without loosing immersion. Fast travel also has the secondary effects of shrinking the game-world, and the loss of organic exploration.
My solution for this is to make teleportation much more common than in Pathfinder RPG. The basis of the system is; while in town you can purchase Scrolls of Teleportation. These again are tiered, but unlike the resurrections, you are restricted to which tiers you can buy depending on your level. At lower levels the scrolls you buy will only be able to transport you across a single hex or two, while higher level scrolls will be able to take you across the entire map. The scrolls only teleport you to per-determined locations called "teleportation circles" (sure, why not.) (For lore purposes, the Wizards have figured out a way to greatly reduce the cost of the teleportation spell, but only as long as it is targeted at a teleportation circle.)
I would also suggest that the wizards who sell the scrolls can also teleport you to the other major cities.
I also believe that the scrolls should be fairly expensive. This is to encourage exploration, and to keep the suspense of belief against "why the hell don't all the merchants just use these things?!"
Of course, I believe mounts should be available in game as well, but not for "fast travel", only for "slightly quicker travel", if you get my meaning. They could even come with some sort of self-driving settings, so if you want to travel from location X to location Y, as long as they are both on a path, the mount can drive itself (so you can grab some ice cream or something.)
The reasoning behind both of these ideas is simple; root the features in 'reality' (fantasy reality) so that they can serve their function without losing player immersion. By doing something simple like this, it really immerses players like me who crave that sort of thing, without alienating players who need these features readily available in their games.
Sorry for talking too much, I'll shut up.