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My 2 Cents: Resurrection and Fast Travel


Pathfinder Online

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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.

Goblin Squad Member

Personally I would like to see a LotRO style death penalty. If you die, you resurrect at some spawn point with a debuff on you, and there are expensive consumables you can use to remove that debuff if you don't want to just wait it out. I think that will give players a healthy respect of death without being an overly burdensome system.

I am 100% against fast travel and I disagree that it is a needed feature. It is only a needed feature in games with a lot of quests that involve running from town to town talking to people. People who enjoy traveling and exploring can travel and explore. But all indications point to the fact that this is the kind of game where you can build a home, hook into a community, and spend your entire gaming experience within one small area much like EVE or Wurm.

Fast travel as well as any form of mail system need to be kept out. It hurts trade by allowing any small object that fits in your inventory to be moved around far too easily, it royally screws with warfare by allowing large wealthy clans and mercenaries to instantly travel to remote battles in distant lands or locations close enough that they can easily get there, and it ruins the chances of ever getting lost making exploration seem to safe and boring.

I personally think that if someone wants to attend a battle in the north-east corner of the map and they live in the south-west... they should have to ride the whole damn way. I personally feel that if I get lost in the woods... I should need to find my way home, not just use a scroll to take me there. And I really feel that if a little island off the coast of Sargava has access to a rare pearl with special qualities, they shouldn't be able to fill their pack with them and then teleport to Brevoy.

Goblin Squad Member

Personally, I am with DendasGarett on DP and with Andius on fast travel.

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
Personally, I am with DendasGarett on DP and with Andius on fast travel.

My main aversion to Dendas' death system is the way I know I often used it on Freelancer. If I wanted to explore but be readily available to return home, I would just dock at home then go wherever I wanted knowing that even if I was at the opposite end of the Sirus sector, once my adventure was over, I would be back home.

The worst abuse was trading though. Some people would find a profitable trade route, load up their ship, take their cargo an alt waiting on the other side and then suicide. I can see real potential for abuse like that in this game.

Say I am a boatmaker making boats in an area right next to a thick oak forest, but the best market for boats is 100 km upstream. I make my boats down there, sail them up to the town, transfer them to an alt or clanmate, then /suicide or have someone kill me. No need having to make the trip back in a smaller boat loaded with goods that aren't as profitable down in our small port-town as our boats are up in the big city.

If I respawn at a location near my death, then I always have to make the trip back. No matter what.

Goblin Squad Member

There's a good article on Keen and Graev's website discussing the merits of death penalties and fast travel in MMOs. Be sure to read the comments for some great discussion.

http://www.keenandgraev.com/2012/05/07/

I signed up to play Age of Conan when it first launched and I remember a random player approaching me and asking if I could kill him so that he could get a hearth to the other end of the map. For me, that's poor game design. I hope that goblinworks realizes that they should avoid making another "casual" MMO - we already have enough of those. I don't have a ton of time to play, but I would rather spend it in a world that had depth than a world that allowed me to complete a series of chores conveniently. Not only does walking/riding spark interaction with the game world, it creates a sense of distance. So what if you can't immediately teleport into a dungeon with your friends? Maybe the fact that it takes some fore-thought and organization would make those times that you do a dungeon more interesting. I mean, take WoW for example - are you really having more fun in their dungeons now that you can run them 20 times a day or was it more fun when you had to gather friends or make friends, gather at the dungeon entrance and possibly encounter the other faction for some random PVP?

I understand if they want to put some sort of fast travel in, but I hope it's not an ability that can be used more than once every couple of hours. As weird as this sounds, some of my favorite times in old MMOs were waiting for boats or trekking across the world with some friends and finding trouble along the way.

Goblin Squad Member

Oh, very good point and right on about AoC...I experienced that too. Thanks for the link I will check it out. The best implemented DP I have ever experienced was in Ryzom. When you die you get an experience deficit the value of which was based upon your overall "level". So a really powerful character would get a large penalty. The way the penalty worked is you did not loose levels or even experience, instead you loose the next x number of experience points you do earn. I never thought about it, but I think something like that would make a great penalty here too. You do not necessarily loose anything...but it makes you gain slower until paid off.

Either way...I will take a look at the link you offered. Thanks!

Goblin Squad Member

I am with you guys as well. I should have put a preface saying that if it were up to me there would be no fast travel, and resurrections would come at a very steep cost. However, I realize the need for the features, since the large majority of players want convenient deaths and fast travel, evident by the fact that almost all current games (even a single player game like Skyrim) have those features.

The balancing point for both of these would be cost. If it cost you either, 1/10 of your gold or, 1 hours of stat penalties (and not just combat stats) and 20% of your non-equipped items, then it is worth the time to travel to the location instead of suicide(ing). I like the idea of an XP debt as well!

The same for teleportation; traveling across multiple hexes should cost a hefty percentage of a player's gold (by average depending on level.) However I agree, I dislike fast travel and would prefer it not t obe in the game at all, except maybe in the mount/vehicle auto-drive form as I mentioned above. That way it still takes time and is restrictive on where you can start and finish, but it gives you a chance to relax for a minute (just like using the /follow command.)

Goblin Squad Member

I hope the developers look at that link. I wholeheartedly agree. I want death penalties, corpse runs, and long runs to where you want to go. I want the holy trinity, long leveling/learning curves, and to play with others that want the same things for years and years. Give us something that can't be solo'd. I don't mind buying more content/campaigns/whatever every few months. Just please make something that can't finished easily and in a short time span.
Also, leave off instancing as much as possible. Why shouldn't we have to compete against each other or another group for rare or finite resources? That's what makes them valuable.
Give the classes back their specific roles. Let the clerics heal and rez.
Let Necros summon corpses and druids or wizards port and summon. Give them back their value in a community.

Goblin Squad Member

As far as costing "a hefty percentage of a player's gold", that just makes a good market for gold sellers, imo. Maybe if a corpse is not retrieved in 48 hours it goes to a cemetery automatically and without any inventory items? or even naked?

Goblin Squad Member

They have already talked about Death in Pathfinder Online.

(Copied straight from the blog)

Goblinworks Blog wrote:

Characters will die in Pathfinder Online, and die with regularity. If they died and were removed from the game forever that might be an interesting simulation, but it would make for a very empty and unwanted game. Your character will survive death—it's only a temporary setback.

When your character dies, your corpse will turn into a soulless husk on the spot. At the moment of death, a timer will begin to count down giving you a minute or two before anything else happens. If a nearby friend has the necessary magic, you may be restored to life right on the spot without any further drawbacks. If you are alone, or have no companions capable of resurrecting you, you'll have to deal with the fallout.

At the expiration of the countdown timer (or earlier if you opt to end the counter prematurely), your character will revive at a specific location that you've helped predetermine. Determining this location is a process we call "soulbinding." You will be able to select the location that your character is soulbound to, but only certain locations have the requisite soulstone needed for the binding. The distance between the location of your dead husk and your soulbinding point will often prove meaningful.

Your character will re-enter play at the soulbinding point holding and wearing whatever gear they had equipped when they died, so you won't have to start without your armor, or the weapons, wands, or staves you were using. However, until you return to your husk, you are in danger of losing the rest of your inventory. If you get to your husk before anyone else, you'll be able to get all your stuff back. However, if another player finds your husk before you do, they'll be able to loot it. They won't recover everything that you had in your inventory—just a random selection—but the rest of your inventory will be destroyed and removed from the game. If you die surrounded by allies, they can't just pick up all of your equipment for you, as doing so would cause some of it to be removed from the game, but your allies could attempt to defend your husk until you return to it, so that you lose nothing but travel time.

There is some incentive to strike down other players within this system, but it doesn't reward attackers with the full value of the defender's inventory. And it gives the chance of fully recouping all of their inventory to characters killed in player-vs-environment (PvE) encounters and characters with strong allies.

As for fast traveling, I think it should be possible, albeit difficult. On the other hand, there's the spell Teleport... But that's only in the hands of high level wizards.

Goblin Squad Member

I haven't seen any mention of equipment degradation due to use/death. It was a major factor in SW:G and more recently in WoW.

Goblin Squad Member

UO had a pretty interesting death penalty: you died and your sh*t was just laying there and you couldn't talk you were just like "OoOooOOoOOoooOoooooOOOoOoOO!" and you had to run mach speed back to a healer because someone was going to take your sh*t and you'd just be this naked dude in your underwear and if you happened to come across the dudes who waxed you/someone who was corpse looting you, you be this naked guy going "WTF?" and they'd be like "CORP POR" and you'd be a ghost again...

-You die and leave behind a husk
-After a timer expires/you opt to, you auto-revive at your bind point
-You get to keep your weapons and armor
-The rest of your sh*t is just lying there
-People can corpse loot you (they get some random stuff, the rest poofs)

It sounds from the blog like they have a somewhat comparable system. The bounty system and the settlement/marshal zones of safety may impact how likely it is someone will PVP kill you, but the death system is in the UO ballpark.

Goblin Squad Member

Fast travel is in--it's detailed in the blog pretty clearly:

-It's hands-off (get an ice cream) and at 5x normal move speed
-Can't be in combat to initiate it
-It depends on having discovered a fast travel point/having it shared from a social network companion
-You can be ambushed from someone's hideout (as per hideouts in the blog). This part is sorta like the random encounter aspect of overland travel in D20 games.

If you guys want to suggest changes to the plan, maybe link what you want to what they've already laid out. It sounds like you're talking in a vacuum, not linking your comments to the ongoing discussion.

Goblin Squad Member

We shouldn't expect Fast Travel to be comparable to teleports. Expect it to be much closer to using the horses at Stable Masters in LOTRO, or using the Griffons in WoW. Basically, it will be more "automated" travel. And keep in mind that Fast Travel will definitely be subject to ambushes from players in Hideouts, who will have the ability to cherry pick their victims based on the group size and composition.

As for Death Penalties, I'm all for anything that minimizes the attitude of "screw it, let's just run in and see what happens". I'd much rather play with other players who had a healthy fear of death, and therefore a willingness to reconnoiter and plan. I don't think an Experience Deficit a la Ryzom or EverQuest 2 will work, though, since there's no XP, and I really don't think it's a good idea to limit the rate of Skill Training or create deficits there. I'm also not convinced that a 10 minute debuff is going to do anything, either. WoW has that, and no one would hold up WoW as a shining example of how to handle Death Penalties.

Ultimately, I wonder if it might be better to turn the problem on its head, and instead of thinking in terms of Death Penalties, think in terms of Life Benefits. Specifically, things like Titles for bragging rights. I know that I felt a strong compulsion to get to level 20 in LOTRO without dying so that I could get the Undying title. I was extremely disappointed to discover that the titles stopped at level 20. My dad consistently deleted characters in their 30's and 40's when they died.

Are there other benefits that you would like to see for managing to stay alive? Are there reasons to consider PvP deaths differently than PvE deaths?

I think the benefits should not provide significant in-game benefits, but rather should be limited to "bling" and titles. Do you agree?

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando said wrote:
If you guys want to suggest changes to the plan, maybe link what you want to what they've already laid out. It sounds like you're talking in a vacuum, not linking your comments to the ongoing discussion.

Sorry, I thought the spiel was too long as is, didn't want to make it even longer by linking and re-explaining things that have already been said.

I realize that it is "in", I read the blog, but obviously nothing is finalized yet. The way they described it sounds like "You hop on a horse at a specific location and select another, distant, location. You then go into 'Fast Travel Mode'" (which I cannot tell if it is another screen, or you actually follow the character, because following the character at x5 speed would be weird and taxing on alot of systems) I just want to avoid a loading screen that pops up for a few seconds and then you appear somewhere else (as long as you didn't run into any bandits.)

I am all for an automated moving system, however, but I do not see how that would work moving at x4 or x5 speed, unless that just means it is an animation of your horse running quickly.

Nihimon said wrote:
Ultimately, I wonder if it might be better to turn the problem on its head, and instead of thinking in terms of Death Penalties, think in terms of Life Benefits. Specifically, things like Titles for bragging rights.

I like this idea as well, but I doubt bragging right will matter that much to alot of people. Also, once you die once, or a few times, then you loose all motivation since you can no longer get the titles. Not to say titles are bad, just not enough on their own. However they could develop some type of "rested" bonus for not dying that takes a full day to regenerate once you die.

Goblin Squad Member

DendasGarrett wrote:
However they could develop some type of "rested" bonus for not dying that takes a full day to regenerate once you die.

The problem is that there's no XP gain in PFO, so what is the "rested bonus" going to give you a bonus to, exactly?

DendasGarrett wrote:
Also, once you die once, or a few times, then you loose all motivation since you can no longer get the titles.

That's true. Perhaps it would be better to make the titles reflect the number of deaths in a geometric progression, with a different title for: 0 deaths, 1 death, 2 deaths, 4 deaths, 8 deaths, 16 deaths, etc. Or something as simple as being able to display the number of times you've died.

Goblin Squad Member

Having to run back and get my stuff and the threat of having it disappear would be a pretty big deterrent for me. I don't like fast travel at all.
Or mini maps/radar either.

Shadow Lodge

Have to disagree on the maps. My sense of direction is terrible enough without one. There's only so much wandering in the wilderness one can do before it becomes tedious. Minimap just makes it convenient and saves you the trouble of switching back and forth between the game screen and the full map. For players who don't want it, just make sure the Minimap has an [x] button.

Radar I could live without though.

Seconded on the "run back to get stuff" though.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
The problem is that there's no XP gain in PFO, so what is the "rested bonus" going to give you a bonus to, exactly?

I didn't have a specific idea, and the name 'rested' is not exact either. Just some sort of bonus that applies X hours after you get resurrected. Possibly slightly increases the rate at which skills are gained, though it would have to be balanced so that non-combat oriented characters are not constantly outpacing combat characters who die more often.

However, there could always be steep death penalties, and they could just implement a negative HP system, as in the RPG. One where once you are down, most mobs will turn and fight other players, and where anyone with a heal skill can stabilize you or possibly you can stabilize yourself. That way when you are working in a group and you fall, as long as your teammates live, there is a good chance that you will not have to rez. That makes it much harder to solo, but such is life in a fantasy setting. I believe they are using a similar system in Guild Wars 2.


I like the mount auto-drive feature.

Goblin Squad Member

But didn't they say you could be knocked out of auto travel if attacked?
So it would be dangerous to go afk?

Goblin Squad Member

Dendas, what is it about the planned death system you object to? What's the advantage of scrapping the current plan in favor of something different?

Goblin Squad Member

Misere wrote:

But didn't they say you could be knocked out of auto travel if attacked?

So it would be dangerous to go afk?

I would think it would be extremely dangerous to go AFK in such circumstances.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Dendas, what is it about the planned death system you object to? What's the advantage of scrapping the current plan in favor of something different?

What I suggested was similar to what was planned. One thing they did not mention was where you would be resurrected, which I suggested temples simply for immersion purposes, and to allow player built temples. I just don't want to rez in a graveyard or something...

My suggestion comes from tabletop roleplaying experience. The players in a game I was DMing actually did this exact thing. They each gave a temple cleric a small portion of themselves (hair, fingernail, etc...)along with a great deal of money and told him that if he did not hear from them at least once a week via the 'sending spell', to attempt a resurrection.

I also was suggesting a tiered system because I have heard some complaints about loot-able corpses. Some players do not like the though of leaving their stuff behind as loot and for some it may be a deal breaker. Others do not mind steeper penalties with death, so this allows for both, essentially giving players who don't mind the penalties an extra supply of gold (cheaper resurrections.)

The current system does not sound bad, but it also does not sound perfect. I am just throwing around ideas to make the game better for everyone, were it up to me death would be permanent! (j/k)

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Misere wrote:

But didn't they say you could be knocked out of auto travel if attacked?

So it would be dangerous to go afk?
I would think it would be extremely dangerous to go AFK in such circumstances.

Nihimon, I wonder if it won't be more nuanced and situational. From the blog so far, to get ambushed you need to pass within the threat radius of a hideout. However, "hideouts normally cannot be found once constructed, although the potential exists for certain types of characters to learn how to find them," which I take to mean ranger-ry/rogue-sih types could find them.

In that case, very settled, civilized areas should allow for fast travel fairly safely, but the fast travel outside of well-policed areas/kingdoms would most def require your attention.

Goblin Squad Member

Misere wrote:

But didn't they say you could be knocked out of auto travel if attacked?

So it would be dangerous to go afk?

Yes, by getting ice cream I was not referring to complete AFK, but rather a small amount of time where you can sit and relax. Remember, the people *doing* the ambushing will also be in a similar state, since they will have to wait for people to come by and I am sure they will not be sitting for those periods of time with their hands on the keys ready to go (except for some hardcore players.)


DendasGarrett wrote:
Misere wrote:

But didn't they say you could be knocked out of auto travel if attacked?

So it would be dangerous to go afk?
Yes, by getting ice cream I was not referring to complete AFK, but rather a small amount of time where you can sit and relax. Remember, the people *doing* the ambushing will also be in a similar state, since they will have to wait for people to come by and I am sure they will not be sitting for those periods of time with their hands on the keys ready to go (except for some hardcore players.)

I believe the technical term for the bold is "camping A-holes." But such is the risk when playing an MMO.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Misere wrote:

But didn't they say you could be knocked out of auto travel if attacked?

So it would be dangerous to go afk?
I would think it would be extremely dangerous to go AFK in such circumstances.

Nihimon, I wonder if it won't be more nuanced and situational. From the blog so far, to get ambushed you need to pass within the threat radius of a hideout. However, "hideouts normally cannot be found once constructed, although the potential exists for certain types of characters to learn how to find them," which I take to mean ranger-ry/rogue-sih types could find them.

In that case, very settled, civilized areas should allow for fast travel fairly safely, but the fast travel outside of well-policed areas/kingdoms would most def require your attention.

Also, what he said.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Nihimon, I wonder if it won't be more nuanced and situational... very settled, civilized areas should allow for fast travel fairly safely...

I actually got a different impression.

The blog Player-Created Buildings and Structures described the requirements for building a Settlement:

Quote:
In order to create a player settlement, a fort must be advanced using a special settlement construction process. Before this can begin, the hex must be cleared of any watchtowers or forts owned by any character not a signatory of the settlement's charter.

There's nothing in there to indicate that settled, civilized areas would have any fewer Hideouts than any other hex. In fact, I would expect more Hideouts in such areas, since that's where the money will be.

Goblin Squad Member

Dendas:

1) I'm all for making your soulbound point a temple, which would tend to make it more immersive for me.

2) I think your death suggestion has two parts:

a) Losing gold vice inventory
b) Option to trade penalty off for inconvenience

I think the a) part is certainly debatable. I know some people will find that an awful steep risk, and it may well lead to some /ragequits. Will it make people less inclined to take risks and stay safer?...I think that's the whole idea ;)

But anyways, I'm not really following you. Under the proposed system, if you croak and someone loots your bod, you keep your weapons and armor, but lose your inventory--you'll have to go out and buy new stuff. Which costs money. Which is a monetary penalty...wait what does that sound like? ;)

Seriously though, I'd rather have a good chance of getting back to my bod and stuff, and maybe having to fork out cash, to having to always fork out cash. Plus I like the immersiveness of it.

Part b) (the low or no cost rez) is a non-starter I hope. It's really borrowing from exp grind models--essentially I can mitigate risk by trading off a penalty to grinding. Except there's no grinding. There's no point in sitting in the tavern until my death buff wears off and I can start grinding again, because there's no grinding to begin with. I'm still learning as a character when I'm in the tavern.

Once you drop the old model of grinding, it's pretty cool :) Sitting in a tavern is just as rewarding as grinding out rats/skeletons/a_baby goblin_001. Poking around town, or trying to explore some new area, is just as rewarding. You don't have to spend anymore time thinking about how to min/max the game system so you can be the most efficient grinder.

There's no grinding. Just playing.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I think the benefits should not provide significant in-game benefits, but rather should be limited to "bling" and titles. Do you agree?

I disagree. I think life benefits could have in-game value; it doesn't need to be limited to bling, titles, and emotes. I'll play off your geometric progression and the undying concept in an example:

Deathdodger Merit Badges. When a character gains a class level badge without dying, the character gains a point in the "Deathdodging" attribute. Merit badges are awarded when the character gains sufficient deathdodging points.

Deathdodging 1 (1 point): +1hp
Deathdodging 2 (2 points): +1hp (for +2hp total, gains are cumulative)
Deathdodging 3 (4 points): +2hp
Deathdodging 4 (8 points): +4hp
...

So we'd have a benefit for people who play smart or cautiously. The character has to avoid death, any death, between gaining one class level and gaining the next class level in order to add a deathdodger point to his tally. If the character dies - ouch, try again after your next level gain. The tally reflects the total number of deathdodged levels - it doesn't have to be a string of levels gained.

For the purpose of numbers here I'm assuming each class level badge results in a non-random gain in hit points, like 4 points for a mage class badge and 10 points for a fighter class badge (plus constitution bonuses). So +1hp could be a significant gain, but to earn the badge, the player is going to have to play slower and bypass opportunities that reward other players in other ways.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando,

Good points!

Mbando wrote:

a) Losing gold vice inventory

b) Option to trade penalty off for inconvenience

a) You are 100% correct here, and it is simply a choice for players. As I said above, some people will be ok with paying to keep their inventory if not only to not have the hassle of having to re-obtain everything, even if it is cheaper to just loose some items. I think the key point here is the randomness of the items than are turned into loot. Of course, all equipped items are never lost, however, lets say you have a nice 3k gp gem that you found, and oopsie you die, there is a 10% chance it is gone, or a 10% chance that you are only missing some worthless wolf fangs you picked up. So essentially its a bit of gambling. Also, you may have a really nice pair of magical gloves that you cannot equip until next level (not sure how that system will work), they might be lost, and those things were unique cannot be replaced with money. (Once again let me reiterate that I am ok with the /ragequiters leaving the game, but I would like for Goblinworks to make a hefty profit from this product.)

b)For this I would say that any penalties apply to more than just combat. Trading, crafting, gaining skills, etc...; make the penalty universal so that it is truly something players will want to avoid.

urman wrote:
Deathdodger Merit Badges. When a character gains a class level badge without dying, the character gains a point in the "Deathdodging" attribute. Merit badges are awarded when the character gains sufficient deathdodging points.

I thought about this as well, but it was have to be done with a deft hand. You would not want some players to feel like they have fallen significantly behind because they like to explore solo, or are playing the tank role for the groups. Maybe if it was balanced with something that gave "honorable deaths" bonuses as well (death from fighting 3 dire bears alone while exploring uncharted territory, death from using a taunt ability to protect the group and allowing them to kill the mob, etc...) Would be hard to implement and probably easy to exploit (would have to be capped), but it would be fun!

Goblin Squad Member

I like these suggestions for death. And I think LotRO's death penalty system is an example of what to avoid. Nothing spoils that sense of dangerous frontier adventure like a system that coddles through what should be frustrating experiences.

Goblin Squad Member

@DendasGarrett - I hope there will be enough merit badges available that one character can't collect them all. I'd also think that some merit badges might be set up so that the requirements for one badge might preclude the player from ever getting some other badge. Games are about players making meaningful decisions.

I'd guess that the player/tank character who is willing to die to defend her party will be valued and so will get invites and more loot rewards and other merit badges - those balance the deathdodger bonus. On the other hand, the deathdodger fighter with more hit points is a better choice for being the tank, but at the risk of not getting the deathdodger bonus this level. A tough choice. :)

Goblin Squad Member

@Urman, those are the kinds of things I was thinking about when I suggested limiting the benefits to "bling" and titles and such.

Goblin Squad Member

Urman wrote:
On the other hand, the deathdodger fighter with more hit points is a better choice for being the tank, but at the risk of not getting the deathdodger bonus this level. A tough choice. :)

Exactly the issue. I am ok with vanity merit badges, but its hard enough to find a good tank as is without giving bonuses to everyone else. You also have to consider characters that never enter combat such as crafters and merchants... should they really have better bonuses than characters who dare to explore and fight?

On the other hand, as I said above, another option is to have a negative hitpoint system, so when the tank goes down the mobs move on to other people, and anyone can stabilize him(or her) and heal him(or her) later, or he(or she) may be able to stabilize himself(or herself). That way it is a nobody dies or everybody dies sort of thing.

A quick thought on item loots... does anyone think a "ransom" system would work, where, within X minutes from when you die, you can choose to pay the listed coin price for any items looted from your corpse to get them back? The coin would obviously go to whoever looted you. Or possibly if mixed with the negative hitpoint system above, when you are knocked into negative hitpoints, you can ransom your life from whoever is about to kill you; be they intelligent mobs/npcs, or other player characters.

Goblin Squad Member

DendasGarrett wrote:
... does anyone think a "ransom" system would work, where, within X minutes from when you die, you can choose to pay the listed coin price for any items looted from your corpse to get them back? The coin would obviously go to whoever looted you.

I would be extremely reluctant to endorse any system which could take an item that had already been looted from a corpse, and take it out of the looter's inventory without their consent.

Goblin Squad Member

Very much against any suggested character mechanic that is essentially random.

"Characters will die in Pathfinder Online, and die with regularity." Just like members of the Gross Deutschland, we are born to die. No doubt there will be some outliers who don't, and so the reward mechanic will be meaningless in the sense of being a choice. I guess you could try and game the game in some way--never leave settled areas, have some sort of earlier, alt toon or guildies hand carry you to kill an X mob to get your merit badge, etc. Man that sounds like fun.

The incentive for living is, well, living. You're not dead, and not loosing your inventory possibly. Maybe we can suggest an alternative that makes the death penalty contribute more meaningfully to good play, but I'm ok with GW's current perspective that death should a setback without being crippling.

Goblin Squad Member

@DG, yeah, any life bonuses should only be awarded for adventuring archetypes, whether the bonuses are bling or significant. In a high PvP environment, I think the spellcasters will be targeted often enough that they'll earn any life bonuses.

As for a negative hp system - that's how PF does it and it might be carried over. I certainly think it might work.

But a system that works on the tabletop, with players and GM working to create a story might not work in an MMO. For starts, there shouldn't be a big difference between PvE and PvP combat - if taunts don't work on players, they shouldn't work on mobs. If players almost always take the time to deliver a death-blow to a downed enemy, in PvE and PvP, then intelligent mobs should do the same when they have a chance or lack a better target.

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
Maybe we can suggest an alternative that makes the death penalty contribute more meaningfully to good play...

That is an excellent framing of the issue.

If the goal is to encourage proper planning, and a modicum of caution when exploring, what mechanics would achieve that goal, even if those mechanics don't directly relate to how death is handled?

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
DendasGarrett wrote:
... does anyone think a "ransom" system would work, where, within X minutes from when you die, you can choose to pay the listed coin price for any items looted from your corpse to get them back? The coin would obviously go to whoever looted you.
I would be extremely reluctant to endorse any system which could take an item that had already been looted from a corpse, and take it out of the looter's inventory without their consent.

I see your point, but the exact opposite just happened to the person who died. Also, I expect it is possible to program it so that the items can only be looted, and not sold or traded, until the ransom period is over (which would be less than a minute.) Anyway, just a wild idea, nothing I would heavily promote.

Nihimon wrote:
If the goal is to encourage proper planning, and a modicum of caution when exploring, what mechanics would achieve that goal, even if those mechanics don't directly relate to how death is handled?

That is a good question, and the right one to ask. It could be handled with the development team focusing on giving players more options to avoid death using skilled play or teamwork; such as defensive or escape abilities, negative hitpoint ranges. I am sure there are better options that others can think of as well. That goal being that death never feels completely out of the player's control.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
If the goal is to encourage proper planning, and a modicum of caution when exploring, what mechanics would achieve that goal, even if those mechanics don't directly relate to how death is handled?

Right now, with the system as we know it, players are to some degree encouraged to single-track. If the character is just an axe and shield fighter, then almost everything might be equipped. His carried loot might be limited to some cheap secondary missile weapons like javelins or throwing axes, a waterskin, and a couple days food. Death is cheap, and the character can play that way.

A dual- or triple-class character, or even a more complex single-class character will want to have stuff for every contingency, which means a big bunch of loot at risk. But these characters have earned the option to load out as single track for a risky adventure.

I don't know if there needs to be any goal to plan or exercise caution. Some players will pick the risky style, some will pick the less risky style. I do think the game seems weighted in favor of the risky style right now (less material loss on death), so that's what I'm leaning towards. But I don't mind others getting real rewards for playing more deliberately.

Goblin Squad Member

DendasGarrett wrote:
... more options to avoid death using skilled play or teamwork...

Personally, I would prefer to see Death be much rarer than I expect it will be in PFO. In my own opinion, fleeing a battle can be just as bad as dying if you are forced to give up the wagon load of mithril you were guarding, or if you are forced to flee and watch your Fort or Settlement be burned to the ground.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For every scenario where fleeing is just as bad as dying, there's another player where the flip side is not so:

Player A: Flee and...
-lose that wagon full of precious or you were just guarding
-see your settlement burned to the ground
Player B: Flee and...
-not lose that wagon full of ore you were just trying to steal
-not burn that settlement to the ground after all

The lack of a meaningful death penalty, not to mention the proposal of being relatively able to flee most conflicts, is sided in a way as to strongly favor banditry. If, however, we come up with some penalty that is associated with death itself, then the bandits will fear revenge a lot more and the urge to randomly steal wagon loads of mithril or burn down poorly guarded settlements will be much less.

Goblin Squad Member

I would consider any attempt to go a significant length of time without dying (as describe in the deathdoger merit) to be a relatively futile one. Penalties for death are so far described as fairly light (although this is a variable, assume no inventory for now), as I believe death will be a relatively frequent occurrence. I'll agree the emergent behavior of dying or suiciding just to get across a map is less than ideal, but since you can't take it with you (your inventory staying with your husk) I don't know if I see a big deal with it. I've advocated a durability penalty on death, as well as either reduced ability to maintain equipped items, or no durability repair at all. With some durability loss system in place, using a death to traverse the map ends up being a costly experience.

as for fast travel, it may bend immersion, but its so standard a feature in MMOs already, and as long as there is risk involved (as its been described, there is), i really see that as an essential feature, and also as described, if you're not interested in using it, you have some significant advantages available to you if you stay off the horse.

my 2 cents

Goblin Squad Member

Blaeringr wrote:
The lack of a meaningful death penalty, not to mention the proposal of being relatively able to flee most conflicts, is sided in a way as to strongly favor banditry.

What we are proposing would be a heavy death penalty coupled with the ability escape or otherwise avoid death. Therefore (sane) players would only ever stick around in combat when something is at stake, such as IRL.

Goblin Squad Member

Goblinworks Blog wrote:

Characters will die in Pathfinder Online, and die with regularity. If they died and were removed from the game forever that might be an interesting simulation, but it would make for a very empty and unwanted game. Your character will survive death—it's only a temporary setback.

When your character dies, your corpse will turn into a soulless husk on the spot. At the moment of death, a timer will begin to count down giving you a minute or two before anything else happens. If a nearby friend has the necessary magic, you may be restored to life right on the spot without any further drawbacks. If you are alone, or have no companions capable of resurrecting you, you'll have to deal with the fallout.

At the expiration of the countdown timer (or earlier if you opt to end the counter prematurely), your character will revive at a specific location that you've helped predetermine. Determining this location is a process we call "soulbinding." You will be able to select the location that your character is soulbound to, but only certain locations have the requisite soulstone needed for the binding. The distance between the location of your dead husk and your soulbinding point will often prove meaningful.

Your character will re-enter play at the soulbinding point holding and wearing whatever gear they had equipped when they died, so you won't have to start without your armor, or the weapons, wands, or staves you were using. However, until you return to your husk, you are in danger of losing the rest of your inventory. If you get to your husk before anyone else, you'll be able to get all your stuff back. However, if another player finds your husk before you do, they'll be able to loot it. They won't recover everything that you had in your inventory—just a random selection—but the rest of your inventory will be destroyed and removed from the game. If you die surrounded by allies, they can't just pick up all of your equipment for you, as doing so would cause some of it to be removed from the game, but your allies could attempt to defend your husk until you return to it, so that you lose nothing but travel time.

There is some incentive to strike down other players within this system, but it doesn't reward attackers with the full value of the defender's inventory. And it gives the chance of fully recouping all of their inventory to characters killed in player-vs-environment (PvE) encounters and characters with strong allies.

I don't like this system for reasons I originally stated. You can go out with your character either prettymuch naked or only with items that will not be dropped on death (Your full set of gear.) You can then explore to your hearts content, or run trade routes. If there is someone friendly near your location you can then give them your stuff and die. Free teleport.

So say Great Legionnaires has two towns. One town is our mining outpost. the other is our capitol city. We need metal from our mining outpost. I can just load up a wagon full of metal and drive it up to Dendas. Dendas, who is waiting on the other side, then receives that wagon of metal, and kills me. I'm back home in mining town... no need for a return trip.

Alternately say that the mining town is in a low population area with a fairly wild NPC-controlled landscape around it. Our capitol is in a thriving urban center surrounded by other players and there just really isn't that many NPCs. Dendas can come down and adventure near our mining town all day. When hes finished, he can come back into town and hand me his spoils. I kill him. He goes home back to whatever business hes running back in our capitol, I bring his stuff up to him with the next ore shipment.

I personally would prefer that if there is a soulstone near our capitol it FORCES me to respawn there when I die there. If there is a soulstone at our mining camp it also FORCES me to respawn there if I die there. That way rather than having him kill me so I can go home, I'll ride my empty cart back. Probably after loading it with any supplies our camp might find useful. Or if say there is a good market for carts near our capitol and our ore camp produces carts I'll take a fast horse home.

DendasGarrett wrote:

The balancing point for both of these would be cost. If it cost you either, 1/10 of your gold or, 1 hours of stat penalties (and not just combat stats) and 20% of your non-equipped items, then it is worth the time to travel to the location instead of suicide(ing). I like the idea of an XP debt as well!

The same for teleportation; traveling across multiple hexes should cost a hefty percentage of a player's gold (by average depending on level.) However I agree, I dislike fast travel and would prefer it not t obe in the game at all, except maybe in the mount/vehicle auto-drive form as I mentioned above. That way it still takes time and is restrictive on where you can start and finish, but it gives you a chance to relax for a minute (just like using the /follow command.)

I don't want to see death penalties overly harsh just to prevent people from using them as an easy teleport. You just can't have too harsh of death penalties in an open world PVP game. It makes griefing far too effective.

For example I am out fighting my first enemies outside the safety of the starter area. Its two and half years into the game and Griefy-Grief the capstoned blackguard is tired of dying to people of his own skill level because hes a crap player. He camps that area and I get killed while fighting goblins. All of a sudden my skill training halts for an hour. If I get killed again, no more skill training for another hour!

I'm not even going to want to set foot outside the safe area. If all I lose is what I have on me (minus my gear which won't drop), and take a debuff for a while... then those are losses I can accept.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Blaeringr wrote:

Player A: Flee and...

-lose that wagon full of precious or you were just guarding
-see your settlement burned to the ground
Player B: Flee and...
-not lose that wagon full of ore you were just trying to steal
-not burn that settlement to the ground after all

This seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Gruffling

Gruffling wrote:

as for fast travel, it may bend immersion, but its so standard a feature in MMOs already, and as long as there is risk involved (as its been described, there is), i really see that as an essential feature, and also as described, if you're not interested in using it, you have some significant advantages available to you if you stay off the horse.

my 2 cents

One more cent and we got a nickle! :)

I dont fully buy the "if you dont like it, dont use it" explanation for fast travel. In a single player game it makes some sense, but in a multilayer game it just significantly slows down your character progression (depending on how often traveling across the map is necessary to said development...)

As far as a comparison of risks; I doubt that the random hideout will be more trouble than walking across vast distances populated by who know what mobs, pvp junkies, and grievers. Not to mention, if bandits are in the area of a road and their hideout spots you fast traveling, then it is likely they those same bandits will spot you 'slow' traveling as well.

Of course, we dont know the specifics of fast traveling anyway; does it remove you from the world except for ambush encounters? or do you simply move much faster but are still susceptible to attacks from mobs and the like.

As far as death penalties go, I agree for more is better (for multiple reasons), just not sure the exact formula. The problem there is that many players think the opposite way, and having too steep a penalty could hurt game subscriptions, and we all want this game to grow to its full potential.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
... you can then give them your stuff and die. Free teleport.

Is it reasonable to propose that, instead of "reviv[ing] at a specific location", we become incorporeal spirits at the place of our death instead? Then, we would have to get back to a reasonable revive point the same way we would have to if we were alive. It might be a little weird if the only way to initiate Fast Travel requires communicating with an NPC, but it would certainly remove the temptation to use death as a free teleport.

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