Character death

Astrobe
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Character death

by Astrobe » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:12

I'm trying to introduce some role play in my subgame and I've just noticed that although players get the "You died" message when they are defeated, their character doesn't actually die.

One can set up things so that if a player character (PC) dies, it is mostly game over for it, but that's quite a bare-bones solution. An other quite harsh option would be to automatically ban the account (not the IP). But even if it is done after a delay (to let someone revive the PC), this is still a bit too hardcore.

I'm interested in this because being too soft about PC death kind of removes an exciting element from the game. If your PC is killed while coming back with a backpack full of diamonds and your bones mod is configured to be protective, your PC being killed can be just a hassle or could even be actually helpful.
Even with more "hardcore" bones options - for instance my subgame configures it in "drop" mode, which means that the players have around 15 minutes to retrieve their stuff - PC death is not really a big deal if you manage this risk (for instance build a bed and a chest with spare equipment nearby).

Those considerations lead to some sort of "ghost mode", in which a defeated PC is still in the world but can't do anything by itself. It has to be "revived" by an other PC (be it another PC of the same player). A basic implementation, I think, would be to revoke the "interact" privilege until someone finds the bones of the PC.

I'm looking for something perhaps more elaborate so that PC death can be fun too. For instance, I would consider to grant the fly and noclip privileges so that the dead PC becomes an actual ghost. But on the other hand I don't want to it to be used as a way to freely explore the world or to annoy other players; a secondary objective is to use this ghost mode as an anti-troll/anti-grief device and make administration/moderation part of the role play experience - although that kind of player typically don't give a fack about rules and there's no reason they would respect RP; maybe ultimately a ghost should be banned? Is there any benefit from being lenient with them?

Another optional objective is related to the concept of the Aging mod (without the unpleasant disease stuff). Limiting the lifetime of the PCs would fit quite nicely RP I think (notably if one provides "dirty" ways to extend it like in Captain Blood).

There are for sure a lot of things one can do, but I'm looking for ideas that are simple and not expensive to implement (after all, being dead is not the normal state of a PC).
 

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texmex
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Re: Character death

by texmex » Sun Jun 03, 2018 20:29

This is a great idea! Check out some very similar mechanics in 4aiman’s old Minetest game Magichet. https://github.com/4aiman/Magichet-stable
 

Astrobe
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Re: Character death

by Astrobe » Tue Jun 05, 2018 18:22

I don't see mods in that repo... Does this mean that the mechanics were implemented directly in the engine?
 

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texmex
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Astrobe
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Re: Character death

by Astrobe » Thu Jun 07, 2018 19:37

Ah, thanks. The description alone brought some issues I didn't see to my attention.
 

Astrobe
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Re: Character death

by Astrobe » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:17

Eventually, I did go for something more simple: start with a speed multiplier of 1.1 and subtract 0.1 every time the character dies.
 

slemon
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Re: Character death

by slemon » Sun Aug 05, 2018 01:09

Perhaps this could be of interest: viewtopic.php?t=19139

Last time I checked, it'd ban player's account upon death (but not ban the ip itself).
 

Astrobe
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Re: Character death

by Astrobe » Sun Aug 05, 2018 08:44

Permadeath at its fullest!

In the mean time, I gave up on the idea because the few players I've seen on my server seemed to be rather inexperienced and/or were playing on Android, which apparently makes it difficult to fight properly.

While they are not exactly the kind of player I had in mind when I started my game, I cynically am interested in retaining them: servers with even a few players are more attractive than empty servers and I need builders since I don't use worldedit or village autogen mods (except a ruins generator).

So my current position is as follows: death has no permanent effects and has little consequences as long as it happens near the spawning point. Experienced players however will probably want to move away from the spawning point because of the newbies doing newbie things and because resources in that area are likely to deplete quickly. For them, I disabled all means to change the respawn point (I converted beds to health restoration devices; I'm planing to add a timer to them so that building an inn with a lot of beds isn't just for decoration). So being defeated for them will often mean lose what they were carrying and spending time to go back to their main play area.

A similar idea could be to use one of the "realm" mods to have players respawn in a "hell" world, from which they would have to escape. This could have the advantage of trapping annoying players (which are generally less skilled than others) in a world that is likely to turn chaotic and silly, which might be a source of amusement and/or challenge for regular players.
 

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Re: Character death

by Sokomine » Fri Aug 10, 2018 13:19

Astrobe wrote:servers with even a few players are more attractive than empty servers and I need builders

Certainly true. Players on a server attract other players.

Astrobe wrote:So being defeated for them will often mean lose what they were carrying and spending time to go back to their main play area.

That rather sounds like "builders - go away! You are *not* wanted here!". You may still attract some and have difficultiy getting rid of builders entirely (banning may be an option as well), but...you don't provide a builder-friendly world that way. If you want permadeath and/or death really hurting, that's about as far from building/constructing something as may be. Please - if you accidentally attract someone who builds in your world - offer to save the house and transplant it to another, more builder-friendly world. And tear it down in yours. Because good buildings do attract other builders. They could be lured into the wrong server. There are other types of players and those who prefer other gameplay who may feel very happy in your world. There are not many servers who are suited for such players. They could find a home on your server.
A list of my mods can be found here.
 

Astrobe
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Re: Character death

by Astrobe » Sat Aug 11, 2018 07:49

Sokomine wrote:That rather sounds like "builders - go away! You are *not* wanted here!". You may still attract some and have difficultiy getting rid of builders entirely (banning may be an option as well)


TBH I considered asking how to detect Android clients. I don't hate builders, but I'm making a survival game first and foremost.

Now, one benefit of trying to retain them nonetheless is that they give a sane starting point to build the progression path from.
Permadeath/permanent effects are unfair. Permadeath in rogue-likes can afford to be unfair because players can retry in a different dungeon and that's part of the fun of rogue-likes. MT games are different because players restart in the same world (as far as multi-player games are concerned).

So the game has to try to be fair. To me, this means to not bring trouble to players if they aren't looking for it (or actively avoiding it), with the usual counterpart that rewards are where the trouble is. If things are done right, "pure builders" should be fine, but will probably have to grind a lot to get the resources for their buildings (for instance, do some farming).
 


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