[MUD-Dev] PermaDeath (was Re: pet peeves)

Marc Hernandez marc at ias.jb.com
Thu Feb 18 17:53:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Thu, 18 Feb 1999, David Bennett wrote:

> On 2/18/99, at 3:05 PM, Matthew Mihaly wrote: 
> >Yes, I agree that losing face is a MUCH bigger deal than losing stats. It
> >is you vs. the other person, not character v. character. However, when
> >death is such an infrequent thing, as it must be in a viable permadeath
> >system (Genocide not withstanding), think of how much bigger of a rush you
> >will get, knowing that if you fight to the death with your opponent,
> >either you or he is going to lose your character entirely. 

> The trouble with permentant death and many other permenant systems is that
> it only requires one idiot who finds a bug, or one idiot who is
> deliberately annoying and they can do major damage.  These systems work
> well when everyone plays in character...   You cannot rely on people doing
> this all the time though, and some people just refuse to.

> It is the old newbie killer syndrome...  Permenant death makes these sorts
> of abuses just that much more nasty and irreversable.  A system should be
> designed to be able to deal with these sorts of people, since they will
> show up...

	Someone else posted one possible newbie solution.
	My Java Mud design/implementation[1] is starting to take shape and
so I have started to think about the actual game design.  Not wanting to
use the regular Dwarf/Elf/Fairy setup I have been looking at other
	When thinking from that direction I was thinking about karma and
how NPC could react to evil people, those sorts of issues.  Karma brought
me to thinking about reincarnation.
	Assuming karma is tracked and enforced by the world in some
way[2], the game could support reincarnation as a very real way to punish
and reward people.  Karma could be reset every lifetime or could
accumulate.  If you are bad enough you would start coming back as animals
and such.  If you are good you could come back as more powerful people or
creatures.  Just in sitting here it and pondering seems some sort of
average over all your deeds would be a fairly good way to track it.  With
this it is easy to get and keep an 'A', but if you start to drop it can be
very difficult to raise your grade.  As you do things it would tend to
find where you are globally and just stay there.
	Admittadly many details need to be fleshed out with this.
Tracking deeds could be difficult, but is being done in some online worlds
such as UO.  Add in some god tweaking for really bad or really good
characters and it could be a workable system.
	I am also looking at making murder an explicitly hostile act in
battle as opposed to the end result of every battle.  Basically I plan on
having on explicit use of a death blow required to kill someone.
Otherwise the person gets knocked out and/or slowely dies.

Marc Hernandez
[1] I will be posting some information on it in a little while.  It is a
bit of a synthesis between what I have read here and my own thoughts on
persistant games.
[2] Both automatic and manual.
[3] Greek primarily.  Very good myths the Greeks had.  The gods tended to
muddle in mortals affairs whenever it suited them which could translate
nicely into gameplay.  They also were divided into city-states which could
translate well.

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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