[MUD-Dev] Limited character lifespans

Paul Cobb pcobb at zona.net
Tue Feb 11 10:14:40 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

Shren Wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Feb 2003, Dan Shiovitz wrote:

>> I've been kicking around a system where low-level and mid-level
>> characters have indefinite lifespans, but when a mid-level
>> character chooses to start the high-level track, they get
>> razzle-dazzle powers but also, say, 60 days before their
>> character expires. The theory here is that the sweet spot for
>> character play is the mid-levels, not the high-levels, and so
>> most of the playtime should be spent there; but systems with
>> unlimited lifespan for higher-level players tend to end up with a
>> pileup at the top levels.

> The only thing even remotely like this that I've ever heard of is
> a tale from a live action game - apparently somebody aspired to
> and succeeded at binding themselves to the elemental plane of
> magic.  This got them both the godlike power they sought and also
> started them down the road towards permadeath.  I don't know how
> that story turned out - it could even be one of those "friend of a
> friend of a friend but never actually happened" stories.

When it comes to online games, the way I see it is that nobody wants
to be the first game to be taking people's characters away.  The
idea of only aging when you cross a certain power level is an
interesting one, though.

Something that might help some of these games is to find some way to
have a glorious death for the high level characters. If the tale of
the character's heroics spread throughout the world, this would a
sense of realism to the world and give the player some real
recognition, which is what many of us would like to achieve.

I once had a character in an RPG that I had spent 6 months
playing. I had invested a ton of time in the character and at the
end of one of our big adventures, I had a choice to screw everyone
over and save myself or sacrifice myself and save the team. They
didn't know about this. I took the sacrifice and we've been
retelling the story for about 6 years now. (It's a long story, I'm
not going to relate it all here.)

This was definately my most memorable character yet, even though
I've had others that I've put years of time into.

--Paul C.

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