Author Topic: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death  (Read 73433 times)

mushroom patch

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #180 on: April 19, 2014, 08:14:55 PM »
Don't respond to LazyCat posts.

I think the thread should be locked.

Yeah, this place needs moderation in a big way.

LazyCat

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #181 on: April 19, 2014, 09:30:11 PM »
Developers. I sincerely don't know how dumb are you if you don't know who sets rules for a game.

a.) First you said all roguelikes are meant to be played the same way.

b.) Now you say everyone sets rules of their own game.

Which is it?

LazyCat

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #182 on: April 19, 2014, 09:34:45 PM »
Don't respond to LazyCat posts.

Hah! What exactly are you concerned about? Do you even know?

tuturto

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #183 on: April 20, 2014, 09:32:24 AM »
Not sure if this has been suggested already, but what about giving player a chance to make a deal with a supernatural being when he's about to die. Instead of dying, the player would be returned where he died in full health and with his gear intact. In exchange for this, he would have to give up something valuable, like certain type of items couldn't be used anymore (they still would be generated though) or certain spells were unavailable for him after that point. Items and spellbooks would be generated normally, so the player would see what he's missing out. After he dies next time, same thing, but now he would have to give up two things. The game would get progressively harder and harder until the player figured out that he rather starts from beginning.
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Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #184 on: April 20, 2014, 03:00:03 PM »
That's an interesting idea.  It would be better to to give the game an eventual fail state than to frustrate the player to the point of quitting, though.

Taking the idea further, you could give the player the possibility of repaying the supernatural entity, or breaking free from their servitude somehow.

tuturto

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #185 on: April 20, 2014, 04:55:02 PM »
Good point about the final fail state. It probably wouldn't be a good idea if every game ended either in victory or the player quitting in frustration.

Interesting idea about breaking free from the contract. That probably could be built into a quest or series of special levels. And if the player dies in the process, the supernatural being wouldn't be that willing to help him. So high reward would come with a high risk.
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Atreides

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #186 on: May 02, 2014, 12:12:40 AM »
Lose all your stuff and start out at the beginning.

Azure Dreams is a roguelike for the PS1.  You have a  town where you can do dating sim and a bit of building sim stuff, along with minigames and shops.  The actual roguelike stuff happens in the monster tower just outside town.  Whenever you enter this tower you start out at level 1 with the exact same starting stats.  You can only bring 5 items into the tower with you.  You can also bring two familiars (basically pokemon) with you, who can fight alongside you or augment your attacks with their magic.  These familiars gain levels just like you, but they keep their levels and stats when they reenter the tower.

If you die in the tower you end up outside it with only the familiars that went in with you.  Everything else is gone.

It's possible to leave the tower at any time with one of several different items.  If you leave this way, you keep all your stuff.



While you probably should keep permadeath, there's no reason you can't have a few second chance items or abilities around.  These could punish the player by having the player awaken closer to the beginning of the dungeon, with less gold or missing a few random items, or several class/character levels lower (alternately, give the player negative experience, which must be worked off before you can gain a new level).

I don't think that the player should have unlimited retries, though that could be an option the player could select.  Instead I think that the retry feature should be linked to another game mechanic.  If your game has pets or familiars, then the familiar could have several chances to teleport you away, but at great cost to it and yourself.  There could be a cap on negative experience which will cause permadeath if it moves past that cap (if you die too many times).



What mechanic you choose depends on how your game works, and on how the roguelike stuff is done.  If it's in a repeatable, randomized dungeon (like in Azure Dreams), then you could punish the player as harshly as that game does, because the player can still start again with his familiars and the items he keeps in his safe at home.  If the whole game is a roguelike, then you need to do something a bit more subtle especially if you intend to keep permadeath.

Negative experience is probably the most devious thing you can do, because it temporarily locks down character/class progression and forces the player to be cautious for a while until he or she can start gaining levels again.  Losing gold is always good, especially if shops and consumable items are available (even more so if they are necessary or very useful).  Losing random items can be horrifying, so each item should have a value rating or there should be a way to derive a value rating.  This matters because powerful characters with lots of time invested in them should pay more for a second chance, while less powerful and time-invested character should be fairly cheap to save from permadeath.  This in itself is a mechanic that makes the game difficultly increase over time, as you gain more powerful and useful (or one of a kind) items.

One last idea I had just now - dangerous enemies could be produced where you died.  If you died on the 5th floor of a tower and your familiar drags you to the 3rd floor, then maybe the shadow of your death should be skulking around the 5th floor, waiting to embrace you.  So if you want to get past it, you need to grind a bit to defeat yourself as you were before because you're fighting yourself as you were when you died.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 12:35:37 AM by Vimes »

Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #187 on: May 02, 2014, 08:19:21 AM »
Oh oh... Someone has disturbed the dark waters...

"I have bad feeling about this! - Lydia in Skyrim
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."

awake

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #188 on: May 02, 2014, 04:28:19 PM »
Oh oh... Someone has disturbed the dark waters...

"I have bad feeling about this! - Lydia in Skyrim

Yeah let's not lock the thread, it's a legit discussion. Anyone who doesn't like long angry rants should just not read or write them.

There seem to be a lot of commercial Japanese roguelikes although they don't get much discussion in these parts. I get the impression that they tend to be relatively shallow if not really bad at all. I think as a general rule they kick you out of the dungeon and tax you some/all of your stuff when you lose, but you accumulate XP and loot over time so there's also progress beyond the player simply getting better.

I think amulets of life saving and Felids in DCSS (who can earn multiple lives and teleport away on respawn) point the way to a potential solution. I think some of the ill will toward permadeath isn't so much the permanence but the fact that you're punished so harshly for minor mistakes. You could argue that "that's just part of the game" but I don't think it's good when too much of the difficulty comes from "death by boredom", underestimating rare difficulty spikes, misunderstanding something etc as opposed to overall quality of play.

Basically I think that earning extra chances makes more sense, at least as a "beginner mode" option, than most other options. Save points undermine the sense of permanence and encourage abuse, infinite lives w/score penalty has too much of a "everyone's a winner!" taste and relegates permadeath to a seldom-observed challenge setting, and nobody wants to play Wizard mode.

Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #189 on: May 02, 2014, 05:37:16 PM »
Anyone who doesn't like long angry rants should just not read or write them.

I really wish it was that simple. Though rants don't particularly affect me (as long I'm not the OP) the job of a moderator is in fact to moderate a forum preventing off topic, long and angry rants.
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."

Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #190 on: May 02, 2014, 07:16:36 PM »
I think amulets of life saving and Felids in DCSS (who can earn multiple lives and teleport away on respawn) point the way to a potential solution. I think some of the ill will toward permadeath isn't so much the permanence but the fact that you're punished so harshly for minor mistakes. You could argue that "that's just part of the game" but I don't think it's good when too much of the difficulty comes from "death by boredom", underestimating rare difficulty spikes, misunderstanding something etc as opposed to overall quality of play.

I'm down with extra lives, but what I'd really like to see is something akin to shmup bombs - an finite consumable that can absolutely save you from any situation, but only if you're attentive enough to recognize the threat before it spirals out of control.  Like, you start the game with three potions of life saving, which fully heal you and stop time for three turns, but you can never obtain more of them.

Atreides

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #191 on: May 02, 2014, 10:14:15 PM »
Well, does anyone have any feedback on my thoughts?  I responded to OP's question.  Didn't feel like reading 13 pages of text.  Did I repeat what a lot of other people said?

I feel - probably unjustifiably - proud of the negative experience idea.

Endorya

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #192 on: May 02, 2014, 10:39:08 PM »
Well, does anyone have any feedback on my thoughts?  I responded to OP's question.  Didn't feel like reading 13 pages of text.  Did I repeat what a lot of other people said?

I feel - probably unjustifiably - proud of the negative experience idea.

I think you did just fine, I actually enjoy reading your post.
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."

awake

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #193 on: May 02, 2014, 11:14:08 PM »
I'm down with extra lives, but what I'd really like to see is something akin to shmup bombs - an finite consumable that can absolutely save you from any situation, but only if you're attentive enough to recognize the threat before it spirals out of control.  Like, you start the game with three potions of life saving, which fully heal you and stop time for three turns, but you can never obtain more of them.

That makes sense although

1) Very frequently you die in a RL with something in your inventory that would have saved you, there's still that frustration

2) If you start off with three and you lose one on the first floor (for example), most people will restart rather than have to play the rest of the game with only two left.

I actually bumped into the original Felid proposal (don't have a link handy...) and that second point is why you have to earn your lives instead of starting with nine like you would expect a cat to.

I feel - probably unjustifiably - proud of the negative experience idea.
Felids lose a level upon reviving, so I guess they beat you to it, if I understand you correctly. Or we could say that great minds think alike!

Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #194 on: May 03, 2014, 06:35:14 AM »
1) Very frequently you die in a RL with something in your inventory that would have saved you, there's still that frustration

2) If you start off with three and you lose one on the first floor (for example), most people will restart rather than have to play the rest of the game with only two left.

I view #2 as unproblematic and #1 as outright desirable.

The frustration of losing when you had a way to survive is the ideal kind of frustration.  It's exactly the sort of thing you should use to push yourself towards becoming a better player.  It comes with a payoff too: the frustration from failing to use your bombs will make your victory that much sweeter when you get it right.  That isn't necessarily true for the frustration of an RNG cheap shot.

As for #2, if your life is worth less than a potion of life saving, you should just die.  Until you've gotten far enough that your character's life is valuable to you, there's no reason to ever use one.  It's perfect for bad players because they can use the potions to see more of the game than they'd otherwise be able to.  It will let them make more mistakes, which means they'll have more opportunities to learn.  For players who have a shot at winning it's one more element of strategy to consider, and a great way to chart their progress.  Expert players who go for streaks shouldn't regularly depend on potions of life saving, but they'd be a great way to prevent extreme bad luck from ending their streaks.  Everyone benefits.