Author Topic: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death  (Read 82318 times)

Atreides

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #195 on: May 03, 2014, 07:06:20 AM »
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!

Losing a level can be very icky depending on how it's implemented.  If the game keeps track of what you gain at a level up, or if what you gain is predetermined, then it isn't an issue and removing a level is as easy as adding one.  This is less true if removing a level means you suddenly can't hold all your gear and you need to spend 5 minutes reconfiguring your inventory, or if it means you need to, say, reorganize your passive abilities since you no longer have enough "ability points" to use them all (though I don't know of any games that have a system like this, outside of say Final Fantasy 9).

If your stat gains at level up are semi random, then level downs can benefit the player or hurt the player.  Say you gained 1 strength, 1 dexterity, and 1 wisdom on reaching level 22.  Then you are leveled down and you lose 1 wisdom.  That's a great deal!  Or you could have only gained 1 of something on level up and then lose 3 things on level down.

Even my negative experience idea can eat total shit depending on how experience is used in level gains.  If the game only tracks experienced needed to next level up (and then either pulls the experience needed for the level up after that from a table or follows some kind of algorithm to determine experience needed after you reach that level) then you can apply negative experience all day with zero consequences.

But if the game tracks total experience to determine when you level up, then you need to cap the amount of experience you can lose or else you'll lose a level and weird things could happen if that isn't what you intended to happen (and weird things will probably still happen).  Even then that creates something that can be abused, because it means you can take risks when your experience is very low without losing much experience.

I can only endorse negative experience when used with a system where your game tracks only experience needed to the next level up.

You could penalize the player even further by tracking total experience acquired and total negative experience acquired, and then do stuff with that even though it isn't used for level gains.  You could make certain quests time out once you reach a certain total experience and not have total experience take negative experience into account, punishing the player if he or she grinds too much or dies too often (an event ranking).  You could increase the difficulty of some encounters once certain milestones in total experience are reached (sort of an encounter ranking, or a battle ranking).

You - or your player's god - could reward the player with gold or random useful stuff if the player manages to reach certain events with a very low total experience and little or no negative experience.  I  prefer that the player not be rewarded with permanent stat boosts or otherwise-unobtainable abilities or items, because such things bring out the completionist in me and I like my social life!

Vanguard

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #196 on: May 03, 2014, 07:31:35 AM »
Oh, I forgot to say why shmup bombs are preferable to extra lives.  It's because they force the player to stay cautious and they maintain the omnipresent sense of danger that gives roguelikes so much of their character.

Let's say you're up against a dangerous enemy.  You're both low on health, either one of you could die from the next hit.  It's your turn and you have to choose to either attack or burn one of your lifesaving bombs.  There's no other way to escape.  If you have extra lives that activate when you die, then you say "sure let's roll the dice" and then you win or lose, and either way you move on.

If you have to use the item before you die, that same situation becomes incredibly tense.  If you attack, you might get lucky and escape with no loss.  Or you might get unlucky and die.  Your other option is to drop a bomb, in which case both your survival and the loss of an irreplaceable asset are certain.  The right answer isn't obvious, and depends on the specifics of situation.  Decisions like that are the core of every good roguelike

wire_hall_medic

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #197 on: May 12, 2014, 11:55:07 PM »
I'm too lazy to read 14 page of responses, so I apologize if someone suggested this previously.

You have a Reputation score, which increases with in the same manner as experience.  As your reputation hits particular benchmarks, you get benefits; discounts with merchants, better quest rewards, more powerful items available for sale, free services like identification and healing.

When you die, your reputation drops significantly.  Either all the way to zero, or several level's worth.

chooseusername

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #198 on: May 13, 2014, 04:59:21 AM »
I'm too lazy to read 14 page of responses, so I apologize if someone suggested this previously.

You have a Reputation score, which increases with in the same manner as experience.  As your reputation hits particular benchmarks, you get benefits; discounts with merchants, better quest rewards, more powerful items available for sale, free services like identification and healing.

When you die, your reputation drops significantly.  Either all the way to zero, or several level's worth.
But this isn't a permanent consequence, to be fair.  You would be able to rebuild the reputation.

wire_hall_medic

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #199 on: May 14, 2014, 02:16:44 PM »
But this isn't a permanent consequence, to be fair.  You would be able to rebuild the reputation.

True.  Although this would limit the total amount of reputation a character could build over the course of the game. 

You could go the other way; your reputation starts at a maximal value, and loses one every time you die.  There is no way, or very very limited ways, to restore your reputation.  However this lends itself to the same problem as every other permanent consequence that has an impact on gameplay; if the game gets harder every time you fail, it becomes a circular loop of failure.

Perhaps you start at full reputation, it decrements when you die, and upon reaching a reputation of zero you get permadeathed.  Like getting cut off by the bartender, "all right, buddy, you've had enough.  I'm calling you a carriage."

chooseusername

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #200 on: May 14, 2014, 07:34:05 PM »
But this isn't a permanent consequence, to be fair.  You would be able to rebuild the reputation.

True.  Although this would limit the total amount of reputation a character could build over the course of the game. 

You could go the other way; your reputation starts at a maximal value, and loses one every time you die.  There is no way, or very very limited ways, to restore your reputation.  However this lends itself to the same problem as every other permanent consequence that has an impact on gameplay; if the game gets harder every time you fail, it becomes a circular loop of failure.

Perhaps you start at full reputation, it decrements when you die, and upon reaching a reputation of zero you get permadeathed.  Like getting cut off by the bartender, "all right, buddy, you've had enough.  I'm calling you a carriage."
At some point don't you have to wonder why reputation merits being linked to death, and consider calling it lives?  ;)

Atreides

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Re: Permanent consequences for failure that aren't death
« Reply #201 on: May 16, 2014, 11:11:04 PM »
At some point don't you have to wonder why reputation merits being linked to death, and consider calling it lives?  ;)
Depends on in-game fluff.  Maybe you're raiding a dungeon at the behest of a fey prince, and you're assigned one of his squires.  This squire hauls you out the first few times you die and he manages to bring most of your stuff, but the more you fail the less faith the squire has in you.  Eventually he stops believing you'll accomplish your task and he either won't bring any of your stuff (or he'll outright steal it and offer to sell it back to you), he won't take you very far from where you died, or he just won't come when you're near death anymore.