I think we can all agree that there needs to be some sort of death penalty, otherwise we're just playing Ratchet and Clank where the only thing that death means is you get to go back to the last checkpoint and collect more bolts. XP loss worked fine in XI, but depending on how progression works in XIV it may not be as viable an option. For example we could be getting a system where performing certain actions will 'level up' our proficiency in the skill sets associated with those actions, in which case we wouldn't have one pool of XP associated with our character but instead many each representing a different set of skills. XP loss in such a system would be complicated; Would it take XP from the last skill set used? Would it take some from all our skill sets? Would it just pick one at random?
Personally I'm favor a harsh penalty. Death isn't suppose to be something you brush off, it's death, it's suppose to represent the end of the road, something you go great lengths to avoid. Now that doesn't mean I'd want to see a penalty like Diablo II's Hardcore mode, it's still just a game, but give me some incentive to pop an expensive med or to communicate with my team beyond "throw your body at it" in the name of staying alive and being successful.
In The Lord of the Rings online, there are special titles bestowed on characters who can make it to level 5, 10, 14, 17, and 20 without dying. At all. Let me tell you, if you're going for these titles, there's a big difference in the way you approach the game before you've been defeated, and after. You are more careful about how you do things. There's a great deal of nervous tension that just isn't there once you've "lost".
At first this sounded like a decent answer to me, but thinking about it more it seems too artificial. You'd end up with even people who could tolerate a harsh penalty @#%^-footing their way through things just because they haven't died yet and they want to see how long they can keep it up. It makes me think of my brother who plays XBOX360 games that he doesn't even have any interest in just because he wants the achievements.
And then what happens in this system after the first time you die? Does that tank that didn't want to 'voke' suddenly become kamikaze just because it doesn't matter anymore? The first time you die is suppose to teach you why you don't want to do it again, not just break the seal so that you can die as much as you want.
Runes of Magic system: If you die, you don't lose exp but get a penalty in exp gained for a set amount depending on level (example: you die at lvl20, you get a 600 exp penalty and 66% of the exp you gain after dying goes towards paying that penalty while you still get 33% of the total exp per fight).
Sounds good on paper but as others have pointed out, what about people who are at level cap already? On the other hand, we could be getting a system that doesn't have such a hard-cap on XP, or at least not an easily achievable one. Plus with potentially being able to 'job change' this penalty could carry over to other jobs meaning you'd have to have all jobs at cap to avoid this penalty, and maybe someone like that deserves the break that this system would give them. So this has potential. Also, out curiosity, what happens if you die again while under the this penalty? Does it increase the length of it? Does it stack the percentage withheld?
Some penalty sure, but not TOO harsh. Otherwise you're just discouraging people from trying new things or exploring. Fine, tension is nice, but if fear is keeping people stuck to specific routines, where's the fun in that?
Good thing Columbus and Magellan and Armstrong didn't feel that way about the death penalty. A death penalty in a game is there to prevent you from doing stupid things or using kamikaze tactics and should be harsh enough to do so. Beyond a full character reset if you let it prevent you from exploring and challenging yourself then you're really missing out.
Instead of going to a dungeon an using sneak/invis and trying to avoid every mob possible for fear of death, something like going through the dungeon and fighting all the monsters that stand in your way. I always found it kinda sad having to sneak through a dungeon in a group of 75's just to go fight a boss... Sure if you die you will have to work back that EXP you lost, but it's not as fun. Makes getting to 75 a waste.
This behavior isn't really about people fearing for their life, really I can't think of any zone in XI that a group of 75s would need to fear for their life from the common mobs. It's more due to wanting to get to where you're going as quickly as possible. I do agree though that the game would be more interesting if sneak and invisible never existed, it would make solo travel rather difficult and incredibly time consuming though.
Phoenix Downs have long been a part of Final Fantasy games. I would like to see them brought back, but in a slightly different way. Make Raise a low-tier spell, easily available - it would bring party members back to life, just as you'd expect. However, the only way that (some/most/all?) lost experience (or XIV equivalent) would be restored would be if the deceased had an appropriate Phoenix Down in his inventory.
I'd love to see Pheonix downs in game, but would prefer them in their more traditional form as an item for non-WHMs to 'use' on downed players to Raise them. I also see no reason why they shouldn't be craftable and AHable, even exclusively. Trust me such an item would be extremely cheap to buy at a community set price.
Anyway, personally I'd like to see a combination of penalties that individually aren't too harsh in any one area but together make for a situation you'd want to avoid. Basically like XI's system of XP loss + weakness + potentially home pointing.
wow that post turned out long... Edited, Jun 16th 2009 4:11pm by PopeyesOpenEye