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Difficulty vs PunishmentFollow

#1 Nov 17 2009 at 1:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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I hope Square-Enix has a better understanding of the difference between making a game more difficult, and punishing the player. I'm looking forward to this game a lot, and I hope they get it right more than FFXI.

To reference old school games from like, 20 years ago... Difficulty was dying, and going back to the last save point and having to work your way through the level again. Punishment was a game having an elaborate ranked power up system, that if you died, you lost all your power ups, and basically had a vastly increased chance of dying again.

...

In a way, I think that's a pretty good example of the difference between making something difficult, and punishing the player for messing up. It stops being difficult, and begins being a punishment, when if the player fails, it becomes increasingly likely that they will fail a second time, because they were put at a disadvantage.

Loosing EXP if you die was adding difficulty and risk.
Downleveling, especially if you lost the ability to equip certain stuff, or lost spells, made you more likely to continue dyin, and was punishing the player.

...

Another example of blatantly punishing the player in FFXI was Weakness. Okay, so the player died... now they have 5 minutes where they have no way to defend themselves, and must cower and hope they don't die again during that 5 minutes, or they'll lose even more EXP. That really didn't make the game harder, it just made the player more likely to be punished twice for their first mistake.

...

Does what I'm saying make sense?
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#2 Nov 17 2009 at 2:22 PM Rating: Decent
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What you are saying makes sense. I hated dying on the last level of Raiden X and losing all my blue power ups.
The one thing that sticks out about the weakness after being raised, was how important it was to the combat system. Imagine FFXI without a weakness time. Weakness basically meant you couldn't die in the same battle multiple times, unless it was a long fight and you had multiple back up tanks. Obviously this system is more aimed at end game material where you have a larger number of players together.

WoW doesn't have a weakness system, simply because you cannot cast ressurection in combat, with the exception of battle ressurection which was on a 20 minute cooldown.

To put it simply, there has to be system that prevents zerging down bosses by continuously raising people that die in combat. FFXI actually gives you a hope of raise in battle, whereas in WoW, if you arent the tank or top damage dealer good luck getting the druid's 20min cooldown.

In non-endgame situations a raise just meant everyone takes a 5min break, which can be more useful than begining to fight again while you are still frustrated or your party is annoyed with their lack of progress.
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#3 Nov 17 2009 at 2:55 PM Rating: Decent
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I think some sort of punishment is needed in the game.

if you are not weakened after you were raised, whats the point?
you can die and raised and come back in no time, that sounds stupid.
and so when you wandering around new area and do not care if you will die and lose EXP
"oh this place might be dangerous, i have to pay attention coz i might die"
or
"i dont freaking care, when I die and reraise myself, i dont lose EXP and I just pop a few Hi Potion and I could kill that ******* again"

whats the point?
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#4 Nov 17 2009 at 3:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Out of combat weakness is stupid but I don't mind the exp loss.
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#5 Nov 17 2009 at 4:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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RedGalka wrote:
Out of combat weakness is stupid but I don't mind the exp loss.


If you're out of combat, the weakness should be irrelevant to you.
#6 Nov 17 2009 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
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I agree with your general point Karelyn, that games should not conflate difficult and punishment, trying to substitute punishment for difficult, but I disagree with your definitions.
Quote:
Loosing EXP if you die was adding difficulty and risk.
Downleveling... was punishing the player.

These are both punishments. Losing exp is a punishment, and downleveling was a punishment with a slippery slope (even worse). I think the distinction is made clear by saying that regardless of how much exp you lose (50 or 50,000) regardless or whether you down level by 1 level or all the way back to level 1, your chance of success the first time you fight this encounter is completely inelastic. In a fight against Kirin I'm just as likely to win the first time with a 50 exp penalty for dying as I am with a 5 level exp penalty for dying. The fight isn't any more difficult at all.

Something that is more difficult reduces your chance of a first time success. If Kirin had more hp or dealt more damage per hit, then he would be a more difficult boss.
#7 Nov 17 2009 at 5:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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I was just about to make the same point that allegory made. Though I'll go a step further and say that losing benefits when you die increases the difficulty, though, not in a way that is actually interesting...just rather tedious.

However, I agree with the general idea as it's not really difficulty and punishments we are talking about but time sinks. A punishment for death that sets you back perhaps hours of time that you will have to make up doing the same exact thing you just did for the past few hours does not make an interesting game. It's an even poorer concept if the penalty for death actually makes you less capable of accomplishing the task you just died attempting.

I personally don't think any death penalty that requires a large amount of time to get back to where you were is valid anymore. Nobody really likes time sinks and any developer that has to resort to them in order to keep people playing needs to seriously reconsider their business model.
#8 Nov 17 2009 at 10:51 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't see your defenitions exactly the same way.

Punishment, would be the weakness time and exp loss.

Difficulty, would be the strategy of the battle, or the strength of the monster.

Now, implementing both into a game is vital, and I think that FFXI was done very well in that sense. In this game, you had diffirent difficulties of fights you could attempt, which would in turn determine what your chance of the punishment was (ie. a harder fight, would more likely kill you).

The death penalties were necessary to keep people from constantly killing themselves. I could think of worse penalties to be honest, for example a Gil loss.
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#9 Nov 17 2009 at 11:23 PM Rating: Default
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I thought FFXI was a good balance.
It relates to this thing called real life; you don't always succeed, and you can't get through a store without aggroing some fat *** who wants to sell you something, like pictures. And you sprint away.
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#10 Nov 18 2009 at 1:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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My biggest problem with how FFXI dealt with death, was that they used both exp loss and weakness. If they had picked one or the other, I would have been much happier. With the way FFXIV is shaping up, I don't believe both will be used this time around, because:

1. You can't have exp loss without exp. We're using a skillup system(to the best of our knowledge). Of course, they could just have you lose skillups instead, but with the focus of the game around the Armory System, I don't see that being the best way to handle dying in game.

2. I doubt they'll use weakness at all, simply due to the fact they've hinted at our gear suffering from durability. The info we've received has talked about certain weapons/armor being more durable than others, so I'm gonna go ahead and say that we'll be suffering damage to our gear upon death, at the very least.

If they remove weakness, they'll have to also eliminate resurrection during combat, similar to how WoW does it now, to prevent zerging.

I'm not a fan of exp loss. I don't think that a half hour's worth of work(exaggerating here) should be erased based on a death that might not even be your fault. I'd rather suffer a gil loss(durability). If they want to use weakness, at least cut it down to 2 minutes tops. Sitting there for 5 minutes wondering why I have to wait sucks.
#11 Nov 18 2009 at 4:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Never been a fan of EXP or money loss on death (be this directly or through item repairs). Oftentimes when alone, death means you're heading back to town and will be wasting time running back to where you were, and this could possibly take a while if you were traversing a narrow area with aggressive mobs you have to fight to get through. There's also the fact of lost potential progress in getting back to that point without actually literally sapping progress from you as FFXI does.

Other times, death can mean losing claim on an (H)NM. It could mean failing a BC. It could mean timing out in Salvage. It could mean losing that Assault. It could mean not being able to pass that Duelist's Chapeau in time and it getting randomed to someone who can't use.

For the people with plenty of time to play in FFXI, death was trivial. For those who could maybe only play an hour here and there, it simply isn't an option. No amount of personal intelligence can prevent all deaths. Frankly, I hate paying for other peoples' mistakes. Even worse when they whine about the situation being someone else's fault. Death isn't a teacher. It's a poor substitute for communication between players or even the game design itself.
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#12 Nov 18 2009 at 5:46 AM Rating: Decent
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FFXI had the right idea it just went too far. Way too far. I don't want to be right where I left off after dying after only 30 seconds. The game would end up being flooded with noobish *** holes that don't give a crap. However, FFXI was too extreme. Too unforgiving. The game **** near demanded perfection and created perfectionist cowards.

Some form of punishment should be in place. More than just the time required to run from town back to the camp. The way it sounds there will be damage to equipment. What I don't know is whether or not durability will reduce only after death or with use as well. If durability reduces with use then a well timed death that would return you to town could actually be a good thing. Fast trip to town to repair and head out again. Death should never be a good thing.

There has to be some sort of punishment to prevent that. Sure it would be nice now and then. To be able to port to town by suicide with no worry of xp or gil loss.

Maybe our equipment will only take a hit to durability upon death. Then we would be in town after every hit our equipment took to durability. Easy repair and out again.

Maybe our equipment will only take a hit to durability upon use. After using our equipment to the point of needing repair we could kamikaze back to town, repair, and head back out. Still easy.

Maybe our equipment will take a hit to durability during use and upon death. Then we just might have to be carefull how far we let our equipment durability go before suicide. Maybe our equipment would break if left unrepaired to 0/100 durability. Say death = 25% durability to all equipment. Most of my equipment is 35% or better but my sword is 22%. If I die my sword would break. Maybe broken equipment would cost 10 times the normal amount to repair. Or maybe it would be permanent and lost. Maybe we could hire a craftsman to recreate it from the peices for a price.

Maybe durability loss upon death will be permanent. I wouldn't like that but if there's no xp loss then what replaces it?

There has to be more than just the time required to get back to camp. Either a real risk to equipment, repairs being expensive, or xp/skill loss. There are uncounted possibilities. I just don't want death to mean nothing. I don't want it to be so severe that it creates cowards of the gaming community but I don't want it to be so weak that nobody cares.

I don't want people in my groups acting like morons and ending up getting the group killed with the excuse of "who cares, it's not like you lost xp". It's still a loss. It's still a death. It should mean something.

For me, the price of death will not be a deciding factor of whether or not to buy the game. I'm going to buy it. I'm going to play it. I'm sure I'm going to have fun with it. We'll all find out exactly what death means after the game is released. I'm hoping for some meaning...
#13 Nov 18 2009 at 8:14 AM Rating: Decent
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I was always under the opinion that exp loss should have remained uniform through raised and that the different between R1 through R3 should have been the weakness timer: R1 = 5 min, R2 = 3 Min, R3 = 1.5min. To me, that would have been a much better use of the raise system. So as not to abuse this, I think that only R1 would be allowed in battle situations that were timed (BC's, Salvage, Assault, etc).

I don't believe that FFXIV will see any sort of weakness or 'exp' loss (I am still waiting to see exactly how the system works). People have already mentioned my thoughts... your weakness will come in the form of weapon/armor repair and travel time (should you need to homepoint).

FFXI was definitely a harsh mistress when it came to dying... but that is what made the game unique and challenging. It was what kept most of the WoW population away from the game... no reward came without some form of punishment... whether that be exp loss, or going 1/86 on a drop you wanted. I just recently started up FFXI after a short break... and already I am down 3k exp from R3's on BLM lol... This game may introduce new ideas, but some things will never change :)
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#14 Nov 18 2009 at 8:23 AM Rating: Good
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Jubs wrote:
If they remove weakness, they'll have to also eliminate resurrection during combat, similar to how WoW does it now, to prevent zerging.

It's not just WoW. FFXI was the only MMO I've played which allowed relatively unrestricted resurrection in combat.
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#15 Nov 18 2009 at 9:41 AM Rating: Decent
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As somebody above mentioned about not having EXP poitns in FFXIV
I dont think equipments durability will do a big part when dying in FFXIV.
perhaps they will gimp you and "delevel" your stats or skills for a few levels so you would not be as strong offensively and defensively, which could keeps you away to go back into the battle once you are raised.
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#16 Nov 18 2009 at 11:37 AM Rating: Decent
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I actually enjoyed being able to resurrect in combat. It allowed some room for error while still being able to recover without losing your work up to that point. For example, being able to kite a pop NM that happened to nut up one day, or losing your tanks in an unfortunate series of moves in some event. It meant that we were able to use what time we had available to try and recover when the only other alternative would have been to call it a wipe and lose your pop item or just call the event a wipe and start over in 2-3 days. I hope they still allow that in XIV if there is a time restriction on events or pop items lost upon trade.

Quote:
I think some sort of punishment difficulty is needed in the game.

ftfy.

I believe that one reason WoW could not allow you to freely rez in combat was because everything was scripted. There was no real AI so it was a matter of getting the steps in the dance routine right or start from the beginning. After a wipe, the combat script was just reset for you to give it another try. If you had Boss Mods, it only required reaction instead of thoughtful -in combat- planning.
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#17 Nov 18 2009 at 12:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Semantically, difficulty to me seems to be the level of challenge, implying that some may not be able to accomplish something while others might. A good example of instilling difficulty into a game is the way Wienercraft implemented Hard Modes. These hard modes grant a feeling of accomplishment, improved loot, and bragging rights, and rightly so because they're an increased level of difficulty, meaning that players exhibited more skill/ability (or better gear, lol). This allowed content to be conquerable, thus accessible to many, while still providing some challenge. I liked Blizz's implementation of difficulty in the later stages.

Punishment, on the other hand, connotes a penalty for doing or failing to do something. FFXI uses XP penalty and rez sickness, other games use armor durability penalties, corpse running, or combinations of all. I wouldn't want to completely eliminate these, because they cause players to "size up" a situation and make strategic decisions so that there's something at stake if you bite off more than you can chew. While these don't increase the difficulty at all, they force players to respect challenge rather than diving into whatever they wish, willy-nilly, without any risk. BCNMs, FoV NMs, even (to a reasonable level) armor durability / repair costs, or short recuperation periods all seem appropriate to me because they force players to calculate risk (risk of losing opportunity for profit from beastmen seals, pieces of gear, gil, or losing time) and decide what they're willing to lose in order to potentially gain what they seek from content. If it cost nothing to go into a BCNM and you could go all you want, I'd spend all day in BCNMs trying to get an E. Bow without regard for risk.

Regarding the 5 min weakness period, I think this is to force players to control themselves so that they aren't rendered wholly ineffective or exposed to heightened risk. Without punishment for dying, I'd spam sidewinder whenever I had TP, rather than waiting until the mob was reasonably close to death. It forces players to calculate their risk, making decisions more realistic and strategic rather than fantastic and meaningless.

So, while I disagree with your semantics, I think I agree with your overall opinion that some pieces of FFXI were excessively punitive and did not serve to increase challenge in truly meaningful ways.

Please excuse the typos, I'm sure they're in there.

Edited, Nov 18th 2009 2:01pm by JayRams
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#18 Nov 18 2009 at 1:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd also like to note that penalties for failure, especially when paired with lack of reward, is why it can be such a pain in the *** to find help with any content in FFXI that's more than a few months old.

So, instead of penalizing people for failing, let's reward more for actually succeeding, eh?
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#19 Nov 18 2009 at 1:39 PM Rating: Default
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So, in your opinion, time invested in a failed endeavor is risk/punishment enough?
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#20 Nov 18 2009 at 1:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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At its simplest, time spent in one activity is time you can't be spent in another. Difficulty of the event itself, whether genuine or against the random number generator, is also a factor. There's a particular gripe against solo content in MMOs because we're supposed to be playing with others. Those who have difficulty with group content, be it finding members, scheduling, or feeling everyone is fairly rewarded, are usually told to just get better friends, or more succinctly, that they suck. A game that promotes random teamwork with as little strings attached will do far better than being super selective on the scale of jobs, equipment, and basically the counterpoint of "urdoinitrong!" of XI.

Edit: In the event it sounds like I want no penalties period, I'm actually okay with Weakness, Resurrection Sickness, or whatever you wanna call it. It is a short-term handicap and does help curb zombie tactics. On the other hand, there should be options to shorten this timer (Bring the WHM instead of RDM) or outright cure it (Alchemy synth, perhaps?).

Edited, Nov 18th 2009 2:53pm by Seriha
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#21 Nov 18 2009 at 2:16 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I actually enjoyed being able to resurrect in combat. It allowed some room for error while still being able to recover without losing your work up to that point. For example, being able to kite a pop NM that happened to nut up one day, or losing your tanks in an unfortunate series of moves in some event. It meant that we were able to use what time we had available to try and recover when the only other alternative would have been to call it a wipe and lose your pop item or just call the event a wipe and start over in 2-3 days.


I feel the same way. I enjoyed being able to raise in combat and because I enjoyed it, I think FFXI had the right balance of penalties for death. To avoid the abuse of this system, weakness and exp lost was a good combination.

Quote:
"oh this place might be dangerous, i have to pay attention coz i might die"
or
"i dont freaking care, when I die and reraise myself, i dont lose EXP and I just pop a few Hi Potion and I could kill that ******* again"


Yes I would much rather have a risk involved than to not care at all while playing a game. Kinda like many people would not gamble if losing was not an option. The ability to lose in gambling adds some risk (or fun) to the game, as it would be kind of dull if you just won all the time.

I do agree that penalties can be excessive, but I don't think FFXI was at that point. I can think of much harsh penalties then what FFXI had. I think what made FFXI death penalties seem harsher then what it was, was the time consuming nature of the game. With a better travel system among other things, I think some people would see the penalties in another light. Some people don't want to be punished at all, and I understand that, I just don't agree with that logic. I think it serves a much greater good in mechanics even if it annoys you.

Quote:
For the people with plenty of time to play in FFXI, death was trivial. For those who could maybe only play an hour here and there, it simply isn't an option. No amount of personal intelligence can prevent all deaths. Frankly, I hate paying for other peoples' mistakes. Even worse when they whine about the situation being someone else's fault. Death isn't a teacher. It's a poor substitute for communication between players or even the game design itself.


This is very much true, and I admit that for the causal gamer's, death was more of an issue. I again relate this to FFXI time consuming nature, and I think in FFXIV it will be different. FFXI didn't have a good transportation system and basically everything took time, which probably won't be the case this time around. Which is part of the reason why I hope the penalties stay around.

I would much rather (and actually hope) these penalties stay and the ability to raise in combat also remains. It adds risk to the game and inserts a level of care into your actions. With a better overall game (aka less time consuming) the penalties would actually be less annoying to many people.



#22 Nov 18 2009 at 2:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Time lost comes from more than just running back to camp or wherever, though. The EXP component is an obvious one, and I say XI'ers have trivialized death penalties with the merit point standard of "it's just a couple mobs" while some even force eating R1s in events unless you spend more time and money to get RR items you might not actually need. But yeah, the time lost also jumps into financial expenses for food, tools, and meds. Repeatedly having to pay for these at the expense of others means you're not progressing toward purchased equipment as swiftly, or worse, have to spend a lot more time farming and not enjoying the game just to achieve some sort of standard of acceptability.

Weakness is enough. You get 5 minutes to sit back (if you can) and think about what went wrong. Did you pull hate at the wrong time? Was the healer slacking? Maybe the puller didn't take their MP into account. Could've just been stupid bad luck, too. "Sweet, now I have an appointment with colibri!" isn't something I say after eating a death.
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#23 Nov 18 2009 at 4:59 PM Rating: Good
Failure is its own punishment. Designing a system that lets you zerg your way to victory would be ideal, but there are ways to prevent that that don't result in a, "Ho-hum might as well go afk for the next 5-10 minutes since I can't do anything" situation.

What SE may or may not have overlooked with the xp penalty/deleveling in FFXI is that there are a lot of situations where death can occur that are beyond the control of individual players. Healer/tank disconnecting is not an indication that someone did something wrong, yet the group is likely to be penalized for it. It could have been a freak power spike, highly uncommon ISP issue with a particular player, or something else that don't reflect in any way on the players skill, focus, or any other measure of aptitude.

Punishment is handed down for people who do something wrong that creates consequences for other people. If I go and steal some guy's car and wrap it around a telephone pole, I deserve to be punished. What would you say about a system that put him in jail as well because he forgot to lock his doors or neglected to get a satellite tracking/immobilization system?

Time spent recovering from a wipe is a natural penalty for failure. XP loss/deleveling is a coded punishment. I'd prefer not to be punished for someone else's mistake, and I'd prefer that others not be punished for mine. Penalize the team for not succeeding, but don't punish them.
#24 Nov 18 2009 at 5:06 PM Rating: Good
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XI's death penalty is fine. It provides reasons to exp, and it keeps you on your toes at all times... it's just a shame that Utsusemi kinda broke the system to such an extent that you could just /NIN and increase your survivability tenfold.

All I'd say for XIV is make reraise a tad easier to come by. No reraise earrings or rings... just potions or scrolls. Keep the crafts rocking. I never liked that enchanted gear, it always seemed a bit pointless. Just make it a standard item already.
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#25 Nov 18 2009 at 5:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I read someone say punishment is needed. WHY IN THE **** SHOULD A VIDEO GAME EVEEEEEEEEEEER PUNISH THEIR PLAYERS? Sorry had to spaz on something awful.

I'll edit after I've read the whole thread.

EDIT: Yeah so lots of people saying punishment is fine. Must be masochists :*(

Death and the time spent going back to where you were is its own punishment, the time to regroup, rebuff etc. I shouldn't have to have a rez sickness and an exp loss on top of it. I'm somewhat OK with gil loss as long as it isnt massive or something rediculous(and only because with no form of death penalty to many people would be crying). Punishment effects those with the least amount of time the most and the most amount of time the least.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I know when I played FFXI death meant a whole freaking lot, but not in a good way. It didn't make me a better player, in any video game I do my best to play my best. All death was in FFXI was yet ANOTHER time sink.

I hope this discussion is moot though, as I am feeling a little hopefully of SE learning that punishing your playerbase isn't a good way to make them play the game. I left FFXI after 3 years of off and on playing due to feeling like the devs didn't actually want anyone to play their game, I know others feel the same. I'm pretty much giving SE the benifit here that 14 will be different. (probably a mistake on my part but oh well)

Edited, Nov 18th 2009 5:54pm by shaani
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#26 Nov 18 2009 at 7:02 PM Rating: Decent
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just get rid of xp loss and weakness...

a "fake" weakness of 1 mn where you can't act -make it drop 1 durability on items so everyone is (un)happy- and mobs can't act on you either would most likely be enough to prevent massive zerg...

as for difficulty, i'm not even sure it exist in ff11... if you can't solo it, bring a party, if it's too hard, bring an alliance, and if it still don't works, bring a <insert overpowered job> alliance.

who care for that kind of difficulty ? who want to fight things for hours and dying multiples times in the process ?

i don't want something extremly difficult, that i would have to do 50 times to win, but even then win only because i was lucky.
"challenging" should be enough of a difficulty for most things, that with any decent party playing well you have more than 60% chances to win, and not being randomly screwed by the game even if you played perfectly.

and even if some difficulty is important, the main point is that it should be fun. there were too few fun fights in ff11
#27 Nov 18 2009 at 7:47 PM Rating: Decent
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I'd be ok without xp/skill/gil loss if they keep weakness in place. A lot of people want them to do away with any sort of punishment. Some don't like weakness becuase "can't do anything for 5-10 min so might as well go afk". Ever think that's exactly what it's supposed to make you do? Get away from the game for a quick break and cool off a bit. Get a glass of water or a cup of coffee. Keep you from breaking your keyboard..
#28 Nov 18 2009 at 8:56 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
What SE may or may not have overlooked with the xp penalty/deleveling in FFXI is that there are a lot of situations where death can occur that are beyond the control of individual players.


I think this doesn't make a bit of difference, regardless of who fault it was the bottom line is, you died. Very rarely unless your by yourself, is it really 100% your fault why you died. It usually is a multiple of reasons and people that caused you to die. I just see this as a "this is not fair" type of argument, but everything is not always fair. You pick the people you group with, and maybe you picked the wrong people. With that said, I think an improved game (less time sinks and better transportation) will indirectly lessen the sting of the penalties for dieing. Less time sinks meaning content for the causal players and not every single event taking a longtime in order to be completed. This way the player that only players for an hour wont have to subject themselves to long exp parties just because they died a lot.

I like penalties that effect everyone and every job. If the game only had weakness as a death penalty, I feel that it would not effect the healers at all. Even with a weakened mp pool, they could still somewhat effectively do their job, and also heal from outside of the party or alliance. I also feel many people wouldn't care about dieing, who cares about being weakened for 3-5min. I know I wouldn't have a care in the world if weakness was the only penalty. Many times I would just HP and go back if weakness was the only penalty, why not if you can get back in probably 5 minutes.
#29 Nov 18 2009 at 9:51 PM Rating: Good
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Lessened HP and MP isn't the only thing Weakness can do, and FFXI even has added caveats to it like slowed melee attack speed and increased recast times. Gussy that up further with slowed casting times, perhaps inhibited movement, and like with double weakness doing crap nuke/ranged damage, and you pretty much have a reason not to die, let alone repeatedly. They couldn't even design mobs where people dying can affect drop rates negatively or "level up" the thing so it just gets harder.
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#30 Nov 18 2009 at 10:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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I like penalties that effect everyone and every job. If the game only had weakness as a death penalty, I feel that it would not effect the healers at all. Even with a weakened mp pool, they could still somewhat effectively do their job, and also heal from outside of the party or alliance.


It took me a couple minutes to figure out why this statement sounded so weird.

When we're talking about weakness, we inherently mean a weakness that affects everyone equally.
XI is a bad example of implementing weakness, not because the weakness itself isn't equal, but certain gameplay mechanics remain relatively untouched by it. While it's true, in most weakness systems tanks consistently end up getting the shorter end of the stick and casters tend to have a little boone, the contrast is rarely so stark one job is crippled while another is barely affected.



Edited, Nov 18th 2009 11:25pm by Zemzelette
#31 Nov 19 2009 at 12:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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I have to admit, the XP loss was pretty tedius at times, especially back when I levelled BST. Mischarms, links and deaths were pretty common as BST, and if you were unlucky enough die just as your RR wore, that could set you back upto an hours worth of XP'ing.

As for Weakened status, although a bit frustrating at times, I could see the point in it, and didnt mind it so much. Afterall we need some kind of penalty for dying, be it XP loss or Weakened (though I think both is a bit harsh) otherwise RR would be exploited, and there would be little or no challenge in fighting the harder NMs, or playing through the tougher missions.

That bard RR song for example could be kept up full time, whilst your alliance just throws wave after wave of continously reraising party members at some big nasty HNM. There would be little skill involved, and no challenge, but eventually you would win regardless. So yeah, although its frustrating at times, personally I feel that there should be some kind of penalty for dying.
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#32 Nov 19 2009 at 2:19 AM Rating: Default
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Nalamwen wrote:
FFXI had the right idea it just went too far. Way too far. I don't want to be right where I left off after dying after only 30 seconds. The game would end up being flooded with noobish *** holes that don't give a crap. However, FFXI was too extreme. Too unforgiving. The game **** near demanded perfection and created perfectionist cowards.


Faulty logic. You incorrectly assume that having an overly punishing death penalty prevents terribads from joining the game. That isn't the case.
#33 Nov 19 2009 at 2:33 AM Rating: Excellent
Nalamwen wrote:
I'd be ok without xp/skill/gil loss if they keep weakness in place. A lot of people want them to do away with any sort of punishment. Some don't like weakness becuase "can't do anything for 5-10 min so might as well go afk". Ever think that's exactly what it's supposed to make you do? Get away from the game for a quick break and cool off a bit. Get a glass of water or a cup of coffee. Keep you from breaking your keyboard..


Again...there are natural penalties associated with dying. Game developers have no business encouraging people to go cool off...I'd like to think that most people don't have such temper issues that they can't shrug off a death without flying into a keyboard smashing rage. Maybe not bludgeoning people with unnecessary punishments for dying would be a good way to keep from pushing marginally stable people over the edge.

The rez weakness is a way to prevent people from zerging encounters. Not only was it unsuccessful at discouraging such practices, there are better ways to do that than making you functionally useless for <x> amount of time after you die.

There were a lot of things about FFXI that we justified because we had to. Rez sickness, xp loss, and deleveling were parts of the game that we couldn't change. Now that we're talking about a new game, we don't have to cling to the lame rationalizations we cooked up for ourselves in order to justify why we tolerated such punishment.
#34 Nov 19 2009 at 3:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'd be ok without xp/skill/gil loss if they keep weakness in place. A lot of people want them to do away with any sort of punishment. Some don't like weakness becuase "can't do anything for 5-10 min so might as well go afk". Ever think that's exactly what it's supposed to make you do? Get away from the game for a quick break and cool off a bit. Get a glass of water or a cup of coffee. Keep you from breaking your keyboard..


It's not so much "going afk for 5-10 minutes" as "I can't do anything useful for my group for 5-10 minutes, but I can't actually go afk just in case something wanders over while I'm gone and pounds my face into the ground, so I have to stay and play the game while not actually playing it."

And if anybody gets THAT mad over a video game...I don't know what to say. =/
#35 Nov 19 2009 at 8:03 AM Rating: Decent
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I think this is one of those situations where we have to acknowledge that it is simply a matter of degrees, and that different people are going to prefer different degrees of what has been alternately called "difficulty" and "challenge" and "punishment," etc, within this thread.

The bottom line is that we all like one thing or another about FFXI, but we all have things we want to change about it and hope that FFXIV does differently. No single one of us will be 100% happy with everything. Interesting discussion though about the philosophy of gameplay design. I think there are at least 20 unique posters in this thread, with probably 21 different opinions about the matter. :)

But I think SE should do what *I* want.
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#36 Nov 19 2009 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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I have a feeling that our gear is going to be the basis for the deaths in FF14. If we really are going to be running off a degrade over time system then it's only reasonable that when we die our armor/weapons are going to take a durability hit.

Equipment upkeep is going to be needed but the crafting kind of concerns me. Granted there is probably going to be level requirements to work different materials but I hope that the system is forgiving enough that armor/weapons cannot be lost during repair. I hope that skilling up your craft is not going to be as painful as it was in FFXI

Equipment degradation itself can be taken in two paths also which could make or break the game depending on the above point about crafts. There is the WoW model where your equips have a durability which makes the armor unwearable upon depletion and there is the Elder Scrolls version where the equipment's stats decrease as the durability is lowered. Where as the second one is more realistic, it put far too much emphasis on keeping your equips in tip top shape at any given time. This is especially true if there are named equips which cannot be repaired or require special skills to repair that could lead to amazing weapons that almost never see use because of the fear of degradation. If the latter concept is adopted also I hope that when a piece of equipment reaches 0 durability it is just unusable instead of destroyed.
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#37 Nov 19 2009 at 2:58 PM Rating: Good
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Multidude wrote:
Equipment degradation itself can be taken in two paths also which could make or break the game depending on the above point about crafts. There is the WoW model where your equips have a durability which makes the armor unwearable upon depletion and there is the Elder Scrolls version where the equipment's stats decrease as the durability is lowered.


I'm pretty sure when durability reaches 0 in the TES series the piece of equipment becomes unwearable as well. At least that's how it works in Oblivion, I don't remember if that's the case in Morrowind too.
#38 Nov 19 2009 at 7:10 PM Rating: Default
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ok.. wall of text. i would like to adress two things about this topic. first, i will throw my hat into the ring when it comes to the argument at hand. At first, when i was a newbie to FFXI, about a year after it came out.. i found dying, losing xp and de-leveling, very, very annoying. I remember it so clearly.. i had just reached jeuno.. level up my drk to about 30ish.. go through garliage and what not.. then it came to partying in crawlers nest.. i went from level 40 all the way down to 35.. with barely any gear to use at 35 (we got lost, bad tanks.. etc) needless to say, i had to farm all my gil and gear, level all the way back, only to delevel again.. I thought to myself.. why would a have a 9 hour marathon, only to lose all my work from 2 hours of bad playing, only to repeat the process.. i quite the game. When i came back, i realized that in order to avoid those type of situations, one always had to be prepared, had to plan ahead, and not be wreckless. You had to save gear, be careful through treacherous areas, and make sure you understood your surroundings. If one took there time, planned, and strategized for all situations, many times it ended up in success, whether it was end game, partyiong, or just a bcnm 30. Now, im not saying that losing an entire level was AWESOME! it sucked, but it could be avoided.. it was up to the player to get passed that, and i think that thats what ADDED TO THE DIFFICULTY of the game. Once i had an understanding of that, it was fun to get passed IT++ mobs and live while exploring, it was very fun to get to know people you could depend upon to not get you killed. I feel like the punishment is there for those who cannot surpass the difficulty.
Regarding weakend state. you cant eliminate it, or parties would just zerg everything. everyone would just play mnk and activate 100 fist and rape (i know im generalizing but you get the point).
Now.. for people that hate the weakend state, and losing exp and de levelling.. your voice must be heard. SE cant just stick their middle finger in the air with regards to what half the playerbase wants. so, i think it would behoove them to make the punishment, come with some sort of reward.
For example: say you are soloing.. and you level up.. you are 1457 exp into your next level.. you die. as a white mage, i dont think the punishment should be that you are just weakend in hp, mp and attributes, but maybe take away the principle abilites of a job, I.e. the ability to heal. the player can still put up a fight IF THEY ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO, but they arent a sitting duck either. the player must decide, which ties into my previous rambling. with planning and understanding, you could make the right decision.
Now. De-leveling. this is what i really wanted to talk about. after that first death, you go from 1457 exp to 105. you die again. instead of de leveling, i think they should make a mini-game out of it. if you pass the test, u start at 0 exp but dont lose your level, if u fail, u were given a second opportunity, but didnt succeed, so the punishment is now due.
What i always thought would be anawesome mini-game would be if the player entered the underworld and had to fight/quest/puzzle their way out of the level capped underworld instance. if ur about to de level to 73, u do the lvl 73 underworld mission... if u escape, no penalty except the initial exp loss.. i mean think about how cool that would be.. ur basically battling for your soul to maintain its worth.. could actuallybe fun too.

sorry for the ranting, raving, and rambling.

peace
#39 Nov 20 2009 at 12:01 AM Rating: Good
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dude make some line breaks so I can read your **** wall of text
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#40 Nov 20 2009 at 12:12 AM Rating: Decent
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FFXI did it right in respect to punishment for dieing, except for leveling down.
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#41 Nov 20 2009 at 3:12 AM Rating: Good
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ok.. wall of text.


Sad that you knew it was a wall and didn't to break it down into bricks.



Quote:
FFXI did it right in respect to punishment for dieing, except for leveling down.


I guess I agree with the opposite part... ish

I don't mind the exp loss, but for weakness it breaks down into two situations for me:

1) You're in a party doing a group event like BCNM etc. trying to down some very nasty monster.


2) You're out soloing alone in the world, trying to get some exp or just exploring.




In the first case the weakness gives you a time out from the fight for a while. In those fights the balance would be off if poeple could just raised up again and continue fighting as if nothing happend.

In the second case there is no situation that might become unbalanced by raising with no weakness. I don't see the point of waiting around forever here.

Edited, Nov 20th 2009 10:43am by RedGalka
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#42 Nov 20 2009 at 5:11 AM Rating: Good
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RedGalka wrote:
I don't mind the exp loss, but for weakness it breaks down into two situations for me:

1) You're in a party doing a group event like BCNM etc. trying to down some very nasty monster.


2) You're out soloing alone in the world, trying to get some exp or just exploring.



In the first case the weakness gives you a time out from the fight for a while. In those fights the balance would be off if poeple could just raised up again and continue fighting as if nothing happend.

In the second case there is no situation that might become unbalanced by raising with no weakness. I don't see the point of waiting around forever here.

A valid point. Which begs the question... Why isn't Weakness something that a BCNM or whatever applies when it kills you? Instead of something you have whenever you rez.

Talking about that reminded me of something from World of Warcraft. While Blizzard does not do it anymore, there used to be non-instanced raid bosses in the original game. How did Blizzard prevent people from corpse rushing the boss until it died?

If you had been killed by a World Boss within the past 15 minutes (gasp, a harsher penalty than FFXI's Weakness) and resurrected by someone other than a healer, and attempted to go into combat with one of the World Bosses, you would be affected by a spell every 4 seconds which would incapacitate you for 7 minutes, and more or less make you dragon or demon food. Depending on the boss it was different effects, such as putting the person to sleep, or incasing them in a block of ice, or for one demon, putting a curse on you which would outright just kill you again.

The same rough concept as Weakness, except it didn't interfere with exping or exploring.
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#43 Nov 20 2009 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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I'm pretty sure when durability reaches 0 in the TES series the piece of equipment becomes unwearable as well. At least that's how it works in Oblivion, I don't remember if that's the case in Morrowind too.


Yes. This is correct. I hope that we will just have to deal with that rather than see our hard earned equips get destroyed since the classic skills like weapon and armor break will probably deal durability damage to equipment in XIV.
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#44 Nov 20 2009 at 2:55 PM Rating: Decent
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RedGalka wrote:
Quote:
ok.. wall of text.


Sad that you knew it was a wall and didn't to break it down into bricks.



Quote:
FFXI did it right in respect to punishment for dieing, except for leveling down.


I guess I agree with the opposite part... ish

I don't mind the exp loss, but for weakness it breaks down into two situations for me:

1) You're in a party doing a group event like BCNM etc. trying to down some very nasty monster.


2) You're out soloing alone in the world, trying to get some exp or just exploring.




In the first case the weakness gives you a time out from the fight for a while. In those fights the balance would be off if poeple could just raised up again and continue fighting as if nothing happend.

In the second case there is no situation that might become unbalanced by raising with no weakness. I don't see the point of waiting around forever here.

Edited, Nov 20th 2009 10:43am by RedGalka


The advantage that would be granted by letting you raise without weakness in the first situation is vastly overpowered, whereas the disadvantage of having to wait 5-7 minutes before doing anything in the second situation is only a minor inconvenience. BCNMs aren't the only place where it would be abused. I have personally seen HNMs zombied to death by throwing a bunch of blms and rngs at it before. It was tactics like these that caused them to add the increased delay and double weakness things. If there was absolutely no weakness at all then you could zombie many hard monsters to death and there would be almost no strategy required.

It's an inconvenience, yes, but I like it better than the alternative.
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#45 Nov 20 2009 at 3:23 PM Rating: Decent
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I just think they should just split up the cases. It doesn't have to be so black & white.

For example only enable the Weakness feature when:

1) In a party/alliance
+
2) For person who has weakness: until the timer fades or until the whole party/alliance doesn't have agro anymore. And Weakness can't fade from losing agro if you're removed from the party/alliance to avoid cheating.
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#46 Nov 20 2009 at 4:14 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:
I just think they should just split up the cases. It doesn't have to be so black & white.

For example only enable the Weakness feature when:

1) In a party/alliance
+
2) For person who has weakness: until the timer fades or until the whole party/alliance doesn't have agro anymore. And Weakness can't fade from losing agro if you're removed from the party/alliance to avoid cheating.


Stuff like this has to be well thought out or it will result in people taking advantage of the system. Like for example, in this scenario, people could just disband from the party/alliance right before they die. Usually you know when you are about to die, its easy to just disband and then re-raise with no weakness at all. This is why black and white is the best option (I think) for these type of penalties. That way you have no-one abusing the system and everyone is held to the same standards.

I do agree with somebody else said though. I think the exp lost should of been universal, and the different tiers of raise just shorten the weakness time. R3 could of shortened the time to maybe 3mins, R2 4mins, and R1 5mins, but the exp taking is the same. This could of even added a little more strategy to the game. After a full wipe you could r3 all yo tanks, so they got unweakened faster, and stuff like that. Instead of people acting like they afk until they got a r3 because of the exp and stuff.

Edited, Nov 20th 2009 5:21pm by HocusP
#47 Nov 20 2009 at 5:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Now, even though it's off-topic, I want to comment on the death penalties...

With the Final Fantasy franchise, there's ample precedence for resurrection during battle. Raise, Life, Phoenix Downs; all have been intended to allow you to continue playing mid-battle. Obviously with many games, item-based raising was a rare win from enemies, making these items too valuable to toss around indiscriminately. Likewise, raising generally cost a large amount (base or percentage) of the caster's MP, and all but the most powerful restored a player with HP/MP too low to survive long.

However, rather than "breaking" these scenarios, it encouraged you to time your playing to have one character raise and others use healing spells/items to restore the health of the downed character. Promotion of teamwork, good.

I think it's acceptable to utilize a similar scenario for an MMO. Make it difficult/costly to raise during battle; raise the risk of re-death unless other players are standing by to heal the health and/or weakness impact of death. Some amount of "deal with it later" penalty such as extra durability loss. These things encourage you not to die, and encourage players to keep each other alive. At the same time, one player dying doesn't delay things too much, such as some players had during 20-minute runs through dangerous territory to rejoin the group.

I would also suggest that raising out of combat be easier, even going so far as automatically restoring the downed character to life with 1 HP, such that they only need to be healed or rest. This still encourages a delay of sorts (recovering MP or HP), but reduces it to non-stressful levels.

Where I believe a strong consequence for death should remain is with full party death. Just like letting all your characters fall sends you back to your last save, letting all your characters fall should send you back to a previous point. These are our "save points". I will suggest that the party should be sent to the same point - while this may lead to small abuses like death-teleports, having the group stay together outweighs that flaw. Perhaps have it send all the players to the nearest aetheryte crystal to the party. You can even lose all your party progress / winnings since the last time you touched the crystal, just like a save point. Whatever.

Death in a game needs consequences, true. But please remember that the point of a game is to have fun. De-levelling, 20-minute runs, death after death... These things neither encourage nor offer fun. They cause delays, irritation, and inevitably - throwing the controller across the room. Nobody says, "Well, I just dropped a level and can't play with this group anymore. I accept that as fair cost for enjoying the last 20 hours of killing the same mobs." Keep the challenge in the strategy of the fight. That's where the fun is.

---------

I believe Square does understand and appreciate the changes in the MMO culture, particularly our need to balance our lives with a few hours of gameplay per day. The addition of the Blacksmith role, and their comments about this character's place in a party suggest that durability loss will be more rapid than in other games, possibly as much as requiring repair every hour. Players will either have to return to town on a regular basis or bring a blacksmith to keep their gear strong. Again, an example where players who are prepared can avoid delays and irritation.

---------

As for punishment vs. difficulty... I'm going to agree with people who are comparing this to penalties for death, but also with players who are referring to the two as different things.

You're both right.

Losing levels, resurrection weakness, durability loss... All are penalties (negative reinforcement) to encourage you to avoid things which are "bad".

Encounters which become progressively more and more challenging are difficult.

There's a third aspect, positive reinforcement, which is present in rewards: Completing a challenge, a mission, a difficult fight; these things earn you gil, gear, items, and access to new challenges. They make you feel happy, which makes you want to repeat the experience.

I'd welcome any psychology experts to offer the tried-and-true knowledge, but from my limited studies, the strongest and most effective methods will minimize negative reinforcement, maximize positive reinforcement, and balance the difficulty to keep enjoyment and stress equally balanced in relation to the relative challenge.

Example: You start the game. No idea what you're doing, so the game tells you "here's how to move!" Oh, easy. Okay. Let's move around. Now what? "I have a quest! Walk over and talk to that guy!" Okay, that was easy. And I got a dagger! I want to do another quest.

Now you're walking out of town. What will happen? Oh no, a rat attacks! "Press 1 to strike it!" Oh. Well, that's easy. Stabbity stab, rat dead. 5 gil! Let's kill another!

20 rats later... You're bored. What can you do? The one time you tried to attack the next hardest enemy, you got owned. With easy enemies, the stress is gone, the challenge is gone, the impact of the reward is wearing off. With difficult ones, the stress is too high. Now, they could go negative, and if you don't kill a rat within 10 minutes, take away some gil or experience. How will that affect you? "This game sucks, I quit."

So instead, they say, "Go a little further. Those are only a little harder." Again, you feel like you have to be on your toes, but you're not in serious danger as long as you pay attention. Better rewards. You start to think, "if I kill 20 of these, I can kill 20 of something else, and something else, and start making a lot of money".

It's a simple example - you won't be satisfied killing 20 of each thing forever. But it highlights the carrot-on-a-stick example. Keep new rewards just at the limit of your current ability, introduce new challenges (particularly strategically, things that require you to respond in a new way...)

Punishments should be reserved for things you're not allowed to do, such as cheating.

Challenges - and on the note of the person who brought up Warcraft "hard modes", yes - and the correlating rewards are what will bring people in, keep people in, and let people enjoy the game.
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#48 Nov 20 2009 at 10:49 PM Rating: Good
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homeschoolzam wrote:
A lot of stuff


Yeah I read it all actually and agree.
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#49 Nov 21 2009 at 6:43 AM Rating: Good
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Lets have it be like original PSO where if you die, You drop your armor and weapons and money on the ground, and other players are free to pick them up.


Oh god, The Horror.
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#50 Nov 21 2009 at 10:52 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I think it's acceptable to utilize a similar scenario for an MMO. Make it difficult/costly to raise during battle; raise the risk of re-death unless other players are standing by to heal the health and/or weakness impact of death. Some amount of "deal with it later" penalty such as extra durability loss. These things encourage you not to die, and encourage players to keep each other alive. At the same time, one player dying doesn't delay things too much, such as some players had during 20-minute runs through dangerous territory to rejoin the group.


That works in a single player game, not a game with 50 other people around you. There is no mp cost great enough that can really hinder a LS fighting something. Especially when only 18 is in the main alliance, and the other 20+ or so is just sitting there waiting anyway (FFXI Terms). All that does is punish the smaller linkshells that doesn't want to zerg everything down. That is something that might work in a couple situations, but a death penalty has to work in all situations or not work at all (in my opinion). At least in FFXI rather you was solo, or in a party, or at a linkshell event with 50 people there, the death penalty still had the same impact (or at least very similar). You still lost the exp and you still was weakened.

I wouldn't want a death system that varys, people would just abuse the system.

Quote:
Where I believe a strong consequence for death should remain is with full party death.


Instead of letting their party full wipe (because that would be the harshest penalty in your plan), people would just bring an extra character, sorta like a pler, but with the job of raising someone before the whole party wipes.

Quote:
Death in a game needs consequences, true. But please remember that the point of a game is to have fun.


The point of playing basketball is to have fun too, but not everything in basketball is fun either. Stuff like training and the working out etc. A game is not fun 100% of the time, rather that be real life games or video-games. You actually make the game more fun because you put a little bit of care into your actions. I guarantee you will have more fun when you achieve something that you care about, rather then just going through the motions of something you have no care in the world for. Kind of like all that training and working out in basketball makes you appreciate the game more, which results in more fun when you actually see success in the games.

Or maybe thats just me, it could be just me. I know some people though that wouldn't be happy unless they started the game with everything they wanted. Unless they could press a button and get every item and go to every place they wanted, they would always find something to complain. Think about your actions and put a little effort in, and you gain a better appreciation for the stuff that you achieve. I have never played a game that gave me the same feeling when I hit 75, or when I achieved a lot of the stuff I did in FFXI. I know many people that feel the same way. They always say no game ever before or since has given them the feeling that FFXI did. These people never looked to why they got that feeling though, when they accomplished something. Its because it took effort to accomplish what they got.

I ranted a little bit, but I just hope FFXIV has the same feeling with accomplishments that FFXI had. No penalties, and everything handed to you, is no fun at all.

#51 Nov 21 2009 at 1:40 PM Rating: Decent
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I haven't visited this forum in some time, but have game developers actually release the actual game progression mechanism for individual characters and Linkshells (Guild whatever they may be called) yet?
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