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 Post subject: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 10:50 pm 
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Mortal

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 8:41 pm
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I doubt many of you remember me. I haven't been around in a while. I quit playing shortly after returning from the player-wipe, and have tinkered around with the game on several occasions since then, being sucked back into the 1 dimensional spam fest that I feel in love with so many years ago, mainly because of nostalgia reasons, but also because of the people. I have so many fond memories of this game that I can't even play nowadays main stream titles without thinking back to my roots in Distant Lands, and then wishing to myself that things could go back to the way they once were. The zones are are moved around now, the items changed, and a great deal of life in the game turned on its head from what I remember. But of all the irks this game has, the only one that constantly reminds me of why I can't stick with it, is the constitution loss and threat of permanent death.

I started playing this game when I was in the 8th grade. I think I was 13 years old. I'm 23 now. Still young yet, compared to some of you old fogies :P, but that's a great deal of time to have associated with any one game. Granted, the past few years have seen me completely ignore this game, as have many others for similar reasons, but nonetheless I have devoted almost half of my life to exploring, roleplaying, fighting, and even building and running quests on my old Game Master in this remarkable little world.

But the game has taken a turn for the worse with this new way of playing. I see it has the major reason why so many people who used to play no longer do. I also see it as the main reason why a great deal of new players don't stick with the game. It's the reason I don't. Granted, this time around I may put up with it. But is that the way you want your players to feel about your game? "Putting up" with a problem? What bothers me most is that it hasn't changed to this point yet!

It is far to easy to die in this game. But that can be overlooked if all you have to worry about when dying is a long wait to resurrect, broken and/or lost gear, and possibly a timed attribute demotion. But to lose a constitution point for death, which is one of the most important attributes in the game for building a well-rounded character, is quite extreme. But not only that, when you run out of constitution and you die, you die for good! That's it. All that work, all that roleplaying - gone just like that because you may have been unable to flee before a mage's spell hit you. Or you missed a bash and fell down and were stomped by a dragon.

And before you say it has been addressed - and that remedies have been implemented to counter the effects of con loss - I must say, it's a bit counter-productive. The idea is simply a flawed one. So to even sit down and put together potions that add constitution, or the use of MPP's to replace lost con points, doesn't fix the problem. I don't want to use MPP's on regaining lost con from death so that my character can continue to play and live. I want to use those on further empowering him/her. I want to use those on gaining the ability to cast a cleric spell on a mage character or visa-versa. I want to use those on maxing out my normal spells and skills so that I truly am a master with a weapon, and not just "95/100" with it. I want to eliminate that 5% chance to miss, not counteract the fact that my next Anastassia run may be my last.

Even being as careful as I try to be, the margin of error for my skills and spells is so large that I do still die from time to time. And at this rate, my level 20 mage won't see level 50. And even if he does, when he gets to that point his health will be so low, that in hand to hand combat he will be the combatant equivalent of a paralyzed kitten. I just don't see how that is desirable.

I've been typing this for a while now though so I'm going to go for now. I'll post some ideas for how I would like to replace this death penalty with another later on. I do believe dying should have a penalty, if not more than one. Experience loss wasn't bad, but wasn't perfect either. But it was still better than this, because at least I didn't have to worry about dying to level 1 from 99. It only meant a few more hours of grinding - not a few more months.


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:15 am 
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Whereas most people would adress your gosh, introduction to the
constitutional point system in a rp envirement vs the level less of pervious institutions.
And oh brother you left me a tsuami of rolling insurances about
fragile nuances quite particular to our beloved world. Prepare to be indulged in the finest of distant lands idiotism, by yours truely
gooey.

See I'm on the totally opposite side of the viewpoint here, in fact I'm one of the "few" remaining people whom has a serious problem with survivalism. In fact on my extremely bad days, it was quite possible I've endured a four in one day memorial services for myself..

So, whereas you think it is a flawed charateristic, my impression is that it remains the utter most unique signature to a Distant Lands player. Abide you me, as others are well aware of (say even severely dissapointed too), the attain top ranking you've gotta endure a gauntlet of incredibly well measured quests while simultaneously during each critical juncture of measure increasement, one has to display a renewed and distinct form of quality roleplay........
There periods are adding up.
Because, the game itself revolves around the essence of roleplaying,
not maintaining a character throughout the time spent within the game itself. In fact to dissect it a little futher, they're trying to make it so our world requires to art of storytelling and sharing, this itself isn't anything achievable by anyone just starting off in the diverse coding here. Unless you've got one heck of a buddy.

It's quite possibly I could go on and on with variables that a constitutional loss roll mud is actually benificial, for last examples,
Previously, you could keep that same character and regain the lost levels, but even then it was a process in itself if you wern't rather decscent at knowing your own limits. In fact it wasn't unheard of that some dummy lost ten whole levels in a matter of weeks. There were people actually killing themselves from the brink of 90's levels down to
early levels, quite low even as five to my recollection, just to do it all over again.
Now, when you actually stick to the shift and really permakill your
character, whamo you really gotta reroll unless you prepared for this instance.
Seriously which system sounds more honerable, quite frankly people were obviously getting bored previously. Now it's obvious which of the adventurers here are the elite vs the amature. And this isn't a means to rub it in, because believe you me I'm not at the prime of my game at all. I'm a frequent flyer upon the mistake express.
In fact we go through periods where we share these apples and potiont to relieve elder members pains and whoes throughout their career here...


See I didn't counter once that the measures taken have alieviated the so called problem, moreso than a popular myth. It is possible that people have parted with the game for such reasons, even after giving it a whirl and dying. But in the long run of schemes, that wouldn't be the only thing such people find displeasing. I already here whimpers of how the roleplay system is a mistake too...
That's where most of my fondest memories aside from forged friendships have been spent.

Furthermore for due reading you need to catch up on in the forums.
I believe Dref suggested a system of practice/gold/mpp system exchange, on a 1/100/1000 basis, and even Nezmar collaborated briefly on this to mention it could quite possibly be seen implemented in the future. So they really did adress it to you, now you wouldn't have to spend our precious Mpp's, but unlike you mine isn't to get a 5 percent mastery, I enjoy being not perfect and mortal, my wheels are circular. I keep all my Mpp's like girlscout badges, paid with painstaking honour :D.

So now you see why I'm the games blabermouth, you've got plenty of stuff to chew on and such. To me, it's better than it was back then, and I'm apprently from then.
Back then I never dreamed of
*droping an anvil above the fountain, although I did depict my gnome with 99 red baloons floating by, they actually gave them to me before I pwiped like you, but Malifxaxis never poped them while I was floating, nor was I in mid-air flight.
*I'd go a ride in Turien faire, or drink freely from the Turien vat in the fields. Let alone fish somewhere aside from Turien lake or that sewege vent puddle, the topiary of the priestood gardens is quite calmer than the rapids of northern Rocksport rivers.
I better stop with two.

Anyways, debate all you'd like,
I'll defend in likewise fashion.
Besides this isn't the only MUD out there,
It is just the most addictive one yet to surface.

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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:43 am 
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i think this issue has been brought up alot...since it is an odd rule and one that gets to people who try to play the game for gaining levels and equipment, and less dealing with "in character" types of situations.

From what I have noticed, DL has gone from a power struggle hack-n-slash type game, to a RP fantasy game, almost as if it were Dungeons N Dragons with a lil better graphics for the imagination...So I agree with both sides on this matter...of course, Quali was able to express his views in simple text...I was lost half way through Gooey's paper with all of the fancy talk.

There does need to be a downside to dying, not just dying and coming right back...i think if we get rid of one problem with dying, it is the wait after you die...losing the CON is ot bad, because I would like to see people die all the way and not be able to come back...but it is a headache if I die and have to wait 5 minutes before coming back, only to find all my stuff is gone and I probobly won't get it back.

OK, done ranting :D

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"The dancing men won't let me in to TRVL"


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:42 pm 
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This topic has been discussed many times and we are always open to new ideas, it has been continually adjusted over the years. That said we believe firmly that death must have the potential of long term significance. In other words, sometimes death matters. Do you not see enough compromise here?

How often is a death unimportant in the real world?

Best regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Of course death matters. And of course it should have penalties. I tried to be clear that it should. What point would there be to a game where there were no consequences? Of course death should have a large impact on roleplaying. But how often, when I did roleplay, did I die? Not often. When roleplaying, as a matter of fact, I was rarely ever fighting. Unless of course Nas or Belados or some other member of CoD (me at one point) started causing problems and needed to be dealt with. Those guys tore me up. If I had lost con points for THAT, I would be fine with it. Because that is when I think something as important as my character's future and life should suffer a penalty for death. Not when I'm running through a forest and joe-shmoe big bad wolf pops out and lands a critical hit on my face while I'm not roleplaying.

Further following that train of thought - this game has levels to gain. The most economical way to gain them is through killing. Once you get to a certain point you're stuck and are essentially "forced" to roleplay to move on. While I know this isn't the direction in which RP is intended to be introduced, it is nonetheless, a part of the game. So, if a person chose to level their character to 99 before ever beginning to roleplay them, why should they be penalized for deaths that have nothing to do wtih their character as a roleplaying aspect. They were simply grinding and weren't careful enough. Oops. That sucks. Oh well! Go roleplay for 15 straight hours and you can get that point back. But if you aren't an evil assassin sociopath or an evil warrior homicidal maniac, then you better get good a talking to yourself for those 15 hours because going around killing everything you see to pass the time on a neutral, or good character, of any race or class, doesn't make roleplaying sense. But by god you'll get penalized for dying regardless.

So this concludes my argument from a hack-and-slasher perspective. And no, I haven't went through the archives and read what other arguments have been brought up on this topic simply because I want my view to be fresh and without any more biases than it already has. :P

Now, from the roleplaying perspective - don't think you're the only person who's went out and had a night at the tavern Gooey. My warrior Sevristh spent 3 days straight in there just drinking away his sorrows. He was the son of a sailor and a prostitute, a member of discord for a time who fell for Kiisa, which ended in both of them getting kicked out of the guild and inevitably killed and most of their things stolen. 3 days seemed like a good amount of time to forget all of that. I had a Game Master back then too, Talristar. I helped run several RP sessions for you guys and spearheaded a few of my own, my most memorable being Altorn's (or was it Eihei?) /shrug. I love roleplaying and have great memories of this game from that aspect as well. So don't just assume I only care about building a better character's base stats than your own. That is important to me, but not all important. I just don't think it should be discouraged to the point that it has.

So, I've been thinking all day about what I think should be done about it. I don't think the con loss should be taken away completely. And if you've gathered my feelings from this post, you can probably come to the conclusion I'm about to make. I don't think you should be able to lose constitution while not roleplaying. It just doesn't make sense to me. If I just want to build a character I should be able to without the thought lingering in the back of my mind that if I screw up (mostly during the lower levels) that I'm going to be sidelined for a very long time trying to figure out a way to keep myself from being deleted. But on the flipside of that coin, if you are roleplaying, and you die, I think the current punishment is just right.

So then, if you are roleplaying, and you think you are about to die, you just flip the flag off right? Wrong. Just code it (I know I make it sound so easy, right?) so that the chance to lose constitution for death after having turned off the RP flag lingers for another 15 to 20 minutes or so - if that's possible. I don't see why it can't be, but I can see why it would be complicated. It's not like this subject is an easy one to philosophy, much less get perfect across the board, but I think it's a start.

As for a death penalty when you aren't roleplaying - I love the waiting period that has been introduced. It's so freaking annoying it makes me laugh to myself. And tithing to your chosen god grants you a reduced resurrection timer? Brilliant. But there should be more still. Perhaps your ability to use skills is reduced for a period of time, or your attribute points are lowered for a while - but not for good. Obviously your strength and dexterity can be reduced, say, to 25% of what they would normally be? I think that would render anyone unable to do much fighting. And the only way to recover them is to sleep perhaps? Or rest? It gives more meaning to those two all-important regeneration abilities. You could even go so far as to reduce all of your base stats by 75%, instead of just strength and dexterity, and create a time-imposed regeneration period much like that of World of Warcraft's resurrection sickness. And who cares if the idea is a ripoff of theirs? A great idea is a great idea.

And when you click that RP flag on, not only do you have to deal with these already steep death penalties, but you are greeted by a nice little warning that says "HEY, HAVE FUN ROLEPLAYING! YOU ROCK! BUT DON'T DIE! TRUST US! IT'S NOT FUN!" and impose the con-loss penalty as well.

You already have to deal with the fact that you probably won't see the gear you were wearing again. And with the added bonus of being so weak you can't go wrench it back from the fingers of the monster that killed you without someone else's help for a time (which encourages friendliness and group play) at least you don't have to deal with the fact that your character might not resurrect at all. Unless you were roleplaying. Just an idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:06 am 
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Just to let you know, I love the idea of not being able to lose constitution points while not roleplaying.

From a staff perspective (and trying to look at the bigger picture) I have to say that I feel it isn't harmonious with what we're trying to accomplish.

By changing it, like you said, to where you would not lose Con points while not roleplaying, we're just giving people another reason NOT to roleplay. Already people are scared to death of losing con/gear while roleplaying. It's one of the biggest reasons (in my eyes) why people don't RP anymore on this game. I could be wrong. Maybe it's because the players these days are less adventurous and just plain not willing to be put into a position where they could lose.

At any rate, I feel that while it'd be really cool not to lose constitution points while trying to slay a vile baddie, I feel that it'd just compound into another reason for people not to RP.

And, on a side note, and not to derail your post Quali, I feel that this is also a good reason as to why not to implement perm no-RP/Perm RP. If people didn't have to RP to level, we'd maybe have a handful of people that would opt for the perm RP flag. Mostly thieves, and those of us who don't have any qualms about killing each other (and perhaps find it one of the most exhilarating aspects of the game).

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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 11:46 am 
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Okay, now most of you know I'm not one to really make an extensive reply, and this one isn't going to be one. I was just perusing through the website while my significant other was sleeping, and I came across this controversial topic. Quali, you do have many valid points, and there are times where I have felt like quitting for the sole reason of the con loss. My avatar Teancie was my first character back after the player wipe, when the constitution loss was implemented, and at first it wasn't so bad. Later on down the line I started to get rather frustrated with it because the first five constitution I had lost was not my own fault, it was actually connection errors. For the majority of my leveling career I was on dial-up, and with constant lag spikes it got to the point where I was scared to kill anything that I wasn't 100% sure I could melee without fleeing.
Perhaps a less drastic solution? I had thoughts about the level loss. Before the Distant Lands cataclysm, when you would die, you would lose an alloted amount of experience for your level, which was a hassle, but it wasn't a conclusion to a night that would make me stop playing this wonderful game. So here's a possibility that was brewing: Temporary constitution loss, as well as experience losses.
Level 1-25: No level loss (Still learning the game, maybe a warning when you die)
Level 26-50: 1 level loss, 1 con temporarily deducted until you regain this level
Level 51-75: 2 level loss, 2 con temporarily deducted until you pay the experience debt
Level 76-99: 3 level loss, 2 con temporarily deducted
-------After this, any amount could be fluctuated depending on how you see fit. It is just a basic outline to a more lenient conclusion on the problems with death. When the constitution is temporarily deducted, it would be a cumulative upkeep, say, if you died twice at level 90, it would be 4 con temporarily deducted, and if you hit that 0 mark, you'd still permanently die. It would convey both the new world and old world debts for dying.

Think about it, you'll love it.

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Kamaria Alduini, the bigger assassin
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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 4:58 pm 
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Level loss is problematic, that is (part of) why it was removed. Additionally, as I understand it, what you propose would have no long term impact at all and would essentially ensure that people with low constitution do not play until their "temporary timer" runs out.

Best regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 7:39 pm 
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What if constitution could be put on a timer to come back - but in order to get it back you have to be roleplaying? So you died and lost a con point, ouch. Go roleplay for a while and it comes back on its own after an hour or so. That way dying while being on a non-rp character and losing con could be regained through potions and whatnot (which could be bought or at least easier to find) wheras simply by roleplaying you could also gain it back after an alloted amount of time. And every time you die, the timer could get longer, just like the resurrection timer now, unless you tithe to reduce the timer.


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 6:41 pm 
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Con loss makes death fun and exciting. Death before con loss and resurrection wait was almost a joke; if you got into something over your head you could just walk to someplace safe and kill yourself, then pick up your stuff and be on your merry way. Adding consequences to death changed the style of play on this game for the better, I think.

However, some people seem to have worse luck than others, and some get shafted by their connection. So, if toning down con loss helped keep others interested in this game I'd be for it.

A couple of random ideas:
If you have any amount of con less than 5, after completing an avatar quest your god will give you some love and restore you back to 5 con, rather than just giving you a '1up'.

If you have a low amount of con and are a Lord or higher, your chances of losing a con upon death are lower than normal. However, if you have 15 or more con and are a Lord or higher your chances of losing a con at death are higher (I'm almost a hundred and fifty years old and I feel exactly as good as I did when I was eighteen).

Thanks,
Baernov

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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:36 pm 
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Ah, the most controversial topic in distant lands. At least I think it is anyways. Con loss. Does it suck? Yes. Well, so does dying. I have had so many conversaitons about this I have lost count. I agree with Nezmar that death should have a permanent penalty. However, it is heartbreaking when you see someone work so hard and put so much time into a character and then either leave, die, or just sit at the fnt for fear of permi-death. I do like the idea of increasing the con bump from your god/goddess. Maybe it could be determined by a combination of luck (the stat), luck (random chance), amount tithed, and some staff love. I am intrigued by Teancie's ideas, I'll have to go re-read that one. In the end it is Nezmar's decision. He, his wife, and the rest of the staff have lovingly guided this game for over a decade and try as it might life cannot take me away. I do think con loss could happen a little less often, con flasks could be a little more prevalent, and a con bump could cost a couple less mpps. I am not sure if that is just thumbing the dike but it is a little help. So, what is the point? Death sucks irl and in game. There should be a penalty from it and it should suck. There should be the potential for your char to die forever. However, if you are working for it and need it you should be able to regain some con. I don't want to see good players spending all their time obsessing about regaining con and not "playing" their characters.

Side note: how cool would it be to be able to (after MUCH toil) get a permi-dead char ressurected or perhaps 'reborn'. Naked and crazy but back. That would just be fun. I am positive that isn't possible but just wanted to mention it because it is late and I am bored. Don;t respond to that random thought just wanted to share. Much love to DL.

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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 12:30 am 
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Aeras, that's a brilliant idea! In fact, I absolutely love it. Here's why.

You're tooling around, maybe doing a little exploring/dungeon delving. You stumble across a rotting corpse that, for some reason, seems to be no more inanimate than you do. Catching you unawares, it mauls you and eats your brain. You're dead. It was your last con point. No more resurrection for you!

Except that there's this really cool guy that's pretty much a demi-god with this really cool ability to bring people back to life. There's a toll, of course, on your physical body and somebody's pocket book. I mean, he's the only guy in the world that can do it!

All of your loved ones gather up a huge sum of gold. I mean bloody heaping pile of cash. Mountainous, even. They bring your desecrated dead corpse, with said cashes, to said super-being. He weighs all the gold, making sure it's the correct sum. (I reckon 50K per level to be a good number for this. A level 200 character would need 10 million gold coins for this operation) Appeased, he begins the ritual to bring your best bud back to life.

***********************************************************************************

You wake up feeling great. Your body is whole again, you're clear minded and calm. Heck, you even feel younger! You've forgotten things, though. Physically you feel great, mentally... Well, mentally you're still hazy. Things are coming back to you, but at a pretty slow rate.

You have been resurrected. The healing process has somehow made you youthful again, bringing to back to the tender age at which you probably started your adventure, around 17 or 18. All of your stats return to what they were at when you started your adventure, even if you raised them (or lost them) afterward. You notice almost immediately that you have lost x levels. (A percentage, I say... Half seems like a good number)

Doubt does not cloud your mind. You've been there before, you can make it there again. Certainty and the favor of your deity allows you to level back up to where you were when you kicked the bucket, without needing to be retested by your deity. (Not needing quests to get back your titled avatar levels)

***********************************************************************************

Here's the math.

50,000 gold per level for the resurrection.
Brought back to age 17.
Your levels are halved (50% level loss).
All skills, spells and proficiencies are reduced to inexpert.
You can level back up to your previous level before death without the need for questing.

I foresee a problem with points. Hit points, mana points, power points, movement points, song points... I feel this could be done a couple of ways. It could just be the normal rolls for every level up to whatever level they are currently at using their natural stats. Or, you could just halve all of them along with their levels. This becomes problematic, though, due to the way gained points are changed from mortal levels to avatar levels. From level 100 to level 200 (if my calculations are correct) you gain 245 hit/mana/power/song/move points. (Providing you don't have racial +1's) From level 1 to 99, more than likely you'll have gained more than 245 hit points, and more than likely more than 245 mana if you're a cleric/druid and 245 power if you're a magic-user/illusionist. If you're a hybrid class that has some spells (ranger, paladin, bard... Or to a lesser extent assassins) chances are pretty slim of gaining that many natural spell points of your certain creed.

The problems I foresee with the reroll tactic for point gains, are that a lot of people (including myself) put a lot of effort into trying to get the best stats possible for leveling up to try and squeeze out that extra point or whatever per level. But honestly, it's probably the fairest way to do it. You might lose some points, but, that's part of the consequence for dying, I suppose. At least you can be brought back.

But, anyways. I think this is a good idea, if some work was put into it. It's better than starting all over again, but it's harsh enough for people to be cautious still. Thoughts, ideas, input?

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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:02 am 
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Aeras, I also agree about your idea. That would be a nice Druid spell. Or even something along the lines of "reincarnation" spell. That would follow more of a traditional beliefs of the driud then just the unnatural ressurection. Good Stuff my fellow DL-er. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:48 pm 
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speaking of druids...I had a long talk with some other dlers I know irl about fantasy spells and skills for lvl 200 and 250. Now I am thinking that would be a killer ability for a lvl 250 druid. They would have to sacrifice all that gold to their god/goddess. Spend an inordinate amount of time doing it, etc... Anyways, glad you guys enjoyed the idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Constitution Loss and Permanent Death
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:26 pm
Posts: 17
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Was this talked about?

If your character just died, because at 95 years a human can't live any longer.

"The timer runs out"

I Like this.

People picking a life-span. What if someone like me doesn't plan on playing past several months, but someone that does could be a long lived race.

A lifespan, I like it. Racials could balance out the differences.


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