The Daily Grind: Do you want to see the return of experience-loss-on-death in MMORPGs?

Last week, I mentioned experience-loss-on-death in EverQuest that was particularly irritating when caused by so-called GM events. Yes, that was in the long long ago, and even annoying stepping stones like vitae penalty are far in the past. Even Ultima Online penalizes only your title of nobility when you fall. Modern MMORPGs simply don’t diminish your character that way when you die anymore. It’s obnoxious and silly in a gameworld where you have little control over things like lag, trains, and flaky group members.

And yet something my husband mentioned last night reminded me that other games do still punish you for failure, including games like Overwatch, where your rank (and your recent wins and losses) determine your future placement. As he pointed out to me, when he loses enough to slip down a tier numerically, the game gives him five more losses before stripping his rank entirely. This annoys me, and I don’t even play.

It sounds incredibly antiquated, but for ranked non-MMO games, I suppose it makes some sense. But maybe it’s just me. Would you want to see the return of experience-loss-on-death in MMORPGs?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Christopher Pierce

The genre definitely needs some kind of death penalty that isn’t just a boot back to a shrine or the beginning of a dungeon. I’d prefer a corpse run of some sort or to drop some loot over XP loss.

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Jeffery Witman

Why not bring back dropping all your possessions on death and permadeath, too? I’m sure there’s literally dozens of people who want that.

resharp2
Reader
resharp2

I don’t mind death penalties of some kind, but they should never make you loose a level! And in this day an age it’s likely to be, welp you died and lost a bunch of xp sucks, you can rez and get most it back for $5 please click here to pay.

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Hope

No. No no. No no no no. No no no no no no no no. No.

Nope.

Just no.

No.

Why would you even ask this?

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

No.

Ever since we lost a really good friend as a guildie in City Of Heroes largely because he wasn’t a great player, and racked up huge XP debt from dying a lot, I’ve been adamantly opposed to XP debt on character death in games.

Even though we held guild runs (unofficially) intended to get our pal out of XP debt — the game was fun to play together; we didn’t care — he’d play solo on his days off, and get right back under the debt again.

He was never really a computer gamer before CoH, so the semiotics of computer gaming (what things on the screen signify, et cetera) were never second nature to him.

He was learning, but it was a slow process, because computer game signs and signifiers were not automatic for him. He wanted to play CoH both because his friends were there, and because he was (and remains) a huge fan of superhero comics.

Eventually, he quit CoH because he felt ashamed that he couldn’t play the game as well as the rest of us — — so we basically lost out on continuing to game with a friend we liked because of an XP loss death mechanic.

My opinions, anyway,

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Denice J. Cook

A lot of people quit CoH when WoW came along: Even experienced players don’t want to waste a lot of time working off XP debt. Heck, even CoH lessened that mechanic greatly over the years!

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William Bond

Nope

oh-thats-a-nopefish-they-can-be-found-in-the-27336237.png
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Utakata

Lol! :)

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Chosenxeno .

No. I am surprised people still think it was a “challenge mechanic”. It was nothing more than a way to keep you online. There’s nothing fun about losing “time investment”. It’s also not logical:

If I cut my hand while cutting an apple I don’t lose the EXPERIENCE of cutting an apple.

I don’t need games robbing me of time investment to convince me that I shouldn’t continue fighting that mob who one shot me.

Reader
AGx-07_162

God, yes! Play an MMO where everyone just runs around all lone wolf attacking anything that moves, wipes your party, and just laughs it off? That’s because there’s no consequences. Back in FFXI I had better parties than any other game ever because the fights were always intense, we worked together because we had to, bonded. I miss that.

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Fisty

Yes. I hate it, but I like the challenge.

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Dušan Frolkovič

I would not consider those two things the same.
Content can be challenging without xp penalties, it is how hard the content is.
The XP Penalty is the consequence of failing that content.

So i would even say XP penalties make games less challenging, because people will do everything to prevent the penalty (overlevelling, buff items, etc.) so the general difficulty level will drop.

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Fisty

I came up on MUDs and I’m okay with it. Shit, when we died all the stuff would be left on the corpse for the taking. Yeah, it’s a consequence, but that don’t make it not a challenge.

resharp2
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resharp2

My experience with MUDs was that you never lost enough xp to de-level you.

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Fisty

I didn’t say you de-leveled, not even sure the article was really talking about it, just xp debt, but there could be cases where you died repeatedly or at lower levels if you screw up a few times you could see it happen. Depends on the game. Some games I like the brutal treatment, it immerses me and I understand why people don’t. It certainly gets annoying sometimes.

Reader
Sally Bowls

My initial reaction was, in the vernacular of the interwebs, “OMFG, no! are you high?” :-)
The adult answer is that this has appeal for some but definitely not me. I don’t think this is mainstream anymore. But these days is there anything so niche a modern Barnum can’t extract some money via Kickstarter?

The interesting part is that this is once again a dichotomy between the virtual worlds of MMOs and true games which are fair and have explicit win conditions. In “all” other games your rating, but not your initial starting point of the next game, goes down when you lose, whether it is overwatch or FIDE Chess or PUBG or LoL or …