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Van Hemlock Episode 36
Mon, 26 Jan 2009 02:21:00 GMT [download/play]



This week we're back with some more news and a discussion about persistence and endings in MMOs.

We promise to be more cheerful next week.

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Episode 36 Discussion Thread

'On the Tabula Rasa/Vanguard front:' by Melmothulhu
Submitted on 2009-01-26 16:22:01 CST
Neither of you have visited Vanguard yet, have you? I'm just asking...

Sorry, couldn't resist. Thanks for the response, definitely food for thought there!

On the persistence front: resets might be more popular than you'd imagine, just look at the popularity of new servers in World of Warcraft, where people have to roll new characters - no high level donor characters - and there's a fresh market economy, the clamour for such servers is really quite loud and persistent.

I'm sure you're correct that enforced restarts are not the answer, but the option is certainly worth considering. I wonder which server would be more popular out of A Tale in the Desert with new Tellings, and A Tale in the Desert that never leaves Telling One. Although it seems obvious that it would be the latter, I wonder if the barriers to entry into the class of server elite would put off newcomers, and they would instead tend towards the classic re-telling server.

A thought provoking episode, thanks!



'Perma-Death and Resets' by Sentack
Submitted on 2009-01-26 17:39:57 CST
Great show, guys. Although very emo indeed. Still, an interesting show to listen too and I wanted to bring up one thing about Perma-Death in games.

Everquest had a Perma-death server back in 2003. I seem to recall it was a promotional server for some kind of contest. It was called Discord and you can google up more about what happened. Quite interesting, I must say.

Now, some kind of game reset does appeal to me in some regards. Partly because I find that the later you join an MMO, the harder it is to 'catch up'. That feeling of having to climb such a tall wall to feel even vaguely 'on par' with just the average joes make the whole experience unappealing.

But perhaps even with resets, the chance to catch up would be daunting. It's hard to say. Still, very interesting topic you guys brought up.



'Nice, I posted this on MY shows comments section on accident too..lol' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2009-01-26 19:26:53 CST
.I don't think that any game has ever done it properly. If they were built up with it in mind, they could add certain mechanics that went far beyond deleting your character.

I believe that death could be as much a part of character development as anything else. But we are not talking about just dying and your character gets deleted.

It would be different if you could pass on the benefits of living, like skills or loot, into an offspring, a younger character, a cousin...it would be part of the game just like in many single player games that allow for death.

And as for people not taking chances when there would be perma death, is it worse that a player has no price to pay (or very little) in most MMO's?

It could be done, and done well.

I deleted my main a while ago after he was killed by a Rhino. It hurt! :)

Great show guys!


beau



'Permadeath in Diablo 2' by Shalkis
Submitted on 2009-01-27 08:32:24 CST
While Diablo 2 doesn't qualify as an MMO per se (8 players max), it did have a hardcore mode which was unlocked after you completed the game once. You did get neater titles for playing as hardcore, but aside from that it was very much a self-imposed challenge, enforced by game mechanics.

I played it for a while. I didn't mind losing a character because I did something stupid (like hit a MSLE mob or not avoiding Iron Maiden), but I loathed lag. A slight packet loss at a bad point and you would be dead as a doornail. Not fun.



'A non-hemlock related MMO death...' by poozle
Submitted on 2009-01-27 16:31:37 CST
Well I can think of an MMO that (AFAIK) hasn't been played Mr Hemlock that is closing down... Hellgate London, it also featured a "hardcore" mode that had permadeath in it (in both the single player and MMO side of it), so fits in quite nicely with the theme of the show.

I've never been a fan of permadeath, mainly because it is incredibly annoying to suddenly lose all of the work you have done just by one small mistake (or even worse like the above commenter mentioned... network problems). Its another reason why I could never face trying for a survivor in Guild Wars (that and lack of patience...).



'An MMO with Perma-Death' by Recluse86
Submitted on 2009-01-27 18:19:54 CST
I know there is already an MMORPG with a perma death server, it's a free to play game called Dofus (although the perma-death server is only available to subscribers!). I haven't tried it personally but it does sound like an interesting concept.


'Hardcore D2' by Token
Submitted on 2009-01-27 18:42:12 CST
Shalkis you reminded me there how much I loved Hardcore in D2, it changed the game so much for me that it became the only way to play it for me and my mates. D2 without Hardcore was a time sink gear grind or pointlessness, people opening trade and showing off the fact they spent time getting something to drop. For me the fun was never in the items but the action and the stories you remember. The hardcore version was a thrilling dance with death. So many times I would see a party member's health drop to 1% then shoot back up as he mashed his hotkeys.

My group is hoping Blizzard allow hardcore mode in D3 from the start, how crazy would it be to explore that game under those conditions. The mere thought of it makes my balls tingle. If anyone wants to try D2 hardcore mode without having to play through the game it's possible to use a trainer to make a fake character to fool the game.



'Hellgate' by Jon
Submitted on 2009-01-28 10:40:29 CST
It looks as if Hellgate isn't actually dead and will be back as a free to play game, which is only possible due to the fact that Van Hemlock never played it.


'Posting Tim my hellgate disc' by shuttler
Submitted on 2009-01-28 12:25:21 CST
I'll stick it in an envelope, I give it 6 months.