No Perma-Death

One of the most classic rules in a Rogue-like is that if (or most usually when) you die, you loose everything. Everything down to your name including level, xp, items, everything! This is known as permadeath or PD as in Permanent Death.

As Imbroglio Online is a multiplayer game not solely based on Co-op (cooperative) and that has PvP (players can kill each other), I feel it would be just too much, the whole play would be about hiding/protecting from player killers or be that evil guy and go out gank newbies.

A bit like a normal roguelike with some level 100 monsters zooming around randomly, if they see you then you die and death is final… No Fun !

That is why I decided to go breaking the Rogue-like paradigm and not have perma death. The problen is that perma death is good so I will have several downsides which I must? try to design around / design away.

Problems (things Roguelikes have because of perma death) :

  • New play each time
  • Scary, on the edge gameplay where choices matter.
  • Player Wipe
  • Item Wipe

In Imbroglio Online, when you die, you will be teleported ‘home’ and you can just continue playing, so death will be quite painless, especially at the surface close to the starting village, at worst you have to ‘walk back’ to where you were killed but the farther you travel, the worse it will be because of the distance.

That doesn’t seem to be a lot of fun though as you know what you are walking back to (when you die in a rogue like, the next play is usually completely different).

Remedies :

If you go down the stairs in a house to check out the cellar, find a tunnel going down, the tunnel will divide and change type often, to the left the sewer, to the right old ruin like tunnels, down the sewer a hole entering another type of underworld and so on ending up, 15 levels lower and a lot of different surroundings later, in the secret anti-chamber of Hootoh and his minions.

That should be different each time you play, making it feel like a ‘new’ game each time you get deep enough. That might also have you on the edge because as you enters the Forgotten Crypt of Anxara you know you won’t find it again if you die…

About knowledge wipes and item wipes, I don’t really have a solution to it today, well I do have a start and at the moment it goes a bit like this :

Make so many different spells, actions and competences that it will take really long time until you “know it all”. There might also be nice combinations to explore and so on…

Only let the player bring a certain number of them with him, say 5 Spell/Action ‘slots’ that you can change only at home. That will present the possibility for the change of player style.

The same goes for items but I have to think about it so I won’t end up with items only having a lot of different random characteristics… Spells and procs might come in handy though and a lot of (useful, not only damage enhancing) characteristics will make item differentiation possible without having 90% of everything useless.

Well, until next time I’ll continue my search for the Multiplayer Rogue-like-esque Graal, see ya soon!



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