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On death and how it is healthy

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by AnotherJaggens, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. AnotherJaggens

    AnotherJaggens Cupcake-About-Town

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    Hello there! I'm back! Are you happy? I sure hope you are.

    On episode 1 we've discovered some interesting things about basic principles of game design, for better or worse, and I've got a useful feedback on where to put my ramblings on forums. It's a valid point that I had to bridge my jibberish and Wildstar a bit better for it to fit General, so this time I've actually tried. Nah, I'm kidding. In case if you are extremely interested in whatever was main focus of previous episode - you can find it yourself. It's not gonna be that much relevant for today's topic, so let's not waste time on it. Pour a glass of wine, take your pants off and let's rock'n'roll.

    Now, I'm patient and considerable person, and tend not to jump the gun if something really touches extremely complicated subject. However, recent Wildstar Wednesday did that, and I have a nagging feeling that Carbine may listen to playerbase maybe bit too closely. Yes, this may happen. I'm not saying this is The Case, in which such a disaster happened, but preventive measures won't hurt anyway. I'm talking about that dreaded line about their changes to how interaction of mobs and players goes, and what are rules of such engagements, which every single vocal person applauded (if I missed someone preaching that this is damaging - I'm so sorry, let me know so I can hug you and be friends).

    [​IMG]

    Do you notice what's wrong with this bold change? Okay, for rest of class - giving even slight motivation to helping other person playing a game is decent notion, but both parties shouldn't be awarded for it. You may recall other games of MMORPG genre, in particular right now I have WoW or SWTOR in mind; all those gems that used "WoW formulae" to their maximum capacity: you don't get rewarded for cooperation, you share same reward that a first person would've failed to achieve. I must clarify, because this question is going to sprawl one way or another - I'm fine with people helping out each other and engaging in a jolly cooperation, but someone has to be penalized for it, otherwise a challenge becomes an option. And in previous episode we touched on that subject already.

    If you are impatient type and want to voice your opinion already, without reading through explanation of a statement I'm going to make, I'll give you that opportunity:

    Death is good for you, for her, for anyone.

    Get right on it, I'd like to hear your opinion, maybe it's gonna open my mind to something I'm overlooking.


    For rest that actually want an explanation before punching someone in their ugly face, here is a visual representation of three parties interacting with each other for my example:

    [​IMG]

    A rock dude. He is smoking a cigar and has something that looks like beer cans stacked on his armor. This guy screams hardcore and would probably be an Ultramarine Terminator in WH40k, killing any foe by sheer amount of hardcore he emits. This is a Powerhorse Party.




    [​IMG]

    A cuddly thing. It has two pistols, but so pink and cuddly and hillarious, that it can't be any threat to anything. Look at this tail! How can anything so adorable be dangerous? This is a Newbie Party.




    [​IMG]
    A big scary monster. Look like a mature Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch". I can take bets on how many chuas you can fit in his mouth at once. This is a Menace Party.

    In the case of that horrible, antisocial, absolutely terrible traditional closed tagging environment if Newbie clashes with Menace, a Powerhorse won't have any reason to intervene and save Newbie. He'll probably observe how little pink creature is being torn apart by mighty claws of bear thing, probably whisper something like "u r bad" afterwards and go on with his business. What a jerk, amirite? No.

    In the case of open tagging, a late messiah of MMORPGs, this whole scene goes all wrong ways: a Newbie charges at Menace, but this time a Powerhorse has a reason to help anyone - loot, money, experience. Outcome of such interaction will be a dead bear thing, happy chua and slightly satisfied knight. Menace reached one of possible outcomes and fulfilled his role, Newbie overcame a barrier and Powerhorse did a valiant notion to help someone and got his share. However, while this sounds like a perfect finale, it's not. Because Newbie had to die. He made a mistake, and got absolutely same reward as if he didn't. Powerhorse should've let little bugger charge in and die, but instead he's got rewarded both with material goods and satisfaction over helping someone else. This is what I like to call a "natural selection lite".

    If you reward missteps and try to diminish death in games, a perfect state of failure, you brew up a volatile learning curve. Imagine a caveman that decided to touch lion's testicles. He'll have a hell of a time to reevaluate what he did and why it wasn't healthy for himself, if he survives of course. But games are not real people, real lions and real testicles, yet. Death isn't the end, it's a message that you did something wrong and you should be more careful next time when going for a bigger reward and personal satisfaction. Don't bite more than you can chew. Don't head for a job at Google if you just learned how to install Windows. Don't touch anyone's balls (perfect advice for any situation really).

    And what's even more wrong, is that there is a playerbase that greeted open tagging and praised how good it is: they can now help other people. You could do same thing with closed, don't you know? Oh, right, no extra reward for you, or you must share with person you are helping if you party up for that occasion. You need that candy to help someone, otherwise a psychological satisfaction of being white knight won't be enough. Karma doesn't pay repair bills. Who is jerk here again?

    So, I'll give you my story when I realised that death is good for me, especially in expansive mmos. It was a Vanilla WoW period, and, naturally, I've ran out of quests to do - it was a usual thing when you don't know where to go in Vanilla. So I've decided to check out that lush green Feralas area, maybe there is something for me to do. As a hunter, I was pretty good at avoiding things that tried to eat my night elf ass, going deeper and deeper into jungles in hope to find something suitable for me. I've died once, died second time, died third time, and only third death actually taught me something - I'd better go somewhere else, there are bears everywhere 10 levels higher than me. Lesson learned, memorized, applied.

    <Here should be another interesting death example, which uses another game as example. I'd like to get an approval from moderation before i've brought it up.>

    So, after these three colorful scenes of people being bad at game and suffering a failure with such a scary name as "death", what's the moral we can get out of it? Chua must die, bears are scary and powerful in any game, and death is healthy for you. Cheers.
  2. Xlugon Pyro

    Xlugon Pyro Super Cupcake

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    TL;DR
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  3. Convicted

    Convicted Super Cupcake

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    my question is, isn't open tagging old news...like wasn't that announced decades ago, so what prompted you to be up in arms about it now?
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  4. HappinessFactory

    HappinessFactory Cupcake

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    I think I understand your argument but I've played a game (gw2) with open tagging and I don't think this will be an issue. Think about it this way, noob players will not always have a hardcore player to protect them from their own mistakes. The hardcore player will go by and the next beast the noob player encounters will give him the negative reinforcement he needs.

    There are other issues with open tagging that I'm not too fond of, like large zergs(realm of the mad god anyone?). But I think it's worth it to prevent the frustration of waiting for spawns only to have someone tag it right before you do. It just makes leveling feel a bit better.
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  5. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    as was mentioned in chat last night on LateNightDominion by CRB_Justice, if 40 people kill one mob and do the same amount of damage to it, and are not grouped up - each person will get 1/40 of the XP that mob gives - which means to get the amount of xp from one mob killed by yourself you'll have to kill 40 mobs in that Zerg group. and mobs will not be respawning quickly enough for it to be efficient.
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  6. Xlugon Pyro

    Xlugon Pyro Super Cupcake

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    If there's a problem with this, I trust that beta players can provide the necessary feedback to address any potential flaws with open-tagging.
  7. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Well-Known Cupcake

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    [​IMG]
  8. Mel

    Mel Cupcake-About-Town

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    I got passed the first 2 paragraphs!

    I would rather argue about cute fuzzy toons hair color choices....
  9. AnotherJaggens

    AnotherJaggens Cupcake-About-Town

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    This is nice bit of info you have, which doesn't answer question: where is death? What happens to loot? Do those 40 people artificially given a loot/40 each? So zerg can essentially block entire area by themselves? Where is death happening? How is a person that did first hit gonna be rewarded? If he gets same 1/40, isn't this encourages zergs even more? Where are people going to die and learn?

    It's like you've read around first paragraph and then skipped the rest. I could care less whenever exeprience or loot distribution is fair or not, or if there are enough mobs to fit on screen. I want to hear screams of failure and people being affected by it, not rewarded by relying on everyone.
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  10. AnotherJaggens

    AnotherJaggens Cupcake-About-Town

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    Have <REDACTED> to do, most of time. Like work. Since no one gave a doubt on certain ideas being dreadful, decided that I could step in.
  11. AnotherJaggens

    AnotherJaggens Cupcake-About-Town

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    That's what I refer to as "volatile learning curve". Eventually Powerhorse isn't there, and Newbie party will hit a wall so hard he can't fathom how he could've been pulled along before. Eventually this will happen, and problem isn't going to be players that didn't learn - they didn't have a reason to.

    GW2 is <REDACTED>ed up on many scales, not just massive zergs. Good example you've brought up.
  12. Lsya

    Lsya Cupcake-About-Town

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    Been playing MMOs since 1998 with a variety of systems for fighting/helping, etc.

    If I'm fighting something and someone comes along to help. I don't have a problem with it. If they get a reward....that's fine with me. There are so many mobs in the world to fight that the few shared are not going to make a difference.
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  13. HappinessFactory

    HappinessFactory Cupcake

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    Off-topic: I don't understand the need to post tl;dr it seems kinda rude especially when it appears that someone put genuine effort to write a post such as this. He even put pictures and illustrative examples in. Maybe I'm not laid back enough to find the humor when I'm at work... Still...

    On topic:I agree with the sentiment that it does promote a crazy learning curve but I don't think think that the crazy learning curve will impact players much because most of the learning will be done in the first few encounters and at level cap. I have doubt players will feel stuck when they can't solo a level 50 mob when they're level 40 even if they took it down with help earlier.
  14. azmundai

    azmundai Well-Known Cupcake

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    i agree death is healthy, but the examples you give don't really translate into a lack of death penalties.
    people should be helping each other.

    that same noob who think he can beat the elite mob because he beat one when someone else helped in will inevitably learn that A. not everyone helps all the time and B. you cant solo that level of mob.

    i really don't see the problem.
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  15. Roadblock

    Roadblock Cupcake-About-Town

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    That's one of the most enjoyable walls of text I've read and you presented your arguments with gusto. ;)

    TERA uses binary failure both in solo and group content to a large extent.
    The game intentionally does not support damage meters, so a performance gradient is not apparent.
    You fail when you didn't dodge that BAM special (Big Ass Monster) and went splat, not when it took you 30 seconds to kill it instead of 10.
    Respectively your group members fail when they die, not when they do <= x dps.
    It re-inforces the idea that win = beat the encounter, kill don't die.
    (it's one of the things I liked about the game).

    I agree on the basic premise of binary success/failure playing an important part in games.
    I'm not sure how that concept meshes with "failure in degrees" which you seem to be advocating with regard to tagging / rewards.
    Is it that it promotes incidental grouping that you see as a problem?
    If cooperation reduces risk (it does) following your logic to its conclusion should grouping be discouraged / disallowed in 'solo territory' and only permitted when the content requires a group to overcome?
    I just don't see what is the difference - in that respect - between an incidental group taking down an enemy vs a group formed for that purpose (and purposely sharing xp/rewards).

    Edit: Agree with Azmundai's post.
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  16. Xecks

    Xecks Cupcake-About-Town

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    heh grouping is not only encouraged it is advantageous. you go through content faster and get social interaction.
  17. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    This. It was very refreshing to actually not mind or even like other players being around while questing, and not having to group up for everything, or worry about inadvertantly (j/k on purpose) tagging that unique quest mob that another player has been waiting for. The positives that are created outweigh the loss of learning experience from death

    To the OP: Certainly death teaches you lessons, but you can also learn things from watching an experienced player at work. You are less likely to pay attention to other players, unless they are also engaged in the same thing that you are. So if you encourage players to avoid one another, then you lose that learning opportunity. If you are going to take a learning experience away from dying, you will also take a learning experience away from being saved by someone, as you will likely realize you could have died without that person there, so this area or your strategy might need to be adjusted. You do not have to die to the fire to know that the fire hurts, especially if you have to sit around and wait to recover your health.

    Anyone who is going to be playing Wildstar at launch will be familiar with MMORPGs in general, or will have someone they know in real life helping them. This already lowers the chance of learning through death, as Wildstar isn't that unique from other MMOs out there. Further, modern MMOs guide players and instruct players much better than Vanilla WoW did, and this is an important aspect as Carbine recognized their instruction failure in regards to the circuit board itemization.
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  18. Arsonist

    Arsonist Cupcake

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    open tagging = zerg fest of people none grouped or talking to each other..

    Bad idea imo but i guess we will see how they implement it but yeah I cant see anyway that its not a zerg fest.
  19. Pejo

    Pejo Cupcake-About-Town

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    For those who played even the mid-level content, this isn't a worry - people will die. Even skilled players are dying when doing some of the challenges/holdouts. Of course this may all change on next beta build, we'll see at the next expo!
  20. Jeuraud

    Jeuraud Cupcake-About-Town

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    CoHV had open tagging, and I believe SWG also had open tagging.
    What a bunch of hogwash; we do not learn through death… not our death… not in this reality. You die; you’re done with the learning. We learn by surviving our mistakes in real life; why do you think we would not learn by surviving our mistakes in game?
    If that Newb is too dumb to know that he was about to face plant and the other player saved his life, then he’s probably too dumb to learn from death as well. Funny enough you prove my point with this.
    Unlike some people I do not need to die to learn.

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