The Death Penalty

Massively put out an interesting Article about the Death Penalty in EVE this past weekend.

As a recent EVE player, who has actually died in game now, I must say that death in EVE is expensive to say the least, but not harsh. When your ship gets blown up, it’s gone. Kapoot. Ships are not cheap, but you can get right back into a starter ship if needed for a fairly low price. As long as your clone is up to date, all you lose is your ship (and you can even loot the reckage for your stuff). Now, if you have a lot of skill points and a not-up-to-date clone, you could lose a few skills as well.

But I do feel that even with all of this, the original Death Penalty in Everquest was worse. I remember grinding out for days while working on a level (this is before bonus XP and any of the new perks of today). You could easily lose a level or two of progression if you died in the wrong place, or got yourself in to a loop of death at your bind point. And there was also the chance  of dieing in a very dangerous, and hard to reach area (befallen anyone?) and not be able to actually get back to loot your corpse. All of your items were gone. This Death Penalty was the catalyst for the boy who committed suicide, whom I talked about in an earlier entry. Granted he had major issues in real life, but his final straw was losing his body in game.

The games of today (WoW, WAR, etc.) can be considered “MMO’s on Easy Mode.” These games have little to no Death Penalty. There’s no true work put in when you die. Everything is just handed to you. Death means nothing and is just a minor setback of time. I truly feel that games SHOULD have a stiffer Death Penalty and not baby the players.

I believe that a stiffer Death Penalty also creates a closer knit community within the game worlds. People are more inclined to work together and make friends if they know they could lose everything (or even just a little). We can see this fairly clearly in the new MMOs. There are more soloers than groupers, and even in guilds, no one seems to help each other anymore because it doesn’t benefit them. There’s no true reason to work together except on raids. While I don’t attribute the growing lack of community fully to no Death Penalties, it does make you think about how making these games easier and easier is destroying the sense of kinship that games such as Everquest, and EVE, seem to foster.


2 Responses to “The Death Penalty”

  1. Krondar Says:

    Wow, you hit on what I have been thinking for years.
    The Death Penalty is a way to force people to get along.
    Some hate that idea others like myself love it.
    Krondar Stormhammer EQTitan EQemu server

  2. First off I would like to saay wonderfull blog! I haad a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do
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