Afflictions; Alternative to the current death-consequences

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Afflictions vs. Skill loss; What do you think?

Afflictions! THANK GOD YES! (yes!)
5
42%
I like the idea, but... (explain, please)
1
8%
I would like to combine these two systems (explain, please)
0
No votes
I log out when my char is about to die, so I don't care. (wha'eva!)
0
No votes
I like the current death-system. (I also like needles and visiting the dentist!)
3
25%
Cromwell is awesome!
3
25%
 
Total votes: 12

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Post by Mr. Cromwell » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:36 am

Afflictions; Alternative to the current death-consequences

Afflictions; An alternative punishment for death

I think it is reasonable to assume, that I am not the only one who is hardly a fan of the current way of handling the death of a character. Now, while I'm in agreement that certain bad stuff should take place after your character has died, I do not agree that skill loss should be part of that stuff. Quite simply, skillgaining is (especially at the higher levels) very time and labor intensive ordeal which even most elite-powergamers (you know who you are ) view as a "necessary evil" in order to have the kind of characters they wish to play, instead of something which would be nice and enjoyable experience. Once you've gone that far, it's rather irritating to see the fruits of your repetitive work to be pissed away, forcing you to indulge yourself in more boredom, simply for the sake of engaging in roleplay, acting in character, and having your character lose. Now, while I'm sure there are the odd few playing who resent losing, I think that a lot of the moaning and whining which typically results from PC-to-PC conflicts where a lot of chars are clouded is a direct consequence of the loss of time-investment in doing boring stuff, which you now have to do again if you want to get back to where you were beforehand.

Furthermore, the current system is harshest on those who have the least amount of time or desire to spend hours to an end, slaying thousands of critters for a lost skill level. I am not really satisfied with this, especially as the staff has been leaning towards the opinion that "if you want to roleplay something, you must have the skills to back yourself up with". The fact that failure results in decreasing of skills will on the long term only ensure that the top-ranking characters fighting or magic alike are either ancient or played by.. certain type of players (;)), as comparative reduction in skill for a "casual gamer/RP-dood" is a much larger proportional decrease (factoring in time and desire to pursue monotonous engine-based activities) than for a Matt.

Okay, I'll cut the rhetoric; I have a more advanced and (IMO) satisfactory approach to "punishment" than how it is handled at the moment. Instead of losing skill (but still losing items like now) player characters would have a chance to gain afflictions; engine based long-time effects (LTEs) which represent a particular (random) injury or wound, with a matching negative modifiers on a particular skill/skill set, stat(s), or a special effect. However, all these effects would only last until the injury has been healed, which happens through an NPC-priest in return for money. Thus, the effect on stats and skills would be 1.) temporary, with a 2.) permanent removal of money from the game.

The basic chance for gaining an injury upon death would be 50%, increasing up to 90% if you die several times within a very short period of time. Furthermore, the afflictions would be stackable: This means that any single character migth have any number of afflictions if the player (for whatever reason) chooses not to treat the injuries of the character. Most of these injuries would be visible to other players (with logic applied here: injured back might not be visible to the naked eye, but a missing eye or crippled leg probably would be).

Important points:
- The afflictions are stacking, so if you don't have your character healed, he/she will be combat inefficient really soon.
- The chance of gaining afflictions increases if you die several times within a short period of time.
- Removing afflictions costs money; the cost would possibly increase (to a point) depending on how often you have had an affliction removed in the past (eg. 1s,5s,10s..25s)
- New characters would be exempt from gaining afflictions until certain amount of online-hours has been accumulated.
- New use for money
- (Hopefully) Less frustration from conflicts between players, while some 'punishing' aspects of getting your char killed are retained. Players have however more choice in how they spend time to remove the punishment (eg. there are several ways in which a char can earn money for that) instead of being forced to do a set action for hours and hours (PG'ing the skill which has been decreased).
- Removal of the afflictions is optional (and should also be so, that the player can elect to retain some afflictions while removing others, for instance for RP-reasons..)
- As other players are able to see the afflictions, this allows a technical way to develop the char through the events which have occurred IG, and consequently should offer more interesting RP opportunities (be that wounded/disabled RP, or a grizzled old veteran telling the tales of his injuries to a green recruit..)
- Would be, in my opinion, more fun and interesting than the current system :)
Some ideas for afflictions + effects, please refrain from debating whether or not the effects are 100% realistic in each case, I've tried to be somewhat balanced there wrote: List of "Description only" afflictions*
Scars
Heavy Scars
Disfiguring scars

List of Afflictions with effect
Injured back
- Reduced carry weight
- Negative modifier to dodge

Internal bleeding
- The character loses 10% of health randomly (However, cannot be killed by this!)
- This is followed by #me coughs up blood, and a bloodstain on the tile of the char
- Decreased constitution
- Negative casting modifier

Crippled arm
- Inability to use twohanded weapons or bows
- Negative modifier to parry
- Decreased dexterity

Crippled leg
- Decreased agility
- Negative modifier to dodge
- Movement speed is reduced; perhaps just on "difficult tiles"

Punctured lung
-50% to stamina gain from food
-Decreased agility
-Decreased constitution

Blinded eye
- Decreased perception
- Negative modifier to tactics

Infected wound
- Decreased constitution
- Slow decay of mana

Heavy Concussion
- Decreased intelligence
- Decreased willpower

Blood poisoning
- Decreased intelligence
- Decreased constitution
- Decreased strength
- Negative casting modifier

High fever (A non-contagious illness that may result from having "Blood poisoning", "punctured lung" or "infected wound" afflictions and having the char logged out in wilderness -> removable with fire&resting (possibility to speed the removal up by a healing potion?), unlike other afflictions -> having this would be the ultimate "you've really smiled yourself up this time" badge of honour)
- Negative attack modifier
- Negative defence modifier
- Negative learning modifier
- Negative casting modifier
- Negative crafting modifier

*The scars would be a special case:
- These would result from two ways: From a death counter (if you die enough times/enough times withing a period of time)
- If you die with an affliction on, you would automatically receive a scar
- The scars have three ranks, from normal to really bad ones, and they would upgrade logically (eg. a new scar would bring you to the next rank)
- Scars can be removed, but once you achieve rank two (heavy scars) you would not be able to fully remove the scars but your char would, barring a GM-quest or whatever, be forever scarred. Disfiguring and heavy scars can always be downgraded.
- Healing of scars would cost a fixed amount of money (eg. 5s a time) and be possibly done separately from other affliction-removals.. Maybe even by Pharse's silly priests? :)

Merry Christmas, noobz.

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Post by Llama » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:40 am

I find the voting to be somewhat biased. :P

Either way, you already know how I feel about this *votes Cromwell is Awesome*

Developer
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Post by Estralis Seborian » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:03 am

Options 4, 5 and 6, depending on situation.

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Post by maryday » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:05 pm

No, i did not vote.

Add afflictions as proposed to the present system,
while keeping in mind to make the walking speed reductions not too harsh,
as it would make fleeing a combat a less "attractive alternative"?

---

negative:
a.1] Massive workload as probably many things have to be added (from the scratch ->f] ) to core structure,
maybe an eternity of debugging;
a.2] Connection to alchemy system might be afforded (temporal afflicion-negation or treatment of slight afflictions);
a.3] Stepstones for priest-system should be implemented (treatment or curation... ->a.1] );
b) At least two different kinds of NPCs need creation, or upgrade from existing ones. (Surgeon and barber-surgeon classes);
c) ->e] Decrease of free RP;
d) also ->a.3]:twisted: If slopped half-baky into the system, it would be just another way of pushing those looong "walks" we already have
in direction of economic mechanics;

positive:
e) Explicitely unforgiving engine attached combat system;
f) If done meticulous, "simple" and without workarounds it seems like a acceptable base for future additions ->a.3];
((A true present to the whole humankind!))


---

A combination with the present system, to start from, might include:
->skill-loss only on (randomly chosen from?) the 3-5 lowest skills
(keeps frustration and time loss of non-fighters low, "encourages" specialisation of workers);

OR

->skill-loss on the 1or2 highest combat skill(-s) AND the 2-3 lowest overall skills
("encourages" fighters to develop a wide range of combat abilities as it prevents them from specializing too fast);

---

A massive shift of the basic game characteristics,
leading to decrease of low-organised fighter population and surpression of lower class peasants,
as it prefers citizens
and established guild structures.

((Any professional social scientist(-s) around to interpret?))

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Post by Nalzaxx » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:09 pm

I like this idea, however I would propose a few adjustments to the mechanics in order to make it both more predictable and less complicated to code.

Firstly I would like to take all of the randomness from the equation. Afflictions should depend upon the manner of death and occur 100% of the time. Death while having an affliction would cause them to stack appropriately.

I envision something like this:

Killed by (Slashing) to (Leg) gives (-2) to (Agility)
Killed by (Fire) to (Chest) gives (-2) to (Constitution)
Killed by (Concussion) to (Head) gives (-2) to (Intelligence)

((And yes I am aware all spells hit the chest area))

The attribute malus would be cumulative should a second death occur in the same manner before the previous affliction is healed.

This makes it not only much much simpler to script, but also allows for some sense to enter the playing field. Why would my leg be crippled if I was killed by an arrow to the face?

Other than this alteration I love the idea.

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Post by Kranek » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:17 pm

I like the idea...though the thing with money is bull****
I see no difference in wasting time to reskill (old-system) or to get money (new system wit increased necessary amount of time with the increasing cost).
When i was starting to read your proposal, i thought of something like that:
The affliction will last for a period of IG time or: can be removed within quests (much efford, so will propably never be used).
The high amount of time after getting clouded would force the PO to RP if the affliction affects his ability to fight.
I think thats a good point...

((Evil version: while affliction is ON (except scars cause they are cool and i would keep them) the skillgain is off :twisted: ))

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Post by Mr. Cromwell » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:48 pm

@Nalzaxx

Haven't you heard the saying "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"? :P

I think your idea is a good simplification, though. That is something which the devs might find more appealing to script, even though personally I like complex systems more. :P Regarding your idea, I'd recommend that if magic always targets the chest, then the affliction from magical death would be chosen randomly instead of giving it to chest always.

Did you think that the death-effect would be constant and only dependent on the spot you are hit, regardless of the weapon, or do you visage that the weapon and hitting spot together determine the resulting affliction? Example:

Killed by (Slashing) to (Hand) gives (-2) to (Strength)
Killed by (Concussion) to (Hand) gives (-2) to (Dexterity)

Killed by (Piercing) to (Head) gives (-2) to (Perception)
Killed by (Concussion) to (Head) gives (-2) to (Intelligence)
?

I'd be more pleased if each bodypart would have two possible stats which are decreased (minimum, head maybe three), to allow for a system where all characters have a risk of gaining an affliction which affects their primary operations directly.

@Kranek

1. Money is often the by-product of skilling, at least in the fields where you are most likely to die due to skilling.
2. You are not forced to perform an action after being clouded, but rather (1) may already (and probably will) have the money to pay for the affliction already. However, of course, if you go batshit crazy/stupid, then you will have to work just to pay for the healing of your char's injuries. However, the gradually progressing cost and exclusion of noobs from the system ensures that new characters are not bankrupted. At the same time, the increasing cost (which stops at certain point, by the way) means that the cost at least partially corresponds with the higher income of the higher-skilled characters (ubermobs drop better loot than mummies) and means that older characters are also feeling the effects of death.
3. Players have more freedom to choose the time, place and manner in which they will actually do the money-collecting. They may even get other characters to help them (eg. when a young Clansman of Nordmark is injured, I'd be certain that other clan members would chip in to help him if he was lacking money) through roleplay which may result in the wounded char not losing any money, while money is always removed from the game.
4. There tends to be a large amount of "surplus" money on most chars, for the reduction of which this would be a good system.

=
Money is consequently a much easier, better, versatile, sexy, whatever medium for "punishing" characters than player's time and forcing others to do monotonous actions ever is. While earning money is sometimes dependent on investing player's time in a task, he has complete freedom of choosing how he acts. He may earn the money through roleplaying, which is not ever an option when it comes to regaining skill as now. Of course, if your character has no money, no other assets, no friends or allies, then you indeed have to tread carefully sometimes, no denying that.. but then again, it's an RP-choice. :)

So it's not bullshit, it's good shit. :)

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Post by Kranek » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:07 pm

@his awesomeness:
We should try to force the people to RP and not to use the engine...and a time-amount necessary to heal it would be a good idea. maybe even combine them? healing is only possible after a certain time?
Second: why not be evil and let the affliction affect skillgain?
1 affliction (short affy) means 1/3 slower skillgain
2 affies means 2/3 slower skillgain
3 affies means no skillgain at all :twisted:
....except those cool scars!

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Post by Nalzaxx » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:40 pm

I imagine death by fire to be somewhat of a whole body consuming affair. So perhaps the penalties for death by fire/ice etc could be raised to reflect this (-4 to con for example) while still being scripted as the chest being hit. However this is something the developers can decide based on their own assessment of the difficulty to script such things.

And in response to your question then yes.

I imagine that getting hit on your legs with a mace is very different to getting an arrow in your thigh and so the affliction should accurately reflect this. That said I think that each combination should always give the same affliction.

(Concussion) + (Leg) = (-2) to (Str)
(Concussion) + (Head) = (-2) to (Int)
(Puncture) + (Leg) = (-2) to (Agi)
(Puncture) + (Head) = (-2) to (Per)

In addition perhaps a malus to Ess and Wil should be given regardless of the method of death. A weakening of the spirit and will if you like. So that even mages have a noticeable affliction from dying. I'd also advise a minimum that afflictions can reduce stats to. Less we have some humerous underflows where death gives you 250 agility.

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Post by Mr. Cromwell » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:43 pm

@Nalzaxx

I disagree strongly. If one method of killing people has a stronger effect than others, despite the eventual outcome being equal, then the ones who employ the said method will have and advantage over others, in particular if there is no randomness involved anymore. This doesn't make sense to me (equal outcome) nor does it sound fair (no randomness). I do like the idea that Wil and Ess would decrease with each affliction, simply because otherwise the afflictions would be mainly harming the primary stats of fighters. This makes it a bitch for mages too. And yes, I presume that a minimum stat of 1 would have to remain to avoid unintentional boosts; however the SUM of decreased stats should always be equal (so if you have only 2 remaining strength, as unlikely as that may be, the affliction would remove one point from peferably your highest stat as you get -2 to Str).

For example, it could go something like this, instead of 'accurately' representing the situation, a bit simplified approach with two possible afflictions, each dealing with two attack types. Do note that there are several compromises there, and again I've tried to be balanced:

Hands
A.) -2 to Dex (Slashing, Magic) - Muscle/tendon/finger damage + burns & frostbites
B.) -2 to Str (Concussion, Piercing) - Broken bones & stab wounds to muscles

Legs:
A.) -2 to Agi (Concussion, Piercing) - Broken bones, piercing damage on muscles
B.) -2 to Con (Slashing, Magic) - Damage to arteries/tendons/muscles, burn/frostbite damage

Torso
A.) -2 to Con (Concussion, Piercing) - Heavy impact damage on ribcage & organs, stab wounds to organs
B.) -2 to Agi (Slashing, Magic) - Muscle & Rib damage, Severe burns/frostbite

Head
A.) -2 to Per (Magic, Piercing) - facial burns, eye damage
B.) -2 to Int (Slashing, Concussion) - Heavy impact damage on skull from both attacks

?

Alternatively, you can of course do it like this:

Piercing
- Head: -2 per
- Torso: -2 con
- Hands: -2 str
- Legs: -2 agi

It depends more on which approach would be the easiest to script, I suppose.

@Kranek

Time amount to heal for prolonged periods of time only works in a satisfiable manner when there is someone to RP with around. However, I fear that this would have similar effect to skillcap which would actually demotivate people from playing, instead of offering something which allows more freedom and fun to the players. Furthermore, this system would depend on the ability of others to keep you entertained/vice versa, with the alternative being idling & boredom. By now, we should know to be wary when it comes to systems which rely on player participation.

However, I did think that the healing of an affliction would not happen in an instant, but the effect would wear off after certain amount of time spent online, lets say one hour and you are fully healed again. However, the time is by no means a central feature here at all.
So:
1.) Death - You got affliction X
2.) Resurrected at the Shrine
3.) Wait at the shrine like now
4.) Go to the temple to get the affliction removed -Y s
5.) Stay around IG for a while, and you're healed

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