Thursday, September 11, 2008

Video Game Death is Serious Business

Today's lunchtime post is going to be a bit short, since I am currently obsessed with Final Fantasy IV for the DS. My goodness it is sweet. So far, it's pretty much everything I loved about FFIII and a little bit more. It has been a while since I last played an RPG though, and being a little too used to playing MMORPGs as of late has definitely shown in my gameplay.

Firstly, dying in WoW has led me to become careless with my character. In WoW, there is no "Game Over." In non-arena/non-battleground areas, you simply respawn at a certain location, and you can either resurrect your character on the spot, or resurrect your character where you were last killed.

The harshest penalty you end up receiving upon death is a hefty repair bill, or an optional 10 minutes of "rez sickness" that gimps your stats the point of being unable to defend yourself from other monsters.

In traditional RPG's, however, when you die, that's pretty much it. The game ends, and you have to restart the game from the last save point. If you don't save , you might end up losing upwards of an hour or two worth of gameplay, and you have to start all over again.

My goodness, playing WoW for an exclusive amount of time has driven me to that carelessness with regards to FFIV, and as a result, I've played the same beginning dungeon four times today, each time assuming that I could save the game later, but dying unnecessarily in some situation. One death was due to a random encounter wtih a really high-level monster, and another was due to having the entire party afflicted with Stone status, automatically resulting in a game over.

As a result of my experience, I got horridly pissed off at myself for becoming such an RPG noob, and tightened up saving habits, and haven't died since. I wonder now, however, if that will translate into an analogous behaviour in WoW?

My guild has this tradition when we run Kara. A mage has to die. It doesn't have to be me, since we have a lot of mages in the guild. There has been only one run in recent memory when there wasn't a single mage in the raid. And in each of those mage-filled runs, the mage is always at the top of the "deaths" list on recount/SWS.

Squishiness aside, I feel partially responsible for myself whenever I die, but not to the extent that I would adjust my gameplay to ensure survival, essentially the same way I play my regular RPG's. As such, I often perpetuate this careless attitude towards my characters in WoW, even though I shouldn't. As such, I would think that harsher dying penalties in WoW would make me more careful, and I wouldn't mind if such changes would be implemented.

So the questions I want to throw out there into the internether are as follows:

Are you careful with your WoW toon?
Do you like to play games outside the MMO genre that have harsh penalties for character death?
Does your WoW play mirror that of your gameplay in other genres?

With those questions in mind, I set my goal for this Friday's Karazhan: not to be the top of the DPS chart, but to be on the bottom of the "deaths" chart. Hopefully my frustration with non-MMO's will be successfully channelled into conservative yet productive play. I'll report on the results sometime on the weekend. So for now, wish me luck, and see you soon!


Larísa said...

I got so used at dying levelling Larísa (being a squishie and a total noob when it came to any kind of playing, not having a clue about anything really) that I'm sort of immune I think. I'm so used to see the game in black and white. And wiping at Archi is just the same...

But it's a nice idea to head for a death free night rather than topping dps chart. Another kind of challenge (even though ofc it helps you on dps list to stay alive).

Must say though that I die a lot less since I got rid of the aggro-pulling fire spec... :)

Arrens said...

I -HATE- dying in WoW. I'm obsessed with staying alive and have been since my warlocking days to my current (and admittedly easier-to-stay-alive) rogue. It's not the repair bills or the lack of my DPS that bugs me. It means I've done something I shouldn't have done, such as pulled aggro or mis-clicked something to draw unwanted attention from the bad guy.

Vanish, however, has made it much easier to stay alive and bring my stealthy stabbity-stabs to the backs of my foes.

/cue the Bee Gees

Anonymous said...

When I PvP, I have only one mode... suicide-mode.

When I PvE, I forget that I don't have to die.

It amuses me when I am the last Gnome standing (last second invisibility), and I laugh at the other party members... for so long I was the 1st to die.

Don't play other games (generally), but if I play anything, even phone games, I tend to be careless... doesn't matter, just hit "new game"

Einz said...

I'm pretty careful with my characters in WoW, partly because I just don't want to have to bother with running back to my corpse. But another part of my being careful is that I cut my MMOG teeth on Everquest. In EQ, when you die, you lose experience. And there wasn't a special reality for ghosts; you had to run naked through often very dangerous areas to get your corpse. Group members could drag your corpse, iirc, to a safe place, but even so....

So yeah, I try to avoid dying as much as I can.

SappyRogue said...

I hate dying in any game, but as a WoW Rogue when I die I almost consider it a personal failing. I've survived encounters of up to 7 enemies with my wife (a drood)and I fighting tooth and nail; dying is not an option. If I'm about to die, I have so many panic buttons as a rogue that there's no excuse. Same pretty much for my pally. My other toons I'm more forgiving.

Plus I hate corpse runs and repair bills, so I avoid death as often as possible.