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Posts with tag death penalty

Should you lose experience when you die?, revisited

This sailboat looks safe...
Yesterday we talked about the death mechanic in World of Warcraft and how gameplay might be changed by making death mean more to your character. Today, as a point of comparison, we're going to take a look at death in the MMO Vanguard -- and how it's about to be changed.

Currently, death in Vanguard involves loss of experience (15%, and if you have no experience, you could go into debt -- i.e. you would need to gain 15% of the experience towards your next level before you could actually gain any experience again) and your body (tombstone) would remain where you died -- along with all of your soulbound items. Options upon death were to (1) be resurrected by another player, which causes minor experience loss and minor item damage, (2) to recover your body from where you died, which causes minor experience loss and minor item damage, or (3) summon your body, which causes the 15% experience loss and major durability damage. Though it sounds quite a bit harsher, this isn't that different from World of Warcraft's current system of "run back to your body and all is well" -- it has just added experience loss to the equation.

However, on their test server, the death system is changing. First off, you no longer leave a corpse behind when you die -- you leave an "essence." No items are left on the essence, so retrieval is less important. However, if you retrieve your essence, you regain a large portion of your lost experience. And to top it all off, experience loss has been decreased. So while casual-friendly World of Warcraft players wonder if the death penalty isn't harsh enough, hardcore Vanguard reduces its death penalty to one not terribly harsher than World of Warcraft's.

Forum poster prencher
makes the obvious connection, "...we're back to 'wowified' raiding, where you just keep chain wiping until you get it right."

Note to Vanguard players in the audience: I do not presently play Vanguard, so my information has come from IGN's Vanguard Vault and VanguardSphere's forums. I've done my best to understand how the death mechanic works in Vangaurd, but as I have no first-hand experience, I could be wrong -- so if you see any inaccuracies, I welcome corrections.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Should you lose experience when you die?

In the World of Warcraft, the cost of dying is really pretty minimal. Yes, there's the trouble of running from the graveyard to your corpse and yes you take 10% durability damage to all of your equipped gear (the cost goes up to 25% if you need to spirit rez). So you lose a minute or two of time running back to your corpse eating/drinking/bandaging, and rebuffing yourself before getting right back to where you left off. In terms of gameplay, you're not really set back at all -- you don't lose experience or levels from death. And sometimes death can even be beneficial to your character: say, by killing one of a pack of three monsters (dying in the process), and then coming back to take out the second and the third. You've just managed to kill a group of monsters larger than you could have killed alone -- all by benefit of the death system!

But the penalty for death is so light that there's not really much reason to avoid it. Oh, I know the time spent in corpse runs adds up and the cost of repairing gear only gets higher and higher. But it's not the end of the world if you die -- and it's hardly even the end of your online character. And so there are some players who think the death penalty needs to be harsher. If death mattered, we'd all be playing more cautiously -- in fact, the difference in playstyle would make it a whole new game. But it would make the most difference in the raiding game -- I can't say I've ever learned an encounter without a few deaths. Losing experience or levels for wiping in a raid situation?

"Sorry everyone, I just leveled down to 69 from that wipe, have to go grind."


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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