Idea Threshing: Avatar Death = Game Over?

By on November 7, 2008 2:45:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

keithLamothe

Join Date 11/2006
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Another discussion from the general forum...

Initial Problem: If a player's avatar is killed, what happens to the player?

Solution 1: that player is eliminated, and all their cities/armies/etc revert to neutral or go *boom* or something.  I believe this is the current idea for Elemental based on the GameSpot Interview ("If you die, it's game over.")
- con: this has made it very easy to "short-circuit" challenge by ganking AI avatars because the AI was stupid or it was just very difficult to defend any one unit against a determined attack
- pro: provides a way to eliminate inferior players and win the game without having the potential tedium of taking over the whole map in the conventional manner

Solution 2 (e.g. MoM) : player is moved to a "limbo" where they cannot cast spells or are otherwise severely limited, and must cast a "spell of return" to return to the normal state
- con: copyright infringement
- con: in MoM, it was rare for a wizard to actually succeed in casting this, so it was sort of just prolonging the inevitable, but it made it harder to win with 1 city versus 40 cities just by ganking a wizard (if they had enough, they could come back pretty fast)
- con: may be tedious to take out the remains of the player's empire and thus win the game even when the victim has no reasonable chance of success

Solution 3 (e.g. AoM SM) : if player has a suitable city (with a "tower" in the example), the avatar respawns there next turn.  If no such suitable city exists, the player is eliminated.
- con: may not feel like avatar death is meaningful enough
- con: may lead to tedium if the victim has too many towers, even if the victim has no reasonable chance of success

Alternate Solution: if avatar dies, the player can expend a certain quantity of "essence" to respawn.  If the player doesn't have enough essence, the player is eliminated.
- pro: based on preliminary info, essence is a very limited resource so the number of respawns could be very limited, or zero if the player has used a lot of essence to re-seed terrain and whatnot, so avatar death would still *really* hurt
- pro: the AI could take essence level into account and realize that it should protect it's avatar at all costs when essence is too low, hopefully making it hard to gank-eliminate an AI player without forcing the AI to never use the avatar on the field.
- pro: you could still short-circuit an obvious-but-tedious endgame by killing avatars, you would just have to kill each one a couple-three times instead of only once.
- con: takes developer time, though hopefully not too much to just do a check on death against the essence value

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Keith

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November 7, 2008 2:56:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It has already been stated that if your avatar dies it is game over for you.

I like it that way.

 

Sammual

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November 7, 2008 2:59:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Successors would be good, and why not a disciple? When you grow strong enough you can take a disciple and train him (that would drain an amount of mana to teach him). If you die he takes the succession.

Or a Sauron kind of ring. When you're strong enough you creates artefact with some of your essence. then you would gain great magic power but lose some of your humanity (and then it should have some drawbacks like having hard time to keep your cities at rest, or you come closer to your dusk - like in Ars Magica - And each spell cast has a slight chance of aging you. When you're too old.. bye bye)

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November 7, 2008 3:01:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, thanks for the confirmation of my impression that 'the current idea for Elemental based on the GameSpot Interview ("If you die, it's game over.")'.

In all honesty, I would prefer that it not be quite that way, which is why I posted this to provide an alternate idea.  While options are generally bad due to multiplying effort of implementation, I think this is the sort of thing that could be made an easy enough option so that if the "no essence-revival" option is checked you just die flat-out.

There's another solution being batted around where your avatar really dies but there is a "succession" of another character to the "throne" and you keep going.  This sounds interesting but seems that it would involve a lot more development effort.

Thanks,

Keith

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November 7, 2008 3:19:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,

Or a Sauron kind of ring. When you're strong enough you creates artefact with some of your essence. then you would gain great magic power but lose some of your humanity (and then it should have some drawbacks like having hard time to keep your cities at rest, or you come closer to your dusk - like in Ars Magica - And each spell cast has a slight chance of aging you. When you're too old.. bye bye)

Not that it has much to do with the topic, but this is a splendid idea. Sauron lost much of his power to make the One Ring, but while he possessed it, his powers over the physical world were greatly enhanced. I would like to see a similiar mechanic here, though perhaps you would permantently lose essence(whatever that means in the game) and gain other positive things in it's place. You shouldn't be able to cancel the trade, though. A permant choice. Rather nice.

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November 7, 2008 3:21:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just a personal opinion, of course, but I really like the "if you die, it's game over" mechanic.  As you point out, one of the big pros of this is that you don't have to clean up the map to win the game.  When you crush an opponent sufficiently well to be able to kill the leader, that's good enough.

 

I'm not too worried about it being too easy to knock off a leader with a concerted sneak attack.  From everything they've said, leaders will be _incredibly_ powerful compared to normal units.  If so, it seems unlikely that you could sneak in a sufficiently powerful force.  You'll need to either attack en masse, or bring your own leader in with the attack, in which case you're risking being the one who gets eliminated.

 

Anyway, I get the impression that leaders can't be knocked off easily.  In MoM, they weren't battlefield units, so they were much easier to eliminate.

 

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November 7, 2008 3:21:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The idea of succession does not stick in my opinion.

 

Since you have a unique ability to channel magic you just can't just transfer that ability. I prefer that my character be Unique. It give it a more grandiose aura.

 

I like the idea that the other towns just end up neutral. Depending on your fame some might ask to join you and so forth.

 

You can always try and short circuit the game and try to get to the AI directly. It's been attempted before. Kill the soverigh and hope that the empire crubles. Give you encentive to protect your chaneller. Think twice before you use him in battle. Then again I might bait the ennemy in order to trap him.

 

The possibility are endless.

 

 

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November 7, 2008 3:21:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On balance, I like the 'if you die it is game over' option too.

Maybe some rare artefacts or spells could grant exceptions.

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November 7, 2008 3:46:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

With 'Personal Magic Power' as your main limiting factor in the game the 'you die and it's over' mechanic is the only one that makes sense.  Every time you found a new city, create an artifact, empower a hero you make yourself that much weaker.  If you could come back as your self or an apprentice the choice of weather or not to weaken yourself to empower a hero isn't as meaningfull.

Sammual

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November 7, 2008 3:50:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"If you could come back as your self or an apprentice the choice of weather or not to weaken yourself to empower a hero isn't as meaningfull."

I'm not sure I was clear in what I said then, because I was advocating that "reviving" should use that very same "personal magic power".  If you've used too much, you just die flat out, and if you haven't then you lose a large chunk of it to revive.  Dying would certainly not gain you any said power.

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November 7, 2008 4:36:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another idea that comes to mind is that the death of a channeler should have consequences for the world beyond their assets going neutral.  Like if a really powerful fire channeler dies the final death, volcanos and stuff erupt across the map and make the world feel the pain.  I'm not sure if it's worth the coding time (essentially triggering a minor world-wrecker spell on death) but it would add some tradeoffs on whether it's best to eliminate the guy or just marginalize him.

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November 7, 2008 4:40:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That actually makes a certain degree of sense -- a 'final strike' shows up on in a lot of different magic schemes as (basically):  I'm going to die -- fine, I'm taking ou with me!

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November 7, 2008 6:23:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On that note, perhaps loosing your troops and cities should release magical assets back to you?

Then the Channeller with his back against the wall could release his last, world changing, spell as his last gambit. Either it will put him back in the game or it will be going out with a big explosion

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November 7, 2008 7:36:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One aspect of games I have never been fond of is an opposing nation going *poof* when defeated.  Perhaps instead some units/cities fall under your control, and others may attempt to join other nations, still fight for their cause, or splinter off into their own sovergn state, all depending on how the conquored nation was taken over, how it wasdeveloped, relations with other nations, etc.

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November 7, 2008 9:58:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another idea was brought up that I should have included in the OP:

 

- normally, avatar death = player loses

- however, the player can eventually research a high level item creation spell that allows them to create one (and only one) very special and powerful item; one of its powers would be to "revive" the avatar once.  The creation of this item would consume a lot of "essence", and the "revive" would cost a lot more.  So it would only be available to reasonably powerful players, it would have to be done before hand, and it would really hurt.

 

I think this idea has more "cool factor" than my straight up essence-for-revive idea in that it could allow some really nice items for those willing to make the tradeoff.

 

Of course, you then get into the issue of what happens if someone manages to separate you from your ring, er, really-cool-item, or what happens if it is destroyed.  The game wouldn't really have to model that though.

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November 8, 2008 4:13:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And what about my idea of giving part of your power to an item(like sauron), then you lose some of your powers and they are transfered to the item with some bonus (sauron got more powerful in magic) AND malus (he loses wat he left of its sanity).

You would need some kind of "fate mountain" to forge it. And you would have to give it up !! If your avatar keep the item then it can't revive you. So you have to gie it to a hero, and as long as the hero keep it then you can revive. And the item would corrupt the hero, he would sometimes kills units he travels with or reduce morale or etc.... If someone else get the item and break it then the avatr dies. And that would be Game Over It would be graat cause if you caught the enemy item your hero would also corrupt.

And on the fallen ones the corruption would have same kind of effect : lose sanity, randomly do things to your men etc...

Hum? It reminds me something ....

 

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November 8, 2008 6:13:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the general idea is to have some trade off of base essence for a revival I would like to see the "cost" going to the faction leader that killed the other. Maybe 50% to the leader directly and the rest to his units or something like that. It would surely go a long way in cementing rivalries.

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November 8, 2008 6:27:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

50% would be too harsh. The idea is good, it would lessen the "go kill the leader" effect. Killing another avatar would need real planing due ti the fact you would be altered in your power some turns after the opponent death.

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November 8, 2008 10:01:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Perhaps that idea might make sense for the 'evil' version of The One Ring, but what about a good guys version?  (Or a nuetral guy's version)

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November 8, 2008 10:22:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,
50% would be too harsh. The idea is good, it would lessen the "go kill the leader" effect. Killing another avatar would need real planing due ti the fact you would be altered in your power some turns after the opponent death.

I was thinking 50% for a couple turns after then a permanent 20% base stat boost. The power to the units would of course be permanent. It should be selectable between offence and defense methinks.

Quoting Ron Lugge,
Perhaps that idea might make sense for the 'evil' version of The One Ring, but what about a good guys version?  (Or a nuetral guy's version)

Well you would have the whole "smite" and "balance" argument for those silly boy.

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November 8, 2008 1:22:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Or maybe that retaliation would be some spell researched .. or mana used to raise the retaliation level.

Ron, if you think of retaliation, then it makes sens for whatever side you're on.

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November 8, 2008 8:51:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

OK, somebody isn't making any sense here.  He suggested that a player could create an item (like the one ring) that would allow them to 'come back from death', but that that ring would cause whoever held it to go insane and do nasty things to their friends.  THat makes sense for an evil object, but what about the good version?

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November 9, 2008 3:12:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ron Lugge,
OK, somebody isn't making any sense here.  He suggested that a player could create an item (like the one ring) that would allow them to 'come back from death', but that that ring would cause whoever held it to go insane and do nasty things to their friends.  THat makes sense for an evil object, but what about the good version?

ROFL. We are talking about different things brother. We were talking about the effects of the death to the person that killed the wizard. You are talking about, making an item for the dead wizard. Well something like that can easily be dont for the other alignments. For example a "challis grace" for the good player and an "onyx heart" for the neutral player.

 

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November 9, 2008 3:34:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ron Lugge,
OK, somebody isn't making any sense here.  He suggested that a player could create an item (like the one ring) that would allow them to 'come back from death', but that that ring would cause whoever held it to go insane and do nasty things to their friends.  THat makes sense for an evil object, but what about the good version?

The good version would attract the wearer to the side of dead avatar

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November 9, 2008 10:23:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ROFL. We are talking about different things brother.

 

Wasn't that the point of my entire post? 

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November 9, 2008 11:14:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Exactly and I responded to your question as expected brother man. Now if that is not karma generating activity then I do know what is...

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