[.11] Alternative Life Idea

Ken

Artisan
Alliance Logistics
I agree that simplicity is extremely important. Additionally, I wanted to remove the need for build investment in order to avoid X class/build from being pressured to make "Fix Death" solution. Assigning Life to PP instead of Earth 9 just means someone else is going to get the pressure.
The nature of the pressure is a little different, though.
As a healer on the battlefield, prioritizing limited healing resources when there's not enough to go around is one thing.
As a potion maker trying to make some cash at the market, if you'd like to form a line around the corner to give me coin and a reagent I'm happy to profit/help. And batches are a thing, so I'm never really "out" of PP if the demand is high enough.

But you could also decouple it from PP since reagents are going into it. Denver's LCO crafting doesn't consume PP either.
 

Alavatar

Baron
If the concern is losing characters, there are several stages to go from Dead to Permanently Dead.

Other ideas:
  • Introduce a low level spell that extends the Dead count.
  • Allow a large amount of Healing (say 50 Healing or something) to fix Dead.
  • Allow coin to be used to guarantee resurrection (I suggest making the cost level defendant).
  • Remove the randomness of Resurrection leading to Permanent Death. Either make it static or implement death penalty.
  • Make the Sacrafice ritual a spell
  • Etc.
Don't just focus on a Life alternate.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
But there's nothing inherently wrong with the system of death, nor do I think the answer lies in making death less uncomfortable.

There's something wrong with a singular way to "Do A Thing" in our system, however. No other "Things That We Do" are only accomplishable via a single skill. There are multiple sources of damage (some more convenient than others), multiple sources of healing (some more convenient than others), multiple sources of crowd-control (some more convenient than others). There's a singular way to remove Dead.

The issue isn't that Dead is bad. The issue is that fixing Dead exists in one place. That's an exception in our skill system. The fix should be in providing another source, or making the singular option equally available to everyone.
 

norman b

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
It's that. Because that means the loss of IG connections that you have an OOG enjoyment from, the loss of $$$ from costuming and props that you now need to play a new character, and the loss of IG influence due to power and connections that you had before.
Kind of like what Seth said, why fix life/death then? What happens if there are resources and someone permanently dies? They still have to OOG make a new character.

Death should be feared. It should not be an easy fix. It should also not be something plot just whips out for funsies. I think a lot of people feel plot will just whip it out without control. Hell, I had 4 spell strike dooms swung on me by one enemy in rapid succession at the last play test. 4. 3 were eaten by other resources. 1 stuck. It was fixed by my own spell store. And that was Friday night. Do I think that was a bit overkill? Yeah. But did we look badass tanking those? Hell yeah!

There are plenty of other ways to prevent death.
 

Muir

Fighter
The worry isn't plot throwing death effects. It's how easily simple misjudgements on scaling can lead to a lot of need for Life spells due to bleedouts. One healer caught with a 5 minute bindomancy at the wrong time could be a half dozen life spells needed instead of simple cures to prevent the potential of permanent death.

Putting that all on Earth Casters to solve is a bad design decision.

I'd be just as happy removing permadeath as well. It serves no purpose but to punish players for taking risks, and those risks make the game more interesting.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Putting that all on Earth Casters to solve is a bad design decision.
This. Alliance should be a game. If I play an Earth Caster, it shouldn't immediately be my job to prevent resurrection purely because I'm the only one who can.

If you have the power to fix something, and you don't fix it, people will blame you for that. They don't care that you don't want to be a healbot. They don't care that you're playing a cursecaster with a big Death roleplay. They will blame you for not making the decision to fix death, purely because you're the only person who has the ability to make that choice.

That is terrible design, and the only argument against fixing this is "We wanna keep death scary, tho...."

Death can still be scary without making Earth Casters the only people who can stop it from happening.
 
I still stand by a recommendation I have made earlier.

Changes the stages of life from (Alive, Unconscious, Bleeding Out, Dead, Resurrection) to (Alive, Unconscious, Bleeding Out, Resurrection).
Then add a few key changes.
Bleeding Out lasts five minutes.
Any healing on someone Bleeding Out brings them to Unconscious regardless of what body total it brings them to.
Any healing on someone Unconscious increases their body total but leaves them Unconscious.
Unconscious lasts for 1 minute.
The Life spell heals 30 body and brings someone to the Alive state (even if they were Unconscious or Bleeding Out).

The previous rules for reaching Unconscious (drop to exactly 0) or Bleeding Out (drop to -1) still apply. Heck, if you want to really KISS, make 0 count as Bleeding Out and make Unconscious a state you can only reach by being healed while Bleeding Out (effectively "stabilized").

The end result is that any healing spell can prevent death within 5 minutes of being dropped, but only a Life spell instantly brings the target back into the fight. All other healing requires that you defend the unconscious person's body for one minute before they return.

That completely solves the problem of Life being the only solution to death while still giving it a capstone effect that makes it worth memorizing in a 9th level slot.

-MS
 

norman b

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Why do you care what someone thinks of you? If they don't like your style of play that's on them. That's not on you.

Death is part of the game. Getting rid of permadeath or even death cheapens bold moves. If I just walk into everything because death doesn't matter then there's no challenge. If there's no challenge then why play? Why should plot put in any effort because there's nothing that will challenge the players.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Why do you care what someone thinks of you? If they don't like your style of play that's on them. That's not on you.
Weird, I always thought Alliance was a game intended to be played with others. You’re right, I should just intentionally be a jerk to people.

Seriously?
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Death is part of the game. Getting rid of permadeath or even death cheapens bold moves. If I just walk into everything because death doesn't matter then there's no challenge. If there's no challenge then why play? Why should plot put in any effort because there's nothing that will challenge the players.
There are lots of ways to challenge players without having the threat of imminent death hanging over them. Personally, I find the story and roleplay challenges so much more compelling, and in my experience plot teams do a great job of giving those challenges weight. Mostly I fear death on an OOG level, because it risks my ability to continue to engage with those stories.
 

Tantarus

Squire
Mostly I fear death on an OOG level, because it risks my ability to continue to engage with those stories.
This part I understand very much. I dont think I would like starting over and losing my 20 years of character history with my friends.

That said I think Norman is right there needs to be an element of danger and loss to make the game exciting.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
This part I understand very much. I dont think I would like starting over and losing my 20 years of character history with my friends.

That said I think Norman is right there needs to be an element of danger and loss to make the game exciting.
The OP isn’t about making Death less likely, it’s about making Earth Casters no longer the only way of fixing Death.

I’m really annoyed that this is what my post was translated into.
 

Tantarus

Squire
The OP isn’t about making Death less likely, it’s about making Earth Casters no longer the only way of fixing Death.

I’m really annoyed that this is what my post was translated into.
An alliance thread go off topic? Clearly unpossible.

That said there has been alot of decent suggestions, but at the end of the day it is unlikely to change anything so major towards the end of playtesting.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
The OP isn’t about making Death less likely, it’s about making Earth Casters no longer the only way of fixing Death.

I’m really annoyed that this is what my post was translated into.
I think it’s a valid alternate solution to the social pressure problem that you posited. Another source of Life is one way to relieve some of that pressure. Making Death less dire (say, if it became a tactical problem or a roleplay consequence rather than a potential character-ruiner) is another. I could personally get behind both or either.

Also, even if it’s too late to make it into 2.0, 2.1 is probably going to be a thing.
 

Feldor

Scholar
And looping it back, there was another thread that talked basically about this same issue; and had a bunch of life ideas that were not repeated in this thread and that it probably makes sense to read and think about. There were definitely other good ideas beyond just what was talked about in this thread.
 

Muir

Fighter
There are lots of ways to challenge players without having the threat of imminent death hanging over them. Personally, I find the story and roleplay challenges so much more compelling, and in my experience plot teams do a great job of giving those challenges weight. Mostly I fear death on an OOG level, because it risks my ability to continue to engage with those stories.
Exactly this. Permadeath is a consequence to the player. Resurrections are, beyond the threat of losing the character, completely unremarkable as a threat for the character. Even if they do fail to resurrect, they're going to be shrugged off as having fallen victim to an unfortunate game mechanic rather than really 'dying'. Failing in their goals is a much stronger driver as a consequence than resurrecting.
 
Keep in mind, this discussion really isn't about making death less scary or less common. It is about the fact that the current rules elevate the Life spell in such a way that it is clearly far better than any equivalently costed resource (primarily 9th level spells).

Our rules attempt to make all equally costed choices relatively competitive with each other. The idea is that there should be no bad choice and that there should be no clearly dominant choices. We have failed at that goal at various points, but no failure has ever been as complete and as constant as the Life spell and the way it interacts with death in our game.

Because it is literally the only resource that will prevent a resurrection (once a person reaches the Dead state), it has near infinite elasticity in terms of cost (economic term that means no matter how much you increase the price, someone will buy it). You can see this when Life items are sold during in-game auctions. You can see this in the fact that Life spells are memorized more than any other 9th level Earth spell by a massive margin. You could see this by how many Life items were purchased with Goblin Stamps (when that was an option) whenever one appeared on the NPC magic item list (back in the day in HQ).

Literally, if we changed the rules today such that Life spells required one 9th level slot AND one 8th level slot to memorize, you'd see almost exactly as many Life spells in the game. That is how valuable the spell is. That is how elastic the price is.

And that value is due to the fact that it is the only resource that performs that function. If other resources existed that performed an equivalent function, the elasticity of that value would decrease.

If we want our rules to live up to the concept of making all options competitive, something needs to be done about the Life situation. This is also more than just a rules issue. This is a customer service issue. Literally for decades players that play healers have been complaining that they basically have no options with 9th level Earth slots other than memorizing Life. And when players feel like the rules are forcing their hand on character choices, they get annoyed.

The whole "Death should be scary" argument and similar arguments are straw man arguments. I don't think they were intentionally made to derail, but they don't matter in relation to the main goal. They are simply guidelines that should be considered while coming up with solutions for one of the oldest problems in our game.

-MS
 
I have an idea. What if you could spend 5 minutes First Aiding somebody to bring them from Dead to Unconscious? It is a significant enough time sink that it will be difficult to pull off in a fight, leaving Earth Scholars still the *best* at healing, but it's a skill that any character can purchase.

I think this would also accompany folding First Aid and Healing Arts into one skill, which I would be in favor of anyway.
 

Lurin

Duke
So I've been noodling it, Why not leave the life spell in game as it is as the 'cheapest' option, but add another skill take allows the restoration of life but consumes a component as the cost. Yes this is variable in coin value but by loot policy is a fairly set price via player numbers.

So perhaps to add a skill

'Restore vitality' - Prereqs Healing arts - 1 pt for scholars/cross classes, 2 points for fighters/rogues
This allows the character to restore a dead target to 1 body as if a life spell had been applied. using this ability consumes a component of any type and may be used once per logistics per purchase

This keeps life effects comparatively rare, but makes it easy for folks to invest a small number of build to have that 'back up' option or not force anyone into healing, and keeps scholars the king of life spells without making them as mandatory.
 
So I've been noodling it, Why not leave the life spell in game as it is as the 'cheapest' option, but add another skill take allows the restoration of life but consumes a component as the cost. Yes this is variable in coin value but by loot policy is a fairly set price via player numbers.

So perhaps to add a skill

'Restore vitality' - Prereqs Healing arts - 1 pt for scholars/cross classes, 2 points for fighters/rogues
This allows the character to restore a dead target to 1 body as if a life spell had been applied. using this ability consumes a component of any type and may be used once per logistics per purchase

This keeps life effects comparatively rare, but makes it easy for folks to invest a small number of build to have that 'back up' option or not force anyone into healing, and keeps scholars the king of life spells without making them as mandatory.
In theory, I like the direction you are trying to go, but in practice I see a large problem. You are talking about a skill that only works when you have access to one of the rarer resources in the game. That means, for many players, it is a completely useless build expenditure on some weekends.

And this isn't just a problem in theory. It is a proven problem. One of the main reasons that high magic was added to the game was because players were frustrated at having spent build on Ritual Magic and having absolutely no way to use it, purely based on the whims of how plot distributed components (and scrolls).

That is the core of the problem. It is a complete crap shoot on whether characters can get their hands on ritual components. There is no way to create them with a build bought skill (maybe there should be?) and they are rare enough that the average character will likely get less than one per weekend. Since High Magic was introduced, no other skill has this type of limitation (some cost money, but players can literally purchase a skill that gives them money every weekend).

Some skills are situational (legerdemain, resist command, etc.), and that is fine (okay, mildly problematic, but I've never seen a solution suggested for that), but we have moved away from skills being completely unusable without specific rare resources (oh the bad old days of strengthening and the VERY BAD old days of resurrection).

-MS
 
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