IMO: Death of a Spaceman: A Griefer’s Dream Come True!
Chris Roberts recently posted a blog update about the death penalty in his upcoming sandbox MMO Star Citizen and boy was it a doozy. Go ahead and read the blog post/update below then come back and we’ll discuss why it’s doomed to fail. I’ll wait…
Okay now that you’re back here’s the ” To Long Didn’t Read”; It’s not a Death Penalty, it’s a Death Reward, and one that does more to encourage griefing than any other game in recent history. Now if your interest is actually piqued read on below where I explain why.
What Chris has described here is not a death penalty at all, but rather a death reward. I don’t lose anything of value at all. Unless of course you’re a RPer or into personal character development, but that’s an entirely different rant and post. Let’s stay on topic here. I don’t lose money, I don’t lose items, I don’t lose any of my player skill. What I do lose is reputation, we’ll talk about how this is open for abuse, and a name and body, again open for abuse. Now he does say you get to keep “almost all” of your stuff, which does imply a minor loss, but is it enough?
No. Because it’s open for abuse. As an outlaw, a branded pirate, losing reputation is not a bad thing, because I am losing bad reputation. So not only do I get a new name and body, one you do not recognize, but I can also lower my “pirate” reputation, and become less wanted.
So in theory I could make one character, use it to bank roll a griefing character and gank until my heart’s content. Whenever the people and police have had enough I’ll be killed enough to fully die, lowering my reputation. So I’ll die a few more times on purpose and become a fine upstanding “Star Citizen” again. Only I’m still a griefer, I’m just in a new body, new name, all my stuff, and you don’t even know I’m a griefing pirate.
And all this is possible because death has no real penalty. It’s a death reward because it allows me to go down in the game’s history, which is a cool concept, something to keep. But that’s not a penalty at all, unless, as I mentioned above, you’re invested in that character’s personal development or RP. It’s a reward.
Sure I’ll lose some stuff, and a character name, but as a griefer I care not for character name or legacy and all for the griefing lols. And with a second character bank rolling this griefing alt any stuff I use will be negligible if it’s even noticed at all. The more likely scenario being my griefer has nothing but the ship he’s killing you in, so there is no fear of loss, when the new beneficiary needs stuff my alt will send it to him.
So I own nothing but the ship I shoot you in, meaning the “loss mechanic of death” is completely negated. The only thing I lost was my ship, which I had insured, and which is being bank rolled by an alt anyways.
Nothing is ever lost on the griefer. There is no risk. There is only reward.
How do we fix it? Keep the death reward but create a death penalty also. There must be something that is lost at death, something that cannot be easily re-obtained and/or bankrolled by another character. If not we are leaving this system open to gross abuse that could only be contained via mass bannings, and that wouldn’t exactly look good on the game.
I love the concept, it’s a great idea, if a bit flawed. It could definitely be turned into a great mechanic, as long as we put a little more thought, care, and work into it. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this one as it develops.
What do you think?
- Star Citizen’s death mechanics to create ‘a sense of mortality and history’ (massively.joystiq.com)
- Badass 90′s Starfighter Design Lives On With Star Citizen (kotaku.com)