This article may need to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (February 2016)
Permadeath or permanent death is a game mechanic in both tabletop games and video games in which player characters who lose all of their health are considered dead and cannot be used anymore.Depending on the situation, this could require the player to create a new character to continue, or completely restart the game potentially losing nearly all progress made. Other terms include persona death and player death. Some video games offer a hardcore mode that features this mechanic, rather than making it part of the core game.
Tabletop games are games that are normally played on a table or other flat surface, such as board games, card games, dice games, miniature wargames or tile-based games.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.
Permadeath is contrary to games that allow the player to continue in some manner, such as their character respawning at a nearby checkpoint on "death", resurrection of their character by a magic item or spell, or being able to load and restore a saved game state to avoid the death situation. The mechanic is frequently associated with both tabletop and computer-based role-playing games,and is considered an essential element of the roguelike genre of video games. The implementation of permadeath can vary depending on the type of game.
In video games, spawning is the live creation of a character, item or NPC. Respawning is the recreation of an entity after its death or destruction, perhaps after losing one of its lives. Despawning is the deletion of an entity from the game world.
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative, reflecting their influence from tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.
Most arcade games (such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man , for example) have permadeath, so the term is usually used in reference to role-playing games where it is less common.[ citation needed ] Few single-player RPGs exhibit death that is truly permanent, as most allow the player to load a previously saved game and continue from the stored position. The subgenre of roguelike games is an exception , where permadeath is a high-value factor of these games. While players can save their state and continue at a later time, the save file is generally erased or overwritten, preventing players from restarting at that same state. They work around this by backing up save files, but this tactic, called "save scumming" is considered cheating. The use of the permadeath mechanic in roguelikes arose from the namesake of the genre, Rogue . Glenn Wichman and Michael Toy, the developers of the game, initially did not have save capabilities, requiring players to finish the game in one session. When they did add a save feature, they found that players would repeatedly reload a save file to obtain the best results, which was contrary to the game design—which they "wanted [realism]"—so they implemented code to wipe the save file on reloading to prevent this. This feature is retained in nearly all derivatives of Rogue as well as more recent "roguelike-like" titles like Spelunky and FTL: Faster Than Light .
An arcade game or coin-op game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games or merchandisers. While exact dates are debated, the golden age of arcade video games is usually defined as a period beginning sometime in the late 1970s and ending sometime in the mid-1980s. Excluding a brief resurgence in the early 1990s, the arcade industry subsequently declined in the Western hemisphere as competing home video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox increased in their graphics and game-play capability and decreased in cost. The eastern hemisphere retains a strong arcade industry.
Space Invaders is a 1978 arcade game created by Tomohiro Nishikado. It was manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and licensed in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Within the shooter genre, Space Invaders was the first fixed shooter and set the template for the shoot 'em up genre. The goal is to defeat wave after wave of descending aliens with a horizontally moving laser to earn as many points as possible.
Pac-Man is a maze arcade game developed and released by Namco in 1980. The original Japanese title of Puck Man was changed to Pac-Man for international releases as a preventative measure against defacement of the arcade machines. Outside Japan, the game was published by Midway Games as part of its licensing agreement with Namco America. The player controls Pac-Man, who must eat all the dots inside an enclosed maze while avoiding four colored ghosts. Eating large flashing dots called energizers causes the ghosts to turn blue, allowing Pac-Man to eat them for bonus points. It is the first game to run on the Namco Pac-Man arcade board.
Implementations of permadeath within roguelikes may vary widely. Casual forms of permanent death may allow players to retain money or items while introducing repercussions for failure, reducing the frustration associated with permanent death. More hardcore implementations delete all progress made. In some games, permadeath is an optional mode or feature of higher difficulty levels.Extreme forms may further punish players, such as The Castle Doctrine , which has the option of permanently banning users from servers upon death. Players may prefer to play games with permadeath for the excitement, the desire to test their skill or understanding of the game's mechanics, or out of boredom with standard game design. When their actions have repercussions, they must make more strategic and tactical decisions. At the same time, games using permadeath may encourage players to rely on emotional, intuitive or other non-deductive decision-making as they attempt, with less information, to minimize the risk to characters which they have bonded with. Games using permadeath more closely simulate real life, though game with a strong narrative element frequently avoid permadeath.
The Castle Doctrine is a 2014 strategy video game developed and published by Jason Rohrer for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux via Valve Corporation's Steam platform. The game was released on January 29, 2014 for all platforms and is available as public domain software on sourceforge. Set in the early 1990s, it pits players against one another as they invade others' houses and attempt to steal money from their vaults, while also setting up traps and other obstacles to keep their own vaults safe.
Permadeath of individual characters can be a factor in party-based tactical role-playing games, including the X-COM series, the Fire Emblem series, and Darkest Dungeon . In these games, the player generally manages a roster of characters and controls their actions in turn-based battles while building their attributes, skills, and specializations over time. If these characters fall in combat, the character is considered dead for the remainder of the game. It is possible to return to a previous save game state in these games before the death of the character, but require the player to repeat the battle to continue, risking the loss of the same or other characters.
Tactical role-playing games are a genre of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games with that of tactical games, emphasizing tactics rather than high-level strategy. The format of a tactical RPG video game is much like a traditional tabletop role-playing game in its appearance, pacing and rule structure. Likewise, early tabletop role-playing games are descended from skirmish wargames like Chainmail, which were primarily concerned with combat.
X-COM is a science fiction video game franchise featuring an elite international organization tasked with countering alien invasions of Earth. The series began with the strategy video game UFO: Enemy Unknown created by Julian Gollop's Mythos Games and MicroProse in 1994. The original lineup by MicroProse included six published and at least two canceled games, as well as two novels. The X-COM series, in particular its original entry, achieved a sizable cult following and has influenced many other video games; including the creation of a number of clones, spiritual successors, and unofficial remakes.
Fire Emblem is a fantasy tactical role-playing game franchise developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. First produced and published for the Family Computer (Famicom), the series consists of sixteen main games and three spin-offs. Described by its creators as a "role-playing game simulation", the gameplay revolves around tactical movement of characters across grid-based environments, while incorporating a story and characters similar to traditional role-playing video games.
Some games require an optional permadeath mode to be turned on to provide a more difficult challenge to the player, often associated with earning additional achievements. Egosoft's space combat simulator X3: Terran Conflict and its expansion pack X3: Albion Prelude each have a small number of Steam achievements that require playing in "Dead-Is-Dead" mode,while Paradox Development Studio's grand strategy titles Crusader Kings II , Europa Universalis IV , Hearts of Iron IV , and Stellaris all require "Ironman" mode to earn any achievements. Each of these cases require an unmodded game, a sustained connection to a central server, and even a momentary connection loss costs the playthrough its ability to earn achievements. Doom (2016) has a difficulty setting called "Ultra Nightmare" that, once the player dies, ends their playthrough and forces the player to restart the game from the beginning.
In video gaming parlance, an achievement, also sometimes known as a trophy, badge, award, stamp, medal, challenge or in game achievement, is a meta-goal defined outside a game's parameters. Unlike the in-game systems of quests, tasks, and/or levels that usually define the goals of a video game and have a direct effect on further gameplay, the management of achievements usually takes place outside the confines of the game environment and architecture. Meeting the fulfillment conditions, and receiving recognition of fulfillment by the game, is referred to as unlocking the achievement.
Egosoft GmbH is a German video game developer based in Würselen, Germany. The company was founded by Bernd Lehahn in 1988.
X3: Terran Conflict (Usually shortened to X3TC and trademarked as X3: Terran Conflict), is a space trading and combat simulator from German developer Egosoft and is the culmination of their X series of computer games. Described as a stand-alone game, based on X3: Reunion, it boasts new plot lines, features and assets. It was first released on October 2008 for the European market and Steam.
Permadeath in multiplayer video games is controversial.Due to player desires and the resulting market forces involved, Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (such as World of Warcraft ) and other multiplayer-focused RPGs rarely implement it. Generally speaking, there is little support in multiplayer culture for permadeath. Summarizing academic Richard Bartle's comments on player distaste for permadeath, Engadget characterized fans of MMORPGs as horrified by the concept. For games that charge an ongoing fee to play, permadeath may drive players away, creating a financial disincentive permadeath.
Diablo II , Diablo III , Minecraft ,, Terraria , and Torchlight II are mainstream exceptions that include support for an optional "hardcore" mode that subjects characters to permadeath. Sacred and Sacred 2 similarly feature or have featured a similar "hardcore" mode. Star Wars Galaxies had permadeath for Jedi characters for a short period, but later eliminated that functionality.
Proponents attribute a number of reasons why others oppose permadeath. Some attribute tainted perceptions to poor early implementations.They also believe that confusion exists between "player killing" and permadeath, when the two do not need to be used together. Proponents also believe that players initially exposed to games without permadeath consider new games from that point of view. Those players are attributed as eventually "maturing," to a level of accepting permadeath, but only for other players' characters.
The majority of MMORPG players are unwilling to accept the penalty of losing their characters. MMORPGs have experimented with permadeath in an attempt to simulate a more realistic world, but a majority of players preferred not to risk permadeath for their characters. As a result, while they occasionally announce games that feature permadeath, most either remove or never ship with it so as to increase the game's mass appeal.
Proponents of permadeath claim the risk gives additional significance to their in-game actions. While games without it often impose an in-game penalty for restoring a dead character, the penalty is relatively minor compared to being forced to create a new character. Therefore, the primary change permadeath creates is to make a player's decisions more significant; without it there is less incentive for the player to consider in-game actions seriously.Those seeking to risk permanent death feel that the more severe consequences heighten the sense of involvement and achievement derived from their characters. The increased risk renders acts of heroism and bravery within the gameworld significant; the player has risked a much larger investment of time. Without permadeath, such actions are "small actions." However, in an online game, permadeath generally means starting over from the beginning, isolating the player of the now-dead character from former comrades.
Richard Bartle described advantages of permanent death: restriction of early adopters from permanently held positions of power,content reuse as players repeat early sections, its embodiment of the "default fiction of real life", improved player immersion from more frequent character changes, and reinforcement of high level achievement. Bartle also believes that in the absence of permanent death, game creators must continually create new content for top players, which discourages those not at the top from even bothering to advance.
Proponents of permanent death systems in MMORPGs are a relatively small sub-section of the hardcore gaming community. These players are often interested in additional challenges provided by games that attempt greater realism in their simulation. These players will often seek less-restricted social and economic environments catering to a greater range of player-versus-player interaction and risk-versus-reward scenarios.
Those players who prefer not to play with permadeath are unwilling to accept the risk of the large penalties associated with it. The penalty often means a great deal of time spent to regain lost levels, power, influence, or emotional investment that the previous character possessed. This increased investment of time can dissuade non-hardcore players.Depending on the design of the game, this may involve playing through content that the player has already experienced. Players no longer interested in those aspects of the game will not want to spend time playing through them again in the hope of reaching others to which they previously had access. Players may dislike the way that permadeath causes others to be more wary than they would in regular games, reducing the heroic atmosphere that games seek to provide. Ultimately this can reduce play to slow, repetitive, low-risk play, commonly called "grinding". Of course, the significance of heroism without the risk of permadeath is dramatically reduced. Most MMORPGs do not allow character creation at an arbitrary experience level, even if the player has already achieved that level with a now-dead character, providing a powerful disincentive for permadeath.
Permadeath guilds may exist in multiplayer games without this feature, such as Dungeons & Dragons Online . Players voluntarily delete their characters based on the honor system.
Permadeath is essential in player-versus-player battle games,[ citation needed ] such as last man standing games and battle royale games, since the goal of such games is to be the last character or team surviving on the battlefield by eliminating everyone else, or the enemy team.
Few non-electronic role-playing games give players the opportunity to resurrect characters, although older combat-oriented games, including the most popular game, Dungeons & Dragons , sometimes do. Dungeons & Dragons' implementation of death would go on to influence early computer role-playing games, such as The Bard's Tale .
Even within those games where death is possible, the frequency of permadeath varies greatly, based on the desires of the Gamemaster and the play group as a whole. Similarly, because of the freedom of the Gamemaster to modify rules, some Gamemasters choose to add it to games that normally lack it. Others may subtract it from games where it is normally present.
For most games with character resurrection, characters typically pay a price to be restored. The price is often an in-game fee paid to a non-player character with magic or technology capable of restoring the character. The fee may be paid by the character in advance, or by other characters. In many games, the effort required to create a character is decidedly non-trivial, giving players a significant incentive to avoid permadeath. Unlike MMORPGs, new player characters can be created at a power level equivalent to the remaining party, to allow the new character to meaningfully contribute to a game in progress.
Games of other genres, most notably early arcade-oriented, casual, platformers, and others (where the savegame functionality is usually not available) often feature a version of permadeath where the player is given a fixed (but sometimes replenishable) number of avatars (or "lives"). Following the loss of one avatar, the player usually loses progress through the current location; after the loss of the last available avatar, the player loses progress through the entire game (i.e., see the Game Over screen). Examples include Super Mario Bros. , Digger , Pac-Man , and various Breakout clones.
A unique variation of this was Square's 1986 fantasy shoot 'em up game King's Knight , which featured four characters, one per stage, where the player must keep them alive before they join to face the final boss. When a character dies prematurely, it is a permanent death, and the game shifts to the next character in their own stage.
A MUD is a multiplayer real-time virtual world, usually text-based. MUDs combine elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat. Players can read or view descriptions of rooms, objects, other players, non-player characters, and actions performed in the virtual world. Players typically interact with each other and the world by typing commands that resemble a natural language.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.
NetHack is a single-player roguelike video game originally released in 1987 with ASCII graphics. It is a descendant of an earlier game called Hack (1982), which is a clone of Rogue (1980). Comparing it with Rogue, Engadget's Justin Olivetti wrote that it took its exploration aspect and "made it far richer with an encyclopedia of objects, a larger vocabulary, a wealth of pop culture mentions, and a puzzler's attitude." In 2000, Salon described it as "one of the finest gaming experiences the computing world has to offer".
Asheron's Call (AC) was a fantasy MMORPG for Microsoft Windows PCs, developed and published by Turbine Entertainment Software. Though it was developed by the Turbine team, it was published as a Microsoft title until 2004. The game was set on the island continent of Dereth and several surrounding smaller islands and archipelagos on the fictional planet of Auberean. The game was played in a large seamless 3D virtual world which could host thousands of players' characters at a time.
Rogue is a dungeon crawling video game by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman and later contributions by Ken Arnold. Rogue was originally developed around 1980 for Unix-based mainframe systems as a freely-distributed executable. It was later included in the official Berkeley Software Distribution 4.2 operating system (4.2BSD). Commercial ports of the game for a range of personal computers were made by Toy, Wichman, and Jon Lane under the company A.I. Design and financially supported by the Epyx software publishers. Additional ports to modern systems have been made since by other parties using the game's now-open source code.
Player(s) versus player(s), better known as PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer-controlled opponents and/or players, which is referred to as player versus environment (PvE). The terms are most often used in games where both activities exist, particularly MMORPGs, MUDs, and other role-playing video games. PvP can be broadly used to describe any game, or aspect of a game, where players compete against each other. PvP is often controversial when used in role-playing games. In most cases, there are vast differences in abilities between experienced and novice players. PvP can even encourage experienced players to immediately attack and kill inexperienced players. PvP is sometimes called player killing.
PvE, player vs environment, is a term used in online games, particularly MMORPGs, CORPGs, MUDs, and other online role-playing video games, to refer to fighting computer-controlled enemies—in contrast to PvP.
A mob, short for mobile, also known as an enemy or mook, is a computer-controlled non-player character (NPC) in a computer game such as an MMORPG or MUD. Depending on context, every and any such characters in a game may be considered to be a "mob", or usage of the term may be limited to hostile NPCs and/or NPCs vulnerable to attack. Common usage refers to either a single character or a multitude of characters in a group as a mob.
Dungeon Hack is a role-playing video game developed by DreamForge Intertainment and published by Strategic Simulations for MS-DOS and NEC PC-9801 in 1993. The game is based in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons world of Forgotten Realms.
A text game or text-based game is an electronic game that uses a text-based user interface, that is, the user interface employs a set of encodable characters such as ASCII instead of bitmap or vector graphics.
Island of Kesmai was an early commercial online game in the MUD genre, innovative in its use of roguelike pseudo-graphics. It is considered a major forerunner of modern MMORPGs.
The Bartle taxonomy of player types is a classification of video game players (gamers) based on a 1996 paper by Richard Bartle according to their preferred actions within the game. The classification originally described players of multiplayer online games, though now it also refers to players of single-player video games.
The history of massively multiplayer online games spans over thirty years and hundreds of massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) titles. The origin and influence on MMO games stems from MUDs, Dungeons & Dragons and earlier social games.
Wizardry Online was a free-to-play MMORPG developed by Gamepot, Inc, based on the classic Wizardry computer games originally created by Sir-Tech.
Avalon: The Legend Lives is a text-based online multi-player role-playing game world that was first released on 28 October 1989 at the gaming convention Adventure 89. It has maintained a continuous on-line presence with consistent and intact persona files and player history since the late 1980s, rendering it the longest continuously running on-line role-playing game in history.
This list includes terms used in video games and the video game industry, as well as slang used by players.
Necropolis is an action rogue-lite role-playing video game developed by Harebrained Schemes and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in July 2016, and for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in October 2016.
Dungeon Souls is a roguelike adventure video game developed by Lamina Studios, and published by Black Shell Media LLC. The game was released on July 7, 2015 for Microsoft Windows in Early Access. In the game, players select from one of 6 characters and travel throughout the game vanquishing enemies, slaying monsters, and collecting items.