Salem Dev: MMOs Without Permadeath Aren't Proper Games

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so, did anyone try this mmo out so far?


Most people prefer a theme park to a world with consequences, however. Thus, this kind of game has become rare and niche. There aren't many around that I still play but I'm hoping one day I can get into a game with that kind of feeling to it again.

There's weight to be held behind the idea of having permadeath in non-roguelike games, but it really needs to be done well. In an MMO with freely-sanctioned PvP, I'd be personally rather devastated if I spent hours of my time grinding a character up close to whatever the maximum level might be, conquered hordes of unknown enemies and found the +10 Legendary Pendant of Awesomeness and then got smacked down and lost all of my progress, every single thing, because one day somebody decked out better than me and/or a higher level than me decided it would be funny to pick me off.

If it doesn't take that long to level and the game doesn't have the typical WoW-style gear tier structuring, then more power to them, honestly. We could use more MMOs that aren't the same standard fare. If the PvP is confined to special arenas where both (or all) players know the consequences for losing, even better. That would actually make PvP rather compelling, I feel.

But unless this MMO is going to break away from... well, practically all conventions and light the way to a new platform of MMOs, it's just arbitrarily punishing the players. As a few other people have mentioned in this thread, "permadeath" insofar as running out of lives and starting the game over from the beginning was fine back in the days when games were designed to suck the quarters out of everyone's pockets, and consequently only actually lasted about an hour or two under the fingers of a skilled player. Now, when games get knocked down for having campaigns shorter than ten hours long, though?

Heh. Its almost like his statement tries to be controversial. You know, like its trying to get attention, so it will be posted on various gaming sites or gaming forums, where people who are interested might hear about his game...

Well gotta hand it to the guy, he is using one of the cheapest marketing methods and its working. I'v been playing Salem ever since i read this and i like it.

Has that dev ever played an MMO with PvP? Ever get ganked by a group of players that do it just because they think its funny? The idea of permanent death in an MMO is a really really bad idea! ganking is a popular pastime for many players and its bad enough having to spawn and then need to gather a large group to get past the gankers just so you can get to where your quest is at. The idea just doesnt sound very fun to me when you will need to start over from the very begining in an MMO. Last man standing in an FPS would be reasonable.

Seriously though MMO is like going to a store called Assholes R Us for PvP and permanent death would just make the game itself permanently dead inside of a month.

we had that problem in a few perma-death MMO's.

want to know how we dealt with it? imagine about six people ganging up on one person for no other reason than to kill him.

got that image in your head? now imagine seven guilds hunting down those people, along with everyone they hung out with, constantly killing their characters, even new ones they made after their normal ones were done in.

that's the draw of Perma-death mmo's, you cant just go out and kill anyone you want with little regard for repercussions. one of the first things to happen in such MMO's is a unwritten player by-laws that would govern PvP.

Best example would be Face of Mankind, while it wasn't exactly perma-death, it was a "lose all items on death" and open PvP. first thing the Law Enforcement Department and Freedom Defense Corps. did was write several laws that would govern PvP, which for the most part players accepted and followed. of course, that was back when the game was good, now its nothing but a gank-fest since the Dominion was dissolved.

Give me a MMO that has a risk of losing everything because of a stupid mistake over the hand-holding theme parks that call themselves MMO's any day.

being said, Salem sounds pretty intriguing, limited resources, perma-death, and open PvP? might be worth it, even for a f2p mmo.

i know i'm in the minority here, but i've always maintained an alignment with his stance on saving. i'll keep using saves as long as they exist cuase i value time over the benefits of a saveless experience, but you won't find me complaining if a dev decides to implement a saveless system either.

from what i was reading your character is permamently killed but then you play their descendent which is an interesting touch but what concerns me is that MMO's tend to be worlds where a good chunk of the population display all the behaviour and compassion of a psychopath with no restraint

At least the descendent bit allows for some transfer of skills/goods through an inheritance mechanism.

Permadeath should be an option, not mandatory. In this day and age, more people play games to relax and enjoy, having to constantly fear their fuck-ups will cost them severely isn't part of most peoples idea of fun. There are those who do enjoy that kind of game, but they are a minority these days. So, good luck drawing in large numbers with that mindset.

Bat Vader:
Permanent death doesn't sound very fun to me and neither does PVP.

He doesn't care about PVP, he's only concerned with letting Randian Ubermensch dominate the game and gank every new player in sight.

See SA's thread on the game.

some of us dont really feel like dying 2 times to the final boss and then have to start over...
nope fuck that

Atmos Duality:
So all I learned from this is that a particular developer is possibly into virtual S&M; because you'd have to be a sadistic asshole or a diehard masochist to enjoy the prospect of permadeath in any online game let alone an MMO.

And as DayZ proved, there are quite a few of us.

OT: It's interesting to note quite how the general attitude amongst people turns from "There's nothing wrong with having a niche game" and "developers shouldn't bother trying to please everyone" to "You're an idiot, good luck getting anywhere near a noteworthy or sustainable number of players" as soon as its a niche that doesn't apply to them specifically.


And as DayZ proved, there are quite a few of us.

I know. I used to be in the "hardcore" crowd.
Though I can't picture myself enjoying this game all that much; lag and griefing would not blend well at all with any sort of progress-centric gameplay.

I'll do you a deal, Mr Johannessen. You make a game with zero bugs and zero latency, and I'll play games with no saves. I'll also resist pointing out that we have this already - it's called 'life'.

The problem with even the Ironman style gaming is that it only takes one screwup by the developer and your effort is gone through no fault of your own. It's not about accepting consequences - the game & developer has to be perfect, because there's no margin for error.

Actually I'd say looking at the likes of DayZ it's had the exact opposite effect for a lot of players than the intended one. It's cheapened death, made effort meaningless; people value nothing because it could all vanish in the blink of an eye. Why care about anything when it might all go tomorrow? (Note, I am not ascribing this to all DayZ players, but I've seen plenty of it, especially if they're not very good at it and die a lot).

Why care about developing a character, putting thought into a name, making friends, building anything - it's all going the moment you die. It encourages nihilism in my view. Even EVE preserves your basic character development despite the ability to lose pretty much everything else. Characters online count for more than mere 'save points'.

Some may find this fun, which case I wish them & Mr Johannessen luck, but it's not for me. I'd rather do something I consider worthwhile & meaningful.

I would state a proper point here, but there are so many in this same thread that it would be basically useless, as many said, there would't be too many people playing a game that would make you lose everything after you die if you had to spend a long time with your character, for rogur-likes the perma death is ok, quick short games, or longer but still quite fast. Otherwise too many people would get annoyed and quit at the first or second death.

I used to be quite hardcore myself, but I have no desire to invest my time into a game to see it all blow away by some random ganker. I play games to put me in a good mood now.

permadeath: yeah this can work, in quite a few situations really, hardcore modes can be really exciting, and TBOI taught me that if the game isn't actually that long, permadeath is the best option. however it can quickly become frustrating if the game is several hours long, is a bitch to play and then you die, and takes you ages to get back to where you were.

Always on PvP: again, can work pretty well. personally if the option is there i always play on a PvP server. gankers annoy the hell out of me and i usually don't do it myself, but world PvP can be hugely fun, especially when it becomes huge crowds of people just fighting to the death. in these cases a LONGER respawn time should be in place, as being able to instantly revive takes the joy out of getting a kill in my eyes.

permadeath with always on PvP: well i hope they designed the starting zones well, because about 90% of players won't leave the fucking place. i get pissed off if i lose 2 hours worth of time in gaming, about 15 minutes of work and i'll be fuming, but putting tens to hundreds of hours into a character (several of my WoW characters are over 20 days of game time) and it being lost forever... fuck that shit

Permadeth in MMOS used to work. in fact there were whole guilds forming dedicating their life to attack people who attack others randomly to make their characters dissapear and disable them from doing that.
if your PVPing you must loose something. else its pointless. the games where you will "never drop your armor" are the worst games. your pvping, you may not have permadeath, but you certainly ahve to loose what your carrying and be donwgraded a level or two. you lost and you get punished for that.

As for Johannessen's opinion on things like "save points," I'd like to see him play through any modern game in one playthrough without dying. If he's so "hardcore," then I expect him to quit and select New Game from the menu every time he dies.

Thats not hard. i usually save because i dont have time to complete the game in one sitting, but i finished games like Stalker andm any shooters without dieing once.

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