Star Citizen and permadeath

Hopefully CIG puts this into a long test run through multiple iterations to gauge what the player base really wants. I am sure their first implementation will create a vacuum of player activity outside of UEE space and thus making their universe feel a lot more empty. Go too far the other way and you get large amounts of unnecessary risk where people are recycling characters during a single major engagement.

They mentioned a clone style feature similar to EvE where you can keep your skill points but without skills in Star Citizen, I am curious to see what system they implement for this. Definately a huge issue that they will have to deal with when they go to test it. I assume the same for insurance when they begin to tweak it to make it legite.

This game is going to be to dangerous to have a stiff death penalty. :thinking:

I understand CR is trying to make something more then the next cool Halo game, and being careful is easier said then done especially when there are grieffers (and I have no doubt there will be at least at first) looking for easy kills. Loosing rep, unless it is a huge amount, doesn’t seem like much of a discouragement. Sure without that rep you don’t have access to some mission and maybe some ship upgrades but that can be fixed. Depending on the penalty it may take hours or days for someone who focuses there game time on building that rep back. Which is why I’m thinking there will be more to loose then rep, and as someone who is more likely to be killed to be doing the killing it will really suck if I’m spending all my time and money trying to get more lives.

I do hope you’re right that avoiding death will be easier then I am picturing, but right now I’m fearing the worst. Good luck finding a dev to talk to, I hope they can give you a solid answer.

My only real issue with any kind of death penalty is that it instantly becomes a way to hurt other players. I jump in front of your shots at a pirate, you damage my ship, the UEE flags you and kills you…you not only take the rep hit but you get a permadeath too. Headshotting out of spite, my rep is so low it can’t go any lower, so I have nothing to lose by headshotting you, but it hurts you a lot. Etc. I’m not even talking griefing, just the natural consequences of having a stiff death penalty, it will hurt those that care and become a tool to those that don’t.

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As a player that plays by the rules, I really don’t see any benefit in a permadeath system for me. The only players I see it benefiting is the griefer. The griefer gets his kicks from harming and harassing other players and ruining their gaming experience any way possible. That is the challenge of the game for the griefer, that and seeing how long he can evade the authorities and survive.
Some players will even have a second account for the sole purpose of griefing others. This way they can play the game within the rules to advance their character rep and wealth on one account, and be a complete ass on the other account where they will make a name for themselves as the biggest, baddest and most feared pirate in the galaxy, which is something they will all want to be known by and strive to attain.
This is the type of behavior that will deter normal players from venturing outside of secure space, meaning also that the griefer will benefit from a wider gameplay area and have his name go down in lore as making all the discoveries in game such as systems and jump points. Ok, so this might not always be the case, but i can definitely see it happening here and there, and it will deter some players from venturing further afield, especially the lone wolf, not everyone wants to join a Org or play with others for reasons of their own.
So any venturing and exploring will really need to be done in groups, (safety in numbers) so that any threatening behavior from other players can be swiftly dealt with.
Of course, there is a way around the permadeath problem, other than not implementing it at all, and giving you don’t mind not being on a public server, and that is hosting a private server. I’m sure that some Orgs will have their own private servers. The private server was mentioned in the Q&A section of Death of a Spaceman (attached by ProfX earlier in the thread) , which I will paste here.

Q. Is there any way to opt-out of the death system?
There is no way to opt-out of death in the persistent world, but remember that Star Citizen will include options for running your own server. We’ll allow you the option to set the game to infinite lives in this case.

We don’t know how many players will be on a server at this point in development, so not sure how good a private server could be. But if we are talking 1000 or more, you could get several like minded Orgs to play together on the same server, and not have to worry about griefers or permadeath.

Death of a Spaceman is old and in more recent conversations I thought they gave up on the private server functionality. I personally would love a private server, but I think Macallen has the scoop on it not happening.

Yet they’ve said they have steps in place to make any one person or group very difficult to harass one person or another group…

Really? that’s a shame, it would be nice to have the option.

totally agree, I would like a private server. I think the main reason was computing power. The PU is going to have a lot of ‘moving parts’ which will require a lot of ‘horsepower’, so unless we can get personal quantum computers (which I am sure the governments of the world definitely don’t want those in the hands of the minions), probably not going to happen. I would be fine with a reduced PU for private use.

Private servers are gone. Mentioned some time ago.
As soon as procgen planets were a thing they said they were no longer looking at private servers. There may still be private instances that players can run, such as your own version of Arena Commander. They have yet to determine what this may become.

There are two things about this game that everyone is underestimating.

  1. Space is big. No, way bigger than what you are thinking. Nope, bigger.
    We have 1 planet and its three moons right now. Regardless of what is expected to be out at launch, the universe will be easily a thousand times bigger than what we have access to right now. I don’t mean a thousand as in just some big number. I mean literally 100 systems with about 10 planets each, on average is one thousand planets. Big.

  2. Reputation is everything. I think it was Mac who described this some time ago, but whoever it was, they said it right. Reputation will easily take 10 times as long if not longer to repair than it will to destroy. And some things will be unrepairable, unforgivable actions. It is the only way Rep can work as they are describing it. IF you deliberately go out and start killing at random, there is no way the UEE can ever give you enough rep to become a citizen again. Think about that. Griefers will literally exile themselves. Forget earning back rep in a few hours or days, consider what it looks like if shooting first in a situation means 3-6 months of working your ass off to get back the amount of Rep you lost.

It is so easy for all of us to view this game like other MMOs, but I am telling you now, it will not be anything like them. It is going to freak some people out when they realize there really are consequences in this game.

Space is Big.
Rep Matters.


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I don’t have a scoop on the private servers. Back in '15 TZ said it wasn’t happening because of the size. I spoke to him about it at Cit con and he said it was back burnered but not completely gone. No clue, the 'verse is huge, maybe it won’t fit on my SSD, maybe they’ll offer private server service, who knows.

With permadeath in the game, I absolutely will have alts.
Player A will pick up a mission.
Player B will execute the mission, delivery the cargo, etc.
Player A will never leave the station, he’ll be Jabba the hut, massively obese and sleeping on a slab, surrounded by slave Leias. He will get the reputation while alts do the work. If Player B dies, so be it, he dies, no big deal.

I’m sure it won’t look like that, too many unknowns, but you get the idea. I will absolutely abuse game mechanics to minimize the impacts. If Orgs can own ships then all of my ships will be in my private Org and I’ll never pay inheritance taxes on them. Whatever mechanics are available, I’ll find the loophole to minimize the damage permadeath does.

TZ is huge on rep, he speaks about it often. We still don’t have a ton of details, but that’s going to be the kicker, how rep is implemented. If rep is super hard to get/fix, and semi-permanent, permadeath will suck. If it’s Eve-online “an hour of grinding tags and I’m all better” then it’s pointless and death literally has no sting at all.

Too many unknowns for me to have an opinion. I suspect we’re at least a year away from getting even a glimpse of how it will work in game.

True, but there are also places everyone goes, there are jump holes in/out of the system. within the system there are refueling stations, will there be security at every one of those places? When 3.1.2 was released I was checking out one of those stations, just after I landed and started trying to find the right button to push to refuel I started getting shot.
Not all of those systems will be controlled by the UEE, some will be controlled by hostile aliens and some will not be controlled by anyone. For those systems not controlled by anyone it will be very bad luck if you run into pirates, or at least PC pirates.

Yes from the UEE. They will be welcome among pirates, and what of alien species hostile to the UEE, they may actually start gaining enough rep with them that those aliens will start giving quests that will get them more rep.

True, and I hope my pessimistic view is mostly unfounded. I really want to enjoy this game as much as I did Freelancer.

Magic, the current alpha is nothing like how the real game is going to be. Right now there are a few, concentrated places for us to land/hangout/go. In the live game, there’ll be more star systems, more planets, more stations, more quests, more things for us to do, we’ll spread out. And there’s no reputation right now, so people shoot you because they’re bored and you’re there. Any decisions about the game based upon current play are, with respect, misplaced and inaccurate.

Although I have my concerns, the assurances that I have received from several quarters that CIG and CR care about (1) their players having fun; (2) their players being around for a long time and perhaps buying stuff from the store, telling friends, etc., etc., make me feel better because CIG will be looking at whether permadeath is “working”. i.e. they will balance that to make it (1) useful to keep you interested in your toon/avatar so that you care but not so overwhelmingly upsetting so that you just say “F” it and rage quit. I trust in CR.

I hope I am still underestimating how vast this game will be. I also am hearing servers will be limited to 50 players, whether that is a limit on the alpha servers as a way to test the game and minimize players managing to crash the servers blowing up caterpillars or if because of the number of NPC in the game, that limit is the planned limit for the live game I’m not sure. If there are only going to be 50 PCs in that gigantic space it does sound like avoiding PvP (at least after the first few months when everyone has spread out and found new hangers to launch from) should be very possible.

I only have what they’ve said, but CR openly stated that the chance of any given encounter being PvP is 10%. Don’t get me wrong, if you want PvP you can go find it, but the average player will be PvE the majority of the time. Again, only based upon what they’ve said. They repeat over and over that how the game is now is nothing like it will be at launch, this is a tiny subset, with minimal NPCs, basically a tiny sandbox to test mechanics, not representative of the finished product.

The 50 player limit is only the current alpha build.
That number changes often.

The final server design is to have one instance that will include every player. There is a ton of discussion on how they will accomplish this in other places, but in short, they will use server meshing tech and some load balancing to allow as many players as possible to be in the same area at the same time.

The exact number of players that “as many as possible” turns out to be is still an unknown, but it will definitely be a lot more than 50. But it is easy to confuse servers, instances and world servers or shards. These are all terms we interchange when talking about MMOs. But in the case of SC they are all different entities entirely.

There will only be one shard or world server. Meaning there will no longer be a US server and a EU server and an AUS server. Those will eventually combine into the one world SC server where all characters live.

Then there are the physical and virtual servers, or computers, that house and “serve” this universe to the players. This is where the swarms and meshes of servers come in to play. This is transparent to the player for the most part as we do not have any direct interaction with what server we are communicating with at any given time.

Finally there are the instance servers. Here is where SC breaks from traditional design. Typically the instance servers are population locked, meaning they hold X number of players and when they fill up another is spawned and any new players coming into that area are assigned to the new server. This is how the US, EU and AUS servers operate today. There is a 50 player soft cap (I think the hard cap is 55) for each instance of the regional servers. This is going to change in a big, and exciting, way.

IN the future the instance servers are not going to be run based on player population caps for a specific area of game play. Instead they are building load balancing technology to serve practically unlimited numbers of players certain features of an area of play. This can be hard to explain and even harder to imagine so I will try and use an example.

Let’s say OTG has 20 players logging in to play SC. We are all wanting to meet up for a cargo caravan event from Terra to Nyx. So we all log in and start travelling over to Terra, meeting up at the orbital station.
At the point where we are all sitting on the station over Terra we have all been assigned to a server that manages the resources for this region of the game world. That single instance manager may be handing off responsibility to multiple servers in the mesh of servers it manages. So under the hood 10 of us might be on one instance and 5 on another and 5 more on another. But we all see each other and appear to be in the same instance because the instance manager server is the go between for all of the servers in its mesh.
If 10 more OTG members suddenly decided to come join us, they might all get assigned to another server under the hood, but they would be managed by the same instance manager and therefore appear to be in the same instance as the rest of us.

Now that is a very high level and simplistic explanation for tech that does not exist. Yet.

Amazon has some of it built into their servers, called server swarms. These swarms run multiple copies of a particular server and load balance across them. What CIG is attempting to do is apply the same load balance logic to instances.

It is not a new idea. It is something that has been talked about for at least 10 years that I know of personally. But until now it has always been a theoretical design. Nobody has tried it to this scale. If CIG can pull it off, it will be the new way ALL MMOs will be designed in the future. MMO game instances that are locked to a certain number of players will become a thing of the past.

But all of this relies on two important parts. Network Bind Culling and Object Container Streaming. Without the ability to show the player a subset of the world data, and the ability to contain that data in manageable packaged chunks, well…it simply would not be possible to pull off the server design they want to create.

And just think, that was the short answer.

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