Since launch, the free-to-play Allods Online has had a very unpopular death mechanic. When a player is killed in the game, Fear of Death is applied to their character. This debuff is a 25% hit to offensive stats for a duration based on level up to 51 minutes. And it stacks, so if the player dies again, they get a 50% debuff. Players must use a special item (incense) to remove the effect early. They can buy incense using the cash shop or in the auction house from other players who have already paid for it with real money.
With the launch of Patch 1.1: Revelations of Gipat on July 7th, Fear of Death will be going away, replaced instead with a different kind of penalty. But will it be what players have been asking for all along?
When a character dies in-game after Patch 1.1, there is a small chance that a curse may land on one of their inventory slots. If it does, and the item equipped is Rare or above (i.e. Rare, Epic or Legendary only), then that item will have its stats inverted. This curse is permanent until the player removes it with a Purification Scroll. Like incense, this scroll can be purchased from the cash shop or off the in-game auction house if another player has bought it and placed it there.
If players don't want to risk getting any of their item slots cursed, they may also purchase special Holy Charms from the cash shop. Every time they die, one Holy Charm will be consumed to protect the player from any possible curse landing. The charms will stack up to 1000 and can also be bought from other players who have purchased them from the cash shop.
For players with stacks of incense, that item will take on a new function not yet announced. Also, bosses will have a chance to drop cursed items requiring purification.
It remains to see how this new death mechanic will go over with the player base. They'll be happy that the stackable debuff is gone, but may not be so happy that the new curse mechanic requires a cash shop item to remove or prevent. As in the past, the answer probably lies in how much players will be charged for these essential items and how the game developer responds to their concerns.