When you die in Fallen Earth, you lose all of your current non-stance buffs. Most buffs can be easily re-applied, except for your food, drinks and other consumables. It's still not a major loss, especially now that food and drink components are ultra-cheap. If there's nobody around to rez you, you must respawn at the cloner and take a 5% durability hit on your equipped gear. It's still not a big deal. And you'll get cumulative cloning sickness, which can get pretty nasty, but you have to die a lot in a short period of time to warrant tier five. And the sickness only lasts five minutes. After the cut, I'll delve deeper into the plight of the struck-down avatar and try to determine what it all means.
Despite all these (/sarcasm on) terrible (/sarcasm off) things that happen when you die, I still manage to take it in stride. Maybe it's because of my FPS-heavy background. I did play a few MMOs prior to Fallen Earth, but I'm mostly a fan of shooters. When I did play MMOs, it was usually Neverwinter Nights multiplayer (which is kind of a pseudo-MMO) on a permadeath server or Ultima Online. Both games carried pretty hefty consequences for dying. Permadeath wasn't such a big deal to an altaholic like me. I didn't mind re-rolling, although losing an established character was kind of a bummer. NWN perma-death felt more like table-top Dungeons & Dragons, and that's why I gravitated toward those servers. I never bought into the rumors in middle school about the kids that hung themselves because their D&D character bit the dust.
On the other side of the coin is the shooter game. Dying in one is an immutable reality. You will die -- often. There isn't much of a death penalty, unless it's a round-based game and you have to sit out the rest of the fight while dead. Playing mostly these types of games may be why I am able to take my death in Fallen Earth quite lightly. Fallen Earth is much more akin to a shooter than a permadeath RPGMMO, death penalty-wise. I've probably been gibbed a hundred times in Quake II for each death I've ever died in FE and have yet to die.
Blood Sports. It's such a non-issue to die in BS that, if I am low on gamma, stamina or even health, I'll stop moving and lower my weapons and give the nearest combatant a nice easy kill. Two seconds later, all my bars are full.
I've killed people in Fallen Earth who have been completely jovial, and I've killed those who went completely ballistic. Both players, killed under the same circumstances, can have such widely varying reactions. Why? I think a lot of it has to do with ego. I really can't be sure, but when I die, my first thoughts are: What did I do wrong and what did he do right? Some people's first reaction is anger toward the person who killed them. I won't lie; my ego is rather large, and some might say that is a conservative estimate, but I don't get angry when I die in a video game. My pride doesn't get wounded, and I don't lose my cool. I have been known to get a little upset when I die due to "bad die rolls" at the hands of a random number generator that obviously hates me, however.
Many people won't even try PvP because of the "bad attitude" they think all PvPers have. Some people steer clear of competitive gaming for fear that someone might tell them how terrible they are (in not-so-nice terms). Sure, there are horrible people in the PvP world (even in Fallen Earth) who live to grief people, but it's not fair to say that they make up more than a small percentage of players. For the most part, the FE PvP community is small and polices itself. Most of the players who take the game (and dying in it) way too seriously never last anyway.
I still have no idea (aside from a few guesses) why people can't handle a few in-game deaths in Fallen Earth without coming completely unraveled. The next time you die in FE, don't get bent out of shape. Just thank LifeNet for giving you another shot, and learn from it. If you are getting monitor-punching upset because you died in a video game, how do you function in everyday life? For every winner, there has to be a loser. So if you become worm food out there in the wastelands, just laugh it off and head to the nearest LifeNet facility with a big smile on your silly clone face, because it really isn't a big deal. See you next week.
Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.