Yesterday we talked about the death mechanic in World of Warcraft and how gameplay might be changed by making death mean more to your character. Today, as a point of comparison, we're going to take a look at death in the MMO Vanguard -- and how it's about to be changed.
Currently, death in Vanguard involves loss of experience (15%, and if you have no experience, you could go into debt -- i.e. you would need to gain 15% of the experience towards your next level before you could actually gain any experience again) and your body (tombstone) would remain where you died -- along with all of your soulbound items. Options upon death were to (1) be resurrected by another player, which causes minor experience loss and minor item damage, (2) to recover your body from where you died, which causes minor experience loss and minor item damage, or (3) summon your body, which causes the 15% experience loss and major durability damage. Though it sounds quite a bit harsher, this isn't that different from World of Warcraft's current system of "run back to your body and all is well" -- it has just added experience loss to the equation.
However, on their test server, the death system is changing. First off, you no longer leave a corpse behind when you die -- you leave an "essence." No items are left on the essence, so retrieval is less important. However, if you retrieve your essence, you regain a large portion of your lost experience. And to top it all off, experience loss has been decreased. So while casual-friendly World of Warcraft players wonder if the death penalty isn't harsh enough, hardcore Vanguard reduces its death penalty to one not terribly harsher than World of Warcraft's.
Forum poster prencher makes the obvious connection, "...we're back to 'wowified' raiding, where you just keep chain wiping until you get it right."
Note to Vanguard players in the audience: I do not presently play Vanguard, so my information has come from IGN's Vanguard Vault and VanguardSphere's forums. I've done my best to understand how the death mechanic works in Vangaurd, but as I have no first-hand experience, I could be wrong -- so if you see any inaccuracies, I welcome corrections.