The Daily Grind: One life, one death

Justin Olivetti
J. Olivetti|05.28.10

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The Daily Grind: One life, one death

Permadeath -- AKA "permanent death" -- is always a contentious topic when brought up in gaming circles. Most MMOs are like a digital version of Valhalla, where warriors battle, die and are resurrected for all eternity. Death ceases to be "death" in a true sense, instead becoming a speed bump with penalties attached.

Hence the appeal of permadeath, where once your character dies, that's it -- there's no coming back for seconds. Death matters, fights become more intense, and victories are that much sweeter. However, permadeath isn't for everyone, especially when you consider just how much time it takes to level your typical MMO character. Few people would want to risk something in which they've invested over 200 hours. But that doesn't mean permadeath is non-existent in MMOs: some titles have the option or special servers to support it, while others see a subset of players create and enforce their own permadeath rules (such as DDO).

Today's question is simple: would you play a permadeath mode if your favorite MMO enabled it, and if not, what changes would be necessary to entice you into trying it? Would they need to dramatically increase the speed of leveling? Let you pass down "heirloom" buffs and items to your next of kin? Give special rewards for permadeathers only?
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