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Whoa ... Well, I guess life never fails to yield surprises, but even so I didn't expect this! Fellow Donut Dwellers, I've got some fairly interesting news to share with all of you. But first ... EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: (provided for those who hate long explanations) ========================================================================= 1. If you die, you no longer lose any exp for until the New Year. 2. For more information, rationale, etc. read the FAQ below. ======================================================================== I guess the first thing to let you in on, which probably (and sadly) won't be a surprise to you, is the fact that Death is a bit of a lush. And, when he's had about his fifth martini, he gets really cocky, and really REALLY bad at cards. I think that's probably the only thing that really explains this one. But, well, we all know the rivalry that has existed all these years between him and Lars. Speaking of Lars ... So I heard that crazy outburst that some of you might have caught from Death, and made my way over to the wizard's lounge. Sure enough, there was Lars sitting there with a crazy grin on his face. He's usually pretty quiet, but this time he couldn't stop laughing about what had happened. Evidently, he got Death so drunk that Death actually wagered his own penalty on a terrible hand. When Lars won the hand, Death didn't really realize what had happened at first, but then drunkenly tried to weasel his way out of the bet. Lars isn't the sort to let that slide, though, so ... well ... here's the news: For the rest of 2013, there will be no exp loss at death. None at all! I really don't know what this will all mean, but I guess we'll find out. I've sort of been curious what might happen if we ever tried this, but I never had the guts to actually set it in motion. Heh ... who'd have thunk Death himself would fumble so badly we'd see it naturally occur! Anyway ... this has pretty huge rammifications for everyone. I'll let you all experience that for yourselves, but I'll also provide a bit of a FAQ below to get some answers out there. IMPORTANT: You will need to relog for this to work for you unless you are reading this after the Armageddon that follows this post. I'm not going to restore you if you don't read this. Cheers, and enjoy your stats until the New Year! G. ========================================================================== (Presumed) Frequently Asked Question's to the Above ========================================================================== Q: Wait. You mean the death penalty is gone? A: It is, insofar as loss of exp. The penalties now are more along the lines of natural things like loss of gear, loss of pride, and loss of yourself in the battle, if you are part of a team. Q: Whoa. You mean Genesis doesn't have a death penalty anymore? Seriously? A: Well, this is sort of an experiment. We'll see if it makes the game more fun with this 2(ish) month trial period. It should give us lots to try out, think about, etc. Q: But ... but ... what if I die by questing? Is this only pvp death or? A: All deaths are the same here. PvE deaths and PvP deaths are both just not going to hurt anyone's stats. A lot of thought went into this due to the (possibly good) idea of simply having PvP deaths result in no exp loss. But, players are really clever, and it would just be a matter of time before the cleverest ones found ways to trigger PvE deaths against their opponents in a fight to give their enemies the penalty. So, we're just keeping it simple and making all death's free of exp loss for the time of the experiment. Q: Wait, so you mean questing just became totally not dangerous? A: Right. For the trial period, you can go be a total idiot trying to get the golden scabbard, or walk around the Isle of the Dead, and not worry about the consequences. Have fun. Q: I hate this! I'm quitting! This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen the wizards do! A: Err ... well, its not the new deal. This is just a trial. Now, of course, if the majority of the players *do* love it, and it really enlivens the game, creates a fun and thriving PvP situation, and brings more players to regular activity, we will definitely consider making it permenant. Q: But this totally ruins roleplay! Now you can just spit in the face of the biggest, scariest player in the game, and s/he can kill you, and you don't care, and you spit in his/her face again and again and again. A: Yeah. This is my least favorite potential. The reason I've waited so long to try something like this is this exact fear. I don't know if the tradeoff will be worth it or not. I guess we'll find out. Q: Whoa, dude ... wait. Wait. WAIT! What about people who want to do the whole mass-suicide thing to re-spec their stats or get themselves ready for a swift guild-exp glory-fest? Now they can't do that? We're stuck with our stats where they are? A: Visit the Adventurer's Guild in Sparkle, and check out the attic. Death isn't an idiot, you know, and he sobered up pretty quickly. Q: And what about griefing? Now does this mean that you can just be a total psychopath and run around killing anyone you want, and not get punished for it? A: There will be no change to the policy on griefing. Killing a player over and over and over or making their life hell beyond reason in a way that continuously ruins the game for them will never be welcome in Genesis. While we try to set some clear guidelines on this, common sense will always be the best rubric in policy enforcement. Getting legalistic and lawyer-ish with such things as this as an excuse to be a jackass will result in you being inserted into the buttocks of the dragon of Ribos. Q: So what was the reason for this test? What makes you want to try it? A: I've been monitoring the pvp logs for many years. We have logs of every time a player attacks another player. We have logs of every time a player kills another player. These logs have been gradually dwindling to the point where pvp is almost entirely a thing of the past. Most players don't need to be told this, as they know it better than I do. The reasons behind the shift are many, and likely complex. There are many theories and opinions as to the cause, most of which are based on personal experience. In my opinion, the two biggest issues are these: - The cost of losing in pvp outweighs the rewards of winning. - There is too great a perceived (and possibly real) imbalance between certain guilds. These two realities mean that pvp feels unfair and unfun for many players. Because we are mid-stream in a global balancing recode process, there are issues that we can only hope to resolve once we see the balance play out in pvp. But, if players find that process so painful that it makes them want to give up, we aren't going to end up any place we want to. Removing the death penalty is a very simple thing that we can do that has high impact on these problems, hopefully in a way that makes things easier and more fun. By the way, that concept - "fun" - is something that pvp in Genesis used to involve. I don't know if we can get back there with such a simple twist as this, but we won't know unless we try. So ... here goes. Q: Come on, Gorboth ... be honest. Did you just implement this change as a reaction to some of the recent pvp that has caused people to get angry, leave the game, light up the forum flameboards, etc? A: Somewhat, sure! Being aware of current events and responsive to serious issues is an important aspect of being a responsible wizard. However, it needs to be understood that much of what has transpired on the flame boards on the Official Forum have been *extremely* standard flame material - highly charged, emotional, based more on impulse than fact, and not particularly intelligent (my own contributions included!) That being said, information is information, and even the craziest flame threads will contain important kernels of truth that are important to consider and remain aware of. I really do think we've got a situation right now where the fact that some guilds have been recoded, and not others, and some are well-designed in anticipation of a global reality that does not yet exist are potent and essential considerations. BUT! The other thing I will say and say loudly is that this is something I have wanted to try for about 6 years. The recent events just tipped the scales and so we're going for it. Q: So ... what if it totally fails, and everyone hates it? A: Yeah, it might suck. If it does, we go back to what we've had, or maybe try a different experiment. Pvp is an important thing to get right. Q: What do you even mean by that? How do you get pvp right? A: Well, in my favorite games, I have fun both when I win and when I lose. If you can make both still fun, you've got great pvp. Q: You're crazy. A: Good. Come kill me if you can.