I do not like med kits. I do not like respawns. I do not like phoenix downs. I am, of course, talking about death in games - I think it should be deadly, and I dislike nerfing it.
But, on the other hand, I hold even less fondness for killing.
"Wait, for death, but against killings? What is he saying?"
I'm saying that, in order for a game to be truely dramatic, death has to be so fatal that you avoid it. Death has to be something you only risk for the most important reasons.
And the place I think this is most important? Massively multiplayer on-line RPGs.
Yes, that's right, I'm talking about perma-death.
"Everyone hates it! Nobody will play! You'll be the scorn of the universe!"
Bah. It might not please the mainstream, but lots of things don't please the mainstream and still have merit. Like truth, like science, like greed... like death.
Think about all the problems that impermanent death causes. Trolls. PKers. Maxed-out characters. Mudflation.
Can you solve these without resorting to perma-death? Maybe. But permadeath solves all of them, and offers some astonishingly unique and interesting opportunities.
Imagine a game where you control your family, or a game in which when you die, the player takes over a related character. Instead of building your character, you have to build your family's legacy.
Imagine a game where you could sacrifice your character for something you really believed in - a game where your allegiance isn't just an hour of your time, but your very life, sacrificed to stop your enemies.
Imagine a game where you really could have a sword passed down from generation to generation, imbued with the spirits of your noble ancestors. A unique magic item deeply linked to your personal story.
Drawbacks? Yeah. You don't want to kill anyone who doesn't know they're risking getting killed, primarily. You don't want new characters to be able to kill themselves to stop experienced characters, because then the PKers and trolls will not be stopped after all.
But these are easily solved. There's a hundred ways of doing it.
Anyhow, just thought I'd bring it up. Perma-death should not be taboo. It should be courted. It is viable.