Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rewards for failure

A rainy day on my holidays, so I sneaked off to the internet cafe to read my e-mail and do a blog entry. The holidays have been nice so far, weather a bit mixed, but in the first couple of days I was content doing nothing and sleeping a lot. And in the sunny periods we went to the beach and I promptly got sunburned. When it rained I was mostly playing Puzzle Quest on my PSP. The PSP works well as a holiday gaming device. Only you can't play long hours without getting backpain, because it's hard to play other than hunched over the handheld console.

Anyway, I already got quite far in Puzzle Quest, having just vanquished the Great Orc of Kor. Since I got past level 30 and have the Deathbringer spell, I'm winning most duels quite fast. The game was actually harder at the start, when I had less spells and no powerful combos yet. But that wasn't really a problem, because in Puzzle Quest you aren't punished when you lose a fight. In fact, you are even rewarded: While you don't get the xp and gold for winning, you do get the xp and gold you collected during the battle. Fighting the same too hard mob over and over will eventually beat him with luck, or get you enough xp to level up and come back stronger. Of course if you are on a story line quest you *have to* fight that mob again and again until you beat it, otherwise you are stuck. But you could go on a side quest first and get stronger if necessary.

With modern MMORPGs already having a much milder penalty for failure and dying than the old school games like Everquest (naked corpse run anyone?), I wonder at which point we'll see some reward for failure in MMORPGs as well. Or is the current level of death penalty as low as you can go? I'll leave you to discuss that while I go back to my beach. :)

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