The World Of Darkness MMO Flirts With Permanent Death

The World Of Darkness MMO Flirts With Permanent Death

In the World of Darkness series of pen-and-paper role-playing games, when your character dies there’s no coming back. According to a panel run by the developers at last weekend’s Grand Masquerade, permadeath will carry over to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game as well.

MMO players are not used to permadeath. Generally when you die you respawn somewhere else, often with some sort of temporary penalty applied to your character’s statistics. World of Darkness is not your normal MMO. According to a summary of the topics touched on at the panel (since verified with CCP), it’s more of a virtual LARP — live action role-playing game — than any other MMO offering out there.

What does that mean? It means role-playing is enforced, with certain limited powers in play for other players to enforce it. It means a good portion of the drama in the game will be player created and fuelled. White Wolf, the creators of Vampire: The Masquerade and subsidiary of CCP, want to encourage players to amuse themselves, as the average MMO fan will consume content faster than they can write it. Players will hold positions of power in their respective clans and cities — players will be princes and primogen, roles that will require role-playing savvy and leadership skills.

And it also means that players can die. Each new player in the game starts as a human and must be embraced by a vampire in order to gain power (for now vampires are the focus of the game). CCP has confirmed to Kotaku that permadeath is being considered as a possibility for both human and vampire characters, though the latter can also fall into a state of damage-induced torpor which enables them to recover from grievous injuries.

It’ll be interesting to see how players treat their characters and each other when the option of losing that character forever becomes a possibility. It could wind up being the friendliest group of vampires you ever did meet.

Hit up the link below for a full roundup of panel-related news.

World of Darkness MMO Panel Summary [World of Darkness Forums]


    • I’d usually agree, but I don’t think this will be the standard “grind and find” mmo.

      If it’s mostly player driven, the people who will get the most fun out of it are going to be the people that involve themselves in the intrigue and politics.
      I think it’ll be interesting to play in a game where, if you are focused and know what you want to do, you can make a difference and tip scales. I, myself, probably won’t mind the permadeath if they get the atmosphere just right.

      • If the intrigue and politics elements of the game actually deliver, then permadeath would be a reasonable response to scheming against other players. Betrayal should have consequences beyond being temporarily banished and and given an endless number of chances to try again.

    • I guess it depends if you loose everything.
      Perhaps your character could die but leaves a “legacy” of items and stuff that you can collect when you create a new character so you don’t start again with nothing.

    • Judging from the full panel, permadeath only becomes a risk if you get into situatiosn way over your head, and the way they worded it implied that players do get a chance to back out of the situation.

      My guess is that certain quests and areas carry the risk of permadeath, but if you survive the rewards are greater.

  • Hopefully it will discourage the idea that MMOs are “work” and get back to creating virtual spaces where people can have fun together instead of inspecting their equipment and mocking them.

  • I want to try this, I really really do cause I really enjoyed VtM. However, I have some reservations based on my past experiences with MMOs. Oh well, just gonna wait and see

  • as long as there’s no sparkling, fangless sooks pretending to be awesome vampires this might just have legs.

    speaking of sooky vampires, how does someone live for hundreds of years, yet never attain any depth of character beyond being a conflicted, angsty teen?

    gaaah bring on the vampires that are into face ripping and orgies and blackjack and hookers

  • I just read the Godfather (original Mario Puzzo book) last week and somehow this has got me thinking of this…

    I imagine yes there will be a hell of a lot of diplomacy and negotiations and politics going on at all levels… with occasional outbreaks of violence where everybody looses.

    There will likely also be a tightly ingrained set of ethics develop in the game, regarding what kind of action sanctions which kind of reprisal, just as was organically developed within organized crime societies in the 1940’s. It was out of necessity, there was too much to loose on all sides.

    Well anyway thats my 2c. This could be an amazingly fun game to play.

    • Aye, this has the potential to really make people think about the possibly consequences of their ingame actions… Will be interesting to see how the political landscape evolves…

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!