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November 21st, 2008, 00:01
In a multi-character, real-time game (even with pause), it's just too likely that when a character goes down, it's not 100% the player's fault. There's a lot going on at once, and the AI can make some poor decisions. Or in the absense of even rudimentary AI, there are still moments where the player thinks he's told a character to do X, and for whatever reason, the character does something else.

It's really a different vibe than say Rogue/Nethack, where you have all the time in the world to consider each move, and where the player feels more responsibility for the end result. And even so, despite its cult status, and despite the carrying forward of other elements to games with wider audiences, one feature of roguelikes which developers have not rushed to copy is the "die once and you're done" system. Despite its clear basis in reality, most people don't like it.

Anywho, I was trying to say that in a real-time, multi-character games, like this one, players feel (and relative to a roguelike, I'd say are) less responsible for characters' deaths, and as a result players (or MOST players) are less enthusiastic about being permanently penalized by such deaths.

Agani, I think the 'character' of the game is important. In Dwarf Fortress, when I'm not paying attention to some lower level of my fortress and my idiot legendary mason walls himself in and dies of starvation however long later (withuot ever uttering a peep to protest his ridiculous fate), I don't feel particularly responsible, but I also can accept the permanent death because DF is a game with so many little characters that the loss of one is not such a big deal. In a game like DA or NWN2, it's just a much greater burden to permanently lose a character.
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