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Game Over scenarios (SPOILERS)


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I had a thought and I'm putting it up to discussion.

First off let me say that I enjoyed Path of Fire story quite a lot. The scale of events and their potential repercussions are getting really epic and serious. I mean, the gods have left even their realms in the Mists, thats how much trouble the world is in, and it seems like we just barely do enough to postpone the innevitable.

The most serious-sounding events in this story, in my opinion, was when you had to fight the Eater of Souls, and the final battles with Balthazar and the machine. The repercussions if you've lost would have been that you lose yourself forever, and Kralkatorrik's death fatally spiraling the world out of balance, respectively.Its all fine and good that we overcome these challenges as scripted, but these fights are also getting pretty difficult too, to the point that you can actually lose (shocking, I know). Problem is, you are likely going to just rally with full health at the last checkpoint literally 20 meters away from the big bad boss who is barely holding on to its 5% health that's left. The epic struggle with all the risks and stakes in it is reduced to a sudden realization that the only way you actually lose this fight if you ragequit and uninstall. The sense of victory you were supposed to feel is reduced to a shallow mop-up task of finishing a weakened boss.

So the main idea here is this: At certain parts of specific story instances, only a few really, at the final fights that had been built up through series of preparations and side-quests, and where the story and dialogue itself is drawing all attention at the risks, stakes and consequences, when the player loses, let it be final.

I don't mean that it should delete your character of course (though for a second there at the Eater of Souls I had that fear by the sound of how the Judge was talking about it). Gameplay-wise all I mean is that certain fights should end the story instance when you fail, and put you back to the open world map at the instance entry point. Like the attempt never happened.

Also, if we are already doing this, It would be cool to see the consequences of failure even for a few seconds, cinematics maybe. These two fights, when you fail, could have been done simply.

  • The Eater of Souls could have pulled your spirit-body toward itself while the screen gets some frightening filter, an ominous rumbling sound plays, and then a 3 seconds long dead silence as all goes dark.
  • Failing the fight against Balthazar and his Kralk-killer could have just replayed the ominous armageddon visions fast before going to the dark screen.

So what do you think? Would unique game-over scenarios for a selected few failures increase the experience of the gameplay when you actually win? Or would it be too much of a headache to go through the entire mission again for just failing the oh-so unfair boss battle? Do you even think that the great repercussions of potential failure shouldn't just be empty words, or are you perfectly fine with how things are? Discuss away.

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If a death in the story meant you actually had to restart the instance, the content would likely become much easier, like how most MMOs balance their solo content for the most casual of players. Single fights should restart, but restarting the whole instance just turns it into a boring grind. Grouping up or death rushing bosses is GW2's version of an easy mode. If that was no longer possible, there'd be far more complaints and it would likely all be nerfed moving forwards. That's why people should be in favor of an easy mode, which could be as trivial to implement as a 90% damage reduction, otherwise they're just going to nerf it for everyone. The simple reverse however is an achievement for not dying while solo, and completing or failing an achievement should have an obvious popup, like completing or failing quests in other games.

As for special scenes, short and simple ones are about the most you could expect. If you failed to kill Mordremoth for example, your mind is corrupted, so you would have likely turned and killed the other allies that didn't go in, then they could have a game over / retry screen with a small text that told how the future would have played out. Retrying should always be as simple as if you never started the boss fight.

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The idea that the story should be easy just because you deserve the narrative is nonsense. Somehow people managed to make their way through the entirety of GW1, in which the gameplay was mechanically complex and heavily punished failure, and didn't have a problem calling for help if they were'nt able to solo it.

It is stupid that the "optional" and "unimportant" boss fights are the only ones with any real stakes or consequences for failure. I'm not saying storyline fights should be raid difficulty, but at the very least you should reset boss encounters if the player fails so that they're required to actually finish the encounter.

The storyline doesn't need an easy mode. Its the through line which the game assumes everyone passes. Its goal shouldn't be just to spit exposition. It should also be a means by which players are trained to play the game. Video games are an interactive medium that require input from their audience. By removing all consequences for failure you're effectively creating a situation in which the player's ability to play your game doesn't matter.

Finding it acceptable to balance for difficulty everywhere else, but not in the content where the MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS in your world are happening doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If people can't pass the encounters, and the encounters are already balanced for solo players, you already have a built in easy mode in the form of adding more players.

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@Vagrant.7206 said:Personally I'm not a fan of fission mailed storylines either -- Balthazar defeats us to drag on the story line, so I'm not necessarily convinced that there should be some storybreaking stuff.

I didn't need Sohothin to kick his kitten.

I honestly don't mind "scripted failure" as a means of storytelling as long as the game makes it clear you were supposed to fail and that failure was unavoidable. As much as I have problems with the overall narrative of PoF, I think the "automatic failures" in the plot missions are sufficiently messaged. I was never under the impression in these instances that I "failed" as much as I succeeded in reaching a cutscene.

The silly thing is that the story treats the player as if failure is possible, and then in the climactic final battle actually makes it impossible to fail.

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