Personally, I feel like a reincarnation / graveyard style death system (similar to World of Warcraft’s, but without the necessity to return to your corpse as a ghost) would be good for the game. When you die, you are sent to the nearest “revival spot” and resurrected. In the open world, all progress is kept prior to your death. Saves would be implemented, but loading into a save file would transport you to a revival spot.
I think that a system like this would be good in dungeons, but without saving your progress. All dungeons would have checkpoints throughout, placed in appropriate spots by the developers. Dying in a closed-instance dungeon would put you back to your latest checkpoint, resetting your progress past that point. Essentially, the checkpoints would serve as your save files.
Game-saving, in my personal experience, somewhat disrupted both the immersion of the game and its enjoyability. I think it’s quite self-explanatory why saving is non-immersive. For enjoyability, saving was almost like a coin flip. At one time, you would remember to save before a fight and not lose your progress, which could improve your game experience at the cost of immersion. On the other hand, you may forget to save throughout the entire dungeon and die to a trap, essentially invalidating 10 minutes of time spent, which did not help either experience nor immersion.
This system of handling player death would result in no manual saves as well as giving an immersive, balanced, and enjoyable experience in both open and closed-world death scenarios. Save files would be easily organized for loading, showing the save time, character level, location of respawn, and a picture of the place you left the game at, and whether it was an automatic save or not, while also sorting from latest to oldest, giving players easy access to their latest saves, but also older ones if they wish to go back. To combat open-world crashes and game-time loss, the player could choose between various auto-save intervals while in an open-world environment, which would save their game as if they had exited manually.
I’ve thought about this for a while, and I would really like to hear what anyone else thinks about it. Any arguments against this system or for another system, as well as suggestions or critiques, are welcome. I want to see what other people think, and perhaps I will change my mind.
© Post "Revamped Death System for TES:VI" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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