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The closer look at death penalty
-part 1-

The death penalty is a common topic which often appears during Tibian discussions. There were dozens of discussions at www.tibia.com forums about the good and bad sides of the Tibia's death penalty system, which finally resulted with CIP changing it (Spring patch 2009). Does this change solve all problems mentioned by players? The answer is simple - no - but there is no possible way to satisfy everyone.

Let's take a closer look at the whole problem...

What is a death penalty?

Ok some of you may ask "what is this death penalty anyway?". The name practically answers this question - death penalty (DP) is a penalty for death in the game. When a player dies he loses part of his skills and experience additionally with chances of losing equipment and money.
So far it seems simple, doesn't it? But now the question is: what causes death and how hard this death penalty is.

Reasons of death

In Tibia, players' deaths may be caused by several factors:

  • Normal death - death by creatures too strong, too many creatures etc.

  • PK death - death by another player (player killer)

  • Death by kick/freeze - while in both cases above player had some control over his death here the "enemy" is invincible.


Normal death - death by too strong creature
A normal death basically is just the normal causes of death. It happens for example while mapping new areas, overrating your own skills and trying killing creatures that are too strong, or there are too many creatures at the same time. This death is mainly caused by players own fault.

PK death - death by other player hand (player killer)
That happens quite often at PvP and PvP-enforced worlds. That is the risk of playing on such worlds; you may kill or get killed. The reasons why players kills each other is not a topic of this article so we won't concentrate on that.

Death by kick/freeze
While in both cases above, the player had some control over his death, here the "enemy" is invincible. It may be caused by dozens of factors like ISP, Tibia server, DDoS attacks, power cut in the players' house and so on.

Which death is the most frustrating? There is no need to ask as players to know the answer - death by kick/freeze takes the first place, next death by PK (random PK) and in the end death by creature. Why is that? Let's look at the reasons players dislike the kick/freeze death the most - when a player is kicked from Tibia or freezes, this player has no chance to defend him or her self, and may die by a creature which he or she usually could kill in 1-2 hits. It's a similar situation with random PK'ing, but at least in this case the player has a chance to survive - by running into a protection zone, or fight back, either way the player has a feeling he can do something to protect himself.

Since we know what the reasons of death are, let's take a closer look at the old and new death penalty in Tibia - how does it work? What do we lose when we die, and what can we do to reduce the death penalty?


Old death penalty

Before the spring patch (2009), the death penalty formula was simple: when you die you lose 10% of your experience and skills.

It worked fine until reaching a certain level where the lost was counted not in hours of getting exp but days - you can see the "critic point" in the graph below.

Graph presenting death penalty 10%
[Graph 1] - Death penalty without blessings or promotion -10%.

That is why the blessing system and promotion feature (death penalty reduction) was introduced.

What is a blessing? Its Gods answer to our players' prayers. Of course Gods usually ask for something in exchange - 10,000 GP (gold pieces) for a single blessing - which works only once - after you die, you have to get it again. Each blessing used reduces the death penalty by 1%, and there are 5 places where such blessings might by bought, so in total for 50,000 GP you could reduce your death penalty by 5% (from 10% to 5%).
The promotion was reducing the death penalty by 3%, in contrast to blessings you get the promotion once and it works as long as you are a premium player (you don't have to buy it after each death).
So when you had all 5 blessings (5% death penalty reduction) and promotion (3% death penalty reduction) your death penalty was reduced from 10% to 2% of your total exp and skills.

This change was good until players started to reach another level barrier, after which their increase in power was stopped by reaching the "limit" of skills (when increasing skills by one point is taking months). The speed of gaining experience has stabilized while experience needed to gain each level is increasing with each advancement.

Graph showing death penalty (2%)
[graph 2] - Death penalty with blessings and promotion (2%)

Take a look at the graph above, "critic point 2" which shows where the problem begins.

So as you can see the death penalty still wasn't perfect (even with blessings and promotion) players after death were still losing more and more playing time. That is why CIP decided to change it (after hearing hundreds of complaints).

In next part of the death penalty series we will take a closer look at the new death penalty which has been released in Tibias' Spring 2009 patch. Does it really solve all the problems? Or does it create even more frustration? Check out the part 2 of "The closer look at death penalty"!

 
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