The closer look at death penalty
-part 2-

In our last article about the death penalty (this one) we have listed the main reasons of death and described the old death penalty system. This time we will take a closer look at the new death penalty...

New death penalty

The last spring patch (2009) brought us new death penalty system, which was supposed to solve all the problems. Did it really do that? Lets see...

The experience and skill loss has been reduced in general. "Up to level 24, however, all characters without blessings and promotion lose 10% of their skill and experience points like before. From level 24 on, the percentage of experience points that player lose upon death slowly decreases. A character of level 50 will lose 1 level and from then on half a level more every 50 levels. This means, a character of level 100 will lose 1.5 levels, with level 150 character you will lose 2 levels and with a character of level 200 you will lose 2.5 levels and so on. So a character of level 180 will approximately lose 2.3 levels" (www.tibia.com).

The loss of skill points also depends on a character's level. The higher the level, the less percent of skill points you will lose when dying. Let's say a level 100 dies without blessings and promotion. He will lose 1.5 levels, which is about 4.5% of his total experience (it was 10% before patch). Likewise, he will lose 4.5% of his skills.

This penalty can be reduced by buying blessings. The price for one blessing since the spring patch depends on a character's level - that makes blessings interesting also for characters of lower levels. Up to level 30 a blessing costs 2,000 gp; from level 31 to 119 you have to pay 2,000 gp + 200 gp for every additional level above level 30; for characters of level 120 and above a blessing costs 20,000 gp.

"Now high levels may think that 100,000 gp sounds much for 5 blessings, but blessings will not only reduce your experience and skill loss. They will also reduce the probability to lose an item or your backpack. With only 1 blessing, you already reduce the probability to lose some of your equipment by 30%, with 2 blessings by 55%, with 3 by 75%, with 4 by 90% and players that have all 5 blessings will not lose any of their hard earned belongings at all in case of a death" (www.tibia.com).

Blessings prices and its "strength" have been changed.
"Promotion will still reduce the death penalty by 30%. Each blessing will reduce your experience and skill loss by 8%, which is a bit less than before when a blessing reduced it by 10%. But since we reduced the death penalty in general, a character of level 100, for example, will only lose 1.35% of his experience and skills after the patch, provided he has bought all 5 blessings and promotion. Before the patch, a character of level 100 could reduce the loss of experience and skill points only up to 2%. Moreover, you can finally use some of the other great necklaces like the elven amulet or the dragon necklace that are useful in your daily fights against fierce and dangerous creatures" (www.tibia.com)

The graph below (graph 1) presents how the new death penalty looks like.

[Graph 1 new death penalty with blessings and promotion 2%] Graph 1 new death penalty with blessings and promotion 2%

So what exactly has been changed? To put it into simple words:

  • The death penalty has been reduced overall - players loose less experience and skills after death.

  • AOL (amulet of loss) has lost its place - so players who didn't use an AOL now have to spent 50k more on blessings.

  • Players are able to use amulets without risk of loosing items in case of death (if they have bought blessings) - increased survival.

In graph below (graph 2) we have compared the old death penalty to new one.

[Graph 2 comparison of old and new death penalty] Graph 2 comparison of old and new death penalty

Its sound good but how does it affect the main death reasons?
As we have said in the first part of "The closer look at death penalty", there are 3 main death reasons: Normal death; PK death; Death caused by freeze or kick.

In overall the death penalty has been reduced, but it is still harsh. Players still fear dying - since it costs them several hours of game play each time.

The problem is dying brings lots of frustration to its players. In the case of a normal death, being the fault of the player, the frustration level is rather low. Then when it comes to dying by a PK or a kick/freeze, the players get extremely frustrated (especially at higher levels - the higher level they are the more time they spent playing meaning they lose a lot of time when dying), usually resulting in the player retiring or they start to use illegal software to gain their lost experience back easily.

In Tibia-Stats recent Poll we have asked "How many of your deaths were caused by kick/freeze?", even though it was open poll (everyone could vote etc.) and such results shouldn't be treated as very reliable source of information, the results are stupendous, just check the graph below (graph 3).

[Graph 3 results of "kick death pool"] Results of the kick death poll

Over 65% of players stated that more than 50% of their deaths are caused by kicks/freezes. Only 6% of players never died by kick or freeze.

That shows the main problem of players frustration caused by death, and this death reason hasn't been changed. Reducing the death penalty wont solve the main problem - frustration caused by death which couldn?t be avoided - which may lead to stop playing the game or starting to cheat.

So what can/should be done with kick death?

There was dozens of proposals how to solve that problem, each had some pros and cons. Since it's a huge topic, we will take a closer look at them in next article concentrated around death penalty.

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