The closer look at death penalty
In previous parts of "closer look at death penalty" articles we have described how death penalty looked in the past and how does it look now. At this part we are going to take a closer look at one of the most frustrating cause of death - so called "kick death" (death where a player had no chance to protect himself).
As we have said before most players had an occasion to feel how it is to die by kick or freez, as our poll shown over 50% of tibia deaths is caused by kicks (please note that the results are taken from the poll where everyone could vote - so it might be a little bit biased, but it still shows the image of the problem). The last changes in death penalty has reduced the frustration of death a bit - but still dying is painful and costly - which in normal circumstances is not so bad thing, but in case where player died by not his fault but kick/freez it born huge frustration.
What causes the kick death in Tibia?
We can divide it to three different categories:
So lets take a closer look at it.
Problem caused at players side
To category of so called "problem caused by players side" we can put things which in theory can be "fixed" by player. For instance:
Some of this problems can be easily fixed (like keeping the computer virus free), other ones aren't so easy to be dealt - for example changing ISP. The truth is that for casual player most of this problems can't be fixed - due to insufficient funds, lack of other ISP around etc.
Problem caused on way to tibia server
To this category, we can add some random problems, such as:
Player is defenseless in case of such problems. Similar is with the last category.
Problem caused by tibia server
Tibia servers are for sure well defended from loosing electricity, viruses etc. But still there can be some factors which causes the kicks, one of the most well known problem are DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks - done by hundreds of infected computers. Its very hard to protect the server from such attacks, as we could see in not so distant past there was several weeks full of kicks caused by DDoS, luckily it seems that CIPs has reduced this problem - but from time to time such attacks does go through tibia server defense. There can be of course some other causes of mass kicks like some bug in tibia which takes full server CPU power, some bug in Tibia client causing kicks (like in case of last October 2009 patch) etc.
As you can see player has very small potential to protect himself/herself from kicks, that is why loosing hours of gameplay only because of some random reason which couldn't be predicted is so frustrating. Changing the death penalty helps to reduce the feeling of injustice but as long the lost is counted in hours (not to mention the in game money which is not so easy to gain) the frustration will stay. Many players were thinking about the solution to this problem, and here are the most possible to implement.
Suggested solutions to kick-death
First lets see how does kick in tibia is treated nowadays. When you loose connection with tibia server you are loged out from game automatically if you doesn't have battle mark, but if you do have it (for example because you are hunting) then the character stays one minute in game - which is enough time for character to die several times - if he is hunting semi hard creatures (usual stuff which is being hunted for exp/money). So what solutions was suggested by players?
CHANGES IN "LOG OUT" METHOD
Since character left without any player supervision may die in matter of seconds there were several proposals suggesting to reduce the time of staying online after loosing connection. The suggested time range differed a lot, some suggested 30 seconds, others 10 and there was even proposals to instantly log out the character from game.
As you can see this proposal has its weak points, but still it would be a step toward the better gameplay. Usually in pvm fights players die by combo where - they weren't able to predict it so there would be no situation of x-loging or rebooting the computer. Probably the number of abuses of instant log out would be a small % compared to number of saved lives from real kicks and freezes.
CHANGES IN DEATH PENALTY
There was several proposals suggesting changes in death penalty, since now it seems unrealistic that the whole system would be changed, lets concentrate at proposal which could be used only in case of lost connection (tibia server knows when that has happened so in such case different death penalty could be used).
Its only few suggestions which can be/used to be found at proposal boards. As you see there are ways to reduce one of the most annoying things in tibia - which is kick death. Lets hope that CIPs will see that kick death is a real problem and will do something with that, till then I wish you dear reader zero lags, freezes or kicks :].