An old issue is popping up again with some fan conversation about Diablo 3 Survival Bonuses vs. Death Penalties. These are meant as an alternative to death penalties that modify player behavior by, as the cliche goes, using a carrot instead of a stick.
Here are some positive effects I can see this having on gameplay:
Grimiku: I overheard a developer once say that they like the idea of a survival bonus more than a death penalty. We don’t currently have a plan to implement a survival bonus or change the death penalty, but what kind of survival bonus would you implement? How strong should a survival bonus be?
I’ve long liked the idea of survival bonuses, and it was a topic we debated a fair amount back in the day. Here’s a Survival Bonus forum thread from 2009, for instance. While it was a topic discussed, and the devs shifted their stance (enjoy this Bashiok 180!) on death penalties a lot, they never had any working model of survival bonuses in the game (unless you count Hardcore). I thought they could easily have been tacked onto the Nephalem Valor system; you die you lose a stack, but that obviously didn’t happen.
There’s a lot to unpack on the issue, starting right at the top. Should there even be death penalties/survival bonuses? Player opinions differ; some feel that dying should come with a price that’s steeper than repair costs and having to wait a few seconds to resurrect, and that no penalty for dying encourages cheesy glass cannon play where players beat bosses by simply Zerging them. But is that a bad thing? Open to debate.
Hence the idea of Survival Bonuses which are all about reward for not dying rather than punishment for doing so. They’re optional in that way; if you want to play a difficulty level that’s over your head and die repeatedly, no one’s stopping you. The issue, as always, is balance. Making the SB good, but not so good that it feels mandatory. Do you guys like the idea of a survival bonus? Would it impact your play style or fun, positively or negatively? Or do you think people who want to not die should go play Hardcore and leave this sort of feature entirely out of the normal game?
If there was a survival bonus, what should it be? How should it tabulate? I think the B.net forum OP bonuses are too big; that would make people play very cautiously just to get up their bonuses, and then make them OP with a big stack of the bonuses. I’d want to just boost MF/GF, plus maybe Movement Speed so it’s a fun bonus that you notice, but not a real game-changer. You may disagree, of course.