A fair alternative to permadeath, without the use of save scumming but still retaining challenge?

I think a really nice alternative to make the game more accessible or “friendly” to players (especially new ones just learning the game’s mechanics) would be a mode where you can only save after falling asleep, but be able to revert back to a previous save when you perish.
To clarify on what I’m thinking of:

  • quicksaving and saving and quitting would be entirely disabled as long as this mode or mod, was active on the world. instead the character would need to fall asleep for at least uninterrupted 4 hours.
  • to prevent death loops the player would need to be suffering from no diseases and be at least above “very hungry/thirsty” as well as have no hostile creatures/NPCs within a 5 metre sleeping area.
  • to make this even further lore/roleplay friendly one could add the debuff “had a nightmare” that would incur -20 joy or so (this may be rather difficult to make however considering the game would need to “remember” you died even though it reverted back to a previous save file)
  • in short it would act similarily to how the save mechanics work in fallout 4’s “survival mode”
  • if you still want to make things still a bit more “exciting” through the fear of death, you could implement a “lives” system where you could only resurrect a certain amount of times (but like the previous point that may be difficult to program)

Through this I think it would make the game much more accessible or “friendly” to new players who might get frustrated at having lost an experienced character, or might get scared off playing the game further because of fear of losing a charecter. After all there are many things in this game that players afraid of taking risks may miss out on like exploring wrecks, anomalies, or other areas with extreme dangers.

This game isn’t friendly mate. That is a prominent point new players do not understand. I’m not saying that to disparage. I’m reasonably friendly :slight_smile:
The game on the other hand is not about coddling the player. You either shed your Mario/Terminator game play methods and play the game as you would attempt to actually survive…or die.

The scary part is having an epiphany that the mistakes you make would perhaps be that which would really kill you in real life. The rest is other people and the course of events you have no control over.


And you can always make your own rules to save, like, but not limited to:

  1. whe you sleep.
  2. before raiding
  3. before entering a dungeon (a lab, temple, grove etc)
    and in case you die, load the save.
    And being honest the point of rogue games is dying, selfloathing and improvement

still, there’s a limit to how much time someone might want to invest in something and not want to lose it.

after all if a game is more frustrating than fun, then what’s the point? A game like Dark Souls is a good model for how to not “coddle” a player and make your life excruciatingly difficult, without passing the threshold of simply seeming “unfair” or “frustrating”.
Some deaths seem nearly impossible to avoid in dda without having prior deaths to know how something works without spoilers, such as anomalies or extra special zombies. Would a Souls game have even been truly possible if you weren’t allowed to reset to a bonfire?
Plus being reset a day or more is a pretty fair penalty in my opinion.

Well you let us know when you can reset your life in reality and be sure to give us this option. I would like to be wealthy and bang lotsa pretty people lol

Joking aside. There is save scumming and nobody says you can’t. It isn’t a feature because that is not the way we role here :wink:

;to comment on what you edited; If the death is impossible to avoid. I hear that reality does this pretty hard core too…guess everyone making the game is doing a good job ^_-

manual saving can be pretty inconvenient though and i’ve never really seen the point in self-loathing. just seems to futile to beat yourself up.

Permadeath is a core value of the game. Being able to jaunt off for a day of exploration secure in the knowldge that you can’t lose more than a few hours of in-game time completely changes the tone of the game and how it’s played, it encourages excessive risk taking instead of evaluation of the danger presented by various situations.
DDA is explicitly not for everyone, so the argument of making it “friendlier” is not one that is particularly compelling.
If you want to play a different game where you manually backup your save, I’m not interested in trying to stop you, but you aren’t even playing the same game anymore.


I mean, you can’t turn yourself into a giant crab by shooting up household chemicals in real life, either.

I’d rather just have permadeath, the game isn’t meant to be “Hero saves all” it’s more or less as the death screen tells you “You are lost among the billions in the Cataclysm”, you’re not meant to be the harbringer of light; destroyer of doom, just John Doe who was lucky enough to not get immidietly killed in Cataclysm. It’s honestly a rather novel idea that makes game design a lot more easy, as many of the games that place your as “The one who saves all” fail spectacularily at making you feel even the least bit special (Bethesda games in most regards), and having a long term system would mainly miss the point of rougelike gameplay. T

Anyways, a tl;dr analogy: The game is like a fast food menu: don’t get stuck having the same item everytime, change it up, get something new and add a little spice to it, and if everything gets too old for you, then sure hope that they start adding new things to that menu.

The only real difficulty in this game is the early days. Even an average 8/8/8/8 survivor with no skills at character creation turns into a walking army after you get access to high-skill level weapons and armor… Which at the current state of the experimentals is in 10-20 day range, depending on how much you try to raise you skills or if you find and read books for hard-to-train skills.

Heck, I can get to Heavy Survivor Armor in a in-game week, the only problem is getting enough kevlar for that. But after that? Basically nothing can touch you, except for some rare end-game encounters, acid ( but there’s a Survivor variant for anti-acid as well ) and other special zombies and things like lava/heat and cold, but this all can be remedied by bionics or thermal clothing.

Even with the recently nerfed bows I still don’t have much of an issue dispatching foes. And if they get close, I have unarmed or my trusty pipe spear for soldiers and other heavily armored zombie folk.

Unless you do specific challenging scenarios ( wilderness, infected, really bad day etc. ) you shouldn’t be having much trouble during early game, granted you need to know how to avoid combat and minimalize the zombies you fight at once.

Stairs are your greatest friend. Zombies can’t follow you up/down unless they are very close to you when you use them. This lets you bait zombies one-by-one easily, into a trap room of your choosing ( nailboards? Make a x or + shape out of them and dance around the zombies that will kill themselves )

That being said, this does require either reading through a guide of some sort, or prior experience.

Which is what roguelikes do/expect from you. Death is supposed to be frequent until you learn to balance risk and reward.

Should you risk aggroing that shocker brute to get to the library with precious books? Raid the grocery store at night, despite knowing there’s a horde in the area? This is the essence of this game.

Even then, a Heavy Survivor wearing bionic supermutant can still die a dog’s death if you foolishly lower down your guard.

Moments like being literally surrounded by hundreds of zombies and deciding to kill as many as you possibly can before succumbing are what makes this game awesome.

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