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Server time (UTC): 2022-01-25 07:08

Finding RP explanations for death/infection mechanics


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  • Sapphire

I got into a discussion with a friend regarding several questions he had. He doesn't play on the RP server, but I do, and he understands the concept of RP, so he had questions regarding how we manage several different "plot holes" created either by game mechanics or the lore in general, so I thought I'd post a write-up here based around the theories I feel make the most sense and "fit" well with DayZRP's atmosphere.

Note that none of this stuff is considered lore server-wise unless the devs say so. These are just my own thoughts. I would like to see the server devs eventually come to a consensus on some of these, though, to help alleviate confusion in the future.

I feel that coming up with valid, in-universe explanations for these things is better overall than leaving the nebulous "case-by-case" basis we use often. After all, what if one person's head-canon conflicts with another? Then we get issues.

How do you explain respawning in a random location?

Explanation 1 - Body was moved: Your body was moved while you were unconscious, either by friends, by enemies, or by wild animals.

The first time I "died" in character back in the mod days, the people I was RPing with collectively agreed that I had fallen against zombies, and that they had dragged my unconscious and barely-living body up to the trade post. Meanwhile, someone retrieved my newly spawned form from the beach on a motorcycle and took me up to the post. As far as everyone involved and the story went, I got knocked out, dragged to TP, nursed back to health, and recovered.

Explanation 2 - You moved yourself: You were incapacitated, but not to the point that you couldn't crawl away. After your attackers left, you dragged yourself to safety and managed to slowly recover from your injuries, though you had lost your equipment in the process.

How come there are people that can be hit by zombies but don't become infected themselves?

Players are asymptomatic carriers: Characters played by humans are the tiny part of the population immune to the "zombifying" effects of the virus. This is most likely caused by a genetic incompatibility with the virus, which prevents the carrier from losing their mind to the virus' effects.

What about being executed? Someone puts a bullet in your head and you recover? Someone you've 'killed' numerous times recovers every time?

Carriers gain increased resiliency: Going with the previous concept that the non-zombie infected (the players) carry the virus but are themselves immune to becoming ravenous monsters, the virus could impart a sort of regenerative effect. This would not only explain how you can pump someone full of lead or put a bullet through their brain only to have them recover hours later, it would also explain how a person on the brink of death can recover from broken bones and bullet wounds in a matter of hours simply by remaining fed and hydrated. The world's remaining human population have all basically become minor super heroes by real-life standards, as the virus works to keep them alive when they should have otherwise died. One side-effect, of course, is that if you suffer enough damage that your body temporarily shuts down (you 'die' in game), your short-term memory is severely damaged, leaving you with absolutely no memory of what took place leading up to your incapacitation.

Furthermore, the zombies have this ability, too. This is why it seems impossible to completely cull their numbers, and would explain why zombies "respawn" like they do. "Killing" a zombie only puts it down temporarily. Eventually, the virus' regenerative effects allow the zombie to "wake up", whereupon it returns to its task of trying to find uninfected humans to kill.

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/Moving to Standalone Discussions

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  • MVP

To the second point - our lore States that most survivors are in fact immune (and the players choice of course) so that explains that one :)

As for the other two I'd say that tbh some things don't need a huge detailed explanation, they simply exist because we play a game and shouldn't get in the way of RP. Each situation where they may come up can be handled individually depending on context and current situation.

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  • Emerald

I like the idea of asymptomatic carriers; it would make sense within the realm of reality, I like to think, and would go nicely side-by-side with the way people currently roleplay. I don't mean to say that everyone should be aware of the fact that they're, for the lack of a better word, "immune to change," though. I would like to see people remain ignorant as to the intricacies of the infection and roleplay being paranoid of bites, scratches, coughs, and so on.

As for player deaths, I've always been a firm proponent of permadeath. When I die that character is dead forever and I roleplay a new one. I feel that this respects the very heart of roleplay (as no dancing and finaggling around "Uh, you just got your brain blown out" is required) and it allows for a new and fresh experience. Not to mention life-threatening situations are exhilarating when you know the very life of your character is on the line. Bugs, rule breaks, and server wipes don't count, of course.

I don't really like the increased resiliency idea. It's too fantastical for my tastes and I feel that it would be best to leave humans as they are - I'm all for suspension of disbelief, but I don't think the flavor of this sort of thing really matches the tone of DayZRP. That's just me though.

Interesting input though. I think many-a-person has had to try and dance around the "Uh, I thought you were dead?" situation, and it'd be neat to see if there could be an agreed upon practice for this sort of situation. I would encourage you and everyone else to try giving a permadeath character a try, just to see what I'm getting at. It's wonderfully tense, especially when you and your friends have become super attached to a character. The sense of loss is real and your friends, both IC'ly and OOC'ly, get to mourn. :P

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  • Sapphire

I can understand the dramatic appeal of permadeath, however one real issue for me is that I invest a lot of effort into developing my characters. Everything from their motivations and desires to where they went to school, what their parents were like, what their childhood involved, what they did for a living...you get the idea. I only really enjoy RP if I'm that invested in my character. If I had to redo everything each time I died in-game, it would be a full-time job.

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  • Emerald

I like this, better than people just ignoring the fact they were killed, especially if it was a key battle in a clan war or a major moment for your character. GG Lucia!

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I agree with the whole thred until the end upon the part of the "rewaking". Its a good explanation but I agree with Frayzies with perma-death. Only if its a good roleplay situation and not just a random KOS, BadRP, RDM or ... firefight. Yes even a firefight is okay to survive for me. Like you got shot, your equipment got destroyed, you fell unconsious and you lost some of your memory. But if your character "deserves" an execution - if you robbed a group really often, did other crimes or just...your character is a pure asshole all the time. Then you should perma-death your character because you played him into a situation where its just logical that hes dead.

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I like this, and the idea regarding the death and respawn of a character is something I hop back and forth between the fence between yours and Frayzies viewpoint over. I prefer the idea of death being death, but I have ignored it and come up with an idea more akin to yours before, depending on the character involvement in whatever group or idea I am a part of at the time.

I feel injuries should be met with fitting roleplay, both in physical and psychological means. But it all comes down to that balance that has been talked about before between Realism and Believism.

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  • Sapphire

I agree with permadeath if you bring it on yourself, like you choose to go out fighting rather than surrendering during a firefight, or you choose to stay behind and hold off the attackers while your group escapes, or you commit suicide.

But things like hypothermia, starvation, or illness? Eh, especially given that, right now, spawning fresh while it's raining is basically flipping a coin on a death sentence, permdeath is a bit heavy.

Like I said, I invest a lot of time prior to even logging a character in (hours, literally) just coming up with a backstory. If I created a new character every time I died, especially to bad DayZ luck, I'd spend more time writing than I would actually playing. I've killed off characters before, but only because it was fitting with the plot and story.

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