Yes I bet you are thinking is this guy crazy, “…I am not playing a game where I could lose my gear and home and just all my swag just cuz of some no life ganker…” I feel what you are saying and please hear me out first before you write my idea off altogether. Also remember that this is first off my idea of a perfect or at least a very enjoyable MMO and I am open to constructive criticism not bashing 🙂
I like this feature for realism sake and also to me it causes an attachment to your character and you really get immersed into the game when you really care about death. So in SAO when you die you are dead. You will then go back to the CCS (Character Create Screen) and have to create a new persona. I feel that since there is such a hefty penalty for death it will cause players to not only think twice before engaging into un-necessary PvP, but It will also render a feeling of great accomplishment and epic-ness when you have over come seemingly insurmountable odds. The entire game will be player driven so I don’t want people to just walk up to someone and take them out with out thinking of the consequences. If you remember playing any of the Elder Scrolls games, when you killed some one everyone nearby and the guards from all over came to avenge the fallen townie. It was also the same for a passer by with friends (like i mentioned in a previous post this is not a solo game experience) you would call yourself to everyone’s attention. Same idea not only will killing someone alert their factions and friends to you but also if you kill someone in a city under protection then the player driven force would issue bounties on you and if need be amass a task force to take you out.
So you may begin to breath again because there are some safe guards to the scary Permanent Death feature, and that is cloning. We all should know how cloning works but for those who don’t i will start from the top. Cloning is a feature to help cushion the hit you will take from death in SAO. Assuming a player has created a cloning facility, you just walk in side and pay the fee (witch will probably be pretty high) store your identical copy and your done. If you get killed as you leave the cloning facility you will be revived in a brand new body with all your current skills, no harm no foul. But here is the reason you still want to avoid death at all coast. There is a feature called biological decay, witch means that from the time you leave the cloning facility a timer clicks down until your clone begins to loose stats and abilities. Don’t worry your clones stats will not dip bellow 1/4 – 1/3 of you stats from when you first made your clone but seeing as it actually takes work to level in SAO, death still comes with a very sever price.
So you thought money was the only way to come back well think again. You can also be reincarnated through your linage. As a reincarnation of your former self you will keep your family name (the only name that can not be duplicated out side of relation) and between 1/4 -1/3 of your stats will be carried over at a steep penalty but at slightly less of a penalty then cloning decay but still pretty sever. There are two ways to be able to reincarnate. One of witch is to get married to a sentient that can mate with your kind lol ;). The other way is to store your DNA at a match bank. Now the Match Bank has to have enough materials in the bank to allow for the reincarnation to take place and it also will cost a pretty penny.
So here is my advice to you player “You have but one life, eager refugee. If you should die, though your deeds will be remembered, you shall not return again ~Diablo~”