Quantum Immortality

Man with conceptual spiritual body art

Like most MMOs I know of, we won’t go for permadeath. It’s too hard on the player, and I think it is more the realm of rogue-like games than MMOs. So, in Dual, you live forever. How can you explain this, taking into account the sci-fi background we have (see the backstory for more info)? The explanation takes its roots in quantum mechanics. Let’s have a look at how it works exactly.

In Dual, when you die you respawn in the Ark Ship. You also have the possibility to build what we call “Resurrection Nodes” (tribute to Battlestar Gallactica here) anywhere you like, and you can have as many as you like. Resurrection Nodes (RN) are extremely expensive however, and consume insane amounts of energy, but in combat they are paramount. We will discuss their strategic implication in another post. The bottom line is that you always respawn in a RN, and the Arkship is just equipped with permanent RNs available for you if you did not setup your own. Now, how does it work?

The key mechanism can only be understood if we take a look at an idea called “quantum immortality“. The core idea of quantum immortality is derived from the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics. In a nutshell, this interpretation of quantum mechanics laws states that we live in a multiverse where every possible outcome for a measurement always happen, but in various parallel universes. The trick is that your consciousness can only exist in a branch of the multiverse where… you are not dead! (by definition). So, at any moment, if there is an alternative reality where you don’t die after an unfortunate accident, you will necessarily be in that reality (how could you be in a branch of the multiverse where you are dead? If you are dead you cannot experience it).

The Resurrection Nodes are insanely complex devices that are capable to harness the intimate structure of our quantum reality to allow you to have control over exactly what kind of branch you will respawn in with maximal probability. In particular, it is calibrated to make sure that everything in the world will be exactly the same, except your body location that will “teleport” to the RN. This is the “cheapest” jump that preserves your consciousness and the course of actions. It is still insanely expensive, as it requires to funnel every atom in your body to make a gigantic quantum jump from where you where before your “death” to where the RN is located, and favor this particular universe history over all others. Everything else in the universe will be left unchanged, where it is, including your partners, your inventory, your ship or whatever your were doing before you “quantum-died”: everything remains on-site, and you wake up naked in a RN.

RN are not permadeath, but they are quite hard on the player anyway. You loose your inventory, your ship, possibly also your geographical position (you need to travel back to where you died), etc. It’s based on a very advanced quantum mechanical trick played with the universe, but it doesn’t come cheap. Only very advanced military or diplomatic organizations will be able to afford the energetic/material cost of a RN infrastructure. Yes, they are wonderful war targets ;)

More about quantum immortality here:

Jean-Christophe Baillie
Project Lead