When a player dies in Dual Universe, the “respawn” mechanism is articulated around the notion of Resurrection Nodes. We have already described in a previous post the quantum mechanical principle behind these incredible devices, and today I would like to discuss a bit more about the gameplay aspect. Resurrection Nodes are probably one of the most important element of the game, let’s see what it means for all players.
One important thing to understand is that Resurrection Nodes (or RN) are expensive. Very. Whether you buy it or you collect the materials to craft it, this will be a considerable investment. You can’t just put one on the way, just in case, without thinking too much about it. It will almost always be an investment, a careful choice made for a good reason.
That being said, when the game starts, you will be given two RN from the start: one preset inside the Arkship, and one free RN inside your inventory. Typically, you will set this second one wherever you decide to install your personal base. Beyond that, building additional RN will be something most players will not be able to afford before a certain amount of game time, and it will most likely be within a powerful organization like a state or a large company.
The way it works is simple: you first need to set up the node, except the one of the Arkship, which is always ready to use. A Resurrection Node is a power hungry machine (remember, the beast is twisting the fabric of the quantum multiverse space-time topology, in order to affect its probability distribution and save your ass). You need to power it and make sure it is fully charged, and the time it takes for a full charge will depend on the type of power source you can afford to use. This can range from a few minutes to a few days.
You can of course set up several nodes in different places at the same time. When you die, the closest RN will be used to respawn you inside its pod. It will lose its charge in the process, so it cannot be reused on the spot. The fact that you cannot choose which of your currently running RN will be used, and the closest one is taken instead, is crucial to avoid transforming the RN into a teleportation device.
Another important aspect: when you benefit from a RN, you respawn but your inventory will be randomly losing most items, as it is impossible to insure that the particular branch of the universe where you are now has the same past history as the one you come from. Beyond the inventory, you have also crucially lost your geographical position. You might have been teleported millions of kilometers away from where you died. And that might be very bad.
Imagine what it means in the context of a military situation. Your planet is suddenly attacked by a fleet of warships surrounding you. This is in the Orkras Empire, a very remote planetary system known for its aggressive gameplay. It is remote, so they must have travelled a long time before arriving here. Somewhere within the fleet, there must be a resurrection ship where all the players that are members of this expedition will respawn during the fight. Identifying this ship and destroying it becomes the most important war priority, as it will ensure that every death will send the attacking players back to their system, which is far away. Or, wait… maybe the RN are spread among all the ships? Or maybe there is a hidden resurrection ship on a not-too-distant moon? Or maybe the Orkrassian have secretly set up a RN base on your planet itself, long before the invasion, somewhere underground? The possibilities are endless.
And the counter attacks are also very rich: you have a spy in the Orkras Empire, and she has identified the threat of this attack for a long time already. You are ready. In particular, you know where the RN base has been secretly set up by the attacker on your planet. You have not destroyed it, instead, you have planted tons of explosives below it, ready to neutralize it when their fleet will arrive. It will be too late for them, and they will suffer heavy loss and destruction without being able to defend themselves for long. Or… maybe the Orkras actually know about your spy, and maybe the information about the RN base is false. And they had a backup somewhere else. This is emergent gameplay at its best: I can’t even start to imagine all the possibilities that you, the players, are going to invent! In any case, one thing is sure: the resurrection nodes are going to be a central element of gameplay and emergent strategies/counter-strategies between opposing factions. And we need to benchmark the mechanism during the alpha to make sure that it is well balanced. Everything exposed here remains – of course – subject to changes and revision with the feedback we’ll receive from the community!