Death Without Dignity has a tongue-in-cheek look at the death penalty in MMOGs from Ultima Online all the way to World of Warcraft.

Player immortality is exactly what happened to Adventure gaming, and it will happen to MMORPGs.

All death penalty ratings and descriptions are based on the game at release. Most have had their penalties reduced drastically since.

Adventure games began with harsh deaths, one wrong decision, one misspelled word, and your game was over. Sierra and other early developers were especially cruel to players, though after a few years death penalties lost their harshness through save-points and alternate solutions. Each game that came out made the inconvenience smaller, until Lucas Arts sealed death’s fate in 1987 with Maniac Mansion, the game that killed death. Lucas Arts had such a hit that most major adventure games followed suit – and we’ve rarely seen death penalties in a graphic adventure game since, 19 years and counting. Compare these death penalties to MMORPGs, study the trends, and you’ll be able to predict the future.

Check out this morbidly entertaining read at, complete with some goofy photoshop'd screens.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.