Fear of death is a tough emotion to create in an MMO. If you die while working on a “kill ten mobs” quest, is it so devastating that you completely rethink your approach to the quest? Hell, did you go into the quest even caring about the fact that you might die a few times? When raiding, do you ever REALLY care if you die, especially if the raid boss goes down? As a tank, do you ever just turn and run towards the instance portal to save yourself rather than continuing to hold agro? Even in WAR’s RvR, does anyone actual fear a single death at any point?
Fear of death exists in EVE, because losing your ship and pod is a bitch, both in ISK cost and time to reload. You don’t carelessly jump into 0.0 space and poke around in your battleship, and if you die you certainly don’t jump into your next battleship and head right back into 0.0 to continue wandering around. You might get into an empty clone and a frigate to explore, but you take those actions to limit the penalty of death, which is just an extension of that fear.
Fear of death also exists in DarkFall, as dying means losing all your gear and getting tossed back to your bindstone, which depending on the location could be 30 minutes or more from the spot of your death. Much like EVE, the better equipped you are, the higher your fear of death is. When people are looking just to cross from one spot to another, they usually run naked or close to it. If you just head out to mess around, usually you don’t wear your top stuff. That stuff you save for special occasions, mainly organized PvP, which is also usually the event that leads to your death.
Which brings me to my point; being able to control your fear of death is a make-or-break characteristic in a game like DarkFall. Everyone is always searching for that ‘balanced’ fight, as it’s not much fun beating someone ten vs one, or being that one person jumped by ten. We are always looking for that great 8v8 contest, where numbers are not a factor and each player’s actions are vital. The funny thing is, you stand a good chance to die in that 8v8, and since we are talking organized PvP, you are likely wearing some nice gear, so it’s only natural that some players are going to break early and try to escape, especially if their part of the 8v8 is not going well. This usually leads to a chain reaction, and more often than not the fight result is a few deaths with the rest running away.
One common characteristic among top PvP clans is their ability to judge combat situations quickly, and their resolve to stick with a fight rather than break and run. They have a lot of confidence in their clan mates, and they believe that even if they lose their individual battle, their team usually comes out the winner. Fighting to the bitter end keeps your opponent(s) occupied, allowing the rest of your team to hopefully win their battle and either assist you, or at least finish off your weakened foe. Often enough, simply having that resolve to continue the fight is enough to break weaker teams, and even if the numbers or in-game skills don’t favor them, they end up the winner by being the last to keep fighting.
There is a fine line between being brave and foolish however, and only a fool sticks around in a hopeless situation. It’s knowing that line, trusting your team, and having the resolve to go down fighting when necessary is what separates the elite few from the pack.