Why does a permadeath game have landmines?

if you don’t know, landmines are things in games that are fairly unavoidable, that you only realize after it happens, with devastating consequences for the player that ends or alters the game play dramatically

I’ll try to avoid spoilers as best I can, but here is an example of what the landmines in this game feel like

>they are serving the rubbery lumps at the inn. Try some?


>little did you know, you are allergic to lumps. very, very allergic. You perish rapidly

see why this is annoying?

>a seedy looking man pokes his head out of an alleyway and motions you to come closer. Do you enter the dark alleyway alone at night even though you are a young women in the middle of gaiders mourn

  • no way

>An unseen horse and buggy strikes you dead. You should have entered that alley way. It also killed your husband and child. Boo friking hoo.

look at all the learning opportunities here.

Now imagine this in another game. Something like FTL

-the federation fleet is in view.

>&quotHello this is brigadier Armstrong, state your ID&quot

-attempt to use your radio to communicate

>&quotThe federation fleet turns you into mush&quot
>&quotgame over&quot

I’ve already spent hours on this game. I shouldn’t feel like I constantly have to worry about getting sucker punched by something coming out of the blue.

I can’t say I know where you’re coming from, although i’m far from seeing everything (or remembering everything I have seen). Are there any specific examples you’re thinking of?

(There is the one storylet that’s a 50/50 chance spying on devils where you lose like 6 crew, but I did know it was a really bad idea.)
edited by Kerine on 12/11/2014

I can’t quite see where you’re coming from either. As a player of other roguelikes like Binding of Isaac, Risk of Rain, Our Darker Purpose, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Shattered Planet, and Runers, I have to say that this game has far less sucker punches than they do, and they’re skill-based games where sucker punches become less so when you get more skilled…but still suck when you come across them.

While Sunless Sea is superbly difficult to get started on, in my opinion, one begins to get a hang of it. It rewards conservative voyaging in monetarily, but when it comes to real exploration, you have to take a risk. That’s always been a decision that has to be made, and I think Failbetter does a brilliant job of making the risk just right to make one bite their lower lip and debate for a few minutes whether to head to the Mangrove College and risk running out of Supplies or just head straight back.

Seriously. I think it’s just philosophical differences. I adore FTL. But 2 hours into FTL, 1 character burned to death, I accidentally blew up a ship full of slaves trying to disable it and then spiders ate another crew member on a routine repair mission. Then the rebels caught me and took me down in a single hit. (Although, in my hubris, I was playing on Normal, not Easy).

Comparatively, Sunless Sea has rarely nuked me for a reason that feels unfair. Saddening, certainly. But this build actually has decreased the number of times I howl at the RNG per playthrough. That said, the Lumps thing is new to me, I haven’t stopped at Mutton Island in ages. Usually I perhaps not out if I don’t get the storylet that gives you a judgement egg.
edited by friendshipranger on 12/11/2014

I honestly can’t think of anything both unexpected and -devastating- to gameplay. Combat can end in a game-over, of course, but that’s entirely predictable. Story outcomes, even at their worst, tend to be &quotlose one crew&quot or &quotgain ten terror&quot, and the risks are usually telegraphed - either with skill checks or flavour text.

(Plus, of course, Sunless Sea isn’t strictly a permadeath game. I play on Merciful, and am going to continue to do so until the content is complete and I’m considerably more familiar with it all than I am now.)[li]
edited by Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook on 12/11/2014

You could try to describe what landmines you see using spoiler tags. Then you can be specific. Like the others I can’t really think of much like that in Sunless Sea. What you’re describing sounds typical for a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. But I can only think of one insta-death option off the top of my head in Sunless Sea, and it adequately warns you what it will do.

Venturer at Avid Horizon.

I’m betting that the trigger for this was Salt’s curse hitting the player’s family .

I have to say that I’m not fond of being blindsided, but I haven’t encountered much of it in Sunless Sea, there’s a fair bit in Fallen London, but Sunless, while it has moments that do come at you from behind, they don’t make any tactical difference to the game and they’re more narrative than anything else, which depending on how you’re playing the game, will make it worse, but it won’t prevent you from playing the game in the first place.

I have to say, some vague/subtle warning against returning home would have been nice in the case of Salt’s curse. A sense of foreboding. Anything.