The Reverse MMO
Thinking about death in a videogame isn't anything new. Death in the virtual world doesn't mean finality. It means that you have to start over/start at the last checkpoint, pay more to continue; in it's simplest terms lose some of what you gained.
Over the years developers have toyed around the "death" and have created some unique games that leverage death in different ways. Heck, some devs have gotten rid of it all together.
One place death hasn't been used well, is in Massively Multiplayer Online games.
I'd like to see death used as a true risk reward system where even the rewards have risk. It would be interesting to see how people react in a world where death is permanent.
Timid players would be allowed to stay in the main town without worry. It would be impossible to die inside the main town or surrounding hunting area. Users who want to play it safe would have to stay in that area.
Players also begin with a massive amount of health, pushing them to venture out a bit and lose some of it. There would be NO healing items. Health regenerates over a LONG period of time (hours, days). Also maybe a rare item that heals you instantly could be obtained from a secret quest.
Each player has 5 lives. The reason to still have "lives" is to teach the player a since of ownership over their lives. They have 5 and only 5. It is their choice how they want to spend them. This would introduce the idea of giving lives to other players perhaps even sharing health in battle.
Leveling up has huge advantages but they aren't without their risks. Leveling will allow players to become more powerful, not only against enemies but within the world. They will gain a legion of their own to control where they can recruit others to be on their squad. Once a leader of a legion falls, the next highest ranked user takes their place. If there are multiple users at the same level, they have the choice to duel for the position through a tournament style battle royal.
Leveling up also decreases your health. Each time you level 1-10, you lose a significant chunk of your health that you cannot get back. This is the risk in leveling. To become level 10, you must lose everything.
Winning the game comes when a player reaches level 10. They will gain back their lost lives and receive a full health gauge. Level 10 players will have power over multiple legions and can attack/build towns. They can also level players up to level 5.
Inspired by Sword Art Online and Accel World.