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Contrast Final Death, where dead characters stay dead (although in the case of party members, they may be easily replaced).Compare Death Is Not Permanent and Death Is Cheap, which are non-gameplay equivalents to the same trope.
Contrast Check-Point Starvation, where lack of check points results in going back really far after dying.
Early MUDs and MMOs tended to carry a steep death penalty in terms of lost Experience Points, Character Levels, or even most or all of your character's gear.
Later games have gradually reduced or eliminated the penalties in order to appeal to more casual gamers, although some still offer a "hardcore" mode that preserves some or all of them, up to and including Final Death.
A notable consequence of small or nonexistent death penalties is that there may be occasions where dying becomes .
If you're playing a game where the only penalty for death is going back to your last checkpoint and your next objective requires you to go back there, the quickest way to get there is often in a body bag.
Intentional death is often used by speedrunners to gain an advantage in these situations.