The matter of agent death has been discussed on Satellite News before (read it here). Recently, a thread on that topic has emerged over on the official forum and drew the attention of one of the devs, Chris. Several forum users mention that they would like to see permadeath in the game – at least as an option for those who want it. Chris chimed in and mentions they are planning to go down a middle way. Here’s the full post:
permadeath is something we talked about a fair bit at the beginning of development and we decided to not go down the full permadeath route (ive loved ironman mode in the new xcom btw) …while it makes balancing the game much easier by not having it in there it does take some of that tension away from the experience… so we are trying to find a happy medium… we are throwing ideas around at the moment like; having to download your conciousness at specific locations in the world (dying would reset your character back to that state) or maybe having your agents degrade each time they died and were re-cloned… we havn’t made a decision on exactly how we are going to handle this so let us know what you guys think … maybe if you come up with a great solution we wont have to ;P
A bit further down the thread, a user called Taipan added his thoughts:
How about a surrogates theme style, you are basically a controller sitting in a chair controlling your agents. So you keep cash, tech and experience under normal conditions. Experience basically equals your ability to control a body with a higher augmentation and base attribute level. Tech is the quality of the cyber and bio-ware you can control through your link. 4 agents is your limit of different minds you can control at one time, it could start at 1 till your experience gets good enough and you upgrade your base system physical hardware, after doing the appropriate tech research.
So if you lose an agent but recover his corpse, you may be able to salvage and repair the tech. If the body is incapacitated and the tech is fried you may be able to salvage and heal the high attribute body. If you lose the agent completely, and your endgame you have the choice to get a drunk from the street and load him full of shiny tech to make him a functional agent fast. i.e. Easy and cheap body to acquire but expensive hardware and lessor capacity body to hold hardware. Or you could go on a harder mission to get a Cop or military body, thus higher game and possibly financial costs to acquire and re-write his real world records, but the overall agent will be better after it is fully implanted with shiny tech.
…to which Chris replied like this:
@Taipan… that is very very very close to one of the ideas i had :D (i like it ;P) …. [...]
Compare this to an older comment Chris made on one of the earlier KS Campaign updates, and a somewhat coherent picture emerges.
@TheChosenOne we definitely want there to be a penalty for dying. It will be as hendawg_ofthemiddle explains: each time your agent dies and a new clone is created the clone will degrade and lose some of its stats. You will also lose all of your augmentations and weapons. When we are in production we will play with the degrading of the agents stats and loss of money and maybe xp to see what the best option is.
So it would appear that what Taipan describes could be rather close to what we’ll eventually get in Satellite Reign. Of course, only time will tell, as they have probably not nailed it down yet.