- Slavery of players is possible! It is mentioned that you can pick up unwilling ejected players and shuttle them to the confines of prison or sell them into slavery. My 'guess' is that this would be treated as just a minor 'death' (no character damage incurred) with a different cost (slavery buy-out) and that you won't be sitting in someones hold until they get to a slaver base. This also gives more insight into how 'live' bounties will work.
- Reduced reputation upon character death. My guess is that this is truly the most painful part of death. Since characters have no 'stats' that affect combat, reputation will be the main character building mechanic outside of ship upgrades. I can imagine many hours going into rep points o get perks, safe passage, etc.
- Pirate reset? Some people are pointing out the rep reduction as a way to get out of pirate status. My guess is that the other costs of death will outweigh the 'cost' (running missions) to counter negative reputation. Killing yourself over and over seems like an easy thing to balance if it is a major concern.
- Bounties? Not really mentioned. It wouldn't make 'sense' for bounties to carry over to offspring, but it could be a way to absolve yourself of them. Whether this is an exploit depends on the role of the bounty system itself. Will bounties be absolvable other ways (bribes/ payoffs)? Can you have more than a handful of bounties? Will bounties restrict players in real play?
- Pod-killing: Ejected players can be killed by others, but severe penalties (rep, bounties, etc.) are the deterrent. Whether this is a problem for scallywags is TBD, depending on how rep-skirting works for the majority of pirates. On a related note, the 'ease' at which a player dies is a big factor. Tight dogfights seem ripe for collisions, so I hope that pod-kills require explicit targeting. One side benefit of this system for pirates: Major-deaths (deaths that incur body damage) for pirates may actually be less likely than major-deaths for other combat-oriented careers. A pirate with negative rep may occasionally or frequently kill his ejected victim as he has less to lose (lost slave income if he has the hold space). A player who kills a pirate will get negative rep for killing him (rather than taking him to prison). Thus, pirates may end up paying, but they may end up with significantly more minor-deaths (no body damage) in a given character life.
- Boarding: Head shots can cause a major-death. Thus, the fewer major-deaths that pirates might see during ship-to-ship combat may be balanced out by increased mortality from boarding (assuming boarding ends up being common).
As always, did you see any other interesting conclusions in the article? How do you like the new mechanism?