Persistent Game World Changes

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Changes to game worlds that do not automatically revert.

Although many games let players affect the game worlds in which gameplay takes place, this may not affect the worlds significantly. This may be because one is only manipulating specific elements within it, that the effects disappear after a while, or that things reset to let other players have the possibility of experiencing the same gameplay. When instead player actions leave lasting effects in game worlds beyond those related only to their own gameplay statistics, this shows that games support Persistent Game World Changes.


Given that the worlds of Tabletop Roleplaying Games such as Dungeons & Dragons and World of Darkness mainly exists as a social agreement between the players and the game master, making persistent changes to these is simply an agreement that they should be changed. In contrast, Computer-based Roleplaying Games need to implement every possible change and therefore tend to have less of these possibilities; this is most often done through changing relations to non-player characters and faction, see Dragon Age II and Fallout: New Vegas for two examples which allow several game end permutations based on this.

All actions done that affects the worlds in Minecraft or Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress persist until the game is ended. In the case of Minecraft, dying leaves all the equipment one has carried at the place of death.

Using the pattern

Although it may seem trivial to implement Persistent Game World Changes - one only have to let consequences of events remain - it is not always done since this can create Irreversible Events. Simply being able to move game items can be one way to create the pattern, it is more easily discerned by players when Construction, Destructible Objects, or Switches are present. Reconfigurable Game Worlds can also be used.

Persistent Game World Changes concerns changes in the "external" Game Worlds rather than "internal" one that relates to players' attributes. However, since both concern how players perceive Value of Effort in games, it may be worthwhile to consider Abstract Player Construct Development in conjunction to Persistent Game World Changes.

Narrative Aspects

Persistent Game World Changes can quite easily support or enforce Predetermined Story Structures.


Persistent Game World Changes is one way of letting players experience a Value of Effort since what they do have more than temporary effect on the Game Worlds in which they act while playing. This is even more profound in Persistent Game Worlds even if the use of the word persistent differs between the two patterns.

Instances do not work well together with Persistent Game World Changes since they are temporary constructs and any changes within them can only last as long as the Instances itself.


Can Instantiate

Predetermined Story Structures, Value of Effort

Can Modulate

Game Worlds, Persistent Game Worlds

Can Be Instantiated By

Construction, Destructible Objects, Factions, Irreversible Events, Reconfigurable Game Worlds, Switches

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.