Possibility of Graceful Surrender

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The ability for players to leave gameplay or surrender to other players without negatively affecting the gameplay for all other players of a game instance.

Players are most often motivated to play a game because they feel that they can influence the game or gameplay in directions that are meaningful for them. When they do not feel this anymore they are likely to not want to participate in gameplay anymore but may do so anyway to not ruin gameplay for others. Giving such players a Possibility of Graceful Surrender provides an option for them to leave gameplay while not negatively affecting gameplay for others.


Although surrendering in Chess or Go ends a game instance, it gives victory directly to the other player so it doesn't necessarily ruin the gameplay experience for the other player. In contrast, Gambling Games such as Blackjack or Roulette can be left after each round without affecting the gameplay of other players. The Left 4 Dead series shows another alternative, players who leave the game are replaced are replayed by AI players.

Using the pattern

Possibility of Graceful Surrender is a form of Surrender so it does require that players are in Conflict with somebody, even if it is the game system through PvE gameplay. This means for example that a Possibility of Graceful Surrender is not an issue for Massively Multiplayer Online Games such as World of Warcraft except during Instances.

A Possibility of Graceful Surrender is typically added to a game to let players handle situations where they feel they cannot win Last Man Standing competitions or where they perceive a Predictable Winner. An alternative reason is to allow for Drop-In/Drop-Out by combining Possibility of Graceful Surrender with Late Arriving Players. The exact ways of letting a player leave a game without disturbing other players' gameplay experience or game balance depends heavily on the specific of each game, but avoiding Kingmaker effects is a primary concern. Balancing Effects may be used to compensate for imbalanced that may occur when a player leave a game so this may help support a game to have a Possibility of Graceful Surrender. AI Players are an uncommon alternative (the Left 4 Dead series being the prime example), most likely because of the difficulty in implementing good substitutes for human players, that can make humans have a Possibility of Graceful Surrender by replacing them with AIs.


A Possibility of Graceful Surrender is a form of Surrendering and leaving a game, so it supports Early Leaving Players. In this way it can let player that consider themselves having no chance to win to quit competing in Last Man Standing challenges or when they perceive there is a Predictable Winner. It causes Unsynchronized Game Sessions. It is more likely to affect Endgame phases than other gameplay phases since the final positions of players tends to become easier to perceive in these.


Can Instantiate

Early Leaving Players, Kingmaker, Surrendering, Unsynchronized Game Sessions

with Late Arriving Players


Can Modulate

Endgame, Last Man Standing, Predictable Winner

Can Be Instantiated By

AI Players, Balancing Effects

Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



New pattern created in this wiki.