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Safe Havens

Safe Havens

Save Havens are locations in the game world where game elements under the players' control are safe from the actions of other players or the game events.

Example: Super Mario 64 has Safe Havens between the worlds since the player is safe from the threats and has time to think what to do next.

Example: many first-person shooters have Safe Havens, some that are temporary and some that cannot be entered after being left. These Safe Havens are used to avoid the possibility of spawn killing, i. e. the player being killed immediately after having been being brought back into the game.

Using the pattern

There are two requirements for a place to be a Safe Haven: first, there should be no environmental elements, such as Deadly Traps, that can negatively affect players. Second, no hostile Agents or players should be able to affect the area. However, the Safe Haven does not have to be permanent, for example it can either be safe under a certain Time Limit or until the players in the Safe Haven perform certain actions. Some Safe Havens also make it impossible for players to have negative consequences of their own actions. These forms of Safe Havens support Experimenting.

One variant to hinder hostile activities within a Safe Haven is to allow hostile Agents or players in the area but make hostile actions impossible within the Safe Haven. Sometimes these kinds of Safe Havens are safe only for the lower ranking players. For example, the home cities in Dark Age of Camelot are safe only for low level characters. By making the Safe Haven a neutral area, players can be offered the possibility for Negotiation and forming Dynamic Alliances.

Safe Havens are often combined with Spawn Points to ensure that the Spawning of Avatars or Units the Game World cannot immediately be followed by attacks by other players. In games with Team Play this allows the teams to at least have a minimal area they always control. Placing Resource Generators inside such Safe Havens will further enhance the Balancing Effect.

One kind of Save Haven can be constructed by making Avatars and Units indestructible for a short period of time after spawning. This approach is typically used in multiplayer games with no teams and games where the Save Haven is publicly accessible to all players.


Safe Havens naturally create Goal Points for Traverse goalsand thereby also Strategic Locations. As the players can pause and reconsider their next moves there, this also promotes Stimulated Planning and can be used to lessen Tension or to modulate the gameplay to shift between stressful periods and calmer periods.


Instantiates: Stimulated Planning, Strategic Locations

Modulates: Save Points, Goal Points, Stealth, Rescue, Traverse, Inaccessible Areas, Spawn Points, Negotiation, Dynamic Alliances, Experimenting, Spawning, Strategic Locations

Instantiated by:

Modulated by:

Potentially conflicting with: Time Limits, Deadly Traps

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(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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