I have been confused by:
The penalty can be fully mitigated by skill points.
While I understand that many players are attached to this, I thought it was a part of early access since deaths were possible for crazy reasons during development.
You intend to keep this feature?
I am curious because it makes spending skill points interesting when there is also an entire section that will be for survival…
If I may propose this concept:
Player 1: Chooses to increase armor and hit points so that they can survive more often! This allows them to survive some fights (drinking healing potions/eating food) and even fall from a greater height!
This player will still die though, and no matter how high they increase their defenses they can fall from a great enough height and die.
This player, will be impacted by the death penalty some %.
Player 2: Chooses to have no armor/hp and just removes the death penalty. They will not need healing potions, can contribute during fights and even if they fall from a height and die…no penalty.
This player will die more often, but have no penalty.
Unless something dramatically happens with the way these skills function and how they interact with the game…I cannot reconcile these two players. Player 2 is always in a better position, no matter what the death penalty is.
So why have the stats? Why get tankier? Unless you are specifically building Tank, there is no reason (other then preference).
It is mechanically better to avoid a penalty then to mitigate the risk of acquiring one.
Can you outline more about this option and why you would like to stay in this direction? It would really help me with providing feedback you are asking for! I will tailor my feedback based on your reasoning to be the most helpful!