PvP corruption - lore theories

As a mostly PvE player, I like the sound of the PvP system overall, but I like to think of WHY the system should work in relation to the lore and environment, beyond just the need to prevent abuse of lower level players. As such, I wanted to share my thoughts and some suggestions of my own, specifically for the situation of "player kills non-combatant, flags corrupted".

First of all, why does the player get "corrupted"? My thought on this is that the act of "murdering an innocent" non-combatant causes the corrupting energies of Verra to be drawn to the player. Maybe the act causes the corruption to take hold of a portion of the character's soul.

What does this mean? I think there should be a visual representation of corruption level, as the player is slowly transformed into a corrupted being. This lends weight to the stat degradation and experience debuff mechanic, as the physical changes impact the physical and mental state of the player.

My thoughts on corruption: When I think of corruption, I always think of the corruption system used in ADoM (don't worry if you haven't played it, it's a pretty fun rogue-like ascii game, though it has been updated with actual graphics now). In that system, there is 35 different corruptions, each of which has unique effects on the player that can be negative or positive, but usually a mix of both. For example, you grow gills (+ water breathing, -3 Appearance), you become very light (+4 Dexterity, +20 Speed, -6 Strength, -6 Toughness, -6 Appearance), and your eyes turn black (+see invisible, +3 Perception). The player gains corruption points from various sources (background corruption from the world, being hit with corrupting attacks, wielding corrupting items, etc.), and a random corruption is selected at specified levels, up to a maximum of 18 corruptions, at which point your game is over because your character becomes a chaos being.

How this could apply to Ashes of Creation: I think that players killing non-combatants should receive a stat boost, rather than degradation, which gives them the feeling of power they are chasing. For example, increasing Strength and Mana (the theory here being that your character is becoming a stronger corrupted being with a closer connection to the mana flows of Verra). The downside would be HP and exp penalties, my suggestion would be 10% penalty to each per corruption level (the reasoning being that your physical tissue cannot handle the corrupting energies of Verra inhabiting your body/soul and the increased attunement to the mana flows of Verra slowly causes insanity). This provides a hard cap of 10 corruption levels, at which point the corrupted player would be left with 1 HP and 0 exp gain. I also think there should be an increasing scale based on level differential (for example, a max level player killing a level 1 non-combatant would go straight to level 10 corruption, whereas killing an equal level non-combatant would give 1 corruption). I'm also in favour of increasing equipment/inventory drops for corrupted players, but not sure on a plausible lore explanation for it. I was a bit concerned that the stat gains would be too much encouragement for player killing, but I think it's balanced by the fact that you become increasingly easy to kill, to the point that even a low level character could kill you with the potential to drop your equipment. Non-combatants hunting corrupted players (non-bounty hunters) are not flagged as combatants as they are "helping to purge Verra of their corrupting influence". All in all, this means you would need to have a good reason to kill a non-combatant (e.g. protecting your resource patch).

Alternatives/Tweaks: I think it could be plausible for ALL stats to be increased with each corruption level, as your character becomes more powerful but increasingly easy to kill.
I also like the idea of randomised corruption effects (ADoM style), which means that each time you kill a non-combatant, the outcome is different.

Note that the above is for discussion, I do not expect any of it to be implemented (though I wouldn't complain if it was).

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