This book deals with the topics of griefing and PvP.
How will you prevent griefing from players blocking other players in for example shop entrances?
I'm sure Brax will be along to answer this question fully, but what I can tell you is our shops and structures are going to have atypical entrances, so the idea of someone blocking a doorway will be moot if there are no doorways to block. At best, I imagine a griefer could guesstimate where to stand at the exit location of the structure and cause a potential collision between two entities upon exiting a structure, but I'd be all for moving one party or the other slightly to one side upon exiting so that collision doesn't occur or setting up an algorithm that randomly deposits an exiting character to several locations just outside the structure. The griefer would have to be extremely talented to try and anticipate which drop location for each exiting character. Heh.
And if a group of griefers tries something like this just because they can, let us know. Our Interactive Team will be right along shortly to deal with the people that obviously have far too much time on their hands.
Source: Forums (Varl), 18-09-2012
Couldn't travelling in spirit form be abused?
You decide. ;)
Seriously, we've thought of that and if testing shows likewise, we'll probably put a maximum time before automatic resurrection.
Source: Forums (Brax), 18-09-2012
About defending settlements and griefing
You're talking mob mentality? That the so-called griefers would be griefed by the defending settlement throwing everything (and everyone) they can at the attackers, including starting characters with little to no combat skill? I don't see that as a problem. They're defending their settlement. If a rogue or unknown element decides to step in and help defend a settlement, that's entirely their choice.
Also, there's a lot more variables to consider. The size of the attacking forces vs. the size of the defending forces, the respawn/reroll rates for both, the combat skills of each force, tactics employed by both forces, unforeseen contingencies employed by both forces, the possible use of magic, the possible use of siege weaponry, life counter totals on both sides, the availability of healing for both sides, the possibility of 'third party involvement' showing up (players or our GMs) and probably dozens of other variables I can't think of at this moment.
It's our desire to have the defenders of any settlement have the distinct advantage over any attackers, PC or NPC. It should and will be hard to take over rule of a settlement.
Source: Forums (Varl), 29-09-2012
How will you deal with griefers?
We will NOT swoop in and kill griefers just because someone is calling them a griefer. It has to be proven that a person is griefing and griefing according to OUR definition of griefing which will be a case by case basis. Players will need to learn that just because someone is able to take your milk and cookies doesn't mean they're griefing you.
Lastly, if any of my staff is found unjustly griefing someone that was called a griefer, they will be griefed by yours truly.
Source: Forums (Brax), 29-09-2012
How do you envisage the lives of Player Killers?
The hunter often becomes the hunted. I anticipate the lives of the would-be PK will be so much harder and shorter than the town or group player due to the ravages of the wild slowly taking its toll on the character, much less the losses doled out by other players. If you choose for your character to be an outlaw or a murderer, it's not going to be an easy life by any means, but that's why I think it'd be so much fun. Those characters you do raise to a fearsome status by the number of player kills you've inflicted will definitely have earned that fear and loathing (on the boards and in the game) that comes with hearing or seeing the character's name.
Source: Forums (Varl), 13-10-2012
About hunting & survival
Ever since we started on this project, I've always envisioned that if, for whatever crazy reasons, we couldn't get the majority of the game coded the way we want it to be, we could always go for a "Deer Hunter Online" styled game. Heh. You know, just hunting and surviving, and avoiding being eaten yourself by bears, etc. Of course, having this subsystem a part of everything else that will be in TOA is just awesome, I think. You don't like PvP? Try being a survivalist then, on your own out in BFE, which includes fending off brigand players.
Source: Forums (Varl), 27-10-2012
About policing Player Killers
There will be players that live for policing other players, and without adding to the code via artificial-type flags or markers. I personally plan on having a Raknar, that while it will still be the wild creature it is, doesn't prevent me one bit from traveling to a particular region where my peaceful human tradesman has been murdered several times by the same person/people, and exacting some revenge. Unlike other games, PKs will not necessarily be at the top of the food chain unless they've REALLY worked at it and earned it, but even those lucky souls will still have to look over their shoulders.
Source: Forums (Varl), 05-12-2012
For people not keen on PvP, will there be mechanics to avoid fights?
You know those other games where that damnable name and guild (et al) title is above your head makes you stand out like a lighthouse? That'll be gone. You know how in other games the foliage and billboards really doesn't matter for camouflage because of those damnable titles giving you away? Not in TOA. If you go out into the wilderness prepared and not looking for a fight (with anything), you'll be more likely to survive the trip than if you venture out in your neon orange jumpsuits and bright yellow guild tabards.
Source: Forums (Varl), 07-12-2012
What happens if the game is overrun with the sociopaths that take advantage of internet anonymity running around killing people for the sake of wasting their time / annoyance?
Remember, the sociopaths are food too. Players that create griefer characters just for the sake of griefing others still have to work at becoming a character skilled enough to actually grief others. Between the environment and policing players, it won't be very easy to be a jerk in TOA.
In an open pvp world, there's always the risk of people like those, but if they think it'll be an target rich environment where they're never the target, they'll be in for a very big surprise. Wouldn't it be ironic for the griefer to whine to the devs about being griefed by the world?
Source: Forums (Varl), 07-12-2012
About multiple languages
It would also require unprecedented cooperation between the players and the players. With no global chat implemented, that would help somewhat to curb the people interested in disrupting communications between people attempting communication with foreign languages, but how hard is it for you to imagine the grand social language experiment we'd attempt to implement in TOA being "griefed" locally? Sure, you could just kill them if they're being an language-interrupting asshat, but the damage is done, and in theory, they could continue to do so 99 more times. I'm just saying. You know how people can be; if there's something in a game they discover, they try 7 ways to Sunday to try and break it, disrupt it or otherwise make fools of themselves because they think it's fun.
I was referring to a hypothetical multiple language system in game. You know the players whose seemingly sole mission in (gaming) life is to cause as much grief to others as they can rather than simply enjoy the game for what it is and let players that enjoy different play styles be. Every game has them. And by this form of griefing, I mean the intentional spamming of chat channels (for those games that have these), local conversations or simply wherever they can with garbage to disrupt whatever it is players might try to communicate to one another via a language system. The habitual, repetitive, respawn griefer in other words.
Sorry if this sounds horribly pessimistic of my fellow gamers, but after decades of seeing just how bad the other half can't behave, I'm cautiously guarded against implementing systems that encourage those gamers to have a vitriolic verbal field day at the expense of similarly paying customers that just want to have a conversation/interaction with fellow elves in Elvish, for example. ;)
I had a long post describing what I meant, but nevermind. I just realized that an ignore feature implemented would put an end to anyone intentionally spamming local (i.e., within a certain radius of your conversation with others) players. So, I'm all for implementing multiple languages if it's feasible and practical to do so. Whether or not it eventually gets in the game? We'll see.
Source: Forums (Varl), 21-12-2012
On having an ignore button in the game
Ignore button? Ignore button?!
Source: Forums (Brax), 22-12-2012
Do you expect to see a lot of random player killing happening in ToA?
With the systems we'll have in place, I could easily see people hesitant about attacking strangers they can't con, no levels to be seen, and no evaluate monster tool to bleed all the challenge, unknown and danger out it. Of course, the creatures won't be as accommodating, as the carnivores will see you as food only, but will still flee if seriously pressed, which is how it should be, right?
I can also see the reckless player that doesn't care attacking whatever they feel like, i.e. murderers and barbarians, but such a play style comes with an automatic grief throttle called permadeath.
Source: Forums (Varl), 28-12-2012
How will you prevent griefing and too much player killing?
I think Psi Kahn said it best:
"Interestingly, even though the game is open PvP, I would say most of the game's mechanics incentivize cooperation over ruthless player killing."
We also have a very clear understanding of the difference in playing a bad guy and being a bad guy and have many countermeasures in place to combat the latter. Basically, the life of a criminal will be tough, the life of a griefer will be short.
Source: Forums (Brax), 01-01-2013
Is there going to be good PvE centered around a story or is it going to be primarily focused on PvP?
We'll have lore, yes. As for PvP vs. PvE, it could be a healthy mix of both, I imagine. I think it really all depends on all of you how much PvP is experienced cross server. PvE will always be there as it is in most games. The fun exploratory nature of people demands it. I think it's impossible to stop one particular type of play though, even PvP, because there will always be people out there interested in being the thief, mugger, killer and highwayman. Could it be severely curtailed on any particular server? I suppose it could, IF the vast majority of players on that server agree to form a hivemind and decide to try and make it happen on a world level (again, for the most part; you won't be able to convince everyone...).
Could we have total war zone servers where anarchy reins and murder/war is commonplace? Of course. Those of you that truly enjoy the blood and mayhem that results from carnage and destruction can also try and sway the server in that particular direction. I imagine only the truly thick-skinned will be back for more on those types of worlds.
We'll see. :D
Source: Forums (Varl), 01-01-2013
Will PKers have a future in ToA?
As far as playing the PKer, I've never really got into that playstyle too much over the years, but I can see myself giving it a go in TOA. Why? Well, to me, it'll be just as challenging and difficult to stay alive as a dragon will find it to be, and that level of struggle attracts me. It'll definitely be a hard life to try and live, seeing how the people you prey on will "bite back", so to speak, in reputation hits against you every time you kill someone. So, as a PK, while I might be gaining a short term boon by killing you and taking what you have, where am I going to go to profit from my kill? Certainly not at your settlement, if I even knew where you called home, which I won't unless I'm also a somewhat proficient interrogator.
I think the true "PK Terrors" of the game will be the players that don't care about rep hits and live exclusively out in the wildlands as survivalists and bandits, but even they won't have it easy because nature just loves the taste of humans that go rogue from the security and safety of people and society. You guys ruminate on that for a bit while I plan my next hit and pawn. Oh no, not wolves again.... ;)
Source: Forums (Varl), 04-01-2013
On losing your character to griefers
I used to think exactly as Squid does, and hated the idea of losing a character I'd worked on for so long to some jerk that's interested only in one thing, and that is to kill me, loot me and ruin my game experience (my perspective at the time). Okay, 3 things.
From his perspective, it may be completely different. He might not enjoy the risks and dangers associated with being forced from the local settlement (but, murder counts and crimes against the settlement tend to do that to one's reputation) but it was his choice to make, and yet in his short career, he may have already died 34 times! It'll be tough to be a brigand and bandit in TOA. Killing you may be his first successful monetary kill other than squirrels for food. He may have already died several times to no less than 3 packs of wolves, quite a few orcs he's learning to hate, carried off by a giant eagle as baby bird food, many failed ambushes against much more well armed caravaners and individual players then he, and he even died once to a bear that didn't run, but charged instead because she had cubs.
Also, worrying about dying because it might be your last life counter implies you didn't really care for the character all that much to begin with. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's true. Why? If you know for a fact you're on LC 1, and yet you still go out adventuring or mining or anything else that would put you in harms' way, well, there really not much more that can be said about that. Heh.
Source: Forums (Varl), 10-01-2013
Do you plan to do something about over-achievers or power gamers, if they find ways of getting things (skill gain, becoming a mage or adult dragon) faster than you intended?
Yes, we'll kill them. ;)
Well, my first thought is perma death. They're going to be racing along just like everybody else. But if they're over-achievers or power gamers if you will, they're going to be playing the game just as much as anybody else, and at a more intense level. Which means, death will probably find them more, which means that character will come to an end faster.
That aside, we'll be watching. We'll have algoritms in mind to monitor general stats of people that'll flag us if skill gain is showing to be at an unacceptable rate, that sort of thing. We can then follow up with an investigation, mainly for the macroers or someone that's found an exploit. We try to think of everything, but know that we probably won't either, so we'll be ready to counter balance things. Again, organically.
Source: Podcast (Brax), 14-01-2013
About grieving new players
I think starting in the safety of a settlement (or at the monolith), real consequences for actions, and the lack of an impassable gap between low and high "level" will deter most people from pestering newcomers. Beyond that, we have went to great lengths to ensure there will be lots to do to support yourself without having to risk your neck. People will need errands ran, homes built, walls manned (ok, that might be a bit dangerous), mines mined, crops to harvest, etc.
One thing we can't fix is people not preparing for their deaths. If you find yourself waking up dead one day, we would hope you had the foresight to know death is a matter of when, not if, and purchased a strongbox at your settlement's treasury and stored a few extra pieces of gear.
Source: Forums (Brax), 06-02-2013
About grieving near the Monolith
Did we ever mention how it will cost you to be aggressive to other players while in the shadow of the monolith?
Give it a whirl sometime. It's a hoot!
Source: Forums (Brax), 09-02-2013
What is to stop me, BobTheBuilder, from finding your house, accepting all 3 flags at the same time - thus locking out all other players?
Once you reticule over and click on a build/repair/demolish marker, you start working on it right away and and clicking another marker would nullify the work you are doing on the original marker and all resources would be lost. Plus, I don't think two markers will ever be close enough for one person to click on them both.
Source: Forums (Brax), 26-02-2013
Will there be any tolerance for exploiters or cheaters?
I have zero tolerance for exploiters and/or cheaters. Can we stop them all? Not even close. We will do all we can to watch for them. That means relying on the community, on our GMs, and building an extensive set of tracking algorithms that will at least allow us to see anomalies that we can further investigate.
And anyone caught knowingly exploiting or cheating will be immediately and permanently banned from the game, no second chances.
Maybe we'll put a clause in the EULA that allows us to charge your credit card a "cheater/exploiter" fee if you are caught knowingly exploiting or cheating.
Source: Forums (Brax), 01-03-2013
The GM Team and I will be walking an extremely fine line between doling out to cheaters the justice they've so richly earned from deux ex machina. Of course, the temptation will be stupid easy to abuse the power we're going to have, the company rules of which will be as strict or stricter as Brax's mandate above towards our employees that choose to abuse that power, but at the same time, that power will be extremely useful for meting out penalties to players who think they're above the rules of the game and outside the boundaries we set. So long as you play nice, we'll not have to fire up an Aura Shade
Source: Forums (Varl), 02-03-2013
So say I come up with an ingenious way to repeatedly lure people into a trap, kill them and take all their stuff. I'm not doing anything outside the game's dynamics, I'm just good enough to get those people to fall for it. Am I a cheater or exploiter for this?
Your example was a scam, not an exploit or a cheat and we wouldn't have taken any action against you. Those guys you screwed over would be just as free to come looking for you and take a few dozen LC but you already know that.
The algorithms will simply alert us to the possibility of an exploit or cheat and will allow us to investigate so we can decide accordingly. For example, if your character's global position changes by more than X distance more than Y times within Z time frame and you don't have a certain spell or item(s), this might mean you're using a bug/hack/exploit to teleport and would alert the staff to investigate.
Source: Forums (Brax), 02-03-2013
How to avoid being PK'd
"There is safety in numbers" is a phrase I haven't heard in this thread which I think is relevant to this topic of conversation. Settlements will have numbers on their side which will make them a safer place to be then out in the wilderness areas. People traveling from settlement to settlement in large groups (caravans) will be safer than those traveling alone. What is my point? Don't put yourself in a position for a PKer or highwayman to assault you in the first place. Crafters of a like skill (smithing for example) should travel in small groups to gather their resources, or even possibly higher some guards to escort you to and from the mine. I think with the designs we have defined and a little bit of intelligence from the players, ToA will be an exciting place to play in for all play styles. Embrace the freedom!
Source: Forums (Loestri), 21-03-2013
Is betrayal considered griefing?
If someone betrays your trust, in or out of game, that is not griefing in my opinion. That is simply betrayal.
Lives are at stake, be careful who you trust.
Source: Forums (Brax), 23-03-2013