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Anti-Twinking in MMOGs...

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A corelary to the griefer thread, anyone have any ideas about limiting twinking? I suggested to some friends a game that only allows one character per server, but everyone reacted negatively to that. I would like to limit wholesale twinking by some methode other than an arbitrary "level limit" on equipment and party experience...

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quote:
Original post by krez
i''m sorry, but could you define "twinking"?



Sorry.

Twinking is the act of giving a new character lots of high level gear and/or useing a high level character to quickly level a new character.

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Requiring good physical stats (built up by levelling) and actual level requirement to use the items might deter them pretty well.

EDIT: Whoops... you said you didn't want to hear level requirement... stand by...

The items could consume magical energy (requiring a good mana pool), but then they could just obtain items that increase your mana pool...

Hmm... what else...

The items could be heavy, requiring good stamina or strength, increased only by levelling up... a low stamina will make the character tire out quickly and make them harder to use.

The downside is having items that increase stamina, strength, mana pool, etc. Because using those items a low level character becomes twinkable. Re-equipping is a pain (they have to equip the power up items first), but that's not enough to deter the hard-core twinker.


[edited by - Waverider on December 3, 2002 4:42:13 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Make it so that a player can only use an Item or something if they have earned it at least once.. IE. certian armor comes only from a certian type of monster.. well unless the play has looted that item before they can''t pick it up, or have it traded to them..

or

the player must visit an elder or wise man to teach them how to use certian items, put the wise man it a hard to get to area

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"What's the primary reason for wanting to limit twinking?"

It can vary, I'm sure.

My guess is complaints from other players, since twinkers can run around stealing their kills and dominate the current playfield, ruining everyone else's fun.

Sure, everyone else could gang up on him and frustrate him, but dealing with those kinds of situations isn't really what the game is about for most people.

Not everyone would do that with a twinker, but as we all learn in MMORPG's, if a person CAN do a thing, SOMEONE will do it and be VERY annoying at it. So, take the capability away. That's one way to solve it.

[edited by - Waverider on December 3, 2002 4:51:53 PM]

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Couple of suggestions:

1) Do allow players to give items to one another. All sales have to go to an NPC. Probably not the best suggestion but it''s an option.
2) Make trades between players roughly equal. If I want to trade with another player he has to give me somewhere between 75 and 100% of the value of the items I''m trading in other items or money.
2) Make it a trade only system through a 3rd party NPC. The trader gives the items to the NPC. The trader can tag the items for a specific player or to the first bidder that meets the requirements (see #2 above). The trades can be a group of items or single items.

Comments?

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quote:
Original post by Waverider
"What''s the primary reason for wanting to limit twinking?"

It can vary, I''m sure.

My guess is complaints from other players, since twinkers can run around stealing their kills and dominate the current playfield, ruining everyone else''s fun.


Only if the system lets them killsteal. This is easy to stop and probably not the main reason. Although I''m not sure what the big deal is. If I managed to obtain the items, why isn''t it my right to do with them what I want?

The question should be - "Should twinking be allowed?"

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quote:
Original post by Silvermyst
What''s the primary reason for wanting to limit twinking?




One of the things that encourages griefers, or game-crappers as I prfer to call them, is the ease of building a character. If there isn''t an investment in the character why should they feel they have anything to lose by ruining someone elses experience. By forcing a player to really work at advancing his character you will get rid of alot of the idiot behaviors.

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quote:
anyone have any ideas about limiting twinking?

and
quote:
Twinking is the act of giving a new character lots of high level gear and/or useing a high level character to quickly level a new character.

I'm just going to assume that a game which sees twinking as a problem is almost completely focused on leveling (hack'n'slash) and attaining items (loot).

GIVING A NEW CHARACTER HIGH LEVEL GEAR
I've seen quite a few suggestions to solve this (not just in this thread), but there really is only one good one:
item deterioration
It won't solve the problem of players giving characters powerful gear, but there will be a lower quantity of available gear, so the overall amount of twinking will be much lower. Also, if an item will only be around for so long, would you give it to your new character, or keep it for your existing character?

You didn't want level restrictions on weapons ("you have to be level X before you can use this weapon"), with which I somewhat agree, but that idea works especially well when combined with item deterioration.
A skilled fighter will know exactly what to do with a weapon. He'll know how to wield it, how to clean it, how to keep it in good shape. An unskilled fighter will abuse the weapon, causing it to deteriorate much quicker.

USING HIGH LEVEL CHARACTER TO QUICKLY LEVEL A NEW CHARACTER
I honestly still don't see what the problem with this is. If your game is pretty much hack'n'slash, kill baddies for ep and level up, isn't this 'level-twinking' something that comes with the territory?

As a developer, you might fear that players will not play the game as long, but that's really the only problem I can see.

DEBASER wrote:
quote:
One of the things that encourages griefers, or game-crappers as I prfer to call them, is the ease of building a character. If there isn't an investment in the character why should they feel they have anything to lose by ruining someone elses experience. By forcing a player to really work at advancing his character you will get rid of alot of the idiot behaviors.

This works both ways though. If there is an investment in the character, griefers will have more to ruin. If both I and a griefer have to work for 10 hours to build our characters, will he simply not bother, because it takes him too long? Or will he take the 10 hours and then start to ruin my gaming experience? How long should the investment be to deter griefers?

Are griefers griefers because they don't have anything to lose, or because others do have something to lose?

[edited by - Silvermyst on December 3, 2002 5:35:58 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Silvermyst

Are griefers griefers because they don''t have anything to lose, or because others do have something to lose?




If they are going to lose more than the person they are effecting then they will not bother (or if they do they will probably not be smart enough to do much harm in the first place). If someone is game crapping and my character falls victim to it, I lose some time and maybe an item or two. The idea is to make it so that he (the greifer) loses considerably more as a result of his action. Now if his character took no time to make in the grand scheme of things, he would not be phased by banning, weakening, or any other punishment, because he can go make another character and start messing with people again.


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I''m not an MMORGer so I don''t know if this is practical, but regarding the practise of giving high power items to new characters, how about this: have the server monitor all player to player transactions. Whenever there is a large imbalance in the values of the items traded, simply broadcast a message to all other players, telling them what''s going on and who''s involved. Let the other players decide if something should be done about it.

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quote:
Original post by Plasmadog
I'm not an MMORGer so I don't know if this is practical, but regarding the practise of giving high power items to new characters, how about this: have the server monitor all player to player transactions. Whenever there is a large imbalance in the values of the items traded, simply broadcast a message to all other players, telling them what's going on and who's involved. Let the other players decide if something should be done about it.

That assumes they can do something about it. Also, how do you decide what a large imbalance is and if it's an actual case of twinking and not just someone being nice?


[edited by - Machaira on December 3, 2002 9:45:45 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Machaira
That assumes they can do something about it.

That was implied. When I said "let the other players...", I meant give them the means to deal with the twinkers. That shouldn''t be a problem given that we are talking about a game genre where killing other players for profit is the norm.
quote:
Also, how do you decide what a large imbalance is...

That''s just one of those many things that the designers have to figure out and tweak until it suits everyone. But, the threshold doesn''t have to be set in stone since it does not directly affect gameplay. The tweaking could continue untill well after release. It could even be a dynamic threshold, reporting only the top 5% or so of imbalanced transactions. Or perhaps it could be an individual preference.
quote:
...and if it''s an actual case of twinking and not just someone being nice?

You (as the designer) don''t need to determine this. Again, let the players determine what is philanthropy and what is cheating, and let them decide how to deal with it.

As I said though, I don''t play these games. Maybe this all completely untenable.

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You say you don''t want to use a level limit, but how about adjusting item effectiveness by level?

A level 10 sword can be used by anyone, but the damage/hit % is affected by the user. e.g. A level 10 character using a level 10 sword would do 100% of the damage. However a level 3 character using the same sword would only do 3/10 or 30% the damage. Of course the scaling doesn''t have to be linear.

You don''t even have to tell the player what level an item is, simply give them a message "This weapon is difficult to use, maybe you need more practice" when they equip it.

This still allows them to use any item they want, but not as effectivly as if they were the appropriate level. It would also have the added benefit of a player becomming more effecient with their equipment as they increase in skill.

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quote:
Original post by Plasmadog
That's just one of those many things that the designers have to figure out and tweak until it suits everyone.

Who was it that said "You can please some of the people some of the time...but you can't please all of the people all of the time." There will always be someone out there that'll say that what you think is fair sucks.

quote:
Original post by Plasmadog
You (as the designer) don't need to determine this. Again, let the players determine what is philanthropy and what is cheating, and let them decide how to deal with it.


If you leave it in the players' hands what you'll end up with is 1000 different opinions as to whether someone is twinking and what to do to them. You'll also have the people who just want to ruin your game always trying to accuse people and cause them problems.

I just don't think you can let the players make game decisions of this magnitude. If you want to allow twinking go ahead and just ignore those people that don't like it or implement a way that prohibits twinking. I think any one of the ways that I posted above will work, although there will be some people that don't like it no matter what you do.


[edited by - Machaira on December 4, 2002 8:30:33 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Machaira
[quote]Who was it that said "You can please some of the people some of the time...but you can''t please all of the people all of the time." There will always be someone out there that''ll say that what you think is fair sucks.


I think you mean, "You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can''t pick your friend''s nose."

Back to seriousness....

Just make the items require a certain skill level to use at peak efficiency. That way, everyone can use every item (except in the case where it is a class specific or class excluded item). Only the degree of success is changed. That would encourage players to build up their characters. By the time they build up enough to be able to effectivly use the item, they are at the strength they would be at to earn the item.

£§

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although it might not be the intend of the anti-twinkers, but every and all measures that are designed to prevent twinking will also effectively decimate player based economy.

[edited by - tanikaze on December 4, 2002 6:04:15 PM]

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You could also opt to make the gear that is really useful tie to the character that kills the monster or does the quest. This way, one character couldn''t give another character that gear. He could take him on the hunt for the monster or the quest, but then you could have a limitation saying that the player wanting the item should be in the party and actually HELP with the monster or quest.. not just stand in the background and reap the benefits

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The primary reason to limit twinking is to maintain game balence and thus ''playibility'' for new players. It is (I should say was, it''s been a long time since I last played) fairly common for ''newbie'' twink characters to only want to group with other twinks. It you''re not twinked, you do not effectively contribute to a group of twinks.

You need to build something into the equipment that makes it less effective for a low-level character to use than a higher-level one. For example, have high-status equipment drain stamina to wear it, and increase the rate of stamina regeneration as characters level. Now it''s a balence issue that player has to make decisions about. It doesn''t absolutely prevent a newbie from wearing uber gear, but it makes it more effective for them to use appro. gear for thier level.

I would personally prefer a system that allows you to do whatever you want and gradually varies in effectiveness, rather then have stuff turn on & off. Magically abilities of equipement could increase with the players level, or even drain thier psyche. This would give fighter-types a reason to have magical ability, and provide another counter-balence for magic users. Do I put on more magical equipment, or save that mana for casting my own spells?

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don't make the gear's abilitys and such so important. in other words instead of the gear making the character, the gear that does nothing more then add that little extra something to the character. example: Dungeons & Dragons. a short sword(1d6) in the hands of a 20th level fighter is going to do one hell of alot more damange than a +3 long sword(1d8+3) in the hands of a 1st level fighter.

also instead of give the player 20ep for killing that goblin, give him 20*(damange inflicted by char/goblin's total hit points). so back to the 20th fighter & the 1st level fighter. 20th lvl fighter hits goblin for 9 points of damage leaving 1hp left. 1st lvl fighter hits goblin and kills him.
the 20th level fighter gets 18ep (20*(9/10)) and the first level fighter gets 2ep (20*(1/10)).

edit: a few type-o's

[edited by - Great Milenko on December 4, 2002 6:29:56 PM]

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I was staggered to update my quake 3 the other weak are suddenly find out about all this punkbuster stuff etc.

I am amazed completely that people are so desperate to win in a computer game they go to these lengths.

This ruins my own and others fun totally.

I dont really have an constructive arguements to add however I read this thread with great interest.

I guess we could take heart in the fact that quite likely, these people in their real lives are probably:

* spoilt kids who cry because they dropped their ice cream
* teenagers with severe social interaction problems
* people who only know the negative in life
* people who wonder why other "normal" people think they suck
* with or without a loosers job
* wondering why they get such bad Karma

many other reasons spring to mind, but that is taking away the idea of the thread. I guess unless perhaps someone physically monitors the game world, or perhaps a "stats program" or something collects data on new characters created, player movements, etc etc and reports on any strange discrepancies?
This is akin to scheduling systems used in major business, however more on par with grabbing the data, comparing and reporting back what is not "normal".

well, hope that helps fuel your ideas.

Thanks

EDIT: Personally I feel this would be easier to implement then weapons restrictions etc etc. Also where i said akin to sheduling systems, these systems gather data and do a whole lot of sorting to plan out where companies can schedule internal jobs etc.
Though on a game server it would not come close to as much data, but its a similar principle. Get, sort, gather, produce information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://on.to/oni

[edited by - fatherjohn666 on December 4, 2002 6:32:36 PM]

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Good points Magmai...


quote:
Original post by tanikaze
although it might not be the intend of the anti-twinkers, but every and all measures that are designed to prevent twinking will also effectively decimate player based economy.




It does not need to, it can encourage such an economy if done right. In current MMOGs every item is ignored in favor of the Platinum Uber-Sword of Doom or some such. A newbie character will not even be able to find a plain old long sword from another player. Imagine a non-twink economy where someone could make regular old long swords and actually have some one interested in buying them.

A friend of mine suggested a rather cool way of doing it last night. Rather than have weapons do a range of damage, just give them a percentage value that is figured with thier skill level.

Example: The Platinum Uber-Sword of Doom has a damage modifier of 150%. A character with a combat level of 2 would do 3 points of damage, whereas a combat level 10 would do 15.

Of course the beauty of computers is that you could make the equation much more complex in order to fit it within a certain range of damage...

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quote:
Original post by Great Milenko
also instead of give the player 20ep for killing that goblin, give him 20*(damange inflicted by char/goblin''s total hit points). so back to the 20th fighter & the 1st level fighter. 20th lvl fighter hits goblin for 9 points of damage leaving 1hp left. 1st lvl fighter hits goblin and kills him.
the 20th level fighter gets 18ep (20*(9/10)) and the first level fighter gets 2ep (20*(1/10)).




That is a really good way of dividing experience, as it gets rid of level restrictions on groups, and prevents the old "experiance leecher" style of play. Thanks, that idea will be incorporated...

Of course exceptions will have to be made for non-combat types, but that should be easy to work around...

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