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FFA PVP with Consequences

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Like others have stated, the problem with FFA PVP is that the risk/reward is ultimately skewed. For the Griefer, or ganker, or whatever you want to call them, the risk is minimal. So someone puts a bounty on thier head. We are in games where in the long run death is meaningless. Will it sting if somsone bounties the griefer. In the short run, but odds are by the time he is killed again by another bounty, then he will have easily recovered from the loss incurred by that one death. Over time, there is no consequence to him. Im not saying institute a perma death system. That would be overly harsh. But here is my series of suggestions relating to FFA PVP, and how to make getting caught have some sting to it. 1. Every player is allowed 1 character per server, this prevents having ALT gankers...if they want to gank, then they need to have earned that ability, and be willing to face the consequences of doing so, not have annother character just so they can circumvent the consequences (there is nothing to be done about multiple accounts though) 2. Establish laws and a series of punishments for them. 3. When a character commits a crime, (such as PK) then the crime gets reported to the "local" police (depending on the control of the area that the person is in). At which point a bounty is placed by the computer onto the players head. The more crimes he commits, the higher the bounty gets. Once a bounty reaches a certain level criminals will become KOS to city guards. 4. A bounty hunter, finds and kills the bounty, the player drops a "bounty shard" which must be returned to the proper authority, only Bounty hunters may do this. The return of the bounty shard Causes the bounty to be paid to the bounty hunter. A criminal may have bounties on thier heads from multiple cities, in such a case the highest bounty is used first. 5. When killed by a bounty hunter, a player resurrects inside of a jail cell. Not only is the player ressurected there, thier re-spawn point is set there. Any deaths, will cause the player to re-spawn inside the jail cell. 6. The player is sentenced to stay in jail until a certain amount of time (based off of the bounty) has passed in real time. This can be a few hours for minor crimes, or a few days or weeks for hard core griefers. The payment of fines (very steep, and will be adjusted due to inflation of in game economy) will decrease the amount of time spent in jail. When fines / jail time are finished, the players bounty will be removed, but will begin to gain bounty at an increasing rate (x1.5 etc) this multiplier will stay for the life of the character, and will increas with each successive jail term spent in that city area. A player will have to be wary if they have multiple bounties, as only the one that he spent jail time for will be removed. 7. Another way to decrease time spent in jail is to escape or be broken out. A failed escape attempt will result in additional time/fines being levied against the convict. A successful attempt will result in the original bounty being re-instated, with a double, or even triple multiplier applied to it. Also, anyone who assists in escape will begin to accrue a bounty on thier own head. With this system, FFA PVP will be available, but the consequences for doing so can become quite steep. But for those craving the life of an outlaw, this will give them all the abilities to do so. This system can also be tweaked to apply to POW's for faction v Faction wars, and other such themes, or it can be used to ONLY apply to Friendly Fire Griefers...up to the developer.

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That bounty systems suck. They do not add risk to the aggressor, they merely invite PvP, which is what most aggressors are looking for anyways. They don't stop griefing, but merely add another tool for griefers to use [ex. the common tactic of hitting a griefing target to annoy them until they kill you. They get the bounty/jail, you get the delight of griefing them; OR a griefer makes 2 accounts, a griefer and a bounty hunter. The grief account goes about their business, and once the bounty is high enough, they load up the hunter and kill their main character for the reward].

Technological solutions don't fix social problems. If you have a social problem like griefing and want a solution, look for a social solution.

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I like the idea of players policing the game world, but I don't see any way to prevent the tag team of bounty hunter-criminal buddy splitting bounty profits ad infinitum.

A less circumventable solution would be a more permanent punishment, implemented through a karma rating. Karma's chief function would be to determine what happens after death, but could be used as a currency for in-game abilities for clerics and priests.

When you die, you would work off your karma in the spirit world before reincarnation and in the process atrophy your various skills. Thus, you automatically nerf the griefers, AND they spend a lot of time doing menial tasks just to get a new body! But if it's too low you would be permanently bound in the spirit world. Though, what would be really fun RP-wise would be to give necromancers a (very difficult) spell to summon the damned into flesh, which would work well if the leader of an evil guild were killed.

@Telastyn:
Do you have a particular social solution in mind?

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Do you have a particular social solution in mind?


Nope. I don't fancy persistant games with PvP, so don't ponder the matter much.


The best handling of it I've seen was in Puzzle Pirates, where the gameplay required players to work together at sea. The playerbase was predominantly anti-PvP and casual. Dishonorable PvPers quickly found themselves without many friends in a game where power and profit is directly proportional to the number of players you can get working with you.

The game itself didn't attract many 'Killer' types, so they didn't have many numbers to band together to compete. When groups did try to band together for a more aggressive crew, the rest of the playerbase would band together to make sure they weren't successful.

[edit: though this did have the side effect of making nearly all PvP a rare and usually random occurance, which is perhaps not what the OP wants.]

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Original post by Telastyn
That bounty systems suck. They do not add risk to the aggressor, they merely invite PvP, which is what most aggressors are looking for anyways. They don't stop griefing, but merely add another tool for griefers to use [ex. the common tactic of hitting a griefing target to annoy them until they kill you. They get the bounty/jail, you get the delight of griefing them; OR a griefer makes 2 accounts, a griefer and a bounty hunter. The grief account goes about their business, and once the bounty is high enough, they load up the hunter and kill their main character for the reward].

Technological solutions don't fix social problems. If you have a social problem like griefing and want a solution, look for a social solution.


Im not exactly looking for a social solution. Besides...if we can't figure that out in the real world, how do we do it in the game world...

The bounty system is supposed to be a building system. One grief kill doesn't earn much bounty, but each grief kill adds more than the previous one. The system is designed to "Punish" hard core griefers.

The two account system? Well, considering that a fair amount of bounty would put you're griefing character in jail for a considerable amount of time.

Also, to reduce the amount of time in jail, the character would be required to pay an amount of fines equal to 2-3 or more times the amount of the bounty. Overall using the system for a farming method would result in a net loss.

The only way this would, work is for someone who only wants to play thier griefing character only once every 2-3 weeks, or has a third character/account, who's only job is to go through and break out character 1...but that eventually builds up that third characters bounty.

Honestly though,

Im not trying to mitigate the griefer. I think this would work for the specific game this would be designed in, but I honestly think it would allow for some interesting RP perspectives. I like the concept of playing an outlaw. But if there is no risk (i.e. jail) then its not the same. If I go and kill 15 lowbies and steal thier stuff, I need to be afraid of the fact that I can no longer go into town, for the cops are after me, Plus I'm now a marked man, and the next time I go out, I need to worry about getting captured.

Should I be captured, my "guild" or what not may have the balls to stage a daring jail break, So now Im still a wanted criminal, and maybe even all the more notorious.

People fear me, but at the same time, I've earned myself a spot on peoples hit lists.

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Im not exactly looking for a social solution. Besides...if we can't figure that out in the real world, how do we do it in the game world...

Make PKing an intergral part of the gameplay. If there is a real neich for a PKer to have fun, but have the risks associated with it to reduce the incidents of greifing.

PKing and Greifing are not the same. Greifing can occure without any need for a player character to be killed. Greifing takes place in chat rooms. The only real way to stop greifing is to log everything and allow reporting of greifers.

I occasionally play on WoW PvP servers as I enjoy the PvP aspect more than the grinding. On these servers PvP is not considdered greifing, but griefing still occures in other ways (rude messages, ninja looting, etc).

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The fine system can be interesting, as long as the PKing character doesn't also PvE, since that would mean he also gets money from elsewhere. The best way of handling this would be to fine him to LOOSE EVERYTHING, or close. In real life, when you are in debt, and still owe money to people, other people come knocking to your door, and tell you that they are gonna take your proprty away to have it sold to refund your credit. Use the same principle here, with the possessions of the PKer, ie. his weapons and armor.

Moreover, I would like a reputation system being added to it, meaning that ALL basic services are going to be gradually removed from the PKer's possibilities. Make it so that the ever-pardonning monks of benevolence will stop resurrecting him ASAP everytime he gets killed, but will let him think about his deeds for a while. Remove the possibility for the PKer to enter just any NPC store to sell what he looted from someone else, and have him have to go to underworld NPCs, who will use infamous prices, both buying and selling, making it twice, or thrice, depending on reputation more difficult to produce the goods. Maybe go as far as a point where only ONE or TWO persons are prepared to deal with him, seriously reducing the PKer's possibilities.

Honestly, I don't mind having the PKers and griefers around the game, if that's what they like doing. But I'd like to see something done for their fun. THEIR fun shouldn't remove my possibility to have fun, with someone standing just above me, chain-killing me while his friends chain-resurrect me. This is just the kind of things I wouldn't stand for more than three minutes before cancelling my account or blowing my PC through the window... If anyone has "bad" ideas of fun, let him do whatever he wants, but have him have to deal with the consequences...

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Original post by templewulf
I like the idea of players policing the game world, but I don't see any way to prevent the tag team of bounty hunter-criminal buddy splitting bounty profits ad infinitum.


Ingame Fraud investigation. If you are a bounty hunter, and you are splitting your profits with those you kill, well that would break some ethics code of bounty hunting, and the State would place a price on YOUR head. Trade would become restricted, and would make things hard on you unless you paid off massive fines/character did jail time or something. (this is something I'm planning on using in a few games, one an EVE inspired game)

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