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Griefing in MMO's... it's part of the game

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Sorry to bring up another MMO related topic and also about griefers. I understand that griefing will never go away without ruining the game so much that everyone else leaves too. So I've tried to think of ways to encourage or discourage griefing based on various situations. On one solution, I have a system where there are no anti-griefing measures that doesn't fit with the setting. Griefers can't PK within a city because their weapons are taken away from them before they enter (should they find a way to get around this, all the power to them. That's the point of this security step.) And you get them back when you leave. Outside cities, it may be dangerous but within a zone close to cities, griefers will not be more powerful than the guards or roaming military. The military can still be played by people but it's only them thave have very strict rules on how they can act. A civilian or adventurer can do whatever they want so long as they accept the consequences. So this area it's still very risky for someone to be a griefer, only the boldest griefers will go here. Far away from the cities, you enter only at your own risk. If you get jumped... what are you doing there in the first place, at least if you complain about it anyway. My other solution, which can work in conjunction with the first, is a system that rewards griefers for playing the role properly. being a murderer and thief while taunting your victims is generally frowned upon, I want it to still happen, but not a lot. I just don't want it to be the only thing that happens in the game. So this solution also allows griefers to play MOBs. The rewards from mobs are not part of the discussion as it's irrelevant. Lets just say for arguments sake that mobs offer nothing but a hazard or obstacle to your quest. But the "entry level" griefer class is a weaker mob. The better they do, the higher rank they get which means they can start commanding units. The bigger force, the harder they are... but only if they use this class to grief. Should they use the standard classes that are available, they don't get these upgrades (or they'd lose them if they griefed outside this system). And once you maximize the class, new options may be available that allow them to be much more powerful. There can also be some special rewards that let them play uber classes that have boss like powers. Basically, it's an attempt to encourage those who want to grief, to do it in a way that enhances the story of the game and not ruin experiences for others. ... I know, sometimes that's their goal, but it fits better with the environment and setting if someone is being constantly killed by a group of mobs instead of someone who looks like they SHOULD be helping them. Your thoughts? So how's about a little survey?
  1. Do you grief?
  2. What do you like about it?
  3. Would you use a proper grief system if it were in place?
  4. What would likely win you over to use such a system if no to the above?

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I think you mixed the definition of griefing with PVPing. Griefing means that you're just being a jackass whether you're within the rules of the game or not. For example having a Player Killer camp at a church where players are ressurected. If he kills them as soon as they are ressurected making them unable to play; that would be griefing.

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Sorry for this seemingly noob question, but I have played MMO's in the past, and I am not familiar with the meaning of "grief", as used above. (greifer? Do you grief?") Could you explain this?

[Edit]Thanks sanch3x for briefly describing it.[/Edit]

KungFooMasta

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i have a question,

why do people always feel the need to assign as much realism as possible to mmorpg's, really they have to be the most ridiculous genre. The insane power curve of most rpg's set in a world full of script farmers, power gamers that just read the uber power guide on gamefaq and grifers that exploit loopholes in the game rules.

Personally i just want a game that fun to play, not is "realistic" because you can do anything and play a bunch of civilian jobs or kill everyone because you have more levels

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Except that a fair bit of griefing does not fit into the game itself. Chat spam is a common example.

Yet another technological solution for a social problem. They've never worked, they never will work.

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My original idea of a griefer was someone who would kill where there was no gain to themselves. But they wouldn't stop there, they would repeatedly do it. At least not in creative ways. Usually it was players who were half decent but always picking on the weak.


To use a real world example... take laser tag. If there are a couple towers, one of which you are in, and you keep getting picked off by someone in the other tower... that's just your fault, you're easy to hit.... but imagine a 10 yearold giggling as they follow you around shooting you in the back or front (whichever way you are facing them) without the chance for your pack to come back online.

The old days of Quake 2 when people would be spawn camping...

Or the holding-your-finger-upto-someone-but-not-touching-them-all-the-while-saying-"I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you" that you would see kids do. There was no purpose other than to simply annoy the other person.

---------

It seems I should have thought longer about griefing than what I had done to create this post. I was merely focusing on one aspect of it and not looking at the bigger picture.

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"To grief" in an MMO is to repeatedly harass or kill another player, usually the victim being much less powerful than the griefer, to the extent that the victim cannot progress in content.

I think WoW had some good measures against griefing. Ganking in major cities was very difficult because of guards, so it would be difficult to repeatedly harass someone. (I don't consider ganking as griefing. Repeated ganking to the point of harassment, however, could be griefing.) Also, in beginning zones high level players could not kill the low level players unless the low level players enabled a PvP flag. Lastly, WoW was not free-for-all PvP. You cannot grief a member of your own faction, and furthermore, if the other faction did come in and start griefing, your allies might be willing to come help you out. If it was FFA PvP, your only allies would be guildmates.

I don't think it is possible to totally eliminate griefing in a non-consentual PvP world. But I think you can greatly reduce it with two things:
- Give no rewards to a player who kills a much weaker player (weaker in level or gear). If you drop gold or something you are only encouraging griefing for easy rewards.
- Provide enough end-game content to prevent potential griefers from getting bored enough to want to grief.

The only ones you are left with are people who simply love to grief and seek out ways to do so no matter what.

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Quote:
To use a real world example... take laser tag. If there are a couple towers, one of which you are in, and you keep getting picked off by someone in the other tower... that's just your fault, you're easy to hit.... but imagine a 10 yearold giggling as they follow you around shooting you in the back or front (whichever way you are facing them) without the chance for your pack to come back online.
Heh. That's exactly what I think of, too. [grin]
Quote:
Original post by Kaze
why do people always feel the need to assign as much realism as possible to mmorpg's, really they have to be the most ridiculous genre. The insane power curve of most rpg's set in a world full of script farmers, power gamers that just read the uber power guide on gamefaq and grifers that exploit loopholes in the game rules.

Personally i just want a game that fun to play, not is "realistic" because you can do anything and play a bunch of civilian jobs or kill everyone because you have more levels
I don't understand how that relates - we've got plenty of separate discussion on realism/fun, but what part of it is relevant here?


As far as the first solution - it doesn't stop griefing, it simply gives explanations for why there are some limitations. In fact, it's not even a new idea; EVE online uses a very similar system, and griefing obviously still exists (of course - part of the game is, in fact, the player-created social structuring).

And for the second solution, do you think that griefers would be willing to play against mobs? I would think that the biggest part of griefing is the fact that it's being done to other people. But that may only be a sub-type of griefer. In any case, it's an idea worth trying.

Quote:
I don't think it is possible to totally eliminate griefing in a non-consentual PvP world. But I think you can greatly reduce it with two things:
- Give no rewards to a player who kills a much weaker player (weaker in level or gear). If you drop gold or something you are only encouraging griefing for easy rewards.
This is probably the most easily implemented and most effective method.
Quote:
- Provide enough end-game content to prevent potential griefers from getting bored enough to want to grief.
I guess this gets to why people grief. I wonder. It's certainly worth a shot, and it's obviously something that games should already have (but rarely do, if not unreasonably).


Additionally, it's possible to structure your worlds and to restrict access (such as through somewhat powerful guards, as in WoW) so that it's difficult to spawn-camp players at any time.

Quote:
Except that a fair bit of griefing does not fit into the game itself. Chat spam is a common example.

Yet another technological solution for a social problem. They've never worked, they never will work.
Well, allowing players to be blocked through a very simple process is a decent solution to that (perhaps allowing you to block them only in general, but not party chat if you, the designer, feel that being blocked is too much punishment).


We need research, apparently... As such, I'll respond to the poll!
1. Do you grief?
Rarely. I only grief as a response to horribly annoying and immature players who slaughter low-level players, grief, or do other similarly needless things. At that point, I'm more than happy to grief the stupid SOB until he leaves the area (at which point I'm also more than happy to leave him alone).

2. What do you like about it?
Almost nothing. It's occasionally a nice method to kick people out of an area, break them of a bad habit, or punish someone for an action. There needs to remain some sort of method for social 'justice' in games when the game doesn't provide it. As a regular habit of people, there's nothing good about it.

3. Would you use a proper grief system if it were in place?
I don't know what a proper grief system would be. If it were against mobs... well, sure, I'd probably try it, but likely wouldn't stick with it. Against players? Nah.

4. What would likely win you over to use such a system if no to the above?
Well, if nothing made me feel guilty or bad about unrelentingly and constantly attacking and harassing a player, then nothing. But that would be somewhat tough to do (of course, by introducing mobs, this become somewhat less of a problem).

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Sure, I'm a sucker for polls.

Quote:

# Do you grief?


I don't perceive it as such, but I'm sure others might. In old q1tf for example, if I managed to enter the enemies base in chase of their flag, I'd toss a grenade into the narrow hallway leading out of their spawn room to prevent them from chasing me.

I'd also snipe the piss out of anyone leaving their base and maybe not even up the teams when we were winning big.

I've been known to hide my commander in supcom to eek out a few spiteful kills before losing...

I've been known to serve a volleyball high into the air to purposefully cause it to get lost in the sun or some wind currents.


They're all kinda mean, and kinda outside good sportsmanship, but do not exploit a game flaw and are fairly easily countered. I won't be too upset if others return the favor.

Quote:

# What do you like about it?


Oh, mostly sadistic giggles.

Quote:

# Would you use a proper grief system if it were in place?


Not at all. I'd avoid the game like the plague.

Quote:

# What would likely win you over to use such a system if no to the above?


Having some sort of benefit greater than the detriment that would come with spending my recreation time around a MMO full of the sort of asshats who would gravitate towards a game which condones griefing. An early retirement, constant orgasms... something along those lines.

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Griefing is not just killing other players. Griefing is performing actions that cause a negative experience in other players. Killing is one way, but not by any means the only way.

For instance, in an incident that happened to me was when I was playing a Female avatar and another player repeatedly requested that I remove the Avatars cloths. This annoying player kept following me around and spamming this request.

This is griefing and in now way was PvP.

Griefing is so much more than using the game mechanics.

Any antigriefing system that just relied on game mechanics would not eliminate (and may not even reduce) griefing.

Griefing is a social meta game problem and therefore can not be addressed by in game systems. The best method to reduce griefing is reporting and that the incidents are handled rapidly.

However, care must be taken not to use knee-jerk reactions to griefing reporting as griefers can use false reportings as a form of griefing too.

A lot of time and money is devoted to reducing griefing in online games (you need staff that can quickly respond to reports and the tools that allow the staff to analyse the incidents, etc).

Whenever players can interact in any way you will open a channel for griefers to exploit. Even if all it is is that the players can see the scores that other players have got. The griefers can use this to write offensive messages (I have seen this done on single player arcade machines).

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