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Delphinus

PKing in MMORPGs - Non-linear

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Delphinus    200
I'm not making an MMO but... In your basic MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)there is often PKing (Player Killing), but this is often handled in a linear way, and mostly falls into one of the following categories: 1: There is no PKing. 2: Players may only battle with others who are at a similar level, in certain areas. 3: Players may only battle with others who are at a similar level. 4: Players may only battle in certain areas. 5: Players can battle anywhere. As you may have noticed, these are in order, from 1 being most restricting, to 5 being least restricting. My idea is that players would be allowed to PK in any area (much like in real life, provided you have the strength and want to, you can kill someone in any place) but that there would be a reporting system, similar to the rule-breaking system in most MMOs, but that reported crimes that were viewed as such according to the in-game laws. Reports from players would call police or watch (represented by enemy creatures that target criminal players)nearby, as according to the player's history of reporting (whether they usually tell the truth), and certain NPCs would also report crimes nearby. However, with no witnesses, a player could PK as much as they liked. All crimes would go on a 'criminal record' detailing all crimes committed in-game. The more witnesses that saw an incident would increase the chances of being taken to court, as would the previous criminal records. Of course, if a false report is made, the reporter could be taken in for questioning for slander. Punishment and sentencing for the crimes (if the player is captured and taken to court) would take place in a courtroom-styled area, where the player has to hire a lawyer, and this in itself could become a fun play mechanic and event for witnesses and the accused. When the accused and witnesses were all online, after a certain amount of time, they would all be transported to the courtroom. Also, if the accused did not log in for the trial, it would be handled automatically. Punishement for the crime could range from 5 minutes of play time in the cells to execution, where the player would lose all their items in their inventory just like if killed in game, but their criminal record would be reset. Would this work? Possible problems I can identify are: Nobody ever reporting anybody else, as they percieve it as a waste of time. PKers inviting newbies to dungeon parties, and then stealing all their items. Distrust between players for fear of being either reported or PKed. Please reply!

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thelovegoose    101
First of all I think the fewer the restrictions the better, better to allow and punish than not allow at all.
I think the courtroom part would be a lot of effort, but having an ai (or part player, part ai) police has to be a good thing.
The reporting system would not be a great effort to code, but would have network, server performance and storage considerations. I think it would be good, every genuine PK incident would be automatically logged, but only registered with the police if a report is filed by a witness to prevent false reports (that would just be hassle).
Surely there is police in some MMOPRGS? It introduces the dynamic of having safe and dangerous areas, and the extra play dimension that that would bring, that could only make the game better.

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Dekasa    127
Well, I know of a system that *I* believe works well: ShadowBane. It would fall into the #5 category, once you're off newbie island, and if you're not in one of the 3 safe cities (out of the hundreds of player-owned cities) you can be pk'd. The only deterrent is that if you're in YOUR city (the one you're pledged to) or any in its nation (not an area, a 'my guild is sub-guilded to you' hierarchy ending in a 'my guild is subbed to this nation') there are powerful guards that will attack anyone attacking you, and these guards can (I believe) be set to attack anyone not pledged to the city, any pker (anyone who attacks within the city), or just the plain pker attacking a member of the city. Attacking someone will VERY likely get you killed by the guards, thus negating your chances of getting to loot their body, and you would lose everything you had, also (everything in your inventory is dropped upon death). It works well, keeps people feeling safe in their cities, but also allows members of a city a sort of 'home court advantage'. Just something to think about.

I agree, though, less restrictions is better, and I'd allow an auto *just do this for me, pc* method. Especially in a P2P MMO system, taking people's time away would just be annoying, and even with no money involved, could lose large amounts of players. Fines would be MUCH more appropriate. Also, banning from cities, nations, a sort of blacklist that cities could ban the worst criminals, anything like this that would make a player simply unable to do business somewhere they'd like to could be very useful as a system of punishment.

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Delphinus    200
Yup, but one of the things I forgot to mention about prison is that there would be various ways of escaping, and part of the fun would be trying to escape...

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ShadowPhoenix    109
Eve online. (space future)

There is the 'newbie' empire and 'unexplored space'. All the space is divided into 1.0 to 0.6 security areas (empire) and 0.6 - 0.0 secutiry areas. In 1.0 the player starts. If anyone attacks anybody in 1http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/post.asp?method=reply&topic_id=458144
Reply to Topic - GameDev.Net Discussion Forums.0 to 0.6 areas you will blow up really fast (Police fleet will catch up to ya.). The higher the security the faster you will blow. But in 0.6-0.1 there is no police, but there are stationary guns at every stargate which fire on you if you are trying to prey on an unsuspecting prey.

Now lets talk about 0.0 space. The HUGE majority of Eve is 0.0 lawless 'Wild west' area. There is no cops, no protection, but HUGE benefits to get. Minerals are NIIIIIIIICE. Now, eve online has only one giant server (100k pple). What happens naturally? At first people would kill anyone they see.Then they started grouping up ("Together we can kill any singles trying to steal OUR area!".)
The grouping up continues. And now the game has sort of "countries" -- all of them made purely by players, and populated only by players. This creates a REALLY life image of nations. If you ally yourself to anyone there is nothing binding you to him. If you do any agreements, it is only for their trust. There are betrayals, spying, sabotaging,rushing... all created by players.

I honestly believe that Eve Online has the greatest idea for a game. A game where you rule over people because the players demand it...
The only reason I am not playing it is because I don't have time :p

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H4L    169
I'm sceptical at best. What is to stop me from reporting an innocent player and getting my friends to give evidence against him? Then how about as soon as he is released from prison I do the same again, and again, until he loses all his items. In order to stop that you'll need to automate the whole system, so that PKs get reported only when an actual PK happens. In which case there's no point in doing it and the whole system is for nothing.

Quote:
better to allow and punish than not allow at all


I completely disagree. Why not give each player an "I win" button that will kill any boss when triggered, but ban a player if he's ever caught using it? Yes, that's a straw-man example, but it demonstrates that you have to draw the line somewhere. If punishment is there to prevent players from committing an act then why not disallow them from performing it in the first place? If you don't want to prevent such acts, then why punish players who do them?

In general, I believe PvP should be voluntary, whether by allowing it only in certain areas or within duels or whatever. At no point should I be forced to be ganked if I don't want to be. If, for instance, in WoW there was the possibility of being ganked by a team-mate while inside a dungeon, there would be no such thing as partying outside of guilds, because people wouldn't trust each other enough.

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Delphinus    200
No, that wasn't my original point. My point was that it could be possible, in theory, to kill all witnesses, and the police, thus escaping punishment...

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thelovegoose    101
Already mentioned that, all PK's would need to be logged, its just hassle if people can report false ones...

I guess the second part is a matter of preference, risk or no risk. I wouldn't mind being killed as a beginner if I knew my attacker was going to get done for it, I'd be careful not to upset nutters! As long as the police are next to all-powerful that should be a decent deterrent.
So I'm saying that the risk is good for the game in my opinion, without it the gameplay's a bit stale.


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stevenmarky    369
Quote:
Original post by H4L
Quote:
better to allow and punish than not allow at all


I completely disagree. Why not give each player an "I win" button that will kill any boss when triggered, but ban a player if he's ever caught using it? Yes, that's a straw-man example, but it demonstrates that you have to draw the line somewhere. If punishment is there to prevent players from committing an act then why not disallow them from performing it in the first place? If you don't want to prevent such acts, then why punish players who do them?


Because we do want people to kill people (because it's great fun, among other reasons).
However we don't want it to happen too often, thus the punishment.
Allowing continuous pk without punishment would de-value the act of killing and destroy how enjoyable the game is for many people.

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parahelios    122
The biggest problem I have with no-restriction PvP is that, no matter how immersive or fun you make gameplay, people reach points where they just don't care anymore. There was an MMO, Earth and Beyond, in which you could enter an "instance" to kill a bunch of big baddies for very good loot. I knew a guy in game who after a while got bored with it, and so one day just took all the items from one of the bosses.

Yep, he ninja'd, and people wouldn't let him do it again. But that didn't matter to him at all, because he just didn't care anymore. For those people, there is no consequence you can use to deter them - the only prevention is to just stop the ability to do so in the first place.

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stevenmarky    369
I don't really know how what you said immediately relates to player killing parahelios, but people being d**ks is one more reason to allow pk'ing :)

Restricting players is generally not the way to go in my opinion.

I'll elaborate more on what I said in my previous post because I find it interesting.

There is a correlation between punishment of killing, punishment of dying, reward for killing; and rate of killing.

Examples:
In WOW there is no punishment for killing and a very small punishment for dying so there is a high rate of pvp between horde and alliance.

In Lineage II there is high punishment for killing and high punishment for dying so there is a relativly low kill rate/pvp rate between players. The main reason for killing someone is the clan they are in and is usually a kill-or-be-killed response BECAUSE the punishment of DYING is high.

In EVE Online there is a high punishment for killing and a high punishment for dying (higher than L2 even perhaps) however due to the high reward for killing there is a fair number of players who do it :)

I know these three* criteria that effect the rate of pk'ing is fairly subjective, but there is a definite correlation that you should think about when designing the relevant aspects of your game.

Edit: I think games where there is a high reward for killing and high punishment for dying are the ones considered 'hardcore' and favored by a smaller amount of more dedicated players. Note that the punishments and rewards I'm talking about may not be actual mechanics in the game, for example there is a small advantage for killing someone in Lineage II if they are hunting in the best spot and refuse to move. Adding pvp to a game creates a lot of synergy.

* = I realise these are actually only two criteria.

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Speeder    150
I played Ultima Online and I even worked on a free server.

In Ultima Online, before the last updates that made the game suck, you were allowed to kill anyone anywhere...

But if you attack a inocent inside a city, you will get flagged "criminal" for some time, and any witnesses (player or not) could call the guards on you (that after getting beaten by players using the game unbalancing weapons that was introduced to make par to the standard hack'n'slash games, got the ability to kill instantly any player).

If you kill someone, this killed person can report you as PK, after some reports, you are flagged as PK, and for each report got after getting flagged, your countdown to lose the flag increased in 40 hours.

The result at this time was that road bandits apeared, people that really wanted to be flagged as PK, that wanted to gather goods from player traveling, and that wanted to be banned on all cities but on a single city where there are no guards.

So, innocent players that wanted to travel between cities without magic (at this time in the game, quite rare), needed to hire mercenaries to protect them, making the game fun and intersting.

Then the expansions came, with some non-pvp maps, that became crowded, while the original map became empty, with more unbalancing itens, that you can only get in the non-pvp maps (you can transport them later to the pvp map) and the result was that the game became pure hack'n'slash, players stopped creating other types of character than the ones that can fight (you altought now useless, can create blacksmiths, cooks, bards, miners, lumberjacks, farmers, carpenters... until this time the game remembered a "medieval Second Life") to create mages (to travel without using roads and to kill bosses), create tankmages PK chars, that are used only for PvP using the itens gathered by the other chars of the same player, and the other common type of classes (warriors, paladins, necros)

As you see, restricting the pvp, turned the game in something plainly stupid, maybe this is the motive that just after getting the AoS expansion launched, 100.000 players quit.

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parahelios    122
Quote:
Original post by stevenmarky
I don't really know how what you said immediately relates to player killing parahelios, but people being d**ks is one more reason to allow pk'ing :)

Restricting players is generally not the way to go in my opinion.

<snip>


Sorry, the point I was getting at was that the goal in designing a good PvP / PK system is that you want to encourage fair/fun/interesting fighting and giving depth to gameplay, while limiting PK'ng just to, as you said, be a d**k :)

And as I said, the problem is that for certain people, and after a certain time, there is no penalty you can have that will stop the latter. Granted, this is the edge you are going for with such a combat system, but its just hard to weigh that against people who are new, aren't interested in being open to combat -all- the time (after all, while I could get mugged or killed walking to my house from Subway, the chances are incredibly slim), and the people who just like to grief using any mechanic available to them.

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