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Delphinus

PKing in MMORPGs - Non-linear

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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