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Author Topic: Random PvP ideas  (Read 35649 times)
pxib
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Reply #105 on: June 17, 2011, 09:59:06 PM

This thread is about rules/implementation of open PvP settings. Think of it as build up/tear down kind of gameplay, if you just tear things down without building them up first you are not part of genre.
Well that's easy then. Just stop trying to appeal to anybody who isn't interested in kicking other peoples' sandcastles.

Make it clear in all the promotional material that unless you get a special thrill when you destroy something that another person cares about, this game really isn't for you. Unless you're willing to see your own sandcastles kicked, pissed upon, and mocked just on the whisper of a promise that one day you'll get that special thrill yourself... unless that thrill drives you to the point that you come to relish the fear and anxiety that risky sandcastle building brings, you should probably leave your money in your pocket and walk away.

Then accept that only a few hundred people will play the game on a regular basis so it won't make money unless it has a budget of less than $10,000 and can be updated and maintained by one or two people in their off time while they maintain regular jobs. Try to imagine how unpopular Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress would be if random assholes (with better gear, more sophisticated skills, and a vested interest in exploiting every bug the software provides) could come into your game and wreck your shit.

Figuring how to make an MMO anybody will want to play when you only have $10,000 is a much bigger challenge than coming up with a specific ruleset that will appeal to the sandcastle kickers. They're just in it for the thrill.

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Pascal
sinij
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Reply #106 on: June 17, 2011, 10:15:46 PM

This thread is about a) how do you design engaging PvP ruleset b) how do you correctly integrate it into your mmorpg. I mis-spoke when I stated "open PvP ruleset", I think in terms of "open PvP" and personally prefer and play open PvP mmorpgs, but that doesn't mean you can't integrate my PvP ideas into your Plain Vanilla DIKU. It will be harder, because many fundamental DIKU designs contradict PvP goals, but you can always settle on 'decent' instead of aiming for 'perfect'. PvP is PvP regardless of how and when it happens. Style of mmorpg is just a setting. As Malakili pointed out, mmorpg-style PvP can and does happen outside what I'd call traditional mmorpg settings. For example GW has decent mmorpg-style PvP, but I wouldn't even call GW a mmorpg!

Please don't try to drag the thread into different direction. I am more than willing to debate you on viability of open PvP mmorpgs, but such discussion is outside of the scope of this thread.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 10:48:30 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
pxib
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Reply #107 on: June 18, 2011, 12:03:41 AM

Allrighty, let's simplify:
1) Even playing field. (This is included in "Skill based".)
2) Skill based.
3) Slow, thoughtful action rather than twitch.
4) Limit focus fire. (Required by the lack of forced grouping and the slow, thoughtful action.)
5) Meaningful objectives.
6) Meaningful logistics. (Truly meaningful objectives include logistics.)
7) Limit the severity of losses.
8) Many small armies rather than a few huge ones.
9) Don’t instance.
10) No forced grouping.
11) Segregate PvP+ and PvP-. (Ideally into separate games. Problem solved.)
12) Death shouldn't overly delay fighting. (Part of limiting loss severity.)
13) Everyone should be able to contribute to the war effort from the moment they pick up the game.

Then I'll bunch up 2 and 3 into: Slow, skill based combat.
5, 7 and 13 become: A constant struggle for meaningful objectives.
8, 9, and 10: Unpredictable skirmishes between an array of shifting factions.

Horizontal rather than vertical character advancement with guild-based objectives operating as a "build up and tear down" framework within an open world.

That's the basics you want to work from?

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Pascal
Sheepherder
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Reply #108 on: June 18, 2011, 12:55:51 AM

Can you expand on your point a bit? It's hard to know what you mean from 3 words and a link.
But the really bad ones, players that are primarily there to grief, I think would be ostracized.

I guess you haven't heard of Something Awful and/or goons before.  Try and meet up with them ingame in EVE and see if you can get an invite to their guild.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 01:04:05 AM by Sheepherder »
Malakili
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Reply #109 on: June 18, 2011, 07:33:57 AM

Allrighty, let's simplify:
1) Even playing field. (This is included in "Skill based".)
2) Skill based.
3) Slow, thoughtful action rather than twitch.
4) Limit focus fire. (Required by the lack of forced grouping and the slow, thoughtful action.)
5) Meaningful objectives.
6) Meaningful logistics. (Truly meaningful objectives include logistics.)
7) Limit the severity of losses.
8) Many small armies rather than a few huge ones.
9) Don’t instance.
10) No forced grouping.
11) Segregate PvP+ and PvP-. (Ideally into separate games. Problem solved.)
12) Death shouldn't overly delay fighting. (Part of limiting loss severity.)
13) Everyone should be able to contribute to the war effort from the moment they pick up the game.

Then I'll bunch up 2 and 3 into: Slow, skill based combat.
5, 7 and 13 become: A constant struggle for meaningful objectives.
8, 9, and 10: Unpredictable skirmishes between an array of shifting factions.

Horizontal rather than vertical character advancement with guild-based objectives operating as a "build up and tear down" framework within an open world.

That's the basics you want to work from?

OK, I'll bite again even though I said I was done.  I think the new number three contains a really important word that needs to be discussed "unpredictable."  I think there is an extremely fine line here.  On the one hand, unpredictability is needed in the struggle for meaningful objective (surprise attacks, etc).  On the other hand, I think the day to day experience of the game DOES need to be predictable.  For example, when I was playing Darkfall for a while (a game which I think was a fairly decent implementation of PvP), some days there just wouldn't be anything interesting going on.  Thats why I ultimately stopped playing.  At its best, the game was quite fantastic, but it didn't consistently hit that note, and that is something that I think MMO PvP like we are talking about needs to address.
sinij
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Reply #110 on: June 18, 2011, 01:55:17 PM

1) Even playing field. (This is included in "Skill based".)

If we deal with any kind of character advancement and loot system advancement you can have skill based at the top of competition and power gap at the bottom. Idea behind "even playing field" is that even new players should be able to contribute in some way.

Quote
4) Limit focus fire. (Required by the lack of forced grouping and the slow, thoughtful action.)

Not necessary. You can have player aim thier ranged abilities, this isn't popular choice but focus fire becomes difficult due to friendly fire and line of sight issues. If you have tab-based targeting, then you need to give players enough "outs" so when they are getting focus fired they can get out alive once or twice.

Quote
6) Meaningful logistics. (Truly meaningful objectives include logistics.)

I very much agree that logistics need to play a role, unfortunately when you get down to your typical player they don't want to have anything to do with planning and execution, they just want to pew-pew. I think you need to be careful in implementing logistics to not design small scale skirmish PvP out of the game. Also keep in mind that higher your 'gring'/'PvP' ratio, less players will be willing to PvP.

Quote
11) Segregate PvP+ and PvP-. (Ideally into separate games. Problem solved.)

Not necessary, just like your traditional PvE games (e.g. WoW) instanced away PvP your PvP game can instance away PvE. Scope of "Segregate PvP+ and PvP-" is very limited, just don't have PvE- players around PvP+ fights. Rest of your game can be as hardcore or as carebear as you want to.


Quote
Horizontal rather than vertical character advancement with guild-based objectives operating as a "build up and tear down" framework within an open world.

Can't agree more.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
pxib
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Reply #111 on: June 18, 2011, 03:10:45 PM

I'll take them point by point without Sir Brucing:

Why include a power gap at all? Players generally seem upset when they find out that the game they started playing turns out to be different than the endgame. Vertical character and loot enhancement is precisely what I thought you were trying to avoid. Yes, the roles of starting players will necessarily be different from the roles of experienced ones... but what the starting players do should be teaching them the basics of their later tasks. For the same reason, I think it's ill advised to try to jam PvP+ and PvP- folks into the same environment: Everybody should be playing the same game.

I think you have it backwards on logistics. They are precisely what implements small scale skirmish PvP. The large scale stuff is at the objectives, the small stuff runs back and forth between them. You'll get more variety of pew pew wandering the roads hijacking shipments than you will manning the battlements or laying seige.

Focus fire exists because players are usually 100% healthy and effective until their last hitpoint is gone, and healers can restore hitpoints to full in a matter of seconds. "Everybody shoot that one guy" only exists in that bizzare sort of environment. It is the opposite of slow, thoughtful action. It also makes ungrouped players practically useless, since they have to kill someone in less time than a whole team can kill them or they have had no effect at all. The long range glass cannons and stealth based insta-kill classes that has produced are cures worse than the disease.

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Pascal
sinij
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Reply #112 on: June 18, 2011, 04:51:26 PM

Quote
Focus fire exists because players are usually 100% healthy and effective until their last hitpoint is gone, and healers can restore hitpoints to full in a matter of seconds.

This is actually very good point. How do you see reducing effectiveness would work? Doing less damage? Longer cooldowns? Move slower?

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pxib
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Reply #113 on: June 18, 2011, 06:41:43 PM

In terms of basic focus fire mitigation, I liked the idea of lowering melee damage the more melee are engaged with a single target (they can't get a good swing all crammed together like that) and frequently interrupting long range attacks when friendly melee is engaged with the same target ("You might hit [whomever]!")

More important than that, however, I'd like to see more things that make characters less effective without actually killing them. Most of that is about making healing difficult and slow, especially the removal of debuffs. A player stuck at half health and crippled for several minutes is going to have to be extra careful and focus on less strenuous combat roles. A single player can charge a group and debuff three people, for which she sacrifices her life, because that little bit of extra difficulty will make their whole group less effective when the rest of the ambush springs. In a PvP game, "Ha, I'll bet they WISH they were dead" is a feeling that fits right in with the sandcastle kicking mentality. What's more heroic than limping, bleeding and half-blind, into a last stand against an equally battered enemy? At some point even a costly but successful retreat becomes a win.

In PvE, where killing is just pushing the paddle for the next treat, anything that retards or interrupts the flow is a tedious annoyance. In order to slow things down and up tactical consideration, however, it's important that damage matter. If people just want to kneel behind a wall for five seconds they can play Gears of War.

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Pascal
sinij
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Reply #114 on: June 18, 2011, 07:07:37 PM

Alright, but what about "just dying" to wipe debuffs then jumping "fresh" into the fight? Also are you advocating heal-free PvP model?

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Malakili
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Reply #115 on: June 18, 2011, 07:09:38 PM

In terms of basic focus fire mitigation, I liked the idea of lowering melee damage the more melee are engaged with a single target (they can't get a good swing all crammed together like that) and frequently interrupting long range attacks when friendly melee is engaged with the same target ("You might hit [whomever]!")

More important than that, however, I'd like to see more things that make characters less effective without actually killing them. Most of that is about making healing difficult and slow, especially the removal of debuffs. A player stuck at half health and crippled for several minutes is going to have to be extra careful and focus on less strenuous combat roles. A single player can charge a group and debuff three people, for which she sacrifices her life, because that little bit of extra difficulty will make their whole group less effective when the rest of the ambush springs. In a PvP game, "Ha, I'll bet they WISH they were dead" is a feeling that fits right in with the sandcastle kicking mentality. What's more heroic than limping, bleeding and half-blind, into a last stand against an equally battered enemy? At some point even a costly but successful retreat becomes a win.

In PvE, where killing is just pushing the paddle for the next treat, anything that retards or interrupts the flow is a tedious annoyance. In order to slow things down and up tactical consideration, however, it's important that damage matter. If people just want to kneel behind a wall for five seconds they can play Gears of War.

I'll tout WW2 Online again then, you've got a stamina meter that controls how much you can do things like sprint.  If you get shot (and it doesn't kill you) your stamina only regenerates to half way, making you a TON less mobile.   Again a lot of the mechanics you are guys are talking about sound like they'd work better outside an RPG setting though.  Limping around in an RPG (aka being snared) feels extremely shitty and unfun most of the time especially because your abilities all have a relatively short range.  If I get shot in WW2O and I can't effectivelymove anymore, I can at least hide in a bush and see if I can get some kills or defend that way.  In an RPG that seems less viable to me.

sinij
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Reply #116 on: June 18, 2011, 07:28:28 PM

I think that with doing enough damage "you might as well killed them, but they still can somewhat walk" is interesting idea. We typically see 0-100% health, where at 0% you "die" and anything else you "alive". Maybe adding more states, like "injured", "almost dead" with some hassle (resurrect-like) isn't such a bad idea. This doesn't even require altering how healing works, just make transitioning back to lesser damaging states cannot be easily done in combat.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 07:30:43 PM by sinij »

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pxib
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Reply #117 on: June 18, 2011, 07:32:53 PM

Limping around in an RPG (aka being snared) feels extremely shitty and unfun most of the time especially because your abilities all have a relatively short range.
Then it doesn't have to be limping, it could be an increase in cooldowns or activation costs. Or, like WW2O, a decrease the size of a stamina or mana bar. The point isn't the specific method, it's the principle. Similarly I don't care if PvP is "heal-free" so much as I care that healing be designed differently than it is for the Fighting Elite Monsters model. Perhaps every player has some kinds of activated abilities which reduce or evade damage in combat, and then actual slow, involved healing abilities to use in safety afterwards. I just don't think it should be automatic.

I absolutely approve of jumping "fresh" into the fight when you die, but there should be costs to that as well. There might be a "rez sickness" debuff, and maybe the more deaths you suffer within a particular time period, the more debilitating it becomes. Alternately, you might have to temporarily rez as a different character, or (as I brainstormed upthread) the PC equivalent of a trash mob. Zero consequence deaths don't mesh well with persistance, especially in a world of sandcastle kickers.

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Pascal
Pantastic
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Reply #118 on: June 21, 2011, 01:19:00 PM

I guess you haven't heard of Something Awful and/or goons before.  Try and meet up with them ingame in EVE and see if you can get an invite to their guild.

I'll take mercy on CadetUmfer here. SomethingAwful is a comedy website with some really active forums, and the forum posters there call themselves the 'forum goons'. Some of them game a lot, and form guilds in various games based around being on the SA forums, these guilds usually have some variation of 'goon' in the name. They are known for being extremely fond of griefing other players when they can. In WOW, the Malganis server was around 90% horde for a while because the horde-side goon guild would attack and corpse camp so much that Alliance basically abandoned the server. In EVE, aside from ordinary stuff like ganking people, they routinely invite new players to their corp so that they can rob and kill them more easily.

They demonstrate conclusively that 'griefers will be ostracized' doesn't actually happen in real games - they simply show up with their own community and start collecting tears. There are other griefer communities out there, but they're the best known since they're large enough to mess with a WOW server population or control large chunks of EVE space.
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Reply #119 on: June 21, 2011, 05:35:26 PM

The best decision any developer could do is invite Goons to alpha and beta their game then preemptively ban them from live. You have to understand than for such players griefing is end game, and they are not shy about organizing around it, like your large raiding guild would.

Sadly this is not well understood by developers or gamers, and frequently method of delivery (be it PvP, commerce... you name it) gets bad reputation, not the people behind it. Ask your typical UO vet, they will rant and rave that open PvP was root of all evil, when in reality it was nothing more but delivery mechanism.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 05:38:22 PM by sinij »

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Reply #120 on: June 21, 2011, 07:38:59 PM

If your first and last solution to griefing is to manually ban griefers, you need to continually dedicate resources to policing and you need to deal with users who are unhappy about being banned arbitrarily.  It is not a solution that scales well.

If you design a building and it falls down, you don't get to say "oh, it wasn't my design's fault, it would have been fine if there wasn't any stupid GRAVITY."  Griefers are an inevitable part of any massively multiplayer game.  Plan for them.

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Pantastic
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Reply #121 on: June 21, 2011, 09:28:21 PM

Why would you want to build a game, then turn away hundreds (maybe thousands) of subscriptions from enthusiastic players before it even releases? You're not going to get rid of griefers that way, hell you probably won't even get rid of the goons (it's not hard to use a fake name and proxy service to create an account). BTW, the goons are big on griefing people within game systems, but as far as I've ever heard they don't have any more association with hacks and other cheating than any other large group. Killing and camping on WOW PVP servers is what those servers were made for, and scamming people in EVE is actively encouraged by the developers. Some people get confused because a lot of encouraged Eve behavior is bannable in other games.
sinij
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Reply #122 on: June 22, 2011, 04:27:30 PM

Griefers are an inevitable part of any massively multiplayer game.

I 100% agree, you can't design system that can read intent, don't even try it, and you don't have resources to truly police your game with humans that can understand intent. This is interesting sub-topic, if you create separate thread about it I'd gladly share my opinions.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 04:30:57 PM by sinij »

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sinij
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Reply #123 on: June 22, 2011, 04:29:51 PM

Why would you want to build a game, then turn away hundreds (maybe thousands) of subscriptions from enthusiastic players before it even releases? You're not going to get rid of griefers that way, hell you probably won't even get rid of the goons (it's not hard to use a fake name and proxy service to create an account).

If you can easily identify griefers (i.e. bunch of them are dumb enough to all play under one tag) there is absolutely no reason not to get rid of them. Whatever they bring in revenue is by far offset by damage they do to your title.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
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Reply #124 on: June 23, 2011, 09:07:42 AM

Thanks Pantastic.

What I was really asking Sheepherer is, if I can simply tag you as neutral (or, not tag you as enemy), how you can possibly grief me? This isn't WoW, where you pick a side and now you can be attacked by anyone not on that side, or EVE where the only sides are what the players decide. This is a dynamic system based on social connections between players. If I have no social connection with a Goon, they cannot attack me. The absolute worst thing that could happen here is to unknowingly decide to be enemies with a Goon, or friends with enemies of a Goon, get jumped by them, then switch my status back and never think about it again.

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Pantastic
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Reply #125 on: June 23, 2011, 09:08:37 AM

If you can easily identify griefers (i.e. bunch of them are dumb enough to all play under one tag) there is absolutely no reason not to get rid of them. Whatever they bring in revenue is by far offset by damage they do to your title.

If you make a server where everyone is involuntarily flagged for PVP all the time, how on earth does it make sense to ban people who join the game with the intent of pummeling the opposite faction? Why are you bothering to create PVP servers if you're just going to ban anyone who's focus is on playing PVP and who's plan is to engage in the unique gameplay that type of server offers? If you're building a big PVP 'trust no one' game where there's danger from every mysterious stranger, but preemtively axing any strangers who might be a danger, you're working against yourself.

From all that I've read about them, the Goons just aggressively PVP within the rules of the game they get into, for example I've never heard of them scamming people in WOW (where it's against the rules), just in EVE (where it's actively encouraged by the developers and considered a feature of the game by players).
tazelbain
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Reply #126 on: June 23, 2011, 10:18:09 AM

Penny Arcade had a bunch of exploiters in it in WAR.  Good luck with your guilt be association banning strategy. Truth is you have an axe to grind the the Goons.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 01:31:00 PM by tazelbain »

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Sheepherder
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Reply #127 on: June 23, 2011, 12:24:33 PM

If I have no social connection with a Goon, they cannot attack me. The absolute worst thing that could happen here is to unknowingly decide to be enemies with a Goon, or friends with enemies of a Goon, get jumped by them, then switch my status back and never think about it again.

If you have no transparency in your social connections and their implications they'll be in trade chat paying dozens of your enemies to friend them, and dozens of your friends to enemy them, so that you cannot establish which one is the offender.  If you do have transparency in your social connections (a little social connection flow chart, for example) they'll datamine it to find all of your friends and enemies, and then declare war on you through obfuscated chains of social connections, like six friends of friends of yours being the enemies of a friend of a friend of an enemy of a friend of of an enemy of a goon mule character who isn't actually in their guild so it is not readily apparent that you've declared war on the goons.  Granted, if an enemy of an enemy is not implicitly a friend you have to remove two connections there, but I think you probably get the gist.
pxib
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Reply #128 on: June 23, 2011, 12:54:06 PM

If their fun in the game is fucking with you, it is hard to underestimate the lengths they will go to in order to fuck with you. The more upset you get when they fuck with you (for example, the harder you try not to get fucked with) the more fun it is. If you abandon the friend/enemy lists alltogether, they win and get to fuck with somebody else. They do not care about time or money, only tears.

The only way to beat the griefers is to make the game more rewarding than the grief. You cannot depend upon your players to ignore them until they go away.

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Pascal
sinij
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Reply #129 on: June 25, 2011, 12:11:21 PM

If you can easily identify griefers (i.e. bunch of them are dumb enough to all play under one tag) there is absolutely no reason not to get rid of them. Whatever they bring in revenue is by far offset by damage they do to your title.
off-topic stuff

Again, this topic has nothing to do with PvP rules discussion. Start your "how to combat griefers" thread if you want to continue discussion.

Can I please get a moderator to den/politics off-topic stuff? Thank you.

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sinij
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Reply #130 on: June 25, 2011, 12:18:00 PM

The only way to beat the griefers is to make the game more rewarding than the grief. You cannot depend upon your players to ignore them until they go away.

I disagree. There is nothing more rewarding to griefers than cause grief. Please start new thread to continue this discussion.

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sinij
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Reply #131 on: June 25, 2011, 12:25:45 PM

I think that with doing enough damage "you might as well killed them, but they still can somewhat walk" is interesting idea. We typically see 0-100% health, where at 0% you "die" and anything else you "alive". Maybe adding more states, like "injured", "almost dead" with some hassle (resurrect-like) isn't such a bad idea. This doesn't even require altering how healing works, just make transitioning back to lesser damaging states cannot be easily done in combat.

I think this is interesting idea that deserves more attention.

Way I see it works (lets assume generic healing model) is that your character has multiple "dead" stages - Injured, Gravely Injured, Nearly Dead, Dead. Once you drop past % of your total health (stay below x% for y seconds) your total health is reduced, you gain set of debuffs and cannot be practically healed up while still in combat. At the same time, out of combat recovery should be fairly trivial.

With this model you can give players lots of self-healing abilities without turning PvP into unending healing or 1-shots. You can also use this model to limit focus-fire, that is automatically trigger damage cap/reduction if player drops 2 states within X seconds, making it much harder, but not impossible, to drop someone 100-0. Additionally add "dead countdown", giving players 1-2 moves before they finally drop dead.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 12:33:17 PM by sinij »

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Malakili
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Reply #132 on: June 25, 2011, 01:13:15 PM

I think that with doing enough damage "you might as well killed them, but they still can somewhat walk" is interesting idea. We typically see 0-100% health, where at 0% you "die" and anything else you "alive". Maybe adding more states, like "injured", "almost dead" with some hassle (resurrect-like) isn't such a bad idea. This doesn't even require altering how healing works, just make transitioning back to lesser damaging states cannot be easily done in combat.

I think this is interesting idea that deserves more attention.

Way I see it works (lets assume generic healing model) is that your character has multiple "dead" stages - Injured, Gravely Injured, Nearly Dead, Dead. Once you drop past % of your total health (stay below x% for y seconds) your total health is reduced, you gain set of debuffs and cannot be practically healed up while still in combat. At the same time, out of combat recovery should be fairly trivial.

With this model you can give players lots of self-healing abilities without turning PvP into unending healing or 1-shots. You can also use this model to limit focus-fire, that is automatically trigger damage cap/reduction if player drops 2 states within X seconds, making it much harder, but not impossible, to drop someone 100-0. Additionally add "dead countdown", giving players 1-2 moves before they finally drop dead.

The problem with this is that it sounds incredibly contrived and complicated and frankly...not all that fun in practice.  You would also need a way to judge that state of a lot of people very quickly.  This could probably be overcome with some good design/ui decisions, but I don't think it would be trivial.  Still, I'm finding it hard to participate in this discussion very much because I think most of my design ideas for a PvP MMO are incompatible with what you are trying to tease out, and you've already asked people to stop when they've done that.
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Reply #133 on: June 26, 2011, 01:21:38 AM

Again, this topic has nothing to do with PvP rules discussion. Start your "how to combat griefers" thread if you want to continue discussion.

Can I please get a moderator to den/politics off-topic stuff? Thank you.

You made a statement that you think a PVP game developer should preemptively ban goons from their game, I responded directly to it mostly asking 'why would you do that', and now you're complaining that my questioning your declaration is off-topic for the thread? If you don't want a topic to turn up in a thread, you probably shouldn't bring the topic up yourself.
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #134 on: June 29, 2011, 11:09:16 AM

Heroes and followers, permadeath idea

We had this in wurm. We have recently had to temper them greatly because in practice they were never used. They became coveted toon alts that were stowed away until the side they were on had no way of loosing ( Thus zero risk of loosing them, because in wurm it can take months even years of play to get the option to convert ).

Currently, they now have requirements to gain a certain number of kills and points or they will De-Champ. This was an attempt to get them out on the field or loose the status. It has resulted in less of them over all. Jury is still out however if a balance has been found.

Of course the player base hated all of the change.

Reference link.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 11:11:59 AM by Mrbloodworth »

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Malakili
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Reply #135 on: June 29, 2011, 12:05:38 PM

Another thing to keep in mind is that it usually takes WAY long to "build" something than it does to destroy it. People hate spending hour and hours and hours and then being able to lose it in an afternoon.  I think evening out the time to gain and time to lose something would go a long way to helping make these games more "casual" friendly.  I think think erring on the side of short intervals instead of long ones is better.  When it takes a guild 3 months to build up their city and they can lose it in a day, thats problematic.  But you can't realistically make it take 3 months to take over a city either.  If it takes someone 20 hours to collect a set of gear, and then can lose in 5 seconds with one mental breakdown/mistake, thats also problematic.  I think making gains and losses much more frequent is a better approach.  I'd even be in favor of elimating gear gain/loss from PvP games in general, but thats almost a different discussion.  

Something like WW2O does this well.  

Towns are fought over.  They change hands regularly, sometimes several times a day for a single town if its an especially hot spot/important choke point on the map.  There is lot of action on the map even with a relatively low population game like that.  Make no mistake, which towns you own is vital to your success as a side, but the fact that they can be gained and lost in the order of hours makes it so that no single loss is devastating, and there is always another important and fun battle to jump into immediately.  At the same time, there are the long term goals of taking over areas of the map that give you several small towns from which to launch attacks on a major city etc, so there is a strategic aspect to it all as well.

I think this is far closer to the kind of game that would have the potential to be a popular PvP MMO title, if the gameplay was done in a more action oriented way.

I'm not sure how we could manage this while retaining a lot of RPG elements though.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 12:09:34 PM by Malakili »
sinij
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WWW
Reply #136 on: June 29, 2011, 12:43:10 PM

Thus zero risk of loosing them, because in wurm it can take months even years of play to get the option to convert.

Here is your #1 problem. "Months even years" is personal effort, when it should be GUILD/GROUP effort and GUILD/GROUP tool and GUILD/GROUP risk. By distributing risk you minimize backlash to any given player when they lose. Losing your own hero is inevitably quit-the-game sucks, losing guild hero (1/100th is yours) is not as big of a deal. Heroes should be expensive, but not in personal time. Plus reading your link it isn't clear what benefits such hero would provide to the group. If you make personally powerful character it will never get used (will be seen as expensive toy), if you make character that makes GROUP more powerful it will get used all the time.

Quote
Currently, they now have requirements to gain a certain number of kills and points or they will De-Champ. This was an attempt to get them out on the field or loose the status.

Consider trying carrot instead of stick. Make "getting kills" more desirable. Also add some very visible "e-peen" list, maybe right on your front page, to showcase top-10 list for bragging rights. I personally dislike "time decay" approach, it ties you to the game too much (what about vacations, business travel, RL emergencies? please don't turn your game into a job).

I never heard about Wurm, but send me PM if you want my feedback on it. Is it open PvP?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 12:54:08 PM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Mrbloodworth
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Reply #137 on: June 29, 2011, 12:47:13 PM

I never said it was not a problem, quite sure we have many more than that :) I was simply adding some real info to the conversation.

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sinij
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Reply #138 on: June 29, 2011, 12:50:37 PM

Understood and appreciated. I think I need to emphasize "GROUP" aspect of it more strongly... maybe re-write of 2007 idea is due.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
pxib
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Reply #139 on: June 29, 2011, 03:48:29 PM

Another thing to keep in mind is that it usually takes WAY long to "build" something than it does to destroy it. People hate spending hour and hours and hours and then being able to lose it in an afternoon.  I think evening out the time to gain and time to lose something would go a long way to helping make these games more "casual" friendly.  I think think erring on the side of short intervals instead of long ones is better.
It could be arranged like a RTS build order or tech tree: As a guild "levels up" they gain access to more and more types of buildings and upgrades, but those buildings and upgrades can never be built until their pre-requisites are constructed in the current outpost. The long, hard "leveling" work is done defending outposts built of the basic structures your guild already has... but outposts themselves are roughly as quick to construct as they are to destroy.

A "higher level" outpost has a longer and more complicated sequence of construction, but its upgraded defenses make it slower and more complicated to dismantle. Or whatever. There could even be different "classes" and "builds" of outposts which would level seperately.


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