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Current State of Theft

DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

Ok, before I begin I'd like to go ahead and admit that I am still relatively new to the Serpent class. I have however been experimenting with Pickpocketing quite a bit lately. To be frank, I find the theft ability as is quite disappointing. I've heard all the old stories about how theft used to be, and how griefy it could be. But I think the current system is too far to the opposite side. I want to make it clear that I am not calling for an all out change to old ways. But I'd like to see an open discussion about how things could possibly be changed to achieve a balance. I realize that people don't like losing possessions or earned coin, but in a living breathing fantasy world, that's part of the risk you take. As it stands right now, the only things it's really possible to get are amounts of gold 5k or lower, sigils, and letters.

With how things are now, theft is not only easily avoidable, but almost impossible to pull off a good, significant theft. You've got bell tattoo that warns you as soon as someone looks at your possessions (Countered by Mesmerise, a skill you don't get until you are completely transed in hypnosis vs Bell a skill about 182 or 183 lessons into tattoos) and Selfishness (Can be stripped, if you know the pickpocket timing). Two perfectly good skills to help prevent theft.

Now, consider I have a target who has sigils and letters in their inventory, but no gold. I've done this multiple times since I started thieving. I'll drop the selfishness, time it perfectly, and still get told they have nothing of value. They have journals, backpacks, books, all sorts of stuff but "They have nothing of value." Targetting pickpocket does it exist, and it's supposed to have a chance of success. However, I have continously tried targetted pickpocket (Including with Mesmerise), and have never succeeded a single time. It has been every single time an immediate "You are discovered." mesage. The Admin who handles Issue Me's has even said that the chances are currently very, very slim to even accomplish a targetted pickpocket. So I'm thinking we need to increase the success possibility of this so that there actually is a chance of pickpocketing an actually significant item or items.

I'm not suggesting we go back to the old means of theft by any means, but I would like to see an open discussion about how it is now. I'd also like to see other ideas that could possibly improve it without making it imbalanced in either direction. Being a victim of theft does suck, yes, but it's part of the risk of being in an open and player inhabited world such as Achaea.

NaverreStrataAlcinaeSaibelUlrike
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Comments

  • StrataStrata United States of DerpMember Posts: 1,753 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited July 2014
    The chances of targeted pickpocket were so low it was near impossible to pull off even with mesmerise. Then they adjusted it and it seemed to be around 50/50. Then they nerfed it again, presumably because of certain expensive items (like 100's of credits worth) being stolen. With pretty much every house having a detailed anti-theft scroll and testing done as part of early novice requirements, I don't see why targeted pickpocket should be so unsuccessful.

    Recently, my character was hired by an occultist to steal a book from someone that had gained possession of said book illegally. Knowing that targeted pickpocket is essentially impossible, the "theft" had to be arranged OOCly, and then role-played out as if I had succeeded in stealing the item. I still tried a targeted pickpocket of the book (it failed, as expected) for the sake of RP flair. But seriously? Mesmerise is the trans ability in subterfuge hypnosis and its only uses are for shit that works 0.0000000001% of the time. Total waste.

    As for untargeted pickpocket - it's not old theft but there's still quite a bit of gold to be made if you know whom to hit and when to hit them. I would still like to see more items accessible to theft and much less "They have nothing of value" when you appraise them and they have 500 monolith sigils in their inventory.

    image
    DatriusSiduriShirszaeAlcinae
  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

    Agreed, Strata. That's all I'd like to see is thefts that are actually able to have an affect on things.

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsAdministrator Posts: 2,470 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Hrrm, no intentional changes since we increased the chances of success dramatically a few months back. Will take a look into it when time allows!
  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

    Appreciated @Tecton. Because it's never succeeded, no matter how many times I've tried.

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsAdministrator Posts: 2,470 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Datrius said:

    Appreciated @Tecton. Because it's never succeeded, no matter how many times I've tried.

    Are you using mesmerise?

  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited July 2014

    Tecton said:

    Datrius said:

    Appreciated @Tecton. Because it's never succeeded, no matter how many times I've tried.

    Are you using mesmerise?

    Yes. I've tried both with and without mesmerise. It has always been an immediate "You are discovered." message.

    I just tried it again and finally had a success. Felt I should include that.

  • SantarSantar Member Posts: 2,382 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited July 2014

    I've never had item pickpocket work in its current incarnation.


    I haven't tried it too much, mainly because in all the times I -have- tried, it failed.

    image

    Daeir
  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean

    Also @Tecton Any chance we could get the cool down requirement after a failed targetted pickpocket on a person put into the Ab file? I think it's like ten or so minutes, maybe less?

  • HeroseHerose Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 89 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    I had it work a few times.   Although, if anyone is even remotely trying to prevent it you can't do it.

    - They can't have vigilance up

    - You need to mesmerize them

    - They cannot be wearing the item.  I wish this was changed to they can't be wearing it when you finish the pickpocket rather than start it.

    - They cannot have the item in any container.

    - You need to not fail the pickpocket on the -first- attempt.  This assumes they have selfishness up and you need to drop it.

    It is -impossible- to target pickpocket from anyone who takes the time to protect themself.

    StrataSaibel
  • StrataStrata United States of DerpMember Posts: 1,753 @ - Epic Achaean
    As we progress further into the land of cupcakes and unicorns, I don't really see theft getting more lucrative. If anything, most theft victims would try to call the OOC police on you if they could.

    image
  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited July 2014
    There are several ways to avoid that, @Seftin Why not put in a hard coded limit like there is with the Bloodlines? Someone is not eligible to be stolen from until they are 21. May not make a ton of sense in character wise, but it would also give characters enough time to get established and learn how things are or what to do before they become eligible theft targets.

  • SeftinSeftin Member Posts: 923 @ - Epic Achaean
    Datrius said:
    There are several ways to avoid that, @Seftin Why not put in a hard coded limit like there is with the Bloodlines? Someone is not eligible to be stolen from until they are 21. May not make a ton of sense in character wise, but it would also give characters enough time to get established and learn how things are or what to do before they become eligible theft targets.

    They had this similarly before level 30 I believe - still people got griefed via old theft. In my opinion, theft should be a factor in the game, but as more of a minor than a major thing, and I believe that pickpocket does just that - it's not a major factor like before, and I guess, sadly, we wont see the level of Tenebrus thief again, but then again, i think that era has gone and people can still play a thief this way, but not potentially ruin someones gaming experience via one mistake.

    MathonwyHerenicus
  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited July 2014
    Seftin said:
    Datrius said:
    There are several ways to avoid that, @Seftin Why not put in a hard coded limit like there is with the Bloodlines? Someone is not eligible to be stolen from until they are 21. May not make a ton of sense in character wise, but it would also give characters enough time to get established and learn how things are or what to do before they become eligible theft targets.

    They had this similarly before level 30 I believe - still people got griefed via old theft. In my opinion, theft should be a factor in the game, but as more of a minor than a major thing, and I believe that pickpocket does just that - it's not a major factor like before, and I guess, sadly, we wont see the level of Tenebrus thief again, but then again, i think that era has gone and people can still play a thief this way, but not potentially ruin someones gaming experience via one mistake.

    I agree completely. That's why I'm not asking for a return to old theft, but instead to make adjustments that actual targetted theft has a decent chance of success.  It should also be noted that failure or success, you can only attemp to target pickpocket each person every 10 minutes or so.

  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean

    When it does work, it works fairly quickly, even on a target who is paying attention and has selfishness and rewearing.  I recently had to get some help with anti-theft for this as I'm so often semi-dormant, and for instance, didn't know the bell tattoo had been repurposed, or that everone apparently runs around with vigilance up now.  But beyond that, the triggers needed for anti-theft are "simple" when you have someone who understands theft helping you.  I've never felt that most theft is "fun" for anyone but the thief, and the more significant the theft, the more that's true.  

  • DalranDalran Member Posts: 227 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    Just gotta find someone afk, then force gold from pack and force drop selfishness then steal all 200k they have on them, just takes forever.

  • NaverreNaverre Member Posts: 304 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Dalran said:

    Just gotta find someone afk, then force gold from pack and force drop selfishness then steal all 200k they have on them, just takes forever.

    Find someone AFK, not standing next to other people, not on a guard stack, and not in a subdivision house/ house hall that has both a monolith and prism-proofing or, God forbid, they aren't on a ship. Then hope they don't have SVO's auto-selfishness and put-gold-back-in-pack reflexes, because that's a shutdown right there. Then maybe you can, with about 40 pulls, get 200k off of them. Then, pray they weren't DC'ed, because they'll bitch and whine and maybe get a divine to give the gold back because it was totally not their fault.

    This is my problem with theft right now. It's gotten nerfed so hard, it's almost not even worth it anymore.

    I want you to imagine that someone complained so hard about combat in Achaea that they put in the ability to completely ignore afflictions via a defense, that if taken down could be put up within about a second. Damage was reduced so much that it took five hits to equal what a health elixir sip healed, and shield tattoos couldn't be broken.

    Now tell me, do you honestly think that sort of combat would be nice to have around? I mean, that noncom would rejoice; "Who actually likes combat anyway? I don't want to be involved in that stuff. I just want to have fun my way!" 

    You honestly wonder why we go after novices? It's because you almost literally cannot hit experienced people these days. Ever since theft started getting nerfed, either by mechanics or by the advancement of reflexes, novices have become the only people who you can steal from.

    And finally, of course theft is usually only fun for the thief. Whenever a hunter who's averse to combat goes into Annwyn and gets ganked, guess what? It's fun for the ganker, never for the ganked. Sometimes even people who aren't averse to combat still feel that way. Same for people who get caught up in a raid and don't want to fight.

    Sorry for the soapbox, but I feel like defending the thieves of Achaea right now.

    DalranShimiAsmodron
  • TanaeTanae Member Posts: 29

    The only input I have on this is I was robbed of the only 10k I had on my first couple of days playing. It was incredibly discouraging.

    ShirszaeAlrena
  • CahinCahin Member Posts: 1,246 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    I'm having a problem understanding here. Sure, if the mechanical success rate is much too low, it should be raised, but the other things people are complaining about are preventative measures that other people can take to avoid theft.  Shouldn't likelihood of success be hinged around whether players took proper precaution or not?  If someone is sitting with vigilance up, rewear triggers, selfishness, valuables in containers, or on a guard stack/in a group of people, why should you be entitled to successfully rob them?  Successful thefts should be few and far in between. The element should exist to add potential consequence to this game, but too many thieves seem to have the opinion that theft should be their lucrative income class mechanic.  The golden age of big theft paydays is gone and I would only have selfish reasons for wishing that it returned.


    ShirszaeMelodieTohranNim
  • TohranTohran Everywhere you don't want to be. I'm the anti-Visa!Member Posts: 331 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    The best thieves are supposed to be sneaky, clever, and quick. The great thieves of the past were exactly that even with the state of theft what it was back in the day.  @Trance‌ is the main one who comes to mind, he may not have been the best, but I interacted with him on a regular basis. He always found a way around, makes me wonder how he would manage in today's climate. 

    If people take proper precautions, theft should be extremely difficult if not impossible. I protect my most valuable items with about three layers of triggers, just to be sure nothing happens to them. (Bunch of old Guild items that I managed to get my hands on.) Auto-closing my artefact pack, rewear triggers, Chivalry gripping protects my rapiers/scimitars/broadswords.

    I wouldn't mind seeing success rates in theft increase some, but, as @Cahin‌ said; the Golden Age is gone.


  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason Posts: 2,914
    edited July 2014
    Naverre said:
    Dalran said:

    Just gotta find someone afk, then force gold from pack and force drop selfishness then steal all 200k they have on them, just takes forever.

    Find someone AFK, not standing next to other people, not on a guard stack, and not in a subdivision house/ house hall that has both a monolith and prism-proofing or, God forbid, they aren't on a ship. Then hope they don't have SVO's auto-selfishness and put-gold-back-in-pack reflexes, because that's a shutdown right there. Then maybe you can, with about 40 pulls, get 200k off of them. Then, pray they weren't DC'ed, because they'll bitch and whine and maybe get a divine to give the gold back because it was totally not their fault.

    This is my problem with theft right now. It's gotten nerfed so hard, it's almost not even worth it anymore.

    Pretty much none of those things are stoppers to theft.

    As someone who has stolen ~2 million gold since the changes to theft (pre item pickpocket), people who think like this are why some people think theft is underpowered right now. If item pickpocket is intended to be a relevant thing, the percentages should probably be bumped up a bit (1/3 with mesmerise ideally, if it's not at that point already). Otherwise, theft is fine, as has been said by some others in this thread.


    Quick edit: It would be nice to see the way standard pickpocket works be reworked somewhat to reduce the amount of crap "Nothing of value" messages, but that's a minor thing.

    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

    Jules
  • DatriusDatrius Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited July 2014

    @Jarrod hit the nail on the head of what I would prefer to see things as. Not some all powerful you can't escape it, but a slight increase of chances.

  • NimNim Member Posts: 2,015 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Theft has a huge problem preventing it from being effective: in a game where death and theft are both wastes of the victim's time (except when something truly irreplacably valuable is stolen, in which case theft is stronger than death), one is reasonably enough moderated to keep unwilling participants from being overly hurt, while the other is totally one-sided to the point where the thief ideally remains unknown. Rather than speak of buffing theft, speak of making it more inclusive and fun to be an attempted/actual victim of theft, and buffs shall follow.
    ShirszaeSenaHerenicus
  • NaverreNaverre Member Posts: 304 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    I guess I went on a little rant, but what I basically meant was, the odds of a failed targeted pickpocket (and nothing-of-value messages like Jarrod mentioned) feel too high for how much defense a person can bring against it.

    Of course, if Jarrod's right, I could just be a shitty thief who needs to bug him in-game until he reveals all the secrets. <.<
  • StunereeStuneree Member Posts: 220 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    In real life, stealing can be difficult. To steal something big requires planning and skill, and people who don't want big things stolen from them plan for it by making it difficult for a thief.
    I don't see the issue with it being that way in-game personally. I think other risks would be better to work on.

    I also didn't play in what was referred to as the "golden age", so what do I know?



  • ShirszaeShirszae Caer WitrinMember Posts: 2,661 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Depending on who you ask, the Golden Age is also referred to as the Dark Age. So it varies.

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...

    image

    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

    JulesCahinMelodieSynbios
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean

    In the "golden age" I'd imagine you were exceptionally screwed if you were ever infamous, at which point thieves could strip selfishness, use bombs, shake, etc... and target legitimately valuable things, as well as all gold you might be carrying.  I was terrified of ever being infamous at all for this reason.  

    Other than that, if you just weren't up to snuff on triggers, much the same.  Thieves weren't allowed to strip selfishness though (unless you were infamous or they had cause), and selfishness was also relatively high in survival (meaning that the people targetted most probably could least afford it).  As well, bank fees were rather high, so people weren't fond of banks.  Also, thieves could give you resetting containers and have you put items in those.  There were a couple of well-known thieves who did have a knack for RP, but meh.  It was also incredibly rare for anyone you might hire to get a kill on them (but hiring was even more espoused as a "solution" then than it is now).  When people lost, they lost *big*, and predictably, they usually didn't take it too well.  God help them if they came to the forums, because then it would be so much worse.  "It's your fault you lost a million gold because "simple theft triggers" and "just hire on the thief".  Then the victim would usually go thermonuclear.  

    It was pretty much teenager logic/mores/ethics run amok, because "meaningful" theft does *sound* like it should be cool, especially if you're a 15 year old boy.  Even as someone who was almost never affected, and who never experienced the horrible losses some did, it was incredibly frustrating to watch a small, but vocal and influential group of forumers defend it for years, until admin finally wised up.  Incidentally, the other IRE games don't seem to embrace theft culture at all.  Possibly because they started with an older playerbase (Achaea is by far the oldest game) and never romanticized it.  

  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason Posts: 2,914

    As someone who never lost anything of value during that time of theft, and who has had a lot of success thieving after that time, I'm exceptionally glad that theft was changed. It was bad for the game as a whole before.

    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

    JulesShirszaeCahin
  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,749 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    There are a lot of things I miss about old theft (as both a thief and a victim*), but those things were incidental to the "actually getting someone else's stuff" part. The creativity and innovation, the "arms race" aspect of it (thieves constantly coming up with new ways to steal and others coming up with new ways to avoid theft), the complexity, the "hunt" (watching someone to find out how they protect themselves from theft and what openings they leave, then waiting for your chance to get around their near-perfect antitheft), the reputations people got from theft; all those things were awesome, or at least had the potential to be. But the problem was that the majority of thieves couldn't care less about any of that, because all they had to do to be successful was to target a hundred newbies who hadn't been taught antitheft before reaching level 30. And even when the theft was awesome, an impressive heist that took hours of planning and waiting for the right opportunity against an experienced target by a thief who actually roleplayed everything well, the end result would generally be the victim feeling like crap.

    There was no way to keep the good parts while getting rid of the bad parts, so even as someone who loved old theft and doesn't like current theft, the change was good and necessary (though there's still a lot of room for improvement on new theft, and a lot of the problems with old theft still remain).

    *I intentionally avoided using antitheft triggers for the most part (I had rewear triggers for certain important and irreplaceable items until I could make them resetting) and didn't keep my gold in banks, for quite a while I didn't even keep selfishness up. It was more fun for me to actively/manually defend against theft and have a higher risk of losing. With new theft, being a victim is a lot less fun; defending against pickpocket is more passive, more predictable, and I likely won't lose much if I fail.

    ShirszaeAntidas
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    Sena, you so cray-cray.

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