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Lowering the Barriers to Group PvP

JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
I wanted to make another thread on this because I think Herenicus and I had different objectives in his XP loss thread, and the whole carrot/stick thing put a lot of raiders on the defensive, right out the gate. 

Some points I'd like to be discussed:
  1. Should we encourage a balance of power? Make it equally or perhaps more incentive to belong to a less PK-adept city, as a PK-adept person yourself? How is this mechanically achieved without alienating the more PK-adept cities and players?
  2. Should the system punish potential PKers as they practice PK, as it does now? Arena games are nice, but they aren't representative of raiding/defense/shrine scenarios at all, and you have to split your own team in half to practice like this.
A lot of responses in Herenicus's thread were along the lines of "Its the city player's fault if that city isn't PK-adept". Without commenting on the truth of that statement (Which is a whole other can of worms, and probably beyond the means of anyone here to properly assess) we have to ask ourselves how long we're willing to let something desirable not happen under player initiative before we create game mechanics to achieve the desired effect?

Disclaimer: It is not my intent to punish raiders or other existing adept PKers, nor it it my intent to hand inept-PKers a win button. My intent is to discuss ways to achieve more balance in Achaea's group PvP combat scene and involve more groups/ideologies to make a more fun and dynamic experience.
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Jules
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Comments

  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    This time you can tank. I will do heals.
    ChiamTheris
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,163 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Be the change that you want to see in the world. The reason mechanical fixes won't work in my opinion, is because the problems you perceive as existing don't arise because of mechanical issues - they arise because of player differences. Thus, what do you think the best way to approach the issue that you see is, with that in mind? 

    I can't think of any mechanical ways to solve the problem, but I'll think on it. For now, the above paragraph is my input. 
    ShirszaeChiamAst
  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,314 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Removing xp loss and gain from PK would lower the barrier immensely but would also render some of our systems and objectives that have been put in place obsolete so I do not think that will.ever happen.

    The easiest way to get into PK if you are not a math oriented person is to bash to dragon.

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
    JovoloShirszaeNizana
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Jovolo said:
    Be the change that you want to see in the world. The reason mechanical fixes won't work in my opinion, is because the problems you perceive as existing don't arise because of mechanical issues - they arise because of player differences. Thus, what do you think the best way to approach the issue that you see is, with that in mind? 

    I can't think of any mechanical ways to solve the problem, but I'll think on it. For now, the above paragraph is my input. 
    I'm not sure what you mean by player differences. You mean players in Hashan vs players in Ashtan? Or player differences within a city, where a few will encourage PK and others will demonize it?
    image
    Achimrst
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Mishgul said:
    Removing xp loss and gain from PK would lower the barrier immensely but would also render some of our systems and objectives that have been put in place obsolete so I do not think that will.ever happen.

    The easiest way to get into PK if you are not a math oriented person is to bash to dragon.
    Why do we need to remove XP gain? I'm perfectly fine with that existing as a reward for winners. High XP can either be a mark of being PK efficient (reward for winning, good) or a mark of doing lots and lots of PK (which is no different from grinding dragon, really. From this perspective, at least)
    image
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,163 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    All of it, pretty much. Most noticeably though are skill, attitude and artefacts.
    Bluef
  • SeftinSeftin Member Posts: 923 @ - Epic Achaean
    No way to mechanically enforce a balanced pvp distribution - everyone has the capability of being that #1 fighter, and if one city/group learns quicker than another, what do you force - a constant cycle of people through cities?
  • AchimrstAchimrst NatureMember Posts: 3,608 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    This honestly is where I think the RP is supposed to come in, distributing people on RP rather then on. "Oh Jhui is in this city let's all join!"
    FlorentinoTexel
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I wouldn't desire for any of it to be forced, per se. If a group of friends wants to play together more than anything, I wouldn't want mechanics to forcibly divide them. 

     If we could somehow quantify cities' PK strength, then we could do something like scale PK XP inversely with city strength, offer Icon-like effects for weaker cities, implement some kind of mechanical tactic only doable in weaker cities that would encourage PK thinktanks to take advantage  of it.
    image
    Jules
  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,314 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    *Also unless you are a serpent with snipe and evade I guess

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Mishgul I agree. And I would like to make PK accessible to people who don't primarily PK. As @Achimrst said up there, PK can be heavily steeped in RP, if you let it. People like Halos and Aodfionn (no idea of your PK ability, plz don't be insulted) Herenicus, etc etc aren't allstar PKers, but do bring a lot of meaning and interesting aspects to group conflict. That behavior should be encouraged, not discouraged. 

    And again, I don't mean to hand them a win button. Losing as an organization in group PvP is perfectly right and natural. Its just, as Mishgul said, the investment/fun achieved ratio for PK is heavily skewed for casual PKers and heavy RPers.
    image
  • SeftinSeftin Member Posts: 923 @ - Epic Achaean
    Add an XP rank that scales with your KDR to how much xp you lose per death. Bad people lose less, good people lose more.
    Kaijin
  • CrixosCrixos Member Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    1. Jacen said:


      Some points I'd like to be discussed:
      1. Should we encourage a balance of power? Make it equally or perhaps more incentive to belong to a less PK-adept city, as a PK-adept person yourself? How is this mechanically achieved without alienating the more PK-adept cities and players?

      I'd have to echo Jovolo here (and apparently what was said in the old thread(?), the onus of the "pvp-attraction" lies with the city and its people.  The only -mechanical- requirement/incentive needed in my opinion, is to have a  bevy of enemies to fight, whether they are Targossian, Eleusian, Ashtani, etc.  Most cities, aside from perhaps Cyrene already have this going for them.
      As a popular example: Hashan, it really only takes one person to say: "Those damn forests have pushed us around long enough, let's make a point for Ourania!"  The rest would be to rally the troops, strategize and try to think of all the possibilities and execute. Before my dormancy, they had already done this.  Yet it was not persistent.  Once you make this a more regular occurrence, those same people start to form a camaraderie and draw in even more interested parties (whether they be alts or from people already in the city).  It only takes one good push to get a stone rolling.
      Maybe you should start small?  Camp Annwyn/UW with a smaller group of people and learn from fighting all challengers!

      2.Should the system punish potential PKers as they practice PK, as it does now? Arena games are nice, but they aren't representative of raiding/defense/shrine scenarios at all, and you have to split your own team in half to practice like this.

    Does the system truly punish potential PvPers?  Without 'consequences' (yes, I understand it is a game), losing is meaningless, and often it lowers resolve for you to "get good".  Personally, I learned more and found more motivation to be better the next time when I lost.  Think of XP loss (or whatever the consequences will be once the changes come in soon™) as a motivating factor for you to improve yourself, your strategies and to help your team mates do better!
      Arena games really help you learn about your abilities and how they mesh with your team mates, these still apply, whether they be raiding, shrine scenarios or just skirmishes.  After a point though, it is agreeably not enough, but by that point, you're ready to take those non-consequence wheels off.


    Barriers:
    a)  Very few (non-sadists) like losing and battling the more well coordinated, hardened and artefacted combatants of other cities will make you feel like you are banging your head against a wall.  There's really not much to be done about this, except that you and your cadre need to understand that losing is as core to this game, as is winning.  If you notice someone losing a lot of levels, offer to hunt with them, or, offer them survival tips. Develop those friendships!

    b)  A lack of influx of new players.  Communities often stagnate because of a lack of new blood, this can be seen in many of the underdeveloped combat cities.  This barrier, in this day and age is unavoidable, unfortunately, you just need a draw.  eg: Ashtan has Jhui - you will see many people making characters just to play with their main combat group.  Eleusis has Rangor.  And so on and so forth.  Once <insert your city here> establishes itself as being able to kill enough people to sanction a raid in Ashtan, lo and behold, your city might garner interest and more people might want to rally around <local hero> to follow him on his next incursion upon the non-believers.


    I hope I haven't missed your point and I hope to see you, Jacen, leading those brave, those willing, those Hashani to their glory! (or death, either one, so long as you have fun and don't be disheartened.)


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

    With the attitude of some people, it's too bad all of the non-PK-adept cities don't just make a "turtle" agreement.  Don't engage dominant factions in any raids or in any way "play" with them on their terms for say, 45 days.  Just vacate the city the instant they raid, etc... Make it 60.  Maybe then they'd come to the table with a different attitude because they'll realize there's no one to play with - which is already the case in a way, because it seems to quite often be NFL players against pee wee league, and really, who wants to watch that.  It's really frustrating to me that some people don't seem to realize that making PK more inclusive (and having a reasonable number competent people dispersed in nearly every city) should be about looking for ways to make that happen because you will actually benefit too, not telling the cities that aren't Ashtan to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. 

  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Should we encourage a balance of power? Make it equally or perhaps more incentive to belong to a less PK-adept city, as a PK-adept person yourself? How is this mechanically achieved without alienating the more PK-adept cities and players?
    I think the biggest issue with this is: By whose standards? Is there a sliding scale of benefits from least adept to most adept city? Is it only the least adept? Who determines which city that is? In the case of multiple cities with little PK influence in the world, which one gets the benefit? Is there some subjective threshold that cities must fall below to achieve that benefit? What benefits do you offer?

    It's exceptionally unlikely that a system could be created to offer incentives that wouldn't rub any number of players the wrong way.

    Should the system punish potential PKers as they practice PK, as it does now? Arena games are nice, but they aren't representative of raiding/defense/shrine scenarios at all, and you have to split your own team in half to practice like this.
    The biggest 'hurdle' for getting into PK is that there rightly aren't tiers of interaction. If you get involved you're immediately in the pool with the Jhui's of the world, and that's an intimidating and dangerous thing for someone to deal with without experience. For the most part, those at the top keep any gank-esque interaction to others at the top, and those who attack them directly. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule in every city, people who will keep a list of names they can justify attacking when they get the chance.

    There are ways to work around this, but they're largely on the more experienced players to implement. Recognize who those players are in factions you've recently clashed with and keep an eye on them. If you know someone is getting jumped, setup assistance. Let the person know you're there to help, give them an idea how to help, and help them if they get jumped. If nothing happens, they know their allies are looking out for them. If they get attacked and the attackers runs, they feel like they helped repel them. If they get attacked and they die, at least they know someone is trying to help. If they get attacked and the attacker dies, then that's the biggest win of all.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • BluefBluef DelosMember Posts: 2,176 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    I think perhaps the problem with Hashan, in particular (and not trying to single you guys out or anything @Jacen), is that getting into PvP for RP reasons has been difficult to do in the past; there was a lot of crossover between their patron(s) and the other cities.

    For example, Ourania was once followed by many forestals; I don't know how many of these players are still in the Order, but I see a handful every now and again the realms wearing their lunar titles, so I don't think they've been totally driven from the forest city yet. They embrace and laud the naturalism of the lunar cycles, whereas Occultists and some Ashtani, who Ourania is also affiliated with, embrace the aspect of change she represents and some connect that to Chaos. There are even Ouranians in Cyrene I think; she's a pretty popular divine, but this leads to the question of what does she really represent and is it something Hashan can use as their factional focus if Twilight's presence in the realm decreases and/or for the purpose of this new "Night" faction.

    Twilight is obviously a little easier to manage in this vein, but until recently he had a pretty significant following in Ashtan (and I think we all know there are still some Darkwalkers left there now), which made any conflict between Ashtan/Hashan a little off as well from a factional standpoint. It's been fun to watch things shift as Twilight's influence in Ashtan has come under suspicion.

    I guess what I'm saying is that PvP for RP reasons will probably become much easier to justify for Hashan after the Renaissance because, presumably, their identity as a city will be solidified through the new Houses a bit more.

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

    There are even Ouranians in Cyrene I think; she's a pretty popular divine, but this leads to the question of what does she really represent and is it something Hashan can use as their factional focus if Twilight's presence in the realm decreases and/or for the purpose of this new "Night" faction.

    Interesting.  This probably doesn't bode well for either city, but more so Hashan, at least if it wants to be a conflict oriented city, because if she were more rawr moonstuff, I like to think that Cyrene would promptly ban the crap out of her Order (which is exactly what Cyrene should do in that situation because it's Cyrene). 
  • AodfionnAodfionn Seattle, WAMember Posts: 1,216 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Halos blends RP and group PK better than anyone I've ever played with. Definitely makes it interesting for the group. 
    Aurora says, "Are you drunk, Aodfionn?" 

    (The Targossian Academy): Halos says, "Go on! I need to feel the wind in my hair!"


    Brean
  • NizanaNizana Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Mishgul said:
    Removing xp loss and gain from PK would lower the barrier immensely but would also render some of our systems and objectives that have been put in place obsolete so I do not think that will.ever happen.

    The easiest way to get into PK if you are not a math oriented person is to bash to dragon.
    I would include the ability to write scripts into this. I can do math very well. I can't write scripts from scratch to save my life.

    MishgulBrean
  • ShunsuiShunsui Member Posts: 681 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Aodfionn said:
    Halos blends RP and group PK better than anyone I've ever played with. Definitely makes it interesting for the group. 
    It's also highly amusing when he takes the time to emote stuff mid skirmish (rather than like, attack), though I haven't seen that in a while.

    BronislavSilasAchillesBrean
  • BronislavBronislav MarylandMember Posts: 347 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Shunsui said:
    Aodfionn said:
    Halos blends RP and group PK better than anyone I've ever played with. Definitely makes it interesting for the group. 
    It's also highly amusing when he takes the time to emote stuff mid skirmish (rather than like, attack), though I haven't seen that in a while.
    On one hand, that seems like a bad idea with a potential for backfiring.
    On the other hand, that sounds like a -really- neat idea that adds flavor. And I do like flavor.



    Shunsui
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 5,978 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Disable xp loss but keep xp gain (at a perhaps mitigated level).


    JulesNakari
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Lots of responses since I've had the chance to sit down and reply, so I'll try to play catchup.

    @Crixos Hashan, for example, has had long periods of zero combat influence on the world, and occasionally spikes with activity. It has proven in the past to be an unsustainable course of action, because no one wants to take loss after loss after loss, when losses so directly translate to time investments. 

    At the same time, losses shouldn't be meaningless. I don't think, however, that XP is the only thing that gives meaning to losses. In our small scale MMO, reputation is a huge consequence. Shrines get destroyed, essence lost, rooms destroyed, access to banks, shops, newsrooms, lost. Ships sunk. Or, from the aggressor's side, you don't destroy that shrine, or blow the tank, or sink the ship. These are all events that happen in Achaea, and events don't get erased from history after you've finished embracing. You'll always have to live with your losses.

    @Jarrod Yeah, creating a scale on which to rank the cities objectively would be tough. Instead of judging cities on their PK potential in their current state, we could judge based on PK accomplishments. We have mechanics we could judge by, like rooms destroyed, shrines destroyed, soldiers killed, etc etc over a specified time interval. Drawbacks to that would be timezone abuse, and the rankings would be influenced by things like, say, the bloodsworn telling Targ to drop every Twilight/Babel/Sartan shrine they can find within a day. How do you think we could objectively quantify city PK?

    @Bluef I agree with a lot of that, and I've always OOCly, and even ICly to an extent, supported bringing Ourania and Twilight fully home to Hashan. That's most of what drove my statements against Valnurana ICly. Its not easily enforceable IC, and the divine probably don't even agree with it, so it may not be a possibility, unfortunately. I think it would help Hashan, certainly, but it doesn't particularly address the initial problem.

    ------------------------
    Its certainly a hard problem to address. The more I think about it, the more I think that quantifying the PK state of cities is the way to go. If the quantification were IC, then being top tier would carry a certain amount of prestige, and make it very desirable even if the low tier is being offered more incentives.

    image
    Bluef
  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Jacen said:
    @Jarrod Yeah, creating a scale on which to rank the cities objectively would be tough. Instead of judging cities on their PK potential in their current state, we could judge based on PK accomplishments. We have mechanics we could judge by, like rooms destroyed, shrines destroyed, soldiers killed, etc etc over a specified time interval. Drawbacks to that would be timezone abuse, and the rankings would be influenced by things like, say, the bloodsworn telling Targ to drop every Twilight/Babel/Sartan shrine they can find within a day. How do you think we could objectively quantify city PK?
    You can't, which was my point. Even if you made a system to try it, as soon as any parts of it became known cities would be gaming the system. There's already plenty of that in army ranks, no need to give cities another way to game advantages. Even if one city wouldn't, others would. It's evident in other mechanics and there's no reason this wouldn be an exception.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Cities have to pay when they game the army system though. Can't activate the font or disarm tanks. If we agreed that such a system was possible and set out to design it, we could probably apply similar restrictions to gaming it.
    image
  • JukilianJukilian Member Posts: 1,579 @ - Epic Achaean
    Some Hashani have, in the past, vehemently opposed other Hashani doing PvP, as it brought harm upon the city.

    Primarily came from those that didn't defend, iirc. Which is a bit low, but also annoying as heck.

    It isn't like that now, so that's improved.

    The biggest damper on me doing group PvP etc is mostly I don't have people to do it with usually, as a result of my timezone. Need more Aussies in Hashan, obv.
    AchimrstHellenAlcinae
  • AchimrstAchimrst NatureMember Posts: 3,608 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Jukilian said:
    Some Hashani have, in the past, vehemently opposed other Hashani doing PvP, as it brought harm upon the city.

    Primarily came from those that didn't defend, iirc. Which is a bit low, but also annoying as heck.

    It isn't like that now, so that's improved.

    The biggest damper on me doing group PvP etc is mostly I don't have people to do it with usually, as a result of my timezone. Need more Aussies in Hashan, obv.
    This whole being opposed to PvP thing is something that is a part of Eleusis to, so I'm not sure that's just a Hashani thing. Maybe make it seem like defense is only an Army thing that the regular citizens will be fine as long as your armies are strong enough to defend them type of thing. It seems to have worked in Eleusis and it can probably even unify your city more.
    NimAlcinae
  • AeliosAelios Member Posts: 449 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Perhaps I can attempt to shed some light on this with my view. As a little side note Targossas is, in a lot of ways, having the same problems I hear Hashan is. Allow me to show an example.

    From what I gather, there are several sides to how you take it as someone who's interested in fighting. It's the same way to picking your favorite Football team. Now, many who are new to the football scene do it via one of three methods.

    A.) Who's got the coolest uniforms?

    B.) Who's nearest to their geographical location?

    C.) Who's the most dominant?

    D.) Who's got the most heart?

    E.) What team has the most uniquely interesting players?

    Now, for each of those questions - every new person must really consider each of them in one way or another during their hunt for which team they'll form as "their" team to root for.

    In terms of Achaea, this is done in much of the same way. For A, B, D, and E, this is done by RP, looking at the culture of a city and figuring out who or what you wish to take part in.

    In terms of C, you look at which city has the big named fighters who are scary.


    With that in mind, many who are new to football end up rooting for a team that is normally quite dominant. ("The Bandwagon") -- there are few that don't, but by and far nobody likes to be disappointed, and there is nothing quite like cheering for a losing team. (Am I right Raiders fans?)

    Compare this to Achaea : Anyone who wants to be dominant goes to Ashtan or Mhaldor, depending on their hours of play. Once you dig into the role play, you start seeing the benefits of the other cities. Now, with this choice, there's a catch! If you DON'T pick the dominant option, you'll end up often paying for it as @Mishgul stated above : By 3 hours or so of Hunting in Achaea to return the benefits that you'd lost through dying. 

    This is a rather sizable barrier to entry to anyone who isn't part of a dominant program, and often is exhausting in its own right, not to mention demoralizing. If Hashan (or Targossas, or Cyrene, or whatever) always loses its fights, people will be less inclined to invest the time in that group to make it better, and MORE inclined to simply join a city that doesn't, well, suck already.

    The fact of the matter is that at its core, friends will play with friends, and to many big level PK'ers, this game isn't about role play for them. This game is a very complex way to challenge your ability in a way not commonly seen in games today outside of Real Time Strategy games. It awards those who are viable with computer programming a very strong edge, and also conveniently awards those with big wallets similar perks in terms of raw "ability boost".

    You either become rather talented at coding exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it - OR you make your character stronger so you can afford to simply type KILL AELIOS over and over, and the statistics will favor you enough to allow that to work to some degree.

    Fundamentally, why would a dominant football team ever want to split up? They kick ass, and win all the time - and sure enough, winning feels GOOD! It's a rush... Nobody likes to lose. Plain and simple. Especially if they've won enough times over to grow with friendships and decent bonds, working quite well together.

    Each needs motivation on their own to separate from the winning side in order to make it more entertaining, and that happens with each person on an individual level. 

    "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."

     -Albert Einstein

    Tristyn
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