Theft Updates

My apologies for the delay in response, I was off enjoying my weekend and only got back this morning.

To better protect the newer players, the limitation on theft is removed from level 30 and added to age 21. New players are hitting level 30 and beyond in very short order, long before they're in Houses or setting up triggers and aliases, this should make it so a new player has had a chance to find their place in Achaea and work out the systems and protections available to them.

Dormant (defined by a character who has gone unplayed long enough to be removed from various rankings) will bear a theft grace that lasts 7 RL days from their logging in. They cannot be stolen from during this time.

WHO and CLWHO are no longer sorted by player activity. We had wrongly assumed that the changes to QW many years ago also affected these lists too, alas.

Thieves will be marked Thief on honours and will be Open PK to the game at large. This means that anyone can attack a marked "Thief", the thief can seek retaliation for these attacks. A marked Thief cannot hire a Champion or Assassin, they must take any retribution themselves. The hooded figures will not accept contract requests from those marked as a Thief. HELP PK, HELP CONTRACTS, and HELP THEFT will be updated accordingly.

Ultimately, we do not want Achaea to become a completely safe world for your characters. That there is some risk in the game that is not entirely opt-in or administratively-created and initiated is, in our opinion, a good thing and something we want to keep.

These changes should be live by the end of the day.



  • Quick question for you @Nicola, will the Thief tag only be applied to people who use pickpocket to steal, or also to those who break in to personal houses and stockrooms? (assuming it's possible to programmatically identify that someone has broken in to a house or stockroom that isn't their own).

  • @Argwin It will only apply to pickpocket theft.

  • It will almost certainly only apply to pickpocket. There is no mechanic in existence to identify cases like that as theft.

  • @Nicola Does this include casing? Or does it only start when they actually try pickpocket?

    Disappearing from Achaea for now. See you, space cowboy.

    smileyface#8048 if you wanna chat.

  • Changes seem fine, but I think age alone is a bad measure of a newbie. I'd personally rather it be age 21 AND 30+ to avoid hurting people with low playtime. I actually think 50 or 60 is a better level range but it might be clumsy to not have the ranked/unranked check

  • @Amranu Thank you for providing the same answer that Nicola did, but slower :P

    Truth be told I assumed the answer before I even asked it. I can't imagine the nightmare of trying to code something like that, but the confirmation is nice to have.

  • I'm obviously no fan of theft, but I think these changes help quite a bit, especially with the most vulnerable victims.

    My question is about the new "thief" tag. Would you get tagged for any instance of pickpocket? If a friendly serpent is just doing it a few times to help test triggers/systems would they get tagged immediately or is it prolonged use of the skill?

    Also, would there be a decay and the tag would go away over time if someone doesn't pickpocket for a while?

  • Ahh perfect, thank you!

  • Casing and pickpocket both earn infamy currently, it is these actions that will earn the Thief tag.

  • What are the limitations on the thief monicker? How long will it last, in particular?

  • @Amranu It is based on the specific infamy earned by theft actions, it fades just the same as infamy does (over time or through death). The mark is gone once your theft-based infamy is gone.

  • @Nicola As someone who plays almost exclusively on mobile - anti theft measures that require automation are out of my reach. MUDRammer triggers often fire with a sweet delay that makes serpents easily snap you 2-3 times before you can do anything.

  • Thank you for taking the time to look into all that and do something about it, so let's see how this finally plays out! Many thanks for taking the time to look into all these issues.

    As a final request and suggestion, I just think there should be some revision on THEFT/PROMO documentation, just to clear up issues with such types of items and if they can/cannot be stolen and under which circumstances (e.g., putting boxes in house chests, dropping cards, whatever doesn't have resetting can be stolen).

  • Unfortunately if an item isn't resetting and is removed from a player's inventory it's pretty much open to be taken from anyone that can physically get to it. I doubt there's anything that even could be done about that, especially since making promo items resetting would all but eliminate the current economy on buying and selling promo items.

  • edited July 2021

    Yes, all we need is something like that stated in the scrolls. There are people playing for years that did not know this about promo items, much worse new players after spending 1 month and deciding to invest in a promo. Hell, they don't even know what resetting mod does, heh.

    Just a mention for specific items in either documentation, just to clear things up, that's all.

  • @Nicola Thank you for taking a look at this issue and providing reasonable updates that still allow theft but increase the ability for people to react against it. I know it’s never going to make everyone happy, but I think these changes are as near to hitting that impossible mark as you can get.

  • The new colored honors line is very catchy. Worth getting just for looks. Maybe a THIEFWHO would be more off putting to thievery than a cool fancy honors line? Or was that the intention

  • New legenddeck card coming up: Twovan, the Underboss. Jovan but for thieves

  • Seconded adding a THIEFWHO. There's already MARKWHO and DAUNTLESSWHO, adding THIEFWHO would be pretty cool.

    Jumpy said:
    The membership is already such a good deal that there is no way we can reduce the cost. 

  • edited July 2021

    Anything to be done about skills that require me to have selfishness down to use? I can essentially be pickpocketed for free anytime I’m doing combat in situations where these are needed.

    I do like that that there was an attempt to help the novices and those returning, but this doesn’t really address the problem of the thief taking much less risk than their victims and I feel as though that was the main complaint. Overall it seems to have been ignored. Are we really saying that a thief dying is significant? Or even carries anywhere near the same punishment as theft?

    Coloring thieves is cool and all but it isn’t like we didn’t know who the problematic thieves were. By and large those who were inclined to kill a thief were already mark/dauntless and even then killing heavily artied serpents who are intent on running is a meme. A meme that I’d have to be naive to believe Makarios isn’t aware of.

    Theft still largely remains a part of the game that will produce almost no interesting interactions while also harming player retention to those it effects. Somehow all without punishing thieves in the slightest for failing. Spammable theft that equates to harassment is still possible as well.

    I was not looking for theft to get deleted necessarily, but I feel like the only meaningful change here is the one for newbie/returning players. I’m willing to see how this plays out though and adjust my opinions accordingly. These are admittedly my hot takes.

  • ArchaeonArchaeon Ur mums house lol

    markwho only shows the top marks tho.

  • Spyglass talismans show full mark list.

    Jumpy said:
    The membership is already such a good deal that there is no way we can reduce the cost. 

  • Them being listed as thieves is actually very useful.

    A ) No longer do you yourself have to become infamous (or mark/dauntless) to hunt thieves. Now their mark/infamous allies cannot jump to their aide and be justified (as easily).

    B ) You can murder a thief's urn mount and they cannot hire on you. (Elyon did this. Frequently)

    This update provides.. basic-ish defence for our most vulnerable in Achaea. It also doesn't really protect those who DC but have a slightly elongated timeout, or address the issues of low risk high high high reward.

    I would like to see the risk vs reward get balanced out more, and some additional protections laid out. Those under age 21, or under level 50, for example, being safe from theft.

    The WHO change was nice, and basically needed to happen anyways because literally why was it designed like that.

  • edited July 2021

    @Nicola Before asking any questions, I likewise wanted to express my appreciation for how the Administrative response has clearly attempted to address several of the important issues raised in the previous thread, and especially for explicitly clarifying its position that some level of non-administratively-driven and non-entirely-opt-in risk is considered good and desirable to retain in the game. As others have noted, I still feel the imbalance in risk and potential outcomes between thief and victim is problematic, and that theft remains potentially spammable to the point of actual harrasment. However, I am more than happy to see how the new updates play out, and I particularly like the additional protection for new and returning players.

    • I was wondering if returning players would receive at least one specific notification that their theft protection is expiring, perhaps with reference to HELP THEFT and any other appropriate helpfiles (I am not sure whether there is one for theft defences)? I understand that cities now have some kind of CHELP WELCOME and/or WELCOMEBACK scroll to assist newcomers and returnees to the Realms, but I worry about old players not remembering that theft is a potential risk, given how much else they need to learn and re-learn about the game, and also those, like Cerelia, who return Cityless and Houseless, and therefore lack immediate community support and references to make use of beyond the global HELP system.
    • Could the statement, or a suitably appropriate rewording, of the Administrative position on not-entirely-opt-in-risk be included in the preamble of HELP THEFT, à la the short introduction about why the PK framework exists in HELP PK? Beyond being official documentation (so we can all finally stop arguing about and speculating what the Garden thinks of these not-entirely-opt-in risks), I feel its inclusion in HELP THEFT would be especially useful for true newcomers to understand and refer to for why theft is continued to allowed to exist in Achaea, despite how they might react to it as a potentially very hurtful game mechanic.
    • This might simply be coming from a place of personal anxiety: can we assume that despite these changes reflecting the Administration's stance on theft for the time being, the situation, like with everything else, will be continued to monitored, and there will continue to be room for further improvements or adjustments? I apologize if it is really unnecessary to ask, and, unless some unexpectedly drastic loopholes are discovered and repeatedly abused, I do not expect major changes or departures from what has been said; I just want to make sure I am clear as to whether this is intended to be the absolute Last Word on theft.
  • @Nicola First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to address the community. I hope your weekend was a restful one! Please also pass my thanks along to the coder team putting the changes in place.

    I assume you guys are going to be doing an internal review of the changes after seeing them live for a while? If so, there are a few things I'd like to comment on and a couple suggestions I'd like to put in the hat for when you guys do revisit it.

    To better protect the newer players, the limitation on theft is removed from level 30 and added to age 21.

    I have to echo a sentiment and concern here raised by @Kshavatra and @Adrik, I'm concerned that time alone may not be the best indicator of a newbie and feel like still including a level limit in that too would be good. I do recognize that certain edge cases ( someone makes an account and comes back to play 3 months later) might be protected by the 7 day dormant protection, but I would like to see more protections for new players so that we don't potentially have one bad experience driving someone off.

    One other thing that was touched on was shop / house theft. I know this might not be on the radar for consideration, but I'd like to suggest perhaps adding an option for trespass / theft to be addressed mechanically.

    Stockrooms would be easy in my mind, as they usually have an owner, right? If not, could an owner flag be added to them, and then only the owner and people on their ally list be allowed to pick up items in the stockroom without incurring theft infamy? This would add another level of safety to shop owners while still allowing thieves a chance to steal from the shop, albeit only after forcing the shop owner to ally them.

    As for houses, it'd be pretty much the same as above, save that the home owner could set a new permission flag ( takeitems for example ) to allow trusted players to pick up items in the house. That, or a stopgap might be to take the banded chest out of the Shop of Wonders and instead add the locking mechanic as an option on regular furnished chests.

    Also, I support @Zulah's suggestion of adding a THIEFWHO list.

  • I very much appreciate the response and quick changes, they do address a lot of issues with vulnerable parties and patch up what felt like a bit of a gap left behind after infamy was last changed.

    I'm eager to see how being hunted down by not just marks will play out for the active thief, and also preventing the thief from hiring so that people don't feel dissuaded to try and attack their aggressor in these cases.

  • @Cerelia

    Dormant players will receive a warning about their theft grace expiring 24 hours before it does (this will be a message if they are offline).

    We monitor all of Achaea's systems, if something goes wrong file a bug and it will be fixed. I'm not going to say this is the final last word ever on theft, or any system, Achaea is a living world. This is what we're happy with currently.


    We don't think it is healthy to protect each low level player in perpetuity. Creating characters and staying at level 20 forever should not render someone exempt from the world they have logged into. 36 real days should be plenty of time for a new player to get a feel for the ropes (in some cases earn dragon), and learn how to turn curing on. If they go instantly dormant they'll likely find their character deleted due to inactivity before the protection wears off, and if they do not, they still have the 7 day grace period and 1 day reminder to get up to speed.

    We consider shop and housing theft to be preventable by shop operators and house owners and we don't plan on making changes to those venues at this time. (This does not mean that there will not be changes or further tools introduced in the future.)

  • Really appreciate the measured response!

    I think this addresses the most critical issues of protecting newer and returning players, and also gives the playerbase a better mechanism to dissuade thieves by no longer letting them play the "i'm not touching you" game endlessly.

    I will say that this doesn't really address the fact that death is fairly meaningless (and even catching a thief to kill them given the numerous escapes) is challenging, but that's I think a separate problem and the recent change to Earrings at least suggests that admins are aware of it and steadily working on it.

This discussion has been closed.