PvP Questions?

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PvP Questions?

Postby Harroghty » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:58 am

The problem with that is the rules surrounding PVP are poorly worded enough to leave neither pacifists nor hardcore PVPers satisfied. They're restrictive in ways that muck up the whole experience 80% of the time, and usually results in one side feeling cheated no matter how it goes down.


There were some questions raised about PvP in another thread. I'm a little bit surprised to find that people find the rules restrictive, but I am happy to clarify them and field any questions. (I'm not upset at all by the statement quoted above, but I want to clarify and discuss if needs be.) In brief...

The PvP rules basically just state that you have make an OOC statement which will allow the other player to decide if they want to be involved or not, but otherwise just act IC. The gist being that we should be IC, but also try to let people bow out if they just aren't comfortable with PvP.

There are some other specific rules which were enacted in response to specific problem behaviors (like people suddenly logging in and teleporting across the map when a buddy's PC was attacked), but I'm happy to report that we didn't have any PvP Complaints in 2017 and only one, I think, in 2016. No one likes to lose a fight, but I've seen some good ones so far in 2018. If we can enable people to have more fun somehow, great. Happy to discuss the rules.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Althasizor » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:50 pm

I wanted to take a little time to review some of the past threads about PVP before expanding my thoughts on this. I don't want anyone to think that I'm trying to speak for them by quoting sections of their posts, or trying to form a consensus(which is very hard to do just looking at years of forum posts). It's also worth pointing out that a roughly equal number of people have voiced support for the current rules. To the topic at hand, just to get the ball rolling though:

I would say that with how people often respond to the warning with immediately buffing up instead of answering in osay maybe we should make the reply optional.

So are people interested in counting smotes? Timing the length or a prelude?

The problem with this method (and honestly, the OSAY method), is that it gives a disenfranchised party something to latch onto and complain about--and both parties something to try and game around or skimp on. The complaint I made was admittedly nothing but that: I got rocked, lost an item, and in my fury looked for even the most negligible thing to latch onto to explain how I lost. I imagine this accounts for a bulk of complaints.

Any method where you give a "decorum" for someone to adhere to, the complaints will arise from those who adhere to them against those who break them--so why not try removing all but the barest, most necessitated courtesies and really hammering home the policing on people who break those cows we consider most sacred?

What would happen if we just went back to doing a proper rp before a pkill situation and limiting pk to one on one combat? I'm fine with people issuing ooc warnings, but I don't see it as essential. I'm of the opinion that If you've earned a pk and can't tell ic then you may need to step back and see what's going on.

I agree that the OOC bit is a redundant.

Now I just really try not to bother anymore with PvP (a pretty difficult thing when Kelemvor's chosen is turning a blind eye to all those zombie makers XD), and twice since I've made that decision I've done what's asked of me in helpfiles and walked away ICly from a tense situation, and both times I was told OOCly from the other player(s) that it was poor form and a let down on their side.

The two threads these quotes are cited from, for full context: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20096 & viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20662

Gripes surrounding the modern rules for PVP, historically, have to do with the OOC warning seeming at best unnecessary, at worst, an abuseable line to throw a complaint down over. Then there's the actual wording of the rule itself:

If you believe a PvP situation is likely then you
..must notify the other player as soon as possible via OSAY and the
..other player(s) must acknowledge that.

Specifically, the bit about them needing to acknowledge it has, in my personal experience with PvP, been the largest "grey area" about the whole thing. Some people interpret this as them needing to agree to the PvP. I had an unfortunate experience once where an IC situation was escalating quickly, and I issued the OOC warning only to be told "No". ICly they continued to act very aggressively but when I again tried to make it clear that PvP was likely, I had to sit through a solid 5 minutes of being berated in OSAYs before they logged out on the spot. This was unfortunately was not a new player, but a veteran around longer than me who ought to have known better.

Even when it's not interpreted that way, there's an uncomfortable greyness in them needing to acknowledge it. I could recount half a dozen times I have, or seen someone else, issue the OOC warning only for the other party to never respond to it. Their character will sit there on the fountain, nose in the air, hurling smug insults at someone who could take their head off at half effort - But they never cast an aggressive spell, and they never acknowledge the warning, so what are you supposed to do? Sometimes I just kill them anyway, but it's never an enjoyable experience.

These are again only personal experiences, I can't speak for the experiences others have had with PVP. It's also worth noting now that I haven't actually engaged in aPVP situation recently - The last time I did was nearly a year ago, now. It involved upwards of five people who were not coordinating any of it OOC, yet none of us felt the need to observe the rule about warnings, and it was one of the more satisfying experiences I've had with PvP in my time on FK - But it was followed not a few months after by a prime example of "unhealthy" PvP. For the most part my experience with PKs have been extremely negative on FK and the #1 reason for that is the "clunkyness" inherent to this OOC warning.

It's not really a secret that I dislike the rules surrounding PvP, though. "Why do noncombat spells start a PvP confrontation, but drawing a sword doesn't?", "If my character's friend sends a tell for help but I'm 11 rooms away in an area, am I supposed to just watch?". Then there's some personal philosophy as well. I don't osay to the red dragon that a fight might be about to break out; He's a dragon, he knows what he's doing and why we came marching in with weapons drawn. I don't see that there's a significant difference between the risk we accept by wandering into the Underdark where we could potentially die, and the risk we accept by antagonizing other murderhobos.

I also think that the success of the first Starving Festival event, counting both contenders and interested parties sponsoring them, shows that at least a significant portion of the playerbase wants more than an increase in reward, but an increase in risk. I don't think that PK should be open season as we do still have new players to think about, but broadly speaking I don't think bad things happen often enough to nearly enough characters. Which is a shame, because players almost always remember the RPs resulting from the bad things that happened to their character as one of the highlights of their time on FK. It's exciting. Unfortunately, negative experiences with PvP "conduct" means a lot of players actively avoid engaging in it(I'm now one of them, unless my character's been drawn into it in a way that's difficult for them to refuse).

Anyway, I imagine a lot of this is total word vomit so forgive me. Once again, I'd just like to say that I have been mostly disconnected from the game for the first half of 2018, so I can't speak for what the environment right now is like. I'm eager to see what other people are saying about this topic. I feel like I should just throw this on at the end of this post too, but nothing I've said is meant to be a personal attack on anyone, or taken as hostile in any way.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Alitar » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:30 am

I see merits to the OOC warning/acknowledgement part. I see why it's there, and see how it can help some people feel more comfortable, that said I can also understand how it feels like tying your hands and burning viable tactics that make no sense to burn.
Personally I think the looting part of PvP is more of a problem than the two-party consent bit. Being worried you might lose something irreplaceable is more prohibitive than being worried you'll give your opponent the upper hand. Especially knowing you might get mobbed and looted in retaliation for something that had been good RP to begin with. I might be alone with that thought, but I've felt PvP looting should be restricted to consent as well, or be restricted to items like Holy symbols that do a good job of spurring further conflict by giving one player something to brag to their FM with and another something they need to report to their FM about.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Gwain » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:56 am

It might be a good idea to make player corpses unlootable save for holy symbols to aid in aleiviating pvp worry. Anything else though I’d just go along with. You can’t argue with few or no complaint reports involving pvp, I may not be the biggest fan of oocly telling someone that they might have to fight to the death, but at least by doing it I have a chance to resolve an escalating situation.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Ami » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:08 am

For me personally, the OOC requirement is not just comforting, it is necessary. I have a lot of RL anxiety and knowing that someone won't swoop down and murder me for the fun of it with no warning is one of the best ways of alleviating that problem.

I started playing FK in response to playing in a PK supported mud. I hated it. It took away the fun of the RP and made every moment a constant search for trolls and griefers. I really, really, REALLY don't want to have to start worrying about that in FK, ever. The idea honestly scares the willies out of me!

The OOC confirmation requirement has only ever worked wonderfully in my experience. There are of course people who will simply keep throwing stones and never respond to the OOC message, but at the same time it's within your power to not give them the satisfaction of having someone to rage at. You have the ability and even the right to walk away from someone who is behaving like, let's be honest, a complete ponce.

The rule itself is not the problem. People who abuse it are. I think the line should be hard and if there are logs proving that someone broke the rule, then and only then should corrective measures be taken.

I play FK to relax and enjoy my time with my friends. The rule as it stands is conducive to that goal.

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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Benorf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:19 pm

I think the OOC statement should stay in effect. However, it shouldn't require someone to reply. Obviously there would be varying situations, but I think it should serve as a warning of, "You're putting yourself in danger. You have a few minutes before I attack. Extricate yourself from the situation or prepare to throw down."

Obviously this won't help if there is intentional griefing. One would think our playerbase can identify when they're actively hurting someone elses enjoyment of the game, but from other stories I've heard, there have been instances of people being hunted down repeatedly.

As such, I think there should be a hard limit on vengeance. If someone has wronged you, or killed a friend, you may hunt them down. Once. But if they manage to escape or you kill them, you are done. The ball is in their court to continue the RP, if they so choose. Obviously this is not something that'll make everyone happy. I know full well it would leave me unsatisfied if they just flee and I don't get to resolve it. But there must be some way to find a happy middle ground.

I rarely pvp, so my thoughts aren't necessarily the most insightful. Just that: Thoughts.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Areia » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:47 pm

I feel it worth mentioning, though I do not disagree that PvP has been better on the whole, that fewer complaints does not necessarily indicate fewer violations or fewer hurt feelings. Some people simply might not be engaging in PvP as often despite IC reason to engage (I was one of them), or some people will not be the sort to enjoy making a complaint about anyone if it can be helped (I still am one of those), or it could be a mix of all three and more. That said, I do feel that, generally speaking, PvP has felt a little bit more natural and less of a headache over the past several months. Certainly I've not been taken aside by imms or slain by direct divine intervention IC for reasonable IC action anymore, so that's nice. There were one or two incidents last year that I felt were initially pretty bad situations, but over time they were able to be resolved IC, again without imms having to get directly involved. I still feel extremely uncomfortable with killing other PCs, and sometimes my PC's RP has suffered for that, but I think that's more an issue with me and bad past experience than any present conditions. Just wanted to say thanks to imms and players alike for helping to make it a little bit better an environment, and hopefully improvement will continue.

To get on topic, though:

Harroghty wrote:The PvP rules basically just state that you have make an OOC statement which will allow the other player to decide if they want to be involved or not, but otherwise just act IC. The gist being that we should be IC, but also try to let people bow out if they just aren't comfortable with PvP.

I am glad to see my understanding of the rules is in line with Harroghty's explanation. In short, I think it really boils down to, "Don't be an a**, but don't let other people be an a** either." Warn that PvP is possible, then proceed IC. If the informed PC continues whatever it is that prompted the initial warning, then keep on proceeding IC. If the PC stops, leaves, or whatever, then do not pursue PvP. An OOC acknowledgment of the warning might be appreciated, but it is not necessary. This is how I have acted regarding this rule since it was clarified to me, and I've had no problems with imms (that is to say, players might still cry and throw their fits but I haven't been disciplined or warned about rulebreaking by imms).

In truth, with certain PCs and certain players, I do not even feel the need to issue the osay, as it does feel rather awkward and silly to do that in some cases, and that's not been a problem either. In my experience, you will have a few players with whom you come to share a sort of unspoken understanding, and when one of you does something to set the other off IC, it can be pretty well known that combat is to follow. I don't think disrupting IC is really necessary in these situations.

I am no authority on any topic involving the rules, though, and only mean to explain my own understanding as a player, as obvious as that should be. There is one clarification I might like to have posted publically so that everyone's on the same page with that, too, but I'll wait until the osay issue seems finished before I raise it.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Dranso » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:28 am

Can the OCC pvp message be done through discord, or would you prefer it be done through FK?

I ask this because I normally only PvP with people I know and we are usually connected via discord/skype.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Levine » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:05 am

I think the rules should stay in place. I always felt like the spirit of the rules was to ensure there was both intention and OOC consent stated.

The OOC consent/rejection is important because it puts everyone, OOCly, on the same page. Abusing OOC rejection by continuing to aggravate with IC insults constantly aside (Ami pointed out it was a problem with the player, not the rules, and I agree), when a player says that they would prefer for a RP to not result in a PK, I interpret it as "let's OOCly figure out a way to navigate the situation together so that it can end with your head still on your shoulders". If the other player doesn't cooperate, I'm not sure what the point of continuing to play a game with someone you don't agree with on a personal level is. Figure out an IC way to resolve inaction for your own character, and leave. "You're lucky I have a dinner date!"

On the other points touched on:

Firstly, I find the actual killing and death a mere cosmetic victory, and a real OOC inconvenience. I've always advocated killmode stun (even though I once confirmed I was on stun and ended up killing someone because I forgot to actually go on stun, I'm very sorry about that, but hey, we got you ICly resurrected). If the victim is stunned, they can continue to roleplay groaning or scheming and OOCly watch. What in the world do you want them to do from the fugue? Send unlimited free tells?

I don't think there should be any restrictions on what items can be taken, though perhaps I have had zero experiences that seemed truly malicious. If you feel like something was OOCly unreasonable, that's where you submit a complaint to say "They destroyed my item, please can I have it back", or "They didn't even tell me OOCly that they took something, and they're not giving me a way to get it back". And, of course, if it occurred to you to tell them "Please don't tell my holy symbol", tell them OOCly in advance, and they really should honour your OOC wishes.

The OOC fear and anxiety is real for many people, and while I haven't been around so much, PK conflict seems to happen less these days, and characters are less aggravated, etc. I like that I can trust that I will be OOCly notified if someone's going to murder me, and that I can say yes/no. This leads me to my next point, though - while this is nice, on an OOC level, I think we may have fallen into a case of, as a community, preferring non-conflicts, be it actually violent, or otherwise.

In my experience, it is hard to engage people in dangerous roleplay that doesn't involve violence. However, interestingly enough, more people seem to favour the PvP style of conflict. This may be because it's more direct and just the quicker way to achieve results from a conflict as opposed to a year-long letter-sending RP. However, and ironically, there seems to be a distinct fear of being murdered without notice.

On multiple occasions I have experienced, people chose to leave the RP very abruptly (sometimes ICly unreasonably so) instead of continuing to roleplay. Once, I was walked out on, and I assumed they thought I was really going to PK them without a warning, which I had no intention of, despite the presumably menacing smotes. Once, I walked out on a roleplay because I was ICly warned to step away or else. The other player and I later lamented that I didn't stay for the RP, but I explained that I was nervous about hanging around when the warning was issued ("If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you."). This sounded like an end-of-RP notification. When people don't stay for the RP, the actual live RP stops between you and the person you could be roleplaying a conflict with.

Planting seeds for roleplay opportunities is a challenging task - not every seed grows. In fact, most seeds don't grow. I encourage the rules to stay in place, maybe have a clarification of the spirit of the rules (assuming my interpretation was right), and just make sure that we do our best to stay for the RP, and work together to navigate situations where there are PK rejections by healthily compromising our OOC interests.

At the end of the day, we are OOC players controlling our IC characters. I personally dislike breaking the IC tension with OOC, but I think we can all be mature enough and afford to break immersion momentarily to craft stories for our characters that we can all at least tolerate or, in the best case scenario, be proud of.
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Re: PvP Questions?

Postby Althasizor » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:27 am

Just to clarify something from my initial post: I'm not saying the OOC warning should be removed (although I am in that camp so it likely poisoned the well a bit), I meant to say that the necessity of them then acknowledging it leaves an unfortunate amount of room for interpretation.

I'm otherwise glad to hear the PvP-game is in a healthier spot these days!
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