Skirting the rules...


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Dorje Sylas wrote:
I seriously hope the Devs and Mods of PFO crack down hard on those kinds of Meta-games.

I doubt it as this exactly is part of the story! Great betrayals/theft/fraud/murder are simply jigsaw pieces of a great and engaging drama. It is only when these acts of evil become random and basically have no repercussions when a (game or RL) society can break apart which isn't much fun any more.

However in PFO there will be alignment and alignment plays a big big role. But even that will not stop you from making an alt thats a crazy killer and meta game information off it.

But this crazy killer will face repercussions for being a crazy killer and thus be Chaotic Evil and this is the main difference between PFO and EvE.

Liberty's Edge

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Some people skirt the rules.

Others downright try and pants them.

I don't know if that is on topic or not.


The Shameless One wrote:

A paladin who is paying an assassin isn't a paladin anymore and you clearly don't understand what a paladin is.

And furthermore... using your pet to attack people assuming that you are in close proximity would be the same as that you are the one who is attacking.

So how is the game going to determine that my Paladin committed an evil act if he enters Tonys bread store and purchases a loaf of faccetta, shoots the breeze with Tony, then later that night someone takes a knife in the heart?

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:

I doubt it as this exactly is part of the story! Great betrayals/theft/fraud/murder are simply jigsaw pieces of a great and engaging drama. It is only when these acts of evil become random and basically have no repercussions when a (game or RL) society can break apart which isn't much fun any more.

However in PFO there will be alignment and alignment plays a big big role. But even that will not stop you from making an alt thats a crazy killer and meta game information off it.

But this crazy killer will face repercussions for being a crazy killer and thus be Chaotic Evil and this is the main difference between PFO and EvE.

The problem is not with a crazy killer alt but with a perfectly good and respectable alt that then supplies others with meta-gaming information. Players hanging out and joining pugs just to lead them into ambushes. In a full PvP game, information is the true currency.

I don't know of any solution to this. Any limit you put on people having multiple accounts is easily circumvented. Some people will always play to win a game at any cost and in sandbox PvP games, winning involves someone taking a hit to their progress and finances.

Goblin Squad Member

Valandur wrote:
So how is the game going to determine that my Paladin committed an evil act if he enters Tonys bread store and purchases a loaf of faccetta, shoots the breeze with Tony, then later that night someone takes a knife in the heart?

So is Tony's Totally Legitimate Breadmaking Business a celebration of how impossible this will be to adjudicate? Or an indictment?

I suppose it doesn't matter.

The short answer is that the game obviously cannot do this thing.

Pathfinder Online will be won by cross-alignment organizations of invincible evil strike teams backed by powerful good economic machines. If the game engine makes this impossible, say by enforcing alignment restrictions on guild membership, then the players will figure out their alliances themselves, out-of-game.

So it will be like the real world, basically. ...I'm honestly not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I do think it puts a(nother) ding in my interest in playing it, which is not strong to begin with.

Goblin Squad Member

Trikk wrote:
The problem is not with a crazy killer alt but with a perfectly good and respectable alt that then supplies others with meta-gaming information.

The solution is not easy to implement, but it will revolve around in-game objects that represent information. Those information objects could be traded, or extracted via spells, and would be required in order to act on the information.

Early on this will cause some ill-will as players begin to deal with the fact that Characters aren't supposed to be able to act based on information the Player possesses, but ultimately, I believe this will create a much richer game environment.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

The solution is not easy to implement, but it will revolve around in-game objects that represent information. Those information objects could be traded, or extracted via spells, and would be required in order to act on the information.

Early on this will cause some ill-will as players begin to deal with the fact that Characters aren't supposed to be able to act based on information the Player possesses, but ultimately, I believe this will create a much richer game environment.

It could be part of a solution, but you could never make it completely solve the problem without cutting down the open world into small instanced spaces.

Goblin Squad Member

Trikk wrote:
... without cutting down the open world into small instanced spaces.

I actually see the opposite.

Make the world so realistically large that your Character simply will not stumble across what the Player knows is there. It would require being able to dynamically generate terrain rather than requiring each inch of dirt to be hand-crafted.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nemo_the_Lost wrote:

...

Pathfinder Online will be won by cross-alignment organizations of invincible evil strike teams backed by powerful good economic machines. If the game engine makes this impossible, say by enforcing alignment restrictions on guild membership, then the players will figure out their alliances themselves, out-of-game.
...

Your 'If' does not factor every available counter.

All the game has to do is eliminate invincibility, or anything approaching invincibility. With a fairly flat power curve this should not be terribly difficult unless there is an impractical imbalance in alignment populations. If there is an impractical imbalance in populations then the result is democratic self-regulation anyway: those players will accurately get the result they deserve: an evil world where good does not provide a story or a good world where evil does not provide a story.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
All the game has to do is eliminate invincibility, or anything approaching invincibility.

I was using the word 'invincible' figuratively, to illustrate the power that could be wielded in an alignment-mediated system by a military group espousing total war while being backed by an economic and industrial complex that "plays nice" and suffers none of the penalties for the military group's actions.

It's not a question of limiting in-game power creep. Sorry for the confusion.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nemo_the_Lost wrote:
Being wrote:
All the game has to do is eliminate invincibility, or anything approaching invincibility.

I was using the word 'invincible' figuratively, to illustrate the power that could be wielded in an alignment-mediated system by a military group espousing total war while being backed by an economic and industrial complex that "plays nice" and suffers none of the penalties for the military group's actions.

It's not a question of limiting in-game power creep. Sorry for the confusion.

So, if I understand you, the problem is not that the evil will be invincible, but that you don't want conflict at all? You want to have no need to defend yourself?

Yet unless there is conflict there is no story. No story, no adventure. Basically you just want a stock market simulation instead of an RPG? Or more specifically you want PFO to be a version of Second Life?

Goblin Squad Member

What is the difference between an evil military empire backed by the resources of a good economic nation and a good military empire backed by the rsources of a good economic nation?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It has been, and remains my contention that alignment is simply not enforceable in a CRG. No matter what gaming mechanic is put in, clever players will find a way around it.

Warcraft not only acknowledges this fact, but embraces it. So that's why those Scarlet Paladins can be targeting you with their smites.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
So, if I understand you, the problem is not that the evil will be invincible, but that you don't want conflict at all? You want to have no need to defend yourself?

I don't see how you drew that conclusion from my previous statement.

Quote:
What is the difference between an evil military empire backed by the resources of a good economic nation and a good military empire backed by the rsources of a good economic nation?

Well, presumably, as Goblinworks is implementing an alignment system in Pathfinder Online, there will be benefits and penalties associated with belonging to an alignment. If this is not the case, there is no reason for an alignment system. Can we agree on that?

I am further guessing that the benefits of an evil alignment would enhance a more player-combat-focused play style, while the benefits of a good alignment would enhance a more peaceful, economics-focused play style. I realize that is more of a stretch, but I do not think it is beyond the realm of probability.

Based on this proposal, an evil warband backed by a good economic engine would benefit from the best of both alignment options while suffering few of the challenges of either.

The evil brigands would be free to act without morality in the pursuit of their military goals, because they do not need to maintain a good alignment to preserve positive trading relationships -- the other half of their organization handles that. And the economic engine does not have to worry about being unable to cross certain lines in combat because they do not engage in it -- they are entirely consumed with the maintenance of positive trading relationships.

I want to be clear that I am not making a quality judgment about this perceived aspect of the game. It's just an obvious question about what we know (or do not know) about the development of Pathfinder Online thus far and I am encouraging people to think about it.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

I really don't think the mechanics of being evil are really well thought out in some of our minds. ... Playing an evil character has to somehow be viable. Yet what will that look like in the game?

...
How do you manifest your evilness? This is about as challenging as expressing your goodness as a Paladin under the conditions projected as desirable by the developer....
...
It has to be viable to play the foil for good aligned characters.

How committed will any of us be to our "game principles", our alignment if you will? Would you sacrifice all you have accomplished in the game to stay true to your RP identity? Yes it is just a game. But life is a game and it can seem pretty real at times.

Goblin Squad Member

Valandur wrote:
The Shameless One wrote:

A paladin who is paying an assassin isn't a paladin anymore and you clearly don't understand what a paladin is.

And furthermore... using your pet to attack people assuming that you are in close proximity would be the same as that you are the one who is attacking.

So how is the game going to determine that my Paladin committed an evil act if he enters Tonys bread store and purchases a loaf of faccetta, shoots the breeze with Tony, then later that night someone takes a knife in the heart?

It would be best if the paladin spells and traits were omitted altogether from Pathfinder Online since there is no way to prevent player paladins from comitting evil deeds within the game.

Goblin Squad Member

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So, to sum up here, we have 3 status that can be applied to a character: Alignment (good/evil on a spectrum), Criminal (possibly temporary, nominal based on select actions), and thief (most likely this is a type of criminal category).

From what I gather, being flagged as a criminal allows for various actions to then be done on your character (attacked without receiving a future flag, target of bounty, looted without flag).

The other is that the flag is visible, thereby damaging your ability to conduct future non-criminal actions with others.

I think that there is some room to have characters minimize these penalties - this has to be done, however, in such a way as to circumvent the intention of the system in general.

What I see are a couple options - delay flags, hide flags, and remove flags.

Delay flag would be worked into a skill, let's say subtly. It works by reducing the time between when a criminal act occurs, and when the flag is registered. I imagine the min-max time for this ranging from a few seconds, to a maximum of an hour

Hidden flags would be the ability hide the display of your flags to other players corresponding with a difference in skills. Let's call this skill Guile - any player with a perception lower than this skill doesn't see your criminal flag (might make exceptions if they were a victim of that particular person, or give them a bonus).

Finally, remove flags. I imagine this as a sort of in game statue of limitations. I suspect that criminal flags would eventually decay over time regardless (over many days, weeks, or longer). Taking this skill, lets call it notority, allows you to reduce the time it takes for a criminal flag to disappear. A caveot would be each new crime resets the trigger AND time spent logged out doesn't count. Basically, if you commit a crime, and can hide long enough, it is no longer valid, until you make a new one.

Thoughts on these?

Goblin Squad Member

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:
Being wrote:
So, if I understand you, the problem is not that the evil will be invincible, but that you don't want conflict at all? You want to have no need to defend yourself?
I don't see how you drew that conclusion from my previous statement.

You are right: I confess I have an expectation of you which may not be merited by the case. So let me backtrack from where I presupposed your position to be and ask instead: Do you just not expect to have to defend yourself? Because if the evil are not invincable why would you not simply defend yourself? But I considered you probably do not want to have to divert from your intended course of action to defend yourself just because another player is playing an evil alignment and so doing evil things, and that your whole point is that you dislike PvP absolutely, despite the very nature of chess and football (which are PvP centric).

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


Being wrote:
What is the difference between an evil military empire backed by the resources of a good economic nation and a good military empire backed by the rsources of a good economic nation?
Well, presumably, as Goblinworks is implementing an alignment system in Pathfinder Online, there will be benefits and penalties associated with belonging to an alignment. If this is not the case, there is no reason for an alignment system. Can we agree on that?

There will be benefits and penalties for some, but not all, for being of a specific alignment or range of alignments. Druids must always be Neutral as an example.

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


I am further guessing that the benefits of an evil alignment would enhance a more player-combat-focused play style, while the benefits of a good alignment would enhance a more peaceful, economics-focused play style.

Not really accurate, nearly as I can tell. Military prowess/combat efficacy should be equivalent on both sides. However to have the powers of a Paladin the player must be quite self-disciplined to avoid losing Lawful Good alignment, and I believe that as a result of the evilness of certain spells necromantic wizards will invariably be of evil alignment.

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


I realize that is more of a stretch, but I do not think it is beyond the realm of probability.

Examining the core rulebook it seems that the relative power of the good and evil alignments are well balanced. Economically the Good have a significant edge, but I suspect that may well be a balancing mechanic required due to other advantages that will accrue to Evil, but nothing significantly overbalancing.

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


Based on this proposal, an evil warband backed by a good economic engine would benefit from the best of both alignment options while suffering few of the challenges of either.

This proposition may be true irrespective of any related misunderstanding. Might not be true, but it seems almost likely to me since the most significant advantage good has is its economic efficiency.

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


The evil brigands would be free to act without morality in the pursuit of their military goals, because they do not need to maintain a good alignment to preserve positive trading relationships -- the other half of their organization handles that. And the economic engine does not have to worry about being unable to cross certain lines in combat because they do not engage in it -- they are entirely consumed with the maintenance of positive trading relationships.

The evil brigands will still be free to be evil brigands irrespective of alignment hits because really, when you think about it, what is an alignment hit to a Paladin should be an alignment boost to an evil brigand. Yet I wish to be clear that this is most likely best for the game because there must be conflict for there to be a story at all. Whether we like what happens to the hero of our favorite tale is irrelevant: without conflict there can be no hero.

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


I want to be clear that I am not making a quality judgment about this perceived aspect of the game. It's just an obvious question about what we know (or do not know) about the development of Pathfinder Online thus far and I am encouraging people to think about it.

Encouraging thought is commendable, and now is the time to give clear voice to your reservations. But understand that it is my personal duty to give clear voice to aspects of the system I envision as 'The Game Done Right' as well. I promise to be open to criticsism if you iwill be equally open to mine. My whole interest is to see an MMO RPG game done RIGHT.

It is for some a problem that there is the potential for another player to attack us without regard to right, wrong, or our own preference. While understandable as a sentiment it is better for the game to allow the ability while preparing consequences for so doing. Yet the game must be playable for those preferring to align with in-game evil, to oppose in-game good because the Good must have a worthy foe to have meaning at all.

Goblin Squad Member

Harad Navar wrote:
Being wrote:

I really don't think the mechanics of being evil are really well thought out in some of our minds. ... Playing an evil character has to somehow be viable. Yet what will that look like in the game?

...
How do you manifest your evilness? This is about as challenging as expressing your goodness as a Paladin under the conditions projected as desirable by the developer....
...
It has to be viable to play the foil for good aligned characters.

How committed will any of us be to our "game principles", our alignment if you will? Would you sacrifice all you have accomplished in the game to stay true to your RP identity?

Possibly. I can at least imagine it. However I know I consider the quality of a story to be more important than any character therein. Literary prejudice of mine that I am proud to have.

Harad Navar wrote:


Yes it is just a game. But life is a game and it can seem pretty real at times.

Damn real at times. Too damn real.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluff (opposed by Sense Motive) and Disguise (opposed by Perception) could both be used in different ways to help hide your negative flags from being displayed. I like this idea, it still penalizes people because if they happen to die in pvp they won't be able to flag the attacker regardless of whether the attacker knew they were a criminal or not. It also allows for people to choose to be a bandit or villain and some people won't be able to tell that they are a criminal. Of course, word will get around socially and they will be blacklisted I'm sure, but not from everything and not by everyone. Very interesting idea, and a good one.

Goblin Squad Member

Uthreth Baelcoressitas wrote:
Bluff (opposed by Sense Motive) and Disguise (opposed by Perception) could both be used in different ways to help hide your negative flags from being displayed. I like this idea, it still penalizes people because if they happen to die in pvp they won't be able to flag the attacker regardless of whether the attacker knew they were a criminal or not. It also allows for people to choose to be a bandit or villain and some people won't be able to tell that they are a criminal. Of course, word will get around socially and they will be blacklisted I'm sure, but not from everything and not by everyone. Very interesting idea, and a good one.

Yeah, let's say there is perception to notice that you've been pickpocketed, and Sense Motive/Insight to detirmine WHO stole from you.

I could see badges for thieves where at certain skill levels, they get a bonus to performing SOME types of crimes (corpse stealing or pickpoceting) and assassins (on killing).

I also imagine that regardless if you can delay the criminal flag (social), that you will automatically get an alignment hit (moral). So, you cannot be a GOOD thief, but you can be wanted, fugitive - and possibly balance your evil acts of stealing with good acts of giving or support (robin hood style) to balance out your alignment.

The important thing you would need is to have it that even a really good criminal can't be untouchable, they just need to be met with an equivenant vigilante (paladin with high percept/insigh) to find the criminal.

Finally, having flags eventually degrade allows for two things - allows people to reform if they want to change their chacter AND provides an eventual means to stop endless potential counter griefing via the bounty system.

Goblin Squad Member

Jiminy wrote:
KitNyx wrote:

Except none of those villains you mention are necessarily Evil, they are just criminals. Evil is a religious term. In Golarion (PfO), alignment is decided by your "fame/reputation" with the deities who shape the nature of the universe. This is also why your rogue not getting caught by the local law can still take an alignment hit for doing dirty deeds, they are always visible to any deity which might be looking their way.

I do agree unobserved crimes should not flag you criminal, but desecrating a LG shrine will still probably piss of the LG deity (and gain the favor of those opposing ones)...whether you think you were observed or not. Likewise, those actions which are inherently evil (evil magicks, murder, etc) or good (healing, good magicks, etc) should draw the attention of those deities upon whose domain your actions tread...no matter how good your stealth/disguise roll.

So, Jiminy...I 100% agree with you concerning criminal flags, not so much about alignment flags.

This is what I want and what I am trying to convey. I made an unconscious error in my post above when I wrote 'flagging for an evil act'. I should have said 'taking an alignment hit when performing evil acts'.

I am completely unconcerned with alignment with my arguements/statements here. I simply want the criminal flag not automatically registering for acts that are not directly observed.

The irony is, I am potentially thinking of playing the 'good' type of rogue ala Batman, so will possibly even not bother with any of the examples I have given. Playing a little of the devils advocate I guess.

Then I agree with you totally, but disagree with the addition of new tags/flags. To me there is a conceptually simply and obvious solution to this problem. Make the criminal flag based on a regional/factional reputation system...but entirely PC driven.

If you are in town x and steal something and do not get caught, obviously no one will bother flagging you. If you are in town x and do get caught, word will be spread among the local businesses/CCs and they will flag you negatively...you and your buddies from town y will of course bump each others reputation (with diminishing returns of course). The result is that you will be an upstanding citizen in y and a criminal in x.

I would also suggest the "size or magnitude" of your criminal/reputation tag decide the size of your regional effects. A reported PKer will probably be known as such in a larger area than a pickpocket. A repeat PKer might be a criminal over a large portion of the map (if not the entire thing).

And I agree tags (good or bad) should slowly degrade, reputations fade...people forget.

This also allows for people to be tagged by association. If a PKer is always teamed with someone who does not PK...the non-PKer will probably have their rep tarnished by association. If town x decides to no longer serve a given criminal, merchants who do so could be flagged if observed serving them (leading to "under-the-table" deals).

Goblin Squad Member

My two bits for this dicussion:
Evil army with Good suppliers concept has 1 weak point - item transfer. If PFO will be even remotely akin to EVE, any war activity will consume tremenduous amount of high-quality resources. Arrows, potions, repair kits... So "good guys" must implement some way to trade with their evil alts. Remember, here will be no global market, no items-by-post service. Any act of trade will be on local market, probably with some general info about it, or in the wilderness, where anyone can spot 2 such parties. And alignment hits for these good guys, even small ones, will eventually lead to alignment shift.
This is a fantasy game, not EVE cyberpunk. In Golarion gods are real and active powers, pacts and oaths can be magically strenghtened and breaking some of them can lead to the grave consequences (sorry for the joke). GW have lofty goal - to make a fantasy andbox without killing the spirit of the setting. I hope they will succeed. Maybe, we can help them in their efforts.

Goblin Squad Member

Zetesofos wrote:

...

Finally, remove flags. I imagine this as a sort of in game statue of limitations. I suspect that criminal flags would eventually decay over time regardless (over many days, weeks, or longer). Taking this skill, lets call it notority, allows you to reduce the time it takes for a criminal flag to disappear. A caveot would be each new crime resets the trigger AND time spent logged out doesn't count. Basically, if you commit a crime, and can hide long enough, it is no longer valid, until you make a new one.

Thoughts on these?

I like the criminality 'fade' idea. Possibly the fade should be slower in the hex where the crime occurred, especially if there is still a 'wanted' poster up in that hex (assuming such were in the game).

Instead of a simple flag I would use a counter. For every death of the criminal the counter decriments until it reaches zero.

Goblin Squad Member

”Being” wrote:
Because if the evil are not invincable why would you not simply defend yourself? But I considered you probably do not want to have to divert from your intended course of action to defend yourself just because another player is playing an evil alignment and so doing evil things, and that your whole point is that you dislike PvP absolutely, despite the very nature of chess and football (which are PvP centric).

I do not enjoy PvP, but that is peripheral to this discussion. I am concerned here with the creation of PvP imbalance through the abuse of game mechanics intended to balance. In short: a metagame alliance between a good economic power and an evil military power that permits both to benefit from the advantages of the alignment system while minimizing the negative effects of that system.

Such an alliance could generate strength sufficient to render defense without metagaming irrelevant, resulting in a game dominated by metagaming powerhouses and where it is impossible to play the game as intended.

Quote:
Not really accurate, nearly as I can tell. Military prowess/combat efficacy should be equivalent on both sides.

I think you get this, despite this particular statement, but just to clarify: I’m not talking about straight up combat bonuses from being evil. I agree those are unlikely. I’m more talking about the less hard-coded advantages of not having to worry about staying good. If military force A is bound by rules of engagement and military force B is not, force B has significant advantage.

As you say, evil has to have /something/ to offset the economic advantages of good.

Quote:
But understand that it is my personal duty to give clear voice to aspects of the system I envision as 'The Game Done Right' as well.

I don’t think we’re on opposite sides of this discussion. I may be cynical and you may be optimistic, but I think we both have an interest in seeing Pathfinder Online succeed at its goals.

Quote:
It is for some a problem that there is the potential for another player to attack us without regard to right, wrong, or our own preference. While understandable as a sentiment it is better for the game to allow the ability while preparing consequences for so doing. Yet the game must be playable for those preferring to align with in-game evil, to oppose in-game good because the Good must have a worthy foe to have meaning at all.

I am completely in agreement. I think mandatory PvP combined with /complete/ player character accountability is the ideal MMOG solution to player conflict. However, I also believe that Goblinworks is not addressing the very real challenge of accomplishing this feat without alienating PvP-focused players. It may not even be possible. No game has ever succeeded, and all Goblinworks is saying on the subject is “We’re going to do it.” I think a little incredulity is warranted.

Goblin Squad Member

Marlagram wrote:

My two bits for this dicussion:

Evil army with Good suppliers concept has 1 weak point - item transfer. If PFO will be even remotely akin to EVE, any war activity will consume tremenduous amount of high-quality resources. Arrows, potions, repair kits... So "good guys" must implement some way to trade with their evil alts. Remember, here will be no global market, no items-by-post service. Any act of trade will be on local market, probably with some general info about it, or in the wilderness, where anyone can spot 2 such parties. And alignment hits for these good guys, even small ones, will eventually lead to alignment shift.

Are you sure that there cannot be lawful neutral caravans carrying goods from good settlements to evil settlements? That would reduce a lucrative potential career or two to nil, wouldn't it? The Neutral trader gets good points for serving good, and evil points for serving evil: a win-win-win arrangement.

Marlagram wrote:


This is a fantasy game, not EVE cyberpunk. In Golarion gods are real and active powers, pacts and oaths can be magically strenghtened and breaking some of them can lead to the grave consequences (sorry for the joke). GW have lofty goal - to make a fantasy andbox without killing the spirit of the setting. I hope they will succeed. Maybe, we can help them in their efforts.

I don't believe they expect it will be easy. I intend to help as I can.

Goblin Squad Member

Marlagram wrote:
So "good guys" must implement some way to trade with their evil alts.

Neutral go-betweens should solve this dilemma without much hassle.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Marlagram wrote:

My two bits for this dicussion:

Evil army with Good suppliers concept has 1 weak point - item transfer. If PFO will be even remotely akin to EVE, any war activity will consume tremenduous amount of high-quality resources. Arrows, potions, repair kits... So "good guys" must implement some way to trade with their evil alts. Remember, here will be no global market, no items-by-post service. Any act of trade will be on local market, probably with some general info about it, or in the wilderness, where anyone can spot 2 such parties. And alignment hits for these good guys, even small ones, will eventually lead to alignment shift.

Are you sure that there cannot be lawful neutral caravans carrying goods from Lawful Good settlements to evil aligned settlements? That would reduce a lucrative potentail career or two to nil, wouldn't it? The Neutral trader gets good points for serving good, and evil points for serving evil: a win:win arrangement.

And even this system involving 3 groups of players can be tracked, where they go and with whom they trade. So merchants will be really winners, and "good guys" will be exposed. Other good groups can impose many sanctions against these turncoats. Internal spies, trade wars. (That's from EVE experience) Or, maybe, if this mechanics will be implemented, starts to craft exclusively holy and axiomatic wersions of weapons? And these "good guys", maybe, will have some problems with their gods. Gods in Golarion aren't nite-pickers, but sometimes they notice something and warn their stray children, or punish them... But any new ideas will help.

Goblin Squad Member

KitNyx wrote:


Then I agree with you totally, but disagree with the addition of new tags/flags. To me there is a conceptually simply and obvious solution to this problem. Make the criminal flag based on a regional/factional reputation system...but entirely PC driven.

If you are in town x and steal something and do not get caught, obviously no one will bother flagging you. If you are in town x and...

That sounds nice, I'll admit, but I think it's unfeasible at this point from a technical perspective. The problem is that rather having one criminal status that goes through a limited set of variations, you would then have mutliple versions of a criminal status for each person/organization. Effectively, you need to create a social status between each person for every person.

For example, for a population of let's say 5,000 - EACH avatar needs to have data storage for the current status of 4,999 individual flags, plus additional ones for each organization. Now multiply that for each player, and you quickly have data that might take a lot to store. I can't say for certain how BIG such a notification would be, but it's easy to see that having to track each relationship is far more than having one per avatar that is adjusted serially.

Does that make sense?

Goblin Squad Member

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


I do not enjoy PvP, but that is peripheral to this discussion. I am concerned here with the creation of PvP imbalance through the abuse of game mechanics intended to balance. In short: a metagame alliance between a good economic power and an evil military power that permits both to benefit from the advantages of the alignment system while minimizing the negative effects of that system.

Such an alliance could generate strength sufficient to render defense without metagaming irrelevant, resulting in a game dominated by metagaming powerhouses and where it is impossible to play the game as intended.

First, it may be that there will be times when Good is ascendent and evil declines, and there will be times when Evil is ascendent and the good declines. It should result in a dynamic state that is ever in flux. But beyond that what I think most have failed so far to appreciate about the True Neutrals as a third power base (rather than as a merely indeterminate population) is that what we have is not really a binary power structure. Even if Chaos/Law are subservient to Good and Evil, which they may not be, I suspect there will also be a Neutral power which will weigh in eventually, and temporarily, and do so in various ways. Some will be economically motivated and enjoy the revenue stream generated by a healthy dynamic between good and evil, and others will be more interested in the balance between good and evil. If Evil does gain the upper hand for awhile I imagine the weakness of the good will find themselves bolstered by the third powers, and evil will find themselves again on the defensive until balance returns. Then the Neutrals would likely hope to retire from the conflict if possible.

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:


I think you get this, despite this particular statement, but just to clarify: I’m not talking about straight up combat bonuses from being evil. I agree those are unlikely. I’m more talking about the less hard-coded advantages of not having to worry about staying good. If military force A is bound by rules of engagement and military force B is not, force B has significant advantage.

As you say, evil has to have /something/ to offset the economic advantages of good.

Consider that in a state of war the good are less constrained by the mechanics than in a state of peace.

Goblin Squad Member

Marlagram wrote:

...

And even this system involving 3 groups of players can be tracked, where they go and with whom they trade...

Can be tracked, yes. Will be tracked is a different question. If it is better for the game to focus on the one transaction at a time I would expect the gods will only see that one transaction at a time. It is not contrary to the lawful good to trade with lawful neutrals. It is not contrary to the lawful neutrals to trade with the lawful evil. Nor is it contrary to lawful evil to trade with lawful neutrals.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
First, it may be that there will be times when Good is ascendent and evil declines, and there will be times when Evil is ascendent and the good declines. It should result in a dynamic state that is ever in flux.

It should, yes. But it won't if the game mechanics reward an equilibrium state more. The flow of a multiplayer game does not obey the logic of the real world, it obeys the logic of the game universe. Good and evil will only ebb and flow if there are game mechanics rewarding that behavior.

Quote:
Consider that in a state of war the good are less constrained by the mechanics than in a state of peace.

I'm not concerned about wars. I'm primarily concerned about good-aligned economic powerhouses maintaining boosted bands of gank-happy bandits in the wilderness, and without penalty.

Goblin Squad Member

Zetesofos wrote:
KitNyx wrote:


Then I agree with you totally, but disagree with the addition of new tags/flags. To me there is a conceptually simply and obvious solution to this problem. Make the criminal flag based on a regional/factional reputation system...but entirely PC driven.

If you are in town x and steal something and do not get caught, obviously no one will bother flagging you. If you are in town x and...

That sounds nice, I'll admit, but I think it's unfeasible at this point from a technical perspective. The problem is that rather having one criminal status that goes through a limited set of variations, you would then have mutliple versions of a criminal status for each person/organization. Effectively, you need to create a social status between each person for every person.

For example, for a population of let's say 5,000 - EACH avatar needs to have data storage for the current status of 4,999 individual flags, plus additional ones for each organization. Now multiply that for each player, and you quickly have data that might take a lot to store. I can't say for certain how BIG such a notification would be, but it's easy to see that having to track each relationship is far more than having one per avatar that is adjusted serially.

Does that make sense?

It does and that is a valid point, however I think it would also be workable if it is simplified to being a status with each association, from CCs to settlements and nations, with the local region/hex being the default.

Goblin Squad Member

I would understand CC/Settlements (that might be small enough), but how would local region flags work? You have a status for each Hex and as cross a border you might go from flagged to not flagged?

Would that mean that you could escape capture/bounty by leaving a region? Could work...

Goblin Squad Member

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:

It should, yes. But it won't if the game mechanics reward an equilibrium state more. The flow of a multiplayer game does not obey the logic of the real world, it obeys the logic of the game universe. Good and evil will only ebb and flow if there are game mechanics rewarding that behavior.
...

Then support the trinary state True Neutrality could afford to the system were it made in-game real.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Just to chime in:

That situation where anyone at any time could betray the party... I hope to see that. There's an element of safety that comes with familiar faces and that should exist. If you're working with random/unknown people than you SHOULD expect the unexpected. I hope that evil people are able to mask their alignment and go on operations just like this. I won't like it at the moment that it happens to ME but it will make me enjoy the overall experience more. I don't like it when supporting characters die in movies but it certainly makes me more emotionally invested in the outcome.

Also on the subject of benefits from alignment. It's generally my take that "Good" alignments, and "Lawful" alignments should get the most reward. Lawful Good characters like Paladins (Which I don't at this time intend to play) should have access to the most powerful items to fight evil. Part of their restrictive play style should be the associated rewards. Chaotic Evil should have access to the least powerful things. There will be people that play those alignments regardless, but the system should reward co-operative play and good behavior.

In reality chaotic evil should be discouraged because the general populace doesn't like it. It will always be appealing for those people that have no regard for society and just want to slam buttons and kill things. If those chaotic evil people have trouble purchasing items even in lawful evil towns, than they're forced back to their own true evil/chaotic evil hideouts or fortresses.

An example situation of alignments:

A party is formed, the lawful evil party member has his alignment masked and no one succeeds at detecting his actual alignment. The lawful evil party member says that they heard there was some appealing benefit to going THAT way... The party heads out of town, only to be ambushed by chaotic evil raiders. The lawful evil character does not participate in the fight, just walking away.

The chaotic evil raiders kill the rest of the party, loot their husks and rejoice in victory. Then they are all flagged as criminals. Lawful good guards from the nearest city, or even lawful evil guards from the nearest city charge out to find the raiders. With their superior gear they kill them, loot their husks and collect a reward. In the case of exceptionally nice players the original party has their items returned, but that's not a likely scenario unless the reward can be set to the items and the criminal flag associated with the items as well.

Meanwhile the lawful evil character didn't participate in the crime but gains a terrible reputation by word of mouth.

It sounds terrible for the original party, but this is the kind of drama/conflict that fuels the best of evil personas and story arcs.

Goblin Squad Member

Zetesofos wrote:

I would understand CC/Settlements (that might be small enough), but how would local region flags work? You have a status for each Hex and as cross a border you might go from flagged to not flagged?

Would that mean that you could escape capture/bounty by leaving a region? Could work...

To your first point, no...a flag would represent a sufficiently negative reputation, not a binary on/off. In addition to having a reputation with CCs and Settlements which is the sum of the "marks" you have received (positive or negative) from members of those social groups, hexes/regions would work the same. You would have a reputation which is the sum of marks from people in that region. It would represent word of mouth, rumours, warnings, etc.

So, levels of reputation (again good or bad) would have different effects on your interactions. A slightly disfavourable rep, say for a pick pocket, will not allow random players to kill the thief on sight. A massive negative rep from repeat PKs would not only allow random people to kill you, but would probably make others flag someone positively for killing you...as a champion of the people sort of thing.

Second, totally. If I go commit crimes in the nearest NG city and am "flagged" a criminal, why would the people in my local NE city decry my actions? I might even be a local hero...

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Also bonus points to the lawful evil character if he says something snarky while walking away.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Athansor wrote:

...

Also on the subject of benefits from alignment. It's generally my take that "Good" alignments, and "Lawful" alignments should get the most reward....

Why? What benefit is there to the game to unbalance it so badly that no one will play the villain?

Do you not realize this is not a themepark that is going to generate content for us? We have to build it ourelves. If there are no evil characters the good characters have no purpose.

There must be a balance. If you are going to give all the most powerful items to the lawful good and allow only paltry trinkets to chaotic evil, how are the chaotic evil going to be balanced in compensation in your system?

Goblin Squad Member

So, let's see if I got this straight:

Player A has Criminal Reputation of 100/100 with region X, (no crimes).

Player pickpockets Player B, and recieves a flag from that player for action, their reputation is droped by, let's say 5 points. Player B also informs Player C that Player A is a thief, player C rates player A as a criminal as well. player A's rep drops to 90/100. Repeat until player A's rep falls to 50/100; player A can now be targeted for looting as a criminal while in Region X. However in Region Y, player A still has criminal rating of 100/100

How close am I?

Goblin Squad Member

Zetesofos wrote:

So, let's see if I got this straight:

Player A has Criminal Reputation of 100/100 with region X, (no crimes).

Player pickpockets Player B, and recieves a flag from that player for action, their reputation is droped by, let's say 5 points. Player B also informs Player C that Player A is a thief, player C rates player A as a criminal as well. player A's rep drops to 90/100. Repeat until player A's rep falls to 50/100; player A can now be targeted for looting as a criminal while in Region X. However in Region Y, player A still has criminal rating of 100/100

How close am I?

Change the initial Rep to 0 with a possible range of 100 to -100, and decrease the change from any one report. Then yes...region-wise. At -80 or so you are considered automatically at war with the region which is why you can be KOS to anyone in it.

Disguise skill can hide these reputations (with allowance for an active sense motive/perception contest).

Goblin Squad Member

Man, between the guy promoting ninja looting and the guy suggesting that criminal flagging should be based on player 'downvoting,' I'm at a dead loss. I'm starting to wonder if this project isn't even /more/ doomed than I had originally thought.

You guys don't want a sandbox, you want a litterbox! :D


I would say if the character made the pickpocket roll obviously no one would know. He sets a trap no one knows who set it.
Now if the character camps players and intentionallly does griefing to annoy everyone..then he /she gets exactly what he/she deserves. If everyday this said player steals traps and causes mayhem with alot of players sooner or later someone is going to report the activity and then they get banned end of story.
I have seen this alot on several games over the years..one person finds enjoyment in ruining others fun and enjoyment of the game.If i don't want a dr hyde or moriaty or super evil villian character stalking why should I. If some player thinks it funny to stalk my character or others and think they are expanding and enriching others is sadly mistaken.This activity would border on a insanity ont eh other players part following random players around just to cause problem. Makes one wonder what mental problems the real person has or what sick need to deprave others of enjoying the product they paid for.
Now a tasselhoff,fafnir and Grey mouser, or Conan etc. who were all iconic rogues i admit they did some things and it improved the storyline in the books. same as theives world series..now I think it fine you wish to improve your rogue or evil villian story and you enjoy it but why should the rest pay for it and have to sit back and bear the anguish for one players amusement.Sucha selfish act on your part..shame on you.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Athansor wrote:

...

Also on the subject of benefits from alignment. It's generally my take that "Good" alignments, and "Lawful" alignments should get the most reward...

Why? What benefit is there to the game to unbalance it so badly that no one will play the villain?

Do you not realize this is not a themepark that is going to generate content for us? We have to build it ourelves. If there are no evil characters the good characters have no purpose.

There must be a balance. If you are going to give all the most powerful items to the lawful good and allow only paltry trinkets to chaotic evil, how are the chaotic evil going to be balanced in compensation in your system?

You have a habit of taking a comment and blowing it to the complete extremes of what was being said on these message boards, so please consider my comment with a more subtle definition. I don't want it to be so unbalanced that everyone will play the villain, but there should be some reward for those that take time to make civil societies. This is from the standpoint of someone that doesn't know what they're guild is going to be doing yet as it's still in discussion and won't be finalized until we know more about the alignment and settlement systems.

The idea though is that you don't want the most reward being available for the completely uncivilized players that just want to power-game. It changes the environment that everyone plays in and contributes to the problem with pvp games. When I played UO there were more PKs than non-pks. The way to play a good guy in that game was to be an anti-pk, and essentially be a bandit response team.

A city with laws, even a lawful evil city, will in general have better advancement in crafts/etc than a band of raiders. Paladins as an example of good will generally have access to holy items and powers that make them more powerful, if not as versatile, than a fighter in a lot of situations. If they lose their alignment though, they've always lost access to these powers and items.

It'll be nice to see the opposite for evil characters giving them access to dark powers like disguises and outright death effects if used properly.

Also don't dismiss that the game will be generating content for us every time we go to gather resources, or adventure in the NPC bandit/etc camps that pop up.

But PVP does not have to be just good vs evil. Kingdom vs Kingdom pvp with wars would allow lawful good to fight lawful good with no consequence I'd assume.

Goblin Squad Member

@Zetesophos
Not sure, but the model doesn't mesh with mine.

Player A Pickpockets player B in Town 1. Player B notices nothing until later, but cannot tell who the pickpocket may have been. Nobody else noticed either and no Guards saw it. Player A evilness increments. Town1 discontent increases, productivity reduced slightly.

Player A pickpockets Player C in Town1. Player C catches Player A, turns and kills him. Town1 discontent decreases and productivity rises slightly.

Player A awakes in a temple, clear slate due to the penance of death. Player A goes outside, waits til dusk and pickpockets Player D. Player D catches Player A in the act and attacks player A. Player A kills Player D. Guards rush to the scene and kill Player A. Player cannot rez in Town1 (banished) so he rezzes at the nearest temple not in Town1. Town1 discontent decreases and productivity increases slightly.

Player A learns he is Unwelcome in town1: guards chase after him on sight. Player A heads to Town 2 which is of a different kingdom. Walks in the gate no problem. To celebrate he pickpockets Player E. Player E catches him. Not wishing to have to change towns again Player A runs out of town. Player E issues criminal flag, goes to the constable and files a bounty.

I don't have the part about players filing criminal complaint by heresay: that would be completely unjust. I also would clear the slate upon death to prevent reverse griefing where the offending player gets killed or bountied over and over forever just because the 'victim' happens to be a particularly vindictive unforgiving a**hole.

Goblin Squad Member

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:

Man, between the guy promoting ninja looting and the guy suggesting that criminal flagging should be based on player 'downvoting,' I'm at a dead loss. I'm starting to wonder if this project isn't even /more/ doomed than I had originally thought.

You guys don't want a sandbox, you want a litterbox! :D

I am just trying to find and suggest solutions that make player interactions the driving force in any (and every) aspect of the game. What do you see as the faults in this system, so that we might try to address them?

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Athansor wrote:
Being wrote:
Athansor wrote:

...

Also on the subject of benefits from alignment. It's generally my take that "Good" alignments, and "Lawful" alignments should get the most reward...

Why? What benefit is there to the game to unbalance it so badly that no one will play the villain?

Do you not realize this is not a themepark that is going to generate content for us? We have to build it ourelves. If there are no evil characters the good characters have no purpose.

There must be a balance. If you are going to give all the most powerful items to the lawful good and allow only paltry trinkets to chaotic evil, how are the chaotic evil going to be balanced in compensation in your system?

You have a habit of taking a comment and blowing it to the complete extremes of what was being said on these message boards, so please consider my comment with a more subtle definition....

The technical term is, I think, reductio ad absurdum. By reducing a proposition to its absurd extreme it can be disproven.

How many ways do you propose we should take :"give all the best stuff to the lawful good and the vendor junk to the evil'>

Do you for one moment imagine in some wild hallucination that those who grief will fail to take advantage wherever they find it? Your plan will populate the Paladin Sanctuary with the most evil, nefarious, opportunistic players in the game.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just like real life!

Goblin Squad Member

KitNyx wrote:
I am just trying to find and suggest solutions that make player interactions the driving force in any (and every) aspect of the game. What do you see as the faults in this system, so that we might try to address them?

Very diplomatic, KitNyx. :) Way to make me feel like a douche.

Player interactions should be the driving force behind the game, but the software has to guide their interpretation. Players are jerks. If they can exploit a system, they will exploit that system. No one seems to even be acknowledging that possibility --

including Goblinworks.

Goblin Squad Member

Nemo_the_Lost wrote:
KitNyx wrote:
I am just trying to find and suggest solutions that make player interactions the driving force in any (and every) aspect of the game. What do you see as the faults in this system, so that we might try to address them?

Very diplomatic, KitNyx. :) Way to make me feel like a douche.

Player interactions should be the driving force behind the game, but the software has to guide their interpretation. Players are jerks. If they can exploit a system, they will exploit that system. No one seems to even be acknowledging that possibility --

including Goblinworks.

I wish to request that we try to be fair. Gobinworks has only given us the barest sketch of what they are designing and building and are reading the forums as they try and flesh out the details. If we are arguing our different points of view on these issues they are also participating on their end. This is part of crowdforging. We have been interpreting the rough sketches they have desribed and are trying to fill in the blanks.

I think Goblinworks is very much interested in these deliberations.

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