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Dealing with Griefers in a PW

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 6:33 pm
Author: Orleron
Taken from a post I made on the NWN boards:

I haven't seen this topic come up a whole lot, but if it has, forgive me.

I plan to have a persistent world running. A friend of mine runs a website called and we will be building a PW on that site togethor.

The big problem I am thinking about is what do you do with a PW where anyone can log in and start a character, or anyone can portal in from another server whom we are tied to? It happens all the time in other online roleplaying games where people log on for no other reason than to pkill or harrass and make people miserable. Imagine how much it could screw up your scripted quest if someone comes along on your server and kills every NPC in the whole town. What then?

Or what if you have people who party up and try to honestly go about playing your scripted quests and along comes another party of griefers who just out and out kills them? That would really suck in a PW with perma death too, right? (On that subject I would say in our world it will stick as closely to the 3rd Ed rules on death as possible.)

How do you deal with that kind or thing? Do you send monsters after them which they can't kill and have those monsters just exterminate them? Can that be scripted?

Any ideas? Some MMORPG's have people that make no effort to hide the fact that the only reason they play is to pkill, and I really hate those types.... especially when I'm the DM trying to build up the world and they are ruining it. Yet, I would still like to build a world that gives the players as much freedom as possible, and where they would have real consequences for irrational behavior.... like in RL, if you commit mass murder you are gunned down by a force you cannot beat, or you are jailed forever.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 6:34 pm
Author: Orleron
Diirketh Wolf wrote:

Not to be sarcastic, but off the top of my head

Limit access to your world to players you know, have filled out an application, who store their characters in your world etc.

Set your NPC's that are vital to the quest as invulnerable.

Set NPC's to sound an alarm and have highlevel guards appear to beat the griefer down.

Set the town to no-combat(if possible)

Only run quests when a DM is present

Set your NPC's to trigger a nasty spell effect when attacked, each round in case the griefer makes a save.

Set your NPC's to respawn if killed, and to give no xp when killed

Don't know if there is a 'karma' type thing in the game, but if there is set it so that an NPC kill is the worst thing they could do. So if they kill the NPC and walk back into the world they would be shunned or attack on sight by anything

I don't know all the ablities of the scripting or toolset, as I gave up following the game until it got close to a real release date. But given what I could do in UO emulators, I would think that they gave us enough tools to work around all the pains in the ass out there

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 6:35 pm
Author: Orleron
I wrote back:

Those are some decent ideas mostly. I definitely don't want to turn pvp off because I think there are certainly times when pvp is necessary, and could even be made as an integral part of the game. (and I'm not talking about the way UO tried to make it an integral part of the game.) As an example, I am planning on having one country in my PW that is actually a huge collection of small principalities and independent monarchs that control bits of land. But instead of me having to flesh out every little monarch and their army, I thought I would let the player guilds come in and set themsevles up as the monarchs and armies and let them fight over territory within that country.

But like everyone seems to be saying, I don't know exactly WHAT the game will allow me to do as a DM, so I can't really make determinations right now. But I do think it will be necessary to set something up where if you attack someone without good reason a high level guard/monster shows up to kill you. Giving no exp for killing an NPC is also a good idea if that NPC is part of a scripted quest.

But it will still be tough. I envision a world where people from anywhere can try to establish themselves there. I don't want to have to make an application process if I don't have to, so there will definitely need to be some serious a-hole controls.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 6:55 pm
Author: Orleron
Chanur wrote:

The best solution that I've thought of (one that I'm going to implement even though I'm not running a persistant world) is to script in a "justice system". I don't mean courts and lawyers, I mean guards and people who will enforce the law. I plan to have mine incrementally get meaner and meaner if the person's actions persist until they cannot stay alive regardless of what they do.

Specific example:
I plan to have an inn where the game begins, the inn is fairly normal but if you aggress on anyone in the inn then all of the patrons of the inn will increase in power to level 20, become equipped in better equipment than you can get in my world (though it won't change their look, just the attributes), they will call the guards who will show up in a few moments, and they will attack the aggressor. I figure this should be sufficient to keep the peace in that inn.

I'm also going to have a special faction called "undesirable" and if your "undesirable" faction rating increases far enough then no NPCs will resurrect you and no PC resurrect spells will succeed on you.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 7:01 pm
Author: Orleron
I wrote:

The faction idea sounds intriguing, but I'm not familiar with what factions are in this game. I haven't read that yet.

But the other idea, increasing everyone to level 20... I'm not so sure... doesn't that kinda take away from the realism? Now, the high level guards showing up could be good, because in the real world that's sort of what would happen. Hmm.... It's funny because I don't want to *prevent* anyone from being a griefer. I just want them to catch holy hell in the most realistic way possible if they DO decide to play that way.

But you said something about courts and lawyers that gave me an idea. What if you had some high level guards come in and take the offender to a court room area. Then you write a script where they gotta sit in that courtroom and listen to the lawyers ramble on and on and on for like 3 hours of repeating text, and they can't do anything to get out of it except turn the game off. Then of course, when they go to log in, they find themselves still in the courtroom again unless the allotted server time has passed.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 7:20 pm
Author: Orleron
Alexander Tau wrote:

Pre-Screening is a must, a totally open game is just insane and will have constant problems.

I am all for in-game solutions, but these only work with people who care about their status in the game. Real problem players have to be handled by the Staff.

Justice systems are great, but have to be done with care. They must not be allowed to be turned into tools to harass people. The big problem is determining intent, a person can do that but a machine usually cannot.

The idea of a portaling character is even more dangerous. Unless you do not care about the balance of your game each one should be approved BEFORE they are allowed to enter. Portals will be wonderful things but only between groups that share a basic stance on rules and the time=exp standards.

Finally, the last, best, and most powerful tool you will have is your Staff. Make sure you know them before you sign them up, pre-screen the daylights out of them. But they will have to be ready to handle the problem players as well as do the work of creation.

I would suggest doing a little research, expecially on MUD Sites, a lot of years of experience has generated a lot of solutions, and data on how each work. You do not have to reinvent the wheel if you just make use of all the available information.

And if you want to find a lot more on this, check my other posts, I have talked about this many times here.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:27 pm
Author: Orleron
Christian Birdsong wrote:

Orleron, really like your idea of the split nation, could be a cool mod if you can pull it off.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:27 pm
Author: Orleron
Alexander Tau wrote:

It's funny because I don't want to
*prevent* anyone from being a griefer. I just want them
to catch holy hell in the most realistic way possible if they
DO decide to play that way.

If I was a player in your World I would not care for that Policy.

Lets be clear about what a Griefer really is, RPGs can depict all sorts of what would normally be criminal behaviors: murder, torture, slavery, and pretty much the entire list you can think of. How much of this sort of 'evil' is in a game is based on it's design and on what the players choose to do.

There is a line, and I will draw it clearly:

1) When something is Player vs Player rather than Character vs Character

2) When something does not have anything to do with the RP nature of the game

If you have both of those you have a situation where one Player is acting in a way that is not justifiable in the RP context and has to be handled somehow. I suppose you could create a game where the Staff take no responsibility for what happens in the gameworld. but I doubt it would be a whole lot of fun. The Griefer is not PLAYING the game, they are attacking people because they enjoy it. Some people are so angry at themselves and life, that they can only find joy in harming others.

Now if what you meant was that you want to allow people to play any way they wish, I am all for it. If you mean you will allow one person to harass others, I am not.


[Edited on 6/7/02 by Orleron]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:31 pm
Author: Orleron
I wrote:

That's actually a nice way of drawing the line. I never thought of it that way before, but I definitely agree now that you mention it.

Alex, I was wondering if you could give me any links to some good literature on the web that deals with managing griefers on a PW?

The big thing about the world I am trying to build is I want to give everybody a chance. I don't want to outwardly exclude somebody because they have been a griefer in other games before, or because they tend to have an agressive playing style. It could just be that you have a poor roleplayer who thinks that senseless slaughter is the way to perpetuate their persona. Those kind of people should be dealt with differently than the ones who make it a "Player vs. Player" thing out of game. How do you differentiate? I think you hit on the point before: staff interaction.

The staff has to be integrally involved with everything. I never intended it to be any other way in the server we are putting togethor. Anyone and everyone will be let into the server, BUT they will be screened for playstyle and exp/level/items. If someone is found with inappropriate ratios, they will be cut down to the proper ratios, or asked to leave. If someone starts harrassing another player, they will be banned. But initially everyone gets a chance.