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Proposed Solution for Rampant PKing

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#1
Overview
I think it's important to start with a disclaimer and a statement of the intent of this post. Just as tamers dislike taming nerfs and summoners dislike summoner nerfs, I expect this post will not be well received by PKs, but please hear out my argument before making a judgment. My suggestions are not aimed at buffing casual players or PvM players, nor do I aim to nerf the combat ability of PK players. But we need to be rational about the problem the server is currently facing, which is that the incentives for PKing are disproportionately greater than making gold through conventional means. We need a solution that provides incentives for anti-PK PvP (which would encourage PvP while reducing the amount of PKs) without imbalancing PvP by stacking the deck against PKs.

This problem stems from some of Outlands' greatest strengths--gold isn't as easy to earn as other servers, and with the viability of previously useless skills (such as herding, etc). Previously, such skills that were ignored in PvM templates in favor of survivability skills like magic resist, are now being used which essentially makes players who use these templates sitting sucks in PvP. A common argument used by PKs against this rationale is that people who are hunting should do so in groups. Yet if you were to ask anyone who has been killed by PKs, most players who have encountered PKs have been killed by roving groups of reds, not by solo PKs. A group of 5 players with PvM templates would still be sitting ducks against a group of 5, or even 4, PKs.

While very few PKs do it because they love the feeling of ruining someones day or they like to vent their frustrations by taking it out on others, it does happen--and there is little we could, or should, do to combat this. This is Ultima Online, this has always happened and it will never change. However, most people PK right now because there is less risk involved than farming gold on a PvM character, it's more fun (to most people) than hunting monsters, and you can make a lot of money. This is what needs balancing. We should be wary of imbalancing combat, and instead should focus on disincentivizing PKing and incentivizing anti-PKing.

Without casual players and PvM players, PKs would not be able to enjoy the game as much as they do right now. However, with such an abundant number of PKs that are constantly hunting casual and PvM players, many of these players are getting frustrated and burnt out. While I am not one of these players, many in my guild are, many people I encounter are, and it's fostering a toxic atmosphere that is less enjoyable than it should be, and isn't conductive to the overall health of the Outlands community. I believe that Luthius and Owen are already on top of this issue and have solutions to this problem that they haven't shared but I hope by sharing my idea, fostering a discussion with others, and inviting players of different playstyles to share their experiences with PvP/PKing--that we'll all be better off in the long-haul.


Solution
The solution I'm proposing has not been tried before, because most developers would either find it difficult to code or would be hard-pressed to try something new. But Outlands has shown that new ideas can breathe life back into this game, make it more balanced, and make the overall experience more enjoyable for everyone. To provide incentives for anti-PKers, new mechanics like blood-stained gold and money laundering could be introduced.

Blood-stained Gold
When a player dies from combat with another player that is not lawful (ie: circumstances where players are prompted to report their murderers), all gold that is contained in a character's backpack will become blood-stained gold and would only be lootable by the player who dealt the highest percentage of damage to that player. This blood-stained gold would be bound to that player. Bringing up the context menu for the gold (left-clicking on it once) would allow the player to "wipe off" some of the blood, which would turn 30% of the blood-stained gold into real gold that could be deposited in the bank, shared, etc. This would still make group PKing semi-viable, but much less rewarding.

Money Laundering NPC
Blood-stained gold that has already been wiped-off would only be able to turn back into regular gold by turning it over to a money laundering NPC, which could be available in Corpse Creek and a few other places (just so that spot isn't camped by anti-PKs non-stop). Money laundering gold would take 24-72 hours (something that could be debated), as it shouldn't be a short enough period that players can PK and get 20k, then sit in their house and PK on their other account until the money is laundered.

Suspicious Receipt
Turning blood-stained gold over to a money laundering NPC would place a suspicious receipt in the players backpack that is not tradeable, and only recoverable upon the players death by players with high karma, not on the same IP address, not in the same guild, and not by other red players. During this period while the money is in the process of being laundered, if the PK is killed by a player that meets the criteria where they are able to loot the suspicious receipt, that person would be able to turn that receipt in to a vendor in Prevalia that would grant them 50% of the gold that was laundered (with the other 50% being seized for taxes). The tax mechanic would function to prevent players from getting friends to kill them, as staying alive and not dying would be much more rewarding.

Fatigued Adventurer NPC
These poor souls are spread across the healer buildings in every city. They will tell you which dungeon most recently had a player murdered, how long ago that was, and how many red players are currently in that dungeon. If you are kind enough to give these NPCs 250g to help them get back on their feet after being killed, they'll reveal such information to you. You can also give them 100g to hear any recent rumors, which will reveal the last time a player was killed in the overworld, how long ago they were killed, how many red players were involved in the combat, and which point of interest on the map was closest to the murder. This not only function as a small goldsink and slight risk in wasting gold, but will help anti-PKs know much dungeons to hunt in, so they aren't trying to find a needle in a haystack.


Conclusion
Thank you all for reading this long post. If you are reading this, I'm sure you are here to have fun and want this server to prosper as much as I do. To accomplish that, we must strive for balancing incentives between different playstyles. While it's fun to be able to kill players and get all of their gold (trust me, I've also done this), we need to recognize that PKs are not fun or viable without a healthy PvE community to hunt―and right now they're being hunted to extinction. On the same hand, hunting is not as rewarding without the occasional PvP encounter that keeps you on your toes and never lets you get too comfortable.

If you want to join this conversation, please engage in goodfaith, be constructive, try to be as objective as possible, and try to minimize any bias you may have. If the server were to implement a change this large, we would need feedback from players of different playstyles, both PKers, PvPers, and PvM players. In addition to sharing your experiences, please share any comments you may have on these proposed solutions, any tweaks or additions you think would be prudent, etc. Please do not flame or troll.

I know that there are many PvP oriented players that have very strong opinions about this issue, but you should ask yourself what drove you to Outlands. Was it the amazing map and new content, or was it the fact that Outlands is the most populated server? If Outlands' population led you to play here, a majority of players on this server are older, less PvP inclined, and predominantly PvE―and if you ask people from PvE guilds, they will tell you that the current state of PKing is not fun, sustainable, or healthy for the long term server population. We do not want trammel, we do not want to stop all PKing.

Please note that while I personally get semi-frustrated at times, I'm not one of the people on the verge of quitting because (aside from the PK problem) this server is absolutely amazing. But many of the more casual players (who don't have GM'd skills or abundant resources), who are getting PK'd 5-10 times per day and are having a net-loss in gold after hours of play―they're already getting burned out. I'm not suggesting this because I'm personally affected, but because many of the players in my guild, many on reddit and discord, and those who I have encountered in-game have expressed their frustration ad nauseum.

Adding risks makes the reward so much better. But too much risk makes getting rewards nearly impossible. Currently, PKs have almost no risk of being counter attacked/murdered by roaming anti-PK groups, no risk of losing gold they've already banked, and aren't afraid of being killed and suffering resurrection penalties. PvE players have assumed all the risk, all the losses, and are either losing money or barely breaking even. We need to balance the scales without buffing the viability of PvM templates in PvP or nerfing PKers. My proposed solution would accomplish that, and maybe there are better solutions, but the presence of this issue warrants a discussion.
 
#2
A solution does need to be implemented, but I don't agree with solutions that increase tedium. It just make it more work to do what players are already doing, it doesn't change what players are doing.

I proposed something similar I will copy/paste from the previous thread that is similar to your idea but promotes active gameplay.

A solution I could see working that would add additional risk and meaningful choice while mitigating PvMers risk is an acquired bounty system.

EX: I have 2k gold on me and die from a PK. Half of the gold on me when I die is immediately removed from my corpse and added as a bounty to the PKer. This bounty would last an hour, maybe longer, and is refreshed when getting a new kill. If the PKer survives their bounty time the gold is deposited into their bank. If another player
(blue or red) kills the PKer half the bounty is returned to the rightful owner's bank and either half to the blue that killed the PKer or added to the Red's bounty that killed them.

This would accomplish a few key things.
1. The PKer acquires additional risk the more people they kill. Similar to how the PvMer has to decide if they should call it and return with their spoils, now the PKer does as well.
2. Half the gold being returned to the victim shows the player that justice was served and prevents "cheesing" the system.
3. It takes a PKer out of the fight for a period time after they ruin so many people's day. If you have a 20k bounty on you are you really going to go out risking it? Giving them incentives to NOT murder people because THEIR RISK is higher makes it a meaningful choice versus a punishment or increased tedium.

To expand and make this more effective... This bounty could apply to all Reds on an account. If we want to be really effective we would make it also apply to their blue characters(making them gray 5 minutes after logging in and applying the bounty to them as well).

Personally, I would vote to do it by IP. Then when someone is farming with a blue in a dungeon, hops on their red to kill someone else they essentially scouted... their blue would also face the bounty. I think the punishment should extend to the player, not the individual characters or account. Otherwise the punishment is practically meaningless and again, increases tedium versus meaningful choice.

Overall, I don't think we should punish people for how they choose to play with tedium or hoops to jump through. Increasing their risk allows them to play however they want but it adds weight behind their choices. It balanced the scales some. I think a system like that would help alleviate the constant gank squads running through dungeons as their bounties grew and they risked more, while also making them prime targets.

This alone will not solve everything. Players will still have multiple reds they can switch off of, but I think it would be a great push in the right direction to bring risk vs reward more in balance.
 
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#3
What you are complaining about here is essentially a player issue, not a game issue. This is Ultima Online, in Ultima Online, we have risk versus reward. It's what makes the game great, and why many of us still play it after 20 years. The introduction of trammel, and later, with blessing of items in age of shadows and removing that risk versus reward is what caused most of us to quit, and why we currently re-live those glory days on free servers like this one. What i've seen time and again on every free server (and even on live back in the day) is inexperienced and/or lesser skilled players complaining about dying to those who have committed years to their craft and learning how to PvP efficiently, these people have also spent the time to build a character that is efficient at doing this.

You mention the introduction of these glass cannon templates with herding, forensics, arms lore etc, and then describe this as a reason why PKing needs to be toned down. I would argue the complete opposite. I feel this is where many of the complaints on Outlands are stemming from. Many people are treating this like its world of warcraft, or black desert online, where you risk nothing and grinding quickly is your primary goal.

Assume for a minute that there is people in this game that will be out to get you, because there is, and play accordingly. Drop your tamer dexer, or peacemake dexer with zero resist, these templates have zero defense against players, and when you get PK'ed on them it is well deserved. Pick up resist, pick up wrestling on your mages, consider tracking to see ganks coming, consider going hiding, consider making friends and running in a group. Consider dropping loot before you hit max weight so that when you do die the losses aren't so big. Summoner mages are a very popular choice of pvm template for many pvp minded players, not because they grind super efficiently (they are much slower than tamers, and other glass cannon specs) but because they are a very viable template in pvp as well, being able to utilize the standard mage 5x as well as an additional skill of your choice (this is the same reason why a 5x mage with music and provo used to be very powerful in t2a). Quit worrying about what the best gold per hour is and start worrying a little more about getting that loot back to town safely.

When you die, don't blame the game, blame yourself, ask what you could of done better to survive in that scenario. Because I can tell you i've grinded countless hours here already, and i've died exactly one time to reds. The reds in question I had previously killed 2v2 (both of us on our PVMers, versus PKs with full pvp templates) and they setup on a door with precasted spells and a dexer to get revenge as soon as I walked through. Bravo to them. That's the game.

There are many mechanics that the devs already have in place to avoid being pk'ed that never existed in vanilla UO. Moongates on every level of every dungeon back to town, cooldowns on abilities like teleport and wall that good players could utilize much more effectively if not for this. Walls disabled near these public moongates. Easy access to trapped pouches off of vendors for all players regardless of magery skill. Shorter paralyze duration. The list goes on...

You say that PK's aren't risking as much as PVMers? I disagree. They are risking paying a bounty to res, being unable to flag aggressive for a while as well as all of the loot on their character, same as a PVM'er would, and I assure you most seasoned pvpers are stocking better than you are. Ever watch Sir Bart's stream? Guys made close to 2 million gold by going to dungeons with a mace and some bandages and nothing else. He stays until hes overloaded with 13k gold.

Many people complain that PKs run in squads and they have no chance against them as a solo player, well, what do you expect? Should the game allow you to contend with 3 or 4 seasoned pvpers as a solo pvm template with literally zero defensives? I think not...

You argue that pvmers would have no chance against pvper's in a group fight.. Just two days ago I saw LoD in Mausoleum fend off a group of about 5-6 boyz PKs. Dont get it twisted, there's a large skill gap here. LoD is a guild that accepts players of all different experience levels, boyz is a guild that recruits mostly predatory pvp minded veterans, but LoD utilized the advantages they had, dexers and tamers and held choke points that the boyz crew couldn't push into without risk of taking some losses and having to pay bounties.

TLDR: I think this is a L2P issue not a development issue. Let the server develop a bit and then lets come back and re-evaluate. Maybe we'll see some people step up and create a true NOTO guild (that's an oldschool term for an anti pk guild, for you newbies). If anything maybe the bounty cost needs to be adjusted for inflation at worst. Otherwise everything is just fine, IMO.
 
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#5
People have been saying "l2p" or "git gud" for the last decade. That is clearly not the solution. In fact... that solution has, in the entire history of UO, never once succeeded on any other shard.

"Git Gud" to solve fundamental issues with UO's design is equivalent to saying, "Ban Guns" to stop gun violence. The only thing that needs to "git gud" is the solutions and discussions around PvP. Contribute or get out of the way of those who can. We've likely all been part of a dozen different shards by now. Can you seriously watch THE SAME pattern play out that many times and still think your "solution" is capable of results?

Guess what? If we keep cooking the same recipe with the same shit ingredients we are going to keep having to eat the same shit. I'd prefer to change the recipe into something better. If your solution is to plug your nose while you eat it or hide the shit with icing gtfo of this conversation. No other nice way to say it.
 
#6
And there's no other nice way to say quit crying like a bitch and step your shit up. I've never seen such fucking whimpering about being "pked too much" in my life. My old server I would pk every single person I ran across (crafters were the most fun because they got the saltiest), constantly. I'd res kill them until they were blue in the face, I'd take their head and mount it on my house the the other 100's of heads from the same character. I'd kill their horse every single time I killed them. But not once did they cry and bitch as much as I've seen on this server saying something needs to be fixed. We're here to relive UO not cater it to a bunch of whiny noobs who suck at the game.

So yeah, "git gud" and quit bitching.
 
#7
I have never seen a server die because people were getting PKed too much. The two most popular servers of the past decade have had zero drawbacks to PKing whatsoever. Hybrid was popping for years with zero statloss and zero bounty system of any kind, and I assure you it didnt die because people were tired of getting PKed. Don't be ridiculous, you're upset because you die and lose some items in a video game and you want it changed so you don't have to suffer that fate again. We understand. There are many world of warcraft servers that would be great for you.
 
#8
And there's no other nice way to say quit crying like a bitch and step your shit up. I've never seen such fucking whimpering about being "pked too much" in my life. My old server I would pk every single person I ran across (crafters were the most fun because they got the saltiest), constantly. I'd res kill them until they were blue in the face, I'd take their head and mount it on my house the the other 100's of heads from the same character. I'd kill their horse every single time I killed them. But not once did they cry and bitch as much as I've seen on this server saying something needs to be fixed. We're here to relive UO not cater it to a bunch of whiny noobs who suck at the game.

So yeah, "git gud" and quit bitching.
You do understand the people raising concerns are not the ones "being pked too much" right? I love PvP. I've been a PKer for well over a decade. I've also seen my playstyle literally ruin servers before because the devs wouldn't take on the design challenge of finding a more healthy balance.

I want improvements to PvP and PKing not to protect blues or newbs... but because it's good for the server and all of us. More meaningful PvP with more balanced risk vs reward is a win for everyone involved. Except maybe the people who don't want fair fights. They are like those kids in LoL who pick the flavor of the month champion and cry when the devs balance them with other champions.

You all claim other people need to "git gud" while crying that you don't want any extra challenge or balance so you aren't faced with having to "git gud." It's ironic and more than a little funny. And you all claim to be hardcore PvPers.
 
#9
Any red who doesn't want to actually PvP people who stand a chance need to git gud. This is a learn to play issue, not a development issue. I've never seen a saltier bunch of whiny reds in my life. When you fight people who can actually PvP, there's a bit of a learning curve but you'll get there, just figure out what you're doing wrong and improve.

I was well aware going into this post that people would come at me with personal attacks. As I've said before, this is an issue many are bringing up but they aren't saying anything for the same reasons that I hesitated--toxic players that attack anyone who proposes solutions to a problem that directly benefits them. PKs have a pretty sweet deal right now, I'd be mad too if that were my main playstyle. The issue is balance. It's understandable that you don't recognize the problem due to your bias, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
 
#10
Any red who doesn't want to actually PvP people who stand a chance need to git gud. This is a learn to play issue, not a development issue. I've never seen a saltier bunch of whiny reds in my life. When you fight people who can actually PvP, there's a bit of a learning curve but you'll get there, just figure out what you're doing wrong and improve.

I was well aware going into this post that people would come at me with personal attacks. As I've said before, this is an issue many are bringing up but they aren't saying anything for the same reasons that I hesitated--toxic players that attack anyone who proposes solutions to a problem that directly benefits them. PKs have a pretty sweet deal right now, I'd be mad too if that were my main playstyle. The issue is balance. It's understandable that you don't recognize the problem due to your bias, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
None of my comments were personal attacks, if anything, the only one throwing personal attacks here is you, by suggesting that by defending reasonable PK penalties that somehow I don't fight people who are good at pvp or want fair fights, which is completely ridiculous of course. If we had ultima online pvp resumes, mine would be a mile long. I can promise you that.

Personally, i'm not even that big on PKing, I would rather be playing factions like I have for the majority of the time i've pvped in UO. Unfortunately, the faction sytem is not very good here yet. Hopefully they will bring some major changes to the system to attract some pvpers away from dungeons and out into the open field, where I would prefer to fight anyway without random mob aggro, traps, pets and whatever else in dungeons.

I have seen people whine about PKing for years and its simply a part of the game. There are many ways to deal with it and avoid it, as I stated. Do you have any points other than that people get mad when they die and complain about it? I really dont see a problem at all with the foundation of penalties implemented on PKing. There are penalties. They are significant. I've heard of at least a couple of cases of PKs not being able to afford their rez after going on a long kill streak, and we're only a month in. Is it as punishing as statloss on a hard skill gain server? No. Is statloss fun for anybody? Not at all. Like I said, the servers i've played for the past 15 years have had no penalties for pking at all, and they were the biggest servers for their time and maintained population for years without issue and I don't see any reason why that couldn't be the case here if the devs maintain their current vision and can keep corruption off of this server (which is what truly kills good servers).
 
#16
Read it. I'll copy paste from above.

A solution I could see working that would add additional risk and meaningful choice while mitigating PvMers risk is an acquired bounty system.

EX: I have 2k gold on me and die from a PK. Half of the gold on me when I die is immediately removed from my corpse and added as a bounty to the PKer. This bounty would last an hour, maybe longer, and is refreshed when getting a new kill. If the PKer survives their bounty time the gold is deposited into their bank. If another player
(blue or red) kills the PKer half the bounty is returned to the rightful owner's bank and either half to the blue that killed the PKer or added to the Red's bounty that killed them.

This would accomplish a few key things.
1. The PKer acquires additional risk the more people they kill. Similar to how the PvMer has to decide if they should call it and return with their spoils, now the PKer does as well.
2. Half the gold being returned to the victim shows the player that justice was served and prevents "cheesing" the system.
3. It takes a PKer out of the fight for a period time after they ruin so many people's day. If you have a 20k bounty on you are you really going to go out risking it? Giving them incentives to NOT murder people because THEIR RISK is higher makes it a meaningful choice versus a punishment or increased tedium.
 
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