What's new

Comprehensive Solution to Camming - Make End-Game Great (and Inclusive) Again!

#1
Camming dungeons has gotten out of control. It threatens shard sustainability and discourages the casual player / casual guild. This problem should not be dismissed as limited in scope. It is wide spread with guildmembers from certain guilds admitting they cam every mini and most bosses. We know, we did it for a long time ourselves.
  • First, it is an arms race first and foremost. Those guilds that are the most consistent in camming are most likely to attract active player bases that want the end-game content on a moment’s notice with minimal work. This shifts player bases to large guilds and discourages smaller guilds.
  • Second, it discourages smaller guilds from wanting to participate in end-game content. Who is motivated to scout and do a mini when you know that a handful of guilds that are camming will likely show up with a small army? Who wants to summon a boss when they know someone is camming and will be able to quickly round up a raiding party?
  • Is it appropriate that guilds can also create PK “radars” that spam guild chat with notices when reds show up on a cam’s tracking? We know, we do it. Alternatively, PK/raider guilds watch for groups of blues. This drives people out of dungeons. Driving people out of dungeons drives people off the shard.
  • What is going to keep a mature player base active? It is access to end-game content. If a few guilds monopolize end-game content it will drive others off the shard.
  • After all the “hard-work” of a guild farming a summon, why should a “cam-guild” have immediate intel on when a boss is getting summoned? Those guilds that would whine about not having a chance to raid should understand they can still scout dungeons through their own ACTIVE players farming and seeing summon parties run through the dungeon.
What is equitable about a system that allows this? Shouldn’t there be some work involved with scouting endgame content?
My solution – ban camming immediately. With all due respect, I sense the staff doesn’t want to do it because they can’t think they can develop a rule that someone can’t work around. Well to me, it isn’t rocket science – a series of dungeon scans will reveal who is camming. The threat of real punishment will quickly reduce it.
  • Is that person hidden and inactive?
  • Do they have little to no gear and little skill on a level 3 dungeon?
  • Are they just walking in and out of a mini room with a macro?
  • What are they spamming their guild channel with?
  • How long have they been in that dungeon?
Start to enforce a no-camming rule and camming will drop dramatically. If staff is unsure if it is a cam or not, come back later 20 minutes later and check. Their backpack still empty? They still in the same area surrounded by mobs while hidden?
What other mechanics can change to help this?
  • Continue to develop (and launch) the one player per account group dungeon system. Only access to ONE dungeon at a time.
  • Add more mobs with custodian features close to boss rooms
  • Implement a progressive penalty system that starts with jailing the ACCOUNT and not just the character. Jailing just the character is a slap on the wrist. Ban repeat offenders.
  • Deduct prestige from the character’s guild – start at 2.5% of guild prestige progressively deduct higher amounts. Or jail the guild leader. Or wipe their summon bars. Do something that makes a player accountable to their peers.
  • Change the log-out mechanic in dungeons again. If someone logs out in a dungeon teleport them to the entrance again, BUT have ALL gold, special loot, and rare loot vanish from their backpack.
  • Change spawn timers. Randomize it more and make it harder to cam. When a mini or boss dies let it randomly spawn 2 hours later over an extended period of time. If the goal is a random spawn over 24 hours, make the spawn chance per minute equal to 100% / 24 / 60…. don’t put it in a window. Have it completely randomized.
The current system is unsustainable and puts smaller guilds at a serious disadvantage. At the last developer debrief there was discussion of a mini-boss summon system for the casual player/small guild. If that got launched today it would be a massive failure as the “cam-guilds” would routinely raid those smaller guilds/player bases.

While camming is “legal” today it feels like cheating to most people. Cheating breeds more cheating, and turning a blind eye to the problem sends a bad message. Changing the camming rule and implementing changes like those discussed above will be a positive and welcome change to current and future players.

These aren’t hard changes to implement. Let’s please do it soon.

I hope everyone reading this will leave CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. Maybe we can collectively come to a solution as a community that the developers will implement.
 
#3
I gonna throw out an idea in the form of a patch note...

Edit: This idea is now a combination of people's idea's from main discord.

Dungeons and Bosses

* Main boss spawns will now be announced globally (perhaps also give dungeon version of shrine Ankh's).
* Mini-bosses will now spawn every 20-40 min's and are -not- globally announced (perhaps greatly decreased loot and combat effectiveness).
* When a guild summons a boss, the boss will not be globally announced and a Castle Siege style door will appear at the entrance.
* Castle Siege style doors, or "Boss Gates" in this case, have corresponding dungeon hues and are repairable from the inside (perhaps no skill needed, or perhaps carpentry needed). The gate's de-spawn shortly after a summoned boss is killed.
* Once a Summoned boss is killed a Crimson Moongate will appear in the main boss room for a short time (de-spwan of moongate occurs at the same time as the "dungeon gate" de-spawn).


Edit : Changed this after some conversation and hearing other idea's in Discord.

The intent here is to eliminate the need for camming, satiate guilds who do bosses, satiate guilds who raid bosses, and to create a (literal) barrier for guilds that desire a more inclusive interaction with bosses.


<3 From Roser.
 
Last edited:
#4
The one thing I could get behind and might actually work is 'Add more mobs with custodian features close to boss rooms' (specifically outside main bosses)

You don't need a big guild to compete, you just need a couple of people dedicated to scouting bosses and a small elite group on standby.

PS: Who dedicates an account to cam for pk's? Now that shit really is sad.
 

Rydia

Journeyman
#5
Going down the list of bullet points you make and give my opinion:


1.) It's an arms race.... It certainly is.

2.) Discourages smaller groups.... Totally agree here.

3.) Is it appropriate to create PK radars? No, I feel that by creating your (Well in this case BB guild's) own network of cams at literally every dungeon, which you have done as it's technically legal since 2 character on same account arent in the dungeon, is acting in bad faith. Clearly skirting the rules to perform an action that said rule was obviously intending to prevent should be a punashable offense. "BuT WE aRe SiMplY DoINg iT tO PrOTest" is a lame excuse, and your actions likely cause even more players to do the very things you state you want to stop.

4.) What keeps player base active? Players have their own individual goals, some are entirely uninterested in different facet of UO. Many (probably most) players could care less about bosses, just as I totally ignore the instanced pvp and faction content. I don't think this is as serious of an issue as you make it out to be, but it's perfectly valid if camming is a thing you feel makes you less active and that opinion should be noted.

5.) Totally agree. If "a magical clown" happens to find out you're doing a boss, that is one thing, it's another if they have all the bosses cammed and whether you do it or not without conflict depends on the timezone and whether the cammers can get enough people together to raid. It's a problem.

-----

6.) Your Solution:
I dont think that an automated system is capable of what you want. If you track inactivity, the gear, what dungeon level, simple repetitive actions like walking to stay idle, guild chat spam, time in dungeon - then players will simply use skills and sysmessage to create randomized events, carry varying levels of equipment, guild chat differently or send messages other ways, and so on. I don't see any automated system capable of stopping this but if you have an idea for a workable one post it!

-----

7.) One player per account in one dungeon at a time. I like this. Nobody really has any business being in multiple dungeons at a time and I think the invoncenience to the likely handful of multi client but different dungeon pvmers is worth it. Still "friends" will cam" but this should make it much more inconvenient when volunteering to "cam" means you cant enter any dungeon at all.

8.) More custodian type mods - Personally I hate custodians and they impact my gameplay. They have been nothing but problematic with constant respawning during bosses or spawning immediately after a boss dies almost like an anti thief alert. Just annoying. No thanks. As an active player, you should be able to stealth in and check on a boss without magically being revealed. I recognize their intended purpose, but I think they are more annoying to active players than deturrancces to inactive ones.

9.) Progressive penalty system..... Agreed, put their whole account in jail, ban repeat offenders.

10.) Deduct Prestiege..... A.) some players simply do not care about prestiege, B.) You can get around this with alternate guilds etc, and C.) Too many possible exploits with this that could grief other guilds prestiege.

11.) Change log out mechanic - I think perhaps the time for your character to vanish after logging out should be increased while in dungeons to 10 minutes or so to prevent players from logging out long enough with loot. But removing the items from logged out players will hurt active players that lose connection, or have to quit playing due to an in real life issue, and so on. Or perhaps the log out mechanics could be such that no player can log in the boss room(s) at all, they always exist in the world and no other cahracter on the account can be logged in.

12.) Change Spawn Timers - People will just cam them 24/7 instead of priority during the window when they think it will spawn. Don't see this changing much.



----


So what do I think?

I think people are going to cam for the same reasons that people still AFK gather materials after all these years of UO. Every captcha can be solved programatically given enough time and the desire to solve it - even if illegal programs are required to do so. The rules, and captcha mostly exist to keep honest players honest, long term players are unlikely to risk their whole account by doing such things, and use of vpn "bots" to do it likely still exist, but ideally there is some manner to track the resources being transferred to other accounts without payment.

I think account groups and allow 1 account per group into ANY dungeon will solve a lot of this problem at the expense of those few players who like to farm in 2 dungeons at once being inconvenienced. I am often in multiple dungeons at once, and I am happy to give that up if it means stricter cam prevention.

Players skirting around the good intentions of the rules, should be punished as well. Staff is apparently much nicer than me because I would have banned the "protest" cams for a month at least.

While there is something to say about a non-enforcable rule not being a real rule, and that enforcing some is a huge time sink for staff, I also think that doesn't mean staff should just "allow" the behavior. Being against something and enforcing it when you can is perfectly acceptable. But I understand that this also means many players will be pming staff every time they even think there might be a 1% possibility that someone cammed them - and that is a problem.

Real question here should probably be, after 1 account in group in ANY dungeon is added, how can the process of reporting and detecting a cam be streamlined in the (hopefully) rare(r) case that it occurs (through vpn and other idiotry)? I don't really got answer to that.


Edit: In response to @Lord Roser boss door suggestion, how do you stop people from simply camming the boss door open/close state?
 
Last edited:
#6
The door itself doesn't tell you if the boss is up or not, its just always up... So you would have to break it to check the boss status. The more people beating on the door the faster it will break.

Also it re spawns shortly after it is destroyed (regardless of boss alive or not).
 
#7
All this obsessive cam talk, at the core it stems from fundimental game design issues...

1) Camming is an issue on its own but it stems from the underlying and fundamental game issue: gate keeping content. The problem isn't that someone sees you going into Maus. The issue is the response that cam information provides and the reaction to it; the net result is the content is horded by a select few. If its guilds preventing someone from rezzing in CCC to participate in a CCC event or a guild that sets up a network of cams that call out reds whenever one walks in a dungeon. The underlying issue is 1 party is preventing another party from participating in a system.


2) "Cheaters" is wholly undefined. To some people having 3 accounts recall mining automatically is cheating, to some having a character farm dungeons automatically is cheating. Some consider a loot script as cheating, others maybe modified art files is cheating. This ties into dungeon camming, just like any other fringe 'cheat'. Clearly the admin on the server do not consider camming, modded art, loot scripting, automated gathering and farming as 'cheating'. To change the rules you have to change the administrations position on what is cheating, not the player base.


3) Every solution that you create for cheating is going to have multiple methods of failure. Those with the technical insight are going to be even stronger than they already are. There is nothing you can come up with that someone can't break. As Rydia stated already, you want to make gates to boss rooms? Smart players will just cam the gate now. You want to allow 1 dungeon per IP? Smart players will just VPN or multiple static IP. You want to remove camming? Smart players will just "attended" farm the area near the boss.




The cam thing is a big dust up over the underlying problem; the current content is restrictive.
New aspects, new bosses, new dungeons, tweak/change existing content.
Modifiy aspects and chain links so new templates can be created.
More small group content 3-10 players is needed as the population declines.

The more content you create or update/refresh the more people can consume and less vicious they become over guarding it. Nobody hordes food at the table on thanksgiving.
 
Last edited:
#8
I preferred how the mini boss system was before the recent change, it still took a lot of time and effort to scout them (now even more so) and the fact fighting against other guilds was pretty much guaranteed is exactly what made them fun. And honestly, in the past 2-3 months doing mini's I must've only seen BB compete at a handful of them so I don't know why they're crying, what you should be doing is getting over your fear of confrontation.

Also, farming a boss summon is not "hard-work" it's a few days of mindless farming and the guilds most likely to attract active player bases are the ones with a positive outlook and not ones which complain about everything that does't go their way.

It sucks when you get raided and lose a boss but that just means you were not worthy.
 
#9
I realize these all can't be automated, but I would think a staff who periodically checks dungeons should be able to make these determinations using their own judgement. But until it is "illegal" this is all a moot point.
  • Is that person hidden and inactive?
  • Do they have little to no gear and little skill on a level 3 dungeon?
  • Are they just walking in and out of a mini room with a macro?
  • What are they spamming their guild channel with?
  • How long have they been in that dungeon?
And no one is crying here iio, I haven't posted this suggestion SOLEY for the benefit for BB. I'm doing it so everyone else can get involved in this content. Read the first part of the post.
 
#10
If I'm doing it I won't be using a macro, I'll be using alt + tab every now and again, running in and checking it. I don't see what your problem is with doing that, not everyone can spend all day farming outside the boss rooms. Maybe you should just make a stealther and try this yourself? And from my experience scouting bosses the majority of people you see scouting like this aren't bots and are just semi-afk. Since they introduced custodians mini bosses have been pretty much uncontested, the big guilds now barely have to compete, not because of scripting but because they have far more active members who are able to put the time and effort in.

The mini boss system was fine before, at least it gave every guild the chance of knowing when a mini boss was up.

Stop pushing for more changes.
 
#12
What if there were instances? Like on other shards I’ve seen,boss scroll opens a gate to an area where boss or w.e will spawn only way to access is to go in instance gate. That way smaller guilds can actually have fun playing and not worry about being raided. Could make instance have different loot tables. Just a thought
 
#13
I gonna throw out an idea in the form of a patch note...

Dungeons and Bosses

* Castle siege door's have been placed in front of every boss and mini boss room.
* Castle siege door's inside dungeons will re spawn approximately 3-5 min after being destroyed
* These doors will now be known as "Boss Gates" and have corresponding dungeon hues.

Additionally we will be enforcing rule #13 "Dungeon "camming" is not allowed."


This change is meant to help combat "Boss cheesing" by teleporter abuse, as well as to combat the "Boss Camming" issue.


<3 From Roser.
This is an interesting idea to combat camming BUT it would also hurt lockpickers who run into the boss rooms to check on the lvl 7/8 chests. It is already a nuisance to check on lvl 7/8 chests with the custodian around. It would be even more of a nuisance to have to break down a castle siege door every time.

I totally like the idea for camming though
 
#16
This idea is now a combination of people's idea's from main discord.

Dungeons and Bosses

* Main boss spawns will now be announced globally (perhaps also give dungeon version of shrine Ankh's).
* Mini-bosses will now spawn every 20-40 min's and are -not- globally announced (perhaps greatly decreased loot and combat effectiveness).
* When a guild summons a boss, the boss will not be globally announced and a Castle Siege style door will appear at the entrance.
* Castle Siege style doors, or "Boss Gates" in this case, have corresponding dungeon hues and are repairable from the inside (perhaps no skill needed, or perhaps carpentry needed). The gate's de-spawn shortly after a summoned boss is killed.
* Once a Summoned boss is killed a Crimson Moongate will appear in the main boss room for a short time (de-spwan of moongate occurs at the same time as the "dungeon gate" de-spawn).

The intent here is to eliminate the need for camming, satiate guilds who do bosses, satiate guilds who raid bosses, and to create a (literal) barrier for guilds that desire a more inclusive interaction with bosses.
 
Last edited:

Maati

Counselor
Staff member
Counselor
#18
Disclaimer on the following post: These ideas are not in any level of production and are my personal ideas. I am simply curious about some thoughts since there is an active discussion going on in this thread.

The issue of camming is very difficult to fix. However, instead of trying to solve camming, I think the solution is in creating a content wall so that camming cannot be responded too so quickly and effectively. I think the following statement is mostly true:

1. a cam spots the boss
2. players then form up and run to the boss
3. kill the boss as fast as possible
4. run to a gate and escape with the loot

There are several issues with the way things are happening involving cams and bosses. The camming part is the most difficult and complicated part to solve. However, the effectiveness of having a cam in a dungeon boss room can be nerfed by making the last three parts of the above list much more difficult.

First, we increase the spawn difficulty of level 1 and 2 making those levels more like levels 2 and 3. This creates the same farming parity/gameplay for new players as the previous players have had since level one is mostly unused in every dungeon.

We follow this change up by making level 3 increased in difficulty with more spawn density that increases as you make your way to the boss. The idea is to prevent a group of players from being able to just run to the boss. A player group trying to run through the spawn to the boss would take too much damage to survive and die. This change would also have the side effect of creating more content for players to farm together as a group and give more use to some less used skills like trappers/provokers.

With this change players would not be able to quickly run a team to a boss room when the boss is spotted, kill it and escape quickly. A group would have to work their way through the spawn on the way to the boss, fight the boss, and then kill the spawn on the way out. The same also applies when a raiding group comes. If another group spots the boss is up, they would also have to clear the spawn to get to the boss room.

I think this is a more elegant solution that provides content for players to do together as a group and also creates a more unique experience of pushing through the monsters and fighting your way to the boss.

It doesn't solve all of the camming problems, but I think it addresses the cam/raid boss issue in some unique ways.

Any thoughts?
 
#19
I love the idea Maati, it solves a couple of issues that we've been experience as we've been leveling up our aspects, and able to solo most content in the game, while also giving additional reason to group for content, which is sorely needed. Additionally though I think Roser's idea of using other types of characters to build up gates, or block access when summoning your own boss have a lot of merit as well, it's a means of slowing players down, giving you a chance to achieve the content, one of my biggest complaints as a more casual PvM guild, is that when we do finally get the 1 million gold built up to summon a boss, it takes us over an hour to get a boss down with the crew we have, so we know it's a 50/50 endeavor if we'll actually finish it before it's raided.. I get public bosses being a free for all fight - but when I'm summoning the content myself, it'd be nice to have more of a chance to complete it.