Law and Order!

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fate
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Law and Order!

Post by fate » 27 Mar 2008, 14:30

Hello everyone,

one issue that keeps coming up in the game is the `proper' way to deal with spammers, dropstealers, beggars, foreign language users and people who don't brush their teeth at least twice a day-- and, eventually, that discussion is likely to extend to player killers. The present `solution' seems to be the following:

(a) Most `crimes' are treated as role-playing an evil character and go unpunished
(b) Serious spamming is banned by GM interaction

Both approaches are less than ideal. (a) is generally a fine idea (as far as I am concerned), but it leaves the victims with no recourse in the current game mechanics-- once something is dropstolen, there is no way to recover it. (b), on the other hand, requires GMs, who probably have better things to do, to invoke out-of-the-game mechanisms to deal with the problem. Plus, GMs must always be judge, jury, and executioner in the matter.

Thus, I propose an alternative: invest certain players (`principes') with additional executive powers limited to a certain realm (set of maps). These powers allow the principes to perform normally GM-only actions on players, with the underlying idea that they can thereby enforce `law and order' within the realm they are heading (note that legislative/judicative powers require no game changes). Below are some such powers that seem `reasonable' to me:
  • Hold captive. A captive player is effectively controlled by the captor; the only actions left to him/her are speaking and logging out (though the latter leaves the character in the game). (Perhaps higher-levle characters might have the option of breaking out).
  • Attack in safe zone. (PKing by the authorities, if you will.)
  • View inventory (perhaps of captives only).
  • Take from/put into inventory (perhaps for captives only).
  • Post notices in predetermined places (for making the law public).
  • Delegate a certain executive power to another player (`lieutenant').
The above powers should be sufficient to enforce the law with the present set of problems, if we further add prison cells-- thereby, captive players can be put into confined places which they will return to once they log in again (this allows the enforcement of prison sentences or to lock people away until their trials. Of course, these powers lend themselves to exploitation-- as I am sure the HMC can attest, abuse of power is a very real problem in TMW. Here are some other problems with the approach:
  • Where does the power come from? GM appointment? Popular vote? Social networking-like `implicit' voting by `supporting' potential candidates who can in turn support others?
  • How can the power be taken away? (Killing a princeps? Killing a lieutenant? Killing all lieutenants? Another vote? Changes in the social networking balance? Automatically if the princeps is away for too long? GM intervention?)
  • How does being offline affect this power?
  • Would anyone ever want to play a character with such extra power, seeing how this would detract from adventuring? (I know I wouldn't, for example...)
  • Would this make the game more maintainable (by offering in-game recourse for `breaking the rules') and more fun (`The evil Overlord Fate of Hurnscald has increased taxes again and is slaughtering innocent people! Let's start a rebellion!'), or just more tedious (`I call this court to order. Mr Tulkinghorn, will you please step forward to give us your findings on how the present case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce relates to the 1648 land reform under the legislature of King Lore the Second.')?
I am not certain that the general idea is a good one, but I found it sufficiently interesting an approach to the initially mentioned open problems to warrant bringing it up.

As usual with a proposal, someone will have to implement it in the new server/client if it is accepted. I will volunteer for that (1) if people like the idea, (2) if solutions to the remaining issues are found, and (3) after I have figured out the server and client sufficiently to actually do that.

So, any thoughts on the matter?
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Black Don » 27 Mar 2008, 15:27

fate wrote: or just more tedious (`I call this court to order. Mr Tulkinghorn, will you please step forward to give us your findings on how the present case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce relates to the 1648 land reform under the legislature of King Lore the Second.')?[/list]

King Lore? :roll:
Will not happen in my life time. :P
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Crush » 27 Mar 2008, 16:20

Any automatic system which gives players power over other players just screams for being abused. You have to be very careful with something like that.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by fate » 27 Mar 2008, 18:32

Crush wrote:Any automatic system which gives players power over other players just screams for being abused. You have to be very careful with something like that.
Absolutely-- this is certainly no better and most likely worse than real life. Something like this cannot work without mechanisms that also take away the extra power again. This provides a crude `checks and balances' mechanism, since characters stripped of their powers can be apprehended by their successors (if caught).

The basic problem is that without giving players power over other players, the only ways you have for resolving conflicts are
(a) social schemes (you are an outcast and no-one will talk to you)
(b) formal schemes (it is impossible to pick up items from monsters whose killing you did not `significantly' contribute, and you cannot speak more frequently than once a second, and never repeat what you said right before).
(c) calling the GMs

Neither solution is really satisfactory. (c) doesn't scale and is inherently imbalanced. (b) completely prevents `bad' behaviour, forcing everyone to be good-- which is boring. (a) might be best, but I doubt that it is very useful with an ever-fluctuating population of players.

So it's either `business as usual', or some scheme that _does_ grant characters formal power over other characters. What I am trying to find out by bringing up this proposal is whether the second approach could make the game more interesting by (a) making life more challenging for `evil' characters, (b) giving a small (!) set of characters (at a time) the ability to devise and enforce rules within a restricted area (a challenge for organisers and tyrants), and (c) allowing `evil autocrat' characters to rise to power by clever scheming and alliance-building, and actually hurt other players who wander into their domain-- perhaps followed by some dramatic fall from power.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by lost_soul » 27 Mar 2008, 22:17

what about a jail map, or section that problematic players are sent to? They would have to pay a fine to a NPC in order to get out, if they can't pay the fine, they are forever exiled!

GM's could be on patrol, instead of wearing their GM baseball hats, or their overlord crown's, they could wear a hat with a sheriff's badge.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by fate » 27 Mar 2008, 22:24

lost_soul wrote:what about a jail map, or section that problematic players are sent to? They would have to pay a fine to a NPC in order to get out, if they can't pay the fine, they are forever exiled!
It's probably not all that easy for a character in jail to make money...

Still, in combination with the approach I mentioned, a jail map would be useful: after a character has been `held captive', they can be moved to that map, into a cell, then released there after the door is closed. That way, regular collision checks would ensure the character's confinement. The character could then be released/put on trial/fined later on.

That is, assuming that people would take responsibility for `taking care' of the people locked up in jail... this again boils down to the question od `who would want to play such a character?'
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Superkoop » 28 Mar 2008, 01:08

I like the idea of a jail. But I don't like the idea of a fine, I think time would be better. Like, being stuck in jail for 72hrs, that would make it so most spammers would just leave the game, and most players who just were bad, are still able to play but have to wait 3 days.

I think a law enforcement system would be good, it just be like admins, and moderators on forums. Where the admin/mod is no different from other players, except they have different type of hat/shirt they have to wear to identify them as mods. All they have power to do is ban/jail/whatever players. And big things, like a ban, would have to go through higher administration first.

Actually, this seems like something that should really be a part of TMW. Because administration is a necessity, and this would be a convenient way for the administration to do this.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by MrDan » 28 Mar 2008, 16:13

what about a "Jail" map where there are lesser monsters and you must kill these low prize monsters to build up your restitution or bail as it were. This would make it possible to get out but you must earn it. Your inventory would be reduced temporarity (held like in prison) except maybe dagger so you can't use bug to kill a lot. Alternatively this Jail map could have pvp where when you die the victor would be able to pick through your inventory and take 1 item. (sort of a tortuga of TMW) once you have satisfied the warden (npc) you earn your way back to the real TMW. The Idea of the lesser monsters with low prize is simmilar to the "making small rocks out of big rocks" stigma of prison camp where everyone is hammering away at boulders to make gravel. 8)
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Vink » 28 Mar 2008, 20:26

fate wrote:(b) completely prevents `bad' behaviour, forcing everyone to be good-- which is boring.
Boring? I disagree completely. Thieves and spammers do not add any fun at all. They are nothing but irritating and it would only be good for the game if we could get rid of them.

One of the things I like best about the game is that you can't attack other players, except in the arena. So I suggest a similar solution to the problem with thieves: Making it impossible to pick up drops from a monster someone else has killed, except in a special thief map. The drops there should be valuable but not exclusive. Also, maybe when you die (or leave the map) without having picked up all drops from monsters you have killed, others should be able to pick them up.

I guess there could also be a free language map where people can spam and curse as much as they want, maybe the same as the thief map, since it would be natural to curse in such a place. ;)
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by lost_soul » 31 Mar 2008, 17:24

I don't think that I would want TMW to be a pristine utopia, it just isn't realistic. Just like in life, as in TMW there will always be jerks, and if you implement a system to help regulate those that may break rules, and that system becomes too complicated, then you will just end up replacing one evil for another. Having to go through a process outside the world of TMW whether it be on the forums or what have you, will only introduce politics into the game, and quite honestly, I think that would detract from gameplay. What's wrong with thieves and spammers? Sure they are annoying and a pain in the arse, but you won't get rid of them.

If there was a jail....I dont think people would have to worry about posting money for a fine, they could sell items to an NPC, trade amongst other inmates, or if they can't communicate, don't have any items, they will be forever stuck in there! What would then result....a player would have to create a new player and learn to follow the rules, to prevent such a demise from occuring, or they would learn to communicate properly!

I don't see a jail of being a bad thing to implement, sure it might result in the creation of an underworld and blackmarkets, but hey, maybe it will add another aspect of the game???

Another personal opinion....the posting of screenshots of people that have spammed or stolen or what-have you seems to be a bit excessive, and seems to be rather juvenile.....if someone posts something, and they demand some action, the offense should be rather extreme, and not something to try to police any little thing that may offend.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Vink » 01 Apr 2008, 05:28

I've been thinking about this, and I think that the best solution would be the one that makes the most people the most happy. Since some players like the game better if it's possible to steal and spam, there should be a possibility of doing so in the game. But since some players like the game less because of thieves and spammers, I think that this possibility should be restricted to a certain area.

Maybe that certain area could be some kind of thiefland, with a thief town. In thief town there should of course be a black market, where you can buy things that can't be bought from npc's elsewhere, but the prices should be really, really high. As I mentioned earlier, I think that the drops in thiefland should be valuable but not exclusive. They should help to make the area interesting, but no one should need to go there to get them. Of course, it should also be possible to kill other players in thiefland.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Platyna » 11 Apr 2008, 11:51

After my dead body any regular player will have power over other players. BTW, Irukard is building a prison. :twisted: Also part of RPG are evil characters, so we cant do absolute extermination of them.

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Re: Law and Order!

Post by mon » 28 May 2008, 09:22

I have discussed this with other players. I was thinking of a "Bounty System". Unlawful players are reported somewhere in the game or in the forums and if a particular number of votes are met, then a bonds office would post a bounty for them. So if the player was found guilty of virtual crimes, they can be attacked. And depending on the offense, they must be defeated once or several times. Exp and money can then be divided into bounty hunters who made contact with the character. There could also be wanted posters showing the character and his/her name and possibly level so people could organize hunting parties.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Jaxad0127 » 28 May 2008, 16:02

mon wrote:I have discussed this with other players. I was thinking of a "Bounty System". Unlawful players are reported somewhere in the game or in the forums and if a particular number of votes are met, then a bonds office would post a bounty for them. So if the player was found guilty of virtual crimes, they can be attacked. And depending on the offense, they must be defeated once or several times. Exp and money can then be divided into bounty hunters who made contact with the character. There could also be wanted posters showing the character and his/her name and possibly level so people could organize hunting parties.
You should add your ideas to the wiki article on bounties and other related articles.
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Re: Law and Order!

Post by Daegun » 31 May 2008, 19:28

One way to avoid drop stealing is to add some code to the game that would make all drops from your kill yours for a short period of time (Say 10 seconds). This would give your character 10 seconds to pick up anything that has been dropped. Anything left after 10 secs is fair game.

I also like the idea of restricting the thieving to certain areas in the game. The newb areas should be safe for new players and encourage fair and fun play.
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