Preventing EXP stealing (battle access restrictions)

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Preventing EXP stealing (battle access restrictions)

Post by fmct » Wed May 18, 2005 12:05 pm

One thing that happens in RO (or at least used to happen) and drove newbies away was exp stealing. The problem is as follows:

Everyone can hit a monster, even when someone is already fighting with it. When newbies are fighting a monster for EXP, another player can stab it, kill it faster (be it for being more levelled up or from the monster being weak from the battle) and get EXP points he doesn't deserve.

In Final Fantasy XI that problem is taken care of, and I think that's a solution worth considering for this game:

When a player/party hits a monster the first time, every other player/party won't be able to get in the battle. If the battle gets too hard, they can drop the restriction (call for help) so that any other player around can help them.

I've been told in IRC that EXP points for a battle are gained on a ratio basis (the one that hits the most get the most points). But I think that lost EXP points are still lost EXP points, and the problem will grow when more players join (something I could suffer in RO some years ago).

Oh, and something like this should be thought about item dropping. I've already seen many precious items I fought for being taken by a random player. Perhaps going directly into the inventory, with a dialog asking in case it's full?
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Post by Rarara » Thu May 19, 2005 4:53 am

That might be a problematic issue, but I'm not sure if it's important enough to designs a combat system around it. The easiest solution imho would be to give experience based on damage dealth, and transfer the items dropped to the one who did the most damage. Since you can't split an item, that's the only way I can see to resolve the problem.

But still, I think we should live with it. It's a rather small problem that needs a complex re-writing of the battle system. It's probably not worth the time to fix =D
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Post by Bear » Thu May 19, 2005 5:14 am

easiest solution imho would be to give experience based on damage dealth, and transfer the items dropped to the one who did the most damage.
Think of it this way, when your a level 1/1 fighting for ur life against a maggot trying to Level up, a Level 6 comes and kills off your maggot after you only dealing 10dmg, he gets all te items because he got the most damage on the maggot, and same for exp, so basicaly he stole everything u were supposed to have.

But yea, people can live with it, it happens all the time in RO, most we can do is let people report this behavior to the admins/GMs, WITH proof ofcourse*screenshot*
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Post by fmct » Thu May 19, 2005 3:55 pm

Rarara wrote:That might be a problematic issue, but I'm not sure if it's important enough to designs a combat system around it.
I'm not sure on how your implementation works, but combat privileges could be implemented by adding a property to the monster, ID (of a party or player) that in the case of being NULL means the monster is free for combat, and else only can be attacked by members with said ID.
Rarara wrote:The easiest solution imho would be to give experience based on damage dealth, and transfer the items dropped to the one who did the most damage. Since you can't split an item, that's the only way I can see to resolve the problem.
That could work for assigning objects to people in a party that defeated a monster. I think in FFXI the objects gained by a party are auctioned among its members, so the one who pays the most wins it (if there are several members interested). Not sure if it was like that, I'll ask this weekend my friend that is an addict to that game ;)
Rarara wrote:But still, I think we should live with it. It's a rather small problem that needs a complex re-writing of the battle system. It's probably not worth the time to fix =D
It looks simple right now, but when the game gets crowded you can expect many people playing dirty and just lurking for distracted players to steal their objects gained in battle.

I know many people that were annoyed enough to leave RO forever and look for other games to play.

And I don't think telling the admins everytime it happens it's a nice solution. It's something expected to happen a lot, and will keep them too busy on an issue that can be solved with some tweaks to the code (now that the server is being written is the best time to look at these issues).
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Post by Rarara » Fri May 20, 2005 5:11 am

I know it'd be nice to stop item theft/wounded monster theft. But even if it can be a nuisance, fixing it could make a lot of server pressure. Trying to make a game perfect isn't always good, but if it can be fixed easely, YAY!
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Post by Talaroc » Fri May 20, 2005 5:14 am

It'd be more than "nice." It's necessary, else people will leave to play a better-made game.
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Post by Rarara » Fri May 20, 2005 7:32 am

Well, that's entirely up to you developers. I was just saying that it might not be worth the trouble, but I can't know how exactly hard it is to take care of the problem. I do know however that a lot of popular mmorpgs have this problem, so I wouldn't call it necessary to solve it. Plus, unless The Mana World is absolutly perfect, people are bound to leave for other things =(

Anyway, let's talk more about the problem. The easy measures to take, I think, are to give a fraction of experience each time you hit a monster and to make dropped items transfered directly to the inventory. A large part of the problem would be gone, but not all of it.

Making it so that a fight can't be barged in by interlopers is good, but there are complications. If attacking a monster makes it exclusive to you, then people could run and hit all the monsters once, and herd them. Then you wouldn't have anybody to fight. To fix that, then players should only be able to have a few exclusive monsters at a time.

In that direction, it of course would be better to know who's monster is whom :P. Placing the name of the player above the monster would do the job, and maybe placing the name of the team if it's an alliance of players. Those who don't have that name or aren't part of that alliance would do no damage, I guess. On the other hand, if it's a party then it'll have to manage itself fairly. FF11's system seems alright in that sense.
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Post by fmct » Fri May 20, 2005 11:15 am

Rarara wrote:I know it'd be nice to stop item theft/wounded monster theft. But even if it can be a nuisance, fixing it could make a lot of server pressure.
I think that leaving objects around on the map, and monsters switching targets everytime they are hit, are actually making more server pressure. Also can be a bit hard on the client. RO suffered slowdowns on my machine whenever some moffo dropped a lot of their insanely large inventory. :)
Rarara wrote:Making it so that a fight can't be barged in by interlopers is good, but there are complications. If attacking a monster makes it exclusive to you, then people could run and hit all the monsters once, and herd them. Then you wouldn't have anybody to fight. To fix that, then players should only be able to have a few exclusive monsters at a time.
That's a nice solution. Anyway, consider that herding many monsters will result on the player dying a quick, stupid death. But better make sure. ;)
Rarara wrote:In that direction, it of course would be better to know who's monster is whom Razz. Placing the name of the player above the monster would do the job, and maybe placing the name of the team if it's an alliance of players. Those who don't have that name or aren't part of that alliance would do no damage, I guess. On the other hand, if it's a party then it'll have to manage itself fairly.
The monster could blink to red if its already involved in a fight with other people, and if an outsider still tries to attack the monster, some warning could appear on the chat: "Monster X is already picked up by player/party Y".

I don't know how the current party system is implemented, but I guess the EXP points gained by a party in a battle are shared among its members depending on their participation in the fight and level.

P.S.: Consider that all these measures can make the game a more pleasant experience for newbies.
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » Fri May 20, 2005 5:35 pm

Well I think it's not a good idea to prevent people from joining other battles, it's like limiting freedom in my opinion. The only alternate solution is to give the same items and exp points to everyone who joins the fighte, but this will make the game very unbalanced and easy. I think the best solution is to live with it as someone said, as when you go to school and older people steal money for lunch from you :lol:
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Post by fmct » Sat May 21, 2005 10:47 am

Elven Programmer wrote:Well I think it's not a good idea to prevent people from joining other battles, it's like limiting freedom in my opinion.
If someone wants to fight monsters, there should always be sceneries with spare victims around. But I fail to see how getting into a battle you are not wanted in in the first place is a commendable freedom. :?
Elven Programmer wrote:I think the best solution is to live with it as someone said, as when you go to school and older people steal money for lunch from you
Bullying has always been forbidden in schools. Now, that rules are harder to enforce in the real world doesn't mean they can't be properly enforced in a virtual one. ;)
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Post by Kyokai » Sat May 21, 2005 5:45 pm

I'd have to agree with Elven that, especially in an action MMORPG, not being able to fight a monster takes away a large level of immersion and eralism from the player (not that it has to be extremely realistic, but when is the last time you couldn't hit someone because another guy had hit him first?) Maybe that's a bad example, but the point remains the same.

That aside, experience splitting isn't a problem, because experience is skill based, and grows based on the actions you take, not how many monsters you kill or how strong they are. (You hit something with your sword, your sword skill goes up 1 point, regardless of the target's level.) As for items, I propose that they are dropped on the ground, but cannot be picked up by players who weren't the first to engage the monster (at least not for 1 minute or so).
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Post by Pajarico » Sat May 21, 2005 6:12 pm

I understand that the stealing of items or EXP is annoying but i think that is better to keep the player free, without limitations. Let me explain: if you want to be an asshole and be around another players who are fighting with a monster, just to give the last hit and get the points, it shouldn't be anything preventing you to do so; is better to let people to do whatever they want. You can be a good boy and not steal.

Maybe we can add a penalization for every stealing (this was discused on another thread) - only for EXP or items stealed in that context, it shouldn't apply in another context because it could limit some quests.

:wink:

EDIT: I can't write a$$ hole :shock:
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Post by Bear » Sun May 22, 2005 1:45 am

That aside, experience splitting isn't a problem, because experience is skill based, and grows based on the actions you take, not how many monsters you kill or how strong they are. (You hit something with your sword, your sword skill goes up 1 point, regardless of the target's level.)
Personaly i disagree with this method, people would take advantage of the *any monster regardless of level* fact and just keep killing low level monsters to level up their weapons. that is what i think.
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Post by Rarara » Sun May 22, 2005 3:34 am

Bear wrote: Personaly i disagree with this method, people would take advantage of the *any monster regardless of level* fact and just keep killing low level monsters to level up their weapons. that is what i think.
It'd be possible to fix that by making the weapon experience gained relative to the monster's strength. One way is to give a certain level to all monsters, so that one has to hit a monster who's level is equal or above the level of weapon skill to make it go up.

Another option is to have the sword skills goes up based on the experience given by a monster. So when you hit a monster, half experience gained always goes to the character's experience used for levels, and half always goes to the method used for doing the damages. If it was a sword, sword skill goes up; if it was a spell, spell skill goes up. I'm using the damage = experience formula because it sounds fairer. If the exp was given upon death, then one could level his skills by fighting with what he's good at and then switch to his low-level skill to do the finishing blow :evil:

But it would be interesting if you could kill low level monsters to level your weapon skills faster. It'd be like practicing with dummies. You'd choose to specialise more with a weapon and be less generally strong because you'd get less experience. In the end you could be a low-level weakling that is a sword genius :shock:
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Post by fmct » Sun May 22, 2005 1:04 pm

Kyokai wrote:(not that it has to be extremely realistic, but when is the last time you couldn't hit someone because another guy had hit him first?)
In FFXI it happens the whole time, and people don't have problems with it. Solo players have an easier time around with no messy people, and parties use "pullers" (people who provoke a monster in the zone and bring it to the party for fighting).

I think that suggesting realism equals player inmersion in an MMORPG is wrong. The less rules a multiplayer game has, the more prone it's to be swamped by cheaters. When talking about free games, the problem gets worse.
Kyokai wrote:As for items, I propose that they are dropped on the ground, but cannot be picked up by players who weren't the first to engage the monster (at least not for 1 minute or so).
I like that solution, but I still prefer the object going directly to the inventory (problems to immediately pick the item up arise in zones crowded by aggressive monsters). The player could still drop the item to the floor or trade it if he doesn't need/want it.
Bear wrote:Personaly i disagree with this method, people would take advantage of the *any monster regardless of level* fact and just keep killing low level monsters to level up their weapons. that is what i think.
That's a problem fixed long ago in other RPGs. As Rarara said, you must fight monsters with a minimum level relative to yours or you won't get experience.
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