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Old 09-18-2002, 07:42 PM   #1
smadronia
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My fiancee and I have been discussing how to handle pk if we put it in, and we're drawing a blank. We've played on muds where pk has boilded down to arranged fights only, and if a person is jumped they complain, to muds where once you reach a certain level you're automatically entered into the pk realm and there's nothing you can do about it.

The easiest way to avoid pk deteriorating into arranged fights and lots of yelling and people hiding is to just not put it in at all. However, we'd like to offer it and i'd like to hear what other people have done to keep pk working on their muds.
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Old 09-19-2002, 03:10 AM   #2
Neranz Laverani
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I can think of three types of PK systems off the top of my head.

Anything Goes
Anyone can kill anyone else, anytime, anywhere.
Pro: Does not put any limits on the player.
Sometimes a high level character may have a valid RP reason to kill a relatively new person.
Con: Does not put any limits on the player.
Invariably you end up with someone who kills newbies because they are playing an "evil" character.

Anything Goes ends up being very abused in a hack and slash game. I would not recommend using it if that is the type of game you are creating. (Unless, of course, you are creating a pure PK mud like Genocide).

If using Anything Goes on a RP mud, I would have a guild of players that is in charge of law enforcement. Someone can kill newbies because they are evil, but the cops will come after them. Having the players control this aspect of the mud will also introduce more role-playing possibilities.

Level Restricted
A common way to keep high level players from killing newbies is to restrict someone to killing people a certain number of levels below themselves and the same number of levels above themselves.
Pro: Keeps high-levels from thumping newbies as a form of entertainment.
Con: RPers bristle at the fact of not being able to decide who they can kill for RP reasons.

This method is useful on hack and slash muds. The level of acceptance of it on RP muds varies.

Arena
Like Anything Goes, anyone can kill anyone else (or try). However, the arena is in a special area. When people are killed in the arena, they do not loose experience or their corpse.
Pro: Gives players a venue to see who is hardest without alienating newbies.
Con: Doesn't create the same feeling of danger that the other two methods can. It won't satisfy people who do it for the thrill.

This method is good for hack and slash muds where the players are generally afraid of PK muds. I have not seen it implemented on a RP mud, so I don't know how it would do there.

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Old 09-19-2002, 06:12 AM   #3
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I can think of a 4th type: clan or guild restricted pk. People have to join clans, cabals, guilds, whatever you want to call them in order to pk. Each clan has it's own rules and regulations about how to act, who to kill, etc. These may or may not be level restricted or arena restricted.

I'm familiar with pk, so finding a system isn't really the problem. The problem is my original question: How do you keep it from deteriorating? How do you keep your pk system from going from the original concept to one where everyone involved in pk only fights arranged fights? If you're a role playing mud where guilds have a purpose, how do you limit the number of people who join a guild simply because their friend is in it, and have no intentions of fighting at all? You could make up rules about it, but then you spend your time babysitting people to make sure they follow the rules, which doesn't sound like much fun to me.
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Old 09-19-2002, 09:41 AM   #4
Neranz Laverani
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Which PK system are you leaning toward and is your mud HNS or RP?

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Old 09-19-2002, 06:53 PM   #5
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currently we're leaning towards a mix of styles, but at this point we don't have a solid decision. We want to get input from other people on how pk works in their muds before we commit to what we have planned.

The mud is going to be more role play, less pk. Our tentative plan is to allow characters to choose whether they want to pk. Those that do will have a flag showing they're interested. We're also looking at a clan system as well, run by players and imms, where like groups of people can get together. Some clans may be no-pk, some may be all pk, and some in between. The tentative plan is to limit the pkers by a level range of some kind, and let guilds set up rules for their members.

The three problems we've seen that we could encounter (and we know there's more, this is just the ones that come to mind) are: the people with pk flags will disregard the rules, the people in the guilds join to be part of the guild, not to fight, and instead of pk just being where it may, people will only fight by arrangement and bitch if they get jumped.

We want to avoid those problems, and that's why I thought I'd ask for other administrator's input in this. We've put this off for a while because we didn't want to deal with it, but it's getting to be crunch time and we need to start deciding.
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Old 09-20-2002, 03:44 AM   #6
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On the mud I admin, we have totally unrestricted PK and it seems to be self limiting due to one reason...permadeath.
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:51 AM   #7
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You could also envision a few in-game incentives to encourage depth in PK.

1. obviously, opt-in only PK: players may, after reaching a certain level, activate PK. This is a once-off choice. As an incentive, you could for instance give PK-enabled players a small boost in XP (like 5% faster levelling).

2. Loot: limit to one object in the victim's inventory, and if this is a special object (like a quest object), the killer must fulfill all conditions himself.

3. XP: No XP loss for the loser if he was attacked by a higher-level player, large XP loss if the attacker loses and is of a higher level etc.

4. Bounties: If the initial attacker killed in-town, an automatic bounty is set on his head, and town guards aggro on him. In the wilderness, the bounty is only generated if there was atleast a mob or NPC to witness the murder.
PCs can now apply for a bounty hunting permit and hunt down the killer without any XP penalties nor automatic bounty if they succeed. If the assassin manages to kill them first, he still gets to pick one part of the loop.

Well, that's my ideas on the matter. Better suited for H&S than RP-heavy, probably.
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:30 AM   #8
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Yep Ogma said it, but I'll elaborate simply because I like to jabber.

The only restriction on our pk system is that you can't kill anyone in ooc land. (Some players have used this to lay in wait at the ooc entrance and pop their target's head as soon as he emerges from ooc land, but it doesn't seem to be common anymore.)

Due to the existence of permadeath, and the complex political nature of the mud, the only time anyone actually PK's someone is if they think they can handle the target's friends, or if they KNOW they won't get caught (i.e. assassins). The main way people PK is ambush, which doesn't work if their target is in row 2 of a party. Also there's a chance their actions will be observed by others in a room, so it takes someone really gutsy or stupid to kill someone in broad daylight with 5 people watching. PK becomes a really secretive underground thing where one day someone will be permadead and no one knows how or why except those who did it. And people tend to like assassins at the same time they fear them, because a mage isn't gonna up and blow their enemy up when said enemy and any observers can see it, so he'll just try to become close enough friends with an assassin that said assassin won't pop his head for money. (In the old days people hired assassins, but I'm not sure if they do anymore. I dunno about you but I'd prefer having my assassin best friend kill someone to paying some random guy who might tell the next baron who comes along who paid him to kill who.)

We don't tend to have a lot of newbie killing, unless the newbie was being really annoying/insulting, and most people don't see any point in killing someone who doesn't have the skills to threaten them or their power. The main exception to this is ooc cheating, where the killer knows the "newbie" in question is really a new char of the enemy he killed a while back. Let's face it, newbies are plenty capable of finding ways to die on their own without being helped along by someone else's bloodlust.

As for the guild issue, I advise letting the guild heads enforce their rules, or appoint others to enforce them. If they're RP oriented and enforce their rules, I doubt you'll have many problems with Joe joining guild X because his friend Fred is in it. For instance, on the mud I play the healer's guild is really strict, to the point a member can't even date anyone who isn't neutral, and their heads are really picky about who they let join. I suspect you're talking about guilds more like other muds have though, where you HAVE to join a guild unless you wanna be a crappy adventurer all through the game, and I really have no expertise in that area cuz I don't like that kind of mud.

The bottom line: if you're gonna have RP, unrestricted PK, and permadeath, watch VERY closely for ooc cheating. Other than that, there's not much of a problem with it, at least in my experience.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #9
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Re: Managing PK

We went with an option to have "lowbie protection" on ours - a flag that can be dropped voluntarily (for returning/experienced players) or that self-drops beyond a certain level. It tends to protect those that are new, or that are happy to roleplay all day and not become the big bads of the mud - sucks to start out on a mud only to get killed off the same day, not much incentive to stay. Of course depending if you have a levelling based system or not, the above may not work for you. We don't have a permadeath setting for most PK's either so it was easier to run with a less restricted system, since the consequences of dying (usually) aren't as dire. In general, in a RP-based MUD we found it was better to have in-game consequences (PK'ers being hunted down/put on wanted lists, cities becoming fearful or aggressive towards the PK'er, etc) rather than out-of-game restrictions.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Re: Managing PK

The mechanics of our MUD is quite similar; RP-intensive yet no permadeath. Inside cities is subject to Staff jurisdiction and, hopefully in the not-to-distant future, guard procs. Outside the city gates.. it's a wide and dangerous world.
Our most popular guild (allegiance in MUD terms) is the Legions, the equivelant to the army. Player killing and murder is one of the most direct ways to foster PC-to-PC roleplay! The Legion are constantly hunting out criminals, and some of our most memorable scenes have involved legion vs. murderer conflicts.
We do not restrict player killing (though I might do so for newer people in the future), but we do require players to write a pkill note (around 400 words) to send to the Staff. The contents of the note describe the events surrounding the killing and the result. There are two purposes to this - to curtail constant player-killing & to keep Staff informed about the roleplay surrounding a pkill. As well, player-killers are limited to retrieving one item as a trophy from their kill; they cannot strip someone's corpse bare. This is to curtail grief and killing over depriving a player of all possessions. Some of our killers decline to take trophies.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: Managing PK

We've handled it in a somewhat similar way.

Our goal was to create a system where the majority of PK occurs within the context of the broader war system, but individuals can still act against others who have personally slighted them.

HELP PK RULES:
Quote:
Conflict, war and murder are at the very heart of Lithmeria, but there are nevertheless a set of guidelines regarding whom a player can kill. These rules are in place to ensure that Lithmeria remains a vibrant game that's fun for all players.

Rule #1: 'Be a decent human being'

This first and most important rule is really a guideline or philosophy we ask you to adopt when making decisions about whether or not to kill another player. Without giving specific examples or going into particular detail, let it just be said that if your sole intention in playing Lithmeria is to grief other players to the point of making the game unplayable for them, there's an excellent chance you'll be found in breach of this rule sooner rather than later, and dealt with accordingly. In listening to appeals, the administration will be guided by this rule above all others.

Rule #2: 'Personal Cause'

If a character has given your character direct and personal cause to slay theirs, none of the rules below this one regarding location are applicable. You may slay them wherever you are able to find them. Any and all slights are considered to have been erased by a successful kill and upon dying, their characters slate is considered wiped clean toward yours.

Note: Combat actions taken as part of military actions such as attacking a War System Objective, defending a caravan, defending merchant shipping and so forth do not grant personal cause. Personal Cause is a strictly limited concept and will be treated as such by the administration.

For more information on Personal Cause, see HELP PERSONAL CAUSE EXAMPLES

Rule #3: 'Hostile Territory'

There are certain places on Lithmeria a character can be, where they are considered to be an active combatant and thus liable to be killed by any member of the opposing faction. Any battle that begins in one of these areas can be concluded, even if one of the parties flees the area into an adjacent one. Exactly what constitutes such a running battle is left up to the common sense of players. These are:

- The other faction's continent
- Contested or contestable War System Objective areas
- On board a warship anywhere in the world
- On board any vessel in the Uncharted Waters

Rule #4: 'Exceptions'

- Novices and newer players who are found within Hostile Territory should be, whenever possible and practicable, escorted out rather than slain.
- The Navy Division will distribute Letters of Marque permitting limited attacks on enemy commercial shipping. Those manning commercial shipping vessels attacked by a Letter of Marque holder are considered fair game.
- Anyone in the process of moving squads is considered to be an enemy combatant and can be slain, even outside Hostile Territory.

Consequences

The administration reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems appropriate toward those who flagrantly disregard the above rules. The most common forms of punishment will be the loss of significant amounts of experience, with suspensions and eventual bans flowing to those who commit repeated or especially egregious breaches.

Appeals for Justice

If you feel that your character has been slain or harassed in a manner that is in serious breach of the above rules, you may file an Appeal for Justice and seek administrative intervention. Please note, this should be a final recourse and the administration will look with extreme displeasure at those who use the Appeals system frivolously.
HELP PERSONAL CAUSE EXAMPLES:
Quote:
The following ARE examples of "Personal Cause"

* A direct, personal insult, knowingly delivered and clearly meant for your ears.
* A direct, personal threat, knowingly delivered.
* An attack outside the context of the broader War System.
* Infiltration upon private property.

The following ARE NOT examples of "Personal Cause"

* Generic insults overheard. If the speaker clearly meant you personally no direct offense, you do not get Personal Cause. Sneaking into Rhylium and hearing a yell about the superiority of Teladiri over Aspalarians does not grant personal cause.
* Self defense. If you attack someone and they defend themselves, this does not grant you personal cause against them.
* Defense of allies. Outside of specific, exceptional circumstances such as direct interference in a pre-arranged duel, stepping in to defend an ally does not grant enemy combatants personal cause.
* Ignoring someone. No one is under any onus or obligation to respond to you if you address them, and their failure to do so does not grant you personal cause.
* Actions taken as part of the War System. You cannot claim retaliatory cause for attacks on you during naval battles or fights over objectives.
* Descriptions, Bodymarks, Accents etc. You cannot claim personal cause because you decide you are offended by someone's appearance or mannerisms, unless those mannerisms are clearly tuned to offend you personally.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:49 AM   #12
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Re: Managing PK

I think it depends on the setting. If you have a world where character killing (I refuse to call it player killing, because it makes it sound personal, and I have no idea why it was called that in the first place,) is not common, then it makes sense to restrict CK.

I've found in RP MUDs that have permadeath and unrestricted killing, that it actually harms plots, because no one's willing to oppose other characters in case their character is killed as a result.

Some kind of system where experience points are reimbursed, to be spent on your next character, I think softens the blow to the player.

Is a player just killing another character because they as a player don't want to lose thier character and are powergaming, or does the character doing the killing actually have motivations behind taking such an action? These are things I would look at as a staff member on my MUD.

I prefer that CK be a last resort really. There are other things you can do to mess up the plans of another character besides killing them, which can be much more fun. There are many situations in which you could choose an alternative course of action, it's just that players can be lazy when it comes to thinking up stuff like that, or the game makes it difficult for them to do so.

Last edited by Orion : 10-11-2012 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #13
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Re: Managing PK

We like to keep things simple:

Quote:
Pick on whomever ya want. Bully whomever ya want. But don't whine when what goes around comes back around -- about a hundred times. If you don't want a badass to smack you down, don't mouth off. If someone you can't handle is insulting you and trying to draw you into a scrum, don't let him. Walk away and hire someone to kick his ass. Above all, keep it IC. Anyone who runs around killing just because he can will swiftly learn the power of vigilante justice.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #14
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Re: Managing PK

> My fiancee and I have been discussing how to handle pk if we put it in, and we're drawing
> a blank. We've played on muds where pk has boilded down to arranged fights only, and
> if a person is jumped they complain, to muds where once you reach a certain level
> you're automatically entered into the pk realm and there's nothing you can do about it.

> The easiest way to avoid pk deteriorating into arranged fights and lots of yelling
> and people hiding is to just not put it in at all. However, we'd like to offer it and
> i'd like to hear what other people have done to keep pk working on their muds.

This depends on the type of MUD. Is it a MUD with permadeath?

If not then PK is not really that troubling.

The best way to handle PK is:

- Make it so that the difference between characters is as low as possible.
That way, even if someone trained immensely, he can not "easily" always
win against someone else, at least not in a 100% way.

- Offer safe zones, like guards interfering. These safe zones must be
IC logical.

- Remove all OOC channels. They distract from IC game play.

- Ensure that a player roleplayers a character according to the
personality given and if not, you must remove the player AND
undo his PKs. For this to account, you can use a deity system
that allows souls to return (semi permadeath).

The really big problem with PK is that it is one-sided fun. The
loser does not enjoy to be PKed.

I still think PK is useful though, it can make a game more
exciting. I myself favour non-permadeath, but severe
penalties (and extending safe zones so that murderers
have it very hard).
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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Re: Managing PK

Quote:
Originally Posted by shevegen View Post
This depends on the type of MUD. Is it a MUD with permadeath?
I doubt it was. However the post you're replying to is more than a decade old, and the mud shut down years ago, so it's difficult to say for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shevegen View Post
- Remove all OOC channels. They distract from IC game play.
Put simply: No. If you (as a player) don't want OOC channels, turn them off. If players want OOC channels you can't stop them, they can always use external applications (such as Skype) - all you're doing is raising the entry barrier for new players, reducing the influx of fresh blood that your game needs to survive and prosper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shevegen View Post
I myself favour non-permadeath, but severe penalties (and extending safe zones so that murderers have it very hard).
Personally I favour minimal penalties, and no roleplaying to detract from the action.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #16
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Re: Managing PK

In Unwritten legends, you can attack anyone you want. However, it almost never happens. The kinds of people that enjoy being jerks usually don't stay long. People can be charged with assault and murder if the attack happens in the King's territory, and it takes a very long time to be a threat to most of the player characters.

Oh, and you don't get much for it. PC's keep their stuff on death, so the most the slayer would get is some exp, and arrested or beaten.

Last edited by Ghostcat : 10-11-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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