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Bounty System?

I know this was briefly discussed in the Inns/Taverns Thread, but I think it deserves its own discussion as Bounty systems can be complex but also very interesting and fun for the players.

I've seen very little MMOs successfully incorporate a bounty system and I find that to be such a shame. Since AoC has a flagging system, I think a bounty system could work. There are just my own personal suggestions as to how I think a good bounty system could work, it would be nice to have some feedback and suggestions because I know its not easy to have a good bounty system that works well and cannot be exploited (the bounty system was removed from ArcheAge due to players exploiting it).

What I'm thinking is something along these lines. When a player flags to attack another unsuspecting player, obviously, anyone around can see this and attack the flagged PK (Player Killer), and hopefully take the PK out before he can kill anyone. However, we all know PKs are clever and will find the right time and place to strike their victims when most likely no one else will be around. So in the instance where a player gets killed by the PK, upon dying, this player could receive a pop up message stating something along these line "You were killed by *insert PK name here*" the victim could then travel to the nearest Bounty Hunter's office within a set period of time, to speak with an NPC and place a bounty on anyone who's killed him within maybe the last 24 hours.

From there, the player could see if the PK already has a bounty on his head, how much this bounty is, and how many ppl have placed bounties on this PK's head. this would help the player determine if he should or should not put more money towards the bounty. Some players may see that the bounty is already high and decide that adding what little money they have in their pouch won't make a significant difference. Also, the number of players who have already placed a bounty on this same individual would only be tracked until the PK has been hunted down.

That number of victims could play a vital role in the severity of the PK's punishment once killed. If the punishment is Jail time, or some kind of debuff, you could easily include the number of victims into a formula that helps determine how long the jail sentence or debuff will last.

As far as becoming a bounty hunter, maybe a series of quests would be required, and ultimately, a bounty hunting license of some sort would have to be purchased by the player who wishes to partake in bounty hunting. Players would have to register at the bounty hunter's office either as a solo hunters or part of a small team. If part of a bounty hunting team, rewards would be split evenly amongst all team members when the bounty is collected.

Now how would bounties work if we already have a flagging system in place? I'm not sure if AoC will have a "Pirate" or "Criminal" faction, where players who commit too many crimes end up being red all the time, or maybe after killing a player, the PK becomes red for a set period of time which is only counted while online? Some PKs will have no problem with hiding out until they are no longer flagged Red. Or they will simply find other like minded PK individuals and there will be a group of 20 Reds running around until they are no longer flagged and can resume their normal activities.

So if we're going to have a bounty system, Bounty hunters will have to be able to attack PKs even after they are no longer flagged for PVP. But it has to be done in a way that cannot be easily exploited. This is where the Bounty Hunting License comes into effect. It could be a usable item with a short radius that once a Bounty hunter has located his target Bounty, can use the license within a certain distance of the PK to flag him as Red for him and his bounty hunter team. No one else would see the PK as red. only the Bounty hunter and his team who used the Bounty Hunting license on the PK. This would flag the PK as red for a set period of time for the Bounty Hunting team, and they would have to kill the PK within that set amount of time. Also, once the license is used to flag a Bounty target red, every member of that Bounty team would have a cooldown on their License and be unable to use it for perhaps a few hours (whatever is deemed reasonable.. could be 6 hours, 12 hours even 24 hours!) This would ensure that Bounty hunters would only use this ability sparingly.

Also, The team that initiates the attack on the PK would be the one claiming the bounty. Not the team who gets the killing blow. This would be to prevent one team from waiting til the target gets low on health to then use their license and try to steal the kill.

Completely separate from the Bounty system could be a crime points system which keeps track of all the bad deeds a player does, Even once a player has been brought to justice, his bounty cleared, these crime points would remain. Crime points could help determine certain things.. maybe players will a certain amount of points would be unable to register as bounty hunters.. maybe the more points they have, the longer they stay flagged after attacking another player.. Maybe certain things in the world becomes accessible to them as "evil" characters or "Criminals". And of course there could be a way for these evil doers to repent and wipe out their "Crime points" if they so desire, which would take some effort..

Anywho.. this is a lot of text.. and I'm just trying to throw around some ideas. I'm sure a lot of ppl have some great ideas for this.

Comments

  • First of all you'll be happy to know that Steven confirmed a bounty system about a week ago :) Since you wrote an essay I won't bother to short this down, taken from <a href="http://www.mmogames.com/gamearticles/interview-ashes-of-creation-wants-bring-virtual-world-life/">this interview</a>:

    <em>We are still developing our flagging system, but I can give you an overview of how it stands now. It is important to keep in mind, that players are not forced into PvP. If you want to influence the world around you through non-pvp methods, it is an equally viable option.

    There are three states that a player can find themselves in: Non-Combatant (Green), Combatant (Purple), and Corrupt (Red). Everyone is a Non-Combatant by default. If a Non-Combatant attacks a Combatant or another non-combatant, then they become a Combatant for a period of time. Similarly, if a Non-Combatant enters a PVP zone (which includes things like Castles, City Sieges and Caravans) they are automatically flagged a Combatant while in the zone, and for a period of time after leaving that zone.

    Players can kill Combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a Combatant means you suffer reduced death penalties. Where this changes is when a Combatant kills a Non-Combatant. In this case, the Combatant is Corrupt, and acquires a Corruption Score (which is accrued based on a number of different parameters, including the level differential of their freshly slain victim). This Corruption Score can be worked off with effort through a few mechanics, but the primary means of getting rid of it is through death.

    While a player is marked as Corrupt, they may be attacked by both Combatants and Non-Combatants. If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant. We also have some other ideas that we haven’t formalized yet that will allow players to participate in what we feel could be a fun cat-and-mouse part of the game. As an example, the location of these corrupt players will be displayed on the map, if you have the Bounty Hunter title, which can be obtained through a quest available to a citizen from a Military zoned, Stage 4 (Town) Node. These are systems that we’re still working on, but Corruption is something we want to provide explicit gameplay opportunities for.

    In any case, all this comes to a head via death penalties. A Non-Combatant who dies suffers normal penalties, which includes experience debt, durability loss, as well as dropping a portion of carried raw materials (which can then be looted). A Combatant who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the Non-Combatant rate. A character who has a Corruption Score on the other hand, suffers penalties at three times the rate of a Non-Combatant, and has a chance to drop *any* carried/equipped items based on their current Corruption Score.

    The idea here is to disincentivizes those who wish to gank or grief others, while rewarding those who engage in consensual PVP. We don’t want Ashes to be a murder box!

    Again, this is the briefest of overviews, and I’m sure this explanation raises as many questions as it answers. It really demands a more thorough explanation, which we’ll get into in a developer blog. Also, keep in mind that Ashes is continually a work in progress – though I’ve given a lot of specifics here, what survives play-testing is anyone’s guess!</em>
  • Nice, thanks for the info,

    it almost sounds as if once a player becomes "Corrupt" he will stay red until killed or the Corruption score is worked off somehow. I personally don't mind that at all. Also sounds like the only way a player can become corrupt is if the defendant makes absolutely no attempt to defend himself.. because if he did, he'd also become a combatant.. at least thats what I'm understanding. But it also seems like a player being attacked has in his best interest to defend himself and become purple, so that he can negate some of the death penalties.

    The only thing I could see happen tho.. is a PK who wants to kill a player without becoming "Corrupt" or red, would simply do so by waiting for the player to engage in some PVE combat, and then do a hit and run type tactic where the PK does as much burst damage as possible without killing the player and then lets the mobs finish off the player. If the player doesn't have a chance to retaliate, he's dying as a green "non combatant" therefor subject to normal penalties, while the combatant player remains purple and doesn't go red.
  • [quote quote=1613]
    The only thing I could see happen tho.. is a PK who wants to kill a player without becoming “Corrupt” or red, would simply do so by waiting for the player to engage in some PVE combat, and then do a hit and run type tactic where the PK does as much burst damage as possible without killing the player and then lets the mobs finish off the player. If the player doesn’t have a chance to retaliate, he’s dying as a green “non combatant” therefor subject to normal penalties, while the combatant player remains purple and doesn’t go red.
    [/quote]

    Unless of course they make it so that a potential PK's participation in the kill is what flags them as Corrupt, and not the killing blow itself. This way, a group of Combatants harassing and killing a solo Non-Combatant all become Corrupt, rather than just the one who got the last blow in.
  • [quote quote=1614]Unless of course they make it so that a potential PK’s participation in the kill is what flags them as Corrupt, and not the killing blow itself. This way, a group of Combatants harassing and killing a solo Non-Combatant all become Corrupt, rather than just the one who got the last blow in.[/quote]

    Ahhh yes!, and to add further to this, maybe there should be a time limit. For instance, if a combatant has participated in the death of a non combatant within the last 15-20 seconds before the non combatant's death, then the combatant or combatants become corrupt. The reason for this 15-20 seconds timer would be so that if you flagged on someone 5 - 10 minutes ago, maybe as a warning ect.. he can't just turn around and go suicide himself against a mob to cause you to go Corrupt all of a sudden.
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