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Guild Gathering #11 - Spies and Intrigue

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Comments

  • The idea of a Guild Leader being able to appoint one or two 'spies' in the guild who then have the ability to join another guild is incredibly intriguing.
  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    If information such as caravan departure time and manifest could be stolen, then it should be possible to provide false information and let them steal that. For example, the spy could steal the information that the caravan was leaving Winstead for Rocca at 2 PM Saturday, but it actually leaves at 6 AM Saturday.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    MetalDad wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    MetalDad wrote: »
    For example: being able to "steal" the time and manifest contents of a caravan could be super cool.
    The problem with this is that the game doesn't have that information.

    Caravans are - for the most part - a player initiated thing, they leave when a player wants to run a caravan.

    If I have a caravan of valuable materials that I am wanting to transport, there is no way I am going to interact with any in game system that will allow a rival to know my plans. I am going to transport it when and how I think is safest.

    I havent played yet, so I obviously am just working from what info is out there.
    From the wiki:
    Quest driven caravans
    Quest driven caravans are used for trade routes between nodes. These caravans are system driven.[10]

    Quest driven caravans are only one type of caravan - they are not the type of caravan guilds will care about in terms of spying.
  • Nerror wrote: »
    As I understand it, players will be limited to one guild per account (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). That alone creates its own problem.

    As the system is planned for now, it's going to be 1 guild per character.. So alts can be in different guilds. This allows for spying on one account, with the caveat of the superman/Clark Kent issue of not being able to be in the same place at the same time with your spy and main. Out of game you can do two separate discord accounts, and if sneaky, perhaps some voice modulation as well. It still heavily favours a double PC setup though.

    That at least addresses one problem then, but it still leaves another: your permanent player handle. Will those be visible? Because if its a similar situation to Elder Scrolls Online, where your permanent handle is visible along with your alt characters, it still creates the problem of connecting the spy to an account, regardless of alt characters.

    Which again, creates the problem that only people who can multibox/multiaccount will be capable of spying effectively, which is an access issue to those with less money and machines to play on.

    Conversely though, there's also a flip side of inconvenience for people who aren't interested in spying/espionage and want a reliable friend/guild list where they can keep track of people across different characters regardless of alts.

    So how should Intrepid address both issues effectively? That's where the problem with this all comes in, unless you can deny to give/hide your account name somehow.

    Being able to make a "dummy" account name using in-game tools seems like the most effective way to address that without instantly tipping off a guild that you're suspicious by simply withholding your account name.
    StarlitFox wrote: »
    The idea of a Guild Leader being able to appoint one or two 'spies' in the guild who then have the ability to join another guild is incredibly intriguing.

    It could be interesting if you could have an official "spy" label given to guild members but you could set permissions so only certain ranks can see it, perhaps, like Guild Leader, Officers, etc. Which also creates counterplay opportunities if someone ELSE's spy manages to work their way into a high rank in an enemy guild.
    My AoC Wishlist:
    -Avian Tulnar (topic video)
    -Dwarf-to-tallest race heights for Tulnar
    -Crows/ravens for Falconers
    -AC:O & AC:V type aerial scouting for Falconer
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack

    That at least addresses one problem then, but it still leaves another: your permanent player handle. Will those be visible?
    This will not be visible.

    ESO is an outlier in this regard.
  • If I was asking players to spy for us, there's no way I'd give them an in-game title for it. If anything, I wouldn't even tell anyone else they were doing it!
    Daveywavey-member.png
  • OmniceyeOmniceye Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Don't make it the same spying and intrigue everyone already does out of game.

    Make it a Quest or Event to gather info, sabotage equipment for wars, or even cause a debuff for local population. Keep it in game

    This could be implemented in several ways, just a few examples could be gathering info and Sabotage.

    Gathering info: You have a quest or event to sneak into a town treasury or garrison. During which you are forcibly flagged even in town. If you are killed you fail the quest with just a death penalty. If you succeed, you come out with info on what is held in the treasury or what defensive seige equipment has been installed, maybe the levels of what those are or even how many players the guild has registered. also walking away with some reputation for the town you are working for.

    Sabotage: Quests given during war prep, same as above where you are flagged, however upon success you get the chance to sabotage something, for example. Seige have less health. or at a certain time a gate opens, as if you had a man on the inside, or even a poisoned water supply example could have everyone in war have a small debuff for time. However as those have more serious implications. Failing said quests could be more serious. as for what those implications are, more info would be needed before i could think of any.

    When you get into spying and intrigue. The common forms are always going to be done outside of game through discord or other platforms in order to get info or cause drama. There is no stopping it and it is going to happen. This isnt something that makes the game better but its something that will always exist in MMOs especially those heavily focused on PvP. Making this easier is not the best way to go about this. Instead give us something that leans away from this. There are many ways to make engaging events that allow for so called "spying" while keeping it in game.

  • Not a fan to be honest. If you can’t trust your tight knit group of rag tag friends in your guild, it undermines the bond you could create with your would be friends.
  • Absolutely love the idea or agents/double agents/spies and the like. It would be a fun mechanic to play, but are we talking story related, faction related, or something different. Would you get quest rewards, gear, money or some type of renown?
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Omniceye wrote: »
    Don't make it the same spying and intrigue everyone already does out of game.

    Make it a Quest or Event to gather info, sabotage equipment for wars, or even cause a debuff for local population. Keep it in game

    This could be implemented in several ways, just a few examples could be gathering info and Sabotage.

    Gathering info: You have a quest or event to sneak into a town treasury or garrison. During which you are forcibly flagged even in town. If you are killed you fail the quest with just a death penalty. If you succeed, you come out with info on what is held in the treasury or what defensive seige equipment has been installed, maybe the levels of what those are or even how many players the guild has registered. also walking away with some reputation for the town you are working for.

    Sabotage: Quests given during war prep, same as above where you are flagged, however upon success you get the chance to sabotage something, for example. Seige have less health. or at a certain time a gate opens, as if you had a man on the inside, or even a poisoned water supply example could have everyone in war have a small debuff for time. However as those have more serious implications. Failing said quests could be more serious. as for what those implications are, more info would be needed before i could think of any.

    When you get into spying and intrigue. The common forms are always going to be done outside of game through discord or other platforms in order to get info or cause drama. There is no stopping it and it is going to happen. This isnt something that makes the game better but its something that will always exist in MMOs especially those heavily focused on PvP. Making this easier is not the best way to go about this. Instead give us something that leans away from this. There are many ways to make engaging events that allow for so called "spying" while keeping it in game.

    If this is put in to the game, what is to stop me spying on your guild the same way I have in other games?

    Adding a quest based system with some small perks to it and calling it spying isn't going to stop people spying on your guild.
  • Jam21Jam21 Member
    When there are things to contest for guilds, such as: worldbosses, sieges, territory control, daily pvp for farming spot control,etc - there will always be drama and intrugue.

    It not really about the game. It is the human nature. In games where guilds play major role, spies can do much harm - from leaking intel on movements, WB spawn timers, etc, they also can sow confusion, or outright poach decent people from the guild to the rivals.

    This is sometimes sad, sometimes disgusting. But this will exist as long as there is guild rivalry. It even exists in games where guilds have barely anything to contend with, and/or where no Open World PvP is present - TESO, FinalFantsy, Neverwinter, etc. Even when there is really no real reason to do sneaky things, people still perform them.
    Not a fan to be honest. If you can’t trust your tight knit group of rag tag friends in your guild, it undermines the bond you could create with your would be friends.

    These things are really not an issue for tightly knit groups of say <20 people most of whom know each other long before the game or even in real life. But once your guild grow to 50+ people total, no matter how benevolent and cordial you all are - these things are bound to happen. Someone will always be bitter about something in bigger collectives. And then all it takes for that person to become a rat, is existence of a valid rival guild or group.
  • Jam21Jam21 Member
    edited January 11
    Also, I want to mention one thing for devs to consider, and maybe for other people to ponder on:

    The so-called "Streamsniping", or more precisely - devs policy on policing this.

    This kind of "spying" in games emerged quite recently, and there are 2 major problems with that, that are related to each other:

    1) In 99% cases, it is impossible to prove in any way that such thing occured.
    2) However, since streamers bring popularity to the game, devs and publishers in most cases cave to these things. But because of 1)(see above) , they only have a word of streamer and his fans vs a word of non-streamer and maybe his friends/guild. Yet they issue real bans for most alleged "cases".

    As a streamer, since you cannot prove that you were streamsniped, you can basically point your finger at anyone who is harassing you and tell admin that they are "streamsniping" you. This basically destroys the value of such things as location knowledge, actual intellegence (e.g. being in enemy discord - classical spying), and just create a lot of negativity towards the game and a platform to abuse.

    In general, if a person decides to stream the game for everyone to see, shouldn't they be responsible for their decision? You go farm world boss and stream it, some people see (OR actually not see anything - just also timed this boss respawn), they come fight and kill you, then you report these people for "streamsniping" and basically it means devs just issued bans to people for simply playing the game.

    So I'm very interested what kind of policy on this will be in Ashes. Would love to see some opinion from the devs on this.
  • In my experience, de concept of spies its very cool, but there is no system created that i know so far, so would be interessing to see what are your ideias, i already saw many great ideias express by the communaty, i believe in this aspect we could implement a new feature like bounties for spies that are discovered, and have restrict acess from the npc, for the reward i believe that spy should be affliate on "their main guild" like guildmaster or "Acting Guildmaster" should put a role on the guild as spy and doesnt appear on guild roster, and he would be still from the guild but can be invited to other guilds but only for 1 at the time, if the other guild wanted me to spy aswell he then could be double agent making it possible to belong to 3 guild max. I believe you will make payout to the members of the guild therefor the spies would make profit on those payouts from their main guild, i believes this is the best High Risk Reward.
  • edited January 11
    I could only think of this as a spy position title in the guild.
    The people who get appointed this position can turn spying on and off before entering a node/city/village.
    When spying is off they are just like everybody else.
    When spying is on they can gather info on caravans departure times and routes, as well as their cargo? Planned defences under construction in the node? Treasury contents info? Number of guilds, stats of specific players? Number of ships and types available and their cargo/equipment?

    As to how I guess they would have to stay in particular areas for a prolonged time.
    I don't think it should be only rogues, as someone mentioned, as other classes can cast illusions or shape shifting scrolls/potions could be available,or even mind control spells on NPCs. Heck even simple affinity with certain NPCs through quests can have them favour you and provide info.
    All of this could be recorded on notes but without the players knowing what info exactly they have and instead be presented with a gauge of how important or how much their info is until they leave the city and the spying mode is off.

    Counter measures could be patrols by players, guards at entrance points, restricted areas, interrogation systems, imprisonment when found carrying notes, ability to select and develop the NPCs stationed in a city.

    Another option would be to generate quests of spying a node from a node and a reverse find the spy quest from the other node???


    Simple guild spying I think has nothing to offer as it is always done through discord as others have mentioned already but I am not against it.
  • SoggyBandaidSoggyBandaid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think that if AoC is going to rely on spying and the like for guild/political drama, there should be some sort of in game systems reflecting that stance. After reading through some of the comments, it seems that for major guilds spying will just be a natural part of discord and other social sites.

    That's okay, but it feels like a cheap watered down experience to "need" to "spy" outside the game. I say "need" meaning a system with which most players must interreact. I say "spy" meaning whatever sort of espionage or covert activity Intrepid Studios supports. If Intrepid supports spies, then I think AoC should support spies in game.

    Otherwise it feels a bit too much like people just abusing the real life trust of others which (to me) is a bit toxic rather than dramatic.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    I think that if AoC is going to rely on spying and the like for guild/political drama, there should be some sort of in game systems reflecting that stance. After reading through some of the comments, it seems that for major guilds spying will just be a natural part of discord and other social sites.

    That's okay, but it feels like a cheap watered down experience to "need" to "spy" outside the game. I say "need" meaning a system with which most players must interreact. I say "spy" meaning whatever sort of espionage or covert activity Intrepid Studios supports. If Intrepid supports spies, then I think AoC should support spies in game.

    Otherwise it feels a bit too much like people just abusing the real life trust of others which (to me) is a bit toxic rather than dramatic.

    The thing is, no matter which systems Intrepid put in the game, people will still spy the old fashioned way.

    It's been happening for decades in gaming. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  • Jam21 wrote: »
    Also, I want to mention one thing for devs to consider, and maybe for other people to ponder on:

    The so-called "Streamsniping", or more precisely - devs policy on policing this.

    This kind of "spying" in games emerged quite recently, and there are 2 major problems with that, that are related to each other:

    1) In 99% cases, it is impossible to prove in any way that such thing occured.
    2) However, since streamers bring popularity to the game, devs and publishers in most cases cave to these things. But because of 1)(see above) , they only have a word of streamer and his fans vs a word of non-streamer and maybe his friends/guild. Yet they issue real bans for most alleged "cases".

    As a streamer, since you cannot prove that you were streamsniped, you can basically point your finger at anyone who is harassing you and tell admin that they are "streamsniping" you. This basically destroys the value of such things as location knowledge, actual intellegence (e.g. being in enemy discord - classical spying), and just create a lot of negativity towards the game and a platform to abuse.

    In general, if a person decides to stream the game for everyone to see, shouldn't they be responsible for their decision? You go farm world boss and stream it, some people see (OR actually not see anything - just also timed this boss respawn), they come fight and kill you, then you report these people for "streamsniping" and basically it means devs just issued bans to people for simply playing the game.

    So I'm very interested what kind of policy on this will be in Ashes. Would love to see some opinion from the devs on this.

    If they wanna stream their location publicly, they earned their beatdown. It’d make zero sense for someone to be punished for making decisions based on publicly accessible information.
  • SoggyBandaidSoggyBandaid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Noaani wrote: »
    I think that if AoC is going to rely on spying and the like for guild/political drama, there should be some sort of in game systems reflecting that stance. After reading through some of the comments, it seems that for major guilds spying will just be a natural part of discord and other social sites.

    That's okay, but it feels like a cheap watered down experience to "need" to "spy" outside the game. I say "need" meaning a system with which most players must interreact. I say "spy" meaning whatever sort of espionage or covert activity Intrepid Studios supports. If Intrepid supports spies, then I think AoC should support spies in game.

    Otherwise it feels a bit too much like people just abusing the real life trust of others which (to me) is a bit toxic rather than dramatic.

    The thing is, no matter which systems Intrepid put in the game, people will still spy the old fashioned way.

    It's been happening for decades in gaming. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    I understand what you're saying. I figure I'll be in a small guild of personal friends, so it may not matter to me at all. However to me (maybe others judging from posts) having some sort of in game system from Intrepid is more than just the system. It's a seal of approval for a more political faction driven experience (in game), and it helps to set the distinction of spying on characters versus spying on people. I know it's completely subjective, but it could make the difference for some more casual players.
  • Geophysical NinjaGeophysical Ninja Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I don't know what mechanics the development team is considering; however, as many have pointed out, spying will occur. In fact, it already has.

    Simplistically, a person who intends to gain intel will create a second account, and run a second client. This setup will occur unless there is an easier and cheaper mechanism.

    Having a second "shadow" account will benefit segments of the player base who can afford the gaming hardware and the fees for multiple accounts.

    To counter this real world monetary benefit, developers could implement a system that allows a user to create an alternate persona (e.g., in-game alias). Such a system would allow an account to change their username on-the-fly. This allows everyone an ability to infiltrate groups without being recognized as easily.

    As an example, in my primary persona, I would have access to my guild chat and other resources. With a secondary persona, I would not, but I would have access to another guild's.

    The obvious problem with such a system is the inherent ability for a person to exist in multiple guilds simultaneously, which may run counter to other gameplay elements.

    In summary, I like the general idea, but I have yet to figure out a clear implementation that significantly adds a net positive to the game. I am fairly certain that I could design such a system, but I probably won't for a forum post.
  • Baibarss wrote: »
    There are some great comments above on how to implement such system that said everything I needed to say; so I’ll say this: I do think it is interesting. It adds political intrigue and ‘complexity’ to the guilds and their members. But it also needs a proper system to be implemented. In short: I’m game!

    How so? I think it could work perfectly fine, maybe even better, without any systems supporting it. I think the more that players can shape the game themselves the better. Without a system, imagine one guild sending a spy to a rival to work their way up the ranks and leak discord screenshots back to their home guild. Without a system, this would be much less expected unless it became meta at the high end. I feel like most systems would make spying feel less natural than if it was genuine player interaction and strategy.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    I understand what you're saying. I figure I'll be in a small guild of personal friends, so it may not matter to me at all. However to me (maybe others judging from posts) having some sort of in game system from Intrepid is more than just the system. It's a seal of approval for a more political faction driven experience (in game), and it helps to set the distinction of spying on characters versus spying on people. I know it's completely subjective, but it could make the difference for some more casual players.
    The issue with this is that MMO politics are not between characters, they are between players.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 21
    The obvious problem with such a system is the inherent ability for a person to exist in multiple guilds simultaneously, which may run counter to other gameplay elements.

    This is already a thing actually. Guild membership is character only, and you can be a part of another guild with another character. So basic spying is possible simply by logging off your main and on to the alt spy character. And two discord accounts would be wise as well, and perhaps some voice modulation on your mic, and practicing more than one accent.... I think the ingame stuff is the least of the problems for a wanna-be spy.

  • you would be looking at your guildmates and be thinking of the sesame street tune "which one of these doesn't belong"
  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Re: Geo Ninja's suggestion above...that would only mean that someone with two accounts would be able to have one 'main' and three spies, rather than one and one. So, your suggestion multiplies the benefits of multiple accounts, rather than diminishing them, as I think you intended.
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