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Dev Discussion #45 - Gathering and PvP
edited November 2022 in General Discussion
Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.
Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!
Dev Discussion - Gathering and PvP
Artisan gatherers will be prime targets for combatant players. With that said, what tools or activities would gatherers like to see to help protect their hard-earned materials while adventuring in Verra?
Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding Materials!
Edit 1: Hello all! We made an edit to the original prompt to provide a simple clarification. This question isn’t in any way, shape, or form introducing changes to our core pillars of gameplay. To see our current plans, and what we've previously stated on this topic, see the wiki here: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Player_death.
Edit 2: I've made a second edit to the prompt. This time, I've changed more of the prompts' original wording. I highly encourage everyone to re-read the prompt above, as it may change the nature of your feedback! 😄
We hope this clears up some confusion! ^_^
I think that mitigating the loss of gathering must be earned.
If the gatherer defends himself then he reduces his loss! This will encourage PvP and eliminate the risk of corruption for the ganker.
In an alternative discussion, I was asking if killing a player could yield an exp gain to diversify the leveling phase. But rather than bringing exp, wouldn't it be more interesting to bring renown or reputation in addition to crafting materials? Positive or negative to activate in another side the system of bounty hunting/thieves guild/warrior nodes?
I'd rather want items and mounts to vanish permanently, to allow a better item sink in the game.
That would keep artisans relevant as item crafters instead of just to repair damaged items.
Edit: to clarify I'm only talking about storing loot such as herbs or minerals (nothing else goes in the bag, including resources from professions you aren't mastered in), you can still drop other things you are carrying when you die. I'm not sure how the backpack system works in AoC but I was thinking of WoW where you collect multiple backpacks.
If you are looking for ways to help people keep their stuff, why not offer a once a day blessing from one of the religion shrines that allows you to keep your items when killed for say an hour? I'd pray to the god of mercantile goods for that blessing!
So many systems seem as if they would lose value in this case, and social requirements would be reduced.
To me this is much less a question of if you drop things, and much moreso about 'being attacked just because your opponent thinks you have things'.
But if I had to give a suggestion or request, it would be this:
A player's inventory should have a subset of slots, probably 5-8, of 'things that they have not packed away yet' or whatever explanation you like. When gathering or transporting goods, raw and processed materials and some 'basic loot drops' go into this inventory first, and after a time, they move into 'main inventory'. The player can never PUT things into these slots personally, and the timer counts for the whole stack.
So if I am gathering mushrooms and they are stacking up in inventory, every time I gather one of a specific type of mushroom, that stack 'refreshes'. I would need to stop gathering mushrooms in order to have the timer tick down to get them into 'main inventory'.
If I find something rare, therefore, and I run out the timer, I get to keep it most of the time. Or not, the question is about mitigating chances, not removing them. So it could be that I still have a chance to drop that one Perfect Mushroom even if it is in main inv, but it's not as high as dropping the other stuff.
I feel this would retain most of the risk without making too many of the TYPES of meta-gameplay loop that come from other methods of mitigating 'loss of materials on death', and could also allow a more nuanced approach to 'what sorts of things players can drop'.
But overall, I don't like the idea of alternative play loops that would change the standard flow of 'go out into world, get materials, move materials to sale point or having the buyer come and have to transport them', so anything that starts to give players 'a way to avoid doing that', I think I am opposed to.
If someone ganks someone their level, they get a minor gold/resource reward(like a bandit stealing their victims loot, maybe 5% that players total gold/resource which would make ganking high value targets more appealing), but become Corrupted.
Under Corruption, anyone can kill you without penalty, and you drop more gold/resource than usual(10%?). The more you gank, the higher your Corruption will become(inceasing by 5% each time?) until you reach the point where you are so Corrupted that you are flagged on the map, and drop every single item you have when you die. Ganking lowbies gives 2% more Corruption than usual for each level they are below you.
You can remove Corruption by paying an increasing higher amount of gold(depending on your Corruption) to your local node.
From my experience, the worst gathering moments weren't from being PK'd by others, and losing materials and time from that. The worst moments were when I was trying to gather something, and I was essentially griefed by a bot or someone with more movement skills than me, and took all the mining nodes. And because the bots could just not be flagged for PvP or were in a peace zone, I couldn't even fight over the nodes. That's the worst experience I've had, not PvP.
Only dropping half or a quarter of your materials gathered is already enough of a mitigation, you don't have to add more mitigation to lost materials from player death.
If you're going to add anything to gathering and PKing mechanics, I think Intrepid should expand on resource extractors. In all of the games I've played, the job of gathering lower tiered resources falls upon bots. Nobody truly is bothered by the flint bots or fishing bots in New World, because that dramatically lowers the price of those goods on the market. Bots mostly negatively affect gatherers in those professions or players who want that specific gameplay. There's no point to me farming iron when a bunch of bots accomplish that job for me, and you can't convince me that Intrepid is so good that they will completely defeat g2g or other gold sellers.
In order to remove the need for bots to farm lower tiered resources, I believe artisan masters or high tiered gatherers should be able to place resource extractors on their freehold near a mine. Then, that resource extractor will have a set period where it can be fought over by people, or have to have those resources caravaned to a storage, in order to give others an opportunity to fight over those resources.
With that system, instead of lower tiered resources being farmed by bots, it's being done by gatherers participating in a competitive housing market, with deals from local guilds for protection. If it gets out that a freehold is being used by a gold seller, that will plummet their reputation and the server can PK and rob those extractors. The extractors will also help hurt the market gold sellers use, making bots less prevalent when it's easier to gather those lower tiered resources by extractors. And higher tiered resources I assume will already be fought over, so bots will just be killed.
that is what we like the feeling of constant risk and danger, that you are only protected in the fortress of your node or house. and that if you really want to carve out a job, you take care of protecting your back by hiring escorts
This would heavily skew with the fundamental pillar of risk vs reward and meaningful interaction in the open world.
The corruption system should be the only deterrent and is supposed to be potent enough to manage unwanted behavior.
Emergent gameplay (such as establishing social ties and hiring a guard) should be the player’s answer to combat gankers.
Emergent gameplay should be encouraged and build with little friction -> its supposed to be easy to establish social ties and communicate effectively and hiring a guard should be frictionless and integrated as a firm gameplay loop.
The question almost implies a flagging kind of dynamic, where players can decide whether to engage with risk or not. This would alter the dynamics entirely for bad, as you disconnect the playertypes.
If Intrepid is truly concerned about the Killer type of player, grinding away the Explorers, Achievers and Socializer types (bartles unified model https://www.gamedeveloper.com/design/personality-and-play-styles-a-unified-model) imo Intrepid should look at aligning incentives for hardcore, casual and beginners to interact among themselves in terms of pvp.
I'll also just throw on my opinion of this specific part, as I have noted it somewhere long ago before.
Fighting bots that do extremely simple tasks like gathering herbs or making potions seems counterproductive to me. Low level artisans don't usually do this for profit, or if they do, they often level into more complex things.
A constant supply of weak potions, common ores and logs, etc, at just $15 a month (from each Bot) is a problem that is hard to fight without hurting a specific player type. But we can just kill bots and take their stuff if we are willing to pay the Corruption cost of doing this.
Any method that allows mitigation, even if an Artisan has to level quite high, is just asking for trouble I think, by incentivizing botters to aim higher.
Someone who is gathering would probably be more than willing to spend extra time and resources on items that allow for a small number of goods to be stored with complete safety, this would mean that super rare resource drops could be safely stored so PVP could never result in the loss of a rare drop.
This would further discourage corruption and random PVP, but random PVP is rarely fun for both sides, more often PVP that is centered around an objective like caravans, or dungeon control will be much better received.
So yes please allow a way to protect a small portion of resources with complete immunity. Random PVP is annoying and I am hardcore PVP player and will likely play Ashes of Creation for its endgame PVP loop.
Providing this avenue for players will decrease the incentive for PVP players to abuse someone who just wants to watch YouTube or a movie and farm 10k wood and get those 100 hardened wood pieces for their gear upgrade and that is definitely a good thing because many of us are going to be that YouTube player at some point.
leave the open world in peace, don't force us to undergo pvp when we don't want to, it only amuses those who like to destroy other people's games.
only the corrupted player must drop loot, otherwise the corrupted is useless
PvPer looking to gank: I could attack them now or wait to see if they gather more / keep an eye out on if they are running back to a settlement.
Gatherer: The longer I stay out, the more I risk losing OR the shorter I'm out, the more time I need to put in between gathering and running back.
Playing guard is a punishment in real life. A job, a chore, a duty, an unwanted posting. Locations can have added risk, they should then have added rewards.
Albion Online's gathering gear system did a great job of providing tools for the gatherer. Speed increase, short burst of stealth, etc helped level the playing ground
Crowfall also provided a % of mat drop bonus for gatherers depending on the tier of their gathering gear. In basic gear you would drop 60% to 80% or so of your mats but as you advanced your gathering gear tiers the mats lost would haver a lesser percentage.
You can also add in bags that have slots you can put set amount of items that locks them in so you can only drop them if you have no other items or are corrupted (Probably make this consumable and break on death). Keep this very limited so you would only place your most rare materials in it and it does not encourage carrying junk around to block rare drops. For low value "junk" items you could have a flag for some item tiers that make them sink 100% of the time on death so there is none of the packrat mentality to try to RNG your way around your valuable items dropping. I would prefer a designed systems to protect items over convoluted player made ones whenever possible.
A master gatherer should probably always be the best at transporting their particular gatherable. Ideally you want to reduce the amount of trading with your party to split item drops. It would not be that fun to have to constantly distribute items around.
I believe it would be a failure of a system if people dread going out to gather. I think if you sink more or equal resources on death than can be looted it would discourage some ganking without making it completely pointless. You would not gank someone you might be buying from in the future if you know you are deleting resources every time you kill them. The fastest way to farm should never be get a large group of friends and go around killing everyone you see. A high amount of sunk resources puts social pressure on people to not be unreasonable when encountering another player that is gathering. Working together should be more efficient than killing.
Example: An item that reduces the drop of collectible materials, a skill in the clothing with the characteristic or praying to the god of harvesting.
But make it optional, so that those who want to collect are properly equipped for it.
Dont isolate gathering from the open world.
Also, why even hint to such a change?
Alternatively, if an attacker is on a dedicated hunt for gatherers, and PKs / steals an excessive amount of material in a short period of time, they could have a bounty placed on them, whether they are corrupted or not. This should allow gatherers to team up and regain some of their belongings, as well as introduce a measure of risk for the attacker.
Gatherers should drop everything they gather in the open seas.
was written with gatherer blood
I would say that skull system would be great for AoC.
The corruption system seems instead of giving a real high risk high reward, seems to be more strict towards the attackers, and not incentivizing much at open world pvp(dungeons, raids, bosses, etc) and incentivizing more matchmaking pvp like arena, sieges, wars, carriage stealing , etc.
What i am trying to say they are just a match between players which were given a date and a time to fight, while the suggestion below would be a system for encounters which will be totally unpredictable and most possible free of external systems trying to mitigate your efforts, losses, risks, rewards. Of course red and black skull punishments are systems to limit it, but it is not a 100% limit like how the corruption system works, but more of a cautious limit for the black and red skull players to have, when roaming around and doing their crimes.
Just to note: bless and amulet of loss are just items and buffs which prevent loss of items (which would be great to have also) and protection zones are places you cannot enter if you attacked someone or killed someone. (which just attacking is around 1 to 3 min and killing is around 15 minutes).
In case of aoc i would think that protection zones would be cities in whole? or maybe houses, mayor building, religion temple, cientists libraries, etc...
A system like the one below or something similar would be nice. Instead of corrupted gets less damage each time his kills pile up whenever he reach 100% corrupted double damage or something like the black skull works which is a good high risk high reward and black skull while gets limited to use area spells, on PVE they do not get double damage from mobs.
The Skull System is a system that was made to make sure that Player Killing wouldn't get out of control. The system exists only in Open PvP worlds. When a player attacks someone who is not skulled, he/she gets a white skull. If a player kills someone with a white, red, yellow, black or green skull they won't get skulled.
A player will get white skull if they attack or kill another player. If they only attack, the skull will remain until the Logout Block is gone ( you will also receive a Protection Zone Block 'till logout block is gone, together with the White Skull ). However, if they kill another player, they will get white skull for 15 minutes, and every offense against other players during that time will reset the time, so player killers will have to wait another 15 minutes.
Killing a white skulled player is a justified kill. However, if you attack someone with a white skull, they will see a yellow skull on your character, and be able to defend themselves without punishment. If you finally kill a White Skull you will have to wait a minute to lose the Protection Zone Block.
A player gets a red skull if they kill:
Three or more unmarked characters in one day (24 hours),
Five or more unmarked characters in one week (7 days), or
Ten or more unmarked characters in one month (30 days).
A red skull will last for the 30 days following the last unjust kill over the allowed amount. If you pass the allowed limit again this will cause the one-month red skull penalty to start over. A red-skulled player who dies will drop all items, regardless of whether they have blessings or wear an Amulet of Loss! This will encourage players to hunt and to punish players who have a red skull.
Black skulls will appear when a player kills double the amount of players needed to attain a red skull. This is used as a replacement of the old 30-day ban for "Excessive unjustified player killing.
A player gets a black skull if they kill:
Six or more unmarked characters in one day (24 hours),
Ten or more unmarked characters in one week (7 days), or
Twenty or more unmarked characters in one month (30 days).
When a player has a black skull they will no longer be able to attack an unmarked player - that is any player without a skull. In addition to this, a black-skulled player may not use area Attack Spells or anything that can be used has an area attack to kill indirectly a non skull player. They also cannot summon or convince creatures or aimed/auto lock target.
A black skull will remain on a character for a total of 45 days. Whenever a black-skulled character is killed, he/she will respawn with 40 hitpoints and 0 mana. Black-skulled character, like a red-skulled, who dies will drop all items regardless of whether they have blessings or wear an Amulet of Loss. Black-skulled character will receive 100% damage in PvP combat instead of 50%.
A player will receive a yellow skull if they attack someone marked with a black, red, white or revenge skull (orange). The attacker is yellow skulled only for his victim; this is done because even player killers have the right to defend themselves against other players that might try to kill them. Killing someone with a yellow skull will be a justified kill.
Yellow Skulls are special. If a player who has a black, red ,white or revenge skull is attacked by an unmarked player, the attacker will get a yellow skull which is visible only to the player he attacked. This allows even a black skull to kill in self-defense without receiving extra penalties (which is already extremely hard for a black skull since he gets double damage)..
Orange Skull (this skull is actually new for me to and interesting)
If someone kills you, he receives a "Revenge Skull" (orange) for one week, so you can attack him in that week without obtaining a white skull, but you will receive a Protection Zone Block and a yellow skull for attacking an orange skull. Only you can see the revenge skull on your killer. An orange skull lasts either 7 days or until you took revenge and killed the character with the orange skull. If a character has killed you several times in the last 7 days, the orange skull lasts until you took revenge for every single of these kills. Once all those unjustified kills are avenged or older than 7 days, the orange skull vanishes.
This would be at least for a change on 100% corrupted player instead of removing damage given, double the damage taken and drop all loot of dead, and stuff like that.
And for preveting loot would be craftable amulets like amulet of loss which prevents item loss.
Or blesses given by the religious faction if you do certain task or buy it or something between both.
There are in total 5 blesses distributed around the game map... but quantity and how would depend on intrepid.
I think the main benefit of fighting bots that do the lower leveled gathering professions is that it retains a player-driven economy and gameplay loop for those lower tiered resources, instead of leaving that economy to be dictated mostly by gold sellers. It's true that most gatherers don't want to be hitting iron nodes when they could be mining mythril. But the reason for that is usually because you're getting more gold per hour from the mythril, not because there isn't potential for an interesting market and gameplay over the lower tiered resources. It's just because it's usually easier for bots to gather those lower tiered resources, those resources price plummets, and no actual player bothers gathering that resource anymore. But when it's just as easy for bots to farm the higher tiered resources, like Orichalcum and Starmetal in New World where they can just remain unflagged, the bots also go after those resources and push real players away from that gameplay.
"But we can just kill bots and take their stuff if we are willing to pay the Corruption cost of doing this." That's a huge "if". I personally don't see much reason for players to want to kill iron bots for the cost of corruption, those bots could also be lower leveled which would mean you're getting an obscene amount of corruption for killing them. Corruption to me would be broken if it was worth me killing a newbie for having a bag full of iron. Whether killing mules gives corruption as well will affect this, hope to see multiple systems attempted in Alpha 2.
I don't see the problem with making botters aim higher. If we have a mutual understanding, "aim higher" means making botters level their bots more, write more complex scripts, and participate actively in-game more. All of those raise the time it takes to get a bot up and running, and gives a higher chance for bots to be exposed. Yes, if it's necessary to own a freehold to gain a resource extractor, gold sellers will attempt to get those freeholds. But that also makes it easier for GMs to flag specific accounts, and know who to keep an eye on.
With that said, I do however have concerns for the Crafting profession not being balanced - crafted and processed goods can drop upon death, that's amazing - as they should - but crafted items have no risk associated you can load your inventory/mule/caravan with crafted items and have no risk at all. Why should the Crafter have no risk while Gatherers and Processors have?
This needs to be addressed... crafted items Should have a risk and a sink of being dropped/destroyed, I suggest having crafted items be dropped when transported in Caravans for example or being destroyed after a certain amount of repairs.
Mounts and Pets should also have a life span and die of old age after some time so the tamer profession also has a sink and continues to be relevant.
Every profession needs to have appropriate Risk associated and an item sink.
PS: The more you think of ways to make it easier on the gatherers, the more BOTs will be in the game. I trust Intrepid will make the right decision, even tho opening this discussion got me worried that you might be considering moving away from the risk vs reward design to cater to the more casual audience but remember - your backers, we, that want a meaningful game with risk and difficulty, are the ones that will stay playing for years to come, not the large casual audience, those will be gone to the next riot MMO or FPS that comes out.
Don't do a "New World" on us.