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Ingame rewards for caravan defenders needs to be hashed out.

NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
edited February 17 in General Discussion
Let's do this again, but from the defender's side of things. And I don't mean the owner of the caravan and goods. Their rewards come from the goods being sold. This is ONLY about those players who sign up to defend, with no money or goods on the line in the caravan. Why should they care?

Like in the other thread, let's ignore the attackers here. They are just NPCs and #npclivesdontmatter.


1. Money/material reward

What and how should the defenders who sign up to defend the caravan along the way be rewarded?

As we saw in the dev stream, having people line up to individually receive their reward after a successful run is not... ideal.. :D

If you came across a caravan in the wild and was presented with the choice to attack, defend or ignore, what would you need to know to sign up as a defender instead of attacking or ignoring?
  • Perhaps a gold reward listed next to the Defender button, should the run succeed? But then you would also want to know the destination and how far a distance the caravan still has to go, and I think the driver is in full control of that.
  • Or should it be based on the time it takes? You get paid by the minute perhaps, with a bonus at the end? Meaning you can defend for 15 minutes and then be on your merry way and still get something for it.
  • Would you prefer something other than gold? Like glint or rare materials? Node currency even?
  • Or wouldn't you care at all about monetary rewards if the rewards from the highwayman system are good enough?

Either of the gold options above would require a built-in system. Like an escrow kind of deal where the owner of the caravan pays a sum of gold up front into escrow, and determine how many defenders they are willing to pay. More defenders can join, but beyond the max they wouldn't get paid.

The escrow thing is not so much about defenders getting cheated out of their pay, it's about the absolute time waste and tedium it is to trade gold one by one after a run. That would make the gameplay loop unfun and boring at the end.

2. Highwayman system rewards

Then we obviously have the highwayman system for the defenders. The only reward listed on the wiki is
Better caravan components for defenders.
Better components is a great reward for those actually running the caravan, but it's kinda shit if you're only interested in defending them. Assuming better components isn't enough for you, what other rewards would you like to see for the defender side?

I think it would be cool if the defenders could progress into things that buff the caravan or themselves.
  • Like buff the speed of the caravan a little (for example, +0.5% speed, stacking up to 10% total with 20+ defenders)
  • Ditto for the armor and or health
  • A reduced cooldown for the active skills on the caravan (repulsor, healing)
  • A caravan repair skill to restore the caravan to full health if the defenders repel the attack.
  • Perhaps a slight personal buff to crowd control defenses when near the caravan.

Are there any highwayman system rewards you would like to see that don't focus so much on the caravan defending directly, but more on you personally? Titles, cosmetics come to mind. Actual gear maybe? Schematics for crafting perhaps.

As with the attackers, I think it's fair to lose some progress in the highwayman system for defenders if they fail, if they also gain points when the run succeeds.

Thoughts?
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Comments

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    NiKrNiKr Member
    No base rewards at all. Only the highway man stuff and imo that should simply be the same as for attackers (whichever it is, and ideally not just better caravan parts).

    You're either a white knight who just defends people or you're a merc who got an agreement with the caravaneer beforehand. And of course there's always the "local mafia" approach of coming up to a caravan and saying "it'd be a real shame if something bad were to happen to your caravan..."
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 16
    Protection rackets are very likely to happen, yes :smile:
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    The Reward could be anything.

    Could be Glint,
    could be Gold,
    could be a Weapon, Item, Armor Piece,

    a Recipe, Ingredient, maybe Pet, Battle-Pet, Mount (?)



    but here comes the thing -> the Reward must be decided and set by the Caravan-Leader. And how high or low the Reward turns out, must be dependent on if People manage to defend the Caravan to the end -> or if they lose it all midway. Like in the Presentation.



    Long Story short. If the Carvan-Leader decides there " is - not - specific - Reward " - then there is no specific Reward.

    Your Reward is, that You can sell all the Stuff You Guys grinded for Hours and Hours or even Days on End - to a somewhat nice Price at the neighbouring Node. ;)


    The better Prices when selling things as a Caravan " are " already a Reward in itself - am i right ?

    Sure,
    you can build another, motivating Factor in. But like in Reallife -> your Employer, the Caravan-Leader, would need to decide what the Reward would be and what he can afford to give to You for defending his Caravan.
    jcildf8jglv5.png
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    Why should you be rewarded for no reason? You're literally trying to make MORE gold, that's why you're running a caravan in first place. You don't need more rewards than the one you get when/if you reach your destination. There aren't participation trophies here.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 16
    HybridSR wrote: »
    Why should you be rewarded for no reason? You're literally trying to make MORE gold, that's why you're running a caravan in first place. You don't need more rewards than the one you get when/if you reach your destination. There aren't participation trophies here.

    The post is specifically NOT about the person running the caravan, or any other who stand to gain directly from those goods. It's about the random people that meets the caravan on the way and decide to be a defender. Why should they care? What are their incentives? And their risks for that matter.
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    FantmxFantmx Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The person running the caravan needs to have an option that allows them to set aside an amount of money or items that people who join and successfully defend have access to as a reward.

    Then as I see a caravan pass I get a pop up asking me if I want to defend and what my reward will be with success.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 16
    Fantmx wrote: »
    The person running the caravan needs to have an option that allows them to set aside an amount of money or items that people who join and successfully defend have access to as a reward.

    Then as I see a caravan pass I get a pop up asking me if I want to defend and what my reward will be with success.

    Right, so the escrow option :smile: Would you want the defender to see more than the gold amount or item? Like, estimated time to travel or anything? I am guessing not, since that gives away the route too probably.
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    HybridSRHybridSR Member
    edited February 16
    Nerror wrote: »
    Why should they care? What are their incentives? And their risks for that matter.

    What? Are you aware AoC is designed as a Social MMO? You make friends like this. You get favours like this. You get helped in return like this. You help them defend their caravan today, maybe tomorrow too, maybe a whole week, then you're in their trust group and they help you. THIS is how you slowly build trust with players. Your reward is building trust with players and showing them you're on their side. That means a LOT in a game like AoC.

    You ARE aware this is a social MMO, right? If you just add random rewards to people who join then nobody will say a word and it will become another festival of people who pretend they're playing a multiplayer game by "grouping" with other people except they never say a word or interact with them. The market is full of MMOs where people run around others but never interact and just do it to get an easy reward. That won't be AoC.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    HybridSR wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    Why should they care? What are their incentives? And their risks for that matter.

    What? Are you aware AoC is designed as a Social MMO? You make friends like this. You get favours like this. You get helped in return like this. You help them defend their caravan today, maybe tomorrow too, maybe a whole week, then you're in their trust group and they help you. THIS is how you slowly build trust with players. Your reward is building trust with players and showing them you're on their side. That means a LOT in a game like AoC.

    You ARE aware this is a social MMO, right? If you just add random rewards to people who join then nobody will say a word and it will become another festival of people who pretend they're playing a multiplayer game by "grouping" with other people except they never say a word or interact with them. The market is full of MMOs where people run around others but never interact and just do it to get an easy reward. That won't be AoC.

    Yes of course. So your answer is that the defender should do it as a favor and to get new friends then? That is what would entice you to join a caravan on the defense side, even if you don't know the driver?
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    HybridSRHybridSR Member
    edited February 16
    Nerror wrote: »
    So your answer is that the defender should do it as a favor and to get new friends then? That is what would entice you to join a caravan on the defense side, even if you don't know the driver?

    I think that's a perfectly reasonable answer, yes. I hate the idea that 50 people can just click on "join/defend", get a free reward, then leave when it's done. There's nothing social or rewarding about that, it's a terrible idea. Not only it would make Caravans nearly impossible to be attacked since everyone would just join for free stuff, that would also mean AoC would be yet another single player game disguised as an MMO. Like GW2 where world events are "social" yet 99.9% of players just join, never say a word, never interact, claim their rewards and leave. That is terrible game design IMO and cannot even be considered an MMO. It would be just a participation trophy waiting to be picked up and it would kill the social aspect of Caravans.

    I'm a PvP player. I will look for chances to PvP as much as I can, so for me that means I will be helping Caravans and hopefully I make a name for myself and then people will WANT me in their caravans to help defend them (I'm talking about people outside my own guild/alliance obviously). I'm sure I'll get people to help me too and maybe meet some extra group of players I can chill with ingame. I've already done this in Lineage 2, just helping others and then getting a ton in return. Trust is important in games like this. That's the reward and it is invaluable.
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    HybridSR wrote: »
    Why should you be rewarded for no reason? You're literally trying to make MORE gold, that's why you're running a caravan in first place.

    Right ? :grin:

    You " ARE " already aiming for a higher, more "rewarding" Outcome by deciding to put your Stuff into a Caravan, as when You would sell your Stuff manually, right ?


    Sure, if Sir Steven and his mighty Crew decide that they give the Caravan-Leaders the Ability to set a certain kind of Reward, Coin, whatever - than this can totally be the Case.

    But the Reward is already the higher Income if you manage to reach your Destination. And of Course the "Risk" is that you can lose it all, because like in Sea of Thieves, People can line up to steal your Stuff. 😁
    jcildf8jglv5.png
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    Fantmx wrote: »
    The person running the caravan needs to have an option that allows them to set aside an amount of money or items that people who join and successfully defend have access to as a reward.

    Hmm.
    People who can join the Caravan "mid-way" ... ... and are not necessarily Part of the Group since the Start ?!

    In that Case, such an Option to decide a freely selected Reward can make a lot more Sense.
    jcildf8jglv5.png
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 17
    Aszkalon wrote: »
    Fantmx wrote: »
    The person running the caravan needs to have an option that allows them to set aside an amount of money or items that people who join and successfully defend have access to as a reward.

    Hmm.
    People who can join the Caravan "mid-way" ... ... and are not necessarily Part of the Group since the Start ?!

    In that Case, such an Option to decide a freely selected Reward can make a lot more Sense.

    Yes, this post is specifically about people who aren't invested in the caravan from the start. They can join along the way. Or from the start, but who aren't economically invested.
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    FantmxFantmx Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Aszkalon wrote: »
    Fantmx wrote: »
    The person running the caravan needs to have an option that allows them to set aside an amount of money or items that people who join and successfully defend have access to as a reward.

    Hmm.
    People who can join the Caravan "mid-way" ... ... and are not necessarily Part of the Group since the Start ?!

    In that Case, such an Option to decide a freely selected Reward can make a lot more Sense.

    The risk of running a caravan.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Nerror wrote: »
    Aszkalon wrote: »
    Fantmx wrote: »
    The person running the caravan needs to have an option that allows them to set aside an amount of money or items that people who join and successfully defend have access to as a reward.

    Hmm.
    People who can join the Caravan "mid-way" ... ... and are not necessarily Part of the Group since the Start ?!

    In that Case, such an Option to decide a freely selected Reward can make a lot more Sense.

    Yes, this post is specifically about people who aren't invested in the caravan from the start. They can join along the way. Or from the start, but who aren't economically invested.

    I don't believe that in a Free economy MMORPG (no restrictions on direct trade) that there is any way whatsoever to make this system 'work correctly' for this specific player-type/situation. Not without blowing any 'anti-RMT measures' wide open.

    But ofc, I have no proof of this, that I can think of. One of the biggest problems with design is never knowing if no one's done it a certain way because no one is smart enough, or because no one is foolish enough.

    I have no suggestions either. In Elite, you join the Wing, and if you shoot down attackers you get paid. If there are no attackers, you get a bonus when the items are delivered and their value is assessed. I think the best I can manage is the same as the previous suggestion, sort of. If you defeat attackers and take their Banditry Tools or something, maybe it gives social org rep.

    This works out in my mind because if you had to make/pay for the Banditry Tools, then it doesn't matter as much if people set this up non-organically. If Dygz and Fantmx decide that they want their Caravan Escort characters to get rep, and arrange with my group to 'throw a fight' on the road, at least someone had to spend some time or money to raise this. I don't personally care if roleplayers set up entire storylines where everyone knows the outcome beforehand, as long as it's not just free boosting because 'thing happened so numbers go up now'.

    Even then, still pretty 'meh' on this. My feedback, past my usual 'don't even have this Caravan Rewards system', is 'don't do anything for this player type'.

    Even if the Caravan owner could set aside something that would be automatically split between defenders under some condition... I feel like it would still do more harm than good.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    Not without blowing any 'anti-RMT measures' wide open.
    Yeah, I completely forgot about the rmt possibility in Fantmx's suggestion. World manager could maaybe ping caravans that put too much money into defense of low value cargo, but this would just lead to arguments with normal people who just so happen to have the money and are also afraid of any attackers.

    So yeah, I'll stick with my initial response of "no system-based rewards, only white knighting and pre-caravan agreements".
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    Not without blowing any 'anti-RMT measures' wide open.
    Yeah, I completely forgot about the rmt possibility in Fantmx's suggestion. World manager could maaybe ping caravans that put too much money into defense of low value cargo, but this would just lead to arguments with normal people who just so happen to have the money and are also afraid of any attackers.

    So yeah, I'll stick with my initial response of "no system-based rewards, only white knighting and pre-caravan agreements".

    Also, a general reminder that technically, while the world manager 'knows' how much cargo is worth, it only knows how much the cargo is worth at the time of transport, because of the relatively 'hardcoded' way that Ashes handles item value.

    But for strong dynamism, this doesn't work, and for 'caravan rewards are determined by distance when hauling Commodities' it technically works even less, even if there was overall no EVE/Elite level of dynamism.
    There is no true way for the World Manager to know 'how much this transportation job should be worth to the Caravan runner at the time of the run', with Ashes' current design. Elite can do it because of very limited storage space, FFXI can do it because of the general '10k gil/hr' rule. Ashes has neither, not to mention the fact that 'which leg of the trip is actually dangerous' is basically random.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    There is already a system to reward impromptu participants in a defending role, we saw it in the September dev update about open world events. It could be adapted so that caravan owners put in the reward (could even be 0) when they summon the caravan and it is distributed automatically once at destination.

    In regard to partial participation. If a defender doesn't go all the way to the end, a letter is sent to say where (node) to collect their reward, and a time limit to do so.

    If a caravan failed to reach the next node, I would suggest a preset percentage (set at the start by owner) of the reward is distribute according to the contribution. If set a 0%, no defenders gets part of the reward in case of failure.

    Undistributed or unclaimed reward is return to the caravan owner (could be charged a minimal administration cost as a gold sink, but that's a detail).

    In the adaptation of the event rewarding system, the caravan owner would have to set the node destination.

    ----

    Personally, I'll almost always join the defenders side if I have the time, if the caravan is passing in my area or going where I'm going anyway. Unless it's a lost cause already, I'll jump in to defend a caravan under attack. I may turn a blind eye if I'm in good terms with the attackers, but I won't join them.

    Best reward is if the caravan reach its destination, anything else is extra.
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 17
    About the RMT, how would that work though? Because if anyone can join as a defender, then any random person gets part of the gold being shared. So if player X buys gold online from seller Y, and they arrange a caravan run with 5 million gold as reward in the escrow system, you better believe its not just player Z that also joins, it'll be players A, B, C, D, E.. etc. If they find out in time of course. No one would sign up as attackers, only as defenders. Player X will not be happy that the 5 million gold he bought is being shared with 20 other players.

    With a system like this, it's not up to the caravan driver to individually approve each defender and each payout, unless they can set a limit to only pay the first defender to register. If they can do that, yes, that's a problem. I actually think setting a limit to the amount of defenders that can get a gold reward would be a good idea, but the minimum shouldn't be 1. Or 2. At least 8 or 10 IMO.

    And like with any other exchange of gold or goods, the system can flag it for GM review if the sums are unusually high. I just don't see the RMT angle being a serious concern compared to so many other ways it can be done. Or am I missing something obvious here?
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    Or am I missing something obvious here?
    Timing and duration of the caravan. You run between closest nodes in the game during a time where no one else is paying attention.

    Or you do it in the most remote location in the game.

    Or anything similar to those approaches. There's always a way. And yes, obviously pure trading is always easier, but it's also easier to track reliably. Punishing or flagging caravans with high defense payouts can lead to false flags and result in complaints from your hardcorest honest players.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 17
    That was part of my consideration, and I still don't really see it. It only takes 1 random person to see the caravan to cut what the buyer gets in half. There is zero chance the buyers (or sellers) would tolerate that I think.
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    That was part of my consideration, and I still don't really see it. It only takes 1 random person to see the caravan to cut what the buyer gets in half. There is zero chance the buyers (or sellers) would tolerate that I think.
    There's always a chance to PK anyone in the vicinity. Especially if this is happening in some asshole of the world.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Nerror wrote: »
    That was part of my consideration, and I still don't really see it. It only takes 1 random person to see the caravan to cut what the buyer gets in half. There is zero chance the buyers (or sellers) would tolerate that I think.
    There's always a chance to PK anyone in the vicinity. Especially if this is happening in some asshole of the world.

    I don't follow. What would PK'ing someone do?
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    There should be node progression XP for all successful caravan to the node the caravan started in (this promote citizen of the node to defend caravans leaving it) could do a smaller XP node XP to the receiving node too but starter node should get the most.
    Also decent player XP reward for defenders will be good too tbh
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    I don't follow. What would PK'ing someone do?
    You have a number of potential PKers patrol around the outer edge of the caravan zone. Anyone who's running in the direction of the caravan gets killed on the spot. This is especially effective in a lowbie node.

    And while the victim respawns, the caravan will move on. This would also increase the chance that the victim won't even try approaching it again because they don't want to die.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 17
    Ok, sure, but.. now all of a sudden an RMT transaction takes many people to do, and depending on the radius of the caravan event zone, there is still a chance the random person gets inside it as they try to escape or while they fight. All they have to do is click Defend, and no matter how often they are ganked after that, they still get the payout. Especially the part about needing a full group or more of people to try to keep people out makes it really implausible. To my admittedly limited knowledge of RMT, this is not something the sellers would set up. They would find alternate ways.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 17
    Veeshan wrote: »
    There should be node progression XP for all successful caravan to the node the caravan started in (this promote citizen of the node to defend caravans leaving it) could do a smaller XP node XP to the receiving node too but starter node should get the most.
    Also decent player XP reward for defenders will be good too tbh

    I actually didn't really consider the XP angle. Yeah, I can see it. Arguably, if the XP is very good, perhaps XP debt should be on the table again for this PvP event though. Unless it's mainly a good chunk of node xp and perhaps node reputation, and less about player XP.
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Nerror wrote: »
    Ok, sure, but.. now all of a sudden an RMT transaction takes many people to do, and depending on the radius of the caravan event zone, there is still a chance the random person gets inside it as they try to escape or while they fight. All they have to do is click Defend, and no matter how often they are ganked after that, they still get the payout. Especially the part about needing a full group or more of people to try to keep people out makes it really implausible. To my admittedly limited knowledge of RMT, this is not something the sellers would set up. They would find alternate ways.
    But
    z2ellpczvmtp.gif

    I think yes :)
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Lol true, it IS possible :smile:
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    Arya_YesheArya_Yeshe Member
    edited February 17
    I play Faction Warfare, where when you wreck someone, you score loyalty points, kinda like glint (a currency that is not your main currency in the game). It's pretty cool 'cause the bigger the hit you make, the fatter your payout

    But hey, @Nerror, gotta lay it out straight: Intrepid ain't quite clued in on what could really boost AoC, like tracking gold losses and paying bounties. They're kinda empty-handed when it comes to handling rewards, tracking wars, and PvP performance

    Here's what makes sense:
    1. Five defenders take down a legendary-gear-wielding attacker, costing him 20,000 gold to repair such gear
    2. Bounties are set at 25%, so this kill is a 5,000 gold bounty
    3. Each of those five defenders bags 1,000 gold if the caravan pulls through

    Someone's gotta sit Intrepid down and have a chat about this, get 'em brainstorming and talking about this system and sort what's what. We need a system like that
    PvE means: A handful of coins and a bag of boredom.
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