PVP Focused Mu's


  • Coder

    You know, there's an element to PVP that can be really fun. It does take a particular game structure and staff to work but it can be fun. That being said, I haven't really seen any truly PVP focused games lately. I'm just curious if nobody really wants one or if nobody is really making them. I mean, I think PVP can be fun, especially if we add in factions and territory control.

    Opinions?



  • Really wish there was a better, and as easy to type term that took out the term player.

    in RP it's almost alway character vs character, and very little player vs player. The games are certainly never designed for it.

    What level of PVP do you mean? Control of things, races for prestige, or killing each other off?


  • Coder

    I really like the idea of designing a MU* around mostly non-lethal character conflicts. Territory works fairly well when it comes to something to fight over but you could also have some sort of recurring tournament format or fight by proxy. Either way political backstabbing makes for a lot of fun RP.


  • Coder

    Well, for instance, World of Darkness lends itself well to Character against Character, Faction against Faction warfare. We never see that really and not many games are built around it. Warhammer, if there was such a game - and if we're being honest was part of my reason for asking -, is well suited to characters fighting against each other. There are other settings where this would work well too. For instance, a dark ages setting featuring church against magic.

    We don't really design for this though. There are many things that one can fight over. Territory, Resources, Bonuses, traits. I don't like the idea of having a game designed around these battles and then saying no one can die though. That takes a part away from it. Part of having the character versus character background to the game is that you have to worry about that character death aspect.


  • Coder

    I had an idea a long time ago to do a battle mush, oWoD (as this was pre nwod), where people could take template characters that were pre-made and just throw them into the world, no holds barred. You'd of course have to change name/description but basically there was a couple of different templates, melee or ranged, different clans, different tribes and auspices... etc etc.

    The idea being you didn't earn XP, you just played and RP'd and what happened, happened. When you died, you picked a new template.


  • Coder

    Which ruleset would you use for a Warhammer game?



  • I'd love to worry about character death. However, it is a long and storied history of how many ways it raises problems when something seems out of scale.

    Perhaps if we said character death meant you couldn't re-app to that sphere for a year, then people might be concerned.

    Perhaps if NPCs would get mad that their important goals, properties and NPCs were fucked with, and they could come after PCs.

    People don't fear IC death in rational ways for obline RP. Those who don't are are empowered beyond scope. Those who fear it fear it from the most trivial events, which paralyses action on their part.

    So having it go through a formal system like the Off Screen System and have the escalation to personal attacks be included in that. Then at least you have some understanding and build up.


  • Admin

    If we're talking about a MU* PvP is essential. Staff - and even Storytellers - can't scale plot up to meet demand and eventually people grow bored having nothing to do. There should be tension.

    There are two keys here.

    1. Making sure tension isn't short-lived. If all it means is people get slaughtered in +dice wars it's doing no one any favors.

    2. Making sure one side doesn't dominate everything. People have and will roll for the winning team until it's invulnerable.


  • Coder

    @Arkandel said:

    1. Making sure one side doesn't dominate everything. People have and will roll for the winning team until it's invulnerable.

    Planetside has an interesting mechanic to deal with this where the team with the least territory actually becomes more powerful. I think it would be worthwhile to add similar mechanics to a PvP focused MU*

    @Misadventure said:

    Perhaps if NPCs would get mad that their important goals, properties and NPCs were fucked with, and they could come after PCs.
    So having it go through a formal system like the Off Screen System and have the escalation to personal attacks be included in that. Then at least you have some understanding and build up.

    That sounds like a logistical nightmare. You want to design the game in such a way it needs only a minimal amount of Staff attention to keep operating smoothly.


  • Admin

    @Groth said:

    @Arkandel said:

    1. Making sure one side doesn't dominate everything. People have and will roll for the winning team until it's invulnerable.

    Planetside has an interesting mechanic to deal with this where the team with the least territory actually becomes more powerful. I think it would be worthwhile to add similar mechanics to a PvP focused MU*

    It's hard to implement any such thing on a MU* unless you're willing to enforce what concepts actual PCs get to play. Power is very often a matter of active hands on deck - no amount of NPCs or coded bonuses can possibly make up for the absence of actively played characters on each side.

    Once a faction gets going and people see RP happening there that is where they'll go. Some will roll new PCs, others will migrate their existent ones over, but it's a pretty well known phenomenon.

    The only other way staff can try to work on it is to split the flagship players around. But that, too, assumes such players are willing to do so and/or they'll be somewhat equally active, neither of which is a given.


  • Coder

    @Arkandel said:

    It's hard to implement any such thing on a MU* unless you're willing to enforce what concepts actual PCs get to play. Power is very often a matter of active hands on deck - no amount of NPCs or coded bonuses can possibly make up for the absence of actively played characters on each side.

    Once a faction gets going and people see RP happening there that is where they'll go. Some will roll new PCs, others will migrate their existent ones over, but it's a pretty well known phenomenon.

    The only other way staff can try to work on it is to split the flagship players around. But that, too, assumes such players are willing to do so and/or they'll be somewhat equally active, neither of which is a given.

    Well, if playing for faction A means you get to play with battleships and giant mecha while playing for faction B means you get one AK-47 and your friend gets one bullet, then players might be tempted to play for faction A even if they're not currently the dominating faction.

    Though I'm not entirely sure how much it's necessary to fiddle with that. Faction popularity tends to shift around a lot as players/characters come and go into the game. On RfK for instance the game went from Invictus domination to Ordo Dracul domination to Invictus domination to Carthian domination through mostly natural events. All it takes to revitalize any faction is for a passionate player to put in the work.


  • Coder

    If I were to make a PVP(CVC?) mu, I don't think I would want NPCs. NPCs seem like a bad idea in a game where the sole purpose is having characters fight each other for territories, xp, money and prestige, etc. I think there should be a safe area for each faction. A place to have 'not battle' RP. So at least there's that, also to prevent the one side not being too powerful. I don't think you could ever prevent one side being all powerful, one side would inevitably end up with an advantage, either by having the longest standing players or the players who made the best investments. I don't think you could ever truly stop that.

    That being said, There are always ways to beat down a strong opponent. And especially in the case of warhammer, I don't see the issues of one faction becoming too strong being a huge issue.

    @Groth The Fantasy roleplaying books are way too involved for Mush, but the things from Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, Rogue Trader and Black Crusade are basic enough to be used. Dark heresy has a 2e, none of the others do. 2e Dark Heresy is a good read, i'm not sure how compatible it is with the first edition of the other books.


  • Coder

    Well, a Dark Heresy based CvC game would certainly be an interesting experiment and I agree that giving each faction a 'safe space' is probably appropriate though you'll need to make a rule that 'prisoners' or other things of importance can't be stored in the safe space.


  • Pitcrew

    I would play on a pvp place if Becca ran it, and if it had a system that encouraged not always lethal pvp like RfK did.

    After playing on RfK with largely the same people who I'd seen in pvp situations elsewhere, including myself, I have realized how essential staff being able to connect with people and pretty draconian adherence to visible open ethics is. There are no mechanics that can replace that. IMO.


  • Coder

    This is my pitch for an OSS territory system for any upcoming conflict based MUSHes

    1. Every territory provides some sort of faction-wide benefit to the controlling faction, either in the form of resources or some sort of stat boost. This benefit might be different depending on which faction controls the territory. Adjacency bonuses for connecting your territories neatly should also be considered.

    This ensures that you have reason to care about who controls which territory.

    1. The territory only provides the benefit while an in-play character is assigned to that territory, each character can only be assigned to one territory.

    This ensures you care which character controls which territory and can make it very significant if a key character is temporarily knocked out.

    1. Each territory has a number of slots ranging from 1-5, the number of slots determines how many characters from each faction can fight for that territory each time interval, each character beyond the first add some sort of bonus to the roll. The faction that rolls highest win.

    This limits the effects of dog-piling and means even tiny factions can get fair fights for the 1 slot territories. The largest problem RfK ran into towards the end was big dog-piles on the same few territories, I'd rather see more smaller fights going on everywhere.

    1. Each territory has a base difficulty that must be overcome to take the territory.

    2. Some sort of random event generator will spawn effects in the territories in regular intervals that need to be dealt with in one way or another. These events should be simple enough to be entirely scripted but still feel thematic.

    The RfK events required too much time investment from Staff to be sustainable for a larger game, but having things happen really helps make the game feel more alive.


  • Pitcrew

    I think one of the big reasons they are so rare is that even more the n on a regular game staff gets stuck playing referee.
    I might be a cynical bastard but I have seen CvC turn into PvP in a significant number of cases. Not to mention all the normal are they being favored drama with staff alts turned to 11.
    Now I would love for a few games like this, for the very selfish reason it would siphon off some of the PvP focused folks from non PvP focused games, but given the shear number of folks that say they one this and the lack of any games really providing it. I have to think there is a reason for this market imbalance.


  • Pitcrew

    PVP is more of a MUD focus.

    This works in MUD because many (but not all) MUDs have thin at best requirements for RP or plot. There are some MUDs that enforce and require RP but there plenty out there that set up a basic 'theme' (i.e. we are in the badlands of Made Up Place-ia where everyone is dressed liked a ninjapirate and slays shit! Good luck!) and that's it.

    This also works because MUDs are generally hardcoded for combat. Garbage mobs spawn as part of code and you run at them and your PC dies or the NPC dies and if so, you pick up their drops or their pennies or whatever the reward. Or Arrgh! The Ninjapirate attacks you by typing in 'attack Bob' and you either defend or mash your keyboard as hard as possible as you frantically attempt to flee.

    This lastly also works because MUDs either make true player death less likely (your PC respawns in some way) or there's so little basis to form an attachment that you can just make another Loknar The MurderFist and keep hitting things.

    This works less in MU* for the opposite of these reasons. MUs are plot/story based and people mostly don't want to be Red Shirt 7 in a plot. Most death in plot is pre-planned; there are much rarer occasions when PCs die because of shit rolls. MUs are not generally hardcoded for combat. The outcome requires a judge and players making the rolls and there's a lot of back and forth inherent to that. MUD code administrates the entire fight based on stats and generates the outcome. If you die, a lot of places temp disconnect you for a small time out window so you don't start screaming obscenities about it on public channels or in pages at the person who killed you right away. MU* death is generally permanent unless your game has some themeatic reason why your PC wouldn't be all the way dead forever and ever.

    ETA: I don't know why some of this is showing in italics but it won't let me change it back.


  • Coder

    @AmishRakeFight It's because you have an asterisk somewhere in your text. I don't think I've ever been on a game that forced you to log out immediately following a death for any amount of time.

    @Groth The only problem I see with limited slots is everyone will just pile on their most experienced players and leave the low level PCs out to dry.

    @ThatGuyThere I really am a cynical bastard like you, but...RFK took a lot of that cynicism away. I believe it is possible for a game to be CvC and stay that way.


  • Pitcrew

    @Alzie
    Fair point RfK handled it amazingly well. though it should be noted at least while I was there there were a descent amount of NPCs around, true they were being phased out, but I think their presence might have had a lot to do with setting the tone at the beginning where limits lie.
    So maybe NPCs initially then after you have the culture you want in place phasing them out could be a helpful tool.



  • @ThatGuyThere I have always felt that NPCs make excellent tools for setting and enforcing theme. Even if they're only in the background and occasionally give advise, they can balance out the more 'out there' concepts.

    Anyway, RfK really did a great job in creating a PvP vampire setting. I miss something like it, because there's nothing else similar that I know of.


 

Looks like your connection to MU Soapbox was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.