Player vs. Player

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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Gossamer on March 3rd, 2010, 6:40 pm

Why do posts have to be shorter? Length doesn't dictate action. I mean, I can write ten paragraphs about emotions, setting, physical sensations and have it only encompass a single sword swing.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Toshi on March 3rd, 2010, 6:43 pm

I have a suggestion, I'm sure some of you have already considered this. Our ajax chat does have a dice-roll. Assuming thgere are two characters who have combat skills that are pretty close to each other in xp points, or the other character two skills, maybe three that work in conjunction as a battle skill (i.e. rapier, a main gauche and acrobatics) couldn't we use the dice-roll function to determine who succeeds in an action? It does guarantee impartiality.

Say person 'A' a warrior with a spear attempts to strike at person 'B' and B has a sword and attempts to parry, we could determine the winner through that dice roll. Of course what kind of damage (maybe it was a glancing blow?) could be given to the discretion of both players if they're mature enough or an impartial mod/judge-player observing the fight?
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Montis on March 3rd, 2010, 6:48 pm

perhaps the difference between the winners roll and the losers roll determines the level of damage done.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 3rd, 2010, 6:49 pm

@Goss: I borrowed that from Pua's post, and I think he was just trying to say that, in a blow by blow situation, not every post is going to be full of self-reflection and some of the other things we tend to put into a post that encompasses a larger scope of events.

Which doesn't discount your point, either. A combat post -can- be long, sure, and it can include all the things you mentioned. Heck, you've done it! ;) But I also like to think there's a freedom, either in or out of combat, to write short, well-written posts.

I guess this could launch into a different discussion about whether or not we write our posts for readers or for ourselves, but if I were reading a novel, and it was describing a fight, and between every sword slash were pages of reflection and internal dialog and description, I'm not sure I'd always appreciate that.

Seeing how good everyone is at writing, and enjoying writing myself, there's kind of a thrust for posts to be long-ish, but I don't think they always have to be to advance the story, and in combat is probably where you might find this happening more frequently. I actually am surprised it doesn't happen more in dialog, too. Something where there is a very rapid give and response dynamic.

@Dice-rollers: I'm just speaking out of my own preferences, but I would use something like that as a last resort, personally. I like the collaboration of the writing process between me and someone else to work those things out.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Rycust Erryt on March 14th, 2010, 7:50 pm

Since I also have an 'evil' (though I hate that word) PC, I'm really interested in this topic as well.

I have a couple differing ideas on the subject. I was previously on a pretty awesome organized crime/mafia RPG that was pretty structured, so I have had some experience with character death and PC to PC violence. I think the most important thing I've learned from that is that if you don't have either perfect players or really good rules for PC violence/death. While I'd love to say that Mizahar has perfect players that would completely play their characters to their skill level and would realistically play out the fight, it's just not that simple. I know that I probably have and probably will overplay my skills. I hate doing it, but it happens. It's constantly something I think everyone struggles with. It's hard to have your character not be a total badass.

Anyways, before I start rambling...

In my opinion, PVP battles that aren't sparring or haven't been planned out or outlined (or have some other rare circumstance), should always have a mod. And threads with the possibility of PC to PC violence that could lead to death should always have a mod. An experienced mod at that.

The mod would be there to determine the outcome of the attempted events outlined in each post. This would take care of people overplaying their skills (A PC with 10 in Shortsword trying to do some outrageous spinning parry/slip attack would simply fail at doing so and the ramifications of his failing would be outlined in the mod post). Obligatory mod involvement would also eliminate the need for a die roller (which i also have a distaste for).

I understand that it would lead to more work for mods, but I really think that it's the best way to avoid bad blood and powerplaying and all the other problems that come with PC to PC violence.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Charon on March 14th, 2010, 9:16 pm

I tend to agree with Rycust here.

Mizahar is a world where we rely on players using their skills appropriately and we don't want it to ever reach the point where a moderator has to step in every other post and describe what truly happened. So far, this has not been an issue, but so far, characters have really only been involved with NPCs or other creatures when it comes to fighting. I think that if there is going to be a PvP battle or fight then either the two need to discuss it OOC before it happens and not necessarily draw up the entire plan and outcome, but at least agree on the terms and how it is going to work out. Or they need to ask a moderator to actually, well, moderate the fight in which each character, as mentioned before, describes what they are attempting to do and the moderator decides, based on the descriptions and effort put into the post and the skill level of the characters and the surrounding environment what actually happens.

Yes, it takes more work from the mod's perspective, but when it involves two players and death/severe injuries can result, it really should be moderated so that the fight can remain impartial and in the best spirit of the game. This also allows characters to make well-written posts that do not have to be 'long' but need to be very description and they need to convey exactly what they are trying to do to the moderator. You'd be surprised at how long the post can be when putting that kind of effort into a sword swing.

The takeaways from this are a) players need to discuss the way the thread will work beforehand (not necessarily the outcome), b) a moderator needs to be involved if the players do NOT discuss things OOC (and maybe even if they do), and c) in Mizahar post length is never the main objective, but rather this is another opportunity for players to put a great amount of detail and description into their actions, especially when it determines other PCs actions and the ultimate outcome of the battle.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Gillar on March 15th, 2010, 12:26 am

I really like this discussion and think that many great points have been brought up. For me, I think that writing ability as far as how one describes and details combat, should play some role in determining the outcome however skill level can and should also act as an internal moderator of sorts. For example, if a character has a brawling skill of 25 and their fighting someone with an unarmed combat skill of 35, it doesn't really matter what moves the 25 uses, the 35 will have the advantage (Novice vs Competent). The difference between skill points is relatively minor so the 35 can and should take a few hits to reflect this but the 25 can and should take more hits (When I say could and should take hits, I mean don't simply brush an opposing attack aside as if it were nothing).

The cool thing about our skill system is it compensates for a lot while allowing for great diversity. Just because someone doesn't know much about combat irl yet has a good combat skill with their character doesn't mean they are truly at a disadvantage in a PvP post/thread. Someone can flesh out and describe an amazing set of combat actions in their post but if their skill level is still somewhat low, their chance of succeeding is already heavily influenced. This is the leveling of the playing field that allows everyone to have a chance. Does that mean that someone with a low skill should keep their posts simple and uninspiring even though they are accomplished writers? Hell no! Keep in mind that you get Experience for using such skills and the more well-written your use of such skills, the more Experience you will get for it. They system maintains itself and is encouraging on many levels.

The dicing option is one I also stand solidly behind though both parties have to agree to the outcome. It doesn't hurt to have a third uninvolved party around as a witness but if both battling parties agree that the dice tell it, a third party is really unnecessary. As for how to use the dice, you could add the total of your dice roll and use it in a variety of ways. For example the 25 and the 35 above both dice. 25 gets an 8 and 35 gets a 3. Add those totals to skill points of each party to get a 33 and a 38 respectively. The 25(33) is still lower than the 35(38) but things are a bit more even so the attack and/or defense for that particular post is a bit more competitive. Perhaps the attacker scores a greater hit than they would normally or the defender is able to take less of a wound. I don't know, this may be too complicated which is what you don't want but it does make the use of dicing make something of a difference while still taking into account skill level. The 25 is still at a disadvantage but at least it isn't totally one-sided. Now if the skill levels were different and the 25 was fighting a 50, well, no amount of dicing is going to help the 25 which is kind of how it should be in my opinion.

Differing weapon types used against each other such as sword vs dagger theoretically could cause some issues but if they are pretty close in skill level, each could hold their own in different ways. The dagger is fast and allows freedom of movement while the sword is slower but with greater reach. This is where creative combat can get fun and perhaps even educational in some way; one can learn through combat threads how to post in future threads with greater technique and thus develop things like style as well as posting skill.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Nel Sayo on March 21st, 2010, 1:39 pm

So I know I'm new, but this thread caught my eye and I wanted to just toss in my two cents.

PvP fighting can be SO MUCH FUN (Ashwhoeverhowyouspellit, I will totally make an alt to constantly fight with your character, would be a blast) -- if, of course, you do it right. Which is what everyone is saying, I get it. But it doesn't sound to me like anyone just wants to go on a mad-PC-killing rampage. It sounds like there is a lack of interpersonal-conflict-leading-to-violence, which is totally different.

Character death is a big issue, but it's not everyone's issue. I'm okay with killing folk, and having my folk killed -- I just demand that they die well. And, really, if RP has gone far enough that you find yourself in a life/death fight with another character, chances are you know that player well enough to be like -- whoa, time out, let's just real quick talk about how this is going down. As much as I hate to admit it, there have been times where I really didn't realize how far a fight was going, and death was suddenly sort of imminent, and the other player and I stopped and actually sat down to figure a way around it that was satisfactory to both of us. Intent is just as dramatic as the actual kill, I swear. Barring a reasonable draw, well -- a character died, but that's when the fireworks went off and it was always a great send-off.

Trying to figure it out using specific weapons and fighting styles is going to give every single Mod in the place a gigantic migraine. That's pages and pages and pages of rules that your average player will have to figure out and make sense of, and I fear that we're far too lazy to determine who would win if I have a 45 rapier and someone else has a 45 cutlass. Or knows 45 Kung Fu. Or whatever.

In my (admittedly nerdtastic) experience in the world of RP, I've discovered these few inalienable truths:

1. Combat using complicated rules and dice sucks. It is time-consuming, hard to follow, frustrating, and overall: BORING. Every time I've had a character die because the dice-bot hated me, I have felt cheated. Even if it's more fair, it strips away the drama, the story, and the overall appeal of writing a fight.

2. We all want to be badasses. So let us! As I said above, sometimes you and your fellow player just need to get a little creative, and the results are often spectacular writing-wise.

3. PC death is always avoidable. Unless you've planned it ahead of time, and then it's always gonna be awesome. ...Unless dice get in the way and your final thrust of the sword pokes the guy in the eye instead of the heart and he dies a writhing mess of goo instead of a gently-sinking warrior. Oops.

I think you guys have a really great game here. And the player-base, so far as I've seen it, consists of talented writers and thoughtful players who want to wring the best they possibly can out of this experience. The idea that it should be up to those involved -- whether they write it out using an honor system or involve dice or have a mod overseeing -- seems to me like the best possible solution.

I'm never afraid of a fight if the goal is to write incredible conflict. I'm terrified of fights that involve rolling dice. I love playing generally mean-spirited characters who smack people they shouldn't and are cruel to everyone they meet. I've avoided that style of character here so far simply because I expected one would die pretty fast, lol. Tell me I'm wrong!

Also -- whoever said that their game had a "describing the attempt not the hit" rule is a genius. I've done that in previous games as well, and it really makes it easier and more fun, and so long as both parties are aware of how the scales tip, it can lead to interesting, creative role-play even in the midst of a battle. You feel required to make the other character look as cool as your own, and that makes everything much more intense.

I agree with Goss that the game is new, and people need time to build and grow and figure everything out, but I totally think it's possible to get some good violence on while we're at it. ;)

Good luck!

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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 21st, 2010, 2:35 pm

I hate it when someone just posts "I agree" or something to a thread, so:

I agree

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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Miharu Mindi on March 21st, 2010, 10:02 pm

Nel and I are the queens of the whole narrating your attacks and letting the other person inflict the consequences thing. Sometimes we'll discuss how we want the fight to end, and sometimes we just see where it goes, but we both understand which of our characters is more powerful and, if they're equally matched, how their strengths and weaknesses will work for or against them.

The best example I can think of is when my bodyguard character had his charge being attacked by Nel's magical assassin. He'd no idea how to fight magic, so he grabbed his charge and jumped out the window. He could climb and he could get them to a defensible position, so that's what he did. And he broke a rib and got about twenty pieces of glass from the window stuck in his back - because jumping out a window and grabbing onto a balcony ledge a floor below you sounds badass, but it'll actually eff you right up. We trusted each others as players enough to know that even if we let our characters be badass, that didn't make them invincible, and it didn't make them immune to consequences.

But I also agree that people have to be willing to start up conflict themselves and to just be confident that they can figure out a way to make it work. I mean, when Murdoch starts stealing people's money, it's gonna be a lot of fun watching him get his ass kicked when he gets caught. ;)
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