Player vs. Player

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Player vs. Player

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 3rd, 2010, 2:43 pm

In creating Ash - an "evil" character - one of the things that I hope becomes a vibrant part of his life is combat, particularly combat with other characters. I want him to become a force that some players might get behind, while others will oppose.

In looking through Miz threads, I'm hard pressed to find actual examples of players fighting other players. There are "combat training" threads that sort of kind of approximate the thing. There are instances of players fighting NPCs. But actual player vs. player combat RP seems extremely rare.

This is an aspect of RP I'd personally like to get some participation in, and I thought I would ask you - many of you very experienced and writers - what you believe are important things to maintain or do when it comes to player vs. player combat RP. What are the challenges, and what needs to happen to keep things fun for everyone?
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Siiri on March 3rd, 2010, 3:11 pm

I actually brought up something like this with Cayenne a couple of hours ago. I think one of the bigger challenges is the relative skills of the participants in writing combat posts. A PC can have a high skill level in a particular combat skill but if the writer has no working knowledge in how to use such a skill, he can't effectively write his combat post. This might allow a PC with lower skill but better understanding of combat to beat him through his posts. But I agree with Cayenne that this can be subjective to the one modding the thread. The result of each PC's move will still depend on the one modding the thread (if it is indeed moderated).

That brings up another challenge though, and that's reflecting one's PC's skill level correctly in posts. I won't go into details but it's something each player has to always keep in mind, especially when using a skill against another PC. As much as possible, I try to play my PC realistically, I think most of us do. But there will be times that we get carried away and just want to show our PCs in all their epic glory. The skill levels are there to keep us grounded and to remind us that, yes, that's really just a 2 in Daggers and you're more likely to injure yourself than the other PC if you try to stab him while he's holding a shield up.

But on a brighter note, I think we should all be fine as long as we don't use Tandra-fu!

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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Tarot on March 3rd, 2010, 3:28 pm

You guys raise excellent points. :) Of course it's really no-one's fault if people don't do the kind of actions that lead to PvP. Maybe there hasn't been a bloodthirsty killer on a rampage that others had to stop. There hasn't been a true feud either (though I am on my way to modding a possible PvP situation... or more than one if you count the Game, since I can't predict exactly what is going to happen there.) Maybe people are, whether consciously or not, afraid to lose a character on which they have invested time and affection.

The key to a good PvP thread is handling it with maturity, or failing that, with a moderator (the moderator is also perfect if you want the thrill of uncertainty or the possibility of outside interference). I like to keep the NPC fights in my threads short and sweet - everyone gets a chance to show off and then it wraps up before it starts dragging - but PvP is potentially much more intense. I agree it should happen more. I have a NPC who follows the 'way of the sword' and would need very little reason to draw her blade on someone. She should use it way more often.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 3rd, 2010, 3:53 pm

I think the issue of character death is a big one, and I'm glad someone brought it up. We spend so much time and effort on our characters, here, that the thought of losing all that work and story potential and what have you is extremely unattractive.

So, maybe one of the things that would make PvP more attractive to people would be deciding on some sort of acceptable level of outcome. PvP doesn't -have- to end in character death, for example.

And as Goss pointed out to me, even if a character dies, they can become a ghost, so there's actually even interesting RP options via character death. Obviously, it's going to be pretty cliche if we end up with a ton of death - ghost - resurrection cycles, but at least it illustrates that your character can lose a combat without coming to a complete end.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Montis on March 3rd, 2010, 4:28 pm

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the following is the written opinion of the writer, and is in no way an attempt or an assumption of stating fact or law on this site. Such things are for the mods to do. Some things might be based in fact's derived form other readings or experience but they are still being stated in manner of opinion and should be treated as such. Feel free to agree or argue with any point made or any idea put forth.


An interesting discussion to be sure. While I am in agreement that it falls to the person moderating the thread in the end to decide who won, the person with better or more detailed and informed writing should not always be the victor. Perhaps if the skills they used in combat were near enough, within 5 points would be near yes? However even that's up to discussion if its two different kinds of weapons. For instance, though of a different style and make, the katana and the rapier would be evenly matched weapons. However a longsword or Great sword be wielded against a knife, and the knife would most assuredly lose unless its skill was a great deal higher. There are reasons for this.

Take the katana and the rapier for instance. A competent wielder in each, lets say both have the same experience and are prepared for fighting there opponent. The katana relies on strength and accuracy to be wielded effectively, the rapier more speed and accuracy. Contrary to popular belief, the katana would not cut through the thin blade that is the rapier, and the wielder would instead be met with a series of parries and counter strikes. So unless the katana wielder deals the quick lethal blows it is known for right off the bat, then the person would find themselves being backed into a corner. The rapier wielder would be able to dance around the slow yet powerful swings and deal small cuts that by themselves would mean little but are in fact cumulative. There''s nothing saying a skilled katana leader might be able to pull it out with a deadly swing, but more than likely by that point the wielder of the katana would have his hands full trying to block all of the quick successive strikes being dealt by the rapier. Now around this point the rapier wielder can choose to continue whittling away at the katana's stamina or go in for a thrust to the heart. Since my character happens to wield a katana I will not explain the ways this can be countered, suffice to say however they are few in number. The rapier was made for dueling, the katana made for war.

In a situation of knife versus big sword the fight is much more clear cut. The knife itself is not large enough to block any swings form the longsword and its suicide to even try. Throwing the knife is hampering at best, the lethal throws you see on tv are rare at best. That is considering the fact the knife wielder has skills in throwing the knife as well as wielding it. There is a big difference and a person who can do one may not be able to do the other. For simplicities sake lets say they can not throw it. They are stuck trying to stab the sword wielder. This is problematic, as the knife has very little in the way of reach. An expert knife wielder could easily fall to a simple competent swordsman given a little thought on the part of the swordsman. The worst thing a swordsman could do is push his advantage. When there momentum to be turned a knife wielder can do damage. A competent swordsman would know to let the knife wielder come to him, effectively leaving himself open for the longsword.

Of course in this world, there is more then just simple weapons. An unarmed combatant might actually stand a change against a sword wielder, just like the knife wielder could. This is where the writer's skill at describing his actions might make the difference. A skilled writer could write a feint and actually have his opponent believing it, but then turn it around in his next post and strike a killing blow from the opposite direction.

That is where we hit the crux of the problem though. Posting is not the easiest way to pvp. I noticed, and on another forum prior to this, used a simple way of pvp posting myself. Describe your actions in a detailed way, but when it comes to the part of hitting or dealing damage, leave that part vague. This part is reliant on a honor system. You trust the other person to roleplay their character within the confines of his or her skill level. There are mods there to make sure they do, but it is not a fun fight when every few posts the mod has to jump and point out everyone's mistakes is it? So for simplicities sake we assume everyone is trustworthy until otherwise.

A good example would be said knife wielder from early, having say 35 skill in knife, redirecting a frontal attack from the sword wield and crouched low and swung there knife at the sword wielders leg in an attempt to cripple and disable said wielder. You leave out whether or not you happened to strike and continue on your way to describe attempting, the attempt part is important because at this moment your not sure what the other guy will do in reaction to your first attack, coming up from behind the sword wielder in a defensive stance, or if your more aggressive trying to stab the sword wielder in the back. This is a good move on the part of the knife wielder, he was in close enough to make the size of the sword more fo a liability then an asset. He was also wise to not stay that close because the sword wielder is likely to take a swing, and even though it will be easier to dodge because of the distance it is still coming.

Of course now the its the sword wielders post. He's left with only a few ways to deal with this situation within his skill limit, say also 35. Jumping back would once again put him in danger of getting to close to the knife wielder. His swords to slow to block the knife, and he doesn't have the skill necessary to foresee the attack before hand, and he doesn't have the acrobatics skill to simply leap over the blade. So the sword wielder has a few options. One he could allow the knife wielder to continue on and let the hit score. I see another solution to the problem though, and this is where the attempt part on the knife wielders second action becomes important. Instead of allowing the knife wielder to attack and evade, the sword wielder can very well choose to just fall on his opponent. Falling is an easy action to do, and if done right can save ones hide. The knife is at his leg, and the likely hood of it scoring a fatal hit is small. So the sword wielder falls on the knife wielder, and the attempt to get behind the sword wielder fails. Yet it is not contradicting it because by saying attempt you gave the sword wielder room to maneuver. This is important because in real life there isn't such a thing as my turn your turn in battle. It allows you to try and maneuver your own character, while at the same time not screwing over the one your fighting by making it so he can't avoid it without contradicting your post and essentially god modding, or at least I think that's what it would be I forget.

Its also best to not try and over play your own skill. If your near enough in skill its safe to assume your attack might be blocked or dodged. Its also safe to assume your character would know that as well and would already be positioning themselves for a second swing afterword, or if your

Of course this just my favorite way of looking at and writing pvp posts. It allows for the wiggle room needed to make it a competition instead of simply comparing skills, while at the same time not discounting the difference in skill level.

As for character death, perhaps in pvp coming to a consensus before hand is a way to avoid losing all that work. If the others skill is 60 to your 20 and you still decide to go through with the fight knowing full well the other guy can cut you down in a matter of seconds and is perfectly within his right to do so, I would hope you would not proceed to complain about it. As for the ghost thing I actually like the idea, especially considering other sights don't usually offer a way to continue with your character.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 3rd, 2010, 4:43 pm

In real life, I teach a martial art where the primary weapons are the short blade and the stick, or weapons of similar length (machetes, etc. - sticks tend to range anywhere from just under two feet to three and a half feet). I'm not sure I agree with your assessments of how a knife fighter and a sword fighter deal with each other, but that's irrelevant and we can argue about that in OOC threads. ;)

If I'm hearing you right, though, your suggestion is for the poster to leave the hitting and the damage portion up to the other player to accommodate, which I think is a pretty sweet idea. It requires the maturity Siiri was talking about, but I think it's a good idea AND it allows a mod time to step in if someone is god moding it.

So, Attacker A posts their "move" but does not describe whether or not the blow actually lands or what happens afterward. In a sense, they're posting their "combative intent." This puts it in the arena of the other player to work that into their post, whether by allowing a hit, like you say, or incorporating it into their movements in some way.

Great suggestions.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Satu on March 3rd, 2010, 4:44 pm

Hi guys,
I fall into the catagory of not knowing much about combat...(surprise right? haha) but I hope to remedy that soon with some research. :)

At times when the issue of combat between two characters has come up for me on other sites we simply talked out before hand what the outcome would be. We didn't go into details in the planning to keep the actual posts interesting and fun. Some players probably would rather the end be a surprise as well, but for me it was nice knowing both parties were on the same page and that there were options. And always, as Montis said, we always let the other player decide if a particular attack hit.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Pua on March 3rd, 2010, 4:53 pm

I think that as long as both parties are reasonable about it, death can be avoided fairly easily. A defeated PC could jump off a ledge or a cliff, Guards could show up and break up the fight, the winner could be merciful, etc etc etc. Siiri also brings up an excellent point about people not having the real life experience to know how a weapon handles. Luckily, we have the internet and if one was wanting to battle they could do some research and find out some basic moves fairly easily. A lot of us are newer here too, and I don't see many skills above 25 or 30, which means most of Miz just aren't weapon masters to begin with.

Two problems I have encountered on other sites with the PvP issue are godmodding/power playing and post length.

It is often hard to react impartially when your "baby" is in a fight, this leads people to have their characters do things that are beyond their capabilities or are just outright impossible. No one is saying you have to take a stab to the heart, but instead of back flipping out of the way, the PC could jerk to the side and be hit in the shoulder instead. I think everyone here is skilled and mature enough to avoid power playing most of the time, but it does take a concentrated effort to not control your opponents character. As much as you want the sickening awesome move you just spent an hour typing up to lope off your foe's arm, Its is ultimately not your choice (though if someone does go to that length at least take a serious slice out of courtesy).

Finally, Post length is a major factor in PvPs. Lets face it, one can only add so many adjetives and pretty descriptions to "Character X stabbed at Character Y's heart" While there is no real official posting limit here (I think) I see a lot of us who come from a writing background and thus like to make long, detailed and engaging posts, which is difficult when you only have a second or two IC time to work with before having to wait for a response.

Sorry everyone, I didn't mean to get preachy. I Modded/Ran a PvP "Fight Club" on GenZi so this topic is kinda important to me. It was a lot of fun though, we even had a site wide tournament at one point. I lost in the first round. Just for fun I'll put up the charter if anyone is curious.

OBI Charter :
Welcome to the Organized Battle Initiative.

The OBI has been created to allow pilots to pit their skills against one another in organized fights. These may include, but are not limited to, challenge matched between two OBI members, OBI sponsored matches, and possible an OBI sponsored tournament. Records of these battles will be kept and arranged into a ranking system. OBI would like to encourage many battle styles. The premier battle type will undoubtedly be challenge matches, set up by OBI members. However, Initiative management is currently looking into sponsoring various themed matches. Some ideas include team battles and skill battles, where OBI provides each contestant with the same zoid and victory depends solely upon the pilots skill, not their equipment. Management is also working out the details of a tournament and or battle season. All OBI sponsered battles and events will have some sort of prize, usually either cash or zoids. OBI is privately funded so prizes will be based upon managements funds.

While our membership is geared toward younger members looking to gain experience, we are also accepting applications from veteran zoid warriors as well. Anyone wishing to join OBI must register their name, char, and zoid(s) to be used with Kell via PM. To limit the size of the club, there is a limit of two chars entered into the club per GZer. (Likewise, if it becomes a problem, number of registered zoids may also be limited.) By applying for registration, you agree to abide by the rules, upon penalty of expulsion. The rules are listed below.

Rules:
All OBI members are to adhere GZ rules during their fights. If a GZ and OBI rule somehow contridict each other, the GZ rule takes precedence.

Anyone participating in an OBI related argument on ANY public board will immediately be booted from OBI. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Any disagreements about OBI battles will be sorted out first by OBI management, then if no satisfactory conclusion can be reached by GZ admins.

The leader can be removed by a 2/3 vote if there is too much difficulty and the lieutenant with the most seniority will rise to fill that position, with the former leader moving to fill the lieutenant's role. The leader can step down anytime he/she likes with the senior lieutenant taking his/her role

The administration of Generation Zi has the right to disband this club and renounce this constitution at any time if there is a legitimate concern about what is happening. Or if they just feel like it.


Rules of Engagement:

To have an OBI ranked battle simply PM Kell at any time before the third post of the fight.

Zoids, equipment, location, and any special rules are to be decided upon prior to the start of the battle.

Pilots should only battle in their registered zoids unless zoids are being provided by OBI

Wagers placed upon battles are acceptable, but not required. It necessary agree on wagers(bets) ahead of time and make sure that at least one person witnesses the agreement. Wagers may not be changes mid battle

Any member may request that either the group leader or lieutenants oversee the battle to ensure that it proceeds fairly and that there are no problems.

If forced to step into a battle, the leadership of the club is allowed to godmode as needed to restore order.

Coup de Graces are strictly forbidden.

While all GZ role playing rules apply, OBI staff acknowledge that sometimes a pilot will be unlucky enough to wander into a CPC blast on the first post. Therefore the number of posts will not be factored into the completion of a battle. Detailed posts are still required.


Wager guidelines

Many pilots within OBI have taken a fondness to placing wagers on...everything. While doing so, the following guidelines apply:

nobody can bet upon an active battle and bets cannot be changed after a battle starts.

you may not bet on a battle you partake in. (wagers between opponents are different)

anyone caught throwing a battle or otherwise fixing a bet gets expelled from OBI

All bets are to be recorded at Yuko's Bar And Grill
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Gossamer on March 3rd, 2010, 5:18 pm

Morning Guys. I'm really glad Mr. (Inpronouncable) brought this discussion up! As a player that really enjoys conflict and building up a PC, I'd really like to see more PvP situations too. I think thats why I was thrilled there are people like Rachael around that are willing to go out on a limb and make a mortal enemy.

However, one aspect you guys are failing to realize is the length of time and the stage of development Mizahar is at. We're just toddling as a game truthfully, since we've only been open since August. And while that makes this a GREAT time to join (because you can power up with the first generation and be one of the strongest in later generations so long as you stay with the same pc). So basically right now we have a bunch of toddler level PCs... everyone probably only has 30 in a singular skill or less, with the vast majority being 5-10.

That means we need time. We need time for storylines to open like flowers, pcs to interact, writers to find their pcs inner voices, and discover likes/dislikes in personal interactions.

But in the mean time, discussions like this are very important. Mizahar is a violent bitter land with people trying to take more land, more power, keep safe, and defend their own. It's not paradise. Lovely peaceful Konti are enslaved. Zith love human flesh - for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every warlord who's not a Syliran Knight wants what they have built from the ground up. Sunberth is lawless. They like heads on pikes and keeping their slag pile burning. Zeltiva is filled with scholars and ripe for the picking. Rhysol owns Ravok heart and soul and when hes decided its not enough, heaven help the rest of us.

Who's side are you going to be on? How does your pc think? Can you defend yourself? Are you going to be able to take what you want when you decide its time to make your move?

The game is a timebomb that way. That's why I train and power my pcs up. It's as simple as that.
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Re: Player vs. Player

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 3rd, 2010, 6:29 pm

Always good to get the big picture for context.

So, it looks like, so far, we've got:

1. Play consistently with your character's actual skill, especially as it relates to the opponent's skill.

2. The ability to write technically superior posts should not always dictate the winner.

3. No Tandra-fu.

4. Be mature, and understand the other person loves their character as much as you love yours.

5. Possibly agree OOCly on a maximum consequence level to avoid character death, while at the same time keeping in mind even character death can make for some interesting story options.

6. Allow the other person to work the outcome of your actions (hits and damage) into -their- post instead of forcing it on them.

7. Understand that posts will be shorter, and that's cool.

This is all good stuff and exactly the kinds of things I was hoping people would kick around.

What else?
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