The Future of the War System

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Marsi
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The Future of the War System

Post by Marsi » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:47 am

In response to a suggestion regarding the war system, Irongron had this to say:
Irongron wrote: I'm not keen on supporting settlement confict yet further. I always felt the war mechanic encouraged these conflicts as a core part of the game, and thus gave the players the expectation we wanted to see it happen. There are some great servers out there for constant guild/settlement war conflict, but I do feel Arelith is at its best when its more story-based, and based around an individual character's narrative.

That's not to say that settlement conflict is bad, or unwelcome, but I'd rather see it based around RP and special events than something perpetual.
I'm worried about the implications of this.

I agree that Arelith is at its best when directed by a great story, but I feel that part of playing on a sandbox is accepting that the "story" is nothing more than the cause-effect of hundreds of different actors. It is inevitable that the free agents of a sandbox will self-organize, and that those organizations will come to be at odds, just as two players themselves might.

Taking away the tools to meaningfully mediate conflict* out of a desire to encourage more intellectual storytelling and discourage meaningless, perpetual warfare, I think, ironically results in there only being more meaningless and perpetual warfare. Unable to find catharsis, combatants are left with no choice but to make war with the tools available to them. That means nonstop PvP until the side with lesser mechanical expertise, tighter IRL schedules, less emotional resilience or simply more RP scruples capitulates. Or, what mechanics do exist are weaponised and abused, such as borderline exploitation of settlement resource dialogues ("economic warfare"), aggressive voting bloc takeovers, internal takeovers of factions/settlements through orchestrated co-option or liquidating their supplies by decieving them on an OOC level with alts. None of these options are very compelling.

tl:dr -- I think a sound and sporting war system, whatever form it may take, is very important for Arelith. Arelithians will perpetually and senselessly war between one another with or without a war system, that's just the nature of a sandbox environment. The conflicts they engage in can be made more meaningful, fair and good-natured with a war system.

I don't mean to be pendantic and over-analyze something you've said Irongron, nor am I trying to hurry along the development of a war system or weigh in on how one should work. I just think this is a worthy topic for discussion as we've all been a part of unfulfilling settlement conflicts and I wonder people's thoughts on it.


* The old war system was pretty bad, there's no denying that. I don't think it necessarily made for meaningful conflict, but it was something.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Dagonlives » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:51 am

Pretty disturbing trend. I don't like the idea of Arelith as a social server where the only response when someone insults your character is to talk back. It creates a very dumb meta-culture.

Player on player conflict is the lifeblood of any server. It's going to exist unless a blanket ban occurs. Better to build tools to channel it how the Dev team desires, rather then just removing tools, which makes people work even more out of bounds.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Royal Blood » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:15 am

Yeah, I don't know about the settlement war system. Or how that might look. This is such a tricky thread, though I would say that I think at least on the surface there has been a real threat of 'war' for awhile now, at least from Myon's perspective.

Even though there is no system setup for it mechanically Myon performed attacks on other 'settlement' soil this did create quite a stir and prompted some politics that have been going back and forth for months, whether it be the cancelation of trade deals, or the negotiations for player made alliances/pacts being stalled or axed entirely.

I am not certain what a future war system would look like. It's got to focus on something other then whoever has the most optimized builds or PVP ability. In this sense, i'd rather just have the DMs mediate a war narrative. Like say Cordor - Myon went to war, having a DM provide opportunities for both settlements to 'war' against each other but more on a PVE Focus with a PVP element intertwined but without PVP being the main focus, until perhaps the climax of the battle.

I get the sentiment about the social server. I kind of feel like that is where we've gotten too, there's not many ways to develop conflict, or get anything meaningful out of it. That's a similar sentiment I was expressing with the dice system, that there's nothing to enforce like consequences with.

Ideally though, regarding war, I'd want to steer it away from the victor being decided by whoever can kill bash the other the hardest. We need a more creative solution to conflict then just raiding and PVP that determines what is successful or not.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by magistrasa » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:22 am

Ways to handle open conflict beyond KOS brawls would be a welcome addition. Measurable impacts on player actions, that lead to a clearly defined end. Running your resources into the ground through war is one way of doing that, because in the end you can't deny the fact that the well of your wealth is dry. You have nothing left to fight with. You've lost.

But I'd rather this come with a way of actually mediating the conflict afterwards, rather than just "we win you lose" - like, post-war reparations or something, paid to the winning faction/settlement/whatever. Though now that I say that I think it's a bad idea because I don't know if there's a way of really implementing that sort of mechanic without it totally crippling a settlement for as long as it lasts, especially in the case of a settlement having run their resources into the ground. The original point is still valid though - mechanical support for post-victory or post-defeat roleplay for the factions' interactions to still have some sense of flavor beyond bitterness, is in my opinion a must-have if there's going to be any mechanics that support that warmongering to begin with. Because as it stands, anyone can make an enemy and fight them to the end of ages. I think it would be a much more interesting dynamic to see a time limit on that war incentivized through resource drain, and peace treaties incentivized through... something? Details on this idea are obviously a work in progress, but the spirit's there!

Slightly tangential, but I thought of this while making this post:
Something that might be interesting for surface/UD raids where stuff catches fire and things are destroyed and so on, is there's a tax on the settlement where the raid took place afterwards, showing that resources needed to be spent to fix what the raiders ruined. Though I suggest that, I know that doesn't do much for inter-factional conflict within the surface or UD. Given the fact that raids don't really happen between the different settlements (afaik?).

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by flower » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:23 am

I understand the point of Irongron and i agree with him. Arelith is adventure based server. He worries adding war mechanics would turn it into factions competitions, and he is right in that regard.

Rules had to be put forth already to decrease number of pvp recently (raiding under supervision). It is just showing what would occur with faction war mechanic.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Royal Blood » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:30 am

magistrasa wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:22 am
Ways to handle open conflict beyond KOS brawls would be a welcome addition. Measurable impacts on player actions, that lead to a clearly defined end. Running your resources into the ground through war is one way of doing that, because in the end you can't deny the fact that the well of your wealth is dry. You have nothing left to fight with. You've lost.

But I'd rather this come with a way of actually mediating the conflict afterwards, rather than just "we win you lose" - like, post-war reparations or something, paid to the winning faction/settlement/whatever. Though now that I say that I think it's a bad idea because I don't know if there's a way of really implementing that sort of mechanic without it totally crippling a settlement for as long as it lasts, especially in the case of a settlement having run their resources into the ground. The original point is still valid though - mechanical support for post-victory or post-defeat roleplay for the factions' interactions to still have some sense of flavor beyond bitterness, is in my opinion a must-have if there's going to be any mechanics that support that warmongering to begin with. Because as it stands, anyone can make an enemy and fight them to the end of ages. I think it would be a much more interesting dynamic to see a time limit on that war incentivized through resource drain, and peace treaties incentivized through... something? Details on this idea are obviously a work in progress, but the spirit's there!

Slightly tangential, but I thought of this while making this post:
Something that might be interesting for surface/UD raids where stuff catches fire and things are destroyed and so on, is there's a tax on the settlement where the raid took place afterwards, showing that resources needed to be spent to fix what the raiders ruined. Though I suggest that, I know that doesn't do much for inter-factional conflict within the surface or UD. Given the fact that raids don't really happen between the different settlements (afaik?).
I think some of this falls on player shoulders. We've fallen into a really mundane loop that exists around us just raiding though really it's the only option available to us. But if you actually want to -raid- a settlement, you need a DM so why not do something -more- creative? I Think both DMs and Players could come together on this and pursue more -creative- solutions rather then just cruising for PVP fights between factions.

At the same time I think DM's are going to quickly get handicapped by the fear of playing favorites. lol. I don't know if there is any way to make this work on Arelith. Arelith is self destructive to all avenues accept leaving everything alone. DMs could play a huge part in helping this work out I think if more people were willing to just accept what happens and what DMs do and roll with it and communicate we could develop a better standard then just like raiding to kill eachother in pvp.

Talking with Falgrim's player the Raid on Andunor that saw crops burned and filled Andunor with smoke etc, that was awesome. There was very little PVP in that fight, but the ramificaitons were long lasting and gave everyone- ESPECIALLY The UD players a TON of rp that revolved around plots, not pvp.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by dominantdrowess » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:32 am

I disagree strongly, regarding a raid that felt entirely meta-gamed and involved MANY people breaking the 24-hour rule.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Cerk Evermoore » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:33 am

I don't know how a war system would look, I guess offer a possible end to conflict? Only thing I could see solving /endless/ wars is if a faction is at war with another one the 24 hour system becomes a 72 hour system.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by flower » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:46 am

dominantdrowess wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:32 am
I disagree strongly, regarding a raid that felt entirely meta-gamed and involved MANY people breaking the 24-hour rule.
This sounds like many UD raids in their own. :D

Do you really wish to start to sling a mud?

And yes, this is reason why war mechanic would make more harm.

When fights occur like abusing transition to kill people still loading area (battle in Stonehold, Arcane Tower), accusing each other of metagaming, breaking pvp rules or be nice rule. People are not able to get along this and you desire war mechanics where win/loss of pvp would decide outcome for others? I will call this naive.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Royal Blood » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:06 am

I would mention that during that UD raid I was a drow. So it's not like i'm speaking from the 'winning' side I guess. I didn't have anything but enjoyment from that. But I guess that's proof over how the system will never work. Someone is always going to be unhappy and claim its meta gaming which regards my earlier post that Arelith is self destructive no matter what option is chosen. You're better off just doing nothing, it's the only safe way to not make people angry.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Chair » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:09 am

Well, its normally the lack of such systems which provide a definitive end win condition that end such mass pvp scenarios yes. As stated by the OP and in my experience on this server for the past almost decade or so, people will disagree and want to win against each other. And when there isn't a way to provide that 'end' state you slowly get to the point where the only viable option is to either quit yourself or to commit to a toxic MMO-lite environment of attrition where you make each others lives a living hell to try and get the other player/players to quit first.

Having a viable win state in place allows for much more roleplay initiative in my opinion, as it disincentives the endless pvp and gives pvp in medium to large groups a purpose again. Furthermore it also provides a means of mechanical player change that can be influenced by both sides of the conflict. But at the end of the day, this is just my two cents on the issue as someone who enjoys PVP.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by flower » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:14 am

When people are salty and angered after raids, how is it going to change when They must in addition face consequences coming from a pvp They consider themselves to be cheesed onto in lol?

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Echohawk » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 am

Redacted, I'm just talking to myself.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Marsi » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:36 am

Royal Blood wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:30 am
I think some of this falls on player shoulders. We've fallen into a really mundane loop that exists around us just raiding though really it's the only option available to us. But if you actually want to -raid- a settlement, you need a DM so why not do something -more- creative? I Think both DMs and Players could come together on this and pursue more -creative- solutions rather then just cruising for PVP fights between factions.

At the same time I think DM's are going to quickly get handicapped by the fear of playing favorites. lol. I don't know if there is any way to make this work on Arelith. Arelith is self destructive to all avenues accept leaving everything alone. DMs could play a huge part in helping this work out I think if more people were willing to just accept what happens and what DMs do and roll with it and communicate we could develop a better standard then just like raiding to kill eachother in pvp.

Talking with Falgrim's player the Raid on Andunor that saw crops burned and filled Andunor with smoke etc, that was awesome. There was very little PVP in that fight, but the ramificaitons were long lasting and gave everyone- ESPECIALLY The UD players a TON of rp that revolved around plots, not pvp.
The thing is, Arelith is devoutly player-centric. This is intentionally very different from other RP servers that prefer DM-led narratives. It was once common to hear the mantra "smelt not felt" in relation to DM intervention. A viable solution that respects the Arelithian sandbox must empower players, rather than cede more responsibility to the DMs. Cries of favouritism are common not because one side is disappointed with the outcome, but because DMs intervening in the playerspace violates the reality the players have hitherto negotiated, and introduces backed-by-fiat elements that are inherently unfair. Not to mention that it's almost impossible to keep up with the state of player politics. I've experienced first-hand the frustration of DMing that isn't entirely clued in to the goings-on playerside and undermines the fairly brokered player authority. It's dangerous because players will always look to the most supreme authority and they are aware (on an OOC level) that a DM NPC wields more power than a PC even if that PC is of a higher IG authority than the NPC.

I would prefer to see a future where cool things like crop burning and the ramifications of such are mediated by some sort of fair, player-empowering system that requires no DM oversight. A good war system would remove the need for the "no raiding without a DM" rule because there would be some scarcity at play making wanton raiding foolish and dangerous as it is in the real world. But that's going on a bit of a tangent -- I did say in the OP I didn't want to quibble about what a war system needs to have, just that there should be *a* war system
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by dominantdrowess » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:42 am

What if we create a war system, where those who die in it lose access to their character -until- the war is over?

Kind of a "Mark of Destiny Lite"... with a set, mandatory duration of the war being like a week long?
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Royal Blood » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 am

That would just force PVP build optimization and you know what is lame? Losing your character to 1 shot death spells. If you get disjunctioned and one player kills 8 with one spell no one will enjoy that except the 1 player who chuckles because they can AOE Weird people.

A system like that would turn Arelith into a PVP Focused server and the only people that would stay to play are build optimizers and those skilled with PVP

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by The Rambling Midget » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 am

dominantdrowess wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:42 am
What if we create a war system, where those who die in it lose access to their character -until- the war is over?

Kind of a "Mark of Destiny Lite"... with a set, mandatory duration of the war being like a week long?
That sounds like it would cause a lot of collateral damage, if it's settlement against settlement. Lowbies would, without doubt, end up being targeted for "temporary deletion". It would further push the community toward the already too prevalent "RP begins at level 30" attitude.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by dominantdrowess » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:53 am

Royal Blood wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 am
That would just force PVP build optimization and you know what is lame? Losing your character to 1 shot death spells. If you get disjunctioned and one player kills 8 with one spell no one will enjoy that except the 1 player who chuckles because they can AOE Weird people.

A system like that would turn Arelith into a PVP Focused server and the only people that would stay to play are build optimizers and those skilled with PVP
Agreed.
The Rambling Midget wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:48 am
dominantdrowess wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:42 am
What if we create a war system, where those who die in it lose access to their character -until- the war is over?

Kind of a "Mark of Destiny Lite"... with a set, mandatory duration of the war being like a week long?
That sounds like it would cause a lot of collateral damage, if it's settlement against settlement. Lowbies would, without doubt, end up being targeted for "temporary deletion". It would further push the community toward the already too prevalent "RP begins at level 30" attitude.
Agreed.

We don't need PvPers having -additional- power in my opinion. Suggestion entirely withdrawn.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by JediZero » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:35 pm

The idea I'd have to solve this is an entirely different server to the Arelith one. Running a lite version of the Arelith engine that means mechanics pass over but only if it's a neccessity to the 'war effort'.

The server would be much smaller, having a group of 'battlefronts' that you can man, set up, and set your units down. Depending on the resources/coin spent on the war on each side you'd get more NPC guards/fighters and they'd be better equipped. Access to the server would be gated to only when a DM is there to get it going and oversee the proceedings. The leader (or someone the leader appoints in his/her stead) would have to be on the field. Without that, barring RL shit happening, the leaderless army will lose automatically unless they are able to defeat the opposing enemies army by killing their leader, or defeating x number of their soldiers. Being that a leaderless army is more akin to a mob, and overtime lack of a proper ladder of command leads to restlessness and chaos.

on the server the 'RP before PVP' rule is waived, so assassins and sneaks can set traps, long range mortar spells can be cast without needing to chat first, etc. etc. we have some rules, mostly to ensure that it's not just one side is full of level thirties and the other is full of one thirty and fifteenth-eighth level characters.

This A: Ensures proper 'war' is under DM supervision.
B: Keeps the cluster off the main servers, meaning that it doesn't lag everyone else out, and makes it much more snappy/reactive on the war server.
C: Lets tactics and creative thinking shine instead of simply 'I'm level 30 and I've minmaxed myself into being an unstoppable killing machine'

Of course this is a suggestion that is probably based on having unlimited resources and probably not feasible considering the server's situation as it is.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by monkeywithstick » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:09 am

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=21684&p=173273#P173273
Was an earlier suggestion I made Irongron will get to it eventually, and I'm curious as to his thoughts when he does.

Edit: he has. Crappy phone browser strikes again.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Mirw » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:25 am

Where i did like the War system and it was very succesfully made, and not total-destruction of the opposite side was:
Stellaris,
https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Warfare

You set up your goals - claims before went to war, you need justify your war with some casus belli or anything like that and after you wage the war (which could be here both economical burn, proxy armies - territories to support / which is kinda useless system atm, and of course heroes do some PvP, organized DM events as PvE, negotiating "battles") and YOU GATHER WINNING POINTS which represent your level to achieve your goals. So there is a certain point when the conflict MUST end and there is a clear results of that.

This is just a very crude draft however something like that could work if proper details is worked out. Mechnacials , numbers..etc etc.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Durvayas » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:15 pm

I really don't see any change to the war system that doesn't foster the attitudes that festered on Arelith back during the Banite wars of 2012.

If you make mechanical goalposts, people are going to adopt an even stronger must-win mentality than already pervades the server. PvP oriented powerbuilding will become even more popular than it already is as every clique and settlement on the server shifts in a silent arms race.

If one group decides to play the role of the antagonist, and powerbuilds like mad, and gets really, really good at PvP, every other group will endeavor to mimic that for both defense and offense. If you institute a new war system, PvP will become the be-all-end-all of conflict between settlements because suddenly you'll be able to FORCE narrative and consequences on your opposition solely based on skill of building and PvP, rather than any real degree of interactive roleplay.

We literally had the ability to force vassalize other settlements removed BECAUSE Arelith proved that the playerbase cannot handle that kind of power responsibly. The exile scripts lost their bite for the same reason.

I'm not keen to see any similar system return.

Better raiding targets, like outlying homesteads and farms for every settlement to target and pillage so that raids don't mean knocking on the gates of another town? I'm 100% in favor of.

Another system that penalizes another settlement purely based on player counts, builds, timezones, and levels? Nah son.

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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by dominantdrowess » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:32 am

Yeah, I am not for statistical harm done to a settlement because of the size of another faction.

I for one, recognize how -delicate- the Settlement system actually is.
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Re: The Future of the War System

Post by Cerk Evermoore » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:06 am

I like Echohawks suggestion, hopefully with Hacks we can just use the more obvious automated npc solution. Npcs need to be respected and if a raid or a hostile member of an opposing faction goes too close to a guard. The guard doesn't necessarily have to immediately go hostile, he could perhaps yell for you to leave alerting nearby players and if you encounter more guards they would then go hostile to avoid yell spam.

I feel this would be enough of a deterent to keep unsavory activity out of the public eye.

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