Balancing Non-Consensual PvP

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    • Balancing Non-Consensual PvP

      Recently, there have been quite a few threads about the non-consensual PvP balance in Albion Online. There are a lot of complaints that due to recent changes, it is too hard to catch and kill potential ganking victims.

      First of all, note that our balance goal is to maximize the amount of PvP that happens in the game in a sustainable way.

      Non-consensual PvP in full loot games is extremely hard to do properly. The underlying issue is that it needs to be set up in such a way that it works in the long term, for both parties involved, the gankers, and the potential victims. Without potential victims, there is no non-consensual PvP.

      What's not immediately obvious is that maximizing PvP is not achieved by making the game more and more deadly.

      The amount of non-consensual PvP depends on the number N of possible targets in the zone, the chance E that you can engage them in a fight, and the chance K that you can score a kill in a fight, with the amount of non-consensual PvP kills = N*E*K.

      Here is the thing: If E and K were, for example, 100%, N would drop to close to 0. No potential target will enter these zones if it means certain death (high K) without them being able try and avoid combat (high E).

      There have been tons of different games that try this approach, and what usually happens is that their PvP levels go down drastically once the potential victims stop going to the PvP zones, are stop playing the game. The next stage is then that the players looking for non-consensual PvP only run into each other, which leads to them quitting, too. As far as we are aware, every open world PvP game taking this approach has suffered this fate.

      Now let's look at Eve. Eve makes it very easy for people to avoid combat. You have local chat as a perfect intelligence tool, DSCAN with a huge range, the warp system that allows you to pretty much teleport away and is instant if you are aligned to your safespot, stations/bases that you can dock at, cloaking, gate guns, safe spots in the middle of nowhere. However, if you are caught (scrammed), you are pretty much done for.

      All in all, Eve's non-consensual PvP balance is much much softer than what you have in Albion right now. The chance of dying if you play properly is very very low. While people used to the old ganking system will say that it's now "impossible to catch somebody", our killboards and the countless videos available on YouTube show that his is not the case.

      We can still understand that gankers are upset. If you get used to a system that lets you easily gank players without them being able to do much about it, and this leads to you getting 5+ kills per hour, that of course is an insane amount of fun! However, it is also not sustainable.

      Here is why: due to the game being full loot, each kill you score essentially destroys X hours of game time worth of gear/loot. Let's say the gatherer set takes the victim 2 hours to replace. If you score 5 solo kills per hour, 1 hour of your gameplay destroys 10 hours of gameplay of your victims. Said differently: it takes 10 players getting killed by you over and over again to sustain that. Unless we set up a gameplay center in a low wage country where we pay people to get killed over and over again, this won't work.

      So what's the solution? Again, our goal is to maximize the amount of PvP that happens, including non-consensual PvP
      1. We need to make sure that the full, no rules PvP zones (Outlands) are worth it for potential PvP targets to play in. This is achieved by making sure that rewards in these zones are much higher than in safer zones.
      2. We need to make sure that the average number of deaths that non-gankers will suffer is such that the zones are still worth it, despite them having to replace their gear now and then.
      3. The average number of deaths suffered per hour is a function of the chance E that an encounter leads to a fight, and the chance K that a fight leads to a kill. Eve has a very very low E, and a very high K. We are aiming for a medium E (our mounts are easier to catch than trying to get somebody in Eve who is constantly warping) and a medium K (escaping from combat in Albion is easier then getting away in Eve when you are already scrammed). We prefer this approach, as it leads to more action.
      4. The sweet spot to be reached is that the no rules PvP zones are worth it for both sides, the potential targets (as on average, their rewards for player there outweigh the risks compared to safe zones) and the gankers (even if they don't score 5+ kills per hour, they'll still get enough non-consensual PvP kills for this to be worth it, and then of course, encounter all sorts of consensual or semi-consensual open world PvP in between)
      I hope that the above could shed some light on the matter.
    • Valkyrior schrieb:

      are you satisfied with the 3 seconds or do you think it could be tweaked to 2 or 2.5 seconds?
      Before answering that question, let me explain what the thinking behind this is, and also share some history about the mount mechanics during alpha and beta.

      When we introduced mounts into the game, their function was always meant to be a tool for travel, and a tool for escaping PvP. (very similar to the warp system in Eve). Hence, we always had the long ability cooldown when dismounting (which used to be much longer than it is right now)

      When introduced, mounts did not have a gallop mode, meaning that if you were mounted and another person would follow you, dismount and auto-attack you, it would not really do all that much, whereas with gallop mode, it would slow you down and hence allow you to be caught much easier, meaning that mounts de facto could be used as an offensive PvP tool. Admittedly, this was a design oversight on our end.

      The 3 second rule fixes that, and we are happy with it. If we reduced it to a shorter amount of time, then mount-hopping could again be a viable strategy.

      Now, having said all of that, the 3s rule is just one aspect of ganking balance. Being happy with the 3s rule does not automatically mean that we are happy with ganking balance as a whole.

      For example, we think that some high end mounts might be too powerful right now. We also are considering whether your mount should automatically despawn if you take PvP damage, as being able to hop onto your mount while already under attack is also something that runs counter to our mount philosophy. On the other hand, we also think that dungeons as they currently are - i.e. you cannot mount in them, and the teleport takes extremely long - are too much of a death trap with close to 0 chance of escape if a larger PvP group enters in behind you. Changing that might make dungeons more active, and actually could lead to more PvP than we have right now as a result of that.

      We are constantly asking ourselves how we can maximize the amount of PvP that happens in the game world, in a sustainable way.
    • The amount of non-consensual PvP depends on the number N of possible targets in the zone, the chance E that you can engage them in a fight, and the chance K that you can score a kill in a fight, with the amount of non-consensual PvP kills = N*E*K.

      Here is the thing: If E and K were, for example, 100%, N would drop to close to 0. No potential target will enter these zones if it means certain death (high K) without them being able try and avoid combat (high E).
      Wrong, if E and K were 100%, then people who come to PvP maps in search of riskless profit would leave for safe zones where they belong, and instead PvP maps will get filled with players who're ready to risk for their profit and who are prepared for it, therefore naturally balancing the E and K levels by being able to fight back or escape using their skills, including a skill to make specific builds, instead of running away from any red name they can see even before they can see a character on the screen, on their 100000000% movement speed galloping horse.

      However if E and K will be low, then players will start gathering big groups to kill solo targets, like what's happening now. Dying to 10 people alone is not fun, killing one guy as a crowd of 10 is not fun either, but what can you do if it's impossible to kill anyone solo unless he's willing to fight? E and K are close to zero if we're talking about solo/small group PvP, in this case PvP kills = 0.

      All in all, Eve's non-consensual PvP balance is much much softer than what you have in Albion right now. The chance of dying if you play properly is very very low. While people used to the old ganking system will say that it's now "impossible to catch somebody", our killboards and the countless videos available on YouTube show that his is not the case.
      Well, in EvE it's still possible to kill people in high sec, so Albion is not eve. And I'd like to see a youtube video where a solo ganker is able to dismount and kill a player who's not willing to fight and is not doing horrible mistakes like getting stuck in a tree or something. So far I've seen zero of such videos.

      Here is why: due to the game being full loot, each kill you score essentially destroys X hours of game time worth of gear/loot. Let's say the gatherer set takes the victim 2 hours to replace. If you score 5 solo kills per hour, 1 hour of your gameplay destroys 10 hours of gameplay of your victims. Said differently: it takes 10 players getting killed by you over and over again to sustain that. Unless we set up a gameplay center in a low wage country where we pay people to get killed over and over again, this won't work.
      The t6 gatherer set currently takes the victim about 20-30 minutes to replace. Making it harder to dismount players only makes it harder for solo and group players to gank, as big coordinated group will still be able to get you, sooner or later, while solo ganker will never be able to ever catch a mounted target. Besides, it's completely normal if one hour of your play destroys 10 hours of another player if you're playing in a group of 10 people like gankers do now. Besides, the "10 hours" is heavily exaggerated, and black zones are meant to be risky iirc. Plus, small group gankers are vulnerable against bigger groups, and catching even a solo target is not guaranteed. These changes promote zerging and gathering in the empty zones, while making small scale PvP much harder.

      IMO this is the biggest problem. That small PvP groups and solo players are vulnerable against bigger groups and at the same time has about zero chance to catch a solo target, not even talking about well-prepared gatherers with bloodletter and assassin hood. As streamers like Beststrike said already, open world PvP is pretty much dead at the moment.

      Still happy to see that devs keep looking into this problem, it's always nice to have some information on what's going on inside of your heads, guys.
    • Korn schrieb:

      Non-consensual PvP in full loot games is extremely hard to do properly. The underlying issue is that it needs to be set up in such a way that it works in the long term, for both parties involved, the gankers, and the potential victims. Without potential victims, there is no non-consensual PvP.
      Just a small editing suggestion above..:)

      I fully agree with the vision you explain here. You need to achieve a balanced ecosystem with enough predators and prey. For prey to risk to go close to predators they need to gain something worth the risk.

      What happens right now is that predators have it all. They don't lose time with repetitive tasks like gathering and crafting, they have fun killing and after they sell at the auction house the looted materials and gear, while equipping themselves for free.

      Predators just by doing 1 task (killing other players) achieve 4 aims: Fighting and killing for fun and fame, selling materials (without gathering), selling gear (without crafting) and equip themselves with looted gear (without gathering and crafting).
      Prey need to do 4 different tasks to achieve the same 4 aims: Surviving the ganking attempts to make their effort worth it, gather materials to sell/craft, craft gear to sell and gather materials/craft gear to equip themselves.

      Also, gathering skills are much more demanding in terms of LP than any fighting skills (and skinning is even harder and slower!).

      The balancing of non-consensual PvP is the most pressing subject of AO and if not addressed sooner than later it can completely destroy the predator-prey ecosystem and leave the predators alone feeding on each other..:)

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von Nitroglicerina ()

    • So people enter the pvp zone, but then want to avoid the risk of pvp?

      The green zone is a good place for them I guess.

      My constructive feedback would be though..

      give both sides a feel of power.

      Give the victim the feel of power to run away.. and give the ganker the feel of power to still gank the person.

      Like that, it becomes an interesting pvp struggle in which both sides have a good chance of getting their way.

      And both sides will have the idea they have the opportunity to run away or to gank, when the confrontation moment happens.

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 2 mal editiert, zuletzt von YaayAlbion ()

    • YaayAlbion schrieb:

      So people enter the pvp zone, but then want to avoid the risk of pvp?

      The green zone is a good place for them I guess.

      My constructive feedback would be though..

      give both sides a feel of power.

      Give the victim the feel of power to run away.. and give the ganker the feel of power to still gank the person.

      Like that, it becomes an interesting pvp struggle in which both sides have a good chance of getting their way.
      Should limit the number of pks per party, or pks per guild in each zone, would not know how to develop the idea well. But a limit has to do, the small groups where they are in a 10man ganking?
    • Nitroglicerina schrieb:

      Korn schrieb:

      Non-consensual PvP in full loot games is extremely hard to do properly. The underlying issue is that it needs to be set up in such a way that it works in the long term, for both parties involved, the gankers, and the potential victims. Without potential victims, there is no non-consensual PvP.
      Just a small editing suggestion above..:)
      I fully agree with the vision you explain here. You need to achieve a balanced ecosystem with enough predators and prey. For prey to risk to go close to predators they need to gain something worth the risk.

      What happens right now is that predators have it all. They don't lose time with repetitive tasks like gathering and crafting, they have fun killing and after they sell at the auction house the looted materials and gear, while equipping themselves for free.

      Predators just by doing 1 task (killing other players) achieve 4 aims: Fighting and killing for fun and fame, selling materials (without gathering), selling gear (without crafting) and equip themselves with looted gear (without gathering and crafting).
      Prey need to do 4 different tasks to achieve the same 4 aims: Surviving the ganking attempts to make their effort worth it, gather materials to sell, craft gear to sell and gather materials/craft gear to equip themselves.

      Also, gathering skills are much more demanding in terms of LP than any fighting skills (and skinning is even harder and slower!).

      The balancing of non-consensual PvP is the most pressing subject of AO and if not addressed sooner than later it can completely destroy the predator-prey ecosystem and leave the predators alone feeding on each other..:)
      What happens right now is that "prey" gets it all, as when you gather you can have your horse nearby, and you can hop on it in 0.5 seconds at the first sign of danger. After this, groups of like 6 players fail to catch people even on t3 horses, and if the gatherer runs a t6+ horse, there is not chance to ever get him. Even if he gets dismounted - gankers have used their movement speed cooldowns, so he just uses wanderlust with ambush - escape from the least predictable angle and runs faster then those who chase him for 16 full seconds. Meanwhile, he can dash twice with bloodletter, and if he has an assassin hood - he'll dash twice again after 2 seconds of channeling. Good luck catching that. And if you say that it's hard to escape while overweight, I'd say that if someone got overweight he shouldn't've been that greedy, and should've just put his stuff in the nearest chest.

      Predators are doing one task of 1. Preparing a composition of characters with specific builds 2. Coordinating via Discord 3. Scouting for victims and potential threats 4. Avoiding getting killed by bigger groups 5. Escaping unwanted conditions (getting jumped at, etc.). They usually come in groups of 5 players and up. They still need to take their stuff out of black zones, they're just as invulnerable to 1-3 people ganks as gatherers, and they're more vulnerable against big groups as they have to walk unmounted all the time. And the profit fluctuates alot, but it the end one t6.2 leather costs about 25k, and one t6 chestpiece costs about the same. BZs have plenty of rare nodes, but barely anyone roams around solo geared in t6. And if he does, people still need to find him, catch him, kill him, take his stuff out of BZs, while not getting killed in the process.

      Ganking is more risky, requires players to invest in the task by playing with specific builds and items, gives less profit, and require players to cooperate. While gathering requires one guy with wanderlust boots and an ambush jacket, cutting his weeds with no other prerequisites. He must have a solid chance to die even against solo gankers (1 player kills 1 player), but for now such players are almost immune even to coordinated ganks of many people.

      And gathering and crafting must require more points and fame to level up, as those are nodes that form the game's economy. If players will level those up too fast, the game will be flooded with high tier items fast, which will result in everyone running t8 in a couple of months. This is already happening, as we could see people roaming in t6 feely less than a month after release. Of course, not many people bring t6 to black zones solo, but only because it doesn't provide enough benefits for it's worth if lost, but that's a problem for another discussion.
    • Dethcord schrieb:

      Nitroglicerina schrieb:

      Korn schrieb:

      Non-consensual PvP in full loot games is extremely hard to do properly. The underlying issue is that it needs to be set up in such a way that it works in the long term, for both parties involved, the gankers, and the potential victims. Without potential victims, there is no non-consensual PvP.
      Just a small editing suggestion above..:)I fully agree with the vision you explain here. You need to achieve a balanced ecosystem with enough predators and prey. For prey to risk to go close to predators they need to gain something worth the risk.

      What happens right now is that predators have it all. They don't lose time with repetitive tasks like gathering and crafting, they have fun killing and after they sell at the auction house the looted materials and gear, while equipping themselves for free.

      Predators just by doing 1 task (killing other players) achieve 4 aims: Fighting and killing for fun and fame, selling materials (without gathering), selling gear (without crafting) and equip themselves with looted gear (without gathering and crafting).
      Prey need to do 4 different tasks to achieve the same 4 aims: Surviving the ganking attempts to make their effort worth it, gather materials to sell, craft gear to sell and gather materials/craft gear to equip themselves.

      Also, gathering skills are much more demanding in terms of LP than any fighting skills (and skinning is even harder and slower!).

      The balancing of non-consensual PvP is the most pressing subject of AO and if not addressed sooner than later it can completely destroy the predator-prey ecosystem and leave the predators alone feeding on each other..:)
      What happens right now is that "prey" gets it all, as when you gather you can have your horse nearby, and you can hop on it in 0.5 seconds at the first sign of danger. After this, groups of like 6 players fail to catch people even on t3 horses, and if the gatherer runs a t6+ horse, there is not chance to ever get him. Even if he gets dismounted - gankers have used their movement speed cooldowns, so he just uses wanderlust with ambush - escape from the least predictable angle and runs faster then those who chase him for 16 full seconds. Meanwhile, he can dash twice with bloodletter, and if he has an assassin hood - he'll dash twice again after 2 seconds of channeling. Good luck catching that. And if you say that it's hard to escape while overweight, I'd say that if someone got overweight he shouldn't've been that greedy, and should've just put his stuff in the nearest chest.
      Predators are doing one task of 1. Preparing a composition of characters with specific builds 2. Coordinating via Discord 3. Scouting for victims and potential threats 4. Avoiding getting killed by bigger groups 5. Escaping unwanted conditions (getting jumped at, etc.). They usually come in groups of 5 players and up. They still need to take their stuff out of black zones, they're just as invulnerable to 1-3 people ganks as gatherers, and they're more vulnerable against big groups as they have to walk unmounted all the time. And the profit fluctuates alot, but it the end one t6.2 leather costs about 25k, and one t6 chestpiece costs about the same. BZs have plenty of rare nodes, but barely anyone roams around solo geared in t6. And if he does, people still need to find him, catch him, kill him, take his stuff out of BZs, while not getting killed in the process.

      Ganking is more risky, requires players to invest in the task by playing with specific builds and items, gives less profit, and require players to cooperate. While gathering requires one guy with wanderlust boots and an ambush jacket, cutting his weeds with no other prerequisites. He must have a solid chance to die even against solo gankers (1 player kills 1 player), but for now such players are almost immune even to coordinated ganks of many people.

      And gathering and crafting must require more points and fame to level up, as those are nodes that form the game's economy. If players will level those up too fast, the game will be flooded with high tier items fast, which will result in everyone running t8 in a couple of months. This is already happening, as we could see people roaming in t6 feely less than a month after release. Of course, not many people bring t6 to black zones solo, but only because it doesn't provide enough benefits for it's worth if lost, but that's a problem for another discussion.
      Organizing a huge group to gank 1 gatherer speaks for itself...I rest my case.
    • Norgannon schrieb:

      Should limit the number of pks per party, or pks per guild in each zone, would not know how to develop the idea well. But a limit has to do, the small groups where they are in a 10man ganking?
      These artificial limitations will only harm the game in the long run. The game must be balanced economically. If you want people to stop zerging - find something for this big group to do. Give them a better activity. If you want people to gank in smaller groups or solo - make it that fame reward is lower and trashing chance is higher depending on the amount of players, so it won't be profitable to gank with more than let's say 3 players. If you want players to gather in black zones - make it profitable (it already is). If you want players to make gank attempts solo or in small groups - make them able to die to solo players or small groups. Simple stuff actually.
    • YaayAlbion schrieb:

      So people enter the pvp zone, but then want to avoid the risk of pvp?
      This is frequent argument, and I agree that you have a point in principle here.

      In reality however, here is the thing: Gankers love non-consensual PvP. By definition, this is hunting players who are in the PvP zones without looking for PvP themselves. So yes, that are players who enter PvP zones, do not mind the PvP risk, but do not want to get killed all the time, especially if it is not sustainable for them from an in-game economy point of view.

      So if, as game designers, we take the stance that: "Well, don't go into these zones if you mind getting perma-ganked" the result is that they won't go into these zones, and the feedback from the player base would be that "I am trying to PvP in the outlands, but they are too empty. And every time I encounter another players I get killed". The last sentence is actually a direct result of this. If all the encounter in the PvP zones are against other hardcore PvPers, and encounters in general are all kill or be killed, no escaping, there is a huge pressure to form stronger and stronger groups as every encounter is life and death. If you think Albion is zergy now, it would get 10 times worse if we took that approach. (this was also verified during beta, in particular, towards the end of Beta 1)
    • With this approach you will destroy any real skill needed for gathering in black zones. I don't understand why you continue to repeat "not sustainable" - it does not look like true at all - markets are full of high tier resources, a lot of gatherers in black zone now. Currently gathering in black zones is very profitable.

      Yes, it requires more skill and experience - you have to know the map and ways in/out, have to select item build and know cooldowns on gank skills and keep horse around - with this you can make a really good profit in BZ.

      With your approach you want to make this available for _everyone_ by reducing all requirements, so people can drink coffee, watch new series while safely gathering resources in PvP zones, really? 2 screens name tags, 5+ man blobs? Do you remember you game with PvP everywhere ,fully open world and no blobs on the map at all? People liked it and payed you money as early supporters but with every change so far you literally say "fck you, we are moving away from the thing you enjoyed, we need to engage new community". The idea with CCP is that they had balls to keep their own ideas and avoided to turn their game into casual "wow-like clone with features".
    • Dethcord schrieb:

      Nitroglicerina schrieb:

      Organizing a huge group to gank 1 gatherer speaks for itself...I rest my case.
      That's what I'm talking about. Because a gatherer will never die to small groups unless he's completely braindead, so people are forced to gather big groups to be actually able to kill gatherers, which results in zergs vs solo gatherers which is not fun for both parties.
      Plenty of gatherers die to solo gankers...just watch BlackBoa stream and you will see him solo killing many gatherers and run away from others...right now he is achieving more than 50% success rate on his attacks on gatherers. I see him daily killing at least 5 or 6 gatherers per hour when he devotes his time to gather/ganking.

      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von Nitroglicerina ()

    • Dethcord schrieb:

      The amount of non-consensual PvP depends on the number N of possible targets in the zone, the chance E that you can engage them in a fight, and the chance K that you can score a kill in a fight, with the amount of non-consensual PvP kills = N*E*K.

      Here is the thing: If E and K were, for example, 100%, N would drop to close to 0. No potential target will enter these zones if it means certain death (high K) without them being able try and avoid combat (high E).
      Wrong, if E and K were 100%, then people who come to PvP maps in search of riskless profit would leave for safe zones where they belong, and instead PvP maps will get filled with players who're ready to risk for their profit and who are prepared for it
      I think you misunderstood how probabilities work. If you say that the probability to encounter a hunter is 100% and the probability that you die if such an encounter happens is 100% too, means basically: whenever you enter a map to gather you will die. It won't matter what you do or what gear you wear, you die. This scenario isn't about risk or riskless profit. there won't be any profit at all.