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About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

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louis
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About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby louis » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:33 am

Greetings, fellow players,
we wizards are currently recognizing an increasing amount of severe and less severe examples of abuse of code mechanics. These incidents are all best classified as "actions of a character, which make use of specifc mechanics of the game-system in advantage of a char by using the code against the programmers intention in an obvious way".

I will offer some examples, to make the range of incidents/actions a little clearer
- The Undead-Newbie-Protection (Newbies are not attacked by satho undeads) is abused in several ways, most of the time by for example switching to a newbie alt, doing some scouting, then returning to your main char again.
- Speed walking - walking past monsters by using speed walks, and as such abusing the mechanic of combat delay in favour of your char
- Stacking of juggling - juggle is stacked to earn all the money a place offers within seconds
- Camping at specific areas - intentionally camping for example deep in a mine (since you know that there are several mechanics that allow you a safe return) down there, and as such maximizing your income or gaining other unfair advantages
- and and and (the list of examples is indeed quite long) ...

All these examples have one thing common, the players abusing such mechanics are all well aware that they are planfully using game-mechanics in a way they should not be used.

We wizards lately came to the conclusion, that it can not be our duty to seek for every theoretically possible leak in code, in despite, we want and we also need to rely on your fairness and resonability. As such, we consider it as a duty of you, our players, to report such code leaks instantly and to refrain to use possible code leaks in favour of your chars.

So, please, if you think that you found an abusable leak in game code, please report it, and do not use it anymore until you got the information from the admin that the way you use a specific mechanic is intended this way.

Also, please allow a warning from our side - If you are caught using code mechanics with your char in a clearly abusive way, you will not be warned anymore, but we will just instantly apply a friendly punishment.

With love

The game wizards

Dax
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Dax » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:37 am

Report it on the Forum, or write a report?

Just curious, because if it is reported here, then everyone is aware of it.

ghalt
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby ghalt » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:27 pm

I'll say some things like, it helps to have you guys clarify. For instance, I've seen people (and have done) picking up coins as soon as they drop while juggling, and that's not necessarily to game the mechanics as much as to keep some other jerk from picking them up (like me).

And running past opponents I never saw as abuse--it makes sense, to me at least, to run past things that want to eat you! ^_^

But if you say the code isn't handling something like you want it to, I know it's abusive and not to do it.

(Some things of course should be clear--scouting with newbie alts is kind of hilarious for instance.)

(Actually I have a question about the speed walking thing--are you referring to simply getting past one opponent-filled room by spamming a directional? If we're attempting to run past one, do we need to make certain they engage on us before attempting to move past?)

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby louis » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:44 am

Dax wrote:Report it on the Forum, or write a report?

Just curious, because if it is reported here, then everyone is aware of it.

Normally via ingame "report"

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby louis » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:00 am

ghalt wrote:I'll say some things like, it helps to have you guys clarify. For instance, I've seen people (and have done) picking up coins as soon as they drop while juggling, and that's not necessarily to game the mechanics as much as to keep some other jerk from picking them up (like me).

Nah, thats totally fine, we are referring to absolutely obvious code abuse, means totally obvious to anyone.
If you ever would have seen a stack juggler, that was able to produce 2000 lines of game output within 3 seconds and earned several gold in this time, you would agree that something must be very wrong here.

ghalt wrote:(Actually I have a question about the speed walking thing--are you referring to simply getting past one opponent-filled room by spamming a directional? If we're attempting to run past one, do we need to make certain they engage on us before attempting to move past?)

Speedwalking is indeed a complicated topic, of course, you should run! Hell, these things will likely kill you!

Its your common sense I believe, that makes the difference between game play and code abusal. Lets make some examples, but as already said, speedwalking is always a greyzone - and I beleive that the players that abuse it, know that they are abusing a game feature - anyways ...
- You run into a mob of some kind (accidently or not), and decide to run as fast as you can (normally into the opposite direction) -> clearly game play
- You stand and the elvandar gorge, view two or three undeads down there, but you want to reach the tundra - and decide to speedwalk past them -> in this case you undermine a game mechanic (since you bypass the attack delay that is needed for other purposes)
- You speedwalk <direction> past an entire army (also plannned in beforehand) -> abusive
- A zombie hunts you! You randomly type directions as fast as you can - no code abuse here, since the hunting code is ... hmm ... forcing you to do so

The point is, as already said, speedwalking indeed is and always will be a greyzone. Monsters usually stand somewhere for a reason, and the reason is usually not to test the players abilities in command stacking.

I think one can summarize it this way: If you make up a plan in beforehand how to pass a group of monsters without being engaged, and if the execution of this plan takes your char less than a second, you are abusing something.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby louis » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:03 am

Just another example for code abusal:

- Logging in every now and then for a few minutes just to keep artifacts in your chars inventory (in other words, taking artifacts out of the game)

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luminier
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby luminier » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:57 am

louis wrote:Just another example for code abusal:

- Logging in every now and then for a few minutes just to keep artifacts in your chars inventory (in other words, taking artifacts out of the game)


god this one is brutal.
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby louis » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:20 am

luminier wrote:
louis wrote:Just another example for code abusal:

- Logging in every now and then for a few minutes just to keep artifacts in your chars inventory (in other words, taking artifacts out of the game)


god this one is brutal.

Hmm, maybe see it this way - we have artifacts that are intentionally or unintentionally taken out of the game for years, means, the active player community has no chance to see these artifacts in game for very very long periods of time.

I also see your point, and there is absolutely nothing to say against keeping an artifact for a reasonable period of time at your char - but after some time, you should maybe actively consider to hand over the things you want to keep to an active char you trust to care for them and keep them for you until your char's return? Or so?

You might also meet gamewide binding ingame agreements that regulate the ownership of specific artifacts, like an agreement between guilds, just to offer a different example. Then, it should be quite simple to even demand a "lost" artifact back.

Also, if you contact the wizards in advance, I could imagine that it might be possible that your char is alloweed to keep a specific artifact a longer time ... but just using the game mechanics in the described way without wiz approval in beforehand must and will be considered as code abusal.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Sairina » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:47 am

I'm assuming we are not talking about keeping the artifact for two weeks on your otherwise very active character while you're going on vacation, but rather keeping it for a year without actually playing the character ever, in which case - what are you really keeping it for?

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Noryb » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:33 am

Sairina wrote:I'm assuming we are not talking about keeping the artifact for two weeks on your otherwise very active character while you're going on vacation, but rather keeping it for a year without actually playing the character ever, in which case - what are you really keeping it for?


We are talking about players that are inactive for a more than three months and just log in a few seconds once or twice a month in order to keep the artifacts.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby luminier » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:28 pm

louis wrote:
luminier wrote:
louis wrote:Just another example for code abusal:

- Logging in every now and then for a few minutes just to keep artifacts in your chars inventory (in other words, taking artifacts out of the game)


god this one is brutal.

Hmm, maybe see it this way - we have artifacts that are intentionally or unintentionally taken out of the game for years, means, the active player community has no chance to see these artifacts in game for very very long periods of time.

I also see your point, and there is absolutely nothing to say against keeping an artifact for a reasonable period of time at your char - but after some time, you should maybe actively consider to hand over the things you want to keep to an active char you trust to care for them and keep them for you until your char's return? Or so?

You might also meet gamewide binding ingame agreements that regulate the ownership of specific artifacts, like an agreement between guilds, just to offer a different example. Then, it should be quite simple to even demand a "lost" artifact back.

Also, if you contact the wizards in advance, I could imagine that it might be possible that your char is alloweed to keep a specific artifact a longer time ... but just using the game mechanics in the described way without wiz approval in beforehand must and will be considered as code abusal.


Also I realized my post was so short you might have misinterpreted it, correct me if I am wrong. What I meant by "this is so brutal" is that there ARE people who get an artifact and then just sit on it for MONTHS of not playing, barring ANYONE from having it just because they are selfish and don't want to let anyone have some modicum of power over their character.

And then to Sairina....

Sairina wrote:I'm assuming we are not talking about keeping the artifact for two weeks on your otherwise very active character while you're going on vacation, but rather keeping it for a year without actually playing the character ever, in which case - what are you really keeping it for?


For most players, it is for power/meta gaming. Some might actually just figure they MIGHT play soon and want to hang onto it, but, then never do. But in my time playing the game there was only one person who did that with a pure intention, and I think they know who they are. And there were many who kept artifacts just to keep them out of other players hands without playing and did so with a poor intention, and I think they know who they are.
The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Delia » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:55 am

The best way to overcome this compulsive behaviour is to lose your gear. Preferably several times. I've lost count how many times and what different items, artifacts even, I've manages to lose due to various circumstances :D

And they become such a burden after your character has like three or four of them. For multitude of reasons. Best thing that ever happened to D was to let go of them.

Currently Delia has one, I believe. Well if she still has it. It has been a while. It has been, more or less, a case of not finding time to play more than shifting through mail and stuff. I'll be a champ and pass it along if this continues.
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Skragna » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:53 am

Skragna's had an artifact once. While it was incredibly powerful, I kept hold of it for quite some time because, put simply, I kept using it. Eventually I lost it, don't remember how, but either I simply didn't play enough or knew I wasn't going to be around and handed it off.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Dax » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:00 pm

Skragna threw it into the swamp. Damn lizards, burying things in the swamp to recover later.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby luminier » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:22 pm

Actually that was another Crusader tshahark, CAN'T TRUST EM.

I don't think Skragna lost it, I think he passed it to someone.

Skragna handled it fine IMO. As long as you are actively using it, I don't have a beef with you.
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Skragna » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:46 pm

I know who threw it into the swamp, I AM LOOKING ANGRILY AT YOU, UNNAMED TSHAHARK (to protect identities)

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby louis » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:10 pm

folks! This is a thread about abuse of game mechanics, not about who threw what when into what or whatnot :P

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Olrane » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:29 am

Hey folks! Popping in to check on the game, and I'm glad to see that this is still being talked about.

The mob attack delay and circumventing it by command stacking is such a staple of the game - but it definitely shouldn't be. I'm glad that a firm, official stance has been taken on this. It sucks to lose gear because of mobs that you can no longer fight or stealth around, but it's a fair restriction that is in line with roleplay and thus should be respected.

It's official. Your options are:

1) Try a stealth check
2) Fight the monster
3) Enter the room, allow the monster to engage, then attempt a flight check

I feel like this is such a basic thing that we need a helpfile mention to make sure that new players understand the policy.

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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Delia » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:11 am

About abuse it is, then! :D


Access to magical abilities changes things a lot. One thing that quickly comes to mind is using darkness without nightsight abilities to, for example, running blind past top floor dungeon monsters towards the good stuff at the bottom. If you have nightsight I see no problems but when your character (speed)runs blindly through a dungeon it manages to raise my eyebrow.
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Re: About the use (and abuse) of game mechanics

Postby Noryb » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:33 am

Since some of the code is quite old and only took into account the abilities characters had during those times, we have started to make some changes to adapt things to the new abilities and playing style. Some things that were not meant to be easy, but took you no effort because of this might not be as easy anymore.

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