Make AFKing Control Points More Difficult

Discussion in 'Wishlist Requests' started by Wilfred, May 29, 2020.

  1. Wilfred

    Wilfred Avatar

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    Please add mechanics to prevent players from easily AFK fighting at control points.

    Such as:

    Once a player comes within a certain distance of the control point, a countdown timer starts, and after some random time just over an hour (around 61 to 81 minutes), the player is automatically teleported to a random location some distance from the control point.

    That way players would need to pay attention, since they would have to run back to the control point every once in a while.
     
  2. Sorgin Txakal

    Sorgin Txakal Avatar

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    I think the solution should be a bit more straight forward.

    If control points are to remain in game, despite the fact that the pass system itself was abandoned, I think that they should just become the test bed for scene scaling.

    The waves should just continue increasing in difficulty over time until the pad can no longer be held. This would both give the players a challenge that can be tackled with bragging rights, and make the scene still relevant for xp grinding - just not indefinitely - and give the devs finite and repeatable data on just what a determined group of players can overcome.

    Harder liches than exist in ERG can already be found, as well as cultist and named cultists - this would then also challenge the devs to make baddies of the other factions as relevant and/or continually push the limits on how many enemy models can be spawned in an area.
     
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  3. Echondas

    Echondas Bug Hunter Bug Moderator

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    The way Final Fantasy 11 worked to combat things like this was to require a player to do some amount of damage to a mob or heal a party member who took damage from the mob in order to get XP for the kill.

    *update - also applying buffs to party members doing damage or healing others, would qualify for gaining XP
    (to account for bards)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 12:22 PM
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  4. Bridge Troll

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    I love this idea. It may just encourage macroing to get around it, but I think the macroing may be detectable and the rules are clear...
     
  5. Warrior B'Patrick

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    Greetings all
    My first thought about AFK issues was to require a move of 30 steps every 30 minutes in a random direction. But I could even write that macro. :p My second thought was to turn off exp gain after 30 minutes if there is no movement. Let them stand there for how ever long that want to but not gain any exp. Again once they figure out what is going on the macro would be easy. So my nuclear idea was to turn off Auto Attack in control points. If Auto Attack is off will you still fight if you are attacked?
     
  6. kaeshiva

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    The thing is, players are enabling this.

    If someone wants to drag their alt, take up a slot in a group, and have it stand there, and everyone in the group is okay with them getting a split of the exp and cash - then who cares? If the players in the group note someone is afk and have a problem with it, then they can kick them from the group. This is an issue that is completely police-able by players.

    Someone being able to completely solo-afk via use of macros/scripts and other nefarious means is a different story. That crosses a line into punishable offense and should be dealt with according to whatever protocols exist.

    I don't think trying to develop something to prevent 'afk mooching' is a good use of dev resource. Players will inevitably find a way to workaround it, or as mentioned, it will actually encourage the use of macros to "stay online" and not timeout - which I know people already do anyway - instead we'll get more complex macros that cast a buff every <random> number of seconds, or whatever. Building systems in a way that encourages macro use seems counterproductive. A solution like "character has to hit mob or buff/heal" is going to just result in more scripting.

    This is what happens when you add one super easy way to get exp compared to doing anything else that can carry a half dozen afk characters in the process. I'd attack the disease not the symptom. I.e. like not having a scene where you put it in park and endless mobs come to you.
     
  7. necronut

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    Thing is, what you're missing, and this is a key piece of information, is that the single most active player in this game is Auto Hot Key and his little brother, Mouse Recording Software.
     
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  8. oplek

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    XP fountains should be removed from the game. Though the horse is definitely already out of the barn, died of old age, and fossilized under layers of sediment.

    That could be a tertiary motto of the game: "Shroud of the Avatar: Horse's left the barn"
     
  9. Spinok

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    1) Step one - easy mechanic to solve this (I think 5 minutes of Atos work) - make all CP - only PVP zones. Completely solve the issue of AFK botting and macroing.
    2) Step 2 to make the reason of fight there - each new wave is harder - (No maximum level of the wave+ 10-15 hour progressive buff based on each 10-15 waves, the longer you stay there the harder buff)
    Not affect PVE and their jealousy.
    Not affect the in-game economy.
    Players who dont want pvp still can get fast XP in Spindelskog.
    Players who dont want pvp but want a fight in groups would finally open Myrkur for themselves.
    More episode 2 would be sold...
     
  10. kaeshiva

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    I'm aware of such abuses - that falls under rules needing to be enforced, unfortunately.
    There's two separate issues :
    People able to "afk a control point through heavy script/software use"
    People "afking a control point" while the rest of the players in their group do the work.
    The first is a rules enforcement issue. The second is a player enablement issue.

    My concern however, and we've seen plenty of evidence of this, are systems being changed in order to try to prevent botting, which result in gameplay being affected negatively for the legitimate playerbase. We've already seen this all over the game, with many changes over the years intended to frustrate bots which also make the same elements of gameplay tedious and/or bad for normal play. And what happens is, people write a better script, or build a better bot. And then normal players are left with the clunky annoyances implemented to frustrate bots, which are actually doing nothing to prevent botting.

    Instead of trying to add in obstacles, I'd rather see systems re-designed to where they aren't lucrative to bot.

    Look at the waterbotting example.

    People used to use macros to gather water. Maybe even still do.
    Why? Water has a gold value.
    The gathering process was a pointless, slow, tedious waste of time - but, it could be executed quite simply by a bot left online to stand in one place clicking a button over and over every so many seconds. The value was reduced to encourage this. People still did it.

    This is because the game has a system which requires thousands if not tens of thousands of water a day to maintain even a moderate sized farming operation. Because rainfall doesn't get crops wet, and not watering on time ruins your crop profitability, and despite the apparent tech level (and um, magic?) we haven't figured out any sort of irrigation.

    The water problem is -created- by a system designed to require tedium. If its tedium, yes, people will create scripts to bypass. That's human nature. Instead of trying to police bots, I'd fix the systems people are botting to avoid.

    Same thing with crafting. There's simply no reason to have refining take as long as it does. When I played actively, I had a second account that existed just to process my stuff that I'd play at the same time on my other monitor. I was spending 25-30 hours per week JUST WATCHING REFINING BARS. If I had to do that on my main character, well, that'd be pretty much all of my gaming time watching a bar go. Its another example of a system poorly designed to be a tedium sink which is practically begging people to find a way to automate it. The skills to reduce the timers make little notable difference and are not a solution.

    Compare this to other modern games where material processing is either significantly faster (in ESO, you can sort your crafting stuff in a matter of seconds and a few clicks), or is an intentionally idle process, ie filling up a smelter and leaving it while you go do something else. Not something that locks your character in place unable to do anything else but watch a bar.

    With combat its trickier, but complexity of required scripts seems to not be an effective deterrent.
    Why do people bot combat? Because you need billions of exp to make meaningful progress and playing normally (assuming you can find a group or are able to solo control points legitimately) you're looking at weeks/months of standing in 1 place hitting the same few keys. That is not engaging gameplay. This is the problem. Its the underlying disease of which botting, macroing, afking, etc. are all results.

    There's more than one way to stop a certain behavior -
    You can discipline/punish for it, yes, or
    You can discourage it by making it not beneficial/lucrative and/or necessary.

    Sota lacks a lot of the support systems for advancement without resorting to just straight up grind.
    A lot of games will have daily objectives and such which kind of give a big burst of benefit for playing for a couple of hours - and continuing to grind after that, while it does progress you, is not a great use of your time. There's always going to be people that grind. And there's always going to be people that macro. But if it is truly the case as you say that the "most active players" are automated, then fundamental changes are required. Some games address this by adding bonuses for moving to different scenes or doing different activities or diminishing returns for staying in one place, or adding lockout timers and such, tying spawns to quest flags, etc. to limit repetition.

    So how would you actually limit afking? If the system is trying to detect movement, keypresses, etc. all of that can be done by a program. We already have annoyances such as confusion and mobs that teleport you which apparently are insufficient to frustrate such scripts. We already have unpredictable/random respawn times, varied mob pathing, randomized spawn points, etc. What's next? On screen captchas? Its a vicious circle, because the more annoying/tedious you make it to play legit, the more people are going to be driven to use scripts. This isn't new and wont change until we look at systems of advancement that aren't tied to repetition.
     
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