Stealing

Discussion in 'Skills and Combat' started by ghostthealienhunter, Apr 22, 2014.

?

Should SOTA have the stealing skill?

  1. Yes.

    76.5%
  2. No.

    8.8%
  3. Maybe.

    14.7%
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  1. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    Im a fan of stealing from vendors and other players esp. If you tie it to craftable items since they are easily replaced and help the overall economy.
     
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  2. Batoche1864

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    Theft from players is a form of PvP, theft from NPCs is a form of PvE. So long as we all have the choice to participate in PvP or PvE I'm fine with it.

    In fact theft as PvP opens up some opportunities for roleplaying. I'm seeing a mechanic that once you've flagged for PvP and then committed player theft your belongings remain available for theft, even when not flagged PvP, until you've either, completed some quest to obfuscate your trail and thus got away with your crime, or been captured and punished for your crime and thus have reentered civil society.

    The quest to obfuscate your trail would be triggered by the victim of your theft starting the quest to get the authorities to investigate the crime and bring you to justice. So either the victim does nothing and you've gotten away with it or the victim starts the quest to bring you to justice and then you and he are on the same footing in regards to your competing quests. This would keep a hardcore thief from being able to complete the 'get away with it' quest before his casual victim is even aware of the theft.

    I realize that a casual thief could be at a disadvantage to a hardcore victim but PvP is about increasing your risk within the game and thus if you choose to enter this form of PvP you're accepting the risk.

    Just some of my thoughts about theft mechanics in the game, YMMV
     
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  3. Brass Knuckles

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    I like it, I think it adds value to the game!
     
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  4. Johnny Black

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    Late in UO, the only use for the stealing skill was stealing reagents from a mage in order to somewhat neutralize its power. Even using the skill on someone was not a red turned you grey (a criminal) and you were murdered very quickly. Stealing is a form of PvP and I doubt you will have to be subjected to it, unless you stumble into some of those PvP toggled player towns, but then you'd be consenting.

    Hopefully they will put a weight limit to the stealing in the game; if I were to find you in a crowded city and marked you, I wouldn't want to be able to take more than a couple of coins or a bracelet.
     
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  5. Silent Strider

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    Actually, no. You will never be able to steal from any of my characters, no matter what. Not even inconsequential items. Because, if I can be stolen from, even if just worthless and easily replaceable items, I simply won't play.

    As long as being stolen from is completely optional I'm reasonably fine — but never expect me to do any content, or choose any option, that would open myself to being stolen from, no matter the incentive. The same with any kind of looting, no matter how limited. In both cases I would rather leave the game than be subject to it, and in the past, the few times I was actually stolen from or looted by a player in a game were also the last time I played said game.
     
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  6. Johnny Black

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    What if I used your money to fund the orphanage I was raised in? Or used it to cure in-game chronic lag or other nasty ailments? Still probably a no huh? It's all gravy my friend :D
     
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  7. Silent Strider

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    In this specific topic I don't care. I don't care what is the destination of the stolen goods, if they are important for me or not, if they are easily replaceable, if whoever stole them is punished or not, if it helps the economy, if the stealing mechanic is fun, if I have ways to reduce the chances of the thief succeeding, whatever.

    If I can be stolen from, or looted from, I'm not playing. Which is why a 100% guaranteed way to opt out is a hard requirement for me to ever play a game with player thieving or looting.
     
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  8. Julz

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    Or you could chose not to flag yourself for PvP?
     
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  9. Johnny Black

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    It was joke my friend ;) I know you are unmovable on the topic in respects to yourself. Perhaps though, you could offer some insight that would make the game mechanic acceptable to you in a hypothetical situation? We could look at it as an exercise in fiction. What would make the best stealing mechanic in both a PvP or PvE setting.
     
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  10. MalakBrightpalm

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    Well, for my part, while I really would want somewhere SAFE, where I could sit around chatting with my friends between epic adventures, AFK, and just generally treat this like a VIDEO GAME instead of a life and death struggle, one thing that would REALLY help me: a MEMORY.

    One of the things about PvP, especially stealing, that annoys me in other games is how it's like it was a flashmob performance. One second I'm just this guy, doin' his thing, and then people jump out and do bad stuff to me, and then they run off. I meet them later, like FIFTEEN MINUTES later, and there's no animosity. It's like it never happened. The game expects me to just move on.

    If I catch someone picking my pocket, then whether I successfully run him down and collect his head or not, I think my character should kinda remember that dude. Maybe he has an unmemorable face, or maybe he's really good with disguises. In which case, there should be a counter: Number of times caught. Eventually, the MOST unmemorable, disguise-capable con man will become a face you pick out of a crowd at twenty paces. I want to have a gradually built up animosity towards those people that reflects in game. I want to be able to see him in a PvP town and have the game go [PING!] "Hey Malak! That guy over there! The one who is highlighted in RED! He's stolen from you sixty times that you KNOW OF!"

    I'd still have to be able to DO something about it, but if I was in a theft capable area of the game, I'd probably be in a MURDER capable area of the game. Maybe the thief is with his band of friends, but I have friends of my own. If I could... 'redress past grievances' on MY terms, that would make it a lot more permissible (to me, anyways) for the thief to be able to rob me blind on HIS terms.

    After all, realistically, if somebody jacked me, and I saw him walking down the street, I would have the option of shoving him into an ally and showing him what the small of his back looks like when viewed from below... provided I was capable and was prepared to face the consequences.
     
  11. Johnny Black

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    I like where this is going, you should definitely be able to make an in game mental note of players you catch stealing from you (very much like you should with a PK or an especially tough PvP opponent). This would cause thieves to seek new areas because they are recognized in a certain area for their thieving ways. Perhaps if you caught my thief too many times, you could brand him with a mark on his arm (let us say a "T," much like the pirate "P"). Your suggestion would add a fair bit of challenge to the trade, and cause the thief to become hardened quite quickly, or lose his trade (which would most likely be a good thing; we don't want everyone as a pickpocket).

    In the Life mod in Arma 2 and Arma 3 they have jail times for people who have committed crimes, 15 minutes at the max. Perhaps, we could have a jail time like this for minor criminals in game, or a fine as well. I would have no problem paying a grievance fee for those I had wronged in the game (as long as it was reasonable for the crime). Murdering the thief is also acceptable, we'll just have to learn to hide or disarm and run!
     
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  12. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    "Somehow, you guys don't think big enough for me to be iterested" ;)
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I don't want to stick my hand down stranger's pants for a living,
    but I wouldn't mind sticking it inside a bank... :cool:
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
    X
     
  13. Johnny Black

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    Well my Lord,

    It would seem that most folks find our supposed profession to be more of an annoyance more than anything, and I do fear the crux for survival in this situation would be to less of an annoyance. I too would enjoy robbing a bank for untold riches but I fear most folks would instantly shoot this idea down (as it would unfairly benefit us). Now, if you wanted to rob a bank, there needs to be a great risk accompanying the reward (major in game jail time, loss of hand(s) or some of punishment). I do enjoy the idea but I believe it would be far to difficult to balance it. Also, in the "Ocean's" films, it was always a Robin Hood type scenario, in which the thieves steal from someone more evil then they. With a bank robbery as I believe you are proposing, you would be the body inflicting harm on the entire player base (thus rendering you worse then a PKer, dun dun dunnnnnn!). We shant put a facade on what we truly are, rouges and scoundrels; but we have some responsibility to keep the world from burning, as we live in it and detest the smell of smoke...

    Cheers!
     
  14. Batoche1864

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    I posted something similar here earlier, but for those who missed it and the fact there are a few more details worked out in this time, I'm posting this version.

    First and foremost the only way someone else should be able to steal from you is for you to be flagged for PvP and Theft. So it is completely consensual and then if the theft occurs in some area where law and order should reasonably apply you would then have the recourse to get the local authorities involved.

    Basically this is how I'd like to see it work. You get an indication of the theft, this could be immediate or take some time, representing the skill of the thief and your skill at theft prevention & whether the crime was committed on your body or on your property.

    Once you get the notification of the theft you then decide whether it is something you want to get the authorities involved in. This would entail some form of quest where you need to spend time & resources to acquire the evidence sufficient for the authorities to be willing to say "Ok, we'll take it from here."

    There are variables that are considered to determine the amount of time & resources needed to involve the authorities such as, how public was the crime (crowded market place or empty prairie/dense woods), how is your reputation with the local authorities, how lawful are the local authorities and the value of the item in question. Other variables that would apply would be the type of item (is it small and easily fencible or large unique and difficult to move?), have you pre-registered it (not quite the same as insurance but a way to make the item easily identifiable so the authorities have more options to track the item and the thief), and any others I may have missed.

    At the time you start your quest the thief then gets the notification that he needs to cover his tracks. This would entail a competing quest to spend time & resources to sufficiently cover your tracks so the authorities remain unsure as to your final identity.

    There are similar variables here considered to determine your outlay of time & resources, how is your reputation with the local authorities, can the local authorities be bribed. Other things considered are, how easy it is to obfuscate the crime itself, were you disguised and if so is it a disguise you're known for in some circles, etc. The thing to keep in mind is that it's typically harder to conceal the crime than to investigate it unless you have extremely high skill compared to the anti-theft skills of your victim.

    Once both of these quest chains are complete the crime is either solved or declared a cold case. If it is solved the criminal finds out by either getting caught while trying to complete his quest to get away with it or upon completion of his quest getting notified that he's failed and is now wanted. For the victim, he completes his quest and is told one of three things; the criminal is already caught, the criminal is not caught but a wanted man or the case has gone cold and the criminal is unknown.

    The penalties once caught are fines, banishments & return of the items. Variables here are bribes to reduce fines/banishments (if the locals are amenable to such), was the item confiscated upon being fenced (ie. on the watchlist because it was previously registered), successfully fenced or destroyed and thus unavailable to be returned, or anything else I may have missed.

    This system is inherently biased in most cases to the victim, unskilled thieves who go after large ticket items will rapidly get caught. Thieves who work their skills up slowly by targeting items the victim doesn't feel are worth initiating an investigation over or developing contacts and reputation in the area they are working or choosing to work in an area where the locals are bribable and stay bribed by outbidding the victim have a better chance of being successful.

    As always just my thoughts & YMMV

    Ps. For TimeLord - a similar but even more biased version of this scheme would be applied to thefts from NPCs. But with sufficient skills and efforts sky's the limit when it comes to NPC theft. And big thefts would have local short term consequences in game as the higher ups jump on their minions to be more diligent in response to the most recent theft.
     
  15. Ravicus Domdred

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    Well I can see this being used as a tactic in guild wars. If the thief could sneak in and take a prized possession from a warring guild, that would be fantastic! Maybe if he could "pick a lock" also he could sneak in and assassinate the "safe keeper" and the person guarding the bank would have to use the "ransom" feature they are talking about in pvp. Or even just to infiltrate the warring guild and eavesdrop on conversations hehe. annoying yes, but also useful :)
     
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  16. Ravicus Domdred

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    This is pretty cool!
     
  17. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    :oops: "Threads for thought"
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...at-would-a-rogues-skill-wheel-look-like.5660/

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/stealing.9662/page-4#post-210505
    "In Search of New and Better Ideas" :rolleyes:

    Who could as the rich as Lord Brit? :D (Centralized Banking)
    If we are to suffer such harsh punishments for small things such as penny pocket theft, I then believe a more capital crime wave is more suitable a quest than for such a skilled investment. No harm, no foul says I, when speaking of such profits. Must it be the players money that suffers from any bank's loss when plundered?
    I know that "Richard Garriott" happens to love such skills as theft, yet we find ourselves talking of theft skills in the past ways which were only slight of hand tricks more fitting for a show of magic than they were of any professional skill.

    I do suspect that within our New Britannia a skill of true theft may lay more in the acts we choose than they did in any bygone ways we looked at it.

    :oops: "An odd criminal set up by design"
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/would-you-like-a-beer-or.9209/
    :rolleyes: This thread is also a criminal's path in a different way, though it may encourage better ways for all to enjoy the criminal life... and possibly spawn a better idea for a much newer game design for our stealing.

    Sculpting a way so that our actions make us thieves, may become our ways of the SotA style thief. I'm not saying that this is the way it is, but what I am saying is that it's closer to fit than most ways I've seen. Sure we may have pocket theft for PvP, but there may be something better we could possibly think of that's new.

    "Centralized Banking vs Universal Banking"
    This could effect, if players suffer loss or not, but centralized banking has not bee spoke of yet as a viable option in play design thus far. If it's universal banking, where player's money is accessible everywhere, then o player should suffer any loss at all.
    The objections of such banking theft center on the individual player's desires to intercede in the crime to prevent it, or have the ability to run after the criminal themselves engaging themselves in combat. If a interceding player has opted in for PvP or not, this could become treated just as was described in the last link, where it falls into something similar in combative design as the "contraband runner".

    These are some thoughts and things to consider for how such theft in quest could be and I'm very much hoping for us to find more :D
    "Theft By Quest Design, is Worth Us All Checking Out" ;)
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
  18. Silent Strider

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    I tend to answer jokes as if they were as serious as a heart attack :p
    (Besides, I'm often bad at detecting sarcasm...)

    My basic issue with both stealing and looting (though only when it's a player doing it to another player), above and beyond any in-game repercussion or consequence for losing whatever was taken, is that I don't completely separate those in-game actions from their real world counterparts. Thus, for me, being looted feels as unpleasant as being mugged, being stolen from feels about the same as if it was done in the real world, and merely thinking about doing those things to others can make me stop playing for the day in disgust.

    For me to engage in those I have to convince my brain that it's merely a game. The issue is, both knowing my opponent is a real person and persistence gets in the way. I can steal and loot NPCs without issues (and don't have issues with being stolen from or looted by a NPC, apart from game balance ones), and I can engage in very similar behavior against actual players when there is no persistence (in other words, it's a short match, with the whole thing being reset as soon as it ends).

    But as soon as persistence and human opponents are combined I can't convince my brain that it's just a game anymore. At this point, unless there is a 100% effective way to opt out of those activities, I leave the game. And if there is a way to opt out, then I will take it, regardless of the consequences; in fact, I will consider the game as if the choice wasn't even there and the only way to play was to opt out of those systems.

    Atop that, of course, there are game balance considerations. Make stealing the fastest way to amass riches and you will get nearly every single efficiency-focused player stealing, regardless of whether they want steal or not.
     
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  19. Batoche1864

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    As Portalarium has been exceedingly quiet on this subject. I'm of the opinion those of us who are on the "freely opt-out" side of this debate are relatively safe. As the devs are pretty solid on the fact that PvP will always be a matter of choice and player-vs-player theft is pretty hard to define as anything but a form of PvP I'm good with my assumption.

    I know RG has a history of having some form of theft in his games but the majority of his games have not been multiplayer, I think the reasons behind Portalarium's silence is based in the fact that they are still working out how to have theft in the game but have the right checks and balances to keep it from being overpowered. In a solo game where you 'hoover' up everything that isn't nailed down for the sake of min-maxing your experience that is one thing. In a multi-player game of any sort, thievery needs checks and balances so that those who wish to roleplay a moral character in the 'RPG' don't feel punished by that choice.

    I'm ok with having theft an element of the game but only with some caveats.

    If it is PvE only it has to have checks and balances, my personal experience leads me to believe the fabulously wealthy thief is so rare as to be non-existent while the low-end types could probably make a better living for less effort if they cleaned up their act and worked at McDonalds. Here in my part of Canada the shortage of labour in the market has McD's employees starting north of $15 an hour. Stealing bikes and CD's doesn't seem all that lucrative to me once the risks involved are accounted for.

    If there is a PvP element it has to be consensual only and perhaps even of the double volunteer variety where you've got to opt-in for PvP and then also opt-in to be a target for theft. I won't go into my full 'ideal' plan for PvP theft but if you're interested scroll back a page or two in this thread.

    The penalties have to be pretty severe in terms of risk-reward because I don't see Portalarium telling you, 'You can't play this character for 5yrs' even though that's a pretty standard real world case for convicted thieves. So getting caught for even relatively minor theft has to be a significant setback in terms financially and socially in the game. Not insurmountable, but clearing your name or getting out from under a charge of theft should be an accomplishment.

    I think from interviews I've watched RG is thinking similar things and without having solid details as to how this will occur Portalarim is saying nothing.

    Just my humble opinions, YMMV.
     
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  20. runicpaine

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    Ok, here's my opinion on stealing.

    If the game is going to be primarily skill based, and magical weapons/armor are merely a bonus to have for harder encounters then pvp stealing should most definately be allowed. On the other hand if the game is going to take a gear based approach. EX: without (x,y,z) gear you have no hope of ever defeating anything worth while. And if epic/legendary equipment is going to be the primary goal of the game for preparing for encounters then stealing will just end up aggrevating people to the extreme point of insta-quitting over the item they just speant 1-2 months trying to get being stolen from then in a matter of seconds. If equipment of a certain level were made (protected from stealing) then stealing would be worthless however.

    I was always a big fan of original UO in that you can go grab a cheap set and GM crafted gear, grab some buddies, and go kill balrons for all you care. If you had a big enough group that you felt safe from pvp/thieves then you would bring out your invul/vanqs/silver/demon dismisall/ghouls touch/etc.. gear knowing that while there was still some risk you were protected somewhat by the numbers in your group, and ultimately even if you lost your awesomely amazing gear.... it was more of bonus that you had it on and not a necessity anyway. Theif/PK makes a quick buck but doesn't completely cripple you. Over time most players had multiple sets of such magic gear and the fear of loss diminished over time. The increased number of items in the world reduced prices and caution when carrying them giving pks/thieves more loot to sell and at a lower price and their trade remained valid but required more work and risk on their part which is how it should be anyway if your path is to pay the iron price for goods.
     
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