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How Will The Current Gaming Culture Of Griefing And Cheating Be Handled?


Tatwi
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Over the last several years there has developed in online gaming a pervasive and public culture of greifing and cheating that appears to span the industry, rather than being a game specific phenomenon. The origin of this issue may be as simple and benign as single player gamers, who grew up using cheat codes in their games, moving into the multi player space and assuming that sort behavior was acceptable. However, regardless of the cause, the end result of this culture of griefing and cheating can be that the majority of players leave the game, because the cheaters and griefers ruin the experience. 

 

A really excellent recent example of this would be Arche Age, which would appear to be not an online game, but griefing and cheating enabling device. And it's really too bad, because without all the "hackers", cheaters, exploiters, and people who exist only to ruin another person's day, it would be a pretty nice game. Granted I only played the game for a couple of hours, but I read a lot about its North American launch and its official forums are a testament to everything that is wrong with humanity...

 

In Star Wars Galaxies there were people who cheated and some of them got to keep the fruits of their cheating until the game shut down. One such person was the guy who had the Reverse Engineering suit that allowed him to make power ups that were significantly more powerful than anyone else's. It was impossible for anyone else to make power ups as good as his and the only reason why he could make them was because a few of his glitched items weren't deleted by the admins. The end result? One guy ruled the entire power ups market on the most populated server of the game for years, because he cheated. Not because of his talent or his effort, but because he cheated. That's not OK and it's the kind of thing that can turn people off of a title in a hurry.

 

Community and population in general are the heart and soul of online games. It's important to build a culture in your community that doesn't tolerate cheating and doesn't encourage or enable griefing, as both of those activities (or attitudes) can quickly diminish and dishearten the population of a game; The "normal people" leave, because they don't want to deal with the "bad seeds". Then the bad seeds leave, because they certainly don't want to deal with each other! And, before you know it, the servers are a ghost town and all the potential of the game is wasted.

 

With this in mind, I am interested to hear what the Crowfall developers think about how they can make their game in such a way that it doesn't enable and reward griefers and so that a handful of "hackers" or exploiters can't ruin the experience for everyone else, both in the moment and in the long term. To me, for a game of Crowfall's nature, this is the single most important factor as to whether I will play the game or not - I have no interest in playing a game with a bunch of jerks. Like none, at all.

Edited by Tatwi
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Griefing and cheating are 2 separate topics.

 

Griefing will likely be quite possible in the game on certain worlds, just like Shadowbane, but presumably there will be some mitigations in place. There will be some worlds where griefing is much harder to pull off; you will probably want to stick with those worlds.

 

Exploits, dupes, and hacks can definitely kill MMOs though. The only thing they can do is follow Blizzard's Warden approach and very aggressively check the game client for hooks and modifications, in addition to general secure coding practices like reducing the amount of calculations that are done client-side rather than server-side and carefully testing code to ensure duping is not possible.

Edited by Zarithas
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Very nicely put.  Being of the exact same mind about behaviors that intentionally are there to ruin a person's day or for one's own personal gain, I think we can only rely on sound game design to mitigate the worst of it, and moderation to try and deal with the rest.  Some behaviors will not automatically be prevented... there will always be a way to grief someone in any game and people will always find that way.  Building a community against that is definitely one of the primary goals of some people here, but it won't ever be completely fixed.

 

As for why this behavior will not end: anonymity.  The internet has connected all of us, but the ability to remain anonymous allows people to remove the shackles of civilization and decency at will.  Not everyone stoops to that level, but many do to varying degrees.  The internet will always grant the power of anonymity, and so sociopathic behaviors can run unchecked because of that.

 

Still, it doesn't mean it's not worth trying, and fighting, to play in an MMO where people can focus on the true goal of any game: fun.

 

Cheers.

Edited by seventhbeacon
 

 

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ok...this is just MY opinion here, in NO WAY any kind of "official"

 

that being said...

 

as for Cheating...zero tolerance, hate it...i was in Darkfall's early beta, and got my Guild all pumped up for what appeared to be a fine "home" for our Gaming addiction....it had almost everything we wanted, and what we didn't like we could live with/figure ways around and enjoy our passion for meaningful PvP and territorial control in a Game environment...

 

about a month after launch, the macro-leveling turned me off quite a bit...the lack of a hard skill point cap made it so you could literally have ALL the skills inthe game if you were willing to do nothing but macro for quite a lot of time....and so all the "competitive" folks did just that

 

but that wasn't what got me to quit cold, and drove us away from a Game with so much going for it...

 

it was the hacks...the blatant Cheating derived by aimbots and "radar" hax...

 

once it was clear how pervasive those programs were, i deleted the Game that day and never looked back...and i have NO interest in playing any Game, no matter how awesome, that has such rampant cheats able to be perpetrated

 

i can't think the Devs involved here could possibly feel any different on that subject...hell, no Gamer worth his keyboard wants that...

 

now, as to Griefing....sorry, we're going to just have to disagree...ruining your Opponent's day is not only a playstyle, but an integral part of any kind of "warfare"...demoralize your Opponent and you are halfway to defeating him/them...if i can discourage him from even attempting to stop me by using the tools given me by the Rules and Game mechanics, by posting in the "political" part of the Forums, or just about any other means i can come up with...

 

i'm gonna do it....and i'm not alone...

 

so yeah....cheats are one thing...and i'll not only report anyone i find cheating, i'll grief the hell out of them as much as i can just on general principle as well as pure Fungasm...

 

but trying to stop legit griefing in a PvP oriented game of Conquest?

 

no thanks

 

could just be me...

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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Artcraft just needa a clear stance towards these things.

 

And, most importantly, enforce it. Not just "blabla cheating is so bad", but at the same time half the player base is duping.

I don't want to see any form of cheating eventually end up as a peccadillo.

 

edit:

doc brought a up a few examples of this:

- the radar hacks in DF... people "magically" found you, no matter where you were

- duping in SB... just look at every player who ever had a Mourning character. Which one of your chars didn't have FC gear?

Edited by freeze
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Griefing can be controlled mechanically, by player "social justice" warriors, or by rule of the terms of service. 

 

Honestly none of them could end up being applicable, because the player already has a choice as to how much risk they want to take. 

 

Exploiting is usually handled at a disciplinary and development level. You fix an issue that allows the exploit, and you reprimand the players performing the exploit. Generally this is outlined in a TOS. 

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"Griefing" is a viable playstyle that should not be stopped at all, and it certainly has it's place in a hard-core PvP game. I mean really, is killing someone over and over again griefing? Then I say welcome griefing. It's been stated many times by crowfall devs that this game is not for everyone.

 

The only thing crowfall should prevent is hacking and exploits. Everything else goes.

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woah now...Exploits are another thing completely...

 

allow me to define the Terms as i see them...

 

a Cheat is breaking the literal Rules of the Game....those aimbots/radar hacks and the like, a Player doing something not allowed by the Rules of the Game....yes?

 

an Exploit is quite different, it's taking advantage of something that IS already in the Game, and using it in ways not intended to gain an advantage in some shape or form...

 

do you want an Exploit reported and fixed, hell yeah...heaven knows in SB i, and the Guilds i was in...ALWAYS reported an Exploit after we found them, and tested them out to ensure it was repeatable...

 

then, we would wait until the next patch and see if it got fixed...if not, a PM would get sent asking what the hold up was, if the reason given was decent, we'd wait another Patch cycle....

 

if not, then gloves came off, and it would be abused UNTIL it got fixed, rubbing peoples faces in it so it couldn't be ignored

 

griefing the Devs, in a way...but that was a rarity, usually not needed, but for somethings...there just was never any kind of "fix" put in (the dupes on Mourning as an example)

 

i am personally betting on the Devs being on top of this kind of thing....otherwise this may very well be my last go around with MMOs, and i'll just keep my Gaming to single player stuff

 

but if there is a Crew that can be on top of this Issue, i like to think it's this Murder...

 

here's to Hope

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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Cheating is just using advanced tactics and griefing is the only way to play.

Edited by checkyotrack

You are so incredibly helpful, CYT. I don't know how I ever managed to do anything before we met. I was just bumbling my way through life, all lost-like. Thank you. My blessing cup runneth over.

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Just be careful not to lump in "If it's red it's dead" in with your definition of griefing. I can guarantee that most alliances will kill any unknown entity skirting the edge of territory they consider theirs. If you keep running back to the same spot just to die, you can't really call that grief. It's just poor judgement. 

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Yeah I'm loathe to define griefing either, especially if a person keeps walking into it.  It means so many things to so many different people.  What I define as griefing personally goes above and beyond repeated killing, and how I define it in a theme park game is different than how I define it in a PvP war game.  Political section of the forums?  Sure, go for it.  Flooding a person with vitriolic PMs?  No.

 

For clarity, based on how the game is described, I'm against the devs needing to police traditional griefing or "murder parties."  In a territorial strategy war game, killing the opponent who is where you don't want them to be HAS to be allowed.  They can choose to try again and face the same risk, or seek out someplace less-fiercely contested.

 

 

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if not, then gloves came off, and it would be abused UNTIL it got fixed, rubbing peoples faces in it so it couldn't be ignored

 

griefing the Devs, in a way...but that was a rarity, usually not needed, but for somethings...there just was never any kind of "fix" put in (the dupes on Mourning as an example)

 

 

This is cheating. Finding some way to justify it, as all cheaters do, does not remove or diminish the fact that it is cheating.

 

The thoughts shared on "griefing as valid play style" along with the above quote are perfect examples of the culture to which I was referring. 

 

Being the victor, being the hero, being the guy who stomps face and takes names is fine. Being that person who takes pleasure in ruining another person's gaming session, often to the point of putting that person off the game entirely, is a self defeating detriment to the game and the company that runs it.

 

(Note: this post is factual and not intended to b a personal attack, etc.)

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If you got a problem with the griefing kill them.

Edited by checkyotrack

You are so incredibly helpful, CYT. I don't know how I ever managed to do anything before we met. I was just bumbling my way through life, all lost-like. Thank you. My blessing cup runneth over.

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I have no problem with griefing being defined. Pax Gaming defines it for our members, but it is very specific. If Crowfall wants to define it in their TOS then that would be peachy as well. My concern would only grow if that definition became something more than very specific cases. 

 

But again I don't think it will be necessary, risk is already gated and accessible only by player choice. 

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This is cheating. Finding some way to justify it, as all cheaters do, does not remove or diminish the fact that it is cheating.

 

The thoughts shared on "griefing as valid play style" along with the above quote are perfect examples of the culture to which I was referring. 

 

Being the victor, being the hero, being the guy who stomps face and takes names is fine. Being that person who takes pleasure in ruining another person's gaming session, often to the point of putting that person off the game entirely, is a self defeating detriment to the game and the company that runs it.

 

(Note: this post is factual and not intended to b a personal attack, etc.)

 

Heh, I think you'd like our guild.

 

In some games, it has been a detriment, populations are lost and the game cannot support itself... but it miiight still be viable in a niche PvP game marketed as such, provided extreme harassment (I'll use that word instead of griefing, since it's such a loaded term) is curbed.  And from what the devs have already stated, extreme harassment such as blatant racism, etc is definitely going to be against the in-game policy.

 

 

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This is cheating. Finding some way to justify it, as all cheaters do, does not remove or diminish the fact that it is cheating.

 

The thoughts shared on "griefing as valid play style" along with the above quote are perfect examples of the culture to which I was referring. 

 

Being the victor, being the hero, being the guy who stomps face and takes names is fine. Being that person who takes pleasure in ruining another person's gaming session, often to the point of putting that person off the game entirely, is a self defeating detriment to the game and the company that runs it.

 

(Note: this post is factual and not intended to b a personal attack, etc.)

I never hear winners complaining about griefing, maybe it's a second place thing?

40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

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 And from what the devs have already stated, extreme harassment such as blatant racism, etc is definitely going to be against the in-game policy.

 

That would be what I would consider reasonable policing. 

 

What I would be concerned with, and what i have seen recently in past kickstarted sandboxes, is the uprising of social justice warriors and "arbitrary and capricious" determination of harassment.  If there is to be a line the developers don't want players to cross, I want that line to be clear. 

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This is cheating. Finding some way to justify it, as all cheaters do, does not remove or diminish the fact that it is cheating.

 

The thoughts shared on "griefing as valid play style" along with the above quote are perfect examples of the culture to which I was referring. 

 

Being the victor, being the hero, being the guy who stomps face and takes names is fine. Being that person who takes pleasure in ruining another person's gaming session, often to the point of putting that person off the game entirely, is a self defeating detriment to the game and the company that runs it.

 

(Note: this post is factual and not intended to b a personal attack, etc.)

 

first, no offense is taken in any fashion...it's readily apparent that you are merely conversing, not "attacking" or anything even close....no worries, speak freely..

 

second...how is what i described "cheating"?

 

i tried to be VERY specific in my examples, and am seriously curious as to why you make such a statement in order to further the very valid Discussion in this Thread on some VERY important topics...

 

as i see it we have  a few different issues...

 

Cheating: breaking the rules of the Game...in a computer generated online game such as an MMO this usually involves some kind of hack or third party program, but no matter HOW it is done, the definition remains the same...breaking of the Rules for the Game

 

Exploiting: using what's in the Game in ways not intended - this is using what the Game gives you in a manner not intended, or taking advantage of some type of Flaw in the Environment...can be as small as hiding in a rock because the collision detection lets you get away with it, to stacking abilities/stats in ways not meant (for the SBers, you could take Witchsight at Creation, letting you *see invis* up to 15 out of 40...then putting on two rings, each for 15 more and thus allowing you to see a GM invis character all the time...an exploit i reported in the first month of the game and was not fixed until ReBoot) to all manner of utilizing the "laws of unintended consequences" to your advantage or to the detriment of other Players and mobs

 

Griefing: basically just about ANY behavior that some might find offensive or off putting to their experience in a Game...this covers such a broad expanse of behavior that only if needed will i go about listing some of the ways

 

to be very clear, i was NOT "justifying" it in any manner...just explaining it

 

but back to the point...i am VERY interested in how you think that using in game mechanics to do something not intended is Cheating, and where you draw the line between a "cheat" and an "exploit"

 

thanks in advance...

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let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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Over the last several years there has developed in online gaming a pervasive and public culture of greifing and cheating that appears to span the industry, rather than being a game specific phenomenon. The origin of this issue may be as simple and benign as single player gamers, who grew up using cheat codes in their games, moving into the multi player space and assuming that sort behavior was acceptable. However, regardless of the cause, the end result of this culture of griefing and cheating can be that the majority of players leave the game, because the cheaters and griefers ruin the experience. 

 

A really excellent recent example of this would be Arche Age, which would appear to be not an online game, but griefing and cheating enabling device. And it's really too bad, because without all the "hackers", cheaters, exploiters, and people who exist only to ruin another person's day, it would be a pretty nice game. Granted I only played the game for a couple of hours, but I read a lot about its North American launch and its official forums are a testament to everything that is wrong with humanity...

 

In Star Wars Galaxies there were people who cheated and some of them got to keep the fruits of their cheating until the game shut down. One such person was the guy who had the Reverse Engineering suit that allowed him to make power ups that were significantly more powerful than anyone else's. It was impossible for anyone else to make power ups as good as his and the only reason why he could make them was because a few of his glitched items weren't deleted by the admins. The end result? One guy ruled the entire power ups market on the most populated server of the game for years, because he cheated. Not because of his talent or his effort, but because he cheated. That's not OK and it's the kind of thing that can turn people off of a title in a hurry.

 

Community and population in general are the heart and soul of online games. It's important to build a culture in your community that doesn't tolerate cheating and doesn't encourage or enable griefing, as both of those activities (or attitudes) can quickly diminish and dishearten the population of a game; The "normal people" leave, because they don't want to deal with the "bad seeds". Then the bad seeds leave, because they certainly don't want to deal with each other! And, before you know it, the servers are a ghost town and all the potential of the game is wasted.

 

With this in mind, I am interested to hear what the Crowfall developers think about how they can make their game in such a way that it doesn't enable and reward griefers and so that a handful of "hackers" or exploiters can't ruin the experience for everyone else, both in the moment and in the long term. To me, for a game of Crowfall's nature, this is the single most important factor as to whether I will play the game or not - I have no interest in playing a game with a bunch of jerks. Like none, at all.

 

Cheating and exploiting the game are totally different subjects from griefing. Cheating and exploits are both matters that should be closely watched by both the devs and the community. If someone is usually cheats or exploits, then report it. Its our job as players to report those that would do harm to the game. I know there are guilds in other games that will kick people for using exploits or cheating. If the entire community helped enforce the rules of the game, there would be more fear for people to attempt to cheat or use exploits.

 

I'm not sure what hacks you are talking about in ArcheAge? I played it for about 2 months and I don't remember seeing any problems with hacking during that time.

 

 

This is cheating. Finding some way to justify it, as all cheaters do, does not remove or diminish the fact that it is cheating.

 

The thoughts shared on "griefing as valid play style" along with the above quote are perfect examples of the culture to which I was referring. 

 

Being the victor, being the hero, being the guy who stomps face and takes names is fine. Being that person who takes pleasure in ruining another person's gaming session, often to the point of putting that person off the game entirely, is a self defeating detriment to the game and the company that runs it.

 

(Note: this post is factual and not intended to b a personal attack, etc.)

 

I am not a fan of griefing, but its needed. Players will need the people to "hate" to unite together and fight. People will want to ruin people's days and that is great. I love playing the hero, so what better way for me to feel like a hero then kill the people that are griefing others? 

 

You want to be a hero? Stop the bad guys/girls. Isn't that what the heroes do anyway? Save people and beat the bad guys/girls? They are needed so that when people unit and stop them or one person comes and saves the day they get the satisfaction of being the hero.

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