Interesting article on Player Behavior...

Discussion in 'Public General Chat' started by LexStriker, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. LexStriker
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    'City of Heroes' character 'Twixt' becomes game's most hated outcast courtesy of Loyola professor

    In the paper the Professor wrote based on his research (and referred to within the above article), I found an interesting fact he found... that the game's rules would always come second to the Players' informal social/behavior rules that they establish. That these Player informal social/behavior rules actually pervent one from exploring the entire possibilities within a game; and in many cases, stops one from being able to achieve the goals of the game.

    "The most surprising result of Twixt’s play within RV was not merely the severity of the online community’s negative reactions to his behavior, but the degree to which game rules played such an insignificant role in those reactions. That is, the social order within CoH/V seemed to operate quite independently of game rules and almost solely for the sake of its own preservation. It did not seem within the purview of social orders and ordering within CoH/V to recognize (much less nurture) any sort of rationality – or, for that matter, any other supra-social mechanism that might have adjudicated Twixt’s behavior on the basis of its ability to provide, over time, greater knowledge of the game system..."


    Play and Punishment: The Sad and Curious Case of Twixt
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  2. Sirius
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    Does not surprise me. At all. But it's amusing to see a case study.
     
  3. Blackwolf99
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    That must only be in CoH, because in other games with factions (even ones that can communicate), no one gets mad at anyone for killing the opposite faction. I think all he proved is that mostly pansies play CoH/V.

    Still a very interesting study heheh. I wonder what conclusions he would have reached if he was playing a different game, like RFO or WAR.
     
  4. doctorie
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    in swg we had truces with some opposite factions..dont kill them...but by game rules..yes your suppose to be enemies and you kill them. Our social system took more variables into account and had strategies that were not possible in game code I.E. no truces between guilds.

    also our city was a no kill zone(lets enemy trade with our vendors) only by rules we set..our clout and noteriety stopped ..anyone of either side from being armed in our city limits..even if by game rules you could...we used our society rules to become the most successful guild in SWG...xoo forever..
     
  5. doctorie
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    read the article....small world....I knew of him in slidell in 70's 80's.....I think I did his sister..

    in other games you see a twixt.....in swg we saw a few "twixt"....the game mechanics of swg made it easy to deal with them IE able to kill them almost instantly on spawn..space port etc.at most they were a very minor nuisance.

    I'm surprised twixt was surprised...its called the mainstream for a reason.

    Does he go against the crowd at concerts and be surprised he gets knocked down? what a drama queen!!..he did a lame study for uber drama.

    I imagine now he stopped fucking around in that game..time for him to go undercover again......*looks hard at LEX...hhmmm*
     
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  6. Jeb
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    http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/loyola_university_professor_be.html

    read though that though and read how he was killing the enemies... he was teleporting them to a group of NPCs (I am guessing the guards at the entrances that create a safe zone for when you first zone in) and letting the NPCs kill the enemys...

    This type of play style isnt' playing the game how it was meant to be played, even if the game rules allowed it... If the majority of players look down on a certain action as it ruins the fun and intent of the game, then sometimes they will say it's an out of bounds method of play and it will be considered griefing, and not fair play...

    This guy was pretty much griefing over and over IMO, ruining other peoples fun.
    Yes it was PvP... yes the game allowed it due to bad design... but just becasue you can do something in game doens't mean that you should. Look at roof camping in WoW... a buddy of mine was one of the first roof campers in WoW... he found that the guards couldn't get him, so he could gank others without the intended punishment in the neutral towns. The devs let it slide for about a week before at which point it started to get popular with hunters and mages, and they then posted it was an exploit of the sytem.
    In CoH/CoV, in the PvP zones, surly teleporting someone to NPCs to kill them instantly should be viewed the same way... The intent of the zone is for real people to fight each other, not to exploit the system so that NPCs kill the other players for you.
    It's a cheesy tactic, and it sounds like the community decided it wans't a fair tactic and "outlawed" it... meanwhile this guy chose to ignore the wishes of others and grief them by using something that others deemed unfair and wouldn't use themselves.
    I remember in WoW when you could train mobs to city guards and get exp from them killing them for you... the devs put a stop to it quickly... it sounds like the coh devs just did not listen to feedback and didn't bother to fix the issue. (which happens a lot in games... there is no money in rewriting existing code... money is in the new code that is written for expansions etc)


    The actual study should be based on how people react to griefing ;) as that is what he was doing no matter how he justifies it.
    If he had gone out and killed the villains with his powers without NPC help, I very much doubt the results would be the same... if they were, well that is another matter all together, but whenever I was in pvp zones in coh, people tried to hunt me down and vice versa, and I never heard any complaints... even when I was a lower level and would run to the gates for safty ;)
     
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  7. Roch The Shaman
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    wow that was a good read, but i like the comments after saying its a useless study and people calling him a dbag for following rules set in place by the game makers lol

    i wonder if he tried this with any other games, in wow nothing would have happened everyone hates alliance and all alliance hates horde


    edit: o if he was porting them to the towns and having those guys kill him then yea thats just an ass move, i was thinking that was sime kind of skill he made or something
     
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  8. Jeb
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    in CoH you can get a skill called teleport enemy. It's real purpose is to pull enemys out of groups in PvE so that you can pick a few off (if they are not linked groups) at a time.

    In PvP though you can pull an enemy to you as well which is another player. Ok so far so good... pull them to ya and have a group of people kill them ;)
    But we start getting into grey areas after that... pulling an enemy into a group of NPCs might be ok with the Devs, but honestly how many times does this happen before it's just lame for the player base? BUT even that isn't the end of the world as you may be able to escape, or kill the mobs (or groups can at least) so it's not like there is nothing that can be done... but the zone guards... (I think he called them drones) they one shot you, and can't be killed as far as I know (def. 1 shot kill ya, not sure if a large enough group could kill one before it killed the entire group, but they come in groups usually, as they can kill off groups of NPC mobs that are trained to them in no time at all)
    Their intent was always just just allow you to zone in and not find yourself dead due to players or NPCs camping the zone in gate. Doing that is lame and would be like being able to teleport an enemy horde into the thrown room in StormWind... worse even as a player in wow might be able to survive or tank long enough to find a safe spot to hearlth out, those drones would kill them instantly.

    Now the other article talks about people getting mad at him for trying to win the zone... which I have seen in WoW too when people want to "organize" honor farming etc... but at that point if your not using unfair tactics then those people can leave and go elsewhere IMO ;)


    I think the problem with the experiment is that he didn't just try to play the game the way the devs meant, he found something that was IMO game breaking (and others thought was game breaking too if they had agreed to not use the tactic), that the devs ignored for whatever reason, and used it to grief others... If it was a legit tactic, every player would have to use that exact tactic or they would be at a disadvantage to every one else. So does he want a pvp game where it's just the first group that can teleport the enemys to their gate guards to win, or does he want a game that actually is fun ;)

    But on the same note... think of it like this... a group of players groups up... they agree that loot rules are 1 epic per player till everyone has one so everyone gets at least 1 epic... the group starts downing bosses, and player X rolls need on epic1 and wins, he thens rolls need on epic2 and wins... players bitch at him, and ask him to follow the rules, he rolls on epic3 and wins (yes I have seen people that damn lucky)
    Then he gets kicked out of the group and bitchs that the game mechanics allowed it so he did nothing wrong.

    There are certain rules in MMOs that will become standards the playes follow either to be more fair to each other, or fix certain issues with the game that the devs refuse to fix. When one person ignores those rules, it's giving them an unfair advantage over others... sure the others can use the same advantage, but the community has agreed that using it ruins the fun in the game... If everyone used it anyways, the people not having fun would quit, and no more game in the long run as the people using it would have no one to use that advantage against.

    His study is interesting, but he plays it off as if he has done nothing wrong, while I consider him to be the agressor... he may as well log into WoW and corpse camp someone for an hour and use thier reaction ot this to write a paper. ;)
    Or go sit next to someone on a bus and poke their arm over and over and over agian... ;) Not much differance imo.
     
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  9. Jeb
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    oh I totally forgot too that in CoH, unlike caual friendly WoW ;) you take exp dept... meaning that each time you die, you lose experiance sorta... if you have never played it's hard to explain for me, but you don't lose levels or the exp you have, but you have a second meter that is your dept meter... each time you die, it gets bigger... while you have dept, 1/2 your exp goes to dept, and 1/2 goes to normal leveling up... meaning while you have dept, you level at 1/2 the speed of if you don't... so he was also incuring players with dept with this lame tactic. ;)
     
  10. LexStriker
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    Wow... the article actually got some really interesting replies. Thanks everyone, appreciate the responses.

    First, I am not defending the guy's action... he pissed me off as well and acted like a 12 year old griefer to me [grins]. However, he is a academic and a Sociology major... which I happen to be one as well (good match... 24 years as a software developer and I end up getting a sociology degree... yeesh!). What I saw was that he keyed on the human behavior coming at him... and the worse it got, the more he pushed it. So I can understand what he was doing and basically why... for the good of his research.

    Where I think he may have missed the point is that sometimes there are situations in a MMOG that the Dev's will not address for one reason or another. In those cases, the Players usually have to do something themselves to keep the game reasonably competitive and fun for all. Where I see the Prof going is he wanted to show that even if the game did allow certain actions, the Players themselves will take action to police themselves. Any Player that does not go along with the unwritten social norms, would be isolated. Unfortunately for the Players, they were unable to do anything to stop the Prof from doing what he was doing... thus the Player frustration to the point of threats of offline violence. Personally, I do not understand why this Prof was surprised by the Players' reaction to him... I was not.

    I think the Prof's approach was to act independently of everyone and just win the game... regardless of how he won it. To be honest, how often do we see this in real life?... people doing whatever it legally takes to win (or make money), regardless of how it looks to anyone. I actually worked for a company that informally rated how hard a project was by how many divorces there were during the project. Some people thought it was funny, but I did not. The management style was looking at the money (winning), and as long as they did nothing illegal (playing within what the game allows), it did not matter what actions were taken (drawing the bad guys into instant death).

    Anyway, I look at this situation as a wild west town... when the law would not take action against someone who was messing with everyone, the locals would (how many movies have we seen with this theme?). Too bad the locals could not get their hands on the Prof [grins].

    Recently we had something similar to this happen in EVE Online. There is a very large Corp that has decided that since most of the players that they want to kill live in High Sec Space, they would go there and kill them. However, in High Sec, if someone attacks another player without a cause, the local police will come in and instantly kill the bad guy. Sounds good, except for a little problem. The bad guys figured out how to get the kill of the other ship (usually unarmed miners and haulers) before the police arrived. They would be killed, but they would also get the kill (they refer to themselves as suicide bombers on a Jihad, believe it or not). They insured their battleships and loaded them with cheap equipment. So when they died, they would receive the insurance money and usually break even. Also, there is usually another bad guy Corp ship in the area, and they would pick up any loot and salvage left by both blown up ships. So there is something to be gained here for this action.

    The EVE Online Dev's will not intervene on this, I am sure. There are actions we can take to not die before the bad guys get killed by the police... so no really big problem. However, the 'carebears' of High Sec (as we are known) are not a happy bunch about this. It is ruining our game! We want a safe area to mine and mission without worrying about getting killed. Well, wish on... not in the game, guys... sorry. The main problem, is if the 'carebear' ship is not insured, they could be out a ton of money... alot of money. And that is all the bad guys care about... if they cannot come online and ruin someone else's day, why bother coming online?
     
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  11. Blackwolf99
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    Well, to do anything to make money in real life is one thing, but to do anything in game simply for the result of making someone else suffer is quite another lol.

    I wonder why a developer hasn't given the option for players to take control of random mobs in an otherwise standard mmo. That would probably satiate a lot of those types of feelings.

    I know I'd have fun...
     
  12. LexStriker
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    I believe we have all seen the guy who is constantly pushing the envelope to see what they can get away with. These people are generally very intelligent and enjoy showing other people how they can outsmart the system. It is like some of the hacker clubs out there. They just want to show they can breach any computer security system. They have no intentions of doing anything once they get in, they just want to prove they can do it inspite of all the barriers. It just pleases them to do so, regardless of the trouble they can cause to others.

    Unfortunately, we also have the individuals who enjoy having power over others. One of the largest power trips is having the power of life and death over someone else. Since this is frowned upon in the offline world, but actually quite acceptable in online games, expect people like this to flock to these online games.

    I have always said that we, as individuals, are all here for our own reasons. Mine is to feel good about myself when I log off the game. Perhaps for some, feeling good about themselves means proving themselves better than everyone else... I have no idea. I do know, having been in actual combat (Vietnam Combat Veteran, Infantry/Special Missions), that the closer one is to death, the more alive one can feel. In U.S. Marine Recon, we had a saying that one needed to be able to look into the face of death, laugh, and then spit. I guess that was a way of pushing the envelope, tempting death, and getting away with it. Perhaps, in a way, that is the feeling for some here in online gaming. It is not what they do, but why they do it. Thus, perhaps, it is the feeling of exhilaration that many seek here... and the ability to spit and say they did it and survived. In online games, one has many chances to try again... in the offline world, one failure and it is over.
     
  13. Sirius
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    That seems to be pretty much the point of games like EVE and Darkfall, though.

    Maybe it's just the only things you hear about...
     
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  14. LexStriker
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    Actually, I think EVE Online has gotten a bad rap here... in a way. In Low and Null Sec Space, anyone can shoot anyone with little or no consequence [please, do not go there with your spouse, one may be embarressed]. However, unless one just wants to be a lone pirate nailing lone travelers, one will not do well unless they group with others. When we went to Null Space, we made sure we got on everyone's friends list who was in the area, and established that we were in a 'if it is blue (good standing), don't shoot' zone. Thus when traveling, if one does not see everyone in their zone as blue, one needs to take action. There are easly 500+ people that are probably blue to me right now... today. Tomorrow, I do not know. Perhaps one of our or their people will do something totally f**kin' stupid and I will suddenly be red to everyone around me... and then I have some really thinking to do. The big thing here is uncertainty... that is the key. No one knows what will happen tomorrow... period. Each side has their own standings, which can really confuse things... so someone else may be blue to me, but I am red to them... and I will be totally confused when they kill me... but that is the nature of the game. We build ships for them to be destroyed... helps the economy keep going. So to be honest, there is probably more cooperation going around EVE than many know of or understand. We have to cooperate, otherwise we could get nothing done.
     
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  15. Jeb
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    the thing about the suicide ganking in eve IMO is that it ruins the spirit of the game. the devs won't do much about it I don't' think though as they have always said high sec means consequences, not safety ;)

    The problem though is that in a sandbox game like Eve, which honestly does try to emulate real life to a degree (if we had space travel and that technology) is that death is not real... sure we have suicide bombers (almost said gankers lol) in real life, but they tend to be a very small minority that are willing to give up their life (usually with some belief of rewards in the afterlife) to kill others... In the game though, you are giving up nothing but some in game money for the loss of your ship. The risk vs reward factor isn't there really... the risk to them is to minor. If you lost a weeks worth of Skill Points for suicide ganks, they would only happen when someone really really really wanted to kill a certain high sec player ;)

    Same with podding people... if podding someone meant something more drastic then loss of isk, sure some people would, but the majority wouldn't I don't think as they wouldn't want to get podded them self. the podders would be hunted in game by bounty hunters or something that were willing to risk it for the rewards ;)

    Another problem with high sec, is the rules are not pvp friendly for anyone, even the "carebears"
    They need a better system IMO... the fact that I can sit and watch a guy, knowing he is going to gank me, and not be able to do anything till it's too late is silly. I don't know how to fix it, but if people are going to suicide gank in high sec, there needs to be a better set of rules that you can use to avoid that... either something that lets you go out and kill those same players for revenge (longer then 15 mins) or something...
     

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