Friday, October 19, 2012

New Invasion Creature: Vulture

We've been given a change to invasion creatures, where they can be "capped". People above the cap level will not be attacked by the creature, nor can they attack it. (There's some magic issues atm but radu's forbidden that for now and it'll likely be fixed.)

Rules about these invasions haven't been completely decided yet as far as over-the-cap players are concerned. Understandable, as it's still new and it'll take several runs to see how this system plays out and what will need to be done in the way of mods enforcing rules and any possible tweaks that may need to be done.

So for now, the only rule that's been put in place is "no magic" from overcapped players. Not on the creatures, not healing fighters, nothing. (That's called neutrality btw. Some have complained about the no-heal part.)

Right, overcappers shouldn't be dropping summons and mines/caltrops and such either.

Some confusion over the rules also occured in the beginning as well, leading even to incorrect moderation. Regardless of what's been said before, that's been clarified by radu now that he's not ready to decide on the rules yet, and only the above applies for now. No decision has been made yet on any other aspect of overcapper interference (positive or negative), despite confusion that may have occured from previous posts by moderators, including myself.

Disclaimer: The following is personal opinion as a player, not a moderator. It's not the basis of any rules, or moderation. This is solely my opinion, and does not reflect the opinion of any one other than myself. DO NOT QUOTE ANYTHING BELOW AS FACT, or actual rules. They're not, just opinions, and I'll be the first to call you out as wrong in doing so.

The Lower Level Right to Have Fun in Invasions

Maybe "right" isn't the correct word. Capped invasions of any sort were essentially non-existent back in the time when I was low enough to find them interesting. If things had remained that way I'd see no reason to complain.

But now that they're a regular part of gameplay, I think it's essential that the fun of these be for those who are actually under the cap and can participate. They're unable to do so in global-scale invasions where even I would have problems participating. High-levelers have their fun there, generally without interference from low-levels.

These invasions were designed with lower-level players in mind, and I personally believe all rules concerning them should solely be considered on their participation, noone else's.

Overcapper Participation... No

Overcappers cannot harm/poison/life drain/whatever invaded creatures. This rule was put in place because it's possible and has the unintended effect of overcappers being allowed to participate killing invaders that weren't meant for them.

Overcappers cannot heal those who are participating. Thus "no magic use at all by overcappers that in any way affects the invasion".

I agree with this, despite some protests by people wanting to heal their fighting guildmates and such.

Why? Overcappers, IT'S NOT YOUR INVASION.

I agree not only with this, but a complete prohibition of any overcapper participating in any way, whether it is beneficial or harmful.

One side reason for this is just that it would be much simpler to moderate. There'd be no question on what you're allowed to do as an overcapper... absolutely nothing.

I believe that's the way it should be. Why? These invasions aren't for the overcappers, period.

So no harming creatures, no healing fighters. Just watch.

Low-Levels Help Each Other

If the low-level fighters need help, they can get assistance from others whom the invasion was designed for. I've watched quite a few of these style invasions that have occured so far. The low-levels are quite capable of handling the invasion themselves without the overcappers who feel they "have to help somehow".

Can you go into a 60-80 instance as a level 140 a/d-er, restocking fighters or healing them? No. Yet they manage to do that all the time. Invasions are no different.

They don't need overcapper help. They don't need overcappers pushing them to finish invasions (more on this below)... they need nothing from overcappers. Again, this isn't for overcappers, at all, period. Overcappers, what's happening in low-level invasions is none of your business, and in no way affects you. Go back to whatever you were doing.

If you want to watch, fine. That's not participating in any way. But remember, it's not about you, it's not for you, and it doesn't need you. You're not a part of it.

No Bags. No Jumping. No Saving. No Harvesting of them.

With the addition of these creatures, overcappers have found it possible to walk right into the middle of an invasion and be completely immune, able to walk around and watch, do dailies, harvest, or whatever they need to do on a map.

However with this addition comes the ability to grab bags. As the overcapper won't be attacked, they're free to grab stuff while those actually participating are too busy fighting, who could otherwise grab those things themselves once the invaders have thinned out in that particular area.

Bag 1) No harvesting of drops by overcappers

I believe this should be part of the "no interference" rule. While yes, there's gatherer medallions, the lower the level the less likely they can afford regularly using such a thing. The bags should remain there for actual participants of the invasion. Whether they get picked up by the person who did the actual kill or get jumped otherwise, the drops should go to those who are under the cap and as such considered participants.

Bag 2) No bag saving by overcappers

As a moderator, I would sometimes in the past go to invasions wearing my "green" name, and watch looking for people over the cap trying to participate. Sending them out as needed.

That "green" name gives me a sort of power in that invaders won't touch me, safe on pk maps, and so on. That name also meant added responsibility in remaining completely out of the way of whatever is going on.

It meant I couldn't pick up bags. It meant I couldn't save bags. I had to remain neutral, and only do what I was there for, keeping the overcappers out.

I watched someone drop a lot of stuff once. Them knowing I was near them at the time, I got PM after PM begging for me to save it. There was no way they'd be able to get back to it into as the map was flooded with invaders.

I had to say no, no matter how much I wanted to help. They had to rely on themself, or another participant helping them. But as an observer, only there for moderation purposes, I was required to not get involved in any way. I couldn't be there at all without that immunity the green name provided from invaders.

Overcappers now have this immunity. But I feel there is a need to ensure overcappers do not get involved in any way, positive or negative. And as such, should not touch these bags either, no matter how noble the reason may be felt to be.

Bag 3) No bag jumping by overcappers

With the immunity from invaders comes this possibility, and we're seeing it already. Just like saving bags, overcappers should not be allowed to get involved by jumping them either. No positive, no negative.

The Rise of the Vulture

That last part, as there's no rule around it yet, has led to the creation of a new invasion creature that only those participating in the invasions have to be concerned about.

The vulture.

The vulture comes disguised as an overcapped player. Like a vulture, it stalks around the participants of the invasion, waiting for death. On death, they swoop in to grab the bag left behind.

Whether they get a bag or not, they become a nuisance to the participant just by their constant stalking of them, when the participant is trying to have fun or is preoccupied with actual participation fighting creatures.

No matter where the participant goes, the vulture follows, constantly a few steps away, waiting.

Even add to that, the vulture will be the overcapper who is posting in 6 for people to "come fight these creatures who can", constantly. It's their sole purpose for posting. Why? They're a vulture, there's noone for them to stalk and wait for death. They don't want you there for the invasion itself, they're after their own self-interests.

Participants themselves have told me of just how annoying this is, to the point words were exchanged of the not-so-polite sort (between the fighters and the vulture) which led to moderators having to get involved anyway. That's just from people who didn't die or lose anything to the vulture. Just the fact that they're constantly there following them around is felt like harassment, and seriously reduces the fun of the capped invasion.

Now, if there's no rules set in place for stopping overcapper participation, the vulture population will only grow. We've already seen from past experience that there is a crowd of people in the game who will stop at no length to make a complete nuisance of themselves. The "vulture" crowd will grow as more overcappers realize they can get away with it.

The call for a "Grubani Invasion with level 80 cap" will more and more become a call for people 81 and up to go to Grubani for free stuff.

This is not theoretical. I have myself witnessed this "vulturing" of low-level players.

"Well, they could do that anyway before!" - No they couldn't. In a capped invasion, they'd get tossed off the map by a moderator if they were caught by us or reported. Regardless of their reason for being there. They'd get attacked by the old style monsters, and there was no way they could stay on the map without violating the cap because of that. So they were poofed away by mods, regardless of reason for being on the map.

"Well, they could go in invisible before" - Invisibility spells/potions only last so long. This would be a long, tedious, expensive means, which left them vulnerable to getting attacked should the spell wear off. It wasn't something that was *regularly* attempted before as it's just not worth the hassle. And never attempted when overcapped in a capped invasion as mods would deal with them just as directly as an overcapper trying to fight the creatures.

Unlike now. With complete immunity (just as us mods are when we go into "green name" mode) overcappers are free to stalk low-level participants, just waiting for something to grab, with absolutely nothing to interfere with them doing so.

These vultures are not only making attempts to ruin what has been an otherwise great addition to the game, but they're attempting to ruin the fun of the low-level players whom this was intended for.

I've already had a couple who've lost bags to a vulture say they don't want to participate anymore because of the vultures. (Well, they used names, I'm just sticking to what they are here, not who they are.)

As said, there are no rules for these things yet. Other than what was mentioned at the top of this entry about magic and such, it's still a free-for-all, as The Powers That Be need time to see how things go and what concerns arise before making a decision on how to go forward with any rules about overcappers.

"But just allow positive things like healing fighters and bag saving!" - Sorry, no, I don't agree with this. On a personal level because I don't feel overcappers should have any participation whatsoever in something that is NOT FOR THEM. And that in the interest of neutrality, if bag saving by overcappers is allowed, so is bag jumping.

People within the level of the invasion can save bags, jump bags, pick up drops, whatever they wish, just like a normal invasion. Stuff will continue to be lost that way, or saved that way. It should not, however, be dictated by vultures and other overcappers who have creature immunity who gets what.

And yes, overcappers will be on bags long before any fellow fighter. They're not hindered by creatures, so they can instantly jump when a bag drops. There's no chance that fellow fighters will be able to help (or jump) their other fighters. Things they should be able to do in THEIR invasion.

And from a moderator perspective, I don't agree with allowing "positive" participation by overcappers because it by default would make more work for us. Enforcing complete no-participation-whatsoever is a lot simpler than having to have regular back-and-forths on who took what bag and was it returned or jumped and such. Mods don't need more shit like that.

IT'S NOT YOUR INVASION, DON'T PARTICIPATE IN ANY WAY. A very simple rule to enforce for overcappers, that ensures the fun remains that of the participants, keeps the growing number of vultures out of the way so as not to become the #1 annoyance of the game, and would make things so much simpler for mods in the long run.

Again, that's not a rule, just what I'm hoping for, as an opinion. Once the rules are decided, as a mod I'll enforce whatever is decided, even if I don't agree with it.

Remember people, should this become a topic of discussion on the forums, that if you want to be an overcapper who positively helps, you have to allow the negative ones as well. Remember that these capped invasions aren't intended for overcappers, they're intended to bring more fun to the lower levels.

You know, that whole thing of adding new stuff to try and keep lower level players from quitting? Yes, that. Getting more people to stay in the game. Overcappers are doing a serious disservice to the game by trying to get involved in these capped invasions, in any way.

The vultures in particular, completely detrimental to the whole point of the capped invasion.

We need to remember these invasions are for those who fit the level criteria, and need to leave it completely to them, in all respects. Overcappers, IT'S NOT FOR YOU, find something else to do. You even have the ability to do things on the same map now, something you couldn't do before. Do your dailies, your harvesting, your laughable pk-boasting about owning KF as you actually sit at VotD storage for hours doing nothing... whatever it is you normally do, do it. The capped invasion is none of your concern, in any way.

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