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PvP Mechanics Updated Needed


Some background:

I started playing TEC back in 2000 because a bunch of my high school friends played. PepaQuest set a remarkable theme of a grungy, scary world where pickpockets were around every corner and rats could kill you. When you died, you died for real. I probably got around 20-30 ranks and never left the sewers.

In 2007 I came back so I could learn programming in a fun way and try to outsmart the GMs who tried to catch me scripting in a client called PortalGT, which could only have 10 scripts of 100 lines each active at any given time, in a horrid scripting language with a huge amount of boilerplate. I managed to write a script to loot rats and wander to the baths and back in that small amount of code, and even avoid PCs attacking me.

Part of the fun of scripting was the thrill of possibly getting caught. I toyed with making a bandit multiple times so I could get some "good loot" (a lorica without bent links! a faceplate!), but never actually knocked out or looted any PC with whom the crime org I joined did not already have a PK ticket open on. That being said, I never wandered around with a good (iron, retalq or boison) weapon or armor unless heading to a SilverWolves fight night, and then the stuff went straight back to the bank, for fear of loss.

I've left the game and come back multiple times to work on scripts and enjoy fight nights, and get the one thing TEC has over any other game: complex combat and RPin an open world that has permanent consequences. The biggest of those are the consequences for AFK botting, which I strongly believe should be handled ICly first. But, that should be debated.

Over time, the game has changed greatly for the better. Enemies got much more complex, hunting grounds got much more exciting, and skill sets were brought into a (somewhat) balanced state. GM involvement went from non-existent to daily appearances and yearly updates.Weapons and armor became much more expensive and time-consuming to obtain, and player stats and Role Point and Story Point requirements became much greater to compete. VC characters diminished this hurdle, allowing custom items and high-stat characters to be rolled immediately.

Some things I miss: player orgs dwindled and constables and legio went from a constant presence (both good and bad), to non-existant. This necessitated updating the PvP rules, as IC consequences were few and far between.

Since GM constables and legio were needed to deal with any banditing or unwanted pvp, and scripting was first unofficially and then officially allowed, and players could be wandering around with 1000T worth of custom gear, it obviously created more work for GMs to police the player base. Instead of jail time, or execution by trial (or by combat!), all of which was previously partially player-lead, all the work of being the TEC morality policy have fallen on the (already *much* more busy due to VC and custom item requests) GMs and SGs.

While custom items I'm sure has enabled TEC to survive the dark times of 5 players online at a time (and pay for needed server and infrastructure upgrades and some minor compensation to staff time), I do think ways to reduce GM "morality time" are desperately needed.


Some ideas:

I) Non-GM orgs:

  1) Enact a democratic trial system outside of the IC law org (which is mostly dead) that lets all players vote on consequences for individual laws being broken. Implement some magic like cadaes that track characters and can flag them for possible illegal acts. Implement an appeal process for this that only requires GM interaction if the character appeals the verdict for the law being broken.

2) Vote on laws by the playerbase, with the option of the GMs overriding these votes. We have over 80 players currently, I think that's enough to get a good handle on the way forward, and to define what "harassment" and "griefing" are. Wikipedia has a definition of griefing that is a good start. Sure, it won't be perfect, but that's why laws change. This is, indeed, exactly why we have laws, and why they are amended. Sure, a lot of law depends on the definition of what a "reasonable person" would do or assume, but that's an important part of law. Perhaps even a rotating vote for a player to be "first round" of judgement for laws being broken.

Particularly: 1) Is attacking a player still only assault, or harassment requiring execution? Is taking an item from an NPC they are attacking theft? Is attacking a player who doesn't respond to questions even allowed?

II) PvP mechanics

 1) If PvP is almost always restricted, we need two things:

  a) mechanics to prevent pvp except where allowed. Either characters need to choose what level of PvP they want their character to be apart of, or specific areas need to be designated for PvP, or custom and expensive items need to be prevented from being looted all-together except by a character of another PvP organization.

  b) mechanics to punish AFK botters that are not IC/player initiated.

2) If PvP is "I know it when I see it", we should vote or try to at least attempt to come up with some laws to govern this, and some case law to disambiguate it, preferably player lead.


For example:

1) Should PvP always be allowed in any scenario?

2) Should PvP be limited to specific areas?

3) Should PvP be limited to specific orgs?

4) Should PvP be allowed to characters that do not respond to spoken text or tells?

5) Should PvP be limited to characters of a specific rank?

6) Should "harassment" include attacking, looting, and/or verbal abuse? Is a single instance of any of these harassment, or does it denote multiple, repeated incidents over a specific period of time?

7) TEC is defined as a PG-13 game. Should this be revised down to PG or G? Should we denote that rating for each player? Perhaps a permanent tattoo or magical evaluation emote like think-net but for pvp flags.


For example, the wikipedia definition of griefing:

Griefing is the act of chronically causing sudden annoyance to other members of an online community, or more specifically, intentionally disrupting the immersion of another player in their gameplay.

The urban dictionary definition of griefing splits this into parts:

1: Training, or angering hostile mobs to chase you at another player. This is named because the chain of mobs looks like a train.

2: Camping, or killing a player, then killing them again at their point of death or the spawn.

3: PVP stalking, or stalking a player and continuing to kill them. This is similar to camping, but occurs with the same player for a long period of time.

4: Chat spamming, or adding random text or profanity into the chat.

6: Preventing a character from moving.

7. Sniping. This is normally not <a class="autolink" href=" removed link ">griefing, but is a form of the PVP stalker. At what point does archery constitute griefing?

8. Is disrupting scripting or AFK botting greifing? As a botter, this is the main point I have issue with the current pvp policy. Personally, I think disrupting AFK botters should always be allowed, and characters should need to provide evidence they are not afk botting by actively interacting with other PCs in an IC way that would not be obviously scripted. But that's just my own opinion.

Finally, I want to thank the GMs for trying their best to make the game fun and enjoyable for all, in the best way they are able given limited time. Hopefully a constructive discussion can be made to help the player base come to some agreements on PVP, like they did with the Blue Ribbon Panel so many years ago.

Thanks for reading

Topic starter Posted : 04/24/2024 9:54 PM
Trusted Member

1. no

2. no

3. no

4. maybe, situational.

5. no.. just not a blue name absolute newbie.

6. yes, but a single instance is not harassment.

7. no, no both.

8. yes. If you suspect someone of botting, or afk scripting, @report them. There's not many good reasons, IC, for you to randomly attack someone who's just not responding to you.

Posted : 04/24/2024 11:59 PM
Active Member

You put a lot of thought into something that is not open for discussion. Any sort of pvp outside of an arena/ludus is defined as griefing and you're the worst person in the world if you think otherwise.


Posted : 05/10/2024 12:51 PM
Active Member Registered


I would like to raise a question. Given how much the game has changed since its inception, how the incentive structure have evolved over time, what players mark as milestones.. is there even a place for unsolicited PvP in TEC anymore? I would be very curious to see if someone could make a solid argument for why it should continue to exist beyond historical precedent or tradition. I would make the case at this point in the game, with the direction things seem to be going moving forward, it's more of a headache than it's worth.

In the past, people would have made a case about pursuing certain types of roleplay. Bandits would say I want to play a bandit, and bandits mug. In that TEC, I said more power to you. But over the years, characters have gone from walking around with a 2t lorica, an iron weapon, a couple hundred ranks and a sense of adventure, to thousands of talents of rare priceless one of a kind gear tailor made for their characters, superior quality retalq weapons, tens of thousands of rank, and strictly regimented routines designed to produce hundreds of talents in profit weekly. The role almost everyone wants to play is successful wealthy warrior who almost always wins, and when they lose the consequences aren't any deeper than a nap. The investment use to be much lower, and as a consequence you felt like you were losing much less when 'tragedy' did strike. That's just not the case anymore, and as far as I can tell the game is headed in a direction where this investment is only going to get larger and more dear.

As far as I can tell, there are probably two forms of acceptable banditry. There is choreographed, the type where multiple parties work together to carry out a scene that produces a particular result for the purposes of an event or arc. And there's the sandbagger, the bandit who 'puts up a fight', but ultimately lets the 'victim' win. Otherwise, with the incentive structures at play in todays TEC, a bandit attack is a setback of hundreds to thousands of hours of time and effort.

There's also the possibility of a volunteer system. Set yourself up with a tag, you can identify people with it on, and they you. This is probably one of the better ways to handle the problem overall, as it limits the pool to only those who want to participate. Like the points above, I don't know if an argument can be made against this. Once upon a time perhaps one could be made about immersion, but again, TEC has changed so much from what the game originally was I don't know if those hold water any more beyond tradition.

Personally? I say nix involuntary PvP and develop a much more robust PvE system, with the E primarily coming from the GM's themselves. Then you could have players who play bandits, and GM's who play victims. I could and would certainly make the argument there is much more possibility, variety and depth in that then could come out of any surprise PvP combat interaction.

But I'm curious what others thoughts are.


Posted : 05/13/2024 1:36 AM