Rare isn’t completely oblivious to the griefing going on in Sea of Thieves, even if it probably hoped gamers wouldn’t notice so damn much of it. A blog post from Executive Producer Joe Neate explains that it’s attacking griefplay from multiple angles.
- Insta-brig abuse will be stymied by management tools that give players the power over whether they are open to matchmaking in the first place. Matchmaker filtering by mic status and language will also be possible.
- Rare is changing ship respawn view distance so the ship that sunk you can’t immediately find you and do it again and again.
- And the studio is pushing players toward scuttling in the event that their ship is taken over and they’re repeatedly murdered by the invaders. “We’ll assess this before taking further steps,” Rare says. “We are also considering options around moving ships to other world instances if they are caught in a griefing situation.”
What would have been even better is if Rare had listened to alpha players (or any griefplay observers from the last couple of decades) and fixed it before launch, but we’ll take it.
Did you think Sea of Thieves’ patch yesterday, which aimed to address respawn griefing, was going to put an end to players’ torment? Yo-ho-ho not a single chance of that, me hearties. Not while the brig is still in the game.
As we’ve previously covered, the “brig” is sort of a milder version of vote-kicking found in other games; if you annoy enough of your fellow crew, they can dump you in the brig of the ship, locking you up until you apologize or whatever. Rare defended it as a “creative” solution that allowed people to roleplay their way out of a bad social situation.
But just as it did with its proposed (and since canceled) harsh death tax, Rare is now finding out the hard way that if you give a griefer an inch, he’ll take a mile, and now the tool meant to curb griefers is actually being used by them to, you guessed it, grief everyone else.
I was snooping around the Star Citizen Spectrum forums last week when I bumped into a topic that made me back up my snooping truck for a second look. The author attempts to define “sandbox” as a “newer classification” than themeparks, which will make vets grin for sure, but then it goes on to argue that by definition, there’s not really any such thing as griefing in a sandbox as all activities are on the table.
2014 me already argued – successfully, I’d like to think – that PvP isn’t a crucial element of MMOs, let alone sandboxes, so I won’t do that again. But what I did want to home in on is how we ought to be defining griefing. I’ve always thought of griefing as having nothing to do with what is technically legal or socially acceptable in the game but about literally causing grief. Not trying to win, or trying to take something for yourself, which seem like perfectly reasonable activities in any game, but specifically making causing grief in other players your primary goal of your activities, whether or not you’re playing by the game’s particular rules to do so. For example: camping newbie spawn points even when the game doesn’t reward you for doing so. Consequently, it’s just as possible in a game that forbids PvP as one that enables it.
Do you agree with the OP? Is it possible to grief in an open PvP sandbox?
Even if you can overlook the expense, the current lack of games, the potential for nausea, and the annoyance of wearing a clamshell on your sweaty face, virtual reality has a looming problem: trolls.
Turns out that the same internet jerks who ruin online spaces and games via text and avatar show up to do the same in virtual reality too.
As MIT Technology Review wrote yesterday, part of the point of socializing in virtual worlds is to feel the “presence” of other people — but the very benefit that makes “virtual reality so compelling also makes awkward or hostile interactions with other people much more jarring,” such as when people invade your private space or try to touch your avatar without permission.
The publication highlights AltSpaceVR, a startup building tools to help people deal with trolls. The company has some of the basics already — like a way to make obnoxious people invisible with a block — but it’s also working on a “personal space bubble” to stop people from groping your virtual self without permission, which they would otherwise do because people are gross and have no shame.
Last September, a Guild Wars 2 player shared a story about his departed wife. She died from complications during the birth of the couple’s son, and she had been a fellow GW2 player who enjoyed picking up rabbits and wielding a hammer on her character, Hiralyn. It’s a tragic story we’ve all sadly heard before if we’ve played online games for a while: a fellow player, a person, a life cut short unexpectedly with a shared memory of a game.
Now, Hiralyn stands in Cragstead. According to the official posting, design lead Mike Zadorojny put in the time necessary to add a memorial to the departed player, placing her character surrounded by rabbits with a few lines of dialogue about creating a legacy for her son, even if she couldn’t be there. It’s as touching a tribute as you could hope to see to a player lost.
We’ve added some screenshots below for those of you who can’t make the journey to meet Hiralyn.
We’ve all been there: Stepping into a new game is frightening and exciting at the same time. We don’t know what to expect, especially when other players are involved.
Just like stepping out with this comic strip, it’s a scary prospect. I’m glad you guys have enjoyed it so far. Jef and I have been working really hard to make it interesting and funny for you.
So far, the comic has just been about Mo, but now we get to meet our first player characters. Now that is a scary prospect.
Our friend Mo has stepped out of the tutorial zone and is ready to take on the open world…
We’ll begin today’s tour of community articles by touching on a rather somber (yet uplifting) note. Pixelkin wrote a great piece on how her mother used World of Warcraft as a way to cope with the death of her husband.
“When she talked about gaming, my uncle condescendingly said, ‘You know that’s not real, right?’ She knew that all too well. But she also knew what was real. Connecting with her daughter was real. Reality hadn’t done my mother any favors, but fantasy did — it helped her celebrate small accomplishments, connect with sympathetic friends, and spend time with me. It helped her put aside the grief until its edges had dulled to something a little less traumatic.”
We’ve got guides, impressions, progression servers, and more after the jump!