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[Suggestion] Faction Artifacts, Point Exploits, and the Point System


Grand Poobah
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
So I was looking over the various threads on the new Faction system.

I don't want to address these issues much, though I'm an active Faction player, but I had some thoughts I felt I had to share.

It occurs to me that one of the main issues, in both the old (current) and new systems, is point totals that are annoyingly high. The current system has such totals due to exploits, the new one has it by deliberate design, to incorporate giving points for activities other than successful sigil stealing and making a kill shot. Also, the new system has no leadership honoring.

Problem is, it seems like most people don't like the new point awarding system, including people who normally do the kinds of things (healing, fielding, etc.) it's meant to reward!

And they dislike it partly because it's too easy to get points and leads to incredibly high point totals; like comparing a modern pinball game to a pinball game from the 70s.

Tied in with this is the issue of Faction Artifacts, and people who never participate in Factions yet still have the Artifacts. (They can accomplish this by point exploiting.) People often say to have the Artifacts fall off in Trammel or something, but that's really pretty dumb when you think about it, and I suspect it's impossible, nearly so anyway, to code?

It occurred to me that the reason you took out the Leadership honoring thing is that you may think the current point exploits have something to do with it. The exploit I'm aware of allows you to gain huge amounts of points without ever once having your leadership honored. It involves kills that the system reads as legitimate, but aren't. (No, I have never done it. To my knowledge no one I personally know does it either. But lots and lots of people are aware of it.)

So, I thought of the following proposals.

1. Turn the current exploit off. (Of course. If you don't know what it is, or aren't sure, PM me and I'll tell you the little bit I know of it.)

2. Keep the base 1 point per one kill, adjusted for the points of the character you killed however you deem appropriate. (I don't really care...I very rarely get the kill shot in anyway, and don't wear a single Faction Artifact.)

3. Keep leadership honoring. In this way, healers and fielders can be rewarded by the Faction itself. If the Faction itself never honors leadership for those on whom it depends, hopefully they'll abandon the effort and the hard-core types will learn how much they depend on the others. If people choose to keep helping even if they aren't appreciated, it really isn't your place as designers to force appreciation on them.

4. Tone down the high-level Faction Artifacts. (The Faction Ornament would still own if it had a mere MR 1.) (Or don't tone them down....I don't really care honestly....But when you see 5 you'll see why I threw this in.)

5. Make all Faction Artifacts available for all ranks, higher end ones cost more Silver or whatever the currency of the system is. (Hence why I recommend slightly toning them down. At the very least, toning them down affords less incentive to exploit to get them.)

6. Also make Faction Artifacts way easier to break, and unable to be repaired. This way you keep having to participate in order to keep them, even if "participation" is just making yourself available to be killed to farm silver (or whatever the currency is going to be).

7. Keep points for sigil stealing. (Or don't...lol....If you remove the exploits and keep the deserter rank in, if I'm understanding the deserter rank correctly, then it's academic.)

8. Have Faction Artifacts drop off of deserters. (It's my understanding that there's currently a "deserter" rank in the new Faction system that's designed to screen out people who never participate.)

This is much simpler than trying to scale points for stealthing and casting heal inside the strongholds. It's basically impossible to screen out exploits with a system like that.

You will never screen out exploits entirely. This is UO. But why make a system that invites exploits?

*shrugs* This was way too thrown together for me to defend it seriously, just thought I'd toss it out there.

-Galen's player

ps: On an entirely unrelated note....I'd recommend you not return to load balancing....If the point is to have Factions be more fiction-based, then why turn off the opportunity to have characters join the Faction that is most appropriate for them? If you find yourself fighting against impossible odds....Well, 1 of 2 things will happen. You'll get sick of it and leave, or others will rally to you. As long as you have what happens in Fel mostly have consequences that stay in Fel it shouldn't matter that much anyway. I suspect that you have in mind Fel mattering noticeably, but not catastrophically or irrevocably, for the other facets.