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Dealing with AFK players in events

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Players going AFK in events are a huge issue right now. They tend to sabotage the events for everyone involved, and as such it's our highest priority to address this.

 

There's a few ways we've considered going about this issue. I want to put forth some of the things we've discussed, and open up some discussion on how you guys feel about them. Some input / feedback on these would be great.

 

As a knee-jerk response, our initial thought went straight to detecting and kicking (or not rewarding) those not participating.
The downside with this, however, is that there's never going to be a perfect way to detect them -- and the events are still sabotaged for as long as people still continue to attempt it. It may deter people from doing it if they're gaining nothing from it, but as said, if it does happen, the events are still ruined. Regardless, Aesteris was working on something like that for the time being.

 

Our next line of thought went straight to deterring people from doing it in the first place, which meant introducing some sort of requirements for events, or penalties for doing it (e.g. not being allowed back in an event for x time). Introducing requirements tends to prevent legitimate players from abusing it, and doesn't really solve the problem for those who *really* want to be lazy and abuse it. Penalties may also affect legitimate players.

 

Following on from this, we considered how other games tend to it -- often, it's simply by allowing players to vote kick them out. Usually they're able to provide an accompanying reason, which we probably won't be able to implement neatly, but we *can* implement the vote kicking via simply attempting to kick a player from the event party. I'm very much in favour of this approach. This would get rid of the player (although it also has the potential for abuse), which leaves the problem of the event being ruined by lacking players.

 

Other MMORPGs tend to have a group finder system which will actively look for people who've queued up and bring them into the in-progress instance. This would also help players who may have been rejected, or those who just missed the event signup period, by allowing them to participate in these events -- and the instance would no longer be 'ruined'.

 

The problem comes with implementation. Players who have signed up and been rejected can easily be included in this queue, but everyone else will need to queue up somehow.

These types of games have a proper system for it (i.e. a proper UI and such), which is likely something we won't be able to really implement.

 

So the question is then how do we make this signup (to queue people up to in-progress instances) convenient for players? I don't think always having event signup UIs will really work, because there will probably be events that start up at similar times. On the other hand, having to go to an NPC to sign up may also be extremely inconvenient.

We could also add a command to queue them up for events, but that might be too obscure and people may not know it exists. :)

 

I'd very much appreciate any feedback (or further suggestions), and thanks very much for your patience while we're dealing with the issue.

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One quick question, how about both sides will create their own party when juraid starts? So if its possible, turn off the autoparty.

 

I don't know if this is possible, just throwing it there.

 

 

 

I wouldn't touch the auto party / give ability to kick people etc.  Experienced that aswell at other servers, there will always be fags with that system aswell such as kicking people before their loot, or having plenty of clan members in the same room, all of them getting drops then recreating the party, etc.

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I wouldn't touch the auto party / give ability to kick people etc. Experienced that aswell at other servers, there will always be fags with that system aswell such as kicking people before their loot, or having plenty of clan members in the same room, all of them getting drops then recreating the party, etc.

Pretty much this. I think a vote kick is the best option, if it is something that can be done with this engine.

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One quick question, how about both sides will create their own party when juraid starts? So if its possible, turn off the autoparty.

 

I don't know if this is possible, just throwing it there.

Not entirely sure if you're advocating having players form their own parties inside the instance or outside (sorry, little confused as everyone seems to be talking about something different =P).

 

Both are entirely possible, but regarding the latter (queueing up in a party), it's a really bad idea to have parties rigged like this (i.e. against other people) -- unless they're going up against other fully formed parties. It may be something we can look into doing which'd work for a larger population, but for now I'm not entirely sure it's all that viable.

Regarding the former, this is also entirely possible -- the autoparty is something we handle completely server-side, but I don't think giving control to 1 player is ideal. What if it's the AFK player who gets lead? In this case, the party is still screwed.

 

This is why I feel giving everyone access to votekick players would work better. It still has potential for abuse, but I'd like to have faith that most people will actually want to clear the events rather than screw around trying to get people kicked arbitrarily. And, if they're trying to kick people to get friends/clan members who didn't already join an instance, they'd have to get pretty lucky. I'm also thinking some sort of debuff to prevent players from going back in any instance for a reasonably short time would be ideal too (in case people *did* happen to get votekicked wrongfully), which should deter people from trying to AFK/get themselves kicked, and make it that much more difficult to just attempt to hop instances (you won't be allowed back into the instance you were kicked from).

 

I wouldn't touch the auto party / give ability to kick people etc.  Experienced that aswell at other servers, there will always be fags with that system aswell such as kicking people before their loot, or having plenty of clan members in the same room, all of them getting drops then recreating the party, etc.

Little unclear (after reading Number 2's response) on what your stance is with the vote kick option (you're talking about user-formed parties though, right?), but stuff like kicking people before they get their loot is easily remedied by ensuring round-robin still includes the player who's been kicked (after it was killed).

 

We may also be able to make use of a combat timer here (i.e. you're unable to vote kick someone until after x time from combat), but I've personally found it's rather hit or miss -- especially if the "AFK" player decides to keep combat going before they can be kicked. I'd imagine in Juraid Mountain at least, there'd be plenty of time after the room was cleared to continue forward... if we delayed allowing /town to skip to the start of the next area, anyway. If it's not killable with the abusing players, well... that gets tricky if they're intentionally resetting the combat timer to avoid being kicked. Like I said, it's rather hit or miss.

 

I'm assuming your response is related to having user-formed parties, because you'd have to be lucky to have your clan members with you otherwise (unless there isn't that many people queueing up), so that shouldn't really be much of an issue.

 

Pretty much this. I think a vote kick is the best option, if it is something that can be done with this engine.

It's fairly simple to implement from a server perspective; just treat everyone as a mock leader, so they see the "kick" option leaders normally see. It's just the rest of it that becomes a little awkward, since we don't have all that much in the way of visuals for it. I was thinking of just having a message show up in chat + at the top of the screen announce that the player is being voted to be kicked, and needs x more votes (by kicking) for the kick to go through. From there we just have a timeout (so if not enough players attempt to kick them before it elapses, it'll timeout), and possibly prevent the player from being voted against for a while.

 

The one problem I'm foreseeing right now is the weird UI bug the client sometimes does; e.g. it thinks it's kicking someone else than who's actually selected. It may not be an issue though, because I'm almost certain that only occurs when the party gets shuffled a bit (with people being promoted and such), which won't happen with event parties.

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We've implemented and started testing the vote kicking so far. It won't be available on the live server just yet, still need to test it a little more thoroughly first. I'd also like to get some work done on bringing in new people to fill in-progress instances, though it's not completely necessary to have one without the other.

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Tested it and it's fine, aside from the aforementioned client bug that I hoped wouldn't be an issue.

 

Seems that when you right-click a player's name and get the promote/kick buttons, if they happen to show above someone else's name (which is often the case), the client will consider the click on the name underneath BEFORE the button press, which means you're technically selecting the player underneath the button and promoting/kicking them instead.

 

So we've been spending a bit of time tracking that down and working on a fix for that first.

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