Griefing - Achaea Online Help

15.14 Griefing

I. What is 'griefing'?

Griefing: meaning, "to cause grief" and, in the parlance of multiplayer online
games, behaviour which falls outside the normal accepted boundaries of in-game
behaviour.

Achaea is a game of epic conflict and players should expect to open themselves
up to attack when taking part. However, conflict should always grow out of
roleplay and, most importantly, it should be fun! Players should always strive
to win and lose with equal grace. Just as players on the losing side of a
conflict should avoid frivolous issuing which tries to punish anyone who takes
part in conflict, at least as importantly, players on the winning side should
have restraint and understand that knowing when to stop "winning" is critical.

A well-played character must endure trials and suffer inconveniences or worse.
However, the key is that these trials and misfortunes should be meaningful
consequences of the player's choices for his or her character, whether those
choices be joining an organisation aligned in a certain manner, choosing to
betray his home city, insulting a God, exploring a dangerous area, et cetera.
Not simply crossing the path of a griefer who sees a chance to grief.

Some players love to fight: this is good. Those players are welcome to find
other players just like them and hack at each other until the end of time, but
many players do not want to fight for no reason. It's not because they're not
as willing to risk their character's lives. It's not because they're cowards.
It's not because they don't enjoy combat. It's because fighting, in and of
itself, is not meaningful to them. They may enjoy it on its own some of the
time, but it isn't the be-all and end-all of their Achaean experience. However,
it can be immensely meaningful and enjoyable to them when there is a reason to
engage in it, win or lose.

No one owes it to another player to fight them, simply because that player
wants them to. Griefers do not add to conflict, they detract from it by
discouraging occasional combatants from participating. Combat with a griefer is
empty, meaningless, contributes nothing, and wastes much.


II. Am I a griefer?

Regulating "griefing" is sometimes seen as a very subjective exercise. Most
people think they "know it when they see it", but find it difficult to define
exactly what it constitutes. Although context is important and every situation
is different, there are a number of factors which make up Achaean "griefing".
Although isolated and individual breaches of the rules below may not be serious
enough to warrant the attention of the administration, they should be adhered
to in the interests of creating the best possible playing environment for all
of us. Repeated breaches or breaches of several rules at once will clearly
constitute griefing and will open you up to administrative punishment, up to
and including shrubbing.

1. Lack of roleplay justification for attacks: This is the most important
factor. Note "My character is a psychopath" or other similar formulations are
not an appropriate in-character motivation. It is a flimsy excuse for selfish
gameplay which harms the experience of other players.

If you want to take part in conflict, join organisations that encourage it.
Fight Evil on the side of the Light! Battle pernicious Order as a Chaotic
warrior! Although a well-played rogue may develop sound roleplay reasons for
active conflict, this is generally much harder to achieve than for those
adventurers who are taking part in one of the main axes of conflict in the
game.

2. Failure to accept you have lost (when losing is an option): All adventurers
are attached to their characters and sometimes this leads to difficulties in
accepting that all characters "lose" sometimes. Not even the most fearsome
warrior or the most cunning politician wins every battle. If you are taking
part in a conflict with defined win/lose goals, e.g. if you are seeking to
maintain a shrine against defilers, if you are trying to maintain membership of
the Ivory Mark, if you are trying to hold the island of Shala-Khulia then the
administration will not protect you if you cannot accept that this conflict
might end with you losing. Do not issue! Do not complain to people or the
administration about griefing! Let the shrine fall with good grace. Depart the
Ivory Mark stoically. If you're a thief, stop stealing!

As a corollary to this, driving people away from a faction altogether is not a
viable goal. You should not take the position that you will attack until a
person leaves their city or abandons their ideals. Achaea should be full of
wars that never end, with all sides well represented. If conflict is conducted
with the goal of the complete eradication of the opposing side, then conflict
will end quickly with all combat-capable players on the same side. As a
character you may (and should!) want Mhaldor to be driven in to the sea or
Shallam to be wiped out of existence but as a player you should not.

3. Failure to stop "winning": It's nice to win. Usually roleplaying a win will
be more fun than roleplaying a loss, that's human nature. When you do win
though, remember that it was the people who were playing the other side that
made it possible for you to have fun in the first place. You want them to come
back fighting next week or next month, so do your best to make it fun for them
too. Don't grind their faces into the dust. Retreat triumphantly - have a
victory party - toast your prowess on the battlefield.

4. Repeated use of the same event to justify multiple attacks: So someone
insulted you. You want to punish them for it - that's fine. What is not fine is
using that single event to attack repeatedly over and over again. Not just to
one death but two, four. Persuading your friends to jump them. Stopping them
bashing. Be proportionate - the administration will recognise when your
"roleplay" is just an excuse to grief.

5. Attacking people significantly below your might/skill: Unless a newbie is
really asking for it, it's classless to attack them and likely to discourage
them from taking part in conflict in the future. Similarly, if you repeatedly
take "offence" because of the actions of weaker players and attack them, the
administration will recognise that as another excuse for griefing. Conflict is
at its best when it is evenly matched. If as a high level, multiple artefacted,
omni-trans experienced warrior you spend a lot of your time killing younger
low-levelled players, then you are probably griefing.

6. Kill squads: Team fighting is fun and an important part of Achaea but just
as powerful players repeatedly targeting weak players is a sign of griefing, so
is constantly taking your group of six or eight and targeting single players.
Once might be fine if someone is truly deserving (or avoids the consequences of
their actions by running from a single attacker), but it is griefing to
repeatedly target single players for triggered insta-kills or other inescapable
group slayings.

7. Kill rooms/unavoidable deaths: Although the administration constantly tries
to keep combat balanced, there will always be cheap and easy ways to kill.
Long-range summons into locked houses or city guards being a good example. If
someone did not initiate a fight - if they are not currently raiding your city
or trying to damage your interests, then these forms of attack are generally
discouraged, particularly the use of what are known as "kill rooms", locked
player-owned rooms set up to be inescapable and used to summon other players.
Regular or repeated use of these set-ups is griefing.

8. Fishing: If you are constantly fishing for reasons to attack people,
or constantly trying to provoke others to fight you when they have no reason to
do so other than your provocation, then yes, you are a griefer, or at the very
least, you are exhibiting griefer-like traits. Perhaps you try to 'game' the
rules by following someone around, sending him tells, and looking for the
smallest excuse or chance to attack him. You are griefing.


III. When is griefing permitted in Achaea?

Never.


IV. What do I do if someone is griefing me?

First, consider if they are truly griefing you or if you simply feel that way
in the heat of the moment. They may have a valid in-character reason for
attacking you, but you may just be too flustered or angry to consider it.

Take some time to assess the situation with a cool head. Remember that
sometimes your character "loses" and this is part of roleplay - in fact, some
of the best and most enjoyable forms of roleplay can come out of a situation
where your character "lost" a battle or suffered some negative consequence.

Next, we advise that you speak to player leaders. If the griefer belongs to a
House or city, speak to the leaders of those organisations and present your
case. The leading players of Achaea frown strongly upon griefing and possess
resources at their disposal to curb such behaviour. If the griefer does not
belong to any organisation with authority over him or her, then speak to your
own House or city leaders, if you have them. The leaders will also, if
appropriate, be able to alert OOC administration to the griefer in question.

While we advocate first attempting to deal with problems with other players
in-character whenever possible (see HELP IC RESOLUTION), we recognise that
griefing is fundamentally not in-character. If someone is attacking you or
constantly baiting you with no IC reason, you can also report them to the
administration via the issue system (see HELP ISSUES) and we will investigate.

(See also: HELP RP, HELP ACHAEA, HELP IC RESOLUTION, HELP HONOUR, HELP PK)