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Home » Search » Roster » Whitepages » Records » FAQ » Guidebook
The stealth system
Currently championing:
Now, I know what you guys are gonna say - it's only been 5 minutes, give it a chance etc. And don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful for what you guys have done and I feel like an ungrateful little snot for saying anything, but...

Can we please talk about the new stealth system? :c

Now, I know Helovia's system wasn't perfect. It didn't make IC sense for an OOC riddle to determine a stealth. But at least it involved skill. The person making the riddle had to put some thought into it, come up with clues. It was totally in the targets hands to save themselves, which is an ideal system to prevent hurt feelings and OOC drama.

This new system, though, is based completely on luck. Basically, someone could work super hard to earn their stuff, then have it stolen based on a dice roll. A warlord character who never lets their guard down could be kidnapped by a 10hh pony, based on a dice roll. A dice roll that's completely 50/50, not even weighted towards the target. Aka, pure luck. That's just not fun and I think it will put a lot of people off joining the site if they know their hard earned items can be stolen based on someone throwing up a speed post and getting a lucky dice roll.

Character development, I hear you cry! And yes, having your character stolen is good development....but not everyone wants that. It's not IC for every character. Forcing development on someone when they don't want it is borderline PP, and for example if Vol got stolen by a tiny mare it would almost ruin his character, not enhance it.

I can totally see that this system makes more IC sense but it's going to cause so many OOC problems I think. In Helovia, an OOC grudge couldn't be taken to IC as it was still dependant on the stealth being passed. Here, what's stopping someone from trying over and over again to steal a character based on spite, because sooner or later they'll get the lucky dice roll? Imagine all the back and forth stealths based purely on OOC. Imagine the hurt feelings when someone who has worked hard for their items suddenly loses them all based on something out of their control.

These are the suggestions I have to maybe make it a bit less luck based:

1 - At least make the dice weighted towards the target. Like, how is it feasible for there to be a 50/50 chance of stealing someone's big cumbersome armour? XP Imo it would be more realistic to have the target have a 70% chance of defending themselves compared to a 30% chance of stealth success.

2 - Make an opt in/opt out system for stealths. Certain people, myself included, never want to make stealths - it doesn't interest me. My suggestion is that people can choose to opt out of the stealth system altogether, which means they cannot be stolen from however they can also not steal anything. Maybe this could be a decision that you can only change once an IC year or something, to prevent people turning 'off' stealths once they have stolen something from someone else?

3 - Make it more skill based. To me, stealing something should be earned - you shouldn't be able to throw up a 100 word post and get what you want based on luck. Maybe instead of a riddle, the character has to describe how they go about discovering info about the character they want to steal from? For example if someone wanted to steal from Vol, they could track his movements by appearing in his threads, then try and stealth him by hiding behind a tree and luring him with a pretty mare....idk xD But it would mean the stealer had to do some research and work, and change their strategy based on the character they're stealing from. Brute force won't get you anywhere with Vol, but also a clever plan might not work with intelligent folk like Rikyn etc.

4 - Furthter to the above, maybe stealths could be judged based on a combo of how clever the thief is in their attempt, and also on how the target reacts? So if Vol was being stealthed, but he set up golems to keep watch for him and kept his back to a tree, he'd earn points for being harder to steal from. Idk it's a very basic idea but could work with some more fleshing out?

Thanks for reading and I really hope you guys don't think I'm being negative because that's not the intention. I really like this new site and you've done a fantastic job so I hope you're open to feedback on systems that could maybe be tweaked :)
Currently championing:
I think it's worth mentioning that it's only purely based on luck at the 'beginning', when none of us have any prowess.

Once you either 1. start fighting/sparring/etc or 2. start stealing, you'll earn more prowess. This boosts either your defenses against being stolen from, or your success at stealing something. So for Volterra, once he gets back into spar mode (and espceially with how quickly I imagine the quick spars will go), he'll be in the +16 prowess area quite quickly, which means a little 10h mare wouldn't be able to steal him. But because everyone has a prowess of 0, we're all just starting from the baseline. 

Also it looks like Smitty and Neo already have a riddle-based system in the works, which they've said will unlock once more boards unlock!
Currently championing:
First, of course we welcome feedback and suggestions! Thank you for taking the time to type up all your thoughts and share them with us. And thanks for appreciating the site and being active on it <3

1. Luck - Odd has already pointed this out, but with increased Prowess a character will increase their odds at protecting themselves. We are also working out the different skill options earned at each Prowess level, which likely will have options of better protecting characters. Additionally, when herds are introduced, the odds will favor protecting those in herds.
However, I do recognize and agree that this is more luck-based than target-responsibility when compared to the Helovian system. This is for two reasons: (1) we did not want to create or have a stat system and (2) we did not want any over-powered or nearly unbeatable characters in the Rift.

2. OOC/IC issues - There is always the uncomfortable possibility of OOC bleeding IC, be it with Challenges, Stealing, or just plain plot threads, regardless of whatever rules we impose on systems. Thus, I don’t see the rules as being a foolproof safeguard against this. It is the responsibility of players to ensure they address their OOC issues and the duty of admin to ensure that the site isn't abused as a tool to get revenge on other players.

3. Weighting dice - This seems like a rather one-sided suggestion to me. Similarly, an argument could be used to suggest the opposite: It would be more realistic for a thief to have a 70% chance at stealing something in the super dark/creepy Rift compared to a 30% chance of a character keeping track of all their items all the time. (Heck, I lose my cell phone in my house on a daily basis.)

4. Stealth Opt In/Out - We actually discussed this option for a while when initially creating the site. So, I entirely understand where this suggestion is coming from! That being said, it was decided for ‘safe slots’ rather than ‘opting out’. The reason being that stealing and fighting are both parts of gameplay (like magic). Furthermore, if one could ‘opt out’ of stealing because they’re never going to steal things, then they should be able to ‘opt out’ of Challenges because they’re never going to fight. (And does that mean one could 'opt out' of being affected by magic because their character is never going to want magic? D: oi vey)
I dislike the idea, because I feel that active characters should be apart of the entire game (otherwise, it makes it rather boring). However, I am still open to the idea of ‘opting’ if it’s something a large majority of players want!
That being said, with just thinking a few scenarios off the top of my head, I think that opting out of only one one system will create unfair situations by removing the ability of a character to use their strengths they’ve worked so hard for.
So, perhaps an all-or-none option for opting in/out would be most fair?

5. Skill Based Stealths - This is a very interesting suggestion, and I really like it! However, the purpose of this new system is to make it less labor intensive for admin. BUT if we made it the thief’s responsibility to log all their steps, then that would alleviate some admin burden! Hmm, I’d definitely be open to hearing this more fleshed out as option to adapt into actual coding and rules! :]

6. Judging - I'm torn because I do agree with you that stealths (and fights) could benefit from judging writing. BUT one of the main focuses of this new site is to reduce admin work of running the site. Judging battles (and by proxy these thread-stealths) was one of the more time and labor intensive parts of Helovia. SO judging stealths defeats the purpose of everything we’ve done thus far with designing/running the site :/

An alternative option: We could abolish item stealths entirely. (And, by proxy, item challenges—though these are more rare). It seems that item stealths have resulted in the most hurt feelings.
Neo has brought this up a few times to me, but I’ve been 100% against the idea because I feel like this is a writing game and things should not be taken quite so personally. But shinies are shinies and bring out all kinds of reactions.

This leads me to another question: why is there so much knee-jerk negativity surrounding stealths? Is there anything we can do that will reduce this negative connotation but still encourage stealths?
if you don't know where to start,
go back to the beginning.
Currently championing:
So, I really do love the stealth system. I feel like it can add a lot of IC plotting opportunities. I have both stolen items and had items stolen from me. It sucks to have something stolen from you, but it was a super awesome IC development. Not only did it get the herd involved, but it also caused better relations with the herd lead that challenged for the item back. I love the system where someone has to IC see the person and item in order to steal it! This is so amazing! Now the thief will actually have to hunt for items they wish to " steal ". No more just looking at records and saying WOW SHINNY THING! then posting a riddle to steal it.

With that being said I LOVE the riddle system! It makes everyone sit back and think about it. I enjoyed looking through profiles and thinking about a little riddle that holds all the hints. It is super creative! I do feel like having to see the person with the item in a thread should still be implemented for the riddle system. I believe this will make it more realistic and make it more difficult for people to pick on others.

I will say I do not like the idea of Opting in/ out. I believe that stealing is good character development, and if someone thinks a specific person is taking OOC thing out on someone IC, it should be brought to the Admins attention. I feel the all-or-none option for opting in/out is maybe not the best Idea either. Then that essentially can make an " Untouchable" character. If someone who has opted out of stealth's and challenges gets a lead position in a herd? Will others still be able to challenge for the title, or steal a lead?

I think that having a safe item is so awesome! Maybe we can incorporate Rift force with adding another safe item? So there could be 2 safe items total after __ amount of Rift force. I feel like Items are the root of evil ( just like money ;D ). I think now that we are in the Rift and things are not as restricted ( like Magic, Items, and EVERYTHING ) this might help ease people over. In Helovia we needed a pass, but from my understanding we do not need one for here. This makes items plentiful! So you get your knife stolen? Have your character find a new one, or quest for an enchanted one!


Now I also have another idea. Say George steals Sarah's super special enchanted mirror that has been passed down for generations. Sarah is super upset, and the rift is a magic ill place right? What if characters were allowed to curse the item? This could only happen ONE time per __ amount of Rift force. If the item is spelled then the magic is mutated ( Or if it is a regular item it becomes possessed with some bad effect ) . This would be similar to the Rift mutating Helovians magic and Items. The curse can only be fixed if the item is given back to the original owner. This will only work for that ONE stealth. ( if the item is stolen again the character must have the next level of rift force to be able to curse it again)

So Lets just say this.

George was successful stealing Sarah's mirror. Sarah would say in her post OOC section ( If she has enough RF ) she would like the item cursed. So the mirror would not show a future event any more. ( Admin or sarah could decided what the cursed item does. This part could be up to Admins choice) When George uses the mirror it will only ever show George dying. The only way it will work properly again is if George gives the mirror back to Sarah.

I think this could be fun development for characters! This also puts a risk to stealing items. The thief would not know if the item will work properly.