My thoughts on PK'ing

In some part of the FF XI thread I said something about the game sucking because players were just too safe from anything. I extended the comment to being safe from PK since players can’t do it.

Then Saturn said:


And then it’d be just like Everquest or any other game with PK-ing, and every new character would be slaughtered before they could even gain a level. Sakaguchi played Everquest and Ultima Online before he made FF11. He wanted new players to be ENCOURAGED to play, not to be AFRAID to play.

When you sign on for the first time, and you’re level 1, and I’m level 40, you probably don’t want me to kill you and take all of your equipment. :D[/b]

On a system with no further rules on PK’ing, which is the case of FF XI, this is absolutely right. But I think a good system would include some extras to allow PK without taking the fun out of the game.

Years ago, back to the time when the best connection you could dream of having was 33.600 kbps, I went MUD’ding a lot. I remember one Merc mud had a PK system that allowed everybody to play without being prey to those very stronger than then. It worked with the following rules:

It is impossible to start a fight against a player that has 10+ levels less than you. You can only fight him/her if he/she starts the fight.

Murdered players didn’t drop any non-mundane item they were carrying.

If you PK, there is a high chance (90%) that you’ll be marked as a criminous (unless you were just defending yourself). If you are marked, in every city you go the guards, executioners and other law officers/enforcers will automatically engage in combat withyou as soon as they see you. They’ll pursue you to the other side of the world. You might have your teleportation spells blocked and if you die, you respawn in a prison (there was a way to escape it).

The only way to kill another player without being marked as a criminous is by fighting them in special dueling places.

If you’ve been marked as a criminous, you may remove your marking by doing some special thing. In the mud I played, for example, you had to sacrifice valuable things to the judge god.

If you PK a lot, on some time you’ll be marked as PKOK. That means any player may engage on combat with you even if they are 10+ levels above you and nobody will ever be marked a criminous for killing you. There is no way to remove a PKOK flag (that basically meant a unusable character).

PKing has killed many games.

PKing works on MUDs. Why? Because there’s not thousands of players so you’re less likely to get a group of jackasses to band together and sit around killing people. That’s what PK does in MMORPGs. See, even if it were, say, 10 level difference, you’d still have those assholes sit outside of town in groups and kill anyone that tried to leave in their range. Sounds fun huh?

If PK’ing is punished then people will only resort to it if they have some really good reason. In the MUD’s where I used to play most PK’s came out of people trying to hinder other people while going on quests (They weren’t like D2 quests where everybody gets to do it. Quests were randomly generated and expired in a few minutes, and only 1 player could finish it)

Uh…or they’ll PK anyway and just avoid getting caught. It happened a lot in UO. People just stay away from town and kill guards that attack them since they tend to band together.

I think that ff11 should strike a bit more of a balance - i think the idea of no pk’ing is a good one as I think it will help maintain a more friendly atmosphere encouraging good relations between players instead.
however I think it would be wise if there was some sort of arena where players “agreed” to fight each other or even party vs party fights. I think this could create a fun new aspect to the game which would be highly enjoyable to all players - especially if there was nothing to loose/gain from it - just the simple funness (is that a word) of it would be enough in my opinion.

Yeah, in UO they’d even cast summons near the entrance of a town or simply waited at the entrance of a dungeon. There were so many ways of ignoring the rules and killing newbies it wasn’t remotely funny. It’s not like they’re hacking, so the punishment will never be severe enough to make them stop.


<img src=“”> Player Killing.

Originally posted by Ryuuhi
There were so many ways of ignoring the rules and killing newbies it wasn’t remotely funny.

Were rules enforced by humans? I think if they were enforced by the system itself those rules wouldn’t be ignored so much.

I found a mud similar to the one I used to play, it’s called Shades of Evil. If you murder a newbie you get a PK flag automatically. It doesn’t need someone else to come to you and set the flag.

Yes, it was the system, but you could always set a bounty on somebody’s head.

So no, it wouldn’t be better. Once you PK, you automatically become red (PK status), which means anyone can kill you freely, but they often can’t because of power. Guards went after PKers, too.

Player Killing can work. The mud ‘Mume’ is a pretty good example of that.

They’ve solved the problem by implementing a dark side and a good side, and so called, newbie zones. A member of the good side is free to attack the dark side with no reprecussions ( In fact, if he doesn’t when he meets one he’s likely to face reprecussions ), while should he attack someone on his own side he’s likely to be haunted by all sorts of things he doesn’t want to be haunted by: Powerful npcs and other players among them. The dark side has less severe reprecussions for same side killings. It works pretty well. Believe me: You do not want to end up on Sauron’s list. Not only are the chances of surviving equal to zero, but you’ll be dropped to level one.

Mume, it’s pretty neat.

I hate PKing. No matter how you enforce it, bastards will still go out and kill newbies just for the heck of it.

A true example from Diablo:

Me (level 30 warrior): Oh, look! Someone died and left a bunch of stuff here! takes stuff and equips it
an evil level 80 mage walks in and flame walls me to death before I can even click
Me: Blarg! I am dead!

Sadly, despite how old Diablo is, that’s how most MMORPGs are. Now, if they had a designated battling area, then that might be okay, but if they extend it to EVERY PART OF THE GAME, then nobody that didn’t get it in the first week will be dead in the water when they try to log on.

Eh, that’s still pretty much a full PK MUD though Nul, which most people don’t want to deal with.

Even if the rules are enforced, people won’t want to join for fear of being killed. And if justice is carried out automatically, how could you defend yourself? What if the character was freshly created by a friend of yours, who only created it to ruin the conquest points of the region you are in, and you killed it so that it couldn’t do that? (of course I’m using an ff11 example, it’s what I’m playing right now :P)

I think there should be battle arenas and such, but becides that, I loath PKing.

The rules are manually and automatically enforced, depending on what the violation was and to what degree.
I wouldn’t call it a full PK mod. Player killing is a rarity even on the dark side. That’s probably due to the strictness of the moderators, who don’t fret a second about deleting abusive accounts and block ip and email addresses, though.
And they’ve made sure you don’t earn anything on killing defenseless newbies, beyond death which means a level drop ( which gets more and more severe ) and loss of all equipment. If you’re lucky you’ll also be stuck in the Halls of the Dead for an extended duration of time.

And there is a mmorpg that employs safe - mob - pk zones: Anarchy Online. Besides all the bugs in the game in general, it seems to be doing nicely.

I loathe pking and pkers. They all need to die.