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CW and Character Death Discussion
#1
What is a CW? From the wiki:

In short, a Character Warning, or CW, is a declaration of intent to kill or permanently injure another player character.

While this explains what a CW actually is, it doesn't really explain why they exist or what purpose that they serve. In general, we want everyone to have an enjoyable experience on the server with every roleplay that they engage in, that includes losing fights. While having a character die or be maimed may seem to be antithetical to that, sometimes it is necessary and can serve its own purpose in RP. To understand why, you have to know what they are, and what they are not.
Character Warnings are a roleplaying tool. Sometimes a feud or rivalry between two characters reaches a climax that nothing but a final, definite resolution will suffice in ending it. Not every fight should have a warning attached to it, as the best rivalries can have many encounters within them, but a CW can provide an ending or conclusion.

Character Warnings are a courtesy towards others. Character death can often cause drama, and no one likes drama. Character Warnings provide an established way for characters to kill each other when necessary with minimal issue, while at the same time providing an out for anyone that doesn't wish to have their character be killed.

Character Warnings are threats against blatant stupidity. Characters sometimes do dumb things, and sometimes those dumb things need to be accurately roleplayed. If your character walks into a dragon's mouth, did you really expect him to live?

Most importantly, however, is that Character Warnings are not punishments. Everyone should have fun in the process of roleplay, even when they're losing a conflict. CWs are not designed to allow one player to punish another player OOCly. As a result, remember to keep things fun and have a resolution in mind that everyone will enjoy the aftermath of.



My ideas:

☻Reverse the process. Have someone declare that they don't want their character to be harmed rather than the other way around.
+ Encourages realism as opposed to invulnerability.
- Not good for uninformed new players.
- Players may feel embarrassed protecting their character.

☻Only allow CWs in PvP.
+ Still stops the serial killing effect.
+ Allows DMs to have more control over the situation.
+ Answers the complaint that players laugh in the face of fearsome enemies.
- Some people might not want their character killed when attending an event.


Please discuss ideas and propose as you would, but try and keep the thread on-topic.
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#2
I don't agree with this. The system is so very tight balanced right now, messing with it in any way, shape, or form really wouldn't make sense. The most important thing with CW's... and can avoid MOST confrontations... is to DISCUSS IN DETAIL what you want to do with the people involved. You -have- to agree with what's going on.


Forcing CW's in only PvP doesn't make any sense. Also, considering that everyone can be revived how ever many times they want, as long as they don't suicide, it's reasonably close to the reversing the process idea.
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#3
Rule of thumb, I tend to only hand out CWs in events when someone are doing something really stupid. If they aren't, then I permit knockouts and alternate forms of incapacitation - and leave it for them to decide if they wish to die.

When I hand out CWs between characters, I generally accept CWs in return, unless there is no logical way that my own character could be killed. Say, if someone is bound and they have a mouth on them, then my character would have the clear advantage. I generally avoid those situations, though. If the characters do have a chance of fighting back, then I accept CWs in return - even though the player/character may decide not to act on it.
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#4
The way I've always used CWs is just like I'd have warned people ahead of time if there wasn't already a system in place for them. To me it's just like settling with the other player that "if this goes on the way it's going right now, my character will probably try to hurt/kill your character" where the key words are "try to". That said, even if there's a CW in place, that's not a promise that I'll go out of my way to hurt your character. It was merely a warning ahead of time that it might happen. Even then, I usually try to strike up a conversation about the outcome before actually executing any lethal or otherwise harmful actions ICly to make the most of the situation so everyone's happy and no one has to go against the frames of their character. Like the quote in the OP states; It's a courtesy.

I treat the "blanket CWs" the same way, like I tend to pass a CW upon the entire Kidnapped event just so people know beforehand what might happen in it. And then, that doesn't even necessarily mean they all risk death for their characters by participating, but maiming and severe trauma's definitely not out of the question. It's a way of telling people not to join the event if they aren't at least somewhat aware of the risks and willing to take them, since Kidnapped itself has a very grim atmosphere where people are bound to get hurt. Sometimes very seriously.

--

I think that too many take the CWs as an absolute statement more than a warning, and several people probably use them as such. It's a quick way of saying you'd want to try to inflict serious harm upon someone elses character and for them to respond appropriately by distancing themselves or accepting the challenge. (Then we enter the topic of what it really means to have accepted a CW, which is a whole other issue in and of itself.) It's like people take the CWs as an excuse to actually carry their actions out without penalty. Say you pass down a CW to say your character may try to kill the other, then it happens pretty often that people only do that to actually justify carrying it out later. Saying that "because you accepted the CW, you accepted that I could kill you". ... That is something of a pet peeve of mine, since that's not how I see CWs working at all.

--

In regards to your suggestions, though...

I don't think that reversing the entire process is wise. Largely because it'd cause a lot of confusion and I have no doubt in my mind that people will pull the excuse "oh but I forgot" or "but I didn't know this was going to happen" as a cop-out. It's not due to lack of faith, don't get me wrong... But it's just how those things tend to work. Especially if you were given no real warning prior since in some cases, depending on who you're dealing with, a swift death can come as extremely unexpected and without the courtesy of a warning beforehand, there's no way to really dodge that kind of situation in a realistic way, to me. It feels like it'd be a retcon-magnet and become more disruptive to the IC flow than it'd help it along.

That said, I do think people should learn to speak up more when a CW is passed down, on both sides. That the people passing down the CWs take the time to discuss with the other party what can possibly happen and what they want to happen so the situation can be turned into something fun and interesting for both parties. Sure, there won't be any (un)happy surprises that way, but it'd also prevent a lot of the unhappiness and disappointment that is spawned by lack of communication between parties when dangerous situations arise. This is really what I view to be the biggest problem with the CW system as it is; People's lacking ability/incentive/need/want/routine/whathaveyou to communicate their CWs and truly iron out the terms of them.

As far as limiting only to PVP... I personally feel this is entirely redundant, if only because the environment is supposed to be a challenge in itself and it renders the storyteller efforts null if we ever happen to puppet NPCs in the wilds or make the environment come alive. If you're in a dangerous place, then the environment is still dangerous but it's not like we'd come running you down without giving you the courtesy of a way out or a warning of what might happen if you don't try to get out of the situation. It doesn't seem to be a necessary modification to the system as it is as we do try to make the situation clear if this ever comes up, too. I believe the same could be said for people running events that have the same environmental factor. (And I don't think it'd be very appreciated to skip out on environmental warnings either, since the "but I didn't know" excuse will likely pop up there as well.)
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#5
After a few Combat RP experiences, I've come up with something similar to the Character Warning system, allowing me to play my more unstable character. Most of these apply because I'm a Trust fighter, instead of leaving things to the dice, which tend to give Nonsense results.

1. "Danger! Danger!" - you're entering a dangerous situation with the character, likely to end in death for your character, and I feel my character has a (Contestable) advantage over them. They can either accept, decline, or retaliate and contest the alleged advantage. I figure most characters won't press aggression unless they're sure they have an advantage, or are pushed to take extreme action in spite of a lack of advantage. I'm NOT a fan of the "Let's you and me fight on always equal footing" thing.

2. "Character Warning" - The 'normal' function here... I'm still a bit skeptical about how it works out, and I use it for spur-of-the-moment sorts of things.

3. "I win. Kill Confirmation/Finish Him" (Also subject to the accept(You win. I'm dead)/decline(Leave me alive!)/contest(This fight's not over yet!) responses) - After I've established a character's in danger of death and my character has attained "lethal advantage" over them (Won the fight), I still confirm with them whether they want it to end lethally or not. I'll abide by their wishes even if it wouldn't necessarily make sense IC for my character to "leave them alive", which I justify as "He survived because he's a player character, and he's a player character because he survived." I try to keep this step distinct for two reasons - One is to ensure the opponent is truly willing to die, and also as a confirmation that the fight truly is over, no cheap last-minute attempts to save the character in spite of what was believed to be an agreed-upon course of action.

Of course, I enjoy when I'm afforded the same courtesies - my character can be caught at a disadvantage as well.
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#6
I said I'd reply to this, so I suppose I kinda ought to. As a disclaimer, this is all my opinion and I'm not speaking for the staff as a whole here, just my personal viewpoint on the matter.

Anyway, the problem with the CW/Rez systems is, as I said in the other thread, that people will sort of dance the line. They know just how much they can push without getting killed, and it's sort of that annoying situation where there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. Folks think they're invulnerable. Folks think that death is just a minor inconvenience. You get folks that, after getting a firm thrashing, still have that desire to trash-talk the person that beat them within an inch of their life, because they know they can get away with it. It's all annoying.

On the other hand, I don't want to be that guy that tells someone "Oh, you can't play your character anymore." I've only done that in very, very rare situations, usually involving clinically insane characters that get locked away in Stormwind's jail. Frankly, I don't think anyone else on the GM team wants to be that guy to say that, either. This is why things like limited resurrections are no longer around. Nor, really, do I want to force permanent maiming or death on a character that, frankly, didn't do anything to deserve it. That's why the CW system is as forgiving as it is.

So, for the particular suggestions: reversing the process would be very, very bad and confusing for new players. Given that I think making CotH even more noob unfriendly would be a mistake, I don't see much of a benefit to doing this. It would also cause some wasted effort: "I don't want to die here!" "I wasn't going to, anyway." etc.

Also, I think making events areas where you can die at any time from the whim of the event runner would discourage event attendance, just as I think making rez rules harsher would discourage PvP conflict in general.
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#7
(12-11-2012, 06:46 PM)Grakor456 Wrote: Anyway, the problem with the CW/Rez systems is, as I said in the other thread, that people will sort of dance the line. They know just how much they can push without getting killed, and it's sort of that annoying situation where there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. Folks think they're invulnerable. Folks think that death is just a minor inconvenience. You get folks that, after getting a firm thrashing, still have that desire to trash-talk the person that beat them within an inch of their life, because they know they can get away with it. It's all annoying.

I've been in this situation many, many times before, and it's incredibly aggravating. It's one of the big gripes I have with character warnings. The system does get abused by people who openly and continually antagonize other characters, being genuine annoyances because they know they can get away with it.

Guards and NPC's are also abused in this way, but that's another topic entirely.

I've seen it too many times. Character A will constantly antagonize everyone around him/her. Talk-smack, insult, pester. Character B will want to do something about it, but every time there's even a hint of combat Character A will be like "I DIDNT RECEIVE A CHARACTER WARNING YOU CANT KILL ME" or "GUARDS ARE IN THE AREA THEY'LL ARREST YOU YOU CAN'T HURT ME." So then, Character B will back down from killing Character A, because of the OOC rules interfering.

Which is just sooooo unrealistic. Yeah, in the real world, if someone murders another person, there's a good chance that murderer is gonna get arrested and thrown in jail. And, if a fight goes down in a Bar, there's a good chance the people involved in that fight are gonna be banned from there. But, does that make it a good idea for you, as a person, to go around pissing off as many people as possible? If someone has a gun pointed at you, ready to pull the trigger, are you really going to keep acting like a smartass because, "hahahaha, he'll face the repercussions of murdering me in legal / moral / psychological forms!"

No. You won't.

That, and lets face it.

Death has no meaning right now.

Everyone ends up dying, and then coming back. Some players do a really good job of working with the experience of "resurrection sickness," using it as a good way to significantly impact their characters.

But, for the most part? Most deaths I've seen get shrugged off. It gets to the point where now, if a character dies, I shrug my shoulders and say, "so what?" I know that that character will be revived sometime in the month...so what does it matter?

Then again, I do understand why players need to have some agency and control over the fates of their characters. I'd be pretty salty if I lost a character to a random string of bad rolls. Considering my luck in roll fights, Rofupi would have died like, 50 times over.

So the system right now isn't without it's merits. I think the problem lies in how players are approaching it. If we need to change something about the CW system, it's the mentality that we players have with it. The CW should be used as a means to let a player know about the possibility of death--let the player have some control over what events they should and shouldn't take the risk in participating in.

But at the same time, the player needs to acknowledge that the CW isn't to be used as a convenient get-out-of-jail free card, or shield, as it has been so right now.
Spoiler:


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#8
(12-11-2012, 08:26 PM)Krent Wrote: I've seen it too many times. Character A will constantly antagonize everyone around him/her. Talk-smack, insult, pester. Character B will want to do something about it, but every time there's even a hint of combat Character A will be like "I DIDNT RECEIVE A CHARACTER WARNING YOU CANT KILL ME" or "GUARDS ARE IN THE AREA THEY'LL ARREST YOU YOU CAN'T HURT ME." So then, Character B will back down from killing Character A, because of the OOC rules interfering.
... I think the answer to this sort of situation is, if it goes TOO far in terms of nuisance/etc, the guards tend to look the other way or commend the killer for taking care of a public nuisance. (or merely a slap on the wrist).

Of course... I have my own gripes about overactive/overpresent guards. Yeah, they're good for preventing random killings, but the guards and law shouldn't quite as thoroughly enforced as it is. They have far bigger issues to deal with than just deserts being handed out.

Also... I just looked up the statistics for how likely someone is to get away with murder in the U.S., and of 2010, the national average of "unsolved" murders was more than 30%. In some cities, it was in excess of 70%. While this doesn't have any direct bearing on WoW, it should keep the question about whether someone can get away with murder up in the air instead of being a resounding "no."

Of course, another problem I'm having is that people don't exist in the world anywhere they don't want to be, and time spent traveling beyond the safety of city walls is almost always carried out in some sort of OOC system, instead of an open-ended IC one, giving VERY few opportunities for payback to be held off for a more fitting time.
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#9
People seem to forget one very major thing in WoW: while resurrection of the dead is indeed "normal", a character who is powerful enough to DO such a thing is few and far between. For example, when doing the paladin quest for the Redemption spell, Dathoran Rall flat out says that the Symbol of Divinity does not respond to every paladin who tries to use it. This implies that resurrection is a rare gift, an ability that resounds with only the most powerful of healers (while still being "normal" of course).

Furthermore, in WC3, resurrection was the Ultimate ability of the Paladin. And if you want to think about it from the point of view of joe shmoe... KNOWING and having CONVENIENT access to such a healer would not be a standard fare ordeal. Think about it, if you were a Commoner Joe Famer of Westfall, and the Defias killed someone you loved, you'd have to preserve the body, leave your home, and make a trip to Stormwind's cathedral to seek out a priest to do the job for you, and it'd probably cost money too (excluding costs for the trip, the horses and carriage for the ride, and whatever). Resurrection is more serious business than people give credit for.

Not every priest/shaman/paladin/druid would be capable of, IC, bringing back the dead, and if you ask me, if CotH wants to focus on reducing the cheapness of death without gimping people, they should focus there. While not make resurrection a special profile ability, for example (mind you thats a rough, probably dumb idea of an example, but I'm just shooting ideas around here). Make it part of a profile, I dunno. This way, you can observe and monitor who has the power to raise the dead, and people won't just be skedaddling off to their buddy's level 1 priest alts to bring back their dead just because they got reckless.

S'just an idea, though, and personally I'm happy with the system we have already, to be fair. people should also remember that you can refuse a CW, you simply have to follow up the refusal IC and have your character remove himself from the precarious situation ASAP. CWs aren't licenses to kill, they're flashing red lights telling you DANGER WILL ROBINSON.
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#10
I'm glad this has spurred a good discussion and I'd like to say I pretty much agree with the consensus after the posts here. Just to clarify, I wasn't necessarily intending a change but just some discussion on the topic. I hope we can keep this going.

Quote:If we need to change something about the CW system, it's the mentality that we players have with it.

Krent, I agree with every word you said in that post, but I'm QFTing this. This was the thing that made me create the thread in the first place and is, IMO, the main problem with the system: it's not the issuer, it's the receiver.
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#11
@Cappn: Me personally? I think resurrection can surely be performed in that aspect! ...But one should also remember there's strength in numbers. With enough clergy-folk, I'm sure such a conclusion could also be reached. Problem? Extreme fatigue for, well, how long? Possibly weeks, depending.

My two coppers.
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#12
Quote:Not every priest/shaman/paladin/druid would be capable of, IC, bringing back the dead, and if you ask me, if CotH wants to focus on reducing the cheapness of death without gimping people, they should focus there.

I think the only IC toon of mine who was, or is capable of doing that would be a night elven priestess. I've had priests before, paladins, all that fancy stuff. None were able to ressurect.

Then again, I've also never ressurected a toon of mine through a ressurection post. Only through server restarts.

I guess I deem ressurection to be very, very rare and difficult to perform; So difficult and rare that not every person should do it just because you ask, for it will be a major event for the ressurector as well. Besides, would you truly ress somebody that might just prove to be a mass murderer? You don't know anything about the dead person. Why not deem it as the light's way that the man/woman passed?

Heck, for all you know you are ressurecting Arthas his son with a miniature frostmourne. After a few months of recovery he'll be purging Stormwind and all the living. GG Priest. =')

Edit; Well, then we come back at the point of "Would you truly tell somebody no?" or "Would you halt somebody's ressurection and prevent them from playing the toon?"

Dunno about that one myself.
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#13
Death isn't meaningful right now because of how people treat it and their attitude towards it.

In the end, it'll be whatever you make it out to be. Using the current system, we all have all the tools available to make a character's death a very good point in a storyline, or something very crucial in their character development if you actually have a bit of fun with the death itself and spend some time pondering the aftermath while you're writing that resurrection post... Well, you'll have made something fantastic for yourself.

But, that isn't to say you should embrace death just because someone's trying to kill you, because many times the death is really uncalled for and awkward, and "dying for the sake of dying" is a major turn-off as far as running storylines is concerned.

Ramblerambleramble.
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#14
Here's the thing with guard, from how it always went in the past.

If the guards weren't over powered, every freakin' time they were brought it, there was a challenge issued by the player. It would get to the point where people would willy nilly try to "off" eachother in the most ridiculous and well populated of places, turning the world into some sort of place where others would ignore the NPC's around them. The thing is---if there is an altercation between you and an NPC, that should be fine and dandy UP TO A POINT. Yes, there will be consequences up to a point, however if you're smart you should be able to do so without alerting people.

GM's don't use character warnings with NPC's or call in more unless someone doesn't comply with what happens with the guards. If they try to fight, a character warning is issued and that character could be killed , much in the way that if you pissed off anyone in Skyrim, suddenly the town guard would swarm you. DIFFERENCE HERE IS, GM's aren't too keen on letting a player be able to slay all the guard like eventually you can over there.



While it's imperfect, there are reasons for the way things are. Considering I'm old enough to remember, I decided to share. And before people say "Things are different now"-------No, they really aren't. Just because you don't see it, -does not- mean it doesn't exist. I've seen that happen before, and I'm glad that it's handled the same way.

Are there places where it's glossed over more than others? Of course. The guards don't go in the Alleys in some places...
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#15
In my opinion, and I think others might agree with this, if your gonna go up to someone pointing a gun at your head going "Do it, I dare you you *Blank blank blank*" You've given -yourself- a character warning. As soon as you insult a person ICly to the point in which they would kill you, your characters life is no longer in your own hands. It's the other players. In that type of situation, that -you- brought yourself into it willingly. And if you choose to hide behind the CW rules? It's kinda selfish. Krest, that warrior who fights everything elf, has had occasions where he gets in your face and trash talks, and as soon as a gun is pointed to him, He'll get in his last word and walk away. If you feel like shooting him, I'm completely fine with it. Tell me OOCly that I'm about to get shot and I'll say "Do it, I dare you :3" because -no one- has really tried to take his life (Remember that 10 gold bounty?).

But again, if your gonna insult someone even with a gun to your head, you've given yourself a CW. Least that's how I view it. Though no ones tried to trash talk Krest when he had a gun to their head. Most of the time it's them telling him it's a bad idea cause of guards around ICly without the insults.

Just my opinion though, don't take this as cannon and start shooting people in the head that insult you. (Unless it's me. Then go ahead!)
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