Jump to content

Server time (UTC): 2021-10-18 08:23

Powergaming and You


Recommended Posts

  • Emerald

I was closely watching this report as it went down. Unfortunately, I only caught it once it was formal and couldn't contribute in it at that point. The major point that got my attention was the accusation of powergaming. Now, this topic should not necessarily be only about that report, but it is an excellent example of what is wrongly considered powergaming, so I will base the following on it. If anyone reads this guide even months from now, it will still be relevant as a good example of what should really have happened in that situation.

What happened there specifically was that a character was being held hostage or otherwise threatened and one of the enemies emoted the following things:

*Character_Guy holds Character_Girl

*Character_Guy pushes Character_Girl down to her knees

I would like to quote the rough definition of role-playing from my other topic:

Define:Roleplay

A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories.

This time, I have underlined a different part to put emphasis on the word collaboratively. This is the key. We should all be collaborating, roleplay is not one-sided. What's the news? You might ask. That's exactly why that guy was reported and punished for powergaming, because his roleplay was one-sided, he didn't "attempt" to push Character_Girl down.

Well, no.

If we demanded every emote to be specified like this in order to avoid powergaming then every single interaction would include the word "attempts". You might as well demand to "attempt" to shoot someone. Or "attempt" to hatchet someone. This is a completely ridiculous notion and reduces roleplay to basically a game of words where "attempting" is the major focus, and ultimately leads to complete bullshit such as throwing coins or rolling the dice in order to determine the result of a player's action.

Dima Malinski's actions were not powergaming. He was roleplaying, and his victim was simply not roleplaying back, she saw what she considered an unfair roleplay and decided she would not roleplay and report instead. If anyone should have been punished, it was her for bad roleplay.

* Character_Guy grabs a hold of Character_Girl states no consequence, it doesn't force an action on Character_Girl, and Character_Girl is free to counter-emote something along the lines of * Character_Girl struggles to break free, resisting the hold.

* Character_Guy pushes Character_Girl down to the ground states no consequence, it isn't powergaming either, once again, Character_Girl can at any point counter-emote with * Character_Girl tries keeping her balance, pushing against Character_Guy with her hands in order to resist being pushed down.

This is collaborative roleplay. Engaging in the situation and emoting back, reacting to what's being tried. This is not powergaming, on either side.

The definition of powergaming, as it is, is forcing a consequence on the other character that you have no control over. Stating it as a matter of fact that something has happened to that character is what entails this breach of the rule. Here, have some examples:

* Jevgenij Varlamov twists Dima Malinski's arm, breaking it.

* Dima Malinski pushes Character_Girl to the floor, forcing her down on her knees.

* John Smith kicks Roll E in the balls, causing him to become infertile.

The first part of all these emotes can be counter-emoted easily:

* Dima Malinski resists the hold, using his free arm to push Jevgenij away.

* Character_Girl struggles, pushing against Dima Malinski to keep him away as she keeps her footing.

* Roll E shields his groin area, preventing the kick to connect with his testicles.

The second, underlined part, is the powergaming. It's forcing a consequence on the other player's character that they have to decide themselves, and it's acting on an action that might not be successful (the previous emote which can be countered).

So - catch up on your definition of powergaming.

Make sure not to state consequences of your actions that are inflicted on the other character, unless you have complete control over them.

If you are roleplaying with someone and they perform an action against you, collaborate and roleplay with them. Counter-emote or accept it depending on your honest review of the situation and whether you really could or could not resist.

Stop looking for excuses to report people. The powergaming accusation in this report could have easily been prevented if the victim actually roleplayed, as she was free to counter-emote.

Link to comment
  • MVP

Stop looking for excuses to report people. The powergaming accusation in this report could have easily been prevented if the victim actually roleplayed, as she was free to counter-emote.

Damn straight. That report seemed a bit stupid considering it could have created a bit of back and forth AND the verdict is a bit meh. It's not really that much power gaming. If anything a non-formal warning would have sufficed.

The way I see it is that it is power gaming when there is no possible way to role play or act out of the situation where you are put at a significant disadvantage.

Like you say, those scenarios could have had some counter emotes to turn it into a struggle.

Kudos Martin.

Link to comment
  • Legend

I agree with this guide. You shouldn't put something that stops their roleplay that's fair enough but you should still be able to state what you do for them to counter it. I wouldn't have used 'attempts' If I was in the situation either but I would have expected the person to help out the situation and counter my actions.

Nice guide

Link to comment
  • Legend

Thank you Martin and SumoS for clearing this up :)

Link to comment
  • Sapphire

Ruleplay sucks :S

Link to comment
  • MVP

Nice post. Shame you didn't manage to post it in the report before it was moved. Might've prevented the current verdict.

If anything it will help in the future.

I want to point out one thing though.

*Character_Guy pushes Character_Girl down to her knees

* Dima Malinski pushes Character_Girl to the floor, forcing her down on her knees.

You state that the former is allowed but the latter isn't. Perhaps it is my English that falls short here, but they seem to state the same thing.

I realize that "pushing someone to the floor" does not imply that that person actually reaches the floor. All it implies is that you are pushing her in the direction of the floor. "Forcing her down on her knees" is obviously wrong, I won't contest that. "Pushing someone down" also only implies that you are pushing someone in a downward motion. "Pushing someone down to his knees" however is trickier. On one hand you could say that "to the floor" and "down to her knees" is the same thing, and that the problem lies in the word "forces" (although one might argue you reduce it to a game of words, which is exactly what you had against including "attempt"), but "down to her knees" is much more specific than "to the floor" or just "down". It kinda implies the outcome; that she will land on her knees.

I'm probably just nitpicking, but I can see this become a potential problem when it comes to deciding whether or not someone powergames.

Link to comment
  • MVP

Valid point Gijs. I guess power gaming is a matter of degrees. How significant is it? How significantly does it negatively affect one side's role play?

*Character_Guy pushes Character_Girl down to her knees

You could argue that this would be power gaming if the person had no idea that they could try struggle or emote back but you cannot punish the person doing it as they fulfilled their side.

Bear in mind voice could have been used as well describing how that person was being forced down which we have not taken into account.

* Dima Malinski pushes Character_Girl to the floor, forcing her down on her knees.

Forcing can be just another form of a push. Likewise a push could be a force. If said person was surrounded by a bunch of people there would be no alternative but for a few kicks, lashes and screams. One could not forcefully stop them.

So I guess it depends on situations.

E.g.

One person forcing another down as the latter quote above, I could see that as power gaming. More so than a group doing it as they can be able to do that.

Another thing is that perhaps people don't realize that you cannot do an unending string of emotes to counter each other. Eventually someone will need to bend to the other person's will or it will eventually become dull and frustrating. In those scenarios people should just be eager to get the role play progressing and carry on.

If people have emoted sufficiently then they don't need to keep going for an extended period to continually try and counter each other.

Link to comment
  • MVP

* Dima Malinski pushes Character_Girl to the floor, forcing her down on her knees.

Forcing can be just another form of a push. Likewise a push could be a force.

Aye, I forgot to point that out.

Essentially we are playing a game of words and we don't want that, otherwise we would've just decided you should always state "attempt".

Link to comment
  • Emerald

I think "pushing" and "pushing to her knees" states intent, not the result. Forcing implies a result, i.e. you keep pushing until that person is on the knees, and that ignores the possibility of a struggle.

Ex: "Player A pushes Player B" - intent to get Player B to a different place, but it's not clear whether that is backwards, forwards, or down to the floor

"Player A pushes Player B to their knees" - intent to get Player B to their knees.

"Player A forces Player B forward with a push" - states the outcome as well, player B is being forced. However this doesn't stop Player B from counter-emoting, I'm just saying that it implies a possible powergaming

Ultimately, powergaming in these situations is a thin line and it's more up to the "victim" to simply counter-emote - they can do so in any situation, even if the aggressor is potentially powergaming. So really it is more about the willingness to roleplay than an actual rulebreak, if we come down to interpreting different words differently. That's where players are supposed to TALK it out instead of heading straight for a report.

However, my point was mostly in the fact that simply stating the intended outcome does not constitute powergaming, and that not every player/player interaction needs to include the word "attempt" or "try" in order for it to NOT be powergaming. That was the message I was trying to get across.

If we were to analyze every possible use of every word, we'd be here for the next two years just debating that. :)

I think the clearest example of powergaming would be:

"Player A punches Player B in the face, knocking them out."

This is clear cut powergaming because 1) Player B could have dodged or blocked, but Player A already states the consequence of a push LANDING no matter what Player B could potentially do.

And even if let's say Player B is tied down and cannot dodge or defend themselves, a knock-out is still powergaming because Player B could be an experienced fighter, a former boxer, or simply someone who got beat up a lot as a kid, and they don't get knocked out so easily.

Link to comment
  • MVP

I think the clearest example of powergaming would be:

"Player A punches Player B in the face, knocking them out."

This is clear cut powergaming because 1) Player B could have dodged or blocked, but Player A already states the consequence of a push LANDING no matter what Player B could potentially do.

And even if let's say Player B is tied down and cannot dodge or defend themselves, a knock-out is still powergaming because Player B could be an experienced fighter, a former boxer, or simply someone who got beat up a lot as a kid, and they don't get knocked out so easily.

Agreed. The vagueties of certain words can cause problems in what people think is power gaming but that should be taken into account in the discussions about those cases.

The example above is as plain as day.

Link to comment
  • MVP

However, my point was mostly in the fact that simply stating the intended outcome does not constitute powergaming, and that not every player/player interaction needs to include the word "attempt" or "try" in order for it to NOT be powergaming. That was the message I was trying to get across.

If we were to analyze every possible use of every word, we'd be here for the next two years just debating that. :)

Aye, I understand and agree. I mainly pointed it out because you mentioned a "game of words". Technically "forcing" can also only state intent, as SumoS said. This is not how most of us see the word but likewise, some of us might see "pushing her down to the ground" as powergaming. That's why words are tricky.

I think the clearest example of powergaming would be:

"Player A punches Player B in the face, knocking them out."

Definitely. Most cases are like this.

Personally I'm not that big on reporting people for that. Why don't you, as the victim, just ignore the powergaming and play on like it never happened? Even though someone says he knocks you out doesn't mean you are actually forced to roleplay you are knocked out. Just counter with *Player B blocks the punch, preventing him from being knocked out*. Problem solved.

If Player A then wants to report you for not "complying" with his "knocking out", then I would have slapped him with a false report if I were a GM. However, as long as powergaming doesn't actually prevent you from doing something or force you to do something, then why would you report it? Why would you even comply? One might say the same about bad RP or OOC but I wouldn't report someone for one single bad RP/OOC line either. If it continues I might.

Link to comment
  • Emerald
If Player A then wants to report you for not "complying" with his "knocking out", then I would have slapped him with a false report if I were a GM. However, as long as powergaming doesn't actually prevent you from doing something or force you to do something, then why would you report it? Why would you even comply? One might say the same about bad RP or OOC but I wouldn't report someone for one single bad RP/OOC line either. If it continues I might.

I agree, and this works in small communities like the ones I used to play at, with a total amount of 30, maybe 50 players, who were basically all a bunch of friends (of course, including minor conflicts) and they all knew exactly what roleplaying is.

DayZRP as it is has a lot of people who are new to roleplaying entirely, so many people in fact that they cannot be couched individually (which is something we did in my communities before), so you unfortunately can't expect that kind of behavior from a community as large as this.

Link to comment

Another amazing, detailed, and incredibly eloquent guide, I couldn't imagine myself writing anything as detailed as this, and reading through it, I feel I have come out with a great deal more knowledge of powergaming completely. Another GREAT JOB, MartinJ.

Link to comment

Hmmm.. A lot of opinions here. I think that report should have ended very differently.. But that is irrelevant now, my point is I think you really do need to be specific with movements. If initiations must be so clear cut (Don't do this, this or this or you die, etc) then RPing an action MUST be the same. Especially if its a hostile action such as the OPs first example.

It is simply unfair for the other party to try and respond if the action is not defined well enough. Throwing an action up in the air with something like "Attempts" allows both parties to choose a decent and fair result from the action.

However this could be easily abused if the other party then chooses to turn it into powergaming by making the result the worst one possible (Which is usually lethal). Like stated in the above comments they're a lot of new people to this community, defining actions such as these should be mandatory to at the very least help new role players to understand they have options, they don't have to be forced onto their knees and they don't have to eat something weird. That's why it is role play, otherwise every situation just turns into a narrative being written by the party that was first to start "powergaming".

Link to comment
  • MVP

That's why it is role play, otherwise every situation just turns into a narrative being written by the party that was first to start "powergaming".

Exactly. I feel this whole discussion is in line with the false ID dilemma. I'm not a fan of IDs anyway but let's just entertain the possibility that there might be such a thing in an apocalypse. Player A asks for an ID. Player B gives a fake one. Is player A forced to believe player B? That wouldn't be fair at all. But if he isn't, then does that mean that player B is forced to fail at lying?

The same goes with powergaming. It has to end somewhere, otherwise it'll turn into a continuous string of counter-actions. *A kicks B* - *B blocks kick and punches back* - *A blocks punch and kicks back* - *B blocks kick and punches back* -

You can see where I'm going with that.

Link to comment
  • Emerald

Exactly. I feel this whole discussion is in line with the false ID dilemma. I'm not a fan of IDs anyway but let's just entertain the possibility that there might be such a thing in an apocalypse. Player A asks for an ID. Player B gives a fake one. Is player A forced to believe player B? That wouldn't be fair at all. But if he isn't, then does that mean that player B is forced to fail at lying?

The same goes with powergaming. It has to end somewhere, otherwise it'll turn into a continuous string of counter-actions. *A kicks B* - *B blocks kick and punches back* - *A blocks punch and kicks back* - *B blocks kick and punches back* -

You can see where I'm going with that.

I will overcome my complete disdain for anyone ever asking for an ID... I prefer saying my name out loud and when they ask me to write it down I start spelling it out over voice which thanks to my current name just makes everyone give up, hahaha.

As for the fake ID thing... this is why you actually ROLEPLAY and not do what most people do i.e.

"Show me an ID"

*ID

OR

*Fake ID

Instead, you put in a descriptive emote that exactly states how that fake ID is and give the person a chance to try and find a fault in it or realize that it doesn't have one, i.e.

*Hands over a passport for the name John Smith from America, with the photography expertly exchanged for Jevgenij Varlamov's picture by an expert before the apocalypse.

or

*Hands over a library card with the name John Smith - the library card does not have pictures of the owner.

(You should of course have this backed up by previous roleplay or your character's history - having a fake ID makes sense for my character because he is a former criminal who escaped conviction - it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever for a former PMC member or a farmer.)

This is the essence of roleplay. Descriptive, eloquent emotes that clearly state what it is that you're trying to do and are exact and give options to the other player. They can question my accent, or they can be suspicious of the fact that I could have just handed them a random person's library card... but it clearly states that and it isn't powergaming on their side to have those ideas, because I gave them no option to powergame.

As for the constant stream of counter-emotes - that's just up to good/bad roleplaying again. In my 6+ years of roleplaying, I thankfully haven't encountered an endless loop like that as sooner or later (usually sooner), one of the parties is just going to think of something that can't really be replied to, i.e. pulling out a gun for example. Which I think is fine.

Obviously if someone dodges 6 of my punches, that's when I report them for powergaming (or god-modding).

Recently I learnt about Powergaming the hard way. This is a great guide, I'm sure it will help a lot of people for future reference in-game.

I would appeal the warning points if I were in your situation. Well, I wouldn't have gotten there, because I would have defended myself against that accusation, but if I somehow did, I would appeal. It's "just" 5 points, but it's a matter of principle. You did nothing wrong.

Link to comment
  • MVP

Being elaborate hardly prevents the issue I presented. Fact of the matter is someone has to make a decision: is the ID fake, or isn't it?

The same goes for the punching thing. Someone dodging six of your punches is bad RP in your eyes? Maybe the guy that dodges your punches thinks it's bad RP you keep punching even though he punches you back.

Take this example:

*A punches B*

*B blocks and punches back*

*A blocks and punches back*

etc

So where does it stop? Let's say you are A and B blocks 6 of your punches? How could you possibly report him for bad RP? Aren't you just as bad for continuing to punch?

There is no one here that is "right" or "wrong". No one to be reported. You just gotta hope situations like that do not arise.

Link to comment
  • Emerald

Being elaborate hardly prevents the issue I presented. Fact of the matter is someone has to make a decision: is the ID fake, or isn't it?

But it does. The ID is fake, I point that out in my own emote. It is then up to the other player to judge whether their character would be able to discern a fake ID from a real one, or if they would be suspicious. This goes back to my post about the dichotomy of player vs character and has very little to do with powergaming. Powergaming would be if I said I have a perfect fake ID that CANNOT be seen through in any way. Powergaming would be if a common farmer figured out that my pretty well done (even if not perfect) ID is fake.

The same goes for the punching thing. Someone dodging six of your punches is bad RP in your eyes? Maybe the guy that dodges your punches thinks it's bad RP you keep punching even though he punches you back.

Take this example:

*A punches B*

*B blocks and punches back*

*A blocks and punches back*

etc

So where does it stop? Let's say you are A and B blocks 6 of your punches? How could you possibly report him for bad RP? Aren't you just as bad for continuing to punch?

There is no one here that is "right" or "wrong". No one to be reported. You just gotta hope situations like that do not arise.

Well no, there will always be one player who will break that chain, and very soon. How can I be so sure of this? Because people who would get in that endless loop will not get into a roleplayed fight in the first place.

*A reaches out with his right arm and sends a quick punch at B's face.

*B jerks his head leftwards, dodging the right hook, and sends an uppercut at A's jaw.

*A gets knocked back a bit, his jaw snaps, but he readies himself in fighting position again.

See the difference? With that level of roleplay, eventually one of the sides will always give up, because they're good roleplayers. The only people who will get into the loop are going to be "roleplaying" in the way you described, i.e.

*A kicks B

*B dodges and punches A

The moment I see roleplay like that, I will make sure to quickly end the emoted "fight" and stop roleplaying with that person. They're not someone I want to spend time with. So I'll run away, or shoot them, or lose, depending on my options at the time. (And likely report them for abysmal RP.) If I encounter a player like that, take in some punches, and the other player CONSTANTLY dodges or shows no reaction to my emotes whatsoever, I have every right to report them at that point.

But two people of the same low quality of roleplay will not get into this situation because they won't even try to have a roleplaying fight in the first place.

Good roleplayers never get into that situation.

Link to comment

Good guide, I've enjoyed reading both the ones you've posted so far. I think that the fake ID issue transcends from powergaming to bad RP - say if you ran into a hostile group and they did not recognise you, and you interact in a completely friendly way for about 10 minutes. If then they ask you for ID just to be sure, and immediately become suspicious with a fake ID just because they've seen your tags in direct chat, I'd class that as bad RP, but I guess it's a thin line. You've gotta think about how experienced your characters / peers are at sniffing out fake ID, or if the notion that the ID is fake would even cross their minds at that moment.

Link to comment
  • Emerald

People have ooc hate and at any chance they get report someone from something

Link to comment
  • Diamond

-Snip-

I agree, but basically said, puttin an ATTEMPT word into your emote can clear up ALOT and keep the roleplay going. I Still don't really agree with the part claiming Dima did not powergame as he seemed they were FORCING and not giving them time to do anything, not attempting.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...