Thanks for your reply Biiddy,
Surely the first solution I offered would put those fears at ease? You can pick a time to raid that suits you and it is up to the defending side to be available to defend. Surely that's a good compromise between raider and raidee.
Hello guys and gals, thanks for taking a moment to read this post.
The big question I want to ask here is: Is there any appetite to discuss and civilly debate the issue of offline raiding?
Offline raiding (defined as attacking or raiding a base that is undefended due to the occupants being offline) is currently under the server rules a technically legal action, if a bit of a disingenious one. After the latest raid to occur against some friends of mine I wish to open up the discussion hopefully get some traction as to why the modmins might consider changing the rules to stop people from offline raiding.
So the first part I want to highlight is in the title: the death of small communities. With the Chernarus server as it is, being there's 3-4 big groups on the east coast who dominate that part of the map and in the west a bunch of medium sized groups who seem all to be committed to banditry and caught in the middle is a bunch of smaller groups who have varying degrees of success when it comes to establishing themselves. For smaller and newer groups this can lead to a constant dead end cycle of trying to set up a base, being stripped clean whilst logged off, choosing to move or refortify, ultimately to end up stripped clean again when offline, rinse and repeat. This is a situation which effectively neutralises the choice of joining a roleplay server as what's the difference between a roleplay server and an official one or a communtiy pvp server when you never seem to engage in that much roleplay since all your time is spent rebuilding after the last raid?
The important distinction between being raided whilst online, and having at least a chance to defend yourself, and offline is that there is 0 counterplay you or your group can do when you're all in bed. This problem is also exacerbated by the server having people from different timezones play. Furthermore, it is commonly accepted that when your character is logged off they are resting/sleeping. ICly, it makes little sense that someone can satchel charge multiple walls and defences without any reaction from your character who is supposedly sleeping just past that wall.
To this end I wish to break this post down into four sections, the main issues surrounding offline raiding and roleplay, why this should be considered as an issue for the whole server community, potential counter arguments and finally some quickly brainstormed ideas as how to implement new rules surrounding the issue.
1) As mentioned before, I think the number one issue is a lack of counterplay to offline raiding. This problem is two fold in that firstly, with no roleplay occuring in a lot of cases there is no real in character reason to completely clean out a base who you don't know who it belongs to, especially when you haven't made contact with any of the people there. In a realistic setting, the second you blow someones gates off, such as your neighbours, someone would be asking you questions as to why you've rudely awoken them with satchel charges. Naturally, in DayZ there isn't an alert system for this, which isn't an issue for official servers where there is an understanding that this will happen, but on a roleplay server which tries to bring in a sense of realism it makes little sense that you have 0 response to such attacks. The second part to this is with no opportunity to roleplay the raid out it leads to situations where groups trying to establish themselves are constantly raided without being able to roleplay which can lead to a very defeated feeling of "what's the point?" I think a lot of people on the server would argue that at least being able to defend yourself, even if it means your entire group is wiped by a much larger and organised group at least gives you the opportunity to have attempted to defend yourself and to roleplay the scenario out. In a more personal example, of the 5-6 times our small group has been raided, (we're not currently an official group and did have plans to apply as an approved group once we have gained a stable footing) only one time was done when we were online. The time when two of us were online, we were taken hostage, everything was stolen right infront of us by a much larger and organised force and we loved every minute of the roleplay for the whole 4 hours of conflict that occured. This happened on the first few days of my time on this server and I remember at the end of it feeling exhausted, drained and incredibly excited to come back for more. With every other raid occuring whilst offline there is no feeling past "Oh for ****s sake," when logging back on after 8 hours having spent the previous day all day getting set up.
2) With an offline raid there is no enjoyment whatsoever to be had by the raided party and conversely, can be incredibly offputting for new members who are just trying to set up a small location to gain a footing on the server. With many groups who have had months to set up and gather the materials needed to commit to a raid, smaller, newer groups have extra difficulties in attempting to actually establish themselves. With discussions occuring around the lack of fresh groups and ideas we can potentially judge offline raiding as one of the main factors to this. A group might have big ideas to establish a zone of control, a new safe area, a hostile war or whatever else, but can't take off with their plans because they are stuck in a perpetual cycle of building a rudimentary base only to have it picked clean and so finding themselves in a position where all they spend their time on is finding the materials to resecure their base. Ultimately these newer groups who might have a lot to contribute to the community given time can never fulfill their group mission as they're constantly stuck on the mid tier of the DayZ ladder of having supplies for themselves, but never being able to gather enough things for their ideas, goals or materials for their group as a whole.
3) Constant offline raiding can be argued to drive down server population and demotivate players from playing. Again to bring up a personal example, myself will most likely continue to play on the server since despite the constant raiding I have had a few really great interactions with other players and I want to see more of that. However, not only am I going to have to now play in a way I was rather hoping to avoid (that of a more nomadic style) but I'm really struggling to keep some of my group mates interested in continuing on the server. What was promised to them by myself and another player who have had more time on the server was player to player interaction, intense hostage scenarios, chilled out campfire roleplay and the opportunity to live our their characters on DayZ. What they have gotten is a cycle of being informed our base was cleaned out whilst offline, logging on for 8 hours to loot up the materials needed to set up a base, being told "Ok next time we log on we'll do something more fun and we'll meet some people." Logging on to find we've been picked clean again and so we have to spend another bunch of hours looting to get set up. These members of the group are now considering leaving because they find the cycle boring and it's not what was promised to them. The problem is further exacerbated because we have other people who have shown interest in joining the server but are being put off by seeing we're constantly on the down and out. I could discuss this point further however Cjackson821 has made a much more indepth point about this (second post) here: Understandbly it's from a few months ago but I think the point stands.
Why this is an issue for the server as a whole:
1) In some instances, allowing offline raiding can lead to metagaming and bad roleplay. We, in our situation, are highly suspicious of one of the raids that occured against us was done by a character who we met and had friendly roleplay with, only for them to come back when we were offline to blow off our gates and loot us. Obviously this is only suspicion but the amount of circumstantial evidence against this character is rather overwhelming. This anecdote is mainly to point out the issue as a whole that there is no defense against anyone who does something like this and realistically even with some evidence it's incredibly hard to prove guilt in this scenario outright. Realistically there is nothing stopping a player from engaging in friendly roleplay when they discover someones home, to cover their tracks, and then coming back at a later time when the inhabitants have logged off. This especially works to bring down the quality of the server and the attitudes towards roleplay we all share in common.
2) With small groups being driven to the fringe, forced to remain nomadic or generally being squeezed whenever they try to set up, it leads to bloating of the other main groups. How many times has a smaller group of 2-4 been completely cleaned out and after it happening a few times have just decided to move into the east coast and join one of the bigger groups? Now I don't know for certain but I imagine this has occured at least to some extent, and at least one example we know for sure. This then contributes to the issue a lot of players in other parts of the map are feeling where the bigger groups are overwhelmingly dominating and there is no real option to stand against them or set up a counter option elsewhere on the map. This then leads to more stagnation in the roleplay as new groups are forced to either be large from the get go, or join one of the large groups leading to a scenario where any potential new and fresh ideas for the roleplay are diminished because the members and their ideas are subsumed into a larger group where their ideas, at best, are implemented only to a small extent and at worst are completely ignored and forgotten. This can lead to situations were any newer group on the server barely has 24 hours to enjoy any kind of base they have set up.
Potential Counter Arguments:
1) "It stops people hoarding." Naturally if bases are allowed to be raided offline it stops any group from being able to hoarde a vast amount of gear, however the reality is that the larger groups still have plenty of chance to save up large reserves of supplies and can get back on their feet much quicker and it's mainly the smaller groups who are punished for this. This leads to a situation where only some groups can hoarde due to their sheer size and other smaller groups are constantly forced to spend their time looting instead of actually roleplaying.
2) "You can't expect bandits to just not bandit." This is fair, however there is banditry ICly and there is bullying/griefing OOCly. If you've gone to someones base and comepletely cleaned them out realistically, knowing they have nothing left, there is no reason to return the next day to take what little they managed to save up in 24 hours. This is borderline griefing and never giving players an opportunity to build up their small community. It would not be impossible to implement something to stop players from contantly harassing the same group over and over again especially when there is no IC reason to constantly return to the same base where you haven't made any IC contact with these people.
3) "You need to hide and fortify your base better." On a server of this size and scale there are very few parts of the map which aren't trafficked. Even where we set up where we assumed it would at least be less trafficked then certain other more central hubs had players raiding us every day. For a smaller group being able to fortify a base successfully is already hard enough due to a lack of ability to set up multiple defences from a lack of supplies. Realistically a group of 2-4 might be able to set up 2 code locked gates within a day or two but that isn't a challenge for a bigger group or a group who has had more time to establish themselves and time to loot and save up multiple explosives or base raiding materials.
4) " You just have to put up with it." This is a non starter and does not contribute to the discussion, I feel like I've mentioned enough to point out why a discussion around this issue needs to occur. Secondly "Put up and shut up," is not really a way to answer peoples grievances and from talking to other players both ICly and OOCly there is certainly a lot of the community who take issue with this.
Before I do this part I just wish to point out these are some quickly brainstormed ideas and the entire point of this post is to discuss implentation further or even just discuss if this should be considered at all. If people do have reasons of why to keep offline raiding I would love to hear different perspectives.
1) One solution could be an announcement of engagement, either on the radio channel or a new channel on the forums. Essentially any large scale raid must be announced some time in advanced to give defenders the opportunity to at least be online. Personally I feel this would be the easiest to implement. As an idea a scale of 8 hours (the average recommended time to sleep) would be fair to give people in different timezones an opportunity to mount a defence. Of course this would remove the advantage of surprise however to make it more reasonable the attacking party could signal a rough time to attack so leave defenders on edge so that they don't know exactly when the attack will occur.
2) Another idea could be a first contact rule within a certain timescale. Simply put, before any raid can occur some contact with the inhabitants of that base must happen, be it hostile or otherwise. This would at least discourage offline raiding to some extent as when people meet ideas can be shared and you might discover the base you were going to raid belongs to people who you actually get on with. This works to further character and group stories as well as help new groups make something of a name for themselves. If a timescale is placed where you attempt to make contact over a week including potentially a radio post and receive no reply then the base can be considered abandoned and open to raiding.
3) A third idea, although potentially more difficult to implement would be a channel on the discord where members can send messages but only admins can read them. The use of this channel would be for raided members and raiders to say when and where a raid was so people/groups are discouraged to double raid. This way once a raid has occured a group can be highlighted for say a week as not allowed to raid the same location/group within that week to at least give smaller groups time to restablish themselves before the next raid. Naturally this solution probably needs more discussion for how it can be implemented.
I would love to hear the communities thoughts and ideas on this as well as more solutions or reasons why we should keep offline raiding and I'm eager to read all your thoughts. Stay safe out there, and don't eat the mouldy fruit.
Ratko Brankovic Born April 28th 1971 at Zelenogorsk clinic to a freehold family, Ratko’s childhood was not particularly special for the typical Chernorussian boy. In his early years he was homeschooled and taught from an early age how to till the fields and manage crops. Although his early schooling was lacklustre Ratko made up for this with an eagerness to experiment in whatever task he had at hand, be it attempting to devise easier ways to mix the fertilizer for his family’s crops or inventing innovative ways to hunt game in his teens. His parents were simple peasant farmers who grew up in the post-war Soviet Union west of Myshkino on their own plot of land up the Zagorian hills. His father always intended for his son to take up the land after him but fate had a different hand for Ratko. In 1987 Ratko was conscripted to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war. For most, war was hell but for Ratko, at his young age and closed off life, war was an adventure. He found travelling across, first Russia to boot camp, and then Afghanistan exhilarating, and took on orders with an eagerness many conscripts did not share. After one year, proving to be an eager and well fitted soldier, Ratko was recommended to the VDV and passed his test albeit with unremarkable marks. He was transferred to the 56th Guards Air Assault brigade to cover for their losses in Afghanistan, it was here he first met his lifelong friend, mentor and father-in-God Zarko Bozicje. Although the rest of the unit treated Ratko as a rookie, Zarko was the one who took him in like a son or nephew. After Afghanistan, Ratko stayed on with VDV as a professional soldier, and through his hard work, and networking with party affiliates, he secured the rank of Captain. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union Ratko held no secret of his great upset at the collapse of communism and held new recruits for the new army of the Russian federation in great disdain. Unable to serve a nation who’s ideology he no longer agreed with, Ratko retired in 1994 to a suitable military pension. He immediately went on to volunteer for fighting in Yugoslavia with the Russian volunteer service, although Ratko rarely speaks of his time fighting in the Bosnian stage of the war. By 1997 Ratko made enough connections with arms dealers in Yugoslavia, party members who had kept their positions in the Kremlin, and with help from his friend Zarko, helped establish the Chernoruska Komunisticka Fronta, a private military company ran in a Soviet manner. The CKF would go on to serve in the Kosovo War in 1998-9. The CKF’s involvement in Kosovo is murky, but what is known is after the War Ratko and Zarko parted ways for many years. The CKF would go on to take contracts in West Africa, Iraq and Columbia. In 2008 Ratko returned to Chernarus to take part in the Chernarussian Civil War. It was during this time Ratko’s aging parents first met their grand daughter, Slavka. Seeing an opportunity to establish a communist government, even if a vassal to Russia, Ratko led the CKF to fight for the Russian Seperatist side. After victory of REDFOR, Ratko was dismayed to see he received no special distinctions or honourable mentions in the war, and would leave Chernarus again in 2010, declaring “The land I have bled for has abandoned me, I am loyal to war, married to war and in war I shall seek my fortune.” In 2019, the CKF were offered a contract by the Chernarussian government to train their soldiers in anti insurgency operations having been known for their service around the world in many insurgency wars. Seeing an opportunity to begin making plans to retire, Ratko took the contract. At the beginning of the outbreak, Ratko’s company was last seen travelling via heli to the NWAF. Ratko is now an aged man, although he has always been a soldier of fortune, in his age he has become less stern, more forgiving. He has seen a lifetime of hell, and though he did so willingly his experiences are not without consequences. Ratko dreams to re-establish control and civilisation over Chernarus, and will seek to re-establish the ideals of communism to his homeland. Politically, Ratko is a staunch communist, espousing his belief that had the USSR lived into the modern age, it would have begun to reach the utopian ideal it always strived for. For this reason, Ratko is hostile to most anti communists and has a great distrust of religious types, although his friend Zarko always had tempered his anger towards them. Psychologically, Ratko is mostly stable. A military face, he is an officer who prefers to lead from the front, believing that it’s the way a true socialist leader should fight, side by side with comrades of all ranks. However, having seen bloodshed most of his life Ratko can fall into moments of arbitrariness, where his usual pragmatic personality can become callous and raging. This is most likely due to heavy PTSD, but Ratko has never been diagnosed. Socially, Ratko is cautious around new people, but being a pragmatist he can see the potential to strike deals and network where needed. Although not formally educated, Ratko has a kind of ‘peasant cunning’ about him and knows, for the most part, when to haggle and when to draw a line. It is this simple quickness his soldier’s adore him for, but his harsh disciplinaries have earned him a reputation as Captain Rubber Slug to his men.