[Mega Thread] - Player Griefing

  • Hello there Pirates, old and new!

    Now that we are in the first week of launch we're relaunching (ha!) our Mega Thread Series, to ensure that we get your most relevant and up to date feedback on your gameplay experiences.

    In an attempt to keep all the popular conversation topics in one place, we have made these Mega Threads.

    This topic is focused around Player Griefing in Sea of Thieves. This is a topic really close to our hearts because we are committed to our mission of creating a new type of multiplayer game, where foes can become friends and player alliances become the stories of legends.

    https://youtu.be/sy_15tZ01Fs

    We implemented the Vote To Brig option as a way to remove uncooperative players we are breaking the crew bond, but also give them an opportunity to earn their way back into the crew. But what we're hearing from you is that not all of you are experiencing the brig this way, often it is used to alienate and divide, or to hold crew slots. For future updates we are working on a system which will give players more control on their crew slots, which should see a reduction in the Brig being used this way.

    Please report all players who are behaving in ways that go against our Pirate Code.

    That being said! We want to hear your feedback and thoughts on this very important topic!

    Thank you!


    Keep to the Code - The Pirate Code
    As a reminder, the Pirate Code is more than just guidelines (though the reference really never gets old), but the rules of the community and game that we expect all members to abide by when participating on the forums. Any member who fails to abide by the code may find themselves put in the brig, or removed from the community.

    Cast your good eye over the Articles here: The Pirate Code

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  • First off it would be nice to define "griefing" or what a griefer is;

    A griefer is a player in a multiplayer video game who deliberately irritates and harasses other players within the game, using aspects of the game in unintended ways. A griefer derives pleasure primarily or exclusively from the act of annoying other users, and as such is a particular nuisance in online gaming communities, since griefers often cannot be deterred by penalties related to in-game goals. This creates a strong division between griefing and cheating, since cheating is done with intent of winning the game and thus is discouraged by in-game penalties.

    I hope we can all agree on that.
    That being said i also want to point out that waiting at an Outpost, a Fort or on an Island for other Players to arrive with the intention of robbing them (which usually involves sinking and/or killing) is not griefing (it's also not really profitable, but that's another story).

  • Hey @khaleesibot the issues are basically this aren't they:

    1. (EDIT: People feeling as if) Everyone is acting in a "kill on sight" manner or greifing all the time - Add incentives for working together with other crews or a small way to identify "friendly" ships like colouring the top flag black or raising a jolly rodger (yes it would be abused, that's part of the fun). Add a bounty board/black spot/more chance of being Kraken attacked if you constantly PVP mechanic to add incentive to the server to hunt down greifing crews.

    Also perhaps make taverns no weapon/certain item/loot zones so that people may parlay with other crews without risk of death, all chests or skulls or crates/cages will be dropped at the door to eliminate loot hiding. This would make the taverns a good place to meet other crews and discuss teaming up.

    1. Spawn killing on ships - The scuttle option sort of works around this once people know it's there, doesn't really fit thematically. Can you add the option as a "button" on the ferry that once every crew member presses the ship is scuttled?

    2. Vote brig abuse - Let people join a sloop or galleon with friends only crew slots so that people don't join random unless they want to, add a kick option (I'm sorry if there is already one?), add separate matchmaking for those with or without microphones. Add a "find a new crew" option within the menu to leave and join another random crew.

    3. Outpost camping - Doesn't really need to change, people need to learn they can just go to another outpost however there needs to be a system to stop intentional scuttling to spawn at an outpost a ship you are chasing is heading to. Increasing the spawn distance would fix this perhaps? Add a map table on the ferry to choose where your ship spawns but lock it to within a certain distance from where it sank?

    EDIT: Regarding brig abuse, perhaps having to knock out the player with a club before sending them to the brig would be an interesting method rather than them being teleported in a very "gamey" way. This may lead to players who are being chased with clubs joining other crews to take revenge on their ex-team and does at least give some chance to avoid being brigged for no reason. If someone is being toxic then the kick option would be used.

  • I don't often partake in PvP but we need to stop considering people being aggressive/holding their own as "griefing".

    As a solo player I've often had people come after me, I manage to board and kill them, but can't do much else other than basically spawn camp them while I raise anchor and try sail them in to a rock to sink them. If I hop off and go to my ship, they will respawn and repair. This is not griefing, this is just making sure I that I secure the fight I won.

    In the same manner, I've had people sail to me, board and kill me then spawn camp me but never sink my ship. At that point I just scuttle and accept my loss. They bested me in combat, secured my ship and all I can do now is accept the loss and respawn, like any other game.

    The only real griefing in this game I see are:

    Players who brig for no reason. (I don't experience this because I play mostly solo/with friends but I've seen enough complaints to know it's an issue)

    And players who continue to sail back over and over again eventually winning due to your lack of resources and their infinite very close spawns. However let me be clear that I do not see this as a players intentional griefing, more a game mechanic issue that incentivises this sort of behavior, leading to what, in any other game you would almost consider griefing.

  • Never happened to me, but it's easy to get plenty of examples from the forum about the abuse of the brig which, as mentioned a few times now, with the future improvement on Crew slots control, may become a thing of the past at least regarding the "both parties are right" when both the existing crew and the newcomer have valid reasons to use the tools at hand (sending to or stubbornly staying in the brig) though talking things over should be the first tool to use.

    ...but not every player has a Mic or are on a PC to use the free Text chat feature, so...

    This is where the 2nd kind of brig abuse might happen that I'm not seeing a solution being mentioned to the matchmaking.
    To fix this other kind of brig abuse, the Matchmaking needs an additional toggle filter where proper random crews can be matched with newcomers that fit the existing crew's requirements.

    The majority of these requirements are:
    Is your Mic working?: Yes, No, Yes but I don't mind playing with players with no mic.
    and
    Language spoken

    So, when matchmaking, one should be able to say if it has a Mic or not or if won't be a problem being matched with players without a Mic and which Language the player is comfortable with.

    This might fix the other half of brig abuse.

    Other than this, I can't really speak about because I guess I've been lucky or careful and haven't witnessed anything that I would complain as being a "victim" of griefing.

    Edit: btw, about the "is your mic working?" the game should provide a way to privately test this. I once suggested even an in-game way to do it, through a Tavern parrot but if not, at least a private way to properly test it with the game's VoiP engine should be provided.

  • PvPvE is great, but how it's handled via the game mechanics is not.

    If another crew gets the drop on me (sunk/killed), they should be able to get my loot. Fine.

    If I was smart enough to hide my treasure off-ship during that encounter, I need to be able to go get it after the encounter. Currently that works... however...

    I've encountered SOOOO many crews in the Alphas, Betas and since launch that can't see beyond kill-kill-kill. I'm certain that some of them are trolls. However, I think some of them are just unevolved in their understanding (or interest) of all the features of the game. And before anyone tells me I could say something to them... nope, that's really not my job. The issue here is that they keep coming for me after the encounter is clearly over and no matter who sunk who... there's nothing left to take so they're just fighting to fight because their little brain can't imagine anything else to do? In the meantime I'm in the middle of a voyage that should have taken 15 minutes and is now over an hour and there's little / nothing I can do to deal with it.

    Perhaps those that just want to fight can have a place to do that? I'm not saying a PvE-only server... but perhaps a PvP-only server? Those that want those fights can go focus on them?

    I'm not a game designer so I'm sure there's someone else better qualified to come up with a solution. But what I do know is that the system as it's built is wrecking the PvE portion of the "balance" that Rare says they want to see.

  • @khaleesibot to be honest with you, as most of these complaints seem to come from solo players, and as a solo player myself, I don't think griefing is as big a problem as it's made out to be, seriously. I honestly think that the main part of the problem is people not being careful when approaching outposts, or just assuming that people will be okay, or they just can't be bothered to find another outpost.

    That being said, I do think that when the ship sinks you should be teleported to the opposite side of the map, as this stops 'spawn camping'. There also should be some kind of bounty system/infamous system so if you're known for attacking pirates you get a red flag on your ship or something. Maybe a lantern that's permanently on so other ships can see you coming, giving them time to get away.

    Maybe also add guard NPCs onto outposts, as I doubt the shopkeepers would be happy with us fighting around their island and also in their shops. That way if you start conflict on an Island you have more to worry about. And it also makes killing someone and taking their chest much harder, although not impossible. It would make the this 'griefing' tactic a actual skill rather than just an easy way to get coin.

  • @thor-von-blitz Yes, finally. All you have to do is a 10 second google search and then you've got the meaning.

  • The brig is a heavy griefing tool and should be investigated more. Other than that, looking for pvp, killing sloops etc is not griefing. And yes the pirate game narritive does work with this. People will kill and plunder and pillage, this is intended.

  • The brig used to force people to leave to get their friends in is really an issue.

    Why we cant jump in the game choosing one of the two ships and drop in and out as we like is beyond me.

  • @silver2shine saying everyone is killing on sight is a HUGE exaggeration. I have over 150 hours in the game and 90% of the people I encounter avoid me. Regardless of wether I’m in a sloop or galleon (primarily a solo sloop) I don’t have to run really ever =\

    I think a huge part of the reason people are agressive is due to appearances. If someone looks inattentive there’s no harm in attacking. However if you start approaching them and their ships starts moving they deffinitely see you and 9 times out of ten it’s not worth the chase/fight. Not to mention it’s insanley easy to escape ships. People just need to be better educated on mechanics.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of false comments labeled as “facts” to help new people and then they come on here and complain they are greifed.

    Also fixing the respawn issue would all but basically void any need for another fix as people wouldn’t be consistently harrassed.

    In short I agree with some of what your saying but not really all...

  • @capn-tonis said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    And players who continue to sail back over and over again eventually winning due to your lack of resources and their infinite very close spawns. However let me be clear that I do not see this as a players intentional griefing, more a game mechanic issue that incentivises this sort of behavior, leading to what, in any other game you would almost consider

    Dear lord I had this happen last night.
    We went to a skeleton Fort fully stocked.
    After defeating a few waves a galleon approached. We rose to the challenge and deleted them. Then they came back for round 2. We defeated them again.

    After 3 hours of CONSTANT spawning at the same outpost this god awful crew kept coming back and we kept sinking them. Our ship had every possible cannon hole in it and no paint left.
    We out played them 15 times. Some encounters we sunk them without taking damage. They were soooo bad.
    Unfortunately after multiple hours of just trying to finish the damn fort we ran out of planks, took one shot to the bottom level and sunk their ship for the 16th time.
    We managed to maintain the water levels while a crew member grabbed planks from the fort. Then before he even got back on the ship the other galleon was already back and firing. We sunk them AGAIN but our ship was lost in the process.

    If this is working as intended I will not be wasting my time with forts. It is the most fun activity for our crew but there is no reward for fending off other crews because they will just spawn with a new fully stocked ship less than two map blocks away.

    Our crew was just so exhausted because it was 330am and they were not going to stop. We sunk them 17 times( we counted) and are still considered the loser because we just couldn't do it anymore.

  • @thewolfman321 said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @khaleesibot to be honest with you, as most of these complaints seem to come from solo players, and as a solo player myself, I don't think griefing is as big a problem as it's made out to be, seriously. I honestly think that the main part of the problem is people not being careful when approaching outposts, or just assuming that people will be okay, or they just can't be bothered to find another outpost.

    That being said, I do think that when the ship sinks you should be teleported to the opposite side of the map, as this stops 'spawn camping'. There also should be some kind of bounty system/infamous system so if you're known for attacking pirates you get a red flag on your ship or something. Maybe a lantern that's permanently on so other ships can see you coming, giving them time to get away.

    Maybe also add guard NPCs onto outposts, as I doubt the shopkeepers would be happy with us fighting around their island and also in their shops. That way if you start conflict on an Island you have more to worry about. And it also makes killing someone and taking their chest much harder, although not impossible. It would make the this 'griefing' tactic a actual skill rather than just an easy way to get coin.

    Yes on first comment. Yes to bounty system would add a new layer of depth

    ABSOLUTLY NOT to guarda at outposts. People need to not be safe at any moment and honestly avoiding outpost campers is SOOOOO easy that in a week everyone will know and it shouldn’t be an issue.

    Issues like this can be solved by posting in the Tips mega thread ;) help educate new players before they complain after 30 minutes of play their first time setting sail.

  • @flavoredbacon said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @capn-tonis said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    And players who continue to sail back over and over again eventually winning due to your lack of resources and their infinite very close spawns. However let me be clear that I do not see this as a players intentional griefing, more a game mechanic issue that incentivises this sort of behavior, leading to what, in any other game you would almost consider

    Dear lord I had this happen last night.
    We went to a skeleton Fort fully stocked.
    After defeating a few waves a galleon approached. We rose to the challenge and deleted them. Then they came back for round 2. We defeated them again.

    After 3 hours of CONSTANT spawning at the same outpost this god awful crew kept coming back and we kept sinking them. Our ship had every possible cannon hole in it and no paint left.
    We out played them 15 times. Some encounters we sunk them without taking damage. They were soooo bad.
    Unfortunately after multiple hours of just trying to finish the damn fort we ran out of planks, took one shot to the bottom level and sunk their ship for the 16th time.
    We managed to maintain the water levels while a crew member grabbed planks from the fort. Then before he even got back on the ship the other galleon was already back and firing. We sunk them AGAIN but our ship was lost in the process.

    If this is working as intended I will not be wasting my time with forts. It is the most fun activity for our crew but there is no reward for fending off other crews because they will just spawn with a new fully stocked ship less than two map blocks away.

    Our crew was just so exhausted because it was 330am and they were not going to stop. We sunk them 17 times( we counted) and are still considered the loser because we just couldn't do it anymore.

    Great post. Thanks!

    I've encountered versions of this, but not exactly this. In any case, it feels more like a "who can outlast the other" contest rather than a true PvP match. 3+ hours dealing with someone else's mindless shenanigans isn't fun. I'm not sure I understand why Rare is letting this continue.

  • But how should bountys work? Its not an persistent world, people with bounty on there head just could leave and even then how to find them? i dont want lot of clutter on my screen, indicating the next target.

  • @tangolit i dont think they are happy how this particular problem exist. The game was released rushed, its simply a gameplay flaw.

  • (mod edit)

    pretty sure people paid for a product (video game) and if a feature exists good luck proving it was used inappropriately. Maybe next time allow private matchmaking instead of being lazy developers trying to save a buck. You're M$ F*S you don't need to save money by cheaping out on matchmaking.

  • @finanzminister said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @tangolit i dont think they are happy how this particular problem exist. The game was released rushed, its simply a gameplay flaw.

    All due respect, but I live in a world where we are judged not by what we say, but what we do. I'll believe Rare wants this fixed when they get it fixed. Otherwise, it's working as intended. Believe whatever you want to.

  • @tangolit why so aggressive mate?

  • @finanzminister said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @tangolit why so aggressive mate?

    You're the one that came at me by correcting my thinking. Not sure I see this encounter your way... mate.

  • @khaleesibot SoT needs to discourage galleons from ganking solo players, unless you have a PvP flag raised. Ships should still be sinkable for the sake of realism and fun, but singleplayers should have a PvP flag option "Friendly pirate" (white flag), or "Cutthroat pirate" (black flag).

    If you have a white flag raised you cannot attack other pirates or be attacked by other pirates. Black flag = I'm ok with being attacked and attacking others.

    Example as to why this is needed:
    Last night I ran a solo merchants guild voyage and almost failed it because a galleon crew sunk my boat. I got all the chickens turned in except one, which I left on the beach not knowing if they'd steal it. The captain of the galleon came after me and killed my pirate after the second chicken was turned in. I tried to fight back, but I'm just one pirate.

    I thought I failed the quest because I respawned far away on a different island, but sailed back and thankfully found my last chicken I left on the beach.

    Solo players (Sloop) NEED a PvP flag option. If I had it, maybe I could have negotiated something, but they were out for blood and just wanted to kill my pirate.

  • @tangolit no stop, i never was correctiong everything, the game was rushed thats a fact and they gather feedback for a reason.

    I never questioned your opinion.

  • Rename the game to Sea of Griefs it is more fitting.

  • @astralnautical nooooo, that's not a pirate game, it's a sea merchant game. Actually, if you practice just a little with the sloop, very few galleons can take you. I do think safe ports should exist. If we are thinking like pirates, the sea is where they do their business, or else they are killed on land by the community. So outposts should be off limits.

  • We live in a time where multiplayer games are dying.
    The entitlement of this generation has permeated into gaming.
    "I know I'm not good at the game, but I want to win"
    "I don't like when people kill me, it hurts my feelings"
    "Saying "GG" is toxic behavior and it should be a bannable offense"
    "If PVP is optional, then everyone has to be friends and not kill, otherwise it's toxic!"
    And now, even if it's as ironic as them being members of our society, we get complains from people stealing on a game about thieves.
    It's all so tiresome.

  • @tangolit said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @flavoredbacon said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @capn-tonis said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    And players who continue to sail back over and over again eventually winning due to your lack of resources and their infinite very close spawns. However let me be clear that I do not see this as a players intentional griefing, more a game mechanic issue that incentivises this sort of behavior, leading to what, in any other game you would almost consider

    Dear lord I had this happen last night.
    We went to a skeleton Fort fully stocked.
    After defeating a few waves a galleon approached. We rose to the challenge and deleted them. Then they came back for round 2. We defeated them again.

    After 3 hours of CONSTANT spawning at the same outpost this god awful crew kept coming back and we kept sinking them. Our ship had every possible cannon hole in it and no paint left.
    We out played them 15 times. Some encounters we sunk them without taking damage. They were soooo bad.
    Unfortunately after multiple hours of just trying to finish the damn fort we ran out of planks, took one shot to the bottom level and sunk their ship for the 16th time.
    We managed to maintain the water levels while a crew member grabbed planks from the fort. Then before he even got back on the ship the other galleon was already back and firing. We sunk them AGAIN but our ship was lost in the process.

    If this is working as intended I will not be wasting my time with forts. It is the most fun activity for our crew but there is no reward for fending off other crews because they will just spawn with a new fully stocked ship less than two map blocks away.

    Our crew was just so exhausted because it was 330am and they were not going to stop. We sunk them 17 times( we counted) and are still considered the loser because we just couldn't do it anymore.

    Great post. Thanks!

    I've encountered versions of this, but not exactly this. In any case, it feels more like a "who can outlast the other" contest rather than a true PvP match. 3+ hours dealing with someone else's mindless shenanigans isn't fun. I'm not sure I understand why Rare is letting this continue.

    Yeah at this point there is no reward for winning against a freshly spawned galleon. Most of the time people do not go into battle with loot anyway. I feel like the crew we faced from last night were just slamming their heads against a wall. I cant fathom losing 17 times in a row and coming back. We would have relocated and done something else but they couldnt sink us. People keep telling us "Its a battle of attrition but its really not. Its clear cut. They sink and we dont. Unfortunately anyone who has nothing better to do can constantly stop you from doing anything. Players need to be moved to a different server or across the map with their voyages lost when a ship is lost. Instead of a death tax have a ship loss tax and a timer on re spawn of galleons(2 mins would be enough). literally anything would help.

  • I don't know if this is considered griefing but my crew encountered a sloop last night while we were doing a skeleton raid and we beat them back more then 10x and they just kept coming back and forth over and over again it hindered the gameplay so much we eventually got frustrated and ended up just logging off entirely. The reason why we logged was because they sunk our damn boat finally and we were tired of the damn back n forth fighting which went no where. While our resources were depleting do to the fighting at the stronghold and with them. There resources never depleted cause everytime we beat them back they obviously respawned with new cannonballs, planks, and bananas. Rare needs to fix this pronto! Cause players like this just troll for no reason at all and at the end they didn't even gain anything I would understand if they tried to rob our loot after we finished the raid that's fair game. But to sit there and be killed multiple times and come back like its nothing is annoying. If your beaten more then once you should either be moved further away from where you died or moved to an entirely different server

  • @keepitlowkee
    See post above. We need something pronto to fix this or skeleton forts are a no go for my clan.

  • @hoochpit So, if you want to play as a merchant you should be foricbly killed by bloodthirsty pirate griefers? Either they need to re-evaluate the merchant quests to auto-adjust for solo play (1-2 chickens required vs. 3) or give me a PvP flag.

    That said, I am fine with playing on a galleon. There are times I like to play solo however. In my experience, most people are doing Gold Horders and Order of Souls on the Galleons. So, I play Merchants Guild solo.

  • The best way I have come across to make 'greifing' less profitable, is the 'rogue' feature that is in use in Ubisoft's The Division. This is slightly different because of the PvE/PvP elements, but bascially if you kill another player, you become 'rogue' and hunted, putting a bounty on your head. this would be an excellent mechanic to add to the game, a crew gets more 'reputation' as it kills others until a bounty is placed upon their ship.. other crews will then have more incentive to come and sink that ship. it (if implemented properly) disuade randomly sinking ships unless the benefit is there to make the subsequent bounty on your head worth it. I know playing PvP (The Dark Zone) in The Division certainly makes you think twice before offing someone to steal their loot, and you any greifers just out to kill others are highlighted (by the 'rogue' status) and hunted down very quickly. Could also become a legitimate tactic to progress.. hunting the seas for ships with bounties on them!

  • @flavoredbacon said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @keepitlowkee
    See post above. We need something pronto to fix this or skeleton forts are a no go for my clan.

    Good. They are made BY DESIGN to be a global hotspot on the server. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. Go do something else with your time.

  • @flavoredbacon said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @keepitlowkee
    See post above. We need something pronto to fix this or skeleton forts are a no go for my clan.

    Bruh I knew we weren't the only damn people going through this the people we fought were just like that and at the end no one won anything just a pure stalemate no treasure won or stolen. Just pure trolling at its finest

  • @khaleesibot First of all, allow users to set up private sessions (only friends can join/invite only) and session type should be changeable during gameplay. Add voice enabled player only option.
    This will reduce brig time by 90%.
    No other measures are necessary.

  • Griefing is a term that varies amongst people and I think firstly, a defined stance needs to be confirmed on that. Like what @Thor-von-Blitz shared, if thats the definition everyone understands rather than personal varations then I think there can be better progress on this issue.

    Theres nothing wrong with holding your ground, if you shoot first thats up to you and its up to the ship on the receiving end to decide on how to react. Sitting at outposts isnt griefing, its peoples foolishness for falling foul to that - That said on the topic of outposts and being occupied maybe just maybe have the inn have smoke coming out of it when the island is occupied and none when it isnt. No one can claim outpost camping from that, tbh I think theres enough indicators now but more obvious = less moaning. However, I personally think people just need to learn what to look for more.

    What I do consider to be a pain is the relentless ship that you sunk that keeps coming back over and over every couple of minutes because they spawn within visible distance. Whilst doing a fort yest my crew when 4-0 against the same ship, they never stood a chance, it was brutally unfair but they kept coming back, they get fresh resources, we had to leave temporarily leave to get more and return. Thats annoying all round, they were severely outmatched which is no fun for them and boring for us having to deal with it every few minutes - It was mentioned before about the possibility of breaking ships apart and I think that needs implementing. The ending of the mermaid respawn cycle is great but now when a ship sinks it needs to disappear to the other end of the map, better yet a different instance entirely (but I can see that being mighty difficult to do with not all crew dying at the same time). That seperation is needed. if the losing crew wants to hunt them down, thats fine but itll take time to do so and on the flipside it allows a ship to escape the few that grief. Those that sink a ship, see it respawn and go to sink it again, and again, and again - Those are the griefers, theres no value in that.

    This goes with the topic of death cost, and the mermaid respawn, if youve lost your ship, youre done, youre out, youve lost. So break it up, itll benefit everyone.

    The brig system will be alot better when the crew numbers are fluid. Its already been mentioned the devs have a system in progress about locking a crew to 3 but a 4th can join by invite. That needs implementing quickly and itll solve alot of those issues.

    I still think the solo sloop needs a "are you really damn sure?" because alot of the moaning is new players picking solo play having never played before. Its tough when you know what youre doing, nigh on impossible when youre new and so many are falling into that trap and then cry online about it.

  • @piasecznik said in [Mega Thread] - Player Griefing:

    @khaleesibot First of all, allow users to set up private sessions and session type should be changeable during gameplay.
    No other measures are necessary.

    They announced private parties but it wouldnt be necessary if you could just choose a 3 man and when you inv a 4th it just lets them in....

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