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The Velour Fog

Open tapping creates stalkers.

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So yesterday I was quite happily questing on my own in the misty mountains and all of a sudden I had this person latch onto me from Gloin's camp and follow me around. It was all quite disconcerting. She/he didn't say anything to me. No "Hi, do you want to quest together?", just silence.

I thought they'd get bored after a while and go do something else, but nope. Still following me. So naturally, I thought maybe they needed help on a quest or something and for some reason couldn't ask me. I asked, politely, why they were following (I'm not opposed to have a quest buddy, I'd just prefer them to ask me first!), and got the answer "Because of open tapping".

I didn't exactly know what it meant, but as I understand it now, any person who contributes damage (no matter how much) gets the xp for killing a mob. (And loot aswell?)

Hmm.

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You see this in GW2 all the time as well, I suppose for that reason I am used to it, basically people on the same quests will follow each other around just to make it quicker. It creates the illusion of everyone being helpful and more sociable when in fact it is the exact opposite, its far more sociable to group up. Saying all that, I actually don't mind it, many times in GW2 a quest I'm on has proved difficult but passing strangers soon come along to help out.

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I like going at my own pace though. I don't want to feel rushed by someone jumping around me whenever I stop to have a sip of beer.

Then go at your own pace and don't worry about them! :) I'd have probably just stopped and stood there or gone somewhere else if they kept on following me. :P

I don't see this that often in GW2 either to be honest. People will stop if they come by an event or there's a chest.. or pass by and pause to help kill a mob, but never any following around. And I agree about open tapping not making things any more sociable.

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Play a burg for a while..

Stalker? No problem.. find cliff, jump off with that no-leg-break skill, wait for that "crunch" sound behind you, move on. =D

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There's rarely a perfect solution to the problems inherent in MMO mechanics. Personally, I prefer the GW2 way of doing things in this regard. Where I would find it objectionable in LotRO is if it were, say a L36 open-tapping off of you, a L48 (for the sake of argument), That's not O-T; that's leeching, pure & simple. Since I loathe power-levelling, I wouldn't find this acceptable. My response to the L36 would probably be a polite "If you don't shove off, I'll drag you into something you can't survive & then desert you!" Which is a tad nicer than just doing it regardless... ;)

The thing with GW2, of course, is that you also have the down-scaling mechanic, which is a terrific idea. Again, it's imperfect - if you're geared up for your level then you still have an advantage; the greater the disparity between your level & the area, the greater the advatange. It does, however, give a far better sense of "helping" someone rather than "doing it for them". I still remember the pathetic little L6 hobbit in the Trollshaws, vainly appealing for help in killing the L40 boar for the cook's quest, back in SoA days. How I resisted the temptation to flame the Utumno out of him, I have never been quite sure...

Lauri & Loth are both quite correct, though. I've said it widely & often enough, including both here & on Anet's own forums - the biggest problem with GW2 is that it's co-operative, not social. You can run in & help, but you never have to talk to anyone. As it's turned out, it seems to be to be the world's first Massively Multi-player Single-player Online game! ;)

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Lauri & Loth are both quite correct, though. I've said it widely & often enough, including both here & on Anet's own forums - the biggest problem with GW2 is that it's co-operative, not social. You can run in & help, but you never have to talk to anyone. As it's turned out, it seems to be to be the world's first Massively Multi-player Single-player Online game! ;)

I have to agree with Raed, its co-operative not social and the exact reason I gave up on GW2, albeit I had a great guild of old Lotro friends I just didnt like the atmosphere. I really enjoyed the open tapping system in Rohan, I just hope the above incident doesnt become the norm I do "stalk" or tag along on certain Hytbold dailie quests but I always make sure to thank my fellow player for the help.

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I have had this happen recently on a mini of mine. Little scrub was following me around while i was scrounging some hides up sucking off the XP from my kills. I rounded up three tasty sallies just south of harwick, and then did my still as death thing, instant agro on the scrub, never saw him again after that. A hobbit flop works good for this too :)

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I have had this happen recently on a mini of mine. Little scrub was following me around while i was scrounging some hides up sucking off the XP from my kills. I rounded up three tasty sallies just south of harwick, and then did my still as death thing, instant agro on the scrub, never saw him again after that. A hobbit flop works good for this too :)

Heheheh.

Is there anything I can do as a man loremaster though? I would have liked an invisibility spell by now (you know, loremasters supposedly being masters of lore), but nope :(

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Can't decide if Acidreign or Ardraug wins best solution to the stalker issue :)

I do find the satisfying *crunch* as a leg breaks maybe gives that one the edge tho...

My other half and my daughter know only too well what happens if they put me on follow when we are all questing together :P

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If you dont mind dying then just pull as many mobs as you can, you will take them with you. Good time to do this is just when you are going to log out as they way you dont get any nasty tells from the dead person

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.... - the biggest problem with GW2 is that it's co-operative, not social. You can run in & help, but you never have to talk to anyone. As it's turned out, it seems to be to be the world's first Massively Multi-player Single-player Online game! ;)

Second - SWTOR was first, unless you don't count it as an MMO at all...

Can't decide if Acidreign or Ardraug wins best solution to the stalker issue :)

I do find the satisfying *crunch* as a leg breaks maybe gives that one the edge tho...

My other half and my daughter know only too well what happens if they put me on follow when we are all questing together :P

I still remember the pain, when in SoA they stopped your followers from jumping to their death...

Burgs WTF as far as getting rid of stalkers is concerned. :)

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Heheheh.

Is there anything I can do as a man loremaster though?

Nope.

I would have liked an invisibility spell by now (you know, loremasters supposedly being masters of lore), but nope :(

Shoulda played an elf. ;) You'd have one invisibility skill once an hour. :P

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Second - SWTOR was first, unless you don't count it as an MMO at all...

Sorry, never took any interest in any of the games, given how shonky the SW universe is...

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To be honest the old scheme wasn't conflict free either.

Now you had people getting angry when others "helped".

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Every system is double-edged. With open tapping systems it's biggest strenght lie exactly where it's biggest weakness lie = ultra conveniant way to (pseudo)cooperate. That's why there is noone really being social, talking or trying to build any ties. That's why it is "playing together alone".

You want meaningful ties creating, people really talking and cooperating, game trying to mimick (in simple and gamified manner) fantasy world? Then game mechanics, content and systems have to require it. That mean no open tapping, no ultra-fast travel, tactic talking, maybe even bit bigger death penatlies, etc - basically things cannot be automated, have to take at least bit of time and effort.

People form stronger ties and communicate more 'in-depth' if they face stronger challanges, have to put something to risk and have to put their time&effort into something.

Thing is many people don't want to do that kind of things in video game.

So that's why everything is automated and does not require almost anything from player. If game is constructed like that then:

a ) people will almost always play alone and at best do thinngs that does not require 'hassle of talking, etc' - like rezzing in GW2 or joining / helping at killing some mob - because they will get something out of it without putting any effort in - can just come swing sword at mob someone else is hitting, loot and go their way without any other actions.

b ) they will try to exploit it - that's why following / tailing like said in OP

It is same thing as when mmorpg's went 99% solo in open world. 99% just run alone + try to exploit (like mob / resource stealing) because there was no possible repercussions. - cause no pvp and mmorpg's started to forbid social ostracism on chats by signling bad behaviour with names. Later on cross-servers, phasing, zoning and intancing came and then reputation stopped matter at all.

So Open Tapping is just another mechanic that is evolution of one same direction almost all mainsteram mmorpg's go through:

Less effort, less accountability, more reward.

It is like automatic LFG tools + auto-teleport to instances.

It turned mmorpg's into lobby games.

Open tapping just hit one of last nails on 'playing alone together' multi-player single-play online games.

PS. Mmorpg's became solo-lobby like games long-time ago. Open tapping is just symptom, not cause. GW2 or Lotro without open-tapping would not be sigificantly more 'worldy'. People would just run alone anyway and they did (in Lotro.)

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One solution to the problem - albeit an imperfect one - is to narrow the range of what level a person has to be before getting ultra-aggroed by everything in the vicinity (I think the current level difference is 20 levels below.). Unfortnately, that would harm resource gathering, for those who don't want to level a crafting alt to within 10 levels of a node area. As I said, it's an imperfect solution.

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Well VF, as a human LM i dont think there is anything much you can do, depends on what is stalking you. If its a high dps toon like a hunter/rk or something, yah might send your pet out there to agro something, hope the stalker hits for enough to pull the agro as you dismiss your pet, chances are i doudt it would rarely work. yah might get lucky once in a while though, who knows.

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I suppose it boils down to what one defines as "stalking" or "leeching", but I try to remain friendly in these situations (I'm thinking of GW2; haven't tried OT in LOTRO yet). I've been rescued from a grisly death many a time by passing strangers, and if I see another player struggling I'll help them out. Deliberately training mobs onto other players seems needlessly mean-spirited; I reserve that for any bots I encounter.

;)

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Actually there's a simple way to appease both the resource gatherers and the fighters:

Make the aggro only happen if a player is considered 'mob hostile' within the area for some cooldown period (maybe 15 minutes).

These leechs have to tap the mob in order to get XP, correct? If so they go 'mob hostile' and the 5 level ultra-aggro threat range goes into effect instead of the 20 level one. Resource gatherers who simply run away instead of engaging the mobs recieve the normal much lower aggro range and can harvest as normal, but leechers due to the need to tap mobs will now trigger a higher threat level due to actively engaging mobs, thus leading further mobs to swarm them in defense of their region.

Now actually getting developers to implement said idea is another matter, but as far as technical implementations go that should only require changes in maybe 6 locations, assuming sound development practices in both data structures and codebase (either or both of which may not be true with any/all MMOs currently on the market. Proper engineering often falls first to 'time to market' and 'cost reduction')

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I suppose it boils down to what one defines as "stalking" or "leeching", but I try to remain friendly in these situations (I'm thinking of GW2; haven't tried OT in LOTRO yet). I've been rescued from a grisly death many a time by passing strangers, and if I see another player struggling I'll help them out. Deliberately training mobs onto other players seems needlessly mean-spirited; I reserve that for any bots I encounter.

;)

That's one thing I dislike about GW2: it's aggro. It's so damn annoying when I'm mining or just running behind someone for a distance and the mobs that the other person have aggroed decide to turn on me. It's especially bad in Orr. I greatly prefer the way Lotro has done it. I know I'm not gonna get swamped because of the stupidity of others.

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I disagree. Irritating as it may be, why shouldn't it be that way? If the other person hadn't been there, they would have gone for you. If you go to WvW, the other players will turn on you because you are in range, so why shouldn't the mobs display that kind of tactical intelligence, instead of mindlessly chasing something they can't catch whilst you take advantage? It cuts both ways; I do actually prefer Anet's way.

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I disagree. Irritating as it may be, why shouldn't it be that way? If the other person hadn't been there, they would have gone for you.

They would not have. They wouldn't have even been there! They are only there because the other person ran them past me and I happened to be in the spot where they decide they can no longer catch him and are like.. oh hai! you're close by us now!.. whilst returning to their original position. I'm getting ganked without having caused the original aggro and that's bs. I've gone through the trouble on not pissing off said mobs and just because I'm gathering nodes in what has now become the wrong spot or I happen to have to run in the same direction as another person who is deciding to train 4-5 mobs doesn't mean I should then incur their wrath. It's NOT pvp as real players don't have a fixed position to hang out at and return too (unless they're being an ass and camping something..) and it's damned annoying in mob-dense places like Orr. I shouldn't be punished for someone else's carelessness or downright rudeness in a PvE environment.

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I have a confession to make...I am guilty of this. Last night I was trying to get to a personal storyline spot in Orr when my phone rang, and old friend wishing me a merry Christmas. All well and good, but in my distraction I got turned around, aggroed waayyyy too many mobs, and ended up near a waypoint where a player had just spawned. I'm not sure if this player was paying attention, because he/she made no attempt to fight back as the numerous critters landed on the waypoint.

It was ugly.

7(8)7

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