Since the launch of GTA online, shared open worlds have become a popular trend in modern gaming. These games can be incredibly immersive but are often plagued with griefers.
For those who don’t know, griefers are gamers who go out of their way to spoil other players experiences. Whilst some of these can be admittedly hilarious when players encounter a persistent griefer it can ruin the game.
Deliberately failing group missions, scamming players in trades or repeatedly killing your avatar – griefers can be a real menace. As more games move toward shared open worlds we look into the ways these new franchises can combat griefers.
Griefer Servers and Player Bounties
There are already some ideas that are popular amongst the gaming community to prevent griefing. The simplest of these is to boot the offending player from the server, but some games take the concept even further.
Players who are consistently found to be griefing others may find themselves restricted to griefer servers. These are servers solely filled with like-minded players who can continue to spoil each other’s games.
The other popular concept is to have the offended players marked on the map for all other players to see. Anyone deliberately causing trouble will instantly become a target for all others on the server, with potential in-game incentives for the player who exacts revenge.
As of yet though neither of these concepts has been definitive in stopping griefing as players continue to find creative ways around them.
It’s become a hot-button issue for fans of the Fallout series as Bethesda announced the latest release will be moving to an online survival format. The infamously difficult Fallout series will be throwing up an entirely new post-apocalyptic challenge with Fallout 76.
Whilst many fans leapt for joy there were also niggling concerns that the game could become ruined by griefers. Series director Todd Howard has responded to fans concerns with a more recent announcement of how the team tend to deal with the issue.
A fleshed out bounty system will be trialled where griefers will be forced to pay the bounty out of their own in-game currency. Fallout 76 will also implement some creative ways to combat the issue.
“Damage is scaled down against the person being shot, but if the other player reciprocates, damage is restored. A cap reward is determined – and players are incentivized into fighting higher-leveled players,” Todd Howard confirmed at QuakeCon.
Can Todd Howard Beat the Griefers?
Bethesda is banking on the coupled incentives of avoiding bounties and targeting established players. Griefers will find the concept costly, whilst skilled players can advance quicker by targeting players who are superior to them.
It’s a well thought out multi-point plan and it promises to strike the tricky balance between challenge and frustration. It remains to be seen if Fallout 76 will be successful but players won’t have to wait long to find out.
A recent leak suggests the Fallout 76 beta will be playable from October 8th. The beta will allow Bethesda to view their new system and make any tweaks before the release date November 14th.