Move away from rules and move towards better game design

Lately I’ve been thinking about how many common DarkRP rules can be enforced by simply by the gamemode itself, rather than the administrators. Nowadays, servers have huge, long shopping lists of rules such as “Do not perform action A if you are job B and in C part of the map, if you are wearing a red shirt” which understandably would be daunting to new players due to it’s complexity. If the gamemode could enforce a much larger portion of the rules, then the roleplay aspect would be enhanced by further promoting immersion, rather than requiring admin intervention.

For me this made sense, i.e. automatic NLR zones, shipments dissapearing when jobs change (self-supply rule), etc. Other rules which I haven’t seen enforced by the gamemode would include the Mob not being allowed to raid without 1 Mobboss and 2 Gangsters, and this could be enforced by revoking lockpick/unarrest baton access from the mobboss until he gets two subordinates. Perhaps your server has a rule which states that Citizens are not allowed to assist on raids - Why not decrease Citizen movement speed and accuracy when carrying 2-handed weapons? You could even reduce default health of some jobs in order to discourage them from performing actions that would otherwise break the rules.

Or on some servers, you are allowed to no-collide your vehicle in order to not run people over, but some players abuse this and no-collide into people’s bases. This could easily be enforced by the gamemode rather than admins nitpicking on what players can and can’t do.

There could even be systems put in place which discourage RDM - I developed a Karma system once; Players who killed other players would get negative karma and thus respawn with a lower max health. They had to go to a Priest for some time in order to restore their Karma to 0. This wasn’t as effective as I had hoped for so I stopped using it (I would not recommend implementing something like this unless you seriously consider all the consequences first).

Some things don’t even need to be enforced by the gamemode - however, they can be encouraged. Why is it against the rules to harass someone on the street? I have seen players get banned for saying (in-character) “Go kill yourself”. Stuff like this shouldn’t even need to be in the rules, save for OOC chat. Police should be arresting players for harassment rather than the admins having to intervene. The gamemode can encourage this by providing monetary bonuses to the police department when wanted players get arrested (or something along those lines).

If you’ve ever played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive then you’ll know about the Negev machine gun. The Negev has a high rate of fire and extremely high damage per shot, so why don’t all players use it at every opportunity? The Negev is balanced by it’s low movement speed and even lower tagging speed, as well as poor spray accuracy.

Why aren’t DarkRP jobs balanced in a similar way? Why is it that a police are able to run around like headless chickens, arresting everything in sight? Doesn’t that make the Arrest Baton overpowered? There are definitely other ways to implement an arrest system (tasers, handcuffs). Why do thieves have a lockpick and no speed/health/damage/defense penalty?

Why hasn’t the DarkRP rule list been reduced to it’s absolute minimum (NLR, RDM, etc.) and why do admins feel the need to intervene so often (ignoring the paid admins who donate purely so they can intervene) ? So many problems could be solved through Lua and so many rules can be enforced, so why aren’t they? Why do we feel the need to move towards more and more rules rather than more intelligent game design? After all, programming is essentially a just a long set of rules, so why put that burden on the player and not just enforce it through the server?

Hey, we should setup a darkrp server sometime.

This is brilliant, good work, I hope more server owners read this and understand this, I have always thought this too

[sp] but seriously, add me on steam [/sp]

I also agree with this and I would like to do this for my upcoming server.

Because it’s easier to write a line of rules then a line of code, not many server owners care about their’s any more as-long if the money keeps following in.

See I don’t care about the money like most do, I’d rather have a fun server that players can have fun, and make friends on.

imho nlr is one of the shittiest rules ever. in theory it sounds like a good idea but in practice it’s essentially it unfairly punishes the player for getting killed. got raided? haha fucker all your shit’s gone and you can’t do fuck all because ~you forgot everything~.

i get that the idea is supposed to be realistic and that when a player dies, the character no longer exists in the context of the rp but what fucking sense does it make if the player just respawns as the exact same job, with the same amount of money, with all their props intact? if you wanted a fucking permadeath scenario you should wipe everything, not try to tiptoe around certain parts of it.

not to mention most nlr scripts basically just tell the player to fuck off if they get near where they died, which is ridiculous.

if i ever administrated darkrp again (god have mercy on me) i’d code a system where the player can either opt for a medic to bring them to a hospital and treat them or sacrifice a bit of money, lose their job, etc to respawn immediately.

[editline]14th April 2015[/editline]

i recall a time where nlr wasn’t a staple rule of gmod rp. i suspect the origins of nlr were powerhungry admins who loved to go around slaughtering people without any repercussions and it just kinda stuck.

Honestly, I do have to agree with you, the rules get very very tedious, and it does drive new people away.

But honestly, these lengthy rules are put into place by the server owners because they don’t want to listen to thousands of complaints about “oh shit he raided me 2 minutes ago now he raided me again and he wont stop”. That does make them pretty bad administrators in any case.

Even TTT is being fucked up by nonsense rules these days, shit like “If you have playermodel X you cant play on this part of the map or you get a permaban”. I do see what you mean.

You have to remember though, some of the rules are necessary, like No RDM and No Self-Supplying (Why not make a script where you have to initiate a raid before you’re allowed to use weapons, or like mentioned before, have spawned shipments disappear upon job change, considering you don’t have an inventory system too).

Would any server owners do this? Maybe 2 out of the 10,000 other servers out there, but you’re right, it would definitely help make the gamemode more interesting and fun.

Great ideas, sadly i cant make advanced stuff like that :frowning:

I would help too, but, I don’t think arizard would trust me after what I did to his server ages ago… Also, what happened to it? I don’t see it there anymore.

It’s been on and off

also ddos attacks and the host is running “updates” every 30 seconds which takes my vps down :frowning:

I once tried to fix darkrp with code, though i admit your plan is a lot more well thought out than mine was. Main problem being that darkrp is shit because of the playerbase just as much as the way its coded so you’d need to find a way to drive off or at least contain all the little shitheads that just want to cause trouble (though to be honest they usually want to cause trouble because its by far the most entertaining thing one can do in darkrp)

and for the love of god don’t recruit admins from the public, only bad things come of it
add a chat text hook that auto kicks anybody that says ‘can i have admin?’ with the reason ‘no’

I’ve wondered why this isn’t more of a thing before honestly, since it seems it’d suit the gamemode a lot better but on the other hand, a lot of gmod players will intentionally go out of their way to discover ways to ruin the game for others and will use any loophole they can to get out of punishment so I feel there is a reason why a lot of servers go into ludicrous details with rules

It’s because dipshit server owners include models which don’t use the colours, size or width as the defaults and those parts of the maps make UN-fair to players without those models, it’s a band-aid fix. Most TTT maps were made with the default player models in mind.

Couldn’t they simply resize the playmodels in a lua script?

[lua]
Pl:SetHull( default_min , default_max )
Pl:SetHullDuck( default_duck_min , default_duck_max )
[/lua]

Implying server owners know how to code lua or even know where to put that code.

Which is as often the case as winning the lottery.

I’ve tried this to miniaturize players before, there was a weird mismatch between the actual player hull and the visual hull that really screwed stuff up.

Swear to god, you couldn’t word it any better.

“Move away from rules and move towards better game design”.

Working on a gamemode right now, and seeing the reaction to your post really encourages me to stay true to my goal of turning to clever and effective game design rather then rules. Good *fucking *post.

I cannot agree more :frowning:

I hate the insanely long rule lists, yet I’ve probably contributed towards there ever expanding cluster fuck with my servers over the years. I’ve tried to cut down the rules but never manage to and don’t care enough anymore. Reality is people are dicks and think “Not in rules? I CAN DO DIS!” and treat it like a giant legal loop hole system instead of just a rough playing guide.

I hate scripted RP…

[editline]16th April 2015[/editline]

edit: To note I agree that scripted RP via giant rule lists is terrible, but I also hate the fact of forced RP via code as well. In my opinion freedom is a defining aspect of true role play.
Despite my shit RP environments I was actually a serious role player in some fun niche mmo’s over the past 15 years such as original fomk/neocron etc.

I’ve always thought one of the interesting problems that DarkRP presents is the basing and raid mechanic. Your base location is completely defined by you, which is problematic when it comes to raiding and killing raiders in your base. I’ve thought about coding a system where base boundaries are defined in code and displayed on the screen. You could either let the user draw out the boundaries, or associate predefined boundaries with each map. Basically, those boundaries would define where a player’s property started. The ownership would work similar to DarkRP’s door system. You could use this to make a system that basically put the code in charge of all issues that come from bases. Here are some of the ways it could benefit someone.

  • Make it impossible to place props outside of that area to prevent propkilling and building in the streets.
  • Make it impossible to lockpick doors if you’re not in raid mode
    • Raid mode would make the raiders clearly indicated as being hostile
    • Would also make the raiders wanted by police
  • Make it impossible to kill the owner of the property unless
    • The owner has fired upon you
    • You are in raid mode
    • You are a police officer and the owner is wanted
  • Make it impossible to return to the property until a certain time limit is up.
    • Perhaps also make it impossible to kill people on your property if they are in raid mode and haven’t fired upon you

This would help to prevent people from returning to their bases after they died to fight off the raiders, prevent non-raiding classes from raiding, prevent owners from being unclear as to who is raiding, prevent propkilling randomly in the streets, make players aware of when they are entering someone else’s property, and even help towards preventing rdm.

Hell, you could even make it so that when a property owner kills a non-raiding player or vice-versa, the police are called to investigate the issue or something like that. The police in that case would take over the role of admins in determining cases of rdm. That would lead towards a whole new interesting dynamic of allowing citizens to rebel against the police if they are corrupt.

I kinda just rambled for a bit without proofreading, so if parts of that idea are flawed or unclear, I’ll try to address them.