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Multiboxing

How auto-follow ties into multiboxing.  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Should auto-follow be disabled as a means of discouraging multiboxing?

    • Yes. (Auto-follow should be disabled.)
      4
    • No. (Auto-follow should not be disabled.)
      10
    • Indifferent.
      2


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Per the official Pantheon FAQ:

 

10.4 Will multi-boxing be allowed in Pantheon?

Our reaction to multi-boxing is to try something first before we even entertain the idea of artificially restricting it. We want to make combat, especially mid and higher level combat, so tactically intense, with so much going on, so much to do, so much to counter, so many companions to keep alive and the timing of many abilities crucial, that multi-boxing is extremely difficult if not impossible and likely far inferior to having an actual real person in your group.

 

While VR's official stance does not prohibit multi-boxing, they have made it clear that their planned flow of combat will make it less than ideal.  I like to reflect back on my experience with FFXI and how their combat system was highly successful with deterring multi-boxing.  XP Chains and Skill Chains both required an extra layer of teamwork and coordination to pull off.  In order to be optimally efficient during the grind, groups would usually spend a bit of time working out a pulling strategy and determining which Skill Chains would be used as a part of their combat rotation.  These were essentially limited "windows of opportunity" that players were able to utilize to their advantage.  Timing, accuracy and positioning were all important factors that contributed toward the tactically intense style of combat that many players enjoyed.  It's unlikely that we will see XP Chains in Pantheon, but skill chains may take shape as a form of "synergy" between various classes.

 

Per the Living Codex:

Applying a Signet of Synergy to an ability will unlock different class-specific synergy effects that can be used in combination with synergy effects from other classes, sometimes to awesome effect. However, the Primary Scroll ability must be capable of synergy effects, not all will be.

 

We have yet to see this feature in action but it's one of many ways that the style and pace of combat in Pantheon can reinforce the value of having real players in each group slot.  Beyond this synergy potential, we can also expect to deal with various forms of intelligent AI, also known as "NPC Dispositions."  These NPC's will have a different set of priorities coded into their behavior; some may decide to focus on targeting your back line, some may attempt to call for reinforcements, while others may take on more of a "disruption" role using various forms of calculated CC when certain abilities (triggers) are used.  There are plenty of possibilities with how this will shape out, but one thing is for sure ... this will help alleviate the monotony that has been associated with grinding of the past.  It also opens up various forms of emergent gameplay where players may purposely bait out certain reactionary behaviors and use them to their advantage.

Personally, I'm not against multi-boxing.  One of my goals is to build a PC that will be capable of boxing multiple toons so that I can play the market while my primary adventuring character deals with potential downtime.  Pantheon is bringing back the importance of social gameplay and there is no better way to do that than provide in-game challenges that are better handled with strong reaction time and attention to detail.  I'm not a fan of single players boxing a full group as it goes against many of the tenets that shape the world of Terminus, but there are exceptions to every rule.  When you look at the FAQ response to multi-boxing, I think it's safe to say that boxing full groups will be both challenging and inefficient.  I look forward to seeing VR's vision for tactically intense combat in action.

There has been an active conversation going on surrounding this topic and one of the ideas being tossed around is to disable auto-follow as it would make multi-boxing much more difficult.  While I am a fan of features such as XP Chains and Skill Chains because they reward good behavior, I'm not particularly fond of removing the auto-follow feature.  If there are enough features/systems that reward skill, timing, accuracy, and overall good teamwork, I think auto-follow is worthy enough of a feature to keep around.  When a character is on auto-follow, they aren't really contributing anything significant to their group other than not holding it hostage to a specific area.  It's a tool that makes a really big difference when real life happens.  Let's say someone in your group needs to take an inopportune break in the middle of a dungeon crawl ... what is the reaction?  "No big deal, we'll make it work with what we have and play cautiously until they get back." or "Ugh, now we're stuck here until they get back."  Personally, I would rather have the option to play with temporary decreased efficiency than be forced to stop altogether.

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Anytime you take something away from a good player, because of the actions of a bad player, it's the wrong course of action in my opinion when it comes to gaming.

We haven't seen a game yet be unhackable.  If you take a useful tool from the good player, the good player loses it.  The cheater does not.  Never.  They find ways, oh so creative ways, code injection, hardware accessories, OS-level scripting, driver hijacking, you name it and 10x more, no matter how you slice it, CHEATY GON' CHEAT.

So you'll find me always on the side of "Our reaction to multi-boxing is to try something first before we even entertain the idea of artificially restricting it. We want to make combat, especially mid and higher level combat, so tactically intense, with so much going on, so much to do, so much to counter, so many companions to keep alive and the timing of many abilities crucial, that multi-boxing is extremely difficult if not impossible and likely far inferior to having an actual real person in your group." which is a very wordy way of saying, do things that are pluses for the good player and negatives for the bad player and you've got a winner.

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On the other side of that coin is this ... if auto-follow is disabled, it would be absolutely clear that when you see a group doing it, they would be using some sort of botting program.  This would make it much easier to identify botters.  I am totally against botting in all shapes and forms but don't think removing auto-follow should be on the table as a way of identifying people who do it.  Auto-follow is a quality of life feature that should remain in tact.  Does it make multiboxing easier?  Absolutely.  But again ... if you have enough features or systems in the game that reward good behavior, it isn't that big of a deal.  We just need to see a heavy emphasis on timing, coordination, reaction speed, positioning, teamwork, etc.  The more moving pieces and parts there are, the harder it will be for any individual to keep up with all of them while running multiple accounts.

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if auto-follow is disabled, it would be absolutely clear that when you see a group doing it, they would be using some sort of botting program. "

While true, you're not relying on user reports to see bots and spammers on any of your websites here because the success rate is too low. Tech methods are better -- in this comparison, the server itself has better eyes than we do, and can follow artificial autofollow groups over longer periods of time with better accuracy.

When I was racing for Diplo in Vanguard, finished world 2nd, I got accused of botting by players reporting me.  Those players did not know I had been a serious tester, nor that myself and the other top Diplos had been in constant contact with the staff. So when I got "caught" it was by the same GM that I knew. She messaged me to see if I was there, and I said "Oh hey again! Was (#3 player) able to get the quest unstuck?".  Then I was told that she laughed and had not noticed it was me and I was clearly not botting since I stand next to and chat with them often.  I had just been reported the most for a rhythmic back and forth I had been doing for a couple days.

Had I not had that relationship, relying on player reports would have disrupted the race, and hurt legitimate players.

Some other bots can be even smarter, there are space bots in Star Trek that use algorithmic movement to follow the rest of the team without matching any of our flight paths exactly. The bad guys have this, the game never featured auto-follow (because it's poor in space dimensions). On top of that, actual players can rarely spot it since the flight looks good. The server can learn the algorithm in ways players can't. 

This is a cat-and-mouse we will never truely win either way, sadly. I would prefer the battles stick directly to the bad guys.

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Autofollow alone should never be revoked.  There is too much of what you describe as 'stopping in a dungeon' because someone needs to let a dog out, go to the bathroom, or answer a door.  As Candarie said, using the feature for another purpose (boxing) is up to that person.

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Eh, I'm sure there are better ways to fight botting than removing auto follow. It's really useful when someone needs to take a bio break or whatever without holding everybody up. Pros of keeping it outweigh the cons by a landslide IMO.

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I think the key here is going to be positioning. If they make collision an issue or LoS be blocked by other players this is instantly solved. The toon AF directly behind you will neither be able to reach the mob through you or see it through you unless it is a taller than average mob. I do not know that they are implementing these ideas... but I can hope.

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I liked how LoS worked in EQOA.  You could use the terrain or structures to obstruct LoS.  It was actually a really important factor for several raid bosses ... I remember there being a sweet spot for Avatar of Fear where healers could get LoS of the tank, but not be in LoS of the Avatar of Fear.  Positioning the mob around the monument in his room was key to fighting that guy the right way.  The good 'ol days!

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I think people here are judging something they don't quite understand.  Let me start off by saying,  I do not multi-box or dual box,  I could never afford the sub for it =P.  So story goes,  6 Years ago, a friend and myself decided to startup a Guild for SWTOR.  We started mass recruiting people and eventually ran into a individual who ran https://www.dual-boxing.com/  ,  they were looking to play SWTOR.  Not really knowing much about dual boxing I was a little resistant at first but I sat down and talked to the owner of the site.  Eventually SWTOR was released and all these players from the dual boxing community played along side of us.

So facts that I learned about Dual boxing,  

  • Dual boxing does not generally use follow mechanics, so voiding following will not exactly cancel the dual boxing ability.
  • Dual boxers are not trying to cheat anyone, or hack the game.  They just enjoy a different aspect of playing the game.
  • Dual boxing uses a program which is not the same as bots, it allows them to map multiple game clients to the same keys, even if they are out of focus on the screen.

So I understand some might see them as resource botting, and in some instances it probably would suck while camping something.  But the intention is never to do harm to the game or others.

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I used to dual box in EQ and Vanguard.  I used 2 computers, and had a keyboard and mouse on each and played them both independently just having the keyboards and mice next to each other.  I didn't use any programs to do anything out of the ordinary to play the game.  I do not like the idea of people installing software that allows them to play characters that they're not actively controlling.  That includes being able to use a single keyboard to map to multiple instances of the game.  They're actively controlling a single character, and are passively controlling background characters.

That's just my opinion, though.  If VR were to come out and say that such play is allowed, then I wouldn't hold it against anyone, even though I don't like it.

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If boxing is allowed, I'm going to do it.

Whoa, whoa...hear me out.

I'm going to play this game with my wife, who I know isn't going to play as much as me.  So there will be times when I'm playing and I don't want to leave her behind, so I'm going to box her toon to drive it around.  I don't plan on doing any group content while boxing, and if any fighting does happen it'll be vs. very small mobs.  I have no plans on boxing 3 or 4 accounts.  Only 2 and only because I'm going to be begging my wife to play with me and if she logs in, has to spend 20 mins trying to find me and when she does, I'm 6 levels higher than her?  Well, 1) I'm done playing Pantheon, and 2) I'm done playing Pantheon.

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Can't we just agree to kill /follow and that people who go afk are terrible human beings?

Guess not.  Always some lame excuse.   

"My kid has been standing in a snowbank waiting for me to pick him up for the last hour."

"I have to run to the store, my  dog hasn't had any food for 3 days."

"My insulin is in the bathroom, I'll be really quick, I promise."

"I've been wearing this same adult diaper for 3 days and it's getting a bit ripe."

 

Edited by Celandor

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On 11/26/2017 at 12:43 PM, Kittik said:

If boxing is allowed, I'm going to do it.

Whoa, whoa...hear me out.

I'm going to play this game with my wife, who I know isn't going to play as much as me.  So there will be times when I'm playing and I don't want to leave her behind, so I'm going to box her toon to drive it around.  I don't plan on doing any group content while boxing, and if any fighting does happen it'll be vs. very small mobs.  I have no plans on boxing 3 or 4 accounts.  Only 2 and only because I'm going to be begging my wife to play with me and if she logs in, has to spend 20 mins trying to find me and when she does, I'm 6 levels higher than her?  Well, 1) I'm done playing Pantheon, and 2) I'm done playing Pantheon.

The mentor system is in place to solve your exact problem.  If you're 6 lvls higher than she is you won't be done playing Pantheon.  You simply delevel yourself to her lvl temporarily so that you can play together. 

Your concern is unwarranted. 

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