Feedback talk:User/Guild Wars 3 perhaps/Karma Rewards for Mentoring and Assisting

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Hm, I actually really like the idea of a small karma award going to a person that revives another person for the first time. However, I don't think that many people would want to bother with an interface to reward someone with karma every time they get helped. Kormon Balser User Kormon Balser Tango-dervish-icon-small.png 01:56, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Then perhaps it should just be automated. One point is awarded automatically for the measurable forms of assistance I listed (or whatever the developers come up with). Guild Wars 3 perhaps 18:05, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Slow down their partna, GW3, if it's even needed, is probably a decade or so away. GW2 ain't even out yet.-- User Vanguard VanguardLogo.pnganguard 01:59, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

My screen name bears no relation to the current game. This is a suggestion for Guild Wars 2. The screen name is partly tongue-in-cheek; if my suggestions aren't taken into consideration for Guild Wars 2, then hopefully the developers will consider them for Guild Wars 3 (or whatever it's spiritual successor will be named). Guild Wars 3 perhaps 18:05, 18 May 2012 (UTC) (but suggesting for Guild Wars 2)
Whoops. I didn't notice that at all. GO ME.-- User Vanguard VanguardLogo.pnganguard 19:32, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh hey, that has already been implemented... Kormon Balser User Kormon Balser Tango-dervish-icon-small.png 16:33, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's implemented for revivial only. The Community title track/rewards system doesn't address the other forms of assistance and mentoring I mentioned in the original suggestion. Furthermore, it doesn't appear that the points system is Karma-based. The reward icon used on the wiki page labeled "Community" is not the Karma icon.

My suggestion awards Karma points for performing both revivals and other forms of measurable assistance and mentoring. My hope being that giving players a tangible reward rather than just a cosmetic title will encourage more of them to assist and cooperate with their fellow gamers in the spirit in which GW2 is being developed.

Certainly there will be players who will assist in the abscence of any reward whatsoever; just helping others is reward enough for them. Then there will be the title chasers who will help because it gives them one more title to collect. My suggestion covers a third demographic; the "I'll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine" or the "what's-in-it-for-me" crowd. By giving them a tangible reward of Karma which is a form of in-game currency (rather than just merely a title which they may not otherwise care about), it will encourage more players to help their fellow gamers and contribute towards building a more interactive GW2 community.

GW2 offers so many opportunities for actively engaging in cooperation and assistance with other players. However, based on reviews and feedback I've read following the Beta Weekend Event, players are not really availing themselves of these opportunities. It's the difference between playing next to another player versus playing with another player. People are playing the game in parallel with one another but still not actually playing together. I've read comments stating that, though a party system exists, practically no one parties up in the PvE world. They just all happen to be in the same area doing the same dynamic event, but they aren't joining parties and directly assisting one another. Another post lamented how little communication was occurring; noting there were scores of people in their immediate area but no one was chatting.

Since the game is designed to be solo-able in PvE and ArenaNet has dispensed with the Holy Trinity by making every profession self-sufficient (both of which I applaud), this leads to less dependancy of a player on the other players around them. The down side of this is the game risks devolving into being no different than a single-player RPG in which you just happen to be surrounded by real players you aren't interacting with. I think that would be a very sad state of affairs in the GW2 world.

I know my suggestion isn't going to single-handedly change the situation above. However, if players are given a reward for helping others, then - in some small way - it may support the larger goal of making GW2 into a very active social community in which players seek out opportunities to assist, cooperate, and mentor one another. Yes, this means their help is being "bought" with a Karma reward. But once we get people cooperating and helping other players, they'll (hopefully) begin to see the value of doing so beyond the mere rewarding of Karma or the earning of points to put towards another title.

I would certainly have no problem seeing my suggestion rolled into the current Community achievement category. However, I still feel strongly about offering Karma points as a tangible reward to help overcome many players' reticence when it comes to assisting others. I believe it helps if we put all of this into a historical perspective. Previously, many MMOs were built around a system in which only one player in a group is rewarded for a kill or completing some task (despite all of the other players who were part of that group contributing to their collective success). This conditioned players to avoid other players for fear of kill steals or not getting a role on the loot table. GW2 is eliminating that approach to game design (and I, for one, couldn't be happier).

However, after years of being conditioned to look upon their fellow MMO gamers as competitors rather than companions, it's not enough for ArenaNet to simply say, "We've eliminated that." Conditioning runs deep; what took years to become an ingrained attitude and behavioural response to a situation isn't suddenly undone just because ArenaNet publishes their MMO Manifesto. To reverse that conditioning, it takes more than simply returning the situation to neutral.

To counter the negative of looking upon other gamers as competitors, the pendulum has to swing beyond its balance point all the way over into the positive side. In practical terms, this means ArenaNet has to not only tell players they've eliminated the mechanic which penalizes people for helping others but they will now be actively rewarded for helping others. In my suggestion, this means giving them Karma points. The goal, of course, is to get players to cooperate and act as companions for the simple fact that it leads to a more rewarding gaming experience for everyone and is its own reward. But to get people to break out of the mold of viewing other players as competitors (at worst) or as stand-ins for NPCs with whom they don't interact (at best) is going to require enticing them out of their shells with a tangible reward, first.

Eventually, people will catch on and their old attitudes towards MMO gaming will slowly be replaced with this new approach. However, that will take years to achieve. To get the ball rolling in that direction, it's my belief ArenaNet has to jump-start the process by actively rewarding players who assist others. Thus the reason for my suggestion (in addition to simply wanting to see the Good Samaritans among the gaming community rewarded and recognized for their efforts). Guild Wars 3 perhaps 20:08, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I really love your idea of rewarding mentoring play with both tangible and prestige benefits, and what you've suggested would seem to address any exploit that I can think of. One of my favourite implementations of this theme elsewhere is Allods Online, where a new player (who has not opted out of the system) is randomly assigned a high level mentor (from those who are eligible and want to participate) upon reaching level 6. They have an easy interface for communicating with this mentor, or requesting to be assigned a new one, and the mentor is rewarded by receiving a percentage of all gold that their protege collects in normal play (not decreasing the amount the newbie gets). The longer they continue to mentor over days, weeks and months, the higher the percentage of monetary reward they receive. I really enjoyed the system because it immediately established community links for new players, and seemed to offer really good incentives to help and mentor substantially over the long-term, rather than just rewarding isolated random acts of kindness. If your idea has much the same effect, I'm on board! - Avaera 19:23, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Thank you, Avaera, for the feedback. I really like your suggestion of a mentor system based on Allods Online (which I have not played, but sounds very intriguing). I'd like to see both systems implemented; one that rewards random acts of kindness (per my suggestion) and one that is a more formal, opt-in mentor-protege system (per your suggestion). Then, with the advent of Karma in GW2, replace Allods Online gold reward with a Karma reward, instead (to address potential abuses of using it to farm in-game gold for real money trading).

The one reservation I have about Allods Online mentoring system is the potential to abuse it for farming. For example, you wrote:
"...and the mentor is rewarded by receiving a percentage of all gold that their protege collects in normal play..."

Is this an open-ended system? In other words, does the mentor continue to earn a percentage of their protege's gold forever? Do they have to continue to actively mentor their protege (however that is measured) to maintain their claim to a percentage of the gold? If not and the mentor only need establish themselves as a mentor once - never actively mentoring after that initial act - then I fear that could lead to Karma farming in GW2. Did Allods Online have a way to address this issue? For example, does a mentor have to engage in a measurable form of mentoring (whatever that may be) at regular intervals to maintain their mentor status?

Now we just have to come up with some criteria to qualify someone as an opt-in, long-term mentor in GW2. I don't feel that a player's level alone should qualify them as a mentor. It could certainly be used as a qualifying factor, but not the only one. I think a mentor needs to have demonstrated their willingness to help others. Now, how to measure this? Number of times they've revived other players? Number of times they've side-kicked up a lower level player? Number of times they've down-leveled to assist a friend? The number of times they've participated in another player's Personal Story quests? The vote of other players? I'm open to suggestions. Guild Wars 3 perhaps 20:24, 28 June 2012 (UTC)