The developers behind the sandbox MMORPG Dominus are putting the so called Bounty Hunters in SWTOR on notice by introducing an actual bounty hunter system to their game.
The system will allow players to place a bounty on anyone’s head for any amount of money, however will limit bounty offers to four per person. So if you pissed off a lot of people, you won’t have more than four active bounties on you at one time. Other players can then accept up to four bounties, hunt them down and collect the payments once they kill them.
The penalty for death in Dominus is minor at the current time. Like most MMORPGs today, players will respawn at a given location mainly losing time having to travel back to where they were. However Dominus also allows resource looting, so if you were carrying any materials on you, those can be looted off your corpse by other players.
The system however has flaws, other then getting revenge on someone, why bother spending your money to kill someone if you receive no reward, leaving yourself in the negative. No one is going to bother spending their time hunting another player unless the payment is decent, so I’d imagine it will be costly to put up a bounty. Since it will be expensive, most likely there won’t be many people listing bounties if they get no reward in return.
The system is also easily gameable and will give huge incentives for everyone to be assholes to each other. Think of it this way, if your a big enough ass to everyone you’ll get bounties on yourself, then have a second account or friend collect the bounty on you and split the earnings.
The concept is great, but it just needs to be fleshed out more. The person putting up the bounty needs to be rewarded once the contract has been filled, otherwise players will be just throwing their money away. At the same time, you don’t want people gaming the system the other way by placing bullshit bounties on extra accounts just to collect the bounty rewards given. It’s a difficult predicament, but hopefully the developers will figure out a way.
I could see a few ways to fix some of the issues and make everything more interesting. They might not be ideal, but I think they can be built upon:
– make the bounty Bind on Pickup. Or make it some form of non-tradeable currency, like Conquest Points in WoW for example.
– harsher penalties if you have a bounty on you and you die from a player that has included it among his chosen 4 to hunt.
– tons of achievements, titles, leaderboards, etc for bounty hunters and bounty targets. People are capable of spending A LOT of resources and time on something that gives rewards of this type. Bounty targets should get the most important ones though, since they’re the ones risking the most.
– the bounty placer picks up all the loot you drop when you die because of his bounty. He also becomes immune from you placing a bounty on him for quite a while. His successful bounty is also written in somewhere in the game, so everyone knows he got you (with the help of the player that actually killed you).
– If the bounty target kills the one that placed a bounty on him, he gets half the bounty and also immunity from that person placing another bounty on him in the near future.
The minimum possible bounty on him would also increase a little.
Easy to fix
Bounties can only be applied to people that are above a certain level.
Then make the game Permadeath.
Well, traditionally in a bounty the target ends up dead or in prison for a long time.
All that negative stuff has been taken away. As Xaras notes.
I think I’d make it that bounty money is given in a seperate account which you can only spend on NPCs and the auction house, and only X amount per day on that. Yeah, people could buy auction house items, then hand them to the target, but at only X amount per day that’d be slow and awkward, atleast.
Yep make the money unable to transfer to the player with a bounty on their head – stops the cheating the system and sharing of the loot. Easiest way to do this is Permadeath.
Bounties can only be applied to players above a certain level – this means if 2 players try to scam the system it will be time consuming and a pain to level a character back up to the required level to do it a second time.
Make death mean something —- if the cons of dying outweigh the gains people will not abuse it.