I’ve seen a few threads that keep touching on the idea of Crime and Punishment, and I think it’s a good idea to take a moment and contemplate how the various cultures of EverQuest Next might conceive crimes to their faction, as well as how they might choose to punish criminals.
The traditional go-to response we’ve seen is imprisonment.
You take the criminal, and throw them in a dark and dank dungeon cell, and leave him to rot.
Such a form of punishment not only requires space, but also has a recurring cost of feeding and caring for the prisoner. Without such food and care, you might as well just consider prison a death sentence where you die within a few days from dehydration.
Such a punishment mechanic, if applied to players, is just not fun. Players don’t like being locked into a jail cell for a set amount of time, and being unable to do anything about it.
It’s also something that players can mitigate by simply staying online but being Away-From-Keyboard.
If you allow players can break out of the jail cell by solving a puzzle, then the prison is fun the first time, but quickly becomes an annoyance.
More over, it doesn’t really showcase the culture of a race if every single faction simply throws their prisoners in a cell.
What are some other ways that we think the various factions and races might choose to handle crimes against players (or against NPCs)?
Can we can come up with innovative ways to discourage some players from performing certain behaviors, tying them into the lore and culture of the faction?
What if, caught by Orcs, you aren’t simply killed, but you’re thrown into a pit, and goaded into fighting for your life?
What if, caught by Giants, you are thrown into a clear hamster ball, and kicked around in a game like soccer?
Perhaps we can also provide interesting consequences for other behaviors, which can be fun in and of themselves, allowing players to be "criminals" and feel like it.
Perhaps the reason that Halflings are traditionally such good pick-pockets is because in their culture, petty theft isn’t a crime, but a celebrated part of their mirthful society.
So, while we’re at it, are some crimes which we think might be deserving of punishment?
Desertion might not be treated the same in Human culture as it would be in, say Ogre culture.
Murder is something which the Ashen Order tries to avoid, but which Rallosian Ogres might relish.
Can we come up with some ideas of things that we might want to do – and risk getting caught?
Can we come up with actions which would be viewed with varying degrees of disapproval in various cultures?
What are your thoughts?