Blocking in Elite Dangerous

UPDATE - Thanks to much discussion and the very simple but elegant solution posed by one CMDR, I've changed my approach to the blocking system. I've decided to use it as a reverse iron man, in that once you have murdered me, I'm dead to you. You'll never see me again, because to you, I'm dead and gone.

My current thinking is to only use this for murder that generates notoriety, which would exempt "kills" in combat zones and Anarchy systems (and PP if I were pledged). The obvious gameplay use of this approach is as an anti-griefing tool, but I also find it way more immersive. If someone attempts to murder me in a civilized system, they would be brought to justice or forced to flee that system forever, not allowed to attack me over and over again as C&P currently works. From their perspective, once they kill me, I'm dead and gone, just like real life. You only get to kill somebody once. Of course there's the "I died" in their universe and survived in my universe weirdness, but we each live in our own immersion bubbles anyway, so :p

This new approach differs from my original approach in that everyone gets a chance to "kill" me once (before I was blocking known griefers preemptively), but ONLY once. Pirates and PvPers that disable but do not destroy my ship will be exempt from the "death block" since I'm not actually dead to them.


----------------------- ORIGINAL POST BELOW -----------------------

This has come up in other threads, but I think it warrants its own. I suspect it'll lead to some heated discussion, but I'm genuinely curious and willing to hear arguments from both sides.

Up to this point, I've not blocked anyone, even if they have killed me multiple times. I have been reserving the block for station rammers (which I sincerely believe is an exploit) or anyone who is creepy or abusive in the comms panel. So far I've not had this problem. However, today I thought of a new use for the block - as a tool to "fine-tune" one's experiences in Open in places like a CG. Allow me to explain.

At the current CG, there are often instances full of multiple wings of gankers. Trying to run this gauntlet in a trading ship is "tedious" to say the least. Nor do I find this immersive, seeing that the story of the CG is to save the galaxy from blight that would cause all of us (gankers included) to starve. It's just "blow people up for the fun of it" mayhem, and I'd like to opt-out of this silliness. However, I like the "community" aspect of a Community Goal, so seeing other traders and even an occasional ganker is enjoyable to me. So while switching to Solo removes "gank alley", it also removes everyone else.

Enter the block. My thinking is that I strategically block a couple of the aggressive, zero-roleplay "for the lulz" gankers who are habitually living in supercruise at the CG. Since most of these gankers all end up in the same instance, blocking just a few of them should put me in a separate instance when I enter the system, thus removing this grossly unbalanced "ganker gauntlet" from my gameplay. Once I arrive at the station, however, I should be instancing up with other traders, assuming none of the gankers on my block list are at the station at that time.

I would only be adding a small subset of gankers to my blocklist, as I actually find many of the gankers to be friendly, but it's their overwhelming numbers at times that I find game-breaking for me. This means I may still end up in an instance with a small number of "noble" gankers, depending on time of day, etc., so the game still will offer the risk of Open, but no the impossibility of Open at a CG where dozens of gankers are pouncing on single T9s.

In other words, by using strategic blocking, I can have the best of both worlds, or in this case, both "modes".

Now I recognize this may be is highly controversial. But it's not cheating, and it's better than playing in Solo where I would have zero risk from other players, it's just a mechanism to try to balance out the current imbalance of wings of G5 FDLs vs. single T9s. And, this actually happens all on its own on occasion, since "ganker alley" instance sometimes is so full that I end up in a separate, lonely instance anyway.

Now I do have some questions. First, if I'm friends with someone in the same instance shared with someone I have blocked, which wins, the priority to instance with a friend or avoid a blocked player? I have friended some of the "guardian" PvPers who defend traders, and I'm happy to jump into an instance with gankers if my guardian buddies are there to protect me. Second, what happens if I'm in an instance with a few non-blocked gankers (or anyone), and then a blocked player tries to enter the system? Do they get sent to empty-instance jail, or do I get kicked out of my current instance? This I suspect, depending on the answer, might be the controversial aspect to blocking.

Blocking as a feature is new to me, since it didn't work this way on PS4. Feel free to educate me on the finer details and correct any misconceptions I may have.
 
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At the very least, give the second to last paragraph some love:
Now I do have some questions. First, if I'm friends with someone in the same instance shared with someone I have blocked, which wins, the priority to instance with a friend or avoid a blocked player? I have friended some of the "guardian" PvPers who defend traders, and I'm happy to jump into an instance with gankers if my guardian buddies are there to protect me. Second, what happens if I'm in an instance with a few non-blocked gankers (or anyone), and then a blocked player tries to enter the system? Do they get sent to empty-instance jail, or do I get kicked out of my current instance? This I suspect, depending on the answer, might be the controversial aspect to blocking.
 
Here's some really old stuff about the origin of the block function and its intended use :


Sandro Sammarco about block in 2014
"Hello Commanders!
In this instance, blocking the Commander might prove quite useful.
When you block somebody, a couple of things should happen.
Firstly, you will receive no communications from them.
Secondly, during any transition where matchmaking is at work (so basically, hyperspace jumps, entering and exiting super cruise) you are much less likely to be matched with the blocked Commander.
Blocking becomes weaker when it comes up against friends (and next year, player wings), because if a blocked Commander is in the same session as a friend (say, because they haven't blocked the Commander, the blocking effect is overruled by the friendship matchmaking.
Outside of this case though, blocking should work fine"


Link as it's too old to be quoted : https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showth...CK#post1219313


Hello Commanders!

A couple of points worth noting:
The block effect is asymmetrical, in that it is much stronger when the blocking player is arriving at a location where the blocked player already is - effectively more of the onus is on the blocker to change their game than the blocked player.
Instancing is a pretty complicated calculation, affected by a significant number of checks, such as instance populations, quality of player connections, friends, wing members, blocked players, blocking players, recent connections (and possibly more - far cleverer folk than me work this out). The weightings for these elements varies as well - wing membership, for example, is an extremely strong weighting towards allowing a match up.
Whilst I'm sure that to some degree matchmaking can be influenced, the complexity and number of elements completely out of the player's control (or even knowledge) are a strong limiting factor.

At the end of the day, ignoring players is a completely personal choice, that influences the chance of meeting ignored players, reducing the potential for match making with them.


Link : https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/367388-Lead-Designers-advice-on-dealing-with-griefing-(part-2)?p=5787391#post5787391


Block was always intended to block all contact between players comms and instancing, however at launch it blocked comms only. Then it was strengthened to reduce the chances of instancing with someone blocked. In these enlightened modern times it blocks people completely regardless of things like the friends list.

Probably as a result of the rules on online harassment being tightened worldwide.

Ways to use it :

Live contacts in the comms menu select block on local contacts.
Historic contacts via the clockface icon in the comms tab again select block.
People you've never met : search player in the social menu send a friend request select block cancel friend request.
 
Uhm.. I'm not sure I understood correctly, so please be patient with me.
Are you suggesting that the block works only in Supercruise and not at stations?
Not at all. I'm suggesting that the ganker wings spend most of their time in supercruise, and that supercruise is where my Type-9 is disproportionately vulnerable. I understand that if someone I block is at the station, I'll be sent to a different instance, but if that person remains in supercruise, then I'll be instanced with everyone else at the station (the station being a different instance than supercruise).
 
Using the block list tactically, just as using the 'ship in danger' log off timer or griefing (targeting a specific player or demographic for out of game motivation) is, generally speaking, within the rules & you can do as you like & they will too.

They are all selfish though. How you feel about being thought of that way is only your concern.
 
Now FDEV allows everyone to make open play their own personal private group. No. Stop it already what are you doing.
The key is "FDev ALLOWS" (just like FDev allows ganking), so I see no reason to stop what I am doing, anymore than gankers are going to stop what they are doing, despite their actions potentially ruining the game.

Now if I was blocking player IP addresses on my router, that would be questionable (don't worry, I won't).
 
The key is "FDev ALLOWS" (just like FDev allows ganking), so I see no reason to stop what I am doing, anymore than gankers are going to stop what they are doing, despite their actions potentially ruining the game.

Now if I was blocking player IP addresses on my router, that would be questionable (don't worry, I won't).
FDEV actively encourage choosing who you are willing to play with.

In the words of David Braben :

"What would I want from a game ?, I want to be able to play a great game without being griefed by teenagers. But having said that I do want a feeling of risk out there"

About 7 minutes in.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ENkIB0cic
 
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