Incrementally Improving PowerPlay - Blocking PP players only blocks communications, not instancing

This is part of a series of proposals to improve PowerPlay in various ways. The goal is to make PowerPlay a more interesting, dynamic, and rewarding experience, without needing to scrap the whole thing and rebuild from the ground up - evolution rather than revolution. Each proposal is intended to be relatively straightforward to implement (though of course we have no special insight into the specifics of the Elite codebase), and most of them (except where mentioned) stand alone and do not need a lot of other changes to make them work.

Please limit discussions to the specific topic at hand - pros, cons, tweaks, etc. If you have alternative proposals, by all means make a separate topic! The parent thread for this series is here: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/pull-your-fingers-out-incrementally-improving-powerplay.551571/ Although the authors are Winters/FLC commanders, these proposals have been made and discussed by pilots from many Powers.


Blocking players only blocks communications, not instancing, if both players are pledged to Powers

If there is a block made by one PP-pledged Commander on another PP-pledged Commander, it does NOT prevent instancing and combat between the two Commanders. The block does continue to block direct and indirect communications between the two, as it currently does.

Discussion:

It is important for players in an online game to be able to block offensive and persistently aggressive behaviours. However, PowerPlay by its nature is an activity where persistent aggression is often the entire point, especially if blockading a system against enemy forces. Balancing the two needs of personal safety and fair play is important - however using blocking to avoid interception is an unfair tactic in a game where interception is a key feature.

Blocking opposing Powers PVP interceptors is unfortunately a fairly common tactic by some Commanders, and allows them to stay in Open, attack other enemy Commanders (for example haulers and underminers) while avoiding being intercepted by that Power's dedicated PVP players. It is also used by some haulers to avoid being intercepted (though hauling in PG or Solo is also common).

This change would ALLOW instancing and combat between two PowerPlay-pledged Commanders, even if one has blocked the other. If EITHER Commander is NOT pledged to a Power, the block operates as it currently does, blocking both communications and instancing. Thus, unless both players opt in to PowerPlay, this proposal has no effect on them.

Blocking while pledged will still block communications from the blocked player - this is a way to deal with channel-spam and profanity and verbal abuse and so on. However it will not prevent instancing with the blocked player, and combat and death can still occur.

If a player does experience persistent aggression, bullying, or other distressing behaviour from another PowerPlay Commander, they always have the option to leave the violent and belligerent world of PowerPlay by un-pledging. Once this happens their blocks will work as they currently do.

This proposal works best in conjunction with the Open Only PowerPlay proposal: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/incrementally-improving-powerplay-make-powerplay-open-only.556584/

Open question: blocking other Commanders does have a known legitimate use - to work around the unfair practice of pad-blocking. This would need to be solved a different way - see the proposal “Remove commander from instance as soon as landed”: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/incrementally-improving-powerplay-remove-commander-from-instance-as-soon-as-landed.555316/

Open question: there is the loophole of a PVP interceptor who is flying under orders from a Power, but who does not actually pledge to that Power. This commander can still use blocks to cheat, because they are not pledged. While they cannot earn merits for their Power (they are not pledged) they can still intercept and kill other players flying for that Power. However, they will earn Notoriety by doing so (because they are not pledged to a Power), which is sufficiently annoying that it should help reduce the occurrence of this cheating behaviour. This may still happen even so, but probably less than it currently does, and is certainly no worse than the current situation.
 
Thanks to the lunatic fringe who make all gamers look really bad blocks not going to be watered down. If anything they'll keep making it more effective.
Which is a nonsense in Powerplay. Its not against the rules to kill people in the wider game, and I can see the need for blocks here. However in Powerplay you have opted into a competitive feature and opted into Open- to block in a feature and mode that allows killing and is part of that feature is illogical. You can literally block yourself to win.
 
Which is a nonsense in Powerplay. Its not against the rules to kill people in the wider game, and I can see the need for blocks here. However in Powerplay you have opted into a competitive feature and opted into Open- to block in a feature and mode that allows killing and is part of that feature is illogical. You can literally block yourself to win.
It's not about kill's as PVP is perfectly legit.

It's all about the crazies none of us want to touch with somebody else's ten foot stick.

On another note would you actually enjoy PVP against someone who was willing to abuse block or would you just expect them to clog ?. I don't think you are missing out on anything fun there really.
 
Which is a nonsense in Powerplay. Its not against the rules to kill people in the wider game, and I can see the need for blocks here. However in Powerplay you have opted into a competitive feature and opted into Open- to block in a feature and mode that allows killing and is part of that feature is illogical. You can literally block yourself to win.
Agree with @Rubbernuke - commanders into PP and who opt to play in Open know what they're doing. They have access to PvP training even if it's just evasion tactics (for haulers). PvP build libraries are also readily available.

We're talking about highly organized and close knit player groups here - not random newbies who don't have a clue of what's going on.
 
It's not about kill's as PVP is perfectly legit.

It's all about the crazies none of us want to touch with somebody else's ten foot stick.

On another note would you actually enjoy PVP against someone who was willing to abuse block or would you just expect them to clog ?. I don't think you are missing out on anything fun there really.
Its about denying people time to dock, shortening the time they have to do things- not outright killing (although that helps too).

In a feature and mode that is about confrontation you can't build confrontation if you provide a way to dismantle it. For example, someone with a winning haul of merits can block all unknowns to dock unmolested and 'win'.

Your 'crazies' have an excuse to kill in Powerplay.
 
Its about denying people time to dock, shortening the time they have to do things- not outright killing (although that helps too).

In a feature about confrontation you can't build confrontation if you provide a way to dismantle it. For example, someone with a winning haul of merits can block all unknowns to dock unmolested.
Somebody who would abuse block will nope out on the confrontation by other means. There's no payoff for you in this.

Easier to accept that it's all optional and the people opting in are more fun to go up against.
 
Somebody who would abuse block will nope out on the confrontation by other means. There's no payoff for you in this.

Easier to accept that it's all optional and the people opting in are more fun to go up against.
Er...no. Just because you can 'do it by other means' (whatever that is) does not mean you can't establish logical rules on the block feature and give it some nuances.
 
Which does not negate the need to refine the block feature, does it? You then away one more grey area and actually define rules.
I suppose it depends how you view block. Primarily for me it's a social tool for players to ditch the sort of people they'd never voluntarily spend their leisure time with rather than an exploit.

To be brutal I think that sort of feature is probably the future of online gaming.

Which on balance is a plus.
 
I suppose it depends how you view block. Primarily for me it's a social tool for players to ditch the sort of people they'd never voluntarily spend their leisure time with rather than an exploit.

To be brutal I think that sort of feature is probably the future of online gaming.

Which on balance is a plus.
I get what you mean- block is useful for people who you don't want to play with in a casual part of the game. However, when a feature in a mode that depends on numbers and actions it makes no sense to block opposition players. Its like having a Premier League football match won because one side blocked several opposition players.
 
I don't know why this should apply to only pledged players. Blocking causes issues for everyone.

But if it is to be implemented as suggested, being pledged needs to take precedent over friendship in instancing. Ideally it'd actually favor equal numbers for aggressors and defenders.
 
As a strong proponent of the block feature as it is currently implemented, I totally support an Open-only block-disabled PowerPlay.

The one caveat is that there would need to be serious in-game consequences for attacking someone who belongs to your own or allied power (treason!), and I think power-swapping should be severely nerfed, thus preventing gankers from using PP as a "get out of jail for free" card by simply picking on a whim an opposing power of those they wish to gank.
 
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