Monday, January 17, 2011

Fatal's Mailbag - Kill Stealing

I received another private message asking me to address Kill Stealing, below is a copy of the message.  Feel free to add your own thoughts, opinions, and experiences via comment.

I thought you would be the best to ask advice for on about this. First of all, is it even against the rules and how could it be truly defined? I'm starting to see the higher I go up the more likely I will be put into these terrible situations and need more education on how to handle this. Making a blog entry about this would probably help out the confused players like me as well.

The most common situation with KS'ing I get is when an archer wants to kite the whole map while I'm trying to solo a quest or perhaps (this time) just get help with exp from a tough level. As a mage done this to me, I see them using some poison skill and even if I attack first, they manage to get the agro and so if I try to fight for my creature, that would be kill stealing since he has the agro.

Been mighty tempted to land an inferno right where I knew he was going to run but wasn't sure if that was illegal also. Of course we asked him to kite half the map but it landed on deaf ears with a rude mouth to my wife and wasn't sure what I could have done. I personally wish kill stealing wasn't against the rules because this makes me unable to even fight for my own monsters without having to worry about being banned. I am finding it a lot more difficult to play this game with a clean conscience. Please give me your in sight.
Unfortunately, in situations like you've described above, not a lot can be done to prevent the Kill Stealing from occurring since the archer has the power here.  You could, as you mentioned, drop an inferno or a nova in their path to try and even the score or take back what was yours (and then some), but is that really the best course of action?

There's that saying that, "Two wrongs don't make a right.", and that's especially true here.  Your first course should always be diplomacy.  Ask the archer politely if they would share the mobs, explain that you're there questing or grinding or whatever and see how they react.  You could also party that same archer, if they're like me at all they'd jump at a chance to save some SP and generally fall back into laziness as the mage will now do all of the heavy lifting for the party.  If you're only there to quest and don't plan to be there long, explain that to the archer (or any dominant party) in the area, maybe they'll help you out just long enough for you to complete your quest and vacate the area.
If diplomacy doesn't work and falls on deaf ears, then you're left with several courses of action:
  1. Dominate the area by out-pulling, out-working the other player/party.
  2. Carry on as before.
  3. Leave.
  4. Report the offender.
So how do you out-pull?  Timing.  You need to time the respawns accurately.  If you're pulling vs. an Archer though, they can easily pull aggro away from you if you haven't damaged the mobs by firing off a couple of AOEs.  Out-pulling is more for areas like BlackBears/Snakes etc, places where you can use a mount to pull.  This will not work as well in areas like Flaming Mine where you have to either rely on damage to keep aggro away or use aggro hogging skills like Mock.

Some players have met with success when reporting those that are doing the KS'ing, while others submit reports that go nowhere.  When writing your report, you need to answer all possible questions beforehand.  Anything that a CSR you think may question should be already answered in your narrative.  Be as descriptive as you can, the offender's exact name, location and time of the incident, it should also be important to include how long the behavior continued.  Report submissions are to be filled out here:  (CSR Link)

Sample Narrative:
I would like to report player "iEATallJOOnoobz31570", a mage (not a real player), for kill stealing on the Cypion Server on January 14, 2011 at approximately 11:45pm PST.  My party and I were in the area pulling our mobs, in this case Snakes and Incomplete Subjects in Alberstoll Ruins, from the surrounding area to the ballista located in the middle. 

iEATallJOOnoobz31570 showed up and cast his AOEs right on top of our pulls.  We repeatedly asked him to stop, but he refused.  He instead cussed us out for spot claiming as shown in screenshot103.  We did not spot claim the area, we simply asked him not to attack mobs that we clearly aggroed and were pulling to our area to kill.  We continued pulling despite his actions and repeatedly asked him to stop which he did not do.  His actions continued for 10 minutes at which point I began to record his actions via FRAPS.  After reviewing the video, you can clearly see that we are pulling the mobs, he is not in our party, and yet he continues to leech experience off of us by casting his AOEs after we do.

I have attached 8 unedited screenshots of our conversation showing that we politely asked him to leave our party alone, and him outright refusing to do so.  Also I have uploaded a private video to youtube, which you can view following this link:  _______________________________.  Thank you.

As you can see from my sample, I painted a pretty clear picture of the situation to the CSRs.  It is up to you to be concise and detailed in your reporting if you want results.  It's important to remain calm both during the incident and also when you're submitting your report.  If you get too emotional and allow yourself to get sucked into a shouting match with the offender, chances are the CSRs may find you both at fault and either do nothing, or possibly see both accounts face a short suspension.

Kill Stealing is nearly impossible to prove without clear video evidence so I would highly suggest you download FRAPS here:  (download FRAPS)  That is only the trial version, so you are limited to only about 1 minute or so of video I think.  There are other video recording software out there such as Hypercam and Guncam.  I've been comfortable using FRAPS so I'll stick with that.

It is OutSpark's policy to not reveal what, if any, punishments were handed out to those that were found guilty of offenses like kill stealing.  Each instance and individual are handled case by case.  I wouldn't get too emo about it if what you submitted didn't result in any disciplinary action being taken.  Just take a bit of solace in knowing that you're helping OutSpark build a case against the offender, and that if this pattern of behavior continues, they will probably see that suspension.  Also keep in mind that your tickets typically take 3-4 working days to generate a response.  You will undoubtedly get a copy/paste answer, but keep faith that you're doing the right thing.
I know dealing with KSing is a pain, it's a waste of time, it's stressful, and it causes all sorts of drama, but it is something we all have to face at one time or another.  The game itself is competitive and people are always looking for an edge so oftentimes, people resort to tactics like KSing to irritate people away from a grind spot they want to take over.  Best advice I can give is to stay calm and gather evidence, justice won't be swift, but you're doing the entire server a favor of reporting behavior like this.


  1. We all have or will go through this situation and glad you are addressing the issue for everyone. Thank you so much and can't wait to read the completed guide.


  2. Not sure I got to your blog but I really like what you are doing and can agree with your view on things. Thank you for writing this one especially, it certainly helps calm your mind when you think about KS'ing.

    Also, totally agree, Fraps is your best friend when it comes to these situations: documenting 30 seconds of gold!

  3. -Copies protocol
    -Pastes on ticket
    -inserts common Bijou Snakes KS culprits here

    Thanks a lot D.

  4. I really like that you touched on this topic. But I would also like you to touch on this topic from a farmer's pov. Such as farming Mara in the Sea of Greed or what not. Specifically a mob or monster that has one spawn spot in the entire game.

    I was blamed for KSing a Mara for a quest by a farmer who I had witnessed farming and camping there for long periods of time. I was right behind Mara right before they rushed in on their mount and struck the first hit. At which point myself and another trickster simple started hitting the mobs that were coming onto her and one of us accidentally got the last hit in. Apparently they were running FRAPS at the time and reported us in for KSing Mara. Although no action against us has happened yet.


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