Add in a Hostility Toggle setting which is visible on the main game UI, likely to the side of the hunger bar. When clicked, you become able to attack and be attacked by any other player. This is not a full PvP toggle, and I’ll describe below:
I’ve played another MMO called Aberoth, which has similar global PvP to Arcane Odyssey. There, you have a system where you are able to become “unfriendly”. (renamed Hostile here since Unfriendly is a renown title) While you are hostile, you are able to attack and be attacked by anyone- even people who aren’t hostile. Players who are non-hostile cannot attack each other. Attacking a non-hostile player while you are hostile gives you an “aggression timer”, which prevents you from disabling hostility until it ends. As for the specifics:
Enabling hostility is as simple as clicking a button on your UI. When you enable hostility, a notification is sent to anyone nearby to you of that fact and you must wait 5 seconds before you are fully hostile and can attack other players
(to give a chance for other players to escape).
Disabling hostility is instant, so long as you are not impacted by an aggression timer. After you disable hostility, it enters a short cooldown (30-60 seconds) before it can be used again. The timer is shown on the button that toggles hostility.
The exact range that the hostility notification is sent to should be the range of the radial combat tag when hunting players with high renown, though can be adjusted potentially.
If a player engages a player hunt by picking up a poster and then gets within the radial combat tag range of their target, they will immediately start the 5 second process of becoming hostile. This sends the notification of engaging hostility (and also states it’s a hunt), though since they would have been notified by a radial combat tag anyway at higher renown this essentially only serves to give lower renown players a heads up that a hunter is near.
Frankly, low renown players not getting any indication that they’re about to get hunted is silly. High renown players get notified thanks to the combat tag, so they have a distinct advantage in being able to prepare.
Edit: If this leads to an issue where players constantly log out as soon as they see the hostility notification, making it so that it counts as a combat log within the first 10-20 seconds of them seeing the notification is justifiable. This combat tag turns into the full 60 second tag if the fight actually begins.
The aggression timer is a timer which occurs whenever you do anything hostile to a player or their ship while you are hostile. The timer is visible on the hostility toggle button, to give you an idea of how long you have left until you can end the hostility. Time is not added to the aggression timer for actions performed against other hostile players or players in your party with friendly fire enabled.
The situations where the aggression timer appear are as follows:
You are considered to have an aggression timer if you are in combat, even if you don’t have any time on it. Additionally, the aggression timer is paused until you get out of combat.
(If you kill a player, for example, the aggression timer you get from that won’t start ticking down until you are out of combat)
Killing a player increases your aggression timer by 3 minutes for the first kill and then an extra minute for each kill past the first.
(“First kill” refers to your first kill since you last had an aggression timer. If your aggression timer ends at any point, you will get this “first kill” aggression again once you kill someone.)
Sinking a player’s ship while they are not on it increases your aggression timer by 2 minutes.
Sinking a player’s ship when they are on it or have been on it within the last 30 seconds increases your aggression timer by 1 minute.
(Less time than if the player isn’t around because sinking someone’s ship when they aren’t there is mostly just something petty so that gives a bit more reason not to)
Parties interacting with hostility is simple; it doesn’t. If you are in a party, you cannot harm your party members unless friendly fire is enabled- even if they are hostile. If friendly fire is enabled, you are able to harm your party members even if you and your party member are both non-hostile.
Whenever a player is hostile, an exclamation point will be shown over their head. This exclamation point is white while they don’t have an aggression timer active, and red while they do. A ship has this exclamation point if it’s being controlled by a hostile player. The exclamation point should be visible from a distance far enough away to where the player who has it is not in range to attack you by the time you can see it.
The same rules about hostile/non-hostile attacks extend to your ship as well, though a ship is only considered hostile when the player who is directly controlling the ship is hostile. This hostility remains for up to 30 seconds after the player leaves the wheel, so that jumping off the wheel to prevent players from damaging your ship is not an option in combat.
There is one main goal with this feature: ensuring players aren’t caught off guard by hunters in any scenario. This is to make player fights at least a little more fair since you have at least a moment to decide what to do about the metamancer rapidly approaching your location.
The fact that there is a notification and delay on hostility becoming activated is to prevent someone from acting buddy buddy and then activating hostility before nuking everyone nearby. The timer gives people a chance to get away.
The least important but still notable part of this change is that it would allow players to fight bosses or non player enemies together without needing to be in a party (because you might end up hitting the other player on accident if you’re not in a party)