Stendhal Quest Ideas/Game - Capture the Flag

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Stendhal Quests


20110908: looking for testers, on test server! flag and special arrows available. see Stendhal_Quest_Ideas/Game_-_Capture_the_Flag/Testing


Not a quest, but a possibly many-player event/game:

Capture the Flag game - players divide up in to two or more teams, each gets a starting territory, hides a flag, and then need to get other teams' flags and bring them back home, while defending their own flag. Teams pick defenders and hunters. (Depending on the particular rules of the game, balancing player levels might matter, might not).

Players get badges, or colored shirts, or something to show their team.

Not sure about rules for defending. Should not be a combat game, no real PvP, at least no dying.

Conversation on this topic here: All ideas on the forum thread will be integrated in to this page.

The tracker item for this idea is

Test Game

I think that a test game could be tried on the test server pretty soon. More like rugby, or american football, than capture the flag, but would help see what ideas will work, and which ones won't. Needs the flag and fumble arrows. Maybe slowdown arrows if they are implemented in time, but they are probably not necessary.

  • two teams, few people each
    • does not matter how teams are divided up, just go to one side
    • everyone on a team puts on shirt of same color
  • one flag
  • each team has an end zone. they want to get the flag in to the other team's end zone, and keep the other team from getting the flag in to theirs.
    • can play on a normal field, maybe west of semos (animals in the way would be funny), but would need some way to mark the corners or end zones.
  • each player gets maybe 100 arrows from admin, or from a chest
    • in this first game, when you are out of arrows, you are finished for the game?
    • no other equipment, except maybe a bit of meat?
  • judge says "go", teams race for the flag and try to get it in to the end zone, held by someone
    • throwing the flag allowed, but risky

Main goal is to find out if fumble arrows work, identify problems.

I doubt this test will identify any issues with cheating, since the first 6-8 volunteers will most likely be trying to figure out how to make the game fun ...

Does not yet deal with people teleporting away with the flag.

Testing the basic concepts

Notes on creating flags, arrows, testing ideas on the test server: Stendhal_Quest_Ideas/Game_-_Capture_the_Flag/Testing

Alternate Early Approach (Hendrik)

(copied from #arianne, edited slightly)

I think we should have a dedicated non PVP map. That is a restriction, but it makes a lot of things easier.

  • the map may contain obstacles that makes it more interesting
  • it can have two defined bases.
  • it prevent the whole issue of PVP and people not playing nice.

4 tasks:

1st complete the flag item

  • We have an item that can be equipped and is visible on the outfit layer.
  • It needs to be moved to another item class, xml file and it needs an image.

2nd add a basic map as proof of concept.

3rd: new Action - left click on target fires one arrow

  • check that the player has the fumble arrows (and bow) equipped
  • use up one arrow
  • if the target is a player and has the flag, drop it to the ground
    • sjtsp: i think this should be a dice roll, or maybe two - each player rolls a die, tie goes to defender?
  • action gets entity as target parameter
  • action gets entity-id as target parameter

4th a turn listener periodic task for the CTF game

  • check if at a specific location, there is a flag item on the ground. If it is not the case, create one there.
  • the same for another location and the other flag.

(5th - another Action for left-click-to-slow-down. same action, but you have slowdown arrows equipped).

The images can be placeholders that are not perfect, but I think it should be the right file names.

The two flag items seem to fit in to the token category.

There are other game releated items in there, such as the O and X for tic-tac-toe.

That leaves open:

  • the client needs to use the "Tag" action instead of "Look". For testing it can be done per /tag chat command.
  • The logic of CFT game ,, counting flags, respawning flags only after it got expired.
  • joining the game in groups.
  • slowing down and other effects
  • dropping the flag on leaving the zone.

I think all of these things can be done, so there seems little risk.

Implementation Ideas

  • (future) if game is more combat-oriented, suspend normal death effects?
    • dying does not make you lose any level/atk/def
    • just immediately respawn back at your base camp
    • would allow normal combat (engine, weapons, ...)
      • versus having to support stun/slow-down projectiles or something like that
    • maybe everyone participating gets a special reusable ring, only lasts duration of the match?
      • based on emerald ring?
  • besides fun, what do players gain?
    • if game uses nearly-normal combat rules, players could get a lot of atk/def
    • would be nice to get some sort of projectile atk/def
    • maybe don't get stats during game, but get them after, based on number of hits, dodges, ...
  • maybe as a per-match configuration, could set all players' level/atk/def to same levels
    • "normal" would allow tanks
      • maybe the team allocation could try to balance some overall team stats
    • "fair/leveled" might be more fun for newer players (and older)

Ideas from hendrik, 20110825. goal: simplest start

  • a dedicated map
  • PVP protected
  • left clicking on players triggers an action other than look.
    • this action can check for equipped foam arrows and bow to do something special, e. g. freeze the player or drop the flag.
  • leaving the map in any way drops the flag
  • there is one background process (TurnListener) that keep track of the global state.
    • e. g. creates a new flag if someone with the flag logs off
    • e. g. move a flag on the ground back to the home base after x seconds.
  • this especially means: no combat in the sense of the normal attack system, no changes of stats, no changes to nature.
  • on entering the map, you are added to the team with less players, a random one if both have equal number of players.
    • (we might allow group joins later after the basic thing works)
  • the processing class keeps track of the state: e. g. number of won games, perhaps number of hits the current flag owner got, etc.

I think the best version so far (disregarding how hard it would be to change the game code), is

  • teams balanced by a set of judges, about the same size
  • special ring so you don't lose any stats or equipment, and teleport to your team's regen zone
  • small set of allowed weapons (dagger, sword, bow?)
  • no healing in the field, or maybe limited to
    • heal back at camp
  • no scrolls/no teleporting
  • no /where, at least not against opponents
  • collect as many flags as you can in some amount of time.
    • when flag captured, it is immediately transported back to base
    • does everyone reset?
    • or does game carry on?
  • maybe everyone gets two 30 second burst-of-speed potions

Easiest version right now (code-wise):

  • use any char (can have 597/150/170 against 15/14/14)?
  • teams balanced by set of judges, may be different sizes
    • there actually may be an implicit penalty for 597
      • cannot win with one player, ...
  • players can say uncle, and there is a general agreement to not kill
  • healing allowed
  • teleports allowed
  • /where allowed
  • i still don't see how this works for widely different levels, or why it would be fun
    • maybe each player could have an alternate char, ask an NPC to switch them to ctf stats
      • dangerous - what if someone messes up and asks for their good char to be switched?


The following existing or new NPCs participate in the quest

Suggested reward

On successful completion the player shall get...

  • experience
  • achievement(s)
  • special outfits available only to former participants


  1. first the players does this
  2. second the player is asked to do that



What are the NPCs going to say?

Discussion and Comments

Might need to turn everyone, or team members, invisible to /where.

  • (sjtsp) i've been thinking more about this, and i believe knowing where all players are could be fun, part of the game
    • if you see three blue marks chasing three red marks, you will probably want to start running toward them
    • could use decoys, etc.

I've been trying to think of ways to keep this from being a "beat up each other, whoever is the strongest will win" game. Several other mmorpgs have CTF games, but they seem to mostly be about PVP combat. I'm not interested in that.

As projectiles, need to throw tomatoes, or other vegetables.

Possibly very funny idea, depending on how hard it would be to implement movement modifiers - whenever you die, you have to drink a beer before going back out. Beer affects your max speed and direction. Increasing random chance that you won't go in the direction you chose. (and your chats get garbled - the awesome expect 99-bottles-of-beer script). If someone does not want beer, can have water or coffee.

Maybe players don't teleport immediately when out of hp. Maybe a healer (with beer) has 60 seconds to get to them, give them a beer.

Will need a way to protect all players from griefing non-players.

  • maybe special private map

Judges can help decide how to distribute rewards/awards.

Maybe everyone should start out the same - same HP, same ATK/DEF (but ATK/DEF gained apply to your normal values), same number of meat. No scrolls allowed.

Misc Ideas:

  • alcohol, mentioned above
  • each team gets small number of special potions/spells
    • e.g., invisibility, speed, slowness (for defense)
    • only last a minute or two
    • invisibility would not be in effect while player has flag
    • strategy would be in when to use
  • able to plug in brand new (temporary) areas/maps for each team
    • no one knows the terrain
      • no overhead view available
      • defenders need to scout, talk, figure out where to hide/defend
    • would require server restart, maybe not good
  • (later) teams able to set some number of traps


  • experiments/tests:
    • test alternate "weapons", harmless to player, but has some effect
      • maybe slows down, or affects direction, ...
      • player would need to rest/heal/...
    • explore ways to support some probability that the flag carrier drops the flag each time they are hit
      • perhaps using the special weapon idea
      • but seems like it will require mods to player, too (maybe a callout to carried items? (sounds expensive)
    • test out the "CTF ring" idea (for "harmless" combat during match)
      • (only if harmless weapon test, above, does not work out)
      • alternate emerald ring that teleports back to a configured base
      • must have a mechanism to destroy/deactivate it after the match

Help Wanted

  • Ideas/Feedback
  • Artwork
    • Flag (on ground, in hand)
    • Flag outfit detail, to replace
      • still multiple colors
      • need to show on all four sides. (hidden when facing left)


Old notes, etc. can be found in the Stendhal_Quest_Ideas/Game_-_Capture_the_Flag/Attic


Comment by Storyteller:

If a player picks up the flag item, there should be a flag shown in the special outfit layer (where you can see the balloons), so that everybody can see who carries the flag.

  • Done

I think the problem is how to make the "combat part" (there needs to be a way to decide, who's going back to his base (or is stunned etc.) and who won the combat; in other games it's done by killing the opponent). Oh, I think I can remember a Real Life CTF-match where we solved this by doing the paper-stone-scissors game ;) Maybe this also could be done here: Combining Stendhal with Gladiators :D When two players of the opponent teams stand next each other they are unable to move and have to choose paper, stone or scissors from a GUI. Optional: You can make your choose before, and run around until there is a combat so your choose is automatically applied then. Or maybe the combat could be done by answering a short question with three possible answers - a reaction test and knowledge test.

Ah, another thing to think of: What happens, when you pick your own flag up, after an opponent dropped it? In other computer games the flag is teleported back to your base automatically. In Real Life you have to carry your flag back to your base and (depending on rules) can be attacked on your way back.

I like CTF quite much, so it would be nice to have in Stendhal ;)

- Storyteller

Comment by Hendrik Brummermann:

I like the idea of displaying the flag on the detail layer of the outfit. It should be dropped on certain actions, such as teleporting and changing the outfit. --Hendrik Brummermann 07:44, 16 August 2011 (CEST)
Disabling /where is not a good idea because it might be abused. --Hendrik Brummermann 07:46, 16 August 2011 (CEST)

Comment by Bluelads4:


I collected a few ideas/problems I see in implementing this CTF idea

Q: How many players are needed for CTF and what happens when there aren't enough?

A: could probably do a variation of jailbreak with just a few people - one team has to get a flag from here to there in a limited amount of time

Q: What happens when players don't want to play with each other?

    • do you mean on the same team?

answer Bluelads4: yes. There are lots of problems between some and I doubt that they would like to play with each other (might cause some problems in creating teams randomly)

    • Players could block the game and don't give it free for other teams
    • Should there be a repetion in? Like you have to wait for some minutes/hours till you can start a new round?

Q: What if someone blocks the flag? How long will the timeout time be?

    • i think the only way to really block a flag, if it's droppable, is to have at least 5 people? (can you push diagonally?). maybe a judge could force people to move?

answer Bluelads4: that might be a good idea, but should be deeper tested

    • Do players have to wait a longer time for being able to start the round again?

Q: How can the flag be taken by a player who carries it?

    • i'm not sure i understand. players can pick up a flag, and the arrows can make them drop the flag

answer Bluelads4: the question was bad written ^^ It should have been: How can the flag be taken from a player who carries it, how can you make him drop it... So your answer tells that :) But: how do players get these arrows and in which amount?

Q: allowing PvP? Could cause some trouble based on losing skills + encouraging players for killing others

      • i was thinking that we could restrict non-foam weapons somehow - npc to let you in to the zone?

Q: What if players run away like rabbits (zig-zag running) --> you can't get them then so you would need some kind of weapons to get them (which steps back to the PvP question)

      • this is already supported (by a patch) - special arrows can make you drop the flag

Q: What's the sense behind CTF in Stendhal? How can the idea be advertised?

    • good question. this is getting a little bit bigger than i expected. i don't know if many people will care enough to play a lot.

answer Bluelads4: it would be good to create some kind of bigger story around it, so that players will be encouraged to play long and often (like NPC/NPCs could tell the story about it and maybe the flag should be an item or something which seems to be important)

Q: How should the map look?

    • Special map or existing ones? What about creatures and stuff on the way? How long should the round-time be at all?
    • Special map maybe like a vault for teams, players can go to the npc, start a round and will be beamed to a special map (maybe randomly created with some vegetation and the two bases, similar to the labyrinth?)
    • Maybe PvP could be allowed there but like in DM, players can't lose skills when they are killed (no Def/Atk or XP lose) but they can't gain any skills either + it must be saved, that players can't drop anything on that map except of the flag (so that someone will not lose items when he/she will get killed)
      • one idea i had, which might make more people willing to play, would be to allow atk/def (maybe ranged-weapon atk/def) while playing
      • i had sketched out ideas for a special "CTF Ring", which would protect the player from losing skills or equipment. but i actually don't think people will die

answer Bluelads4: It's better to have something like that so that it will definitely not happen that players die and drop something there :) Especially cause everyone can play and we know some special players who could abuse that... I like the ring idea

    • Problems: what happens if a player dies there? will he come out in afterlife and can't finish the round? that would be quite against CTF in the natural sense... maybe some kind of poison can be made which keeps the player back from moving around, so he has to wait for some seconds till he can join the game again + disabling trading, too
      • part of the ctf ring idea was that the player would be teleported back to base, not to the afterlife

answer Bluelads4: That sounds good :)



Comment by Storyteller about the special maps:

I think its a nice idea to remodel the Fado Battle Arena. Currently it isn't used so there could be a whole new system.

I though of a lobby where players can meet and team up. Then there could be a corridor which leads to the CTF-maps and you can choose from different maps (at the beginning we just need one or two, I think). The maps could be said to be in the lower floors or some special dungeons.

Comment by Bluelads4:

I'm not sure if remodelling the map is something which should be done... what about marking it somewhere like the CTF arena, but also let it stand there as a place for doing raids. So if someone wants to do the CTF stuff, teams can be invited to the second floor and they can team up on the current first floor. So the arena is still useable for raids.

Comment by Storyteller:

Hmm, it was just the idea of remodeling the map, because you enter the FBA and directly stand on the battle field ;) A small lobby would be nice therefore, I think. What about that: The current map, you enter now, is set to a lower floor somewhere. Then there could be a lobby on ground level and you can enter the raid-zone by stairs. In the lobby could be different stairs which lead to the different maps (raid-zone, battle pit, CTF-arena, etc).

Testing Experiences

experiences by bluelads4

(sjtsp comments in bold)

  • If both players activate the game and use "play" and the flag-carrier drops the flag, the other one gets the message, that the one who attacked and didn't carry it dropped it.
    • Example: bluelads had the flag, redlads attacked bluelads with the arrows, bluelads dropped the flag, redlads got the message: "redlads dropped the flag" -> same for the other way round
  • attacking with special arrows in an unsaved zone means real attacking and can cause deaths (with stats loss)

definitely need to fix that somehow. but i think hendrik intends for the arena to be completely safe

  • new client needed for seing arrow pics and outfit

yeah, i didn't realize that

  • after logout, players don't drop items they got (can be abusable especially in reltion to the arrows which work as normal ones in unsaved zones) -> flag still carried by the player who left the game + the game isn't activated anymore, arrows still there and useable normally

i don't think we can catch someone logging out. i believe hendrik wants to write some sort of game watcher, to make sure that when a player leaves, the flag is basically dropped, or a new flag is available.

  • Thumbs should maybe explain the gameplay a bit for making testing easier (like giving a hint about the unprotected zones using)
    • just saw now that he reacts to help... maybe a hint for getting "help" can be given in his message around play and stop at first chat


  • maybe arrows should be given out after using "play", otherwise if a player just gets a flag and he drops it and someone else gets it, he has to return to Thumbs to get arrows for playing (maybe annoying too if he doesnT carry a bow with him at the time)

that sounds fine

  • arrows can be used on players who don't carry the flag

but they don't drop anything, right? the next step of checks is (may be) slowdown arrows, which will work on everyone

  • handling of changing items is a bit "difficult", carrying the flag on a spot in the equipment window and having to exchange it with the arrows can maybe be a bit softer made (what about carrying the flag in your bag?)

maybe that would work. a couple of weeks ago i think had trouble showing outfit change if flag went in bag? we could probably make it possible to carry in bag. but, it might be a good part of game with more players - you have to choose whether you want to be ready to carry flag ... not sure yet

  • both players can get flags, don't know if it is wanted to start the game several times or just one time... if both get flags, they can't attack (maybe that should be explained too, so that no one wonders about it if the team wants to play against each other)

i didn't put any controls on the number of flags for this first test. i was concerned about someone getting the flag and then logging out

  • play and stop work several times after using it in a row... maybe a hint that you are already in the game would be nice or a message that you are not in a game and can't stop it within now


  • using "help" and "flag" gives you a teddy, but the outfit doesn't change

that is goes through a code path that does not call item.onEquipped. i don't think a normal game will start with flag straight to hand.

  • if you used start, you can tag yourself and use arrows on yourself

i can disable that, but thought it was funny when i mis-clicked and slowed myself down


  • better instructions from thumb
  • move thumb to somewhere in a safe zone for now, until we figure out the damage issues
  • figure out how to put flag on ground, instead of in players hand
    • some player will have to pick up, and outfit will work
  • fix the owner problem with the flag (reports dropped by previous owner)
  • distribute arrows on "play" (and can get more with "arrows"
  • have discussion about carrying flag in bag
  • experiment with whatever is needed to know that flag carrier has logged out
    • this is probably the same thing that will help to keep score, ...
  • fix play/stop to know if you are playing or not