Flagging System, Corruption System & Death Penalties

Hello, this is Ziltch and today I will talk about the Flagging system, the Corruption system and Death Penalties.

Flagging System
First let’s talk about the Flagging System (PvP).
(Note: Caravan Raids and Sieges are not part of the Flagging system)
There are three different ‘States’ you can be in.


If you are a Non-Combatant:
  • If you Attack
    • Non-Combatant: You become a Combatant
    • Combatant: You become a Combatant
    • Corrupt: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
  • If you Kill
    • Non-Combatant: You will gain Corruption and become Corrupt
    • Combatant: You will stay a Combatant
    • Corrupt: You stay as a Non-Combatant
If you are a Combatant:
  • If you Attack
    • Non-Combatant: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
    • Combatant: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
    • Corrupt: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
  • If you Kill
    • Non-Combatant: You will gain Corruption and become Corrupt
    • Combatant: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
    • Corrupt: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
If you are Corrupt:
  • If you Attack
    • Non-Combatant: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
    • Combatant: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
    • Corrupt: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
  • If you Kill
    • Non-Combatant: You will gain even more Corruption
    • Combatant: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
    • Corrupt: No change (You stay in the state you are in)
So to summarize it.
If you are Corrupt, the only thing that will change your state is that you will become even more Corrupt if you kill a Non-Combatant.
If you are a Combatant, the only change is that you will become Corrupt if you kill a Non-Combatant.
If you are a Non-Combatant however, you will become a Combatant if you attack a Combatant or a Non-Combatant, and Corrupt if you kill another Non-Combatant.

Now with this explained, let’s move on to Death Penalties!

Death Penalties
  • Experience Debt
    • Skills and Stats will get debuffed
    • Health and Mana pools will get debuffed
    • Gear Proficiency will get debuffed
  • Gear Durability Loss
  • Dropping % of raw materials you are carrying
    • Includes whatever resources your Mule is carrying
Now, the Death penalties differ a bit depending on what state you are flagged in:
  • Non-Combatant: Normal Death Penalties
  • Combatant : Death Penalties is halved
    • Half the XP Debt compared to Non-Combatant
    • Half the Durability Loss compared to Non-Combatant
    • Half the % of raw materials dropped compared to Non-Combatant
  • Corrupt: Death Penalties are multiplied by 3-4 times
    • 3-4 Times the XP Debt compared to Non-Combatant
    • 3-4 Times the Durability Loss compared to Non-Combatant
    • 3-4 Times the % of Raw materials dropped compared to Non-Combatant
  • Corrupt only Death Penalties
    • % Chance to drop the gear you have equipped, or in your inventory
    • Respawn location becomes random instead at normal Respawn points
Experience Debt, the reason for it being called this instead of Negative Experience is because with Experience Debt, you cannot de-level.
It will take the same amount of effort in both systems to regain/pay back the experience and they have the same effects overall, the only difference is that you don’t need to worry about more complex mechanics that would have to be in place if there was the possibility of de-leveling.

As mentioned before, you gain Corruption by killing Non-Combatants.

The amount of Corruption you gain will change based on the level differences between you and the Non-Combatant you kill. The higher your level compared to the Non-Combatant, the more Corruption you will gain upon killing him.

Another thing Corruption does, is lower your PvP efficiency.
So the more Corruption you gain, the more your output in PvP will be debuffed, this is to avoid players just going around ganking left and right for no reason.
If you continue to gain Corruption forever, you will eventually be so pathetic in PvP that even if you are at Level 50, a Level 1 can kill you with no problems.

If you are Corrupt, there is another system you have to look out for.
Bounty Hunters. Bounty Hunter is a Title you can gain from a Stage 4 Military Node.
This Title, as long as you have it on, enables you to see Corrupt players on your map.
However, as a Bounty Hunter, even if you are flagged as a Non-Combatant, Corrupt players will not gain any Corruption if they kill you.
(A Bounty Hunter can still get attacked by others, and if he attacks anyone not Corrupt, he will be flagged as a Combatant by the Flagging system)

Now there are two ways to get rid of Corruption
Dying, or Religious Quests.
Every time you die, a certain amount of Corruption will be removed, not all.
So, the more Corruption you have gained, the more you have to die to get rid of it.

The Religious Quests on the other hand will be time sinks.
So it will not be that easy to get rid of your Corruption, the more you have, the harder it will be to get rid of it all.

Military Nodes are a bit interesting in this regards to the Corruption system.
Corruption is decreased around Military Nodes, yet at the same time, Military Nodes are also the ones where you can get the Bounty Hunter Title which is specialized in going after Corrupt players.

Now there are some worries surrounding this system.
For instance
  • Non-Combatant can decide not to attack back, thus forcing the person attacking him to become Corrupt if he’s killed.
I think this is fine, the Non-Combatant gets a higher Death Penalty like this than if he had fought back, so if he’s willing to risk that, while you’re not willing to risk the Corruption, don’t attack him.

Another worry surrounding this system is
  • What if a Corrupt player has a friend kill him to get rid of his Corruption, to avoid other players taking his gear etc?
Also not really an issue. First of all, dying while Corrupt gives you 3-4 times the Death Penalties, this means you get 3-4 times the Experience Debt, which will debuff you as your stats, health and proficiency gets lowered.
If you have a lot of Corruption, your friend might need to kill you several times, stacking the Experience Debt even higher. If you have to die 3 times, you will have 9-12 times the Experience Debt, you can imagine how that would affect you as a debuff.
Another thing is that when you die when Corrupt, your respawn location is not predetermined, meaning that if you need to get killed more to get rid of it all, you have to meet up with your friend again, which means you will have to avoid others that could potentially attack you for that sweet loot you might have.
So while it is possible, it is really just punishing yourself.

As you can see in the Flagging System section, fighting back is actually rewarding (Becoming a Combatant).
Your Death Penalties get cut in half, something which shortens the time you will need to pay back the Exp Debt.
It also lowers the amount of materials you drop, so if you have gathered a lot of materials and don’t want to lose it, you will have to fight back to defend your loot. If you do not, then you will still lose even more materials than if you died while fighting back.
This also goes back to one of the worries, that a Non-Combatant might not attack back, one can do this to pretend one doesn’t have anything worth protecting on oneself, but that is a gamble risk one has to decide if one is willing to attack, just like how attackers have to risk Corruption for whatever potential loot.

Being a Non-Combatant
While you might be a bit safer from people not wanting to kill you as they would gain Corruption, you are also risking losing way more resources as well as get higher Death Penalties if you were to be attacked and killed.
It might not be worth not fighting back dependingly, as the resources you drop will be higher if you die as a Non-Combatant, as well as your Experience Debt being higher than if you were a Combatant, this in particular can be a bit painful at higher levels I assume.
On the other hand your risk of getting attacked is smaller than if you would’ve been a Combatant.

Being a Combatant
I would say this is a double edged sword.
While you might safeguard yourself against higher death penalties, you are also opening yourself up to getting attacked by anyone, no matter the level, for no consequences (system wise) for the attacking side.
So you are trading the safety of “People won’t kill me to gain Corruption
for the safety of “If I get killed, my death penalties are halved”.
Then again, at higher levels this might be preferred as the Exp Debt would be halved as well.

Being Corrupt
What can I say? You’re screwed.
While you might have gotten a lot of resources from people who didn’t fight back, now you have to watch out for any player you do not know, and probably some that you do know, as well as Bounty Hunters in particular.
Because now, now you’re a walking bag of loot.
Your Death Penalties are also higher so if you die… It’s going to take quite a bit of time to pay back that Experience Debt.
Especially if you don’t get rid of that Corruption after just one Death.
Personally I’d say that it would be less time consuming to do the Religious Quests to get rid of the Corruption rather than losing it by dying, compared to the time you will possibly spend paying back the Experience Debt.
On the other hand, being Corrupt is the perfect state for those who want a PvP Challenge!
Because the more Corruption you gain, the lower your PvP efficiency will become, making every battle harder and harder!

Well that is all I had to say about these topics for now.
Oh! I am also really looking forward to seeing how
the Death Penalty system, with its Experience Debt and the debuff it brings,
will affect Dungeoning and Raiding as it would lower your stats, health and gear proficiency, meaning every time you wipe, you become weaker. I for one finds this side effect of the system to be really intriguing and I am looking forward to how this will affect how the game is played in the future.

(At least for the moment, Death Penalties are the same both for PvE and PvP)
Youtube video of statement

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Previous articles:
Crafting - https://www.theaocdungeon.com/threads/a-look-at-crafting-in-ashes-of-creation.291/
Caravans - https://www.theaocdungeon.com/threads/caravans-and-why-they-are-critical.300/
Season & Weather - https://www.theaocdungeon.com/threads/seasons-weather-in-verra.320/
Character Influences- https://www.theaocdungeon.com/threads/character-influences.323/
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Mother of Yatas
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3 February 2018
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Keep these articles/guides coming Ziltch, some really great information!


2 September 2018
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Supberb! Thankyou for making a clear guide!


25 January 2018
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Excellent news.

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