612 Games leverages a Reputation and a Fame system, with severe penalties for players who make a career out of hassling other players.
Wild West Online has implemented a series of new tools designed to help incentivize good behavior from its players, and discourage griefing. Players now have a reputation to care about, going up and down a thousand points from the starting 0. Players who end up negative reputation will eventually be branded bandits and have bounties placed on their heads. Players who die with a significantly negative reputation will also lose all of their items on death, to make the penalty for being a bad guy even worse.
Wild West Online is a sandbox MMO title set, unsurprisingly, in the wild west. It has some very obvious similarities to Red Dead Redemption, which are an intentional decision on the part of the creators. The developers, an indie company called 612 Games say on their site that “In fact we’ve been waiting for that franchise to be confirmed for PC since the original. Slightly over a year ago, we decided to stop waiting and start doing”.
Talking about the changes in a lengthy Facebook post, 612 Games said “Our main goal is to have a world where PVP is not restricted, but to still attempt to remove the griefing atmosphere that plagues a lot of open world games. To do this, we will leverage the Reputation and Fame system.” This is not an attempt to force all players into following the law though: “The path of crime and murder can be a fun role playing profession, and great rewards can come from it through robbing banks, caravans or gold miners — but this path also carries great risks”.
The most obvious of these is losing all of your items on death of course, but there are a few other things to make becoming a bandit less appealing to everyone. A person with a high reputation gets a discount in towns for example, while someone with a low reputation doesn’t get one. Bandits get discounts from the various bandit controlled settlements though and are free to start fights in otherwise safe zones (provided they can live of course).