Flagging

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Description

Understanding flagging in UO is important in both PvM and PvP. To see another player's flagging status look at their name, healthbar, or hovering over them while in war mode. The colour determines what will happen if you attack them.

Many thanks to the knowledgeable Sog for provided this guide.

Colors denoting status

Blue

Flaggingblue.png
This is the default status of players. Characters will start blue and stay blue unless they join a guild (or faction) or if a player exhibits behavior that is criminal, in which case they go grey. Further, any character that attacks or harms a blue player will receive a 'criminal' flag. In town and under normal circumstances, a blue player is able to call "guards" and the town guards will impart their swift form of justice on an aggressor. Outside of guard protection a player must rely on their skill and wits to achieve a worthwhile form of retribution.


Green

Flagginggreen.png
This status denotes an "ally" status. If part of a guild, a player will see themselves and allies as green. Other innocent players who not part of your guild or alliance will still see your character as blue. Players should be careful who they ally as allies are able to engage in friendly direct target damage and melee PvP. Explosion pots and fields do not work on green allies but other directly targeted spells and using melee to attack will damage a player's allies.


Grey

Flagginggrey.png
A character will turn grey if they commit a criminal act. A character that is grey is eligible to be attacked without their aggressor having fear of taking a murder count. Town guards will not protect a grey player.


Red

Flaggingred.png
Red characters are known as player-killers or PKs. If a character does damage to another blue player and then the blue player subsequently dies (whether the aggressor delivers the killing blow makes no difference) the player may choose to "count" the aggressor.

Five murder counts and a player will turn red. A red status will always override a grey status ie. A red player that commits an criminal action would technically have a grey status, but since the red status overrides all other status they will still appear red. If a red player is killed, their head can be taken and used to 'stat' a red for up to 48 hours or charge them a bounty in lieu of statting. Murder counts decay at a rate one per 24 hours of logged in time. Additionally, reds are subjected to different than normal magical travel rules.


Orange

Flaggingorange.jpeg
If a player joins a faction, an order/chaos guild, or joins a guild that is at war with other guilds, their enemies will appear orange. These players are freely attackable and vice versa. Run or fight.

Flagging

Criminal Flag

Any criminal act will assign a player with a criminal flag* for X seconds, if in town, "Guards" may be called and they will swiftly dispatch all criminals. A criminal flag can sometimes be confused with a character being grey. The criminal flag will set a character's status to grey for 120 seconds after each criminal act, however, the ability to call guards is limited to 15 seconds after the last criminal action a player committed. Being flagged criminal also limits a characters ability to recall/gate.

Aggressor Flag

The aggressor flag puts a character in a state of 'combat' any debuff, damage, or even aggressive barding act constitutes an aggressive act and give an aggressive flag. Aggressive flagging works the same way regardless of a player's status: red, grey, blue, orange. An aggresive flag will freeze the status of both players at the time of combat; ie, if a blue player attacks a grey player, the blue player will see the grey player as grey until the aggressor flag wears off and vice versa. Initiating and extending and aggressor flag will limit a characters' ability to recall for 30 seconds.

Attacking Grey Players

When a player (regardless of blue, grey, or red status) attacks a player with a grey status, without prior personal provocation, they initiate an aggressor flag that will sustain the opposing player's grey status for 120 seconds to the aggressor. This status will be indefinitely extended as long as aggressive actions are sustained. However, the aggressor flag also will flag the aggressive player grey to their opposition.

As an example: Player A loots a blue corpse, in a dungeon; he hides for 100 seconds, but is revealed and attacked by player B. They continue to fight for the next 20 seconds: at which time, player A, globally, turns blue. However, as long as player B sustains aggression and line-of-sight of player A, player B will see player A as grey.

Additionally, when player B initiates the aggressor flag on player A will see player B as grey and may choose to turn the tables and extend their own aggressor tag. Players would be wise to observe this caveat when deciding who to attack.

Attacking Blue Players

When a player (regardless of blue, grey, or red status) attacks a player with a blue status, they are flagged criminal and eligible to be counted for a murder if their prey dies after they sustain damage directly caused by their attacker. Grey status and criminal flagging will be indefinitely extended as aggressive acts are taken. This actually works the same as attacking a grey player and extending their previous status. ie. if the initial criminal act was an aggressive act on a blue player that player will remain blue to his aggressor unless he commits a criminal action. In that particular case it would depend the on the expiration of the 120 second timers for aggressive vs. the aggressee's grey status timer for his criminal act as to whether a murder count could be given. These rules are still true for a character that is red, however, their red status makes it impossible to see their 'grey' status.

By way of example: Player A, blue, attacks and damages player B, also blue, player A turns grey but player B gets away. A minute later player A returns now attacking player B. If player B retaliates they will again be flagged as criminal and subject to a murder count if applicable. If player B now chooses to run, player A then may pursue and with each aggressive action extend the grey status of player B, but also keeping their blue status globally and to player B.

To put this simply and in almost all cases: attacking a blue player and succeeding in killing them will always make a player eligible to receive a murder count. However, some people excel at exploiting flagging rules.

To illustrate further: Player A is blue and is just outside of Brit bridge: player B is red and attacks Player A. Player A can then run across the bridge. If player B follows them into the guard zone still attacking or still under a criminal flag the guards could be called. If player B stopped before the guard line, player A (still appearing red to player B) could still lob spells or shoot arrows and force player B to retreat.

Attacking Red Players

When a player (regardless of blue, grey, or red status) attacks a player with a red status, without prior provocation, they receive an aggressor flag making them grey to their red opponent. Again this will last indefinitely as long as aggressive actions are sustained. And again, this is exactly the same way the aggressor action works in the other circumstances.

As an example: A blue player attacks a red player outside of Moonglow. The red player will see the blue player as grey and be free to chase the blue player through town.

Attacking Orange/Green Players

Attacking an orange player is well within a player's rights and encouraged. Attacking a green player is a way some exploit flagging rules and players should be weary of. Players attacking players with an orange/green status will have an aggressive flag that will limit magical travel as is true with all other statuses; but also, limits a factioneers ability to enter homes.

As an example: Player A, as CoM factioneer attacks player B, a single Minax tamer. Player A is assigned an aggressor flag that limits his ability to recall away or enter a gate. He is suddenly swarmed by a 7 person zerg.

Criminal Activities

Criminal Acts

  • Attacking blue players - whether a misclick, an errant spell, or intentional for any reason will assign a criminal flag to the aggressor.
  • Any beneficial act on a globally grey or red character - if a player heals or buffs a grey or red player they will be assigned a criminal flag
  • Looting a blue corpse - whether monster, NPC, or another player looting a blue corpse will give a player a criminal flag
  • Using provocation against a blue player - sending a monster to attack a blue player will give the player a criminal flag

Stealing and Thieves

Any attempt at a theft will make a thief 'perma-grey:' while they may appear blue, globally, attacking them will reveal their true status. If a player is the victim of a theft they will see their thief as grey until they die. Depending on the success of the attempt they may receive a criminal flag. See: Halygon's thieving guide.

Stealing is NOT an aggressive act. If a player attacks a grey thief the situation would fall under section: 2,b,i. If you attack a blue thief, not under 'perma-grey' conditions it would fall under section 2,b,ii, with the caveat that they are unable to count other players.

Aggressive Acts

  • Attacking another player - attacking a player will assign an aggressive flag
  • Using provocation against a player - using provocation against a player is an aggressive act.

Exploiting Flagging Mechanics

Ignorance

Generally, this is the biggest reason why people fall victim to flagging mechanics. A person will attack a red assuming that running into town assuming guards will save them. Or a thief steals from them and they engage hoping to enact some retribution only to have the tables turned having their regeants or weapon stolen from them and end up lying face down. Players should pick their opponents wisely.

Pets and Flagging

Blue player killers sometimes use an expiring grey status from a criminal action to goad other players into attacking. This happens most often with mages as a grey player will wander onto an opponents screen just as their grey timer expires and getting 'closest' targeted. Opposing players would turn grey and be eligible to be counted. More advanced a blue player that has attacked another blue player and then runs away while their aggressor flag expires. But commit another criminal action (like attacking their blue horse) and then goading their victim back into attacking them under the flagging rules.

Timer Manipulation

Some players aggress other player's pets hoping that a tamer might seek retribution falling into a trap using the aggressor flag described in section 2,b,1. Players should avoid going afk with pets to avoid similar issues.

Pot/field/AoE jumping

Pot jumping is mostly used by red and grey players to get an aggressor flag from a blue player. When a blue player throws a pot at a red or grey player a grey or red ally might stand next to them so that the AoE damage gives the blue player an aggressor flag. Fields, AoE spells or abilities, and EVs work in the same manner. As a player cannot control what will may run into their paralyze fields and or what their EVs attacks.