if you make it work: Hat of to you, but to my very sad and overly large knowleage. only Ultima Online has ever implemented a FFA pvp system that worked for longer thenit took for people to exploit it (hell it stood for 2 years before sharding maimed it and pub 14 ripped it to shreds)
basicly what you have in mind is a good idea (even fun) on paper. but sadly not do-able wile maintaining satisfied players.
what you would need to make this work:
Extremly wel balanced gameplay. considering you are not using levels, skills or whatnot to determine the "strong" outside of items - the balance on who is classified as "strong" and "new" and "weak" needs to be very wel placed. saying a strong player can not attack a weak player ALSO is nice on paper. but what happens when 50 weak players keep waiting for a strong player to show up, and then - since he cant attack surround/trap him/her and THEN attack together. sure - you can call it tactics. i call it losing players.
further, wile saying "your skill on getting a player to surender" you state the following
The game version would see players fighting practically just the same, you'd chase down a player on your horse (and if they had one) kill their horse then proceed to kill the player, when player has one point of health he can't move and (just like trading) the killer can choose to ask for a reward or kill the player, now this player better hope he has something the killer wants because if you die you lose everything and go straight back to the start so, your account is 're-set'.
there is no "skill" involved with getting a surender - you are killing someone and take a breather wile picking out his items and deciding if he has any UBERZZZ stuffs to steal or.. kill him...
which in the end will be what most will do considering:
Killing a player will give the killer 100 gold,and gold can be used to buy crest of arms flags, annd if you really want to inlude them..dare i say it...houses (shudders) i know i said no shops before but...yeah i lied Smile
i'd love to see this (or at least something like this in a game instead of a seperate game,) and in fact i am working out a system for laurantine cronicle that will allow PvP and Looting but exclude/punish harassing/farming and griefing. it's a lot harder then it sounds.
the way i'll do it mostly is as follows:
Controlled free for all tournaments:
each player when entering the "battlefield" will be striped of all items exept one of their choice. this item is the "stake" they place when entering the battlefield. When they kill another player they recieve the item the player put on stake, and that item is placed in their bag.
the player that got killed is teleported outside the battlefield, minus the item. takes no normal death penalties.
the player that got the item, now has 2 items at stake. if they die the killer gets to pick one. the player who had more then one item at stake gets to respawn inside or outside the battlefield. inside they continue like before, outside they can leave with the item they still had on stake back in their bag.
a player that leaves can not enter again for 30 minutes
a player that has 10 or more items can not get any more items from other players for 2 hours.
a player that has died more then 10 times in <10 minutes is barred from the battlefield for 30 minutes.
the player that did most of the damage AND is still in combat (did damage/got damage from said player in the last X seconds) has rights to the item.
the killer that did not get the looting right gets 50 gold pieces as a reward, these are instantly added to their total and can not be lost during the battlefield.
i think adding skills would make it more then a gank-fest. it would give it dept (read up on Ultima online, which was basicly a PvP free for all Skill based game)