I'm currently working on a multiplayer, 4X game (early design and prototyping stage), and I've been going back and forth with how I should handle PvP. The game is asynchronous. This means that players will never directly compete with each other in real time. They will setup their defenses, but when you attack another player, you will be battling AI. This raises a question with two possible answers... and lots of spin-off questions based on those answers. What happens when I attack a player who is online? SOLUTION A: The first answer, as many games of this sort do, is to not allow you to attack a player while they are online. This is the simple solution, of course. It allows us to reward the attacker with true percentages/amounts of loot based on what the defender actually has, etc., but has its own problems. For one, there are players who will remain online forever to avoid being attacked. Yes, you can automatically log them off due to inactivity, but then you have to worry about "auto-clickers". Sure, you'll have to worry about hacks and exploits regardless, but personally, I think these flaws pale in comparison to the other problem this presents... It completely segregates the game. Yes, it's asynchronous, but you still get the sense that you're playing WITH other people. If you take this very important interaction and only allow it when players are offline, you may as well be playing a single player game. SOLUTION B: The other solution is to carry on with the game as usual, then send the defender combat results after the battle has finished. This would obviously be more fun from a gameplay standpoint, but again, it has problems. If I steal resources from a player while I'm attacking them, what happens if they spend all those resources before the battle has finished? Other games have simply made these two resource pools exclusive from each other. This means that the attacker gets a certain amount of resources if they win, and the defender loses a certain percentage of resources, even though these amounts won't necessarily be the same. SOLUTION B.5: Another variation of this, is to allow the player to be attacked, but lock them out of that particular colony/city/planet, etc while the battle is commencing. I don't really like that idea, however, as players could launch attacks on someone and deliberately drag out battles to prevent the defender from ever playing (basically being griefer trolls). Now, personally, I'm leaning towards solution B, but I wanted to get some feedback. What do you guys think of these solutions? Have you seen any games that handle it differently? Any new thoughts on how it might be handled? Thanks!