Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Honor trap

This post was long in my head, but since I haven't been in a BG for months (reached honor cap), I forgot it. A post of Pugnacious Priest reminded me.

Let's see Warsong Gulch for example. Each flag return provides 41 honor for the team at lvl 70, victory provides 20 honor and 2 more marks than defeat. Since 4 marks can be traded for 390 honor, winning Warsong gives 338 honor more than losing with 0 flags. Killing an opponent give 21 honor if no one else was nearby to divide the points. So you have to kill 16 enemies all alone to gain equal honor as winning. So unless one is an extremely skilled and geared player, trying to win is always better than trying to kill enemies. Smarter players always attempt to do so, than complain in the /bg channel that not enough players do the same and they lose.

If you are familiar to game theories you already know that the situation is far less simple. The trick is that if you kill someone you get honor. If the match is won everyone gets honor. You control yourself, not the team. To see the problem, let's assume that the enemy's gear, skill and strategy creates an enviroment where you need 3 win-oriented players (flag carriers and defenders) to win. If you have 8 honorkillers, you will lose, if you have 7 you win. Let's assume you can farm 200 honor by killing, but only 60 if you go for objectives. There are 6 possibilities:
  • You play for win, 0 or 1 others too, you lose, 60+0 pt
  • You play for kills, 0 or 1 others try to win, you lose, 200+0 pt
  • You play for win, 2 others too, you win, 60+340 pt
  • You play for kills, 2 others try to win, you lose, 200+0 pt
  • You play for win, 3 or more others too, you win 60+340 pt
  • You play for kills, 3 or more others try to win, you win, 200+340 pt
So depending on the number of win-oriented players, going for win vs going for kills earns you:
  • 0-1 other win oriented: -140 pt
  • 2 other win oriented: 200 pt
  • 3+ other win oriented: -140 pt
So unless it's you who make the difference between win or lose it's better to have honorkills. This phenomena is responsible for the "alliance never win except AV" effect. Since the alliance never wins, you shall assume that there are too few win-oriented players, so it's better for you to go for kills, and since no one goes for winning, the alliance never wins (On AV same for horde).

What is the best stategy for you?
  • Being adaptive: at the begining always go for win and spam some macro to encourage others to do so. If you see others going for win too, keep on winning and gather the extra XP fast. If you see not enough going for win, you can go for kills or AFK. While theoretically you could go for kills after you see enough players for win, you can never be sure that they are enough, so I wouldn't recommend that.
  • Being overpowered: it's obvious that if you are as strong as 2 others you can win the match alone. Since it's highly gear dependent, you cannot do it at max level. The trick is twinking. On lvl 69 (will be 79 soon) you can be the strongest on WSG, Eye and AB and the honor reward is barely smaller than on max level. You can win practically all matches.
  • Bring a group: if you are not alone, your chances to win increases greatly. Even having 1 buddy with you can make huge difference. Don't forget that most groups have 90% kill-oriented players, so the 2 of you can double or triple the number of win-oriented ones. Bigger groups not only guarantees victory, but also decrease the time needed to win, increasing honor/hour. Be aware though that Blizzard attempts to match premades against premades, so if you go in with a 100% premade, you either get a PuG opponent and win in like 5 mins, but you can get a premade opponent too. If you move in with 1-2 more people you get a PuG as enemy: sure win.

5 comments:

Tal said...

Interesting, I never thought about it that way.
I don't agree with the "being adaptive" strategy, though. Assuming you want to maximize your honor, you should go farm HKs if there are enough people to get a win. The only situation where it's more "profitable" to try winning is when you'll be the one making the difference between winning and losing.
Another point that wasn't considered is time... The idea is to maximize honor per time period, not per match. If having 10 win-oriented people (unlikely, but can happen in a premade) you can win a match faster, making it much more profitable than HK farming. But the longer the match is, the benefit of HKs increases.

Gevlon said...

@tal: The point is exactly that you never know how many people are win-oriented since ALL claim to be one. So if you are winning, you cannot be sure that it's not you who make it winning, and starting to go HK will make you lose.

The second point is written into the post now.

Tal said...

I agree that you can't know. BUT, the chance that you'll be the one making the difference is pretty small (whether because there won't be enough people anyway, or because there will be too many), so you may as well go for the HKs.
At least, that would seem like the goblin thing to do. =) I don't farm HKs since my gear is usually pretty crappy and it results in me dying over and over instead of killing. :S

Esdras said...

I love to PVP in the game and actually stopped raideing for the last 5 months to consentrate on it but the thing that annoys me is Resiliance it still ruins it a bit for me.

I think they need to make epic PVP gear harder to get which i think they have in LK would also like to see XP for PVP so you can PVP to level that would be good they dont need to make it a lot just a little would be cool.

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