Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The best honor/hour ratio

Nils mentioned the prisoner's dilemma, a situation where the individual optimizing his gain creates a sub-optimal solution for the group. Several others also mentioned that "mindlessly" killing enemies in the midfield of a battleground can maximize the person's honor/hour ratio, obviously at the cost of the group's, but who cares?

Well, I can easily disprove this: the best honor/hour ratio is obviously not grinding honorkills, but being AFK! You log in and go AFK, preferably in a point where others kill enemies (behind the gate of Isle of Consquest, the Yellow gate of SoA, or a corner of a workshop in WG is a perfect place).

You will get honorkills of others and bonus honor. Also at least 1 mark. Since you invested very little time (loging in, moving to your spot, pressing a button every 5 minutes), your honor/hour ratio is extremely high.

Obviously it's not my finding, AV is often called AFK Valley. Some people even found loging in too much time, so they employed bots. Blizzard banned lot of them, seriously decreasing AFK playing.

However Blizzard cannot stop AFK behavior. They hunt for bots via a program called warden. It scans the memory for known bot programs. If you don't use programs, just press a key every 5 minutes, they surely don't catch you. The reason for that is simple: an AFK player is simply a very bad PvP-er. If Blizzard would try to ban such playing they would have to draw a line how bad is considered "being AFK". If they would ban pressing a button every 5 minutes, people could just press a button every 5 secs.

If they would ban pointlessly jumping up and down in the middle of nowhere... they had to ban half of the playerbase of the BGs. By scanning behavior, they would have to ban real players who are not AFK, just suck. So non-botting AFK is safe.

Why is it important? Because it gives the answer what to do in the BG/WG if you just want honor, and also makes it obvious that the "HK farmers" are actually not there for the honor. They want to PWN! Social people...

To prevent another explanation: "they really want best honor/hour but they find being AFK unethical, and HK farming is second best". Let's not lament here on who is more useless in a BG, an AFK-er, or a mindless honorfarmer! The point is that if "being unethical" matters to someone, he is social, since "ethics" is not enforced by any organization, just by peer pressure.

28 comments:

pugnaciouspriest said...

Even better - go AFK next to a stable flag for the bonus honor.. I got top honor in one bg for capping one flag, and standing around waiting for someone to attack me. I was guarding it.. really..
( I do not condone afking!

and yes there are lots of people who use their time ineffectivly in bgs that they might as well be afk..

Azzur said...

You say that being AFK won't get you banned. Well, that is wrong. There are enough clauses in the TOS to let them nail AFKing on you.

If the issue is widespread enough, you can be sure that Blizzard will bring down the ban-hammer. So, report everyone that you deem to be afk. I'm sure if there are enough people reporting the same person, some kind of action will be taken.

People don't afk much nowadays because of the fear of a ban.

Quoting Gevlon:
The point is that if "being unethical" matters to someone, he is social, since "ethics" is not enforced by any organization, just by peer pressure.

This very line of thinking is what causes a lot of problems in society in the past.

Take for example a river. In the past there are no laws to prevent a company from polluting the river, so they did it! Unethical behaviour has lead to a a sub-optimal outcome for the society.

Ethical behaviour is now the new way to go. Some companies have demonstrated ethical behaviour and have been very successful.

Let me cite an example of United Airlines. Some of you may have heard about the case of where they refused to fix the guitar of a musician. The outcome was a youtube video (a song) watched by almost 5 million people ridiculing the airline.

Was United Airlines legally obligated to fix the guitar? No. Were they ethically bound to do so? Yes. They chose to act indifferently and will suffer the consequences.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

there's a difference between unethical and environmentally hazardous, or against the law.

Arceopteryx said...

Sadly this sounds like it is the fastest way to gain easy honor. Normally I would respond with :"But what about getting more marks, and more honor by winning, instead of losing and only get half honor?"

But this time it really doesn't matter, if people are afk.

Azzur said...

Quoting Pangoria Fallstar:
"there's a difference between unethical and environmentally hazardous, or against the law."

I'm not sure what you mean by this statement. Is dumping into a river environmentally hazardous? Yes. Is it unethical? Yes.

Is it against the law? It is now, but it wasn't in the past.

It is this 'not against the law' mentality is that caused a lot of mess in the first place. Governments are forced to regulate because of unethical behaviour. In the meantime, the damage has already been done and society faces a costly cleanup bill.

Jkaen said...

While it may be the best honour/hour (interaction) as a snap shot, it is inflexible should you decide that you need more honour as you obviously can't AFK more.

What people may be looking for is the best honour/hour (realtime) which may well still be the HK farming (assuming you are not willing to organise the S&Ms)

G0nz0 said...

"since "ethics" is not enforced by any organization" so the UN dosn't exsist any more? I'm pretty sure the UN enforces ethics for the most part rather than the law. Specially when it comes to things such as world famin, which they don't have a legal obligation to help resolve the issue, but an ethical one.

Nils said...

You talk about honor/hour invested in the game. I talk about honor/hour.

I don't want to play monopoly while WoW is runnign on my computer. I want to get the honor ASAP.

---

You misunderstand the term 'ethics'. It's not the same as 'advantageous'.
'Ethics' is the tool the evolution used to escape the prisoner's dilemma. It is, by definitin, not bound to any benefit considerations.

pagb666 said...

Well, AFK players are not necessarily bad players. The 2v2 world champions (WTS skill) were on my battlegroup, and I can safely say that they were one of the most loathable leechers around. It was hilarious that you saw them with a char in AV, just to leave AV and see them leeching with another character at SotA.

I also "guard bunkers" in AV, move to the first one, cap it, stay put while watching some crap. If I hear something or see something (play in windowed mode), I defend... if not, the bunkers burns and move to the next one, rinse and repeat.

Ephemeron said...

Any WoW activity can be described as conversion of resource A into resource B, where each resource represents gold, honor, time, effort, epics, arena points, whatever.

Smart players, obviously, will choose strategies that allow them to spend mostly those resources which they have in abundance, and conserve the ones that are scarce.

In case of honor farming, we need to examine the three resources available to us: namely, 'time spent logged in' (A1), 'time spent pushing buttons' (A2) and 'mental energy required to coordinate and herd others' (A3). Our chosen tactic for harvesting honor (resource B) will depend on the ratio of A1:A2:A3.

Example 1: After a particularly exhausting day at work, I finally get home, where I have only a couple of hours worth of play available. In this situation, my A1 effectively equals A2 (I have very limited time to play, so going AFK for extended periods is suboptimal), and my A3 is virtually nil (not enough patience to deal with M&S with that pounding headache). Therefore, the best strategy for me will be to farm HKs and easy-to-grab objectives.

Example 2: It's Saturday, so I don't have to go to work. However, there are a ton of chores to do around the house that I've been putting off all week. In this situation, I have A1 in spades (I can stay logged on all day), but very low amounts of A2 and A3 (can't spare time and attention to what's going on the screen). Optimal strategy: stay semi-AFK and enjoy the slow but steady honor flow.

Example 3: It's Sunday, yet the sky doesn't seem all that sunny, so I decide to stay indoors and play WoW. Without work or chores to distract me, I can fully devote myself to the game; in other words, I have vast amounts of A1, A2 and A3. The best tactic in this situation is to do what Gevlon did in his AV experiment, convince others to follow a working strategy, and enjoy a long sequence of perfect wins.

Yaggle said...

What I don't understand is why the same person would enter a BG and not care about pwning, or what others think of them, and they use that to farm honor, to obtain blue/purple pixels used to either improve what others think of them or to pwn something. Seems rather paradoxical.

Olga said...

@Yaggle
they could farm honor to get arena gear. and arena is nowhere near to pwning or improving someone's thinking about you.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Let's try this again.

Ethics is either your own set, or your culture's set of what is good/bad, right/wrong.

For example, in a Christian society, homosexuality is unethical. In california, gay marriage is against the law, and in some states anal sex is against the law.

But there are alot of homosexuals throughout the US, and for the male portion of them, anal sex is ethically ok. But if they get caught in the wrong state, because the cops chose the wrong house, they are suddenly in trouble for anal sex and but not for being gay.

Ethics is more to do with how we treat each other, and how we relate to one another. Dumping hazardous material into water affects us and our environment, we never thought that someone would do it, since ethics would prevent it, but ethics did nothing, so we made a law.

Some people thought that anal sex was ethically wrong, and after finding out that it happens they made a law. The law is ethically unsound (what people do to their own ass is up to them), but it's still a law that must be voted on/against or fought through the legal system.

There is a difference between these things, but in the case of environmental waste, it is bad on all fronts.

Now for the airline example, I never heard of it, but I imagine his luggage was damaged because it wasn't carry-on (too big), and airlines specifically state that they are not responsible for lost or damaged luggage (they all say this). If his guitar was worth so much, he should of used a mail service that would allow him to insure the guitar against damage.

It was HIS responsibility to keep his things safe. Instead he trusted someone who has the blanket clause of irresponsibility.

Nils said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nils said...

Nils mentioned the prisoner's dilemma, a situation where the individual optimizing his gain creates a sub-optimal solution for the group.

To clarify this:
In the prisoner's dilemma you do not only create a sup-optimal solution for the group, but also for yourself!

An AV raid that is organised, where people do not maximise their own gain, but the gain of the group, is vastly superior, also, especially, for every single individual.

In a world of socials being a goblin is advantegeous. In a world of goblins being a goblin is essential.

But a group that consists only of goblins loses every time against a group that consists only of socials.

That's moral hazard.

That is why evolution created social feelings for your family, your clan, your friends - your nation (?).

That is why there are all those socials, Gevlon. ;)

Survival of the fittest does not apply to individuals, but to groups. The fittest groups are groups of socials who as a group act goblinishly ;)


A world that consisted of 5 billion Gevlons were be sad place, because 90% of those Gevlons would feel terrible all the time, because there are so many other goblins out there who earn much more money.

Construction workers would earn millions if they were few, but they are many and thus they earn little.

That's the basic problem whenever you want to judge people by judging their income.

People do not earn their income in a moral sense. They earn it, because of supply and demand of this work.

Moral judgement cannot depend on what others do, but income does.

angelspire said...

Just a couple thoughts on "ethics". True - it's completely social. Wrong - you can completely avoid it =D

The idea is that you still will work out some "ethic system" for your own. How much it will intersect with the socially-established ethics depends on how much of a "social" lives in you. Basically, as an Ultimate Goblin you probably will have few to none at all ethic rules. Again, that's only true if you will need to communicate to noone at all. Once in any of you activities is included communication - you will need to work out some ethics unless your primary goal is to quickly and painfully kill eachother [even in this case some are needed like "do not cheat killing painless" =)].

So, even accepting that "social" ethic system is a perversion and should not be used by anyone having anything but the vacuum in their head, I still accept individuals who's (personal) ethics do not allow them to sit AFK at the BSs.

P.S. For me personally sitting AFK in BGs is completely waste of time since if I like BGs - why should I sit still there? And if I hate it - I'll either never will go in.

Anonymous said...

sorry the best Honor per Hour is in Wintergrasp or Isle of Conquest participating.

Go to where the mob is and kill as many alliance as you can. Even better from a turret.

Being afk actually hurts the teams survival rate so it hurts your honor.

Chris said...

My honor per hour is even better. I bot while I'm sleeping or at work!

Now with epic gems being purchased with honor, its quite a good money maker!

Jeff said...

Ethics are not a social construct, they are a market force. If you behave in a consistently unethical manner the market will find ways to exclude you.

Anonymous said...

It's not the best honor per hour. It's the easiest honor per hour. Being active, winning the match, and turning in tokens will gain more honor. Being AFK is just choosing to to gain less honor for less work. (Isnt't that what being an M&S is all about?)

It's not even the best way to get epic gems. I can gain 150g through dailies (or from the AH) faster than I can gain 10,000 honor from battlegrounds.

Nils said...


Ethics are not a social construct, they are a market force. If you behave in a consistently unethical manner the market will find ways to exclude you.



That is the hope of many people, and while it is sometimes true it is not always true.

It is especially wrong if you assume that we have 100% perfect markets in our country(ies), because we don't. We do not regulate enough nowadays to enjoy perfect (e.g. german energy) markets.

Anonymous said...

Why do people farm honour??? Is this a throw back to previous times???

Considering how honour just rains from the sky in WG, I couldn't think of anything more pointless then farming honour in other bgs.

Lee Quillen said...

Why are people farming honor?

1) It is more fun to be in the zerg than alone guarding a node for the majority of those playing.
2) It is better honor per average than your peers who do not do so when in a pug. These players are not afk because there is fear of a ban (whether a reasonable fear or not) and the very action of farming this way is risk vs reward. Less percieved personal risk when grouped with a zerg in game as well as real life.

1 in 40 trying for objectives may mean a big difference in honor 1 in 40 times. Playing with the zerg means increased honor over your peers the other 39 without fear of repurcussions. I play to win, but I DO notice the decrease in honor some place like EotS, AB or Alterac valley that is suffered due to it.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the point entirely Gevlon.

The point is that to farm HK's all you have to do is be in the middle of the map, Blacksmith in Arathi Basin for example and you will get every single HK in the entire zone jsut for being in the middle since this way you get +50% honor as well.

Will said...

I am very adamant on reporting afk players. It is actually very easy if you have carbonite installed, you see all the blue dots of players, and if one is just still at the spawn point where players enter the game at, you can right click right their dot on the map and report them.

Also, blizzard did a good thing by increasing the amount of Honor you gain by standing on a node or area you own, 50% more honor. If they "inflate" honor this way even more and raise the honor cost of items then it'd be such low honor/hour to afk where you aren't getting the bonus.

When rated BG's come into play, I can see premades almost being mandatory to get any real honor, as you'll be losing most of your games in random made up groups.

Sven said...

Whether being AFK is the best honour per hour depends on how you measure the hours. It May be the best honour per hour spent pressing buttons, but it isn't the best honour per hour WOW is running. There''s an opportunity cost to keeping WOW running and only pressing a button once every 5 mins - you can't use that account for anything else while you are doing it. Secondly, because you can't be away from your computer for very long, there isn't much else you can do in the mean time.

Being AFK in a BG constrains your choices in the time when you're not pressing buttons too. As a result, the best comparison is honour per hour the game is running, where it clearly loses to the alternatives. All that time you spent logged into the BG is time you aren't spending doing other things.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Honor - RyanC has a hot girlfriend! (He calls her "mom")

Anonymous said...

A suggestion for grinding Honor.
If you are planning on afk'ing in battlegrounds - come prepared!

A few times ive taken a backpack stuffed full of matts and just found some quiet corner to craft netherweave bags, rings to DE for dust, etc.
As the greedy goblin says, Time = Money.

Ellifain @ Khaz'Goroth