Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Solving the Honor-trap

I wrote about the honor-trap almost 2 years ago. In short: if you play for win, you gain better honor for the whole team, but if you play for kills, you get better for yourself. If everyone would play for win, you'd get much better rewards than playing for kills, yet on the individual level hoping that others will win the match while you are killing enemies gives higher individual honor. Also, since "lets pwn lol" fits very well to the M&S, this behavior get enforced.

Why is it a problem? Because grinding enemies is extremely boring activity. Playing to win needs thinking, adaptation and upon victory, provides satisfaction, while grinding enemies is just grinding. However playing to win and lose because the others are just grinding in the middle is frustrating. You can't change them, you can tell them anything, the only answer you'll get is "lol i play 4 fun" or "stfu nerd i play the way i wanna". Is there no other way than grinding yourself or creating full premade?

Finally I found the solution: the best honor/active hour is semi-AFK farming:
"Semi" means that you don't use any kind of illegal bots, you just do something else while WoW runs in a window and you press a button every 1-2 minutes. You surely get the bonus honor for objectives and if you position yourself close to the battle, you even get honorkills! Since you used no bots, you are safe from banning. Being useless in a BG is not against the rules.

What about players reporting you AFK?
Yes, you see it, I openly expressed that I'm AFK on the /bg channel and still did not get reported. How? The solution is the problem itself: the M&S don't care about the battle so they don't read chat, don't check map, don't do anything but "pwn lol". They won't report you because finding you needs brain and effort and you are AFK exactly because they don't have those.

So the optimal strategy: ask in /bg who plays for win. If there are enough, coordinate your efforts with them and win. If there are few, you can safely go AFK. If there are enough you must not be AFK as good players report you.

Please note that by being AFK you not only provide very high honor/active hour for yourself, but you also make the M&S miserable. By playing for win you provided them bonus honor. By grinding yourself, you helped them "pwn". If the good players are AFK, the M&S won't get bonus honor and they get their butt kicked in the pointless zerg-battle.
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Eric found this wonderful specimen who queued us as tank in his late 50-es. And I still love their naming scheme:

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

While your arugment is likely sound for you, some of us have very limited time when they are able to play and don't want to squander it by afk honor farming. I would rather make an effort even if it is doomed. If enough are making an effort then you can often convince the last few you need to win to wake up and contribute.

Squishalot said...

I'm amused, Gevlon. Calling out 'who wants to win' is such a social way of doing it. Look at Livia's catchcry - caps lock, spelling errors. Presumably, any true asocials will ignore you and Livia and think of you as sheep-herded morons.

Fejjlt even challenged Livia's point - he's there for the honor, and knows that the best way to get it is winning. Yet you're ignoring him? Because he didn't 'y'? (Presumably Livia wants to win too, and you included her in your count of 3.)

I would fall under the tag of the 'good' player who would ignore Livia (because that sort of message is incredibly social and belongs in /trade), and happily report you AFK, as would any true asocial who wasn't part of your guild BG group.

Re: MotD - who's the moron, the non-tank druid who doesn't have bear form (meaning that he didn't do the druid-specific quest to get it), the person suggesting that the DPS switch to bear form when they take aggro (complete with threat bonus for being in bear form), or the other three rofl/lol/emoticon'ing people?

Eric's not doing himself any favours, in your rule book.

Derrek said...

Your solution is indeed optimal and 100% safe from banning, though it is not something I prefer. WoW has entertaining value for me, I wouldn't like to play while boring myself, alt-tabbing windows or doing something unproductive (like watching TV, etc).

The real best solution is creating or joining a premade. Random BGs are random, i.e. bad! It's not hard to prove this, considering the fact that at least 80% of the WoW population consists of M&S. Thus, your chance to be in a good, random BG (where there are at least 10 people looking to win, for instance) is low.

Roman Perepelitsa said...

The screenshot of the battleground chat you posted is controversial at best. If I was there, I definitely would not reply to you because I would be sure you are two morons.

1. Opening a conversation with "good morning!"
2. Writing in all caps.
3. Terrible English: "if want to win: need tactic."
4. Trolling the chat while someone is actually explaining the tactics.
5. Failing to express what you want. What's PRESS "y" and why would anyone do that?
6. The question itself is stupid. Why should one decide between winning and gaining honor?

Andru said...

I can't imagine what someone would do with MORE honor, really.

After getting a full PvP set, the only thing remaining in BGs right now is playing to win.

Getting 2-3 friends should be easy, and enough to win any BG.

This tip is pretty useless to an already established PvPer who doesn't need any more honor.

Anonymous said...

some people like killing people in battlegrounds and thats why we do it

Leech or get Leeched said...

The "semi-afk grinding" is an old strategy, at least for someone like me grinding honor for two PvP sets every Arena Season. Still it's great that you mention it, since it is obviously the "morally wrong" thing to do.

Grinding honor with complete strangers (they are not even on same server) should not require you to boost their efficiency!

Grim said...

About Moron of the Day:
The "defense skill increased to 241" suggests that its not happening at max level.

There is a very high chance that its a newbie, not a proper moron.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: that's the point, no matter what you do, you are ignored. The M&S ignore you since they are too dumb, the non-M&S ignore you since they think you are another spamming M&S. You are safe from detection.

Moron post fixed.

Bulbasaur said...

Sorry, but I recall that now you can learn bear form just for a trainer, like flying or aquatic form.

If I'm correct, today's moron is epic moron.

In concern of the semi AFK grinding, I don't find ii properly for my case, because I go to bgs with my brother's paladin and we just do stupid stuff like trying to drowning vehicles and get people angry. But my case it's not generic because we go to bgs prety drunk. But if you try to min-max honor seriously, it's good tip, I'll comment it in my guild. Thank you.

nightgerbil said...

Gevlon I love guys like you in bgs. I farm you. Sitting under the ramp, lying down on the ship. I sweep the beach on strand and when assaulting head for the south graveyard asap to kill the afkers there. there's always at least one. The joy is if you dont take that gyard they respawn and you can kill them again, but thats risky as active players will spawn too. I personaly always played pvp because I like to kill other players. It feels good. I dont farm honour as honour is pretty useless to me (10k honour is 1 gem 100g? I get a better return doing hcs or dailies let alone using the ah). I pretty much had playing to win beaten out of me as well as that doesnt happen for horde on the misery battlegroup.

Maladroite said...

Bad English is not always a mark of being a moron, especially not on the European servers. As long as people sort of get their message across and attempt to write in a comprehensive manner, they should not be given a "moron" stamp. It's a nice excercise to create a character on a Spanish/French/German server (depending on which language you study, if any), and see how people would treat you there with your limited language skills.

Native English speakers who write "hey m8, u wanna go 4 Uld?" etc. are way bigger morons than a Hungarian who writes "If want win: need tactic".

Regarding the AFK-tactic, how many people are "enough" to win a BG? 3 smart players can accomplish a lot in SotA. The others will always drag behind, but at least they do slow the opponents down some.

Xenxu said...

I would ignore gevlon and also not report him afk.

I don't play BGs for honor, I've not needed pvp upgrades for a long time. I do BGs just to fight people when my arena partners aren't online, score be damned.

I can't control the scrubs on the rest of the team, and I'm not using my time to stand around a guard a node for a reward I can't use.

You said that grinding enemies isn't fun, but I guess winning 1v2s and 1v3s etc. is pretty fun to me =/.

But like I said, I wouldn't report you afk, because I simply don't care. In fact I laugh every game we lose at the guys in BG chat trying to coerce a strategy out of these scrubs. I learned long ago its a futile effort.

P.S. Great HK farming spot is BS flag in Arathi. Get defending bonus + all kills on map.

Gevlon said...

@Xenxu: I don't even hope that you will ever realize that you are the scrub and your team loses because you are in it.

Kobeathris said...

Doesn't your theory only work if you assume the opposing team does not contain M&S as well?

In any random battleground, you and your opponent are likely to have the same amount of idiots. If you and the non-idiots work together to accomplish the goal of the BG, then you are likely going to have an even fight with the non-idiots from the other side.

By going afk and farming honor, you are still boosting M&S, you are just boosting the M&S from the other team instead of your own. That may be your perfered strategy, as you don't have to actually listen to them, but I don't see how it is any more effective than doing the battle straight for you. The only reason a premade can roll everyone else is because they aren't consistently facing other premades.

Part-timer said...

The M&S and asocial measurements have limits. Sometime I'd like to see an exploration of other measures.

The comments shows there are asocial players that play BGs without any interest in winning and asocial players that want to win. Some will conclude "3 only want to win, it's hopeless" and others "why give up when you've 3 that want to win?".

Folks are trying to use the same yardstick, but coming up with different numbers. I'm certain you know you've more than two hammers. Show us another tool some time.

TheGrumpyElf said...

I never respond to someone talking "chit chat" in /bg. Someone asking "who whats to win?" is a loser plain and simple. As soon as you see that you know the battleground is a loss.

Someone saying, "lets go left" gets me to go left. Someone saying "need help at xxxx" will get me there. The person saying melee in dems... that is something worth typing.

Someone saying, "you all suck" or insulting anyone gets me to think screw it and not care any more while I wait for the battle to end.
The more they whine and complain the less I want to win, just to piss them off. Now that is fun. I would gladly have a 0 honor BG just to piss that person off.

Also, take a look, usually the person talking the most sh!t is the one that is doing the least.

If they spent 1/2 as much time trying to win the battleground as they did insulting other people or chatting with useless "so you want to win" crap then winning would be easy.

One thing each side of the fence seems to forget is that even if your side has a few people that are less skilled, first timers, PvE geared or what not, the other side most likely does as well. (unless it is a premade) Adapt and overcome.

I'd report you because I report all a-holes, spammers, griefers, etc., it only takes a second.

I play to win, I like the honor of course, but I play to win. In my opinion honor farming is not fun. If you play to win you will get more then enough honor in time. No need to farm it.

Andru said...

3 players are enough to win WSG.

1 FC and 2 healers is a guaranteed win.

SOTA? 1 melee, 1 ranged (mage or warlock) and 1 healer are enough.

AB and EOTS needs about 5 good people: 2 healers, and 3 DpS

IOC and AV are a bit problematic. I know that 3 healers and 2 tanks can blitz AV, but not sure about IOC.

Note: These numbers are only good if you queue with those people from the start, and not meet them in the BG. There needs to be a playmaker, and people who follow orders without comment during the BG. Tactics can be discussed before or after, and eventual observations made then.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon - Who says that you being another spamming M&S means you're safe from detection? If I see you with under 10k damage done / healing done, sure as hell I'm going to report you AFK. My point was that they will ignore what you say, which explains the poor response you received.

Also, are you sure the druid's the tank? He seems to be taking aggro, and not able to lose it, based on the conversation, especially since the comments seem to be suggesting that he heal himself (tank dies, healer's fault and all). Everything in that screenshot points to the druid being DPS. And if he is the tank, the whole group is moronic for not kicking him in the first instance.

Squishalot said...

Re: MotD - For what it's worth Tyriel's armory is this: http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Blackrock&cn=Tyri%C3%A9l

He's clearly protection spec'd. Druid wasn't the tank. But having said that, the druid is currently level 80, and in the middle of a server transfer, it appears.

Wilson said...

Let's see. Semi-afk, wants rewards from the efforts others put out, no incentive to learn proper rotation or even proper gemming. Sounds to me like the difference between "goblin" and "filth" is whether or not the person applying the label is on the giving or receiving end of the behavior.

Squishalot said...

My bad, I take back my last comment about the party.

Tyriel = Paladin prot tank
Ewyn = Hunter
Whungomoo = Enhance Shaman
Keiji = Warlock
Druid = heals or DPS?

So again, who's the moron?

1) The pally tank who can't hold aggro?

2) The enhance shaman who wants the healer to go into bear?

3) The hunter and lock who lol / XD?

4) The healer / DPS druid for not having bear form?

There are good arguments for all of the above.

Ratshag said...

@Squish - "So again, who's the moron?"

Whichever one of them five buggers what submitted that train wreck to MotD.

Anonymous said...

Blizzard posters have said that intentionally going AFK (without putting up your AFK flag in order to avoid getting kicked out) in the battlegrounds is considered cheating.

Glyph, the Architect said...

I'm wondering why Blizzard doesn't just fix battlegrounds to disincentivise farming HKs or AFKing. Something along the lines of "You don't get honor until the end of the battle, winning team gets entire combined team's honor per person, losing team gets only their own, players who don't attempt at least one objective every so often get nothing regardless of team." These objectives would be different for different BGs. Of course there are flaws in every system that can be exploited, but there must be some way of making HK farming pointless. Maybe something like "HKs in the middle of WSG field count for only half honor" or something.

csdx said...

@Gevlon,about your remark to xenxu. Are you trying to guilt/shame him, which is just a social move?
It's likely he realizes that his actions don't help the team win, but he doesn't care it the team wins or loses. His goal is neither honor farming or getting warm fuzzies from being a team player, so following your strategy gives him no benefit (in fact if he's looking to do 1v1 or 2v1s then being in a group is actually counterproductive). You only think he's a scrub because he's not helping you, but you're not giving him any incentive to help you, so why should he care about you and your team spirit?

Cyrell said...

I'm not sure I see the point of this whole post. One of your comments already got half of what I wanted to say (See: Andru).

So yes, if you already have the best PvP set, all the mounts and most of the BG achievements; and let's say even if you have none of this - why is it not possible that you don't care in the slightest about what's the most efficient way of making honor? I know it's not what was intended when the BG designers made it, but what if genuinely all you want to do is 'pwn noobs', as you so eloquently put it?

When I go into a BG I'm mostly after semi-controlled fights, where I get the chance to test my "skills" against 3-4 people at a time. Consequently, BGs such as AV, SotA and IoC have no interest to me at all, so I never queue for them.

Does it make me an M&S if all I want to do is find semi-fair fights instead of sacrificing myself for some artificial objective such as stealing a flag from an enemy base and getting zerged by 8 players?

I know someone's bound to say: "That's what arena's for!" in exasperation, but really, it's not. Arena is a fair fight between two evenly matched teams in theory - it's like an upgraded version of the endless dueling that goes on in front of Orgrimmar or Dalaran. BG, for some, on the other hand, is more of a way to test your multi-target PvP abilities.

World PvP is also almost non-existent on many servers. One time it took me over 3 weeks to get the quest done in Icecrown to kill 15 players and I'm there a lot trying to find people. And anyway, when you do find people it's just freshly dinged 80s who die in 2 shots or miners/herbalists. Nobody with any real skills is playing that game!

I'm kind of surprised by this post. I expected it to be about "Playing to win" for yourself, somewhat in the spirit of David Sirlin. Learning to be a better PvPer, testing your mettle against "real" situations, etc. I can understand where you're coming from, because if you do need honor then what you say makes the most sense. But remember, you're in there with lots of other people, some of whom genuinely do not care about honor. Your post seems to be the most "social" I've ever read from you!

Xenxu said...

@Gevlon

"I don't even hope that you will ever realize that you are the scrub and your team loses because you are in it."

Heh, few comments. First, your semi-afk'ing doesn't help the team win either, and is even more a non-winning strategy than anything I do in a BG. But that isn't a real issue, at least not to me.

Secondly, I don't care if my team wins or loses. I don't play BGs for that component. That is what I play arenas for.

Playing to win in a BG is counterproductive to winning in arenas for many reasons, but first of all you must realize that honor is not in the realm of my play. I don't need it, I don't care about it, it doesn't matter. Your strategy is maxizing your honor/hour, but I don't need honor.

It is counterproductive for me to play a defensive position or a zerger position because neither of those help me improve my tactical skill. Defense you mostly do nothing, zerg is not the same type of situation an Arena match is.

Also, I help you AFK! Pay me to help you win a BG and I will help you win. :D

Cyrell said...

I'm not sure I see the point of this post. Andru already got half of what I wanted to say.

What if you genuinely don't care about honor, for whatever reason? I have resto, balance and 2 feral sets of PvP gear. Why is it not possible that you don't care in the slightest about what's the most efficient way of making honor? I know it's not what was intended when the BG designers made it, but what if genuinely all you want to do is 'pwn noobs', as you so eloquently put it?

I'd put it a different way. When I go into a BG I'm mostly after semi-controlled fights, where I get the chance to test my "skills" against 3-4 people at a time. Consequently, BGs such as AV, SotA and IoC have no interest to me at all, so I never queue for them.

You can't find this kind of PvP situation in other places. Some days its easy and I'm bored as all I fight are low resi players. Other days I'm really tested and have a lot of fun with the "chess" metagame that goes on between high-end pvp players. There's really an element of danger in a BG for players like me which you cannot find in Arena matches.

Cyrell said...

Does it make me an M&S if all I want to do is find semi-fair fights instead of sacrificing myself for some artificial objective such as stealing a flag from an enemy base and getting zerged by 8 players? But you know what, some days I'll do just that too, but I'll win and cap the flag by using gimmicks such as a Free Action Potion. BG also gives you a chance to use items that you can't in an arena, or be extremely clever and cheesy with typhoons at the EotS flag spawn point, mind control helmets and a slew of other items that can't be used in an arena, to make sure you win every fight.

Arena is a fair fight between two evenly matched teams in theory - it's like an upgraded version of the endless dueling that goes on in Orgrimmar or Dalaran. BG is something entirely different and allows for players of all types.

I'm kind of surprised by this post anyway. I expected your post to be about "Playing to win" for yourself. Learning to be a better PvPer, testing your mettle against "real" situations, etc. I can understand where you're coming from, because if you do need honor then what you say makes the most sense. But remember, you're in there with lots of other people, some of whom genuinely do not care about honor.

Zerotorescue said...

Since you used no bots, you are safe from banning. Being useless in a BG is not against the rules.

This is not true. Blizzard DOES ban for being useless in a battleground, I have experienced this myself. Manually milling in Alterac Valley while leeching experience and honor got me banned a few days later.

Quoted from http://20kleveling.com/JMTCforum/viewtopic.php?p=15843 :
Type of Violation: PvP Arena/Battleground Exploitation
Details of Incident: Exploitation of PvP Battlegrounds and the honor system
Consequences for Account: Account suspended for 3 hours (3h)

MyName said...

I don't pay attention to pretty much anything that anyone says in chat before a BG other than maybe "go blue/green". Sometimes when they're just bored and killing time I'll respond, but either you know how to play the BG, in which case there's nothing different to do from the dozens of other times you've been there, or you're clueless or stupid and not worth listening to.

Of course, I've also gotten everything I can from honor and don't usually need anything but maybe the extra arena points for the daily, so what I'm there for is getting the silly achievements. One of those is "Win X times" but probably about half the losses, in my battlegroup at least, are due to premades or groups of 3v3 or 5v5 teams going up against puggers, half of which are useless.

Which is okay, they'll be bottom feeding it in unrated BGs in a few months and the problem will be solved from my end.

Anonymous said...

In regard to the MoTD, I think it's pretty obvious that the druid is the moron since he thinks he doesn't have bear form! How can a level 50 something druid not have bear form????

And druids can take aggro off while they're in cat form.

Anonymous said...

Why would you AFK in the BG in your picture? No matter how badly you and the fellow M&S play, it takes them at least 3 minutes and you will take the full 9 plus the break. Wouldn't a fail AB be quicker?

WoW is mostly a PvE game played on PvE servers. And "serious" PvPers do arena, at least pre-Cata. So BGs serve two purposes: entertain the masses and another grind similar to mining or herb nodes. Most/many people are in full PvE gear with 0 resil; PvP is just a break from WoW. Get a piece of PvP gear or 4 Cardinal Rubies is an easy decision.

re the moron shots: he could be a griefer moron instead of a M&S. He could have a kingslayer main who tanks heroics with a spirit-enchated Shadowmourne to annoy the trollable. Saying you don't have bear form is not the same as not having bear form.

Or he could be a goblin. E.g., shadowpriests/boomies with names like "idontheal" or "noheals". Not having bear form is an absolute defense against "can you tank ..." friends

Anonymous said...

Actually, Zero, what you were doing was considered a non-afk, repeatable/bottable action, and is likely one of the things they look for; anything used to break the AFK-reported status (much like healers can bot a spell every three tp six seconds to prevent this as well).

Aethryl said...

I've found an alternate solution is to only BG if you have a preform large enough to win. (For AV we use the enabler)

I don't PvP as much but at least when I do it's fun.

If I actually needed large amounts of honor of course your strategy would be optimal unless I could find enough similar minded people often enough.

Vads said...

"Yes, you see it, I openly expressed that I'm AFK on the /bg channel and still did not get reported. How?"

When you can get a few honour points for doing nothing as opposed to doing any amount of work, I guess the math is easy for a goblin hm? And seeing as you were surprised to learn it seems, this behaviour is actually so common noone will even bother reporting you /afk in the battleground.

Enjoy your new found way to grind a bit of honour you can convert into epic gems for auctioning, i suppose ?

Ygg said...

@TheGrumpyElf:

You say that it's a waste of time to try establish a strategy while fighting, and of course it is. Did you, however, never consider the time before the battle starts; the optimal things to do there are: buff up and discuss tactics. Of course buffing up is easy even for morons, discussing tactics at any time will be hard.