Tuesday, January 15, 2008

AFK in Battlegrounds

Blizzard introduced the "Report player as AFK" feature in 2.2. When enough players report someone as AFK, the reported player gets a debuff that prevents honor gain unless some action is taken.

While I think this is definitely a step in the right direction, there's several problems:
1) If you're busy playing, you're not watching for people taking no action.
2) If you're watching for people going AFK, then you're probably not doing your best even if you are concurrently playing.

Enter the Turing Test AFK Reporter mod. This mod will use some reasonable, lenient heuristics to calculate if a player is AFK, and then automatically report them for you. For example, if a player has no healing done or damage done, and is not defending a strategically important place - then that player is likely AFK and will get reported.

I've installed this mod, and I love it. I encourage everyone to install it. It's configurable, you can publish AFK results to the battleground chat and even put out an advert for the mod itself. My theory is that if I run the advert (/ttlm-advert) at the start of any battleground, it will discourage AFK behavior even if I wasn't actually running the mod.

Sidebar: This is a problem that should be solved server side. Additionally, the design of the battlegrounds and the associated reward system should not in any way encourage AFK behavior. I don't have a proposal right now on how to fix the battleground / reward system, but that's something I'll think about.

4 comments:

Whimsy said...

Note; the name of the mod is based off the classic 1950 paper by Alan Turing, considered to be the father of modern computer science.

Leafshine said...

While I do love the mod, I'm not sure that agree that time checking for AFkers = not playing. I seem to spend huge amounts of time in AV waiting around as one or two on def on a node while it caps, and that's the time that I report AFKers manually. That, or while I'm waiting to respawn at graveyards....

Whimsy said...

@leaf: Fair point on checking while defending a node or waiting to respawn.

That being said, if I can get a mod to do it for me so that I don't even have to think about it, even better. Additionally, I get a certain sense of satisfaction seeing notification reports while I'm in battle.

Leafshine said...

@whimsy Oh, of course I use the mod now. I'm just talking about the pre-mod days...