This is really good news for those of us who “actively” play Warhammer.
We’re hoping to have the following system implemented as early as next week, provided it fully passes QA testing. Please note, this is not yet on live servers:
A new version of the “Idle Hands” buff has been implemented in Open RvR. Once a player has been flagged as “Away from Keyboard” (or AFK) an invisible debuff will be applied and any Play as Skaven buff will be removed. Upon being flagged as AFK players will find that their Renown, experience and coin gain has been reduced by 25%. This value will increase incrementally over the next 4 minutes, eventually reducing all Renown, experience and coin earned to zero and teleporting the player to their Realm’s Warcamp at the 5 minute mark.
As a result of these changes the global AFK flag has now been reduced to 2 minutes.
I am sure that many of us who are truly honest to themselves, know this is the right thing to do and can’t come a moment to soon. I find it a bit soul-destroying, moving out through the edge of the warcamp some nights and seeing a field of zombies.
Personally I’m disappointed that it’s taken this long to bring it in, because I for one brought up the issue of people afking in a zone during 1.4 beta testing. I even had a very very brief conversation with Andy about it, before I was drowned out by other people on vent. Some people thought I was too harsh, and that it was overtly punishing people, yet the more I’ve played MMO’s, the lower my expectations of my fellow players has become, so what’s happened since 1.4 is merely a confirmation of that.
This particular issue reinforces my belief that Mythic don’t have the necessary resources, because I can’t imagine why this feature wasn’t in from the start, surely Mythic had to have considered it a “Clear And Present Danger”. Maybe they have a higher expectation of the player base than me, but it’s another indicator of a rush job, at whose altar polish had been sacrificed. This issue was going to absolute racing certainty from the off.
However I’m sorry if it’s tough on those very few people who have genuine reasons to go AFK, but it’s ultimately bred a group of people willing to hang on the coat tails of others and try for a free ride. I know it’s a game, but by god it’s annoying, especially when it affects the AAO. We all know the people who look for a zone that’s leveling up and looks like it’s going to be good for a few keep levels, before destro/order get interested in making a fight of it.
On the subject of AAO, I’m not sure how much this will be affected by this change, since I can only assume that what I see on the outskirts of the Order camp is being duplicated within the Destruction area, but it will certainly make me a happier bunny, if such a thing is possible.
Of course people will run programs, to simulate non AFK behaviour, which will probably come in the form of a program which spins the character around every so often, but if you see this kind of unusual behaviour, then just report it.
I am sure that I will be ported back to the warcamp many times during my future playtime, what with toilet breaks, coffee breaks, occasionally having to talk to the wife, when unexpectedly cornered in the kitchen, but that’s fine with me.
What’s disappointing but to be expected, was people still had it in them to moan about this change, complaining about other things, which were totally unrelated. You know what, this change addresses a problem, it may not be a perfect solution, but it is a step in the right direction. Once the effect of this change is seen, it will highlight other related issues, but the first thing you do with any issue which has many factors involved, is remove the lowest hanging fruit first.
Step 1. Remove the afkers. Apply solution.
Step 2. Remove the afkers who are now using bots. Apply solution, which may include banning, due to use of applications which break the code of conduct.
Step 3. Look at the remainder of the afkers and try to identify what the sneaky shits are now up to.
So with a bit of luck and prevailing wind, sometime next week, people in the warcamps will no longer being granted something for nothing. If it’s all a bit much for you now, mind the door on the way out.