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Breakfast Topic: Abuse of the "Report player AFK" feature

I make liberal use of the "Report player AFK" feature when I'm in Battlegrounds, particularly Alterac Valley. I can't stand AFKers who leech XP and honor off of the rest of us actually trying to win a game. But while I also abhor when one of my fellow Hordies caps Snowfall Graveyard (don't get me started on that), I would never consider reporting him AFK in retaliation. Sure, I don't want to play with him anymore, but I wouldn't abuse the report AFK feature to try to force the issue either. Others, it seems, are not above AFK reporting abuse.

There have been a couple of times that I've died and run off for a biobreak only to come back to being in town and a deserter debuff. That's kinda understandable: I was actually AFK. But just how quick are people reporting? It's like being at a stoplight in New York City, where people start beeping their horns to hurry you up before the light even turns green. And then the other night, I was trying to get through a bottleneck near Stormpike Graveyard -- which admittedly wasn't the smart way to get around -- and next thing I know I'm at a loading screen. Obviously, I got reported for being in the group of people fighting on the road; but since I was just trying to get through, I didn't get rid of the debuff.

Here's how reporting people AFK works:
  • More than one person reports you AFK, usually by right clicking your name on the world map. You can report multiple people AFK at once if they are all piled on top of each other, say inside the opening cave in AV.
  • You get a debuff for 60 seconds during which you have to initiate PvP combat (not get hit, get a quest, etc.) or else you will get the Inactive debuff.
  • The Inactive debuff also lasts 60 seconds during which you cannot gain marks or honor until you dispel it by again initiating PvP combat.
  • At the end of the Inactive debuff, you get booted from the game and get a deserter debuff.
So you have 2 minutes to notice the debuff and then find an opposing player to attack or a teammate in combat to heal. In AV, if you are defending the base against lone stealthers, this can be impossible -- particularly if you die during the attempt, as the debuff lasts through death.

How long do you wait before determining if a player is AFK before you report them? Do you use the report AFK tool to discipline non-AFKers? If so, why?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds

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