First a precisation. If I was working at Blizzard I would ponder longer if the system needs a way to regulate and encourage “fair” fights. I believe that the goal should be achieved with a structure and not with enforced rules. The system proposed by Blizzard already does this through the battlegrounds and the rewards that should incentive battles worth of points compared with battles that are just timesinks.
So, if I really do not have to consider the context that I already criticized, and if a system for dishonorable kills is needed, I’d suggest a simple idea:
– The dishonorable kills are calculated on average for a set period of time. This number simply produces a modifier in percent that will then be applied to the honor points gathered. The more dishonorable kills you pile up the more the negative modifier will build up. So it basically works like a “brake”. The more you gank the lowbies and the harder it will be to gather honor.
Now there are two elements to consider.
1- This system obviously discards an attempt to give the griefer a tool with which to play. This may be put for granted but I’ve seen many discussions on Terra Nova and MUD-Dev about systems to actually include and give shape to systems tailored for griefers. Making them an actual “class” to play whether the players chooses so. So if we build a system that directly punishes a specific behaviour we basically lose the possibility to offer a different style of play. This must be considered.
2- The system I propose has the problem of the exploit of the “zerg rush”, where a bunch of lowbies would charge higher levels players who aren’t able to defend themselves for the fear of incurring in a penalty.
The solution I propose to this second point would be useful no matter what. In fact it would also solve an exploit present even in the current system Blizzard proposed. It wouldn’t be hard for the players to organize and bring an high level character to be farmed by a level 20 for a huge reward. So here’s the next rule:
– If your target is “grey” because the level gap is too wide you won’t get honor points. This is what already happens. I suggest to mirror this behaviour even in the case the target is too high. So that you won’t benefit to kill a player too much higher than you (maybe gone afk).
This would encourage fair kills and discourage the zerging. But will still allow lower level players to participate and help in a battle against higher level players if they so choose.