In Europe, someone knows how Honor Points are calculated

A guide to the Honor Points has been published on the European site as result of this thread (horror! The CMs in Europe are actually useful!), and then carried over to the american site as well.

The guide is clear and well written for the most part and it adds more details to what I aleady knew or deduced from the obscure rules.

Here’s a few points of interest:

Battlegrounds objectives are intended to be a substantial part of your Honor for a week. Don’t ignore them if you want to attain a high Rank.

False. The BGs objectives are badly broken and do not give the supposed reward. There’s a thread on the official fourm spanning 45 pages and growing. This affects both Alterac and Warsong and has been clearly proven to be not just a display problem.

As kills in raids give fewer points to you personally but still count toward your subsequent kill ratio, try get some kills alone or in a small group earlier in the day / evening, then join a raid to collect more kills to meet the cut-off.

No comment here. It’s really THAT stupid and I already explained extensively my stance on these “diminished returns”.

There are 14 Ranks. Behind the Ranks is a hidden number scale, each Rank representing a range of points. These points are not your Honor points for the week, but something we’ll call Rank Points for the sake of this guide. The exact points and scale will not be revealed here.

The point here is: why? There are absolutely no practical reasons to keep these mechanics hidden since they would just help the players to understand how the system work and play with it (which is exactly what games are about). The only two real reasons I can imagine are:
(1) so that adjustements can be done behind the scenes without the players mounting a revolt
(2) so that the players cannot gather solid proofs about mistakes into the claculations that seem to happen quite often.

And finally the most important part, a better explanation of the rank calculations:

– Adjusting your Rank Points and thus your Rank.
# This is done by comparing your points for the week with your Rank Points. If the points for the week are higher than your current Rank Points, your Rank Points are adjusted upwards by a set percentage of the difference. If your points for the week are lower than your Rank Points, your Rank Points are adjusted downwards by a set percentage of the difference. The set percentage is higher for upward adjustments than downward adjustments.

Adding this to what I knew already I think it’s possible to finally figure out how the system works. There is no cumulative pool of points building up with the time. There is just two different “progression bars”. The first bar is the one you build up for the week and that is wiped to zero each week, so with no progression over time. Then there’s a “Permanent Rank” bar that actually determines the Rank threadmill that moves you from Rank 1 to 14.

As you gain your “weekly Honor” your weekly status (the first progression bar) is compared to your Permantent Rank (the second progression bar). If the first is greater than the second you gain an increase in percent over your second progression bar. Till the point where your weekly status is exactly equal to your permanent status (but this only happens in an artificial example where you gain the exact same amount of point each week).

So while the first progression bar is wiped weekly and goes sharply from zero point to whatever you are able to achieve in one week, the other is only moved in percent bonus and malus steps. As you gain up ranks these percent bonuses will become smaller and smaller till it will become mathematically impossible to gain one rank per week, no matter if you transform into a pure PvP grind entity.

That brings to more precise details about the rules:

# Gaining two new Ranks in a single week is possible, but only likely below rank 6.
# Rising in Rank every week is possible until about rank 11. Above that each rank is expected to take two weeks or more, each week with the same high performance as the last.
# Getting to rank 14 is expected to take about three months even for the most efficient and active players. Staying there is also quite a challenge.
# About 5% of the players participating in PvP are expected to have a Rank of 11 or above when the system settles itself after some months.

Which we knew already, even if not about the specifics.

This explains one of the most popular complaints about some players not gaining a rank even if they achieved a sensibly greater standing as opposed to one of their friend that still finished at a rank above. How it is possible to finish in a lower rank and not gain anything even if someone else had a way worst standing and still an higher rank?

It’s simple. The guy at the higher Rank that got a crappy standing position probably went backwards in his progression on the “Permanent Rank” but not enough to lose that rank (since you gain faster than what you lose over time). While the other player that started at the lower rank and had a better standing probably wasn’t able to gather enough of a bonus to jump to the next level. Even if he surely progressed toward that point.

Ultimately this means that the system (albeit still horrible in its gameplay) will remain fair over time. Since there isn’t any accumulation of points you can start to grind it years from now without being at a disadvantage. Roughly it seems that you’ll need at least three months at maximum catass performance to go from rank 0 to 14, and possibly around six more months of inactivity to go from rank 14 back to 0. This is the basic life-cycle of the system that should remain constant over the whole course of the game. So, while definitely and undoubtedly insane, it won’t get worst.

With a clear explanation of the mechanics in this FAQ and the upcoming tweaks to the UI, like the progression bar, one of the most radical problem of the system will be solved. So a significant step forward. The problem remains in the gameplay and in the overall design:

– The system still rewards a pure catass mode completely inaccessible to the casual players since it depends on “time” as the main variable (endless grind)
– It is still at the roots a “race”, so forcing the players in a min/maxing process in order to maximize their performance over time. Which requires directly a complete dedication that erodes the potential of the game instead of expanding its possibilities (scope) and appeal
– The reward is still based on “maintenance”, which is directly an unfun mechanic since it’s just a struggle to “catching-up” instead of “achieving”. You are always at loss, always fighting to not lose
– No guild ranking or involvement in the system
– No goals to accomplish outside the battlegrounds
– No public ranking system and ladders
– No dynamic rewards and mechanics (like suriviving many encounters, fast kills and so on)

My proposed Battle System (July 2004) still looks better than this.

And back to the principle I brought up many months ago:

“Designing a game which allows players not to HAVE to play regularly. A possibility, not an obligation.”

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