Tobold's Blog
Monday, December 11, 2006
Honor points gone crazy

I just did two hours of PvP yesterday, because besides the frequent lag in the battlegrounds in these two hours Blizzard had to reset the battlegrounds twice, kicking everybody out in the middle of their battles. As I was on the winning side in both of these battles, getting kicked out robbed me of my reward. You should have heard the choice language about Blizzard that could be heard in the warrior's hall in Orgrimmar to which all the battleground players got kicked. It seems periodically resetting all battlegrounds, unanounced, is Blizzard's "solution" to people getting stuck there.

I didn't play in the afternoon, but apparently my guild tried to raid and found that the raid instances were similarly laggy and unstable, and they had to cancel the raid. World of Warcraft is not in a good state at the moment. But while not being able to play, I had more time to think. And I started wondering how exactly the honor points are calculated. Because there are some rather weird things going on around the way you acquire honor points.

The first curious thing is that you don't get your honor points immediately. Instead you get an "estimate", which tends to be far too low, and then get your real honor points the next day. Imagine experience points worked that way! "We estimate you have gained experience for two more levels today, but come back tomorrow for the exact value and the actual reward." I wondered, if honor points are given out on an absolute scale now, why would it take one day to calculate the honor points? It's better than the previous once-a-week calculation, but still not very logical.

The other curious fact is that whenever you take part in a honorable kill, you get the same on-screen message as before, showing the rank of the player you killed. So you see the golden military rank symbol and a message like "HK Sergeant", just like you did before the patch. That suggests that the points awarded are still depending on the PvP rank of your opponent.

So I did a bit of research, and my fears were confirmed by a "blue name" on the official World of Warcraft forums: "Honor is given at different amounts depending on the opponent you defeat. Doing those calculations on the fly would be extremely taxing on the realms if they attempted to calculate everyone being killed and how everyone involved got parsed out honor and in what amounts. If we are ever able to get to the point where the calculations are able to be done live we would certainly do so."

While that explains why it takes a day to calculate honor, and confirms that honor points gained per honorable kill are still depending on your opponents rank, this confimation opens up a whole new can of worms: How can you have a PvP reward system in which the points depend on the PvP rank of your opponent, but there is no more way of earning or losing rank? Somebody who only started PvP after the patch and now plays PvP all the time will soon be as skilled and well equipped as somebody who did his PvP before the patch. But he will be worth very little honor points to his opponents, because his rank will never go up from 0. The longer this system is in place, the more illogical it gets. If this continues, in a year on the battlegrounds players will actively hunt down the few remaining characters with a PvP rank, because they are the only ones being worth decent points. We are playing PvP in a league in which all the ranks are frozen, but rewards are still given out according to that rank. Totally crazy!
I have a rank 13 friend that confirms that ranks still affect honor gain. In addition, the rank is shown on battleground scoreboards and is used to determine who gets to be the battlegrond leader.
I agree. It seems that Blizzard have really just thrown people a carrot-on-a-stick (for want of a better term) to keep them occupied until BC comes out, noting the amount of people who were disappointed that the expansion wasn't coming out before Christmas.
I also agree. Very very odd way of calculating honor.

Also, the rank shown in the BG scoreboard is apparently the rank you had when the patch went live. I had rank 10 or something as highest, but 5 when the patch was launched so I can show my highest rank as a title but the scoreboard shows me much lower. I have no idea which one of the ranks that is used in the calculations.
One thing you may be forgetting is that estimated honor does not include bonus honor. Yesterday I got 73 HKs in 3 ab battles for about 500 honor, I also got 500 bonus honor (or so, I won 2, lost 1.) which made my total honor gained 1000~.

Just now, after the honor rolled over, I got another 82 HKs and won 2, lost 2. We will see what I get tomorrow.
My guess (and it's nothing more than that at this point) is that the old system is still running in the background. I'm betting we'll still see ranks change, although I have no way to confirm that until after Tuesday maintenance. A whole bunch of people who were low ranks will probably show as a higher rank the next time they enter a BG because of how much PVP they did this last week. I know this isn't what Blizzard said would happen, but one hand really doesn't seem to be talking with the other in regards to PVP.
Drysc never says rank, he says that it depends on the opponent you defeat. They could be basing honor on something else. The # of HKs the opponent has, for example.

However, it's still weird to see the rank of the opponent float by in scrolling combat text. That makes no sense.
I thought the honor thing and arena matching was based on your char now, i.e. a character with a bucket load of epics may be seen as greater than a character in greens...

I believe this was the means being used in the LFG system, arenas and even in the BG matching too?
Matching by gear is not yet implemented. Last I saw they plan to put that in place next year.
A quick point of information about this on the original post: "...why would it take one day to calculate the honor points? It's better than the previous once-a-week calculation, but still not very logical."

Actually, honor points have always been officially calculated and posted the next day. It was the PvP ranking that was calculated and posted once a week.
Is AV the best source of honor then? I've mostly been playing AB (with a few AV and WSG) and after nearly a week I have ~6000 honor, 35 AB marks, 5 AV marks, and 6 WSG marks. It seems like I've earned far less honor per games played than Tobold . . .
I love how no one can seem to read what the Blue posted.

It says that the honor calculations tax the servers and therefore are calculated on a daily basis somewhere other than the live servers. This info is then fed back and displayed the next day.

It occurs this way because there are tons of calculations that go into the honor totals. It has to track who you killed and how many times. If you kill someone multiple times in a 24 hour period you receive less and less honor per kill. That is not calculated on the fly.

Also honor is divided out amongst parties and raids. This is another item that occurs in the daily calculation.

There is no mention of rank, but it is possible that some other identifier is taking its place behind the scenes. Maybe you get more honor for killing opponents with higher honor points?

Bonus honor from battlegrounds is not added into the estimated honor gain. It just adds one more item to be added into the calculation.

The in game estimate is just that. When the honor server spools up and divvies out the honor it takes all factors into consideration appropriately.
well, there is lot of points what players have seen and made discussion to here and i have interest when pvp my lock, but not yet any info from players who still rather heal in battlegrounds, when i am with my restodrood online, but i have feeling that healing have forgotted somehow, no matter new or old honorpoint system - what i pvp my lock have got some decent amount honorpoints playing 5-10h/pvp/6days and when i compare it my healings forexample done all even fast av's 70k or even 200k healingdone but gathered honorpoints are slightly said like fart in sahara when comparing it to points my lock gets.. so those ranks doesn't count when healing there? is it so that have to reroll oomkin form for fun and try it before tbc (junk gear) or feral (i play for myself-style, which i don't enjoy) but some reasonable gear to ... waiting healing classes/builds to discuss
I thought the diminishing rate of returns when repeatedly killing the same player only affected Honor for that specific Battleground. So when you ran across that same player in the next AV, they were once again worth maximum Honor for the first kill, then less and less each Honor for each subsequent kill.
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