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Archives  News  Tom Chilton Explains WoW Honor System  

Monday, May 2, 2005

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Tom Chilton Explains WoW Honor System
8:19 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

The World of Warcraft team has released an interview with one of their designers, Tom Chilton. The interview covers the intentions behind the Honor System and answers to a few of the most common questions on the WoW forums.

Why was it decided to not include penalties for higher level players that gank players of a lower level?

Ensuring that penalties for this kind of behavior are warranted complicate the system tremendously. Some examples...

What happens if a high level player is attacked by a low-level player? Do we have to start tracking who "started" the fight? How does the player see that in their interface? More target colors? More UI flags?

What happens if a high level player is healing a low level player that kills another low level player? Does that warrant dishonor? What happens if the high level player didn't even realize that lower level player was engaged with another low level player (i.e. the enemy player had run around a corner and all the high level player saw was an injured low-level teammate, so he heals)?

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg, and the number of gray areas leading to players seeing "Dishonorable Kill!" messages without even understanding why it happened can easily get to the point where the system does more harm than good. Players are far more sensitive to being punished when they don't feel they should have been punished compared to being rewarded when they perhaps shouldn't have been rewarded.

As such, we didn't feel as though the dishonor aspect of the design was up to snuff yet. So, since we're pretty certain that simply rewarding players for fighting other players of a reasonable level will reduce the amount of "lowbie killing" by some amount, it seems prudent for us to see just how necessary dishonor is after the honor system is implemented, and make decisions from there as to how to how dishonor needs to work.

To read the full interview, just head on over to the links section.

Honor System Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Archives  News  Tom Chilton Explains WoW Honor System