En garde, away: For Honor starts banning AFK farmers

Put a progression system in a game and someone will try to game it. If it’s a multiplayer game, that’ll often be at the expense of other players’ fun. That’s how it’s gone with Ubisoft’s swordfest For Honor [official site], where some dastardly players have been ‘AFK farming’. They rig their games to keep their character moving, to avoid being kicked for inactivity, so they can receive progress and rewards without playing. Which, of course, spoils the fun for other players. Ubisoft are now cracking down on that. They’re given 1,500 of these ‘AFK farmers’ temporary bans and warnings to thousands more. Permanent bans may follow.

As Ubisoft explained when they announced their intent earlier this month:

“For those unfamiliar with the practice, players are able to go AFK (away from keyboard) and keep their in-game character moving throughout a match (ex. tying a rubber band on the control stick), garnering end-game rewards and progression without actually playing. The ‘farming’ aspect comes about when these players use this technique frequently to gain a large amount of these rewards.

“Because this kind of behavior negatively affects the player experience of others, it has become a top priority for us. As such, we will be sanctioning all the players who have been found to be using AFK Farming repeatedly.”

Ubisoft started detecting and tracking AFK farmers, last week issued a first round of warnings, and have now moved onto punishment.

Around 1,500 people have been issued with three-day temporary bans, the Ubigang explained in a Reddit post yesterday. Another 4,000 or so have received warnings that will escalate if unheeded. So far Ubisoft have only temporarily banned AFK farmers from For Honor but they say permanent suspension is an option too, especially for people using naughty software.

Come on, gang: you’re supposed to enjoy the grind! Who doesn’t love a good grind? Do you want everything in the game you bought right now? Shame on you!

From this site

15 Comments

  1. Seafoam says:

    For Honor continues to have no honor.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      As if the game didn’t have its share of unappealing features already, now people being people have started doing this old song and dance.

  2. Ethaor says:

    “Because this kind of behavior negatively affects the player experience of others, it has become a top priority for us. As such, we will be sanctioning all the players who have been found to be using AFK Farming repeatedly.” With a simple warning.

    In other words, actually punishing them for ruining other people’s fun is an option they might at some point consider thinking of. Maybe.

    In other words those farmers better continue farming: small chance to get caught, if caught there’s hardly any consequences, at worst a temporary ban. That seems worth it in comparison to the tens of prestige levels and hundreds thouthands of gold they have farmed while ruining many people’s experience.

    • Zandolar says:

      Worth it for a bunch of fake stuff with no value in a game they are too bored of to actually play themselves. Seems legit.

    • Zandolar says:

      Worth it for a bunch of fake stuff with no value in a game they are too bored of to actually play themselves. Seems legit.

      • Ethaor says:

        I agree, though the argument isn’t about cheater’s state of mind but how Ubisoft deals with it (or rather, doesn’t)

  3. Sin Vega says:

    Christ, people are pathetic.

  4. Ghostwise says:

    Whilst “Dirty rotten scoundrels” certainly works, I remain partial to “mutton-mongering riff-raff”.

  5. Ur-Quan says:

    Here’s another idea: Why not completely scrap this stupid pointless “progression” system so that people don’t need to game the system in the first place?

    • Kitsunin says:

      Even better, it would make it slightly less stupid as hell on those super-frequent occasions when a whole team of un-prestiged people go against a whole team of equipment level 150 people.

    • Zandolar says:

      Because then a different and even larger group of their playerbase either stops playing or just doesn’t buy the game in the first place because “there is nothing to do”.
      Sadly this generation of gamers has become conditioned to follow a trail of reward breadcrumbs when playing a game and if that doesn’t exist they deem that there is no point in playing the game.

  6. walruss says:

    You know, if there’s an incentive system in place that causes a large number of people who play your game to resort to elaborate means NOT to play your game? Maybe the problem isn’t them.

  7. FireStorm1010 says:

    I disagree with the closing “Come on, gang: you’re supposed to enjoy the grind! Who doesn’t love a good grind? Do you want everything in the game you bought right now? Shame on you!”

    A smart progression system can be quite fun .In fact i think for game legend like Diablo its one of primary atractions (Altough I will admit Diablo is grindy and i prefer progression mechanics that are less so.).

    Ofc imho it would make much more sense to restrict advancement for actual combat/wounds inflicted and, i might be wrong, but maybe the whole problem would go away.Also progression on actual skill involving achievements would imho also counteract the grind.

  8. Lobotomist says:

    1500 players banned ? Wow! That many people played that game ?

    • The Taffer of Auldale says:

      Haha, exactly. Whole thing is too-obvious publicity stunt. Current PR + Marketing contracts clearly need a reshuffle/sacking. Tired of Ubisoft’s lies.