When the ability to report a player as AFK was first introduced, there were mixed reactions. The tool did seem to reduce the volume of moochers in any given battleground, but it also put the onus on the honest, responsible fighters to take the time to locate and report the individual.
Because of the fact that no action would be taken against any AFK'd player until a sufficient number of reports had been received, AFK'ing continued, and went back on the rise. To combat this, Blizzard hotfixed the reports, lowering the threshold required before the debuff would be planted.
Of course, this is still inadequate. Many AFK'd players are not away from their keyboards at all. They're watching TV or a movie, and should a flag pop up on their heads, they'll just hit something or jump off a cliff and magically, their flag will disappear. Mooching honor and hindering the team will continue.
In addition, many claim that the debuff is simply not enough, because although it prevents them from gaining undeserved honor, they are still holding their team back.
What could really be done to squash this trend once and for all? The forums and our comment boxes have been hopping with ideas, and we have compiled some of the best and most interesting ones.
Drysc recently commented on the situation, but was expectedly vague. Although "fairly substantial" changes to Alterac Valley are definitely on the way in "a future patch", no details about what these changes will entail were leaked. The hope, Drysc remarked, is that they will "address some of the balance and play issues". Hopefully, these new developments will help us win the war against AFK'ers, as David Bowers points out, we really have no other option.
While we may not know how effective these changes are going to be, we can at least take solace in the fact that improvements are in fact, on the way. Do you have high hopes for this future patch, or are you remaining skeptical?