Here's more about the upcoming AFK debuff in Alterac Valley. Last week, we talked about what the voting requirements might be to give out the debuff, and there were some really great comments on that post, specifically about an idea to give the debuff out right when players start the battleground. I think that's a great idea, and it would give everyone in the BG an impetus to get right into battle and do what the BGs are meant for: PvP fighting.
But here's another concern, voiced by Fantastiko of Alleria: Currently, as we know it, the debuff won't actually disconnect AFKers from the battleground. If players vote to give them the debuff, and if they don't enter battle within the set time period, all it would do is keep them from gaining honor while AFK. Which means that even if the debuff works as planned, and the 10 people in the Peace Cave get the debuff and gain no honor, your team is still down 10 people. Not good.
So as planned, what exactly will this debuff stop? AFK players can still go AFK, and just hope that no one thinks to report them (when this first starts up, tons of reporting will probably go down, but eventually, people will likely be able to get away with more and more). It seems like the best solution would be to give everyone this debuff when they enter the BG, and have it cancel on combat. And if combat isn't entered, or they are reported, AFKers should be disconnected from the BG completely-- even better, with the "deserter" debuff-- allowing other players to take their place.
Of course, this reporting system is still in the planning stages, so it could be that Blizzard has already reached these conclusions and it is going to be implemented this way. And I'm sure there'll be plenty of testing as well-- we likely won't see the system until 2.3 or even beyond anyway. But the problem with this is that AFKers are crafty-- if there's any way at all that they can gain honor while they go AFK, they'll do it.