We need both. There are bozos who join STF queues and then actually don't do anything. Then there are griefers who join an STF with the express purpose of not contributing anything just to spite the other players.
But in either case, a bozo or griefer will be caught by some sort of damage/heal tracking system. Either they are doing at least some damage/healing every so often, or else they get kicked.
The griefers will be able to get around that somewhat easily, because they just have to take pot shots at stuff every minute or so. But there's no way to code against griefing really.
A damage/heal tracking system at least makes it harder on them.
I vote for both an AFK timer and a damage/heal requirement. If either of those gets tripped the offender self-destructs, which results in several critical injuries to his ship. They are also booted from the mission with a public queue lockout timer of 1 day.
And they all lived happily ever after (except the griefers/AFKer's. They whined a lot).
Maybe throw in a "Majority Pause" feature where if 3 or more team members hit it then the safeguards are temporarily suspended (y'know, for those nights when you grabbed three mystery-meat burritos from the roadside taco stand on the way home from work and your "containment field" is fluctuating).
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I agree that AFK players in any game is an issue, I ran into my fair share when I was farming out my sets.
Yes a damage delt counter can be countered when using a macro (be it hardware or software), but adding in a heal counter ontop will tbh not make that much of a difference you can still set follow and just again macro a heal combo so they are still tech AFK but at the very least "active".
IMO adding a reward scale timer would do two things:
1. get people motivated to be better at completing the runs
2. reward those active
3. make it not viable to AFK by removing rewards for said player if there is no activity by the end of the match (including any and all rolls).
The only time a group should have the option to vote for a player to stay when the window comes up if AFK for 2-5min is in a private match in pugs there will not be veto option unless 2 or more have teamed before entering a public queue.
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Numerous players have been pushing for a AFK timer, DPS counter or even a scoreboard to reward/identify the highest contributors per map in terms of healing/DPS.
I don't see any logical explanation on why this hasn't been implemented yet, after all there is existing code to log and display in-game performance (PvP maps).
Granted, AFKers seem to be quite rare in my playing timezone (EST) but there is really nothing stopping people from free-loading and high tailing it out of there after receiving loot.
Devs should really take note of these discussions and note that an "honor based" system of bringing adequate gear and not AFKing simply does not work in today's gaming environment.
There should at least be a vote / kick option which is somewhat griefer proof in a way, because all of us do want a 5 man team for the STF but do not wish to have freeloaders or saboteurs along for the ride for obvious reasons.
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One thing I would like to see implemented that would take care of the AFK'ers (for the most part) is when you put them, or anyone else on your "IGNORE" list, they can't be put in the same STF/PVE/PVP/Fleet Queue's as you.
99.99% of the people on my Blackhole list are AFK'ers and Trolls.
That way, when they have been Ignored by the general population of gamers, the only people that they would be Teamed up with would be fellow AFK'ers.
Hidden score such as killing a couple of drones or giving some heals to players would be fine in PVE. Not sure about what can be done for pvp. Maybe dealing at least 10% of the damages the top player made?
I'm speaking about STFs and Fleet Actions only, since I don't do enough PvP to make educated comments on it.
AFK timer - Easily circumvented.
Vote to kick - This would solve a bit of AFKing, but it would open up a whole world of drama and whinging with people abusing the system. You think if you have a part-PuG, with three people who pre-formed a team and then queued, they could kick the other two right as the second gate in KA is about to go boom for example, divide the opt loot between three and then take Donatra themselves. And there are people out there who would do that. There's also the herd mentality to think about. Two complete clowns with no ability/knowledge of how to do the mission think a player who does know what he's doing has made a mistake (he's moved away from the generator without destroying it? Is he mad?) and hit the vote to kick button. Only takes one person to be a sheep and a player is gone.
And even if you limited the kick option so it can only be activated within a certain period after the mission start, then someone only has to participate for 3 minutes or 5 minutes or whatever and then go AFK. Okay, it's better than letting them just enter the system and do nothing, but as Tobar's example demonstrates, and a couple of other anecdotes I've heard about AFKers boasting in chat mid-mission about not helping, people are actually staying at their PCs. They're just not participating. So it's as much griefing as it is laziness or exploiting with some people.
Performance stats - This has potential, but you'd need the requirement to be high enough to ensure a would be AFKer has to participate in a meaningful portion of the mission, but not so high that new players coming into Normal STFs aren't met with a message saying they were too ****e to get a reward. Because quite a lot of players faced with that will just say "sod this" and stop playing the game rather than ponder how they could improve as players. I don't do nearly enough combat parsing or number crunching to know if that's feasible.
It's also hard to quantify things like following correct tactics and crowd control (for all the use it is in this game at the moment).