Sorry, I don't buy this community's obsession with farming. I am not saying it's cool to do, it's a -Yoink- move, to be sure. But it's not nearly as problematic as people want to believe.Viper, you raise some good points (as always), and we appreciate your feedback.
I would tend to agree that the farming problem isn't as prevalent as some of the more vocal community members make it sound. At the same time, it is still the proverbial "800-poung gorilla in the room" and it has almost certainly had a negative affect upon the online matchmaking population.
There are many community members on these forums who go to great lengths to justify their farming, and recently I have noticed some of those comments getting removed for advocating "griefing." When you combine inappropriate online behavior (a.k.a. farming) with the people who come to the Halo Waypoint forums supporting it and naively declaring that it should not qualify as an "Unsporting Behavior" report, the level-headed people will inevitably get rather fired-up.
And you too bring up a good point. That is, the justification the farmers will attempt to throw out.
As someone who used to run with a full team and objective hold (what it used to be called), I can tell you that there really is no moral justification for it. You are either:
A) Harming someone else's gaming experience or;
B) Exploiting their ignorance of what is really going on (meaning, the player might not understand he's being messed with, and thinks the enemy team hasn't accomplished their goal because his team is holding them off).
Farmers do what they do for the same reasons any of us get a thrill whenever we get a kill in game. It makes us feel good. It makes us feel like we are better than the other team. It's just fun and psychologically rewarding.
Farmers take that to an extreme. They aggressively pound the other team into the ground. And this is where we reach our current debate... what should these players do at this point? Well, sure, the "honorable" thing would be to give the enemy team a break, whether it be from letting up a little or by finishing the game as quickly as possible. But what if they don't want to? What if their thrill isn't in winning the game, but by putting up insane numbers and getting unfrigs? What if their thrill isn't in unlocking armor pieces like Achilles, but in getting a Banshee Ultra and slaughtering people who have no hope of fighting back?
And here's what I say: Whether people here want to admit it or not, farmers are quite skilled at the game. At the very least Warzone.
They have to have a certain level of knowledge/communication that the other team just doesn't have. Am I saying farmers are the best players in the world? No. Not by a long shot. Most farmers I have seen can't even make it into Diamond without maximum effort AND a full team. The most skilled players are in Arena and Team Slayer. But they are STILL better than a random collection of people in Warzone.
And Achilles, while it was good in concept, it offers these players an excuse to do what they are doing. But I want it to be crystal clear that these people would be doing it anyway. That is a tough concept for this community to swallow.
I do not think anti-farmers really think their arguments through. Do they understand how dangerous their thinking is? They want farming to be a punishable offense, yet offer no suggestions for how you go about that. This simply means that "I can report the enemy team if they are too good!" No, that's being childish.
So, if we want to change the current system to avoid farming we have to keep in mind the following:
1. What constitutes farming? What if a team is good enough to get and hold a triple cap but can't seem to destroy the core? How will any system in the world be able to detect that?
2. How can we make this a punishable offense while at the same time making sure players don't feel like being good at the game is a crime? (This is what we are currently seeing. Player A does extremely well and is spam-reported and harassed. I.E. The WRONG way to go about things.)
3. Why should farming be a crime? Why not remove the quit ban in Warzone? It makes no sense to have a quit ban in a game with join in progress. What's more; make it so players are unable to join a game if the score margin is too wide. Meaning if I leave a game, some random guy searching alone won't get screwed over by being put in the same game.
4. Incentivize the farmers elsewhere. Have a hefty EXP/REQ bonus for destroying the enemy core.
5. Make a 'Mercenaries' Warzone playlist. No parties bigger than 3-4 allowed.
There's a few more, but I think you get the point.