After years of playing WoW, I finally observed a new annoying trick. While waiting for a battleground to start up, I saw an orange message saying that I had been reported AFK (away from keyboard) and needed to type /afk to clear this. Typically, the message will have a form like this: playername playerserver has reported your AFK. Type /AFK to clear this. For example “crapforbrains-stormrage has reported you…”
While there is a legitimate way to report players AFK in battlegrounds, if you are reported you will get a debuff icon on your screen (where all your buffs and debuffs normally appear) as a warning. To clear it, just move and seek out PvP combat.
If you see the message mentioned above, it is some jerk using the emote command. People use it because the emote text is orange (though lighter than the “official” battleground text announcements) and it differs from the usual chat/say/whisper in appearance. If you actually type /AFK, you’ll be booted from the battleground and get the deserter debuff (15 minute wait until you can queue up for a battleground). Meanwhile, the genius that tricked you will most likely be bragging about how he “tricked some nubs.”
While WoW is just a game, this sort of behavior is still wrong. After all, it is deceptive, annoying and can lead to someone missing out of what they enjoy. Plus, it can also be self-defeating: losing players in a competitive battle certainly makes it less likely that the person’s side will win. Then again, maybe some people that do this sort of thing consider tricking people a win and do not see anyone else being on their side. Perhaps a person who does this is on a side of his own.
If you see this sort of message, or some variation, just ignore it. You can also report it to Blizzard. After all, it seems to be a form of griefing.