Mining Bots are everywhere again

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12/30/2011 07:26 PMPosted by Møbkillz
So someone has a lvl 1 bank alt that they use to sell the ore they have mined? Also, since you are never told what action, if any, is taken against another players account, how would you know if anything was done or not?


We don't know if something is being done because they don't tell us what happens or comes to a conclusion with the person we reported.


And they never will, because it is none of our business. Blizzard will never tell you what happens to another account, just like they won't tell anyone else anything about YOUR account.
12/30/2011 07:23 PMPosted by Scuba
I've seen a lvl 1 selling 316 stacks of Obsidium ore and I opened a ticket. Guess what they didn't do nothing. You can tell when its a bot in the AH. But they still don't care about it because they don't do nothing about it.


Congrats you reported someones bank alt!!! How does anything you just posted prove that it was a bot?!?


How do you know its a bank alt? How about if that person made that toon just to get rid of the Ore and then after deleting it after he gets the gold.

Also i checked his Armory he wasn't in a guild.
12/30/2011 07:29 PMPosted by Møbkillz


Congrats you reported someones bank alt!!! How does anything you just posted prove that it was a bot?!?


How do you know its a bank alt? How about if that person made that toon just to get rid of the Ore and then after deleting it after he gets the gold.

Also i checked his Armory he wasn't in a guild.


Because almost everyone that plays the game has bank alts? What does being in a guild have to do with being a bot?!? I have tons of toons that aren't in guilds, my friends have level ones that they use as bank alts that aren't in guilds.

I'm sorry but if you are going to say it is easy to tell they are a bot simply because they are a level one selling things on the auction house and not in a guild. Then YOU are going to have to be the one who can prove that. Right now there is more evidence that points to it being a normal player.
This is pretty old hat, but there's a few comments in this thread I want to address specifically.

It is a paying account, why ban them?


This is one of the biggest misconceptions we have, and I genuinely wish we could permanently clear it up. I'll provide a few hypothetical situations (mind you, these numbers are ENTIRELY made up).

Let's say 90% of botters were compromised accounts. This means that 90% of these botters aren't paying accounts; they're stolen accounts, which are generally fueled by stolen credit cards. These payments usually get disputed and taken back, which actually costs us money. If we're looking to make a purely fiscal observation, it makes no financial sense to let these continue (aside from the fact that we don't like compromised accounts to begin with - we want our players to be playing their own accounts safely and enjoyably).

Let's go on the other side of the fence and say 90% of these botters were otherwise legitimate players paying for their accounts, as you purport. When players bot, other players are inconvenienced by this behavior (and trust me, you guys outnumber the botters, even if you may feel it's the other way around). The inconveniences range from normal players having difficulty farming on their own to struggling to keep up with an economy that's being forcibly fluctuated via unfair advantage. When players are inconvenienced in this manner, they submit petitions.

Every petition submitted goes to a Game Master for review. A living, breathing person that is paid to provide customer service looks over it, does what's necessary for the situation (in botting cases, usually forwarding the info on to our exploitation/hacks team), and provides a response. Let's say 1-2 people are inconvenienced by a single botter (in all likelihood, we probably get many more petitions per botter than that). This would mean each botter is inconveniencing at least as many, and likely more, players that are positive to the community (the kinds of players we like and want to continue to play our game). For each botter we allow to continue botting, we potentially stand to lose more than we gain for a single subscription, just out of the sheer inconvenience it causes other players.

Even if you change those numbers around of legitimate players versus compromised accounts - we only stand to lose more if we don't take action on bots (which we do, regularly).

Blizzard needs to step it up. Unfortunately, the bots u see are no longer just hacked accounts...its actual players exploiting the game by using bots to farm when they sleep or are away, therefore when blizzard sends a message investigating the matter they respond as a real player and no action is taken..at least that is my assumption since two of these jerks are still regularly botting Uldum.


This has been stated many times before, but action being taken against botters takes a long time to come about. The reason why is pretty simple, and another player in this thread has stated it quite eloquently, so I'll be highlighting it here:

12/30/2011 02:01 PMPosted by Somalyyn
Blizzard investigates every single bot report. But as they are intelligent they wait until they can patch a hotfix for the bot before they do mass ban waves. This cures the infection instead of treating the symptom.


We don't generally hit bots individually as we receive the reports because it doesn't ultimately solve the issue - they just acquire another account, either legitimately or illegitimately, and get back to botting. Instead, it's much more effective to study the bots, devise the method they are abusing, and break that method. In the process, we also construct ways of detecting the behavior, and create systems in which we can catch those bots and remove them much more quickly.

It's an ever-evolving battle, however. Botters are smart too, and they figure out what it is we figured out, and develop new bots. We start the cycle over again, but it also means we've eliminated a method of exploitation and have to move on to the next. I hope that makes sense - it's a very lengthy process, and for the best intentions of that process (and preventing providing that info to those who would abuse it), I can't go into much more detail.

12/30/2011 01:47 PMPosted by Systam
If they don't whisper u back its a pretty sure sign that they're botting


Not quite. I tend to get anti-social when I'm mining. It gets me in an almost hypnotic groove. >o.o<

All jokes aside, not all players will respond to unsolicited whispers - after all, they know as little about your intentions (unless clearly stated) as you know about theirs. Some just feel like mining for a while, or do it while multi-tasking and reading Facebook or Reddit or something. I may or may not be speaking from experience. /coughs

12/30/2011 03:20 PMPosted by Läkare
how many real people, actual players do YOU KNOW personally that can fly around in the exact same pattern for 48 straight hours...and sometimes in fact weeks continuously without logging off?


And how many real people do you know who will sit at their computers and watch someone commit to these patterns for 48 hours straight? It's not an efficient manner to monitor bots, and we don't have our staff to do it any more than we expect our players to. It's also one of many factors that's considered, and unless you've been personally observing accounts for that long yourself, it's probably not quite working the way you perceive it to be. >^.~< Again, my discretion here is necessary, but suffice it to say it's taken into account.

There are other, better ways to identify bots and fight them. We have a team staffed specifically for this purpose. But it is time consuming, and it regrettably needs to be to be most effective. Bots don't get removed in small numerical batches; when we strike at them, it's usually in the hundreds, if not thousands.


It's nice to see a response from you guys on this but I think while trying to combat a lot of the misconceptions you're doing so by also spreading misinformation; misinformation as such to make your job seem a lot harder than it actually is.

Specifically there's two things I'm referring to. One is your statements about how you guys don't like to ban bots one at a time because you want to "save it up and hit them all at once". While this might be the case (as we've seen the mass waves of bans before), you do in fact take such an extraordinarily long time to do so that it's almost pointless. There have been botting programs that were in mass use this expansion for example that while in the end it looks like you may have gotten the job done (remains to be seen but hopefully so) the fact still remains it took you an entire expansion to stop 1 program. Then there are other older well known ones that remained active for at least 2 expansions that I can think of. That is, what is it, 3+ years? you have expected us "positive players" to put up with your inaction? That's asking a bit much and I don't think it's in any way unreasonable for us to expect faster results from you.

"Bots don't get removed in small numerical batches; when we strike at them, it's usually in the hundreds, if not thousands" In a game of over 10 million people, declining subscriptions or not, "hundreds if not thousands" is a small batch. No, we are not over-estimating the number of bots out there, there are plenty of people with first hand experience with people do/have botted. Trying to play down the problem or making it seem like we're making a mount out of mole hill is exactly the misinformation and "spin" from you that we don't need.

The second point is the stance you take about how much "time and effort" it takes to verify these things and that simply watching someone fly around for 48 hours isn't good enough. "There are other, better ways to identify bots and fight them. We have a team staffed specifically for this purpose. But it is time consuming, and it regrettably needs to be to be most effective." This again is misinformation and spin, watching someone fly around for 48 hours might not be 100% effective but once someone watches that pattern and reports it the "time consuming" process on your end is ridiculously small. It doesn't take more than a 5 minutes once you start investigating if someone is a bot to know if they are. I have first hand experience in this from working at another online game. All you need to do is nudge someone off course, or despawn the node they're heading to/landing at, or something else that is well withing the range of instant GM abilities and watch the reaction. There is no massive sherlock holmes effort being put in by your team and purporting it as such is simply trying to save face by acting like "omg you have *no* idea how hard it is".

Get the job done right and do it faster, I've left the names of any programs I've used as examples out because I know you don't like it when those names get spread around to people who don't know them, but anyone who is aware of them already knows what I'm talking about and so do you guys. We've been more than patient enough and the amount of action taken for the amount of time you've had is sorely in disparity. Fix it.
Some of the points made in the Blue post irk me a little.
I've reported botters on both the neutral AH and gathering herbs and ore and each time I've had automated responses, not individual responses from a person as claimed.
When I report a bot, I take the time and effort to list as many details as possible to get the issue resolved quickly, but alas, automated responses and the botters are still out there
Well, Geodory, you seem to have this all figured out. You should probably put in a resume with Blizzard to show them how it's done, since you're clearly a leading authority into this field. I suspect that any day now they will have you hired on, and you can set them all straight. After you implement your all to easy fixes, we shouldn't have a single bot ever in this game.

We'll be waiting. Fix it.
The second point is the stance you take about how much "time and effort" it takes to verify these things and that simply watching someone fly around for 48 hours isn't good enough. "There are other, better ways to identify bots and fight them. We have a team staffed specifically for this purpose. But it is time consuming, and it regrettably needs to be to be most effective." This again is misinformation and spin, watching someone fly around for 48 hours might not be 100% effective but once someone watches that pattern and reports it the "time consuming" process on your end is ridiculously small. It doesn't take more than a 5 minutes once you start investigating if someone is a bot to know if they are. I have first hand experience in this from working at another online game. All you need to do is nudge someone off course, or despawn the node they're heading to/landing at, or something else that is well withing the range of instant GM abilities and watch the reaction. There is no massive sherlock holmes effort being put in by your team and purporting it as such is simply trying to save face by acting like "omg you have *no* idea how hard it is".

Get the job done right and do it faster, I've left the names of any programs I've used as examples out because I know you don't like it when those names get spread around to people who don't know them, but anyone who is aware of them already knows what I'm talking about and so do you guys. We've been more than patient enough and the amount of action taken for the amount of time you've had is sorely in disparity. Fix it.


So you work for Blizzard? Because that is the ONLY way that you would be able to say that anything they say is misinformation. As they have said before then can not just simply go by the felling that someone is botting, they need proof.

And yes I do think that the players "see" more bots then there actually are. Some one undercuts someone on the AH? "It's a BOT!!!!" Someone gets to a node before someone else? "It's a BOT!!!" And my favorite (this actually happened to my wife) Someone is in Raid Finder and lagging so bad they can't play "It's a BOT!!!111ELEVENTY!!1111!!"

The FACT is that we as players can not prove that anyone is a bot. We can only report what we think are bots. Blizzard has to then investigate and prove they are using a bot. They also need to make sure that they are not just banning accounts while the bot still works. Leaving the bot operational isn't going to solve anything.


How do you know its a bank alt? How about if that person made that toon just to get rid of the Ore and then after deleting it after he gets the gold.

Also i checked his Armory he wasn't in a guild.


Because almost everyone that plays the game has bank alts? What does being in a guild have to do with being a bot?!? I have tons of toons that aren't in guilds, my friends have level ones that they use as bank alts that aren't in guilds.

I'm sorry but if you are going to say it is easy to tell they are a bot simply because they are a level one selling things on the auction house and not in a guild. Then YOU are going to have to be the one who can prove that. Right now there is more evidence that points to it being a normal player.


Most people with lvl's 1 selling stuff have there own guild banks. I've never seen a lvl 1 sell so much ore for so cheap. That seems to be a bot for me. Level 1's that sell ore in the AH for 50% undercut are bots trying to get rid of them asap.
Some of the points made in the Blue post irk me a little.
I've reported botters on both the neutral AH and gathering herbs and ore and each time I've had automated responses, not individual responses from a person as claimed.
When I report a bot, I take the time and effort to list as many details as possible to get the issue resolved quickly, but alas, automated responses and the botters are still out there


Again that proves NOTHING, an automated response does NOT make someone a bot!!!! Did you know that there are add ons out there that will send pre written whispers? So when one is farming or doing something and doesn't want to be disturbed they simply turn on the add on and it will send out replies.

So saying that Blizzard isn't doing anything simply because you reported someone that might be using an add on because they don't want to be disturbed while playing is not logical.
Some of the points made in the Blue post irk me a little.
I've reported botters on both the neutral AH and gathering herbs and ore and each time I've had automated responses, not individual responses from a person as claimed.
When I report a bot, I take the time and effort to list as many details as possible to get the issue resolved quickly, but alas, automated responses and the botters are still out there


Again that proves NOTHING, an automated response does NOT make someone a bot!!!! Did you know that there are add ons out there that will send pre written whispers? So when one is farming or doing something and doesn't want to be disturbed they simply turn on the add on and it will send out replies.

So saying that Blizzard isn't doing anything simply because you reported someone that might be using an add on because they don't want to be disturbed while playing is not logical.



Most people that defend botting are actual people that uses bots.

Most people that defend botting are actual people that uses bots.


Good thing nobody here's defending botting.


Because almost everyone that plays the game has bank alts? What does being in a guild have to do with being a bot?!? I have tons of toons that aren't in guilds, my friends have level ones that they use as bank alts that aren't in guilds.

I'm sorry but if you are going to say it is easy to tell they are a bot simply because they are a level one selling things on the auction house and not in a guild. Then YOU are going to have to be the one who can prove that. Right now there is more evidence that points to it being a normal player.


Most people with lvl's 1 selling stuff have there own guild banks. I've never seen a lvl 1 sell so much ore for so cheap. That seems to be a bot for me. Level 1's that sell ore in the AH for 50% undercut are bots trying to get rid of them asap.


And I can show you evidence that proves you wrong. Again YOU are the one that needs to prove it is a bot. Since you claim that it is definitely a bot. Where is your proof?

I know friends of mine who have unguilded level ones who were able to corner the market on items using Auctioneer and farming on their other toons. Just because a lvl 1 is selling the items doesn't mean they are the one that farmed them. There is no rule that says toons have to be in a guild.
I was interested in seeing positive discussion that was occurring in here. But now the same points seem to continuously be covered, and responses are growing ever more hostile for reasons I'm not entirely certain I can grasp.

I'm locking this thread, and hoping that the post I made earlier isn't entirely missed - I spent a lot of time writing it, and if you choose not to take what I say at value, as a representative of the company who works alongside those who combat bots and exploitations, then there is little more to discuss. Any further proof you might be looking for in terms of solid numbers is not something I can provide.

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