Mining Bots are everywhere again

(Locked)

90 Worgen Druid
7775
12/30/2011 03:01 PMPosted by Flatspriest
It is actually quite simple to tell if they are bots. They do not deviate from their patterned route. AT ALL
So, in your estimation, I would be botting when I am farming because I go for hours never deviating from my path. I fly the exact same path each and every time I circle where my mining character farms. I fly the exact same path for my herbalist to gather herbs. I do this for hours on end with no deviation. The thing is, though, I am not botting, merely farming. Unless you are sitting right behind the person doing the "botting" as you claim, you have no idea for certain if they are or not. Just ticket your suspicions and let Blizzard deal with it. I have see several mass bans for bots in my time so Blizzard does take an active role in removing bot programs as fast as they can.


Okay look. Its simple. they dont deviate from their patterns they move in jerky staticky movements, very clipped. It is very difficult to explain it to you in words but it is VERY clear when you follow them. Second of all they dont answer tells. And before you trash me on that one yes there are som players who dont answer tells when they farm.

NEXT and the most important point is....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? Yeah, thats what i thought.

I really, really think you people who attack the people trying to come up with solutions for this problem are game abusers yourselves because there is no other realistic or valid reason you have for getting so angry at people getting angry at bots.
85 Goblin Rogue
2360
12/30/2011 03:20 PMPosted by Läkare
So, in your estimation, I would be botting when I am farming because I go for hours never deviating from my path. I fly the exact same path each and every time I circle where my mining character farms. I fly the exact same path for my herbalist to gather herbs. I do this for hours on end with no deviation. The thing is, though, I am not botting, merely farming. Unless you are sitting right behind the person doing the "botting" as you claim, you have no idea for certain if they are or not. Just ticket your suspicions and let Blizzard deal with it. I have see several mass bans for bots in my time so Blizzard does take an active role in removing bot programs as fast as they can.


Okay look. Its simple. they dont deviate from their patterns they move in jerky staticky movements, very clipped. It is very difficult to explain it to you in words but it is VERY clear when you follow them. Second of all they dont answer tells. And before you trash me on that one yes there are som players who dont answer tells when they farm.

NEXT and the most important point is....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? Yeah, thats what i thought.

I really, really think you people who attack the people trying to come up with solutions for this problem are game abusers yourselves because there is no other realistic or valid reason you have for getting so angry at people getting angry at bots.



not angry at people getting angry about bot's angry because people think anyone who farms for a few hours at one time are bots...plan and simple
Community Manager
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.
90 Human Mage
11725
12/30/2011 03:01 PMPosted by Flatspriest
So, in your estimation, I would be botting when I am farming because I go for hours never deviating from my path. I fly the exact same path each and every time I circle where my mining character farms. I fly the exact same path for my herbalist to gather herbs. I do this for hours on end with no deviation. The thing is, though, I am not botting, merely farming. Unless you are sitting right behind the person doing the "botting" as you claim, you have no idea for certain if they are or not. Just ticket your suspicions and let Blizzard deal with it. I have see several mass bans for bots in my time so Blizzard does take an active role in removing bot programs as fast as they can.


The only way you could farm with absolutely no deviation in your flight path is by botting. As a human you are going to do very non-bot-like things such as drive with the mouse and keyboard, skip by empty spawn points, fight enemies with some modicum of skill, etc.

I've spent quite a bit of time watching characters herb and mine (and killing them); from this comment I would have to think that you've never actually seen a bot, though I can hardly imagine how that could happen.

It's very easy to distinguish bots farming from players farming if you know what to look for, and the player you're arguing with clearly knows what to look for.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that the thing to do with bots is to report them in an in-game ticket. AFTER killing them and GY camping them, of course. Even bots yield honor when killed. :)
MVP - Technical Support
90 Human Warrior
18580
Blizzard does more about bots then you realize.

Here is a google search to show you just a few examples of many.
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=lawsuit+bot+wow&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Over the years they've completely shut down many of the programs themselves, which goes a LOT further then banning individual users which may simply be a compromised account. Blizz tries to learn from the bots by seeing how they work, and impliment client and server changes to detect them better, as well as go after the programs they have identified. In last 2 months 2 have been shut down, which will mean in next client patch, those 2 bots will be useless. Sure there are others left, and will be more. But blizz has been stepping up the aggression lately so we'll see how it all goes.
________________________________________________
Mac Tech Support MVP
Addon Author
http://www.curseforge.com/profiles/mysticalos/
90 Gnome Warlock
5980
12/30/2011 04:09 PMPosted by Raimondas
So, in your estimation, I would be botting when I am farming because I go for hours never deviating from my path. I fly the exact same path each and every time I circle where my mining character farms. I fly the exact same path for my herbalist to gather herbs. I do this for hours on end with no deviation. The thing is, though, I am not botting, merely farming. Unless you are sitting right behind the person doing the "botting" as you claim, you have no idea for certain if they are or not. Just ticket your suspicions and let Blizzard deal with it. I have see several mass bans for bots in my time so Blizzard does take an active role in removing bot programs as fast as they can.


The only way you could farm with absolutely no deviation in your flight path is by botting. As a human you are going to do very non-bot-like things such as drive with the mouse and keyboard, skip by empty spawn points, fight enemies with some modicum of skill, etc.

I've spent quite a bit of time watching characters herb and mine (and killing them); from this comment I would have to think that you've never actually seen a bot, though I can hardly imagine how that could happen.

It's very easy to distinguish bots farming from players farming if you know what to look for, and the player you're arguing with clearly knows what to look for.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that the thing to do with bots is to report them in an in-game ticket. AFTER killing them and GY camping them, of course. Even bots yield honor when killed. :)


And there is no way that the human eye can detect if someone is deviating just a little bit from a course, I'm sorry but it just isn't possible. It might look like the exact same course to your eyes, but it more then likely is not.
85 Troll Mage
11370
Luckily, the bots don't bother much with low populated servers. Only occasionally there's a gold selling add in trade, and even more rarely you can run into a farmer bot.
That is probably the only upside to diminishing population.
85 Human Paladin
5605
The botting is so bad on Bloodscalp in Uldum that I find it easier to instead farm Obsidian ore in Vasjir for gems.
90 Night Elf Druid
15810
Blizzard does more about bots then you realize.

Here is a google search to show you just a few examples of many.
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=lawsuit+bot+wow&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Over the years they've completely shut down many of the programs themselves, which goes a LOT further then banning individual users which may simply be a compromised account. Blizz tries to learn from the bots by seeing how they work, and impliment client and server changes to detect them better, as well as go after the programs they have identified. In last 2 months 2 have been shut down, which will mean in next client patch, those 2 bots will be useless. Sure there are others left, and will be more. But blizz has been stepping up the aggression lately so we'll see how it all goes.
________________________________________________
Mac Tech Support MVP
Addon Author
http://www.curseforge.com/profiles/mysticalos/


Very fine set of words here, although there a few things to add. Recent stats show only ~40% of accounts have the Authenticator. If Blizzard was to NOT charge $6 per Authenticator they would be saving themselves a lot of money, right? Also, throwing lawsuits at a few bot making people or places YEARS after the fact is not really what I call doing a lot. Consider the number of lost subscriptions Blizzard has endured solely on the fact of "real" players leaving the game because of the botters. Hell, I could go to one particular website and got the names of quite a few bot making places and that would have taken no more than 2 minutes.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
1985
IT'S CALLED taking out the auto loot feature. /facepalm
Is it really that hard to come up with something a computer can't do "under the radar?"
90 Blood Elf Paladin
18455
12/30/2011 05:04 PMPosted by Layuth
Also, throwing lawsuits at a few bot making people or places YEARS after the fact is not really what I call doing a lot. Consider the number of lost subscriptions Blizzard has endured solely on the fact of "real" players leaving the game because of the botters. Hell, I could go to one particular website and got the names of quite a few bot making places and that would have taken no more than 2 minutes.


No, that's called the American legal system/international law (depending on the bot). Many of the bots are based overseas (some in Latin America), and taking legal action against a company or person or group of people internationally is a testament to one's patience.

It would be nice if they could go "Hey you're making bots, that violates our rules, take it down right now" and the government would force them to take them down within one week, but that isn't how the world works.
90 Human Mage
11725
12/30/2011 04:20 PMPosted by Scuba
And there is no way that the human eye can detect if someone is deviating just a little bit from a course, I'm sorry but it just isn't possible. It might look like the exact same course to your eyes, but it more then likely is not.


What does this have to do with anything? One can turn on auto-run in flight and go perfectly straight with no deviation. That isn't botting.
85 Dwarf Rogue
6845
Sometimes I think people assume that anybody who herbs/mines more efficiently than they do must obviously be a bot.

When it comes to herbs, especially, I'm insanely efficient with my route. I don't have a solution to the traveling salesman problem, but I've got pretty good ideas of what's the best way to go. And when I get up from an herb, I make a pretty direct path to my next one. Sure, it's not as perfect as a bot, but it's close enough that anybody who might be watching me could think it was perfect.

This isn't to toot my own horn, but to make a point that a lot of players are just really good at gathering. I wonder if I've ever been reported on my herbalist...

I do respond to /tells though (most of the time).

I just think people need to stop seeing people who are really good at gathering and yelling "BOT!"

I have no doubt that the bots are out there, but not everybody is a bot.
67 Orc Death Knight
650
Not specifically related to mining, but having watched a guildmate bot his way to 100k honorable kills, and openly brag about it in in-game chat, having submitted multiple tickets about this behavior, and seeing firsthand no action being taken after months of this activity...it's very frustrating to say the least. I know Blizz says they're trying to keep up with them, and I believe they are, but from many people's point of view, bots are running rampant lately, and the apparent innaction against them doesn't really help to make us feel any better about the situation.

Although in terms of mining bots, I'd hate to think what the price of inferno rubies would be if there weren't dozens of botters flooding the marked with ore/gems.
69 Orc Death Knight
11095

Very fine set of words here, although there a few things to add. Recent stats show only ~40% of accounts have the Authenticator. If Blizzard was to NOT charge $6 per Authenticator they would be saving themselves a lot of money, right?


Blizzard's selling them at cost, and as Vasco, not Blizzard, is making them, they can't just hand one out to every player, much less force every player to use them.


Also, throwing lawsuits at a few bot making people or places YEARS after the fact is not really what I call doing a lot.


Fortunately, that's not the sum of what they've been doing, as Nevastalis said before you posted.


Consider the number of lost subscriptions Blizzard has endured solely on the fact of "real" players leaving the game because of the botters.


They're aware -- more than any of us, in fact, and again, already mentioned in the thread.


Hell, I could go to one particular website and got the names of quite a few bot making places and that would have taken no more than 2 minutes.


That doesn't show how to detect them, much less how to avoid false positives.
62 Dwarf Shaman
430
The thing is, you can close down 1 bot program 10 others will pop up, go after the sites that promote this sorta activity, one webpage ive seen there even talking about exploiting d3 once it makes it's appearance.
69 Orc Death Knight
11095
12/30/2011 06:08 PMPosted by Hotsauce
The thing is, you can close down 1 bot program 10 others will pop up, go after the sites that promote this sorta activity, one webpage ive seen there even talking about exploiting d3 once it makes it's appearance.


And if the website is hosted overseas, outside of US legal jurisdiction?
90 Human Death Knight
13000
please, I played Eve online for 3 years

Youd be amazed how long I can mine/fish/herb non stop
85 Dwarf Paladin
4830
I've seen this issue go back and forth a few times now over the years. It is clear to me that Blizzard has a well established method for combating botting. By no means is the game overrun by it, even if you can spot botting from time to time. I am confident that those accounts will be taken care of in the future.

The only remaining problem is of player perception, and that is something Blizzard should consider working on their response to.

When players see a bot or two collecting resources for days at a time, some of them start to get the wrong impression that botting is commonplace and goes on unpunished or undetectable. A player only needs to see a couple bots to get this impression. On the flip side, because of the nature of botting investigations and account suspensions, players don't really see the consequences of botting being carried out except in CM responses like Nevalistis's. For those players, there isn't a lot of deterrent to explore botting on their own, and the problem can grow from there. This is not to mention the frustration is causes some people just to see botting going on without seeing the action being taken (as you can see by some of the responses in this thread).

Years ago, Blizzard actually made a point of publicizing when waves of exploit banning happened. For some players (like me), this brought a little warm fuzzy feeling that our honest gameplaying and our occasional bot petition were paying off. I wonder if Blizzard would ever consider bringing back those discipline bulletins. It's something to think about. It takes time out of our gameplay to submit a petition against a suspected botter, and I do like to see some concrete results every once in a while (even if it is sporadically and with no account names attached).

Don't underestimate the satisfaction it can bring to your loyal playerbase just to see, "10,000 accounts banned in botting sweep."
This topic is locked.

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]