Sic Semper Botannis

October 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 12 Comments
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Do you guys think Tdgdhd might be a bot?

I don’t pretend to speak for other servers but the bot problem on Northern Shiverpeaks is getting kind of insane.

You can’t go anywhere without running into these guys. They are consistently and constantly in Cursed Shore farming the undead north of Penitent Camp, at Penitent itself, farming the tar elementals by the R&D camp, Shelter camp, farming undead near the Grenth event, farming undead between Jofast camp and Meddlers, farming undead near Anchorage. That’s just one zone and probably at least 25 bots.

In the past few days I’ve reported dozens. Near Valance Tutory in Timberline Falls. In Iron Marches near Scalecatch Village I reported 10 or so bots. In Frostgorge Sound I reported several near the ice trolls. Some of the most notorious bots are huge mobs that run figure 8’s in WvW borderlands but I’ve not seen those lately, just 3 obvious bots outside our Eternal Battlegrounds spawn.

That isn’t to say Arenanet isn’t doing anything about it. Last week Gaile Gray said they banned 3000 bots. Which was at first really encouraging. Unfortunately the next day I heard from varying servers that their starter zones had been zerged by bots, especially in Queensdale. The Bots like Hounds of Balthazar.

And they like exploiting too. A few of these bots use speed hacks to make them run faster. As a result they lag all over the map to our eyes. Some use teleport hacks to warp to their latest drop. I’m sure there are plenty of other tricks they use as well.

One trick that isn’t an exploit (which I thought was clever the first time I saw it) is bots reviving each other. They even sometimes revive real people, to help hide that they’re bots maybe. But it keeps those bots from having to warp back to a waypoint and therefore spend money. I’d never seen anything like that from a bot before but Guild Wars 2’s mechanics make it more possible.

This has all driven me a bit crazy and I’ve been aching to do something about it. Arenanet has little to say about bots other than this typical form letter.

The best thing players can do to fight this is continue to report every incident of suspected botting behavior they witness using the in-game ticketing system.

Apparently they manually investigate each report. That might explain why bots I’ve reported multiple times over the past several weeks have operated with impunity while others have disappeared. Human error.

Reporting itself is easy enough, but damn if it feels like it doesn’t do anything at all. So I’ve been trying to get bots killed.

There is a bot on my server named Syzla. Pretty sure he’s just some small time one man operation but I suppose he might be a chinese gold seller, who knows. Anyway he’s been around for ages so when I saw him at Shelter camp, running to the south and then up into a corner where a ton of spiders spawn, I saw an opportunity. I got him killed. I got him killed a lot. At first he was hard to kill and it seemed like I was just getting him more drops. Then he started to lose armour. With each death he became more naked and went down faster. Eventually I didn’t have to do anything. He’d run down to his little corner die instantly, waste more than a silver waypointing back. Occasionally the Shelter event would start up and the waypoint would be contested. He’d lie there dormant not doing anything. Sometimes he’d get bugged and not run to his corner. So I’d have to go find stuff to drag on to him. Syzla no longer farms Shelter, he now farms the tar elementals.

My friend Odin noticed a half dozen bots all running together to the east of Shadowfain. Not a good location to farm because if one were so inclined one could easily aggro a nearby champion into their programmed path. By the time I went to go see he had some of them losing their armour. We continued getting them killed until an actual human being noticed what we were up to. We tried to taunt him in chat but he wouldn’t say anything. Likely because he knew his chat logs might be monitored. He packed up and apparently left the zone.

That was very satisfying for a very short period of time. Minutes later I was in another area and there were more bots. More reports. More feeling like nothing was really being done.

Bots at work in Timberline Falls

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12 Comments

  1. I think you indirectly made a case for a new meta game focused on terrorizing the bots. The one really nice thing is that people are openly posting cheats and hacks so while it increases the number of cheaters in the short term, ANet can go through the laundry list and fix the exploits in the long term. In the mean time, it’s not going to be worth it for them.

    I still can’t get over the fact that power leveling services are being sold for this of all games, but someone must be buying because more accounts are getting hacked to advertise them.

    The alternative to manual investigating – if there even is one – could theoretically lead to false positives since human error still comes into play with coding, and technology isn’t fool-proof. Ultimately I think it’s safer to error on the side of not banning.

    • Also, as you pointed out with the reviving, so many of the features that make the game more accessible to players make it that much easier for others to exploit. And while some people prefer otherwise, I’d rather have those conveniences in place.

    • The truth is they wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t making money. There are some god damn fools out there that don’t realize buying gold from RMT guys makes them targets for hacking, doesn’t save them any money versus buying gems and selling them for gold and are making the game worse for everyone else.

  2. nice blog i am following and hope you do the same awesome…

  3. On Anvil Rock bots tend to be:
    a. hunters
    b. have names like Phyzzyllzy or some other long consonant jumble
    c. run in constant circuits
    d. aggro every mob this side of Shaemoor

    May Grenth rend them to the Mists!

    • Yeah bots are typically rangers, warriors or guardians, I haven’t seen a single engineer, necro, or mesmer bot, but a few eles and thieves.

  4. If the bots were removed (in the future), I’d feel a void in my GW2. They are a stable fixture in the environment — well, a stable fixture of naked people running in circles.

    • Yes that is true! Most run around in their knickers and have bears for pets! We pulled the enraged troll king to them yesterday. It wiped out all 7 of them. Unfortunately they won’t have a repair bill since they were no armor.

      • which enraged troll king is that?

        • The one by Altar’s Windings in Queensdale. There is a cave wherein he spawns and then tends to chase everyone over near the cattle farm across the river from the Twonship of Claypool. I should say he is not a trollking but a massive veteran cave troll. He is big and no matter how many times I’ve fought him he is always a challenge.

    • They make the game world feel alive!

  5. […] Hunter’s Insight — Sic Semper Botannis. “I don’t pretend to speak for other servers but the bot problem on Northern Shiverpeaks is getting kind of insane. You can’t go anywhere without running into these guys. They are consistently and constantly in Cursed Shore farming the undead north of Penitent Camp, at Penitent itself, farming the tar elementals by the R&D camp, Shelter camp, farming undead near the Grenth event, farming undead between Jofast camp and Meddlers, farming undead near Anchorage. That’s just one zone and probably at least 25 bots.” […]


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