Where does a bot begin?

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fate
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Where does a bot begin?

Post by fate » 29 Apr 2008, 20:47

Hi,

if I may briefly paraphrase Platyna, botting seems to begin when players use some client to tmw that gives them an unfair advantage. This sounds reasonable to me, but advantages may come about in many forms-- for example, an argument could be made that people who use the current svn client (with the now-operational shortcut bar) have an unfair advantage over people who use the official client. Due to some recent discussions I had, I am uncertain as to where the line should be drawn. May I ask for some judgement calls on particular examples?
  • Hardwiring the client to auto-attack everything in range (possibly toggled), as if Ctrl+a were pressed. Advantages gained: (1) Easier chatting during combat, (2) can stand around in a dungeon and gain experience without being at the machine. Detection: suspiciously verbose chatting during combat (1), attacking but not responding to communication (2). Prevention: ?
  • Setting up shortcut commands to combine multiple actions, such as switching multiple pieces of clothing at once. Advantages gained: (1) less time consumed for dungeon preparations. Detection: suspiciously quick succession of `use/equip' actions on distinct items. Prevention: Slow down event processing for individual clients.
  • Automatically using health items under certain conditions. Advantages gained: Less need to track health bar during combat, possiby more efficient food consumption. Detection: ?. Prevention: Restrict number of food items the player can eat to one every n seconds, or change the effect of health items to merely speed up regeneration.
  • Automatic navigation. Advantages gained: Less attention consumed for repetetive navigation tasks (`go to Hurnscald'). Detection: No sensible reaction to `surprises' along the way. Prevention: More random encounters.
  • Magic mouth: A secondary player that can be remote-controlled to listen and speak, but not for anything else (controlled from within a single client). Advantages: Can participate in remote communication, spy out other players. Detection: If used to speak, such a character would not be able to react to visual stimuli, only to verbal ones. If controlled via whispering, a strong correlation could be detected between text in whispered messages and text spoken by the player. Prevention: Enforce a `no loitering' rule.
  • Chatbot: An extension of the `magic mouth', this character is not controlled directly by another player. Advantages: Can log conversation and/or give out information based on certain stimuli. Detection: Turing Test. Prevention: ?
  • Minion: A fully automated secondary player who (unlike the magic mouth/chatbot) can pick up/trade/drop items, fight etc. Unlike a `full' bot, the minion only acts on explicit command from their master/mistress and remains inactive in his/her absence. Advantages: No need for friends for dungeon raids (thought whether that is an advantage is debatable), all treasure goes to one character. Detection: Turing Test. Prevention: ?
(Note that these tools also become increasingly complex, roughly in the order listed here.) Personally, I would qualify some but not all of these as bots, but this is not my call to make. I would greatly appreciate any light shed on this matter!
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by peavey » 29 Apr 2008, 21:32

.
Last edited by peavey on 17 Nov 2008, 21:39, edited 1 time in total.
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fate
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by fate » 29 Apr 2008, 21:48

Peavey,

thank you for the reply; I fully agree with your central point. However, it seems to me that we cannot expect the motivation for all of these to disappear very soon. Until then, some people may feel the desire to automate some of these tasks for one reason or another-- and that leaves the question of how far they can go before such actions would be considered inappropriate.
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by Crush » 29 Apr 2008, 22:34

peavey wrote:Design your way out of this, instead of patching and chasing. Else the cheat detection code will end up being 10 times the size of the actual game code.
Well said, peavey.

When players automatize tasks in a game it's because they perceive them as boring and tedious and not as fun and thus indicate your failure as a game designer. When the players automatize something it is a clear sign that this aspect of the game needs to be modified to be less annoying and/or more mentally challenging.
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by Dave » 30 Apr 2008, 03:46

Sorry to not really add anything constructive to the thread, but does macroing really imply design failure? Aren't some people just cheaters by nature? (I could picture a chronically lazy gamer expending more energy searching for automation routines than actually trying to enjoy a game..) I suppose if "everyone's doing it" there could be some big design flaws.. but I think there will always be a few people cheating for the sake of cheating.
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by zick » 03 May 2008, 03:43

I agree with you Dave ... I went through this period when I played MapleStory when I saw people cheating and wanted to cheat too. So I went to all the trouble to figure out how to cheat and after awhile just said "Forget it! It's not worth my time and energy." Some people are just cheaters.

MapleStory did have a nice cheat stopping thing that we can try to implement. You could only attack so many times in a row before you had to take a break and not attack for a period of time. I noticed this when I set a quarter on my attack button and decided I would go for a walk in my neighborhood, only to return to find I hadn't gained any real bonus for doing that.
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by Crush » 03 May 2008, 10:55

When a quarter can replace a human player it is a clear sign that the fighting system and the monster AI suck.
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Re: Where does a bot begin?

Post by zick » 04 May 2008, 03:59

When a quarter can replace a human player it is a clear sign that the fighting system and the monster AI suck.
There was one island where you could stand on the edge and hit enemies that spawned on another island ...
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