Can We Reduce "Botting" ?

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Anich
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Can We Reduce "Botting" ?

Post by Anich » 30 Apr 2009, 12:37

My suggestion is simple. Why not implement a server-sided auto-logout module/function? (Whichever they call it.) Say, if a player is idle or has been pressing the same keys for after 5 min the server will automagically "kick" the player from the server. Preventing further "AFK botting" (also freeing up some bandwidth and maybe GM-manpower.)

Anich

Edit: Topic title was a bit misleading :)

Edit: As I've decided to take this to a more open discussion about reducing botting and reducing the efficiency of botting. Topic title needs to be opened a little bit more.
Last edited by Anich on 01 May 2009, 08:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by MadCamel » 30 Apr 2009, 13:03

I've been looking in to this and gathering opinions for a while.

It would not be hard to implement(and I'd gladly write it the next round tuit I come across), I'm just not sure if it should be done.

Here is what I'm thinking on the implementation:
  • Anyone who has not moved, talked, whispered, or done anything at all except stand in one place and attack for a longish period of time will trigger the system
  • They will be warned by the server and have a chance to show signs of life
  • If they do not show signs of life, they will be killed (possibly by a special monster :twisted:)
  • All kills will be logged for review by the GM team so they can keep an eye on the situation
Going for a much more complex solution than this would probably be wasted development effort.

Sounds great, right? I have second thoughts -

It wouldn't take very much to fool the system and still not be paying attention. For example, a player could be watching TV and slapping their arrow keys every X minutes, or using simple and easy to obtain software to automate this activity. Therefore the GMs will still have to do regular rounds looking for botters. On top of this, it would have the potential to annoy players who's playing style is camping.

So where is the advantage? What do you think?
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Anich » 30 Apr 2009, 14:12

Usually automated key-press software have a sequence right? (Up, down, every X seconds.) Will it be possible to somehow detect that this is a sequence and then kick player (or perhaps safer for server to send a warning to GM's for further analysis.)

I think it would get borring pretty quickly if I have to run to the keyboard and slap a button every X min. But for these botters, I think to reduce this would be that the server would first kick the idle player/bot after 2 min (given a warning first of course.) Which I think is appropriate, since suspects are given 2 min to respond.

Advanced bots (ones that roam around and can't talk properly) are far too difficult for me to understand. But I'm sure there is a way around this one too. But I think it wouldn't be necessary to spend huge amounts of time on this if the top mentioned ones are prevented. Because then there should be enough GM's directing their attention towards these kind of bots, and interactive players to keep an eye out.

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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Crush » 30 Apr 2009, 15:45

When we use lack of movement to detect bots, botters will use macro software to move around at regular intervals.

When we use pattern recognition to detect these patterns (which is not as trivial as it sounds), people will randomize the patterns.

When we use heuristics to detect these randomized patterns people will use even more sophisticated bots which will be very hard to tell apart from real players.

All we get by doing any technical means to detect botters is an arms race which wastes precious programming resources and does not improve the game at all in the end because there will be the same amount of botting - only more sophisticated and thus potentially more harmful.

Using a turing test by a human game master is the most save, adaptive and easiest to implement bot detection.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Crush » 30 Apr 2009, 15:54

A by far better method to reduce botting would be to redesign levels and monster population in a way that it is no longer possible to play efficiently by just holding two keys.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Anich » 30 Apr 2009, 16:31

I have to agree you are right. Detecting bots manually is the best method. Although it seems timely and in some ways slow, it is actually much for efficient and quicker than what I have previously thought. It's man versus machine :)

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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Vink » 30 Apr 2009, 16:51

Crush wrote:A by far better method to reduce botting would be to redesign levels and monster population in a way that it is no longer possible to play efficiently by just holding two keys.
Yes please. :D
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by MasterKenobi » 30 Apr 2009, 17:45

Crush wrote:A by far better method to reduce botting would be to redesign levels and monster population in a way that it is no longer possible to play efficiently by just holding two keys.

Most definitely!!

+1 on the Yes Please! :D

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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Dyna » 30 Apr 2009, 18:23

Vink wrote:
Crush wrote:A by far better method to reduce botting would be to redesign levels and monster population in a way that it is no longer possible to play efficiently by just holding two keys.
Yes please. :D
Yes please +1

We wouldnt have lvl 99s running around if that was the case months ago...heck we shouldnt have lvl 90s running around unless they have been playing more than a few months...

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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting" ?

Post by melkior » 30 Apr 2009, 18:24

Crush wrote:A by far better method to reduce botting would be to redesign levels and monster population in a way that it is no longer possible to play efficiently by just holding two keys.
Great idea. Wish I had thought of that.

Wait...

I did.

Months ago. Got laughed at for mentioning it, too.

Either way, a big yes from me as well.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting" ?

Post by Goku » 30 Apr 2009, 22:51

Haha Melkior. I was just about to say that.. many players have mentioned this in the past.. Especially the Skull Room and were laughed at or just ignored.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting"

Post by Doulos » 01 May 2009, 02:29

Crush wrote:When we use lack of movement to detect bots, botters will use macro software to move around at regular intervals.

When we use pattern recognition to detect these patterns (which is not as trivial as it sounds), people will randomize the patterns.

When we use heuristics to detect these randomized patterns people will use even more sophisticated bots which will be very hard to tell apart from real players.

All we get by doing any technical means to detect botters is an arms race which wastes precious programming resources and does not improve the game at all in the end because there will be the same amount of botting - only more sophisticated and thus potentially more harmful.

Using a turing test by a human game master is the most save, adaptive and easiest to implement bot detection.
My thought, here, is that -- along with a map clean up -- an extra GM or two could be dubbed and included in the list.

We certainly don't need a dev/botter war. Such oneupmanship would be tedious, time-consuming and likely ineffective.

Redistribution of monsters is effective. An excellent example being the red slime/black scorpion set in the caves south of Tulimshar. Since the clean up, the botters have broken camp and moved elsewhere.

However, there are areas where 3 or 4 snakes regularly spawn, an area ineffective for 5 stacked botters: but profitable for 1 botter. Hrvoje & I came across just such a suspicious character today. We asked if the person was botting. No response. We prevented the snakes from reaching the player. When a stray snake did, the character continued to fight.

I whispered to every GM I could think of. "Server: Whisper could not be sent, user is offline". I was able to contact doorsman on the IRC and he very graciously complied and appeared. But many players who spot such a botter may not be aware of the IRC.

Just a thought.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting" ?

Post by meway » 01 May 2009, 04:28

I have discussed my thoughts with a few gms
but now i have a new thought. lets say we make the population change to were botting is impossible. Ok this will annoy the players who want to level up efficiently and fast. I suggest yes do it but also leave some of the points and just mark them down so gms have a place to look.

also if the things i discussed with some gms if they don't mind i would like to post that here. or make it a new topic. Thats if they all don't mind i only want what the players think of it :/
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting" ?

Post by Goku » 01 May 2009, 05:05

Population change? By that do you mean what Crush suggested?

And Doulos maybe not more GM's because a new one was recently added. But what if there was an admin rank under GM with only the power to warp a player to the bot check map? If the player then responds warp him back. If not leave him there until a GM can ban him for botting. If he isn't botting and needs to be removed he could contact a GM or a player with the power to warp.
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Re: Simple Auto-logout Method To Prevent "AFK Botting" ?

Post by meway » 01 May 2009, 05:12

goku i have suggested this in unmentionable topic with gm we will wait and see if i can post the idea i have with out harassment from gm. so if gms are for me posting it i will and would appreciate it...................meway
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