Combatting Bots - Player Perspective

I’ll start this off by saying, I have roughly 15 years worth of MMORPG/gaming experience. Everything I state in this, if from my own perspective on how I think taking actions against bots/cheating players will help the community as a whole, for the near future/future of the game.

Please understand this isn’t a bias explanation of things, come with an open mind before you comment something that doesn’t help the issue at hand.

So, I do believe Amazon Games and Smilegate are trying different tactics against the Botting issues, most of which rely on EAC (Easy Anti Cheat) And their own security measures. However I do believe they should let the community help with this as well, for the long run at least.

Community Mods/In-game Player moderators

  • Giving those who stand out in the community the power to speed up the process/in-game reports that matter/take priority over false reports.

  • Reward those who are given this possible position with in-game rewards, that are not overpowering to the community (Crystalline Aura/Player Mod title…etc.)

  • Giving the community a way to help fight back, instead of relying on mass reports to solve the issue. No reason in having an admin login to a server, without proof of the player in question to not actually be a bot.

Making it not profitable for business

As someone with a MBA, I understand their way of thinking when it comes down to botting

  1. Most botters are in the game of business, because you still have ways that they can avoid the bans you place on them. Yes, I do agree with banning VPN’s to a certain point, however some players may prefer the use of VPNs for personal reasons (I don’t know personally, I never cared to use a VPN, but I know it might be a marketing bonus to retain that ability)

  2. HWID Bans I am a firm believer in some games HWID banning botting players. I feel like its more efficient than issuing a game-ban or developer ban on steam. This makes it less profitable for botters to keep existing, because you’re cutting profits from being made. Because they will then need a spoofer to avoid the HWID ban. (Spoofers are not cheap…)

  3. The 2FA system, I don’t recommend. It’s easy to avoid, if you know how to avoid it and it’s ugly for marketing standards of the game, for new real players.

  4. Just simply make it less profitable for events for the future. I am a F2P player, who doesn’t want to become a spending addict on the game, like most players. So having events give out Bound materials is nice, because you’re combatting the bots, by making useless materials they can’t sell, However still rewarding those who are trying to achieve greater heights for honing.

Up for debate

I’m not trying to ruin the ideas of the future, Roxx or any other forum/community manager can remove/move this post -Up to you- However, I do see the impact it is having on the game’s overall health.

I do have a few personal opinions that I believe will help, however those shouldn’t be put on the forums for Bot owners to be able to see, I’ll assume if you’re interested in conversing on those subjects, someone from the management side will contact me. I am not looking to personally gain from anything, I’m just a helpful bystander, with some hopefully helpful advice

Anyway - Hope everyone has a great gaming experience, when they do figure out the final solution to the bot issues.

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Also would like to say, To add on to this

  1. I think it would be smart to make event items Roster bound, instead of player bound… I don’t really understand why mats are bound over roster bound anyway, it seems a little pointless to have 12k t1 mats on my main chara, when i have alts that could use it… But i can sorta understand why you have it in place… (even though you just run chaos on all your chara’s to achieve the same result…?)

Using the same old beaten methods that do not work isn’t going to solve the problem. The best solution is machine learning algorithms. Modern data categorization techniques can catch almost all of the bots with nearly 0 false positives.

I can agree that is a way of doing things, but atm it doesn’t seem like they will do something like that. If the community is complaining, they should be able to let the community help them for the time being.

One of the major issues with cheaters in LA is that EAC implemented on Unreal Engine 3 creates some serious blindspots that are well documented and known by cheat/bot makers. Pretty much anything short of data categorization is not going to catch the vast majority of bots/cheats. Relying on players to prioritize reports is akin to fighting a swarm of bees with a baseball bat. The bots will almost immediately be back after being banned. This is why you need automation. Normally EAC would handle a lot of this automated banning, but due to aforementioned blindspots, there is literally nothing EAC can do to stop many, if not most, of these cheats/bots.

HWID doesn’t work because HWID is easily spoofed. 2FA is easy to evade, and even if you tie it to unique phone numbers, if a bot generates more than $2 before its banned it is profiting, because a phone number costs less than $2.

Using machine learning in conjunction with mitigating RMT delivery methods is the best approach. IMO they should remove pheons, add in a scaling tax on the sellers end (e.g. A T1 item listed for 50k gold incurs a 49.9k tax on the seller. This method has tackled RMT in Auction houses in other games), and make items tradable only once. Of course they won’t remove pheons because that is a revenue stream for them, but incorporating a scaling sales tax which scales on item level requirement would be one solid mitigation. Player mail is easily monitored for RMT already.

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I can agree with everything said, Spoofing however for that many instances of the game, will stop people from being able to run multi-clienting. Which will force them to either run more spoofers or less bots.

Im going to bump this, since i posted it ages ago.