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The BOT, and the real fix for it

ldedric1ldedric1 Member Posts: 36 Arc User
edited July 2015 in General Discussion (PC)


After doing a bit of research on GOOGLE I have found that Botting any game is extremely easy to do no mater what game you choose to play. I "choose" to play neverwinter knowing this. I know as a former GM for OSI, now EA Origins way back in the day of Ultima Online the effects of botting. I know of no company willing to actually address the issue of botting because of it's actual ramifications on the player base.

Most players want stuff now and are willing to pay to get it. That's it, no discussion, no debate, that is the root of it all.

Botters and the companies they have written programs to mimic in game movements and actions to achieve a positive outcome, their is absolutely no way around this especially with the privacy laws as what they are, no company can scan your PC for any program that could be mimicking movements and creating the positive outcome desired by the botter.

The only viable solution in days gone by have been to institute in game GM's (What I used to do), these GM's cost money, lots of it. That is why very few games nowadays have an active GM team. When I looked at neverwinter as a game to play I saw gateway and I applauded it. Yes it makes Botting AD for botters easier, however it most likely took a great deal of strain off the game servers which is a huge savings in the cost of maintenance. Yes their is still in game Botting and it is likely the team at PWE either does not know how they want to deal with it, or have reluctantly accepted it for what it is.

So the solution to Botters and the one I passed onto OSI before I left the company was this.

To remove Botters you have to reduce the demand of their products. Again that's it, it really is that simple, and oh so hard to do. Players enjoy getting rare things and getting the best items these are the main driving forces for virtually every player out there. So to combat this you as a company need to input a way to keep the in game economy going while making it extremely difficult on botters to profit from it.

Now the solution I gave OSI would not work here as this a FTP game, and changing FTP to PTP is in fact impossible. So that being said here is a modified version of the suggestion that I gave OSI before I left.

First every item in game goes to bind to account unless otherwise stated as bind on pickup.

Create an "In Game" merchant available to every player to purchase the item(s) they want using a very simple benchmark. Let's use a Perfect Vorpal Enchantment as an example. Last I knew the perfect Vorpal was for sale on the auction house for about 4 million AD. This becomes the "benchmark" value of the item or whatever static number you wish. Now as players "purchase or sell" the item it get's tallied, every day (off peak times) the benchmark automatically changes according the the buy/sell of the item if players are buying it up, the benchmark raises by 0.2%, if more players are selling it lowers by 0.2%.

Once this is in place, stop allowing the use of the auction house to post items for sale until it has no more items in it, then remove it from game, players are not cheated out of their items and the items they have on the AH now are unaffected.

This fixes all "items" in game however it greatly increases the demand for AD, however the only way to use/trade AD now is though that single or multiple vendor(s).

Botters can no longer sell AD to players they can only sell to the vendor for an in game item that they also can not sell to players but only to in game vendors.

Problem with the Botters is now solved.

Now why did OSI Reject it?

In order for this to work this also has to put a stop to player to player trades, and this is the only reason why OSI rejected it. As they wanted veteran players to have the ability to give items to new players.

In neverwinter this can be done with "GOLD" allow for the essential everyday items level 1-69 to be available for sale on vendors and through player to player trades for gold. Yes the botters will now sell gold, however at level 70 nothing you actually want for your character other than potions and injury kits can be bought for gold!
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    drkbodhidrkbodhi Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,378 Arc User
    edited July 2015
    This is essentially many of the things I suggested. I am glad that a past GM corroborates my suggestions. I was met with some VERY harsh criticism for suggesting such things.

    There are solutions to the trading aspect. Though it would be difficult to trade something during a DD or Skirmish run... namely Injury Kits.

    The solution would be to alert people that you can GIVE things to NEW players via the mail service. I was recently gifted an outstanding item... that was deeply appreciated. So much so that I am now interested in helping other new players by giving them things.

    Remove the Trading for any currency except for Gold. Not to mention... that gold is ALMOST impossible to collect in game. The ONLY way that I have been able to collect gold is buy running Lvl 6 Epic Gateway Dungeons.​​
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    Atwil "At" - Tiefling TR / Saardush - Black Dragonborn GWF / White - Tiefling OP
    Leadership Council of Civil Anarchy
    SYNERGY Alliance
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    ldedric1ldedric1 Member Posts: 36 Arc User
    Giving any item level 70 or whatever Ilvl is to be determined though the mail will have to go as well, person a buys from bot site botter mails it.

    Giving of an item level 1-69 (including rank 4's and/or 5's) could be available though trade/mail.
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    plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 12,255 Arc User
    drkbodhi wrote: »
    Remove the Trading for any currency except for Gold. Not to mention... that gold is ALMOST impossible to collect in game. The ONLY way that I have been able to collect gold is buy running Lvl 6 Epic Gateway Dungeons.​​

    I am missing something. Which gold are you talking about? Are you talking about the gold as currency in the game? If it is, I have tons of it.
    *** The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will. ***
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    drkbodhidrkbodhi Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,378 Arc User
    I believe that most players would have no problems adhering to this, to facilitate the removal of all botting. I also feel that the Pay It Forward effort will grow exponentially.

    This would also require the gear and refinement drops will have to increase. I suggest making them BoA.​​
    ez0sf4K.png
    Atwil "At" - Tiefling TR / Saardush - Black Dragonborn GWF / White - Tiefling OP
    Leadership Council of Civil Anarchy
    SYNERGY Alliance
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    ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    I love the idea. As much as it sounds off putting at first, if you eliminate direct player to player trading, especially via mechanisms like an in-game auction house, you cripple the ability of bots and farmers to transact their goods.

    I would love to see what you're suggesting put in place (and even made a comment about such a system in another Leadership thread, that got buried).

    Essentially everything works like a commodity market. You buy and sell, that's it. The players have no control over the price of items. What's listed in the commodity is the price. As stuff is bought and sold, the prices move up and down based on activity. The developers can set a very baseline and a ceiling for stuff.

    But none of the AD actually changes hands. It's all run through the system, so as you mentioned, there's no way to transfer AD wealth from a specific buyer to a specific seller.

    And I agree with making pure gold the only thing that players can trade. No other currencies and no items whatsoever. So if you want to help a new player out, you can give them a stack of gold, which they can then use to buy basic equipment or other bonuses aimed at helping players progress (and set in game through merchants via gold).

    Ultimately I think MMOs have to get away from this idea that you're trying to simluate a market-based economy, and just got to more simple, closed transactional systems where players are rewarded for playing the game, not playing the market. Nor are these systems constantly vulnerable to hackers, botters and manipulators.
    "Meanwhile in the moderator's lounge..."
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    healaryhealary Member Posts: 600 Arc User
    Trading has always been an important aspect of an MMORPG. Making everything bind to either character or account as well as disabling trading pretty much put the game in a single player iron-man mode. This is a very bad idea. It is like you are afraid of getting robbed you lock yourself inside your house all the time.
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    plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 12,255 Arc User
    If player trading is banned or partial-ban, the next thing to ban or partial-ban will be the guild bank.
    *** The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will. ***
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    cheesegromitcheesegromit Member Posts: 540 Arc User
    ldedric1 wrote: »
    Now why did OSI Reject it?

    In order for this to work this also has to put a stop to player to player trades, and this is the only reason why OSI rejected it. As they wanted veteran players to have the ability to give items to new players.

    This is quite interesting. The reality in Neverwinter is that players seem to be far more interested in using the AH to profit rather than as a way to share unwanted items. It's a rich get richer system. If someone posted something for cheap it's far more likely that it will be purchased and resold at a higher price rather than being purchased by someone that wants it and will use it. My crude idea around this was to make things purchased off the AH BoA, as a way to combat resale inflation of prices. I admit I've not thought about how it could be abused though. I’m not the sort of person that’s good at finding loopholes.

    Regarding gold, I've seen mixed feeling about its value. Some have way more than they need and could suddenly become quite 'wealthy'. Others have a shortage, most often it seems to be those that move enchants around a lot.
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    ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    healary wrote: »
    Trading has always been an important aspect of an MMORPG. Making everything bind to either character or account as well as disabling trading pretty much put the game in a single player iron-man mode. This is a very bad idea. It is like you are afraid of getting robbed you lock yourself inside your house all the time.

    No it doesn't. The point of the game is to play together. Go out and find a dungeon. Kill a dragon. Build a castle (soon).

    Those elements don't get rubbed out. In fact, they take center stage. When you remove the motivation to exploit the economy for personal gain, the actual GAME takes center stage again.
    "Meanwhile in the moderator's lounge..."
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    azaris#6648 azaris Member Posts: 64 Arc User
    ldedric1 wrote: »
    Now why did OSI Reject it?

    Because it's a horrible idea. Player trading is a key component to an MMO. It's what drives the economy of such games. If everything was bound, then who would want to run a dungeon after they have their gear? There would be no point. And no, fun is not a factor. Nothing fun about killing the same dragon 1000 times with no possible reward. All that would do is prevent new players from finding people to run a dungeon with, which is already a problem with the queue.

    If you want to put the final nail in the coffin of this game, then by all means, make a change like that.
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    thefabricantthefabricant Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 5,248 Arc User
    I dislike this system as it prevents traders from being able to profit through clever manipulation of the market. I myself never trade in game, but I recognise that part of the game appeals to some players and I would not want to deprive them of it. The practise of BoP does not even need to exist, you just gate everything behind really difficult, unbottable content. It solves the problem and makes every piece of gear seem like a reward well earned.
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    thyralionthyralion Member Posts: 46 Arc User
    edited July 2015
    When you remove the motivation to exploit the economy for personal gain, the actual GAME takes center stage again.

    When you stop calling "requeueing 16 hour tasks during your lunch break" an exploit, you could also be considered as having a valid point.
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    ucanthandleucanthandle Member Posts: 211 Arc User
    I would much rather see AD income come from non botted sources like dungeons. Just remove sources like leadership AD from the game. Make it give RP instead. There are so many things that actually involve playing the game that bots just cannot do. People should make AD from playing the game.
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    thyralionthyralion Member Posts: 46 Arc User
    People should make AD from playing the game.

    And that´s why they removed the Neverember dailies.

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    ldedric1ldedric1 Member Posts: 36 Arc User
    azaris1 wrote: »
    ldedric1 wrote: »
    Now why did OSI Reject it?

    Because it's a horrible idea. Player trading is a key component to an MMO. It's what drives the economy of such games. If everything was bound, then who would want to run a dungeon after they have their gear? There would be no point. And no, fun is not a factor. Nothing fun about killing the same dragon 1000 times with no possible reward. All that would do is prevent new players from finding people to run a dungeon with, which is already a problem with the queue.

    If you want to put the final nail in the coffin of this game, then by all means, make a change like that.


    I'll tackle the question not the sarcasm so...
    azaris1 wrote: »
    If everything was bound, then who would want to run a dungeon after they have their gear?

    This is assuming you get the best gear, with the best enchants, the best companions, the coolest mounts, the fashion set you want all tricked out etc.. Dominated all of PvE and PvP till you are just bored of logging in. At this point no matter the state of an economy or what is going on or what incentives dev's put in the game, a player will leave for new challenges, or create new challenges for themselves in the game.

    Just because you can't trade high end goods player to player anymore does not mean that they have no control over the economy. As I said before the market swings with what players are buying and selling same as the auction house does now, the only difference is you can't directly buy AD and items from Botters for use in end game activities.

    Now here is a question back at you.

    If end game high end pvp is all a player wants, and he/she is willing buy from the botter knowing the harm it does to the game they are playing to achieve it, are we to fault that individual players individual playstyle over the enjoyment of another players playstyle who is determined to earn it themselves?
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    obsiddiaobsiddia Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,025 Arc User

    I would *hope* that Andy's discussion of Bots will now at least allow us one thread to give suggestions on combating them effectively. There are bright people playing this game.

    Did you really think anyone could steal the power of the god of thieves?
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    quspivquspiv Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,087 Arc User
    Botters will always find a way to profit. If they cant sell AD they will sell gmops or powerlvling services or even whole account with specific character lvl and boons unlocked, etc.

    If anybody played RIFT, they have most of the items being BTA and BTC. There's no gold sellers, but people can still profit by creating raids (10 or 20man) and then sell slots to people who wouldnt be able to finish these raids with random group or their guilds.

    Basically, the loot is just 1-2 items and they're in the boss dead body or a chest and only player with Master Looter can give the drop to specific memeber. (so you pay me "X" kk currency and i'll give you the drop)


    Also RIFT "ZEN-like" currency have no hard cap for price, so it reward those who spend $ a lot more than NWO and you cant buy BIS gear as easily as in NWO, since you will get to get carried through various very hard 10-20man raids AND these specific BIS items will have to drop (many of them have very low drop chance) and then you get instance lock until next server reset (which happens every 7 days).

    Imo Cryptic should either increase or remove cap for the AD - ZEN exchange. This will ruin bot business, because those who buy ZEN with real $ will be able to get as much AD as if they would by buying it from the gold sellers.

    WIth hard CAP of 500 AD per 1 ZEN bots will always find a way to profit.
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    healaryhealary Member Posts: 600 Arc User
    ironzerg79 wrote: »
    healary wrote: »
    Trading has always been an important aspect of an MMORPG. Making everything bind to either character or account as well as disabling trading pretty much put the game in a single player iron-man mode. This is a very bad idea. It is like you are afraid of getting robbed you lock yourself inside your house all the time.

    No it doesn't. The point of the game is to play together. Go out and find a dungeon. Kill a dragon. Build a castle (soon).

    Those elements don't get rubbed out. In fact, they take center stage. When you remove the motivation to exploit the economy for personal gain, the actual GAME takes center stage again.

    The key point is players in all MMORPG are not self-sufficient. They won't be able to obtain everything they need in game without trading so they have to trade either through game currencies or a barter system. This game is no exception. In fact, if you look at the amount of RP you need just to make 1 piece of artifact gear legendary and the amount a player can get all buy himself it is hard for you not to see the point. Don't tell me "so what? if they don't get enough RP then they use lesser gear, live with it". Players don't come to a game to become punchbags or some irrelevant pixels to the ones who mysteriously obtained everything all by themselves.
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    drkbodhidrkbodhi Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,378 Arc User
    plasticbat wrote: »
    drkbodhi wrote: »
    Remove the Trading for any currency except for Gold. Not to mention... that gold is ALMOST impossible to collect in game. The ONLY way that I have been able to collect gold is buy running Lvl 6 Epic Gateway Dungeons.

    I am missing something. Which gold are you talking about? Are you talking about the gold as currency in the game? If it is, I have tons of it.

    You may have a ton of it... but I guarantee that at this point... botters do not. I know people that have been plying this game for 2 years and they have less that 100 gold. I also know some that have thousands of gold.​​
    ez0sf4K.png
    Atwil "At" - Tiefling TR / Saardush - Black Dragonborn GWF / White - Tiefling OP
    Leadership Council of Civil Anarchy
    SYNERGY Alliance
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    drkbodhidrkbodhi Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,378 Arc User
    This is a game based on D&D... this is NOT a trade based game. If you want to trade it will be for gold... ONLY gold.

    Do you want to remove botters?

    Then you have to make things different. Something has to change and the ability for the botters to make and trade AD is 90% of the issue. By instituting this they would immediately destroy all ability to Bot in this game... forever. That would take NWO off the radar for botters and AD spammers.​​
    ez0sf4K.png
    Atwil "At" - Tiefling TR / Saardush - Black Dragonborn GWF / White - Tiefling OP
    Leadership Council of Civil Anarchy
    SYNERGY Alliance
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    kvetkvet Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,700 Arc User
    edited July 2015
    another game which we won't advertise here has no player to player trades and supposedly has the same sort of vendor setup described above... Will be interesting to see how that works out for them.
    Post edited by kreatyve on
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    wardell2015wardell2015 Member Posts: 35 Arc User
    edited July 2015
    Cryptic seems to believe they can achieve Zen sale via AD sales; And, As long as they see it this way they will keep in game means of acquiring any currency as tedious as possible to encourage Zen sales.

    The only way Cryptic will get rid of bots farming AD is simply removing AD from auction transaction and only use Zen for transactions. There is no real need for an intermediate currency if people are using the auction. Warframe uses it currency (platinum) for player to player trades as well as for their primary store sales.

    Disclaimer: I am Just showing Digital Extremes as a company that does know about crushing gold seller, and they have first time offenders get a lifetime ban; and, they have a zero tolerance policy for 3rd party programs.
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    zacazuzacazu Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,934 Arc User
    edited July 2015
    ldedric1 wrote: »
    First every item in game goes to bind to account unless otherwise stated as bind on pickup.

    Create an "In Game" merchant available to every player to purchase the item(s) they want using a very simple benchmark. Let's use a Perfect Vorpal Enchantment as an example. Last I knew the perfect Vorpal was for sale on the auction house for about 4 million AD. This becomes the "benchmark" value of the item or whatever static number you wish. Now as players "purchase or sell" the item it get's tallied, every day (off peak times) the benchmark automatically changes according the the buy/sell of the item if players are buying it up, the benchmark raises by 0.2%, if more players are selling it lowers by 0.2%.

    hmmm... maybe "if a leader of a guild buy - using real money -"x" zen he have access to a "black merchant". that black merchant will bring itens by request to the leader and stipulate a minimum price+5%. the leader of the guild will give your value over that item and will take that extra value +5% when the item be sold.

    so, he bring a perfect vorpal. 1k for the black merchant and 1k for him. still too much expensive for the guild member? go to another guild.

    that means, the guy who expend some good money in game and play the game will have a good return and can be a "business man". he can delegate that tasks to another members (vice leaders and so on) and that members will have a small participation in the profits or... i dont know.

    ps: i dont stop to think about possible consequences...

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    myowmyowmyowmyow Member Posts: 1,923 Arc User
    In-game GMs DO work. Runescape has used them for many years. This is probably one of the best games on the planet for addressing bot control. They have even held bot killing parties at specific scheduled times so other players could watch the bots get destroyed.

    Great game, but I lost interest after 6 years and some changes I did not like. But it is browser-based so graphics are not fantastic at all. Neither is the sound quality.

    Bottom line: In-game GMs work!
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    myles08807 said, "Back in my day, we didn't have any of this fancy Mulhorand gear while we were leveling . . . we walked uphill both ways while dying once every five seconds while leveling, and we liked it fine!" . . . Now, get off my lawn, you kids!"
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    regenerderegenerde Member Posts: 3,043 Arc User
    edited July 2015
    It would be a start to get some volunteers in there, to report the bot hives to GMs, and those should come down on the botters like the end of days... every day!

    Yes, the botters will make new accounts, but it will cost them more and more time = money, to do so.
    And that is the only thing, that will hurt botters in the long run.

    Not to mention, that GMs should also bann anyone, that is buying AD for real money from botters too...
    I do believe in killing the messenger...
    Want to know why?
    Because it sends a message!
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