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  1. #1

    Blizzard Covering Up botting issue?

    So here I was sitting on the Eu forums in the Battleground section browsing Bot complaints threads. Suddenly as I refresh the page I start seeing locked threads. Then deleted threads. I have read atleast half of those threads and seen nothing lock worthy in either. I get the slight sensation that Blizzard is getting rid of the "sensitive" threads make the problem seem smaller somehow...

    Like if we ignore enough people the complaints will just go away.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Sexual assault is not always rape.
    *slowclap*
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Woman rapes a guy, gives birth to child and has custody of the child.
    I don't see why you should take the child from the woman unless she abuses it.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    So here I was sitting on the Eu forums in the Battleground section browsing Bot complaints threads. Suddenly as I refresh the page I start seeing locked threads. Then deleted threads. I have read atleast half of those threads and seen nothing lock worthy in either. I get the slight sensation that Blizzard is getting rid of the "sensitive" threads make the problem seem smaller somehow...

    Like if we ignore enough people the complaints will just go away.
    Typically locked threads have been due to either reposts, or if people choose to complain like whiny little kids.

    Haven't seen non derailed threads locked so far as I know.

  3. #3
    If you have a bot issue, report it through the correct means. Creating endless threads about it doesn't help it at all and most of the time they don't provide any relevant info about the botting, but just random complaints that won't help in any way dealing with it.

    Of course, if you forget about the bigger picture and isolate only the fact that they lock and delete those threads , you can imply that "Like if we ignore enough people the complaints will just go away." That's what most people do anyway, so don't feel bad.

  4. #4
    people talk freely about bots and exploits and hacks. Its a very hard issue to deal with in any company. If u don't understand how a game engine works, your most likely talking with no supporting facts.

  5. #5
    They are paying subs too....

  6. #6
    Scarab Lord slime's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Mihalik;19164538]So here I was sitting on the Eu forums in the Battleground section browsing Bot complaints threads. Suddenly as I refresh the page I start seeing locked threads. Then deleted threads. I have read atleast half of those threads and seen nothing lock worthy in either. I get the slight sensation that Blizzard is getting rid of the "sensitive" threads make the problem seem smaller somehow...

    Like if we ignore enough people the complaints will just go away.[/QUOTE]

    I've always believed this is what they do with tickets they cannot solve easily (in-game).

  7. #7
    Did an AV last week... Out of the 80 chars in the BG there was 7 or 8 actual players, i honestly dont think the problem has ever been this big, and the really fun part is that Blizzard doesnt seem to be doing anything about it at all.

  8. #8
    They probably deleted the thread because it didn't add anything meaningful or conducive to an issue that has been brought up hundreds upon hundreds of times before.

    This is a fine line to cross because do people who bot battlegrounds deserve permanent bans? Or are the temporary ones punitive measures enough?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Milkwolfgang View Post
    If you have a bot issue, report it through the correct means. Creating endless threads about it doesn't help it at all and most of the time they don't provide any relevant info about the botting, but just random complaints that won't help in any way dealing with it.

    Of course, if you forget about the bigger picture and isolate only the fact that they lock and delete those threads , you can imply that "Like if we ignore enough people the complaints will just go away." That's what most people do anyway, so don't feel bad.
    You're playing on the US forums, you have no right whatsoever to comment on this issue. If people would stop complaining nothing whatsoever would happen at all. Hell even the Arena exploit punishment seems to be US only. Blizzard is completly ignoring and and every kind of issue on the EU forum unless people outright riot on the forums so they have to acknowledge the issue.
    Currently it is unbearable on the EU servers, there are whole games with nothing but bots in them. We had an isle where there were about 4-5 real players the rest standing in on big throng in front of the Horde base and the Alliance wasn't much difference. I had an WSG where there where exactly 3 players, one being on the Alliance and two on our team with the Bot groups running into each other over and over again both sides simply stood at their respective base entrances watching it for 20 minutes till the time ran out.
    I had games of Strand of the Ancients where not a single member of the enemy team was getting of the boats and and EOTS where aside from me there was only a single other person with everyone else running between the two bases till the game ended and not doing anything aside from that.

    People are right to complain about it, people are right to rage on the forums regarding this issue. Because nothing whatsoever is done at all! I have an bot I noticed farming way back at the start of Cataclysm and who apparently leveled that way on my friends list. It's an DK and he eventually started farming old dungeons all day. Now he has leveled to 90 and is farming old Cata dungeons 24/7 a week.
    I reported him, others reported him, and he's still there! Hell just take a look with /who at some of the old dungeons. They're crawling with Paladins/DK's outleveling them doing them all day 24/7. And no matter how often you report them, not a single one of them gets banned, ever.

    Blizzard is doing NOTHING whatsoever on the EU realms. They're not banning bots, they're not caring about server imbalances, they're not stoping exploiters, hackers or cheaters. And it's like that since around the time ICC came to an end. Hell if you want to talk to an GM nowadays you have to wait around 7-9 days at best for them to answer an ticket!

    Quote Originally Posted by bionics View Post
    They probably deleted the thread because it didn't add anything meaningful or conducive to an issue that has been brought up hundreds upon hundreds of times before.

    This is a fine line to cross because do people who bot battlegrounds deserve permanent bans? Or are the temporary ones punitive measures enough?
    They're not just botting BG's, the bots are everywhere on the EU realms. And anything less then an permanent ban isn't anywhere near enough to discourage people from botting. The gain is far higher then being banned for a few hours every few months.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Milkwolfgang View Post
    If you have a bot issue, report it through the correct means. Creating endless threads about it doesn't help it at all and most of the time they don't provide any relevant info about the botting, but just random complaints that won't help in any way dealing with it.

    Of course, if you forget about the bigger picture and isolate only the fact that they lock and delete those threads , you can imply that "Like if we ignore enough people the complaints will just go away." That's what most people do anyway, so don't feel bad.
    Milk...It's literally impossible to report boting trough the correct means. When you have over 25 or 30 bots in 40 man battleground it becomes utterly impossible to even report a fraction of them. Also the only response we got so far was to use the AFK button. People have disproved that option repeatedly on forums explaining the dozens of ways bots have to avoid the actual kick. Even worse, there are cases when you are so outnumbered by bots that you dont even have enough people to initiate AFK kicks.

    Many many of the locked threads included detailed information such as times, servers, screenshots etc. etc. that could be used to investigate the boting problem. Many other threads were simply demanding some sort of communication from Blizzard's part of what is happening or if there is any solution on the pipeline. AH being boted, BG's being boted, farm bots, bots in Dungeons and Heroics, bot doing dailies the problem on many servers reached a point where it is seriously breaking different aspects of the game.

    What people are the most upset about is perhaps the fact that we have simply no communication from Blizzard whatever. None at all.
    Last edited by Mihalik; 2012-11-20 at 07:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Sexual assault is not always rape.
    *slowclap*
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Woman rapes a guy, gives birth to child and has custody of the child.
    I don't see why you should take the child from the woman unless she abuses it.

  11. #11
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    What people are the most upset about is perhaps the fact that we have simply no communication from Blizzard whatever. None at all.
    As usual, Blizzard does not communicate to the community and does not take immediate action for a very good reason.

    It helps them catch hackers more effectively.

    The moment a ban wave starts, hackers know they've been caught and change their program to try and make it undetected again. If you're banning them immediately, you enter into an arms race with the hackers. Blizzard has decided (probably correctly) that it's easier to let the hacks flood the market, get everyone who's going to cheat using them WHILE you can identify their accounts, and then do a massive banwave and catch them all at once.

    The same reason is why they don't communicate. Any communication informs the hackers as much as it informs legitimate players. The goal is to keep the hackers in the dark so they don't know they've been caught, or how, as much as possible.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by slime View Post
    I've always believed this is what they do with tickets they cannot solve easily (in-game).

    Nah, I've had a GM spend an hour with me in-game to resolve an issue that I was having, we tried several fixes, eventually got it fixed, but he was awesome

    Same ticket though it was answered and when he couldn't solve it he told me he wasn't sure exactly how to help me so he was going to forward my issue onto a more experienced GM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    As usual, Blizzard does not communicate to the community and does not take immediate action for a very good reason.

    It helps them catch hackers more effectively.

    The moment a ban wave starts, hackers know they've been caught and change their program to try and make it undetected again. If you're banning them immediately, you enter into an arms race with the hackers. Blizzard has decided (probably correctly) that it's easier to let the hacks flood the market, get everyone who's going to cheat using them WHILE you can identify their accounts, and then do a massive banwave and catch them all at once.

    The same reason is why they don't communicate. Any communication informs the hackers as much as it informs legitimate players. The goal is to keep the hackers in the dark so they don't know they've been caught, or how, as much as possible.
    THIS. Glad someone can see sense. Banning bots one by one solves nothing. Banning 500 bots all working under one employer hits much harder.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    As usual, Blizzard does not communicate to the community and does not take immediate action for a very good reason.

    It helps them catch hackers more effectively.

    The moment a ban wave starts, hackers know they've been caught and change their program to try and make it undetected again. If you're banning them immediately, you enter into an arms race with the hackers. Blizzard has decided (probably correctly) that it's easier to let the hacks flood the market, get everyone who's going to cheat using them WHILE you can identify their accounts, and then do a massive banwave and catch them all at once.

    The same reason is why they don't communicate. Any communication informs the hackers as much as it informs legitimate players. The goal is to keep the hackers in the dark so they don't know they've been caught, or how, as much as possible.
    Of course, and the flipside of this "strategy" is that 10 million players have to "suffer" for months or years until they have the information and the possibility to fix the botting issue. For how long is it acceptable to hear the same old story again and again: "we are working on this issue and we want to catch all of the offenders at once but we're just not ready yet"?

    Spamming the official forums with threads that are basically all the same helps, it creates pressure. Also, if someone new has the intention to start with WoW but first has a look into the official forums and all he sees there are threads like "bots ruined this game" he maybe will think twice before he will invest money in this game. Blizz knows this, that a bunch of botting threads creates a negative reputation, that's why they eliminate them. Still, it's pressure.

    For how long is it acceptable to not take immediate action? 3 months? Half a year? One year? More? Where is the limit?
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  15. #15
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarevoc View Post
    Of course, and the flipside of this "strategy" is that 10 million players have to "suffer" for months or years until they have the information and the possibility to fix the botting issue. For how long is it acceptable to hear the same old story again and again: "we are working on this issue and we want to catch all of the offenders at once but we're just not ready yet"?

    Spamming the official forums with threads that are basically all the same helps, it creates pressure. Also, if someone new has the intention to start with WoW but first has a look into the official forums and all he sees there are threads like "bots ruined this game" he maybe will think twice before he will invest money in this game. Blizz knows this, that a bunch of botting threads creates a negative reputation, that's why they eliminate them. Still, it's pressure.

    For how long is it acceptable to not take immediate action? 3 months? Half a year? One year? More? Where is the limit?
    They also don't announce when they do a wave of bans. And most of those getting banned don't bother whining, because they knew it was coming, because they were cheating.

    People seem to think if they "fixed" botting, it would forevermore not be a problem, because that fix would make it impossible to bot. Well, that's impossible. This isn't a fight that can ever be "won". There will always be botting. They cannot prevent that. Most bots are simply automating player input; they aren't modifying game files. This means they can't run a check of the WOW install to find them, nor can they scan people's hard drives. Warden checks stuff in the active memory, but it only flags things if it RECOGNIZES them as hacks. Other than that, it's on GMs investigating person by person, and the difficulty there is that "somebody playing really badly/stupidly/unhelpfully" isn't a bannable offense, nor is it itself evidence of botting.

    I've had a GM contact me while I was farming. He whispered me, we had a quick conversation, it turned out someone had reported me for "botting" because they only ever saw that character flying around Twilight Highlands in a predictable pattern. That pattern was the route I'd worked out for efficiently clearing TH of ore and herbs, and the toon was only ever in there since 1> it was my farming toon that I only used while farming, and 2> TH had been the only really profitable place to farm for months on my server, providing a better return. Because I responded, and the GM watched me for a few minutes, it became clear I wasn't botting, but had just settled into a rhythm, and he said good day and moved on. It wasn't a terribly long encounter, but he probably spent 10-15 minutes to clear up that ticket and move to the next one. Multiply that by the number of tickets and the number of actual bots versus people like myself, and this isn't necessarily an easy check to begin with.

    And once they DO find someone botting, they want to know how, since they're clearly getting around the automated system. So that starts up a secondary investigation process to locate the hack and figure out how to add that detection, and then that can finally get pushed live in a content patch.

    So you won't see auto-bans start outside of a full patch. It requires updating Warden, which means client updates, which means an actual patch rather than a hotfix (which is server-side; that's why tooltips don't get affected, they're client-side). And individual bans get held off until they think they've flagged enough of them to make it worthwhile, since all the work they've invested into locating and neutering that specific hack will now be null and void, as the hacking community moves on to a new version.


    Seriously, people seem to think this is an easy thing to automate. It's not. Nor is it something that CAN be responded to quickly. Nor are end users going to see all the bots suddenly vanish. There's more than one botting program out there, and those users abusing them will quickly switch to another when their current tool is shut down. It's an ongoing war, not a battle to be won.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Sip.
    Nice story and all. And yeah I heard the "Gotta catch em all!'' one before.

    But all this is half truth's and good miss information from Blizzard's part.

    The actual bot problem is still a coding issue. You have a clear confusion betwen Auto Clickers and Bots. Even when Bots do not alter game files they still use a series of actions that are very easy to log and replicate. This is what allows bots to actually spread and to be downloaded and installed without yourself programming your own patterns into a bot.

    And insult to injury all one needs to do is Google for bots and download them from publicly available websites to see the programming and inner working of said bots. There is no real secrecy around the whole affair. Technically speaking for a company such a Blizzard prevention would not be that difficult if any serious effort would be taken to actually achieve that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Sexual assault is not always rape.
    *slowclap*
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Woman rapes a guy, gives birth to child and has custody of the child.
    I don't see why you should take the child from the woman unless she abuses it.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    As usual, Blizzard does not communicate to the community and does not take immediate action for a very good reason.

    It helps them catch hackers more effectively.

    The moment a ban wave starts, hackers know they've been caught and change their program to try and make it undetected again. If you're banning them immediately, you enter into an arms race with the hackers. Blizzard has decided (probably correctly) that it's easier to let the hacks flood the market, get everyone who's going to cheat using them WHILE you can identify their accounts, and then do a massive banwave and catch them all at once.

    The same reason is why they don't communicate. Any communication informs the hackers as much as it informs legitimate players. The goal is to keep the hackers in the dark so they don't know they've been caught, or how, as much as possible.
    Actually, this is the biggest BS I've ever read on this issue because it is wrong on so many levels it could come right from Blizzards PR. If you were reading the botting forums you'd know that as soon as Blizzard changes something, anything on warden and similar systems the bots immediatly log off or stop working till they figured out what happened and become undetectable once more.

    This way they constantly elude the once in a year change Blizzard is introducing mostly to appease the people not botting and keep them in the believe that they're actually doing something about Bots.

    Also the problem is far worse on the EU servers then it is on the US and obviously you couldn't be bothered to actually read it. It's not just some hackers but it's so extremly widespread by now that it makes normal play impossible. You simply can't do random BG's anymore without having loads of bots who mess up the battlegrounds even in the middle of the day. Only then they go unnoticed as when there is 18 in a 10 on 10 bg they immediatly stick out because they're all doing the exact same thing.

    Kun Lai summit is FILLED with druids harvesting ores and herbs still equipped with cata level gear and worse. At times you can see several of them swoop down to a single node.


    As for the "they eventually ban them". I have some Bots I'm keeping an eye on since the start of Cataclysm who most likely have been around for far longer. Not a single one of them has been banned as of now. Some were gone for a time but eventually popped back up once more. Because just to add insult to injury, they don't actually perma ban them!
    These people get of lightly, like the MMR exploiters did and only get a temporary ban. Said ban slowly ramps up but apparently goes down if the time between offenses has been long enough. I've seen some videos of an guy whom I met on several chars in level bg's who's doing about every single last thing with botting, he has goddamn advice videos on youtube and got banned on several of his accounts.
    Even if eventually he ramped up so many bans he got an permanent one on one of his accounts, he got them unbanned by telling them some sob stories on the phone. More then once.

    I have no idea how it is on the US servers, but Blizzard doesn't do a damn on the EU ones. There's Russians hacking and cheating their ass of on the EU realm they're not supposed to even get one by using leaks Blizzard isn't fixing for years, there's bot everywhere, not a single MMR exploiter has been banned or had their gains taken away and so on and on and on.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Deleth View Post
    Sip.
    A summary of countless known and discussed facts on official forums. The only change is now they are directly deleting threads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Sexual assault is not always rape.
    *slowclap*
    Quote Originally Posted by Mooneye View Post
    Woman rapes a guy, gives birth to child and has custody of the child.
    I don't see why you should take the child from the woman unless she abuses it.

  19. #19
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    The actual bot problem is still a coding issue. You have a clear confusion betwen Auto Clickers and Bots. Even when Bots do not alter game files they still use a series of actions that are very easy to log and replicate. This is what allows bots to actually spread and to be downloaded and installed without yourself programming your own patterns into a bot.
    Bots can include random variation. It's not difficult. Heck, my mouse software lets me do the same. They don't want to catch the people using the bot, they want to catch the bot program. Not the same thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Deleth View Post
    Actually, this is the biggest BS I've ever read on this issue because it is wrong on so many levels it could come right from Blizzards PR. If you were reading the botting forums you'd know that as soon as Blizzard changes something, anything on warden and similar systems the bots immediatly log off or stop working till they figured out what happened and become undetectable once more.
    Changes are made to Warden after the manual ban pass is done. Those changes are to automate action against anyone using the old system. It's a secondary system, and it's not meant to catch the brand-new programs, unless the designer is stupid enough to replicate something already in the database.

    Blizzard isn't running a check once a year to detect bots. That's just false.

    Kun Lai summit is FILLED with druids harvesting ores and herbs still equipped with cata level gear and worse. At times you can see several of them swoop down to a single node.
    If I'd bothered to level all the way to 90 on my druid through farming, I'd have done the same. I got annoyed by the lack of flying around level 82, so I quested the rest of it, but my farmer doesn't in any way need gear. What you're describing has to do with farming alts, not bots. They might BE bots, but the evidence you're citing isn't evidence of that.

    Not a single one of them has been banned as of now. Some were gone for a time but eventually popped back up once more. Because just to add insult to injury, they don't actually perma ban them!
    Perma bans aren't that common, and botting as a first or even second offense typically wouldn't be enough to qualify your account for that. So really, what you just described is that you've seen botters getting banned properly.

    Perma banning someone for botting in WoW would be like if we here at MMO-Champ permabanned anyone we deemed to be trolling. We have a similar ramp-up system with point decay.

  20. #20
    Excellent posts Endus, sadly however driving those home to the people that need to be made aware of the situation at large would prove to be difficult. It doesn't help matters much that the frustration to botting in the game doesn't do much to help the overall dilemma, and it's certainly something I can sympathisise with when I see games being won or lost based on how many bots there are and on which side and what quality the bots they had installed are, heh.

    A couple of months ago I was doing a WSG with 9 bots on my team. I absolutely kid you not. Horde had a couple that I know about. Draw. Fun times.
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