You can blame all on the "evil doer", but you must always think about the reallity in which the person is inserted.
Sure you can ban all the botters, but the game won't become more fun because of it, the problem will still persist, and Blizzard will have less subscriptions.
Bots are a symptom of the real problem with the game design, and no, the problem isn't grinds. The problem is the fact that the entire focus of the game's community has become fixated solely on gear. There are minor exceptions to this, but in general people are doing whatever they are doing in the game solely to attain gear. Why do they raid? To get the best gear. Why do they do arenas/BGs/etc? To get the best gear. Some of them might say something along the lines of "I'm doing it to improve my character." but it amounts to the same thing. And what's really funny about it is that people are doing activities they don't enjoy strictly to improve gear that in many cases they don't use. Then some of them use bots to automate doing something they don't enjoy.
Here's the question - if you enjoy pvp, why would you use a bot to grind honor? Shouldn't the pvp itself be the goal? The same applies to every other activity. You should do what you enjoy and the gear/character improvement should be a bonus for doing what you enjoy. Basically, doing what you enjoy should be the goal and the gear should be a bonus which enables you to continue doing what you enjoy at a higher level. The problem is that the gear has become the focus and enjoying the process by which you gain the gear has become bonus or, in the case of botters, unneccessary. This is a serious game design flaw, but it's not tied to grinds. It's tied to player perception of the necessity of grinds. Instead of going out to pvp and getting gear as a result, they go out to get gear and pvp as a result.
You can exclude world class guilds and top rank pvpers from this generalization on the whole, but for the majority of the WoW community the idea that the journey is what matters and the gear is just a side benefit has been lost. Bots are just a symptom of this psyche shift.
According to your logic I propose this situation. I want to be a doctor. But that would require me to get really high grades in high school in order to have a shot at it plus volunteer work. I know if I cheat my way through the tests I will not only have more time for volunteering I can also goof off more. Win-win!
Yes. They are a natural reaction to game's design flaws. But mostly, they're a shortcut for guys who just wanna get to the fun parts. Indeed, the intial motivation for bots was just that - to skip through the grindy parts bc once you've done it all once, doing it again just isn't the same. Morality aside, it often strikes me as paradoxical that we play a game on an instruments designed to increase efficiency, but forego its use for said purpose within the framework of the game.
I'm not gonna say they're justified. I just understand why people use them. I agree that the genre of the game is a bit grindy, though.
One area where bots and automation have arisen primarily due to game design flaws, rather than laziness or wanting a shortcut, though, is tradeskills. We all know the guy with 1000 auctions posted everyday. Even with add-ons managing that inventory, it takes an inordinate amount of time to process everything. Blizzard has repeatedly signalled that they want people out in the world and not in Stormwind, mashing a prospect macro every 5 seconds - like a monkey. Like a bot.
And yet, if folks don't do it, enchants are unobtainable for most folks because materials prices stay sky-high. And Darkmoon cards? Glyphs? If there were an npc who could perform bulk-tradeskill operations for a player for a set fee over a much longer period of time (including time the player spends offline), then the player could go do things in the game while an npc prospected his 100 stacks of Ghost Iron Ore over the next 2 hours for a price of ~200g.
When he finished his LFR or came back from the movie he left to go watch, he could pick up the gems from the NPC. This would be intelligent game design. This highlights the current flaws. Stuff like this - mashing a single button every five seconds for 60+ minutes - it's not fun. It's Blizzard treating the player like a bot. So, I think those bots arose out of a failed game design more than simple greed or wanting to cheat.
Any time I hear someone say, "You have to do the work to get the rewards," I laugh. This is a game. It's not a job. has reality blurred so much for some of you that you can't tell the difference?
Bonus - wanna get rid of gatherbots? Make Gathering (mining / herbalism / skinning) into secondary professions so that anyone can gather while they're out questing or doing whatever. Think it through. The landscape of the economy would be revolutionized.
WoW to me has the issue every MMO has. Too many things in it. I played EverQuest, so inb4 people say omg you don't know what an MMO should be. I do. I used to love them. However when the game gets to the point where you keep changing focus on what the primary gameplay is, from raiding, to dungeoning, to now daily rep grinding, you are constantly forced to only go down one of those avenues to achieve the reward you want.
I think the next step for MMOs is to have all those options, but have all the rewards the same. I can say the only thing I like doing in WoW is playing random BGs, and only a few. If I could just do WSG and Twin Peaks over and over and work towards the reward I want, I'd still be playing. But things I want to achieve, particularly the shado-pan panther mounts are behind a ridiculous gauntlet of months worth of dailies... and thats if I log in every day.
For me it was just a choice to go to a game I can hop on, play the game because its fun, and log out. Maybe my priorities changed in life, but people are going to do what they want. If someone wants to bot, let them do it, it means they don't find that content interesting. If you tell people you can do any activity in the MMO and allocate reward points into whatever area you want, then it becomes more about fun. Right now its a skinner box.
For example, in PvP, the game was desinged so the ones with better gear win easily, it doesn't matter if you are a good player or not, if you have "green" gear and the other has full epics, he will most certanly win. So gear, imo, is not a player perception of the necessity of grinds, but a real necessity imposed by the game (if you want to have fun, because, let's agree what being killed countless times to pvpers, or wiping all night because your gear is not high enought, is not fun).
And I believe this is the main goal designed for world of warcraft, always have better gear to get, if not, you wouldn't see your gear becoming outdated every major patch.
I spent about 4 weeks of playing in MoP before I realized that my main's class just wasn't going to be fun for me to play in PvP. The idea of levelling another toon 85-90, and grinding gear out so that I could play with my buds without holding them back - and how many hours that would take - it's daunting.
I didn't want a reward. I wanted to play with my friends and enjoy the game. If there was a bot that could warp me there that didn't suck, I'd have used it. If there was a $10 fee I could pay to warp me there, I'd use it. It wouldn't be for the rewards. It'd be for the entertainment of being able to play with friends.
So anybody who says otherwise is a disingenuous, brainwashed douchebag who is so self-unaware that they can't realize the reality and depth of their psychological dependence on the grindiness of the game. These are the same people who are so bad at real life that the escape into games where the time they spend on them makes them better than other folks, because in the real-world, they simply can't compete with the efficiencies of a balanced, well-adjusted person.
If you don't get it, do us all a favor - shut the fuck up and don't presume to speak for things that you admittedly don't understand.
If that doesn't work, you can stay mad - I don't think bots are going anywhere anytime soon. gl;hf.
-I'm a person that enjoys travel (likes BGs)
-botter is the one that wants to get to destination as fast as possible
What happens then ?
Botter climbs on my back without asking for permission and I'm forced to carry him to that destination, my enjoyment of travelling is completely ruined.
See a problem here ?
All that being said, the idea of immediate parity upon entry inherently devalues accomplishment and investment. MMOs should be about the time you invest concretely rewarding you. I don't feel that gear is the way to do that, and I actually think a karma system similar to the old Shadowrun RPG would be an excellent basis for a new MMO. Basically it would follow these guidelines:
1) Gear is cosmetic.
2) Everything you do in the game provides Karma up to a cap.
3) The Karma cap rises each week the game exists (or each month, whatever)
4) Karma can be "spent" on character improvement (whether that's buying new spells, increasing skills and stats, whatever) with inherent diminishing returns (each increase to skill, stat, whatever costs more than the previous point)
5) Any karma earned over the current cap goes into a Gift Pool.
6) Karma in the gift pool can be transferred to other toons (alts, friends, whatever).
This means that friends can "boost" friends new to the game, and time spent on a main toon over the karma cap can be used to increase the power of alts (allowing freedom of play between multiple toons). This helps remove entry barrier for new players, especially with the diminishing returns. Cosmetic gear means loot drops still have a purpose, but beating the bosses/mobs/enemy players already inherenly increases character strength through karma rewards (two birds, one stone). People who only enjoy crafting, gathering, etc will still improve their characters by doing what they enjoy. All in all a solid foundational idea for a MMO game design. Obviously it needs tweaks and balancing, but I feel it could address some inherent flaws of gear grind based games. At that point the designers could focus on making content that's fun, rather than worrying about the improvement said content grants since all content grants equal rewards.
Now that being said, the social dynamic is an important part of the game and part of what makes MMOs fun. But if the activities themselves are fun enough, then you can play despite imbalances between characters by fulfilling certain roles in the activity while you improve. For example, in the original incarnation of Alterac Valley, an undergeared toon could still provide assistance to his team by farming various materials or by capping side objectives. The new plug and play incarnation of AV lacks this variety.
I think players bot because of time constraints. I could spend 12 hours in BGs to get a decent set of honor gear so someone will let me into RBG's, or I could bot for 12 hours and get enough honor to get a decent set of honor gear so someone will let me into RBG's.
IMHO, if the system is merely a hurdle for higher levels of play, people will do whatever they can to get out of it.