Do you really think a game that rewards effort (or time spent) with the best rewards is the flaw here? Or is the flaw an ineffective system to catch people cheating the desired reward system?
I wouldn't claim their chosen route for rewards is the best, but what alternative would you use? Maybe you should suggest something on the official forums?
I can understand why some people do it. It's really very simple. You get all the benefit of the best rewards with very minimal effort and avoiding something you potentially don't enjoy doing. Sure there are going to be other reason why people start doing it too, but I'm willing to hazard a guess that what I suggest is the impetus for most.
I'm quite sure there are lots of reason why people don't do it too.
You basically ask "is it Blizzard's fault people bot"?
And in part I agree. Not necessarily because of flawed game design but because of their shrouded and seemingly ineffective methods of battling it. It seems a strange practice to me banning in waves. Surely a multi-billion-dollar company can afford to address this issue if they really wanted to. Hell, if they were desperate they could even hire a few of the people making the bots to help them work on solutions or buy the bot programs/scripts/whatever they are and reverse engineer them if needs be. But they don't. And they do ban in small waves. I wonder why that is? How they operate with regard to this issue certainly raises some questions for me.
Blizzard aren't the only contributer to the problem though. We also have the people using the bots and the people selling or making the bots. None of the groups are blameless. Any one of these groups could stop it, but they don't because they all get something out of it. Blizzard get continued subs they might otherwise lose because of their chosen reward method. Botters get the reward whilst bypassing a gathering system they don't enjoy and the bot makers get money (in some cases), noteriety (in some places) and to also bypass the system if they happen to play themselves (which is where I assume the botting and bot creation originated).
I can't see it being "fixed" soon. The best anyone can hope for is continued numberless "ban waves" that never seem to catch that one Priest you've watched run into the middle of WSG and start smacking people with his staff for the last 3 years.
The only suggestion I'd give to those not botting and happy with the current reward system is to get used to the bots. Expect more even. That or quit. There is nothing you alone can do about it. It sucks, but it's true.
I've been playing this game since Vanilla and have played every expansion when they came out and have taken many breaks in between. I'm now a 29 year old male and a fair amount has changed in my real life and in my gaming life. When I had originally started playing Wow coming off of years of UO I would put in as much time as I could into the game. My family owned a business so I "worked" but mostly just reaped the benefits. 2 weeks b4 TBC dropped I decided I really wanted to play a warlock since my mage just seemed bad in comparison. That's when I botted my first toon, I did it because I didn't think I could get to 60 b4 release and I was dumb enough to think I could be server first 70 when it did drop if I could just make it to 60 fast enough. We all know how that went "World Server is Down". The key bit of info here is even playing 12+ hrs a day I didn't feel I could do it in "TIME".
The biggest underlying issue here is WOW rewards time spent in game. The more time you have the better the gear, reputation, honor. This is become the norm and is excepted as such in WOW. Playing 12+ hrs a day is not realistic in the Real World. The reason I gave some background info on me in the beginning is I used to be just like a lot of you. If you don't have the time then don't play. If you can't be as hardcore as me then you shouldn't get to enjoy X, Y, Z. It took growing up and being forced out on my own to get a real grasp of how much time I spent playing the game and doing the same thing over and over again. Having the ability to sit in front of a PC for 12+ hrs is not skillfull, you've been turned into a human bot. It does however keep people playing the game and that's the goal. Blizzards business model is simple, If you want to keep having fun and be able to do what everyone else is doing you must maximize your playing time. Since fun is generally the purpose of playing a game of course people are going to grind their little hearts out.
So moving forward here I am all grown up, working 2nd shift 3-11:30 5 days a week, I still play Wow a fair amount about 6 hrs a night and I can't realistically stay competitive with out sacrificing either time in RL or something I enjoy in game. I had to take time off work when expansion dropped to I could level fast enough to start raiding and a lil more time off to grind some gear/rep. I would do your typical 3-3.5 hr raid and then pass out trying to do dailies to cap honor.
Is this realistic? It was in my mind when I had no job and no real responsibilities. Now things are different, but the reality is Wow is not reality. It sort of disheartening to see some of the posts saying don't play the game. Are you fucking serious I pay 15 a month just like the next shmuck, does it mean I should get to enjoy the game any less than the guy who gets to sit a home all day playing..... NO!
Getting back to botting a fair amount of it is done for profit and while I don't exactly condone it, it is a necessity and makes Blizzard money. ( Mat Farmers, gold sellers, etc). However I have to agree with botting to bypass what Blizzard has done to keep us playing, paying, and having fun. I can't raid anymore because raid times changed, so I will probably go back to pvp, that being said do you think i'm going to spend the little free time I have during the next 2-3 weeks note having fun in bgs because pvp is gear based and im gonna get slaughter or am I gonna find a good bot to do it?
Nothing in this world is as simple as black and white and for some of you unfortunately you will never come to that realization sitting in from of a pc 12+ a day. I used to like to think like that and then I had to grow up. So before you go spouting off at the mouth maybe take some time to consider the individual and his circumstances b4 so quickly judging.
Yes. Games are played to have fun and to challenge yourself. Devs want players to play longer, and they put grind before fun. Players naturally don't want boring grind (because it only challenges their patience), hence they utilize bots.
Players don't believe devs which say it's fun to be stomped on by a fully-geared PvPer.
But no one's asking us how we want WoW to be done.
Well if I recall back in Wotlk I was banned about twice for botting, cheating, hacking. So I stopped doing that. In cataclysm the Uldum bot swarm caught my eye, and I watched it very closely with curiosity. I found out they were not being actioned upon when I reported them and got responses to my tickets, and with my seasoned experience I saw right through the claims that they were being "investigated." Bots get banned, that's how it works, but that wasn't happening.
I made an alternate account for $5 with the first 3 expansions, and began botting, and hardcore hacking battlegrounds like WSG to tele-cap flags and win matches in under a minute. Massive levels and exp. Then with my main account I reported myself, my alternate account, and even took screen shots (lol) for proof with links in the report. I did these reports several times against myself, while I continued to cheat as hard as possible on my alternate account. On my alt account I also flew around in Orgrimmar and ganked people in Stormwind. I regularly and blatantly admitted to everyone in trade chat that I was cheating. Players got used to seeing me hovering around, and got to know me a little better because I was not trying to hide the fact I was cheating. A month went bye without a single slap on the hand, my suspicions were correct and still are (I've leveled 3 characters from 85-90 with a cracked version of honorbuddy). I've realized something big has changed in Blizzard HQ. Didn't know quite what it is that changed but it's big, and a new lawless frontier had opened up ripe for plundering and exploitation.
So to answer your question, yes it is a natural response to an ungoverned game. It's simply a result of Blizzard's absence. If bots got banned players would yell and it would set an example that Blizzard GMs are still present, but as you can see if you join a random battleground there is no fear of retribution at this time. The answer as to why they have stopped policing bots is a more complex issue with several reasons, but it's hard to tell for sure why. Maybe they want those bots to pay some subscription fees, or maybe they're keeping them around until they've done the 4th quarterly subscriber report.
Someone far up the corporate ladder once asked, "Why are we banning paying customers from playing our game?"
"Because they're cheating!" came the response from someone farther down the ladder, who at least dimply remembered what it was like to be a gamer.
"Are they cheating us out of money?" asked the bean-counting suit.
"No, but-" replied the erstwhile gamer.
"Then stop wasting employee time and company money on kicking revenue-generating subscribers out of our cash-cow," ordered Mr. Bottomline. And so it was done.
(Now I'm wondering if there was any connection between Blizz's increase in automation and layoffs in their Customer Service team and the passive tolerance for botting and apparently hacking that you describe. How long has it been since the byproducts of item-duping started to infest the AH?)
I think that it would be stupid to ban paying customers also. They are botting and that is not allowed, but banning all the botters would be a huge loss of income.
As we all know subs aren't increasing but declining now so keeping as much as possible is the logical choice.
In a time that subs are increasing and there is a huge interest for the game so it attracts more and more new players, you can ban; that would just improve things for newcomers.
Now, I don't know if there is much interest in wow outside the people who already play. Before MoP went live, the subs where in decline; it grew a bit when MoP hit the shelves.
Now, I am not sure, I see a lot of negative remarks from players; that doesn't add to the attractiveness of wow for potential buyers.
For a game with a monthly sub it would be stupid to ban 1.000's of accounts under the current circumstances.
The thing is how are you supposed to iron out this supposed "flaw"? Remove the carrot, hand everything to players for free? That's what they've shifted to very gradually. It attracts players, but it doesn't hook them.
Why I was botting?
I botted with mining and questing/grinding bot. I did it because mining more than 1 hour make my brains numb and bored and made me to fall asleep behind my keyboard. I just can't freaking stand flying around in circles over and over and click on some stuff without occupying my brains. My brains have to do something or they get numb. For example: playing combat occupies my mind and I have to think what to press next and to prepare for next mob and so on. But even that can get too repetitive and boring.
I was using bot for questing/grinding just because I have another account for botting which I bought cheap or took from friends who stopped playing. I had to level there another few characters to be able to craft and gather end game ore/stuff. I haven't got nerves after leveling several characters to max level to level up another bunch - either I don't have all time for that.
I have never used bot in PvP, arenas or battleground. I actually hate PvP since WOLTK hit live and I stopped playing any form of PvP when cata came. It's just unbalanced and pitiful. PvP is in bad shape and arenas are pretty boring = just play right setup and you will get far, play something unique and you will get hammered again and again. Same in other forms of PvP. Play FOTM and you will shine, play some difficult underpowered class and you will be live moving target dummy and free HK for everyone. I never botted in PVP because I never want to destroy fun to others. I rather stopped playing that aspect of the game.
But mining and questing/grinding are different stuff. You are FORCED to do them so you actually can play the game. Ok level up around 3-4 characters to max level is ok, but after that you get burned out. It's same stuff all over again. It get's boring. And leveling few profession to max level by hand is ok, but when you have to do it 5th time it gets boring again. Also I decided to bot because I don't have money to actually play any sub based game so I went into this to earn some money. I bot because I get around 50€ per month for me and my GF so we can actually have some fun in our lives. I would probably never think about botting if I would have enough money even for my fun. But that is life. So I did bot safely: I used other account for botting and selling gold to not compromise my main account. I actually never took advantage on my main account from gold from botting account. I never had any urge to take that gold as I always had enough normally playing the game. Botting was only for making money for buying GC's and other games. Without botting I could never actually afford to but SWTOR and GW2 for me and my GF. I wouldn't even play WoW without botting. So I botted to get money and I was selling gold to friends, guildies, and chinese.
Also I have never botted and gather stuff and put it directly on AH as i know I would destroy economy easily. I rather took ore, prospect and make jewellery and then DE or sell to vendor for gold. Same with herbs. I also never botted 24/7 but only around 8 hours per day. Botted just enough to get money I needed. Never too much and discretely so nobody would be bothered (only some miners and herbalists were maybe angry by taking their nodes - but nodes respawn).
I don't see anything wrong with my work I had done as I was only doing this to earn money for my hobby. I bet anyone without job and health issues preventing getting one and only with around 200€ per month budget would do the same. And yes this 200€ is welfare I get from government. I can't work and my only option is to occupy my mind and try to ignore the pain and issues and try to earn something with my hobby - without getting bored of playing.
Why others bot in PvP? Because it's boring after few BG's and PVP is so unbalanced that 50% of people are not enjoying it. Being forced to play FOTM class that you don't actually like is never good. For that part I blame blizz. Same as mining and herbing is boring as hell. It's too repetitive and should be remade somehow.