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Bots/Automation - Economy Scaling - Counters - Development Stance

I seen a few threads on this dating back to November - but now that the game has experienced an Alpha phase. What is everyone's thoughts and opinions?

From my experience of MMORPGs there are those that say bots help stabilize economies and help set a baseline for item pricing/valuing. Reason being, bots would be able to farm endlessly/aimlessly and not "getting bored" so to say. As a result, the prices of items drop which for many people is a good thing as it makes things more affordable, IE. crafting materials, weapons, armor, etc...

On the other-hand, bots can flood the economy with items drastically reducing the value of items making it hard for folks to profit from crafting professions/skills, resulting in people losing interest in the crafting aspect of games before it even begins.

In addition to flooding the economy, botting could "lock-down" areas of NPCs, whether it be a boss area, or good XP area with rare-spawns etc.,

So the question is, how is this combated, what does Intrepid have in mind? With the PVP system you can say "oh just kill the bot" - sure then you become corrupt, the bot barely affected (has to run back to location x) then people hunt you down and you potentially lose loot/xp. Other's say, "report the bot, take a screenshot, etc.".. In all honestly, how effective has this method been in previous MMOs? Weeks/Months later you see that bot running around still unaffected by said reporting.

Botting is a very difficult issue to resolve and I don't think there is a simple solution because as mentioned, there can be both positives and negatives to having bots in your games. What is everyone's opinions to this, could anyone from the development team chime in on this?

Comments

  • There is no obvious solution to all possible bot attempts. Some people have hours upon hours to dedicate to finding loopholes or holes in general when it comes to any systems security. Hopefully the sub is a big deterrent.

    USE will tell you that IS is actually considering this from ground up as they build the system and not waiting until it's happening to try a retrofit. IS has gamers working on their product that don't like bots and are determined to do their best to prevent or minimize them. I believe the development team has mentioned this, but again, USE would be a better source than I.

    I don't think bots should be allowed, this 24-7 never tiring of farming/selling seems artificial, and some NPC's should be doing that anyways. Since the Economy is a Core aspect of Ashes I think IS has/will consider/ed this and likely continue to monitor it.

    As for the "Alpha has occurred" statement, although that is true I am under the impression it's still in a NDA, so they can't officially comment.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited February 2018
    as @Azathoth pointed out there are many systems in place to catch suspicious activity, both announced and unannounced. They knew that this was going to be an issue from day one and unlike other titles that decided to react after the fact have been building core systems around mechanisms that will hopefully help them combat the problem. https://www.panopticonlabs.com/ is one such partner they have been working with to make sure things are ready to go from day one, there are other systems in place, not all have been announced to help keep people from trying to pre-plan botting strategies. The way the node system works in tracking everything you do, and that means everything, helps with their activity tracking/reporting. Making it unprofitable for gold sellers and those that afk macro is another. Active suspensions and outright bans will happen, they confirmed this in the Jan livestream. And as always a dedicated playerbase helping report suspicious activity will help. 

    And yes, NDA is still in effect at this time, so unless Intrepid decides to comment on the current state of the game, asking people in testing is not going to be fruitful.
  • Thanks for the feedback on this; I, as well as you both are aware, this issue has killed games the moment they went public because the issue was not handled in a professional manner. I completely spaced the NDA part of the Alpha, thanks for bringing that up as I wasn't intentionally looking for that sort of information.

    It's good to see they have a multi-tiered level protection system projected to counter the issue that will rise during release (as it always does).
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