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Proactive Bot Prevention

ReaperXmosReaperXmos Member
edited May 9 in General Discussion
So in the wiki Security Systems page, it is mentioned that Intrepid means to be hard on botting in AoC to try and prevent it from effecting the economy and such.

In the wiki page it mentions that they will use behavioral flags and GM reports to help combat botting. This is all really good to catch bots who already exist.

But I think it would be a good idea to try and stop as many bots from being able to get started in first place and prevent all the damage they could do rather than waiting for them appear and then playing whack-a-mole with them. As they say, an ounce of prevent is worth a pound of cure.

I think it might be a good idea to have a captcha that you have to pass after you load into a server before your able to do anything or a similar anti-bot system to prevent them from even getting off ground and prevent any damage from being done in the first. While this obviously wouldn't completely stop botting it would help combat mass scale botting with hundreds or thousands of simultaneous bots.

If many bots are stopped before they can even get started it also lowers the burden on GMs so they don't have to devote as much time to apprehending the bots that do get through.

Maybe IP bans or something similar could as be used for serial bot offenders as such to have another hurdle they have to cross before being able to bot effectively?

Has anyone at Intrepid considered this or a similar idea in conjuction with their already planned bot combating mechanisms?

And does anyone else have any ideas about how Intrepid could potentially go about proactively preventing bots from being able to operate in the first place rather than just how they could find and catch bots after they being acting?

Comments

  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    They are currently still looking to fill key security engineer positions as of the current career shout on their twitter. So I doubt current security strategy is in more than a primordial form at this time.
    Where in the world IS Carmen Sandiego. Anyone seen her recently? Asking for a friend.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Intrepid already holds an anti-macros stance, because they plan on having a security system that tracks automatic/multi-action inputs. I'd assume the "behavioral" part of prevention will track player's prolonged presence in some location, so if some dude is picking flowers in the same field for 3h in one sitting, that character will get flagged and checked (and imo, should get the flowers taken from them, if they turn out to be a bot).

    There's also the ability to just kill a bot if you see one. Now it obviously might be risky because being corrupted brings its own consequences, but the opportunity to get some "free" resources and remove a bot from his farming cycle is always a good thing imo.

    And I'd also be for some sort of captcha if you do get flagged for grinding the same spot for too long. It should definitely be a smart captcha that doesn't just stop your character completely, but just requires you to do some easy puzzle-like activity within 30 secs of it popping up. If the player doesn't do it, then it's either a bot or an automated character (that is if things like catching fish don't allow you to automate themselves for a long period of time). And if some character fails to interact with the captcha, the GMs would get some priority ping to check it and catch the possible bot red-handed.

    Or at least that's how I see a good anti-bot system. There might be some better ways of going about it.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    One key thing to keep in mind about what ever security Intrepid puts in place in regards to things like botting - we will not know anything at all about it.

    It is self defeating to implement security for things like this and then go and tell everyone what you have done. The more people know about it, the easier it is for them to circumvent it.

    As such, I have to question the value of us critiquing what Intrepid has planned, or offering up suggestions. How can we do either of those things when we literally have no idea what it is they have planned?
  • AphisiaAphisia Member
    I think it would be great to have GM's that are active in game as much as possible. It was always fun in other mmo's when GM's would pop into an area and have special events and were easy to find and talk to to report evil doer's and joke around with them a bit. That's a system I really miss in WoW. The bad Warcraft dad jokes cracked me up and made me feel more comfortable asking for help to make the game better.
  • BalanzBalanz Member
    I like the idea of PvB combat.

    If they can't pass the "Are you a Robot" test, you're allowed to kill them without penalty.

    Or perhaps with a reduction in Corruption after a review.
  • DrunkninjaDrunkninja Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I asked about Bots in the last question period. It didn’t make the live video but Vaknar did reply to me. They’re keeping their security very close to their chest regarding the issue but said to trust them that its something that will be taken very seriously.
  • CawwCaww Member
    Low wage workers in poor countries will be actual players repeatedly doing the minimum to churn out something of value. Botting isn't always about automated behavior generated through programs. Guilds can be guilty of selling currency just as much as a sweat shop. Player transfers are the weak point in every game since you can't have an ingame economy without it and that's where the problem needs to be addressed, somehow.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Caww wrote: »
    Guilds can be guilty of selling currency just as much as a sweat shop.
    And Intrepid want to track big movements of currency, so there's a chance they'll catch those who do it. I hope they're successful enough to minimize the impact of rmt as much as possible.
    Caww wrote: »
    Player transfers are the weak point in every game since you can't have an ingame economy without it and that's where the problem needs to be addressed, somehow.
    How exactly do player transfers relate to the in-game economy? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean here? Do you mean just inflow of new players or specifically players transferring from other servers?
  • CawwCaww Member
    An ingame economy relies on player-to-player exchanging as well as general store/trading posts so players can purchase from a list of items. Either of these item transfer methods allows the bots to pass in game currency or items with the actual cash exchange occurring out of game. I'm only referring to player purchases (exchanges) and not server movements or the inflow of players. As I was opining, the fact the players can trade is the weak point which allows one half of the illicit exchange, the other half occurring thru mostly 3rd party websites or direct contact. I have no solution, just pointing out the obvious weakness AoC has to struggle with.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Caww wrote: »
    An ingame economy relies on player-to-player exchanging as well as general store/trading posts so players can purchase from a list of items. Either of these item transfer methods allows the bots to pass in game currency or items with the actual cash exchange occurring out of game. I'm only referring to player purchases (exchanges) and not server movements or the inflow of players. As I was opining, the fact the players can trade is the weak point which allows one half of the illicit exchange, the other half occurring thru mostly 3rd party websites or direct contact. I have no solution, just pointing out the obvious weakness AoC has to struggle with.
    Yeah, and that any game with direct trading. If Intrepid fights bots and tracks huge movements of money, they'll minimize the impact of this issue as much as possible. But the only solution to this "weakness" would be disallowing trading, which imo is the worst thing possible.
  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited May 10
    The fact that the game is subscription only will mean that this sort of thing should be pretty minimal. Bots are a big problem in games that are free (just look at Lost Ark), and games that allow for free trial accounts also make it easy to have bots. As long as Ashes stays pay-to-play, that will make it unattractive for this behavior.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think they can rely on the subscription making them immune, because it won't. But if it costs $15 a month, you have to make at least that much plus whatever overhead costs you have before you can even see a profit. And then if you get caught and banned before you have a chance to sell anything, that's money down the drain. There are many easier paths for people trying to make money that way.

    If Ashes is successful though, beyond being a cult or niche game, it could become a problem. At that point it might be worth the investment to try to farm currency, materials, and so on. Intrepid can't make it impossible to do that sort of thing, but they can make it enough of a hassle that those people lose interest.
     
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  • BalanzBalanz Member
    edited May 10
    I can imagine roving bands of Bot Slayers.

    One might also using small purchases from the third party sites to identify the characters transferring the wealth in game, and slaying them as well.

    Indeed, if there are no alts, and accounts are limited to a single character per server, then players could more effectively deter bots and their traders.
  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Balanz wrote: »
    I can imagine roving bands of Bot Slayers.

    I forgot about that. I can't tell you how many times in Lost Ark I wish that I could murder the bots running around.
     
    Hhak63P.png
  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    In L2, some classes had a skill called 'Fake Death' which would cause mobs to lose aggro. One could run through fields of aggro mobs collecting them into a 'train' and run to a hunting bot, hit Fake Death, and the mobs would aggro on the bot and kill it. Often the bot would drop stuff which you could pick up when the mobs wandered off...great and profitable fun.
  • BalanzBalanz Member
    edited May 12
    I am strongly considering starting a Guild based on finding and exterminating "The Possessed," those soulless beings who appear humanoid, but are mindless (AKA Bots), and the secret "Cabalists" that traffic in those ill gotten gains (3rd Party Sellers).

    That would be well worth the Corruption I think.
  • SnowjadeSnowjade Member
    Add a pincode on login option.
  • SnowjadeSnowjade Member
    Balanz wrote: »
    I am strongly considering starting a Guild based on finding and exterminating "The Possessed," those soulless beings who appear humanoid, but are mindless (AKA Bots), and the secret "Cabalists" that traffic in those ill gotten gains (3rd Party Sellers).

    That would be well worth the Corruption I think.

    Make it a quest or jobline in game would be fun. You get penalized if false reporting. This guild could have a place of honor in city nodes?
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