We've gotten a bunch of tips recently that claim some very e-famous PvPers are botting in BGs. If you aren't familiar with the term "botting," Dictionary.com provides us with the following definitions of bot:
the larva of a botfly.
–noun (Australian Slang)
a person who cadges; scrounger.
a device or piece of software that can execute commands, reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, as online searches, either automatically or with minimal human intervention (often used in combination): intelligent infobots; shopping bots that help consumers find the best prices.
In addition to the third definition above, here's some quick terms that are commonly used:
- Botting: short for "robot...ing," "having a robot/program play your character," and/or "turning your character into a robot."
- Bot: a program used to turn a character into a robot. i.e. a program which plays your character (very poorly). It can also be used as a verb. "Jimmy bots so he can get honor when he is not at his computer."
- Botter: a player who uses a bot.
- Bot and Botter can also refer to the actual character within the game. "I just spotted a bot killing a rare in Silithus." "Wait, what is a botter doing in Silithus?"
Why do players bot?
Bots are designed and marketed around nearly every aspect of the game. There are bots for:
- Gathering (mining, herbing)
- The Auction House
- Honor (battleground anti-AFK)
- Spam (gold companies use this one mostly)
Curiously enough, we haven't seen many high-rated PvPers (especially ones on the very top of the arena ladders, or #1 gladiators at that) using bots to grind honor on their main characters. Perhaps it's because most high-rated PvPers actually enjoy PvPing. Personally, I really enjoy getting a ton of honor and buying a new piece of Relentless Gladiator Gear (or whatever the new piece of gear is) when the season rolls around.
Are battlegrounds getting too difficult for these PvPers? I doubt it. The players who have been reported to us have Furious Gladiator titles, or are/were very high rungs on the arena ladders. I've witnessed quite a few hardcore arena players having no problem rolling into a Warsong Gulch and taking control of a large part of the game. So why would they decide to get a mere fraction of that honor by using a bot?
Are BGs getting old for the arena folk? In my experience I've been able to amass a large amount of honor by hopping between battlegrounds and having fun. I still really enjoy hitting up the blacksmith in Arathi Basin or split-second saving a flag cap in Warsong Gulch. I don't know why battlegrounds would be tiresome to arena players in the first place -- it's not like we're in there all the time. I mean, Isle of Conquest is a very new battleground, and one that I don't feel I've really sunk my teeth into yet.
Even though I have personally never looked into botting, I know people who have. Some have gotten away with it for an extended period of time, some have been suspended, others have gotten insta-super-perma-hammer-banned on first use.
Here's a pretty detailed explanation of what happens with botters:
- Billy hears from Jimmy that botting is awesomesauce.
- Billy decides to research botting.
- Billy finds a company willing to let him use a botting program if he gives them some money using his mom's credit card.
- Billy downloads the bot, and installs it successfully.
- Billy proceeds to clap his hands with glee as his level 17 mage runs around casting frostbolt (and nothing but frostbolt) on any mob it tab targets.
- Billy leaves his computer on while he goes to watch Sesame Street (it's the episode where Big Bird skins his knee roller skating).
- Billy comes back to his lappy 386 to discover his account has been suspended.
- Billy gets pwned irl by his mom.
- Billy decides to file charges against his mom.
- Billy's lawyers expect a multi-million-dollar payout.
- Billy's lack of credibility is his downfall, as information comes forth that Billy used a botting program.
- Big Bird is disappointed in Billy.
I know one guy who is on his 4th account because the previous three were closed due to botting. The 4th, you guessed it, is also being botted. Money for so many months of botting services really adds up, especially when you consider he's also paying to play WoW in the first place.
Why he buys World of Warcraft time to let a program (which he also purchases) play his character for him is beyond me.
How can I tell if someone is botting?
Many people will say, "It's obvious." What they mean by this is that bots within the game are programmed using a series of "if this is true do proceed to step 2" type commands. If you see a character moving in an awkward or rigid motion, casting one spell on mobs over and over with seemingly no use of other abilities, you've probably got a bot on your hands.
Bots in battlegrounds will often be assigned to move to or patrol a set area. The bot will head to that area and ignore everything else along the way until it gets there. Once there, it will try to detect enemy players and try to kill the player in the same way it would try to kill a naga in zangarmarsh.
In battlegrounds, bots will often have zero killing blows, very few deaths and very little damage compared to the rest of the team. The objective of the bot is to enter a BG, go to an assigned area, and get off afk markers (you know, those things people get if you report them) if they detect any.
Botters will also not respond to tells as they are not at their computer. A non-responsive, twitchy or rigid character who seems to only use a few abilities out of his spellbook is your classic botter.
What can I do if I see a botter?
Open a ticket with a GM. Blizzard is very interested in stopping botters and will conduct an investigation if your ticket is persuasive. Explain in as much detail as you can what you perceive the botter is doing. Until next time, enjoy some sweet dance moves from the original robot.
Wow.com recently asked players, hypothetically, what they would bot if given the chance. Lisa Poisso also got to interview a botter about feelings of accomplishments and the risk of getting banned. If that's not enough reading on bots for you, Adam Holisky asks "Do botters really matter?" Be sure to check out the latest PvP, Battleground, and Arena info while you're at it!
Warning: WoW.com is monitoring the comments on this article. Any inappropriate language or links to sites which support or distribute botting or cheating software will be removed and the commenter will be banned.