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Could we get some news on removing botting accounts?


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Like the title said.

I've been farming elder wood and flax seed for a while now, and every time I do, I see multiple accounts where a player just teleports below ground level to nodes.

Only way to report them is to make screenshot after screenshot, hope you get their name on one of them, add that name to friends and then report them for botting.

Then you never hear from the report again (several accounts I've reported are still on my friend list, so it seems nothing has been done after even a few months) and we never hear any announcements about bot accounts being removed.

I fully understand you can't say anything about particular cases, right to privacy and all that. In contrast, Final Fantasy 14 (which has its fair share of bot problems) makes regular announcements about banning accounts for real money trading, breaking terms of service etcetera. They don't share information on specific cases, but at least they show they're doing something.

In contrast, I search for bots on this forum and I see multiple threads of people complaining about bots and people frustrated that nothing seems to be done.

 

I already remarked about this in a support ticket, but they simply advised me to post here, since, as they say, devs read the forums.

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I think they do enough, but the issue is hard to resolve.

You say you see multiple accounts doing it. But how are you sure it is the same account over and over and still used for botting?

The way botting accounts work is that they are part of a bigger issue called goldselling.

The organisations behind them operate on many accounts and it is calculated that many of them are also removed over time. Some examples:
1: They obtain accounts using hacked accounts. These are existing accounts, but hacked by botters and then used to bot.
2: They create new accounts using stolen credit cards These are new accounts, but only if the real owner of the credit card reacts quick enough, the ability to not sent gold and resources is removed.

Some wrong assumptions.
"I saw a botter and I friended him and it is still active"
When it is a hacked account, it might very well be that the original owner has the account back and is playing again.

"I see the same player over and over botting"
Many botters also automate character creation to speed things up. So while they are different accounts, they look the same.

In short. It is difficult for us players to see and comprehend what ncsoft does about hackers and botters.
 

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On 11/6/2021 at 11:23 AM, DarkOne.9603 said:

Only way to report them is to make screenshot after screenshot, hope you get their name on one of them, add that name to friends and then report them for botting.

The whole report system is a joke. You need to select a player to use the report function, but that is often impossible tot do that because the bot is underground or in the node or just too fast (teleported away). And i think Anet wants multiple reports of 1 account before they even considering to look at it 😥

Edited by GODh.3892
typo
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On 11/9/2021 at 3:20 PM, mercury ranique.2170 said:

In short. It is difficult for us players to see and comprehend what ncsoft does about hackers and botters.

 

That's exactly my point. Nothing is said, so people tend to interpret that as 'nothing is done'.

You can see it in a lot of places, most of all in the forums and on Reddit. A lot of PvP players are very bitter about the topic of bots and they see no announcements whatsoever about anything being done about it.

I understand that they can't say anything about specific cases, but if you make reports, don't hear anything about your report being done, still see that account in action and then also never see an announcement, then that's not exactly going to inspire people to report these activities.

 

If ANet wants to do something about the problem, they should at least show that helping them by reporting does something

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1 hour ago, DarkOne.9603 said:

 

That's exactly my point. Nothing is said, so people tend to interpret that as 'nothing is done'.

You can see it in a lot of places, most of all in the forums and on Reddit. A lot of PvP players are very bitter about the topic of bots and they see no announcements whatsoever about anything being done about it.

I understand that they can't say anything about specific cases, but if you make reports, don't hear anything about your report being done, still see that account in action and then also never see an announcement, then that's not exactly going to inspire people to report these activities.

 

If ANet wants to do something about the problem, they should at least show that helping them by reporting does something

I understand the frustration, but there is also such thing as privacy. Let's use the hacked account example. You report illegal activities. Anet sees it is a hacked account and might even alert the original owner that his security is breached. The original owner takes steps to improve his personal online security and regains control over his account.

All you see is that this account is still active. But do you think it is ok for them to tell the reporter what happened? Or give any information beyond: "Thanks,. we'll look into it" (which is what they are allready saying).

Another thing not mentioned before is that by informing people about actions taken, they also grant insight in how they operate. Another example. When a specific report about farming is made, they'll likely have a queue. Let's assume for the sake of explaining it is 3 days (no it isn't! but it is an example). By giving us feedback about the reports it is known this queue is 3 days. People might even discuss that 3 days is outragious. So the smart botters know that they have no fear to farm for atleast 2,5 days. After that they need to take a break of 4,5 days so they can't be caught in the act.

I'm not saying this is how NCSoft operates, but how they do operate should be obscured from the bad people. This makes it hard to share the info with the good people as well.

Frustrating? Yes
Can something be done? not much!

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Removing botting accounts is only of limited use as long as players can create new account for free or nearly free.

 

Best option is to to design the game to make it more resilient to botting to begin with, as the founders of ArenaNet wrote themselves:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060704151801/http://www.arena.net/news/articles/mikearticle040802.html

Edited by TheQuickFox.3826
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At some point after release, a few months or a year, there was a lot of tchat bot for gold sellers, and I mean a lot.
They did manage to solve the issue over time, nowaday theres either none or marginal ammounts of them in the game.
Whatever botting you can encounter is probly very marginal, or examinated/evaluated at a point or another.

In comparaison gw1 feel totally abandonned by anet, bots are running in plain sight to get daily zaishen, they dont care to hide.
In kamadan (the main hub) the advertissement for gold sellers is so annoying they basicly updated the client so you can filter your own tchat instead of trying to get rid of the sellers, there are websites that actually filter the tchat for you, at this point im not sure anybody actually read it in game anymore, or its marginal anyway, because its just left in that sorry state.
They took many years to repair the /report feature, but its pretty clear nobody is on the other side of the "line", botters/gold sellers dont even need to "switch" accounts, they are there since forever and never dealt with.
They even got the dye trader hacked/bugged by somebody for the black dye, since that well its impossible to use the npc for that specific purpose, affects all players regardless, answer from support was basicly they cant do anything because its too old, probly would take 5min to fix for a dev but anyway, nothing seems to reach them.

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On 11/16/2021 at 1:13 PM, mercury ranique.2170 said:

I understand the frustration, but there is also such thing as privacy. Let's use the hacked account example. You report illegal activities. Anet sees it is a hacked account and might even alert the original owner that his security is breached. The original owner takes steps to improve his personal online security and regains control over his account.

All you see is that this account is still active. But do you think it is ok for them to tell the reporter what happened? Or give any information beyond: "Thanks,. we'll look into it" (which is what they are allready saying).

Another thing not mentioned before is that by informing people about actions taken, they also grant insight in how they operate. Another example. When a specific report about farming is made, they'll likely have a queue. Let's assume for the sake of explaining it is 3 days (no it isn't! but it is an example). By giving us feedback about the reports it is known this queue is 3 days. People might even discuss that 3 days is outragious. So the smart botters know that they have no fear to farm for atleast 2,5 days. After that they need to take a break of 4,5 days so they can't be caught in the act.

I'm not saying this is how NCSoft operates, but how they do operate should be obscured from the bad people. This makes it hard to share the info with the good people as well.

Frustrating? Yes
Can something be done? not much!

 

"Announcement:

We've terminated 3940 accounts due to botting and RMT.

We've suspended 2345 accounts due to buying gold for money."

 

This is what I'm asking for. This is what FF14 does as I mentioned above.

Make it visible that you are actually doing something. "We'll look into it" is an empty promise. "We have looked into multiple issues and as result took this many actions" is a report on something actually being done. No privacy was breached. No information was given on their process towards their action. But you show your community that something is done.

 

You only have to look at the third person to post in this thread to see what a lot of people in the community are thinking:

On 11/10/2021 at 4:06 PM, GODh.3892 said:

The whole report system is a joke. You need to select a player to use the report function, but that is often impossible tot do that because the bot is underground or in the node or just too fast (teleported away). And i think Anet wants multiple reports of 1 account before they even considering to look at it 😥

 

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