Questing for Farm Bots


This morning while grinding Dunemaul Ogres (lvl 46-48 mobs) in Tanaris I kept seeing this lvl 57 undead rogue rounding them up and killing chunks of them at a time. Since I was on the compound quest and still needed to kill a few more I invited the rogue to group thinking what I’d lose in XP I’d make up for in time. I got no reply so I kept killing on my own. A little later I saw the rogue again doing the same thing and again I offered and invite and again got no reply. Since now I only needed the boss I asked the rogue for some help. No answer. 29-closeup.jpgAt this point I was just standing there and was starting to notice that this rogue was acting a bit odd. When she would walk it was more like a choppy skip rather than fluid movement, and the attact pattern seemed almost identical. Also, as soon as she killed a mob and looted it she would turn a full circle and then attack the nearest mob right away. But something else was off, her gear didn’t look like lvl 57 stuff so I went in for a closer look. All her stuff was green, and all much below her level – 29 Shoulders, 34 Boots, 36 Cloak and weilding a lvl 38 Mace. By now I was pretty conviced there was no person driving this toon and tried saying a bunch of stuff to it to gague reactions. When I’d whisper “Hey” I’d get an instant “Hey” reply, but anything else was met with an emoted reaction or silcence. Dancing with her get her to dance with me, etc.


Also if I was too close it wouldn’t attack, rather just kind of stand there as if the player was AFK. Once I backed up a bit it would continue on it’s way attacking mob after mob. Since I was figuring out the attack pattern pretty quickly I wondered what would happen if I jumped in a second early. While it was killing the next mob I picked out the next one and got in range. I waited for it run towards it before I’d use my wand to tag the mob first. Just as I thought the rogue kept on killing the mob and I got the credit for it. I did this on 5 or 6 mobs just to see if I could get any reaction from the rogue. Eventually the lack of loot must have gotten someones attention and it stopped attacking and come up to me. Again I tried talking but got no reaction. I offered to group and it/he/she agreed. I killed another 4-5 mobs grouped with and the attacks were totally different. Someone was clearly driving now, however they never said anything other than “hey” back to me, no matter what I asked. I said thanks and ungrouped then took off in a big circle around the compound. When I got back to it it was back to the sketching walking and predictable attack pattern. I offered to group and got no reaction. I guess the script had already forgotten me.

3 Comments so far

  1. Bigzid (unregistered) on May 21st, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

    Reminds me of administering a VK test to a replicant. Blade Runner anyone?

    “Tell me, in your own words, the good things you remember about your mother.”

    That should be the standard question to a suspected bot. Bots = Replicants? Batys? Prises? Then, retirement……>:->

    It’d be cool if you could to be able to summon opposing faction members to hassle the botfarmers for a bounty. But maybe I’m overreaching…..

  2. James Foreman (unregistered) on May 21st, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    It’s definitely a slippery slope – the game Blizzard has crafted sometimes requires farming of some degree, and I’ve played with a lot of folks who don’t respond to any sort of communication at all but who obviously are piloted by a Real Person.

    I have yet to hear of a technique that can accurately detect a bot, though Blizzard keeps trying. It’s an arms race, I guess. Every fix spawns a new bot.

    I suppose one way would be to make them unnecessary – but that would involve devaluing the currency, and that would, in turn, change a lot of the fun AH dynamics.

  3. snivlem (unregistered) on May 21st, 2006 @ 10:16 pm

    I reported a guy on my server last week. He was a 46 hunter, while I was 48.

    He’s now a 55. He was doing the same kind of thing.

    I added him to my friends list so I could keep track of him. So far he hasn’t been deleted.

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