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Scarlet Letters and Botters

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In Bacon We Trust
#381 - 2012-03-31 16:58:34 UTC
It would be nice to see an account associated with bot use also unable to do any form of character trade on the bazaar or privately period. If someone gets caught they should never be able to just sell said character and start with a fresh one. After these characters are banned from traditional transfer it would also be prudent to say take a snapshot of the system hardware they are on like a MAC address.

This is so that if said offender decides to take an RMT route to getting rid of the marked character you would have a way to do a perma-ban on both the character and have a way to keep both the RMT seller and buyer out of EVE online itself.

The advantage of a bad memory is that one can enjoy the same good things for the first time several times.

One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.

Magma Planetary Investigation
#382 - 2012-03-31 18:48:33 UTC
I agree with what earlier people mentioned: because of the possibility of meta-harvesting (e.g. copying bot flags to a third-party database), any explicit individual-level bot flag will effectively be permanent, even if CCP's records clear it after a while.

Given the current statistics about offenders cleaning up their act, I think that the bot flag should not be traceable to an individual character.
A permanent flag will hinder rehabilitation too much (Offtopic: quoted statistics on recidivism that I found are incomplete. Of the players/characters that stop botting, how many quit outright? Is retention worth the trouble?).
For indivuduals, the three-strikes punishment (or any more effective variation as decided in the future by CCP) is sufficient.

It seems that for most players the reason they want information is because they want to prevent association with botters.
For me, that works two ways: I don't want botters to join my organisation and I don't want to join an organisation rife with bots.
This already means that (CEO) screening of individials, even if the meta-harvesting is ignored, would not be sufficient.

On the whole, I think organisations need a lot less protection than individuals.
In the current reports, more details should be included.
Through the multitude of fansites surrounding Eve, all kinds of rumours will be created anyway, and these rumours are far more likely to damage innocent reputations than factual reports from CCP.
Casual players deserve to be able to be informed just as much as those who have alts in every major alliance and subscribe to the entire Twitterverse.
Currently, casual players are more likely to encounter the FUD than the facts.

Please provide naming and shaming statistics on a meaningful, aggregated organisation level.
This could be done just by naming corps and alliances (please also mention if directors were implicated as well) in regular blogs or something.

To prevent any insinuations about biased reporting (is that just meta or meta-meta?) the reports could also be automated.
One way to achieve this could be the creation of invisible flags that are only reported in aggregated form: something like 'Average percentage of corp members with recent botting history in the past three months'.
You'd still need to be careful about preventing individual details being distilled from this (e.g. if the percentage rises from 0% to 1% when the 100th member joins, that might give something away...).
Location-based is also an option: I'd love to see a universe-map of botters on the EVE website (you have that thing there now anyways, and the info will then not enter the sandbox directly).

If you're going this way, you will also want to give organisations a tool to prevent unwitting association with botters.
I suggest letting corps set a flag 'Do not allow botters to apply unless their crime is X days old' in their recruiting settings.
When a botter wants to join, the botter is notified and the application never reaches the corp.
This way, the refusal can be enforced by CCP on behalf of the corp, without leaking information.

"... the what button... oh god I didn't even know that existed. BRB." CCP FoxFour | Game Designer | Team True Grit

University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#383 - 2012-03-31 18:49:41 UTC
Vaerah Vahrokha wrote:
Darod Zyree wrote:
People going on a leave for a few weeks is no exception. "Yeah I'll be on vacation for a month or so but will be back after that" (read: person has gotten 1st or 2nd strike banning term)

How can they tell you they'll take 1 month vacation? It's not like CCP sends them a perfumed letter with a "tomorrow we ban you" message P

Heredom wrote:
CCP Sreegs wrote:

"What would you, the player, stand to benefit from being able to identify which characters had ever been caught botting, whether or not they were still engaging in this activity?"



Flag them, and give the sandbox capabilities of healing itself like an organic entity.

1st strike- Botter get flagged and Concord puts bounty (isk AND LPs) on toon, relaying intel of its whereabouts. Players hunt botter, receive ISK and LPs. Botter gets its Skills reset to the same level of a new playes, account Assets are taken by Concord, toon remains flagged for 6 months and part of a "Concord Penal Recovery Services" NPC for the same period. If during that time nothing happens, toon is released to become a normal player.

2nd strike- Same as first with escalation to direct associates (toons that received isk/asset transfer, including via bounties placed by botting toon and direct associate), group SP reset, 1 year in "Concord Penal Recovery Services".

3rd strike- Biomass

Your and many other suggestions are just contrary of CCP banning politic.

With your approach, nobody would ever care to keep playing those super-mega hammered-made-useless characters.

You may as well setup a "1 strike => perma ban" and be done with it.

In that case, I'll be there laughing hard when you'll get randomly picked by an heuristics algorithm and you'll taste your own medicine.

Sooo stay laughing, at least he tried to contribute with a, imho, excellent idea...
8 Virtues
#384 - 2012-03-31 19:11:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Verocity
I think it's reasonable to assume that botting and RMTing can be linked. Let's face it, you have to make a very conscious decision to do either.

With the recent bans and negative wallets being thrown around, I think it's imperative that these people be flagged as such so others can avoid any transactions with them. It doesn't seem right to risk your own assets by dealing with someone doing these activities and you have no way to see it or protect yourself from it.

Even if I petition and am able to prove my innocence, why should I have to go through any hassle because of their EULA breaking activities?

my $.02
#385 - 2012-04-01 05:29:45 UTC  |  Edited by: Hroya
Sreegs, i want to ask you this hypothetical question.

Say i am a miner, i like to mine. Even have no problems mining ice for hours on end because .. well someone has too.
I like to organise mining ops, sort out the refining, freightering and dealing with the payouts in an "everyone is equall" way.
I even have lots of fun and good chats while doing all that.

Now there is also a herd of none responsive associates in the belts/system. And they are there every single day for weeks, months on end. Every time doing the same thing, same icerock, same warping back and forth eventhough they appear to have lost their ship along the way and oddly enough try to mine the ice in their pods.

Obviously such funny behaviour would be asked to look at by the great wizards of bantown.

Time passes and formeantioned none responsive associates appear to be able to continue their ways for quite a long time still.

Doing my refines and handeling the payouts it is heartbreaking to get people motivated for such, in public opinion, tedious gameplay and only offer them a less the stellar payout compared to wacking some scripted repetative agent assignments. But we try. It has to be done, it's part of the game.

7-8 hours mining on a saterday and you're toast. You scrape the proceeds together and commend everyone for a job well done dispite the lousy mineral prices.

So it has been for years.

But o grand light in the sky, the thunder has struck the ill willed and they faced the wrath of the gods and are sentenced to exile .. for 2 weeks .. and redeem themselves that way.

The years of ruining an aspect of the game that was implemented by the overlords as a choice to laber for, to accomplish great things through teamwork and dedication. It only got them a slap on the wrist. Juistice is served.
We, the ones that actually played that aspect of your game,do not feel in any way cheated out of a big chunk of accomplishement at all. No really we dont .. ..

So my question to you is:

Do you REALLY think botters and the like should be handeled with care and compashion ? Is the offender entiteled to more care and guidance then his victims ?

You go your corridor but.

Senarian Tyme
Serenity Rising LLC
Controlled Chaos
#386 - 2012-04-01 05:54:45 UTC
Botters should be 3 strikes and out.

-Pre Strike- Suspected Botter - No action yet but close observation. (reported by players but not CCP confirmed)

-strike 1 - the current temporary ban, and then give them a "white letter" that no one can see. At the same time allow corporations to put a filter into place that blocks the white letter. The person attempts to submit the application and its just flat out autorejected. No one can see it and the corp doesn't get told the person tried to apply. The flagged person can then make up whatever excuse they want yet. - Increase mining cycle time by 10%, and reduce bounty/reward payments by 10%.

-Strike 2- Longer Temporary Ban- Upon Return - Publicy Seen Red Letter- Also Penalize bounty/reward paymentsby 33% and increase mining cycles by 33%.

-Strike 3- Banhammer strikes. Also all other accounts paying with same credit card should also automatically be pushed up to strike 1 white letter status.
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#387 - 2012-04-01 06:34:49 UTC
i really cant write down what i think i should say to convince you that naming and shaming is a good idea, so i will just say this

Let the players protect the universe we live in, take way their money, and let us destroy the character. Loosing something you gained illegally and being temp banned just costs you what you shouldn't have had to begin with and some time, and that is not a deterrent to many. But there is one thing that you have a hard time getting back in this game, its your credibility, and to many that is worth everything.

case in point, an old toon of mine was in a small corp trying to work it's way into nul, the CEO let someone into the corp and he took out a very larger mining operation and a larger amount of our hanger, costing our corp billions and us players our ships.

the 3 year old toon who's only goal in eve was to "watch us poor carebears cry" thought he couldn't be touched but a friend and i spent 6 months informing every corp he joined that he could not be trusted and produced the killmails and the like. he was never in a corp for more then 2 days, and after sent me a " i am sorry mail" and biomassed his toon. the player lost 3 years of history because of his actions.

that is eve, its a cold and heartless universe where only your actions prove your worth, and those that brake those rules and hurt our game should answer to us.
#388 - 2012-04-03 11:07:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Ildryn
Release patch. Deactivate all accounts until they have read and taken a short quiz about botting and rmt.

First time 2 week ban and Permanent Scarlet Letter.
Second time GTFO.

Being so easy on botters is why there are so many.
Stop being stupid. Make them go away.
Meissa Anunthiel
Redshift Industrial
Rooks and Kings
#389 - 2012-04-03 15:33:23 UTC
On the one hand, it could be seen as a deterrent to a certain category of people who would think twice about having their alliance/corp/friends scorning them for being a "bad guy" and tainting their image.

On the other hand, it would negatively affect people who had nothing to do with it.

Regardless, it would have the effect of people talking about the fact that you *do* hunt botters/RMTers, particularly among a population who may not be well connected but rather just casual buyers, as it were.

It would also provide information to RMTers as to which type of transaction is easily tracked and which not.

I see it as having a positive impact, for a bit, and then either decreasing in effectiveness due to apathy.

I'm not happy about the downsides, but it may be worth a shot, I'm ambivalent. If you do this however you may want to release those only quarterly for maximized impact.

But to answer your exact question: *I* wouldn't stand to gain anything personally, except as far as collective knowledge and booing would cause others to be less likely to take part in those activities.

Member of CSM 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Herzog Wolfhammer
Sigma Special Tactics Group
#390 - 2012-04-03 15:47:56 UTC  |  Edited by: Herzog Wolfhammer
How about a compromise:

"anonymous flagging".

When a corporation has botters in it, the number of botters will appear in their corporation statistics. They don't get a name and a face, just a number of botters. It will be up to the CEO to determine who the botter is. For example, a CEO has 10 people in the corp known to bot, based on the information he can see. But he is not told exactly who it is. EVERYBODY who pulls up stats can see that too.

So a CEO who just lets anybody in without proper vetting might see his organization becoming full of known botters, and that might even cause it to be targeted. Those who do not bot, and don't want to be associated, might want to leave, or demand something is done about it.

The only way to really know, is to recruit somebody and then check the stats. If you recruited "Joe" and the next day you see that your corp has a known botter in it, then you know it's "Joe" and you can boot him or handle it per the sandbox "rules" (your own way).

If you recruit say 100 people, because your a big corp and you have a war coming perhaps, and the next day you see you have 20 known botters in your corp, you now have a problem to deal with. The CEO is going to have to use detective work to see who was the botter and if they are doing it again.

Now, since there is no way to flag corp thieves except to see if they got named and shamed in the C&P forum, the "who's the botter" issue becomes an issue that takes some interactive game play, something that is often promoted in this game. It would make recruitment more interesting, make corp-hopping more difficult as mass recruitment becomes more risky for larger corps.

It's also good for competition: if I am getting OMGWTFPWNED in a war of attrition by a corp that has no known botters in it, meaning that they can maintain their wartime infrastructure while under attack - hence they have skills, good logistics and internal support, I have to man up and accept that I am bested. But if I am getting completely routed and see that the corporation doing it is full of botters, then I have something to say when they go into CAOD or in their own forums how "fail" I am. Sure, they are "winning", but they have botters, meaning any victory and e-peen/leet status they might have is thrown out the window. This is something that both sides of a conflict can consider. A CEO who prides himself on corp success in a war would know that it's all of nothing if everybody can see that he has botters. Some poor winners, who want to talk smack about being "so leet", would have to STFU when you can point out that they have botters and hence from that unlimited ISK and resources. War, which this game is all about, is all about resources and anybody who metagames resources through botting is cheating. Losing to a cheater is expected, but we have to know if we are dealing with cheaters.

So in this way, there is no permanent scarlet letter on an individual, but some record follows them, and they will have to stay in an NPC corp forever (and hence be a target anyway) or find a way to convince CEO that they have changed their ways. Meanwhile, corps that have a penchant for botting and/or don't care, will be publicly known to be full of botters, and therefore more "targetable" in anti-botting/suicide gank drives and that would be the price to pay for potentially gaining an edge over your competition through the use of bots. I would even expect that a lot of people not inclined to suicide gank will do so against members of corps that are full of people who got caught for botting, and that would be good for the game.

I hope this could be considered as a compromise that most players could live with.

Bring back DEEEEP Space!

#391 - 2012-04-03 16:06:04 UTC
It's like seeing a rapist getting lots of care and guidance to get back into society. The lenght at wich you go to "therapise" the purp is rediculous.

If you **** up in eve and do something stupid, lost all your assets because you fell for a well known scam, you get the advice to live and learn and start over again.

Now if you bot you get a coloured tissue and 2 weeks to reconcider your actions and then you're back in action full swing. imo quite pathetic. You did a no-no, now start over.

Looks like the eve punishment system doesnt follow their game doctrine of harsh and brutal. Or is ccp trying to smooth out the fact that they need(ed) those bots to keep their awesome gameplay intact ? i.e. all the fuell that was ever needed to fuell all those thousants of pos's in the early sov mechanic ? Figured you couldnt get enough reall people to mine that action packed mining aspect together ?

So they just say sorry, appologise to their ceo, fly around with a flag not everyone can see, and are there again to flip you the finger.

If any way i would like to punish here is being able to fly into ccp space and detonate a nuclear bomb the size that makes the Tsarbomba look like a firecracker.

Yes i hate bots with a passion and wouldnt concider any other punishment then perma ban the accaunts if proven guitly.

You go your corridor but.

Panda Name
The Chatsubo
#392 - 2012-04-03 17:44:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Panda Name
i support this 100%, and i also agree that the mark of shame should be permanent. it would be cool if every other month or so, a dev blog was released listing all the names of those who have been shamed, to add to their shame. also, a player that has been branded should have their entire corporation be notified via eve-mail, kind of like a war-dec notification.

what i would gain from these implementations is the joy in knowing a botting account will forever be branded as such, and i honestly think that the social stigma will reduce "casual botting" dramatically as a lot of these casual botters care about their self-image - they aren't all chinese isk farmers, after all.

thanks for all the good work. the tears on the forums of "other eve websites" is too good to be true. i need a bigger receptacle to contain it all.
Kaitlin smithson
Murmurs And Whispers
#393 - 2012-04-03 17:50:09 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
Hello wonderful Internet Spaceship Pilots!!!!!

Though not all of you have seen my presentation last Friday at this point I have some time to kill so I'd like to get this conversation started that I not only promised, but that I'm really looking forward to.

In some of my past dev blogs and conversations with players it's been mentioned by a number of you that you'd like botters identified publicly. As you will eventually see from my presentation once it's posted, I'm not entirely convinced that this has any real tangible benefit to you as a player in any respect other than as a tool to implement the metagame.

I'm also not convinced that it's a worthless pursuit so what I'd like to see from you, the players, is a discussion regarding how you feel about this and I'm hoping to see some really cool ideas.

If I'm forced to frame it as a question I'd like answered I think I'd frame it as "What would you, the player, stand to benefit from being able to identify which characters had ever been caught botting, whether or not they were still engaging in this activity?"

Please try to stay on topic. If this thread gets garbaged (Sarah Palin License to invent words) then we'll clean it but I'd rather we just stick to the topic and provide some really good input personally.



CCP Sreegs,

that would be a great idea to publicly display all botting characters. I say you do it like the iskbank incident. People will be weary of all members of those corp/alliances and wonder, hmm, who else in that corp /alliance is a botter? Give them their 15 minutes of fame. Oh, and another idea, if you do allow these botters to be sold, I say you let the seller get that punishment from the guilty character he/she is trying to get rid of. Don't let the poor individual buying the character get the punishment.
Soul Takers
Pen Is Out
#394 - 2012-04-03 17:50:54 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
"What would you, the player, stand to benefit from being able to identify which characters had ever been caught botting, whether or not they were still engaging in this activity?"

I would find and gank those botters.
Madlof Chev
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#395 - 2012-04-03 17:56:08 UTC
It would be good if the ~scarlet letter~ only showed up on API queries. That way, it only becomes an issue in corp applications / other API uses.
Back Door Burglars
#396 - 2012-04-03 18:03:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Krevnos
I would say that corps or alliances where excessive botting has been identified should be named, rather than individuals.

Where it has become the ethos of the corp/alliance to perform botting in order to fuel their escapades, I think the public can benefit from knowing where the strength of this body was drawn, particularly in null sec where space is being fought over.

The obvious follow-through for individuals being identified would be a witch hunt, which is hardly beneficial to anyone.
Max Bane
The Black Gryphon Company
#397 - 2012-04-03 18:09:47 UTC
CONCORD should flag individual botters or botter corps/alliances for extermination after an official warning to cease their illegal activities.. That way the player base would make their in-game life unbearable hunting down every single one of them.

Let us all have a little fun with them :)
Capital Supplies
#398 - 2012-04-03 18:10:57 UTC
"What would you, the player, stand to benefit from being able to identify which characters had ever been caught botting, whether or not they were still engaging in this activity?"

Well it would make it easier for players to kill the Bots that's for sure.

But maybe CCP could have a word with CONCORD to make killing "Confirmed Bots/Macros" in all sectors Legal (This also would include Podding as a well trained Character with Implants to mining can mine far more) so they can be killed anywhere high or Low-sec for a Bounty. The Bounty Range depending on the Security Status of the system they were killed in.
The lower the Sec containing highest priced OREs put a higher bounty on the Bot/Macro encouraging people to actively seek them out as well.
This of course means having something solid in place which stops innocent people being flagged as a Bot/Macro just for the fun of it.

This would allow the players to become more involved and make removing Bots/Macros less costly to the player themselves when having to Gank a bot in a Concord Protected system Losing Isk and Standing.
Test Alliance Please Ignore
#399 - 2012-04-03 18:16:33 UTC
I made it through the first 8 pages before I skipped to the end and ddid not see my reason listed up to that point

For me personally, I would like the name listed so I could compare it with character names in other games as well. I think its probable that people tend to use their character names in many games and not just EVE.

As an example, i use this name in 7 other online games. It would stand to reason that if you caught a botter names "something ABC" that I could go to DDO or Everquest 2 or a dozen other MMOs and find him located there ddoing the same thing.

The scarlet letter could essentially lead to a much larger strike against the botting community that reaches well beyond this game.

I think the offense should be listed as an API selection. When they apply to a corp, or a toon is being sold, the full API key would show their flagged status.

Also, if a flagged botter had a distinguishing mark on their "show info" then people that see them botting could report it and those offenders would move up on the CCP investigation list, thus taking some of the load off CCP
Celebris Nexterra
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#400 - 2012-04-03 18:19:35 UTC
This thread is long as ****, and I most definitely have not read all of it.

But I wholly support the Scarlet Letter idea, it will be an additional deterrent. I know this is just echoing what most people are saying in the thread, but I agree with all of it. Less botters mucking up such an awesome game is better for everybody.

All of the most obvious and best effects of the branding have been stated on the first page, so I shan't repeat them.