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Scarlet Letters and Botters

First post First post First post
Atomic Option
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#401 - 2012-04-03 18:22:51 UTC
I'm against having scarlet letters for botters unless they eventually fall completely off of your public record because I think it will not decrease the instances of botting and it will create an environment which discourages botters from mending their ways. Hear me out-

After a botter is caught the first time, one a of two things will happen:

  1. The botter will learn that they can't get away with botting and stop botting
  2. The botter will not learn, feel that it was a fluke, or that they might get away with botting using a different program, and will be caught again.

In the second example, botters will be caught again by CCP and I expect they'll be perma banned rather quickly. In this case the scalet B does nothing as the character who would have worn it isn't allowed to play the game anyway.

In the first example, a scarlet B would subject the now reformed player to harassment for the rest of their tenure in the game. I've heard no mention of time limits or even dates to record how long it's been since the Botter tag was "earned". I'm all for harassment of people who actively bot, but people who actively bot will be perma-banned in short order so the botter tag is wasted effort where they are concerned.

People who do one stupid thing but subsequently learn their lesson need to be able become productive members of the EVE community. A permanent botter tag would make that difficult which would in turn make the game more difficult and encourage them to risk a return to botting. You might as well just perma ban them at that point

Obviously CCP should keep internal records indefinitely so that people can't wait out a timer and then try botting again, but any public record must eventually disappear in game so that reformed players can become good citizens. It's easy to sympathize with corp HR people who want to be able to avoid hiring someone who's just going to be banned for botting, but with no expiration on the tag former botters will never be able to change their ways because player corps won't give them a chance no matter how long it's been since they broke the rules.

If your goal is to reduce crime, then you should do what is effective at reducing crime, and NOT do things which merely satisfy your desire for retribution--especially if that retribution encourages further crime.

There's a great book written on this very phenomenon in the real world
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime And Less Punishment by Mark Kleinman. I highly recommend you read it and internalize the psychology before implementing systems that will clearly encourage players to simply quit the game altogether instead of becoming good rule-abiding players

in b4 morons accuse me of botting because they want revenge more than they want to stop botting.
Astrid Stjerna
Sebiestor Tribe
#402 - 2012-04-03 18:26:55 UTC
Meissa Anunthiel wrote:
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.

I'm with Meissa on this. The reason that so many botters pop up is because they feel invincible; they don't see any visible action being taken, so they make the (unwise) assumption that none is happening at all, or that they won't get caught.

Basically, there's no sense of scale. Quietly ban one botter, and they think they were just unlucky and got caught. Show them how many botters get caught on a daily basis (via 'scarlet letters'), and they'll scurry like rats in a trap.

I can't get rid of my darn signature!  Oh, wait....

Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#403 - 2012-04-03 18:31:35 UTC
Why aren't you just banning botters? No reason to give them scarlet letters if they're not allowed to log in anymore...
Cesium Shadowstrike
Starfleet Industrial and Production Corp
#404 - 2012-04-03 18:32:26 UTC
While it would be nice to know who the was caught botting so that I don't have to associate with them. While it may have been said earlier as I didn't read the entire thread. What would be even better is if the Flag made them lose Concord protection. Make them free to kill any place, any time. It would give an on-going in game deterrant to botting to the point where they can't leave the station to bot.
Aideron Robotics
#405 - 2012-04-03 18:32:42 UTC
Few ideas, mostly covered already but I think the are important to support this idea.

  • Some corps would likely want to know this information for recruitment. Ie mining corps.
  • Random players would like to know this before helping out some random person. Imagine three unconnected miners, two normal and one bot. One normal sees both needing help like hauling, killing rats, etc. who would you rather help?
  • Selling accounts - great incentive not to bot
  • It would be great to see this in contracts (highlight in red?) so you can ignore them for business.

One final thing I think this idea is good for is to turn the question back on CCP. While you have stats to see why it's good for you, your image would be visibly improved with the players who may not see the efforts you are taking with botting and may not believe you are being effective in your efforts. Giving botters a mark in game would be a welcome sight to many.

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Herzog Wolfhammer
Sigma Special Tactics Group
#406 - 2012-04-03 18:34:30 UTC
TheSprite 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?"

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.

THAT would be fun.

Bring back DEEEEP Space!

Atomic Option
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#407 - 2012-04-03 18:35:08 UTC
Astrid Stjerna wrote:

I'm with Meissa on this. The reason that so many botters pop up is because they feel invincible; they don't see any visible action being taken, so they make the (unwise) assumption that none is happening at all, or that they won't get caught.

Basically, there's no sense of scale. Quietly ban one botter, and they think they were just unlucky and got caught. Show them how many botters get caught on a daily basis (via 'scarlet letters'), and they'll scurry like rats in a trap.

I agree that a sense of scale would be a good deterrent, but that can be better done through dev-blogs or other public places where aggregate data is shown. Letters on individual accounts aren't visible in aggregate, and won't contribute to the sense that one can't get away with botting.
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#408 - 2012-04-03 18:39:24 UTC
Name and shame.

Signature removed. Navigator

Caldari State
#409 - 2012-04-03 18:39:57 UTC
at the very least this will give people who report bots some kind of feedback.
Beekeeper Bob
Beekeepers Anonymous
#410 - 2012-04-03 18:44:10 UTC
I'm all for name and shame, however I'm less sure about your bot detecting capabilities. Oops

What if you name and shame someone who really was innocent?

And before you say that isn't possible, I have a pretty little hate letter from CCP last year accusing an account I had just purchased in the character bazaar of RMT'ing.
The letter was about the rudest, nastiest thing I've ever seen from any company. It basically stated that I was busted for RMT, there were several punishments in the works, and that I had no recourse in the matter.
You'd think i'd just broken international law.
It took me several emails and a nasty forum post to get CCP to realize that the character had been transferred. Oops

So, unless there is absolute proof, I would have to say no.
Besides, based on the average moral character of this game, I'm thinking it would have very little effect. Cool

Signature removed - CCP Eterne

Kane Plekkel
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#411 - 2012-04-03 18:44:55 UTC
I'm really digging the "let the people sort it out" approach. All that would need to be finalized is the terms. I also agree with a graduated approach. Allow me to explain

Step 0) CCP receives multiple notices of a character (let's call him "Joe") who is displaying the typical bot behavior (warping to/from same stations and belt repeatedly, not responding to conversations/targeting/etc. [maybe we need more ways of verifying activity?]

Step 1) CCP, through their own methods, confirm that Joe is a bot. The character is given a modest bounty, in line with how much time has been spent and/or how much mineral/ISK has been earned as a direct result of these activities, and flagged as KOS to all EVE members. This bounty is made public, either through the current bounty system or a new one that is set up specifically for this purpose. ISK payout comes from CONCORD. Once the character's ship has been killed (should podding be allowed in this instance?) once (or more, this is expandable, but I wouldn't want it to overpower step 2), the flag is changed to yellow as a warning to prospective recruiters, etc.

Flags last for 3 months each (i.e., the red flag lasts for 3 months or until the character's ship is destroyed, after which the yellow flag lasts for an additional 3 months). While yellow-flagged, if the character is reported to have been botting again (same criteria as the original step), the character's status is graduated to step 2. If all flags expire without a repeat offense, flags are cleared and the process would start over. This gives the character sufficient time to recant on their ways, and at the same time, doesn't permanently scar the character

Until the character survives the entire process and gets "reset" back to a safe character, this character is non-transferable, until the time period passes. In addition, even if the character makes it the requisite time period, the character should still be white-flagged, notifying potential buyers that the account has participated in bot activity in the past, but has been cleared

Step 2) The way to get to step 2 is to commit a second botting offense while either flag from step 1 are still in effect. The penalties for step 2 are increased to the following

1 month KOS, no matter how many ships are destroyed.
- If the character performs additional illegal activities during this time period, a week is added, up to 3 months total time, after which step 3 takes place
3-6 months of yellow fla
- Same conditions as step

Trade/Contract abilities remove
- Can't have them trading away their gains, or receiving new assets
ISK sending abilities remove
- I specifically limit sending because we don't want the character to be able to transfer whatever ISK they gain to someone else, but they still should be able to receive ISK. For those who argue that it will just be put to use for continued botting activity, remember that we as players can continue to blow them up, thereby wasting someone else's ISK
Clone purchase abilities remove
- If they keep getting destroyed and podded, this will severely limit their capabilities as character

Basically, send them back to trial status, without the skill limitations

Step 3) I'm torn here. My viable options are the no-holds barred permanent KOS, reclamation of any illegally gained ISK and assets, removed from current corp and placed in a special CONCORD-run corp that is, fundamentally, at war with everyone. I as a player want to be able to destroy and loot and salvage repeat botters until they quit or biomass. Step 3 proves they're beyond the point of reclamation as a character (and indeed, as an account, though I'm not sure what account-wide penalties to enact)

The other option is a forced biomass of the character. While that would definitely remove the scourge of the botter, it removes our player-run justice system Sad

So that's my idea. Feedback and criticism are most welcome.

This is my Raven. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My Raven is my best friend. It is my life. I must ma-pop ... This is my pod. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My pod is my best friNONO STOP IT GO AWAY!!

Sered Woollahra
No Fixed Abode
Solyaris Chtonium
#412 - 2012-04-03 18:48:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Sered Woollahra
In the Netherlands, you have to provide a 'certificate of good behaviour' to your prospective employer, when applying for certain jobs (e.g. in education, health care et cetera). You can't get such a certificate (for a while, or forever) if you have been convicted of a crime/felony.

Something like that could be implemented in Eve as well. A recruitment officer or CEO could request a 'certificate of good behaviour' from Concord, for someone who applied to the corp. Concord could either give the certificate, or deny it without providing further reasons or clarifications. After x months or a year of good behaviour, Concord would again give a cert. Conceivably, Concord could inform the recruitment officer/CEO that 'the applicant is eligible for a certificate of good behaviour in x days' as to give an idea of how recent the applicant was convicted.

So this function would only be usable to recruitment officers and CEOs, and only when there's an active application of the user to their own corp. Perhaps that would limit the possiblities for API exploitation a bit. It would be very useful to have this mechanism play a role in character sale as well, but I haven't thought that through.. could be difficult to implement, if API abuse is a concern :)

*edit: I am a recruitment officer, this is stuff I'd like to know, but I don't need/want it to be 'in your face' visible to everyone.
Yasuhiro Shoe
Caldari State
#413 - 2012-04-03 18:49:24 UTC
Long thread, ugh.

Accessible through an account's API, there should be a permanent record of all ISK removed from the account due to botting and due to RMTing. Corps that require API from applicants can check the character's wallet and see when and how much he has been involved with illegal practices, and make an informed decision based on that, and on the player's explanation and current attitude

- you can tell small time crooks and one-time mistakes apart from unrepentant felons
- players can choose not to disclose their API and keep their privacy (but by doing so they won't be accepted in many corps)
- (most important) the flag is not on the botting character, but on a character funded by botting

Only retards bot on their main, the botting accounts are disposable, we need to know where the money goes.

Please make it so.
Poseidon Spyker
Brave Empire
Brave United
#414 - 2012-04-03 18:50:10 UTC
I am noticing from a lot of responses that people seem to want to use the scarlet letters to hunt down the botters and kill them thesmelves.

I want everyone to realize that these characters, once found botting, will already be watched by CCP anyway. Why need to kill them? If CCP knows, and has or can ban them instantly and freeze their funds, why do we even need to worry about it?

I disagree with scarlet letters.
Roeth Whitestar
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#415 - 2012-04-03 18:54:45 UTC  |  Edited by: Roeth Whitestar
Just like your employment history follows you, the same principle, create a criminal tab on the character sheet and mark their crime.

For those worried about the criminals feelings, maybe after a period of months they can pay a lot of ISK to have the shame removed? Sounds better than the joke of a bounty system that's in now. Maybe not perfected but a good start.
Daedalus II
Gallente Federation
#416 - 2012-04-03 19:00:35 UTC
I must say that I can't really see what use anyone will have of a list of what? 5000 names?
It's not like CEOs are going to sift through it every time they hire someone. And it's not like the "bot hunters" are going to compare everyone in local against it. If a part of it is shown at the login screen once in a while, what difference will that make? no one knows who they are anyway and most of them will probably be closed accounts.

Sure, name and shame sounds fun, but has anyone though of what it's really useful for?

And now I don't know, but let's assume most botters are new players that don't know about the strict botting practices in EVE, then they most likely don't know about the botting list either so it's not even a deterrent. And even if they knew, what kind of deterrent is a list of 5000 random names?
#417 - 2012-04-03 19:08:40 UTC  |  Edited by: stoicfaux
What, if any, is the legal, social, and/or public opinion impact of publicly "branding" a minor (an under-age player) as an out-of-game "criminal?"


Pon Farr Memorial: once every 7 years, all the carebears in high-sec must PvP or they will be temp-banned.

Burseg Sardaukar
Sardaukar Merc Guild
General Tso's Alliance
#418 - 2012-04-03 19:17:03 UTC
Even if the players aren't globally "flagged," perhaps after a second strike it is permanently attached to the character and only displays itself on an application to a corp?

In addition, I'd like some sort of notification as an Alliance head which members of what corps have been caught botting. Its fine if the information isn't public, but it'd be nice to have some of method for "higher ups" to be able to keep track of the backgrounds of the people in their employ.

Can't wait to dual box my Dust toon and EVE toon on the same machine!

Anshio Tamark
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#419 - 2012-04-03 19:17:18 UTC
Shepard Book wrote:
I am not sure if you watched the wardec video from Fanfest and that prompted you to ask this or not but I invite you to see what is be proposed there. Basically its a branding system of people dropping corps to avoid wardecs. During the Q/A portion it was asked why would you brand a corp jumper but not a botter. It sounded to me like a good suggestion for both cheaters.

How about a full-fledged branding-system? Anyone who is undesirable should be branded as such. Bot-miners, Bot-missioners, Corp Jumpers, Corp Thieves and Corp Gankers are all examples of undesirable people. Let CEOs know what kind of people are applying to join them. I honestly don't think CEOs are very interested in hiring a pilot, who then turns out to be a Corp Thief, or even worse, a Corp Ganker. Of course, there should be some kind of measure in place to prevent players from abusing this just to grief someone they don't like.
Tork Norand
Caldari State
#420 - 2012-04-03 19:19:46 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:

No other MMO is naming and shamimg. I just want to point that out and if I'm wrong I'm happy to stand corrected.

Since when does CCP follow what other MMOs do or don't do? No other MMOs are combining a computer game with a console game...does that mean CCP shouldn't?

I liked the idea of treating it like a DUI. I also think the mention of it tying into New Eden's history is ideal.

Concord, once notified, can put someone under surveillance. Concord has a drone (similar to a scanner probe) tailing the accused and monitoring what they are doing. If Concord observes a problem, they tell Scotty to prevent that pilot from undocking.

If a pilot is under Concord surveillance and they continue to do what they were, then they become a "suspect" by the new system... After all, that pilot is suspected of doing something illegal (using drones to do their work), then that should be reason to earn a Suspect flag.

Some of this only matters in high sec....but null sec should be policing their own. Preventing undocking should still work there though.

Only when someone has a POS would it make a that will still need addressing. Loss of skills to fly stuff (i.e. a Brain Clamp) would work....even if they are in it, they forget how to use it.

--Tork. CEO and Herder of Cats.