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Scarlet Letters and Botters

First post First post First post
Sky Liddell
Space Mermaids
#121 - 2012-03-27 04:00:21 UTC
Nemo deBlanc wrote:
Funny, care to explain my recent trip through deep Russian space then? ~10 systems in a row, each with Raven and Exequeror. The second you enter system, Raven heads to POS, Exequeror cloaks. Only characters in system, each made on the exact same day, all members of two different corps. But oh, I suppose that's perfectly normal, and those were all legit players, right? Big smile

All of this stuff is ******* pointless if CCP is going to keep failing so hard they can't even break injection bots. ******* Runescape has got everyone forced to work in Color and OpenGL now, yet CCP flails along paddling the fail boat trying to do resource intensive manual investigations and bans. If they'd actually just break bots and obfuscate their code better, they could stop paying us lip service and show real results.

Bot's don't safe up, players do. Look at the thousands of Hulk kills for more proof.
Alara IonStorm
#122 - 2012-03-27 04:10:35 UTC  |  Edited by: Alara IonStorm
I have no love for botters and ideally would like to see this. I only have one concern.

If an innocent person receives a ban for botting and his name is cleared after going on the list then he is open to harassment. The same people who will go after him might not bother looking at a list that says who is innocent before they attack or check to see if the name is still on the list.

Shepherding players to harass people which may not be the stated purpose of this but is the likely outcome is wrong when CCP misses and ends up taking out a legitimate paying subscriber who gets a player made noose around their neck.

If you can 100% confirm botting or at least hold off placing the name on the list until it is 100% confirmed then I have no issue.

I just don't want to see any fellow EVE Players accidentally get hit by the anti-botter buckshot.
Chokichi Ozuwara
Caldari State
#123 - 2012-03-27 04:13:00 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
[quote=Benilopax]This is actually my biggest problem with the thing. We'd be putting ourselves in the position of making a solid statement that would incur player consequences and I prefer to stay out of the sandbox if that makes sense.

So you want to be in the sandbox without being in the sandbox?

No botting is a hard and fast rule inside the sandbox. Lots of stuff goes. Botting does not.

Where is the problem with enforcement?

Tears will be shed and pants will need to be changed all round.

Ajita al Tchar
#124 - 2012-03-27 04:26:22 UTC
Public ridicule is a stronger deterrent for many than some official sanction that only the badbotter and CCP are aware of (this goes for general life situations too, beyond botting and EVE). Humans are, by and large, dependent on society and seek peer approval, being ostracized has been bad for survival reasons and the desire to avoid it is now instinctive to your average Homo sapiens

Kind of as a complement to that, though, is many people's love for exciting drama and the desire to be the source of public ridicule. I think these forums are a pretty good testament to that. So, it is my opinion that most of the desire to establish a "name and shame" system stems not from the desire to deter botters via a chance of being scalded by peers, but from the desire for delicious drama that can result from it. This may not be a great reason to institute a public flagging system.

However, one possibly beneficial result that I can see is perhaps some increase in public awareness of which alliances and corps seem to have a lot of these marked offenders. Currently if someone is banned, they are banned quietly and it's not really possible to tell whether they've just stopped logging in or what. But imagine if you could see that a lot of marked botters had some corp/alliance in common. Personally, I wouldn't want to join those people and I would want to encourage in-game player-based action against them (burn them alllll!). And if idly choosing a target for a bored Tornado squad in, say, Osmon it would be pretty easy to go after those who've been temp banned for botting at some point. Currently it's not really possible to tell without a lot of observation, but a mark of shame would help out a lot.
Krell Kroenen
The Devil's Shadow
#125 - 2012-03-27 04:41:23 UTC
The advantage for me and my corp would be to filiter out known botters a little quicker and confront them before we accept them in our corp. In addition I think it would help deter some of the more causal botters, as a few were discovered and shamed internaly and seemed to straighten up their acts afterwards.

So I am all in favor of branding them with a bit of shame as I think it would help improve the game over all.

Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#126 - 2012-03-27 04:50:45 UTC
If maintaining such a public list would take ANY time away from CCP actively hunting down, and dealing with botters, then no, don't do it.
Florestan Bronstein
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#127 - 2012-03-27 05:04:11 UTC  |  Edited by: Florestan Bronstein
Marking botters would only lead to vigilantes hitting the report button again and again and again... no matter the character's actual in-game actions.

Once a botter always a botter.

Would turn the whole "3 strikes" concept which is centered around effecting a change in behavior ad absurdum.

Professional botting farms would hardly be affected, such a change would mostly hit casual botters - and as casual botters tend to bot on characters that mean something to them I would without access to any hard data expect the 3 strikes rule to be pretty effective with them already.

3 strikes breaks down when put against the calculating mindset of a professional botter who is perfectly fine with losing accounts every so often as long as he works profitably overall. But the only way to shut these guys down is to ban accounts much, much faster before they had time to recoup the initial investment - maybe 3-5b for the character, 1b for the ship, eventually 1-2b for the implants - 8b would already be a really high estimate and would be recouped after 200h of operation (not counting electricity & computer equipment) at 40m isk/h which means you have to ban bots within the first 2 weeks of their operation to be effective.
Flagging them after the first strike won't deter professional botters one bit.
Stuffs Inc.
#128 - 2012-03-27 05:14:04 UTC
Terminal Insanity wrote:
Name and Shame. Do it!

Bot/Macros are fairly predictable, and once you observe them in action it becomes reasonably easy to gank them. If you identify botters, it would make vigilante justice easier, and players would know who to keep an eye on. I bet many of them are repeat offenders.

It would also act as a deterrent. Getting your account permanently marked as a 'cheater/botter' would allow us to avoid trading with those who have obtained their isk illegitimately.

It would also be useful for recruitment screening, helping to keep our corps bot-free.

^^100% this

make it happen, please
Nemesis Factor
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#129 - 2012-03-27 05:19:12 UTC
CCP Sreegs wrote:
I'm going to bed now guys I'll be back in a few hours. NN!

You need more than a few hours of sleep to function. Unless...... is CCP Sreegs a bot??
Goonswarm Federation
#130 - 2012-03-27 05:27:33 UTC
Razin wrote:
Besides the fact that such a thing would be somewhat immersion breaking, I really couldn't care less about knowing if someone had been caught botting. All I want is Delayed Local so that the players have a chance to self-police in 0.0 at the very least. Why isn't this getting done??

technical solutions to social problems never work

Twitter: @EVEAndski

"It's easy to speak for the silent majority. They rarely object to what you put into their mouths."    - Abrazzar

Cruor Angelicus
#131 - 2012-03-27 05:32:35 UTC
Here's an idea...

They can buy their way out of the Scarlet Letter.

In order to do this they will have to make the ISK legitimately. It should be high enough that even if they buy the ISK with PLEX they will have to pay a fairly significant price and of course with a Scarlet Letter active, no one in their right mind would help him and donate ISK.

The Drake is a Lie

Oh Yea
Angel's Brothel
#132 - 2012-03-27 05:33:13 UTC
Largo Usagi wrote:
Well as a former CEO and one who had logs of all of his corp members ratting I realized I had a botter in my corp. The pilot was on 14 Hours a day and brought a HUGE amount of ISK into the corp. That stated personally I feel that it adversely effects every one in the game but at the time my corp was befitting from the botter and shortly was removed.

I approve the scarlet letter with another side effect, removal of corp taxes yielded from the botter.

Here is some quick Math lets say a decent bot can get 80m an hour(this is not unheard of)
80m an hour
1.12b a day at roughly 14 hours a day with scheduled variance.

Now with 10% going to the corp that's
8m an hour
112m a day in the corp wallet.

In a 30 day cycle that's almost 3.4b isk

That immense amount of isk is seen by the corp that recruits a botter, and that is incentive to recruit botters and turn a blind eye if it is going on. Now if the corp lost 3.4b isk with the botter that isk is out of the economy and the corp feels the punishment too. If the scarlet lettering is in place and the player gets punished for botting the removal should be double that to server as a deterrent from recruiting players that have been flagged as botting. So if the player isn't a problem and isn't punished as a repeat offender then the corp has no issue but if they are then the corp has to feel the consequences of its risky decision.

This is real consequence already in play with new ones stacked to deter corporations from recruiting known botters.

Also a public list of the players who have been permaband from the game and bio-massed is useless, they are gone and never to be seen again.

A scarlet letter for a year of visibility is a fair idea because that allows for the possibility of oops i ****** up please don't perma ban me. I dont think a 3 strikes system should be in place here either, 2 is plenty, if you get a reprimand once then you now know the rules in this area. If you get a reprimand a second time then you deserve to get permaband for botting.


Make it publically shown if a pilot has been cought botting
Wrap corporate level punishments for pilots with Scarlett letters if they get banned again.

This is a concern that I would like to see addressed, as having bots in a corp and not knowing about it (or turning a blind eye) could put the corp unknowingly into hot water.
#133 - 2012-03-27 05:35:29 UTC
I think you'd better be SURE someone is guilty of botting before you slap a visible stigma on them.

I used to assume CCP's methods of cracking down on botters was sound. Then my little brother, who is certainly not a botter, caught a ban for "macro"ing.

He was farming NPCs in highsec COSMOS sites with a Dominix & RR'd sentry drones. No click automation was required.

He didn't deserve a ban, and he certainly wouldn't deserve the scorn he would receive from a "scarlet letter".
The Scope
#134 - 2012-03-27 05:36:46 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.



I think the general sentiment from the entire Eve community is that we don't care about the statistics in regard to repeat offenders. All want harsher punishment.

It should be:
1st time caught and your skill points are deleted
2nd time caught and your bannded.

That should be more pleasing to the playerback. We all demand harsher punishment for botters.

Jenny Brownpants
Pilsener and Cameltoe Research Inc
#135 - 2012-03-27 05:48:19 UTC
Jenny Brownpants wrote:
Why lock the characters to botting accounts? I think they should be yanked and put into a pool.

Call it Sin Bin Corp.

Characters in Sin Bin Corp are free or for a plex available to accounts with free slots.

The Characters have the Scarlet letter B(ot).
They can be like a trial account or have a massive neg wallet.
The sponsor has to keep him in ships/ammo.

Redemption is earned in penal colonies in LoSec.
Redemption Points like LP stores.
Make it take about 3 to 6 months of casual game play.

I think it could really open up LoSec.
You get suppliers/traders and pirates.
Easy to roleplay.
Fun for all.


That was my post from the last time we talked about botters.
Grey Stormshadow
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#136 - 2012-03-27 05:49:52 UTC
I can not find any other good reason, than protect the other player from doing _direct_ business with player who has been botting or doing RMT. That is rather valid concern as that could get yourself involved also. At least financially. Also I would not like to recruit players who have been doing botting/rmt related activity in the past.

However I agree that name and shame lists are bad solution. That is why I would rather choose option to hide such users from my contract search and block any direct trade from them to me. I also would prefer if you could block them from applying to your corporation.

This way I wouldn't really know who the 'bad' guys are, but would prevent them with interacting directly with me.

Technically this should not be too hard to implement. You just need hidden flag for players and couple checks to key functions mentioned above.

Obviously there should be option in esc menu which needs to be checked to enable this procedure.

Get classic forum style - custom videos to captains quarters screen

Play with the best - die like the rest

Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#137 - 2012-03-27 05:55:40 UTC
A "Scarlet Letter' would violate CCP's end of the Terms of Use (or maybe it's the privacy policy?) On top of that, this would cause an *enormous* amount of damage in the event of a false positive.

I say the best thing to do is either:

a) 2 Strikes, your out. Not 3. After your first strike, you have absolutely NO EXCUSE for going back to botting. A GM told you it was against the rules, and you KNOWINGLY and WILLINGLY went back to botting.

b) Make rules against botting abundantly clear to ALL players of the game - even the ones who don't read the EULA/ToS/etc... Then you know that all players who bot are intentionally breaking the rules - ban them, permanently. They have no place here.

The reason why I am against the scarlet letter, is that if a player is wrongly accused then the damage is already done - even if CCP later reverses the scarlet letter. People know on the forums, and your reputation is potentially shot. At least with bans, CCP can reverse the ban, restore lost items, reimburse with ISK, get free game time, etc... without causing any lasting damage.
Alain Kinsella
#138 - 2012-03-27 06:02:16 UTC  |  Edited by: Alain Kinsella
Between the posts here and the events in the forum yesterday, I think a public flag would be counter-productive to your goal (trying to keep the player). For certain, the first strike should never show anything publicly.

My personal taste has always leaned toward setting silent flags/counters on corp/alliance as well. An internal review (not some set number) kicks off generic ('please clean house') warning emails if too many found, then disband if it continues. Yes, this will force the RMT folks down to NPC corps (different can of worms), but then we also get a lessening of the whole 'null bot / blue bot' discussion.

CCP Sreegs wrote:

I can tell you based on professional experience that the sense of anonymity you seem to be professing is really overblown and is the kind of thing that puts deliciously round "O" faces on people in handcuffs being escorted from their houses. I'm sure you're interested in more, but that's what the news is for

PLEX just owns and it's a great tool against this problem :)

You're making me wonder if you've attached internal UUIDs (or some other 'serial number') to every PLEX ever created. If not, why not? And I understand fully if you cannot answer this, but as a SysAdmin its something I'd consider doing. Pirate

edit - oops, corrected.

"The Meta Game does not stop at the game. Ever."

Currently Retired / Semi-Casual (pending changes to RL concerns).

Meet The Fockers
#139 - 2012-03-27 06:08:30 UTC
Andski wrote:
Leaving it as it is (between the offender and CCP) makes sense. Naming and shaming accomplishes nothing.

Gee, I never thought I could agree with this Andski guy...or girl...can't tell by the hair...

Naming and shaming does nothing good, on the contrary, makes the player's Eve life miserable. You better poke him in game and tell him : Hey, I know what you did last summer ( read night) ! Don't do it again ! I bet will be the end of his botting and will become the good guy whether he wants it or not.
Jax Slizard
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#140 - 2012-03-27 06:09:53 UTC
The three main uses of ethical punishment are: deterrence, retribution (vengeance, societal protection), and rehabilitation (education, restitution etc.)

A scarlet letter is certainly some form of deterrent. While it may not deter RMT bots, it may act as a barrier to 'casual' botters, especially if botting is brought into harsh public view with bi-monthy reminders of just how many people have been banned recently as some others suggested. It would also be a deterrent to bot if corps could identify botters and refuse to take them.

I think it would also be worth while for CEOs to get Evemail telling them that one of their corpmembers has been banned for botting, so that they could kick them if they wanted, or so that it would mess with the inbox of a CEO of a botting corp by filling it with messages.

On the retribution front, nobody is concretely harmed by the botters actions, but they have taken action against the social contract, (or in this case the EULA.) In addition, they have hurt regular miners in that they have bottomed out the mineral market. Also, people don't like being cheated. I think that its reasonable for people to enact their own vengeance. A scarlet letter makes you more of a target for retribution from suicide gankers, and I think thats fine.

For rehabilitation, things get messier. Clearly, hardcore botters won't care, but thats not a hard and fast reason not to do it, unless its going to take a massive massive amount of time and resources, (but it shouldn't, because you already have a long-term tag on accounts for botting, etc.) The question is more about casual players. Are people who dabble in botting capable of reform? Given the effectiveness of the strike policy, it would seem the answer is yes. So then given that these people often reform without the letter, is it justified?

The answer depends on the number of casual botters who will quit (presuming that that is the whole 'good guy' thing Sreegs is talking about) as a result of the letter that wouldn't have quit without it, versus the number of casual players that would choose not to bot as a result of the creation of the letter, and how much you care about that difference.

Given what people have said about not letting botters into corps, and ganking people who are labeled botters on sight, I think its reasonable to believe that fewer people would casually bot, especially if they were to witness the particular brand of hatred most people seem to have towards botters. I think it would be even more effective if there were more awareness from the start of the game just how bad botting is.

Further, I'm not convinced that saving those few people that reform in the current system but would quit if they had a scarlet letter are worth trying to save. Either they like the game and are invested enough to play for a year with a letter or they probably just don't belong, and might not have tried botting in the first place if the letter system was in place before they tried it.

Who wins: Everyone except botters. (CEOs, gankers, miners.) Ethics.
Who loses: People who would have kept playing after their first offense, but now quit in tears that they have been labeled the cheaters that they are. (And we shouldn't care about those people.)
Who doesn't care: People that bot for money, or with alts, or would have quit after their first strike anyway.