CCP reveal plans to crack down on EVE Online botters

eve-online-2

Like a lot of online games, EVE Online has a problem with botters – players who create automated bots to slave away in the asteroid mines. That problem only got worse since the MMO introduced its free-to-play ‘Alpha Clone’ accounts. Pressure from fans has led to this recent update on the EVE Online blog, in which creators CCP outline the state of the botting problem, and what they’re doing about it. Short version: they’re getting harsher.

To start with, CCP banned over 1,800 accounts in January, according to the post. “Mining bots were the largest group represented,” they said, “with ratting bots coming in a close second.” Around a third of those – repeat offenders – have been banned on a permanent basis, while the others were only temporarily ejected from the airlock, it being their first offense and all.

The way things currently stand, initial bans last for 30 of our Earth days, but CCP has plans to reduce that period. From March 1st onwards, anyone caught on a first botting offense will be banned for just three days, affording them “a painless chance to mend their wicked ways.”

It might seem a strange reaction to increased reports of botters, but CCP reason that if these players “don’t [turn things around] then they simply get removed from the game pronto and we can all move on.” That’s because, from March 1st also, CCP will only tolerate a single botting offense from an individual before reaching for the Level 2 Banhammer. The one that says ‘Goodbye Forever’ in permanent ink.

eve-online-1

Lead community developer Sveinn ‘CCP Guard’ Kjarval went into a bit more detail in the comments underneath the blog post:

“We used to have more strikes in the past but they were reduced down to two which is plenty enough. This policy covers all automation that we detect, and we’re not bound by it in case of serious offenders so we still one-strike when we need to. It’s good to refer to in cases where an otherwise regular player is likely to be educated and straightened out. Our goal isn’t to punish but to end the behavior that breaks the rules for the sake of the game. If we can do that without barring someone from EVE forever, great! If we catch them fast, even better.”

Overall then, EVE Online will be getting harsher on botters from the start of next month. The new plans probably won’t make too much of a dent in the ongoing botting problem, but hopefully there will be fewer of them floating about.

16 Comments

  1. peterako1989 says:

    Well, why not go at X3 albion prelude where basically the whole point is to make bots work for you?

    • Hebrind says:

      I think it’s about the ability to mine so many resources, and then provide them to your corporation and have as much of an upper hand over the enemy players as possible. I’m not defending it, it’s still botting and a douchey thing to do, but I don’t think a single-player game would scratch a botter’s itch. It’d be like playing Cookie Clicker.

  2. poliovaccine says:

    Yknow what would be a worthy compromise? If bots were just integrated into the game, as precisely what they are: a dumb labor service for miners. Just call em “androids” instead, or hell even just stick with “bots.” I feel like that’d go with EVE’s style, anyway. Cus I mean, so long as they’re part of the game and not the metagame, I feel like that works, right?

    Edit: Yup basically just saying what the guy above got in first

    • peterako1989 says:

      Heh, I had a convresation with players way back when I tried getting into it. I asked If there was some sort of AI that could control my mining ship, and everyone was telling me how it was cheating and all that, and I was buffled, because to me this was common sense, but then I was like “awwww yeah, I forgot, it’s an MMO. So, arbitrary rules apply”. Basically, I had a X3 mentality. Still, you are absolutelly correct. Player controlled AI ships should be available.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Haha damn. I guess the ultimate thing of it is, folks who’ve done it the hard way resent anyone else having an easier go of it. I mean universally, not just in EVE. It’s also sort of like how people who’ve been fooled for a long time become hostile to the truth about how they were duped, because it renders so much of their past time or experience basically senseless at best. Isn’t that just the most annoying thing? It’s like psychic inertia.

    • automatic says:

      Eve is an interactive screen saver. Players won’t let you take that away from them.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Players of Elite: Dangerous behave the same way.

        The minute you suggest that cruising through systems should be faster, or feature express routes to avoid gravity wells, or that jumps should be shorter and more interactive…they lose their collective shit.

        god forbid you take away their joystick driven Netflix simulator and replace it with a GAME.

    • FireStorm1010 says:

      As smart as it sounds imho its the wrong way. What most games and particularly MMO’s rely on is a feel of progression and to have that you must put an effort to advance. If in Eve each player would be given a Titan at start with no effort it wouldnt be fun for anyone. Now your solution to have some sort of mini game for managing ships remotely would maybe involve some effort but much less and would change the game dramaticly. What i mean is i bought one of the X3 cant remember which and i played a bit then bumped of it exactly for this reason : I wanted and Elite/Privateer first person experience and i wasnt interested in all this automated remote stuff.

      Imho the right way is just to have risky/hard ways of earning cash/stuff much more rewarding. Bots wont have a chance to do them , and the free market of Eve will take care of the rest.

  3. Evan_ says:

    Praise James 315! The devs join the fight against bot-aspirancy!

  4. nottorp says:

    Will that heal the toxic community and the grief-or-be-griefed gameplay that makes the 95% of Eve that doesn’t make the news? Didn’t think so.

  5. morganjah says:

    The bots are the nicest players in that game.

  6. Ericusson says:

    8 years ago, I quit playing Eve after a 3 year stretch of scouting and being disapointed by 5 stages escalations.

    Then, the game was plagued by lag fest and unplayable high stakes battles, along with bots empires (drone lands at the time mostly).

    Now, 8 years later, the game is plagued lag fest and unplayable high stakes battles, along with bots everywhere.

    Now and then, CCP was making announcements.

  7. Bullfrog says:

    If a chunk of your game is so boring even MMO players don’t want to do it themselves then surely you have a deeper issue than player automation.

  8. Guy Montag says:

    The only time I actually had fun during my short time with EVE, years ago, was when I had my ship merrily chip away at asteroids and putter back to sell ore while I watched MST3K on my second monitor and chatted with other people in the newbie guild the game had put me in. Botting made me feel more like a space pilot.

    • Evan_ says:

      EvE is full of traps. Highsec mining is the very first one new players encounter. It’s a terribly slow and beyond boring way to acquire assets that are 100% worthless in the hands of someone who only ever did mining. Knowledge > connections > ISK.

      If your CEO suggest you to mine, you are either being exploited, or you ran into someone who never gotten trough the surface of the game despite the years he possibly spent in it. Both of these are common, especially in those newbie chats.

      Not that I’d advise trying EvE to anyone who isn’t a masochist that finds Rust too friendly and forgiving. :]

      • Guy Montag says:

        I certainly didn’t mean to imply that botting is something people should do now. This was 10 years ago or so, and botting was a very hazy subject (and many people did it, far as I can remember).

        But to be sure, I had more fun automating my little miner and pretending I had my feet up on the dash, running my own little business in highsec, than I did thinking about ever participating in PVP in EVE. There’s a reason I quit quickly.