Update, January 15: CCP say community concerns about botting are “100% right,” and that the team need to do more to combat these cheaters.
Eve Online’s resident “community guy,” CCP Falcon, has offered a lengthy response to the community’s concerns about botting on both Reddit and the Eve forums. Falcon says that player’s feedback is entirely justified, and that though they’re working to address the problem they haven’t yet done enough.
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“Those of you who're concerned about botting,” says Falcon, “are 100% right. It's an absolute plague, and it's something that every MMO feels the wrath of.” Falcon adds “It's garbage behavior, it's against the rules, and it's something that has a magnified effect in EVE because of the single shard nature of the game, the economy, and the fact that everything on the market is player built or sourced.
“Are we doing enough at this stage to combat it? No, I don't think we are, despite the fact that our Security Team are doing a rock solid job and are working flat out to combat these kinds of issues. I also don't think it's acceptable that it's making our pilots feel like their efforts are diminished, and neither do our security guys.”
Falcon says that the issue has been a regular topic with the development team in internal meetings since December, as well as at the current CSM events. Falcon says that close to 1,000 accounts have been shut down in connection with botting since those discussions began, and the security team will “continue to kick the shit out of as many more as they can going forward.”
In addition, Falcon says “There's the undertone in this thread that we don't care about botting because it brings in revenue. To be frank, that's entirely wrong. We lose far more than we gain when the ISK and assets generated from botting go to the scumbags who're RMTing it on third party sites.”
CCP are exploring more concrete action against botters, and they look to have a more proper update for the community as soon as they can following this week’s CSM event. Regardless of when that announcement comes, Falcon promises that the issue is “top of the list” for the developers.
Original story, January 15: Many members of the Eve Online community are upset over what they see as failure by CCP Games to deal with a growing problem in botters. These players feel that their accomplishments in the game are being undermined by the ease with which cheaters are able to outsmart the system, especially without an adequate response from the developers.
Things were inflamed last week when a group of players piloting relatively modest ships managed to take down eight powerful Nyx capital ships in a period of hours. You get a full breakdown of the action from Imperium News, but the ease with which these players were able to overpower the bigger ships suggest they weren’t being piloted by a human - and if it was a bot, it wasn’t an especially good one. The player who owned these alleged bot ships, according to some in the community, has been suspected of similar botting activity for some time.
That’s led to a number of players expressing their frustration over the situation. “I feel completely worthless as a customer,” says Loroseco on Reddit. “I feel like my effort over the years has been for absolutely nothing. I feel that I've been cheated out of making a fortune because I felt compelled to obey the ToS that I agreed to when I started playing.”
Some are requesting the issue be discussed at the next CSM Summit, where player representatives discuss the state of the game with CCP directly. H0N0ur is taking matters into his own hands by offering bounties for bots. “Effective immediately, and going through to the end of February, I will personally pay for the destruction of botters,” says H0n0ur on Reddit. “I will pay per bot killed, and I will give out rewards at the end of the contest to those who performed gloriously in the effort to murder botters.” The burden of proving kills were bots, of course, is on the bounty hunters.
We’ve reached out to CCP for comment. The company has been in an interesting state over the past few months, having shut down several studios in October as part of a move away from VR development. Though they’re apparently working on a new MMO, some reports have suggested their community team has been cut to nearly nothing.