Bots Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Bots RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Niantic Issues Permanent Bans on Pokémon GO Bot Users Sat, 13 Aug 2016 19:31:00 -0400 Jeremy Brown

Niantic has had a busy summer this year, with launching one of the most successful mobile games of all time, Pokémon GOThe game requires players to go out and move around in the real world in order to collect Pokémon. Some players, however, have found ways to use bots to increase their level and amount of Pokémon, essentially having them play the game. Starting now, that all changes.

Pokemon GO

These cheating players use third party software that alters the GPS coordinates of the phone, effectively allowing the player to collect Pokémon faster than other players. But from a new FAQ section added onto Niantic's website, this is now under violation of the Terms of Service agreement, which states third party software isn't allowed in conjunction with the game.

As a result players caught cheating will be receiving permanent bans on the game. "Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone," states Niantic on its website. "We will continue to work with all of you to improve the quality of the gameplay, including ongoing optimization and fine tuning of our anti-cheat system." Niantic also states that if you feel unjustly accused of cheating, you can make your case here.

Watch out for Steam review bots out to skew review scores! Sun, 12 Jun 2016 10:36:52 -0400 Kevin S. Behan

Two Reddit communities, Kotaku in Action and PC Master Race, have made note of bots on steam. You can spot them by looking at their profiles, many of which have only played games for approximately three hours, have weak names, and non-specific descriptions of the games.

This isn't that much of a problem as the bots don't appear capable of promoting themselves to be the top reviews. As such, if you scroll down you'll see human-given reviews with lengthy responses, and get a good view of what the game's like there.

Just watch out for 'Overwhelmingly Positive' indie games on Steam. Make sure you look at the reviews, watch out for anything fishy.

The mentioned communities quickly got to emailing Valve about the situation, who responded fairly quickly. The reviews were removed promptly. Three games which had these bots acting for them were ZombieRush, Base Squad 49, and Lands of Devestation. If you check out their Steam pages, you'll notice Valve's efficiency at work.

If you're curious to see just how bad it was, don't worry! Here's an archived form of the pages that shows all the positive bot reviews.

Hopefully Valve can figure out some way to prevent this from happening again. While there's little worry of big name companies ruining their reputations to do something like this, keep an eye out for indies desperate to make a buck by using underhanded methods.

Blizzard suing automated bot distributors Thu, 12 Nov 2015 13:49:16 -0500 tobes325

Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against a bot maker claiming losses of "millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill". The defendant, a James 'Apoc' Enright is the developer of a very clever hack in Blizzard titles -- Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 -- that enables players to use automated bots.

Bots are designed so that you, as a player, could leave your PC or laptop, cook dinner, make a cup of tea and put on some washing whilst still farming experience in game among other things. To say Blizzard isn't happy would be an understatement. The company filed a lawsuit with the California District Court that will see Enright facing charges of copyright infringement, intentional interference and breach of contract.

“The Bots created by Enright and his team have caused, and are continuing to cause, massive harm to Blizzard. Blizzard’s business depends upon its games being enjoyable and balanced for players of all skill levels.”

None of the other culprits have been named but the most popular bots being used are known as "DemonBuddy", "HonorBuddy" and "StormBuddy". They were being sold at $27 a piece so not only have Blizzard lost out on potential income, Mr Enright has made a nice profit by the sounds of it!

This isn't the first time Blizzard have been involved with a lawsuit of this kind, earlier this year they lost against the German company Bossland GmbH who actually created the bots. Zwetan Letschew, CEO of Bossland GmbH commented on the suit, saying:

“Apoc is neither the owner nor the creator of Honorbuddy, Demonbuddy and Stormbuddy. The trademarks belong to Bossland GmbH, the software belongs to Bossland GmbH, a German company created by two shareholders in 2009. Apoc is not a shareholder or a decision giver at Bossland GmbH, Apoc is not even an employee of Bossland GmbH. I find it funny, no not even funny, but ridiculous for a company of this size, to go after and mention publicly people, that are at best random freelancers, keeping in mind that they sued the creator of the software in question in Germany.”

If Blizzard were to win this case, Enright could be forced to pay millions in fines as well as cease the distribution of the bots. It seems they definitely put players at an unfair advantage as some of them can generate huge amounts of in-game gold in World of Warcraft, removing all challenge from the game.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Are Blizzard being just by trying to sue? Let me know in the comments below!

More Than 100,000 WoW Accounts Have Been Banned Thu, 14 May 2015 19:54:38 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Blizzard have recently taken action against more than 100,000 players of World of Warcraft by hitting them with bans, specifically players found using a bot of any kind. This ban isn't permanent, but it will last for six months.

Let's take a 'byte' into bots

Bots are pieces of third-party software which allow players to automate a process like huge, complicated macro. They're used for gathering gold, raiding, or for something as a simple as walking/flying.

Bots are used for a range of things, from complicated to mundane, and anyone found using a bot will also get a ban. No matter how menial the task it's being used for is.

Many players are understandably upset by this, and many just want clarification over what is a bannable offence, with one user asking if a macro which presses keys 'X+L' when only key 'X' is pressed is a bannable offence.

The World of Warcraft Community Manager, Micah "Bashiok" Whipple, tweeted out saying:

ToU means Terms of Use, these are basically the Terms of Service, but a different name for it.

Does Honorbuddy have honor? Yes, they know when they are beaten

Honourbuddy is a tool designed to farm honor rep in battlegrounds, the creators of this tool have made an official statement.


It seems like Honorbuddy was detected, we are not sure, but looking at the BAN THREADS, we think that it's the most likely option atm.


Honorbuddy had not a single software detection. It seems there is one now.

The team have since shut their Honourbuddy Authentication system down.

Is this a win for players?

If you want a quick taste of some of the problems botting is causing, within WoW, take a look at this video bellow.

PS4's The PlayRoom Might Actually Be Worthwhile Sun, 22 Sep 2013 23:39:24 -0400 Brian Armstrong

I normally wouldn't be excited about a motion-sensitive, virtual reality game, but Sony's The PlayRoom is actually looking quite impressive.

More a fun little distraction to share with your friends than a real game, The PlayRoom looks fun, creative, and from what we can tell so far, it actually works. The concept is simple: you sit in front of your TV and characters on-screen come to life. Whether it's by swatting at bots and having them react accordingly, or by the characters interacting with your environment, it actually looks like a fun way to entertain your friends, kids, and even grandparents.

In a demo shown on, a bunch of little bots were thrown onto the screen and the players were able to interact with them, both by swatting at them, kicking them, or even giving them items to play with. They were even able to play peekaboo with them (which yes, I know, sounds kind of silly, but it’s an entertaining feature), and it was fun to see how they reacted. You can even create your own items to use in-game via an official app on your handheld device.

Additionally, the DualShock 4 controller comes to life as well. In the demo, the bots that were on-screen were vacuumed up by the controller, and then the players were able to hear the bots as if they were inside the controller getting jostled around. 

The demo wasn’t very long, but there were a lot of cool little things that were shown but went unmentioned. For example, when one of the players stood up to grab something, the bots were kicked and went scurrying to get out of the way. As an observer, it really felt like they were there getting stepped on. I was impressed with how real it felt, even when only watching a video of a video.

It's free, but are you sold?

The PlayRoom is coming pre-installed on every PlayStation 4, though it will require the additional purchase of the PS4 Camera. DLC is already in development and will be added into the game for free. It seems like Sony is using this opportunity as a chance to show both gamers and developers what’s possible. Whether it is to entice gamers to buy the camera, or to convince developers that amazing motion-controlled content is truly possible on PS4 remains to be seen – though it may be both.

With Sony making the camera optional, they have to come up with a way to convince people it’s a necessary accessory. Not bundling in the camera with the console at launch may sway some budget-conscious consumers into purchasing their console over the more expensive Xbox One. But they have undoubtedly invested a large amount of money into the technology, so why not use it?

Like I said, I have never been a big motion-gaming fan, mostly because developers seem to try to force these concepts into our hardcore games. I don’t need to yell at my screen to change ammo or perform a spell. I don’t want to actually jump to climb up a wall. These things actually take away from the experience rather than adding immersion. But if Sony adds more experiences like these, that are more like toys or distractions than actual hardcore games, I could see it not only being something I would use, but something that could help sell systems.

Botting with a Conscience: Why and How I Bot in WoW Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:06:50 -0400 Alemary

In the World of Warcraft and other MMOs, there is a subculture of players looking to enhance their gaming experience.  Tired of the grind or looking for an edge, these like minded players have turned to the world of bots.

The bane of system admins, bots are third party automation programs designed to play some or all of a game automatically.   However, for reasons I'll discuss in this article, bots are frowned upon by many in the gaming community. 

The Official Word on Bots

Before I begin my exploration of the "Shadowy Underworld of Botting," Here is Blizzard's official stance on the practice of using bots in their games.

Automation Programs ("Bots")
We take action against accounts using Automation Programs when one or more characters on the account are identified using a third-party program (or "bot") to provide character automation. Use of these "bots" negatively affects the World of Warcraft game environment, since they allow characters to progress without player control. These "bots" include, but are not limited to, programs that automate combat, movement, and use of gathering professions (such as fishing and mining).

If a player is found to have used such a program, they may:

  • Be temporarily suspended from the game
  • Have further action taken, up to and including account closure, based on the intent of the program

Despite these warnings, some players are willing to take the risk for a variety of reasons.

Reason One for Bots: In-Game Financial Gain

 If you've played World of Warcraft for any length of time, you've probably come across ads similar to this:

"Earn Thousands of Gold per day!  We'll do the work for you!"

Who doesn't want more in game gold?  Gold allows us to purchase armor upgrades, pets, and some of the more rare mounts.  And, like all currency, gold allows us to purchase goods and services from other players so that we don't have to take the time to learn every profession and pattern. 

Reason Two for Bots: Reduction of Repetitive Tasks

Over time, I've come to realize that there are parts of the game that are down right boring.  By boring I mean various tasks take a lot of time to accomplish but produce a small amount of return on that time spent playing the game.  I am referring to, of course, fishing, mining, and gathering.

While these professions and resources are necessary to the game and its economy,  the truth is that, repeated patterns of game play are tedious and invariably taxes a persons sanity. 

As compelling as these two reasons are, there are a few downsides to botting beyond the obvious game suspension.

Bot Barrier: The Cost (in Real Money)

Running a bot "safely" requires extra money on top of your normal monthly game subscription.  Because you work hard on your character, you don't want to jeopardize the loss of your account.  To do this you typically start a second World of Warcraft account that is in no way associated with your main account.  This will cost you an extra $15 per month.

Then there's the cost of the bot itself.  Bot subscription will run anywhere between $10 and $30 per month depending on the service you choose to use.  So your approximate monthly cost to bot is between $40 and $60.  This doesn't include the cost of buying second game license at $80 for all of the current expansions. That's a big investment!

Bot Barrier: In-Game Economy

Not only is there a real world cost, there is also an in-game consequence; the devaluation of the in-game economy.

Indiscriminate auction house practices are the number one complaint of the non-botting community.  These practices mostly come in the form of massive undercutting the current value of an item just to sell it.  Not only do perpetrators of this crime undervalue the market for said item, they insist on flooding the market with these items that are usually 60 to 70 percent less than the closest competitor's price.

This type of undercutting also impacts all of the materials sold on the auction house which are associated with the final product; not just the item being sold.

So where do I stand on this issue?  

I approach World of Warcraft as a hobby and I see no reason why the boring parts of the game should interfere with the more exciting endeavors.  So I choose to bot.  

I really have no desire to gain an advantage over other players.  By making sure I don't flood the Auction House with goods to try and turn a quick profit and by limiting the amount I run the bot so I don't steal resources from other players, I believe I have found a way to bot without impacting the game for other players.  I call it Zero Footprint Botting.

I believe if more of the gamers who choose to bot followed this practice, there would be less animosity towards botters.  Sadly, however, the majority of botters are not of this mindset.  And because of their actions, they have incurred the wrath of the majority of the gaming community. 

If you are going to use bots in World of Warcraft or other MMOs, please be considerate of the other players; use Zero Footprint Botting.

Bots on Guild Wars 2 Losing Ground Thu, 13 Dec 2012 12:20:05 -0500 Wokendreamer

All MMO communities have issues with players running bots.  The artificial farmers have gotten steadily more complex over time and can often be problematic to even recognize with enough certainty to act, much less actually deal with.

Mike Lewis

Mike is security coordinator for Guild Wars 2, and he has some good news.  He has announced that their continuing efforts to combat botting on their servers have achieved noteworthy success.

In the month of November alone he reports that they terminated over 34,000 accounts for operating bots.  Even more impressive than the number of people caught is the change in the number of people reported.  Catching people for running bots is nice, but the ideal is to get to the point where the bots simply aren't around to make the game less fun for the players.  When Guild Wars 2 launched they were receiving an astonishing 2,000 reports of bot activity every hour.  Now?  That number is down to just 20 every hour, worldwide.

How do you account for a 99% drop?

Guild Wars 2, on launch, contracted data specialists to help them analyze trends and trackable behavior patterns in bots.  That explains how they're getting so few reports and still catching so many bot-users, since they can catch them before they are reported by having automated software watch for specific patterns of behavior.

They also have the standard report function, allowing them to respond quickly to player vigilance.  If the automated programs they have in place have detected the starts of the patterns they watch for it then becomes a very simple process for a member of the actual staff to confirm the findings and move to stop the offending account.

The third way they handle the bot issue is by having a sizable number of their GMs spending their time actually looking for bots directly.  As simple as that sounds, it's one of the more tedious jobs associated with the game, quite literally making them into security guards for the digital economy, but it allows for a third avenue down which a bot can stroll and find itself banned.

It's heartening to see a game taking one of the genre's most persistent problems this seriously.  Keep an eye out and see if you can give them a hand in-game.