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Why Is It So Hard To Catch a Botter?

Discussion in 'EA Land/The Sims Online Stratics Forums' started by brendagfrie, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. brendagfrie

    brendagfrie Guest

    I don't understand why there are all these extreme measures needed to stop botters. First of all the only lots you can make money on are money lots (stores can sell but not do money objects). So the only houses that have to be watched are the money category. If there is a house with the doors locked and the ims blocked and more than one person in there chances are its either a bot or someone desperate for hours.

    Its very easy to click on the money category from the map filter and see which money houses are open, send a quick im to owner or roomie( from EA) and see if there is a response within a reasonable amt of time....and I mean a response of conversation not just popup response that can be triggerd by EA messages. If not then I would assume they are in violation of the TOS because they are either botting or afk for over 15 mins (the timeout).

    Sure you are gonna say well who has the time to constantly check on the open money houses....well they have a lot of time to approve CC and I think this could be a job that perhaps reliable founders might even volunteer for, make them like moderators.

    Does this make sense to anyone else?
     
  2. How to catch a bot 101:

    There have been many people who have deticated their time pming non responsive simmies and reporting them, usually to no avail. It would be interesting to see if there were a calvary to take this on whole heartedly with the team we have working for us now, ya just never know!
     
  3. I think this is a terrible idea. You will end up harassing innocent players. Many multiple account holders have small personal money lots. It is one of the reasons players pay EA for their extra accounts so they always have a team that can make money for them. They are not using bots and they are not afk. They block their admit list and ims so they are not bothered by other players doing what you suggest.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    How to catch a bot 101:

    There have been many people who have deticated their time pming non responsive simmies and reporting them, usually to no avail. It would be interesting to see if there were a calvary to take this on whole heartedly with the team we have working for us now, ya just never know!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    This is merely a resurrection of the Vigilantes of a couple years ago that caused so much dissention, anger, and hard feelings - and caused a lot of players to quit.
     
  5. Botters, Will and Nevers Be stopped, they have ways of reprogrammin there cheat devices
     
  6. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I think this is a terrible idea. You will end up harassing innocent players. Many multiple account holders have small personal money lots. It is one of the reasons players pay EA for their extra accounts so they always have a team that can make money for them. They are not using bots and they are not afk. They block their admit list and ims so they are not bothered by other players doing what you suggest.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This is EXACTLY what the Devs mean by 'Bot Like Behaviour' so you can thank them too for the measures being introduced
     
  7. And...People fail to realize that even though they may be a bot house, its still money in EA's pocket and without it we may not even be in game, it was suppsed to be pulled last summer
     
  8. NightFlyer

    NightFlyer Guest

    The GMs have always had the ability to go stealth mode (invisible and undetected on the chat history) and look in any locked house.

    All they would need to do to verify a bot house is go in, distrupt the bot behavior, i.e. get in thier way, and see that it is actually a bot house... even bots have to green.

    This seems easy enough and has always seemed easy enough to me. I have even managed to get in bot houses when the house locks were not always consistant and do it.

    The thing is EA has to identify the bot accounts and permanantly ban them in some way.

    There are so many good suggestions for de-botting this game I don't understand why EA won't take some other course of action against the botters than punish the honest players at every turn.

    Really makes ya wonder, huh?
     
  9. Rosebush3333

    Rosebush3333 Guest

    Just a note that I am not sure everyone is aware of, even if your IM's are full a GM can still IM you. It is a different box, you cannot block them out. So being reported for botting because your IM's are full is not going to cause your account to be suspended unless you ignore the GameMaster's IM too. I am sure it would be a minor nuisance to have a GM IM you during a round of pizza but it wouldn't be the end of the world, and would be nice to know that someone is looking into the botting issue.
     
  10. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    This is EXACTLY what the Devs mean by 'Bot Like Behaviour' so you can thank them too for the measures being introduced

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Stopping bots is one thing, trying to stop "bot like behavior" is quite another.

    If they see bot like behavior all they have to do is IM them. No response and they had a valid reason to ban. If somebody is sitting there responding to EA questions then what's the problem? It's their account, if they want to have somebody sitting there making pizza all day they have every right to do so. So EA went around them and just made doing so pointless - for everyone.

    It's my belief that the primary motivation for the changes isn't to counter botters.
     
  11. TTL....

    If you sit in your house all day with your 4 accounts playing pizza day in and day out without interacting with the community or contributing to the economy by actually spending money, then you are a botter whether you use an illegal program or not. This behavior is not playing the game...it is mass simolean production for your benefit only. Socializing is part of the game. If you are locked up and do not participate in society at all, then I would consider that you represent part of the 2% bot like behaviors they are trying to discourage in game.
     
  12. NightFlyer

    NightFlyer Guest

    SO now we are required to play your way?

    Since when is being anti-social aganist the rules?

    Some days I just don't feel all that social and want to build or what ever alone. Sometimes I want to make money and actaully save for something.

    This makes me a botter by proxy?


    What ever happened to being able to play the game we pay for as we see fit as long as it is with-in the ToS?

    Sounds like that only pertains to the way someone else thinks we "should" play.
     
  13. If you are building, that would not be bot like behavior at all. If you know that spending hours alone just making money by yourself and never even talking to anyone to save money is a botlike behavior it is not all that hard to adjust your game play to be more un-botlike. In order for developers to be able to detect bots, they must track bot like behavior. If you behave like a bot then you too will be considered a bot. I find this a small sacrifice to make in order to help free the world of botters.

    The game has always had built in features to promote socialization. Lot expansions were designed to give you a reduced cost by having roomies. Making friends is part of job track design. I have nothing against enhancing the benefits of the social aspect of game.
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Socializing is part of the game. If you are locked up and do not participate in society at all, then I would consider that you represent part of the 2% bot like behaviors they are trying to discourage in game.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They haven't said they want to discourge 2% with this behaviour, only that 2% will be affected as their behaviour is bot-like and the measures they intend to introduce can not distinguish between them.

    We have no idea how many bots are out there but we can make the assumption that the figure is well under 2%.
     
  15. NightFlyer

    NightFlyer Guest

    Gracie, I'd like to hear what you think about my previous reply to this post...

    The one about the GMs ability to go in locked houses. I still don't see why this would be so difficult.

    and..
    I don't generally have "bot-like behavior" but still stand on our choice of how we choose to play rather than having this dictated to us.

    I have to wonder where all the "let me play MY way!!" posters are on this issue.
     
  16. GMs can go into houses. However there is no proof that bots exist in those houses. Sure, you interrupted their behavior. However interrupting their behavior is no different than interrupting the behavior of someone that went temporarily afk. I know you are full aware that reporting afk like behavior in the past and GMS sending messages to afk players has not worked. It relies too heavily on the community to report suspicious behavior and many go undetected. This system did very little to affect the problem except to annoy players that were in fact at the keyboard and trying to play the game.
     
  17. NightFlyer

    NightFlyer Guest

    I disagree that they can't tell a bot from a regular player going afk. If I can tell a bot from an afker they should be able to.

    The fact is they choose to punish players rather than really go after botters. All the great suggestions I have seen proves this.

    But see no further need to debate this fact.

    We can agree to disagree. Have a great day!
     
  18. <blockquote><hr>



    We can agree to disagree. Have a great day!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Agreed! [​IMG]
     
  19. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    If I can tell a bot from an afker they should be able to.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ohh really? You can tell that somebody is using a macro with 100% certainty? Please tell me how this is done.
     
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You know...I have bot like behavior and I don't do any botting. I work, I jam, I do boards, I have friends, but Im saving money to buy rares. So all I do and like to do is work for now. Later I may decide to do something else but I don't like paying for a game and then being told how I should play a specific way. That's just wrong. This isn't a country being run, it's a game! I say if ya catch em or someone turns em in...good...but leave us alone that are really playing the game and having fun...
     
  21. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    TTL....

    If you sit in your house all day with your 4 accounts playing pizza day in and day out without interacting with the community or contributing to the economy by actually spending money, then you are a botter whether you use an illegal program or not. This behavior is not playing the game...it is mass simolean production for your benefit only. Socializing is part of the game. If you are locked up and do not participate in society at all, then I would consider that you represent part of the 2% bot like behaviors they are trying to discourage in game.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I disagree. I do not know how that phrase in the blog was inteded to be read. But I disagree with your assessment that someone not making more well-rounded use of the game is the same thing as "being a botter."

    Some people like to play as power players. They maximize their opportunities to "level up" and earn game cash. Being focused and single-minded in pursuit of a self-chosen game goal isn't engaging in "bot like behaviors." Bot programs mimic the behavior of power players, not the other way around.

    My two semantics cents, anyway.
     
  22. Oh no. I agree that bots were designed to mimic the power player. However, I still believe that real players have the ability to affect their behavior in ways that bots cannot. A power player may have to make some adjustments to their power playing if more social aspects of the game become more important. Bot programmers will be busy testing and attempting to to update their programs anytime game mechanics are changed. The ultimate war on bots is fought with change. If the game continues to change making programmed bots inaffective then the time and money invested in these programs will at some point become counterproductive, no?
     
  23. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The problem is, if a house is locked it does not show on the map, no matter how many ppl are in it. Most houses I have suspected of botting were not on the top 100 list either. You have to check out the red dots. A lot of them look for hidden spots, off the map or under the tool bar. The players all live in the house to keep it from going on the list. You look at the roomies skills, they will either have max pizza skills or maxed maze skills. The roomies being the only ones on the lot. The houses are usually small as to green in one frame. Finding them is kinda like finding a rare lot.

    Then there are those that go to money houses and bot there. Some even admit what they are doing without comin right out and saying it. For instance, 5 mofos come in the money house. One is to chat with while the other 4 pizza. All five run by the same human. The mofo chatting says. As long as you green manually, you can not be spotted. I have no clue what they are talking about. It sounds to me like this mofo is botting. The owner of the house agreed. However they never said I am botting! What could we report them for? They were at the keyboard, they were being social.

    I don't think it is as simple as we would like to think.
     
  24. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    TTL....

    If you sit in your house all day with your 4 accounts playing pizza day in and day out without interacting with the community or contributing to the economy by actually spending money, then you are a botter whether you use an illegal program or not. This behavior is not playing the game...it is mass simolean production for your benefit only. Socializing is part of the game. If you are locked up and do not participate in society at all, then I would consider that you represent part of the 2% bot like behaviors they are trying to discourage in game.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    This has been argued to death many times - But, it is *still* everybody's right to play their account(s) however they want, as long as they stay within the rules. There is no rule banning a player from running 4 accounts to play pizza by him/herself as long as they are doing it at the keyboard without outside software. The key phrase is "within the rules".

    Expanding the definition of "botter" to include anyone who does not meet the standards of others is a dangerous road to travel.
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    The problem is, if a house is locked it does not show on the map, no matter how many ppl are in it. Most houses I have suspected of botting were not on the top 100 list either. You have to check out the red dots. A lot of them look for hidden spots, off the map or under the tool bar. The players all live in the house to keep it from going on the list. You look at the roomies skills, they will either have max pizza skills or maxed maze skills. The roomies being the only ones on the lot. The houses are usually small as to green in one frame. Finding them is kinda like finding a rare lot.<blockquote><hr>



    Well put. Yes, the sims are roomies so there are no guest hours. They don't want to show up on the top 100 list.

    But don't you think the devs can get lists of money houses? I would think a computer program could be run to find the houses that are open the same time each day with only have 4 (for pizza) owners/roomies that is locked all the time. Then the devs just have to go for a visit to make sure the sims are botters and turn off their money faucets and turn ours back on. Before they delete the sims, that will most likely be temp accounts, they should check out the friendlinks to see what other sims that sim has come in contact with. Might find the paid account that is keeping all the money.

    Question: Could the dev's look at sims money, and any sim with more then 100k be looked at? Maybe accounts total that have more then 100k? Since the money could be spread between sims so easily now.

    What I would like to see is for the king pin to lose everything. If the devs find a nasty botter that has the money that they don't just poof the money but that they give us all a tiny % for all the pain and suffering we have had to go through cause of these botters. I would be happy for 1 ebuck knowing we had one less botter in town.

    <blockquote><hr>

    Then there are those that go to money houses and bot there. Some even admit what they are doing without comin right out and saying it. For instance, 5 mofos come in the money house. One is to chat with while the other 4 pizza. All five run by the same human. The mofo chatting says. As long as you green manually, you can not be spotted. I have no clue what they are talking about. It sounds to me like this mofo is botting. The owner of the house agreed. However they never said I am botting! What could we report them for? They were at the keyboard, they were being social.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I thought botting was someone using a 3rd party program that ran the number of sims needed to play the money object and greened the sims while the human was totally afk.

    If a person is running say, turbo pizza and is running 4 or 5 sims as you say and they are typing and greening the sims, how is this botting? It may be against TSO rules of using 3rd party program but is that botting? Remember years ago when turbo pizza hit Simland. TOS cleaned that up fast. Within days a pizza house called Turbo Pizza was in the top 10 in AV and a few days later they were poof.
     
  26. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Guest

    Normally, people around here throw the term "botter" around with the meaning of macro user. Most of them don't have a clue as to what is or isn't a TOS violation and more importantly, how provable it is. They just lump non-macro farmers, unattended macro users, and attended macro users all together under the banner of "botters" or cheaters.

    Having failed miserably at combating botters over the years, EA has simply redefined the problem to include "bot-like behavior" as a rationale for placing an artificial cap on everybody.


    It won't work.
     
  27. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just hitting reply Roger.

    They have put it as bot like behaviour to include anyone that will sit at their computer and work like a bot.
    Meaning if people can use any sort of money generation in the game to accumulate mass amounts of in game currency with the intention of cashing out for real profit.
    They have simply woken up that 3rd party software is not the main problem when it comes to allowing cash out.
    There are people that will do the same just to get ahead in the game and yes they and everyone else will be greatly effected.
    Everyone needs to realize that the reason behind this is to stop people from making real life profit from bot like behaviour.
    I do agree with what they are trying to do, I just believe there are much better ways to do it.
     
  28. brendagfrie

    brendagfrie Guest

    Well I guess I am guilty of bot like behaviour then. I find it much easier to pizza or code with myself because its more challenging to me and I can do it faster (not waiting on a player watching tv at the same time) and if I hit the wrong selection no one is gonna get mad at me except me. I have done this for years, but my door has always been open and anyone that wanted to come in and do other money objects was quite welcome to do so and I would put up food etc for them.

    As far as houses not showing up on the map filter if they are locked...Im sure that can be easily changed.

    I am a very social person in the game and have run my own house and been an active roomie at another house with my other sim at the same time and lots of people know me and I only don't say hi if i am stuck in an im or grabbing coffee or letting the dog out.

    As I stated in my original post this only affects the money category whereas in years past it affected all categories so it does narrow it down a lot.

    I was referring to the message from EA to bypass the Im or people just Iming and accusing you of botting.

    I feel sure there are reliable players out there who would be willing to moderate and could be given the feature to send a form EA message and wait an alloted time for a resoponse that is not an auto response.

    If people really want to end botting I can't see how saying yea Im here all is well would be such a big deal.

    Any suggestions on this?
     
  29. brendagfrie

    brendagfrie Guest

    I just checked and the very bottom money house has 2 hrs and 33 mins..for a bot to make any kind of money they need way more hours than that. Yea I know they could use all roomies but a house will all roomies in it and the door locked is pretty suspicious also.
     
  30. I wish that there were a TV show (or at least a video podcast) called "To Catch a Botter" (which would mock the Dateline NBC show "To Catch a Predator.") They're both against the law and they both need extreme measures! All we need is a Chris Hansen Sim! Wouldn't that be great?

    Anyway... Yeah, well, all online games have bots, I assume. It's just part of online gaming.
     
  31. tune71

    tune71 Guest

    Is there really a game out there without bots? Really don't you think by others selling the game currency online and in E-bay ect is actually good advertising for the game. No it isn't free advertising for Ea, but it is getting the name around. I remember seeing so many people selling things for the sims online on ebay years ago, it was everywhere. I do think over time they could weed them out with new items, but to mess with game play this early at the stage is dangerous! Make the players happy, or the bots will be all thats left.
     
  32. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just hitting reply.....I just say let me finish saving my money for my tree please...Ive been working my sim butt off for weeks and designing a new house since ive had 2 houses to fail already...that in itself takes a lot of money. If they implement this thing they think will work anytime soon then i'll never be able to afford a tree or rares! Some of us want the larger things in game and by decreasing pay theyve already made that harder for us to do. I say again...please don't do this to the players that are playing our way and having fun...not botting...I remember a time when I couldnt afford a tree, a rare of any kind because the price was way way high...dont make it impossible again...
     
  33. NightFlyer

    NightFlyer Guest

    ..."The problem is, if a house is locked it does not show on the map, no matter how many ppl are in it."...



    Since when? LOL

    Yes, they do show, locked or not.
     
  34. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This game seems to me to be a very close parallel to real life. In real life there are people to whom the aquisition of money takes presedence. It's more important than their family, their friends, and their life in general. It's unlikely that a community like this can be put together without those same personalitites showing up here.

    We all play this game for personal reasons. We all play it differently than the next sim, and we certainly all seem to enjoy it. I don't understand why the people who play like "bots" need to be stopped. Their sims probably have taken on the personality of it's human. If they can't enjoy the game without having more money than 98% of the population then I say HAVE AT IT. I don't care if they have more money then me. I don't care if their house is prettier, or they have rares. They are playing the game the way they enjoy playing the game.

    In real life there are plenty of people who have more money than me. They have prettier, bigger houses, and rare things that I can't afford. I can't call the police on them and say "stop them from living - they have more than me" so why would we be able to do it here? Let them work their little sim butts off. They are missing out on the human contact that can be found here, and I think I'm the richer one for it.

    Debbie Simth
     
  35. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    This game seems to me to be a very close parallel to real life. In real life there are people to whom the aquisition of money takes presedence. It's more important than their family, their friends, and their life in general. It's unlikely that a community like this can be put together without those same personalitites showing up here.

    We all play this game for personal reasons. We all play it differently than the next sim, and we certainly all seem to enjoy it. I don't understand why the people who play like "bots" need to be stopped. Their sims probably have taken on the personality of it's human. If they can't enjoy the game without having more money than 98% of the population then I say HAVE AT IT. I don't care if they have more money then me. I don't care if their house is prettier, or they have rares. They are playing the game the way they enjoy playing the game.

    In real life there are plenty of people who have more money than me. They have prettier, bigger houses, and rare things that I can't afford. I can't call the police on them and say "stop them from living - they have more than me" so why would we be able to do it here? Let them work their little sim butts off. They are missing out on the human contact that can be found here, and I think I'm the richer one for it.

    Debbie Simth

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Great post, although I believe there is a lot more to the problem, I can well and truely respect everything you have said there.
     
  36. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Because they have to have hard proof, just because they suspect doesnt mean they can ban em.
     
  37. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The pizza bot is able to determine what ingredients a player has. How does it do that? The maze bot knows what the maze looks like.

    Why cant the developers change how that information is read by the bot program? And the botting program will not work.

    Why do changes that affect the legitimate players? Why not put changes in the game that cause the botters headaches instead of the people just trying to have fun?
     
  38. I think the only way to stop botters for real is to have a decoding message.

    I know a lot of people are against this, but I think it's a perfect solution. If it wasn't effective then so many websites would not use them.

    I personally don't see the big deal in having to type in 4 or 5 characters that are a little blurred every time I make a pizza or a sale on a telemarketing machine.

    Either that or recode/script everything in the game so there can be bot programs made to run them.
     
  39. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Believe what you want...
     
  40. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I don't mind being randomly booted off of a property. In TC3 there was a bug, I wondered if it was on purpose. It would boot the whole house to login screen. These were random houses at dif times of the day. All the non AFK players came right back. I would giggle to myself everytime it happened. Thinking of all the sims bypassing timeout or using bots. That threw a wrench into their works. Everyone else seemed to hate it. If it was done for a purpose and we knew the purpose. Others might not mind so much.

    It probably wouldn't be hard for the bots to find a way around that too. While I was doing my research on bots. I read this one will log your avatars in at a certain time of day then log it out for maint and then log it back in after maint. I guess some pc's are used for nothing but making simoleans 24/7 They will run up to 12 accts on one pc if I remember correctly.
     
  41. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I don't mind being randomly booted off of a property. In TC3 there was a bug, I wondered if it was on purpose. It would boot the whole house to login screen. These were random houses at dif times of the day. All the non AFK players came right back. I would giggle to myself everytime it happened. Thinking of all the sims bypassing timeout or using bots. That threw a wrench into their works. Everyone else seemed to hate it. If it was done for a purpose and we knew the purpose. Others might not mind so much.

    It probably wouldn't be hard for the bots to find a way around that too. While I was doing my research on bots. I read this one will log your avatars in at a certain time of day then log it out for maint and then log it back in after maint. I guess some pc's are used for nothing but making simoleans 24/7 They will run up to 12 accts on one pc if I remember correctly.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is an excellent point.
    If all they are really trying to do is stop botters, which I'm sorry to say I don't believe is that is all they are trying to do.
    But if that is the case, they could put some fun things in there to at least slow them. Just by making it so we have to restart our sims on random occasions.
    Imaging this, our sim suddenly decides to get up from his/her type writer and start doing crazy things like spinning on their head. They could also make it so the longer you took to respond, the longer it would take to get going again.
    And maybe if you took over a certain time 3 times running you could not earn any more for the rest of the day. That would at least keep the botters close to their machines.