Saturday, November 25, 2006

Solo vs. Botting

Originally, this forum thread peaked my interest because of something said in the Original Post. I'll summarize the thread, but you may enjoy reading it yourself. The drama of it is pretty funny. Hopefully I can capture some of it for you here:

The original poster (OP) starts off by including this statement about a topic that quickly didn't matter because the thread was about to be hijacked:

But for me its more about the journey as an independant, unguilded individual, who did it "my way" as some old man used to say.

It sounded to me that this was someone else who might play solo. (Note the reference to Sinatra's "My Way." It'll show up later.)

But soon thereafter another player (BB in post #7) says what seems to be the innocuous:
lol@your way

/afkbotting AMIRITE

To which the OP responds:
You couldn't be more wrong if you tried. I report a few dozen botters a week...

Then in post #10 you see BB come back and ask the follow up:
So you've never used a bot for anything?

Now, if you were raised by my mother you would be immune to this trick. "You were at the library all night, right?" Trust me, that should be your first sign that you're caught NOT being at the library all night. But the OP falls for it and says:
Nope..wouldn't know where to get one or how to set it up...Didn't have computers when i was in school so I am self taught.

Well the trap was set and now it's sprung. In post #14 BB comes back to say:
"Then I'm sure you'll remember this:" and posts a link to this video starring the Original Poster apparently doing the thing he just said he's never done:

(In case there are problems with the embedded video, here's a link to the video on Google Video.)

Now this looks bad. Very bad. Because in the video two alliance characters come upon this guy, the OP, (a hunter) and thinking he is botting decide to test him by killing his pet over and over. The OP, however, does nothing and lets this happen. He just keeps fighting.

Queue the many posts stating that the OP was just completely owned:
That is ownage on a scale that has never been seen before.

etc, etc...
When the OP finally replies he says he was drunk and being stubborn (to keep resurecting his pet) to see if they would stop bothering him.

Now, this all interests me, particularly as it pertains to any perception that being alone and unguilded means someone is botting (only two of my characters are guilded - unless you count the day I was showing my mom the game, but that's a story for another day). See post #116:
You're unguilded atm, which REEKS of "I don't want guildies to find out that I bot, so I'll join a guild after I'm done".

Hmmm, is that what people think? Hopefully this guy is just talking about this instance.

Nonetheless, I'm paying attention to how this unfolds. What are the perceptions now? And this guy is going to be one more data point in building future perceptions - either as a legitimate unguilded player or as someone purposely avoiding guilds because he's botting.

From my own perspective, I tried to determine if this could be legitimate. I'm not fond of the PVP aspect of the game myself so I don't roll on PVP servers (except maybe as a tourist). But I do play solo a lot and when someone does something that bothers me, I often silently let it pass. Offensive whisper? Just ignore it, they usually don't keep bothering me. (Except for the showing my mom story - again - story for another day.) Begger? No response. Although on the stubborn front - just today someone (same faction) ran up to a copper node I was mining and started mining it as though I wasn't already standing there mid swing. That time I just kept mining, trying to beat him. Then I moved along my way. I wanted to yell at the guy but what would that gain? So I said nothing and went about my business.

So when this guy defended his actions, I thought... maybe... maybe... He certainly makes an empassioned plea that he was at the keyboard and not botting. I can't help but think, though - why didn't this guy run away? Anytime I am near a member of the opposing faction (and I'm on a PVE server and rarely if ever flagged), I'm scared I'm gonna get PK'd. I just couldn't reconcile this whole thing's being on an RPPVP server and this player didn't think - uh oh - I'm horde and these are two alliance in a guild known for ganking - I should run away. Log off. Something! I sincerely doubt I would continue to go about my business.

Anyway, back to the drama,... BB says - I've got more video coming and then later posts this follow up video with subtitles set to the tune of, of course, "My Way":

(Link on Google Video.)

So it really appears that the OP was botting. This is not good for perceptions of the unguilded.

I've also taken away two learnings. First - maybe it wouldn't hurt for me to utter a word or two on occassion to make sure players or Blizzard or whoever knows I'm not on autopilot and that I'm actually at my keyboard. When I walked away from that guy who tried to steal my copper mine, maybe he thought I was just a bot because I didn't acknowledge what he did. (Maybe he was the bot, hmmm can they do that?)

And second - /thanks mom! Because I'm just a little bit better on my toes today for your sleuthing skills while I was growing up. I can't believe the OP fell for it. At least I got a good laugh out of the thread for it though. Hopefully you did too.

1 comment:

Doeg said...

Interesting topic!

I am currently unguilded with all characters since I had an unpleasant experience with one guild. I eventually tried another guild with my main and quit after a couple of weeks because I was still essentially soloing anyway. I have a comprehensive friends list. I enter the PvP battlegrounds a lot joining PUGs. I'm on a PvE server that seems to have less interest in PvP battlegrounds than other servers in the Battlegroup 6 cluster (don't see others from Rexxar much).

My main reached 60 Thanksgiving Day, doesn't raid yet, has only done Scholo of the endgame instances (with a PUG of course), and is frenetically PvP-ing trying to rank-up before the honor wipe... "Spare" time in WoW is usually spent gearing alts and helping those on the friends list... So to flip the question, what use has a guild for me right now?

It never occurred to me that I could be suspected of botting because I'm unguilded and typically run solo. Hmmm...