Thanks to everyone in the community for the tremendous response to my previous piece, The Rise of the Isk Printing Machines. My goal was to raise player awareness of CCP’s apparent tolerance of common exploits to the detriment of the game, and it appears to have met with some success.
CCP’s Subsequent Response
On the Monday morning (GMT, Sunday night in the US) after the article was published, I noticed many of the bots going offline. One week later, I can confidently say that approximately 3/4 of the identified bots are no longer online. The constellations of D-A0V, 2Q-8WA, and 3TS-12 have been empty for some time. About 20 bots, particularly those in ETO-OT and the Outer Passage, remain
The Northern Coalition
Due to the positive response (and my boredom with most other aspects of the game) I’m going to be continuing my study of the bots of EVE online. I recently surveyed Tenal, Venal, Branch, and Tribute, taking two snapshot censuses and analyzing the regions one constellation at a time as I did with the drone regions. Then, I travelled to the suspicious areas.
I did discover some suspected bots (mostly tengus), but far fewer than in the drone regions. I observed fewer than a dozen bots. About half of them were neutral to NC, and another half dozen (possible) bots were NC blues. Due to the fact that I’ve been travelling on personal business, I am unable to verify these bots as thoroughly as I would like (I haven’t been logging in much) so I will post their names at a later date once confirmed.
This is not to say that there are only a dozen bots in (half of) NC space. Perhaps botters up there don’t run their bots 23 hours a day, perhaps they move from system to system every few hours. My method of finding bots via dotlan and starmap will only identify the most egregious, lazy, and obvious botters – which is still apparently more than CCP is willing to do.
Call For Tips
I’d appreciate any information you may have on bots. Please email them to the address: [email protected]. Good and useful tips will include information such as: Character Names, System(s) of operation, and activity. For example, BobJenkins is a market bot in Rens, or CaptainFluffy1 is mission botting in Motsu. Additional data is always great, for example if you added them to your contact list and they’re always online, if you have petitioned them in the past, or if you have observed other behavior that are indica of automation (tip: look at character birthdate). Useless tips would include things like: “I think there are bots in Curse, you should go look!” or “Alliance XYZ bots like crazy!” or “I think some of the mission runners in Motsu are bots!”
We’re beginning to gather more intelligence on bots doing activities more complicated than ratting and warping from belt to belt. I would be especially interested in additional intel on market bots or bots capable of running plexes, CAs, and missions. I am also interested in information on high-sec mining and ice-mining bots.
All tips will be investigated and confirmed, and botters will be published in EN24 along with some economic analysis of their activities on the game.
Vee, the player formely known as Fromage.