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What is botting and why has it been in the eve news and especially on r/eve?

For those that don’t know what botting is, I will provide a short explanation.

Botting is the automation of a particular activity in EVE, so the player does not have to do it themselves. It is a bannable offense and carries a severe stigma among active community members. Some of EVE online’s tasks are considered pretty mundane, and those players would love not to do them. Certain ways of ISK(in-game currency) making are considered extreme, and you will find a lot of bots doing these activities.

The year 2018 has not been kind on CCP Games when it comes to bots. And that comes right after 2017 which was already scarred by outrage concerning bots. But r/eve (EVE online’s un-official subreddit) has been a hotspot for botting outrage. Almost weekly you find topics about botting in eve online. And several extremely high profile topics sprung up all over the year.

There was the incident in January where this happened.

Then during summer the summer this post was made.

Then there are dozens like these outrage posts.

And if one uses Google, you will be able to find so many threads that I cannot possibly link them without spiraling this piece into an unreadable mess.

CCP did respond spectacularly when they teleported known botters to high sec to be killed by the community before banning them. You can find some information about that in this Reddit thread.

But even with this spectacular reaction to botting and dev blogs about numbers of bots banned we keep seeing bots. Weekly posts on Reddit and the eve forums are constant reminders. The outrage even caused it to reach regular gaming media websites  MASSIVELYOP and PCGAMER.

And I cannot find fault in the community being outraged. It might be a vocal minority but this vocal minority is vested in the game, and they care about the game.

Where I can find fault in is CCP Games lack of communication about this subject. A dev blog with numbers and an event to kill botters does not constitute communication. The eve community thrives on interaction. We like charts and figures because they show our vested interest into the game. Showing these statistics or even sending someone a message stating like “thanks for reporting the bot he is banned now” would constitute as better communication.

But CCP Games inability or willingness to communicate causes resentment among the vocal part of our player base. And because that part of our player base is vocal, it causes terrible headlines.

And that brings me to the point of this piece.

The worst thing about botters is not the influence on the economy or the thought among players that their efforts are in vain because they adhere to the rules and others do not.

The real damage is to eve online’s image and in extension CCP Games’ image. People who are thinking about joining the game might be put off by the negativity. Or consider all their effort into the game will be in vain because botters run rampant. Meaning CCP Games’ communication issues and willingness to communicate about botters causes them PR and marketing problems. Something management at CCP needs to look at.

Botters are not only bad because they harm the game for players playing. They hurt the future of eve. Bad headlines, especially on a subreddit CCP Games, cannot control. Gives a bad outward appearance. Actively harming the outer image that is easy to find for new people interested in eve online.

It is time CCP Games takes an active stand in communicating about botting and take reigns into their own hands. The community is not the police for them. But I am sure if CCP Games steps up players would be more willing to help and EVE online’s image would change for the better.

Also as a side note. While I was writing this a post appeared on Reddit.

Now I can only applaud this players effort. However, this should not be our job as players.

CCP this man deserves recognition for the effort he put into hunting these bots.

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