Blizzard is Battling Botters Every Day


As we said in the article yesterday, the issue of botting in Diablo 3 seems to be coming to something of a head. Perhaps at least partially spurred by our article, one of the Blizzard CMs finally replied to some botting threads on Wednesday. Mostly they replied by saying “this is not the thread you’re looking for,” and by signing off for the holiday weekend, but in one thread there is an official statement, of sorts.

It’s long and attempts to reassure. Here’s an excerpt, you can read the whole thing if you click through.

An important thing to keep in mind is that we don’t make public announcements every time we action players for cheating, and the reason for this is that we are constantly removing this kind of exploitative behavior from the game — on a weekly basis, sometimes even on daily basis…

It’s something we take very seriously, though. Our developers, support staff, and anti-hack teams are all busting their butts to ensure that your online experience is as free of cheats, hacks, and bots as possible. From the development side, we look at ways to reduce the effects of exploitative behavior on the community and/or prevent certain programs from working outright. This trick here is to make sure that whatever we do doesn’t negatively impact legitimate players, which is actually a very fine tightrope to walk (you saw the complications of that whenever we introduced game limiting)…

The reality to all of this, though, is that even though we devote considerable time, effort, and heart to removing bad behavior from the game, there will always be individuals who excel at coming up with new ways of getting around the roadblocks we put up.

…we have done many things to deter botting and remove those who are botting from the game environment. From the development side — just to name a few things — we’ve implemented game limits and AH limits. We’ve painstakingly removed exploitable monsters, chests, events, and locations, or made adjustments to them so that they would not benefit botters. And we continue to add layers to our reporting systems (I’ll pass on your feedback about adding more, though). On top of that, we have meetings each week with the development team to discuss what more we can do to help prevent this kind behavior (like I said previously, though, most solutions would negatively impact legitimate players…for example, CAPTCHA). From the anti-hack side, we monitor for bad behavior around the clock, and we routinely issue ban waves for verified cases of botting. We’ve also brought legal action against several companies who develop these types of programs.

So, are the botters just that clever, or do you still feel that Blizzard’s security is indifferent and/or incompetent? Or consider this — what if Blizzard’s security measures are amazing, and they’re stopping 95% of would be botters/hackers/dupers/etc. So it’s only a small percent that gets through, but we see those and complain. Perhaps we’re living like the Hobbits in the Shire during the long years before the Return of the King, with our borders protected by unseen ranger guardians we can’t even imagine!

Yes, it’s fun to pretend.

The full post.

Banning Botters Movement!!!

Hi guys, I also realise the botting issue is becoming a little out of control. A friend of mine quit playing last night because he is sick of runing into bots all the time, before he quit he gave me all his gears ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was thinking if we could start a movement where all the legit players go play on a pubic game for 15 minutes every time they log into the game and actively report a few botters to blizzard, hoepfully it’ll get billizzard’s attention and reduce the severity of this situation.
Lylirra: An important thing to keep in mind is that we don’t make public announcements every time we action players for cheating, and the reason for this is that we are constantly removing this kind of exploitative behavior from the game — on a weekly basis, sometimes even on daily basis. Public announcements would become tedious if we decided to make one every single time we banned someone for using a bot, a hack, or some other kind of cheat. Instead, we usually will post something whenever we issue a big wave, or whenever we feel like we need to remind players that exploitative behavior is not okay and can lead to a permanent ban from Diablo III.

It’s something we take very seriously, though. Our developers, support staff, and anti-hack teams are all busting their butts to ensure that your online experience is as free of cheats, hacks, and bots as possible. From the development side, we look at ways to reduce the effects of exploitative behavior on the community and/or prevent certain programs from working outright. This trick here is to make sure that whatever we do doesn’t negatively impact legitimate players, which is actually a very fine tightrope to walk (you saw the complications of that whenever we introduced game limiting). From the support side, we make sure that your in-game reports reach our anti-hacks teams. And from the anti-hack side, we take action on players that we are able to confirm to be maliciously exploiting the game, be it through botting or other forms of cheating.

The reality to all of this, though, is that even though we devote considerable time, effort, and heart to removing bad behavior from the game, there will always be individuals who excel at coming up with new ways of getting around the roadblocks we put up. So, it’s a constant battle, but one that we’re willing to fight. If you want to pitch in, you can; the easiest way to do so is by emailing [email protected] or submitting a report through our webform.

And, just for clarity, let me repeat:

– Exploitative behavior is not okay (this includes botting).
– If you are found to be exploiting the game, you can be permanently banned.
– Source: https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-exploitation-policy

Btw as i read on some bot forum (am not botting just like to read the ban reports:) ) the last public statement called “diablo players banned” was about people using maphack and that zoom out thingy not a massive bot banwave.
Lylirra: It included, but certainly was not limited to, that particular type of behavior. We called it out specifically in the announcement, so it’s nothing new.

Lylirra is one of the only really respected blues, but her response to botting (which I am sure is primarily scripted from management) is extremely weak. Botters and spammers have run rampant since week 1 and from what not only I can tell, but the majority of community as well, is that Blizzard has done very little to actually control, or eliminate them
Lylirra: Not scripted. Not from management. What I wrote is based on my own experiences working at this company for over 6 years. I know almost each and every member of our anti-hack team personally, and I can speak first-hand as to how seriously they treat their role. They work long hours, they invest themselves completely, and they rarely get any praise for what they do because their job is never done.

Yesterday, I spoke with one of the guys on the team for over an hour about how difficult and frustrating it is to keep up with all the different ways that players want to exploit the game. You find a certain kind of automation program and get rid of it, another pops up in its place, and now it’s even harder to detect. Or you know that some players are using a particular type of bot based on intuition and experience on the job, but you can’t prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Permanently banning a Diablo III license isn’t something we take lightly, and there’s a lot more that goes into actioning someone for botting than what meets the eye. (Yes, kind of like Transformers, but fortunately with less Shia LeBouf.)

But, to counter your point more specifically, we have done many things to deter botting and remove those who are botting from the game environment. From the development side — just to name a few things — we’ve implemented game limits and AH limits. We’ve painstakingly removed exploitable monsters, chests, events, and locations, or made adjustments to them so that they would not benefit botters. And we continue to add layers to our reporting systems (I’ll pass on your feedback about adding more, though). On top of that, we have meetings each week with the development team to discuss what more we can do to help prevent this kind behavior (like I said previously, though, most solutions would negatively impact legitimate players…for example, CAPTCHA). From the anti-hack side, we monitor for bad behavior around the clock, and we routinely issue ban waves for verified cases of botting. We’ve also brought legal action against several companies who develop these types of programs.

But we agree with you: it’s not enough. Of course, we’re not sure that what we can do will ever be enough (we don’t know if we can eliminate exploitative behavior completely), but we’re willing to try. It’s an ongoing battle, though, not something you win after a couple of quick matches.

Comments

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  1. corporate bs, nothing more.

    • Botting + professional gold farmers are hard to keep out. Bots have a few ways of evading detection such as running D3 in a Virtual Machine and just having the bot mimic mouse clicks and key strokes. Warden wouldn’t be able to see outside the VM even if it knows it’s in a VM and Blizz has tacitly accepted Linux VM such as Wine as beign legitimate options. Human Gold farmers too are also hard to police. People working in area’s where wages are less than $0.25 an hour would be able to profit from gold pickups alone and the players would look exactly like a normal player with too much time on their hands.

      It isn’t exactly a simple problem with easy fixes they aren’t attempting.

  2. As long as Blizz gets money from bots via AH, they don’t really care.

  3. I’ve had quite a number of botters in my player list, they are all at least paragon 70 level. Since the last maintenance they are finally gone, so they do ban the botters.

  4. Does anybody wonder how big the anti-hack/bot team is? Even if it were a 1000 employees they would have to police a couple of MILLION players. Conservatively what? 3 mil (there have been 10 mln copies sold)? If only 0,1% of those players is a bot then it’s 300k botters. And I doubt the team consists of a 1000 members and I also doubt there are 300k botters. (in comparison, I live in the Netherlands with a population of 17 mln, we’ve got about 55000 policemen and it’s not enough).

    It’s impossible to control it all and also botters are not the cause of all the problems. The problem is a couple of million players generating massive amounts of items and gold and putting it on the AH without thought.

    Talk of botters and hackers is the same as talking about conspiracy theories. It’s unbacked by evidence and asuming all sorts of things based on feelings and heresay.

    I tend to believe Blizzard on this. I also think the problem lies with the people playing the game and messing up the AH. People only want the most awesome items and pay big gold for it. Decent items are useless and vendored.

    I also play HC mode and I think that the AH there makes more sense. Items will also get destroyed when chars die. There’s no overflooding of good items and you won’t be able to keep saving money for that UBER item because your char will probably die in between. The prices are more reasonable that way and the non-uber items will sell because there’s always someone looking for an in-between item. This also goes for lower level items and crafting. On SC everybody has decent items and they can keep them forever and wait to get money for those superitems. This will inflate the whole market and it has nothing to do with botters.

    That said, I think the whole AH is a bad idea…at least for SC. A ladder would be better where chars can’t use the AH anymore because they’ll need to build new chars and need new items.

    /rant

    • “Conservatively what? 3 mil (there have been 10 mln copies sold)? If only 0,1% of those players is a bot then itโ€™s 300k botters.”

      300k(300.000 right?) botters within a playerbase of 3 mill peeps = 10% not 0,1%

      • Whoops, massive brainfart there…I guess it’s 3000 then. That maybe closer to the actual number if not still very high I think. It would be nice to get some facts around that. I’m thinking Blizzard has those rough numbers and they don’t publish it because it’s shockingly high or unbelievably low. They’re screwed either way, because if it’s high then it’s bad for them, but if it’s low then nobody will believe them and this discussion goes on and on.

        Thx for the correction Icy Metal, I feel silly now.

    • No. They would only have to police characters/people showing certain behaviour patterns and this people could be identified easily by the server software.

      • Wrong. You don’t know who the criminals are before checking everybody. It’s not like there are registered botter-accounts. So they do have to police the complete ‘population’. That means it’ll take quite some time to check everybody’s playing patron in order to recognise bots.

        • Sorry that i was too lazy to point out exactly what I mean. What I tried to explain was that the server software is able to identify botting suspects.

          For example If there is a character that runs an area with good loot time after time over several hours without any break this is possibly a bot. And the server can monitor such behaviour and trigger an investigation.

          So you only have to focus on accounts showing suspicious behavior.

          • Unfortunately, I have to disagree. By your logic, the botter could simply program the bot to run a different map every so often, and maybe even log itself off for a few hours. Plus, there are people who do nothing but run the same map over and over, for an incredibly long period of time everyday, such as Alkaizer. For example, if he would’ve made sure to pickup all of the gold on his runs, it’s possible that he could’ve been labeled a bot. Or, maybe the bot runs the same map for 6 days a week, logging off for a few hours in between, and then on day 7, it does other runs. Or maybe it switches between SC and HC throughout the week- either way, I think you get my point.

            Also, as Lyrilla said, if there is even a shadow of a doubt that they could be real people, they won’t get banned. Personally, I think they should just ban them anyways; maybe something like a softban, where it would make them contact Blozzard to get the ban removed. It may seem like it would be a hassle for Blizzard, but the reality is that the botters won’t contact them, because they won’t want the attention.

            So, while I totally agree that there are easy things to look for, it’s pretty likely that those accounts are banned or will be banned. I’m just playing devil’s advocatr because he problem is when the bots show any kind of possible humanity. If Blizzard used your system, as soon as an account looked like they were an actual human, they’d be in the clear and could proceed to bot completely undetected for forever. Or maybe a human play decides to start running a bot after having played 4-500 hours. That’s why they always have to monitor everyone.

            ~~Nate

          • Whoops- I meant Lylirra, not Lyrilla. Lol

  5. They told me, that botting wouldn’t be a problem, now it is a problem. FUCK you Blizzard.

  6. Captcha? lol..thats more than stupid to discuss that in such situation. Even more stupid to let people know about that.

  7. what a Load of Bullshit

  8. YEAH. Corporates, money, … , my product. 1% greedy liars. ROAR.

  9. lol told ya’ll Lylirra is full of shit, even her eyes are brown

    • Your rants are directed against the wrong people. This Lylirra is just someone who works for blizzard and has to do what his/her employers demand because he/she needs the money to make a living.
      If you want to flame someone then use ActiBlizz management as a target. Because they are responsible.

  10. Wow, isn’t this a place of love and hope? You guys are so pessimistic and cynical. You don’t nearly give Blizz enough credit…for anything. It’s really sad and I keep wondering why I still even come to read the comments, let alone visit this site. Maybe this will be the final nail in the coffin.

    • Gaming culture is sadly filled to the brim with extremely unpleasant people.

    • If you sell the game as the new Diablo and make it worse than the predecessor, then you’re a douchebag. They have used so much PR to make people buy this game, and they have lied so many times. Why shouldn’t people be pissed?

      • Yes this is true.
        If they had used a different name and made clear that they were targetting different customers there would have been no complaints.
        But they decided to call it Diablo 3.
        So ActiBlizz made more money but the reputation of Blizzard suffered a lot.
        No viable long term strategy in my opinion.

    • I wouldn’t treat the handful of perpetual unconditional haters as anything more than… well a handful of people.

      I guess everyone else is too busy playing.

  11. Hard to take them seriously when you find duped items being sold on the ah and rmah. I’ve seen the same exact echoing fury being sold all week, even four of them at the same time.

  12. I’m sorry, maybe I’m missing something here. How are people identifying bots? Wouldn’t they play in private games exclusively? Is it just “the economy is in the toilet, blah blah blah BOTS!” or something?
    I’m not playing at anything, I literally don’t understand. How could people possibly implicate bots for anything, how could there be any proof, other than a couple of shitty forums full of turds who bot? Even then, user counts are low, and I’ve never seen any sales figures on D3 bots.
    Maybe just because gold is cheap?

    • It’s simple – there are certain websites which shows players’ stats. Some people have ridiculous stats, for example whole gear is gold find, and he played like hundreds of hours without even entering inferno and similar stuff.

  13. We re boting d2 and d3
    becouse 1 month normal play for 1 legendary sux

    diablo is a noob farm play.
    Where is the pvp, half year ago?
    All people i know “include me” bought d3 just leave playing or bot.

    play for farm/farm for play isnt funny.
    Just need a endgame develop and fuck the nerf drop.

    Why inferno drops sux? we dont need thousands of millons of useless gold

  14. They are battling botters? Hahahaha

    Seriously, there were chars who had tens of thousands elite kills long ago, which were practically impossible to achieve without playing 24/7. Blizzard does not give a sh!t about bots.

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