The Botters of Diablo 3 – An Interview

An interview has been posted on AtomicPC with a player who is very open about his botting operation. In the interview he discusses his methods, how he sells his gold and the amount of real money he can turn over by simply running bots in the game. If anything the interview highlights the problems Blizzard face with botters and the way it affects the Diablo 3 economy.

Do you think Diablo 3 will remain a profitable game to bot?
Absolutely. Diablo 2 was the most botted game ever made. The primary reason for this is that unlike MMORPGs there is no subscription model. Once you’ve paid for your account there are no ongoing costs provided you don’t get banned.

The way I’ve calculated it is like this. My botting rig uses around 400w of power constantly. This equates to roughly 10c per hour in electricity. My yield per account is between 300-400k per hour. This equates to 80c per bot, per hour. When I’m running 8 bots I’m making roughly $6.40 per hour. Even if the value of gold was to drop down to below $0.50 per million I’d simply switch over to farming items rather than gold and turn a nice profit.

We obviously don’t condone the use of bots, but when you read interviews like this, you can’t help but be concerned about how players like this impact the game and how Blizzard can combat the botters.

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    46 thoughts on “The Botters of Diablo 3 – An Interview

    1. They must be pretty confident that Warden doesn’t present a big enough hindrance. I had no idea they can fake responses or that they keep a global record of the queries warden is transmitting.

    2. Gold botting is rampant. Third party sites can sell you 100 mil gold for $200 without blinking an eye. Imagine the vast amounts of gold reserves they are sitting on.

    3. Sometimes I just get fed up with these freaking botters that I just want to turn to botting myself.

    4. If you buy items or gold, you’re supporting these botters. Just keep that in mind.

    5. Why would blizzard want to stop botting when they can just spam banwaves thereby forcing the botters to purchase new copies of the game using their botting profits. Circle-jerk-o-rama.

    6. Blizzard won’t stop the botters because it’s their main source of income after the release. They already exploited the mass banwave cycles in D2 because all the botters simply buy new accounts when they are banned and proceed to cheat because they make more money selling items than they lose when they have to buy a new game.

      Blizzard could easily solve this issue, but they won’t, because they profit from it.

      • Anyone that thinks that profiting from box sales due to banned accounts is a simple minded average tard. First of all, botters buys cdkeys from third party websites that get their keys from stolen credit cards.

        Secondly, botters ruining the economy and thus creating a turn off for the real players is far, far more detrimental than whatever “box sales” they can get.

        • Oh really? Care to explain this?

          There aren’t that many people having their credit card scammed to justify so many botters. They do it because they can easily make more than 60 dollars before they get banned. If you read any D3 cheating website you will see that cheaters are making 20+ dollars a day per account, so there’s absolutely no reason for then to waste their time stealing credit card numbers.

          But well, if you really want to believe Blizzard is not anti ethical good for you bro, keep playing this game… I’m just here eating my popcorn and laughing about every failed aspect of this game.

    7. Blizzard won’t stop the botters because it’s their main source of income after the release. They already exploited the mass banwave cycles in D2 because all the botters simply buy new accounts when they are banned and proceed to cheat because they make more money selling items than they lose when they have to buy a new game.

      Blizzard could easily solve this issue, but they won’t, because they profit from it and the average legit player is to stupid/stuborn to stop playing a game infected with so many cheaters, so the hacking is not a detriment to them and Blizzard can just continue to let cheaters use their bots like that.

    8. “When I’m running 8 bots I’m making roughly $6.40 per hour.”
      Seems decent, then you realize if you are working anything more than a minimum wage / throw away job, it’s not entirely a good “career” move. All the while, risking getting banned by blizzard, and being forced to drop extra cash on new licenses. Still, sounds nice to make a couple of bucks on the side… although I get the vibe from this article, running that many bots is a full time job.

      • That’s only 8 bots. He can run many more. Imagine running 80 bots and now you are talking about $64 an hour. I would say it’s definitely profitable if done in a large enough scale.

        • lol, to be fair, I think running hundreds of bots is a full-time job. Put it this way, I don’t think these bot-operators are the kind of folks who will put on a tie and take the subway to work 😀

      • This is fine if the bot software cost you $0 to acquire and $0 to maintain.

        If these people wrote it themselves, then they should include the time it took them to write the code. Or, if they bought the bot scripts from someone else, then they need to include that into their profit/loss calculation. Also updates may need to be made to the bots, to cope with patch changes from Blizzard and/or improved warden detection mechanisms etc.

        • By saying how much money he has actually made so far, he has included all such costs.

      • The question is how much time it takes him to manage all the stuff per day. If it is 2 hours, he makes 12 * 6.4 = 76$ / hour! The other 22 hours he can drink beer and watch TV. Annually (365 * 150$/day), he makes 56k additional income in addition to his normal job. With 100 bots instead of 8 and assuming linear scaling the revenues are 700k, you can have two employees and still have a very decent profit yourself.

        It sounds almost too good to be true tbh 😉

        • I’d say it is indeed too good to be true. He has said that for all that work he has only actually made $3K so far. If he has been running 8 bots and making $6.40 in gold per hour, less than 60 hours of time his computers were botting has actually been profitable. Then he describes all the extra work required to maintain good contacts and do bids, having to deal with potentially frozen Paypal accounts if he gets screwed, etc. With his description you probably could run more than 8 bots if you go full time but nowhere near 100. Then you would get no benefits without a normal job and you’re starting to get into questionable moral and legal territory to boot–imagine trying to explain that income to your tax authority. Would you make enough for a decent living full-time at the rates he described, sure…but for how long and is it ultimately worth it?

    9. An internet beheading by the Taliban wouldn’t be justice enough for this —-. Sorry, did I break forum rules?

    10. I quote:

      “… get around this by either emulating the default responses the game would normally use or if it doesn’t know the response to give it triggers a protocol called “Tripwire” that immediately shuts down all bots using its early-warning system world-wide and transmits the query warden made back to the developer. Once Tripwire has been triggered it prevents anyone from using the bot until an update is made or the “all clear” is given.”

      So how many accounts did he really loose already because “Tripwire” didn’t work?

      Also he says that WOW is less desirable compared to D3 because of the subscription fees. So buying a new D3 license means his bots need to function at least 3 months before buying a new account (45 bucks).

      I do think we only hear the guys bragging, not his misery of being countered by costly patches and updates.


      because blizz announced that there will be “soon” added limit of created games in some during of time, so bots will be no more effective

      So botters, you will be soon “DEMOLISHED”

    12. Botters are just running to give people what they want: To buy gold for real-life dollars.

      As long as there are people willing to buy this kind of items, there will be people selling them.

      I’m still not sure how that market can work, as I’ve never even considered buying gold in any game I played… But I guess we’re not the target population anyway?

      (I also tend to ignore – as in not even see – ads anymore. I’m fine with sites getting paid to display them, jsut not sure why it would generate any kind of cash-flow)

    13. It seems they applied it yesterday.
      As i got disconnected after quickly leaving a game and joining a new one.

      • You know what’s funny? If you leave the game running with the public game join screen open you get booted (input limit bullshits), but if you leave it open on the stupid auction house it can stay there for hours on end.

        Just something to ponder as to where Blizzard’s priorities lie.

    14. The answer is simple, when a purchase for gold is made on the RMAH, Blizzard need to prioritize the source gold from the account which has sold the least gold in the past. That way botters would fall to the bottom of the queue when real users are selling gold.

      If Blizzard kept a stat for total gold sold, then they could easily spot botters because they would be at the top of the list. (Not to mention total game time, which they already log, which would be 24/7 for botters) These accounts are easy to spot and should be banned on a daily basis.


      • Are you kidding, Dean? What you are saying requires intelligence, which Blizzard so far has shown none of.

        Just like the spam in the chat channels…Blizzard could easily resolve this (at least in the interim) if they would block people with ZERO play time, the ability to use chat. Every spammer that I have reported, has 0 achievements and 0 play time. At least make it so that the person has to get to a specific level before they are allowed to use the chat feature.

        What a concept!

    15. So, let me get this straight.. D2 was ruined by botters and duppers and 3rd party sites that sold dupped items.. D3 there are botters and duppers and now they can sell directly through the AH…how is this a good thing?

      • Blizzard gets a cut. Oh and something about it being more safe, no chance of being scammed. Though sometimes the items just dissapear and support only sends premade replies about completely unrelated issues.

        • Let’s just ignore the obvious, major benefits of not getting your account info and identity potentially stolen, not getting trojans/keyloggers potentially delivered to your computer, etc. by using the AH instead of 3rd party sellers.

          • Someone’s been buying into the Blizzard propaganda waaaay too much. Please explain how anyone could steal my account or forcefully install trojans on my system from me clicking buy on a website and then receiving the item by trade in game?

            • Log your username and password when you log into those sites. Test them against your account. Log your financial info.
              Sell your email address.
              Send you phishing attempts.
              Deliver viruses through ActiveX/Javascript/etc.
              Have links on those sites that send you to poisoned pages.
              Just plain not deliver the goods you buy.

              You may not end up being a target but many people are.

          • And lets go with the even more obvious, if Blizzard’s main point to creating the AH was to protect users, then why do they decide to take a cut of all transactions? The Gold AH I could care less about, but the RMAH??? Yeah…I thought so.

    16. These botters are like meth labs. They make you sick, but I dunno how you get rid of them all when there are paying customers.

      Just makes me sad. Video games have been a very fun hobby for many years. Now I am starting to feel uncomfortable playing them. Between the hacking and rampant cheating/botting, it is starting to feel like illegal online poker or something.

      PS: Hey Blizzard. This is one of many reasons I liked to play DII offline. No hacks, cheats, duping, or awful drop rates due to hacks/cheats/duping. Now I am forced to either quit the game or wade around in the online cesspool.

    17. Blizzard simply doesn’t care,. it’s not cost effective for them.
      They forget the reputation damages though,. If they fuck this up,. the number of expansion sales will be down down low low.

      Problem is, all these goldfarmers are professionalized.
      If they “get away” with being able to farm for 8 hours in a row, they make enough money to buy new accounts., blizzard cant react to it that fast, so it’s still profitable and they will KEEP doing it until blizzard comes up with a more permanent way to block out botters.

      Support the NOGOLD faction,

    18. hope he gets a lifetim ban.. stupid loser that must cheat to get anywhere i ngame.. pathetic!

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