::jumps onto her soap box::
I have kept quite about this since I began playing EVE, but alas I cannot stay quite any longer. EVE has a serious problem and it isn't just lag - it is macro-mining(aka botters). What is macro-mining? Marco-mining is where a player uses a system of either third party applications(software) or keyboards that can store commands and repeat them allowing for a player to walk away and the computer will essentially play the game for them.
In EVE, one way of making use of this afk-macroing system is to mine asteroids. This allows players to basically mine asteroids 23/7(only 23 hours a day because the system goes down daily for server maintenance) and this can really hurt the legitimate players that play the game as it was intended and for them to be present at their computer while mining, because most legitimate players cannot stay on their computers 23/7.
You may ask, “How do afk-macro-miners hurt the game?” Because there are so many of these people that set up afk-macro-mining and basically mine 23/7, they can mine millions of tons ore daily. That adds up when you have hundreds of players doing it. First, it swamps the market with ore. This drives the price down. Second, these macro-miners wipe out whole systems of asteroids in a day and leave little for legitimate players to mine.
Let me tell you my story and maybe that will help shed some light onto this issue.
I run a mining corp. I go out to my usual area that is generally full of asteroids one day and nothing is there. So I try another belt, nothing there. Then another...same. I am like what the...
So I head to another book-marked asteroid belt and I come across four hulks and an orca. They've chewed through most of the belt. I am like -- OK, no biggy, I'll just go to a different belt - there is like 18 in this system. Of the 18 asteroid belts in the system, two had enough ore worth mining. The rest had been mined out. I am cool with this...it happens sometimes. The problem is I come across this same outfit day in, and day out, mining the asteroid belts. So I watched how they operated for a bit and I started to notice a pattern and that they always did the same thing everyday like clock-work. They(the orca and 4 hulks) start at one asteroid belt on one end and work their way around until all the asteroids are gone. The orca was making runs to the station and returning as if a player was present. Turns out there is nobody running them. They are all run by macro's.
I found this out by another player that use to be in the corp that these ships belonged to a corp that uses macros to mine via local chat. I was like, you've got to be kidding me. He said no he wasn't. He said that two of the players use macro's to totally automate their mining op’s, so they can play their other accounts doing missions and what not. So I said...wow...that is cool, but they are mining all the asteroids in this system and leaving nothing for me. I play late at night most of the time and by the time I get on they've cleaned the system. He said he had reported them to CCP but nothing happens. I asked him why he left them and he said it was because he had left the game for a bit and came back and they had booted him from the corp. He tried contacted them, but they would not respond. So he just gave up. Now he just runs missions.
Well, I cannot compete with this - so I move to a new location, completely out of the region I was in, and as far away from the main throng of systems high-sec players normally congregate in, to get away from things like this. Things are going good until - yep you guessed it - macro'ers show up. First there was just a couple and only using hulks. Then this one group moves into the system and started using hulk's and orca's. All automated! All afk-macro-mining.
So once again I pick up and leave and head to a new system. This one is awesome. Lots of belts rich with ore. Couple of weeks ago I find out that half the corps in this system are all macro-miners by one of the players that also runs a mining corp out of the same station I do - again, via local chat. I was like, OMG - you've got to be kidding me right - I just left a system full of botters? He said no he wasn't. He started naming the members of the corps he use to belong in and the ones that do macro-mining and he said he could prove it because if anyone was actually on they should respond to threats of being suicide ganked at any minute and they don't. They just sit there and keep mining away because there is nobody there to answer the threat. I asked him to prove it.
So he did...he got into one of his Tempest, and sure enough, the first player he picked failed to respond. He gave them ample time and numerous chances to respond and if they didn't answer or move their hulk to safety he would destroy it. Nothing. He destroyed it.
I said, so this macro-mining is rampant all over the game isn't it? I explained that I had moved three times to try to get away from them, and I am getting tired of having to pick up, and leave to look for a new system to mine in. He told me, good luck, because he's been doing the same a lot longer than I have. He reports and nothing happens, so he tries to deal with it by suicide ganking the most blantant macro-miners in the system --- to no avail mind you, they are back to macroing that next day. He looses a BS and takes a security hit on one of his alts, trying to stop the macro'ers. Which is just totally wrong. He shouldn’t - we shouldn’t, as players, have to do this.
So here I am at my wits end with but one thing to do now, (because it is crazy that we have to continually look for a good system that is free of macro-miners that is not in low-sec, or null-sec space), write a blog to warn other potential players of one of EVE's failings and that is the game is rigged. It is rigged against legitimate players who wish to make mining their characters profession, because CCP fails to address the rampant afk-macro-mining that takes place in their game. How can we legitimate players even hope to compete against players that can set up multiple macro-mining accounts that are running 23/7 in game? This is a serious question and I would just love CCP to answer it for me. My petitions just seem to disappear and not get answered. No response on their forum boards, except from people who clearly deny there is an issue or are botters themselves.
If you expect us, that play in high-sec, to police this issue ourselves, then you provide us the ships and do not drop our security rating every time we take out a macro-miner. Because, if we have to do it, that is the hit we take. A loss of a BS and a hit on our security rating. It isn't worth it and we shouldn't have to do it - you should, CCP. We may play your game, but the running of it is your responsibility, not ours. It is your responsibility to make sure that people are not cheating and this is clearly cheating.
Suggestion: (one that was slammed on the forums - but I know would work - and it was slammed because clearly there are people that can see the potential of it actually working and putting a stop to the macro-mining and this scares them) All you need to do is when someone’s character goes into mining mode(whenever they target an asteroid and start mining it) is have a random code of letters and numbers appear in a box, on the screen and request the player attending the mining ship input that code within a given time frame(say 2 minutes). If they do not input the code within the given time - they are booted from the game. This would pop up at random times, every so often, to ensure that a player is actually present. Simple. Seriously...how hard is that to implement?
That is just one solution. I have a few more suggestion, but I am not going to freely give them away...I'm just a player and do not work for your company - I just play your game and I shouldn't have to be the one to come up with a solution - you should. If you do wish to have my other solutions - I expect a check in the mail.
It has been going on for a very long time it seems. How rampant of issue is it? There are websites dedicated to helping players set up macros to mine with. There are "how to videos" on Youtube even. So this issue needs addressed sooner rather than later because it is not going to go away unless CCP actively persues to put a stop to it. I really like your game CCP, but if you wish to keep me as a paying customer - fix your game!
::jumps off soap box::