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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

EVE Online: Macro-Mining in Game is Hurting Legitimate Players

Posted by Teala Saturday August 7 2010 at 6:10PM
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::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::

Shinami writes:

The good solution is to teach the company a Lesson by Not Playing the game and actually playing other games. Speaking out helps, but as long as you PLAY THE GAME and SPEAK OUT AT THE SAME TIME you wont get anywhere.

 

A company only sees MONEY and treats you like an ID. As long as they get your money, they don't care because it doesnt matter if you like or hate the game...As long as a company has your money that is all that counts. To them, you like a product if you buy it.

 

Europeans know this very well and engage in organized resistance. When a few summers ago they were told that Gas Prices were going to be high and the government could do nothing...They took to the streets. They refused to work and they parked their cars to paralize the transportation system.

 

Many Europeans across many of the member nations of the European Union did this..In the very end the Government was FORCED by people to actually act and run a FULL INVESTIGATION on the gas companies, finding them guilty of Inflating prices for their own ends below regulation standards.

 

South Americans are stronger in dealing with greedy corporations. They will prove that you can have a LARGE CORPORATION but they can still find your family, children and your friends. They are smart enough to know at the end of the day one man (or woman) sits on top of it all.

 

MMORPG corporations know that most gamers are minors and they will do nothing, so they dont get involved. They simply take your money and run. Its sad but true. The best way to fight is to simply not play and resist. I had three MMORPGs I've played and I did enough damaging things to a company to  force them to replace parts to my computer their programming work. I threatened to turn their code to enough groups to launch private servers unless they complied..

 

Unfortunately I don't know what you will do. I am sorry to give you the hardsell...But its important to understand mentality. To you the creators of EVE don't care about you and while you hope for the best and expect the worse, you are being screwed in every way possible.

Sat Aug 07 2010 10:06PM Report
AlexanderTD writes:

A good thing to do is to ignore comments like one posted before. Some people just talk a lot while having no clue about it. 

In reality - macro-mining and other stuff been there for ages, it works in EVERY single game out there and no developer can ever do anything about it. 

In fact - CCP is the company that spend more efforts to catch cheaters than any other developer out there, however due to nature of macro-mining (or any other use of macros) it is impossible to tell which one is macro and which one is real player because macros often even contain random delays to simulate real player.

They do get caught, however, as GMs are starting conversations with people mining in AFK and if they don't respond for too long while still mining...

Sun Aug 08 2010 4:33AM Report
Inktomi writes:

T,

Great post and oh so true. I don't macro ANYTHING. It takes the fun out of actually playing the game. I would tell you I've had the same experiences in the past and just resorted to scouting for where they are not.

Twice I found these backwoods systems and I have been doing alright. I live (live?) in Forge, if you are ever 'round these parts hit me up anytime online: Anansi Ink'Tmi. Mine all day, and at least have someone to talk to.

~Ink

Mon Aug 09 2010 7:53AM Report
Nudles writes:

I truly understand you and feel your pain. I used to play EvE (2003-2005) but later i moved on to other games and the same reality applies there. The cheater mentality (hacks/botting) ruin the games for many legit players and will be present until drastic measures are taken against this, many could probably be a violation of privacy but few options are left to be honest.

For the past 8-9years, i've played many mmo's (p2p,f2p,b2p) and noticed there's always ppl trying to cut corners and get the upper hand with the least effort involved. Some will call it efficient resource management, others will call it cheating but nevertheless, these ppl affect much of a games economy (both inside and outside the game) and how they play inside said game.

Game companies are providing a service to their customers but many don't care much about the fairness practiced in their games, caring only for revenues with the lowest effort/cost implied into them..  and ppl still feed them money knowing they own nothing and the house always wins - that's 21st century digital entertainment for most.

Mon Aug 09 2010 8:52AM Report
Omegam0 writes:

ive been thinking about coming back to eve, and I do think that the system you said has merit to stop them, but instead of random numbers, why not put something like checkers or chess up during mining, I mean, most people complain about how boring it it anyway and it would give them something to do. Maybe those games are bad examples of what to use though, but i think you get the idea.

Thu Aug 12 2010 7:54AM Report
n00n3r writes:

you said the miners are in a corp.  why don't you and ur buddies just war-dec them?

Thu Aug 12 2010 2:58PM Report
ebonydragon writes:

I quit playing because out of a suite of 50 systems that I troll to mine, every single one has been invaded by macro miners.  I've sent maybe 50-60 petitions on these players and have gotten no credible responses (other than the canned "we're trying our best to - blah blah blah")  I've been a faithful player for 6 years, but I've finally had it and quit within the last two months and I don't anticipate a return as long as this continues. 

Thu Aug 12 2010 5:45PM Report
wootin writes:

I feel for you, but Eve Online has always been rigged in so many ways, and always in favor of metagamers and exploiters. Then CCP made it official by running multiple account sales f'gods sakes, setting up a forum for purchasing characters with ISK, and now by selling ISK, with which you can purchase said characters.

The only ones playing anymore are CCP, and they're playing the players for all of the money they can get :(

Thu Aug 12 2010 8:19PM Report
Deathwing980 writes:

Whatever happened to the good old days of Eve online when there weren't any macros but simply just Suiciders who would drop you like a rock if you never gave them your catch of the day from mining or salvaging..

 

God i miss those days, its probably why i left Eve to begin with, but alas... i want to get back in for Dust514..

I just pray to god that there wont be Macro players in Eve that run equipment to planets in conflict, but since i just said it... it will happen!

Fri Aug 13 2010 1:15AM Report
karnisov writes:

shinami is right, the only way to make yourself heard is to stop giving CCP money.

Wed Aug 18 2010 10:11PM Report
toxicmango writes:

As others have said, the only solution is to quit and not give CCP money.  The cheating, metagaming, and yes macro mining has been going on for years and has only gotten worse.  CCP has no incentive to change it because every account is giving them money, and CCP themselves are hardly clean either, having been caught red handed cheating against their customers before. 

Petitions don't do anything.  Destroying macro miners or taking their ore also doesn't really scratch the problem since they have all the time in the world and any losses inflicted would likely be negligible unless you spent your entire time doing so.  Even then the question then becomes how much is your time worth? 

The only way to make yourself heard is to hit them in their finances, by not giving them your real money.

Sun Aug 29 2010 8:07AM Report

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